Real-time report from the New York Times!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013

It happened in Benghazi, continued: In the beginning, various people thought and said that there had been a demonstration in Benghazi before the “extremists armed with heavy weapons” arrived at the scene and “hijacked events.”

On September 14, the CIA officially said that’s what it believed. Yesterday, we showed you front-page reporting from the Washington Times which reported a similar chain of events.

To read that report, just click here.

What actually happened that night in Benghazi? We can’t tell you that! But below, you see what the New York Times reported on its front page on Thursday morning, September 13.

The piece was written by David Kirkpatrick reporting from Cairo, with more reporting by Osama Alfitory and Suleiman Ali Zway in Benghazi:
KIRKPATRICK (9/13/12): It is unclear if television images of Islamist protesters may have inspired the attack in Benghazi, which had been a hotbed of opposition to Colonel Qaddafi and remains unruly since the Libyan uprising resulted in his death. But Tuesday night, a group of armed assailants mixed with unarmed demonstrators gathered at the small compound that housed a temporary American diplomatic mission there.

The ambassador, Mr. Stevens, was visiting the city Tuesday from the United States Embassy compound in Tripoli to attend the planned opening of an American cultural center, and was staying at the mission. It is not clear if the assailants knew that the ambassador was at the mission.

Interviewed at the scene on Tuesday night, many attackers and those who backed them said they were determined to defend their faith from the video's insults. Some recalled an earlier episode when protesters in Benghazi had burned down the Italian consulate after an Italian minister had worn a T-shirt emblazoned with cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Ten people were reportedly killed in clashes with Colonel Qaddafi's police force.

[...]

Libya's deputy interior minister, Wanis al-Sharif, made somewhat contradictory and defensive-sounding statements about the attack.

He acknowledged that he had ordered the withdrawal of security forces from the scene in the early stages of the protest on Wednesday night. He said his initial instinct was to avoid inflaming the situation by risking a confrontation with people angry about the video.

He also said he had underestimated the aggression of the protesters. But he criticized the small number of guards inside the mission for shooting back in self-defense, saying their response probably further provoked the attackers.

The small number of Libyans guarding the facility, estimated at only six, did not hold out long against the attackers, who had substantial firepower, the interior minister and State Department officials said. Defending the facility would have been a ''suicide mission,'' Mr. Sharif said.

Mr. Sharif also faulted the Americans at the mission for failing to heed what he said was the Libyan government's advice to pull its personnel or beef up its security, especially in light of the recent violence in the city and the likelihood that the video would provoke protests.
Where did people get the idea that there had been a demonstration before the heavily armed extremists arrived? How did the insulting YouTube video come to be part of the story?

Last September 13, the New York Times and the Washington Times each reported a pre-existing protest, based on eyewitness accounts. According to the New York Times, “many attackers and those who backed them said they were determined to defend their faith from the video's insults.”

We don’t know what happened ourselves. That was one of the early accounts which seemed to emerge from the street.

16 comments:

  1. David, oh David, where are you? Dreaming up how you can construct a reason why this does not thoroughly demolish the entire Susan Rice critique, or, failing that, pivot to another way to continue the attack on the Benghazi matter, of course. It will be amusing to see it if you have the guts to try.

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    1. Grumble grumble.... Well, it just goes to show anything in the New York Times........grumble grumble....

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    2. TDH accounts of September now include this gem:

      "On September 14, the CIA officially said that’s what it believed."

      What does mean? Officially?? What? What happened to the narrative where Petreaus came up with talking points to guide other gov't officials so that they would be sure to avoid disclosing classified information? Is that story down the memory hole? Is that supposed to be what they really believed? Is this what TDH is referring to?

      What we do know is that in late November Susan Rice said there was not a demonstration--that her previous statements had been inaccurate. Susan Rice never said, and likely never will say, when exactly the intelligence assessment evolved.

      The TDH finale-- "We don’t know what happened ourselves. That was one of the early accounts which seemed to emerge from the street." --makes no mention of the fact that Susan Rice has spoken to this very issue 2 months after the events. To see what "official" looks like here's the link:
      http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/201072.htm
      To say that you don't know even today whether there were demonstrations is to call Susan Rice a liar.

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    3. Really, really stupid.

      Avoiding disclosure of classified information isn't a "narrative". That's what they're supposed to do. They would be derelict in their duty if they didn't and you and the rest of the jackals would be all over them if they did. The reality is it doesn't matter what the administration did or said, the republicans would have criticized them either way.

      Why don't you try addressing the substance of what Bob wrote?

      "Interviewed at the scene on Tuesday night, many attackers and those who backed them said they were determined to defend their faith from the video's insults." It is a fact that this was reported in the New York Times on September 13.

      We know why Susan Rice later said her previous statements had been inaccurate. To try to shut the screaming hyenas up.

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    4. So you are saying that what Susan Rice puts in ink on State Dept stationery is politically motivated?

      Or are you just calling her a liar?

      The substance of this post is to pretend that we still don't know what happened in Benghazi. It is only possible to believe that there were protests if you are willing to discredit Susan Rice's own press release. But TDH doesn't want to do that either...

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    5. mm,

      The substance of what Bob wrote was to fantasize that CIA-written talking points represent some "official" view of what the Agency actually knows and/or believes. There was nothing official about the talking points. More TDH gorilla dust.

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    6. The substance of this post is to demonstrate with FACTS taken from real time reporting, that the answer to the following question is quite clear:

      "Where did people get the idea that there had been a demonstration before the heavily armed extremists arrived? How did the insulting YouTube video come to be part of the story?"

      Now this phony question has been at the heart and center of the phony baloney scandal mongering jackasses in congress completely distorting the factual record to claim that the connection of the youtube video is a mystery.

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    7. FACT or fantasy:

      "On September 14, the CIA officially said that’s what it believed. "

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugTaPTv0eQY

      TDH is trying to erase the November 27 Susan Rice mea culpa from memory. Susan Rice went around Washington telling everyone (who might vote on her Secretary of State nomination) that the demonstrations did NOT happen. Why wouldn't reasonable people wonder why they had been told the opposite 2 months prior. And not only told about demonstrations that didn't happen, but told that the demonstrations (that did
      NOT happen) were linked to outrage over a video.

      How could anyone in the administration have known the motivations behind the demonstrations...when there weren't any demonstrations?

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    8. You keep wondering, buddy. I'm sure life is a continual puzzle to you.

      Why don't you get that "real time video" of the attack that Sean Hannity has been yammering about.

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    9. Sorry, did you forget to address the FACT or fantasy query?

      Oh dear, the FACTS aren't on your side are they?

      You can point at Hannity or Attkisson all you like, but it won't correct TDH's "On September 14, the CIA officially said that’s what it believed" blunder. TDH could correct it, but won't. Too bad, because it makes TDH's criticism of others' failure to stick to the FACTS seem hollow...at best.

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  2. bob somerby is god

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  5. Bob Somerby raises excellent points. I'd like these news organizers to explain how they got from interviewing actual protestors and rioters in the street, telling them their motivation was the video to simply ignoring those earier reports. I think the public editors should investigate this.

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