It happened in Benghazi: Scripted within an inch of her life, Sharyl Attkisson was deeply confused in a recent C-Span appearance.
Attkisson just didn’t get it! She couldn’t imagine where people ever got the idea that a spontaneous demonstration had occurred in connection with the deadly Benghazi attack. Nor could she see how that stupid YouTube video ever got into the story.
It must have been a giant deception! Cooked up by Hillary Clinton! Right from the very first night!
Attkisson was either lying or she’s just crazy—you can take your pick. Her C-Span appearance occurred on May 12. Two days earlier, Jonathan Karl had released twelve versions of the Benghazi talking points. In the CIA’s first proposed version of the points, the famous agency had said this: “We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.”
The attacks were spontaneously inspired by the protest in Cairo—and that was a protest against the video! That’s where this story came from, as Attkisson surely knew.
(Question: Why would CBS News keep a “reporter” of this type on their bloated payroll?)
As of September 14 of last year, the CIA was saying it believed that the Benghazi attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.” But then, this belief seemed to be rather widespread in the first days after the attack.
Today, let’s see what the conservative paper, the Washington Times, was saying about the attack at this time.
The attack occurred on September 11. Two days later, in a front-page news report, Guy Taylor offered this account, in the Washington Times, of what had occurred. In part, he based his account on telephone interviews with sources in Benghazi:
TAYLOR (9/13/12): [I]n telephone interviews with The Washington Times, several residents in Benghazi said there had been two distinctly different groups involved in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post.As of September 13, that was the Washington Times’ account of what had occurred in Benghazi and Cairo.
The residents described a scene that began as a relatively peaceful demonstration against a film produced in the United States that had been deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
The situation did not turn violent until a group of heavily armed militants showed up and "hijacked" the protest, the residents said. The original group of protesters was joined by a separate group of men armed with rocket-propelled-grenade launchers.
U.S. officials would not confirm or deny those reports.
"We frankly don't have a full picture of what may have been going on outside the compound walls before the firing began," said one senior Obama administration official.
Tuesday's incidents in Libya and in Egypt—where protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy, ripped down the American flag and replaced it with one commonly flown by al Qaeda—are thought to have been provoked by "Innocence of Muslims," a two-hour, U.S.-produced film that many deemed derogatory of Muhammad. Arabic-dubbed portions of the English-language film recently appeared on the social-media website YouTube.
On that same day, Ashish Kumar Sen offered a profile of Ambassador Stevens, who died in the attack. The attackers in Benghazi “claimed they were enraged by an American film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad,” Sen wrote in the Washington Times.
Similar accounts appeared in other newspapers, sometimes written by reporters who were present at the attack. Sen wrote from Washington, with contributions by Mike Elkin in Benghazi.
On September 14, Taylor continued to report on the violent reaction inside Egypt to the YouTube video clips. “News of the clips created a firestorm of public unrest in Egypt at the start of this week when a hard-line Islamic television station known as Al Nas began featuring reports and commentary about the insulting nature of the clips,” Taylor again reported.
If Attkisson goes to work for Fox News, she may find herself reading the Washington Times more often. Just to bring her ass up to speed, this is what her new favorite paper was saying, in real time, about the Benghazi attack.
Tomorrow: Eyewitness reporting