With just one basic correction: Yesterday, the White House released a pile of the e-mails which created the talking-points on Benghazi.
Also yesterday, Tommy Vietor published his thoughts about the whole talking points flap. Until recently, Vietor was spokesman for the National Security Council.
While in that position, he helped create the now famous talking points.
It seems to us that yesterday’s events have made a few blindingly obvious points just that much more clear.
Comprehension often involves repetition. With that in mind, let’s briefly return to a few basic points about those talking points.
Once again, this is the way the CIA’s original proposal began. If we have eyes to see, two obvious facts will leap out at us from this document:
ORIGINAL CIA TALKING POINTS (9/14/12): 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.First important fact: The CIA was the source for the claim that the Benghazi attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”
The crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libyan society. That being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.
Initial press reporting linked the attack to Ansar al-Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but it did not deny that some of its members were involved.
Susan Rice has been crucified for reporting this “current best assessment.” Endless suggestions have been made that she or somebody else made this up.
In fact, this claim came straight from the CIA. It seems to be what they thought at the time.
This fact has been clear since last Friday, when the original version of the talking points was released. But even last night, a gang of star liberals couldn’t manage to state this fact on Hardball. (More on that gong-show tomorrow.)
Wagner, Fineman, Corn and the rest? It’s time for this whole gang to go.
Second important fact: As of September 16, the U.S. government didn’t know who had staged this attack.
The most remarkable part of those proposed talking points was the attribution of that claim about Ansar al-Sharia to “initial press reporting.” Who could have read that document without being struck by the oddness of this statement:
“Initial press reporting linked the attack to Ansar al-Sharia!” Who wouldn’t see the obvious oddness of that statement by the CIA?
Answer: The entire American pundit corps! The entire press corps managed to miss the implication of that statement:
As of September 14-16, the CIA didn’t really know who had staged the attack!
For the record, there’s no reason why they should have known on that early date. When an event of this type takes place, Moses doesn’t descend from a mountain with tablets explaining what happened.
With that in mind, we recommend two chunks from Vietor’s presentation:
VIETOR (5/14/13): Regarding the talking points, it’s not surprising that the entire government would want the chance to look at and edit that language. This was a dynamic situation and new information was constantly flowing in, and different agencies had important concerns that had to be addressed—the State Department had security concerns, the FBI was worried about its investigation, and the CIA had a major, yet still undisclosed, role.Duh. “This was a dynamic situation and new information was constantly flowing in,” Vietor writes. Regarding the alleged demonstration, “there were many different strands of information indicating there was a protest...In fact, a number of news outlets reported there were protests.”
Some people have understandably asked how we were so wrong about there being a protest. I don’t know. When I was in government, I asked some intelligence officials how it happened. They told me that there were many different strands of information indicating there was a protest, both open source and intelligence based. In fact, a number of news outlets reported there were protests.
Only a child would assume that the CIA—or Rice, or Obama, or Hillary Clinton—would magically know what had happened as of September 15. Unfortunately, the upper-class “press corps” routinely betrays an unfortunate fact:
They actually do have the minds of children. It’s their most obvious trait.
Last night’s 5 PM hour on Hardball was an egregious example of this problem. We’ll discuss that horrible hour tomorrow. For today, let us say this:
In an event like the Benghazi attack, it’s hard to figure out what happened! Why do “journalists” have so much trouble understanding this obvious fact?
Perhaps the answer is this: Our modern journalists rarely try to figure anything out. More often, they simply invent pleasing stories, complete with invented quotes or embellished paraphrase.
We've told you this since the late 1990s: Our “news” is more often a novel. Silly children invent simple-minded tales which satisfy their need for drama while fitting their dim-witted view of the world. Perhaps because they function this way, they don’t seem to know that it takes a lot of work to assemble real information about an event like Benghazi.
They think Daddy should know right now! On those Sunday programs, Rice kept saying that she was giving a preliminary assessment.
Silly Rice! Being children, the nation’s “journalists” don’t comprehend statements like that.
Vietor made one other remark which we will strongly emphasize. It concerns the disgraceful attacks against Rice:
VIETOR: Looking back, maybe there was a time when tragedies like Benghazi brought our country together, but here we’ve seen the opposite. Susan Rice went on TV and offered the consensus US government view of what we thought happened at that time. For that, she was viciously attacked in deeply personal ways. Members of the Senate called her “incompetent” and suggested she was a liar. That’s outrageous.We’ll only disagree with one point. The “time we start saying as much” arrived a very long time ago. But Lawrence and Rachel and all the ass clowns ran off and hid in the woods.
Imagine if Susan had gone on TV and offered some personal view of what happened or contradicted the intelligence community? She would’ve been charged with manipulating intelligence. The attacks on her have been gratuitous and unfair, and it’s time we start saying as much.
Liberals should be disgusted with the conduct of everyone at MSNBC, from the horrible showboat Matthews over to the horrible Maddow. That said, the career liberal world has behaved this way for at least the last twenty years.
This conduct has been profoundly immoral. This conduct produced a string of disasters, with deaths all over the world.
If you’ve watched The One True Channel this week, you’ve seen this conduct continue.