December 29, 2013

A Republican and a Democrat from the House Intelligence Committee say the NYT got its Benghazi story wrong.

Fox News Sunday had a good segment today with 2 members of the House Intelligence Committee, the Republican Mike Rogers and the Democrat Adam Schiff talking about the NYT article about Bengazi, reporting on its investigation that "turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault" and that "it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam."

Rogers said his committee's investigation had access to more information and he knows that al Qaeda was involved. It seemed that some of the discrepancy is over whether Ansar al-Sharia counts as connected to al Qaeda.

The moderator Chris Wallace pushed Rogers to speculate about whether the NYT was  trying to help Hillary Clinton and the most he would say is that he found the timing "odd," since the Intelligence Committee has an ongoing investigation.

The Democrat Schiff backed up Rogers, saying that al Qaeda was indeed involved (as were others). He also uttered this fascinating sentence:
I think the intelligence paints a portrait that some came to murder, some people came to destroy property, some merely came to loot, and some came in part motivated by those videos. 
That's a list of 5 items, but the 5th item doesn't fit the rest of the list, which I think is quite meaningful. Look at how the first 4 items group people by what they did when they arrived at the scene. The fifth item tells you why one set of individuals arrived at the scene but doesn't tell you what they did. Did they just protest? If so, they didn't attack, in which case, the attackers were not motivated by the video. Schiff doesn't mention why the murderers, property destroyers, and looters — that is, the attackers — showed up. So that was a puzzling list he ticked off. I don't know if he meant to be devious and thus mute his disagreement with the NYT. A follow-up question would have helped. The next thing he said was:
So it is a complex picture. There was some planning, as Mike points out, but it was not extensive. I don't think it's either accurate to characterize this as a long-term preplanned core Al Qaeda operation or something completely unaffiliated.
That last sentence is cagey. The words "long-term," "pre-planned" (as opposed to merely planned?), "core," and "completely" are all weasel words that allow him to disagree with the NYT without seeming to really disagree that seriously. As Schiff puts it, al Qaeda (but not core al Qaeda) was involved and the attack was planned (but not elaborately).

Schiff goes on to say that unlike the Intelligence Committee, the NYT didn't have access to the things that were said by participants who didn't know they were being listened to, only interviews with people who shape their story to their own interest. I was surprised that as a Democrat he went as far as he did in saying the NYT got it wrong.

50 comments:

khesanh0802 said...

How will the NYT "weasel" out of this?
Apparently there are those who feel that "Hill" is in need of all the help she can get. It amazes me that people can be so interested in her when she is well beyond her shelf life.
I find it hard to believe that the Dems haven't at least one quality candidate other than "Hill". Is this early vote suppression to discourage others? I don't think it will work.

Birches said...

I'm just wondering why some people have such an easy time calling out Lara Logan for relying too much on one source in her debunked 60 Minutes report, but think the NYT has it right because they interviewed a couple of locals who probably received some sort of compensation for talking to the NYT reporter.

Silly.

Journalists don't know how to be journalists anymore. There's no critical thinking involved. It's all the appearance of "hard investigative" news, but if you look close, the whole thing kind of falls apart. I found this kind of shoddy, surface only journalism has taken over even the sports pages. It's kind of sad, actually.

gerry said...

Obama is finished.

They have to polish up Hill.

chrisnavin.com said...

I've heard it's pretty common knowledge that Benghazi was fast becoming controlled by very unsavory, Islamist, militant orgs. The longer there's a vacuum, usually it's the worse people to fill it.

It was very dangerous to be there, and though I generally support Stevens risk-taking to foster the kind of gov't we might be able to work with...

...and I can't say Darrell Issa isn't making a bit of a show about this and he's a bit oily,

I give the Times about 30% credibility to claim an authoritative position on this and to properly vet the chain of command.

Obama needs the Middle-East to be on some arc to his more Western Left Of Center, activist vision of peace and pure democracy.

So do most people writing and reading the Times...

Such ideals are the lever that guide Obama's use of American power, and also drum up political support allowing him to get and keep the office of the Presidency.

Bush's vision of freedom was that of con and neo-con use of military power to rid the world of Saddam, perhaps some terrorists, and to have another democratic, Westernized client state

Both visions are lacking, it turns out.

If I want to read about pure democracy, women's freedom, environmental awareness, multicultural foolishness and pieces like this...

...the Liberal-Left view that claims special authority

I'll read the Times

Brent said...

The NYT article is:

• Obvious propaganda by a Far Left ruled news outlet wanting to shape perceptions early and clear the field for Hillary. It is therefore dishonest and execrable.

The administrations's efforts via Susan Rice recent interview is:

• a pathetic part of this administration's never ending attempt to shape public perception away from seeing Obama and his minions as ever being responsible for anything. This is the real slacker administration. Whatever man.

Most. Incompetent. President. Ever.

But sadder than that was that ALL of this was predictable when America hired the most inexperienced executive ever to be President.


File under: Chickens now roosting comfortably. Boy trying to do man's job.

YoungHegelian said...

All politics is local. This is the NY Clinton machine circling the wagons so that one of their own can get her hands back on the levers of power. The attack on Logan and her flawed reporting at CBS was just another example of the Clinton Machine going after anyone who gets in its way.

While these people will remind you in a New York minute that the Republican Party is the new Confederacy, they'll forget just as quickly that they gave the world Tamanny Hall. Nothing has changed.

chrisnavin.com said...

And if you want journalism that goes after the truth, that requires an investment of time, money, and technology,

that represents your worldview, your principles, your political leanings, your 'people' even if you're not a joiner....

then you're probably going to have to pay for it in some way.

Jupiter said...

The NYT "turned up no evidence" that Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obama's father. But that does not mean that such evidence does not exist, or would be difficult to find.

chrisnavin.com said...

And if I want to read vetting for the liberal Left platform that Presidency Hilary so clearly and richly deserves,

I'll read the NY Times.

madAsHell said...

and some came in part motivated by those videos.

I dunno about you, but I keep an 81mm mortar in the back of my car......cuz, you never know when you will need to provide indirect fire support for light infantry.

rhhardin said...

It's hard to see your national newspaper going through seizures in a way it can't control.

pm317 said...

Poor NYT. May be they should be given access to the classified stuff so they can write the true story..

Within hours of the attack U.S. intelligence had identified some of the attackers. The group, Ansar Al-Sharia, which is certainly linked to Al Qaeda, was identified as one of the key participants in the attack.

And the Democrat did throw in the video there. The damned video is not going away.

Hagar said...

The NYT did not "get it" wrong. It was deliberate disinformation.

Skeptical Voter said...

To my everlasting sorrow Adam Schiff is my Congressman. He's a bit of an oily weasel. He got into Congress in what was then the most expensive House of Representatives race ever. The Dems had targeted James Rogin (my then Congressman) for his role in being the House floor shepherd of the Clinton impeachment proceedings. They were "out to get that sumbitch" and they got him.

Now they claimed Rogin was "just a right wing hack". I don't happen to agree, but that was the claim. Their opportunity to "get" Rogin came after the 2000 census redistricting. It turned my District from a right wing sinecure to a left wing sinecure.

So after blowing several millions of dollars out their kazoo on a single Congressional seat, the Dems gave us Adam Schiff--a left wing hack.

But as Ms. Althouse noted, he's both a smart and shifty fellow. During the summer of 2010, Schiff was one of the early Democrat congressmen to go before a public rally where Tea Party folks were present. They held it in the municipal square in Alhambra California (a Los Angeles suburb) Maybe 2000 people were present; the Dems had bussed in union folks from all over Los Angeles County---most of those folks lived outside the District. The union guys had bullhorns; folks in SEIU T-shirts were busy preparing "home made signs" supporting Obamacare. At one point union leaders were leading folks in sing alongs. It was quite a show. Adam had help on stage, with various medical and insurance professionals talking about the wonders of Obamacare and such.

And because Adam is relatively smart (smarter than your average donk) he was able to duck, dive and dodge questions.

But the experience wasn't satisfactory to the Dems--they'd put one of their "champeen debaters" up as it were--and he didn't do as well as they had hoped.

After that, they stopped even trying. Town hall meetings got few and far between, and were held in very small venues.

Still here Adam is; he's one of the best (and shiftiest) they've got--so he's out on the Sunday shows.

William said...

I read the NYT story. I don't see how it is corroborative of Susan Rice's version.......Also the Times reporter interviewed his informants months after the events. You can bet that any story they tell will be self serving........The protestors had muddled reasons for being at the compound. Some were informed that the reason they were there was to protest the video. Perhaps Susan Rice did as much as the mullahs to publicize the video.

Lem said...

Last night, at the NYT's moderated comment section, I commented on the timing/connection of the article to Hillary's run.

They are keeping my comments out.

YoungHegelian said...

Gosh, if the NYT is so interested in getting to the truth about Benghazi, maybe they should use their editorial page to push the administration to allow unlimited access to the survivors by both the press & Congressional investigators.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath, either.

James Pawlak said...

General Ham was arrested by his second-in-command after beginning to execute a plan to send a military force to Behghazi. Why?

cubanbob said...

The NYT is a large organization. Surely they must employee at least one veteran who happens to know a thing or two on how to use a heavy mortar. One would think an NYT reporter just might ask said veteran a couple of questions about setting up and properly sighting mortars. But that would require a different skill set than that of party propagandist.

Lydia said...

Yeah, the NY Times is carrying Hillary's water. But there still remains that horrid “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it?”. Just how is Hillary supposed to squirm out of that? I don't think it can be done because most people instinctively do not trust a person who says something like that.

Michael K said...

"Last night, at the NYT's moderated comment section, I commented on the timing/connection of the article to Hillary's run.

They are keeping my comments out."

I posted a comment a couple of hours ago. I got an e-mail telling me that there was a reply to my comment. I went to the site and could not find my comment or a reply. The site describes over 700 comments but I could find only 50 or so.

Lydia said...

To see all the comments, you have to select "ALL" in the banner just above the comments. And then you need to continue to select "READ MORE COMMENTS" at the bottom of each page.

Hagar said...

A "heavy" mortar would be a 4.2" (105 mm.). Any evidence of any such weapon around Benghazi that night?

Bob Ellison said...

It's only four items, not five.

In a few days after the event, when Hillary, Obama, Susan Rice, and everyone else involved was saying it was all about a video, I checked the video, and I think I posted on your blog, Professor. The Youtube video had a few thousand hits, even after Hillary et al. had tried to blame Benghazi on it.

On the Internet, the numbers are different. Divide by ten, and then divide by a hundred. That video story was ridiculous from the beginning. They were lying, they knew they were lying, and they knew they would get away with it, because journalists are both too stupid and too much in the tank to know different. Journalists don't like the Internet, either, because it's killing their business.

Bob Ellison said...

And let me point out that no upstanding American would kneel down the way Obama and Hillary did and say well, we have this freedom of speech thing here, but we shouldn't let it go out of hand, so sorry, foreigners. Those two don't understand what Americanism means. What a couple of assholes!

RecChief said...

so let me get this straight, the NYT published a story that attempts to take Hillary! of the hook. And attempts to further the "It was a video!!" story. Probably at the behest (but maybe not) the impeached for perjury husband of the not subtle former Secretary of State, in preparation for a Presidential campaign (c'mon, you know she's running)?

What are the odds?

hahahahahahhahahahahahahaha

Mark O said...

Let's start with the simple observation that, as written, none of the "facts" would be admissible because they all lack foundation.

I know it's not a courtroom, but that single criticism is fatal.

It is simply unreliable.

The Hounds of TASSers'ville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Still stuck on the video.

The NYT story is a complete picture of intelligence and security failure. Also of failure to nalize the intelligence. There's a reason why the Brits parked their vehicles at the UC Consulate every night and flew back to Tripoli.

This is Hillary's department. Does anyone notice that?

MaxedOutMama said...

This Mother Jones article from that time period contains an overview of the wave of protests and attacks at that time which suggest that it was not a simple story.

But the facts don't seem to me to support the NYT version at all. I doubt spontaneous protestors anywhere come equipped with the amount of firepower seen in Benghazi, and the consulate personnel seemed aware that there was a problem with the Libyan government-provided security before the attack fully began.

The Hounds of TASSers'ville said...

You are all being way too hard on the New York Times. The Times is a reputable newspaper that always tells the truth and all its sources are reliable. This Benghazi report is the greatest investigative story by the NYT with the best sources since Duff Wilson's March 25th story based upon Mark Gottlieb's entirely factual memorandum that led to the conviction of Duke lacrosse players.

Michael K said...

"And then you need to continue to select "READ MORE COMMENTS" at the bottom of each page."

Tried it. Didn't work.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...

"Mr. Stevens, who spent the day in the compound for security reasons because of the Sept. 11 anniversary, learned about the breach in a phone call from the American Embassy in Tripoli. Then a diplomatic security officer at the Benghazi mission called to tell the C.I.A. team. But as late as 6:40 p.m., Mr. Stevens appeared cheerful when he welcomed the Turkish consul, Ali Akin, for a visit.

There was even less security at the compound than usual, Mr. Akin said. No armed American guards met him at the gate, only a few unarmed Libyans. “No security men, no diplomats, nobody,” he said. “There was no deterrence.”

At 8:30 p.m., British diplomats dropped off their vehicles and weapons before flying back to Tripoli. At 9:42 p.m., according to American officials who have viewed the security camera footage, a police vehicle stationed outside turned on its ignition and drove slowly away.

A moment later a solitary figure strolled by the main gate, kicking pebbles and looking around — a final once-over, according to the officials.

"The attack began with just a few dozen fighters, according to those officials. The invaders fired their Kalashnikovs at the lights around the gate and broke through with ease."


In other words, the White House story that this was a demonstration that just got out of control was false.

heyboom said...

Go ahead. You can do it.

"Maybe I was wrong."


I presume you're directing that to those who are commenting here. We're not the only ones that are questioning the findings of this investigative report. Even personnel on the ground at the event are calling it "completely a lie". Are they wrong, too?

Big Mike said...

The New York Times got a story wrong? I'm gobsmacked. Just flat out gobsmacked.

YoungHegelian said...

What was the point of this NYT article? It's getting torn to shreds right & left as the day progresses. Why did the NYT interject itself into this issue at the cost of what will be seen as yet another blow to its credibility?

I think that the Democrats are now seeing their only chance for 2014 & 2016 as mobilizing the base. This article becomes for the base, of whom a sizable fraction see the NYT as journalistic Holy Writ, as an article of faith to be recalled from hazy memory months from now as the elections approach. They'll hear the Republican candidates mention the Benghazi clusterfuck, and they'll look at each other over their lattes and say "Remember that article in the Times months ago said that Hillary was blameless".

Big Mike said...

@phx, thank you for your admission of having made a mistake. I'm sure it was difficult to admit in print that you were not right, but I respect you more for doing so.

madAsHell said...

They are keeping my comments out.

Yeah... the same article run in the Seattle Times, and about 30% of the comments are being deleted.

Comment deletion happens all the time, but this is extraordinary.

EDH said...

I suspect the story behind the NYT's publication of this piece is probably as complicated at the back story to the attack itself.

Writers sent to hunt the story for months. Editors set a standard that required ironclad proof before printing anything damaging to the administration, partly out of traditional journalistic caution, partly out of wanting to exonerate Obama/Clinton due to favoritism.

But if the NYT's intent by releasing this story was to put this issue to bed for Obama/Hillary, they failed spectacularly.

dennisr2 said...

Hi, Skeptical,

I attended that Obamacare Town Hall (actually August 2009) in Alhambra and took some video of some of the festivities and people. I don't think I got any of Schiff (he is also my rep), but I did write him a letter and got a long reply on the subject. I was much surprised to find out he was classified as a Blue Dog Democrat.

Gary Rosen said...

"I think that the Democrats are now seeing their only chance for 2014 & 2016 as mobilizing the base."

It worked for them in 2012. Obama couldn't run on his record much since his only substantive accomplishment was killing bin Laden with his bare hands. The strategy works better, though, when 90% of the media are your lapdogs.

Scott Anderson said...

Ann,

Do you think we think that this matters at all the Democrats (you included)?

Sure, you kind of realize you got hoodwinked by Obama twice. But the next Democrat hasn't proven to have hoodwinked them yet, so they (you included) will vote for him or her twice as well.

As long as the free sh*t keeps coming, the free sh*t army will keep voting to destroy America.

Rick in NY said...

A couple of years ago the NYT stopped publishing my comments. It could be a random thing but then again, perhaps not. In any event, I am intrigued that several posts here have reported the same, umm, randomness.

Larry J said...

gerry said...
Obama is finished.

They have to polish up Hill.


You might was well try and polish a turd.

Rusty said...

I remember when the NYT used to report the news.
Still has a kick ass crossword though.

Livermoron said...

Inga: "I prefer the official version of the events as reported in Der Sturmer , Kameraden."

Perhaps she suffers from epistemic epilepsy and is having a seizure right now.

Larry Sheldon said...

Who did you vote foe, Althouse?

Crazy Jane said...

Still no journalistic curiosity about what all those CIA people were doing in Benghazi, about who at the top decided against credible intelligence not to secure the outpost there (we do have the largest, most expensive military in the world, I believe) and who decided not to send in help during a six-hour siege. It is hard to believe that our military leaders were not overruled; in my experience, military members really subscribe to the whole band of brothers idea and would have wanted to scramble assets at the first reports. But no questions for them, just a bunch of inquiries of Libyans who describe themselves as eager for American cooperation and aid and have a vested interest in confirming the politically desirable narrative.

Larry Sheldon said...

Crazy Jane said...

Still no journalistic curiosity about what all those CIA people were doing in Benghazi, about who at the top decided against credible intelligence not to secure the outpost there (we do have the largest, most expensive military in the world, I believe) and who decided not to send in help during a six-hour siege. It is hard to believe that our military leaders were not overruled; in my experience, military members really subscribe to the whole band of brothers idea and would have wanted to scramble assets at the first reports. But no questions for them, just a bunch of inquiries of Libyans who describe themselves as eager for American cooperation and aid and have a vested interest in confirming the politically desirable narrative.


Elections have consequences.