Benghazigate: A Few Questions Remain

Bill Schanefelt
Team Obama and its allies in the media are quite happy to see the debate on the events in Benghazi focus on Ambassador Susan Rice, because the real questions at issue are thereby obscured and, hence, remain unasked and unanswered.

The basic journalistic questions -- who, what, when, where, why, and how -- are comprehensively written about here by James G. Stovall, and a look at Benghazigate within the framework of those questions is informative in attempting to understand the entire debacle.

The "who" question is at the root of the Amb. Rice brouhaha and the only definitive answer is one in the negative -- "The attackers were not a 'spontaneous' mob," and it is unlikely that any other answer will be forthcoming anytime soon:

Three Republican senators who met Tuesday with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice say they left the meeting with more unanswered questions about her comments after the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Bernard Goldberg assures us that the "racism" meme will continue to dominate coverage, and he shows why that meme is so useful:

Those old, angry, white Republican guys are at it again.  They just can't control their worst instincts.  They see a black face and they go nuts[.] ... But this isn't only about Susan Rice.  This is a sordid lesson in how liberals use race and sex to smear their opponents and render them illegitimate.

There are several "what" questions, the first of which concerns the status of the "facility," and the latest from Team Obama is not helpful:

"The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word 'consulate' to the word 'diplomatic facility,' since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Again, an answer in the negative: "The 'facility' was not a consulate."  We are not told "what" was going on in that "diplomatic facility."

WND's senior reporter and ABC radio host Aaron Klein discusses that "what" here:

The difference between branding the Benghazi facility a "mission" or a "consulate" may be crucial in determining what was really going on in the building[.] ... [It] was routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad's regime in Syria.

Knowing that the "mission" was being used in "aiding the rebels fighting Assad's regime in Syria" gives rise to another unanswered question: "who" was behind the operation at the "mission"?

It is highly unlikely that Team Obama wants that question asked, and the ongoing saga of Ms. Rice's oppression is convenient in preventing its being asked.

As events unfold in the coming weeks, concerned observers will, in all probability, remain unrequited in their desire to learn answers to a number of "journalistic" questions such as:

When did Team Obama decide to blame the attack on the "reprehensible film"?  This is important, because it was known almost immediately that the attackers were not a part of a mob.

Where did the guards go when the attack began?  They had opened the gate for Amb. Stevens and the Turkish representative earlier, but no report thus far explains their absence during the attack.

Why did the attackers attack?  It could not have been just to set the "mission" on fire, but that seems to have been all that they did in the attack.

How did the attackers enter the compound?  Early reports said that they blasted a hole in the wall that surrounded the compound, but subsequent reports indicate that they came through the compound's gate -- a gate that was opened we know not how.

How did the other "mission" personnel escape injury during the attack?  Again, from the many reports, we have learned that there was much toing-and-froing and shooting and explosions, but, miraculously, no one was hurt by the shooting and the exploding of ordinance.  Anyone who has ever been in, heard about, or seen videos of an intense firefight will find that eventuality unlikely if not, using a term Joe Biden does not understand, "literally" incredible.

How did Tyrone Woods and his rescue team enter the compound, engage the heavily armed group of attackers, gather up the remaining staff of the compound (including the body of Sean Smith), and exit the compound whilst neither incurring injury to themselves nor inflicting injury on the attackers with whom they engaged?  The above comment on incredibility obtains here, too.

Only Fox News, the alternative media, talk radio, and, to a limited degree, both CNN and CBS make any attempt to get to the truth, and props must be given to the staff of Lucianne.com for the "Must Reads" subtitle (on the 27th) to the link to a piece about the comeuppance given a typical Obama sycophant by Fox News anchor Jon Scott:

Former NYTimes steno, Tom Ricks, working the circuit for Obama, finally hits a show that's not having any, thanks.

Mediaite has the story about what happened when Ricks went all Joe Klein on Scott:

A Fox News interview about the Benghazi attacks ended Monday morning after the guest openly accused the network of "hyping" the story - doing so with political motivations by acting as "a wing of the Republican Party."

NewsBusters demolishes Klein here:

At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey."

And poor old Abe Rosenthal surely spins in his grave at what his son says about Benghazigate:

Republicans have the same basic attitude toward conspiracy theories as the Plains Indians had toward the buffalo - they are the basis of life, even religion, and no part, no matter how minor, should go unexploited. Hence Senator John McCain's milking of the Benghazi attack. Or, rather, not the attack itself but the Obama administration's response to it[.] ... [McCain] also said, "There are many other questions that remain unanswered." That's true. But I fail to see how the Republican focus on a side show- talking points after the fact-instead of the actual attack, will hasten resolution.

And, again, leave it to NewsBusters to address the musings of the world's most opinionated and overrated "journalist" here:

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman, who three weeks ago derided Mitt Romney for how he "acts...as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes," on Sunday's Meet the Press dismissed concerns over how the Obama administration handled Benghazi before and after the attacks. "To me," he declared, "this is an utterly contrived story in the sense that 'this is the end of,' you know, 'Obama's foreign policy.'"

So, while we will hear more pleas to "ignore the man behind the curtain" and cries of racism, stay tuned to (in addition to the familiar voices) the voice of the GOP's newest "pit-bull with lipstick," for it will not be silent:

[Sen. Kelly] Ayotte said ... that she is "more troubled today knowing having met with the acting director of the CIA [Michael Morell] and Ambassador Rice because it is certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to al Qaeda were involved in the attack on the embassy and clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the American people was wrong.  "In fact, Ambassador Rice said today, absolutely it was wrong[.]"

And her voice is not the only weapon she is willing to deploy:

Absolutely there will be a hold. My view is that we should hold on this until we get information, sufficient information, produced by the administration because these are questions that need to be answered. and (sic) let's not forget the Secretary of State has a significant piece in this.

As the sign along the road used to read: Watch this space!

Team Obama and its allies in the media are quite happy to see the debate on the events in Benghazi focus on Ambassador Susan Rice, because the real questions at issue are thereby obscured and, hence, remain unasked and unanswered.

The basic journalistic questions -- who, what, when, where, why, and how -- are comprehensively written about here by James G. Stovall, and a look at Benghazigate within the framework of those questions is informative in attempting to understand the entire debacle.

The "who" question is at the root of the Amb. Rice brouhaha and the only definitive answer is one in the negative -- "The attackers were not a 'spontaneous' mob," and it is unlikely that any other answer will be forthcoming anytime soon:

Three Republican senators who met Tuesday with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice say they left the meeting with more unanswered questions about her comments after the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Bernard Goldberg assures us that the "racism" meme will continue to dominate coverage, and he shows why that meme is so useful:

Those old, angry, white Republican guys are at it again.  They just can't control their worst instincts.  They see a black face and they go nuts[.] ... But this isn't only about Susan Rice.  This is a sordid lesson in how liberals use race and sex to smear their opponents and render them illegitimate.

There are several "what" questions, the first of which concerns the status of the "facility," and the latest from Team Obama is not helpful:

"The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word 'consulate' to the word 'diplomatic facility,' since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Again, an answer in the negative: "The 'facility' was not a consulate."  We are not told "what" was going on in that "diplomatic facility."

WND's senior reporter and ABC radio host Aaron Klein discusses that "what" here:

The difference between branding the Benghazi facility a "mission" or a "consulate" may be crucial in determining what was really going on in the building[.] ... [It] was routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad's regime in Syria.

Knowing that the "mission" was being used in "aiding the rebels fighting Assad's regime in Syria" gives rise to another unanswered question: "who" was behind the operation at the "mission"?

It is highly unlikely that Team Obama wants that question asked, and the ongoing saga of Ms. Rice's oppression is convenient in preventing its being asked.

As events unfold in the coming weeks, concerned observers will, in all probability, remain unrequited in their desire to learn answers to a number of "journalistic" questions such as:

When did Team Obama decide to blame the attack on the "reprehensible film"?  This is important, because it was known almost immediately that the attackers were not a part of a mob.

Where did the guards go when the attack began?  They had opened the gate for Amb. Stevens and the Turkish representative earlier, but no report thus far explains their absence during the attack.

Why did the attackers attack?  It could not have been just to set the "mission" on fire, but that seems to have been all that they did in the attack.

How did the attackers enter the compound?  Early reports said that they blasted a hole in the wall that surrounded the compound, but subsequent reports indicate that they came through the compound's gate -- a gate that was opened we know not how.

How did the other "mission" personnel escape injury during the attack?  Again, from the many reports, we have learned that there was much toing-and-froing and shooting and explosions, but, miraculously, no one was hurt by the shooting and the exploding of ordinance.  Anyone who has ever been in, heard about, or seen videos of an intense firefight will find that eventuality unlikely if not, using a term Joe Biden does not understand, "literally" incredible.

How did Tyrone Woods and his rescue team enter the compound, engage the heavily armed group of attackers, gather up the remaining staff of the compound (including the body of Sean Smith), and exit the compound whilst neither incurring injury to themselves nor inflicting injury on the attackers with whom they engaged?  The above comment on incredibility obtains here, too.

Only Fox News, the alternative media, talk radio, and, to a limited degree, both CNN and CBS make any attempt to get to the truth, and props must be given to the staff of Lucianne.com for the "Must Reads" subtitle (on the 27th) to the link to a piece about the comeuppance given a typical Obama sycophant by Fox News anchor Jon Scott:

Former NYTimes steno, Tom Ricks, working the circuit for Obama, finally hits a show that's not having any, thanks.

Mediaite has the story about what happened when Ricks went all Joe Klein on Scott:

A Fox News interview about the Benghazi attacks ended Monday morning after the guest openly accused the network of "hyping" the story - doing so with political motivations by acting as "a wing of the Republican Party."

NewsBusters demolishes Klein here:

At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey."

And poor old Abe Rosenthal surely spins in his grave at what his son says about Benghazigate:

Republicans have the same basic attitude toward conspiracy theories as the Plains Indians had toward the buffalo - they are the basis of life, even religion, and no part, no matter how minor, should go unexploited. Hence Senator John McCain's milking of the Benghazi attack. Or, rather, not the attack itself but the Obama administration's response to it[.] ... [McCain] also said, "There are many other questions that remain unanswered." That's true. But I fail to see how the Republican focus on a side show- talking points after the fact-instead of the actual attack, will hasten resolution.

And, again, leave it to NewsBusters to address the musings of the world's most opinionated and overrated "journalist" here:

New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman, who three weeks ago derided Mitt Romney for how he "acts...as if he learned his foreign policy at the International House of Pancakes," on Sunday's Meet the Press dismissed concerns over how the Obama administration handled Benghazi before and after the attacks. "To me," he declared, "this is an utterly contrived story in the sense that 'this is the end of,' you know, 'Obama's foreign policy.'"

So, while we will hear more pleas to "ignore the man behind the curtain" and cries of racism, stay tuned to (in addition to the familiar voices) the voice of the GOP's newest "pit-bull with lipstick," for it will not be silent:

[Sen. Kelly] Ayotte said ... that she is "more troubled today knowing having met with the acting director of the CIA [Michael Morell] and Ambassador Rice because it is certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to al Qaeda were involved in the attack on the embassy and clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the American people was wrong.  "In fact, Ambassador Rice said today, absolutely it was wrong[.]"

And her voice is not the only weapon she is willing to deploy:

Absolutely there will be a hold. My view is that we should hold on this until we get information, sufficient information, produced by the administration because these are questions that need to be answered. and (sic) let's not forget the Secretary of State has a significant piece in this.

As the sign along the road used to read: Watch this space!