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November 5, 2012
The Benghazi Story: Mass Grave of Reputations
Maybe the anonymous "senior U.S. intelligence officials" who gave out a "detailed timeline" about the Benghazi fiasco on Thursday never heard of Healy's Law: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
That is because the hole in which they found themselves will surely end up a mass grave for their reputations and for many others' -- beginning with General David Petraeus.
Petraeus' sterling reputation was beginning to become forever tarnished by the failure of his COIN strategy, but that's a tale for another post, because the "detailed timeline" that was briefed or e-mailed to the media is coming under severe attack on The Hill and elsewhere -- particularly by Fox.
The "detailed timeline" contains glaring conflicts with earlier background briefings, leaks, and independent reporting, but, most importantly, it contains conflicts with what Petraeus himself told Congress when he, just three days after the attack, was calling it, as described by the inimitable Mark Steyn, a "movie review that just got a little out of hand."
Yet of the 30 U.S. personnel associated with the "consulate" and Annex, 23 were from the CIA:
And Petraeus certainly must have known from even cursory debriefings of the 23 that that was not the case, and he should also have known most of the details of that "timeline" by then.
Furthermore, State and CIA were told, before the attack, that trouble was brewing.
Adam Housley's Fox report is devastating. It begins with the following:
Read it all here.
And, as you read, remember that the only "official," on-the-record, never-"officially"-refuted accounts are, after Petraeus's, those of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in her "full Ginsberg" on Sept. 16, during which she continued the bad movie meme, and those in a conference call by a State Dept. briefer on 9 October that were then expanded upon in testimony by State's Charlene R. Lamb and others in a House hearing on 10 October.
This "official" version of events is indisputably false, and it is crumbling at an accelerating pace.
Hence, on top of that of Petraeus, the reputations of U.N. Amb. Susan Rice, National Security Officer Tom Donilon, Secretaries Clinton and Panetta, Chairman Martin Dempsey, and many other officials will certainly fall as the story crumbles.
And so will those of most of the major media outlets, for, in the words of Max Boot:
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