Did Susan Rice Really Lie?

Maybe that Mohammed video did, in fact, play a part in last year's attack on the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi after all.

Most of the detractors of the serving of tripe dished out by the Times over last weekend believe that its author, David D. Kirkpatrick, was used by the Administration to spread its version of the event and/or that the piece is, in effect, a "Hillary '16" campaign document.

And, almost every detractor forcefully disagrees with the contention that: "...the savage ambush...was part of a 'spontaneous uprising....because of a hitherto obscure internet video that portrays Mohammed as a corrupt sexual predator."

In Renee Nal's commentary on Kirkpatrick's piece she points to an "interesting and thoughtful" post by Lee Stranahan* on the video.

In that post, Stranahan says: "... it's been an article of faith for most critics...that...[it] wasn't a factor in the attack....This is a mistake. There's actually ample proof that [it] was...."

He cites contemporary reports that the video was referred to during the assault, and he says that: "...part of the problem with assuming the video was 'a lie' [was that] it forced critics to toss out the baby with the bathwater."

Furthermore, he says: "The early reporting shows that the attack was 1) carried out by Ansar Al Sharia 2) planned 3) related to the video."

He argues that, among others, Pastor Terry Jones and the Obama administration were paying attention to the video, and some officials asked Jones not to promote the film

Later in his post, Stranahan goes on to say:

...Jones decided to include The Innocence of Muslims in his planned 9/11...event. Bacille even offered to fly to Florida to screen the film for Jones.....On September 5th, Sadek posted a press release in Arabic about the film....[That] includes links to both an Arabic and English version of the trailer for The Innocence of Muslims. Sedak also sent a press release out to dozens of journalists in Egypt about [it]....[And] the movie was on the radar of both the Obama administration and of people in the Middle East in the days leading up to 9/11....[The video] had, in fact, been a source of discussion, planned protests and was causing anger in both Egypt and Libya....Production had started...in the summer of 2011....[Later] it played...to an audience of two people....[Then a] trailer was uploaded...and got almost no views....[But others] were paying attention.

If you study Stranahan's post, you will come away with information hitherto reported on to only a few people (especially about the 9/5 posting with links to the video.)  It is, as I seldom say, a must-read, for it establishes beyond doubt that the video was widely-known within and without the Administration, pre-9/11, and it played a bigger role in Cairo, Benghazi, and elsewhere than has been reported and that most people know.

Ed Morrissey writes about Stranahan here:

...the Times isn't the only voice reporting on this sequence of events. Lee Stranahan has independently reported on the same thing....

Morrissey goes on to quote Stranahan as saying that by focusing on the video the Administration could more easily cover up the involvement of al Qaeda in the attack.

The video was widely-known-about in Libya, but, unaccountably and inexcusably, GOPers in Congress still do not know that fact.  For example, Nickarama posts a report at Weaselzippers wherein Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC), a key Administration critic, discounts the video.  In the report, at 0:54, Gowdy errs in stating that the video wasn't translated into Arabic until after the attack

But Walid Shoebat is convinced that the video was translated much earlier and used, at least in part, as a goad for the attackers and as an Administration tool:

[On 9/7] Egypt's Wisam Abdul Waris...publicly denounces Innocence of Muslims....[Al-Nas TV] talk show host Khalid Abdallah...aired translated portions of the...video....[And] Reuters reported...that the airing of these clips...was "the flashpoint" for the protests in Cairo and attacks in Benghazi....[T]he video of the exchange....[Is] aired beginning at the 5:46 mark....

Shoebat thinks that:  "[T]he Obama administration....[probably used the] news of Smith's death...[to decide ] to point to the video...."

Later in that piece, Shoebat flatly declares: "Evidence that the video was part of this entire plot should not be dismissed."

Moreover, Shoebat provides a translation of a September 15th official Libyan document in which its author writes that: "the film...produced by the Crusaders...insults the Messenger."

Let me be clear: Neither I nor Messrs. Stranahan and Shoebat are claiming that the video spurred a "spontaneous demonstration" that led to the Benghazi event.  However, each of us believes that it did, in fact, spur at least some of the attackers to participate in it.

Essentially, then, Kirkpatrick got the video's involvement partially right, but he got the other two elements completely wrong -- the Administration did know al Qaeda was involved, and the event was "planned."

Matthew Boyle writes in Breitbart that:

Months and months of...investigation have uncovered internal...communications that show the administration did believe al Qaeda-affiliated organizations were involved in the attack.

Eli Lake writes that Kirkpatrick's assertion that "al Qaeda played no role in the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi" is incorrect and that that statement was wrongly used by Administration supporters to attack detractors of the Administration and of the piece itself:

For Democrats, this was welcome news....[And the] piece was trumpeted....as "bad news for Benghazi Hoaxers."  But two members of the House intelligence committee...told Fox News...that U.S. intelligence assessments concluded al Qaeda did play a role in the attack....[And] evidence...show[s] the participation of militias and fighters with known ties to al Qaeda.

Many others support the contention that it is clearly erroneous to deny the involvement of al Qaeda:

... abundant open-source reporting...contradicts Kirkpatrick's sweeping claim...[And]  some of that evidence comes from the Times itself....[when it] reported that "American officials" said the Benghazi attacks "included participants from Ansar al Shariah, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt."....[thus], contrary to Kirkpatrick's assertion, evidence [exists] that both al Qaeda and other international terrorist...[were involved.]

Shoebat believes that it is very likely that the attack was carried out by Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt and was aimed at kidnapping Stevens by Egyptians at the direct or indirect instructions of Mursi in order to trade him for the Blind Sheik:

There was an [earlier] attack....[by a group that]....wanted the release of the blind sheikh. Was Benghazi a botched kidnapping operation? Ransom as a tactic is part of Ansar Al-Sharia's charter....[W]itnesses have said it was obvious Stevens was the target of the attackers.

As to the planning of the event, Kirkpatrick writes:

Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.

That is a complete falsehood since the attack involved dozens of men who acted in concert with one another using multiple vehicles and a large assortment of weaponry.

I believe that the attackers had a plan, but that either the plan was poorly communicated and executed. or that it went wrong for unknown reasons.  However, that is a subject for another day.

The points today are that: 1) The video was a factor (contrary to the beliefs of almost all detractors of the piece and opponents of the Administration's position vis-à-vis the event and of its policies in the Middle East); 2) Several elements of al Qaeda were involved; and 3) The event was a planned attack and not the result of a 'spontaneous demonstration.'

Of the Times report, I say that its author not only looks like the flannel-suited Obama worshipper, but his eight-thousand words read like they might have been dictated to him by 'the epicene ObamaCare icon itself.'

And, ultimately, the worst thing about the piece is that it will become gospel for the misinformed and for the lazy people who report to the misinformed:

... the [attack] remains the paramount failure of the Obama administration....[And that] is likely why the media has exhausted so much of its efforts in ridiculing those who refuse to take the most convenient explanation of the story at face value. It is why we will continue to see exposés like the Times's (sic) that use pretzel logic to silence the discussion about what Benghazi means for American national security. The piece should serve as a warning and reminder that cover-ups are always worse than their crimes.

Regrettably, I must confess that I erred in calling the piece tripe, since tripe is, for some, edible offal. 

I should have called it what it is: Dreck.

*I encourage readers to go here and here and here for more on Mr. Stranahan and what he has to say about the event.

The author is retired, his profile may be found on LinkedIn, and he may be reached at bilschan@hotmail.com.

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