A Bad Night in Libya: Sharyl Attkisson on the Benghazi Cover-up

Stonewalled by Sharyl Attkisson is an account of an investigative reporter who wanted to follow the facts and refused to be intimidated by the Obama administration. She was one of the few mainstream journalists who tried to seek out the truth regarding what happened on that tragic day of September 11th, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya when four Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorists. American Thinker interviewed her about Benghazi.

It is stunning how this administration tried to push their narrative on reporters. In her book, Sharyl recounts how she was told that the president early on referred to the attack as terrorist-based. This quote shows that the White House viewed her as uncooperative in pushing their narrative, “I give up Sharyl…I’ll work with more reasonable folks...” Unfortunately, Candy Crowley seems to be one of those that did cooperate with the White House, considering her actions during the presidential debate. Sharyl speculates, “As I say in the book, it did make me wonder if Crowley, like me, had received an advance call from a White House official prompting her with the claim that the president had called Benghazi a terrorist attack the next day when, in fact, that was questionable.” Crowley obviously did not check the facts herself. Using the “substitution” technique Attkisson talks about in the book: would a journalist from Fox News who had jumped in defense of Romney be drummed out as a reporter?

Sharyl lays out the facts surrounding Hillary Clinton’s involvement in pushing the false narrative and the many differing statements. “Hillary Clinton appears to want to revise the facts on Benghazi in her book. Clinton begins her Benghazi discussion acknowledging ‘Americans were killed in a terrorist attack,’ the very thing that the administration had worked so hard not to say initially. Her contradictions in the book include discussions explaining why no rescue mission was launched and the supposed surprise nature of the attack, while at the same time she argues the U.S. was on alert and well prepared because of the anniversary of 9/11. She also claimed the Foreign Emergency Support Team was not deployed because the attack wouldn’t last long enough for them to arrive to help; yet, she also said she believed there would be more attacks in the region as there had been in Egypt. In the days after September 11, she didn’t attribute the attacks to terrorism but mistakenly blamed a YouTube video, and later said that was due to the confusion caused by the ‘fog of war.’ Yet documents we now have show officials concluded from the start that the terrorists were at fault and even told the Libyans that right away. Mrs. Clinton eventually testified before Congress asking, ‘what difference does it make?’ as to who was behind the attacks. My response: if it doesn’t make a difference, why did the administration work so hard to steer the public in the direction of the video rather than the truth?”

Jonathan Gruber’s quote, “the stupidity of American voters” comes to mind.  Kenneth R. Timmerman, the author of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi goes a step further than Sharyl, arguing, “Hillary Clinton represents the arrogance of the left that believes they know better than individuals regarding what information they should have. Their intent is to sweep the facts under the rug, hoping Americans are not paying attention. They are being aided and abedded by the complicit media that has failed to do its job.”

What is still puzzling is that there was never much outcry regarding the killings even though an ambassador was murdered. Sharyl told American Thinker, “The release of information and facts happened slowly, like a drip/drip. The administration stretches out the release of damaging material so that by the time we get it, there is never that giant impact or ability to compare all of the contradictions at once.”  Jack Cashill, author of You Lie! The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds, and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama, agrees, but goes on to assert: “Except for readers on websites like American Thinker, the voters are more ignorant today than ever before because it is much easier to avoid the news.  When I was growing up there were only three stations so we were basically forced to watch.”

Sharyl feels that there are many questions, which still need to get answered: “What was the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief, doing during the attack? What decisions did he make while Americans were under attack on foreign soil? Why is the White House withholding photos taken at the White House that night and surveillance videos taken in Benghazi that were once promised for release?” 

Former CIA Director, Michael Hayden, agrees that this administration has not been forthcoming and there are questions that still need to be answered. He noted to American Thinker, “Why did they stay way too long with the talking point, ‘this was caused by a video’ when there was mounting evidence that this was not a good explanation consistent with the facts.  Also, why did this administration put our ambassador in harm’s way?  He should never have been sent there given the intelligence on how dangerous it was without any adequate plans for safety. The blame goes pretty far around.”

Sharyl also points to her September article for the Daily Signal, where she wrote about a State Department official, Raymond Maxwell, accusing certain Hillary Clinton confidants about participating in an operation to withhold damaging documents instead of turning them over to the Accountability Review Board. This occurred after hours, on a weekend, in the State Department basement. If true, this incident is proof that Clinton gave misinformation, speculation, and flat-out deceived the American people.

Sharyl Attkisson, Jack Cashill, and Ken Timmerman show in their books how the president, and others in his administration, notably Hillary Clinton, conceived of a cover-up to support their false narrative that Al Qaeda was on the run and terrorism was no longer a major issue, even though the terrorists had other ideas -- as evidenced by the Benghazi murders.  As Attkisson wrote in her book, “If one compares the Obama administration’s first accounts of the Benghazi fiasco, the pages from a novel, if you will, to the facts that have trickled out since, the contrasts are stark.”

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.