That Videotape and Benghazi: a Review of Kenneth Timmerman's Deception

Deception by Kenneth Timmerman contains several blockbuster claims that match Wag the Dog deception in their audacity -- claims backed with evidence ranging from extremely solid to highly plausible. In the former category is the assertion that neither the Cairo riots on September 11, 2012, nor the Benghazi attacks that began later that night were inspired by the infamous YouTube video produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the shady Coptic Egyptian living in Southern California.  

By now informed observers concede the latter point, but most are unaware of the evidence demonstrating that the earlier Cairo riot had long been focused on demanding release of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman. As Timmerman puts it, the one-minute, thirty-second “Arabic language trailer, which virtually nobody had actually seen, was only tacked on at the last minute to attract additional bodies to a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that had long been in the works. It did not drive the crowds, or the organizers. It was simply an afterthought.” Indeed, on September 10, in an interview with the Blind Sheikh’s son and the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, CNN reporter Nic Robertson explained, “This is the protest calling for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman” -- an interview that all but disappeared from CNN’s website after the media eagerly adopted Obama and Clinton’s YouTube spin on both Cairo and Benghazi.

In Deception, Timmerman provides an Afterword that focuses on the Iranian Quds Force commanders who were actually behind the well-organized and long-planned Benghazi raid. Anyone desiring more details on that attack, however, should consult Timmerman’s previous work, Dark Forces: The Truth About Benghazi (2014). Even when it became obvious (after the presidential election) that the White House YouTube explanation was deceptive, little information was provided about the terrorists actually involved -- and none was disseminated about the central role played by an Iranian regime the Administration was eager to portray as a reasonable treaty partner.  

Perhaps the most damning assertion in Deception is the claim, backed by substantial evidence, that the Obama administration intentionally promoted the YouTube video so that, in the aftermath of Benghazi, it actually became a cause celebre in the Muslim world. Obviously the “promotion” of the video was accomplished via denunciation, but the $70,000 spent for air time on seven Pakistani television channels “only served to further inflame Muslims and to spark more violent protests: 83 in all, by the time it died down a month later.” Journalists facilitated this audacious project by gullibly repeating the blame-the-video narrative that was “pre-cooked and spoon-fed” to them “by anonymous sources at the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”   

The shadowy internet vehicle for widespread dissemination of the video was NewsPoliticsNow, whose NPN3 channel not only removed the video after it went viral but also went off the air and “erased all trace of its existence -- at least to ordinary users.” NewsPoliticsNow appears to be related to a company called Stanley, Inc. which, according to its website “provides services to the U.S. federal, civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.” Stanley, Inc., in turn, has as its corporate parent, CGI, the group that “won the initial $678 million contract to build the Obamacare website” and whose Senior Vice-President, Toni Townes-Whitley, has “long-standing ties to First Lady Michelle Obama.” Moreover, other top Stanley and CGI execs “are big Democrat party donors” and CGI Federal president, Donna A. Ryan “enjoyed high-level access to top Obama administration officials.”

In short, Timmerman provides readers with numerous indicators that the Obama administration helped the video go viral while creating the impression that they had “absolutely nothing to do with it.” The immediate goal of this deception was to deflect responsibility from the administration for the disaster in Benghazi, but another benefit was to create public pressure for what became (via Nakoula’s dubious imprisonment) backdoor enforcement of blasphemy laws in the U.S. After all, Secretary Clinton not only promised grieving relatives that the maker of the video would be punished, she also “embraced news laws banning blasphemy as Secretary of State and instructed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations to vote in favor of them, reversing years of U.S. opposition.” UN Resolution 16/18, which includes serious restrictions on free speech, was apparently being utilized by DOJ official, Tom Perez, when, instead of assuring Congressman Trent Franks that the Department of Justice would “never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against a religion” instead responded by criticizing “hate speech” and “racist speech” -- a detour consistent with Perez’s past support for the idea that criticism of Islam constitutes racial discrimination.

Unfortunately, the preceding topics constitute less than half of Timmerman’s book. The rest of the work is largely devoted to the legal and personal woes of Cindy Lee Garcia, the actress who, unwittingly, portrayed the mother of the young pre-pubescent girl (Aisha) given to Muhammad as one of his many brides. While Cindy’s story merits inclusion on a summary basis (especially in light of Google’s unusual unwillingness to remove the offensive video promptly and that corporate giant’s close White House ties) many readers will be distracted by the space devoted to Cindy’s thoughts and travails. Yes, Google and probably the White House were putting Cindy through a legal and personal hell, but at the same time dozens of folks were being killed abroad because of the administration’s strategy of deception. Meanwhile, the American public was being bamboozled in the midst of a presidential election. Finally, the video-maker wound up in prison for several months, for what was, de facto if not de jure, a blasphemy charge. Anyone wishing to focus primarily on the major issues outlined in the review above might want to employ other Timmerman materials -- or read this book selectively.

Richard Kirk is a freelance writer living in Southern California. Opinion columnist for the North County Times (1996-2012); online reviews:; blog:     

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