Incredible statement by New York Times in front-page article on House Benghazi report
I heard this New York Times take on the Benghazi report mentioned on a noontime political discussion show on Fox News yesterday and found it so absurd that I had to check for myself. Here it is: The New York Times front-page article following the issuance of the report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi included the following paragraph.
At a news conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, Mr. Gowdy praised as heroes the Americans who died in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. They included Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, a State Department information officer, who were killed at the main American diplomatic compound in Benghazi by a mob of militia fighters who had been incited by an American-made video deriding the Prophet Muhammad. The fighters were apparently further inflamed by news of an assault on the American Embassy in Cairo.
One thing the Select Committee’s report makes 100% clear in 172 pages of evidence constituting section II (and which not even the White House or State Department would now dispute) is that the attack in Benghazi had absolutely nothing to do with the video cited by the Times. The report details numerous firsthand communications from our agents on the ground that made their way to Secretary Clinton’s office from multiple channels during the attacks and consistently used the term “attack,” and none of the information mentioned anything about a video or protest.
Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration made and stuck with public statements blaming the attack on the video for weeks afterward. While she certainly should have known from the reports she received during the attacks, we know with certainty that it was clear to Hillary at least by September 12 that the video had nothing to do with it. From page II-45 and II-46 of the report:
The Secretary also had a phone call with an Egyptian leader, Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, on the afternoon of September 12. According to the call notes, the Secretary told the Prime Minister the following:
"We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest. . . . Your [sic] not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.103"
Not only did the Secretary tell the Prime Minister “the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” she strengthened the statement by prefacing it with “we know.”104 Such a definitive declaration made privately to another world leader stands in stark contrast to her speech earlier in the day to the American people where she mentioned the attack—“this vicious behavior”—in the same breath as the video—“inflammatory material posted on the internet.”105
We know that The New York Times is highly partisan in its news coverage. But this week’s front-page story hanging on to the completely discredited Obama administration position that the four Americans were killed in Benghazi due to a “mob incited by an American-made video” is one more illustration of how dishonest and irresponsible this publication is.