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The Ludicrous Right Wing ‘Benghazi-Gate’ Fake Scandal Gets Even More Ludicrous

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Wingnuts • Views: 40,991

Yes, the right wing is still trying to turn the Benghazi attack into a cut-rate Watergate scandal, despite David Petraeus’s testimony backing up everything the administration said. Jennifer Rubin, the right wing hack masquerading as a Washington Post blogger, leads the charge with yet another determinedly stupid article: BREAKING: The President Knew the Truth About Benghazi - Right Turn.

For some reason, the right wing echo chamber is obsessively fixated on whether the President “knew it was a terrorist attack,” and they’re going to keep hammering away at this empty nothing-burger until it’s flatter than Mitt Romney’s approval ratings.

Solomon cautions that there were bits of evidence pointing to a spontaneous attack but, as Eli Lake of the Daily Beast and others have reported, he writes: “Among the early evidence cited in the briefings to the president and other senior officials were intercepts showing some of the participants were known members or supporters of Ansar al-Sharia — the al-Qaida-sympathizing militia in Libya — and the AQIM, which is a direct affiliate of al-Qaida in northern Africa, the officials said.”

How could the president and his senior staff then have allowed (or rather, sent) Rice to go out to tell an entirely different tale to the American people on Sept. 16 on five TV shows?

This report indicates that the president certainly knew that Benghazi wasn’t a rogue movie review gone bad. He had information that plainly spelled out what was later confirmed by additional intelligence. If this information was too confidential to share with the public, at the very least the president and others should not have mislead voters.

It’s absolutely bizarre that people like Rubin continue pushing this false dichotomy. In actual fact, there is no contradiction here. This was a terrorist attack that was motivated by the anti-Islam video. And we know this because the New York Times reported it from Benghazi on October 15.

To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier. And it is an explanation that tracks with their history as members of a local militant group determined to protect Libya from Western influence. …

To those on the ground, the circumstances of the attack are hardly a mystery. Most of the attackers made no effort to hide their faces or identities, and during the assault some acknowledged to a Libyan journalist working for The New York Times that they belonged to the group. And their attack drew a crowd, some of whom cheered them on, some of whom just gawked, and some of whom later looted the compound.

The fighters said at the time that they were moved to act because of the video, which had first gained attention across the region after a protest in Egypt that day. The assailants approvingly recalled a 2006 assault by local Islamists that had destroyed an Italian diplomatic mission in Benghazi over a perceived insult to the prophet. In June the group staged a similar attack against the Tunisian Consulate over a different film, according to the Congressional testimony of the American security chief at the time, Eric A. Nordstrom.

At a news conference the day after the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah praised the attack as the proper response to such an insult to Islam. ‘We are saluting our people for this zeal in protecting their religion, to grant victory to the prophet,’ the spokesman said. ‘The response has to be firm.’

The right wing is trying to fool America into jumping aboard their crazy train, pushing a false line of attack that they know is false — that the anti-Islam video was not the reason for the attack, and that President Obama, for some reason (maybe he just hates America?), deliberately lied about this in order to cover for his jihadi friends.

It’s yet another attempt to demonize President Obama and make him out to be a dangerous secret subversive radical, who sympathizes with people who kill American citizens.

Really! That’s the conspiracy theory they’re trying to push here. It’s just beyond ludicrous, and it gets stupider and more deranged every single day.

UPDATE at 11/17/12 11:48:36 am

Since Jennifer Rubin asked:

How could the president and his senior staff then have allowed (or rather, sent) Rice to go out to tell an entirely different tale to the American people on Sept. 16 on five TV shows?

I don’t expect it to make any difference to the false narrative they’re pushing, but here’s the answer. It’s really not that difficult to figure out — in fact, Petraeus actually told the hearing yesterday why the assessment was toned down: Petraeus Says U.S. Tried to Avoid Tipping Off Terrorists.

WASHINGTON — David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers on Friday that classified intelligence reports revealed that the deadly assault on the American diplomatic mission in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration refrained from saying it suspected that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups.

Mr. Petraeus, who resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair, said the names of groups suspected in the attack — including Al Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa and a local Libyan group, Ansar al-Shariah — were removed from the public explanation of the attack immediately after the assault to avoiding alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them, lawmakers said.

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195 comments

1 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:24:13am

When they can explain why declaring the attack one of terrorism by Al-Q would have caused a "rally against the flag" effect that would have hurt Obama's reelection chances, they might get somewhere. So far, all the "cover-up" seems to involve is not jumping to conclusions and burning intelligence assets in the midst of a major investigation.

2 Iwouldprefernotto  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:25:50am

Get used to it. It's not going away, especially if Hillary runs in 4 years.


The good news is that it makes the right wing loo stupid.

3 Varek Raith  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:29:37am

Not bombing the crap out of Libya = Cover up.

4 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:32:06am

This is the bet that gets me:

The assailants approvingly recalled a 2006 assault by local Islamists that had destroyed an Italian diplomatic mission in Benghazi over a perceived insult to the prophet. In June the group staged a similar attack against the Tunisian Consulate over a different film, according to the Congressional testimony of the American security chief at the time, Eric A. Nordstrom.

And yet it's apparently unthinkable that they attacked this time over this film.

5 simoom  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:34:40am

AC360: Benghazi Talking Points vs. the Truth

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Late today, our national security producer, Pam Benson, was told that the original draft of the unclassified talking points to be sent to the intelligence committee did suggest that the Benghazi attack had links to Al Qaeda.

It was taken out, but the senior official with knowledge of this process says it was not taken out by the White House and it wasn't a White House decision, but a joint interagency decision.

They decided to tone it down and they replaced it with the term extremists and the reason we are told that that was done was not political.

But because the al Qaeda link at the time was still tenuous and they wanted to also protect the source of that information because it was so fresh.

COOPER: As my memory serves, Susan Rice I think who was on "Face the Nation", went on to say that the demonstrations, which were not demonstrations were hijacked by extremist groups.

She wasn't sure if it was al Qaeda affiliated or Libyan extremists or who it was and it was still in the early days of the investigation.

Did Petraeus' testimony today seem to clear up why Ambassador Rice went on the talk shows five days after the attacks and attributed the assault to a spontaneous protest that was hijacked?

BASH: I know this is going to shock you, but it cleared up confusion. The answer to that question is depends who you ask and it doesn't change the minds of Republicans already arguing that Susan Rice is not qualified to be secretary of state.

But what did come out of the closed door briefings today that I thought was interesting was that Petraeus told lawmakers that the reason the talking points that Rice got did not mention the terrorists element.

He said this in the briefing today of what I just told you is that the al Qaeda affiliates wasn't really clear that they were actually involved and more importantly, it was still classified and it could have compromised the intelligence sources at the time.

6 Phydeaux Speaks  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:36:23am

It’s absolutely bizarre that people like Rubin continue pushing this false dichotomy.

Nothing at all bizarre about it. It's the "scandal" upon which the inevitable 2nd term impeachment will be based, and the RWNJ's will flog it to any lapdog reporter at any opportunity, all the better to make it a mainstreamed "known fact" when Darrell Issa gavels the hearings to order.

7 simoom  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:40:14am

re: #5 simoom

AC360: Benghazi Talking Points vs. the Truth

Actually, Dana Bash stumbled a bit with her wording in that segment making it slightly confusing. The AP, NYT and ABC write-ups, from yesterday, are still the most straight-forward:

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

8 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:42:13am

re: #6 Phydeaux Speaks

They're not going to get the Senate to agree to an impeachment.

9 Turkey Jihad  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:42:14am
For some reason, the right wing echo chamber is obsessively fixated on whether the President “knew it was a terrorist attack,” and they’re going to keep hammering away at this empty nothing-burger until it’s flatter than Mitt Romney’s approval ratings.

Thanks, Charles. That phrase made me laugh so hard, everyone in the Rice University press box is looking at me funny.

10 researchok  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:45:32am

Jennifer Rubin is emblematic of the current conservative/GOP mainstream.

They look in the mirror and refuse to see what is really there- and therein lies the problem.

You can't fix what you refuse to see.

When you refuse to look at not only yourself but your 'tribe' mas well, you sow the seeds of your own communal implosion.

There is no other way to say it, but this is a kind of more than mild psychopathy.

AA and similar groups exist and thrive not because they deal with alcohol addiction (that is the easy part)- they succeed because they reach the individual and address his or her psychopathy- they are alcoholics, they are ill and they cannot 'control; the booze.

All political groups have extremes- all- but the current GOP extreme is now mainstream.

Now, these are not bad people, they are not evil and they are not really even racists. What they are is blind and oblivious and will sign on to any belief which reinforces their worldview or ideology.- and therein is the biggest tragedy of all.

They just do not realize their beliefs are counter productive.

You can be conservative, progressive, religious or atheist- realists of all stripes adhere to each of those beliefs.

If you are not a realist however, you cannot be relevant.

There are enough ludicrous conspiracy theories out there- there is no need to contribute to the body of stupid and irrelevant thinking.

Benghazi and Libya are absolutely worth discussing and looking into.

Making it a political agenda will ensure the truth will never be the primary objective and that is the most un American reality of all.

This defines what is today an American political tragedy. We don't want to ever silence relevant opposing views. We need to encourage healthy debate. Unfortunately, all we have to deal with now is silliness.

As someone right of center, I can assure you this is most disheartening.

11 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:48:52am

For years now, we here at Little Green Footballs have predicted that right wing craziness would eventually reach critical mass and collapse into one infinitely dense mass of derp.
This is it, the wingularity that now devours all reasoning power so careless as to come within its gravitational field. Just as astronomical black holes can be detected by the X-ray flux of disintregrating matter in the final stages of collapse, these wingularities can be identified by the weirdly distorted emanations of the blogosphere and the wingnut radio spectrum.

12 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:51:40am

This is how the right responds to arguments backed with hard evidence:

13 researchok  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:55:28am

re: #12 Charles Johnson

It's become about ideology and agenda, not evidence.

14 Killgore Trout  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:56:58am

re: #10 researchok

Well said. I do wish that WaPo would move her to a different venue, it's damaging their brand. I don't know how many times I've seen a salacious headline like "Big trouble for Obama" (or whatever), check the URL and see WaPo (a reliable source), then find it's one of her stupid articles. I'm getting to recognize her headlines on sight to save myself the trouble of clicking the links.

15 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 11:59:32am

re: #12 Charles Johnson

This is how the right responds to arguments backed with hard evidence:

[Embedded content]

I really do not get how the idea that Muslim fanatics attack over perceived insults to Islam is seen as delusional or naive. I don't even get what motive is being alleged to replace the video.

16 allegro  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:00:31pm

re: #15 Obdicut

I really do not get how the idea that Muslim fanatics attack over perceived insults to Islam is seen as delusional or naive. I don't even get what motive is being alleged to replace the video.

Acorn!!

(It's as good as any)

17 Phydeaux Speaks  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:02:32pm

re: #8 Obdicut

Only, the impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives and, only upon voting for the Articles of Impeachment does the process move to the Senate (where, yes, it will die spectacularly). The actual point of the whole thing will not be to remove Obama from office, but to hamstring him (and, by association, the entirety of the "Democrat Party") in any way possible.

18 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:04:54pm

re: #15 Obdicut

I really do not get how the idea that Muslim fanatics attack over perceived insults to Islam is seen as delusional or naive. I don't even get what motive is being alleged to replace the video.

"He spiked the football!"

"No way, it was because he said Al-Q was 'on the run'!"

"Stevens was an open target that the terrorists couldn't pass up!"

"No no, the CIA was holding militia members prisoner in the annex!"

19 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:06:08pm

re: #12 Charles Johnson

This is how the right responds to arguments backed with hard evidence:

[Embedded content]

Huh. She looks a lot like Andrew Breitbart.

20 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:08:13pm

re: #13 researchok

It's become about ideology and agenda, not evidence.

Well, the evidence now suggests that there was a spontaneous demonstration against the video which the terrorists used as cover for their attack:

The former CIA chief has said there was a stream of intelligence from multiple sources, including video at the scene, that indicated Ansar al Sharia was behind the attack, according to an official with knowledge of the situation.
Meanwhile, separate intelligence indicated the violence at the consulate was inspired by protests in Egypt over an ostensibly anti-Islam film clip that was privately produced in the United States. The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizing buffoon.
There were 20 intelligence reports that indicated that anger about the film may be to blame, the official said.
The CIA eventually disproved those reports, but not before Petraeus' initial briefing to Congress when he discussed who might be behind the attack and what prompted it. During that briefing, he raised Ansar al Sharia's possible connection as well as outrage about the film, the official said.

So the original NYT reporting (and Charles' tweet) aren't, in fact, correct - the actual attack and assassination weren't motivated by anger at the video - but the story that emerged is a lot more nuanced than the right wants to believe. There's no villain in the true story, no Susan Rice deliberately lying to the American people and no Obama pulling strings on a cover-up to save his re-election campaign, just intelligence assessments that evolved over time. Which is how the damn system's supposed to work.

21 aagcobb  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:08:16pm

re: #8 Obdicut

They're not going to get the Senate to agree to an impeachment.

They weren't going to convict Clinton either, and they did it anyway.

22 DelusionDeluge  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:10:53pm

I'm sure if Obama himself had gone on Face the Nation with a powerpoint presentation containing all the classified information he had, the right-wingers would be praising him up and down, just as if he had decided not to pursue health care or a stimulus in 2009 he'd be a favorite of the Tea Party.

23 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:13:02pm

re: #17 Phydeaux Speaks

Only, the impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives and, only upon voting for the Articles of Impeachment does the process move to the Senate (where, yes, it will die spectacularly). The actual point of the whole thing will not be to remove Obama from office, but to hamstring him (and, by association, the entirety of the "Democrat Party") in any way possible.

Impeachment hearings would be a good way for the House GOP to avoid thinking about the implications of their own report on the need for copyright reform.

Not that a bill based on that report would stand a chance in hell of getting past Chris Dodd's buddies in the Senate, but if they're going to tilt at a windmill it'd be nice if it were constructive tilting...

24 JamesWI  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:15:06pm

Your problem is that you're actually reading something written by Jen Rubin.

Spends the entire election season proclaiming Romney is one of the greatest Presidential candidates ever and is clearly crushing Obama. Then the day after the election......."Oh, obviously Romney was a weak candidate and his campaign was terrible. I've been saying that since the beginning!"

25 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:15:07pm

re: #17 Phydeaux Speaks

Only, the impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives and, only upon voting for the Articles of Impeachment does the process move to the Senate (where, yes, it will die spectacularly). The actual point of the whole thing will not be to remove Obama from office, but to hamstring him (and, by association, the entirety of the "Democrat Party") in any way possible.

Well, I think it'll just blow up in their faces like the Clinton impeachment did, except even more so if they keep pulling crap like McCain missing a security briefing to complain about not being briefed.

26 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:17:07pm

re: #20 AntonSirius

the actual attack and assassination weren't motivated by anger at the video

Nothing you cited there supports this, though. What do you think, in that article, supports this idea?

27 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:17:56pm

re: #24 JamesWI

Your problem is that you're actually reading something written by Jen Rubin.

Spends the entire election season proclaiming Romney is one of the greatest Presidential candidates ever and is clearly crushing Obama. Then the day after the election......."Oh, obviously Romney was a weak candidate and his campaign was terrible. I've been saying that since the beginning!"

Well, that's still better than the folks who are insisting he was a great candidate, and the only problem was that Obama gave free candy to the colored folks.

28 Killgore Trout  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:18:18pm

re: #20 AntonSirius

Well, the evidence now suggests that there was a spontaneous demonstration against the video which the terrorists used as cover for their attack:

So the original NYT reporting (and Charles' tweet) aren't, in fact, correct - the actual attack and assassination weren't motivated by anger at the video - but the story that emerged is a lot more nuanced than the right wants to believe. There's no villain in the true story, no Susan Rice deliberately lying to the American people and no Obama pulling strings on a cover-up to save his re-election campaign, just intelligence assessments that evolved over time. Which is how the damn system's supposed to work.

Thanks for that link. This bit also clarifies the more nuanced picture of the situation....

After the House committee hearing, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland, said the confusion over the consulate incident arose from there being essentially two threads of violence: one caused by the protest, which was chaotic, and a second that was orchestrated by terrorists, which was highly coordinated.

There were "two different types of situations at play," Ruppersberger said, explaining that in the hours and days after the attack, it was naturally difficult to clearly discern what happened.

29 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:19:41pm

re: #26 Obdicut

Nothing you cited there supports this, though. What do you think, in that article, supports this idea?

The quote indicating that the CIA had disproved those initial reports about the motivation? Meant to bold that in the original post, actually - I'll edit it now.

30 DelusionDeluge  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:19:49pm

Let's be fair to the wingnuts: for 10+ years now they've consistently wanted to call anything done by any Muslims anywhere - such as, I dunno, buying milk at the store, or using a public restroom - a terrorist attack.

31 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:20:29pm

One proof that Obama is not a Marxist, an Islamist, or a Black Panther: Actual Marxists, Islamists, and Black Panthers are not engaged in a wild, orgiastic celebration of the utter, complete, and self-inflicted collapse of the opposition.

32 JamesWI  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:20:58pm

re: #27 SanFranciscoZionist

Well, that's still better than the folks who are insisting he was a great candidate, and the only problem was that Obama gave free candy to the colored folks.

Oh, I'm sure she's probably done that as well. She is the Queen of Hacks.

33 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:22:00pm

re: #24 JamesWI

Your problem is that you're actually reading something written by Jen Rubin.

Spends the entire election season proclaiming Romney is one of the greatest Presidential candidates ever and is clearly crushing Obama. Then the day after the election......."Oh, obviously Romney was a weak candidate and his campaign was terrible. I've been saying that since the beginning!"

I want to hear the horrible way he talked about Hispanics per Ms. Rubin.

34 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:22:31pm

re: #20 AntonSirius

Well, the evidence now suggests that there was a spontaneous demonstration against the video which the terrorists used as cover for their attack:

So the original NYT reporting (and Charles' tweet) aren't, in fact, correct - the actual attack and assassination weren't motivated by anger at the video - but the story that emerged is a lot more nuanced than the right wants to believe. There's no villain in the true story, no Susan Rice deliberately lying to the American people and no Obama pulling strings on a cover-up to save his re-election campaign, just intelligence assessments that evolved over time. Which is how the damn system's supposed to work.

Sorry, that's just not accurate. The New York Times directly quotes the militants themselves saying they attacked in retaliation for the video. It can't get any clearer than that. And the report you're citing does not disprove this at all.

35 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:23:38pm

re: #31 Shiplord Kirel

One proof that Obama is not a Marxist, an Islamist, or a Black Panther: Actual Marxists, Islamists, and Black Panthers are not engaged in a wild, orgiastic celebration of the utter, complete, and self-inflicted collapse of the opposition.

They are wily and tricksome peoples. Don't be fooled. They're just biding their time until the complete sosharialist takeover of the country.

36 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:26:23pm

re: #29 AntonSirius

The quote indicating that the CIA had disproved those initial reports about the motivation? Meant to bold that in the original post, actually - I'll edit it now.

I'm sorry, I see that assertion there, but I don't see anything backing it up. The article doesn't reference the CIA disproof, or give any other motivation. Do you have any other source that clarifies what the 'disproof' is? That article is a muddle.

37 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:27:07pm

re: #17 Phydeaux Speaks

Only, the impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives and, only upon voting for the Articles of Impeachment does the process move to the Senate (where, yes, it will die spectacularly). The actual point of the whole thing will not be to remove Obama from office, but to hamstring him (and, by association, the entirety of the "Democrat Party") in any way possible.

They won't go for impeachment, not unless they think they can actually attain a conviction. Not after impeaching Clinton and watching as he reaped a political capital windfall from their own ineptitude.

38 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:30:17pm

I also just don't get why drilling down to whether it was this video or the fact that we allow freedom of worship or we have a female secretary of state really deeply matters to us in the general public. Obviously it's somewhat important-- knowing motivation of the enemy is a good idea-- but I don't get why people think that saying that it was the video is some sort of cover-up for some other motivation. Does anyone dispute that the militia are Islamic radicals who want to impose their view of Islamic law on Libya? What is being alleged as their agenda if not attacking people who violate what they see as their religious commandments?

39 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:30:56pm

re: #29 AntonSirius

The quote indicating that the CIA had disproved those initial reports about the motivation? Meant to bold that in the original post, actually - I'll edit it now.

The article states that the "CIA disproved it," but gives no evidence at all to support this claim. Frankly, CNN's reporting on this has been horrible.

The New York Times article, on the other hand, has direct reporting of the militants themselves stating that the video was the reason for their attack. I see no reason to believe they were lying about this, and it has not been disproved.

40 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:31:45pm

re: #34 Charles Johnson

Sorry, that's just not accurate. The New York Times directly quotes the militants themselves saying they attacked in retaliation for the video. It can't get any clearer than that. And the report you're citing does not disprove this at all.

Tell that to the CIA... their position is now that the attack itself (not the demonstration - they apparently consider them separate acts) was not directly motivated by the video.

If a transcript surfaces of Petraeus' testimony it might clear things up further, rather than second-hand recaps of what he said. But "the CIA eventually disproved those reports" doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

41 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:32:27pm

RWNJs so desperately want their Howard Baker/Fred Thompson "What did the President know and when did he know it?" moment; I'd love nothing more than for their attempts to continue to blow up in their faces.

42 lostlakehiker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:33:29pm

It is now known publicly, what was then known to the administration---that there was in fact no demonstration at the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack.

Rice said in the interview that it had developed, initially, almost as a copycat of the demonstrations elsewhere, and that then extremists came and that the situation then escalated into a much more violent episode.

That wasn't true. The Benghazi incident did not begin as a demonstration. It began as an outright attack. The first people on the scene were carrying guns and shooting or moving into position to shoot better.

It can't get any clearer than that. Rice's talking points, assuming as I do that she didn't stray from them, were at variance with the facts as then known to the authorities, and as now known to all of us.

Her talking points were also at variance with what Petraeus put together. After they left his shop, they were edited. He didn't write the false script she was given.

The issue is not whether the assault was decided on just hours earlier rather than weeks earlier, nor is it whether the decision to attack was taken in response to the video. The issue is whether there had been a demonstration, that then escalated into an assault as others came to the demonstration and, under cover so to speak of the demonstration, mounted an assault.

There was not any such demonstration. There was not any conversion of the demonstration that wasn't. There wasn't any "more violent episode". It was all violent, right from the start.

It couldn't get any clearer.

43 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:33:35pm

re: #40 AntonSirius

Tell that to the CIA... their position is now that the attack itself (not the demonstration - they apparently consider them separate acts) was not directly motivated by the video.

If a transcript surfaces of Petraeus' testimony it might clear things up further, rather than second-hand recaps of what he said. But "the CIA eventually disproved those reports" doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

"The CIA eventually disproved those reports" is an assertion without evidence.

44 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:33:44pm

the republican party could show that it's seriously interested in getting to the bottom of why the united states failed to protect an american ambassador and others from getting killed

but it insists on exposing itself as obsessed with political advantage and utterly unconcerned with the issue of the safety of americans in embassies

i'm sure most people are wondering why they should be hearing day after day about whether a statement on some talk shows on a particular day was sufficiently whatever what the hell are they going on about people were killed ferchrissakes why aren't we talking about that?

45 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:35:31pm

re: #42 lostlakehiker

And this is proof of what?

46 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:35:35pm

re: #42 lostlakehiker

The issue is not whether the assault was decided on just hours earlier rather than weeks earlier, nor is it whether the decision to attack was taken in response to the video. The issue is whether there had been a demonstration, that then escalated into an assault as others came to the demonstration and, under cover so to speak of the demonstration, mounted an assault.

I'm sorry, can you explain why that's 'the issue'? It seems completely trivial to me.

47 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:36:02pm

re: #42 lostlakehiker

Shorter lostlakehiker: "You lie!"

DERP...

48 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:36:09pm

re: #40 AntonSirius

Per the CIA what was it about then, where' s your link to a solid news article as source?

49 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:37:23pm

re: #40 AntonSirius

re: #48 Randall Gross

Per the CIA what was it about then, where' s your link to a solid news article as source?

And Russia Today (or some such dodgy source) doesn't count, Anton.

50 Killgore Trout  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:37:38pm

re: #40 AntonSirius

Tell that to the CIA... their position is now that the attack itself (not the demonstration - they apparently consider them separate acts) was not directly motivated by the video.

If a transcript surfaces of Petraeus' testimony it might clear things up further, rather than second-hand recaps of what he said. But "the CIA eventually disproved those reports" doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

My guess would be that the confusion between the NYT report and the CIA assessment comes from the distinction between "attackers" and "protesters". NYT may have interviewed protesters motivated by the video and lumped them in with "attackers" who were also on the same scene. I also suspect that by the end of the investigation that no specific militia group will end up being responsible. It looks to me like the attackers may have come from elements of various militias.

51 DelusionDeluge  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:39:09pm

re: #44 engineer cat

re: #44 engineer cat

the republican party could show that it's seriously interested in getting to the bottom of why the united states failed to protect an american ambassador and others from getting killed

but it insists on exposing itself as obsessed with political advantage and utterly unconcerned with the issue of the safety of americans in embassies

i'm sure most people are wondering why they should be hearing day after day about whether a statement on some talk shows on a particular day was sufficiently whatever what the hell are they going on about people were killed ferchrissakes why aren't we talking about that?

Well, if they scream and whine loudly enough they can distract the public from realizing the GOP itself blocked requests for more money for embassy security made by the same people they are trying to smear. The only criticism I can possible find reasonable is that State should have had more security at the consulate instead of relying on local help. But, of course, Clinton was working with a smaller pie and had to spread it around much thinner, thanks to these opportunistic and craven hypocrites on the right.

52 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:39:17pm

re: #42 lostlakehiker

you know, i don't give a flying fuck about on which day press statements became suffuciently politically correct

what does it have to do with protecting embassies?

apparently the gop must have concluded that the administration was exemplary in that regard since they don't care to discuss it

53 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:39:34pm

re: #50 Killgore Trout

My guess would be that the confusion between the NYT report and the CIA assessment comes from the distinction between "attackers" and "protesters". NYT may have interviewed protesters motivated by the video and lumped them in with "attackers" who were also on the same scene. I also suspect that by the end of the investigation that no specific militia group will end up being responsible. It looks to me like the attackers may have come from elements of various militias.

No.

The New York Times article states very clearly that the militia members who CARRIED OUT THE ATTACK stated in a news conference that it was in retaliation for the video.

You're just making something up. The NYT did not "lump in" the protesters with attackers.

54 gwangung  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:40:12pm

re: #50 Killgore Trout

My guess would be that the confusion between the NYT report and the CIA assessment comes from the distinction between "attackers" and "protesters". NYT may have interviewed protesters motivated by the video and lumped them in with "attackers" who were also on the same scene. I also suspect that by the end of the investigation that no specific militia group will end up being responsible. It looks to me like the attackers may have come from elements of various militias.

Um, yeah. It's kinda plausible to me that one group planned an attack as a fake protest, and picked up hangers on who thought it was a real protest.

That kind of fine detail is nice, but doesn't warrant a great deal of energy or blather.

55 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:40:21pm

re: #38 Obdicut

I also just don't get why drilling down to whether it was this video or the fact that we allow freedom of worship or we have a female secretary of state really deeply matters to us in the general public. Obviously it's somewhat important-- knowing motivation of the enemy is a good idea-- but I don't get why people think that saying that it was the video is some sort of cover-up for some other motivation. Does anyone dispute that the militia are Islamic radicals who want to impose their view of Islamic law on Libya? What is being alleged as their agenda if not attacking people who violate what they see as their religious commandments?

Do you want the sane answer to that, or the wingnut answer to that?

The sane answer: There are two broad possibilities here. One is that the whole attack was pretty much spontaneously sparked by outrage about the video. Another is that something had already been in the works, and the video-related demonstration was either encouraged to provide cover, or simply used as a cover to move in. Which of these doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference in terms of outcome, but it does have implications for intelligence-gathering and future response. There's a considerable range for overlap and nuance between the two.

The wingnut answer is that somehow it's Obama's fault for picking the wrong door, whichever door he picks WILL be the wrong door, and this ties in to their obsessive belief that somehow no one else really gets how bad the situation with radical Islamists is.

56 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:40:31pm

re: #44 engineer cat

the republican party could show that it's seriously interested in getting to the bottom of why the united states failed to protect an american ambassador and others from getting killed

but it insists on exposing itself as obsessed with political advantage and utterly unconcerned with the issue of the safety of americans in embassies

i'm sure most people are wondering why they should be hearing day after day about whether a statement on some talk shows on a particular day was sufficiently whatever what the hell are they going on about people were killed ferchrissakes why aren't we talking about that?

Because pandering and political posturing is all that the TPGOP has left, after their presidential candidate was denied.

57 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:42:10pm

All of this is because the GOP lost & they lost big, they have to have a conniption to distract their constituents. Otherwise they might actually have to do some work and get the fricking budget fixed and stable for a few years.

58 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:42:33pm

re: #39 Charles Johnson

The article states that the "CIA disproved it," but gives no evidence at all to support this claim. Frankly, CNN's reporting on this has been horrible.

The New York Times article, on the other hand, has direct reporting of the militants themselves stating that the video was the reason for their attack. I see no reason to believe they were lying about this, and it has not been disproved.

Right, but no one (well, no one whose head isn't up their own ass) is disputing that there was an anti-video demonstration. The CIA is saying that the demonstration was used as cover for a planned attack.

Heck, look at this paragraph from that very same Oct 15 NYT piece:

Other Benghazi militia leaders who know Ansar al-Shariah say it was capable of carrying out the attack by itself with only a few hours’ planning, and as recently as June one of its leaders, Mr. Zahawi, declared that it could destroy the American Mission. But in the days after the attack the Obama administration’s surrogates said it grew out of a peaceful protest against the video.

You're right, it'd be great to see something of those reports Petraeus was apparently talking about that "disproved" the theory that the attack was solely a product of the demonstration. But I doubt he just invented them.

59 allegro  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:42:42pm

re: #37 Targetpractice

They won't go for impeachment, not unless they think they can actually attain a conviction. Not after impeaching Clinton and watching as he reaped a political capital windfall from their own ineptitude.

That is suggesting they have the ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes. I have seen no such evidence in the past two decades.

60 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:42:47pm

How do you know a "scandal" is going nowhere? When those trying to push it, denied any real avenues of attack, start hanging on minor details as if they are the smoking gun.

61 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:43:01pm

re: #55 SanFranciscoZionist

Do you want the sane answer to that, or the wingnut answer to that?

The sane answer: There are two broad possibilities here. One is that the whole attack was pretty much spontaneously sparked by outrage about the video. Another is that something had already been in the works, and the video-related demonstration was either encouraged to provide cover, or simply used as a cover to move in. Which of these doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference in terms of outcome, but it does have implications for intelligence-gathering and future response. There's a considerable range for overlap and nuance between the two.

The wingnut answer is that somehow it's Obama's fault for picking the wrong door, whichever door he picks WILL be the wrong door, and this ties in to their obsessive belief that somehow no one else really gets how bad the situation with radical Islamists is.

The TPGOP response to anything they want to tie President Obama up with: Heads, I win...tails, you lose.

62 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:44:06pm

Anyone saying "the CIA says" needs to give us a name and the actual quote from someone who is currently working in the CIA before you'll be believed.

63 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:44:39pm

re: #42 lostlakehiker

It is now known publicly, what was then known to the administration---that there was in fact no demonstration at the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack.

So you're calling Gen. Petraeus a liar then?

64 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:45:11pm

re: #58 AntonSirius

Right, but no one (well, no one whose head isn't up their own ass) is disputing that there was an anti-video demonstration. The CIA is saying that the demonstration was used as cover for a planned attack.

Heck, look at this paragraph from that very same Oct 15 NYT piece:

You're right, it'd be great to see something of those reports Petraeus was apparently talking about that "disproved" the theory that the attack was solely a product of the demonstration. But I doubt he just invented them.

But now we're just getting into the technicalities of it all, which is a losing prospect for the GOP. Saying "Well yeah, there was a demonstration, but...!" pretty much takes an axe to the argument that the administration "lied." If there was a demonstration that was being used as cover, and the initial assessment was that the attack couldn't be proven as terrorist in nature without burning valuable intelligence assets, then saying "We believe the video was the motivation" is not a "lie."

65 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:45:23pm

re: #58 AntonSirius

Right, but no one (well, no one whose head isn't up their own ass) is disputing that there was an anti-video demonstration. The CIA is saying that the demonstration was used as cover for a planned attack.

Heck, look at this paragraph from that very same Oct 15 NYT piece:

You're right, it'd be great to see something of those reports Petraeus was apparently talking about that "disproved" the theory that the attack was solely a product of the demonstration. But I doubt he just invented them.

You're confusing two issues. Yes, it's now generally accepted that there was no protest going on when the attack happened. But that does not refute the militants' statement that they attacked in retaliation for the video. It simply means there was no demonstration at that time. It says nothing at all about their motivations.

66 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:46:32pm

re: #55 SanFranciscoZionist

The sane answer: There are two broad possibilities here. One is that the whole attack was pretty much spontaneously sparked by outrage about the video. Another is that something had already been in the works, and the video-related demonstration was either encouraged to provide cover, or simply used as a cover to move in. Which of these doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference in terms of outcome, but it does have implications for intelligence-gathering and future response. There's a considerable range for overlap and nuance between the two.

Okay. I can understand that-- but even so, if there was an attack planned already against US interests, I don't get why informing the US public of that is at all important. I don't know the very granular and specific motivations for any other attacks on US embassies or soldiers or what have you, and before this incident motivation was never really talked about.

I don't get what changes for us, the general public, if it's one or the other. Obviously, attacks due to spontaneous (whether it's egged on by firebrands or not) reactions to crap occur, and just as obviously attacks that are planned for a long time occur. Nailing down which one this was seems like a rather pointless exercise for the general public. For those who work in the field, obviously its of importance.

The wingnut answer is that somehow it's Obama's fault for picking the wrong door, whichever door he picks WILL be the wrong door, and this ties in to their obsessive belief that somehow no one else really gets how bad the situation with radical Islamists is.

Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. Hell, it's entirely possible that the militia was musing about some strike, then the video happened and they saw their opportunity. It's possible. I just don't get why the fuck anyone thinks this is important enough to go on and fucking on about.

67 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:46:44pm

re: #49 Ben G. Hazi

Touched a nerve there, Anton?

Good...because I don't give two shits that you downdinged me.

68 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:46:53pm

re: #64 Targetpractice

But now we're just getting into the technicalities of it all, which is a losing prospect for the GOP. Saying "Well yeah, there was a demonstration, but...!" pretty much takes an axe to the argument that the administration "lied." If there was a demonstration that was being used as cover, and the initial assessment was that the attack couldn't be proven as terrorist in nature without burning valuable intelligence assets, then saying "We believe the video was the motivation" is not a "lie."

See, there's two issues here--one is what actually happened, and the other is the GOP's relentless desire to establish that what Obama said happened didn't happen like that, whatever that was, and also, SHARIA!

They're actually distinct issues.

69 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:46:53pm

re: #2 Iwouldprefernotto

Get used to it. It's not going away, especially if Hillary runs in 4 years.

i'm figuring we should begin seeing the christie/clinton poll matchups in oh about dec 2014

70 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:47:03pm

re: #43 Charles Johnson

"The CIA eventually disproved those reports" is an assertion without evidence.

Right. It's second-hand reporting of Petraeus' testimony. Maybe the reporter misheard something - again, a transcript would be very helpful. But the theory that there was a demonstration, and also an attack that used the demonstration for cover, fits with what little we actually know so far, and doesn't actually contradict the NYT's reporting.

71 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:48:26pm

re: #70 AntonSirius

Right. It's second-hand reporting of Petraeus' testimony. Maybe the reporter misheard something - again, a transcript would be very helpful. But the theory that there was a demonstration, and also an attack that used the demonstration for cover, fits with what little we actually know so far, and doesn't actually contradict the NYT's reporting.

Again, this is completely missing my point. Whether there was a demonstration going on or not is irrelevant to the larger point of the motivation of the attackers.

And we know what their motivation was, because they stated it very clearly. They attacked in retaliation for the video.

72 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:48:57pm

re: #57 Randall Gross

All of this is because the GOP lost & they lost big, they have to have a conniption to distract their constituents. Otherwise they might actually have to do some work and get the fricking budget fixed and stable for a few years.

First they hoped for the October surprise. Major fail, didn't work, and the byproduct is everyone sees them as stomping on the grave of Ambassador Stevens. And it continues.

Only the wingers & their apologists are holding on.

73 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:49:39pm

re: #72 Stanghazi

First they hoped for the October surprise. Major fail, didn't work, and the byproduct is everyone sees them as stomping on the grave of Ambassador Stevens. And it continues.

Only the wingers & their apologists are holding on.

Yeah, pretty much.

74 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:49:47pm

re: #64 Targetpractice

But now we're just getting into the technicalities of it all, which is a losing prospect for the GOP. Saying "Well yeah, there was a demonstration, but...!" pretty much takes an axe to the argument that the administration "lied." If there was a demonstration that was being used as cover, and the initial assessment was that the attack couldn't be proven as terrorist in nature without burning valuable intelligence assets, then saying "We believe the video was the motivation" is not a "lie."

Absolutely. I didn't say it was a lie though, just pointed out that the story seems to have evolved since that NYT article was published.

75 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:50:20pm

re: #10 researchok

Interesting comment. I want to take issue with one small part of it:

Now, these are not bad people, they are not evil and they are not really even racists. What they are is blind and oblivious and will sign on to any belief which reinforces their worldview or ideology.- and therein is the biggest tragedy of all.

I think some of them start from a position of racism, and adopt the blindness, obliviousness, pathology, and ideology in furtherance of that basic, irrational position. I think this is pretty common.

76 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:50:48pm

re: #74 AntonSirius

Absolutely. I didn't say it was a lie though, just pointed out that the story seems to have evolved since that NYT article was published.

No, the story has not evolved. The New York Times article states clearly that there was no demonstration at the time of the attack, and that the attackers themselves stated it was done to retaliate for the video.

77 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:50:59pm

re: #66 Obdicut

Okay. I can understand that-- but even so, if there was an attack planned already against US interests, I don't get why informing the US public of that is at all important. I don't know the very granular and specific motivations for any other attacks on US embassies or soldiers or what have you, and before this incident motivation was never really talked about.

I don't get what changes for us, the general public, if it's one or the other. Obviously, attacks due to spontaneous (whether it's egged on by firebrands or not) reactions to crap occur, and just as obviously attacks that are planned for a long time occur. Nailing down which one this was seems like a rather pointless exercise for the general public. For those who work in the field, obviously its of importance.

Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. Hell, it's entirely possible that the militia was musing about some strike, then the video happened and they saw their opportunity. It's possible. I just don't get why the fuck anyone thinks this is important enough to go on and fucking on about.

Because I'm interested in foreign policy, and in terrorism, and to some extent in North Africa, mainly. And I'm more interested in that than in the latest evidence that the Republican party hates Barack Obama's administration and has lost their damn mind over it.

78 bratwurst  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:52:04pm

I continue to be amazed that a group of people who were largely cavalier about the deaths of thousands of military personal and MANY MANY thousands of civilians in Iraq are so obsessed with the tragedy in Benghazi.

79 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:52:05pm

re: #74 AntonSirius

Absolutely. I didn't say it was a lie though, just pointed out that the story seems to have evolved since that NYT article was published.

And the GOP is, once again, denying evolution. They wish to continue with their initial assessment (terrorist attacked motivated by Obama's actions) and are trying to fit that square peg into the round hole that has developed as new information has been revealed. Hence why they keep trying to deny that a demonstration ever took place, because to do so would be to acknowledge that people actually were motivated by something other than the BS motivations the wingnuts have tried to attribute the attack to.

80 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:52:25pm

Headdesk. I can't take another one of these threads.

Off to go read the news from Gaza obsessively and write up case studies.

81 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:53:23pm

re: #78 bratwurst

I continue to be amazed that a group of people who were largely cavalier about the deaths of thousands of military personal and MANY MANY thousands of civilians in Iraq are so obsessed with the tragedy in Benghazi.

Remember these are the same fools who, less than six months ago, were "concerned" about the single death of a Border Patrol Agent and were simply seeking "answers" as to why the White House was "covering up" their involvement.

82 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:54:17pm

re: #71 Charles Johnson

Again, this is completely missing my point. Whether there was a demonstration going on or not is irrelevant to the larger point of the motivation of the attackers.

And we know what their motivation was, because they stated it very clearly. They attacked in retaliation for the video.

The motivation of the people in the video, and that the NYT spoke to, was anger at the video. Absolutely.

OK, you and Randall and others have asked for a better source... how about the NYT?:

But Mr. Ruppersberger said on Thursday that this criticism was unfair and that the intelligence community’s assessment of what had happened was now roughly what Ms. Rice recounted on several Sunday talk shows. “You had a group of extremists who took advantage of a situation, and unfortunately we lost four American lives,” he said.
Mr. Ruppersberger also underscored what intelligence officials have said for weeks: that the attack on the diplomatic mission seemed disorganized, and without good command and control, but that the second attack, a mortar strike on the C.I.A. base nearly eight hours later, was much more sophisticated. It was clearly the work of terrorists, he said.

83 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:54:25pm

Why is this so hard to get? Why are the goal posts moving so much?

The point of my post is to give solid evidence that the anti-Islam video WAS the motivation for this attack. Whether there was a demonstration or not is completely irrelevant to that point.

84 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:55:06pm

re: #82 AntonSirius

The motivation of the people in the video, and that the NYT spoke to, was anger at the video. Absolutely.

OK, you and Randall have others have asked for a better source... how about the NYT?:

And again ... how does this refute the evidence that the attack was a retaliation for the video?

It doesn't.

85 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:55:21pm

The saddest thing about this is that this all got started by people trying to whip up cover for Mitt's atrocious statements right after the attack, and he's now a long gone loser. The RWNJ's are caught in a DARVO loop from a lost election.

86 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:56:58pm

re: #77 SanFranciscoZionist

Because I'm interested in foreign policy, and in terrorism, and to some extent in North Africa, mainly. And I'm more interested in that than in the latest evidence that the Republican party hates Barack Obama's administration and has lost their damn mind over it.

Okay, but honestly, when it involves terrorism, attacks on our embassies, stuff like that, I don't really expect timely release of information about it, because that would tend to compromise intelligence work.

It's kind of like police work, I guess. Sometimes the cops will say they don't have any suspects because they're closing in on the guy and they don't want him to panic. Sometimes they'll say they do, so that he jumps. The only way you're really going to find out the story is in retrospect.

At the moment, we have the militia dudes who attacked saying they did it because of the video. This fits into the behavior of Islamic terrorists in general. If that wasn't their motivation, and it was some sort of general attack on the US because they hate us and want us out of Libya, how is that really different? We know that there are militias in Libya who hate us and want us out. We know that there are Islamic terrorists who attack over things like this video. We know we have to guard and watch over both.

I don't get why this particular incident gets attention while other attacks don't. Frankly, I think a lot of it is mainly because someone with a big job title-- the Ambassador-- died. If he'd survived, and the other guys had died, I doubt there'd be this much media attention.

87 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:57:56pm

re: #81 Targetpractice

Remember these are the same fools who, less than six months ago, were "concerned" about the single death of a Border Patrol Agent and were simply seeking "answers" as to why the White House was "covering up" their involvement.

Yeah, they just have "questions"...

88 Targetpractice  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 12:58:28pm

re: #85 Randall Gross

The saddest thing about this is that this all got started by people trying to whip up cover for Mitt's atrocious statements right after the attack, and he's now a long gone loser. The RWNJ's are caught in a DARVO loop from a lost election.

It started out as an attempt to cover Romney's ass, then it became the "scandal" they thought would sink Obama's reelection, and now they think it will be the "scandal" that leads to his impeachment.

89 dragonfire1981  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:00:10pm

Why are we expending so much energy and computer storage space debating this over and over and over?

90 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:02:56pm

re: #89 dragonfire1981

Why are we expending so much energy and computer storage space debating this over and over and over?

Because there are some Lizards that think that if they wallpaper topics like this with enough bullshit, obfuscation, and lies and everyone else gets tired of it, they win their "argument" by default.

Fuck that.

91 Henchman 25  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:03:11pm

re: #89 dragonfire1981

Why are we expending so much energy and computer storage space debating this over and over and over?

Articles of faith are a difficult wall to break through.

92 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:03:35pm

In six months this will be a permanently embedded meme among the GOP hardcore partisans, and nobody else will care. The rest of this is all distraction, they hope that we won't focus on the fact that congress isn't doing their job.

93 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:05:49pm

re: #84 Charles Johnson

And again ... how does this refute the evidence that the attack was a retaliation for the video?

It doesn't.

Charles, I guess I just don't get why you're digging in on this. To me, it makes more sense, and better fits the facts as we now know them, to say that anger at the video was just a convenient cover for a pre-planned attack, rather than the prime motivation for one.

Can we at least agree that there would have been no attack were it not for that accursed video, and the reaction it provoked?

If further evidence comes out that pushes things back towards the original theory I will give you all the mea culpas you want.

94 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:05:51pm

re: #85 Randall Gross

The saddest thing about this is that this all got started by people trying to whip up cover for Mitt's atrocious statements right after the attack, and he's now a long gone loser. The RWNJ's are caught in a DARVO loop from a lost election.

Yes - this whole fake scandal was started when Mitt Romney, on the very evening of the attack, after saying he wouldn't politicize it, proceeded to accuse President Obama of "sympathizing with the attackers."

That's not a paraphrase, it's exactly what he said. The deranged right wing base immediately took this as gospel truth, and this is why their attacks are so completely illogical -- they're starting from the assumption that Obama is evil, and that means he's capable of anything.

Their minds are shut as tight as drums, and they'll twist and distort and simply lie about the situation because they think they're in a battle against pure evil.

95 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:08:29pm

re: #93 AntonSirius

Charles, I guess I just don't get why you're digging in on this. To me, it makes more sense, and better fits the facts as we now know them, to say that anger at the video was just a convenient cover for a pre-planned attack, rather than the prime motivation for one.

So then, you think the militia members were lying when they said it was in retaliation for the video?

Why would they do that? In fact, the opposite is true - Occam's Razor says it's extremely likely that rage over that video was the cause of the attack. There were demonstrations going on in dozens of countries, and it's not even debatable that insults to Islam can provoke extremists into violent acts.

If you think they were lying about it, why?

96 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:10:27pm

re: #93 AntonSirius

Charles, I guess I just don't get why you're digging in on this. To me, it makes more sense, and better fits the facts as we now know them, to say that anger at the video was just a convenient cover for a pre-planned attack, rather than the prime motivation for one.

Why does it make more sense, when the group that attacked had launched an attack over a video before, and they stated that the video was their motivation? What do you think the motivation for the attack was?

If further evidence comes out that pushes things back towards the original theory I will give you all the mea culpas you want.

Why is this a subject for mea culpas either way?

We know that attacks on our embassies did occur because of the video-- attacks occurred all over the world because of it. Luckily none of the rest of them resulted in as dramatic a tragedy, but they still happened. We know the video inspired attacks or at least gave propaganda to those who inspire attacks.

Likewise, we know we get attacked by terrorists for long-standing and fundamental reasons: i.e. they just plain hate us and want us out of the Middle East, etc.

So why is this a subject where the motivation is of immediate concern to publicly nail down? That's the part I really don't get about this. SFZ is curious about it. That makes sense. Is it just interest for you as well?

97 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:12:33pm

The only reason other republican leaders are investing and losing political capital on this is that they hope to leverage the President back from his demands that they fix and stabilize middle class tax rates NOW.

98 jaunte  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:16:02pm
If you think they were lying about it, why?

This is the missing piece in all the mighty wind that's been expelled so far.

99 dragonfire1981  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:20:29pm

The way I look at it, there are many militant groups and individuals in the Middle East who have no shortage of reasons to hate the United States.

Regardless of the trigger or actual series of events, terrorists attacked and killed Americans simply because they do not like what America stands for nor do they like our support of Israel.

Yes it was a tragedy, but endlessly debating what the actual trigger was seems silly when the core issues at the heart of the attack are, in my opinion, pretty indisputable.

100 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:20:46pm

the president still had the best answer for the gop's approach on this issue:

"please proceed"

101 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:26:36pm

re: #99 dragonfire1981

Yes it was a tragedy, but endlessly debating what the actual trigger was seems silly when the core issues at the heart of the attack are, in my opinion, pretty indisputable.

I agree, it's kind of silly to have to keep showing over and over what the motivation of the attackers was, but this is a constant refrain on the right -- that Obama "lied" about the anti-Islam video being the reason for the attack. You can see it in the post above; Jennifer Rubin is parroting exactly that claim.

And almost no one is pushing back against this distortion. The fact is that the video was the reason for the attack, and that needs to be brought out to counter the storm of deceptive bullshit coming out of the right.

102 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:29:13pm

... and even further back behind this is the fundamentalist provocation between one religious hate group's agit propaganda action and another religious hate group's reaction.

The film itself was evil, even though it's protected free speech. To try to pretend that fundamentalist provocations don't have dire real life and real death consequences is to play in the ball courts of the Clash of Civilizations league, and it doesn't matter if you wear the the uniform of the shia, sunni, jewish, coptic, or catholic teams, real people are still going to die and you are still playing their game by their rules.

103 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:30:47pm

If I really try, I can kind of put myself in the mind of a right-winger about this.

Obama tried to blame the attack on the anti-Islam video because he's trying to further the cause of sharia, and make it illegal to criticize Islam. So he's covering for the jihadis, to help them destroy America.

Ouch. That hurts my head.

104 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:31:21pm

re: #96 Obdicut

So why is this a subject where the motivation is of immediate concern to publicly nail down? That's the part I really don't get about this. SFZ is curious about it. That makes sense. Is it just interest for you as well?

I don't have any relatives stationed in Middle Eastern consulates or anything like that, no.

I'm interested because if there is a reason why this attack did more damage than the others, it might be helpful to know what that reason is. Obviously it's not my job to investigate and discover that reason or reasons, but if politically-motivated obfuscations are going to interfere with the process of reaching the necessary conclusions then that is something I get concerned about.

Or, maybe more applicable to this thread: if you ask me to choose between "the right is always wrong" camp and the "truth" camp, I would put myself in the "truth" camp. Of course, so would Charles. 99.999% of the time these days that Venn diagram has a nearly perfect correlation, but it's starting to look to me like the Benghazi attack is a data point that has drifted outside the overlap.

I dunno. Maybe I just need to watch the "confession" video again. Google is only giving me links to video news reports about Ansar al-Sharia getting driven out of their bases... anybody have a link?

105 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:32:32pm

re: #45 Targetpractice

And this is proof of what?

Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!

106 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:32:54pm

re: #103 Charles Johnson

If I really try, I can kind of put myself in the mind of a right-winger about this.

Obama tried to blame the attack on the anti-Islam video because he's trying to further the cause of sharia, and make it illegal to criticize Islam. So he's covering for the jihadis, to help them destroy America.

Ouch. That hurts my head.

It all boils down to that. Obama supports the killing of the Ambassador. Fits their fears perfectly.

107 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:34:11pm

AND, when the RWNJ's and their symps give this shit up I'll change my nic.

Or until the next freak out by the right beats it.

I'm prepared.

109 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:34:18pm

re: #104 AntonSirius

I'm interested because if there is a reason why this attack did more damage than the others, it might be helpful to know what that reason is.

I'm sorry, I don't think you understood my question. I asked why it's important for the general public to know. Obviously, it doesn't matter in the least if I or you know the motivation was A or B. So that's not really an answer to my question.

Obviously it's not my job to investigate and discover that reason or reasons, but if politically-motivated obfuscations are going to interfere with the process of reaching the necessary conclusions then that is something I get concerned about

Again-- I don't get it. The policy of State and the CIA is not set by general consensus on the subject. The process of reaching conclusions doesn't involve the general public.

99.999% of the time these days that Venn diagrams has a nearly perfect correlation, but it's starting to look to me like the Benghazi attack is a data point that has drifted outside the overlap.

Then perhaps you can answer this, which you somehow skipped over:

Why does it make more sense, when the group that attacked had launched an attack over a video before, and they stated that the video was their motivation? What do you think the motivation for the attack was?

110 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:34:23pm

re: #83 Charles Johnson

Why is this so hard to get? Why are the goal posts moving so much?

Because people are desperate to create a scandal where there isn't one.

111 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:36:02pm

re: #108 engineer cat

some comments so far:

The President purposefully let 4 men die to hide what he the President was doing as far as arms trade in Libya.
...
I wonder if Charles Johnson thinks Watergate was a “fake scandal”. Probably not, as it concerned a Repub and not his boy-king.
...
This guy is a pathetic nutball. His site is as bad, if not worse than the DUmp. Sane people don’t post over there. I’m ashamed that I used to read it years ago. It was back during Rathergate. Over the years he has become nothing but a Muslim loving, anti-Semite.
...
This person things thinks these are the type of things that make for a fake scandal

1. obama administration ignored pleas regarding Benghazi security for months
2. Ambassador Stevens was requesting more security the day he died
3. No backup was sent after we determined the annex was under attack
4. We told people nearby to stand-down rather than help
5. obama claims we couldn’t respond in time (doesn’t even grasp the ramifications of our enemies knowing this might be true)
6. obama refuses to recognize in public what took place at the annex
7. obama has his people go out and lie
8. obama lied

112 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:36:12pm

re: #108 engineer cat

hey, lizards!

this thread has just earned its own freeper thread!!!

The Ludicrous Right Wing ‘Benghazi-Gate’ Fake Scandal Gets Even More Ludicrous (Barf-o-licious)
Little Green Footballs ^ | Nov 17, 2012 | Charles Johnson (Moonbat)

Hahahaha. This should be fun. XD

113 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:36:55pm

re: #102 Randall Gross

... and even further back behind this is the fundamentalist provocation between one religious hate group's agit propaganda action and another religious hate group's reaction.

The film itself was evil, even though it's protected free speech. To try to pretend that fundamentalist provocations don't have dire real life and real death consequences is to play in the ball courts of the Clash of Civilizations league, and it doesn't matter if you wear the the uniform of the shia, sunni, jewish, coptic, or catholic teams, real people are still going to die and you are still playing their game by their rules.

Absolutely right!

One reason the right wing is so eager to deny that the video had anything to do with the attack is because they're heavily invested in demonizing Islam and promoting a war of religions. Underneath these excuses: they're actually cheering on this video and what it says.

You can easily find examples of this at right wing blogs. They're not simply standing up for free speech - they see nothing wrong with the kind of bigotry espoused by that video.

114 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:38:20pm

re: #55 SanFranciscoZionist

The sane answer: There are two broad possibilities here. One is that the whole attack was pretty much spontaneously sparked by outrage about the video. Another is that something had already been in the works, and the video-related demonstration was either encouraged to provide cover, or simply used as a cover to move in. Which of these doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference in terms of outcome, but it does have implications for intelligence-gathering and future response. There's a considerable range for overlap and nuance between the two.

Didn't see your post at the time, SFZ, but yeah, this.

115 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:39:22pm

unfortunately for responding at the freeper website with its cutting edge circa 1873 era web interface,

CONTRARY OPINIONS ARE NOT TOLERATED THERE

so much for loving the american ideal of freedom of speech and open debate. their little minds are too fragile for the least little give and take

Dear Freepers: you think you can dish it out, but ya caaaaaaan't take it

116 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:42:23pm

re: #109 Obdicut

I'm sorry, I don't think you understood my question. I asked why it's important for the general public to know. Obviously, it doesn't matter in the least if I or you know the motivation was A or B. So that's not really an answer to my question.

That was the intent of your question? Really? So are you asking why the facts of this specific incident are any business of the general public's? Or just the facts of any incident at all?

117 blueraven  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:43:09pm

It appears there were two attacks, right? The first one was rather unorganized and was probably the result of anger over the video...hours later a second attack, more organized.

So it would seem to follow that the militia groups joined in. Would it take more than a few hours to organize this second attack? Were they also angry about the video? I would assume they were. But they probably had other motivations as well.

I think it was an opportunistic attack, by extremist militants that was precipitated by the first wave of anti-Americanism over the film .

118 William Barnett-Lewis  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:43:53pm

OT: I really hate Minecraft. But even more I hate Java (that it's written in) and the fact that even though my son is using the fastest computer in the house with a dual core processor & 3 gb of ram, Java makes it putt along like it was a 16mhz 386sx trying to run Wing Commander. Feh.

Thank you for letting me rant, now back your regularly scheduled thread.

119 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:45:00pm

re: #116 AntonSirius

That was the intent of your question? Really? So are you asking why the facts of this specific incident are any business of the general public's? Or just the facts of any incident at all?

Depends what you mean by business. I have no problem with people being interested in the attack, in the motivations, etc. I do have a problem with people who think that private citizens knowing about the incident makes some sort of difference to how the CIA or State will defend against future attacks, which seems to be what you're implying.

This is now the third time I've asked you this. Could you please respond?

Why does it make more sense, when the group that attacked had launched an attack over a video before, and they stated that the video was their motivation? What do you think the motivation for the attack was?

120 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:45:39pm
121 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:46:07pm

re: #117 blueraven

It appears there were two attacks, right? The first one was rather unorganized and was probably the result of anger over the video...hours later a second attack, more organized.

So it would seem to follow that the militia groups joined in. Would it take more than a few hours to organize this second attack? Were they also angry about the video?

Yes, they certainly were. They said so. Again, from the article above:

At a news conference the day after the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah praised the attack as the proper response to such an insult to Islam. ‘We are saluting our people for this zeal in protecting their religion, to grant victory to the prophet,’ the spokesman said. ‘The response has to be firm.’

122 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:47:35pm

Texas Tech is being destroyed by Oklahoma State as we speak. Oh, well, it stands to reason that a team from even a backward part of the USA like Oklahoma could handle a third world opponent.

20 Real Problems with Texas vs. Tea Party Fantasies.

When I first went to Brazil in 1978, per capita income in Texas was 40 times what it was there. Today it is barely twice as much and we are slipping fast while Brazil is booming. Thanks, Perry and Bush. "Best business environment in America," they boast. Sure, if you're Simon Legree or a Randian cultist.

123 simoom  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:52:07pm

Here's Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's baseless House Intelligence Committee rant from the other day:

“What is clear is that this administration, including the president himself, has intentionally misinformed, read that lied, to the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy. Now, President Obama has the gall to float the name as possible secretary of state the name of the person who is the actual vehicle used to misinform the American people during this crisis."

And here he is responding to Anderson Cooper questioning what evidence he has to support his wild accusations:

124 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:52:46pm

Gaza rockets land near Jerusalem as fears of ground offensive grow
Rocket count near 550
[Link: www.guardian.co.uk...]

125 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:53:25pm

OT, my neighbors are cooking something stinky that is getting more stinky as the minutes go on. ewe.

126 blueraven  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:56:55pm

re: #125 Stanghazi

OT, my neighbors are cooking something stinky that is getting more stinky as the minutes go on. ewe.

Menudo?

127 Gretchen G.Tiger  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:57:00pm

I'm still not clear on this situation.

The idea that there was not enough security in a war zone and that non-combatants died is tragic, but it is A WAR ZONE.

I think everyone involved knew exactly what they were getting involved in.

What am I missing here?

128 simoom  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:57:03pm

re: #123 simoom

[Embedded content]

Not sure why CNN edited their YouTube version of the interview so oddly. Here's the video on CNN.com:
[Link: ac360.blogs.cnn.com...]

129 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:58:46pm

re: #126 blueraven

Menudo?

No, something burnt. Getting more burnt by the minute.

130 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:58:53pm

re: #126 blueraven

Menudo?

Dude that's exactly what I thought.

131 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:59:05pm

POTUS is not impressed with the Benghazi conspiracy:

Image: not_impressed.jpg

132 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:59:13pm

re: #129 Stanghazi

No, something burnt. Getting more burnt by the minute.

Ah crap. I fell asleep once making stock and burnt the bones. Worst smell I've ever smelt.

133 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:59:22pm

re: #104 AntonSirius

I still don't understand why you don't believe the actual words of the people who launched the attacks.

The spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah could not possibly have been any clearer in that news conference, and he even cited a previous attack that was also motivated by a perceived insult to Islam. I cannot think of any plausible reason why the militants would lie about this. Can you?

In fact, it seems totally believable that heavily armed religious fanatics would react to the video in this way. It's what they do.

134 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 1:59:59pm

re: #126 blueraven

re: #130 Obdicut

These are the whitey neighbor. I'm calling some sort of meatball experiment gone wrong.

135 Gretchen G.Tiger  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:00:16pm

re: #112 Lidane

One reason the right wing is so eager to deny that the video had anything to do with the attack is because they're heavily invested in demonizing Islam and promoting a war of religions. Underneath these excuses: they're actually cheering on this video and what it says.

You can easily find examples of this at right wing blogs. They're not simply standing up for free speech - they see nothing wrong with the kind of bigotry espoused by that video.

they don't see it as bigotry --it's a documentary to them.

Why they insist on the war of religions is insane to me. What they are getting is a war against religion and they can't see it for their own hatred.

136 Gretchen G.Tiger  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:01:29pm

re: #133 Charles Johnson

I still don't understand why you don't believe the actual words of the people who launched the attacks.

The spokesman for Ansar al-Shariah could not possibly have been any clearer in that news conference, and he even cited a previous attack that was also motivated by a perceived insult to Islam. I cannot think of any plausible reason why the militants would lie about this. Can you?

In fact, it seems totally believable that heavily armed religious fanatics would react to the video in this way. It's what they do.

Because the right -wing whackos don't take anything at face value. They are looking for code they can decipher that will support their paranoia.

137 engineer cat  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:02:02pm

re: #126 blueraven

Menudo?

is it possible to have only one menudo?

138 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:02:56pm

re: #103 Charles Johnson

If I really try, I can kind of put myself in the mind of a right-winger about this.

Obama tried to blame the attack on the anti-Islam video because he's trying to further the cause of sharia, and make it illegal to criticize Islam. So he's covering for the jihadis, to help them destroy America.

Ouch. That hurts my head.

So that's what it feels like to self-lobotomize?

///

139 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:03:42pm

re: #136 Gretchen G.Tiger

I'm pretty sure Anton Sirius isn't a RW wacko - he just seems to have accepted some of the propaganda at face value. That's one reason why I posted this article, to try to bring some actual facts into this discussion to counter the unbelievable blizzard of bullshit coming out of the right.

140 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:03:44pm

re: #122 Shiplord Kirel

Texas Tech is being destroyed by Oklahoma State as we speak. Oh, well, it stands to reason that a team from even a backward part of the USA like Oklahoma could handle a third world opponent.

20 Real Problems with Texas vs. Tea Party Fantasies.

When I first went to Brazil in 1978, per capita income in Texas was 40 times what it was there. Today it is barely twice as much and we are slipping fast while Brazil is booming. Thanks, Perry and Bush. "Best business environment in America," they boast. Sure, if you're Simon Legree or a Randian cultist.

Pssst: Don't copy the whole article. See #3 here.

141 blueraven  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:04:05pm

re: #130 Obdicut

Dude that's exactly what I thought.

I like Menudo, (although I tend to pick out the tripe) but the cooking smell is awful.

Nothing better than menudo for a hangover.

142 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:04:29pm

And he's off --
[Link: www.washingtonpost.com...]

Obama on four country tour to Asia

143 goddamnedfrank  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:05:17pm
144 TedStriker  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:06:36pm

re: #137 engineer cat

is it possible to have only one menudo?

No...

/

145 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:06:49pm

re: #142 Randall Gross

If you let that play eventually it gets to footage of Iron dome taking out a rocket.

146 allegro  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:08:39pm

re: #141 blueraven

I like Menudo, (although I tend to pick out the tripe) but the cooking smell is awful.

Nothing better than menudo for a hangover.

Probably the best argument for absolute sobriety ever.

147 Gretchen G.Tiger  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:10:25pm

re: #139 Charles Johnson

I'm pretty sure Anton Sirius isn't a RW wacko - he just seems to have accepted some of the propaganda at face value. That's one reason why I posted this article, to try to bring some actual facts into this discussion to counter the unbelievable blizzard of bullshit coming out of the right.

Sorry, I didn't mean any direct insult to Anton Sirius. I've been living with a Fox News Drone and it's totally getting to me.

148 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:10:26pm

Barber wins Giffords old seat
[Link: www.politico.com...]

149 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:11:28pm

re: #141 blueraven

I like Menudo, (although I tend to pick out the tripe) but the cooking smell is awful.

Nothing better than menudo for a hangover.

I would put some good pozole right up there with menudo for a hangover cure.

Menudo is one of those dishes that is either really good or it's utter crap. I'm highly picky about it. Pozole, OTOH, has better chances of success with different cooks.

150 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:13:46pm

re: #149 Lidane

If you ever get a chance, have the pozole at Nopalito in San Francisco. Freaking divine, the exact right amount of acid in it.

151 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:14:20pm

Turns out the "Twilight" shooting plotter was previously committed

[Link: www.kansascity.com...]

152 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:14:57pm

re: #148 Randall Gross

Barber wins Giffords old seat
[Link: www.politico.com...]

Barber and Giffords are both pretty conservative, but any Democrats beats the heck out of having another Arizona Republican in office.

I hope his win survives the inevitable challenges to Arizona's messed up vote counting in this election.

153 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:15:33pm

re: #150 Obdicut

If you ever get a chance, have the pozole at Nopalito in San Francisco. Freaking divine, the exact right amount of acid in it.

Speaking of acid. I did a corn and jalapeno cream soup last weekend. Then a roasted corn, jalapeno, lime & avo salsa to drop in.

It was the most amazing example of how acid compliments a dish.

154 Lidane  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:16:44pm

re: #150 Obdicut

If you ever get a chance, have the pozole at Nopalito in San Francisco. Freaking divine, the exact right amount of acid in it.

Next time I make it out to Silicon Valley I'll try to get out there.

I was in Mountain View and wanted to go to SF but it was during all the Giants celebrations and the parade and everything. I'd rather go when things are a bit calmer.

155 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:16:57pm

re: #119 Obdicut

Depends what you mean by business. I have no problem with people being interested in the attack, in the motivations, etc. I do have a problem with people who think that private citizens knowing about the incident makes some sort of difference to how the CIA or State will defend against future attacks, which seems to be what you're implying.

This is now the third time I've asked you this. Could you please respond?

Why does it make more sense, when the group that attacked had launched an attack over a video before, and they stated that the video was their motivation? What do you think the motivation for the attack was?

See SFZ's post which I belatedly quoted. The motivation is anti-Western and anti-American sentiment. Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi are a jihadi group. Frankly, they don't need a provocation to get them angry at America.

One of the group's leaders stated publicly that they had a plan for attacking the compound, but they didn't actually attack until there were widespread demonstrations against the video. What makes more sense to you - that they came up with a plan to attack but lacked the desire to execute it until the video gave them a push? That the plan required some sort of diversion, and the demonstration provided them with that diversion? Or that they saw a target of opportunity as a result of the chaos created by the demonstration, and seized the moment?

To me the first one seems the least likely, by far.

156 allegro  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:17:38pm

re: #153 Stanghazi

Speaking of acid. I did a corn and jalapeno cream soup last weekend. Then a roasted corn, jalapeno, lime & avo salsa to drop in.

It was the most amazing example of how acid compliments a dish.

recipes please :)

157 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:17:38pm

re: #141 blueraven

I like Menudo, (although I tend to pick out the tripe) but the cooking smell is awful.

Nothing better than menudo for a hangover.

I worked in a restaurant that would thaw a 30 lb. block of tripe every Saturday for Sunday morning's menudo. Phew. Must have been good menudo, though. They sold gallons of it.

158 OhNoZombies!  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:22:12pm

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking the Bengazi Distraction has something to do with the impending defense cuts.
I bet the GOP thought Mitt was going to win, and they don't have a workable budget.
Also they're nuts.(of that I am certain!)

159 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:22:41pm

re: #139 Charles Johnson

I'm pretty sure Anton Sirius isn't a RW wacko - he just seems to have accepted some of the propaganda at face value. That's one reason why I posted this article, to try to bring some actual facts into this discussion to counter the unbelievable blizzard of bullshit coming out of the right.

OK, Charles, now I'm pissed. What "propaganda" do you think it is I've swallowed? I'm basing my current - note that word - belief on what happened in Benghazi on reporting of developing intelligence and of Petraeus' testimony this week, all of which has come out in the month since the NYT article you cited. I've explicitly said the RW conspiracy mongers are full of shit. So what "propaganda" am I supposed to be accepting?

160 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:24:21pm

re: #155 AntonSirius

See SFZ's post which I belatedly quoted. The motivation is anti-Western and anti-American sentiment. Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi are a jihadi group. Frankly, they don't need a provocation to get them angry at America.

I don't think SFZ was claiming to know the motivation, though. And I don't get how anti-American or anti-Western sentiment excludes anger about the video-- doesn't it rather include it? Isn't part of why they're anti-American because we have free speech that allows people to insult Islam?

One of the group's leaders stated publicly that they had a plan for attacking the compound, but they didn't actually attack until there were widespread demonstrations against the video.

Can you source this, please?

What makes more sense to you - that they came up with a plan to attack but lacked the desire to execute it until the video gave them a push? That the plan required some sort of diversion, and the demonstration provided them with that diversion? Or that they saw a target of opportunity as a result of the chaos created by the demonstration, and seized the moment?

I'm sorry, I'm not really understanding what planning you think was involved. As I understand it, armed men showed up with weapons and attacked. That is a plan that is pretty easy to organize, right? Why do you think it was some complex operation?

161 blueraven  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:24:40pm

re: #149 Lidane

I would put some good pozole right up there with menudo for a hangover cure.

Menudo is one of those dishes that is either really good or it's utter crap. I'm highly picky about it. Pozole, OTOH, has better chances of success with different cooks.

Yes, I only eat my MIL's menudo and she adds extra hominy for me.

162 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:24:41pm

re: #156 allegro

recipes please :)

[Link: www.epicurious.com...]

Did not blend my soup, it has corn chunks. I mixed flour into the corn/onion/garlic blend before the chicken broth.

Added cream in the end.

Used both frozen & canned corn, canned is easier because you don't have to wait for defrost & don't have all the extra h2o. Next time all canned corn. (ala Romney)

Used the exact roasted corn salsa recipe.

163 Randall Gross  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:25:11pm
164 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:25:35pm

re: #158 OhNoZombies!

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking the Bengazi Distraction has something to do with the impending defense cuts.
I bet the GOP thought Mitt was going to win, and they don't have a workable budget.
Also they're nuts.(of that I am certain!)

Quite a bit of the blather going on was based on a Romney win. Very very shortsighted.

165 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:27:19pm

re: #159 AntonSirius

I think you've accepted the propaganda that the video was not the motivation of the attackers, and you keep arguing that point.

I'll ask again, if the video was not the reason, why do you think the militants lied about it?

166 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:27:51pm

re: #156 allegro

recipes please :)

Take one 30 lb. block of tripe out of the freezer...

Oh, not that one.

167 Stanghazi  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:29:52pm

re: #163 Randall Gross

[Link: www.usatoday.com...]

See the thing I posted from Sullivan - It was so gripping - a reader referencing the 1955 Algerian rebels strategy. Make them kill us MORE, then we get huge support. (in a nutshell)

168 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:31:15pm

re: #140 wrenchwench

Pssst: Don't copy the whole article. See #3 here.

I sent Carol an e-mail asking for permission to post the whole thing. In the meantime I've cut it down to size. (It may be back up to full-size pretty soon, though).

169 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:34:45pm

re: #160 Obdicut

I don't think SFZ was claiming to know the motivation, though. And I don't get how anti-American or anti-Western sentiment excludes anger about the video-- doesn't it rather include it? Isn't part of why they're anti-American because we have free speech that allows people to insult Islam?

Can you source this, please?

I'm sorry, I'm not really understanding what planning you think was involved. As I understand it, armed men showed up with weapons and attacked. That is a plan that is pretty easy to organize, right? Why do you think it was some complex operation?

Obdi, the cites and quotes you ask for I've already provided in previous posts.

170 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:37:27pm

re: #165 Charles Johnson

I think you've accepted the propaganda that the video was not the motivation of the attackers, and you keep arguing that point.

I'll ask again, if the video was not the reason, why do you think the militants lied about it?

OK, let's get to the prime source of your belief that the video was the motivation then, the Ansar al-Sharia spokesman who claimed responsibility. I haven't been able to find original reporting on that, here or on Google, to refer to it. Do you have a link?

171 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:38:08pm

re: #169 AntonSirius

I asked for one source-- that would be someone saying that they had a plan for attacking the compound but didn't attack until there were widespread demonstrations. I looked through your other posts, and I can't find it. Could you please provide it? I'm sorry if I'm being blind, but I don't see that.

And again, what level of planning do you think this attack took? The assault on the compound was men with weapons (and some jerry cans of gasoline). The attack on the secondary place, after a 30-odd convoy of vehicles made their way too it-- included RPGs, which are, sadly, not an uncommon weapon. Can you explain why you think that the attack required a lot of planning?

172 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:38:56pm

re: #169 AntonSirius

Obdi, the cites and quotes you ask for I've already provided in previous posts.

But again ... nothing you posted refutes the actual words of the militants, who said unequivocally that they attacked in anger over the anti-Islam video. That's a fact. They told the world at a news conference. And I just cannot see any reason for them to lie about it.

Islamic militants enraged by an insult to Islam - it's not a hard thing to believe.

173 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:39:48pm

re: #170 AntonSirius

OK, let's get to the prime source of your belief that the video was the motivation then, the Ansar al-Sharia spokesman who claimed responsibility. I haven't been able to find original reporting on that, here or on Google, to refer to it. Do you have a link?

Dude ... the link in the article is to the New York Times, with a credit to a stringer in Benghazi. If that's not original reporting, what is?

174 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:47:28pm

re: #172 Charles Johnson

But again ... nothing you posted refutes the actual words of the militants, who said unequivocally that they attacked in anger over the anti-Islam video. That's a fact. They told the world at a news conference. And I just cannot see any reason for them to lie about it.

Islamic militants enraged by an insult to Islam - it's not a hard thing to believe.

Some other leaders for the group also said they weren't involved in the attack at all. It's a pretty fluid group, so it's entirely possible for the leaders themselves to not have organized it, for it to have been lower-level people in the group taking matters into their own hands.

One of the ironies is that the involvement of Ansar al-Sharia in the attack was used to 'show' that the administration was lying because they therefore 'knew' it was a planned terrorist attack and had nothing to do with the video.

The credit claim came via Facebook and twitter, as far as the group goes. Individual militants who were asked on the street talked about the video as the motivating force. I guess it might be possible to construct a scenario where the leadership had a different motive from the footsoldiers, and whipped them up with the video, but again, I don't see the point of differentiating between "Generally anti-American" and "Anti-american and angry about this video"

175 krypto  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:48:48pm

What I still haven't figured out is why the GOP, Fox, and the rightwing blogs expect me to think it matters who changed the word "terrorist" to "extremist" in the CIA talking points after the four Americans were already dead.

176 Henchman Ghazi-808  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 2:58:50pm

Well... that was odd.

177 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:01:58pm

re: #173 Charles Johnson

Dude ... the link in the article is to the New York Times, with a credit to a stringer in Benghazi. If that's not original reporting, what is?

Right... I thought you had something else beyond that.

So a NYT piece quoting a nameless Ansar al-Sharia spokesman, without specifying which Ansar al-Sharia group he's actually speaking for, and which contains - to the best of my knowledge - misleading information in the same paragraph about the Benghazi Ansar al-Sharia group ("Those leaders, including... Mohammed Ali Zahawi, fought alongside other commanders against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi." al-Zahawi himself, in his BBC interview, said his group was formed after Qaddafi was overthrown. That interview also contains a flat denial of his group's involvement in the attack, for what that's worth) is an unimpeachable source, but another NYT piece which says that our intelligence services now believe "a group of extremists... took advantage of a situation", and which is supported by accounts of Petraeus' testimony to Congress, isn't cause to revise or at least re-consider your opinion of what might have happened?

178 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:04:37pm

re: #177 AntonSirius

but another NYT piece which says that our intelligence services now believe "a group of extremists... took advantage of a situation", and which is supported by accounts of Petraeus' testimony to Congress, isn't cause to revise or at least re-consider your opinion of what might have happened?

I don't get why you think that Charles or anyone else doesn't think that a group of extremists took advantage of the situation. It's not mutually exclusive to the video being the motivator, is it?

179 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:10:49pm

re: #171 Obdicut

I asked for one source-- that would be someone saying that they had a plan for attacking the compound but didn't attack until there were widespread demonstrations. I looked through your other posts, and I can't find it. Could you please provide it? I'm sorry if I'm being blind, but I don't see that.

Post 58. It doesn't explicitly say that they waited for the demonstrations to attack though - it's a reference to pre-attack claims by al-Zahawi that he could attack the compound, and nameless other 'leaders' who said they'd just need a few hours notice to launch at attack.

And, I don't dispute that it doesn't "matter" whether we know that they attacked because of the video or not, in the sense that people are still dead either way and our strategies and policies will be changed in response without our input.

But the truth on a story that's now out in the public eye does matter in terms of how people view their government. If there's a battle to be fought here, if there's a reason why a conversation like this "matters", it's that.

180 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:14:10pm

re: #178 Obdicut

I don't get why you think that Charles or anyone else doesn't think that a group of extremists took advantage of the situation. It's not mutually exclusive to the video being the motivator, is it?

Sure it is. If they were fired up by the video they're not "taking advantage" of a situation, they are the situation.

The idea that they "took advantage" implies that there was deliberation and action, not simply reaction.

That doesn't mean the video was irrelevant. But I think that distinction between action and reaction is more than just splitting hairs.

181 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:15:54pm

re: #177 AntonSirius

Right... I thought you had something else beyond that.

So a NYT piece quoting a nameless Ansar al-Sharia spokesman, without specifying which Ansar al-Sharia group he's actually speaking for, and which contains - to the best of my knowledge - misleading information in the same paragraph about the Benghazi Ansar al-Sharia group ("Those leaders, including... Mohammed Ali Zahawi, fought alongside other commanders against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi." al-Zahawi himself, in his BBC interview, said his group was formed after Qaddafi was overthrown. That interview also contains a flat denial of his group's involvement in the attack, for what that's worth) is an unimpeachable source, but another NYT piece which says that our intelligence services now believe "a group of extremists... took advantage of a situation", and which is supported by accounts of Petraeus' testimony to Congress, isn't cause to revise or at least re-consider your opinion of what might have happened?

If a group of extremists took advantage of the situation, why does this mean that they weren't motivated by the video? You keep arguing as if these things are mutually exclusive.

Again, though, the New York Times Libyan correspondent reported that Ansar al-Shariah definitely was involved:

To those on the ground, the circumstances of the attack are hardly a mystery. Most of the attackers made no effort to hide their faces or identities, and during the assault some acknowledged to a Libyan journalist working for The New York Times that they belonged to the group. And their attack drew a crowd, some of whom cheered them on, some of whom just gawked, and some of whom later looted the compound.

These are original reports from people who were there when it happened. And they all say the attackers were retaliating for the video, just as they had done previously when they attacked an Italian diplomatic mission, also for an insult to Islam.

Why would they lie?

182 Henchman Ghazi-808  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:16:49pm

re: #180 AntonSirius

That doesn't mean the video was irrelevant. But I think that distinction between action and reaction is more than just splitting hairs.

Right.

183 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:22:59pm

The attack on the Italian diplomatic mission was in retaliation for the Danish cartoons of Mohammed:

[Link: news.bbc.co.uk...]

184 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:23:26pm

re: #179 AntonSirius

Post 58. It doesn't explicitly say that they waited for the demonstrations to attack though - it's a reference to pre-attack claims by al-Zahawi that he could attack the compound, and nameless other 'leaders' who said they'd just need a few hours notice to launch at attack.

Which kind of goes against the idea that it took a lot of planning, right? And sorry, that quote doesn't at all support the idea that they had a plan and then waited for the demonstrations. Nothing about it supports that idea. It's not inconsistent with the idea, but it doesn't support it.

And, I don't dispute that it doesn't "matter" whether we know that they attacked because of the video or not, in the sense that people are still dead either way and our strategies and policies will be changed in response without our input.

Good.

But the truth on a story that's now out in the public eye does matter in terms of how people view their government. If there's a battle to be fought here, if there's a reason why a conversation like this "matters", it's that.

I totally don't get what you're saying here. If there's no allegation of some coverup or malfeasance, then why would any of this affect how people view their government? You're being kind of vague.

Sure it is. If they were fired up by the video they're not "taking advantage" of a situation, they are the situation.

They can easily be both. They can be taking advantage of the high amount of anti-American fervor surrounding the video. I'm sorry, this seems like semantic games to me.

The idea that they "took advantage" implies that there was deliberation and action, not simply reaction.

Again, I don't get what the hell this means. Nobody at all has ever said that the attack was a knee-jerk reflex. Obviously there had to be some amount of planning for the armed attackers to show up, but it doesn't seem like it'd be more than a few phone calls. I don't get what the magical difference between reaction and deliberation here is, either. Again, it seems like semantic games.

That doesn't mean the video was irrelevant. But I think that distinction between action and reaction is more than just splitting hairs.

I don't. It just seems like semantics with no actual importance. Do you think you've explained why it's important?

185 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:27:22pm
186 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:44:16pm

re: #184 Obdicut

On the matter of how much planning it would take to attack the mission, another quote from the NYT article:

Other Benghazi militia leaders who know Ansar al-Shariah say it was capable of carrying out the attack by itself with only a few hours’ planning, and as recently as June one of its leaders, Mr. Zahawi, declared that it could destroy the American Mission.

So yeah, very little planning needed. Ansar al-Shariah is already organized and trained for this kind of nastiness. They may have been waiting for an excuse to do it, but it's wrong to assume that this means they weren't genuinely enraged over that video.

Religious fanatics violently upset about an insult to their religion. Gee, when has that ever happened before?

187 AntonSirius  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:47:33pm

I gotta head out, so I'm just going to leave it at this: I think it's a better response to the right wing bullshit narrative to say "Our positions evolve when we learn new things (such as X and Y and Z on Benghazi), why don't yours?" than it is to say "My NYT link is better than your WND link," especially when the link you're pushing is now a bit out of step with subsequent reporting.

188 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:51:28pm

re: #187 AntonSirius

You haven't done a very good job of explaining yourself. I am glad that you acknowledge that having the public immediately informed about the motivation of the attack is not, actually, important. I would really like for you to, at some point, explain why the difference between action and reaction here is so vital to you.

189 Charles Johnson  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 3:57:17pm

re: #187 AntonSirius

I gotta head out, so I'm just going to leave it at this: I think it's a better response to the right wing bullshit narrative to say "Our positions evolve when we learn new things (such as X and Y and Z on Benghazi), why don't yours?" than it is to say "My NYT link is better than your WND link," especially when the link you're pushing is now a bit out of step with subsequent reporting.

The New York Times report is absolutely not "out of step" with anything. It's a straightforward account of the events at that point.

My opinions absolutely do evolve when real evidence is presented. But I haven't seen anything at all that makes me doubt the veracity of the NYT report.

And you still have never said why you think the militants would lie about their motivations.

190 Ming  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 6:24:44pm

This should go without saying. But apparently some on the right need to be reminded that in the aftermath of a tragedy like Benghazi, it is NOT the responsibility of the President to immediately share everything he knows with the public, like we're in some 1970's tell-all encounter workshop.

Instead, in situations like Benghazi, officials involved with national security will generally want to discuss what it is in the interest of the United States to reveal. Even if a particular attack is known to have involved Al Queda, it may be considered in America's interest to not let Al Queda know that we know about their role in the attack. The President has to carefully evaluate what to say, of course respecting the public's right to know, but also considering how any given revelation might affect our country's security, the safety of agents and/or informants, etc.

If this is how some Republicans react to classified information, the military and intelligence agencies may need to reevaluate what classified information they share with Congressional committees. This reminds me of a month or so ago, when Representative Darrel Issa didn't bother to redact the names of CIA informants in Libya. These people are now in fear of their lives, assuming they're still alive.

The current right-wing obsession with Benghazi is both deeply insulting to Susan Rice, and deeply troubling in regard to our battle against terrorism in general and Al Queda in particular.

191 Bulworth  Sun, Nov 18, 2012 5:39:35am

So the RWNJ are back to complaining that the president didn't publicly call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack soon enough to satisfy the RWNJ? Yeah, that's some scandal you got going there, RWNJ.

192 AntonSirius  Sun, Nov 18, 2012 5:47:33am

re: #188 Obdicut

You haven't done a very good job of explaining yourself. I am glad that you acknowledge that having the public immediately informed about the motivation of the attack is not, actually, important. I would really like for you to, at some point, explain why the difference between action and reaction here is so vital to you.

Obdi, now you're putting words in my mouth. "Immediately" was not on the table at all prior to this post, and in fact directly contradicts what I've been saying. I appreciate that you're trying to go full metal Socrates here, but that's out of bounds.

It matters whether the public has an accurate view of what transpired because the right has made it their mission to undermine people's faith in government on every front. It should not be the default assumption that government is lying to us, covering up uncomfortable truths, or treating the public like children and only telling us what we "can handle". And in that light I am quite satisfied with the government's response. They have kept people updated with what seemed to be an accurate report on Benghazi, and when new information came to light they modified that report. That's what I expect from my government on everything.

As for why it matters whether the attackers acted or reacted? Again, we deserve an accurate picture. But beyond that, I find the idea that an attack was launched - an attack that involved mortars and some degree of pre-planning (again, enough preparation was required that about eight hours passed between the demonstration and the assault, according to Ruppersberger) purely out of anger at an insult to Mohammed to be, I dunno, simplistic? Colonial, perhaps? It's barely an improvement on "they hate us for our freedoms." It's a caricature.

People bring signs or maybe throwable rocks to a demonstration, Obdi. They don't bring mortars or RPGs.

The difference between action and reaction is the difference between saying "the Bush administration invaded Iraq because of 9/11" and saying "the Bush administration used 9/11 as a convenient excuse to launch a pre-planned invasion of Iraq." If we're going to learn from history and not make the same mistakes again and again, it's an important distinction to understand.

193 AntonSirius  Sun, Nov 18, 2012 6:01:12am

re: #189 Charles Johnson

The New York Times report is absolutely not "out of step" with anything. It's a straightforward account of the events at that point.

The NYT article is not as straightforward as you claim. The spokesman isn't named. It isn't made clear which Ansar al-Sharia group he represented. And he misrepresented the group's involvement in overthrowing Qaddafi.

And yes, when Petraeus tells Congress a month later that the CIA has multiple reports refuting what that NYT article claims - which is what prompted my initial post in this thread - I'd say there's a discrepancy there that needs to be accounted for.

194 Obdicut  Tue, Nov 20, 2012 9:57:36am

re: #193 AntonSirius

And yes, when Petraeus tells Congress a month later that the CIA has multiple reports refuting what that NYT article claims - which is what prompted my initial post in this thread - I'd say there's a discrepancy there that needs to be accounted for.

That is not what Petraeus said. At all. He did not speak to the motivation of the group. Why are you saying this?

195 Obdicut  Tue, Nov 20, 2012 9:59:50am

re: #192 AntonSirius

As for why it matters whether the attackers acted or reacted? Again, we deserve an accurate picture. But beyond that, I find the idea that an attack was launched - an attack that involved mortars and some degree of pre-planning (again, enough preparation was required that about eight hours passed between the demonstration and the assault, according to Ruppersberger) purely out of anger at an insult to Mohammed to be, I dunno, simplistic? Colonial, perhaps? It's barely an improvement on "they hate us for our freedoms." It's a caricature.

You complain about me putting words in your mouth, and then you throw a 'purely' in there. I don't get it. I also still don't get what this barrier between action and reaction is.


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