Fox News and those Benghazi detainees (‘Broadwell steered her audience to Fox’)
I think my dad was in the schmatta business back in the day with a Mr. Ben Ghazi.
I am fascinated by the WP expose of FOX news expose of the Benghazi incident. So far FOX news seems to get details wrong or distorted. Excellent series….
Posted at 01:26 PM ET, 11/14/2012
Nov 14, 2012 06:26 PM EST
Fox News and those Benghazi detainees
By Erik Wemple
Twelfth in a series about Fox News’s Oct. 26 story on Benghazi, Libya.
Fox News’s now-famous Oct. 26 story on the tragedy of Benghazi carried this headline: ‘EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say.’ Reaction to the story skewed toward the monster revelations in its first paragraph: namely, that the CIA chain of command had told security officials to ‘stand down’ instead of jumping immediately to the assistance of a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of Sept. 11. The CIA, too, denied requests for military backup, according to the Fox News story.
Far, far less attention attached to a contention deep down in the Fox story:
According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces.
So the CIA had taken a few detainees. No big deal, right?
Right, until biographer Paula Broadwell came along. As news of her affair with CIA Director David Petraeus emerged, folks started mining the Broadwell public record. As first reported by israelnationalnews.com, Broadwell had given some remarks at the University of Denver on Oct. 26, the same day of the Fox News piece that frames this sprawling series of posts. And Broadwell was up on the news; she took a question about Petraeus’s handling of Benghazi and steered her audience to Fox!
So the most recent news that came out was a Fox News report by Jennifer Griffin. I got it on a distribution list I’m on, and it has some pretty insightful stuff in it, if you want to look for it.
Among the folks pouncing on Broadwell’s Denver remarks were Fox News’s Griffin and Adam Housley. They published a story on Monday highlighting that Broadwell had repeated in Denver the fundamentals of the Oct. 26 piece:
Broadwell quoted the Fox News report when she said: ‘The facts that came out today were that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements.’
Talk about a Benghazi echo chamber!
Anyhow, the Griffin-Housley piece carefully pointed out the sensitive terrain on which Broadwell went beyond the Fox News Oct. 26 story:
Broadwell went on to explain more sensitive details from the Benghazi attacks, particularly concerning what the real cause might have been.
‘Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.’
It’s unclear just where Broadwell had fetched the notion that prisoners had motivated the attackers. Add that speculation to the log of existing possible motivations, including protests over an anti-Muslim video and a simple terrorist assault.