By Brian Klein, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Brian P. Klein is an economic consultant and former U.S. diplomat who blogs at Klein’s Commentary. The views expressed are his own.
The recently publicized series of State Department emails laying out in harrowing detail the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have provoked another round of finger-pointing and more politically-motivated pabulum.
At 4:05 p.m. on September 11, 2012: “The Regional Security Officer reports the mission is under attack. Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four other personnel, according to the same email, are at this time in the safe haven and the 17th of February Militia is providing security support. Based on this early assessment, it appears the situation is under control. Diplomats are safe. Armed entities are defending.
Further reassurance comes at 4:54pm: “Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi has stopped and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel.”
Unfortunately, all was not under control, the compound was overrun, and Stevens died along with three other personnel.
The spin machines have been busy politicizing this tragedy since its onset. The same Congress people that cut State security funding hauled up department officials to berate them over the lack of high security at the consulate (the same happened after the disastrous 1998 bombing of the U.S Embassy in Nairobi.) In the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney berated President Obama for taking so long to identify the attack not as an unruly mob, but the work of a specific terrorist organization (even though Obama did characterize the attack as an act of terror shortly after events unfolded).
In another email released by CNN, Ansar Al-Sharia appeared to claim responsibility on Facebook and Twitter. Aha, go the conspiracy theorists, proof the administration knew but didn’t say anything for weeks. But no, actually, that doesn’t prove a thing.
On any given day in the complex world of threat analysis, people and groups make all kinds of claims. It isn’t as if terrorists are holding a press conference for the world’s media to ask questions. Individual bits of information are simply that – single puzzle pieces that tell very little about the full picture of what happened until amassed and reconstructed. Details must be verified, cross-checked and analyzed before informed assertions are made.
This very small selection of emails give the impression of control, but solid information is often hard to come by at the beginning of any situation that eventually transpires. No single account could immediately identify a specific attacker. Even establishing the facts of a traffic accident requires a police report and potential review by a judge or jury. It’s a process. An armed assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission, thousands of miles away, in a far flung province recently freed of civil war is an infinitely more complicated undertaking. It requires – indeed demands – time to assess and judge.
There are ways to address the serious issues involved in the loss of our diplomatic personnel. Inquiries can and should be made. Did the rush to set up a presence in Benghazi trump normal security procedures? Why was a rosy picture being portrayed of a post-uprising Libya, when in fact serious threats remained. How critical was it to set up a new consulate in the first place?
But using the attack in Benghazi as fodder for more November electioneering serves only the short-term interests of those who benefit by not giving the security of our diplomatic missions the thorough review (and funding) it requires. This does nothing to ensure the future security of our diplomatic personnel. They deserve better.
I'm so frustrated with this site. I've been trying to get more information about the battle in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11. I've been all over this site. It's like it never happened. I want to know more about the drones overhead providing real time video. I want to know more about CIA assets on the ground. I want to know more about our assets who were repeatedly told to stand down. I want to know more about the SEALs who were painting/targeting the terrorist mortar crews with lasers for close air support. I want to know why three times that long night, the SEALS pleas for help were ignored. Shouldn't a site dedicated to journalism be digging into this? I'd like to know more. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Is this the best CNN can do? It's a joke! He makes it sound like a minor incident overseas. It's the same old story for 4 years.. Protect Obama at any cost. 1st it was anyone objecting to Obama's policies was a racist. Now if you question the events at Benghazi, you're trying to politizie it. I want some answers... I want to know who told the CIA operators to stand down. I'm mad as hell that our ambassador and 3 other Americans are dead, when it may have been prevented. Where is the outrage? And I'm really angry that FOX news is the only one covering this story. Bless you Jennifer Griffin at FOX new!
WHERE IS THE RAGE? They had cameras in the compound, drones overhead, satellites all streaming LIVE LIVE LIVE to the WH, Pentagon, State Dept, CIA, FBI.
Did Obama watch Ambassador Stevens and the three other get murdered in REAL TIME or wait until the next morning en route to more campaigning in Las Vegas???
The attack lasted for 7+ hours… Did Obama tell the Quick Response Forces (commandos) in Sicily NOT to go save Ambassador Stevens??? Can you imagine being Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey who was forced by Panetta to give a press conference yesterday in which he confessed to leaving men behind to die?
The American military, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leaves men behind to die, at least not until Obama’s Presidency.
The father of one of the murdered Navy Seals called Beck’s program yesterday to get the truth out.
When his son’s body arrived at Andrews AFB, Hillary told the father: Don’t worry, we’ll get the guy who made this video.
Why didn’t Obama, Hillary and Biden say: We’ll get the people who killed your son?
The father just wants to know “Who gave the order not to save my son.”
Where is the RAGE at EVERY campaign event Obama has? How about the media? Are they so far gone for Obama they have no morals, or sense of right and wrong, either?
Where is the RAGE???????
Shameless propaganda. Until he comes out and answers even the most BASIC questions on Libya, Obama should be heralded as the "Butcher of Benghazi." If I'm wrong, maybe the president can grow some "cue balls," come before the American people (not on Nickelodeon, the View or MTV) and set the record straight with a press conference (where he ACTUALLY takes questions) or an actual interview (not conducted by his cabana boy Brian Williams). I won't hold my breath you sorry, pathetic coward. Oh yeah, and CNN journalists, are you guys ready to expose the truth or you still whining about "binders"??
WAKE UP CNN!!! Your reporting is biased. This is outrageous – that the short, one-sided blurbs of reporting are buried in your news. Remember Watergate? Nixon was impeached for less. This cover-up is blatant. Unbelievable.
As Fox News viewership hits new highs
I'm sure you're aware that HILLARY was a prosecutor in Watergate... but now it seems she's above the same law that she prosecuted against another official.
Looks like we see that justice is a fool's paradise.
What does CNN and other bias news organazations think they get for not reporting the truth about this and all other issues that makes Obamas administration looks bad? I feel sorry for all the idiots that believe their lies and twisted reports. The only way to improve this country is to report the real facts and let the people decide. The elected officials are elected "hired" by the PEOPLE! The people should know what the elected officials are doing so that the people can make a good decisions the next chance we get to elect "hire". The only way the people can know what they are doing is by getting true and unbiased reporting on all the issues, good and bad! What else have they been lying about or just not reporting? Please CNN report the unbias truth.
That might be the worst opinion piece I have ever read. Saying this was a financing issue? There were "funded" forces within a mile of the situation and "funded" military within an hour. And to say this is being politicized? Don't ya think Congress might be a little curious about a dead ambassador, especially after the changing stories and timelines? And you have ZERO coverage of the new information. No wonder you've lost your credibility (and viewers).
I've read over these responses and am encouraged that the "Biased" media can't make this go away by simply not reporting on it! Thank you to all who have expressed their outrage at CNN and MSNBC for decieving the american people! But, what else can be done? Alot of idiots watch these deceptive stations and believe what they push. How can the truth be exposed? There aren't many days until the election is over.
This is FRAUD and even TREASON by the mainstream media; here they are claiming to report the facts, but they are defrauding the truth to the American people by act of omission, selectively picking and choosing what gets reported and what doesn't in order to favor one side over the other.
And Benghazi-Cairo were ACTS OF WAR, not simply terrorist attacks, since a US embassy is American soil by international law and recognition, while ambassadors have diplomatic immunity under penalty of war if they are attacked.
So here we have:
1. Acts of war against the United States by terrorists;
2. The president DELIBERATELY LYING to the American people about them;
3. The president and Vice-presidentt LYING ABOUT THE LIES during the debates and afterward,
4. The media covering it up, and even interrupting the presidential challenger during the debates;
5. The media refusing to cover the story in order to PROTECT the president.
This is just an atrocity beyond anything yet seen in the major media. I don't understand it, though it does not surprise me.
But what is the mainstream media’s excuse for cautiously engaging the president on Libya? Aren’t we supposed to be watchdogs? The ongoing story is story focused on whether the Obama administration provided, or refused to provide, adequate protection for the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya when it faced the threat of attack on Sept. 11. The attack left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead. Subsequent conflicting accounts coming from the administration on how the White House responded, or didn’t respond, are tailor-made for a full-blown media feeding frenzy.
Yet, the so-called media watchdogs so far have been mostly toothless.
From a FOX news journalist. Regardless of how you feel about FOX this is a LEGIT story. This article is focused mainly on the emails. There is a ton more info on this that CNN totally ignores.
Absolutely, I normally don't like Foxnews, but this is a CRIME by the president deliberately LYING to the American people about acts of war, not just against our Consulate and People in Benghazi, but also against our Embassy in Cairo.
And the other media prove they are SHILLS for the Obama Administration by refusing to cover it!
Even at the second debate on 10/16 between Obama and Romney, CNN's Candy Crowley IMMEDIATELY jumped in and shut down Romney's question he tried to get Obama on record claiming that he told the American People it was a terrorist attack on 9/12/2012.
Obama did NO SUCH THING, but blamed a video and mob-uprisings for 2 weeks AFTER the attack on 9/11; but CNN's agent IMMEDIATELY jumped in and shut down the question.
Later, of course, she played this down, but she clearly served the purpose of protecting Obama– during a DEBATE, where she had NO BUSINESS shutting down a question by the challenger!
CNN is showing its true colors, and so are the rest of the mainstream media, i.e. they are SHILLS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION.
I just hope to God that the American people see the truth.
COWARDS IN THE WHITE HOUSE-what if i made a bad decision before the election. I am a vet–served under CIA hall of fame member col. lutjens-with a 7 hour window he would have gone in to save our troops. THEN obama/biden/clinton/and o;ther lied to us--it was a demostration. He lied because he did not want America to know he could have saved those people. sending a billion dollars to the brotherhood-there sure is a pattern. GO TO FOX NEWS FOR TRUTH ABOUT LIBYA.
Elections have consequences....even 4 yrs later...
Whether it was a mob action or terrorist, our country still should protect it's people. It's been one excuse after another. Simple fact Obama watch our people get killed and then went to Nevada to campaign. He and Hillary lied to the parents of our dead heroes. Father said Obama wouldn't even look hm in the eyes when he said he was sorry. No doubt Obama is Sorry excuse for a president, sorry excuse for a man, sorry excuse for a human.
We're on the same page .. This president seems to have a complete disregard for the United States of America. I cannot understand why the people that follow him are so blinded as to what he is doing...
Obama has his own fan club made up of the mainstream media........No accountability from any of them with the exception of FOXNEWS.com....where the facts are reported...
This administration tried to cover up this 9/11 attack on our American Embassy in Bengazi. The latest facts out are that our CIA compound just minutes away called for help 3 times and were denied through the CIA command. The CIA operatives had the laser sight on terrorist morter operator and was told to stand down...... Folks, how would you like for you sons and daughters to be in harms way protection our Unites States of America and not get the support requested. We need a new leader, our current President is not looking out for America... but will apease his Islamic radical friends... If you want unbiased facts you better tune in to FOX NEWS at FOXNEWS.com..... Please vote on or before Nov 6........May GOD have mercy on our United States of America......
Wait a minute!
What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi on 9/11? He went there knowing full well of the dangerous situation AND knowing that congress had voted to cut spending for his, and other ambassadors safety. Ask Paul Ryan!
In my humble opinion, Stevens screwed up! Sure, we don't like to blame a dead man for making poor decisions but Stevens was simply in the wrong place (and should have known it). Had he remained in Tripoli for a week, he would still be alive. Stevens chose to walk into danger, no one ordered him to go to Benghazi!
pogo...unfortunately ambassador stevens appears to have had the same nieve conviction about radical muslims as his boss. Regardless, there is no excuse for a commander in chief, who put someone in harms way, and allowing him to die without taking action to save him. Had it not been for the brave former SEALS many more us citizens would have died.
This is a shameful cover up being aided by CNN and the other liberal media outlets. Really you might as well wear your VOTE OBAMA name tags instead of Press Tags. This would never have been swept under the carpet if it had been a republican president. This is so much worse than the Nixon cover up. We no longer have the press to protect us from the abuse of power from leaders., unless it fits into their world political view. The MSM is aiding the cover up. I am disgusted. Shame on you CNN.
While Benghazi is a tragedy and a mess, and lessons are to be learned, the implication with some of these posters is that Romney is the answer That is where the issue of Benghazi gets manipulated. Romney is a throwback to the neocons and our failed wars. His supporters and language is the same, deja vu. Our failed optional wars have weakened us considerably, and we cannot go in with the stupid testosterone approach any more, unless we are directly threatened. Romney flipflopped in the debate, but what he has consistently said before that is that we need to be more "afgfgessive" with Syria. How? I think that Obama has done very well handling the financial crisis, a hostile congress that has undercut him at every turn, just recently voting down a jobs bill that would have helped all of us, dealing with the Arab Spring the right way, showing restraint on Iran to give Ahmadinajad time to shoot himself in the foot with his bosses (which he is doing), trying to stop settlements in Israel so that we could get some movement on peace talks, but our cowardly politicians cannot say no to Israel. He has done a lot of things that I approve of, not perfect, but way better than Romney's rigid and doctrinaire thinking. If we had suppported the dictators in the Arab Spring, we would have lost even more credibilitly worldwide, and gained huge numbers of recruits for the Islamists. Right now those countries are in internal discourse – read your history of Europe to see our birthing of democracy against violent religious advocates, both Protestant and Catholic. They need to find a way to moderate their religion into civil rights. Romney is too in bed with Israel and with war profiteers, so he will not be able to do the subtle diplomacy required to manage some of the unexpected crises that we shall face. His economic politicies will also weaken and gut America. That is a huge area that the Benghazi issue is being used as a smokescreen to hide from real public scrutiny and debate – we need to be concerned about what they want to do – don't forget that Romney is old and Ryan follows the economic extremist Hayek, and he also wants to force his religious views on our secular society, in which everyone is free to believe what they want – for the moment.
Amazing, here we have a president you LIED to the American people– and here you say we should KEEP him!
Then you fly off on a wild-goose-chase, attacking Romney.
Sorry Danny-boy, the pipes are calling.
P.S. I love how Obama and his sheep call this a "tragegy," when in reality it's a TRAVESTY– caused by OBAMA, and then LIED about, repeatedly!
And now he's lying about the lies!
But the sheep just keep on attacking Romney and blaming Bush.
It's all they know.
Well, that certainly can only be classified as an opinion piece. Unbelievable that the story on this is not carried on your home page. It is CNN and other news outlets who are politicizing this by not reporting on it, and losing more and more credibility. Journalism at its worst.
I go to CNN's home-page and here's what I see in the main video's:
How Obama's faith has changed
Opinion: What makes a president great?
Avlon: Obama's plan suits CEOs more
Pilot remembers Cuban missile crisis 3:39
Photos: Iconic shots are his trademark
Julia Roberts turns 45: Her best roles
Opinion: To be powerful, act it
Saving blue whales from ship strikes
What cop does after woman slaps him 1:41
Distraction: Who knew HE could dance! 1:07
Honey Boo Boo tries national anthem :59
NFL Week 8: The best photos
Reporter drops fish, falls over in boat 2:31
UFO spotted over Kentucky 1:13
Halloween costumes: How far is too far?
NOT ONE WORD about the Benghazi scandal!
No, the top 3 are PRAISING Obama as "great," talking about his "faith," and how "his plan suits CEO's more"!
SHILLS, SHILLS, SHILLS!
The real Benghazi lesson is.......the President is incompetant, or a liar........or both............
There will ALWAYS be incompetent liars in office, as long as the media supports them - like CNN and the rest of the mainstream media are doing with Obama.
As Jefferson said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance;" but here we see willful complicity.
Power corrupts, indeed.
What I hear is nothing but excuses and half truths coming out of this President's administration. Obama talks about "trust" in his campaign speeches but doesn't seem to understand the meaning or implication of the word. Weeks later we still have not been told the whole truth about the attack in Benghazi on 9/11, the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans and CNN's less than full and accurate reports don't help matters either. What I don't hear anyone talking about is why this tragic event was not foreseen and prevented from happening. I see a fundamental lack of leadership and accountability throughout this administration. 9/11 is known as a day of threat awareness by all Americans so how could those responsible for the Ambassadors safety not take precautions? Its simple, if you cannot protect your people you remove them from harms way! I for one do not wish to hear one more pathetic excuse i.e. lack of funding or the situation was not clear.
Not only that, Obama is going back on its own story; first they say it's a video for 2 weeks, then they say they NEVER SAID THAT but blamed terrorism from the start on 9/12.
And the mainstream media says NOTHING!
It's time for the American people to realize that CNN and others are just lapdog shills of the politicians, and get all our news from the internet.
From reading all these comments, terrorism wins again. Libyans sought out and brought in the perpetrators, as should be done in any country. An embassy is not a military base. We all know this all started as a result of a video made in CA by Egyptians who wanted to influence other Egyptians against Coptic Christians and the USA. This was the whole purpose of the video, and the later release of the names, nationalities, and religions of the video makers. The Libyans in the demonstration were just puppets of this conspiracy. Ansar Al-Sharia used the demonstration as cover for setting up their operation. As soon as the shooting started, the demonstrators were gone. Instead of the US military stepping in, the Libyans were supposed to step in, which is how it works when you're in someone else's country. It's really easy for some armchair generals to say things like "I wouldn't do it like that, and kill'em all, let God sort them out" Our armchair generals would have the USA bombing and shooting everyone anywhere who even looks like a terrorist. Would the world be better with Libya as a puppet state of the USA? Should we become the Imperialists that most of the world already thinks we are? I say, you armchairs should get what you want, because otherwise you'll continue to be loud and imposing. We should go to war. It doesn't matter who we go to war against as long as we go to war. Anyone seeming to believe differently than you should be put in concentration camps or the penal system of the USA making weapons for the war. Then we can make the Middle East peaceful. Real peace, after all, is only achieved after complete and utter destruction of your enemies.
Libya brought in the perpetrators – FALSE
this all started as a result of a video – FALSE
Ansar Al-Sharia used the demonstration as cover for setting up their operation – FALSE (there were no demonstrations in Benghazi
.Instead of the US military stepping in, the Libyans were supposed to step in – FLASE
Our armchair generals would have the USA bombing and shooting everyone anywhere (Sounds like the assasin-in-chief) – FALSE
Anyone seeming to believe differently than you should be put in concentration camps – FALSE
Then we can make the Middle East peaceful. Real peace, after all, is only achieved after complete and utter destruction of your enemies. – This IS what Iran etc. DO want to do.
The real benghazi lessons, just one. Change the President !!
We can't just vote Obama out, he must be IMPEACHED. If he's allowed to serve out his term, he'll simply issue last minute pardons to everyone, resign, and allow President Biden to pardon him in return.
We cannot allow another Bubba-gate, where people are able to get away with murder simply by having enough power.
JUSTICE must be served, or we hurt the country and those who died.
Stupidity of Clinton and a fully video
Failure of Obama to protect the Ambassador and other Americans
Three times asked for help
Three times denied
No excuse, just cowardice
Obama got that midnight call
He did not answer
Hilary looks foolish
Obama looks useless
Americans are dead but the big mouths in the white house blabber lies
There is NO lesson ... Barack Obama is lying ! He is facilitating this COVER UP of Benghazi ... and he is aided and abetted by the Main Stream media
In a related story ... Candy Crowley successfully dusted the Romney Dog carrier for paw prints !
It is a shameful day for a "free and independent press" !
"But using the attack in Benghazi as fodder for more November electioneering serves only the short-term interests of those who benefit by not giving the security of our diplomatic missions the thorough review (and funding) it requires. This does nothing to ensure the future security of our diplomatic personnel. They deserve better."
pogo...your missing the point of what is happening. What keeps our government from misdeeds is freedom of the press. When news organizations burry a story for the obvious reason that it is harmful to the sitting administration... we all lose. Look what happened with "fast and furious". When it became obvious that the administration was not forthcoming with the facts...executive privilege was claimed. How much coverage did the executive privilege get. What about all the "Czars" that seem to get appointed when congress is out of session. The are supposed to go through a vetting by congress. Is this being covered. All our rights are being trampled on...The press is supposed to expose this so the american people can hold our elected officails feet to the fire. CNN has lost its way as a news organization and like NBC is no longer objective.
The lesson is........when the WH and the entire administration start lying to us, we should be on guard...........they have something to HIDE!
As the real facts come out, it just keeps getting more and more bizarre. The people should be demanding a full accounting, of the real facts surrounding this event, and how American lives were sacrificed.
the lesson we the americans has to have learns are this: african and middle east people they love killed themselves , they do for thousands and thousands of years, and they hate any country or people than try to move out from that culture than are part of their daily living , we see the jewish people as soon they go back to the old land they start to killed their cousins, believe me nobody can do nothing again that nice and beautiful custom they keep and love keeping
The real disgrace here is that no one seems to be asking the pertinent question. Why was an attack on an American ambassador in an Arab country on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 not anticipated? Why was any American ambassador in any of these countries not locked away in a secure and properly guarded facility on that day? Republicans are focused on cover-up because the administrations answers smell but the real issue is the lack of anticipation. Every New Yorker knows about 9/11 precautions. You don't have to be a genius to figure this out. Obama has been focused on being re-elected since he was elected the first time.
I don't understand why he covered this up???? or why he kept telling a story we all knew was a lye. IThis one thing changed my vote to Romney – who wants a cover-up artist as POTUS.
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