Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fox News Begins To Backpedal Benghazi Story

Anti-Muslim Video Was The Trigger

The right-wing is beginning to reverse itself on insisting that a anti-Muslim YouTube video had nothing to do with the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Republicans and Fox News have scorned the Obama administration for weeks for initial statements that the assault in Benghazi, that took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, was an outgrowth of a protest sparked by this video.

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera went against that narrative on Friday. After Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy once again mocked the notion that the video was an impetus for the attack, Rivera instead presented the idea that it was in fact both a reaction to the video and a terrorist attack. The hosts quickly attempted to pull Rivera back on-message after he completed explaining his theory, but couldn’t persuade him to drop it completely.

Fox reporter Peter Doocy later also reported that the attack may have been “tied to that anti-Islamic video”, a short film, purported to be part of a full length movie known as “The Innocence of Muslims,” and its derogatory portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed. Watch both statements here:

The grudging change comes on the heels of several new reports that cut through the simplicity of the Republican talking points. Reporters from both Reuters and the New York Times met with Ahmed Abu Khattala — leader in the Ansar al-Sharia militia suspected by the Libyan and U.S. governments of taking part in the attack — in a Benghazi hotel. While Abu Khattala claimed that he himself did not take part in the assault, he said the attack grew out of a protest against the video.

Complicating matters further are new reports on precisely what the Obama administration knew when U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on several Sunday talk shows on Sept. 16. According to a Wall Street Journal account published on Friday, the intelligence community began receiving new data the night before Rice’s television appearances:

Despite their growing uncertainty, intelligence officials didn’t feel they had enough conclusive, new information to revise their assessment. Ms. Rice wasn’t warned of their new doubts before she went on the air the next morning and spoke of the attacks being spurred by demonstrations, intelligence officials acknowledged.

More information casting doubt on the protest element came in on Sunday morning, around the time that Ms. Rice was completing her TV appearances, the officials said. She began taping the shows early Sunday morning. By the time intelligence analysts began to realize “there’s enough here to build a body of evidence that there probably were not protests, those things were already recorded and she [Ms. Rice] was already out there,” a senior intelligence official said.

These new accounts are becoming harder to ignore, particularly in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s mishandling of the facts during this week’s presidential debate. While many questions still remain on the intelligence and security situation in Benghazi, during the attack and after, the Fox News simplification is on the way out.


  1. Lets face it this bumbling administration doesnt know whats going on and it hasnt answered why there was no protection when it was asked for by our dimplomat obama is history mark my word! and so is this blog

  2. In Terrorists We Trust. Oh no it wasn't me, but I remember after someone googled the video several of my friends grabbed their RPG's and one remembered where the safe house was. But me, no, I tried to talk them out of it. That is my story and I am sticking to it. (especially when I hear the sound of a Predator flying over-head.

  3. Dimes to Donuts, that the cost of a Marine Detachement at the consulate is much less than they paid that British Blackwater type outfit.

  4. This is just further proof that the real source of divisiveness is not Obama, but the Republicans.
    Many Democrats were appalled at the fact that Bush won the 2000 election despite the fact that he had fewer popular votes, but they joined with all Americans in uniting after Sept. 11, 2001.
    Now, however, rather than uniting to punish those who are responsible for what happened in Libya, all the Republicans can focus on is placing blame.
    Republicans are jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in, and this is made clear by the fact that even Fox News is having to walk back all its earlier speculating and jumping to conclusions.

    1. Cathy, I respect your opinion with what you say, but for the last time, I hope can we please put to rest the notion that the President is elected by popular vote?

      Anybody, Republican or Democrat, can win the election while losing the popular vote. More populous states such as California, for example, can vote in droves for Obama, yet, Obama can lose the election.


      It comes down to the Electoral College, which is where elections are won.

      The continued perpetuating of the myth that an election was somehow stolen (you didn't say this, but many still do), is wrong. You may be appalled, and I can understand why. However, until such time as they change the process, either side can be appalled by that anomaly.

    2. The Florida 2000 election was indeed "stolen" by the Supreme Court for Bush. Florida was and still is a "winner take all" state according to their own law. Stopping the re-counting of ballots, effectively declared Bush the winner. Subsequently we have learned that if the re-count had been allowed to proceed, Gore would have won the popular vote and thus, again according to Florida state law, the entirety of the electoral votes as well.

    3. Hi, Brent...respectfully, no, it wasn't stolen, it was decided by the Supreme Court. Your statement would be similar to saying that abortion was stolen from those who opposed it by an activist member of the court. You either take the good with the bad, or it's all chaos.

      As for the recount, we will never know, because Gore didn't want a recount of all of Florida, just counties most likely to vote for him. Only a statewide recount would have decided that.

      Finally, when the election was initially called for Gore, people in the Panhandle, who hadn't yet voted, didn't, which is a heavily Republican area. So, the whole thing, all around, was a mess, and ALL sides were impacted by it.

    4. I disagree, and the test is simple. But for the stopping of the recount by the Conservative justices of the U. S. Supreme Court, Gore would have won the popular vote, and by Florida Law, the election. The Justices also stipulated that this decision could not be used as a precedent for future elections. Democrats DID accept the decision, but do not have to agree with it. Supreme Court decisions have been wrongly decided before (Citizens' United is a good current example); nonetheless this assault on the election process is the law of the land as was the Bush v Gore decision.

      Politicization of the Court has been going on for a long time. This is why the current election is so important, and the right-wing is doing everything they can to suppress the vote. The next President will appoint at least one Justice. Romney is on record as saying he will appoint a Conservative Justice to tip the balance even further. All women who cherish their hard fought-for rights should beware.

  5. The Republicrats are jeopardizing our inteligence sources in Libya with this witch hunt

    1. The simple question that people should ask themselves, to determine whether or not our intelligence sources are being jeopardized is this:

      If this happened under a Republican administration, would you, or would you not question it? If you do, it's hardly jeopardizing as much as it is distorting a tragedy and blaming a group of people, in this case Republicans (don't forget, the shoe can quickly be on the other foot) for asking the questions that need to be asked.

      If there was a failure to protect, shame on the Democrats. If it's because of budget cuts by Republicans, shame on them.

      In the end, my guess is that there is enough shame, guilt and responsibility to go around both major political parties.

  6. ABC News is now reporting pretty much the same. There was no pre-planning around the attack. It appears the attackers used the demonstrations in Cairo that occurred the day before (anyone remember those?) as a backdrop. From the ABC News report, "'Right now, there isn’t any intelligence that the attackers pre-planned their assault days or weeks in advance,' said a U.S. intelligence official. 'The bulk of available information supports the early assessment that the attackers launched their assault opportunistically after they learned about the violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.' But the official added that 'no one is ruling out that some of the attackers may have aspired to attack the U.S. in Benghazi.'”


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