A comprehensive New York Times investigation into the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi found no evidence of involvement by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups; in fact, according to the report, the attack was largely fueled by anger at the American-made video "The Innocence of Muslims."
NYT Benghazi Bombshell: Embassy Attack Spurred By Anti-Islam Video
Credit: Flickr
December 28, 2013

Right-wing conspiracy theorists were dealt a heavy blow today by The New York Times, as actual investigative journalism reared its head:

"Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam."

Susan Rice was right. President Obama was right. Hillary Clinton was right.

"A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both challenges now hang over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.

The attack also suggests that, as the threats from local militants around the region have multiplied, an intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda may distract from safeguarding American interests."

The militants we aided turned around and attacked our embassy. The Libyan intervention was a mistake, because it put the rebels into a position to attack our embassy.

"More broadly, Mr. Stevens, like his bosses in Washington, believed that the United States could turn a critical mass of the fighters it helped oust Colonel Qaddafi into reliable friends. He died trying."

Will there be apologies forthcoming for Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, or Obama? Not likely. Persons like Lindsey Graham, and Darryl Issa would have to admit that he was wrong about something for that to happen.

More than likely, the entire report will be dismissed by the conspiracy theorists on the right as a liberal leaning news paper trying to protect a Liberal-Socialist-Marxist-Administration.

Then, sadly and foolishly, they will continue to chase the terrorist al-Qaeda ghost for all eternity at the risk of overlooking other very real threats, much to the detriment of Americans everywhere.

Or perhaps Darryl Issa will finally be ready to investigate the 13 separate incidents where U.S. consulates were attacked during President Bush's tenure? They included gunmen on bikes, suicide bombs, car bombs, gunmen shooting outside, and terrorists storming Consulate compounds similar to what happened in Benghazi.

There wasn't one call for the removal of Secretary Condoleeza Rice after any of those incidents.

It would be nice, however, if at least Fox News stopped pretending that when terrorists attack U.S. interests abroad, they distinguish between administrations that are "projecting weakness" or practicing "peace through strength."

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