The New York Times is ringing in the New Year trying to rescue President Obama with its story claiming the Benghazi attack was not connected to Al Qaeda and to resurrect the idea that the attack was prompted by an anti-Islam video.
With Obama tanking in the polls and the midterm elections on the horizon, the leader of the left-wing media empire was compelled to start the New Year on the left foot.
Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick wrote:
“The reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.”
This conclusion differs from the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) who concluded the attack was led by Al Qaeda. Republicans were also extremely critical of the White House’s initial claim that an anti-Islam video resulted in a spontaneous attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Most outrageous, however, was Kirkpatrick’s support of the White House’s claim that the video prompted the attack. Although Kirkpatrick wrote, “Surveillance of the American compound appears to have been underway at least 12 hours before the assault started,” he concluded:
The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements. Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters. Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack, according to more than a dozen Libyan witnesses as well as many American officials who have viewed the footage from security cameras.
The White House did not question the Times report and a former administration official was quick to go on the offensive against the Republicans.
CNN reported that Tommy Vietor, Obama’s former national security spokesman, issued a series of tweets that criticized Republicans for their investigation and conclusions surrounding the Benghazi attack.
The Times story is not going unchallenged.
The Daily Caller reported on a Fox News interview with Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst who was extremely critical of the Times story:
“I read this report and I was really incredulous,” Fleitz began. “It’s seems to be an effort to revive this discredited theory that the anti-Islam video was behind it. But when you read behind the article closely, there’s various statements where the author seems to downplay the links to terrorist groups. He says the main leader of the attacks did not have clear terrorist links, but he also says that this leader participated in a convoy of trucks in Benghazi in June 2012 where they were flying the black radical Islamist flag.”
Fleitz noted that many other outlets have run recent reports directly contradicting the author’s claim that Anwar al-Sharia, the group behind the attack, is not affiliated with al-Qaida. He also noted the story directly counters the claims of high-ranking lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.
Team Obama, including the media, will not go down without a fight and that’s why liberty-minded Americans must be ready for the political battle of 2014.