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The New York Times Investigates Benghazi

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David Kirkpatrick is a serious and courageous reporter whose work from Egypt through that country’s years of upheaval has been the best available in the U.S.

Now the New York Times has tasked Kirkpatrick with figuring out what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12. His take on the attacks in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans –published today– will become a touchstone for Team Hillary, especially this paragraph:

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. (Emphasis added.)

Much later in the long piece is this key graph:

There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet. (Emphasis added.)

I’ll be discussing the piece on Monday’s show from New York, as I suppose most of media will be doing at least part of today and tomorrow.  Read it a few times before agreeing with it or dismissing it.  Congressman Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee ought to devote an entire hearing to reviewing the article’s claims.  Kirkpatrick has produced the piece that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to have hoped would appear, one that would provide her and her supporters with a counter-narrative as the journey to 2016 gets underway in earnest after the new year begins. Both her supporters and opponents will need to know this piece as well as they do any single piece of journalism between now and then.



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