60 Minutes Retracts, Apologizes For, Erroneous Benghazi Report

A story that has turned into a partisan kickball and some bad journalism have resulted in a celebrated news program getting considerable egg on its face.

60 Minutes Benghazi

Two weeks ago, 60 Minutes aired a report on the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya that purported to blow the story wide open. Among the most important part of the report was an interview with a man named Dylan Davies, who claimed to have been present at the compound the night the attack took place and making claims about the level of security and the nature of the attack itself that called much of the U.S. Government’s account into question. Not surprisingly, conservatives jumped right on top of the report as confirmation of many of the allegations they had been making for the past 14 months about the attack itself and the action, or lack thereof, that the Obama Administration took that night and in the days thereafter.

As it turned out, though, there were serious flaws in the 60 Minutes report. Principally, it turns out that Mr. Davies, who was in many way, the “star” source in the report had given an entirely different story to the FBI in the days after the attack. Rather than saying that he was on scene during the attack, Davies told both his employer and the FBI that he was at his beach-side home elsewhere in Benghazi and that his efforts to get to the site of the attack proved to be entirely unsuccessful. Despite this, Davies wrote in a book that had been published last month before being pulled by the publisher that he had gotten to the compound and fought off insurgents in an effort to save Ambassador Stevens and the others who were under fire at the compound.  Despite the mounting evidence against him, Lara Logan and the producers of the 60 Minutes piece initially stood by both their report and by Davies. Last night, however, they were forced to offer an apologize:

Lara Logan was scheduled to deliver a report on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” about disabled veterans who climb mountains. Instead, she appeared in front of the newsmagazine’s trademark black backdrop and issued an apology.

Ms. Logan said that Dylan Davies, one of the main sources for a two-week-old piece about the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, had misled the program’s staff when he gave an account of rushing to the compound the night the attack took place. “It was a mistake to include him in our report. For that, we are very sorry,” Ms. Logan said.

The apology lasted only 90 seconds and revealed nothing new about why CBS had trusted Mr. Davies, who appeared on the program under the pseudonym Morgan Jones. Off-camera, CBS executives were left to wonder how viewers would react to the exceptionally rare correction.

While veteran television journalists spent the weekend debating whether the now-discredited Benghazi report would cause long-term damage to the esteemed newsmagazine’s brand, some media critics joined the liberal advocacy group Media Matters for America in calling for CBS to initiate an independent investigation of missteps in the reporting process.

But the CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager, who is also the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” has not ordered an investigation, and on Sunday a spokesman indicated that the program was going to let its televised apology be its last word on the issue.

However, the apology was deemed inadequate by a wide range of commentators on Sunday night. Craig Silverman, of the correction blog Regret the Error, predicted that it would not “take the heat off CBS News.”

“Aside from the fact that it struck a very passive tone and pushed the responsibility onto the source, Dylan Davies, it said nothing about how the show failed to properly vet the story of an admitted liar,” Mr. Silverman said in an email. “There are basic questions left unanswered about how the program checked out what Davies told them, and where this process failed.”

“In the short term, this will confirm the worst suspicions of people who don’t trust CBS News,” said Paul Friedman, CBS’s executive vice president for news until 2011. “In the long term, a lot will depend on how tough and transparent CBS can be in finding out how this happened — especially when there were not the kind of tight deadline pressures that sometimes result in errors.”

Ms. Logan has said that a year of reporting informed the Oct. 27 piece, which was Mr. Davies’s first interview. Some of Ms. Logan’s conclusions still hold up to scrutiny — for example, that “contrary to the White House’s public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by Al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.”

But enough doubts have been sown about Mr. Davies’ account of being an eyewitness that CBS apologized on Friday, scrubbed the report from its site (and the “60 Minutes” Twitter feed) and prepared Ms. Logan’s on-camera statement Sunday. (Mr. Davies’s account included him hitting an Al Qaeda fighter in the face with the butt of a rifle and seeing the dead ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, at a hospital.)

Parallels have been drawn between this case and CBS’s flawed 2004 report on President George W. Bush’s time in the National Guard. Each time, the news division adopted a defensive crouch when advocates first started to question the stories. But the political backdrop has changed significantly this time. In 2004, there were accusations of “liberal bias” and unrelenting coverage of the controversy on conservative websites, driven by the right’s long animus toward Dan Rather, the correspondent on the Bush report, and the implication that he was trying to hurt the president’s re-election chances.

This time, conservatives initially trumpeted the “60 Minutes” report: the morning after it was broadcast, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on Fox News that he planned to block all administration nominations until Congress was granted access to all of the survivors of the attack

The brief apology that was aired last night, which had followed the decision late last week to completely pull the report from the shows website, has been widely criticized by media critics, mostly because it seems to raise just as many questions as it answers. Michael Calderone raises many of those question in a post over at The Hufffington Post, and one imagines that other critics will continue to put pressure on Logan and CBS over this as time goes on. Whether they’ll answer them, and whether this will end in some of the same kind of discipline we saw CBS impose in the wake of the Dan Rather/George W. Bush matter remains to be seen. That controversy, of course, ended with the firing of a CBS News Producer and the effective end of Dan Rather’s career. Will that happen to Logan and/or those responsible for the 60 Minutes report? And, more importantly, what role did the fact that Davies’ book was being published by a sister company of CBS News have in this entire project?

The other question, of course, is what all of this will mean for the ongoing political controversy regarding the Benghazi attack. Conservatives continue to push the idea that this is some kind of massive scandal that will bring down the Obama Administration. To a large degree, the report, and what Davies said specifically, seemed to reinforce parts of the narrative that Republicans on Capitol Hill have been pushing for the better part of a year now. As noted above, it was the 60 Minutes report that was the basis for Senator Lindsey Graham’s announcement that he would be placing a hold on all Senate nominations until the Administration makes every single eyewitness to the attack available to Congressional committees, something that he claims he still intends to do despite the fact that the report has now been thoroughly discredited. In the end, though, it seems as though this CBS News retraction is a major setback to the GOP’s efforts to turn Benghazi into anything other than a partisan talking point that they intend to carry all the way to the 2016 elections and the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President.

The sad thing about all of this is that there are legitimate  issues raised by Benghazi related to embassy security, State Department security operations, and the consequencs of the U.S. decision to intervene in the Libyan Civil War. Unfortunately, thanks to the fact that the GOP seems intent on turning this into just another partisan war, none of those issues are likely to be discussed, which likely just guarantees the same mistakes will be made again in the future.

FILED UNDER: Media, Terrorism, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    Weak. Remember when 60 Minutes meant something?




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  2. al-Ameda says:

    In the end, though, it seems as though this CBS News retraction is a major setback to the GOP’s efforts to turn Benghazi into anything other than a partisan talking point that they intend to carry all the way to the 2016 elections and the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President.

    It’s NOT a “major setback to the GOP’s efforts …” at all.

    Senator Graham is moving forward with the planned obstruction of the Administration’s nominations (including Janet Yellen) as one would expect of a party dedicated to opposing actions that have heretofore been considered ‘routine governance.’

    I hope the Administration gives Graham nothing, he deserves that much..




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  3. Moosebreath says:

    “In the end, though, it seems as though this CBS News retraction is a major setback to the GOP’s efforts to turn Benghazi into anything other than a partisan talking point that they intend to carry all the way to the 2016 elections and the expected candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President.”

    In a world where facts matter, it would. In the world we live in, where the media refuses to call policians out for speaking untruthfully and “Both sides do it” is the mantra, not so much.




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  4. rudderpedals says:

    CJR has a good take on the story too http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/60_minutes_correction_opinion.php?page=all

    News or agitprop or both




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  5. ernieyeball says:

    @anjin-san: Remember when 60 Minutes meant something?

    Yes. Yes I do.

    Ed Bradley RIP

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57547827-10391709/remembering-ed-bradley/




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  6. C. Clavin says:

    You gotta love Butters.
    He points to this story as justification for holding up Yellen. Then the story is completely and utterly debunked. Yet he is still going to hold up Yellen.
    Why isn’t some Democrat out there in his face about the duplicity? If you want to pander to the Tea Partiers because you are afraid of being “primary-ed” then wear a tricorn with tea bags dangling from it. But don’t pull this BS.




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  7. Paul L. says:

    Can someone please show video of the CBS apology for using the forged Bush TANG memos like they just did for Benghazi?

    this will end in some of the same kind of discipline we saw CBS impose in the wake of the Dan Rather/George W. Bush matter remains to be seen. That controversy, of course, ended with the firing of a CBS News Producer and the effective end of Dan Rather’s career.

    At this time in the Rathergate/Bush TANG memo scandal CBS announced the creation of the review panel and said they would not answer any questions until the panel completes the investigation after the Presidential election.

    The Bush TANG truthers Media Matters, Rather and Mapes (unlike Logan) still say that the TANG memos were 100% verified and completely accurate.




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  8. Todd says:

    Report first, verify later.

    Widespread coverage of the original “story”.

    The “retraction”, not so much.

    When Conservatives complain that the “news” they see on The Daily Caller, The Blaze or Breitbart rarely get talked about in the “mainstream media”, this is why … because there’s too great a chance that it’s total BS.




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  9. Ron Beasley says:

    Lara Logan is representative of what’s wrong with journalism today. She is a war mongering necon islamophobic who didn’t check out what Davies was telling her because he was telling her what she wanted to hear. She set out to do a story that reinforced her agenda.
    And as for this:

    Among the most important part of the report was an interview with a man named Dylan Davies

    Wrong, he was the story, without him there would have been no story.
    Lara Logan should be working for the World Net Daily or The Blaze not a major news organization.




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  10. george says:

    @Moosebreath:

    In a world where facts matter, it would. In the world we live in, where the media refuses to call policians out for speaking untruthfully and “Both sides do it” is the mantra, not so much.

    Except its been over a decade since the media was anything close to a monolithic block. Unless you don’t have Internet access, you can find all sorts of different media sources calling out all sorts of politicians for all sorts of untruths. Different sources call out different politicians for different untruths, but the net result is there – and from what I’ve seen and read (from different sources coming at it from different philosophies) most Americans are now quite comfortable going onto the net to find those different sources.

    Politicians are constantly being caught with their lies, and its constantly being posted in one spot or another. The problem is that politics is like team sports, so no one cares if one of their guys goes offside on a play that results in a winning touchdown, but they cry foul if the opponent does it.

    This story is a good example. A show makes major mistakes, and its all over the net. A decade ago few would have seen the apology. Now probably more people have seen the apology than the original show (myself for instance).




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  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Paul L.:
    When was the last time you saw Dan Rather on CBS? He left shortly after.
    In addition CBS fired producer Mary Mapes, and several senior news executives were asked to resign.




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  12. Todd says:

    @C. Clavin:

    @Paul L.:
    When was the last time you saw Dan Rather on CBS? He left shortly after.
    In addition CBS fired producer Mary Mapes, and several senior news executives were asked to resign.

    But, but, but, they didn’t air a 90-second pseudo-retraction, and there was an election coming up … which Bush won anyway … ok, never mind.




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  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Todd:

    I’m still willing to bet the substance was spot-on. If ever there was a case of white affirmative action…it was W. On so many occasions in his life. If it wasn’t true it would be the outlier.
    But that’s mostly speculation and opinion…not journalism.




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  14. anjin-san says:

    Lara Logan is representative of what’s wrong with journalism today.

    Nice cleavage though. In today’s world, that makes you a TV journalist.




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  15. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    Considering how she was sexually assaulted on the streets of Egypt…even I wouldn’t go there…and I’ll go almost anywhere.




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  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    Can someone please show video of the CBS apology for using the forged Bush TANG memos like they just did for Benghazi?

    I believe you’ll find it in Al Capone’s Vault, filed in a lock box, and placed adjacent to Barack Obama’s “Hawaiian” Birth Certificate, and Bush’s so-called Texas ANG discharge papers.




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  17. gVOR08 says:

    Ms Logan apparently has an agenda. But even if the Davies story was true, what was the point supposed to be? I didn’t watch it. 60 Minutes dropped off our viewing schedule decades ago. But I haven’t seen any report that anything Davies said, even if true, was any indication of a scandal.

    There seems to be no “there” anywhere in this “scandal”, and none in Davies account. Except for selling Logan’s book, was there any point to this exercise?

    I just checked. Lindsey Graham’s primary isn’t ’til June of ’14. I don’t think I can stand his pandering to the Tea Party for seven more months.




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  18. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Clavin

    She is willing to wear a revealing outfit on national television. It’s a legitimate topic for discussion, regardless of the fact she was the victim of a sexual attack. My experience is that women who have been raped/assulted don’t want to be treated differently because of it.

    When I start seeing smart but unattractive people on TV reporting the news, I will start taking “TV journalism” more seriously.




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  19. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “Ms Logan apparently has an agenda. But even if the Davies story was true, what was the point supposed to be? ”

    Part of the story was that Davies was so concerned by news of the attack, he drove to the compound and scaled the twelve-foot wall with one hand while clubbing Al Qaeda members in the head with the gun in his other hand.

    And since this is exactly what Jenos and the rest of the Ben-Baggers have insisted that Obama should have done, it was proof for them of just how bad a president he is…




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  20. grumpy realist says:

    What I’m trying to figure out is how these nitwits had a story for roughly a year and didn’t do the same sort of vetting (and debunking) that one of their critics managed to do in three days.

    If I owned 60 minutes I’d fire all of them for journalistic malpractice.




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  21. gVOR08 says:

    @wr: You’re right. What stopped Obama from going to Benghazi and doing a Red Rascal bit? OK, Air Force One would have been way to late, but he must still have the time machine he used to plant his fake birth announcements.




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  22. Todd says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If I owned 60 minutes I’d fire all of them for journalistic malpractice.

    What’s that?

    Journalism in this country is dead. There’s no money in making sure you’re right, and no (financial) penalty for being wrong.

    In fact, a strong argument could be made that the easiest way to make money in the “news” business today is to simply make $hit up … as long as it confirms what a lot of people want to believe, you’ll draw eyeballs, and advertisers.




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  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Todd: A strong argument? FOX and Beck and Limbaugh demonstrate it every day.




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  24. Ron Beasley says:

    One thing we I haven’t heard talked about is that a conservative division of Simon and Schuster was publishing a book by Davies and guess what? CBS and Simon and Schuster are both owned by the same company. This makes it even more a complete lapse of journalistic standards.
    As for comparison with the Dan Rather “scandal” – CBS had a 3 month investigation and all they could determine was that they couldn’t determine if the documents were forged or not. In this case they have said they have said all they are going to say.




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  25. grumpy realist says:

    @Todd: Agree completely. One of my friends was a news reporter for UPI for years and years and finally got out because he saw the handwriting on the wall.

    We don’t want news any more in this country–we want anecdotes that reinforce our belief systems. I get most of my news info at present from the Financial Times, the Economist, and a handful of blogs that seem to do actual news reporting and analysis, rather than just report what their readers want to see.




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  26. michael reynolds says:

    You know, Jenos, what you’re saying is totally. . . Wait a minute. Where is Jenos? He has a 100% attendance record on anything to do with Benghazi.

    And now, suddenly he’s nowhere to be found. Huh. A mystery, I guess.




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  27. Nikki says:

    What is most worrisome and should be investigated, but is instead, being buried, is the revelation that CBS’s 60 Minutes and Simon and Shuster were working in tandem, but without attribution, to promote rightwing propaganda.




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  28. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: Jenos? He’s busy writing a long post on how George Zimmerman was totally justified in beating up his wife and threatening her with a gun, and how that proves that Trayvon Martin was a gang thug. But he’ll jump right on this.




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  29. MarkedMan says:

    So 60 minutes decided to appeal to the Limbaugh crowd and looked around for a story that would fit the bill. And this piece of crap is what they came up with. There is a real double standard in this country: the main stream media demands facts and hard analysis from progressives, but from right wingers, nonsense and crap like Benghazi suffices. And to me, this proves that Repubs are actually correct when they claim liberal bias in the main stream media. The press treats the Progressives like grownups and holds them accountable, but when a Repub issue comes up, well, it would be like holding Stephen Colbert accountable. You only demand responsibility from those you respect.




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  30. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Jenos is waiting for Breitbart or the Daily Caller to tell him how it proves what he’s been saying all along.




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  31. Tony W says:

    @C. Clavin:

    In addition CBS fired producer Mary Mapes, and several senior news executives were asked to resign.

    Exactly what Fox News does when they lie too.




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  32. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Exactly. We’ll get the regurgitated version tomorrow from him.




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  33. Ron Beasley says:

    @Nikki: Leads one to wonder if this was intended to be a news story or an infomercial for a book. This incestuous relationship between Simon Schuster and CBS is perhaps one of the more disturbing aspects of this.




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  34. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Did anyone watch HBO’s Newsroom this past season. The storyline was how a news service allowed themselves to be hijacked by an ambitious producer.

    Life imitates art. (again)




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  35. C. Clavin says:

    @Tony W:
    Fox wouldn’t have any employees left.




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  36. Stonetools says:

    She apparently has an agenda, accepted her source’s story at face value and didn’t do basic fact checking. But she sure is purty. And blonde. Clearly she has a great career ahead of her in broadcast journalism.




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  37. anjin-san says:

    And now, suddenly he’s nowhere to be found.

    Jenos? I think Obama’s thugs finally caught up with him.

    Either that or he is simply waiting for Michelle Malkin & Jim Treacher to tell him what he thinks.




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  38. anjin-san says:

    Everyone wants to know: Why did CBS correspondent Lara Logan trust Dylan Davies, the now-discredited security contractor, and the story he told 60 Minutes about the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya? It’s truly mystifying—unless, that is, you know about her last significant lapse in professional judgement involving a security contractor.

    Many people know that in 2008 Logan married Joseph W. Burkett, a defense contractor she met while stationed in Baghdad to cover the Iraq War for CBS News. Logan and Burkett were both married to other people when they became involved, and the story of their war-zone love affair—complete with reports of a brawl between Burkett and CNN’s Michael Ware, another rival for Logan’s affections—lit up the tabloids at the time.

    What most people don’t know, however, is the nature of Burkett’s work in Iraq. He was an employee of the Lincoln Group, a now-shuttered “strategic communications and public relations firm” hired by the Department of Defense in 2005 to plant positive stories written by American soldiers in Baghdad newspapers during the Iraq War.

    http://gawker.com/lara-logan-s-husband-was-a-propagandist-for-the-u-s-mi-1462275766




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  39. Ron Beasley says:

    @anjin-san: Interesting: This woman should be flipping burgers somewhere not passing herself off as a journalist.




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  40. Woody says:

    thanks to the fact that the GOP seems intent on turning this into just another partisan war, none of those issues are likely to be discussed

    Spurred on by the Wurlitzer Medias of the Right Wing, this encapsulates American conservatism save for a few commentators, mostly online.

    “Discussing” isn’t done by a roaring id with a sledgehammer.




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  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    So, then what is the real story why the Obama administration decided immediately to lie about the Benghazi attack and make up a story blaming this idiot filmmaker wannabe for the terrorist attack? And why they spent at least a week pushing the bullshit story everywhere?

    That there was a coverup over the Benghazi attack is simply not debatable. The only questions are 1) who ordered the coverup, 2) why they ordered the coverup, and 3) what they were trying to cover up.

    I will confess that I’ve been not saying as much about Benghazi around here as I probably should. That’s an admission of defeat — every time Cliffy uses the slaughter of good Americans by Al Qaeda terrorists as a laugh line, I get a little sick. And when he’s cheered on and upvoted for laughing so gleefully over the corpses of Americans, I get infuriated.




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  42. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    1) who ordered the coverup talking points–the CIA

    2) why they ordered the coverup talking points–because it is the CIA

    and 3) what they were trying to cover up not admit–that Benghazi was a CIA outpost.

    Asked and answered months ago.




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  43. Nikki says:

    @Ron Beasley: No doubt whatsoever that it was intended to be an infomercial. And no doubt that the whole process was sanctioned by CBS Corp. because Simon and Schuster (#1 book publisher in America) and 60 Minutes/CBS News both know better. It wasn’t a “we simply forgot” moment that caused them to leave out revealing that CBS owns both the network and the book’s publisher.

    Mega-corporations don’t seem to give a damn anymore and have stopped even trying to make it look like they are following the rules.




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  44. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That there was a coverup over the Benghazi attack is simply not debatable. The only questions are 1) who ordered the coverup, 2) why they ordered the coverup, and 3) what they were trying to cover up.

    You forgot one….
    4) Who was actually piloting the black helicopters?




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  45. C. Clavin says:

    @Nikki:
    Forget it…he/she is hopeless.




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  46. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And when he’s cheered on and upvoted for laughing so gleefully over the corpses of Americans, I get infuriated. ”

    Man, that’s pathetic. Everyone knows that you’re the one who’s been using these dead men as props in your idiot trolling. And everyone knows that you are incapable of giving a damn about another human being. So spare us the self-righteous anger. It’s the least convincing of all your unconvincing poses and the one that transforms you from annoying troll into scum.




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  47. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Nikki: I’d upvote that explanation 100 times if I could. Benghazi in a nutshell.




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  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Benghazi: Americans died, Obama lied.
    ObamaCare: Obama lied, policies died.
    Fast and Furious: Mexicans died, Obama lied.
    IRS: Obama lied, accountability died.

    I’m seeing a pattern here…




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  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: But you doing a Texas two-step on their graves is perfectly acceptable?




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  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I haven’t brought up Benghazi very much at all. It’s been mainly Cliffy doing his pre-emptive mockery.

    But I don’t hold him solely responsible. He’s a turd and can’t help himself. He’s been encouraged by the rest of the punchbowl crowd.

    And in all that time, I don’t recall anyone explaining just why it was so critically important that the Obama administration invest so heavily in the bullshit story they pushed about it being the fault of some two-bit con artist with a video camera and delusions of grandeur.




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  51. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I don’t recall anyone explaining just why it was so critically important that the Obama administration invest so heavily in the bullshit story they pushed about it being the fault of some two-bit con artist with a video camera and delusions of grandeur.

    You f’ing idiot…Nikki spelled it out for you just above.
    Darrel Issa outed the covert operation…as Republicans like to do…in one of his witch hunt hearings.
    If you can’t figure out what is going on it’s simply because Hot Air and Breitbart and Daily Caller isn’t telling you.
    Blame them for your stupidity…not everyone else.




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  52. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Yeah…your paranoid conspiracy theories definitely follow a pattern. A pattern of delusion and willful ignorance.




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  53. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I haven’t brought up Benghazi very much at all.

    Nothing more needs to be said, I think.




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  54. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Just to toss out a notion: when so much of your rhetorical energy is devoted to “we gotta shut up these people who keep pointing out Obama’s lies,” the people you’re trying to shut up might not be the problem.




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  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Benghazi: Americans died, Obama lied.
    ObamaCare: Obama lied, policies died.
    Fast and Furious: Mexicans died, Obama lied.
    IRS: Obama lied, accountability died.
    I’m seeing a pattern here…

    Here’s the pattern I’m seeing: Bush lied, 4,000 Americans died and over $1 Trillion was wasted, and yet Republicans characterize Benghazi as the worst foreign policy failure since Neville Chamberlain negotiated with Hitler.




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  56. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I’m seeing a pattern here… ”

    Yes, you’ve figured out that “lied” and “died” rhyme, no matter what other nonsense you put in between them. That’s very advanced for one of your intellect. Generally one has mastered the entire kindergarten curriculum before achieving this level of mastery over the language.




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  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Nikki spelled it out for you just above.

    Here, Cliffy, rub my nose in it. Show me where Nikki talked about the two weeks after Benghazi where the Obama administration made up a cover story over Benghazi and put tons of time and energy and effort into spreading that lie, to protect the truth: that the Al Qaeda that Obama claimed to have “decimated” had pulled off its most successful operation against the US since the first 9/11.

    Or, if you like, you can continue to prove my thesis about you… the more insulting and quasi-profane you get, the more you know you’re lying.




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  58. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Just to toss out a notion: if there was any factual basis at all to anything you said this many people wouldn’t want you to shut the f*ck up.
    You spew nonsense.
    Constantly.
    But look out.,…the Goon Squads are on their way to get you!!!!!




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  59. C. Clavin says:
  60. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That there was a coverup over the Benghazi attack is simply not debatable. The only questions are 1) who ordered the coverup, 2) why they ordered the coverup, and 3) what they were trying to cover up.

    That is, more or less, the equivalent of asking Darrell Issa if he still beats his wife. I mean, it is simply not debatable, right?




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  61. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Yes but what you said doesn’t rhyme. If it doesn’t rhyme it can’t be true.




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  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, I suppose that a whole bunch of people in the Obama administration all heard about the Benghazi attack and, all on their own, all decided that it must have been the fault of a stupid YouTube video, and they owed it to the American people to tell them how it was the fault of the video.

    That the coverup fell apart in weeks is no evidence of a sudden burst of honesty or insight; it’s a testament that, in addition to their other flaws, the Obama administration is incompetent, too.




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  63. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Have you ever heard of the CIA?
    Are you aware of what they do?




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  64. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, I suppose that a whole bunch of people in the Obama administration all heard about the Benghazi attack and, all on their own, all decided that it must have been the fault of a stupid YouTube video, and they owed it to the American people to tell them how it was the fault of the video.

    And I suppose the Pickering Commission investigation of the events and timeline of the Benghazi incident was a sham? Oh wait, never mind, I know the Republican answer to that one.

    Please, Republican “concern” over Benghazi is all about finding something – anything – that they can sell as an impeachable offense.




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  65. Neil Hudelson says:

    Ok guys, but BESIDES it being a CIA outpost carrying out covert operations, why would there be a coverup? I mean, is that really a good reason–keeping covert operations secret?




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  66. al-Ameda says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I mean, is that really a good reason–keeping covert operations secret?

    By inference, according to Jenos, all covert operations undertaken during the Obama Administration should be made public before, during, and after said operation.

    Full transparency, in the case of intelligence operations undertaken during a Democratic presidency, is necessary. Not so much during a Republican presidency.




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  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Is this the idea that Benghazi was a CIA operation to hold prisoners in secret prisons, and collect weapons to smuggle to the Syrian rebels? I thought that was right-wing conspiracy territory.

    Really, who the hell thought that needed to be covered up? Who the hell thought that the initial operation was a good idea?




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  68. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Transparent attempt at a diversion.

    CIA stations and operations are meant to be kept secret. Period.




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  69. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jenos:

    a story blaming this idiot filmmaker

    There’s plenty of evidence that the attackers were motivated by the video (link). The popular right-wing claim that “the video had nothing to do with it” is a lie.




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  70. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m always curious about guys like you. Do you know you’re lying and playing games to avoid accepting reality? Or are you so pathological you don’t know?




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  71. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    that the Al Qaeda that Obama claimed to have “decimated” had pulled off its most successful operation against the US since the first 9/11.

    So the attack on a CIA outpost and the deaths of 4 Americans = 9/11?

    What a bad day to have left my TI-RWNJ calculator at home.




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  72. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    really you could ask that of 90% of Republicans, no?




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  73. anjin-san says:

    Benghazi: Americans died, Obama lied.
    ObamaCare: Obama lied, policies died.
    Fast and Furious: Mexicans died, Obama lied.
    IRS: Obama lied, accountability died.

    I remember back in the day when some of the bottom feeders in AOL political chat rooms would repeat “Bush knew. The planes flew” endlessly.

    It was pretty pathetic then. Now… yikes.




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  74. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “that the Al Qaeda that Obama claimed to have “decimated” had pulled off its most successful operation against the US since the first 9/11. ”

    9/11: 3,000 American citizens dead. Financial losses estimated at anywhere from 3 to 5 TRILLION dollars.

    Benghazi: 4 American citizens dead. Financial losses… maybe a couple million for the compound?

    I can see why you’re so quick to draw the comparisons. Clearly these are exactly the same thing.




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  75. wr says:

    @wr: Oh, and wait: 9/11 attacks commenced and concluded on American soil. Benghazi attacks entirely held in a failed state with no American control.

    Again, I can see how this proves that Al Qaeda is exactly as strong as it was in 2001.




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  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: CIA stations and operations are meant to be kept secret. Period.

    No shit, genius. “Period,” not “just when Democrats are in power.”

    Outing intelligence secrets is The Highest Form Of Patriotism when Republicans are in power.

    The outing of Extraordinary Rendition under Bush? The NY Times identified the stations and operations and assets of the program, including the very aircraft used by tail number.

    The SWIFT program? Outed by the NYT, among others.

    The interrogator who questioned Saddam Hussein? Identified by name by the NYT.

    The Pakistani doctor who told us where Bin Laden was hiding? Abandoned to rot in a Pakistani prison.

    The CO and unit that got Bin Laden? Outed by the Obama administration.

    So cram your outrage. You’re several years too late.




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  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: I realize you’re of very limited mental capacity, but one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi was our ambassador. That’s the personal representative of the United States. That hadn’t happened in over 30 years.




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  78. CB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So cram your outrage. You’re several years too late.

    Irony, strawberries, delicious smoothies. You all know the drill.




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  79. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Outing intelligence secrets is The Highest Form Of Patriotism when Republicans are in power.

    So that’s why Cheney and Scooter outed Valerie Plame?
    You betchya!!!




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  80. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    wr> I realize you’re of very limited mental capacity, but one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi was our ambassador. That’s the personal representative of the United States. That hadn’t happened in over 30 years.

    Well, that certainly far exceeds in importance, the 1983 terrorist bombing that killed over 240 Marines in Beirut, or the 4,000 American troops who died in the War in Iraq. You’re right, a permanent investigation of Benghazi should be authorized, at least until a Republican is in the White House.




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  81. Tony W says:

    @C. Clavin: Ya, that’s my point 🙂




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  82. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I realize you’re of very limited mental capacity, but one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi was our ambassador. That’s the personal representative of the United States. That hadn’t happened in over 30 years. ”

    So in Jenos-land, one ambassador’s death is equivalent to that of 3,000 non-ambassador Americans plus five trillion dollars. I had no idea you were so enamored of our diplomatic corps.




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  83. Paul L. says:

    So in @wr: land, The Democrats never used the Iraq war as a political wedge issue and never held hearings/votes on Iraq War.
    @C. Clavin:
    It was Richard Armitage. Scooter got caught in the all-purpose FBI perjury trap.




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  84. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    So in @wr: land, The Democrats never used the Iraq war as a political wedge issue and never held hearings/votes on Iraq War.

    So you’re saying that the incidents at Benghazi are equivalent to the War in Iraq? Okey doke.




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  85. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So…your diversion is to say that covert operations should be kept secret. Meaning the “cover up” was a correct action.

    You don’t understand how arguments work, do you?




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  86. jukeboxgrad says:

    It was Richard Armitage.

    It would be better if you didn’t imply there was only one leaker. That’s a falsehood. Armitage was not the only leaker. He was one of four known leakers. The others are Libby, Rove and Fleischer. Here’s how many of those people are Republicans: all of them. Here’s how many of those people worked for Bush: all of them.

    Scooter got caught in the all-purpose FBI perjury trap.

    Also wrong. Libby didn’t just lie to the FBI. He lied to the grand jury.




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  87. dazedandconfused says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Lara Logan is representative of what’s wrong with journalism today. She is a war mongering necon islamophobic who didn’t check out what Davies was telling her because he was telling her what she wanted to hear. She set out to do a story that reinforced her agenda.
    And as for this:

    Among the most important part of the report was an interview with a man named Dylan Davies

    Wrong, he was the story, without him there would have been no story.
    Lara Logan should be working for the World Net Daily or The Blaze not a major news organization.

    Strongly disagree, she’s done some solid journalism. I think she has “issues” about that region of the world and should be discouraged from reporting on it though.

    Her work has been generally solid, but hardly spectacular, so what is she doing on “60 minutes”?

    I wonder how much of a favor the management felt they owed her for placing a hot blond in the middle of an Egyptian mob? That was extreme, mind bending, even criminal negligence. Can’t find one sane person who has lived in Egypt for any period of time who will call that an excusable “mistake”, I guarantee it.

    She may have appeared tough as nails when she described her suffering a gang molestation, but it left scars. Seen the tape of her addressing a group about getting “payback”? It’s out of character for her. Very much so.

    Keep her away from the ME and there is no reason she can’t be a solid journalist.




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  88. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your teeny, tiny little logic circuit has failed. On the one hand we’re discussing why the CIA wanted to keep their role in Libya secret: ’cause they’re the CIA. To which you respond with: New York Times outed various things.

    Connection?

    Yeah, there is none. Which leaves you, as usual, looking like an idiot.




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  89. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah man, even compared to his pretty low average Jenos has been pretty abysmal in this thread.

    I usually expect him to get at least one or two average to decent digs in.




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  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Funny, I also don’t recall any prior administration deciding that the best way to cover up intelligence operations by picking some poor schmuck and making him the scapegoat — and in such a way that he’s quite likely to get killed over it.

    Yes, Nakoula is a con artist and a convict who broke his parole. But I don’t recall the penalty for such things as death by radical Islamist assassins.

    And as far as outing people goes.. I would bet that Dr. Shakil Afridi would trade places with Valerie Plame in an instant — Plame, who had already been “outed” by Armitage and Aldrich Ames, and wasn’t under legal cover anyway, and who had used her connections to get her husband an assignment he used for his own benefit, anyway.

    (Quick summary: Plame pushed her husband to get that assignment, where he found supporting evidence that Saddam was working on nukes — and then lied about it to the press.)

    But to sum up Benghazi one more time: Al Qaeda, whom Obama had bragged about decimating, attacked on 9/11 and killed the highest-ranking American official to be killed in decades. Immediately after that, the Obama administration responded by blaming the attack on mobs incited by this idiot nobody who made a YouTube video, identifying him for the whole world and painting a huge bullseye on his back, setting him up for the same kind of “Islamic Justice” as visited on Theo Van Gogh and threatened against Salman Rushdie, Dutch cartoonists, and anyone else who goes out of their way to “insult Islam.”

    Oh, and the Obama administration also not only failed to protect the ID of the Pakistani doctor who helped us find Bin Laden, but has done jack squat to help him since he was arrested and imprisoned by our allies, the Pakistani government, for his role.




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  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    That might be a record for number of lies you’ve packed into one comment. Keep up the good work.




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  92. anjin-san says:

    @ JEnos

    Yes, Nakoula is a con artist and a convict who broke his parole. But I don’t recall the penalty for such things as death by radical Islamist assassins.

    When was Nakoula assassinated? Can you provide details?




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  93. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Damn…I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many lies, mischaracterizations, and delusions in one comment before…even from you.
    A personal best.
    Impressive performance.
    Congratulations.




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  94. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But to sum up Benghazi one more time: Al Qaeda, whom Obama had bragged about decimating, attacked on 9/11 and killed the highest-ranking American official to be killed in decades. Immediately after that, the Obama administration responded by blaming the attack on mobs incited by this idiot nobody who made a YouTube video, identifying him for the whole world and painting a huge bullseye on his back, setting him up for the same kind of “Islamic Justice” as visited on Theo Van Gogh and threatened against Salman Rushdie, Dutch cartoonists, and anyone else who goes out of their way to “insult Islam.”

    Ongoing Translation:
    “I still contend that the 4 deaths in Benghazi are far more important, and disastrous, than the completely unnecessary War in Iraq which has resulted in over 4,000 Americans dead, and a squandering of over $1 trillion.”




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  95. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Look…it’s clear by now that Jenos is only interested in whining and moaning about a President he doesn’t like.
    To his credit…and unlike bill…it does not appear to be race based. It’s proabably just team sports for him. His only real problem is that Obama is a Democrat. Imagine how he felt about Clinton back in the day.
    At any rate…given that he doesn’t have anything on the scale of 9.11, Iraq, outing a Covert Operative, the unpaid-for Medicare Part D, the unpaid-for Bush Tax Cuts, or a 9% contraction in GDP in a single quarter to complain about…he is left with manufacturing conspiracy theories about unfortunate, but ultimately blameless, events.
    Sad really…but there you are.




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  96. Grewgills says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It’s proabably just team sports for him.

    I don’t think so. It’s all about winding you up. If he gets your blood boiling and has you devoting comment after comment to his lazy trolling he wins. By that standard, he usually wins.




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  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: When was Nakoula assassinated? Can you provide details?

    You’re developing a very predictable pattern. You cherry-pick one part of my comment and then ask a question that’s answered elsewhere in the same comment. I’m torn as to whether it’s more dishonest than stupid, more stupid than dishonest, or equally both.

    It’s especially odd considering how you spoke of “hurricanes” in a previous thread, then blamed me because I didn’t immediately assume that you meant “hurricanes and typhoons.”

    For the record: see the references to the Danish cartoonists (I said mistakenly called them Dutch) and Salman Rushdie, all of whom are still alive, but living under death threats. Toss in that stupid Florida preacher who keeps threatening to burn a Koran.




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  98. Nikki says:

    Yes, Nakoula is a con artist and a convict who broke his parole. But I don’t recall the penalty for such things as death by radical Islamist assassins.

    Sorry, but after this, I just stopped reading. Why the Party of Law and Order continues to defend a criminal is beyond me. The man went to jail for using a pseudonym, a computer and the Internet (violating his probation) not for making the video.

    And the reason “radical Islamist assassins” would have wanted to kill him was BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE WHO MADE THE VIDEO that pissed off the Middle East.




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  99. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Nikki: Why the Party of Law and Order continues to defend a criminal is beyond me.

    I believe in defending criminals when they are punished for things that they didn’t do, or aren’t crimes. Nakoula broke the terms of his probation. But that doesn’t mean that he gets to be blamed for the deaths of four Americans in a terrorist attack.

    The Obama administration was promising to punish whoever made the film before they knew that it was Nakoula, and that his doing so was a violation of his probation. They just lucked out that they had a legal reason to lock him up; otherwise, they’d have to treat him like they treated that idiot preacher in Florida.

    One final point: “insulting Islam” is not a crime in the United States, and should never be. That it is considered a crime — in fact, a capital crime — in much of the world is abysmal, and that the Obama administration would give it any weight here in the US is obscene.




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  100. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “They just lucked out that they had a legal reason to lock him up; otherwise, they’d have to treat him like they treated that idiot preacher in Florida.”

    And what terrible things did the administration do to Terry Jones? Lock him up? Torture him? Hand him over to slavering hordes of Muslim killers?

    No?

    Did they even try to take away the tax-exempt status of his church?

    Still no?

    So what did they do to him that was so terrible?

    Oh, yes. They criticized him.They said he was being bigoted and irresponsible, just because he was being bigoted and irresponsible.

    Clearly we must impeach!




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  101. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Totalitarian morons like you don’t understand the concept of “chilling effects,” such as having high-ranking government officials making both public and private efforts to prevent a private citizen from exercising their Constitutional rights.

    All Obama had to say was “under our laws, this guy has every right to do what he’s doing, and we as the government have no say in it and no opinion on it.” But since Jones was running the risk of Pissing Off Muslims, he needs to be discouraged from exercising his Constitutional rights.




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  102. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh do shut up.




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  103. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “All Obama had to say was “under our laws, this guy has every right to do what he’s doing, and we as the government have no say in it and no opinion on it.” ”

    How dare the black man express an opinon! What gives him the right?




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