Finally, The Truth About Benghazi
November 8, 2013 9:55 AM   Subscribe

CBS News/60 Minutes Have apologized for their interview of 10/27/13 in which Benghazi security Supervisor Dylan Davies said he was inside the Benghazi Consulate the night of the attacks. 2 Senior Government officials have confirmed the existence of a report in which Davies tells the FBI he was never there. Benghazi critics who were crowing about the interview earlier in the week are now strangely silent.
posted by Xurando (119 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
What did Obama know about this? Is this another BENGHAZI?!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:58 AM on November 8, 2013 [31 favorites]


COVER-UP!
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on November 8, 2013


This reeks of typical behind-the-scenes Clinton strong-arm tactics. I'm sure this guy only retracted because he didn't want to get Vince Fostered.

I LOVE THE 90s!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


the report was written on a typewriter that looks exactly like microsoft word, please look at attached false_flag.gif
posted by Behemoth at 10:08 AM on November 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Obummer probably had his jackbooted goons plant the evidence!
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Historians are going to be really confused by threads like this
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:10 AM on November 8, 2013 [51 favorites]


Artw, 2/5. You missed opportunities to smear Nancy Pelosi (Peloslanted the evidence? Plantosi?), and didn't misspell anything.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


COVER-UP!

I'm absolutely sure this will be the Facebook reaction from my Paultard college buddy that posts a Bengazi rant twice a day interspersed with stories about Obamacare, Fiat Money, and Chem-trails.

I was there when they repatriated the four killed. It was hard enough being there that day and seeing firsthand the tears in the eyes of Obama and Clinton, the constant barrage of screeds have been harrowing, I'm glad to finally see some vindication.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2013 [21 favorites]


Wait, so people who spout insane conspiracy theories don't respond with measured retractions when evidence later shows their theories to be incorrect?
posted by 1adam12 at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


The Newsroom called. They would like their season two plotline back.
posted by andreaazure at 10:13 AM on November 8, 2013 [14 favorites]


Wait, so people who spout insane conspiracy theories don't respond with measured retractions when evidence later shows their theories to be incorrect?

Now if they can only get the Bilderbergers to admit to faking 9/11!!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:14 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I heard not a single word about this report until it was apparently discredited.

So I'm obviously living in some kind of bubble.
posted by billjings at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm not believing any of this until I hear what Alex Jones has to say.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:15 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think their silence has been all that strange.
posted by dry white toast at 10:17 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it is purely coincidence that Davies' book about what happened there was supposed to be published by CBS' Simon & Schuster Threshold Editions press. Threshold Editions is known for publishing works by Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Jerome Corsi.

Your liberal media; Still not liberal.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [26 favorites]


So I'm obviously living in some kind of bubble.

Not at all. You just live someplace other than 2012.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Madamina at 10:19 AM on November 8, 2013


It kind of sucks that reports of this situation have to be mature and reasonable and polite and say shit like "there appear to be contradictions" and not DUDE IS A LYING LIARFACE HAHA OWNED etc.
posted by elizardbits at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


The Newsroom called.

Huh. It says here "Unrecognized number".
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is merely further proof that Obama will stop at nothing, INCLUDING WILLFULLY BEING TOTALLY UNINVOLVED IN WRONGDOING WHICH DIDN'T OCCUR, to ensure that America won't not hear about something that didn't happen.

wait what
posted by clockzero at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [75 favorites]


This is clearly an attempt to blame George W Bush instead of pinning the blame on the liar, Obummer and his nazi marxist team of misfits.
posted by Chuffy at 10:22 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Surely this...(oh, wait, wrong team)
posted by briank at 10:25 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


People do insanely stupid shit for money. Nothing new under the sun. Mess for CBS though. And they don't even have a truly bad-ass journalist like Dan Rather to pin this on either.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:27 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like that the guy was going to have a book published... by CBS.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2013


"Tonight on a special CBS News report: Our team of Net experts ("Netsperts") have been scouring the Web, and based on their analysis of recent 'chatter' from a popular News Filtering Website, the tide of opinion about the Benghazi scandal seems to be turning against President Obama."
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:28 AM on November 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


Obummer probably had his jackbooted goons plant the evidence!

Aaagh, stop it! In the words of Maurice Moss, "It's too real, Roy, it's too real!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:31 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


But surely IRS SOLYNDRA FAST AND FURIOUS, right? Also, he's taking your health care and guns. And he's Muslim and probably a little gay. And the Antichrist. The gay Antichrist. Gay Muslim Antichrist.

So will you liberals stop trying to distract everybody with Benghazi?

Also WHAT ABOUT BENGHAZI, HUH?
posted by Fists O'Fury at 10:33 AM on November 8, 2013 [22 favorites]


The Newsroom called. They would like their season two plotline back.

CNN/Time Magazine called...

I wonder if everyone involved at 60 Minutes is going to get the Rather treatment?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:35 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


The next day, just hours after being notified of the death of Ambassador Stevens, Obama gets on a plane to Vegas to attend a fundraiser. With Obama, money and politics trump everything.
posted by republican at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2013


The worst part about this is that Huckleberry Graham is refusing to move forward on approving judges to the DC Circuit Court supposedly because of hashtaglikeonfacebookifyoubelieveinfreedomBenghaziBENGHAZIBENGHAZI.

Other baseless excuses:

"The Court is overworked!" - Lie
"This is court-packing!" - Lie
"This is ideological!" - True, but they all are

I've said many times before and many times in the future: Modern-day conservatism is the reborn Confederacy.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:38 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hate to paint a bunch of folk with the same brush. But if your source is already a mercenary -- and has therefore already proven what he'll do for money, power, and attention -- perhaps when holes come up in his story, you should suss them out a bit more carefully.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:40 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


STATE'S RIGHTS!!1!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:45 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


With Obama, money and politics trump everything

Compared to whom? George W. "My Pet Goat" Bush the Lesser? I believe he was at a birthday fundraiser for John McCain as the first deaths from Katrina were occurring, to name only one of dozens of examples of similar venality and small mindedness from Half Pint himself.

Teabagger revisionist history won't fly here without on point rebuttal, if you hadn't noticed.
posted by spitbull at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2013 [18 favorites]


Also, through how many firefights in two needless wars did Pres. Bush play golf, clear brush, or gather wool?
posted by spitbull at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Modern-day conservatism is the reborn Confederacy.

More like the Whigs and Know-Nothings, but of course those eventually became the Confederacy.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


But surely IRS SOLYNDRA FAST AND FURIOUS, right?

Darrell Issa responds to CBS retraction of Benghazi report. (dailykos)
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:50 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


By the bye, Lara Logan gets one free fuckup for having said this about Bush's biggest Folly.
posted by spitbull at 10:51 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


CASH 4 GOLD!
posted by Artw at 10:51 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Darrell Issa responds to CBS retraction of Benghazi report.

Oh fer the luva...

Proving, once again, that it is actually impossible to make fun of these people.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 10:54 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Obummer probably had his jackbooted goons plant the evidence!

Aaagh, stop it! In the words of Maurice Moss, "It's too real, Roy, it's too real!"


Or MAYBE -- stay with me here -- Obama planted evidence WHICH WAS THEN REMOVED, to make it seem like there was a cover-up TO DISTRACT FROM THE FACT THAT THERE WASN'T ONE! WHY NO COVER-UP, OBAMA? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING BY NOT COVERING IT UP? CAN ANYONE ELSE HEAR THOSE HOOFBEATS
posted by clockzero at 10:55 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


Charlie Pierce: My Profession Steps On A Rake
It seems that Senator Aqua Buddha -- tm/The Blog, so don't steal it, pal. -- has been shitcanned by the ghost of Sun Myung Moon just in time to get hired by the ghost of Andrew Breitbart. This is a remarkably straight career path into the manure bin for the formerly rising young champion of the brogressive Left, especially those who don't want to be droned before they score with that cute barista. (Guess what? The champion of human freedom voted against ENDA yesterday because liberty!) I'm sure AB has something pithy to say on the subject that somebody said first, but it strikes us that he's probably going to show up on Morning Joe, where his kind of journalism is a ticket to the big table.

And then there's 60 Minutes.

Oy. Also, vey[...]This story fell apart in about 48 hours because its primary source was proven to be completely unreliable. And she's still talking about "his boss told him not to go, he couldn't stay back." The guy told his boss -- and, apparently, the FBI -- that he wasn't even there. In any "context," lying to the FBI is a big deal. At the very least, it should sink your credibility. At the very most, it can land you in the clink.

Oh, and not to pile on, CBS, but shutting Dan Rather out of your coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, when Rather happens to be one of the dwindling group of reporters who actually witnessed the murder in broad daylight of a president of the United States, is an act of towering chickenshit. Shame on you twice.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:03 AM on November 8, 2013 [29 favorites]


Proving, once again, that it is actually impossible to make fun of these people.

See also my argument in the Starship Trooper thread!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:04 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Snarkfun aside what were Dylan Davies/Morgan Jones of Blue Mountain Security's reasons for lying? Simply a book contract? Is this just another scammer preying on the GOP's talk radio gullibles?
posted by srboisvert at 11:05 AM on November 8, 2013


With Obama, money and politics trump everything.
posted by republican


I've been here almost 6 years and I still can't decide if all the comments from this account are onion-esque satire or not.
posted by elizardbits at 11:06 AM on November 8, 2013 [45 favorites]


Snarkfun aside what were Dylan Davies/Morgan Jones of Blue Mountain Security's reasons for lying? Simply a book contract? Is this just another scammer preying on the GOP's talk radio gullibles?

¿Por qué no los dos?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:07 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's "Why not both?" in Real American™.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:07 AM on November 8, 2013


The Fox / Talk Radio bubble is basically a jobs program for the third rate. You can be a highly paid pundit without having the brains or talent or doing the work to get there. Just be a paid mouthpiece to keep the useful idiots riled up and the gravy just keeps coming in.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:11 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


RE: Obama Benghazi fundraiser "scandal"

One sure fire way to kill the Democratic party would be to make it so every time a Republican budget cut led to somebody dying, it was then considered ill-mannered to raise money. This would also worked if they decided not to have a fundraiser on days ending in "y".
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:15 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Benghazi critics ... are now strangely silent.

No stranger than their silence about the many more numerous fatalities in embassy attacks around the world during the Bush Administration. They tried to Nixonize Clinton, and they're desperate to Nixonize Obama. They make absolutely no bones about trying to delegitimize this administration under the flimsiest pretexts.
posted by Deja Stu at 11:22 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


billjings: "I heard not a single word about this report until it was apparently discredited.

So I'm obviously living in some kind of bubble.
"

Have you tried Duck Duck Go?
posted by symbioid at 11:23 AM on November 8, 2013


The embassy was secretly in Kenya.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I LOVE THE 90s!!

I was listening to a bunch of Moxy Fruvous earlier and disturbed by how accurate everything still is, if you substitute a few names.

"He wakes up to 'homeless are stupid, welfare is stupid, Private investment, efficiency, cool fiscal plannin'... sounds like more Pat Buchanan." Indeed.
posted by Sequence at 11:56 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]



Now, I guess they aren't going to publish this guy's amazing account of heroism in the face of the president's treasonous cowardice just because he made the whole thing up. Have they no honor ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:05 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let's start by stating that I think the whole Benghazi thing is ridiculous, overblown, almost certainly no wrongdoing on American's part, trivial, and etc. - just a gratuitous source of smears by the Republicans.

That said, I want to say that any news article whose primary source is unnamed "senior government officials" should not be quoted or treated as solid news. There is no reason at all that government officials should be allowed anonymity except in special circumstances, mainly whistleblowing - but certainly not for stories which bolster the Administration's position!

In particular, the New York Times swore a solemn oath that they'd stop doing this except in exceptional cases after printing all this garbage about weapons of mass destruction - lies that help lead the United States into the disastrous Iraq War, whose multi-trillion dollar bill will still be weighing on our grandchildren. They never stopped doing it at all, and they deserve to be mocked every time they do it in future.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:25 PM on November 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


Why is this coming out 3 days after election day 2013??? *sigh*
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:26 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm reading the links on my phone and the 'apology' is divided into NINE pages! It takes at least three pages to get to any real content about the deception- that shouldn't even count as a retraction.

Embarrassing.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 12:28 PM on November 8, 2013


THANKS OBAMACARE
posted by klangklangston at 12:30 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tangent: So, apparently there's an actual reporter who looks like this and is named Lara Logan. Since when did real life become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:34 PM on November 8, 2013


Oh, and not to pile on, CBS...

What? Next they're going to retract this story or something?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:40 PM on November 8, 2013


Why is this coming out 3 days after election day 2013??? *sigh*

Because it's three days after the election?
posted by BrianJ at 12:41 PM on November 8, 2013


Tangent: So, apparently there's an actual reporter who looks like this and is named Lara Logan. Since when did real life become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie?
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:34 PM on November 8 [+] [!]

Lara Logan has been a war correspondent for over a decade. She interviewed Northern Alliance leadership just 2 months after 9/11 in Afghanistan, spoke truth to power in Iraq and while reporting in Egypt during the Arab Spring she was beaten and sexually assaulted.

Or is she novel because she has an alliterative name and is pretty?
posted by onehalfjunco at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2013 [16 favorites]


Hey, 60 Minutes, you're not done yet! You've figured out that someone lied to you, and you've reported that fact. Now you need to figure out why he lied, what were his goals, and who else was involved in bringing this lie before the American public, and let all of us know too.

This bugs me as much as when Dan Rather reported the Bush doc's that turned out to be fake. I really, really wanted to know who delivered the documents to CBS, who vouched for their authenticity, etc.. I remember hearing stuff about protecting news sources, but when a source burns you like that you don't owe them anything.

But they won't follow up the story, either because they're afraid of "loosing access", or because they can't figure out how to frame it in the bogus language of false equivalence that seems to be the trend today. Sorry, CBS, but if you're not going to pursue the obvious questions that this raises, you're just show exactly how weak you are.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:57 PM on November 8, 2013 [19 favorites]


Sorry, CBS, but if you're not going to pursue the obvious questions that this raises, you're just show exactly how weak you are.

You're right of course, benito, but you shouldn't be shocked that CBS would go after sensationalist but questionable (but not questioned) stories. This has been there forte for years and the Rather shitcanning was just peak bullshit. What is surprising is that the BS moved from the Evening News over to 60 Minutes who usually does a bit better job in the journalism department. My link above about the perpetual motion machine in which they never actually interview a physicist about why perpetual motion machines are considered impossible is just an example of their style.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:10 PM on November 8, 2013


Yeah, Lara Logan is a fine war correspondent. (I linked the same "truth to power" video above as onehalfjunco). More than that, she is absurdly daring (or foolhardy, as I suspect her parents would think). She, Richard Engel, and Arwa Damon are about the only combat reporters one sees regularly on American TV news who are worth a shit (well, Michael Ware, who I think had to bow out from PTSD). Interesting that only one of them is an American (Logan is South African, Damon is Turkish, and Ware is Australian).

Logan was also a victim of vicious sexual assault while covering the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt.

This story is a big fuckup, but I tend not to believe there is any nefariousness behind the mistake, at least not on Logan's part. She has too good a reputation as a journalist to defend. This is a major black eye, for sure. But everyone makes mistakes, too, especially when dealing with practiced liars.
posted by spitbull at 1:20 PM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, good news everyone! Sure, we've lost Benghazi, but now we have an even more ridiculous replacement: Fondly Remembering Obama's Days As A Gay, Cocaine-Using Hustler.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:27 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just saw a photo of him in a bullet-proof vest and a Cubs hat.

Tells you everything you need to know.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:28 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, good news everyone! Sure, we've lost Benghazi, but now we have an even more ridiculous replacement: Fondly Remembering Obama's Days As A Gay, Cocaine-Using Hustler.

And no, he's not just using cocaine in this racist fantasy, of course they say he was freebasing it.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:31 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


...but I tend not to believe there is any nefariousness behind the mistake...

If there was nefariousness (emphasis on the "if"), it was people setting Logan up. A la Rather. Even after it came out that Rather was deliberately scammed, CBS (not to mention establishment Dems) said nothing and just left him out in the cold.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:33 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sure most of Logan's mea culpa is going to be focused on being duped by her star witness, but if she wants to restore her credibility, she should really be telling us exactly what other sources she verified his claims against. Any asshole can tell a reporter a bunch of lies, but the assumption is that some effort will be made to check a source's claims against other accounts, especially given the source's obvious yet undisclosed conflict of interest and the political volatility of the Benghazi story.

I am ashamed to say that, despite my belief from the very beginning that the GOP's focus on Benghazi was a politically-motivated fishing expedition that had nothing to do with improving security for our diplomats and everything to do with politics, this report did make me question whether there was more that could have been done in the run-up to the attack, and in its immediate aftermath. I will not be making this mistake again, and especially not based on anything reported by 60 Minutes or Ms. Logan, who until now I've always had a high opinion of.

Even good reporters make mistakes from time to time, but this was a very important one to get right, and I can't shake the feeling that Logan was motivated to connect these dots in part by the insatiable appetite of right-wing scandal-mongers for something to use against Obama politically. She can restore her reputation if she explains what other sources she used to back up Davies' claims, but if she tries to hang the whole thing on bad intel from one person with an obvious axe to grind, then it will be clear that she's more concerned with telling the story people want to hear than getting the story right.

And, yeah, can we not do the "hurf durf reporter lady sure is purrrty" thing?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:33 PM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


In their report fan-fic a young Obama sucked-off older white guys for crack? Jeez, these guys really are a bunch closet cases!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2013


Tangent: So, apparently there's an actual reporter who looks like this and is named Lara Logan. Since when did real life become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie?

Close, but with those initials she should be friends/enemies/frenemies with Superman.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:36 PM on November 8, 2013




Looks like Logan may not be free of blame (h/t digby, emphasis from same):
Logan stepped way out of the “objective,” journalistic role. The audience was riveted as she told of plowing through reams of documents, and interviewing John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a Taliban commander trained by al-Qaida. The Taliban and al-Qaida are teaming up and recruiting new terrorists to do us deadly harm, she reports.

She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.”

Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

As a journalist, I was queasy. Reporters should tell the story, not be the story. As an American, I was frightened.

Logan even called for retribution for the recent terrorist killings of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other officials. The event is a harbinger of our vulnerability, she said. Logan hopes that America will “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
posted by zombieflanders at 1:38 PM on November 8, 2013 [12 favorites]



TPM Reports that a former CBS producer is claiming the story was dressed up so CBS could increase credibility with conservative viewers.

When are CBS/CNN et al gonna figure out that the ship already sailed on that. Every RWNJ I know gets their "news" from some podunk blog site that retreads whatever Drudge prints. It is a demographic that is both gullible and has lots of free time - so it's fantastic for advertisers, but still - have some standards CBS!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:51 PM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey they've got to do something to bring in the eyeballs. Eighteen versions of NCIS aren't going to watch themselves.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:05 PM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Huckleberry now refusing to talk about the retracted CBS story he was foaming at the mouth about.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:10 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry for the Lara Logan derail. I was mostly struck by the name, which practically screams Comic Book Lady Reporter. Still, much less silly than 'Wolf Blitzer'.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:10 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


TPM Reports that a former CBS producer is claiming the story was dressed up so CBS could increase credibility with conservative viewers.

Well that is an explosive accusation, we need to get John McCain, Ann Coulter, Bill Kristol, and a centrist journalist on to a Sunday morning news program to figure out if this is really a thing that happens in TV news.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:48 PM on November 8, 2013 [15 favorites]


I wish the OP had actually summarized the entire story, because I still don't know why any of this is important to anyone but that security chief.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 3:01 PM on November 8, 2013


Funny, apparently until today Fox News had a big Benghazi quick link on their page. Suddenly it's nowhere to be found. This CBS retraction story isn't entirely missing, but the link is hiding in 8-point type amidst a lot of other stuff near the bottom of the page.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:39 PM on November 8, 2013


I'm actually shocked Fox News would take down the BENGHAZI link. It's not like the wingnuts to back down on a phony scandal (ACORN, Jeremiah Wright, Vince Foster, etc. ad infinitum.)

Marcy Wheeler has a typically thorough and detailed post summarizing the no less than three different versions of events on the night of the attack, with major discrepancies about who did what and when.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:28 PM on November 8, 2013


Given that Vile Rat was one of the unfortunate victims, I will go to my grave haunted by the possibility that BENGHAZI! was the most outrageous act of EVE Online skullduggery ever.
posted by delfin at 5:40 PM on November 8, 2013


Climate change is too debatable to ever be mentioned on TV, but a one-source scandalmonger so dumb it’s retracted in 48 hours passes muster. At least they didn't run the story based on Obama having the same initials as a random criminal.
posted by gerryblog at 6:23 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


almost certainly no wrongdoing on American's part

Yeah, I'm sure all those CIA officers at Benghazi were planting a peace garden.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:46 PM on November 8, 2013


Wow, what a blatant example of twisting a selectively-quoted phrase to grind an axe, AElfwine.

The clear implication of lupus_wonderboy's comment is that there was probably no wrongdoing involved during and after the attack in the form of a cover-up, not that there was anything cheerful or harmless about the covert CIA presence in a civil war zone. Besides, it's not like Republicans have been mercilessly attacking the Obama administration over Benghazi because of how it used CIA assets in support of the Libyan rebels -- they did so because they want to extract political gain from a high-profile incident in which American foreign service members were killed. This has nothing to do with disagreements over how our clandestine services operate overseas, and everything to do with using the emotional appeal of dead Americans to damage the opposing party politically.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:12 PM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted; please discuss the topic instead of other commenters.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:10 PM on November 8, 2013


there was probably no wrongdoing involved during and after the attack in the form of a cover-up

Except for the part where the President was illegally arming the Syrian rebels with Libyan weapons.

using the emotional appeal of dead Americans to damage the opposing party politically.

Because no Democrats that voted for the Iraq war did the same to Bush, did they?

Either way, President Obama is a dirty rotten gun runner, and no amount of Republican idiocy regarding the Benghazi incident can change that fact.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:22 PM on November 8, 2013


Either way, President Obama is a dirty rotten gun runner

Name an american president who was not.
posted by elizardbits at 11:29 PM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Eh, you run guns with the President you've got...not the President you wish you had.
posted by darkstar at 11:53 PM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Name an american president who was not.

Well that would be quite a long list given that before The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 was passed Congress was responsible for our arms dealing. Not to excuse previous Presidents such as Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II; but President Obama seems to have a particular penchant for selling weapons of death...specifically to developing countries.

Now it's not clear what exactly was going on in Benghazi, but one would think that, as was the case with the Iran Contra scandal, Congress and the public deserve to know. But of course we are far beyond any hope of hearings or accountability as partisan Democrats are too busy jumping all over themselves to deflect any criticism of the President.

And to be quite blunt it doesn't really matter how many Presidents have been "dirty rotten gun runners" as the blood on Obama's hands is the blood of human beings and no volume of illustrious company could wash that blood from his hands.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:30 AM on November 9, 2013


But of course we are far beyond any hope of hearings or accountability as partisan Democrats are too busy jumping all over themselves to deflect any criticism of the President.

Yeah, the lack of honest accountability from Congress is solely the fault of partisan Democrats. Riiiiiight.
posted by Gelatin at 6:42 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Except for the part where the President was illegally arming the Syrian rebels with Libyan weapons.

The President can waive the relevant provisions of the AECA under existing law. Congress can challenge his decision, but has not done so, not because of any kind of evasion on the part of the Obama administration, but because the GOP has never had a problem with arming the right kind of bad guys.

Show me any prominent complaints on the GOP side about our involvement in Libya before the Benghazi attacks. Maybe Rand Paul said something in a letter, but I don't remember anything, even from the so-called Libertarian wing of the party. My recollection is that the establishment Republicans were pushing for more intervention even sooner than Obama was, while the handful of foreign policy skeptics in the GOP basically kept quiet.

Because no Democrats that voted for the Iraq war did the same to Bush, did they?

Tu quoque is a weak argument, but I'll bite. Tell me -- how many of the assholes who are leading the BENGHAZI!!! brigade raised a finger to prevent the United States from being involved in the Libyan revolution in the first place? Democrats who voted against the Iraq war had every right to criticize that war because they had the courage of their convictions to take a politically difficult stand, while the next time Darrell Issa, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of these hypocrites say no to a foreign intervention will be the first.

I agree with you that we ought to have much stricter oversight of our intelligence agencies, and we should limit the President's authority to unilaterally intervene by supplying arms, but the Benghazi scandal has never been about either of these issues, and the GOP's attempts to retroactively make themselves look like pacifists interested in constraining our use of covert actions overseas are pathetic and shameful.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tu quoque is a weak argument, but I'll bite.

I'm not making an argument in this regard. I said I agree with you on this point. I was merely pointing out a fact.

I agree with you that we ought to have much stricter oversight of our intelligence agencies, and we should limit the President's authority to unilaterally intervene by supplying arms, but the Benghazi scandal has never been about either of these issues, and the GOP's attempts to retroactively make themselves look like pacifists interested in constraining our use of covert actions overseas are pathetic and shameful.

Who are you talking to here? I am not a part of the GOP, and I am not aware of any Republicans trying to frame the Benghazi incident in any pacifist terms? Quite the opposite, they complain that the President didn't send in the Marines. My only point is that there is a scandal involving the Benghazi incident, but that has little to do with the Republican sideshow. It has to do more with an American ambassador being involved in arms transfers to Turkey which has led directly to over 100,000 deaths in Syria.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:55 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


illegally arming the Syrian rebels with Libyan weapons

Eh. If Congress were really doing its due diligence they would obviously be focusing on this instead of the whole fecklessness weakling accession to terrorist thing, but their own choice of target here speaks volumes about the only operative legal constraint here, which apparently is under the authority of the President to waive (the US unilateral embargo against Syria). The UN has been hampered from reaching a consensus due to the veto of either Russia or the US, and the EU never achieved unanimity on its own embargo, so this would come across as an overreach.

which has led directly to over 100,000 deaths in Syria

So the smuggled arms and the FSA are the only ones that have killed anyone? C'mon.
posted by dhartung at 2:24 PM on November 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Congress were really doing its due diligence they would obviously be focusing on this instead of the whole fecklessness weakling accession to terrorist thing,

Well yeah Congress is out to lunch as usual.

So the smuggled arms and the FSA are the only ones that have killed anyone? C'mon.

I never claimed that; but without the influx of arms, training, and intelligence the FSA would have been crushed in short order.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:04 PM on November 9, 2013


AElfwine Evenstar: "I was merely pointing out a fact."

You entered the thread by quoting another user out of context to argue against a straw man that the CIA's activities in Benghazi were totally benign. Nobody participating so far thinks we were selling lemonade in Benghazi.

You then referred to the President's action as "illegal" even though he has the clear legal authority to waive the provisions of the AECA that would normally constrain our actions in Syria.

And then you top it all off by pinning every one of the estimated 100,000 casualties of the Syrian civil war directly on the Obama administration, by way of an alleged connection between Benghazi and the Syrian civil war that is very much open for debate.

I don't doubt that we're involved in a lot of dirty covert operations in the Middle East, and given Congress' desire to not be seen as "soft on terror", I don't doubt that the executive branch could get weapons flowing to wherever they wanted to. Still, there has been no reputable reporting showing us being involved in weapons transfers to the FSA, and certainly none connecting Chris Stevens to those transfers. You're welcome to post links to the sources that you think corroborate such a theory, but you can't just boldly state as fact that we are definitely involved, and that our assets in Benghazi were involved, and, furthermore, that they (and by extension the executive branch) are responsible for every one of the deaths in Syria. (You can try to back away from it all you want, but that's what you said.)

By all means, let's have a conversation about the possibility of a connection between Benghazi and the Syrian civil war, but let's not talk about it as if it's a settled fact that we can all agree on.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:45 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


(well, Michael Ware, who I think had to bow out from PTSD).

Ware was in bad shape for while, but he's keeping busy and is working on a book and a documentary. Here's a piece he wrote a few months ago about Iraq.

As I recall, he and Logan were an item at one time.
posted by homunculus at 4:17 PM on November 10, 2013



TalkingPoints Memo didn't think very highly of the "correction" that aired on 60 minutes tonight.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:25 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Still, there has been no reputable reporting showing us being involved in weapons transfers to the FSA

Can you please define "reputable reporting"? Cause I have read a lot of reports of us shipping the FSA weapons since at least early 2012 and possibly late 2011.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:40 PM on November 10, 2013


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: " TalkingPoints Memo didn't think very highly of the "correction" that aired on 60 minutes tonight."

Yeah, what a mealy-mouthed non-apology apology that was. And to throw it in at the end of the show in the former Andy Rooney time slot when most people have already flipped the channel? The entire CBS organization should be ashamed.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:44 PM on November 10, 2013


AElfwine Evenstar: " Can you please define "reputable reporting"? Cause I have read a lot of reports of us shipping the FSA weapons since at least early 2012 and possibly late 2011."

Perhaps you could do us all a favor and cite these reports directly instead of talking about them in generalities and expecting us to all believe them sight unseen?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:52 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you could do us all a favor and cite these reports directly instead of talking about them in generalities and expecting us to all believe them sight unseen?

You can use google just as well as I can. Before I go through the trouble of doing your research for you I want to know what you consider a reputable news source. That would save us both a lot of time.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:15 AM on November 11, 2013


Wait, how is it my job to research your claim? This is a ludicrous amount of hand-waving for what should be a very simple request that you show your work.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:08 AM on November 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Before I go through the trouble of doing your research for you I want to know what you consider a reputable news source.

Reporting from a major news organization with an established track record of credibility?
posted by Drinky Die at 8:05 AM on November 11, 2013


(Not that this is the only valid type of source, but it's a good place to start for this conversation)
posted by Drinky Die at 8:06 AM on November 11, 2013


Reporting from a major news organization with an established track record of credibility?

So not CBS.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:42 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


TalkingPoints Memo didn't think very highly of the "correction" that aired on 60 minutes tonight.

When a document in a story on Republican President Bush was asserted to be a forgery, CBS launched a major investigation and ultimately fired several people, including long-time anchor Dan Rather. When a year-in-the-making hit piece on Democratic President Obama is revealed to be an whole-cloth fabrication within a day and a half of airing, CBS issues a 90-second pseudopology at then end of the show.

Liberal Mainstream Media.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:00 AM on November 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


Liberal Mainstream Media

And toothless Democratic Party.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:52 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm actually not sure what the capital-D Democrats are supposed to do about the fact that Big Media has been cowed into submission by decades of the GOP working the refs.

Outlets like Media Matters and Think Progress (which have a very loose affiliation with the party apparatus) do what they can to push back against the nonsense, but when the media outlets are almost universally owned by the Republican-leaning "rich white dude" demographic, you're not going to see them changing unless they're forced to by market conditions the way MSNBC was in the early 2000s. This isn't the party's fault, it's a simple matter of reporters being loath to see the double standard when their salary depends on them not seeing it.

What exactly do you think the party should be doing differently?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:42 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm actually not sure what the capital-D Democrats are supposed to do about the fact that Big Media has been cowed into submission by decades of the GOP working the refs.

This is not a difficult concept: start working the refs in return, in earnest, with persistence and a sense of righteous indignation. The double standard exhibited by CBS in the Logan vs. Rather cases is a clear cut instance of "right wing bias" (not to mention the perpetual dominance of GOP leaders on chat political talk shows). Decades of inaction under the guise of "taking the high road" has lead to a situation where extremist GOP elements feel that they can act with impunity, and with little threat of retaliation.

The media was arguably liberal as the Cronkite era was coming to a close. That didn't stop Gingrich and fellow travelers from raising hell on TV. The Democratic Party still does not have the stomach for a fight, and, in fact, distances itself from firebrands. This has got to change. Guys like Grayson would be more than willing to take the fight to the GOP onscreen. Hell, he'd even do it in a way that gave the Dem leadership plausible deniability, as long as they didn't outright undercut him.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:45 PM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Working the refs" is kind of a lost cause at this point, because the refs are conservatives themselves. Regardless of where the media may have stood in Cronkite's time (and I'd like to see evidence of that), the media gatekeepers are almost exclusively conservatives. The producers, the editors, basically everybody who controls what gets out. The reason that Democrats and liberals don't get screen time isn't because they're not trying, it's because they're not being invited or allowed.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:18 PM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


What ZF said. The media bosses are all insiders who don't give two shits whether Alan Grayson thinks they're being fair in their coverage. They'll cover one of his bombastic House floor speeches for the "oh, wow!" factor, but when Sunday rolls around, they know Democrats are going to keep going on their shows whether the coverage is fair or not, and they don't care if the Democrat who shows up is Alan Grayson or Joe Manchin. Heck, they'd probably prefer the latter.

Changing the media narrative won't come from complaining about it to insiders, it will have to come from outsiders who get fed up with shitty "Views Differ on Shape of Planet" reporting and turning the channel.

One other important thing to note is that because the Benghazi scandal pertains to foreign policy, it's unlikely that Democrats would expend much effort to change the coverage surrounding it in the same way they might if this were a domestic policy issue. Congress (and this is one of the very few cases where "both sides do it" applies) has largely shirked its foreign policy oversight responsibility, leaving a very small number of usually-hawkish committee chairs as the only check on the executive branch's ability to project foreign power. We have seen a bit of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pushing back on the media's coverage of the Obamacare rollout, because that's something that actually has their own name and reputation on it, while the President generally gets all of the credit/blame for foreign policy successes/failures, so there's little incentive for them to expend political capital on changing the narrative.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:33 PM on November 11, 2013


tonypsu and zombieflanders: I simply disagree with you on this matter, though I do so with respect. I doubt it's something we'll resolve by exchanging comments and factoids.

Obviously, I can't "prove" that what I'm saying would work. But it sure seems like working the refs worked for the GOP. It's a tough problem that needs some focused attention, planning, and expertise--something I, as a garden variety citizen in the trenches, can't provide (though I do think about these issues as a local activist, and try to behave accordingly). I believe taking actions makes a difference. Taking them when the odds are against you takes gumption. Doing it and losing because you know it's the only way you will eventually win requires fortitude. Conversely, endless hand-wringing about being locked out of the media just demonstrates weakness of will, a lack of principle, and a failure of imagination--if not in reality, than at least symbolically.

Finally, I don't think I have the same view of Democrats that you seem to have when you say things like [t]he reason that Democrats and liberals don't get screen time [is] because they're not being invited or allowed. We're talking about the Democratic Party here. Not a high school student council, or even a university faculty senate. This is a pretty formidable force... if they want to be. I just can't buy the argument that they're disempowered. I see them as not caring and not willing to get their hands dirty because it doesn't conform to their perceived interests.
posted by mondo dentro at 3:54 PM on November 11, 2013




If CBS Wants Its Reputation Back, A Better Explanation Is In Order
That said, Lara Logan’s apparent naiveté is far from the most objectionable thing about CBS’s ill-fated attempt to pander to the far right’s odd obsession with the Benghazi tragedy. See, 60 Minutes’ October 27 episode supposedly falsifying the Obama administration’s version of what happened that terrible night in Libya wasn’t so much TV journalism as an infomercial for a book in which CBS had a financial stake—a manifest conflict of interest 60 Minutes neglected to mention until MediaMatters.org called its hand.
via Spies in the House of Journalism
Threshold, which is run by the inexcusable Mary Matalin, exists only so that the CBS corporation can break off a piece of the lucrative rube market. It exists primarily to produce and sell wingnut propaganda. It exists so that otherwise unpublishable conservatives won't scream and yell about how nasty liberal publishing elites are keeping them down. Through a combination of corporate cowardice and corporate avarice, the long march of the "Liberal Media" hoax has resulted in an independent information economy totally devoted to weaponized bullshit. The idea that a lunatic faker like Jerome Corsi isn't yet reduced to stapling his writings to lamp posts but, instead, gets actual book deals under the umbrella of a legacy house like Simon and Schuster makes the whole thing kind of a mad masterpiece when you think about it. But it extends beyond Matalin and it extends beyond CBS and this one story.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:33 PM on November 13, 2013 [5 favorites]








Lara Logan's Slap on the Wrist
posted by tonycpsu at 2:24 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


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