By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
We have repeatedly exposed how the mainstream media consistently ignore the “phony scandal” of the multiple terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, and the unnecessary deaths of four brave Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Indeed, the mainstream media shy away from covering this scandal or, alternatively, dismiss efforts to expose the ongoing government cover-up as an attack on Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances.
But the media should be furious because they—alongside of the American public—were sold a lie by the Obama administration. And the media became one of the tools through which that lie was disseminated. The latest disclosures have come to light thanks to the ongoing efforts of Judicial Watch.
Document after released document shows that the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the head of AFRICOM, and the President of the United States himself, were informed, shortly after the attack began, that Benghazi was an attack by terrorists. Yet most of the media, such as New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, defensively maintain the official narrative years later that the attack “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well,” states an email forwarded to Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, as well as Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff for policy and her executive assistant. It is dated September 11, 2012 at 4:07 p.m. EST—about a half hour after the attack in Benghazi began. The argument that senior State Department personnel did not inform their direct superior, Mrs. Clinton, of the facts surrounding the unfolding situation strains credulity.
“State Department emails released through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch show that then-Secretary Hillary Clinton knew as the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was under way that it was being carried out by terrorists,” reports Jerome Corsi for WorldNetDaily. Yet, “Clinton blamed the attack on ‘rage and violence over an awful Internet video’” just days later when “she spoke at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2014” as the remains of those slain returned to the U.S. She also made similar assertions on September 12, 2012.
Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, connected the dots, detailing the anatomy of the attempted cover-up.
While the attacks were still going on, “Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in ‘response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’” McCarthy writes. He continues, “Secretary Clinton’s statement took pains to add that ‘the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others’—further intimating that the video was the cause of the attack. I have previously recounted that this official Clinton statement was issued shortly after 10 p.m.—minutes after President Obama and Secretary Clinton spoke briefly on the telephone about events in Benghazi, according to Clinton’s congressional testimony. The White House initially denied that Obama had spoken with Clinton or other top cabinet officials that night. The president’s version of events changed after Secretary Clinton’s testimony.”
The new emails from Judicial Watch also show that Clinton’s top officials were trying to get third parties to echo false information that they were fully aware was incorrect, according to the group’s President Tom Fitton, who spoke at a press briefing on February 26. And they stopped talking to the press so that statements about the video would receive more coverage.
Mills asked the State Department to stop answering press inquiries after Mrs. Clinton’s statement about “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” was “hanging out there,” writing, “Can we stop answering emails for the night Toria [Victoria Nuland] b/c now the first one is hanging out there.”
Fitton also said that the released emails leave no doubt that Clinton’s closest advisors knew the basic facts about Benghazi immediately, and that Clinton knowingly lied about the YouTube video’s role in Benghazi. He cited the failure of the media to have any curiosity about this issue and condemned Congress for not holding the administration more accountable.
The Select Committee on Benghazi contacted Judicial Watch a day before the press briefing regarding its documents and specialized knowledge about Benghazi, said Fitton. Yet the Select Committee began interviewing State Department officials earlier this month, without these documents.
The cover-up by the administration, including by Mrs. Clinton, has only become more apparent with the release of Judicial Watch’s most recent “smoking gun” emails from the State Department. Will the media continue to look the other way in an attempt to save Mrs. Clinton’s reputation and her White House bid, or will it finally begin to demand real accountability? Unfortunately, I think we already know the answer to that, leaving it up to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) committee, and groups like Judicial Watch, and our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.