Things You Hear on NPR: Benghazi Investigations Found ‘no wrongdoing by the Obama administration’

July 27, 2020

The compound in Benghazi, September 11, 2012.

NPR a few days ago, regarding the possibility of a Susan Rice pick for the Joe Biden ticket:

GONYEA: One certain line of attack Republicans will use against Rice if she’s on the ticket is Benghazi. That’s the 2012 assault on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya that killed four Americans. When it happened, Rice went on TV and called the assault an act of spontaneous violence. That was later shown to be incorrect. All these years later, it remains a rallying cry for Republicans. In fact, here’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just this month talking about Rice and Benghazi on Fox News.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “THE INGRAHAM ANGLE”)

MIKE POMPEO: She went out and made up a story about a video and a protest when she knew full well that this was a terror attack.

GONYEA: In the end, multiple GOP-led congressional inquiries into Benghazi uncovered no wrongdoing by the Obama administration.

(Emphasis added.)

This is a level of glib, lazy sloppiness unworthy of an institution like NPR, even if they are determined to be nothing more than a propaganda arm of the larger left/Progressive project in this increasingly partisan era.  Here was NPR’s own reporting at the time:

Republicans investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have concluded the Obama administration was slow to respond to security threats and ignored dire intelligence warnings. Four Americans, including the ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the assault on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Further down, the same piece goes on:

. . . Republicans who led the panel . . . say they interviewed 81 new witnesses and sifted through 75,000 pages of new documents. . . . And the bottom line is there was enough of a warning about militias in Benghazi and a lot of arms flowing through the population there for security folks in the U.S. to be on high alert. Once things started to go south that night, September 11, 2012, the U.S. response was weak.

And that was NPR’s own reporting.  A less left-leaning source, such as National Review Online, offered even harsher assessments of the Obama administration’s actions, both during that night and in the months leading up to it:

The Select Committee issued its long-awaited report on Tuesday. In many ways, it is a disappointment — an outcome guaranteed by Obama administration stonewalling, abetted by congressional Democrats’ tireless interference. The committee held few public hearings to hold officials accountable, and major questions it was created to examine remain unanswered: Why did the State Department and CIA have compounds in Benghazi, one of the most dangerous places in the world, particularly for Americans? What was President Obama doing during the hours of the siege, particularly once he knew our ambassador was missing? Why, despite the presence of military assets, was no rescue attempted? And why — when the threat was extraordinary, and after months of jihadist attacks on Western targets in the region — was no plan in place to extract the Americans from Benghazi?

Nevertheless, the report is a devastating account of staggering dereliction of duty and deception by the president and his top subordinates. Front and center in every phase of this disgraceful episode is Mrs. Clinton, whose appalling judgment and character flaws are amply illustrated in its pages.

. . . Clinton saw the city as the centerpiece of the anti-Qaddafi resistance and envisioned establishing a permanent State Department mission there to memorialize her achievement. The reality, however, was that Benghazi ran rampant with anti-Western terrorists who carried out serial attacks during 2012. Realizing the peril, the U.N., Great Britain, and other nations pulled their people out. Clinton not only left ours there; she turned a deaf ear to pleas for better security. In fact, the Benghazi “facility” — not a consulate, much less an embassy — appears to have been designated “temporary” precisely to rationalize skirting the stringent security provisions the State Department requires for permanent outposts. . . .

The entire episode is shameful: Foreign-service and intelligence personnel were left in what State Department insiders knew was a death trap even as the threat to them increased. When the inevitable attack came, they were left on their own. And when it came time to explain themselves, administration officials lied: Obama, Clinton, Rice, Rhodes, Carney, and the rest — serially and systematically. That most of the Americans in Benghazi were saved owes to the incredible valor of security personnel on the scene, two of whom gave their lives while the government responsible for protecting them refused to give the time of day.

Four years later, we still do not have all the answers. But the answers we do have are a disgrace, and they demand a reckoning.

Writers at NRO also had other pieces detailing the lies the Obama-administration officials told at the time.  On whether, even when the attack came, for which the Obama administration had left our installation unprepared, it might still not have been too late to do something about it:

“After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi,” Jeremy Bash, Panetta’s chief of staff, wrote in an e-mail to Hillary Clinton’s senior aides that evening. “They are spinning up as we speak.”

The e-mail renews questions about why State Department and CIA employees in Benghazi were not rescued the night of the attack. And it contradicts later testimony by Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told a Senate panel that it was impossible to deploy military assets to the city.

From a piece enumerating more of the administration’s lies, and the evidence that those officials knew at the time that they were not telling the truth:

Although I am a confirmed and consistent critic of Hillary and Obama, I long had cut them some slack regarding their first comments about the Benghazi attack. Thanks to the fog of war, I thought, they could not be blamed if they initially misattributed this deadly onslaught to a mob inflamed about an incredibly amateur Internet video that dissed the Prophet Mohammad. If they innocently got it wrong in, say, the first twelve hours after the assault began, they might deserve a grudging pass — at least for those early announcements.

Alas, I was unjustifiably generous toward Hillary and Obama. Instead, I should have been profoundly cynical.

This is similar to NPR’s statement that there was “no evidence” of alleged Clinton Foundation wrongdoing in a 2016 piece about the Trump Foundation:  NPR says, in effect, Of course we all know (or think we remember) that our side did nothing wrong in the related story, nothing to see there; now let’s get back to the real story, the glorious revolution that is really what we all came for…

Pretty embarrassing.

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