On the supposed Benghazi “coverup”

Yeah, not so much…

The cover-up story relies on the premise that Obama administration officials pushed the idea of spontaneity in order to obscure the fact that they had missed warnings of planned terrorist attack. It’s plausible that someone was pushing that story for parochial reasons in these email exchanges. Perhaps the CIA put that idea in its first assessment and kept it there in every subsequent version to cover for its failure to stay on top of the al-Qaida affiliates in Benghazi, even though there was a CIA outpost there. It’s also obvious that the State Department wanted to shift blame away from its failure to protect its people in Benghazi. But there’s no evidence in the emails that the idea of spontaneity was initiated by anyone associated with Obama, the White House, or the president’s wider political fortunes. Did Obama benefit from the spontaneity narrative? Yes. But to embrace intelligence from your CIA that is favorable to you–when you have no reason to doubt your intelligence service–is not the same as making up a false story. It’s not even a sin.

Our own PJ also does an excellent job of debunking the manufactured scandal by Republicans, and there’s this as well:

As Erik Wemple points out, this contradicts the other damaging accusation from the scandal known as “Benghazi-gate.” The Obama administration’s first fumbling attempts to explain the killings put them in the context of “protests” against a viral anti-Muhammad movie. On Sept. 16, UN Ambassador Susan Rice probably talked her way out of a promotion by sticking to talking points on the event and saying a “spontaneous” protest was hijacked by an armed “clusters of extremists.” McCain and other critics scoffed at the gullibility on display. “Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration,” said McCain on CBS News, speaking immediately after Rice.

The truth lay in between the talking points and the snark. The mob that crashed the consulate was attacking diplomats. But they were able to kill our ambassador, and sow confusion, by setting fires. The heavy weapons came later.

So far, three State Department officials have fallen on their swords in response to this report. That was what investigators asked for, basically, blaming the circumstances in Benghazi on “senior State Department officials” who “demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability.” They failed to provide security before Sept. 11. On Tuesday, describing the video he’d been able to watch of the attack, Sen. Bob Corker told reporters that the compound was so wanly protected that “you or I could have walked right in.”

That doesn’t suggest a real-time campaign of cowardice. It doesn’t suggest a cover-up, either. It suggests that the neglected budget for embassy security needs a harder look in 2013. When that happens—or when it doesn’t happen—we’ll know what politicians learned from Benghazi.

As for the impact of the Republican attempts to find a coverup where none exists regarding Benghazi, the impact on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be absolutely nil.

The sexist spin on Hillary Clinton’s Senate testimony

I know I’m a couple of days behind on this, but Aviva Shen of ThinkProgress has a great post up highlighting the sexist coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony during a Senate committee hearing on the Benghazi terror attacks last week,

In fact, here’s the Thursday morning cover of the New York Post, which is owned by conservative media tycoon Rupert Murdoch:

Image courtesy ThinkProgress.org
Image courtesy ThinkProgress.org

I’m willing to bet that if a male Secretary of State had become as outraged as Secretary Clinton did by the line of idiotic and hyper-partisan questioning she subjected to, the New York Post cover story probably would not have included a headline about how afraid of him his spouse must be.