CBS on Benghazi

An old-media news organization has finally gotten around to doing some serious reporting on the Benghazi debacle. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS has a story that is very much worth reading. Some excerpts:

CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”


Counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News express frustration that key responders were ready to deploy, but were not called upon to help in the attack.


The Administration also didn’t call on the only interagency, on-call, short notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide: the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). FEST’s seasoned experts leave within four hours of notification and can provide “the fastest assistance possible.”


In the days after the assault, counterterrorism officials expressed dismay over what they interpreted as the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to acknowledge that the attack was terrorism; and their opinion that resources which could have helped were excluded.

The report also cites a counterterrorism expert who says he knew, as soon as he heard enemy mortar rounds hitting the building with our people in it, that this must have been a pre-planned attack rather than a “spontaneous uprising,” in view of the technical complexities of accurate mortar fire. Yet 5 days later, on September 16, the Obama administration sent U.N. ambassador Susan Rice around to the talk shows to assert its “spontaneous protest over a video” theory.

Read the whole thing here.

At a minimum–at a bare minimum–the Benghazi affair reveals a dismal level of incompetence pervading the Obama administration. There is also reason to believe that it reveals decison-making about life-and-death matters based on this President’s desire to preserve his “narrative,” rather than facing reality and acting upon it. And, I suspect, the more we learn about what happened in Benghazi, and why it happened, the more disturbing the answers are going to be.

I’m currently re-reading the memoirs of General Edward Spears, who was Churchill’s emissary to France in 1940. There was a disturbing amount of defeatism, and in some cases actual sympathy with the Nazi enemy, among certain government officials and other French elites. Weygand’s friend Henri de Kerillis, a Deputy and newpaper editor, had been consistently pressing Prime Minister Daladier to investigate some sinister behavior by members of the extreme Right.

“Il faut de’brider l’abces,” he had said time and time again to the Premier. He had done so again lately and received this strange answer: I have done exactly what you urged, I have opened the abscess, but it was so deep the scalpal disappeared down it, and had I gone on, my arm would have followed.” This was really very frightening, and I said so. “You cannot be more frightened than I am,” said Kerillis.

I feel sure that we are going to find that the abscess revealed by the Obama administration’s behavior re Benghazi goes very deep indeed.

10 thoughts on “CBS on Benghazi”

  1. Sharyl Atkisson has been all over this story from the start. It is also not clear that the rest of the CBS organization is. When I start seeing other bylines, I will be persuadable. Where is the rest of the organization holding the administration’s feet to the fire? They are abetting the administration omerta. And coverage after next Tuesday doesn’t count. They will then turn on the lame duck to keep the viewers glued to the tube.

  2. Sheryl Atkisson is a freekin’ SOLDIER. I remember her as being notably fetching back in her early CNN days. (yes, that is SO important…. /sarc/).

    Who knew she would turn out to be one of the few, the proud, the miniscule bunch of operatives behind MSM enemy lines who actually has this bizarre idea that journalism is an extremely important profession that is about seeking truth REGARDLESS of who happens to be in power. Where on earth she got this strange notion is a mystery to me, but, as Lincoln said of US Grant, whatever adult beverage she may care to indulge in after a hard day on the beat, let’s send a few cases of it to B. Williams, Stephanopolous, Blitzer et al.

    You’re a hero, Sheryl, and for reasons far beyond that conservatives may particularly appreciate your work. It is because you work with genuine honor, and we see far too little of that among your colleagues these days. God bless you.

  3. I’ve heard stories second hand about firing mortars in urban areas. Despite their nearly vertical angle of fire, clearing the immediate surrounds i.e. buildings, poles, wires etc while at the exact angle to cause the shell to come down past similar obstacles on the target side is fairly challenging. You spend a lot of time driving/humping the mortar around to find a place that gives you a solution.

    It doesn’t help that old school mortars like the attackers would have had, are armed immediately by the acceleration of firing. If you clip something on the way up, even a pigeon, the shell detonates. It’s old soviet design philosophy, “we’ve always got more soldiers where those came from.”

  4. ***Benghazi a Blip on Media’s Radar – Less Than 2 Minutes of Coverage on ABC, CBS; NBC Punts***

    The Attkisson piece is clearly an exception.

    Several major media organizations are clearly willing to harm their own credibility, with virtually certain long-term impact on their revenue, profit, and market value, in order to help re-elect Barack Obama.

    These are mostly publicly-traded companies, or divisions or joint ventures of same. Is there an issue of fiduciary responsibility to shareholders here?

  5. There are 2 types of American ambassadors today – those who are major contributors to Obama and the Democrat party and those who gave little or nothing.

    Major donors get their choice of enbassies. Their embassies are always heavily protected. These embassies have never been attacked.
    State justifies this practice because Obama expects his ambassadors to party heavily and he does not want the parties to be interupted by scum off the streets (ditto for the White House).

    Ambassador Stevens was not a major contributor to either the democrat party or to Obama. He was not a party animal.

  6. I like to see America as a refuge, but it isn’t from persecution as a Muslim brother. That may be Islamophobic, but it would seem more survivalist.

  7. Grey Eagle, i has been that way a long time. John Quincy Adams was the president’s son.

    Interestingly enough, there is a sort of exception that has been described in an excellent book called ” In the garden of beasts”. That’s an unfortunate title because it is so similar to another book but it is very good. It is about the ambassador appointed by Roosevelt to the new Nazi government in Germany. None of the usual candidates wanted it so it went to an obscure professor. The story is well told by an experienced writer. My review of it is here.

    The foreign service officers get the worst postings but, at least, they expect the government will protect them. Even the Nazis were better than the Islamists who have no interest in modern practices in government or anywhere else except bombs and cell phones.

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