Political Animal


October 21, 2012 9:02 AM Two New Pieces of Benghazi Reporting

By Ryan Cooper

This came out yesterday, but in case you missed it, some important pieces of the Benghazi puzzle came to light yesterday. The first, from David Ignatius, somewhat exonerates UN Ambassador Susan Rice and her infamous tour of the Sunday shows:

“Talking points” prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

Secondly, Ken Dilanian and Shashank Bengali at the LA Times report that the Benghazi attack had nothing to do with Al Qaeda:

The assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.

Finally, Kevin Drum puts everything in context.


Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • BannedinDC on October 21, 2012 9:39 AM:

    Thanks for this roundup. I'm sure this topic is top of mind for everyone ahead of tomorrow's debate.

  • c u n d gulag on October 21, 2012 10:29 AM:

    I wonder how Mitt will try to twist this?

    Oh yeah, this never would have happened under President Romney - his steely gaze and firm resolve would have scared the people in Libya so much, they'd have been cowering at home.

  • Kathryn on October 21, 2012 10:38 AM:

    Four Americans died as a result of the events in Benghazi and I have no doubt, Obama administration will exact revenge on the perpetrators. The rest of this noise from the GOP is political grandstanding, who doesn't know this? For close to four years, the traitorous opposition party has searched for every opportunity to capitalize on any perceived terror related incident. There is no pulling together when a Democrat is president particularly when he an African-American president. It seems to me that doing everything possible to keep the economy weak, doing everything possible to prevent Americans from obtaining preventative healthcare, trying to enshrine financial licentionous with no regulation for Wall Street is sufficiently disgraceful enough. But that is not the case, Romney has blundered into neo con world, seemingly ceding Israel policy to Netanyahu and Shedon Adelson and is more than willing to undermine Obama on the world stage. What a guy!

  • stormskies on October 21, 2012 10:49 AM:

    Kathryn is so right. I would only add to what she has said: all of this with the active complicity of a large amount of the corporate media.

  • DIane Rodriguez on October 21, 2012 10:53 AM:

    Kathryn, thanks for the great summary. I concur.

    Drum ends his piece by saying "there's really not much there". Romney shuns facts, so truth has no bearing on this issue. Monday's debate will be one long tirade manufactured from whole cloth.

    His conduct in the last debate was a 3D picture of a petulant and nasty bully who has never been challenged. Classic cowardly behavior. Apparently, the media sufficiently quashed the obvious and once again convinced viewers of the bogus "equivalency" argument. Perhaps he will be so full of himself this time he will lose what little control of his conduct that he has left. I sincerely hope so.

  • Ronald on October 21, 2012 11:01 AM:

    Wowie- this is HUGE news- very much especially going into the final debate- foreign policy.
    With the Libya attacks from the Republicans blunted, with announced talks with Iran...Romney is going to have a very hard time looking or sounding presidential.

  • Texas Aggie on October 21, 2012 12:00 PM:

    I think you have to distinguish between the actual attack on the embassy and the demonstration. The attack was carried out by a different group since the demonstrators were the people responsible for taking the ambassador to the hospital in the first place.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on October 21, 2012 12:02 PM:

    To put it all into context...

    What the f*ck is the point of having Americans die if we republicans cannot make political hay of it!

  • schtick on October 21, 2012 2:52 PM:

    I imagine Romney will find something to tick off foreign countries while on the world stage in a debate. China comes to mind or didn't he already get their fur up?
    Besides folks, let's face it. No matter what happened it's Obama's fault. Obama is channeling Dubya and it's all a conspiracy to do whatever he wants in office.
    More projection.

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