Note To Conservatives – You Can’t Debunk A Story Debunking Your Talking Points By Using Those Same Talking Point To Debunk The Story Debunking You!
This is a post i meant to write when the Breitbart article first came to my attention last week, but with the holidays and all…
OK. Here’s the Breitbart story and headline: Obama Administration in Pre-Edited Talking Points: Al Qaeda Behind Benghazi Attack!
Um… I read this twice to make sure I’m not missing something. The story does not match the headline.
This is what the story says is the pre-edited analysis and conclusion of the Congressional testimony:
Kirkpatrick’s writings also contradict the Obama administration and intelligence community themselves – including a now-former White House official involved in the talking points issue who has touted Kirkpatrick’s story as some kind of saving grace for himself.
Months and months of congressional investigation have uncovered internal Obama administration and intelligence community communications that show the administration did believe al Qaeda-affiliated organizations were involved in the attack.
“The crowd almost certainly was a mix of individuals from across many sectors of Libyan society,” the second talking point on page four reads. “That being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.”
The document is a communication marked “confidential” between a number of different intelligence community officials, including some from the CIA. In it, the author, whose name is redacted, indicates that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) “has asked for unclassified points immediately that they can use in talking to the media.”
“the administration did believe al Qaeda-affiliated organizations were involved in the attack.” and “we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” is NOT the same as al Qaeda being BEHIND the attacks.
As is usual with Breitbart and FOX, they mislead with the headline and that itself becomes a new talking point.
Breitbart is relying on old incomplete evidence, some of which are initials CIA estimates which were very incomplete at the time. If Breitbart wants to break the back of the New York Times story, they need to show that the following:
The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.
Al Qaeda was having its own problems penetrating the Libyan chaos. Three weeks after the attack, on Oct. 3, 2012, leaders of the group’s regional affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, sent a letter to a lieutenant about efforts to crack the new territory. The leaders said they had sent four teams to try to establish footholds in Libya. But of the four, only two in the southern Sahara “were able to enter Libyan territory and lay the first practical bricks there,” the letter said.
A note the Breitbart, FOX, and the other Conservative “truth-tellers” – THAT PARAGRAPH ABOVE is the heart of the New York Times story. Break that with better evidence by actually, you know, investigating this on the ground, instead of re-re-re-hashing dated talking points from the right, and you have something. Otherwise, you just continueto look like the partisan outlets that you are.