EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 3, 2014

Column: Revealing Benghazi intelligence -- and the source who leaked it

Today we are reporting vital intelligence from a document now in my possession that may finally silence Washington’s old, lame Benghazi blame-game.

The document, written in 2012, sheds light on the motives and thinking of the attackers as they were attacking the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. And it reveals errors in assertions made by Democrats and Republicans in the overheated post-Benghazi contretemps.

So today we are revealing both the information and the source who provided this crucial intelligence.

On Saturday, the Benghazi blame game erupted yet again after The New York Times website launched an investigative account of just who did what in Benghazi -- before, during and after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks. Four Americans were killed in the attacks on the compound and a nearby CIA annex, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

The Times report, by Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick, was exhaustive and impressive in many ways. Yet it can be justifiably criticized for not even mentioning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and giving only minimal coverage to the Obama administration’s election-year political decisions on how to respond. (Especially the foolish decision to have the uninvolved and misinformed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice claim on television the Benghazi attack was merely a copycat of the spontaneous crowd that overran the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest a video offensive to Muslims made by a U.S. citizen.)

The New York Times reported its investigation “turned up no evidence that al-Qaida or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. ... And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

In a flash, the blame game battle was on again. House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa, R, Calif., said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press”: “We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi, a very isolated area, or that it was a leading cause.”

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