Friday, September 21, 2012

Spinning Benghazi

By Justin Raimindo

"Little wheels spin and spin, big wheels turn around and around
Little wheels spin and spin, big wheels turn around and around
Merry Christmas, Jingle Bells, Christ is born and the devil’s in Hell
Hearts they shrink, pockets swell
Everybody know and nobody tell"
Buffy St. Marie
Washington can’t seem to get their story straight: first we were told the attack on our Benghazi consulate and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was the result of a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand – and today we’re told it was all a plot initiated by a heretofore little-known "al Qaeda affiliate."
Before we get to the obvious question – which is it? – let’s linger awhile and wonder: why the sudden change in spin? This is important because in Washington, and the world of American politics, there is no reality: there’s just spin. People have opinions carefully tailored to the political demands of the moment – and during a presidential election year these change by the minute.
It was Senator Joe Lieberman who made news when he asked National Counterrorism Center chief Matt Olsen whether the Benghazi incident was a terrorist attack: "I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Olsen replied. This was immediately pounced on by Fox News and our good friends over at Reason magazine, among others, as proof that it was, as Sen. Susan Collins put it during Senate hearings the other day, "a premeditated, planned attack that was associated with the date of 9/11, the anniversary of 9/11."
The video, these spin-meisters aver, had nothing to do with it: it’s just because those Muslim freaks hate not just America but the modern world, of which we are the preeminent example. Fox & Co. have been pushing this line from the beginning, and they were delighted to re-broadcast Olsen’s remarks as supposedly confirming their view.
Yet if you investigate further – beyond reading the first line of Olsen’s remarks – this alleged confirmation evaporates:
"We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates; in particular, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
"It appears that individuals who were certainly well-armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded that evening and into the morning hours of September 12th. We do know that a number of militants in the area, as I mentioned, are well-armed and maintain those arms. What we don’t have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack."
Translation: it was a terrorist attack if you say so, Senator Lieberman.
In the world outside Washington, D.C., the laws of logic operate as follows: first we find the evidence, then we draw conclusions from it. In the Imperial City, however, these laws are inverted: first the conclusion, then the evidence – which can always be manufactured or spun to suit.
Lieberman and the War Party want to elide the "Innocence" video out of the equation entirely. We’re supposed to forget about it, and focus our attention on the Eternal Enemy, the Emmanuel Goldstein of the post-9/11 world – "al Qaeda," a brand name copyrighted by no one and claimed by many. This will buttress our flagging interest in pursuing the new Hundred Year War and stoke up our bloodlust for a bout with Iran– or so the War Party hopes.
But why the change in line by the administration? Well, it’s not exactly a change: Olsen admits there is no evidence for the al Qaeda plot scenario, but his answer indicates the administration is willing to entertain the notion – especially since their Libyan clients have understandably taken the position that it was indeed al Qaeda. Otherwise the new government would have to admit their country is overrun by out-of-control militias who have turned Libya into Somalia-on-the-Mediterranean – thanks to the Obama administration.
Politically, the idea of a pre-planned terrorist operation initiated by al Qaeda-like entities works for the administration, because it in large part relieves them of any responsibility or blame. In spite of the death of Osama bin Laden, and the decimationof the top leadership ranks, the image of al Qaeda as this formidable force, with almost mystic powers at its disposal, still has its uses.
The Republicans and their neoconservative avatars find this useful in a different way: it gives them the chance to score points off the Obama administration for alleged "weakness" in the face of Islamist terror. Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reasonmagazine, gave voice to this talking point when he wished for "a more American response" to the riots from US diplomats and the White House. From Mitt Romney’s perspective, this new turn in the Benghazi "investigation" absolves him from weighing in too early, and retrospectively gives his initial critique a modicum of credibility.
Both sides, then, are in the process of making a deal that the terrorist plot scenario is the best explanation, each for their own reasons. However, if there’s no real evidence for this theory, then how can they hope to pull it off? 


  1. I can't remember where I saw it, but it was the spinning of "Why wasn't the embassy protected by Marines?" Someone in the administration said there, in fact, were two former SEALS that were killed at the embassy protecting it. We find out later that those two weren't in the actual security detail protecting the embassy, but "contractors" under the nebulous category of "security."

    All I could think of when I saw this was, "WTF are former US special forces doing 'under contract' at the embassy?" If that wasn't a CIA op in progress, it certainly was something else very suspicious.

    The spin is in and we'll never know the whole truth. It all stinks like a pig pen from top to bottom.

  2. It was just the opposite though.
    First there was a spontaneous demo. film of the demo. No bullhorns, no coverage. No photos, no video. People living in the area saying there was no demo.
    Next dozens of men attacked with RPGs and stuff. Typical of rallies in Bengazi? If you say so....

  3. Next, the Obama's Political Terrorist Organization(OPTO) is going to claim it was the "Tea Baggers".....