Funny you should mention that business where Khattala was hanging out with reporters and sipping frappes, because it’s one of the things mentioned by the Washington Post’s paid liar, Dana Milbank, in that disgusting hit piece he cooked up on the Heritage Foundation and the Benghazi panel held at their facility, which John Sexton mentioned below. But Milbank mentioned the frappe incident as something only deranged conspiracy kooks would believe, rather than an objective fact quoted from reporting by the New York Times.
The psychology of all this is interesting, beyond Milbank’s crude effort to slander the Heritage Foundation and the speakers at their panel. I think it’s very important for liberals to remain in a snug intellectual cocoon on Benghazi. They’re hungry to be told the Obama Administration didn’t lie to the nation, Hillary Clinton didn’t lie into the faces of the Benghazi families, and Obama played his left-wing base for fools. They desperately need to believe that only right-wing nuts and Faux News have any serious questions about what the Obama Administration did before, during, and after the 9/11/12 attacks.
So of course Dana Milbank and his readers aren’t up on all the details to emerge from skeptical reporting and congressional testimony. They don’t want to know all that stuff. They’re clinging to the fantasy of the “spontaneous video protest” bilge being an honest mistake anybody could have made. Hillary Clinton’s had a terrible week that showed off her tin ear to unflattering effect, but even she understood the importance of remarking, after news of Khattala’s capture, that she still kinda sorta believes the video protest narrative – sure, it turns out there were some terrorists there too, but they were mixed in with a mob of highly agitated film critics.
That sounds crazy and insulting to the rest of us – especially after reviewing Clinton’s contemporaneous remarks, which include absolutely no hint of the suspicions she now claims to have held about organized terrorist involvement – but Clinton knows it’s what the left-wing base needs to hear, needs to believe. The truth of what happened after Benghazi is quite simple: a panicked President and his political team desperately trying to punt their way through a news cycle and short-circuit a story about staggering negligence that could easily have killed Obama’s re-election campaign. They manufactured a fantasy about a massive, spontaneous protest that nobody could have seen coming – a bolt from the blue that no President or Secretary of State could possibly have anticipated. It left everyone on the ground in Libya scratching their heads in bewilderment, but what the hell, voters weren’t going to hear from them anyway, not before the election.
That’s the fantasy Democrats still cling to, wrapped in equally important contempt for Benghazi skeptics, which flatters the Democrats’ sense of superiority. What Dana Milbank wrote was comfort food, a jolt of anesthesia for their numb souls, reinforcing their conviction that all good and sane people believe the Benghazi story was over at the precise instant Barack Obama said it was. He went too far when he tried to reinforce that partisan narcotic by falsely portraying the Benghazi panel as Bigotpalooza, to the point where a lot of people with no love for Heritage or any of the speakers on that panel are pointing out that actual video of the exchange bears no resemblance to the way Milbank characterized it. But if you cut that part out, the remainder of his op-ed sneer was a perfect reflection of the view from inside the Benghazi bubble. I wonder if Ahmed Abu Khattala will say a few things that might finally crack it.
One of the most bizarre defenses made by Obama apologists is the insistence that no resources were available to make any sort of rescue attempt during the attack. That sounds more like a damning indictment to me: why weren’t any such resources in place, with a U.S. Ambassador headed into a dangerous area, on September 11? Likewise, crowing about the capture of a Benghazi attacker after 645 days, in a country that was supposed to be one of Obama’s foreign policy triumph, smacks of efforts to dig a little nugget of good news from beneath a very deep pile of manure.