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Writing for Time Magazine, Massimo Calabresi anticipates the conclusion of the new House Select Committee investigation in A Benghazi Scandal That’s Already Been Revealed: The CIA Believed A Media Mistake. and also delivers what he believes will be President Obama'a and the State Departments perfectly reasonable explanation - they believed the CIA reports which were wrong because the CIA erred in believing the media reports.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on Benghazi already concluded the breakdown occurred in the CIA analysis of intelligence. Their recommendations are being implemented.  

Ignoring this the House voted today to establish a select committee to investigate the Benghazi affair all over again.  Here are some facts to keep in mind to keep ourselves grounded.  

... the CIA believed those reports, resulting in talking points that were delivered to Ambassador Susan Rice, who told the nation on several Sunday news programs Sept. 16 that the attacks in Benghazi were “a spontaneous reaction” to protests that had occurred on the same day in Cairo against an anti-Islamic video published in the U.S. “People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control,” Rice told Fox News Sunday, incorrectly. “We don’t see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack.”

Calabresi compares this to a " really bad game of telephone." The CIA relied on at least six early press reports describing the spontaneous protests being in reaction to the protesters hearing about the inflammatory video tapes.

The subsequent analyses produced by the CIA and others in the U.S. intelligence community were likewise affected by the initial reporting in the media. The SSCI report finds:


The most famous of these reports formed the basis of talking points provided to members of Congress by the CIA Sept. 15, 2012. They began, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post and subsequently its annex.”

The Republicans in the House already know all of this. Calabresi reminds us last month former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell "testified in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that it was only after the Libyan government said on Sept. 18 that video footage showed no protests that the CIA concluded they had got it wrong."

In the short term, that means that even if the Obama White House and the Clinton State Department were as political and self-serving as their most vehement critics believe, they would still have protection against accusations they misrepresented what happened in Benghazi—they can claim, rightly, to have been reacting to the CIA intelligence analysis.

So why are Republicans persisting on setting up this needless committee when they already know the conclusion? Perhaps, The Newest Benghazi Controversy: Political Fundraising, provides a clue? When reporters peppered John Boehner with questions about the whether the NRCC fundraising letter was appropriate he deflected, as reported by Jed Lewison in, John Boehner won't answer question about GOP fundraising off #Benghazi.

NBC reports Rep. Steve Israeli (D) challenged Boehner this morning:

“Fundraising off the Benghazi tragedy is despicable and insulting and has no place in the national conversation,” he said. “Speaker Boehner and Chairman Walden should immediately take down their BenghaziWatchdogs.com website and stop insulting the memory of the brave Americans who were lost there."

So, next time some one asks you about the Benghazi scandal you can respond, "Oh, you mean the crass, fund raising exploitation of the four dead Americans by the Republicans?" Purse your lips and shake your head sadly, as if to say what can we do? "Benghazi Delusional Derangement Syndrome, BDDS. Don't let this happen to you!

8:15 PM PT: Please check out this post from earlier.

Bipartisan energy efficiency bill stalls due to G.O.P. holding out for Keystone vote and amendments


Originally posted to HoundDog on Thu May 08, 2014 at 07:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I can't make up my mind: (10+ / 0-)

    box of rocks, or bag of hammers?

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:06:48 PM PDT

  •  With the Cons, it's never about what they claim (10+ / 0-)

    it's about.

    Benghazi is about the U.S. not capitalizing on the incident by launching a verbally aggressive response. It's about the U.S. not thumping its chest to intimidate someone. It's also so clearly after the fact that nothing that's said now will have any consequence on the ground. So, it is safe to grouse -- like complaining about a discarded spouse who's dead and buried.
    Benghazi is safe. Cowardly Cons are always about safe. National security is just another way of saying "I'm scared."

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:08:59 PM PDT

    •  You are another lurking poet hannah. I noticed (7+ / 0-)

      how much imagery floats in your comments. I noticed this
      this also about greenbird's writing a few days ago, One could take out a few words and phrase them and have a poem. Vivid imagery. You are lucky.

      Grouse, spouse, louse, ... come on you're are teasing me right? Trying to tempt me.

      This is like holding up steaks to hungry lions. Or throwing fish to the Sea Lion at the Aquariums

      Running with the Cons

      by Hannah (with slight arrangement by HD)

      With the Cons
      its never what they claim.

      Benghazi is about the U.S.
      not launching an aggressive response.

      It's about the U.S.
      not thumping its chest
      to intimidate.

      Nothing that's said now
      will have any consequence
      on the ground.

      So, it is safe to grouse --
      like complaining
      about a discarded spouse
      who's dead and buried.

      Benghazi is safe.
      Cowardly Cons
      are always about safe.

      National security
      is just another way of saying
      "I'm scared."

      ----------------

      These are all your words. The only change I might make is maybe the last line would be more poignant if if said "I'm not scared!" like the defiant child trying to mask the fact they really are afraid - of a world they can't quite understand because they are not yet intellectually developed enough.

      Which leads to the question if our strategy doesn't need improvement? Instead of pounding the crap out of them intellectually and ridiculing how lame their arguments are - which if your theory is true, we could predict will make them feel more inadequate and therefore compensate with more ideological bluster - No instead, perhaps, we need to more patently explain in simple step by step, easy to grasp lesson,   a basic minimally functional progressive world view and mindset - so they could get it - perceived the world as we perceive it - arrive at similar interpretations - and similar prescriptions for change?

      I realize this sound idealistic. I need to take some specific example and break it down.

      I'm not talking about trying to convert the sociopathic con men leaders who are exploiting the masses with demagoguery.  But rather the next marginal 10% demographic traunch of swing voters - independents who might go either way and have active free and functioning neurons and at least partially open minds.

      Also we should do this to fortify ourselves.

      Oops -- what was the question? LOL

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think I like it better ending with I'm "not" (6+ / 0-)

      scared. What do you think hannah.  Sorry, if this is off topic and a distraction, I can't really help it folks, this is the way I am.

      Where are the moderators?  This fellow is disrupting our post! Woof, woof!

      Running with the Cons

      by Hannah (with slight arrangement by HD)

      With the Cons
      its never what they claim.

      Benghazi is about the U.S.
      not launching an aggressive response.

      It's about the U.S.
      not thumping its chest
      to intimidate.

      Nothing that's said now
      will have any consequence
      on the ground.

      So, it is safe to grouse --
      like complaining
      about a discarded spouse
      who's dead and buried.

      Benghazi is safe.
      Cowardly Cons
      are always about safe.

      National security
      is just another way of saying
      "I'm not scared."

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:40:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, the "not" is better. (8+ / 0-)

        However, I should warn you that I HATE poetry. I say that even as upon occasion I find myself writing one. I think I say it because the spouse was a professor of English lit who taught things like poetry and short story writing and it was all about the form. Even now, when I write a bit of a poem on Hannah, he corrects the metre. LOL
        Well, he also corrects the essays.
        There's an irony there in that I like writing much more than he does because he's never satisfied. Howard Dean did have a point about letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

        Personally, I'm very pleased to have you "adjust" what I've written. It's very flattering.
        So, thanks.

        http://hannah.smith-family.com

        by hannah on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:43:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry hannah, I didn't mean to imply you (5+ / 0-)

          should be "adjusted" I guess I might be a little like you husband. It's a curse. Look at this way. We have to live with ourselves all the time. You can at least go into the other room and watch TV sometimes for a break.

          You do have a colorful and poetic way of speaking. Which I find really hard to resist trying to "organize in to neat rows."

          And, believe it or not, I'm the relax wild person in my relationship. My S.O. put labels on everything in the house, and leaves me instructions for how to put away our food inside the refrigerator.

          I complain about it but I must be drawn to people like this because my ex-wife used to hang here cloths in the closet organized by both color and length from left to write.

          And, she ironed and folds her underwear.

          When I first asked her out to a movie one Tuesday night after work, she look confused and said she couldn't because it was dusting night.

          I thought she was brushing me off but things like this happened a couple more times, so finally I laughed and said you know it's OK to just tell me you don't want to go out with me. She insisted she did but it just couldn't be on a Tuesday night because that was dusting night.

          I couldn't believe it and teased her about it until she was laughing and had to admit it was silly.

          I was pleased with myself out how clever I was to "overcome" her patterns of thinking not realizing what a fool I was not to be paying attention to the warning signs.

          Now, decades latter I realize what has become of me. Now I'm trying to "organize" other peoples comments. Aauuuughh! This must be what it is like when those people in the Sci Fi movies realize their bodies are being taken over by aliens or they are turning into Werewolves.

          Gak.

          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:18:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  P.S. If you don't mind, I'll post this on Hannah (6+ / 0-)

        Blog, giving credit as appropriate.

        http://hannah.smith-family.com

        by hannah on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:45:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's also about elections--theirs in Nov. 14, and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rashaverak

      ...about the possibility of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in 2016.  They are determined to develop talking points against her (as the SoS during that time) if she decides to run.  

      They want to pretend it's about something else.

  •  Sic 'em HoundDog! -nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, palantir, Rashaverak

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:12:39 PM PDT

  •  Using 4 dead Americans to fundraise - dispicable. (8+ / 0-)

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:15:16 PM PDT

  •  The conspiracy... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, HoundDog, palantir, Rashaverak

    to wordsmith...

    Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

    by laughingriver on Thu May 08, 2014 at 02:15:20 PM PDT

  •  Typical republicans, it is always about money (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, palantir, Matt Z, Rashaverak

    greedy bastards.

  •  Quick! Someone follow the Republicans... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, HoundDog, Matt Z, Rashaverak

    up the tree and watch as they climb out on that teeny, tiny little branch at the top.

    And don't forget the saw.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:09:10 PM PDT

  •  i don't get it (5+ / 0-)

    i get the republicans are treasonous hypocritical assholes part (my words) but i don't get that the lack of protests means the cia got it wrong to the extent the administration was wrong to tie it to the the protesting related to the video.

    the rw talking points at the time and long after were that the attack was a planned terrorist attack that had nothing to do with the video. that was the rw radio line. and they kept defending the 'creative genius' and hero behind that video, suggesting he/it was being used and persecuted by obama as a scapegoat. i even heard that recently.

    the idea that the in post ghadafy (sp) libya the protests in other countries couldn't easily translate into an all out militia attack is nuts.

    maybe i still don't get it

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:39:32 PM PDT

    •  You make good points certainot. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills, certainot, Rashaverak

      The truth seems to be their were spontaneous protests and then some opportunist with arms took advantage of it. So calling it an error seems ... harsh.  It was more like delayed recognition.

      Against a standard of perfection we would like to imagine and hold ourselves to, OK.

      In a world of reality it takes time to process and understand changing understanding. I have not analyzed the details to the point I could render a judgement, and think the whole think is somewhat overwrought.

      Whatever internal lessons the CIA wants to learn from this, I'm sure they've overly learned to the point they will probably over correct in the opposite direction.

      Neither the White House, the State Department, nor Hillary Clinton, nor Susan Rice seem to be at fault sufficiently to justify a House select committee.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But it was about the video (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, walkshills, Matt Z, Rashaverak

    From the same Time article:

    Furthermore, reporters for western news organizations interviewed people at the scene after the attacks in Benghazi who said they were angry about the same film.
    Journalists on the ground the night of the attack interviewed people who said not only that they knew about the video, but that they too were angry about it. And I have not ready any reports about intelligence saying it was a planned attack. Which makes it spontaneous.

    In the SSCI report, there is mention of prior attacks, but none of those involved 60+ armed attackers with mortars and heavy weapons. Further, Eric Nordstom in his testimony to Congress stated in his prepared remarks that none of the security enhancements he requested would have been sufficient to repel such an attack.

    So, as Rice claimed, it was a spontaneous attack resulting from the video. Republicans have continued to say that Benghazi was not about a video, but it was.

    What the intelligence got wrong was only the part about the demonstration before the attack.

  •  someday, it will be determined.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Matt Z, Rashaverak

    that more words were written about the 4 US foreign service or CIA employees killed in Benghazi than any other 4 persons killed in service to their country.

    I'll bet all 4 would hate that, if they could opine.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:23:19 PM PDT

  •  Republican Benghazi Circus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak

    And where are the clowns?
    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don't bother - they're here.

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