The NY Times has lost all of its credibility. All of it. Not long ago they made the decision to endorse all of Barack Obama’s lies and now has gone fully into the Hillary Clinton tank. David Kirkpatrick’s article “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi” could be summarized thusly:
Kirkpatrick: “Mr. al Qaeda, were you involved in the Benghazi attack?”
Al Qaeda: “No we were not.”
Kirkpatrick: “Who attacked the consulate?”
Al Qaeda: “Hooligans”
Al Qaeda: “It was that video.”
Kirkpatrick: “Thank you”
That’s pretty much it. It’s pathetic and a painfully obvious attempt to vindicate Hillary Clinton. It has been widely slammed by both Republicans and at least one Democrat– those who had access to sources to Kirkpatrick did not and chose to ignore.
Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.
Then he goes on to say
One of his allies, the leader of Benghazi’s most overtly anti-Western militia, Ansar al-Shariah, boasted a few months before the attack that his fighters could “flatten” the American Mission. Surveillance of the American compound appears to have been underway at least 12 hours before the assault started.
and here’s the money line:
Mr. Abu Khattala, who denies participating in the attack,
Well, that’s that. He just happened to be at the scene of the attack.
Thing is, Ansar al-Shariah does have connections to Al Qaeda.
Ansar al-Sharia: No one has disputed the participation of a local Islamist militia known as Ansar al-Sharia. The Times describes Ansar al-Sharia in Libya as a group formed in 2012 to protest the support other militias had for elections but an organization separate and distinct from al Qaeda. An August 2012 report commissioned by a Pentagon terrorism research organization found that Ansar al-Sharia “has increasingly embodied al Qaeda’s presence in Libya, as indicated by its active social-media propaganda, extremist discourse, and hatred of the West, especially the United States.” Not everyone however agreed. As The Daily Beast reported last year, Ansar al-Sharia was not a priority for U.S. intelligence collection in Libya. The Times also drew a distinction between the Benghazi branch of Ansar al-Sharia and the Dernaa branch of the group that was led by a former Guantanamo detainee Sufian Ben Qhumu. Others however see Ansar al-Sharia’s activities in Libya more coordinated with al-Qaeda’s regional affiliates. In October, Tunisia’s Prime Minister told Reuters that “there is a relation between leaders of Ansar al-Sharia, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.” The Times also states, “the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with al Qaeda’s international terrorist network.” On Fox News Sunday Rogers stuck to his guns. “Do they have differences of opinions with al Qaeda core? Yes,” he said. “Do they have affiliations with al Qaeda core? Definitely.”
In his whitewash efforts, Kirkpatrick also dismisses previous NY Times reports:
The 2011 New York Times piece goes on to say that the leader of Ansar al-Shariah, the group that Kirkpatrick now says has no connection to Al Qaeda, escaped from a Libyan prison in 1993 and went on to Afghanistan to train at a camp run by Osama bin Laden :
“The Libyan Government considers detainee a ‘dangerous man with no qualms about committing terrorist acts,’ ” says the classified 2005 assessment, evidently quoting Libyan intelligence findings, which was obtained by The New York Times. “ ‘He was known as one of the extremist commanders of the Afghan Arabs,’ ” the Libyan information continues, referring to Arab fighters who remained in Afghanistan after the anti-Soviet jihad.
When that Guantánamo assessment was written, the United States was working closely with Colonel Qaddafi’s intelligence service against terrorism. Now, the United States is a leader of the international coalition trying to oust Colonel Qaddafi — and is backing with air power the rebels, including Mr. Qumu.
The classified Guantánamo assessment of Mr. Qumu claims that he suffered from “a non-specific personality disorder” and recounted — again citing the Libyan government as its source — a history of drug addiction and drug dealing and accusations of murder and armed assault.
In 1993, the document asserts, Mr. Qumu escaped from a Libyan prison, fled to Egypt and went on to Afghanistan, training at a camp run by Mr. bin Laden. At Guantánamo, Mr. Qumu denied knowledge of terrorist activities. He said he feared being returned to Libya, where he faced criminal charges, and asked to go to some other country where “You (the United States) can watch me,” according to a hearing summary.
Tom Jocelyn also adds:
Left out of the Times’s account are the many leads tying the attackers to al Qaeda’s international network. For instance, there is no mention of Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, an Egyptian, in Kirkpatrick’s retelling. This is odd, for many reasons. On October 29, 2012 three other New York Times journalists reported that Jamal’s network, in addition to a known al Qaeda branch (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), was directly involved in the assault. The Times reported (emphasis added): “Three Congressional investigations and a State Department inquiry are now examining the attack, which American officials said included participants from Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt.”
In his Times piece and during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kirkpatrick claims that the Benghazi attackers were purely “local” actors.
Locals who just happened to have heavy weapons and were capable of pinpoint mortar targeting.
There is absolutely no question as to what the goal of this transparent piece of revisionist history is and that is to fill in the potholes on the Hillary Clinton road to the White House. In so doing, the NY Times sheds the precious little credibility it had left and is now a laughingstock.