ON FOX News channel yesterday, former General Jack Keane refused to play ball with Megyn Kelly, in what has developed on the FNC network as All Benghazi (almost) All The Time. Ms. Kelly’s frustration and disappointment read on the screen. However, Keane is an exception and FNC doesn’t make the mistake of letting knowledgeable people without a political motive on very often. They can’t afford to.
I’ve been watching Fox a lot more since the terrorist attack, knowing the campaign that was coming. Augmented by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, whose head exploding coverage has been nearly fact-free, the factoid obsessed individuals on FNC, that also includes Michelle Malkin and Monica Crowley, bring new meaning to the word misinformation campaign.
This is infuriating, because as someone who never supported the Libya intervention, there are questions that need to be asked and answered, with the FNC hysteria not helping this cause anymore than Darrell Issa’s circus did. For the first time, CIA Director David Petraeus is being mentioned, something I was the first to do.
There are plenty of questions to ask of the Obama administration and the State Department on the security before the Benghazi terrorist attack, which was obviously lacking over the summer. As Keane noted as well, there wasn’t enough security at the consulate, even considering the low profile Ambassador Chris Stevens was asked to keep by our Libyan allies. That Stevens left Tripoli in the first place may have been the trip wire, but diplomats go into the country to engage with the people, so he was doing his job, which is inherently dangerous.
Considering that right wing Republicans don’t respect diplomacy or the brave foreign service soldiers whose job it is, the irony of their concern over the attack has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with those who sacrificed their lives for their country’s mission.
But the squeals and claims that President Obama “lied” and is in the midst of a “cover up” is being concocted out of whole cloth. The newly released emails don’t point to it, the CIA talking points don’t point to it, but you can certainly say there was general confusion after the attack. To the FNC crowd’s chagrin, if any of these things occurred we won’t know until after the November election, because investigations are never conducted swiftly. I’m perfectly willing to look at all the evidence, but the caterwauling from mostly ignorant conservatives on this issue won’t convince one voter to choose Romney, so they should just take a breath.
That networks aren’t covering the issue shouldn’t shock anyone, because our media very rarely ever covers foreign policy.
On the political side of this, which is all FNC cares about right now, they are being revealed yet again as hypocritical opportunists. I’m not excusing the reality that a president in the midst of a reelection campaign is not eager to litigate Libya in the media, which is where Romney started to go but thought better of it. George W. Bush not only lied about Iraq and WMDs, but he lied about torture for years, as well as the warnings leading up to 9/11 when he was running for reelection in 2004, which Republicans still refuse to accept. Karl Rove and the Bush campaign used the election of 2002 to shame Democrats into voting for a war they should not, which included Hillary Rodham Clinton and it cost her the Democratic nomination. Not one person on FNC was interested in Bush-Cheney malfeasance, nor were any of the usual suspects now screaming bloody murder about Obama talking about Bush’s “crimes” and “cover up.”
Whether a Democrat or a Republican is in office, when a foreign policy tragedy occurs around the world the first casualty is transparency.
To sidestep a moment regarding transparency, the Obama administration has revealed their drone strategy and “kill list” application will continue, but no one is talking about this (I linked to the story yesterday). Here’s an excerpt, since you won’t see it on FNC and certainly not on MSNBC, the Obama network. From Greg Miller:
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”
The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.
Someone alert Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Right now we know one thing. The consulate in Benghazi didn’t have enough security. What we don’t know is why, though budgetary constraints were a reason, a supplemental for security purposes obviously needed. Answers need to be learned.
As Fox News Channel becomes the All Benghzi All the Time channel, Liz Cheney is offering some of the most ill informed commentary. Taking Cheney’s words at face value is always a mistake, considering she’s been duped before, because she relies solely on ideology for her foreign policy talking points.
On FNC, it’s all hands on deck to elect Mitt Romney at any cost, including implying there is a criminal act being committed by the Obama administration, when there is no evidence to date that this is true.
As General Jack Keane said yesterday, much to Megyn Kelly’s obvious chagrin, the people on the ground in Benghazi were very capable, and security wasn’t nearly strong enough. But, “refuse to second guess” those people after the attack was his stance on which he was not budging, no matter how Kelly tried.
Of course, FNC’s next segment served up the talking points Keane wouldn’t. It’s 24/7 of Benghazi hyperbole, stoking people’s considerable ignorance about diplomacy in dangerous spots, to the hilt, hoping it will elect Mitt Romney. It won’t.