But — but the basic principle here — basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. – Secretary Leon Panetta
IF THE purpose was to honestly report the events that happened in Benghazi, outside politics, the criticism I’ve been leveling at FNC’s non-stop coverage wouldn’t be necessary. But after watching Fox’s reports, some of which do provide new information but appear sandwiched between highly partisan analysis, there can be little doubt as to their objective, which is to harm President Obama before the election.
The biggest issue I have with the reports is that they are given with hindsight clarity not known in the heat of the deadly attack. You can argue that national security pros are supposed to be prepared for heat of the battle decisions. Most times this happens, but on occasion even our best and brightest fall short, whether it’s on the field or in the command centers where the go-ahead is given. It’s the fog of war, especially during the surprise assault of an asymmetric attack.
Fox News Channel, the all Benghazi (almost) all the time network, will have a special report with Bret Baier over the weekend, which is being hyped as “Death and Deceit in Benghazi.” It comes after an “exclusive” report aired Friday morning that continues the Monday morning quarterbacking of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
FNC has the largest audience on cable, with no one else covering the story to such overwhelming extent, MSNBC for obvious reasons, with CNN not a player in the story either.
From Fox, via Jennifer Griffin, who offers a genuine report that’s important to consider:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.”
That this report doesn’t belong amid hyper-partisan segments, giving them the aura of “fair and balanced” is obvious, but this is the type of programming where Roger Ailes’s FNC excels.
Baier’s broadcast is being shown multiple times this weekend with the title giving the purpose away: “Special Report Investigates: Death and Deceit in Benghazi.” Baier obviously chosen to give the highly charged report the impression of being news that won’t be slanted. Any notion that he’s an uncommitted non-partisan should now be put to rest.
The whole truth needs to be known, obviously, letting the facts tell the tale. However, FNC is pushing the Benghazi story and their reports are steeped in hindsight second-guessing, which is obviously being used to impact the election.
We’ll see if Fox gets traction & other outlets start responding, but so far it’s just not an issue unless you already hate Obama.
Megyn Kelly took the lateral from Glenn Beck, also getting the slain Navy SEAL’s father on the phone during her program today, which had to be more satisfying than Gen. Jack Keane refusing to play the Monday morning quarterbacking game.
The election isn’t Tuesday, so this story has a lot of time to gain traction on the extreme margins and stoke the right wing vote, as well as low information voters who can be incited by emotion to get to the polls.