Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Times Knew and Kept Silent

The New York Times deafening thirty-five-day silence on the developing Benghazi scandal ended today with its Election-Year Stakes Overshadow Nuances of Libya Investigation.

The article reveals that the Times knew almost immediately that the assault was carried out by an organized militant group and that there was no spontaneous demonstration of sparked by the anti-Muslim video. According to the Times:  a 20-year-old neighbor described the brigade he saw leading the attack. “There was no protest or anything of that sort.” Libyan guards at the Benghazi compound and other witnesses told Times journalists as early as Sept. 12 that the streets outside the mission were quiet in the moments before the attack without any prior protests.

The attack was planned and carried out by a local militant group, which may or may not have ties with al Qaeda, but U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they intercepted boastful phone calls after the fact from the attackers to individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In June the group staged a similar attack against the Tunisian Consulate over a different film, according to the Congressional testimony of the American security chief at the time.

During the onslaught, most of the attackers made no effort to hide their faces or identities, and during the assault some acknowledged to a Libyan journalist working for the Times that they belonged to the group. The Times reporter interviewed militants who claimed they heard of the video that day from the Cairo protests earlier in the day. Other Benghazi militia leaders said the militant group had boasted back in June that it could destroy the American Mission. The Times notes, however, that “in the days after the attack the Obama administration’s surrogates said it grew out of a peaceful protest against the video.”

The Times remained silent as the Obama administration peddled the spontaneous mob incited by the video to the media. It knew the truth but said nothing.

And there are those who deny the existence of media bias.

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