Special Report: Benghazi an Opportunity for News Media to Restore Reputation
Kyle Becker | On 29, Oct 2012
The “fog of war” over what happened in Benghazi, Libya has been up until recently a media-generated smokescreen to cover the ever-shifting official narrative of the Obama administration. But major media news sources, such as the Boston Herald, have begun to break their silence in what may become more frequent open questioning of the president’s decisions regarding the Benghazi attack.
A number of undeveloped stories are available regarding what happened at Benghazi that require more journalists’ attention. The following are some of the questions that need to be asked and stories that need to be pursued.
Jennifer Griffin, a national security correspondent for Fox News, gave a video report (above) of what happened at the Benghazi, Libya consulate on the 9/11 anniversary attacks. The report gives more on-the-ground details than have been provided by other major news media sources.
The Fox News article points out that CIA spokesman Jennifer Youngblood denied the agency turned down requests for support. CIA Director David Petraeus has backed up this statement by affirming, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been assembling a defense team to exonerate her, should an official investigation call her to provide testimony. Author Ed Klein claims that Mrs. Clinton has documents showing she requested enhanced security at the Benghazi consulate.
Jake Tapper of ABC News reported that Eric Nordstrom, the former Regional Security Officer at the U.S. embassy in Libya, told congressional investigators that security at the Benghazi consulate was “inappropriately low.” Nordstrom was unsure how much Americans “could rely on members of a local Libyan militia in Benghazi that provided security — the ’17th of February Martyrs Brigade.’” Townhall columnist Diana West described the security situation as welcoming wolves into the fold.
On the night of September 11th, the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia initially claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attack a little over two hours after its first report, according to emails. A spokesman for Ansar al-Sharia made an indirect claim of responsibility, according to an investigation by the Telegraph.
Multiple sources claim Ansar al-Sharia is a spin-off of the February 17th Martyr’s Brigade, which had militia members contracted to supplement U.S. security. Ansar al Sharia has been reported by Reuters and other news agencies to have suspected ties to al Qaeda, which later claimed the torture and murder of Ambassador Stevens was revenge for President Obama’s drone killing of al Qaeda’s second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi.
The 17th of February Martyrs Brigade was composed of former members of the (officially disbanded) State Department-designated terrorist group Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The 17th of February Martyrs Brigade is reputed to have carried out the assassination of a general in Libya’s Transitional National Council in July 2011.
Further clarifying the degree to which Islamic radicals have been influential in post-invasion Libya, the terrorist LIFG was headed by the former commander of the Tripoli Military Council Abd al-Hakim Belhaj. The alleged former jihadist Belhaj is now prominent in Libya’s “conservative” Islamist Al-Watan Party, which has been endorsed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the famous spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In nearby Egypt on September 11th, the Cairo embassy was stormed in a protest, adding to the confusion of the separate events. One of the largest Egyptian terrorist groups Jama’a al Islamiya had announced its intention to participate in the protest as early as August 30th. Several jihadists were identified at the Cairo protest, whose assailants waved black al Qaeda flags and some had donned Guy Fawkes masks popularized by the Occupy movement. Interestingly, the Obama administration broke protocol and granted a visa and a White House visit to known terrorist Hani Nour Eldin of Jama’a al Islamiya in June.
More explicitly, Mohamed al-Zawahiri is one potential linkage between the Cairo embassy protest and the Benghazi attack. Spotted at the Cairo embassy protest, the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri admittedly helped stage the protest. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence officials suspect that Mohammed al Zawahiri provided al Qaeda coordination to one of the terrorist attackers at Benghazi.