Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

New York Times under fire for 'propaganda' claiming video caused Benghazi attack

See also

The New York Times sparked controversy Saturday with an article claiming, among other things, that the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that saw four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, killed, was the result of an obscure YouTube video. The article, panned as "propaganda," also claimed that al-Qaeda played no role in the attack. Those assertions were criticized by Reps. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., and Mike Rogers, R-Mich., along with a former CIA analyst.

The Times, for example, said there is “no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.”

Instead, the article claimed, the attack was led “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”

Rogers disputed that, calling the report "inaccurate" while appearing on "Fox News Sunday."

“What did they get wrong?” host Chris Wallace asked Rogers.

“That al-Qaeda was not involved in this,” Rogers said. “There was some level of pre-planning, we know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by Al Qaeda and their affiliates in Libya, we know that.”

“The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound — even this is the compound before they went to the annex,” he added. “All of that would directly contradict what the New York Times definitively says was an exhaustive investigation.”

The Times also claimed the attack was “fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

But Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, called the claim "incredulous."

“It seems to be an effort to revive this discredited theory that the anti-Islam video was behind it. But when you read behind the article closely, there’s various statements where the author seems to downplay the links to terrorist groups. He says the main leader of the attacks did not have clear terrorist links, but he also says that this leader participated in a convoy of trucks in Benghazi in June 2012 where they were flying the black radical Islamist flag.”

In December 2012, a report posted at Fox News said an analysis of social media found no reference to the video on the day of the attack.

Nevertheless, the administration used the video as an excuse for some time after the attack.

“I thought it was a politicized article,” Fleitz said. “It tries to say that Anwar al-Sharia — that the Republican attempts to tie that to terrorism is a stretch, when even CNN says they’re at least sympathetic to al-Qaida.”

Issa also disagreed with the Times' assertion the attack was sparked by a video.

“It was never about a video,” he said Sunday while appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He also said that a group linked to al-Qaeda was involved.

“There was a group that was involved that was affiliated with al Qaeda,” he said. “It is not about al-Qaeda as the only terrorist organization.”

Fleitz said the Times' article doesn't pass the "smell test."

“I think there were a lot of omissions,” he told Fox. “I think there were a lot of statements about terrorism that really don’t add up . . . Al-Qaeda has changed it’s tactics. It is now a decentralized organization. It is relying on affiliated organizations and franchises. It is encouraging terrorist attacks through this decentralized organization. That should have been discussed in this article so the reader would understand the real threat.”



If you like this article, you can follow Joe on Twitter @jnewby1956, visit and like his Facebook page, or subscribe to receive email updates when a new article is published.

For hard-hitting conservative commentary, please visit Joe's blog, the Conservative Firing Line. You can also find Joe's articles at Right News Now, Liberty Unyielding and PolitiCollision.



  • Pro-Russians killed
    Putin issues a warning after 3 armed protestors were shot dead in Ukraine
    Watch Video
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Only one of 46 life boats were used in the South Korean ferry sinking
    World News
  • Oscar Pistorius trial
    Oscar Pistorius reads a Valentines Day card from his deceased girlfriend without tears
    Crime News
  • Google patent
    Google applies for patent for what could be the successor to Google Glass
    Tech News
  • 420 in Colorado
    Colorado will celebrate 420 for the first time since marijuana became legal
  • Racist Kansas murderer
    Why isn't the Jewish Community Center shooter being labeled as a terrorist?
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!