In what the newspaper billed as the definitive report on the Benghazi massacre, the New York Times front page report on the subject Monday raised more questions than it answered -- about the newspaper itself.
Major gaps, omissions, and outright falsehoods mar the report.
Perhaps the most glaring of the omissions is the fact that in the 7,000 word report Hillary Clinton is never mentioned as the Secretary of State under which the massacre took place.
The report further fails to mention the after-midnight phone call Hillary received from a high level official concerning the attack. She never made calls to get follow up reports. The report never answers the question as to what Hillary was doing the rest of the night. And we are told zero about what Barack Obama was doing during the attack. This is the heart of the scandal. So why did the Times ignore it?
Next is the glaring gap in the form of the failure of the NYT reporters to interview directly eyewitnesses who were at the scene of the attack. The report mentions statements made by military and State Department personnel, who were not present at the scene nor who were able to give first hand accounts of what took place. No one in Congress was interviewed concerning classified information given to them by eyewitnesses and other personnel who were on the ground in Benghazi the day of the attack. Thus, the Times report is based on dubious hearsay evidence.
Then, the Times asserted that the entire fiasco was due to the outrage spurred by an anti-Islamic video made by an American citizen. But the assertion directly contradicts Hillary Clinton's own testimony to the effect that the video had nothing to do with the attack. Other officials in the CIA, State Department, and the U.S. military said the same thing.
On whose authority, thus, does the NYT rely for the outright falsehood that the video was to blame?
U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who sits on the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, stated that on the face of it the assertion that the video stirred up the attacks defies all of the hallmarks of human logic. If the video is to blame, said Gowdy, then what is to explain the fact that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi had been attacked on at least three other occasions, long before the video was produced?
Further, explained Gowdy, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens would not have been begging and pleading with Hillary Clinton and other administration officials to send him extra security personnel, due to a significant increase in danger, a full year before the attacks if those attacks were spurred by the video. The video was produced a full year after Stevens began to urgently request beefed up security.
"No one who was interviewed by my Committee believed the video had anything to do with the attacks," said Gowdy, "So where does this assertion in the NYT report come from?"
And then there is the NYT assertion that al Qaeda had nothing to do with the attack. Again, Gowdy stated that this is a blatant contradiction to everything Congress knows about the attacks, the information of which was provided directly by government personnel who are charged with tracking the movements of terrorist groups.
It is a known fact, for example, that al Qaeda has been regrouping after being essentially decimated after 9/11 and that the organization had implemented a different model based on utilizing smaller, more efficient local groups under various names in various parts of the world.
Again according to Gowdy, "What difference does it make if they called themselves al Qaeda or any other name? They still had affiliation with al Qaeda regardless of what they called themselves."
This fact was totally lost on the reporters who put together the NYT report.
It is very telling that once American personnel pulled out of the area following the consulate attacks, the al Qaeda flag was raised at the compound, and still flies there today. It is also very telling that the 2013 NYT report contradicts its own 2012 report. The report also contradicts top Congressional Democrats.
Gowdy stated that he would like to have the opportunity to question NYT reporter David Kirkpatrick concerning statements made in the article that cannot be corroborated by eyewitnesses.
When the supposed "paper of record" issues what it bills as "the final definitive report on Benghazi," yet that report contains information that cannot pass a simple fact check, then the question becomes why? And why now? The timing of the report is most interesting.
It is very difficult if not impossible to ascribe motives to another person. But the fact remains that in this report, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton come out smelling like a rose.
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