Friday, May 9, 2014

Cheap shots and ancient myths

Mousepad from Zazzle.
BENGHAZI!!! smoking gun

Via email from Foreign Policy, a report from Massimo Calabresi at Time magazine: the guilty party behind the Susan Rice talking points that wrongly suggested the incident at the US consulate in Benghazi was a mob infuriated by the Innocence of Muslims home video was—wait for it—Time magazine.

And other organs of our fearless journalistic establishment (such as Al Jazeera), which is why I remember being perfectly certain that it was the story myself. That's what [jump]
they reported on September 12, that the death of Ambassador Stevens and the others resulted from a video riot; the CIA analysts believed this story and reported it to the White House, and that's how it got into Rice's TV appearance. (Actually not much of a scoop, either, since as Wikipedia reminds me this was in fact finding #9 of the Senate Select Committee's January report on the scandal.)

Since I have long said that the CIA should devote more time to reading the newspapers and less to the more romantic tradecraft, I can't really complain about this. The other point being, in any case, that it really wasn't in the long historical run very important (as Hillary Clinton remarked, "What difference does it make?") what Rice said that morning. If this small analytic error after the worst thing, the deaths of the four Americans, had already happened (in fact as David Kirkpatrick demonstrated in the Times the video did in fact play an important role in the attackers' motivations) is the best example Republicans can find of the evil and incompetence of the Obama administration, then the Obama administration may be a lot better than any of us thought.

Not everybody agrees.

In response to an AFP story at Crooks & Liars on Israel's increased and increasingly bold spying on US government:

This is Antisemetic! Have you forgotten about the holocaust? Israel needs to becareful since there are many people here who do not think Benghazi is a scandal.

    Yes, Mossad has to spy on its closest ally because people who don't believe Benghazi is a scandal are an existential threat to Israel. Not sure how that works, but maybe I just forgot about the part of the Holocaust where Hitler lied to Lindsey Graham. Or something.

    Via Jed Lewison at Kos.

    Texas Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Dan Patrick:

    “This is a myth that Planned Parenthood has anything to do with women’s health,” he opined. “Why are they closing clinics if they’re making money on providing women’s health? They’re closing clinics because they make all their money taking the lives of babies.” (Raw Story)
    If only there were some electronic device that would allow you to find out the truth about Planned Parenthood, women's health, and Texas! You could call it "the Internet". I'd check out this on whether Planned Parenthood is making money on anything, and this and this on why they closed clinics, and...
    State Senator Dan Patrick, via Texas Tribune.

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