December 30th, 2013

Caring about Benghazi and caring what the Times writes about Benghazi

There are plenty of take-downs of the recent New York Times article that had asserted no al Qaeda tie-in for the Benghazi incident of September 2012, if you care to read any of them. But it’s clear not only that the Times has its own agenda on this, but that opinions on Benghazi solidified a long time ago and no one’s mind is about to be changed by any report from the Times or elsewhere.

I’m talking about what Hillary Clinton so offensively and yet brilliantly tapped into when she asked, “What difference does it make?” I discussed the answer here:

But Hillary is correct; to most voters, Benghazi, and a host of other things that used to be considered important, make no difference at all.

One reason, which may seem somewhat paradoxical but really is not, is widespread cynicism. If the public doesn’t expect integrity or truth from what used to be called our public servants (what a quaint phrase!), then lies and strategic stonewalling will not bother most people at all. What matters is what those public servants can get for you, and what they can scare you into thinking the opposition will take away from you…

Also see this:

The American people do not seem to be “concerned,” [about Benghazi] either, not at all. Major Garrett can ask all the questions he wants…but few people except us blogophiles on the right are listening, and Carney and Obama have learned that simply thumbing their noses at the American people is an excellent way to get the people to shrug…

I discovered this myself a few days after the election, when I had dinner with an old friend who is an intelligent, moderate, non-leftist Democrat with some conservative tendencies. This friend just didn’t care about Benghazi or the administration’s handling of it, didn’t know the details and was cynically dismissive of the topic because “all politicians lie.”

Although the public’s opinion of Obama has fallen considerably since I wrote those two pieces, it still doesn’t make much difference regarding Benghazi. The drop in approval ratings for Obama is composed of one part NSA spying and three parts Obamacare, and the rest is pretty much background noise (including the IRS scandal, which after all only affected us right-wing nutjobs—and according to the left we deserved it).

It has become fairly clear that the only thing with a chance of getting a significant percentage of erstwhile Obama-supporters to turn on him is something that affects them negatively, personally, directly, and obviously. In the NSA brouhaha, all of us have had our phone logs kept and therefore potentially accessed. In Obamacare, all people are potentially affected, either by already having seen their rates go up and their doctor access reduced, or by fear that the rot will spread to their own health insurance (even if employment-based) soon.

So why does the Times even bother to stir the Benghazi hornet’s nest again? I submit that its article wasn’t targeted to those of us on the right who might happen to have read it. It was pitched for its true readership: liberals. It has the purpose of reassuring them, if Obamacare and other problems has tempted them to revisit old controversies such as Benghazi and to re-evaluate them in the light of their crisis of Obama-faith, that there’s nothing much to see there. Perhaps more importantly, it sets the stage for a 2016 Hillary Clinton candidacy if she so desires, and prepares the prospective voter to cast a ballot for her with a pure heart.

24 Responses to “Caring about Benghazi and caring what the Times writes about Benghazi”

  1. carl in atlanta Says:

    Yeah, I figure it’s just some more low-grade infrastructure construction on behalf of Hillary:

    They’re “creating a record’ that can be cited later as ‘authoritative’ when they really start ramping up for 2016.

    They love appeals to authority, especially when the cited authority is them!

  2. Ann Says:

    I think you’re right in your assessment, Neo. I spent a bit of time yesterday reading the comments over at that NY Times piece and was struck by how many of them said that the article showed just how complex the whole situation was and that it provided the needed “nuance” that Republicans lacked. So even if they might instinctively feel a leader shouldn’t really think or say “what difference does it make” in connection with deaths that occurred on his or her watch,” all that nuance gives them something to hang their hats on.

  3. Don Carlos Says:

    The NYT is blatant about its lies and misrepresentations. That is a tell about all things Left, the blatancy and effrontery of their falsehoods.

    It avers this was an “investigation”, and quotes various Muzzies as if they are always truth-tellers, when we know what the koran says about taqqiya, that it’s OK to lie to non-Muzzies.

    The Muzzies repeat our Administration’s much-pronounced claim it was all about a vid, as if they’d not been prompted by BaraqHillSusan these past 15 months, even at the UN.

    But worst of all is the NYT’s shrug in print that it began with a “mob” of a “few dozen”. A few, huh?
    A few is probably >3; 3 dozen=36 AK-47-bearing mobsters. Maybe 4 dozen, maybe 5. How few is few? Especially when the consulate had less than 6 armed individuals to counter.

  4. parker Says:

    Its definitely advanced preparations for a potential run by Hillary as there is no other likely dem candidate come 2016 with direct connections to Benghazi. And, its something for their readers and the rest of the MSM to regurgitate as a temporary distraction from the ongoing obamacare fiasco.

  5. blert Says:

    It’s part of a “structured, modified, limited hang-out”… with the NY Times providing the “structure” — the scaffolding of the narrative.

    In sum: it’s a ‘coda’ to the “national press” — a “period” piece as it were — providing somnolent-propaganda, closure, to a festering puss.

    Somnolent-propaganda is the inverse function to agitation-propaganda, agitprop. It’s a Codeine-meme for the proles.

    “Snooze-along, snooze-along, there’s nothing to worry, now.”


    In a popularity contest without values…

    Vote against Samuel Goldstein!

  6. Jim Miller Says:

    Yesterday, I happened to see the host of Meet the Press, David Gregory, comment on this piece — and it was clear that he had bought a crude version of the argument you can find in the piece — if you overlook some of the qualifications and nuances.

    He believed that the article made it clear that the video did spark the attack and that the Obama administration had been, mostly, telling the truth.

    He wouldn’t have come to those simplified conclusions if he had read the piece carefully.

    So, if you think that the article was directed at Gregory, and people like him, you are probably right.

  7. J.J. Says:

    What do we want to know about Benghazi?
    1. Why were the requests for more security ignored?
    2. Who was responsible for them being ignored?
    3. Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi?
    4. What was the purpose of the meeting with the emissary from Turkey?
    5. Why was military aid withheld, and who gave that order?
    6. Has the NSA tracked the cell phone records of the Libyan perps with an eye to discovering how the attack was organized?
    7. Did the demonstrators at other U.S. embassies have RPGs and heavy machine guns? If not, why did the “demonstrators” in Libya have them?
    8. Why have none of the perps been arrested.

    I haven’t read the NYT article, but am willing to bet that none of those questions were answered. Let’s face it, the NYT is a branch of the DNC. As is MSNBC. They make few claims to objectivity anymore.

  8. Cornhead Says:

    Spot on Neo.
    80% of the public doesn’t care.
    But they should because in a real foreign policy crisis the people at the top have to be brave, smart and concerned about someone besides themselves; the public interest.

    Not the case with that crowd. Not one bit.

  9. Danny Says:

    I agree also Neo, and I’ve been seeing this more often. I was reading a piece a few days ago that was a response to some other lefty article, and half way through I just thought, this author has wasted his time…the target audience is True Believers, and they will never read or be influenced by his work. They’re just talking to themselves… tieing up loose ends.

  10. parker Says:

    Benghazi did not fit the campaign narrative that Obama killed Osama and AQ was on the run. It also did not fit the narrative that the rebels were all ‘moderates’ who when on a murderous rampage because of an obscure video. But as far as security requests being ignored; the buck stops with HRC, hence the new NYT cover up campaign. However, only BHO could issue the order to stand down…. unless VJ is actually the one giving orders.

    J.J.’s questions 3 & 4 are at the heart of the matter. It may take years before the answers see the light of day, if ever. Benghazi is a real conspiracy, much like the IRS scandal, and F&F. Unfortunately, the NSA is merely collecting metadata and this keeps them so busy tracing Merkel’s phone logs that they can not spare the personnel to track down terrorist enablers on US soil.

  11. Eric Says:

    Partisan contest and defining the frame of the narrative.

  12. Ymarsakar Says:

    So basically they only ever really felt anything about Bush’s problems because they thought Bush and patriots like us, actually cared about telling the truth and making things work… is that it?

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    So far, my current analysis is that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate or fix certain issues with the various weapons and anti air weapons imported through Turkey, that was going to the rebels in Libya. The rebels, who were essentially AQ tribes and tribes allied to AQ, provided a limited variety of protection up until they told Stevens that they could no longer fulfill their end of the bargain.

    Additional security was refused because this was a covert ops or black ops situation, and Obama doesn’t really trust the Marines or the Army. Nor did he have any specially chosen black racially loyal officers and units ready to be deployed. At least, not without us seeing it.

    Other than the Leftist alliance being allied with islamic Jihad, there are some other explanations for this kind of phenomenon. For one thing, the Left likes to arm both sides in a conflict and then eat popcorn as the natives kill each other. This is an almost perfected plan now. It’s similar to how pitbulls are breed and trained to attack other dogs, in Vick’s dog deathmatch arenas. They pressure both sides, get both sides in their debt, and then when they feel like it, tilt the odds towards one faction and watch as the game plays out. I get the sense that AQ only took the weapons from Hillary, until they won and then it was open season on the American pigs too.

    Eventually this kind of impulse spreads from the top down and corrupts an entire society, much like Caligula or Nero.

  14. J.J. Says:

    Ymarsakar, I respect your ideas about what happened. You’re probably correct. However, what I would like to see are some answers from the “servants of the people.” I know I’m naive in asking that, but I still believe that there is some respect in the country for the idea of the government taking its orders from the citizens. And being responsible to the citizens. We know that Obama and company don’t agree, but until we can no longer speak up without going to the gulag, we need to keep asking the questions and demanding some answers.

  15. Beverly Says:

    Neo, I just heard something ELSE shocking about Obamacare, from Betsy McCaughey on today’s Mark Levin show (on his audio podcast at minute mark 100:00). McCaughey, Gov. Pataki’s Lt. Gov., has made investigating the Obamacare beast her mission.

    This is what she said: Section 1311-H1B of Obamacare gives the Secretary of Health & Human Services (Sebelius, currently) BLANKET authority to “dictate to private doctors how They are allowed to treat their patients — and bars insurance companies from PAYING such doctors.”

    In Other Words: Section 1311-H1B means that, even if you have private insurance, it will ALSO BE SUBJECT to the DICTATES of Obamacare’s overlords.

    This is bloody obviously designed to make private insurance “not worth having,” hey! let’s all get on the Looters’ Train!

    The walls are closing in, folks. . . .

  16. neo-neocon Says:


    I don’t know about that, but it certainly could be the case. I’ve noticed that—at least on the individual insurance market—even policies that are not sold on the exchanges are virtually the same as the ones sold on the exchanges (only difference: you can’t get subsidies off the exchanges). There are just a very few other items that are still sold (for now)—for example, the temporary insurance I wrote about the other day (which you can only buy for 2 six-month periods). But because they are noncompliant with the Obamacare regs, they do not qualify a person for an exemption from the Obamacare penalty/tax.

    In other words, the fact that there is a penalty for buying noncompliant insurance almost dictates that insurance companies will tailor their products to comply with the Obamacare regulations even for products sold off the exchanges. My guess is that the companies figure that if they sell noncompliant insurance, who will buy it if they have to pay the premiums plus a penalty? Thus, insurance on the private market has become standardized Obamacare insurance.

  17. PapayaSF Says:

    I can understand “all politicians lie” cynicism. What I can’t understand is that cynicism coming from the same people eager to give politicians more power and more money.

  18. Matt_SE Says:

    Too good for too long.
    It’s going to take a monumental collapse to get people’s attention. Maybe then they’ll be in a mood for reflection.

  19. Ymarsakar Says:

    And being responsible to the citizens.

    I don’t think they consider us citizens, so I am not of the same mind as you as for where this is headed.

    Loyalty only goes both ways. Even if patriots are loyal to the country, if the country’s powerful leaders are not loyal to the patriots, there’s not much that can be done about it. Unless we have a slave collar or a mind control gun, we can’t make them our way. But if they have it, they will use it.

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    Beverly, there’s always that story about the frog being boiled in water that was steadily raised to the right temperature.

    The iron fist when it closes, will be a surprise to the people. After all, the people are not leaders and that’s why they demand a hierarchy, an organization, an authority to direct them. If they were capable of giving orders to a nation, they wouldn’t need someone else to tell them what to do. So the people cannot imagine what the leaders will do, because the people themselves cannot place themselves in the position of leaders.

    Neither a democracy nor a republic ends up well when the chief resource, manpower, becomes a rusted weak thing like this.

    Gaians only talk about preserving the environment because they want to destroy humanity. While thinking so much of preserving natural resources, we have forgotten that the primary resource of human civilization is people. Renewable.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:


    It’s just a Stockholme Syndrome rape victims and abused wives feel they need to justify or rationalize.

    They may say that all men are violent or that this is only because of somebody else’s fault, but the action they take is to stick with the abuser.

    There are rational reasons for this, but only if you aren’t attached to the people involved.

  22. blert Says:


    I thought that the weapons were transiting from Libya to Turkey to Syria….

    You’ve got me all turned around.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Is that where the left overs went when AQ moved the front to Syria?

    The details are hard to pin down.

    JJ, if you want to ask them directly what happened, I think that would be a good effort. However, they have ways to stop you from doing that.

  24. J.J. Says:

    Ymasakar: “However, they have ways to stop you from doing that.”

    They certainly do. If not, we would have learned what really happened. Kind of like we learned what happened at Abu Ghraib. Two months of front page stories as I recall.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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