Why did the Administration say a protest preceded the Benghazi attack?
Nancy A. Youssef from McClatchy asks ‘Why did the CIA (that is, the Administration) say a protest preceded the Benghazi attack?’
… interviews with U.S. officials and others indicate that they knew nearly immediately that there had been no protest outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi before attackers stormed it…
She’s right and goes on to provide multiple examples of the absence of any evidence of protests at Benghazi. So why would all 12 versions of the talking points say the protests were ‘spontaneously inspired’ by protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo?
Although Youssef fails to answer her own question, there are some reasonable hypotheses, several of which overlap:
- The traditional media had already blamed the Cairo protest on the Mohammad YouTube video, ergo, the Benghazi attacks could also attributed to the same cause.
- The talking point drafters felt Americans have already been desensitized to “demonstrations” and “protests” in the Arab world, so its inclusion was necessary. You know: Arabs demonstrate all the time. Sometimes things get out of hand.
- The ‘protests” line was overlooked due to more substantive disagreement on purging the references to al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, jihad, terrorism, earlier attacks, and the CIA warnings.
- The ‘protests’ line was included as boilerplate; an attempt to address human curiosity and to vaguely assign causation.
- The talking point drafters couldn’t bring themselves to suggest the Benghazi attack was a naked and preplanned assault undertaken to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.
- The talking point drafters didn’t want to suggest in any way the Arab Spring had been a foreign policy failure which weakened American national security interests.
Linking the Benghazi tragedy to the YouTube video most neatly fit into the left’s existing narrative. Small wonder it was glommed onto by the Obama Administration as an excuse for what happened.