Patterico's Pontifications


Still More Benghazi Hackwork from the L.A. Times

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

Opinion guy Michael McGough at the Dog Trainer declares Benghazi is no big deal, in his piece titled Nobody died at Watergate, but it was a bigger scandal than Benghazi:

The hearing didn’t alter that picture much, though it featured some poignant testimony from Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya whom Republicans hailed as a persecuted whistle-blower. Hicks was clearly frustrated that military resources weren’t marshaled to try to prevent further violence. He also scored points with Republicans when he said that his “jaw dropped” when he heard United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice say that early indications were that the attack stemmed from a protest over the “Innocence of Muslims” video.

But Hicks didn’t refute the argument that there wasn’t time to deploy special operations troops to Benghazi in time to prevent the second wave of attacks. And, dramatic as it was, the “jaw dropped” quote doesn’t prove that Rice or Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton concocted the explanation about the video to prevent election-year damage to President Obama’s record in combating terrorism. In fact, the idea the attack might be connected to worldwide outrage over the video was eminently plausible at that point.

The “jaw dropped” quote might not, but his account of talking to Hillary that night and telling her about the attack (not the “protest” but the “attack”) actually does provide evidence of that concoction. But McGough follows the approved JournoList response: nothing to see here!

See, to have something like Watergate, you’d have to have evidence of a cover-up. Here, all we have is an official who is praised until he questioned the talking points, and then is savaged — and is told not to talk to a Congressman investigating the matter. No cover-up there! Oh, and we also have a report that failed to interview key individuals, and falsely absolved high officials of responsibility for failing to provide adequate security:

No cover-up there!

See, there’s no evidence of cover-up if you can cover up the evidence of the cover-up!

By the way, hack extraordinaire Ken Dilanian actually had two pieces about Benghazi last night: the one I savaged in this post, and a companion that basically said the same thing, as evidence by the first few sentences:

Partisan politics loomed over a House hearing Wednesday on the deadly September 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, as Republicans and Democrats clashed over the meaning of testimony from three witnesses who had little new to add to the story.

The hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began with the chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), complaining that the Obama administration and Democrats on the committee have not supported his efforts to get to the truth.

The ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), promptly accused the Republican chairman of politicizing his inquiry and making baseless assertions about a potential military response that have been refuted by top generals.

Nothing in that piece, in Dilanian’s other garbage-journalism piece, or in McGough’s worthless opinionating has any hint of the cover-up that this newspaper is covering up.

We’ll see if it works. At this point I’m getting almost as interested in accountability for these reporters as I am in accountability for the Obama administration.

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