Fox News and the Breitbarters can't go after Obama for legitimate reasons -- drones, surveillance, leniency toward the malefactors of great wealth -- because everyone knows that Romney would have been even worse on those issues. So they continue to foment hysteria over Benghazi -- and they're now going after Hillary
, the strongest potential candidate in 2016.
It's all nonsense. The right-wingers keep promising horrendous new revelations, when in fact we have the same-old, same-old story. When all is said and done, all we have here is a tale of temporary confusion concerning the events of that day. The confusion derives from the fact that the militants "swam in the river" (so to speak) created by peaceful protesters, who had gathered to decry that ludicrous anti-Mohammed video, Innocence of Muslims
This all seems simple enough, yet assholes like John Podhoretz
continue to create a false picture. As Aleister Crowley once said: Never forget how simple it is to make a maniac's hell-broth of any proposition, however plain to common sense.
(That's one of my all-time favorite quotes. Someone should inscribe it over the entrance to Fox News HQ.)
As I've written previously
It's often hard to pin down the precise sequence of events when an act of mass violence erupts. (Historians still don't know whether the French or the Russians set Moscow on fire in 1812.) There is dispute as to whether locals showed up at the consulate to protest the film, as occurred in Egypt. The bulk of the reportage suggests that such was the case -- that civilians staged rowdy-but-peaceful protests in both Tripoli and Benghazi, and that militants used these civilians as a sort of cover.
For all the sound and fury
emitted during these recent hearings, nothing has truly changed since I wrote those words.
The really interesting question remains: What did the Republicans know, and when did they know it?
From the moment someone first sat down to write the script for that inane film, this whole affair has been an exercise in provocation. Although the film itself is amateurish, it has functioned as the central plot-point -- the MacGuffin, if you will -- in a brilliantly-staged piece of political theater.
Evidence indicates that right-wingers with ties to the intelligence community created the Innocence of Muslims
video. They did so because they intended to create riots in the Middle East, in order to portray Obama as weak on Islamic extremism. The same schemers fed "leaks" about this plan to the Romney campaign and the right-wing media.
That, in my view, is the real
The biggest "tell" came from der Mittster himself, during the infamous "47 percent" video:
And yet, in that election, in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we had hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean, that was the focus and so him solving that made all the difference in the world... If something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
The guy practically winked at the audience. Obviously, he knew damned well that something was up.
Journalist Craig Unger
-- whom I trust -- says that he developed a high-level source "who has firsthand knowledge of private, high-level conversations in the Romney camp":
The source described the Republicans as chortling with glee that the Obama administration “definitely had intel” about the attack before it happened. “Intelligence can be graded in different ways,” he added, “and sometimes A and B don’t get connected. But [the Romney campaign] will try to paint it to look like Obama had advance knowledge of the attack and is weak on terrorism.”
The original Innocence of Muslims
video was pure spookery from the get-go. As I've shown earlier, many of the people involved with this production seem to be military/intel hands who favor the Pam Geller faction
. The whole Geller operation looks pretty damned spooky to me, as do the "former" jihadis who make bank doing the church circuit.
The key producer of the film was a self-proclaimed paramilitary expert named Steve Klein, who has partnered up with a former CIA guy named James Horn. Klein held the one-and-only screening of the movie -- a midnight showing -- at the dumpy Vine theater in Hollywood. Klein said later:
"We passed out fliers at mosques around California where we knew there was a small percentage of terrorists. And the idea was to locate...those folks who believed Osama bin Laden was a great guy and to try to get them to come to the movie."
You should focus on two key points:
1. No-one would have known that the film was showing that night if the producers had not advertised it.
2. The intent was to provoke a reaction from people who support jihad.
Keep Point 1 and Point 2 in mind as you ask yourself: How and why did this film suddenly become so famous -- pretty much overnight -- throughout the Middle East?
Almost nobody in the United States knew that Innocence of Muslims
even existed, but on the streets of Cairo, word got out -- big time. Those crowds in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere did not suddenly fasten on an obscure YouTube presentation. Someone must have told clerics, zealots and other "local amplifiers" about the film. Emails went out; URLs were shared. 'Do you know about this? It's outrageous! A major Hollywood production has insulted the Prophet!'
But why? What was the motive for this ad campaign? It sure as hell wasn't money; they film wasn't playing in any theater. For that matter, why was this hilariously incompetent feature funded in the first place? It never had any chance of turning a profit, and it certainly could never have caused any Muslim to rethink his religious beliefs. So what was the purpose?
Simply this: Right-wingers wanted
to create riots in the Middle East.
The film was created and publicized for the sole reason of fomenting violence in an unstable region during an American presidential election. The people who made this film wanted
something like Benghazi to happen. They wanted Romney to reap the political rewards.
Romney's own remarks on that secret video suggest that he knew all about this plan.
So...yeah. Let's have even more hearings about Benghazi. This time, let's focus on the real question: What did the Republicans know, and when did they know it?