Sunday, September 07, 2014

What was it smoking?

Well, that certainly took long enough. A story that started out as the Thursday evening lede (that's the second image below) and held the top spot again on Friday (below that) didn't finally become the "smoking gun" until Saturday -- but was apparently still strong enough to rate the No. 2 spot Sunday evening. Must have been some gun:

A U.S. security team in Benghazi was held back from immediately responding to the attack on the American diplomatic mission on orders of the top CIA officer there, three of those involved told Fox News’ Bret Baier.

Their account gives a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an “old story” – the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Well, we're not going to let them get away with that, are we?

Speaking out publicly for the first time, the three were security operators at the secret CIA annex in Benghazi – in effect, the first-responders to any attack on the diplomatic compound. Their first-hand account will be told in a Fox News special, airing Friday night at 10 p.m. (EDT).

Let's try to retune those time elements just a little next time. Meanwhile, is that gun smoking yet?

... Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.

... But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”

... In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official did allow that the security team was delayed from responding while the CIA’s top officer in Benghazi tried to rally local support.

Is it fair at this point to suggest that Fox needs to demonstrate how this story is different in substance from, oh, this exclusive from October 2012?

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Or that if the "top CIA officer on the ground" was on the side of the good guys when Fox brought him up in April, it might be possible to track him down and find out what he says about this latest development?

And let's not let the real smoking gun go unmentioned:

In the special, Baier also asks about the infamous YouTube video that was blamed for the violence in Benghazi.

Paronto laughed at the suggestion that the video played any role in the events of that night, saying he did not even know of the video until he was out of Libya and on his way home. “I didn't know about the video ‘till I got to Germany,” he said. “(I had) no idea about any video, no. No, sir.”

Somebody needs to bring this up every time Fox goes full BENGHAZI !!!!!!!! on the homepage, but Fox was well out front in blaming the "infamous YouTube" video, right up until there appeared to be more mileage in blaming Kenyan chicanery than irrational Muslim rage. I'm not sure what the gun was smoking, but you can form a pretty good idea of what is and isn't being bogarted over at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network.

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