The Atlantic contains a riveting account of what really happened in Benghazi. It’s the verbatim briefing of a State Department official who talked to the various people involved. He sets the context, and then gives a blow-by-blow, and very detailed, account of the entire episode. You can also read the entire briefing, with Q&A from reporters.
The article gave me a whole different view of the event–and a much more believable, and certainly more credible, account than what we’ve heard. There were some heroic acts by our security personnel. A daring drive through Benghazi streets. Our security people were outnumbered, but they were not unarmed. And there was plenty of confusion. Ambassador Stevens simply got lost in the mayhem, and the repeated attempts by security personnel to find him failed. But he was probably already dead in the safe room.
Right-wing media groups have said that Ambassador Stevens was tortured and sodomized. That didn’t happen. The torture information came from the Libyan Free Press, a pro-Kadaffi group, and has been repeated by a Republican congressman from Arizona. Stevens actually died of smoke inhalation, as initially reported. This account makes that pretty clear.
I don’t know why the right-wing media accepts stuff like this so easily. They’ll tell you, “Here’s what the mainstream media won’t tell you.” But the reason the mainstream wasn’t reporting this is because IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. I’m dismayed that FoxNews considers a pro-Kadaffy website to be authoritative. At least the “lamestream” media has more discretion than that.
I have read and heard so much nonsense about this event.
As the State Department briefing shows, it was a very sudden attack by armed men. Al Qaeda? Maybe. The White House should have gotten its story straight–they definitely bungled it–but this is a story with lots of murkiness.