Benghazi Attack for Dummies.

As a Canuck, I was never hugely interested in the ‘Benghazi Attack’. Then, when various versions of the truth began to circulate, and the whole thing seemed to have become “political”, any interest I had vanished. In retrospect, I regret so wilfully remaining ignorant about the initial event and the various sequelae.

Indeed, in light of the recent CBS/NYT revelations, I’m now curious to know what’s going on - from start to accusations, from counter-claims to now.

Problem is I don’t have a huge amount of time to read through everything myself and, most importantly, I am simply too lazy to do it. This confession, notwithstanding, can someone please explain it to me like I’m a four-year old.


ETA: It goes without saying, I hope, that for this thread it’s ‘just the facts, ma’am’ (as much as possible).

Some people don’t like it as a source but I find that with current event stories like this, the Wikipedia article can be a nice summary of the events. (The media reports are fine, but they tend to assume prior knowledge of events, while the Wikipedia article will start from the beginning.) And the crowd sourcing of Wikipedia minimizes any coloring of the facts.

Thank you. That never would have occurred to me.

I doubt that the political aspects of this can be avoided, so let’s move this to GD.


General Questions Moderator

If you like, please close this thread. After reading the Wiki article (thanks again, Dewey), and after looking at some helpful online news articles (thanks especially, msnbc), I am not so dumb anymore.

Somehow, I read “Benghazi Attack for Dromedaries” :confused:

The local proconsul got popped by angry natives. Back home the event was mishandled and turned into a political scandal and a liability for the government of the day. That in a nutshell is what happened.

Let me correct that for you.

“Back home, the event was falsely turned into a political football by the Republicans in a (failed) effort to prevent the re-election of President Obama and then the possible election of Hillary Clinton, and that party has continued to lie and gin up as much drama over it as they possibly can, ignoring the fact that there were 11 Benghazi-level casualties in American embassies and consulships during GWBush’s administration.”

Not to mention that it was the Ambassador himself, not the proconsul, and that he wasn’t executed by the attackers or anything…he died of smoke inhalation from the fire. Ambassador Stephens was actually pretty popular with the general population of the area, and the locals actually burned out the headquarters of the organization that took credit for the attack a few days later in retaliation.

Back a while ago that CBS broadcast incorrect information on the Bush National Guard thing was taken as strong evidence that Bush never actually skipped out on some duty.
Thus that CBS broadcast incorrect information on Benghazi clearly indicates it never happened.


There were 11 dead Ambassadors or consuls during the Bush Administration? I didn’t know that. I always thought of Ambassadorships as being a form of political graft.

Frequently. Stevens, by all accounts, was the real deal. There are some of those, men who serve their country and take risks like soldiers take, but they don’t get to shoot back.

12 attacks on embassies/consulates-60 dead.

Yes, I meant Benghazi-level EVENTS, not casualties.

That’s certainly more plausible.

Although, while I’m not sure how to “rank” events (what is “Benghazi-level”?), the scope of the Benghazi assault strikes me as materially different than, say, a car bomb denoted outside the building. Maybe it’s just the degree of the violation of American sovereignty.

It’s more indicative of the degree of breakdown of law and order in Libya. There are few places more dangerous.

First, I don’t think it is the dereliction of duty that some in the GOP want it to be, but I have concerns about the judgment of the administration in the aftermath.

We were told that it was a result of a YouTube video put out that was disrespectful to Islam that resulted in a spontaneous demonstration outside of the embassy that got out of hand. Many news stories covered the video and Obama and his lackeys talked about how awful, awful, awful the video was and that the people who published it were terrible, terrible, terrible, yet freedom of speech was alive in America and dangnabit we can’t do anything about it.

Then, in an Orwellian twist, it was a pre-planned terrorist attack because of the 9/11 anniversary. Nothing about the video. A very bad, evil terrorist attack.

Video? What youtube video? We never said that; that’s just GOP lies and talking points. There was no video!!!

I remember them saying that it started because of a video. Will I soon learn to love big brother?

There were, in fact, enraged Muslims all over the world losing their shit. People see what they expect to see, that surprises you? First thing I thought of, before even hearing any explanation.

But not you? First thing that crossed your mind was that this was different, this was a coordinated attack by serious terrorists? Well, OK, very impressive.

Thinking Obama is Big Brother? Not so impressive.

If a U.S. Embassy is attacked on September 11, of any year from now into the distant future, my first thought is a terrorist attack as a message to mark the date. That’s my first thought, absolutely.

I don’t rule out other things, but the date of 9/11 gets the gerbil to start spinning the wheel in my brain first. We can’t discount other things, but I wondered at the time about how coincidental it was that the protest over the video Just So Happened to be on 9/11.

And if the administration didn’t know, the proper response is to say, “We are investigating all leads” not blame some goomba for a youtube video.

This varies enormously. You appoint your friends to be ambassadors of the UK, France, etc. Ambassadors to countries with more complex relations usually have considerable field experience and appointments go to seasoned professionals.

That is, in fact, exactly what they said.