Benghazi slowly getting media attention it deserves

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There was a large crack Sunday night in the wall of silence the “mainstream” media have erected around the events in Benghazi on the night of 9/​11/​2012.

CBS broadcast on its “60 Minutes” program a segment that featured an interview with one of the eyewitnesses to the attack on our consulate the Obama administration has been trying to hide from congressional investigators.

He is “Morgan Jones.” That’s a pseudonym for a former British soldier turned security consultant, who was hired to train the Libyans the State Department chose to guard the consulate, in lieu of U.S. Marines, who customarily guard our diplomatic installations.

The State Department wouldn’t permit the Libyans hired to guard the gates to the consulate compound to carry firearms. They’d run away at the first sign of trouble, Morgan Jones said he warned over and over again.

“I used to say it all the time,” Mr. Jones told CBS correspondent Lara Logan. “In the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.”

Months before the attack, he reported to the State Department and up his chain of command in the Defense Department that al-Qaida was planning to attack the consulate, Lt. Col. Andy Wood told Ms. Logan.

An Army Special Forces officer based at our embassy in Tripoli, Col. Wood met almost daily with Ambassador Chris Stevens on security matters, he told Ms. Logan.

“You’re going to get attacked in Benghazi,” Col. Wood said he told the ambassador after he’d made a visit there in June. “The attack cycle is such that they’re in the final planning stages.”

In the frequent requests he made to Washington for more security, Stevens provided specific evidence of al-Qaida’s presence in Benghazi, Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the embassy, told Ms. Logan.

A Quick Reaction Force from the CIA annex rushed to the aid of the consulate despite orders to wait, CBS reported. They repelled an estimated 60 terrorists, saving the lives of five Americans.

When Stevens couldn’t be found, Morgan Jones sneaked into a Benghazi hospital controlled by al-Qaida, and there saw the body of his friend, he told Ms. Logan. The battle then shifted to the CIA annex, where the QRF, augmented by a small team from Tripoli, fought off the attackers for five hours more, until three mortar rounds crashed onto the roof of the annex, killing former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Two of the defenders have been awarded the nation’s second highest decoration for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross (Army) and the Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps), CBS reported.

The terrorists were led by Sufian bin Qumu, who’d been a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Ms. Logan said. Fox News had reported that last month.

The “60 Minutes” broadcast was noteworthy for the new information provided — in particular the interviews with “Morgan Jones” and Col. Wood.

What may be more important is that it was broadcast on CBS. The 15-minute report on “60 Minutes” was about 15 minutes more of prime time than, before Sunday, all of the broadcast networks combined had devoted to a critical examination of what happened at the consulate on 9/​11/​2012.

Concern the administration is covering up something has risen substantially despite the “mainstream” media’s lack of interest. In a CNN/​ORC poll Nov. 27 of last year, only 40 percent of respondents said they thought the Obama administration purposely misled the public. That had risen to 62 percent in a Fox News poll in August, with 78 percent saying questions about the way the administration handled the attack deserve answers.

That number now is likely to rise some more — especially if the “60 Minutes” broadcast was just the first shoe to drop.

At least two major networks “are fully engaged in deep stories trying to uncover more information” about Benghazi, Attorney Joe DiGenova, who represents Benghazi whistleblowers, told WMAL Radio in Washington D.C. Aug. 27.

People “are coming out of the woodwork” to talk to him, about what happened and why, Mr. DiGenova said.

Jack Kelly writes for The Blade and The Pittsburgh Press. He can be reached at jkelly@post-gazette.com.


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