The Benghazi Report Darrell Issa Would Rather You Not See -- And The Media Helping Him
Blog ››› ››› ARI RABIN-HAVT
On Wednesday, the State Department Office of the Inspector General (IG) issued the results of its investigation of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board that was chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen, as well as the State Department's implementation of its recommendations. The first finding of the report states [emphasis added]:
The Accountability Review Board process operates as intended--independently and without bias--to identify vulnerabilities in the Department of State's security programs.
After being given advance copies of a Republican report attacking the credibility of the Benghazi review that was released on September 16, publications rushed to inform their readers of its flawed findings. There is no similar urgency on the part of the media to cover this new report which should lay to rest the notion that the Accountability Review Board was anything but an independent investigation into the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson led her September 15 story by stating: "Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are questioning the findings, independence and integrity of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigation surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks."
Attkisson in fact filed five stories based on the Republican investigation, but did not file a single report about the Inspector General's contradictory findings.
Politico reported on Republican "criticism" that the ARB "findings were watered down and protected Clinton" in multiple articles, yet only saw fit to mention the new Inspector General report inthe in the middle of a story that primarily focused on Darrell Issa's partisan trip to Libya [emphasis added]:
Last week, Issa held a hearing to try to discredit a report by the Accountability Review Board that cited a lack of needed security at embassies but drew the criticism of Republicans for failing to criticize high-ranking State Department employees, particularly former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A report by the inspector general released this week affirmed the independence of the ARB report.
"The Accountability Review Board process operates as intended -- independently and without bias -- to identify vulnerabilities in the Department of State's security programs," the inspector general found.
The Daily Beast's headline inaccurately read, "Congress: Hillary's Benghazi Investigation Let Top Officials Escape Blame." (It wasn't Congress, it was the Republican staff of a congressional committee releasing a report without input from Democrats.)
The article went on to state: "The State Department's investigation into the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was not independent and failed to hold senior State Department officials accountable for the failures that led to the deaths of four Americans, according to a new investigative report compiled by the House oversight committee."
The Daily Beast has published no similar article on the IG's report debunking the very premise of its article's lede.
It goes without saying that Fox hyped the Issa hearing and report, but has provided no similar coverage to the new findings that directly contradict its narrative; instead, Fox selectively quoted from the report to falsely accuse the State Department of not implementing the ARB's recommendations.
And that's just what Darrell Issa would like.