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The media, General Petraeus and Benghazi

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:02 am - November 10, 2012.
Filed under: Benghazi / Libya crisis,Media Bias

Like many fans of General David Petraeus, I was shocked yesterday by the news of his resignation.  He has demonstrated, in service of our country, the kind of leadership we need in all walks of life.

Over at Commentary, Max Boot sums up the general’s accomplishments, saying the general deserves our thanks, not our obloquy.

Boot’s colleague Jonathan S. Tobin wonders if Petraeus’s resignation will get the media interested in Benghazi, finding their fascination with the story most revealing, particularly given their apparent disinterest in questions about the administration’s reaction to the attack on the American consulate in that Libyan city:

But the avalanche of press coverage that Petraeus attracted in the hours after his announcement ought to bring into focus a far more important story that most of the same media has ignored: the Benghazi fiasco. It speaks volumes about the current state of contemporary American journalism that a sex scandal generated far more interest from broadcast networks and the press than the questions of whether the administration failed to aid Americans besieged in Libya or why the government stuck to a bogus story about a video instead of admitting that terrorists were responsible.

Read the whole thing.  A number of people are wondering if there is more to the story than a leader’s indiscretions.  Another Commentary blogger wonders “who had the dirt on Petraeus?

UPDATE: Coincidence that the general announces his resignation just days before he was supposed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee?

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53 Comments

  1. Not everything is a conspiracy. Some things just “are.” It sounds to me like his gal pushed the issue by breaking into his emails.

    Comment by mike — November 10, 2012 @ 3:48 am - November 10, 2012

  2. Not everything is a conspiracy. Some things just “are.” It sounds to me like his gal pushed the issue by breaking into his emails.

    Whatever happened to asking questions and being critical? There might not be anything sinister going on here, but it sure looks that way. But, if it makes one look like a conspiracy nut to be critical, I guess one should avoid it. I mean, the government wouldn’t ever have any reason to lie about anything, so we might as well just take its word for everything. Right?

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 10, 2012 @ 5:18 am - November 10, 2012

  3. What is curious is that this was an old affair as it happened when he was in Afghanistan.

    Yes, it is true that the woman in question was investigated by the FBI but it seems that nothing was found.

    However, I think that it might be ok for people to be suspicious about the timing of this resignation. In other words was the White House Administration holding this over the head of Petreus? Was he being blackmailed to stick with the cover-up story?

    It seems extremely strange that he was due to face that Congressional hearing next week. He had already lied to Congress by sticking with the cover-up story. Maybe, just maybe Petreus could not lie under oath meaning that he was prepared to out himself as having an affair rather then having the bombshell drop via the White House (leaked as usual).

    This could get very interesting.

    Comment by StraightAussie — November 10, 2012 @ 5:28 am - November 10, 2012

  4. I don’t have a problem with full disclosure. But in this case I see nothing gained by Obama by getting rid of him. He could still testify at any time and this would do nothing to silence the general.

    In fact it would make him more free to give his real thoughts as he is free of Washington.

    Comment by mike — November 10, 2012 @ 5:29 am - November 10, 2012

  5. Obviously, a majority of the American people simply do not care that four Americans were murdered in Banghazi while the president refused to help them, flew to Las Vegas the next day to party, and lied about it for weeks afterwards.

    Because that’s what America is now.

    Forget Benghazi. It doesn’t matter.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 7:59 am - November 10, 2012

  6. True, Mike, but now he’s tainted by personal scandal and his believability is down. What he might have to say is no less true, but perception is everything these days.

    I think the timing is very convenient. TOO convenient. There’s more to this than meets the eye, I’m sure of it.

    Comment by perturbed — November 10, 2012 @ 8:00 am - November 10, 2012

  7. The media has always liked the sex scandal story. It is salacious and easy for the public to understand.

    Something like Benghazi is more complicated and the media did an effective job of not making this a story when it happened, that trying to make one of it now will expose their own choice to ignore it.

    I do think hammering the fact that Petraeus is no longer going to testify next week and his connection to Benghazi may get Benghazi in the news.

    And yes Petraeus can still testify, but now that he is a civilian they have to subpoena him and he can now bring himself a lawyer and he can refuse to answer anything that might incriminate him.

    Comment by Just Me — November 10, 2012 @ 9:22 am - November 10, 2012

  8. There is no good reason for the public to be uninformed about what happened that terrible day. Despite our terrible day last Tuesday, a Republican Party still exists and I’m sure there are several Democrats that would like to know the truth come what may. Obama is not as popular among politicians as he is among his voting blocs.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 10, 2012 @ 10:32 am - November 10, 2012

  9. “Obviously, a majority of the American people simply do not care that four Americans were murdered in Banghazi while the president refused to help them, flew to Las Vegas the next day to party, and lied about it for weeks afterwards.

    Because that’s what America is now.

    Forget Benghazi. It doesn’t matter.”

    Right on the money, V the K. There is willful blindness by the people who voted for Obama. My sister the flaming liberal asked “What right-winger or Jew made that video?” when the story broke. I replied the attack was by Islamists, forget the video. Her answer? “We have our extremists, too.” She changes the TV channel whenever she hears the word Benghazi spoken, which isn’t very often, given the media cover-up. Nothing is allowed to puncture the fantasy of Obama the planet healer.

    This.country.is.in.deep.trouble.

    Comment by JuJuBee — November 10, 2012 @ 10:42 am - November 10, 2012

  10. Yeah, Iggy, but you know what? It doesn’t f–king matter. We’re Venezuela, now.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 10:42 am - November 10, 2012

  11. This.country.is.in.deep.trouble.

    No, this country is over.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 10:48 am - November 10, 2012

  12. We have become a de facto Marxist dictatorship, where a supreme executive issues orders with no check on his power.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 10:50 am - November 10, 2012

  13. Construction companies in Chicago are hurting and we need to figure out a way to help them cut costs, especially finding and clearing new building sites in the city center. Oh, I’ve got a solution: impeach Obama.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 10, 2012 @ 11:34 am - November 10, 2012

  14. The GOP is still projected to make gains re. redistricting and it should be able to maintain the House. There are a number of Senate seats due for election in the next two cycles. However, I’m resigned to the idea that the GOP is now a permanent minority party similar to the UK: the conservatives are grudgingly voted in by narrow margins only to clean up a huge mess; once budget projections have an ounce of sanity, the media then exhort the public to vote Labor. Here, voting for Democrats is so…dishearteningly jejune.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 10, 2012 @ 11:53 am - November 10, 2012

  15. Given our current path of rapidly expanding Government and slowly contracting private sector, I don’t think there will be anything left to clean up the mess with.

    Our future looks a lot like California; crumbling infrastructure, eroding middle class, expanding underclass, indifferent upper class.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 12:04 pm - November 10, 2012

  16. I am going to wait til 2016 before deciding the GOP is a permanent minority. Right now this may be a cult of Obama as much as a cult of the DNC.

    That said-the urban centers seem to have all the power when it comes to presidential and senatorial elections, but keep in mind there are some states that voted for Obama but elected GOP legislatures and governors.

    This electorate isn’t quite as democratic lock step as it appears.

    Comment by Just Me — November 10, 2012 @ 12:49 pm - November 10, 2012

  17. I have sat on the sidelines these past 4 days and see that the only conclusion is how V the K paints our future. It is very bleak indeed.

    V th K said that Benghazi doesn’t matter. Actually nothing will matter. There is nothing that this bastard in the White House will do, say or implement that will get any criticizm or negative coverage. In fact, what the MSM is now doing, and will continue to do is cover, report and define this bastard as one of the great presidents in American history. These next four years will be all about setting him up as one of the top five in history. Everything he does will be framed so that it is the only conclusion 50-75-100 years from today. The republicans will be characterized as a “bump in the road” on obama’s march into history.

    V the K, myself, and every conservative on this blog will be entirely nauseated these next 4 years. Sorry, but that’s the way it is headed.

    Comment by mixitup — November 10, 2012 @ 12:53 pm - November 10, 2012

  18. mixitup, it doesn’t matter because even as this country becomes Detroit-on-a-National-Scale, we still have our families, churches, and meaningful lives to comfort us. We will be OK.

    The left has only their politics; they will be miserable no matter what happens. (Did you catch the vitriol on left blogs and twitter Nov 7?)

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 12:57 pm - November 10, 2012

  19. Don’t forget guns, V the K. You will still have your guns to complement your comforting, meaningful lives.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 1:33 pm - November 10, 2012

  20. 45 companies announce layoffs in the first 48 hours after the election. The EPA is busy trying to shut down coal fired power plants with out making sure there available reserve power. There will be more and continuing layoffs among coal miners, Defense contractors and because of O’bamacare. The unemployment numbers will continue to rise. And 2 days after the election they announced that we seem to be heading into a new recession. Over at Goldfish and Clowns Jerry Wilson made the point that people won’t notice it until it affects them personally. I think the next 4 years more and more people are going to be personally affected. It’s going to be really impossible to paint O’bama as a great president against that backdrop I think they’ll try but I don’t think they’ll succeed. And at some point they’ll have to recognize O’bama as a failure or lose the last of their audience.

    Comment by Catseye — November 10, 2012 @ 1:42 pm - November 10, 2012

  21. Thanks for proving my point with your bitterness, Vince.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 1:43 pm - November 10, 2012

  22. Doom comes on swift wings. This is going to hurt.

    Comment by Catseye — November 10, 2012 @ 1:44 pm - November 10, 2012

  23. Sorry if I took offense from your superior, holier than thou language (your assertion that your life is somehow more meaningful than somebody on the left).

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 1:46 pm - November 10, 2012

  24. No, no Catsey, I agree with you. I don’t think they will be able to make him out to be the 21st century Lincoln. Quite the contrary. My comment is how we will feel as we watch the MSM “TRY” to make him way more than he is or ever will be. 50-100 years from now he will be remebered as the custodian of one of the worst economic and social disasters in the 21st century. What pi$$es me off is that I won’t be there to see it.

    Funny you say that V the K. That is exactly what I told a couple of friends and clients who were genuinely upset with the election. I told them not to worry about things you can’t control. I said to focus on your family group, to find solace in the relationships you have with friends and family. In reality, that is where the really important things exist. I have spent 16 years working with my grandson, it has been one of my greatest joys in life. He has spirit, a great work ethic, and the respect for freedom and the persuit of happiness. The bastard in the White House can not take those things away from us.

    Yes, I saw the vitriol out there. I have made a decision to turn all that crap off. I will read this blog and a few others. I find this blog to be first class in so many ways. I will listen to Rush, because he gets it. I will listen to my books on cd and on my kindle. And, I will focus on the development of my 3 grandchildren – for it is in our family and personal relationships that we get our happiness.

    Comment by mixitup — November 10, 2012 @ 2:06 pm - November 10, 2012

  25. Don’t lie, Vince. You are not sorry.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 2:41 pm - November 10, 2012

  26. I am not lying, Jeff.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 2:43 pm - November 10, 2012

  27. Yes you are.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 2:54 pm - November 10, 2012

  28. If you were sorry, you would have sounded more like “V, you’re right. I’m sorry I took offense.” Not the ironic/sarcastic form, “Sorry if I took offense [because you're so wrong].”

    I don’t really care, I’m just a tad surprised, that you would think your audience can’t read signals.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 3:04 pm - November 10, 2012

  29. LOL. This is devolving into a game of “I know you are, but what am I.” I have a little more insight in what’s in my heart than you do.

    Let me explain, since you’ve expressed an interest …

    I read “we still have our families, churches, and meaningful lives to comfort us … The left has only their politics” and than typed a knee-jerk cheap-shot at V the K when I should have been more clear and pointed out V the K’s superiority complex in thinking that his life was somehow more meaningful, because he voted for one person over another.

    I wasn’t clear and made a mistake by taking a cheap shot instead of cutting to the chase.

    I didn’t lie when I said I was sorry I took offense to V the K’s holier than thou language. If I didn’t take offense, I would have been more level-headed enough to know that pointing it out was insignificant.

    And, as usual, you’ve helped me clarify myself. Thank you.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 3:13 pm - November 10, 2012

  30. Sadly, the voting public has clearly stated that most Americans don’t care about what happened at Benghazi. Tragic, really.

    Comment by Sharp_Right_Turn — November 10, 2012 @ 3:16 pm - November 10, 2012

  31. Just read your comment #28. And, you’re right. I’m prone to a sarcasm that I’m working on toning down.

    However, when you say you don’t care, an eyebrow arches.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 3:17 pm - November 10, 2012

  32. I’m about where you are mixitup I’m considering taking up hunting too. as well as spending more time with the family. Possibly also foraging those might become the best ways to put food on the table over the next 4 years, considering what food prices are doing. I’ve always eaten dandelion and clover, in a lot of ways they’re better for you than the stuff you get in the store. I just don’t think that the left is going to be able to resurrect O’bama’s image even in 50 to100 years, to many small businesses are going under at to fast a rate and a few not so small. I think Al’quida is going to hit us again probably more then once before O’bama leaves office. Watch yourself and take care.

    Comment by Catseye — November 10, 2012 @ 3:28 pm - November 10, 2012

  33. Forgive me if I don’t read “LOL” as “Laugh Out Loud” but as “I’m reaching into my rhetorical arsenal for an expression that will bolster the words of contempt I’m about to hurl in your general direction”.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 10, 2012 @ 3:59 pm - November 10, 2012

  34. Ignatius, “LOL” was intended as expressing laughter, as the exchange appeared to be heading down a road where the two parties involved were just going to go back and fourth. That you interpreted it as something else may suggest the user’s failure to express himself more clearly.

    I’m sorry you interpreted my explanation as “words of contempt.” Perhaps it’s easier to convey these things in person rather than typing on the internet.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 4:14 pm - November 10, 2012

  35. an eyebrow arches

    Don’t care about that either. Come on, you should know better.

    V the K’s superiority complex in thinking that his life was somehow more meaningful, because he voted for one person over another

    He doesn’t think that. He suggested that his and other conservatives’ lives are meaningful (‘more’, or otherwise) because of what they have *outside of* politics.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 4:18 pm - November 10, 2012

  36. “we still have our families, churches, and meaningful lives to comfort us. We will be OK.

    The left has only their politics; they will be miserable no matter what happens.”

    Translation: *We* The Right, still have our meaningful lives (along with family, church, etc).

    *They* The Left have “ONLY” (V the K’s word) politics, void of meaningful lives.

    ERGO, The Right has more meaningful lives than The Left.

    It’s a superiority-complex-based-judgment.

    And, I’m sorry I took offense and reacted the way I did. But, I appreciate your civility in disagreeing with me while I acknowledged my mistake.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 4:38 pm - November 10, 2012

  37. ERGO, The Right has more meaningful lives than The Left.

    I agree, he meant that, and probably in an “on average” sense. But that’s different, a different proposition, from your comment which I answered, “V the K… thinking that his life was somehow more meaningful, because he voted for one person over another.” V didn’t mean that. Now you have moved closer to what he did mean.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 4:56 pm - November 10, 2012

  38. I tend to think V was right look on the differences in adaptation to the results between when Kerry lost in 2004 and when Gore lost in 2000. In 2000 the left went absolutely bonkers until 9/11/01 and it didn’t even end then you still have plenty of 9/11 truthers on the left. It lasted for weeks after the Kerry loss, in comparison the wailing and gnashing of teeth period has for the most part is already ended for the Right. Whatever the explanation you choose the right is currently adapting far faster to developing situations then the Left.

    Comment by Catseye — November 10, 2012 @ 6:40 pm - November 10, 2012

  39. 2000 and 2004 were different. 2004 and 2012 are very similar.

    In 2000, the U.S. received its first court-appointed president.

    In 2004, it was a case of sour grapes with the losing side having expected the majority to oust the incumbent president. Just like 2012.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 7:10 pm - November 10, 2012

  40. And you prove my case with your own words Vince your reading of 2000 indicates you also have failed to move on and adapt. The ruling was more along the lines of the Vice president couldn’t keep looking for votes indefinitely. Having failed to find the votes he lost.

    Comment by Catseye — November 10, 2012 @ 8:08 pm - November 10, 2012

  41. Vince your reading of 2000 indicates you also have failed to move on and adapt.

    Yup.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 8:50 pm - November 10, 2012

  42. Nope. The ruling was, “We don’t have enough time to figure out this properly, so we’re going to go ahead and decide now.” Or maybe that’s what the liberal media was reporting.

    As it stands, 2000 and 2004 aren’t very comparable. 2004 and 2012, however, are extremely comparable. Especially when you look at the difference in the popular vote (3,000,000) and electoral college (Bush 2004 and Obama 2012 roughly won the same amount of states, and there was no major third party big enough to make a difference [Nader's 2004 campaign was much less competitive than 2000]). There are simply greater parallels.

    In all three instances (2000, 2004, 2012), it was definitely a case of the losing side assuming they would win and the sour grapes that ensued. But, with 2004 and 2012, it all goes back to who waged a better campaign. With 2000, also, but there was the additional court element that sets it apart from the other two that don’t readily make them all the same.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 9:50 pm - November 10, 2012

  43. I’m not a fan of Reuters but there is an article by T Zakaria copied by Yahoo which offers more info on the “affair”

    Comment by Tony — November 10, 2012 @ 10:00 pm - November 10, 2012

  44. As is usual, Vince is wrong.

    2000 was simply a matter of counting all the votes fairly, and not with different standards.

    Counting after counting has shown that President Bush won. But hey, why let facts get in the way.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 10, 2012 @ 10:05 pm - November 10, 2012

  45. “The Court also ruled that no alternative method could be established within the time limits set by Title 3 of the United States Code (3 U.S.C.), § 5 (Determination of controversy as to appointment of electors), which is December 12 … The Court ruled 5–4 that no constitutionally valid recount could be completed by a December 12 “safe harbor” deadline.”

    The Supreme Court admitted to not being able to handle the situation fairly due to time constraints. Instead, for expediency, they appointed the president. I’m sure you’d be arguing the same if it had been Gore who was appointed President.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 10, 2012 @ 10:28 pm - November 10, 2012

  46. Actually, SCOTUS took the position that violating the time constraints would be unfair to the rest of America. Also, the others here are right: 1) continued recounts (by news organizations) showed that Bush would have won anyway, under the recount standards Gore wanted; 2) Why still discussing this? Indeed, somebody hasn’t moved on.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 11, 2012 @ 11:25 am - November 11, 2012

  47. Catseye brought up 2000 and 2004 without providing any context.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 11, 2012 @ 12:03 pm - November 11, 2012

  48. Catseye also forgot 2008, an election The Right never got over. Remember the Tea Party?

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 11, 2012 @ 12:16 pm - November 11, 2012

  49. Ah, yes, the Tea Party were just upset about losing 2008 election; because there was certainly nothing in Obama’s vast expansion of Government power and spending that conservatives would otherwise object to.

    Comment by V the K — November 11, 2012 @ 4:44 pm - November 11, 2012

  50. It is a coincidence. Patraeus was a terrible cad, it seems, and it has bitten him on the behind.

    Comment by Guanabana — November 11, 2012 @ 7:31 pm - November 11, 2012

  51. @ V the K
    I beleive that’s called the “Levi defense.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 11, 2012 @ 8:21 pm - November 11, 2012

  52. Catseye also forgot 2008, an election The Right never got over. Remember the Tea Party?

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 11, 2012 @ 12:16 pm – November 11, 2012

    LOL, yup; putting together a grassroots political movement and voting people out of office in the next cycle is “not getting over something”.

    There really is no limit to how far you and your family will go to demonize those who would dare vote against Comrade Husak….I mean, Obama…. and the Party, is there?

    But that’s really the point. Fascists insist that everything they do is justified, i.e. their shrieking and screaming over Bush, and that anything anyone does against them is not.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 11, 2012 @ 8:34 pm - November 11, 2012

  53. “I say that you did it too” defenses are always weak. And when the issue is how long it takes you to get over the 2000 election, bringing up something relatively recent like the 2008-2010 elections is even weaker.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 12, 2012 @ 6:32 pm - November 12, 2012

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