CNN (Coverup News Network) and Benghazi

By Walid Shoebat, Ben Barrack, and Keith Davies

On July 24th, both Barack Obama and his press secretary Jay Carney made reference to “phony scandals”, which clearly meant that neither man misspoke; it was calculated. Each man knew it would be perceived as incendiary and insensitive; they had to have known it would generate a reaction. The president used that language as recently as July 30th, one day after the Senate confirmation of a new FBI Director.

He had to have known he would get a negative reaction. What was the endgame?

On July 29th, the Senate confirmed James Comey as head of the FBI. This day represented a changing of the guard at the top of the FBI that hadn’t happened since before 9/11/01, when Robert Mueller was confirmed. A day later, Obama threw fuel on the scandalous Benghazi fire with more ‘phony scandals’ rhetoric. At about this time, a letter was sent to Comey by eight Republican lawmakers demanding action in the investigation.

CNN personality John King appeared on that network’s New Day program the next morning and made reference to this letter while generating some additional outrage under the guise of a breaking news story. On that show, King announced that a ‘lead suspect’ in the Benghazi attacks had been interviewed by CNN reporter Arwa Damon for two hours and that during the interview, this suspect volunteered that he’d never been contacted by the FBI or the Libyan authorities.

A little bit later that day, Fox’s Ed Henry asked Carney about King’s revelation earlier that morning. Carney directed Henry to the FBI.

King later appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and delivered the name of the suspect Damon interviewed – Ahmed Abu Khattala. He happened to be a commander with Ansar al-Sharia in Libya who was admittedly present during the attacks in Benghazi.

The problem with King’s bombshell was that it really wasn’t. Since the attacks, Khattala had granted several interviews. The Associated Press, Reuters, Fox News, and CBS were among them.

The only thing that was new was that so much time had passed since. Where has the outrage been over the last ten months? Timing appears to be an issue.

On August 1st – one day after all of this activity at CNN – something else curious happened; it was another ‘bombshell’ (yawn) story from the network. This time, it came from Jake Tapper and the extremely untrustworthy Drew Griffin. Presented as a shocking expose’, Griffin told the audience that CIA operatives (witnesses) who were on the ground in Benghazi were being intimidated into not talking to Congressional investigators. The story wasn’t sourced and shouldn’t have been considered shocking by anyone watching. Skepticism of CNN – especially with Griffin involved – was the much healthier reaction. The very reputable John Hinderaker at PowerLine outlined the reason for this skepticism.

As for Griffin, we explained that here.

During his August 1st broadcast, Jake Tapper teased a CNN Special that would be airing on August 6th entitled, “The Truth About Benghazi: An Erin Burnett Outfront Special Investigation.” This was followed by an August 2nd press release that promoted the same special.

Also on Friday, August 2nd, reports began to surface that U.S. Embassies all across the Middle East would be closing due to terror threats. While allegedly specific, these threats could not be revealed.

Closure of the embassies was announced on August 4th.

By Monday, August 5th, it was revealed that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was “at the heart” of the concern for the embassies.

Remember, with the attention on Khattala (Libya) and AQAP (Yemen), attention was off Ansar al-Sharia Egypt, an entity that was at the heart of the Middle East uprisings last year on 9/11 and an entity that was very involved in the Benghazi attacks.

The Last Refuge (aka Conservative Tree House) has a very interesting piece about CNN. One item in particular has to do with Erin Burnett, who appeared on the show of her British colleague Piers Morgan, to promote her special. As Last Refuge points out, Burnett is visibly pregnant during her interview with Morgan. The transcript, courtesy of Last Refuge, shows that Morgan and Burnett discussed this. Burnett said, “I’m rather large”.

During this special, which aired one day later, Burnett featured Damon’s interview with Khattala. Here is an excerpt from the special, posted by CNN (as a side note, at the 6:58 mark, Burnett makes the claim that Stevens was “alive” when he was dragged from the consulate):

Conversely, Burnett looks quite different during her special, which is fine, save for the timing of its airing. It’s obvious in watching it that it took a lot of time and effort to complete but the point here is that it was presented to the viewers as a bit of breaking news to coincide with John King’s revelation a few days earlier.

Here is a screenshot of Burnett that appeared in the August 6th special:

CNN Special: Erin Burnett during interview

CNN Special: Erin Burnett during interview

Here is a screenshot of Burnett on July 22nd during a segment about the Royal baby. It’s safe to say that the interview she did for the aforementioned special was done well before this (timing of the release, not that it took so long to produce, is what at issue):

CNN: Burnett on July 22nd

CNN: Burnett on July 22nd

Ken Allard at the Washington Times referred to the report as a “generous second coat of the Benghazi whitewash”.

It is important to underscore the fact that we don’t begrudge the producers of the report taking so long to produce something this extensive. We just question the timing. It definitely coincided with several other events.

Speaking of timing, one day after that special aired, CNN reported that after nearly an entire year, the FBI had filed charges in the Benghazi attacks:

Federal authorities have filed the first criminal charges in the investigation of the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, people briefed on the matter said.

Several suspects charged in the armed assault last September 11 include prominent Libyan militia figure Ahmed Abu Khattala, the sources said. Other identities were not disclosed.

The counts initially sought months ago in New York are still under seal, according to the sources.

Really? One day after Burnett’s special?

Why would such charges be sealed? Wasn’t an act of war perpetrated against the U.S. on 9/11/12? Shouldn’t Americans know the details? Do those details implicate Egyptians? Are those Egyptians tied to the Muslim Brotherhood? More specifically, are those Egyptians tied to Mohammed Mursi, the ousted president of Egypt?

We believe there is more than enough probable cause to answer in the affirmative.

We certainly don’t argue against Khattala’s involvement or that he shouldn’t be considered a suspect. In fact, we identified Khattala before we knew anything about CNN’s outing him. Our contention is not that Khattala is innocent; it’s that he is a small fish outside the larger Egyptian pond that’s home to the much larger fish.

We also believe there is a reason the Obama administration doesn’t want to pursue an Egyptian connection to Benghazi.


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