Republicans Slam New York Times Report On Benghazi

On Saturday, the New York Times released a major report regarding the attack on the U.S consulate in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. Contrary to Republican claims, they found that al-Qaeda had no involvement in the attack.

Republicans have quickly pushed back against it.

Asked about the story on Meet The Press yesterday, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif) said, “There is a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with Al Qaeda.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) was even more blunt with his assessment of the Times story. When asked on Fox News Sunday what the paper got wrong, he responded, “That al-Qaeda was not involved in this. There was some level of pre-planning, we know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by Al Qaeda and their affiliates in Libya, we know that.

“The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound — even this is the compound before they went to the annex,” he added. “All of that would directly contradict what the New York Times definitively says was an exhaustive investigation.”

Former Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Peter King (R-N.Y.) called the story “misleading.”

According to the Times, extremist organisations such as Ansar al-Shariah were the only ones involved in the planning of the attack, with much of it a spontaneous backlash to an offensive video that had gone viral in the Muslim world. The Times reports that Ansar-al-Shariah had no connection to al-Qaeda. King called this “a distinction without a difference.”

Republicans have been investigating the incident for more than a year now, believing that the Obama administration downplayed the role of al-Qaeda in the attack for political purposes. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, former UN Ambassador and current National Security Advisor Susan Rice said that the attack was fuelled primarily by the offensive video that led to many other protests at American embassies. She has been the main target of Republicans ever since.

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