BBC Omits Most Important Facts About Benghazi And Other Scandals

Last week, the US President had to use a joint press conference with the Turkish Prime Minister to address His domestic troubles regarding the whole Benghazi mess, as well as the growing scandal of political intimidation by the IRS. The BBC helpfully spelled out all the White House talking points while censoring the two most important facts of both stories.

Obama tries to tame political tempests

After briefly outlining the IRS scandal, the BBC says this:

Joseph Grant, who headed the IRS division responsible, announced that he intends to retire next month.

Key detail missing: Grant was promoted to head the division only a couple weeks ago. He was deputy commissioner until then, including while the political intimidation and obstruction was going on. But as far as BBC audiences know, the President has taken decisive action and secured the resignation of a person responsible for the wrongdoing. Why is this an important point? Because the BBC doesn’t want you to know – or simply don’t know themselves, which would be poor journalism – that the person who actually was the head of the tax-exemption division while all this was going on is now in charge of the IRS division which will be enforcing ObamaCare.

Sarah Hall Ingram still has her top job at the IRS, and considering the huge impact ObamaCare is going to have on the country beginning next year, perhaps one of the most important jobs in the country. Her assistant was scapegoated instead, yet the BBC ignores this entirely. As a result, you’re misinformed on two levels. Why is this a big deal? Well, why should we trust someone who oversaw political intimidation and suppression by the IRS to oversee implementation of another policy? The BBC isn’t interested.

After quoting the President’s assurance that He was on the case, the article moves on to Benghazi. Again we get more of the President’s statement, this time the shifting blame to Congress for approving more funding for embassy security, we at least hear a concern raised by Speaker Boehner. Except this isn’t the whole story at all.

What the BBC left out is that the noise about needing more funding for security is irrelevant, a smokescreen. In fact, part of the original fuss was that the State Department had deliberately reduced security there, out of concern for appearances and appeasing local sensitivities about Crusader boots on the ground. Has the BBC forgotten about that? It was brought up during that infamous second presidential debate, when the President took responsibility for it before later passing the buck.

There were State Dept. resignations late last year over their failure to provide adequate security. Nothing whatsoever to do with a lack of funding.

The Benghazi incident appeared likely to tarnish Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary of state but the report did not fault her specifically and the officials who led the review stopped short of blaming her.

“We did conclude that certain State Department bureau-level senior officials in critical positions of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks,” retired Admiral Michael Mullen, one of the leaders of the inquiry, told reporters on Wednesday.

The panel’s chair, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering, said it had determined that responsibility for security shortcomings in Benghazi belonged at levels lower than Clinton’s office.

Yet the BBC leaves all this out and you’re left to focus on the funding issue, which, naturally, shifts blame away from the President and His Administration and makes it into a partisan issue. As usual with the BBC, the President is merely trapped in a world He never made, apparently surrounded by incompetents like a cartoon villain who just can’t get good help these days. If only Congress wasn’t so awful and helped Him fix things, right? Coincidentally, the latest excuse by the IRS is that they weren’t partisan but merely incompetent. But back to the BBC and Benghazi.

The BBC article then goes on to explain what’s probably the biggest aspect of the Benghazi scandal at the moment: the talking points.

The emails show that White House staff requested only minor edits to the so-called talking points about the Benghazi assault, but there were repeated requests from the state department to omit information that might be used to criticise them.

The BBC left out the most important factor of all: there is no mention in any of the versions of the talking points of that stupid video. You know the one: the amateur anti-Mohammed video made by some Egyptian guy living in the US that was initially – dishonestly – blamed for the attack in Benghazi. That’s why everyone is poring over the talking points, not just about how the Administration wanted to suppress information which made their foreign policy look bad.

Here’s the full set of the different versions of the talking points (NB: PDF file). Look for yourselves and see if there’s anything there about the video. The closest anything gets is the original claim that the Benghazi attack was spontaneously inspired by the protests in Cairo, which was only superficially about that video.

I’m sure everyone here remembers that Amb. Susan Rice, Sec. of State Clinton, and the President Himself lied to the public and the victims’ families about the video being the cause. Clinton even assured them at a special gathering that they’d go after the video maker, as if that was all that mattered. No mention of this from the BBC. Their brief mention here is basically the White House version of events, omitting what’s most important.

The BBC then moves on to the third scandal, and possibly the one which actually broke the slavish media defensive wall that has surrounded this President for years, including during His initial candidacy: the Dept. of Justice seizing phone records of journalists at the Associated Press. All this other stuff was generally viewed as mere partisan noise by His enemies, until the gatekeepers themselves got hit.

The BBC gives us the President’s line of defense, that it was a national security issue and of course we shouldn’t spare any effort to keep us all safe. Yet the leak in question was about something that made a statement from the Administration look like a lie, not about classified data that put anyone in harm’s way. No mention of that from the BBC. Oh, and the DoJ also tapped the AP phone line in the press gallery in the House of Representatives, possibly allowing them to gather phone records of conversations with Congressman, which is illegal.

I realize that this was really a BBC summary of the President’s speech, and that they can’t cover everything fully, can’t provide every single detail about each issue. But surely they can mention the most important factors of each, instead of misleading you.

PS: I see the BBC used the photo of the President making a Marine hold an umbrella for Him, as if he was a valet. It’s not the most flattering picture of Him, but there have still been no snarky tweets from Beeboids about how it’s a bad protocol gaffe.

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33 Responses to BBC Omits Most Important Facts About Benghazi And Other Scandals

  1. chrisH says:

    Sorry David.
    After Operation fast and Furious…Gosnell…AP tapping, Tea Party IRS trawling and Clinton/Beghazi…we here in the UK know nothing apart from Obama is lovely clever and a beautiful colour…and it`s racist to say otherwise.
    Clinton, Obama, Kennedy…if its not COK, then it`ll be thick fascist groove thingy like Ronnie or Richard.
    That`s all we need to know over here…Mardell tells us so.


    • DB says:

      Funny you should mention Fast and Furious (another scandal the BBC has sought to downplay) because that shit is about to hit the fan all over again. CBS’s Sharyl Attkinson just tweeted this:

      Attkinson is a very rare breed in mainstream broadcast media – a journalist covering US affairs who has done genuine investigative reporting about the Obama administration. As Newsbusters pointed out yesterday, she was frozen out for her troubles.


  2. Maturecheese says:

    Wasn’t Watergate about the then President so say authorising the bugging of the opposition?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Not giving the order, but covering up that he knew about it. That was a criminal act, which is why Nixon had to resign. But the original burglary was done to pursue the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers. After that, Nixon’s minions bugged the DNC headquarters during the presidential election.

      So we do have some parallels, sort of, with the cover-up to protect a President seeking re-election, and the wiretapping. So far, though, there’s only one scandal about which we might be able to say this President authorized it: the IRS going after the Tea Partiers. The story is coming out now that the IRS started going after them the day after an IRS workers’ union boss met with the President.


      • DB says:

        That meeting with union boss is very intriguing. Of course for Mardell and his BBC colleagues it will be dismissed as just another of those irrelevant building blocks on the “uncertain evidential sands” in that “tottering tower of such baroque design that anyone simply looking for the facts is a bit put off.”


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          It’s all purely circumstantial until somebody spills the beans, but it’s now a legitimate line of inquiry. Since people went to prison rather than testify against the Clintons about Whitewater, I’m not optimistic about anyone testifying against The Obamessiah. Imagine being known as the person whose testimony brought down the first black President and set the nation’s race relations back 150 years….


  3. Guest Who says:

    ‘ they weren’t partisan but merely incompetent”
    But still packed to the gunnels with back-stabbing market rates who’ll push anyone under a bus when the stupidity starts to get so public spin can’t hide it. Partisan is nigh on impossible to prove anyway.
    Awesome way to run anything and the heck with the cost.
    No wonder the BBC empathises.


  4. DB says:

    Also breaking today:


    • DB says:

      Google (executive chairman Eric Schmidt, former campaign adviser and major donor to Obama) helped Feds spy on Fox’s Rosen


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I’m sure the Beeboids think it’s justice well-served. It’s Fox News, after all, and the President’s first Communications Director once said that Fox News was “opinion journalism masquerading as news”. Kind of like what BBC titled editors do. Even the BBC reported a couple years back that Anita Dunn said that Fox News was the communications arm of the Republican Party, and helped add grist to that mill. They know all about the White House attacks on the network.

        No eyebrows raised over this targeting of a journalist, though.


        • DB says:


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Looks like that’s about Fast & Furious. No national security issues with this one. Eric Holder has some ‘splainin’ to do. There better be some celebrity gossip and a couple of shootings real quick, or the BBC won’t have anything else to fill the website space and air time on BBC World News America.

            Total silence on all of this from BBC News Online editor Daniel Nasaw. The last real issue he tweeted about was a gleeful RT of positive-looking jobs and employment figures over two weeks ago. That’s who decides what you get to know.


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Thank goodness for those tornadoes and that Boston bishop protesting abortion in Ireland, eh, BBC? Plenty of news filler so you don’t have to bother with this unpalatable stuff. Whew, that was close!


  5. DB says:

    The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations put together.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      That on its own actually doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is why they went after this particular one: not to protect classified info which might cost lives, but because it made the Administration look bad. How many other victims were persecuted for the same reason? Trust is practically non-existent at this point.


      • Corran Horn says:

        It bothers me David, It shows a willingness to use the law to suppress any descent. You just have to look at how they have treated the people coming out over Fast & Furious.


        • Louis Robinson says:

          Today Lois Lerner appears before Congress and it is reported will “plead the fifth” That is: stay silent. If this is the “most open administration of all time” one might wonder why her reluctance to spread the light around.

          Perhaps some background will help:

          “Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
          According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.”
          Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.”

          Also note her part in a court case against the Christian Coalition during the Clinton years:

          “She had been in powerful positions before and has used her power to falsely accuse innocent people. She did so as head of the FEC’s enforcement division, a position she held from 1986 to 2001. In the late 90′s the FEC launched an onerous investigation of the Christian Coalition which ended up costing the coalition hundreds of thousands of dollars. Countless hours were wasted and there were 81 depositions in the case with the Coalition having to sift through over a million pages in their archives.”

          The case was thrown out of court.

          Won’t it be fascinating to read, hear and see BBC reports of her appearance today?


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            We should also consider the facts about the two people (so far) losing their jobs over this. One of them, Steve Miller, had a term limit on his time in office as acting top mandarin, and was scheduled to step down three weeks later anyway. He wasn’t actually involved in the scandal.

            The other IRS official forced to resign over this. Stephen Grant was on the job 8 whole days, and was going to retire in 6 months anyway. Not too different from the BBC’s Steven Mitchell supposedly being made to resign over Savile/Newsnight, although at least Mitchell got to stay on for the final 6 months on full salary and golden parachute.

            The two people who really were involved in the scandal, Lois Lerner and Sarah Hall Ingram, are still employed. What’s worse is that Ingram is now the IRS mandarin in charge of implementing the ObamaCare rules.

            This is actually worse than the way the BBC handled Savile/McAlpine.


  6. DB says:

    It’s fascinating to see on Twitter how most BBC journos have simply ignored the recent scandals surrounding the Obama admin. It’s almost as if it’s too painful for them to even contemplate.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It’s not His fault, you see. These are merely part of the usual second term blues which every re-elected President faces, just a few bad apples in the system far outside His control, and He’s fixing it all anyway. They don’t see any of it touching the President, so it’s not worth worrying about too much.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I think I understand now:

    Wikihacks = heroic whistleblowing, we have a right to know what the government is up to
    The Obamessiah targeting the AP and Fox News = heroic protection of national security and American lives


  8. sc says:

    the hunt for britians muslim sex gangs, 4,may 23rd this thursday.


  9. stuart says:

    you know what really annoys me about benghazigate scandal,who vets these bbc reporters in there impartiality in reporting this story.mark mardell is a obvious admirer of obama,most bbc journalists worship obama like he was god,unlike nixon,obama is getting to much of an easy ride in the media because they all hero worship him.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Who vets the Beeboids? They do. They even hired an Obamessiah campaigner to report on US issues, albeit not to cover politics (no concerns about that reporter leaving his political opinions at the door, as he didn’t openly support Israel).

      There’s been plenty of worship of Him in the US media, as well as the BBC (see the ‘In Their Own Tweets’ page of this blog). That overly-fawning reportage from the Beeboids is why I use the upper-case H when referring to the President in the third person. But there are two other levels to this, one of which is something I see as preventing these scandals from ultimately causing too much damage.

      First, there’s the fact that so many journalists have an awful lot personally invested in His success. They believed, went out of their way to support and praise Him, and to carry water for His candidacy and then Administration because they wanted this to succeed, wanted to believe. Many of them are starting to realize, or have realized for a while now that they made a poor investment. But to admit that too openly would be to admit they’ve compromised their professionalism. Also, to admit such a fundamental flaw in their personal beliefs would cause them to question the way they view themselves. That’s a tough order for anyone. So they stare at the floor, leave stones unturned, seek ways to dismiss stories which show how badly they’ve done their jobs for the last five years. Or, like Mardell did in his recent “From Our Own Correspondent”, they blame others for their own failures.

      Secondly, and more importantly, the mainstream media simply doesn’t want the Republicans in charge. They’ll do almost anything to prevent that. So I’m worried that, while there’s currently safety in numbers, and they can all go back to being proper journalists for a while, when the mid-term elections roll around next year, the instinctive hatred for the bitter clingers and Fox News and conservatives in general will kick in, and these scandals will be swept aside in order to prevent the Republicans taking the Senate, and help the Democrats regain ground in the House. We’re a long ways away from next November, and unless the investigations really make progress and we get hearings which drag on for months, there’s plenty of time to make sure this will all be forgotten by then, or anyone who remembers it all will think it was just partisan attacks without substance like they originally told us it was.


  10. John Anderson says:

    Just to add a bit of context – James Rosen is Fox Chief White House correspondent.

    That;s like the UK Department of Justice and MI5 snooping on someone like Nick Robinson. And that would require authorisation from the very top.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The more I think about this the more I think it’s a sign of gross incompetence on two fronts. Even before we get to accusations of political malice here, on the most basic level it’s incompetence on the part of the mainstream media. Why do I say that? Because the DoJ was apparently going after a Fox News guy about Fast & Furious* and nobody from CNN or MSNBC or the NY Times or the WaPo. In other words, the mainstream media and favored cable new networks ignored the story for Him, and only Fox News went after it.

      The other level of incompetence is that of the DoJ. If you’re going to target a journalist for political reasons, at least have the brains to fake going after a couple of other people at the same time so it’s not so effing obvious.

      Not that any of that makes me feel any better, or any less worried about how until they were stupid enough to go overboard on the AP, the mainstream media would mostly still be covering for the President, and who knows what they’d be getting away with otherwise.

      * Not a national security issue, by the way, unless, of course, you’re Mexico, in which case the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief didn’t tell you He was letting serious weaponry go walkabout in your country, sucks to be you.


  11. Adi says:

    There is another consequence about Benghazi: not willing to admit AlQ is not “on the run” they took no action against it. So right now the Libyan govt is failing on all levels, the islamists are empowered and Benghazi has become once again a battle theater judging by the recent bombings. Eventually this will metastasize on the entire country.

    Initially Libya and Egypt were hailed as a success by the administration of a feckless lazy procrastinator who is the first to congratulate himself and the last to assume any kind of mistake. Everything is unraveling now however and The Messiah is showing his true colours of a Chicago thug.

    During this administration every institution has been plagued by scandals because the tone set was one of arrogance and complete disregard to the rules. The secret service is deep in prostitution scandals, DoJ has started with the Black Panthers and everything went downhill since, you have the State Department scandals, IRS, GSA, HHS and most likely others.

    It is almost laughable.


    • Span Ows says:

      The fact that it is laughable also makes it all the more sinister. Bush would have been ripped to shreds relentlessly and even Clinton would have been given a hard time. Is it coz heez black, innit? could be similar to what went on in the UK with 100% dead-to-rights crimes going ignored because of fear of claims of racism.


  12. George R says:


    (inc 6 min Beck video clip)