Early in the Benghazi situation this space predicted that leaks would most assuredly occur from within both State Department and intelligence circles. That has proven to be the case as nearly every day there is a new disclosure; cables, e-mails and ‘high level’ sources both providing and confirming information.
There are a variety of possible reasons for the steady flow of leaks. The most predictable reason is that those potentially culpable, at any variety of levels and in any variety of organizations, are covering their hind quarters. But the breadth of the leaks has gone well beyond CYA as the sole point of motivation. Foreign Policy magazine, not a bastion of conservative thought found documents the FBI investigation missed. E-mails identifying the security threat weeks before the September 11th attack in Benghazi have been leaked. Information from Ambassador Stephens detailing the growth of Al Qaeda affiliates around Benghazi is now in evidence. The very organization designed to handle a Benghazi style crisis was left out of the loop. It all remains incomprehensible by any logical standard that is focused on our people as opposed to the impact on a narrative.
People at the State Department know it could be them left out in the cold next time around. It could be them crying for help with no Calvary in sight, it could be them providing valid threat assessments ignored in the interest of a narrative absent factual underpinning.
The counter-terrorism folks know the facts. The source of the vast majority of terror activity around the globe is Islamism. They know Al Qaeda is not so much an organization as an ideology. They know the followers of this ideology have grown geometrically over the past ten years. They know the administration does not want to face the facts of it preferring to rely on a rosy narrative based on al Qaeda decline. They also know that al Qaeda ideology and its ‘affiliates, are no longer non-state actors. They have or will have states soon: Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan to name a few.
CIA releases their own statements, their own timeline, raising as many questions as are answered. The signal has been sent; ‘you’re not laying this on off on intelligence failures’. The counter terror folks have made it know they were kept out of the loop. The declaration during the Congressional hearing that Benghazi was a terrorist attack was temporarily overwhelmed by the omnipresent claim by the President and Secretary of State that it was all about a video trailer.
The inside folks are rebelling. The drip, drip, drip of leaks comes with tangible evidence. The circle is closing around the White House as mainstream media outlets reluctantly engage Benghazi, in some cases for the first time in seven weeks. NBC is a hold out; the NBC / MSNBC web site is absent a mention of Benghazi. The CBS web site carries a home page report on the Benghazi attack by Sharyl Attkisson. The ABC News web site carries a report by Martha Raddatz, limited to the CIA tick tock and highlights the difference between the CIA and The State Department timelines. David Ignatius of the Washington Post, a foreign policy ‘expert’ has decided to gently get on board the Benghazi train by asking for answers. And the New York Times; well, really what’s the point?
The only questions that remains are, how quickly will the noose tighten and will there be more before Election Day. My guess is that there is more to come as the diplomatic, military and intelligence bureaucracy works to make sure the rotten eggs don’t hit them. They are likely surmising that if Mr. Obama is re-elected those eggs will certainly come in their direction.