Joe Klein is the biggest embarrassment to Time Magazine and that’s saying something. Reading Joe Klein is like having a conversation with your crazy uncle who doesn’t really understand a subject, but compensates for it by yelling loudly and making trite analogies.
Those two things are all that Joe Klein ever does. Klein is Maureen Dowd without even the hackneyed sense of humor. He’s Tom Friedman without even the appearance of ideas. He’s Frank Rich without the restraint. He’s every media leech who should have retired years ago, but hangs out spewing bizarre screeds without knowing what he’s actually talking about.
With the group of witnesses coming forward to testify about Benghazi, you would think that Joe Klein would make the least bit of effort and update the tired spin that Benghazi is no big deal. Instead, true to form, Joe Klein doubles down on the same stupid things he was saying months ago.
They’re mostly concerned that the Obama Administration tried to cover up the fact that this was a terrorist attack by a local militia (translation: local street gang) which aspired toward bad-butt Al Qaeda status.
Local street gangs don’t have mortars. And the Benghazi attack was actually carried out by several groups, some members of whom came from Al Qaeda in Iraq, alongside a militia which controlled much of a major city.
Joe Klein is immune to facts. He just spews. Even basic research would have kept him from repeating the claim that it was just one militia. But that would miss the point. Klein glories is not knowing what he’s talking about. His whole point is that being willfully ignorant makes him superior to the facts.
It does seem that the Administration’s talking points were massaged a bit after the President’s candor. This may have been attributable to the presidential campaign and the Administration’s desire to low-ball the Al Qaeda threat. If so, this was a venial, not a mortal, sin. It affected not one life.
The No. 2 man in Libya hass testified that the talking points undermined the President of Libya and sabotaged the investigation.
Acting Ambassador Hicks watched the Sunday shows and said he found this contradiction shocking. “The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he accused. Hicks added, “My jaw hit the floor as I watched this…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day.”
Hicks believes the stunning failure of diplomacy on the Sunday news shows explains why it took the FBI three weeks to gain access to the Benghazi site. The U.S. had effectively humiliated the Libyan President on national TV. That decision, he believed, probably compromised our ability to investigate and track down those responsible.
It’s hard to believe that Joe Klein could have missed this. But that’s also the point. Klein probably saw it. He just doesn’t care. He isn’t out to challenge new facts, but to repeat old lies in a “canny old reporter” persona.
But let’s say the street gang had been casing the joint in advance. Who’s to blame for the lax security? This is the real substance of the case. Could it have been the Secretary of State? Undoubtedly, no. This sort of question is well below her pay grade. Could it have been the person in charge of embassy security issues? More likely, and that person resigned after the subsequent investigations…
Klein has completely missed the fact that the debate over who was responsible for the lax security was part of the old Benghazi investigation. The current hearings are focusing in on the failure to provide support after the attack.
Klein’s cluelessness expresses itself in the repetition of old talking points. The resignation was fake and Clinton signed off on denials of security. Stevens had repeatedly asked for more security and the State Department admitted that the supposed funding cuts were not the issue. State didn’t lack money. It chose not to assign priority to Benghazi while renovating mansions in Europe and mosques in the Middle East.
Having blearily trotted out his old talking points, Joe Klein dives headfirst into an even more delusional fantasy.
With recovery, there are higher tax revenues (up 16%) and lower government payouts for services to the unemployed, and the deficits are melting away.
Melting away. Like the street gangs of Benghazi.