Following the publication of David D. Kirkpatrick’s monumental Benghazi report in the New York Times—which thoroughly debunks feverish conservative speculation that al-Qaeda was behind the attack—GOP congressmen have lined up to do a little debunking of their own. First, California Republican Darrell Issa tossed around the accusation of a “cover up,” slamming Kirkpatrick’s findings as inaccurate at best. (The conservative press backed him up, describing the Times article as a “whitewash.”)
Now Michigan Republican Mike Rogers has joined the fray, dismissing Kirkpatrick’s article on Fox News Sunday. The Huffington Post has the exchange:
“…al-Qaeda was not involved in this,” Rogers replied. “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—this is the compound before they went to the annex. All of that would directly contradict what the New York Times definitively says was an exhaustive investigation.”
Rogers and Issa, of course, have been the White House’s most vocal and unrelenting critics on the Benghazi affair, subpoenaing the State Department and hounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for answers. (Some see a political motive behind Issa and Rogers’ obsession.) Kirkpatrick’s article carried with it a tone of objectivity and a sense of finality, as though the reporter were finally putting the issue to rest. Issa and Rogers’ response, however, indicates that Republican won’t let the Times have the last word on Benghazi.