Veteran journalist Timmerman (Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender, 2007, etc.) offers a blistering indictment of the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly 2012 event now known simply as “Benghazi.”
On Sept, 11, 2012, four Americans, including the United States ambassador, were killed in attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The White House and State Department claim that the attack—already the subject of several Congressional investigations and soon to be probed again by House Republicans—was a protest turned violent over an anti-Islam YouTube video. Drawing on interviews with sources in the region, Timmerman argues that Benghazi was a well-planned, state-sponsored terrorist attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also claims that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew that terrorists were behind the attack but made up the spontaneous protest cover story to preserve the appearance of success in their anti-terrorist policies. It was the eve of the 2012 presidential election, and Obama had claimed that the “tide of war [was] receding.” Benghazi, writes the author, is “the deepest, the darkest, and the dirtiest political scandal of recent American history.” Viewing post-Gadhafi Libya as approaching “normal” status, the State Department ignored pleas for greater security for American diplomats and facilities when in fact Libya was “spinning wildly out of control,” with “heavily armed street thugs” roaming neighborhoods. The Benghazi compound was left to defend itself by a secretary of state who wanted only to celebrate a success story for the November election and then “prepare her own coronation as the first female president…in 2016.” Timmerman navigates the complex story of Libya’s role in the period as an arms bazaar for terrorists and faults U.S. policymakers for trying to distinguish between violent and nonviolent Islamist groups.
An often intemperate account that will please Hillary-bashers and provide timely fodder for the upcoming Republican-led Benghazi investigation.