A little more than a year ago, I wrote an article for The Daily Banter titled “13 Benghazis That Occurred On Bush’s Watch Without a Peep From Fox News.” In it I listed 13 terrorist attacks on U.S. consulates and embassies that happened during the years when President Bush was evidently “keeping us safe.” Throughout the past year, the article has sporadically gone viral among one internet clique or another, and at least one graphical meme has been based upon the list.
Late last week, I began to receive a new onslaught of tweets from readers of a website called the IJReview about an article written by Managing Editor Kyle Becker, titled, “’13 Benghazis That Happened Under Bush’ Viral Meme Taken Apart & Destroyed Before Your Very Eyes.” Clearly it was intended to debunk my article — hocus-pocus alakazam! — before our very eyes.
Before I continue, I should note for those of you who are unaware: this isn’t another case in which I get all wrapped into responding to a Twitter troll with zero followers and an egg avatar. IJReview has 52,000 Twitter followers, 4.8 million Facebook Likes, and Becker claims the publication is the “#2 conservative site in U.S. traffic.” IJReview is indeed quite popular, ranking 407th in the U.S. overall, according to Alexa. Well done.
So anyway, Becker went through the 13 items in my list and tried desperately to find a reason, no matter how thin, why each attack wasn’t precisely like Benghazi. And, look, obviously none of the attacks were exactly like Benghazi — for that, they’d each have to take place in Benghazi, for one. Needless to say, the concepts of similarity, contrast and correlation seem to have escaped literalist Becker and his many readers.
Indeed, all of the attacks during the Bush era were against U.S. consulates and embassies, just like the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. What makes these attacks different from Benghazi is that not all of the fatalities were American — and yet there were still 13 terrorist attacks against our embassies, as opposed to one under the current administration. And while not every attack involved American fatalities, the 13 Bush-era attacks did, in fact, result in a total of 11 American deaths, or seven more U.S. deaths than in the Benghazi attack.
Yet the centerpiece of Becker’s feckless debunkery involved merely stating that, where appropriate: “NONE [of the casualties] WERE AMERICAN.” Unfortunately, he could only say this about 10 of the 13 attacks, each of which, by the way, inflicted dozens of other casualties. That leaves three terrorist attacks against our embassies in which 11 Americans died. Three times the attacks and nearly three times the fatalities as Benghazi.
I’m still waiting for my post to be magically “taken apart” and “destroyed.”
Predictably, Becker never once noted that one of the attacks with an American fatality occurred at an embassy that had been attacked once before. On March 2, 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan, terrorists specifically targeted for assassination a U.S. diplomat named David Foy, so a terrorist suicide bomber hit the embassy, killing Foy and three others. In spite of the fact that the same embassy had been attacked two years earlier — also by a suicide bomber who killed 12 people and injured 51 more — there was no additional security ordered to the compound. Now imagine the unhinged outrage that would’ve been generated if there had been not one but two similar attacks on the Benghazi consulate, the second of which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens. And yet when a very similar pair of attacks under Bush occurred, there weren’t 30 investigations or a House Select Committee convened. No emails were made public, no inquests against the administration were suggested and no conspiracy theories were circulated. Nothing. (Republican presidential frontrunner, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, has honored the death of Ambassador Stephens by accusing him of running Libyan guns via Turkey to Syrian rebels with ties to al-Qaeda. Classy.)
But that’s not the only instance of dual attacks resulting in an American casualty on Bush’s watch. The same thing happened at our embassy at Sana’a, Yemen on September 17, 2008, where an American student, along with her newlywed Yemeni husband, were killed while they waited in the embassy for information about how to bring the husband back to the states. 14 other people were killed, but since none of the others were American, I suppose they don’t count as real deaths. However, what should count and which strangely doesn’t count is that the exact same U.S. embassy had been attacked just six months prior, when a terrorist fired a mortar at the compound, killing two students at a neighboring school. Are we catching a pattern of incompetence here?… READ MORE