FBI probe in Benghazi as close as 400 miles away

posted at 2:01 pm on September 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How is that FBI probe in Benghazi going?  It’s not, according to the New York Times, going at all.  Due to concerns over security in eastern Libya, the FBI can’t get to Benghazi — so they’re investigating the terrorist attack, er, “complicated crime,” from 400 miles away:

Sixteen days after the death of four Americans in an attack on a United States diplomatic mission here, fears about the near-total lack of security have kept F.B.I. agents from visiting the scene of the killings and forced them to try to piece together the complicated crime from Tripoli, more than 400 miles away.

Let’s muse on the irony of this situation.  Seventeen days ago, the Obama administration was so concerned with security in Benghazi that they didn’t lift a finger to bolster protection for a US Ambassador who knew that he’d been targeted by al-Qaeda.  Seventeen days later, they won’t even let the FBI get within 400 miles of Benghazi, not even with security escorts, to probe the “complicated crime” of the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.  Those security concerns are real — and the FBI is wise to take them into account — but they were just as real three weeks ago, too.

So what can the FBI do in Tripoli to solve this “crime”?  Conduct drive-by interrogations:

Investigators are so worried about the tenuous security, people involved in the investigation say, that they have been unwilling to risk taking some potential Libyan witnesses into the American Embassy in Tripoli. Instead, the investigators have resorted to the awkward solution of questioning some witnesses in cars outside the embassy, which is operating under emergency staffing and was evacuated of even more diplomats on Thursday because of a heightened security alert.

“It’s a cavalcade of obstacles right now,” said a senior American law enforcement official who is receiving regular updates on the Benghazi investigation and who described the crime scene, which has been trampled on, looted and burned, as so badly “degraded” that even once F.B.I. agents do eventually gain access “it’ll be very difficult to see what evidence can be attributed to the bad guys.”

Want fries with that interrogation?  As far as the actual “crime scene,” perhaps the FBI can check with the CNN producer who managed to find a crucial piece of evidence — Stevens’ journal, in which he expressed his fears about a terrorist attack, poor security, and his own assassination.  That will almost certainly be the last useful piece of information from the still-unsecured “crime scene” in Benghazi.

The FBI has a tough job in a dangerous part of the world, without a doubt, and there’s good reason to fear for their safety in Benghazi.  At least the administration seems concerned about those security risks now.  But an investigation from 400 miles away seems all but useless, except as an excuse for the White House to keep from answering questions about its failure to secure the Benghazi consulate and its dishonest spin attempts for the last sixteen days following the terrorist attack.


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But an investigation from 400 miles away seems all but useless, except as an excuse for the White House to keep from answering questions about its failure to secure the Benghazi consulate and its dishonest spin attempts for the last sixteen days following the terrorist attack.

It’s called Shields Up! They could have stayed in D.C. made phone calls.
One word for this Administration: Inept, totally.

bluefox on September 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

ted c on September 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Well said. More of this please from ted c and others please. This is an outrageous outrage and people should be outraged about it.

dont taze me bro on September 28, 2012 at 5:32 PM

dont taze me bro on September 28, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I hope Mark Steyn is preparing to unload mercilessly. And, as I mentioned earlier, it is at moments like this that I especially miss Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Breitbart.

dont taze me bro on September 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across the 500-foot channel, back to Edgartown and returned to his hotel room, where he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed.[14] Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30 a.m., the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, “I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room … I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car.”[15]

Back at his hotel, Kennedy complained at 2:55 a.m. to the hotel owner that he had been awoken by a noisy party.[3] By 7:30 a.m. the next morning he was talking “casually” to the winner of the previous day’s sailing race, with no indication that anything was amiss.[3] At 8 a.m., Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a “heated conversation.” According to Kennedy’s testimony, the two men asked why he had not reported the accident. Kennedy responded by telling them “about my own thoughts and feelings as I swam across that channel … that somehow when they arrived in the morning that they were going to say that Mary Jo was still alive”.[15] The three men subsequently crossed back to Chappaquiddick Island on the ferry, where Kennedy made a series of telephone calls from a pay telephone near the crossing. The telephone calls were to his friends for advice and again, he did not report the accident to authorities.[3]

ted c on September 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM

At 7:30 p.m. that evening Kennedy made a lengthy prepared statement about the incident which was broadcast live by the television networks. Among other things, he said that:[26]

“Only reasons of health” had prevented his wife from accompanying him to the regatta.
There was “no truth whatever to the widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct” regarding Kennedy’s and Kopechne’s behavior that evening.
He “was not driving under the influence of liquor”.
His conduct during the hours immediately after the accident “made no sense to [him] at all”.
His doctors had informed him that he had suffered cerebral concussion and shock, but he did not seek to use his medical condition to escape responsibility for his actions.
He “regard[ed] as indefensible that fact that [he] did not report the accident to the police immediately.”
Instead of notifying the authorities immediately, Kennedy “requested the help of two friends, Joe Gargan and Paul Markham, and directed them to return immediately to the scene with [him] (it then being sometime after midnight) in order to undertake a new effort to dive down and locate Miss Kopechne“.

ted c on September 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

The inquest into Kopechne’s death occurred in Edgartown in January 1970. At the request of Kennedy’s lawyers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered that it be performed secretly.[38][39] The 763-page transcript of the inquest was released four months later.[39] Judge James A. Boyle presided at the inquest. Among Judge Boyle’s conclusions in his inquest report were the following:[40]

The accident occurred “between 11:30 p.m. on July 18 and 1:00 a.m. on July 19″.
“Kopechne and Kennedy did not intend to drive to the ferry slip and his turn onto Dike Road had been intentional”.
“A speed of twenty miles per hour as Kennedy testified to operating the car as large as his Oldsmobile would be at least negligent and possibly reckless.”
“For some reason not apparent from [Kennedy]‘s testimony, he failed to exercise due care as he approached the bridge.”
“There is probable cause to believe that Edward M. Kennedy operated his motor vehicle negligently … and that such operation appears to have contributed to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.”

Under Massachusetts law Boyle, having found “probable cause” that Kennedy had committed a crime, could have issued a warrant for his arrest, but he did not do so.[41] District Attorney Dinis chose not to prosecute Kennedy for manslaughter, despite Judge Boyle’s conclusions.

The Kopechne family did not bring any legal action against Senator Kennedy, but they did receive a payment of $90,904 from the Senator personally and $50,000 from his insurance company.[42] The Kopechnes later explained their decision to not take legal action by saying that “We figured that people would think we were looking for blood money.”[42]

ted c on September 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Limbaugh was talking about this earlier.

The Regime knows that the FBI can’t cover up the Regime’s utter failures in protecting our people in Benghazi, so they’re not going to let them investigate in the first place.

Del Dolemonte on September 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

The Five just played that video of what Rush said.

bluefox on September 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

The Regime knows that the FBI can’t cover up the Regime’s utter failures in protecting our people in Benghazi, so they’re not going to let them investigate in the first place.

Del Dolemonte on September 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

yep. You can’t prosecute what you can’t investigate, nor can anyone be blamed for it, right Jay Carney???????

ted c on September 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM

de rigueur on September 28, 2012 at 3:59 PM

According the NYT, the eight Marines were eight State Department employees. Seems as if all the survivors were CIA operatives, “security officers” or State Department employees. May explain why we have not heard from any of the survivors?

d1carter on September 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM

An actual investigation CANNOT be allowed to happen because it would show without a doubt:
1. The administration failed to properly secure the consulate
2. This failure lead to the deaths of Americans, including the Ambassador
3. The perpetrators of this attack were Al Qaeda
4. Al Qaeda is supposed to be all but defeated
5. Bin Laden’s death (and the supposed defeat of Al Qaeda) was the only foreign policy accomplishment of this administration…and it is utterly empty.

dont taze me bro on September 28, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Empty chair strikes again.

dont taze me bro on September 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM

I tweeted the Reuters reporter that filed the first reports on the rescue mission and first reported that according to eye witnesses Marines were killed or wounded….she has not responded…she is back home in Canada.

d1carter on September 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The FBI shouldn’t be trying to investigate this anyways! It was a terrorist attack not a criminal attack! this whole situation is insane…

it raises the question yet again : what if this happened with Bush in office?

sadsushi on September 28, 2012 at 8:36 PM

This is all part of the coverup. Move along, nothing to see here.

Philly on September 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM

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