90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Update: NYT Reporter Stands By Benghazi Reporting

David Kirkpatrick is Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times. (Photo via Twitter)

David Kirkpatrick is Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times. (Photo via Twitter)

In Congressional hearings last week, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton said it was a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The Obama administration has completely backed away from an earlier statement by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack was fueled by a spontaneous protest to an anti-Islam YouTube video.

And that prompted one of our listeners to ask whether “the hearings totally debunk the story that the Benghazi attack was all about a Youtube video as put forth by NY Times reporter [David Kirkpatrick] in an interview on H&N?”

We contacted David Kirkpatrick, and he stands by his reporting. He said his colleagues were on the ground when the attack was happening.

“The people in the crowd were saying they were motivated by this video,” Kirkpatrick said. “That crowd definitely included members of organized militant groups, including Ansar al-Shariah. We reported, at the time, there were fighters with pick-up trucks labeled with the Ansar al-Shariah logo outside.”

Kirkpatrick said that the militants could have planned the attack in short order.

“In the tinderbox of Benghazi, it doesn’t take very much advanced planning or preparation to pull off an attack like this, because there are lots of well-organized, heavily armed brigades or battalions just sitting around, waiting to go. And some of them adhere to an ultra-conservative or extremist Islamist ideology.”

Kirkpatrick says people need to understand that the attack was not the result of a singular event.

“It’s a false dichotomy to say either this was an organized attack, or it was a response to the video,” Kirkpatrick said.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.

November 20 Comment

Iraq War Vet Wins National Book Award For Fiction

The judges described the short stories in Phil Klay's collection "Redeployment" as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

November 19 10 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 219 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.