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New York Times covers up Al Qaeda discrepancy

The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report on the deaths of the American ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, finds that Al Qaeda militants were involved in the attack.

The New York Times reported that today, but glossed over previous assertions by the newspaper that contendended Al Qaeda played no role in the attack.

Here’s what the Times reported today on the Senate report: “On the contentious issue of the role of Al Qaeda or other international terrorist organizations in the attack on the diplomatic mission, the Senate committee’s report found that individuals “affiliated with” many such groups had participated in the attack but that none of them appeared to have planned or led the assault.

“The report found that among the many terrorist groups with which individual attackers had some affiliation were Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate, Al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate, and the Egyptian network led by Muhammad Jamal. But the report said ‘intelligence suggests that the attack was not a highly coordinated plot, but was opportunistic.’”

Down story, the Times today said that: “An investigation published by The New York Times last month found that anger over the video had played a significant role in precipitating the Benghazi attack.”

But that characterization significantly shades the thrust of the first Times report.

What the NYT’s investigation reported on Dec. 28th was that Al Qaeda played NO ROLE in the attack.

Here’s what the Times said, exactly:

“Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.”

Seems to me the New York Times owes its readers an explanation, if not a correction.

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