Book Review - "Stonewalled" by Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS News Correspondent refuses to be intimidated over Benghazi
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar.
Sharyl Attkisson’s book, Stonewalled, is a must read for all Americans. Her book reads like a mystery straight out of a John Grisham or Vince Flynn novel. Unfortunately the bad guys are not Islamic terrorists but those in government today. Instead of using guns and bombs they use intimidation and harassment.
Stonewalled is an account of an investigative reporter that wanted to follow the facts and refused to be intimidated by the Obama Administration. She was one of the few mainstream journalists that tried to seek out the truth regarding what happened on that tragic day of September 11th, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya when four Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorists.
It is stunning how this administration tried to push their narrative on reporters. In the book Sharyl recounts how she was told that the President early on referred to the attack as terrorist based. This quote from the book shows that the White House viewed her as uncooperative in pushing their narrative, “I give up Sharyl…I’ll work with more reasonable folks...” Unfortunately, Candy Crowley seems to be one of those that did cooperate with the White House considering her actions in the national Presidential debate. Crowley obviously did not check the facts herself. It makes readers question, if the “substitution” technique Attkisson talks about in the book was used: would a journalist from Fox News who had jumped in defense of Romney be drummed out?
Sharyl speculates, “As I say in the book, it did make me wonder if Crowley, like me, had received an advance call from a White House official prompting her with the claim that the President had called Benghazi a terrorist attack the next day when, in fact, that was questionable.”
Regarding Hillary Clinton’s involvement in pushing the false narrative of Benghazi and her many differing statements Sharyl noted to blackfive.net, “She appears to want to revise the facts on Benghazi in her book. Clinton begins her Benghazi discussion acknowledging ‘Americans were killed in a terrorist attack,’ the very thing that the administration had worked so hard not to say initially. Her contradictions in her book include discussions explaining why no rescue mission was launched and the supposed surprise nature of the attack, while at the same time she argues the US was on alert and well prepared because of the anniversary of 9/11. She also claimed the Foreign Emergency Support Team was not deployed because the attack wouldn’t last long enough for them to arrive to help; yet, she also said she believed there would be more attacks in the region as there had been in Egypt. In the days after September 11, she didn’t attribute the attacks to terrorism but mistakenly blamed a YouTube video, and later said that was due to the confusion caused by the ‘fog of war.’ Yet documents we now have show officials concluded from the start that the terrorists were at fault and even told the Libyans that right away. Mrs. Clinton eventually testified before Congress asking, ‘what difference does it make?’ as to who was behind the attacks. My response, if it doesn’t make a difference, why did the administration work so hard to steer the public in the direction of the video rather than the truth?”
She also reminds readers of the Fast and Furious debacle: the issue of corruption, cover-ups, and government misdeeds. Early into the Obama Administration ATF officials came up with a plan to secretly enlist the help of licensed gun dealers in Arizona and encouraged them to sell firearms to suspected traffickers for the cartels. Part of the plan was to allow these guns to be used in crimes that would lead to the arrest of major drug cartel figures. Sharyl kept pursuing the story and was told by an Obama Administration official, “Every other outlet is ‘reasonable’ except you. Nobody else thinks there is a story. Just you. You’re the only one. Sharyl Attkisson is right and everybody else is wrong?” She noted to blackfive.net, “There was a great deal of pushback, attempts to manipulate opinion by the Obama Administration. According to my sources, other reporters were trying to publish stories on Fast and Furious, but their managers or editors apparently blocked it.”
However, the mystery of the book comes about when she is targeted by a government agency or official that infiltrates her computer and cell phone. They are not listening to a terrorist plotting to kill Americans, but are trying to find out what information this CBS reporter has that will be damaging to them. Big brother is not only listening but in Sharyl’s case has actually put damaging classified information on the computer.
Sharyl pointed out, “For a reporter to have classified information is not a crime in itself. What could be a crime, if the person who took them, and handed them over, broke the law. My sources have theorized that perhaps they could put something in someone’s computer for some pretense to justify a legal wiretap at some point. The long story short, they could then get a court order, frame a federal source, or frame the owner of that computer. Whoever did this to me is very sophisticated. I have decided to pursue it to let them know I was not just going away and to make the public aware. It is almost humorous that people think my accusations are outlandish and they call me paranoid. It is part of the propaganda campaign. This is not a figment of my imagination if you look at the undeniable forensic reports and the CBS press release.”
Stonewalled needs to be read so Americans can understand that currently this administration is targeting journalists and the sources. But a word of warning, anyone can be targeted. This book shows how corporate and political interests try to manipulate public opinion. They add some obstruction, some intimidation, and some threats and an alternate reality is created. Attkisson chronicles her journey in a fascinating manner.