New York Times Mideast Correspondent David Kirkpatrick went to Benghazi after the 2012 attack on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission that killed 4 Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Today he shares some of the questions he hoped to answer in his investigation:
The killing of Ambassador Stevens had become a major issue in American politics and also just a murder mystery. There was an astonishing number and variety of theories about how and why he had died on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 at the American Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi.
Part of what was so astounding about the debate and the variety of the theories is that it was an event that took place more or less in the open. It wasn’t like someone surreptitiously stuck a car bomb under his car, or quietly assassinated him with a sniper’s bullet; this was an event that drew a crowd, a crowd that grew all night, where there were dozens or hundreds of witnesses to the main events.
When I visited Benghazi in the immediate aftermath, I got the feeling that a lot of people in Benghazi actually had a pretty good idea of what went down. So I felt, and my editors felt, like that — given that this was a pressing question of political consequence and public interest in the United States — the least we could do is spend some time in Benghazi asking the people who actually live there what happened.