To: David Fanning, Executive Producer
I am a fan of Frontline, and have been for quite some time. The investigative reporting featured on your program has been both groundbreaking and award-winning, and for good reason. Frontline reporters are known for being thorough and diligent in their investigations. They have a well-deserved reputation for uncovering the truth behind complex issues, asking tough questions of the powerful and connected, and doggedly pushing past obstruction, lies and cover-ups.
Given those facts and that pedigree, I have been looking through the archive of your stories produced since August of 2012, which you have posted on your website at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/programs/. All of your stories are well-researched, in-depth, revealing and the kind of reporting that can effect change. Each of them reflect current events and are timely, wide-ranging, not limited by geography, and encourage a dialogue that enables honest solutions and answers.
With all that in mind, I’m curious to know why you have not produced a story to discuss the events surrounding the incident of the attack on the diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods.
So many questions remain unanswered following the events, it seems that a story fully investigating the Benghazi Attack would be a natural fit for your vaunted and venerable group. Questions like:
- Why did the Obama Administration not provide additional security for the facility as Ambassador Stevens had requested?
- Why did the Obama Administration keep a diplomatic facility open on the anniversary of September 11, in a predominantly Muslim country that was embroiled in civil war at the time?
- Immediately after the attack on the facility, why did the Obama Administration choose to attempt to place the blame for impetus of the attack on a YouTube video by having U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice appear on five Sunday news shows to knowingly repeat inaccurate and discredited claims via official talking points?
- Why did the knowingly false and discredited narrative continue for nearly a month, when the Obama Administration knew that the attack was a pre-planned and coordinated terrorist attack within 24 hours?
- For what purpose was the nearby “CIA Annex” being used, and why was this information being kept secret?
These are but a few of the questions that have emerged following the incident, questions which have yet to be fully answered, and for which the appropriate parties have yet to be held responsible. Those circumstances seemingly line up perfectly with your program’s mission:
“Since 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television’s flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its debut on PBS as “the last best hope for broadcast documentaries,” FRONTLINE’s stature over 30 seasons is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience.
…Since its inception, FRONTLINE has never shied away from tough, controversial issues or complex stories. In an age of anchor celebrities and snappy sound bites, FRONTLINE remains committed to providing a primetime venue for engaging reports that fully explore and illuminate the critical issues of our times.”
I look forward with great anticipation to your story on the Benghazi attack and the uncovering of the truth.
Many thanks in advance,
Vladimir Davidiuk | University of St. Thomas | @VladDavidiuk
Originally posted 8/7/2013 at VladimirDavidiuk.wordpress.com