On the evening of September 11, 2012, a heavily armed group of terrorists allegedly led by members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia attacked a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith were killed in the assault. The remaining members of the mission were evacuated to a nearby CIA facility, which came under artillery fire early the next morning. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both CIA contractors who had served as U.S. Navy Seals, were killed in that attack.
At roughly 10:24 p.m.* on the east coast, Mitt Romney's campaign released a statement accusing President Obama of "sympathizing" with the attackers; this politicization was immediately echoed by the right-wing noise machine.
Over the past year, conservative media figures and activists, led by Fox News, have repeatedly created and promoted lies, smears, and conspiracies related to the Benghazi attack. While the attack raised meaningful questions about how we can best protect U.S. diplomats in dangerous environments, the right has instead sought to use what happened in Benghazi and in the days that followed to bring down President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other members of the administration.
Much of the criticism has revolved around two lines of attack: That the Obama administration downplayed the role that terrorists played in the attack, and that the administration held back additional U.S. military forces that could have been used to save lives. In reality, President Obama referred to the attack as an "act of terror" during his September 12 Rose Garden speech, and U.S. officials have made clear that all available and appropriate forces were sent as quickly as possible. As former diplomatic security agent Fred Burton and journalist Samuel M. Katz wrote in their book Under Fire:
There was never a question concerning U.S. resolve or the overall capabilities of the U.S. military to respond to Benghazi. There was, however, nothing immediate about an immediate response. There were logistics and host-nation approvals to consider. An immediate response was hampered by the equation of geography and logistics.
In this report, Media Matters chronicles:
The Attack And The Conservative "Blame Game" Response
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 1: The Rice Interviews
The Blame Game Continues
Hillary Clinton Takes Responsibility And Right-Wing Media Freak Out
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 2: The Debate
Obama Left Them To Die, Part 1: The CIA "Stand Down" Order
The Petraeus Conspiracy
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 3: Rice For SecState?
Hillary Clinton's Fake Concussion
Hillary Clinton's Testimony: Fake Anger, Tears
Secretary Panetta's Testimony
Hillary Clinton And The Politicized Congressional Report
Obama Left Them To Die, Part 2: Fox's Unnamed Source
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 4: The Talking Points Draft
Obama Left Them To Die, Part 3: The Benghazi "Whistleblowers"
The Incredible Shrinking Whistleblower Intimidation Claim
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 5: The Administration Emails
Special Prosecutor Versus Independent Investigators
Calling Benghazi "Terror," Part 6: The Obama Presser
Things Fall Apart
Obama Left Them To Die, Part 4: "Sources"
The Futile Call For A Benghazi Select Committee
The Fringe Valerie Jarrett Theory
As Benghazi Anniversary Approaches, Fox Goes Into Overdrive
Shortly after reports that at least one diplomat had died during the Benghazi attacks, Mitt Romney's campaign issued a statement politicizing that tragedy by attacking President Obama. Even as much of the media condemned Romney's action, Fox News and other right-wing outlets rallied around him, either falsifying the timeline to claim that Romney had issued his statement before it was clear an American had been killed or promoting the notion that the administration was at fault for the attacks.
Conservative media claimed that Obama and Clinton had ignored warnings the embassy could be attacked; that the attacks were the result of Obama repeatedly apologizing for America; and that Obama did not attend daily intelligence briefings and thus was negligent. In fact, even the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee acknowledged that he had seen no indication that the administration had information that could have prevented the attacks; the claim that Obama apologizes for America is a myth; and Obama prefers to read a written daily intelligence briefing.
After U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on the Sunday political talk shows on September 16 to discuss Benghazi, the Obama administration came under fire for not calling the attack a planned act of "terrorism," and for engaging in a politically motivated "cover-up." But Rice made clear during her appearances that her comments were based on "our current best assessment" that the Libya attack was not premeditated, acknowledged that the perpetrators were "extremists," and said that future investigations and analyses by intelligence services "will tell us with certainty what transpired." It would later be revealed that her suggestion that the attack was linked to an anti-Islam video that had embroiled the Middle East came from talking points generated by the CIA.
Throughout late September and early October, as Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz, one of Romney's top campaign surrogates, led the first hearing into the security situation in Benghazi prior to the attack, conservative media figures continued to claim that Obama had allowed the attacks to happen through negligence and a failed foreign policy. Critics pushing this claim ignored the multiple terror attacks that occurred during the Bush administration.
In a series of mid-October interviews, Clinton took responsibility for the Benghazi attacks, saying: "Listen, this is my State Department. I take responsibility. Security for the U.S. diplomatic posts is a State Department function." The right-wing media responded by misrepresenting her comments, falsely portraying her as trying to deflect blame, and lobbing sexist attacks.
During the October 16 presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley corrected Romney's false claim that Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attack as an "act of terror" during a speech from White House Rose Garden the day after the attack. Conservatives quickly moved to rewrite the timeline in order to deny what Obama had said, attack Crowley, and defend Romney. In fact, Obama had clearly called the attack an "act of terror" in his September 12 Rose Garden address on the attacks and during two September 13 campaign events.
In late October, Fox News reported that CIA operators in Benghazi had been told by their superiors to "stand down" rather than rush to the aid of their colleagues in the diplomatic compound. The right-wing media used the report to allege that President Obama and his administration had decided to willingly "sacrifice Americans" in Benghazi. But the CIA denied that any stand-down orders had ever been given, no additional evidence has ever emerged suggesting such orders were given, and reinforcements actually arrived from Tripoli in time for the second attack on the CIA facility.
Following the early November revelation of Gen. David Petraeus' affair with his biographer and his subsequent resignation as CIA director, right-wing media claimed that Obama had been blackmailing Petraeus to keep him from "spilling the beans" about Benghazi. There was no evidence that this claim was true and the charge was widely condemned by more credible outlets.
In November, Susan Rice's name was floated in the press as a potential nominee for Secretary of State. The right-wing media quickly joined an effort led by Sens. John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and Kelly Ayotte to prevent that nomination from coming to pass by attacking Rice for her comments about Benghazi during her September 16 Sunday show appearances.
Rice was criticized for using a set of administration talking points characterizing the attacks as stemming from a spontaneous demonstration. A draft version of those talking points had included language suggesting the perpetrators had been affiliated with Al Qaeda, and the right-wing media said the removal of that language was part of a political cover-up. In reality, as Petraeus had previously testified, changes were made to the talking points in order to protect the criminal investigation and our intelligence-gathering process.
In late December, shortly before she was scheduled to testify before Congress regarding Benghazi, Hillary Clinton fainted and suffered a concussion, and was subsequently hospitalized with a potentially life-threatening blood clot in her head. The right-wing media accused her of faking the concussion to avoid testifying on Benghazi.
When Hillary Clinton expressed sorrow for the Benghazi victims and anger at members of Congress who offered spurious criticisms during her January 23 congressional testimony, she was accused of faking emotion. Her testimony was attacked with falsehoods and innuendo -- such as the claim that Clinton "made no mention" of the real time video her office allegedly had during the attack -- aimed at pushing the baseless conspiracy that the administration had covered up what happened in Benghazi. In fact, Clinton made clear during her testimony that the State Department did not have access to real time video.
After Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sat for an interview and testified before Congress about Benghazi in early February, the right-wing media selectively edited his remarks to portray President Obama as "virtually absent" from the response to the attack. In fact, Panetta testified that White House officials were kept informed of events throughout the incident.
In April, Republicans on five congressional committees released a report asserting that Clinton had lied when she told Congress she was unaware of requests for additional security at the Benghazi compound. According to the report, Clinton had personally read and signed off on a cable responding to one such missive. Right-wing media subsequently pushed this claim in attacking Clinton as a liar. In fact, there is nothing to indicate Clinton had reviewed the document -- all messages from the State Department to diplomatic facilities abroad are sent out over the secretary's signature according to tradition.
In late April, Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier hosted a confidential "Benghazi source" for a three-part interview to express his opinion that the Obama administration could have saved the staff that were killed during the attacks. That opinion had been refuted by military experts and nonpartisan analysis that had already made clear that no additional forces could have reached Benghazi in time, and the source's claims were swiftly debunked by experts who pointed out that the claims were "pure speculation and not based on any real facts."
In early May, The Weekly Standard published the CIA's original draft of the talking points that were used by Susan Rice during her Sunday show interviews. The right-wing media claimed the document proved the Obama administration had concocted the link between the attack and an anti-Islam video cited by Susan Rice and other administration officials. In fact, that document made clear that the CIA itself believed there was a link between the two. The draft said that the attacks were "spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" -- protests that came in response to the video.
Conservative media coverage of congressional leaks leading up to a May 8 Benghazi "whistleblower" House hearing and the hearing itself featured falsehoods, conspiracies, and hysterics, including attempts to compare Benghazi to Watergate. Much of the coverage revolved around claims that Libya's deputy chief of mission Gregory Hicks believed that a "stand down" order had been given to Special Forces in Tripoli to prevent them from aiding the diplomats in Benghazi. In fact, the Special Forces unit stayed in Tripoli in case it was needed to respond to an attack there, if the unit had tried to reach Benghazi it would have arrived hours after the attack concluded, and the head of Special Forces in Tripoli subsequently testified that no "stand down" order was given.
Basing their claims in part on the allegations of Victoria Toensing, a partisan lawyer who was involved in attempts to drum up scandals during the Clinton era, right-wing media (as well as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd) claimed that Hicks had been "muzzled" and then demoted by his State Department superiors, including Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, for giving information about Benghazi to Congress. In fact, Hicks spoke to Congressional investigators, the FBI, and twice with the State Department's investigators. In his testimony he acknowledged receiving no direct criticism from Mills. And he was not "demoted" but rather testified that he asked not to go back to Libya and was placed in a temporary position. He retained his rank and salary, and is waiting for a suitable position to come open.
On May 10, ABC News' Jonathan Karl published an "exclusive" report based on 14 versions of the Benghazi talking points, as well as summaries of emails between the aides who edited them. According to Karl, the emails showed that the talking points were "scrubbed of terror reference[s]" at the behest of the State Department and White House. In reality, the documents provided little new information, as Petraeus had testified months ago that the intelligence community signed off on the final draft of the talking points, and that references to terrorist groups in Libya were removed in order to avoid tipping off those groups. The report nonetheless generated a media firestorm with commentators claiming the changes had been made for political purposes and highlighting Petraeus's ambivalence with the final set of talking points.
The subsequent release of the actual emails showed that the email summaries ABC had reviewed were misleading, making it appear that the White House was more interested in removing mentions of specific terrorist groups for political reasons than was actually the case. They also showed that Petraeus was actually unhappy with the talking points because they downplayed the role of the anti-Islam video in the attack, undermining the right-wing narrative. ABC News later published an extensive editor's note on their initial story, and Karl apologized for getting the story wrong.
Right-wing media panned the independent report of the State Department's Accountability Review Board while demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Benghazi. The ARB's report was a credible, non-partisan account from Thomas Pickering, a career diplomat, and retired Adm. Mike Mullen that sought to establish what went wrong in Benghazi and how to better protect U.S. diplomats in the future. The appointment of a special prosecutor would likely result in a permanent, partisan attempt to damage the Obama administration.
After Obama recalled during a May 13 press conference how he had previously described the attacks in the context of terrorism, both right-wing media and mainstream outlets pretended that he had not. In fact, as he mentioned, Obama called the attacks an "act of terror" on September 12 and September 13.
From mid-May through June, with mainstream outlets having caught on to the lack of evidence behind the right-wing's Benghazi smears, Fox began throwing out whatever allegations it could and hoping that something would stick. These included pretending that President Obama and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon were absent during the attack (in fact, a photo shows them discussing the situation in the Oval Office); pretending that Ambassador Pickering is reluctant to testify on Benghazi (in fact, he had asked to testify publicly); and smearing former State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland for misleading the American people about the Benghazi attacks through her role in editing the draft talking points (in fact, she expressed concern that revealing in the talking points the names of terrorist organizations suspected of being involved would jeopardize a criminal investigation).
With their scandal faltering, in late June Fox put together a Benghazi special highlighting a series of false claims and misinformation that they had hyped for month, including the exclusive report that "sources" say that stand down orders were given. The previous week, Republican-led House Armed Services Committee acknowledged no such order had been given, citing testimony from the commander of the Special Forces team in Tripoli.
In July, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) circulated a discharge petition for House Resolution 36, which called for a select committee to investigate the attacks in Benghazi. (A discharge petition is a parliamentary procedure that takes a resolution out of committee and brings it directly to the floor for a vote.) Stockman's discharge petition was opposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and HR 36's sponsor Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and thus had no chance of passing. But Fox heavily promoted the effort, and Fox contributor Allen West was a featured speaker at an anti-Obama group's rally calling for the petition's passage.
In early August, a fringe conservative website reported based on anonymous sources that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the decision-maker during the Benghazi attacks and issued a stand down order to American armed forces that night. This was not a credible claim -- its author had a history of making absurd, hyperbolic claims about Obama, his sources were unnamed, and numerous military figures have publicly testified no stand down order was ever given. But Rush Limbaugh, and later Fox News' Steve Doocy, nevertheless floated the conspiracy.
In the week leading up to the anniversary of the Benghazi attacks, Fox continued to push a variety of false claims about the story. Notably, the network hyped a misleading ABC interview with Hicks in which he defied his own sworn testimony to claim he had been "punished" for speaking out about Benghazi. Fox's campaign went so far as to equate the Benghazi attacks, in which four Americans were killed, with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in which nearly 3,000 Americans were killed.
The question won’t go away: Did President Obama and administration officials mislead the public when they initially claimed that the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began “spontaneously” in response to an anti-Muslim video?
The question surfaced again on Oct. 25 — more than six weeks after the incident — when government emails showed the White House and the State Department were told even as the attack was going on that Ansar al-Sharia, a little-known militant group, had claimed credit for it.
House Intelligence Committee
With the anniversary of September 11, 2001, coming up next week, the left is lining up to undermine various and ongoing efforts to get to the truth about what led to the events of September 11, 2012. The latter terrorist attack took place two months before a presidential election. The U.S. Special Mission Compound (often mistakenly referred to as a consulate) in Benghazi, Libya, and the nearby CIA Annex were brutally attacked—killing our U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
There are two new books on Benghazi debuting this month, a new documentary on Fox News about one of them, and the first public hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi is scheduled for this month.
As a result, the forces of the left are in full “pre-emptive attack” mode, publishing article after article about how false and misleading these reports and books are—sight unseen. Calls for the revelations to not affect Hillary Clinton’s political chances, or claims that there is no cover-up and this is a phony scandal, have emerged at The New York Times, MSNBC, Media Matters, and with the Democrats on the House Intel Committee, which recently¬†completed its own report on Benghazi that is currently being reviewed by the CIA before its public release. The consistent theme is that this controversy has all been investigated numerous times before, and that the evidence shows that there was no cover-up, there was no stand-down order, and there was no failure to deploy military assets.
But as we have shown through various articles, these sources are either wrong on all, or most, counts, or the “answers” they’ve provided raise additional questions.
New revelations by members of the Security Annex Team, interviewed by Bret Baier, call into question these assertions as well. Speaking on Fox News’ Special Report on September 4th, three members of the team—Kris Paronto, Mark Geist and John Tiegen—described their experience as receiving multiple “stand down” orders from “Bob,” the CIA Chief of Base in Benghazi, who delayed their possible rescue of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and other staff by about a half an hour. The team members say they ultimately defied orders and rushed to the compound anyway to enact a rescue of the State Department personnel, and contend that Ambassador Stevens and Smith might still be alive if they had been allowed to go sooner.
“The accusation that the station chief, referred to in the book only as ‘Bob,’ held back the rescue opens a new front in a fierce political battle over who is at fault for the American deaths,” writes David Kirkpatrick for The New York Times. Note that Kirkpatrick calls this an accusation, although it is an account given by eyewitnesses. (“Bob” has not yet spoken to the press, and maybe never will.) Kirkpatrick is well known for his article last year claiming that al Qaeda wasn’t involved in the September 11, 2012 attacks. But at least the Times is reporting on the contents of this new blockbuster account of what happened that night in Benghazi. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the media deal with this.
Part of the story told by the Annex Team in their upcoming book has been reported in the past, but it serves as a confirmation of those reports. Jennifer Griffin reported for Fox News in October 2012 that sources on the ground in Libya that night said that the CIA told its Annex Team to “stand down” multiple times before allowing them to proceed to the U.S. Special Mission and attempt a rescue. (The CIA responded with a denial). But the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that there was “no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party.” But there was a delay, and several questions about it remain.
Did the delay result from numerous stand-down orders, as Griffin and the Annex Team have said? Why do official reports differ from eyewitness accounts? And if there was a delay, why? Americans should demand to know whether Ambassador Chris Stevens’ and Sean Smith’s lives could have been saved by a quicker Annex response.
Supporters on the left claim that there has been no cover-up, but key questions about Benghazi have not been answered. Among them:
As for the failure to deploy assets, the recent release of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) transcripts reveals that General Carter Ham, then-head of AFRICOM, was able to arm the second drone when it relieved the first outside the Annex, but chose not to because he saw the mission as reconnaissance, or “understanding,” not engagement. (There were two drones: one unarmed, diverted from Derna, Libya and another, unarmed, later sent from Sigonella, Italy to relieve the first.) “There was a capability to arm them at Sigonella” and he knew that, said General Ham. He later added, upon questioning, “The second one was preparing to fly, to take off, to relieve the first one on station.” The second, unarmed drone arrived before Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two former Navy SEALs who were working there as part of the CIA’s Global Response staff (GRS), were killed. The point being, had the second drone been armed, it might have saved their lives.
HASC transcripts from January also revealed that General Carter Ham had told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the attack was an “attack”—meaning a planned, terrorist attack, not a “demonstration” that spun out of control—right before their pre-scheduled meeting that very evening in Washington with President Obama.
In addition, the new transcripts issued by the HASC bring up an interesting issue: in 2012, the air base at Aviano, Italy was apparently scheduled for a two-week inspection that ran through the September 11th anniversary. “September 11, our aircraft were—we were kind of in the admin phase of the inspection, and all of our aircraft were in a true training configuration because we had to start from that cold start,” said Brigadier General Scott Zobrist in his March 12, 2014 interview. “The wing was going back to a normal training posture, and the best that I can recall is that we had no jets on any kind of alert status or anything like that.” Such a lack of readiness on a critical date—the anniversary of 9/11—strikes many as a dereliction of duty.
As we, the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, have documented in our Interim Report and additional documents, there are even larger issues here that need to be investigated. Most notably, we point out that the war in Libya was unnecessary—a war of choice—since Muammar Qaddafi had expressed his willingness to abdicate as the war was about to get underway. And the real heart of the matter is that the U.S., under President Obama, has switched sides in the Global War on Terror, which might be better identified as the Global War on Jihadis.
Our readers, and all concerned Americans, should watch the Fox News documentary this weekend (it will air multiple times, including primetime each of the three nights), because it will represent the views of fellow contract operators, the Annex Security Team, who were on the ground with their brothers-in-arms. Was there a stand-down order? They say there were multiple stand down orders. Was there a dereliction of duty that day by the President, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or top military officials? We’ll see this weekend what else these eyewitnesses have to say about it.
Now, with the 2014 midterm elections fast approaching and the panel’s first hearing slated for September, the former prosecutor from Spartanburg, S.C., is taking a more tempered, bipartisan tone. He has declared he wants to avoid a media “circus.” Other House Republicans are sending out similar signals, denying that their creation of the special panel was ever political in nature.
“You want to get on the news, go rob a bank,” Gowdy told ABC News in August, after saying that he meant “no disrespect to the media.”
“If you take the approach ‘Are we doing this to learn more and better ourselves as a people? And be respectful of their sacrifice?’ then you won’t let it become a circus,” he continued.
When the House voted in May to authorize the select committee, which could cost taxpayers up to $3.3 million to operate, the media attention such a panel was sure to draw was a huge part of the attraction for the Republicans who pushed for it. They wanted a channel to attack Obama and the Democrats in the lead-up to the midterm elections — so much so that House Democrats weren’t even sure they wanted to appoint representatives to the panel out of fear it would legitimize the GOP’s charged rhetoric on the issue.
But the politics of Benghazi have shifted. Domestically, the GOP appears poised to win back the Senate for the first time in nearly a decade, and internationally, the foreign policy picture has become much more complicated, with unrest in the Middle East growing dramatically since the last election.
The attacks on two American facilities in Benghazi left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. In the nearly two years since, Republicans have held up the tragedy to argue that the Obama administration has failed to prosecute the war on terrorism, and accused the president of fighting tooth and nail to keep evidence of incompetence (or worse) from the public.
But a pair of reports from the House Armed Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee – both of which are run by Republicans – has deflated many of the wildest allegations, with the intelligence panel publishing its findings in early August. In turn, these fact-finding operations have raised fresh questions about the purpose the special panel can serve.
Gowdy, in a written statement to Yahoo News, declined to say whether he would hold more public hearings than the first one, which is about a topic suggested by one of the committee’s reluctant Democratic participants.
“Public hearings are only one part of the work of this committee. The main work of an investigation involves much more outside the spotlight,” Gowdy said. “Depositions and witness interviews, both of which are not public, are more effective for gathering facts. The work of the committee will continue throughout the fall, whether it includes more public hearings or not.”
As American foreign-policy makers grapple with a new set of challenges across the Middle East, such as the rise of the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), there seems to be more risk for the GOP in looking political in its investigation.
Accordingly, House Republicans have publicly and privately worked to shore up the bipartisan credibility of Gowdy’s investigation and banish all of what one Republican aide called the “circus” surrounding past GOP probes.
“The timing is not completely right on this. There’s other stuff happening. There is ISIS happening. The most important thing for Republicans is to be careful with this. This could blow up in their face,” said John Feehery, a former senior House Republican aide who is now president of QGA Communications.
Republicans hope to draw in independents and turn out their base in large numbers in November in their bid to defeat Democrats, who traditionally vote in smaller numbers in midterm elections. With the president’s popularity already at a low ebb and the public unfazed by relatively good economic news, the last thing Republicans should do, some strategists say, is alienate potentially sympathetic voters or energize disaffected Democrats with a fresh over-the-top hearing on the inflammatory topic of Benghazi.
“Things are going pretty well for Republicans,” Feehery explained. “Why screw it up? This is the time when you take the three [club] out but don’t take the driver out.”
Gowdy has said he does not believe the committee will finish its work before the midterms. In order for the panel to continue its work during the next Congress, the House would have to vote again to reauthorize it. Given its cost and current existential predicament, though, that vote might not be as easy in 2015 as it was in 2014.
That’s a long way from where Republicans were even in May, when Speaker John Boehner of Ohio finally relented to rank-and-file pressure to create the panel. Leadership had been reluctant to vote to form the committee. Now there may be no greater example of the shift in tone for Republicans on Benghazi than Gowdy himself, who was once one of the most outspoken advocates for going after the administration.
Where he once invoked secret evidence of a cover-up, the chairman has put the rhetorical fireworks away and decreed that the committee’s first formal hearing will focus on how well the State Department has implemented the 24 recommendations of the independent Accountability Review Board formed to investigate Benghazi.
Whether the GOP can stop the “circus” it now seems so intent on preventing remains an open question. One of the long-standing challenges this House conference has faced is keeping its conservative, flame-throwing rank-and-file membership in check. Just because Gowdy or Republicans involved have changed their tune does not mean others have — or have to.
Moreover, with millions of dollars allocated to the operation of the panel, there’s still the need for Gowdy to produce some final product, beyond what regular committees have done.
Democrat Adam Schiff of California, the member who came up with the idea for the first hearing, told Yahoo News that while there seems to be an air of bipartisanship to the select committee now, that could change if and when Gowdy takes heat over the effectiveness — or lack thereof —of the committee.
“The challenge will come down the road. I think there’s going to be enormous pressure on the chairman to deliver something to justify the time, the expense of the select committee. Whether he can withstand that pressure, or wants to withstand that pressure, will determine how the committee is ultimately viewed,” said Schiff.
When he was asked whether it was a good idea for Democrats to participate in this effort at all, Schiff’s answer was revealing: “I guess time will tell whether the committee is constructive and whether our participation on it helps it be productive, or whether it degenerates into a circus.”
I. In assessing military posture in anticipation of the September 11 anniversary, White House officials failed to comprehend or ignored the dramatically deteriorating security situation in Libya and the growing threat to U.S. interests in the region. Official public statements seem to have exaggerated the extent and rigor of the security assessment con ducted at the time.
II.U.S. personnel in Benghazi were woefully vulnerable in September 2012 because
a.) the administration did not direct a change in military force posture,
b.)there was no intelligence of a specific “imminent” threat in Libya, and
c.)the Department of State, which has primary responsibility for diplomatic security, favored a reduction of Department of Defense security personnel in Libya before the attack.
III. Defense Department officials believed nearly from the outset of violence in Benghazi that it was a terrorist attack rather than a protest gone awry, and the President subsequently permitted the military to respond with minimal direction.
IV. The U.S. military’s response to the Benghazi attack was severely degraded because of the location and readiness posture of U.S. forces, and because of lack of clarity about how the terrorist action was unfolding. However, given the uncertainty about the prospective length and scope of the attack, military commanders did not take all possible steps to prepare for a more extended operation.
V. There was no “stand down” order issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli whosought to join the fight in Benghazi. However, because official reviews after the attack were not sufficiently comprehensive, there was confusion about the roles and responsibilities of these individuals.
VI :The Department of Defense is working to correct many weaknesses revealed by the Benghazi attack, but the global security situation is still deteriorating and militaryresources continue to decline.
Today, we heara lot of people say we now have the smoking gun in the Benghazi scandal: an email from White House staffer Ben Rhodes admitting the spontaneous demonstration explanation was a fiction floated to save Obama’s re-election prospects.
OK, so we have confirmation that several people including the President, the U.N. ambassador, and the Secretary of State (HRC) all conspired to lie to the American people about every aspect of the Benghazi atrocity.
All right we already knew Obama lied. We already knew he abandoned four Americans, leaving them to die. We already knew his entire administration engaged in a massive cover-up to salvage re-election. We have seen and heard testimony from the people involved that night, those desperate to send aid to a handful of people fighting valiantly against all odds while the ‘Commander in Chief’ dined on carefully prepared delicacies, preparing for a fundraiser in Las Vegas.
We already knew he allowed Americans to die because his own political future was at stake. But now we also know he allowed those people to die to cover up his criminal activity: sending Libyan weapons to Syria with the help of the Turks to arm Al Qaeda.
Lara Logan spoke before the Better Government Association's 2012 Annual Luncheon which was a rousing success, highlighted by a dynamic keynote speech from 60 Minutes and CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan, who spoke before a gathering of more than 1,000 guests—the largest single fundraiser in BGA history.
I the following video, Laura Logan touches on so many important points including -- what is true journalism. She states that true journalism goes about an investigation to uncover the truth. She shares that Real Journalism is "Investigating something to find out what the real situation is". Journalism is NOT looking for information as you try to prove something that you believe is true.
The only controversy regarding Benghazie is the failure of Congress (once again) to hold those responsible for the deaths of four Americans. We all know whose hands are dirty in this mess, Obama and Hitlery - both were responsible - both lied about what happened (the video - and the man who made it was NOT guilty - yet he was imprisoned - what kind of justice is that?) - and now the anti-American Democrats want to run Hitlery for president? Isn't Obama bad enough?
We all know Hillary and Obama ignored Benghazi because she was not doing her job and Obama was too busy running to fund raisers while Ambassador Stevens was being tortured and killed. The truth that the terrorist were still alive and well would have gotten in the way of Obama's bragging, also people would have wondered why he did not send troops to protect the Ambassador. Of course the truth would have cramped his fundraisers. There is also probably a big cover up also, like fast and furious. There is probably more to it and who knows what Hilliary and Obama are covering up.
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