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“For The Eighth Time”: Benghazi Conspiracy Theory Collapses, Again

For years, conspiracy-minded Republicans have insisted that someone in the Obama administration — usually, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — issued a “stand-down order” to the U.S. military on the night of the 2012 attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, preventing a Special Operations team from intervening and saving the lives of the four Americans who died in the assault.

According to newly released testimony, they are flat-out wrong.

As the Associated Press reported on Friday, transcripts of hours of testimony from nine military officers were made public this week, completely disproving the conspiracy theory:

The “stand-down” theory centers on a Special Operations team — a detachment leader, a medic, a communications expert and a weapons operator with his foot in a cast – that was stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, it was instructed to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The senior military officer who issued the instruction to “remain in place” and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized. The order was to remain in Tripoli and protect some three-dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated. And the medic is credited with saving the life of an evacuee from the attacks.

The report goes on to note that “despite lingering public confusion over many events that night, the testimony shows military leaders largely in agreement over how they responded to the attacks.”

This is not the first time the “stand-down order” myth has been debunked; Lt. Colonel S.E. Gibson and General Martin Dempsey had already told Congress as much. But the report’s timing could prove particularly problematic for the congressional Republicans who have repeatedly pushed the myth.

It arrives as the House Select Committee tasked with probing the attack for the eighth time is “ramping up” its investigation. And as the National Journal’s Lucia Graves points out, the panel happens to be filled with Republicans who have eagerly pushed the conspiracy.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the committee chairman, suggested that the Benghazi attack “kinda undercuts” the principle that “we’re not gonna send anybody into harm’s way under our flag without adequate protection, and if they get in trouble we are gonna go get ‘em. We’re gonna save ‘em. Or at least we’re gonna make a heck of an effort to do it.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has said that the military “had the opportunity” to take action, but didn’t.

Rep. Jim Jordan wondered, “Why weren’t we running to the sound of the guns?”

Well, now their questions have been answered — again — yet the panel is still planning to spend up to $3.3 million to relitigate them. And the task of explaining why they need to spend more than the yearly budget of the House Veterans Affairs Committee or the House Ethics Committee to keep asking questions that have already been answered just got a lot harder.

 

By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, July 11, 2014

July 12, 2014 Posted by | Benghazi, Conspiracy Theories | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Fox Declares The One True News Story”: Beginning To Make CNN’s Interest In Flight 370 Appear Timid And Understated

On Friday, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted a joint press conference from the White House Rose Garden, and the two world leaders had quite a bit of ground to cover. They fielded questions on the Ukrainian crisis, surveillance policies, and a variety of current events.

But Fox News wouldn’t show its viewers the press conference unless reporters asked about the Benghazi attack from nearly two years ago.

Today, something very similar happened.

It happened again on Monday, when Fox anchor Jon Scott promised to cover a White House presser if and only if the topic shifted to a House select committee on Benghazi, which will be headed up by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

With White House aide John Podesta delivering a presentation on energy and climate during the press briefing, Scott couldn’t hide his shock.

“Jay Carney is normally at this podium. This is one of his understudies, you might say,” Scott said referring to Podesta, who is not actually one of Carney’s understudies.

This is getting a little weird.

By Fox’s reasoning, there is only One True News Story. If current events distract from the One True News Story, then current events must be ignored … while we wait for something to happen with the One True News Story.

That the One True News Story actually happened 20 months ago – it can no longer be accurately characterized as a current event – is a minor detail that should apparently be ignored by real Americans.

Scott added, “Talking about energy efficiency, of all things, right now. But if they get to some questions about this House select committee, how it will work, we will take you back there live.”

First, “of all things” is a hilarious phrase in this context. It’s as if the Fox host is offended that the White House is addressing an issue that’s not the 20-month-old One True News Story – how dare administration officials take energy policy seriously right now, when Fox has deemed all current events unworthy.

Second, why exactly would anyone ask the White House how a congressional select committee “will work”?

As for the bigger picture, one can only wonder why a news network would deliberately ignore current events to cover a 20-month-old terrorist attack, in which there have been no new revelations, but I’m sticking to my assessment that Fox’s Benghazi coverage is beginning to make CNN’s interest in Flight 370 appear timid and understated.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 5, 2014

May 9, 2014 Posted by | Benghazi, Fox News | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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