Wednesday, December 3, 2014

GOP Panel Refutes GOP Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

We observed how Fox's fear-mongering about Ebola and ISIS–combined with blame for Obama–ended right after the elections. Recently, another right-wing myth, this time about Benghazi, was refuted, by no less than a GOP-led House panel. Their report denied Republican charges that the administration ordered the military to "stand down" and engaged in a coverup:

A report released late Friday about the fatal 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, left Republicans in the same position they have been in for two years: with little evidence to support their most damning critiques of how the Obama administration, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, responded to the attacks.

Similar to five other government reports, the one released by the House Intelligence Committee on Friday said that the administration had not intentionally misled the public about what occurred during the attacks in talking points it created for officials to use in television appearances that turned out to be inaccurate.

It also said that no order was given by the military to “stand down” in responding to try to save the four Americans killed in the attacks, a claim that Republicans have made based on the account of a member of the security team in Benghazi that day.

...The report said the C.I.A. did not have an “intelligence failure” in the months before the attacks. In fact, the report said, the agency had increased its security because of intelligence reports showing that attacks had intensified in the area.

...Republican lawmakers have said that the administration, fearing political fallout from the attacks — which occurred on Sept. 11, 2012, less than two months before the presidential elections — tried to mislead the public.

In particular, the Republicans have said that Susan E. Rice, who was the ambassador to the United Nations at the time, lied on several Sunday television talk shows when she said the attacks were set off by a protest over an anti-Muslim video. They claimed that she glossed over whether the fatalities were the result of “terrorist” attacks by Al Qaeda because that would have undermined the administration’s narrative that it had all but defeated the group.

The panel found that in the days after the attacks, there was contradictory intelligence about what precipitated them and who was behind them. Ultimately, Ms. Rice’s assertions were wrong, the committee said, but there was no evidence that the administration was attempting to misconstrue the facts.

Image: Mike Lukovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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