Accuracy in Media

Fox News aired new revelations this weekend in its documentary based on the forthcoming book, 13 Hours in Benghazi, but the left is not interested in what it calls old news. Benghazi is a “phony scandal,” right?

In fact, the left is on the defensive about this story, and is releasing salvos from all quarters. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Media Matters, and the Democratic members of the Select Committee have all gotten involved in the effort to dismiss what eyewitnesses have said about what happened that night, sometimes preemptively, as I cited in a previous column. Their message is loud and clear: This has already been investigated thoroughly; both sides agree that there was no wrongdoing other than bureaucratic missteps; this is another Fox News story and a phony scandal at that. Time to move on.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

What cannot be undone now is that eyewitnesses have publicly spoken out about what happened in Benghazi two years ago. What they say threatens to haunt the left’s strategy machine, which seems more concerned with spin than finding the truth.

Three contractors who were on the ground in Benghazi two years ago during the attacks on the U.S. Mission and CIA Annex said on Fox News that they were told specifically to “stand down” three times before defying orders, and heading out to try and save the personnel at the U.S. Mission, which was under fire—quite literally—less than a mile away from the Annex, where they were located at the time. They were delayed by 25 minutes, and say they could have possibly saved the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith if they’d been allowed to depart sooner. As a matter of fact, they all said that they believe the two would still be alive today had they been allowed to leave when they first made the request.

Washington Post writer Eric Wemple apparently received an advance copy of the book and said that these claims written therein, and previously reported by Jennifer Griffin in October 2012, were exaggerated for effect and “report after report has shredded this contention.” This is, of course, the line in the book that he voiced a problem with, saying it was mined for “maximum literary effect:”

“The more time the attackers had to dig in, the more likely they’d secure the Compound perimeter and organize defensive positions, at least until they achieved their objectives.”

“Maximum literary effect?” One wonders what world Wemple inhabits. Wemple points readers to the media’s favorite left-wing group, Media Matters, which also ran a hit piece on the broadcast sight unseen.

The day the documentary first aired, September 5th, the Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi went into full damage control mode. Representative Elijah Cummings (MD) stated that “these individuals were delayed while their supervisor attempted to ensure that he was not sending his team into an ambush,” the intelligence committees have already spoke to multiple witnesses on this issue, and “it is critical that the Select Committee understand what came before it to ensure we are not re-investigating the same issues all over again.” In other words, look somewhere else for your smoking gun. How many other topics are conveniently off limits for Rep. Cummings?

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also stated that “The team said they were prepped and ready to go within minutes, but the senior CIA officers responsible for the welfare of all Annex personnel were concerned they might be sending their security team into an ambush so they tried to obtain better intelligence and heavy weapons before dispatching the team.”

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) did, indeed, explore “claims that there was a ‘stand down’ order given to the security team at the Annex” but found “no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party.” Will the bipartisan Select Committee on Benghazi reach the same conclusions? Shouldn’t it at least be allowed to re-investigate the issue?

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who heads the Select Committee, issued a statement on September 5th that “The Committee has heard of these concerns and they go to the heart of why Congress established this Committee—to determine all of the facts of what happened in Benghazi before, during and after the terrorist attack that day…There are still facts to learn about Benghazi and information that needs to be explained in greater detail to the American people.”

Something smells, however, in the approach that the Obama administration has taken in the past towards the optics of this particular piece of “old news.” Greta Van Susteren of Fox News recently outlined on her show how her channel was excluded from State Department and Central Intelligence Agency media background meetings. “Well, I think Fox News is being punished for aggressively asking questions, doing our jobs,” she said.  That wasn’t all. “A few weeks later, when reporter Jennifer Griffin said she was told that there was a stand down order at Benghazi, I got a weird call from the Obama administration trying to pressure me to get Jennifer to back down on her report. I thought the call from the Obama administration was dirty,” contended Susteren. The story was published.

Why, exactly, did the Obama administration not want to have this particular piece of information, now confirmed, not published in October nearly two years ago? Was it merely because of how it would affect the election, or was there something else motivating President Obama?

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), also on the Select Committee, reacted to the eyewitnesses’ story on Susteren’s show, saying, “We need to then establish in detail the timeline that you refer to, so that we know whether it was, in fact, 30 seconds, three minutes, or 30 minutes as described by these three men in the clip that you played.” Is Pompeo questioning the integrity of the three men interviewed by Bret Baier?

“There might have been a good reason to delay,” said Rep. Pompeo. “It might have been safety of those very men that were standing there. It might have been a bad reason. There might have been something political.”

And while Bret Baier and Fox News deserve a lot of credit for bringing this story to the public’s attention, they barely scratched the surface of these men’s stories. The rest of the media have been predictably uninterested in acknowledging even this bombshell part of their story.

The Select Committee on Benghazi can, and should, get to the bottom of these particular issues, regardless of the mainstream media’s sensibilities.

(On Monday evening, September 8th, the same three authors of 13 Hours in Benghazi are scheduled to be on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, and “The David Webb Show” on Sirius XM Radio.)

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  • beaujest

    Seldom do I see such real emotion from a group of brave men like this interview ! I applaud Bret Baier for a great host performance and wish for the best for all the men and families involved !

  • stlouisix

    13 Days After ‘We Don’t Have a Strategy,’ Obama to Give Speech on Islamic State

    Another worthless speech filled with lies from a proven serial sociopathic liar.

    Below are some facts.

    After carefully watching the outstanding Special Report by Bret Baier on what happened at Benghazi three times, which was very painful to say the least, it is undeniable to me as a Vietnam War Navy Veteran, and every Veteran that I know, that a TRAITOROUS government MURDERED Americans in harm’s way which is a seminal fact that Americans in more than name only need to be shouting from the rooftops to the rest of the country as a reminder of what the Islamo-Fascists Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rotten Benghazi did to some very good men whose boot laces they were not fit to tie, i.e., the righteous anger of what’s left of a free America should be palpable at this Judas betrayal of our bravest and finest left to hang out to dry by cockroaches whose infestation needs to be eradicated from the face of the earth for de facto allying themselves with disciples of the devil who live to hate anyone who dares opposes their attempt to restore the caliphate.

    Are you listening, you sorry Obama enabling GOPE RINO rotten to the core leadership as your silence on the matter renders you as culpable as the Obamunists for what went down at Benghazi!

    When you have American forces on the ground calling for help, yea begging for help, which was the situation at Benghazi, you do everything that you can, IF YOU’RE AN AMERICAN, to save their lives. You don’t give a STAND DOWN ORDER which is what TRAITOROUS BASTARDS do who deserve the highest penalty for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war that is TREASON, per Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution.

    The American dictum “Leave NO ONE BEHIND” was replaced by diabolic Obama and Clinton at Benghazi with the ultimate MORALE DESTROYER “You’re on your own, we couldn’t care less about anything other than our sorry political survival at all costs to especially include YOUR LIVES which were expendable as evinced by the lack of security provided you for whatever warped reasons like funneling arms to Al-Qaida allied, Shariah Law or Death, Christian persecuting, radical jihadists courtesy of Obama’s Arab Spring’s goal of the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the Middle East which spawned genocidal ISIS that shameless Barack and Hillary OWN BIG TIME!

    Pray for our military and all those in harm’s way trying to honorably serve their country in the hands of the dishonorable.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against
    the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

    Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen

    Here’s the ENTIRE ’13 Hours’ Fox News special with eyewitness accounts of Benghazi
    Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 11:52 PM in Featured Foreign Policy Politics |
    By soopermexican

    If you missed the special report with Bret Baier on Fox News detailing the eyewitness accounts of the Benghazi attack that took four American lives and has been surrounded by scandal, here it is. One caveat: these may be taken down from YouTube pretty quickly, so watch while they’re still up!

    The first of five parts:

    Part Two:

    Part Three:

    Part Four:

    Part Five:

    Read more:

    Per the report below, everyone in the sorry chain of command responsible for hanging out Americans in harm’s way to dry, read DIE, RIGHT TO THE TOP, needs to be prosecuted for TREASON in giving aid and comfort to the enemy per Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution!


    Top CIA officer in Benghazi delayed response to terrorist attack, US security team members claim
    Published September 05, 2014

    A U.S. security team in Benghazi was held back from immediately responding to the attack on the American diplomatic mission on orders of the top CIA officer there, three of those involved told Fox News’ Bret Baier.

    Their account gives a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an “old story” – the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

    Speaking out publicly for the first time, the three were security operators at
    the secret CIA annex in Benghazi – in effect, the first-responders to any attack on the diplomatic compound. Their first-hand account will be told in a Fox News special, airing Friday night at 10 p.m. (EDT).

    Based on the new book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi” by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team, the special sets aside the political spin that has freighted the Benghazi issue for the last two years, presenting a vivid, compelling narrative of events from the perspective of the men who wore the “boots on the ground.”

    The security contractors — Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto, Mark (“Oz”) Geist, and John (“Tig”) Tiegen — spoke exclusively, and at length, to Fox News about what they saw and did that night. Baier, Fox News’ Chief Political Anchor, asked them about one of the most controversial questions arising from the events in Benghazi: Was help delayed?

    Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.

    “Five minutes, we’re ready,” said Paronto, a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”

    But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”

    “It had probably been 15 minutes I think, and … I just said, ‘Hey, you know, we gotta — we need to get over there, we’re losing the initiative,’” said Tiegen. “And Bob just looks straight at me and said, ‘Stand down, you need to wait.’”

    “We’re starting to get calls from the State Department guys saying, ‘Hey, we’re taking fire, we need you guys here, we need help,’” said Paronto.

    After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.

    Now, looking back, the security team said they believed that if they had not been delayed for nearly half an hour, or if the air support had come, things might have turned out differently.

    “Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said. Tiegen concurred.

    “I strongly believe if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today,” he added.

    In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official insisted that, “There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.”

    Baier put that assertion directly to the operators.

    “You use the words ‘stand down,’” Baier noted. “A number of people now, including the House Intelligence Committee insist no one was hindered from responding to the situation at the compound…so what do you say to that?”

    “No, it happened,” said Tiegen.

    “It happened on the ground– all I can talk about is what happened on that ground that night,” added Paronto. “To us. To myself, twice, and to– to Tig, once. It happened that night. We were told to wait, stand–and stand down. We were delayed three times.”

    In a statement to Fox News, a senior intelligence official did allow that the security team was delayed from responding while the CIA’s top officer in Benghazi tried to rally local support.

    In the special, Baier also asks about the infamous YouTube video that was blamed for the violence in Benghazi.

    Paronto laughed at the suggestion that the video played any role in the events
    of that night, saying he did not even know of the video until he was out of Libya and on his way home. “I didn’t know about the video ‘till I got to Germany,” he said. “(I had) no idea about any video, no. No, sir.”

  • wyatt81

    The left are nothing but lying filth-they have done everything they can to destroy this nation and anyone who gets in their way.

  • Tony Baker

    Well Put