Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post, like The New York Times, is intent on declaring the Benghazi scandal dead and buried, as suggested in this recent cartoon, and in this more recent editorial. The latest item these papers are hoping will provide the final stamp on the story is a recent report issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

In December of last year, David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times fallaciously cast doubt on the idea that al Qaeda perpetrated the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attacks. Similarly, the Post’s latest Benghazi editorial, published on November 29th, piles absurdity upon absurdity. The authors acknowledge that “The [House Intel Committee] confirms that diplomatic security at the Benghazi mission was ill-prepared and that the agents knew they could not defend the compound from an attack. The panel also criticizes the CIA’s ‘flawed’ handling of talking points that contributed to possibly incorrect statements Sept. 16, 2012, by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.”

They have thus acknowledged two of the scandals surrounding Benghazi, yet simultaneously condemn them as “conspiracy theories.” The U.S. government failed to provide security for an American ambassador in one of the most dangerous locations in the world, except for security provided by the February 17th Martyr’s Brigade, a radical jihadist group. And the CIA’s “flawed” handling of talking points was part of a clear attempt to cover up and deceive the American people about what had actually happened in Benghazi that year.

The editorial also states, “‘There was neither a stand down order nor a denial of available air support, and no American was left behind,’ the panel concluded.” They continue, “The panel found that there was ‘no evidence of an intelligence failure’ prior to the attack—the CIA did not have tactical warning that it was imminent.”

Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) debunked those two findings in a recent article for Accuracy in Media, “Debunking the House Intelligence Report on Benghazi.” Evidence provided by the Annex Security Team refutes assertions that there was no stand down order given. Lopez also provides convincing evidence that there was indeed, an intelligence failure to anticipate the attacks that occurred in Benghazi.

And as to whether there was “a denial of available air support”—of course there was. The series of battles in Benghazi lasted for a full 13 hours, but former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed before Congress that “frankly without an adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond.” How, for example, could the Pentagon know when these attacks were actually going to end? “At our military base in Sigonella, Sicily, which is slightly over 400 miles from Benghazi, we had a fully equipped Special Forces unit with both transport and jet strike aircraft prepositioned,” wrote CCB member Admiral James “Ace” Lyons (Ret.) back in 2012.

One of the tragedies in terms of air support is that the assets at Aviano Air Base in Italy were in a training posture on September 11, 2012. But General Carter Ham (Ret.) has testified that, regardless of the status of assets, he thought that close air support was the wrong military tool for the job. What was the appropriate military response, then?

The Post editorial argues that “The big mistake in Libya policy, the consequences of which are more apparent today than ever, was President Obama’s refusal to support the new government’s attempt to build security after he helped topple the nation’s longtime dictator.” As our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi argued in our April 2014 Interim Report, the big “mistake” in Libya policy was switching sides in the War on Terror. It involved engaging in an unnecessary war to topple Muammar Qaddafi—even though he had given up his weapons of mass destruction, was fighting al-Qaeda, and offered to abdicate under a white flag of truce. Instead, we knowingly armed al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda related groups in order to enable them to defeat Qaddafi, and are paying the price to this day. The other big “mistake” was the dereliction of duty—the failure to attempt to rescue our warriors who were left to die in Benghazi. You can read that report here.

Reliable sources have told us that other than Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence—who is voluntarily leaving Congress to become a radio talk-show host—none of the Republicans on the committee agreed with these findings, or were even given adequate time to review them.

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  • Frank de Varona

    Great article to debunk the debunkers. Republican Senators Graham and Paul have strongly criticized the Rodgers cover up Report. More Republicans need to denounce it forcefully. This is not the tome to be silent. Frank de Varona

  • emag

    Absolutely right.

  • R D

    Roger Aronoff thinks he knows best, always.

    The generals and special forces and CIA people who were told to “stand down” contradict this very very clever editorial.

  • John Cunningham

    Let me see, what is the statute of limitations on murder?

  • Bob

    Left wing go alongs may considerate it ended but we all know there was a deliberate stand down ordered by the White House. LBJ did the same with the USS Liberty. Politicians are the lowest form of humanity and democrats are the lowest politicians.

  • Ted

    Benghazi, Schmenghazi!

    What we REALLY need to do is open some new investigations of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the truth behind the Bay of Tonkin resolution, and Reagan’s involvement in the Iran-Contra affair! AND, maybe we should take a long, hard look at whether Nixon might have been behind the Kennedy assassination. (After all, Kennedy did screw him out of the presidency in 1960!)

  • Ted

    You know, Bob, you really have to get down low with them yourself to know definitively who are the lowest politicians, Republicans or Democrats … but … with today’s crew in Washington and where I live, I’d have to give the honor to the Republicans … but … it could be a distinction without a difference.

  • Soxtory

    It was LBJ behind the Kennedy Assassination!

  • Bob

    The “official” government version is nothing but a cover up. Toles is a extreme far left nut job with the artistic talent of a 6th grader.

  • Counselor1

    Even if every allegation about Bengazi is true, exactly the way you say, Obama and his administration have neither done nor failed to do anything that remotely compares in harm, physical or financial to things done or left undone by Bush 43 and his administration.

  • Deapster

    Why is the NYT cartoon calling this a GOP report – both Gang of 8 leading GOP and Dems were co-chairs. Plus all this report was the Gang of 8 exculpating the Gang of 8. This was the stupidest exercise of all.

    Gang of 8 – the 8 congressional leaders who were informed by Barry Soetoro about the actual mission in Benghazi – which has still not been made public.

    Where was Barry Soetoro between 16:00 and 22:00 on Sept 11, 2012? If you don’t know the answer to this one simple question, you know nothing about Benghazi no matter how many times MSM tries to put it alive and kicking on a partisan suttee.

  • Deapster

    This was the report of the Gang of 8 covering up for the Gang of 8. This was not a GOP report.

    So the willingness of the NYT to blatantly keep lying about this shows indeed there remains far more to come out.

  • Deapster

    Where was Barry Soetoro between 16:00 and 22:00 on Sept 11, 2012. Since you don’t know this, you know nothing yet about Benghazi.

  • Deapster

    Where was Barry Soetoro between 16:00 and 22:00 on Sept 11, 2012?

  • Counselor1

    You are dismissed, Troll.