Images from the May 14, 2013, episode of Fox News program “Hannity.” | Fox News
Benghazisteria has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? For going on three years now, Fox News and the minions of madness the right-wing adores have been harping on a single incident in Libya to keep the low-information voters that are their base focused on anything but Republican policies.
Michael Morell, former deputy director and one-time acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has finally come forward to school the ill-informed on the realities of how the intelligence community works and why the hype over Benghazi is just that: Hype.
In a scathing article for Politico, Morell takes the Benghazi boneheads to the woodshed, offering the real-world view of what so many have distorted for political gain:
“Like clockwork, every several weeks, someone discovers a new document that, to their minds, “proves” that what the administration and the intelligence community have been saying about Benghazi is a bunch of lies. But time and again these documents don’t add up. They don’t show what the pundits think they show—and the Benghazi broadsides miss their mark anew.”
Morell’s opening paragraph is a preview into what reasonable people have understood from the beginning of the FBI/CIA investigation and what conservatives refuse to acknowledge in their mission to discredit Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 presidential election:
Intelligence reports are just that, reports. When information comes in, a report is generated. That report is vetted, cross-referenced and added to other relevant reports. The end result is a conclusion, which in the Benghazi case, don’t EVER support the Fox News propaganda and speculation.
Morell gives an excellent example:
“Here is a recent example: Earlier last week a handful of number of news organizations, including Fox News, breathlessly reported that they had just gotten their hands on a Defense Intelligence Agency report—acquired through a FOIA request by Judicial Watch—that they say proves that the government knew very soon after the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12 that they had been planned ten or more days in advance. These news organizations suggest that this document puts the lie to what I and other current and former intelligence officials have been saying—that there was little planning before the attacks.”
So…they lied. How unusual. Typically Fox News is so very trustworthy.
The Benghazi “outrage has built on three main points: The administration knew it was terrorism and blamed a video, they could have saved the four men who died and instead ignored them, and that Susan Rice engaged in some sort of “cover up” to hide the truth that Hillary Clinton was aware of the threat long before it happened.
All three of those points have been debunked, numerous times, including by GOP House and Senate reports. That doesn’t hinder the right from spreading more lies, every time a new “report” comes out that they can speculate on, in an attempt to take votes from Hillary’s upcoming presidential bid.
Morell again debunks the Susan Rice conspiracy theory in his article:
“They say DIA’s report was issued on September 16th—the same day that former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday talk shows, so she must have known before she went on the air, right? Wrong. The DIA report was issued hours after her final TV appearance that day. Some accounts, including the first piece written on the DIA report by Judicial Watch, erroneously say that the report was issued on September 12th, four days before Rice was on national television. They simply misread the report.”
That on bit of truth in and of itself takes most of the wind out of the conservative sails. How about the YouTube video?
While there are no shortage of new arguments on this old subject, there are also some old ones that resurface on a regular basis. One is the debate on whether an anti-Islam YouTube video played any role in sparking the Benghazi attacks. The short answer is that we still don’t know with absolute certainty. Intelligence community analysts in the days immediately after the attack said that the attackers were probably motivated by an attack that happened in Cairo earlier in the day. We know that that attack was motivated at least in part by the video. However the analysts also said that the attack in Libya might have been motivated by Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri’s call just two days before the Benghazi attack for avenging the death of the terrorist Abu Yaya al-Libi earlier in the summer.
The most strident voices on Benghazi ridicule the notion that a video might have played any role. But among those who have argued that the video may have been a factor include the FBI, who told the House Intelligence Committee in February 2014 that the attacks were ordered in response the YouTube video and to Zawahiri’s call for avenging the death of al-Libi. You can read that on page 18 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report on Benghazi.
So the administration citing the YouTube video as a possible cause wasn’t some sort of cover up, it was the information they were given, information that to this day is still considered valid.
In one beautiful article, with nothing but logic, reason and fact, Michael Morell, who also says Bush and Cheney lied about nukes and Al Qaeda in Iraq, puts the Benghazi conspiracy to bed.
Will that be the end of it?
Of course not. In some dark basement as we speak some conservative dimwit is pasting a picture of Hillary Clinton dragging the lifeless body of Ambassador Stevens through the streets of Benghazi.
Because they care so much about his sacrifice.