2012 Benghazi attack

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The 2012 Benghazi attack was an event in which the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked on 2012-09-11 by a heavily armed group, resulting in the deaths of four diplomatic mission members:


The event has been the source of ongoing controversy, as the Obama administration has been repeatedly accused by those on the political Right of orchestrating a cover-up, while those on the Left seem to feel that the cover-up arguments are insubstantial and politically motivated.

The key question seems to be whether or not there was evidence linking the attack to any terrorist groups, Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) being the prime suspect because one of their members supposedly said he participated. However, although AAS posted messages approving of the attack, they did not take credit for it. More solid evidence is needed to resolve the question.

Based on the assumption that the evidence was both solid and known to the Obama administration, Republicans have accused Obama of lying about the nature of the attack and attempting to cover up the evidence. They have also launched a number of other secondary attacks, including accusations against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

There is some hypocrisy involved in that congressional Republicans:

There is further hypocrisy in the fact that US diplomatic facilities (4 embassies and 7 consulates) were attacked during the Bush-Cheney administration no less than eleven times, with a total of 47 dead (including a US diplomat), yet the GOP did not see any need to investigate:

It seems very likely that this is a manufactroversy created as part of the general GOP campaign to drum up anger at Obama, although we are still awaiting conclusive evidence.





  • 2013-05-08 hearing: "The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducts a hearing with Foreign Service officers focusing on information turned over to the committee by administration whistle-blowers on the Benghazi terrorist attacks."


To File



  • 2012-10-17 Candy Crowley's Benghazi Lifeline to Obama: not really clear what the accusation is.
    • Note that this is an unashamedly partisan site: their tagline is "Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out"
  • 2013-05-12 Benghazi Disinformation Points "Friday's revelation that the Obama Administration's talking points on Benghazi were revised a dozen times adds another reason not to trust the official story line. It also gives Congress new cause to keep digging."
  • 2013-05-12(?) The Benghazi Scandal Grows:
    • Accusation: talking points emailed on 2012-09-14 described the incident as "a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda." A revised draft on 2012-09-15 mentioned only "extremists" who might have participated in "violent demonstrations." Article claims there is reason to believe the first version is correct.
    • Reality:
      • Even if true, all this proves is that the later emails were based on a mistaken assessment; it doesn't provide compelling evidence of a cover-up.
      • The evidence for terrorist connections: "One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence." ...except that Ansa al-Sharia did not take credit for the attack.
    • Article is datestamped 2013-05-20, but it was posted on or before 2013-05-12.
  • 2013-05-14 Dick Cheney on Benghazi: 'The cover-up is still ongoing': Dick Cheney speaks with Sean Hannity on Fox News

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