2012 Benghazi attack
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:
- Chris Stevens, US Ambassador to Libya
- Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer
- Glen Doherty (role unknown)
- Tyrone S. Woods (role unknown)
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:
- in 2011, cut Obama's request for embassy security funding by $128 million
- in 2012, cut Obama's request for embassy security funding by $331 million
- ignored Hillary Clinton's warnings that the cuts would be "detrimental to America's national security"
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:
- 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."
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- 2012-09-12 (Wed) What Happened in Benghazi Was a Battle "It was not a simple mob that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, killing four Americans. Benghazi was the scene of a pitched battle, one in which unknown Libyan assailants besieged American diplomats with small-arms fire for over four hours, repelling several attempts by U.S. personnel to regain control of it. [...] much of what has been initially reported in the media on Wednesday has proven incorrect."
- 2012-09-13 (Thu) Treating Benghazi Like Bain
- 2012-10-10 State Department: We Monitored Libya Attack 'in Almost Real Time' "U.S. officials in Washington monitored the Sept. 11 attack on the American mission in Benghazi as it was happening. But don't blame American policymakers for initially blaming the unrest in Benghazi on protesters. [..] Those are those are just two of the many contradictory messages coming from State Department employees as they testify before the House Oversight Committee..."
- 2012-10-24 Issa Seriously Needs to Go: Darryl Issa, in his zeal to damage the Obama administration over the Benghazi attacks, has released documents revealing the identity of Libyans working with the U.S. government and exposed them to reprisals.
- 2012-11-26 Fox News Guest Slams Their Benghazi Coverage as GOP Propaganda "Fox News hosted Foreign Policy's Tom Ricks with the hope of furthering their Benghazi conspiracy. Instead, Ricks suggested that Fox's coverage of the story was due their operating as a wing of the Republican Party."
- 2012-12-03 The CIA's Benghazi Role
- 2013-02-08 Benghazi is the Conspiracy Theory That Just Won't Go Away by Kevin Drum "...what exactly does Inhofe think Obama gained from this nefarious plot to wait a week before admitting Benghazi was a terrorist attack?"
- 2013-05-09 A (Very) Brief Benghazi Timeline Recap by Kevin Drum
- 2013-05-12 Here's Why Benghazi May Finally Have Legs by Kevin Drum "...it will be because the small group of reporters who are credentialed to the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room feels aggrieved that the press secretary told them something to their faces that concealed a bit of unseemly bureaucratic squabbling."
- 2013-05-14 What We Now Know About the CIA's Benghazi Turf War by Kevin Drum
- 2013-05-15 Dick Cheney, Benghazi, and White House Lies by Kevin Drum: ""I think it's one of the worst incidents frankly that I can recall in my career," Cheney huffed – as if 9/11 had never happened."
- 2013-05-17 Benghazi: What Did the CIA Know, and When Did It Know It? by David Corn
- 2013-05-28 US seeks help in capturing Benghazi suspects
- 2015-10-18 CIA Debunks Gowdy’s Allegation That Clinton Email Contained Classified CIA Source
- 2012-10-25 GOP's Benghazi Smoking Gun Goes Up in Smoke
- Accusation: "[T]he president and his advisers repeatedly told us the attack was spontaneous reaction to the anti-Muslim video and that it lacked information suggesting it was a terrorist assault" (Jennifer Rubin); "Barack Obama was willfully and knowingly lying to the American people." (Danielle Pletka)
- Reality: Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, the group suspected of attacking the consulate, expressed approval of the assault but never claimed responsibility for it. Of course, it could have been another group, but what's the evidence that there was any terrorist group involved? And why is it important?
- 2012-11-01 C.I.A. Played Major Role Fighting Militants in Libya Attack "At a time when the circumstances surrounding the attack on the Benghazi compound have emerged as a major political issue, with Republicans criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the episode, the senior official also sought to rebut reports that C.I.A. requests for support from the Pentagon that night had gone unheeded."
- 2013-05-08 (Wed) Benghazi siege: New testimony, old political games
- 2013-05-08 (Wed) GOP Star Witnesses Debunk Right-Wing Benghazi Conspiracy Theories
- 1. F-16s could have been sent to Benghazi to prevent 2nd wave of attacks.
- 2. Hillary Clinton signed cables denying additional security to Benghazi.
- 3. A Special Forces Team that could have saved lives was told to stand down.
- 4. The State Department's Accountability Review Board isn't legitimate.
- 1. Joint Chief of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey said that no air assets were in range the night of the attack.
- 2. All three witnesses agreed that the name of the Secretary of State (who was at that time Hillary Clinton) is placed at the bottom of all outgoing cables and telegrams from Foggy Bottom, whether the Secretary has viewed them or not.
- 3. The team was ready to be deployed to secure the airport, not to join the fighting at the CIA annex. Another team had already been deployed to Benghazi earlier.
- 4. Eric Nordstrom, the Regional Security Officer for Libya prior to the assault in Benghazi, said he "absolutely" believes implementing the recommendations would improve security. "I had an opportunity to review that along with other two committee reports. I think taken altogether, they're fairly comprehensive and reasonable."
- 2013-05-08 (Wed) Stewart Rips Fox News Over Benghazi Coverage Denizens Of Bullsh*t Mountain (video: Jon Stewart) aka "Big Benghazi Theory"
- 2013-05-09 (Thu) Republican PR Push Proves Benghazi Hearings Are Politically Motivated
- 2013-05-10 (Fri) A look at the Republican Benghazi talking points as they've been laid out so far (video: Rachel Maddow)
- full show in which Benghazi is put in context of relentless and generally pointless GOP attacks on Obama
- 2013-05-12 (Sun) Bush's Secretary of Defense Mocks GOP Attacks On Obama's Handling Of Benghazi "Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican who was appointed to the position by George W. Bush, told CBS News on Saturday that he would have handled the situation in Benghazi the same way that the Obama administration did last September."
- 2013-05-13 (Mon)
- CNN Says ABC's Benghazi Scoop Used a Fake Quote "The words "including those of the State Department," which established the motive behind the revisions – and which ABC put in quotation marks, to indicate that they were the actual text of the email – were not in the email at all. If Tapper's email is legitimate, ABC took a fabricated quote from its source and published it as real."
- Gates: Some Benghazi Critics Have 'Cartoonish' View of Military Capability
- 2013-05-14 (Tue) CNN exclusive: White House email contradicts Benghazi leaks
- 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.
- 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
- 2012-10-10 GOP Rep: I "Absolutely" Voted To Cut Funding For Embassy Security: "Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said today that he voted to cut funding for U.S. embassy security amid political attacks from Republicans that the Obama administration did not do enough to secure the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that was attacked last month."
- 2015-10-26 GOP Busted On Benghazi: Voted For MASSIVE Embassy Security Cuts Starting in 2011