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Sunday, October 23, 2016

For years, conspiracy-minded Republicans have insisted that someone in the Obama administration — usually, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — issued a “stand-down order” to the U.S. military on the night of the 2012 attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, preventing a Special Operations team from intervening and saving the lives of the four Americans who died in the assault.

According to newly released testimony, they are flat-out wrong.

As the Associated Press reported on Friday, transcripts of hours of testimony from nine military officers were made public this week, completely disproving the conspiracy theory:

The “stand-down” theory centers on a Special Operations team — a detachment leader, a medic, a communications expert and a weapons operator with his foot in a cast — that was stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, it was instructed to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The senior military officer who issued the instruction to “remain in place” and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized. The order was to remain in Tripoli and protect some three-dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated. And the medic is credited with saving the life of an evacuee from the attacks.

The report goes on to note that “despite lingering public confusion over many events that night, the testimony shows military leaders largely in agreement over how they responded to the attacks.”

This is not the first time the “stand-down order” myth has been debunked; Lt. Colonel S.E. Gibson and General Martin Dempsey had already told Congress as much. But the report’s timing could prove particularly problematic for the congressional Republicans who have repeatedly pushed the myth.

It arrives as the House Select Committee tasked with probing the attack for the eighth time is “ramping up” its investigation. And as the National Journal’s Lucia Graves points out, the panel happens to be filled with Republicans who have eagerly pushed the conspiracy.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the committee chairman, suggested that the Benghazi attack “kinda undercuts” the principle that “we’re not gonna send anybody into harm’s way under our flag without adequate protection, and if they get in trouble we are gonna go get ’em. We’re gonna save ’em. Or at least we’re gonna make a heck of an effort to do it.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has said that the military “had the opportunity” to take action, but didn’t.

Rep. Jim Jordan wondered, “Why weren’t we running to the sound of the guns?”

Well, now their questions have been answered — again — yet the panel is still planning to spend up to $3.3 million to relitigate them. And the task of explaining why they need to spend more than the yearly budget of the House Veterans Affairs Committee or the House Ethics Committee to keep asking questions that have already been answered just got a lot harder.

Photo: Speaker Boehner via Flickr

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  • RobGinChicago

    Trey Gowdy looks like the banjo playing kid from the movie “Deliverance”, who finally gets to sit at the head of the grown-up’s table, and makes such an embarrassing mess of things that he will find himself back at the kid’s table.

    • TZToronto

      Yeah, he does, sort of. It won’t matter what testimony is heard or who gives it. The House Republicans will not let this go because they have nothing else. Whatever report the committee issues will still point to the “conspiracy” that led to the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi–no matter how many times it’s debunked. The lie is a lot more interesting than the truth, even though it’s totally wrong, is totally made up, and has no basis in fact of any kind. . . . And which House Republicans will stand up to say that they voted against providing more funding for embassy and consulate security?

      • Daniel Jones

        Oh, they have a whole lot else–that’s the problem. You have to understand; the Republican Righteous-Right is all about projection. Time and again, they wound up guilty of the things they accuse others of.. They keep saying everything under the sun is meant to distract from Benghazi because they have milked Benghazi to avoid actual governance for years.

        • Independent1

          Yup! You sure got that right! Everything the GOP has been doing since 1/20/09 has been to fulfill agreements made in a meeting between 14 Republican legislators and Newt Gingrinch the night Obama was inaugurated; agreements concocted in a 4 hour meeting, to do everything in their power to sabotage the U.S. economy, and totally stymie anything and everything that Obama attempted to do to help America recover from the Great Recession. All the stonewalling has been planned and coordinated and very intended to ensure that Obama failed and hopefully a Republican president would be elected to replace him.

      • Dominick Vila

        Rest assured, if they find evidence of a conspiracy, they will bury it immediately, because the party that benefited from the making and release of an inflammatory film, a “Pastor” promising to burn the Qur’an, and the Benghazi tragedy, a few weeks before a presidential election, was not the Democratic party.

        • Mark

          Actually, they’re already working on their next theory/fabrication…that Obama is ordering the Military to lie in an effort to keep Hilary from having to accept responsibility. Got to work the black guy in there somewhere.

    • idamag

      Hmmm, good description. Many of those dipped-in-house members remind of some of the characters on Deliverance.

  • rustacus21

    … why is that, we all wonder aloud? Well, they fabricate, lie, cheat & now that the truth has again overtaken crazy invention, the disintegration of manufactured & distorted, imaginary ‘reality’ is, AGAIN, the consequence. What is really at issue is, why did anyone ever cooperate w/this inquisition, knowing it would turn out just this way, yet again! We’re stupid however, for humoring their madness, which is costing the nation billions, still 5 million jobs DOWN from January 19, 2001 & still no functional environmental, educational, employment, infrastructure, COMPETENT, comprehensive Health Care system, no regulatory banking & investment system, no R&D system to ‘invent’ our next-generation of energy supply-line, among others, while Republican legislators continue obsessing over something they know has long been resolved, but continue collecting a paycheck for… wasting TIME & running out the clock – til NOVEMBER?! Even Republican conservative voters should be able to see this for what it is… a money-grubbing ‘PIMP’ scam of the American tax payer and innocent, unaware citizen –

  • Lynda Groom

    This is only news to those not paying attention. As the article clearly states General Dempsey made this very clear to the Congress a long time ago. The GOP knows full well what happened that night, but due to politics and a perceived advantage they can’t let go.

    • S.J. Jolly

      Congressional dogs worrying a well-gnawed bone, for lack of better to do.

    • idamag

      It is called a whispering campaign. They think if they tell it enough, people will believe it.

  • old_blu

    Benghazi is just another one of the Righties manufactured “scandals”
    Just like He’s a coke head, a murder, not American, from Kenya, he’s gay, (“not that there is anything wrong with that”) he’s Muslim, although a well thought out “scandal” even the IRS.
    I don’t know what happened to Lana Ward but she could do the list a lot better than I can.
    And Gawdamit I Want To See His College Transcripts.

    • plc97477

      And all because he is a part african-american democrat.

      • old_blu

        I usually won’t bring race into it, but that’s the only thing that was different about him on the day of his inauguration when they said they were going to make him a one term president.
        So you may be right.

        • CandaceTX

          I am going to push back on that just a tiny bit. I don’t think we’d see the same level of GOP vitriol and opposition to a President Allen West or Ben Carson (shudder), but would to a President Colin Powell (who they consider RINO for his support of our President)

          They are ideologists much more than they are racists.

          • old_blu

            I agree with what you say, but as much as they flaunt them out there, they will never get the nom.
            They like to use them for their token blacks to try and prove that they are not racist.
            Sort of like the ones that come on here and say “I have friends that are black” or “I had a black girlfriend”. No bigger racist IMHO.

          • CandaceTX

            Make no mistake, I am not saying that racism doesn’t exist, and that it is not part their party. I don’t think the TeaParty would/could exist without the underlying current of racism that supports it.

            However, I we should not delude ourselves that if the next POTUS is a white, Democratic, male that all will be right on the Right. They hate our ideology…and they dont really care what shade it comes in.

          • old_blu

            Oh you are absolutely right!
            Their hate for what we think and for the president is a whole bunch bigger than their love for America.

          • angelsinca

            So untrue, old_blu, so untrue.

          • angelsinca

            Or, as the left has claimed, “we elected a president”.

      • Sand_Cat

        Er, I don’t think “African-American” is likely the term they use when the media isn’t listening.

    • edwardw69

      Lana has been re-institutionalized.

    • CandaceTX

      If corporations are now people, I’m gonna need to start seeing some long form birth certificates…and college transcripts.

      • Sand_Cat

        Great post!
        Bumper Sticker:

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The GOP House is assuming it has MORE not EQUAL power in government. The entire Joint Chiefs all have stated clearly that Benghazi couldn’t not have been predicted and that no government official is to blame. The GOP House has to be put back in their place as equal partners in government. The House is not the ONLY voice of government.

    • plc97477

      If blame is to be placed anywhere it should be at the door of the house that chose not to give the money needed for security in Benghazi and other places.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Lots of luck getting any of the GOP tyrants to accept blame. This is why when Americans are stuck between these GOP rocks and the GOP hard place, we must take action to remind them who elected them and why.

        If you want to see what these GOP Koch shills are really like, I advise you to watch them in action. I watched Chaffetz (R-Utah) during the embassy investigation. He was rude, discourteous and played that fine old McCarthy “Bait and Switch.” He asked the questions and when it alluded to the GOP’s decisions during the Bush Administration, he “switched” by interrupting and asking a question he knew lobbed blame on this administration, even though it was already proven the GOP, namely Cheney, was to blame for Benghazi. Today’s GOP are middle aged men who pull tantrums, play games and are the rudest product of Daycare yet. If Wall Street had to bet on their successes, we’d be hammering out another round of bailouts.

      • dana becker

        A fact they don’t want you to remember.

        They continue their death by a thousand cuts agenda and then demand to know why you did not do your job. But they don’t want to hear you remind them they took all your tools away.

    • Dominick Vila

      I think it is time to write a large poster, showing all the terrorist attacks that took place when the GOP controlled the White House and both Chambers of Congress, from 9/11 to the 11 U.S. diplomatic facilities attacked in the Bush era, and show it to the House Inquisitors the next time they ask a question about Benghazi. Unfortunately, it will never happen. Instead of fighting fire with fire, our elected officials continue to reason with the members of a party whose idea of reasoning and logic start and end with what is important to them, their political goals, and their conviction that challenging their will, or equal treatment, are unacceptable expectations. For them it is their way or the highway. With that in mind, and lacking a record or a vision to run on, they will continue to use Benghazi to satisfy their rabid base and convince the naive that something terrible and unprecedented happened when our abandoned consulate in Benghazi was attacked.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I so agree. As a former Republican for 33 years, I could stand no more of their bullying tactics. It appears they are using their Koch corporate mentors handbook on how to silence anything they don’t want to hear by refusing to allow any speaker to finish a sentence. Benghazi is not really an attack on this administration or even THIS president. It’s a direct attack on the “next” president they know will stand toe to toe with them, look them in the eyes and tell them what they thought they’d never get to hear. No one doubts that this president, in an attempt to avoid racial stereotypes, has all to often tried reasoning with these spiteful, belligerent GOP bullies. I have NO doubt neither Truman or FDR would have tolerated for a second the GOP and their disrespect for the presidency and their electorate.

        • Dominick Vila

          I doubt any former President, perhaps with the exception of Carter, would have tolerated the insults directed at Barack Obama. Especially having an elected official call a President of the United States a liar during a Status of the Union address being broadcast to the entire world. Can you imagine anyone doing something like that to Ike, Reagan or Bush II?

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            The rude, disrespectfulness of today’s GOP is astoundingly low class. I take it from whence it comes..low class, low breeding and low low low intelligence. If men like Utah’s Chaffetz, Ryan, Issa and Inhofe think that they are products of the McCarthy Era, they need to recall the scandals McCarthy heaped on himself with his alcoholism and his hatchet man Roy Cohn’s self-destructive end suffering with Aids.

          • Dominick Vila

            At least one of the men you mentioned should have been serving time in jail. The same goes for at least one governor of a large state. Most of them, however, are just too greedy, ambitious, intolerant, and devoid of compassion.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            The governor in my state, NJ, is one arrogant little cuss who bashes the president while doing the very same or worse to NJ. People in NJ are furious at his bait and switch GOP tactics. When you look at it right? The real reason none of these people end up in jail? We’ve become an enabler nation who doesn’t hold the most decisive people in the country accountable for their actions. I agree that some men in the GOP are Teflon Dons and use all manner of Constitution misrepresentations to define their positions. Still, where is the balance for this among their opposition? It appears that Democrats are allowing the GOP to self-destruct the easy way…making them walk into their own irresponsible quick sand …rofl.

          • CandaceTX

            “We’ve become an enabler nation who doesn’t hold the most decisive people in the country accountable for their actions. ”

            Perfect. I’m gonna have that tattooed somewhere

          • DurdyDawg

            Sometimes it’s thrust upon us.. In the Nixon years we wanted justice for crimes that were founded on undeniable evidence yet his minion .. (you know, the only president/vice-president that was never elected to either seat but rather assigned by this same person).. not only refused to indite him but allowed him to resign with FULL benefits. We wanted blood, what we got was piss so we’re not always enablers as most times we’re forced to be. Ford said he didn’t follow through with any type of prosecution because he didn’t want to embarrass this nation.. What he actually accomplished was half the world losing respect for us.

      • Billie

        But Dom, don’t you know that it’s different if the GOP is in the WH. That’s why I call them the “Oh, but that’s different” party. They always have an excuse for anything that happens on their watch.

  • weary_jane

    3.3 million could pave quite a few roads or take care of bridges, and hire people who are looking for work. We’ve had enough of this nonsense. Perhaps Republicans, who play these games, should MRI their brains to find out why they are so dysfunctional.

    • iowasteve

      Funny, GOP won’t give Obama 4 million to handle the refugees from central america because they are against spending – how about just split the cost of yet another Benghazi investigation with him – I’m sure he can do with just 3.3 million if he has to. And all of this is because he is being sued for NOT FOLLOWING LAW – and they won’t give him money to follow the law unless he circumvents the law for THEIR benefit, this time. Watch out Obama, it’s another trap. Don’t fall for it.

      • Mark

        Do you really believe someone with the limited brain function of the GOP could come up with something like that?

        • idamag

          They aren’t smart, but they’ve got some powerful people in the background using their ignorance.

  • Snowbeard

    Proving the Benghazi tragedy was not the fault of any government official won’t stop the Republicans from claiming it was an Obama-Clinton decision and cover-up. Because they know that if they say it often enough, many people will believe them.

  • Sand_Cat

    Look at the bright side: the busier the idiots are on this snipe hunt, the less time they have to do further damage to the nation.

    • neeceoooo

      But the fact that they are not doing anything is damage in itself. The GOP has blocked 500 bills from going through, if went to my boss and said I don’t agree with that and I am not going to do it, I would be in the street. Do not pass go, do not collect 200.00.

      • Sand_Cat

        I think fewer damaging actions is the best we can hope for.

        • neeceoooo

          very true

  • soul68

    Sniff sniff.. you smell that? It’s the smell of Republican desperation in the air.
    I guess they are going to keep investigating it over and over until they get the answer they want. Let them. It’s a waste of time. This will have no effect on 2016 other than a guaranteed loss for the Republicans..

    • iowasteve

      I know one thing – HIllary needs to constantly hammer how much money the GOP spent in the past 8 years combating policies and having hearings for made up scandals – and then compare it to how much it could h ave benefited the cuts to services for the 47% they already said they don’t care about. And if she needs more – there is always their double standard on corporations, religious beliefs, women’s rights and now the constant hammering to kill off children. And playing lots of quotes with FOX’s Hannity and Rush supporting the idiot racists out in NV back to back with one of them saying they will put the women and children in front of them if shooting starts! Those alone should guarantee her win in 2016! Republicans could NEVER be able to get around that if it is hammered enough. But the stupid Democratic people have no clue how to raise money and fight back or there would already be a huge turn around in the polls right now. There is enough ammunition to take all open seats in both houses, if the DNC would just provide the information to the American people. We are tired of this crap and the double standards that they accuse Obama of doing the exact same thing – unfortunately for them, Obama really hasn’t – but they have and the proof is out there if anyone with a brain goes and looks for it.

      • Billie

        Needs to be done before Nov.

  • S.J. Jolly

    Republican Congressional priorities:
    “… yet the panel is still planning to spend up to $3.3 million to relitigate them. And the task of explaining why they need to spend more than the yearly budget of the House Veterans Affairs Committee or the House Ethics Committee to keep asking questions that have already been answered … “

  • Landsende

    The American taxpayers should demand the impeachment of these politicians and then go after the Supreme Court for impeachment also.

  • Sterling Harris

    Before we get to Benghazi, care to explain these
    little incidents under Bush?

    9/11/01 – 3000 dead
    6/14/02 – US
    consulate in Pakistan – 12 killed and 51 injured
    2/28/03 – Diplomatic
    compound in Saudi Arabia – 17 killed
    6/30/04 – US Embassy in Uzbekistan – 2
    12/6/04 – US consulate on Saudi Arabia – 5 killed and 10
    3/2/06 – US consulate in Pakistan – 4 killed, including a US
    9/12/06 – US Embassy in Syria – 1 dead and 13 wounded
    1/12/07 –
    US Embassy in Greece – rocket grenade – no injuries
    3/18/08 – US Embassy in
    Yemen – motar attack missed embassy and hit a girls school
    7/9/08 – US
    consolate in turkey – 3 policemen killed
    9/17/08 – US Embassy in Yemen, 7
    killed and 16 injured

    • old_blu

      You forgot.
      Outraged Republicans —- 0

  • Doug

    The best defense !!!! Attack, attack’ attack, and that is exactly the GOP plan. They don’t have to defend their position, as long as they keep attacking. They have their 47%, who believe everything they say !!!, like lemmings jumping off a cliff, following the leader.

  • Pamby50

    As long as Fox noise is shouting Benghazi, the republicans in the house will keep investigating. When the tab for this witch hunt is finished, if ever, Fox noise and the rest of the republican idiots should have to pay for this fiasco out of their own pockets.

  • charleo1

    The 3.3 million is a work program for idled Repub. House Members. After voting to repeal ACA some 50 times, all interested in sponsoring such a bill,
    including all first time members have had their crack at it. Ditto on the dozens of anti-abortion bills, and accompanying anti-contraception bills, and
    bills cutting nutrition support for impoverished single Mothers with children.
    And with only so many Bills cutting head start programs, free school lunch programs, before school food programs for students too hungry to do their
    school work. Or, being fresh out of bills to cut child care, and job training to
    help get single Mothers into jobs, and off welfare. The Benghazi relief program for underworked, overpaid, slightly drunk, GOP Legislators, was a
    must. I also hope they thought to include for each member their own Benghazi coloring book, with at least a medium sized box of Crayolas.
    So much to be done. So much time to fill, doing nothing.