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Twelfth Benghazi Hearing Reveals It’s Still The ‘Scandal That Never Was’

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Twelfth Benghazi Hearing Reveals It’s Still The ‘Scandal That Never Was’


Instead of focusing on funding the government, the debt ceiling deadline, implementing Obamacare, immigration reform, or Syria, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and House Republicans decided to beat the Benghazi conspiracy drum yet again on Thursday.

This was the 12th hearing regarding the September 11, 2012 terror attack on the American diplomatic mission in Libya, Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) pointed out — three in this committee, and three just this week.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee prodded, chastised, and blamed the witnesses, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB), Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen. The Republican goal in the hearing seemed to be to suggest that the ARB guarded then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the administration from assuming any of the accountability for the attack, despite the fact that Secretary Clinton took full responsibility for the security failings that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

During a closed-door interview with Mullen and Pickering in June—which Issa chose to keep under wraps until the Obama administration referred to the text—both witnesses reported that the administration and military did everything possible to reach Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans at the compound in Benghazi.

Mullen’s remarks in that interview answer the accusation from Republicans that F-16s could have been sent into Benghazi.

“We walked through the force posture in Europe, notionally, and looked at every single U.S. military asset that was there, and what it possibly could have done, whether it could have moved or not,” Mullen said. “And it was in that interaction that I concluded, after a detailed understanding of what had happened that night, that from outside Libya, that we’d done everything possible that we could.”

During the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) called Benghazi “the scandal that never was” and asked Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy a series of questions aimed to deflate the conservative narrative.

Grayson: Who decided that Ambassador Stevens go to Benghazi on September 11, 2012?

Kennedy: It was the Ambassador’s decision, sir.

Grayson: Now, was Secretary Clinton responsible in any way for reviewing and approving the in-country movements of U.S. ambassadors, either Ambassador Stevens or anyone else?

Kennedy: No, sir.

Grayson: Did the White House ever ignore any reports regarding this attack?

Kennedy: No, sir, not that I’m aware of.

Grayson: Did Secretary Clinton ever ignore any reports regarding this attack?

Kennedy: No, sir, I personally spoke to Secretary Clinton that evening and Secretary Clinton was being constantly briefed by our operation center all evening.

This is why Issa waited so long to hold a public hearing with Mullen and Pickering. Like Kennedy’s testimony on Wednesday, everything they’ve testified to privately discredits every conspiracy theory Republicans have suggested about Hillary Clinton and the administration since the attack took place.

Photo: stanfordsis via Flickr.com


  1. Lynda Groom September 19, 2013

    Gee what a surprise. Issa is just a shill doing what he is told. Obviously he is not the brightest bulb in the clown car.

  2. R. DuFresne September 20, 2013

    Never mention Republicans cutting funds that kept embassy secure, just attempts by TeaPugs to blame this on Hilary. Showing inadvertently that they are scared out of their man pants at the thought of a women in power. Cause we KNOW how the GOP love their women: barefoot/pregnant/in kitchen. So much for re-branding

  3. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh September 20, 2013

    Here is why I think Issa keeps pressing this issue. The following is a list of his accomplishments since he was first elected to the house: (this space intentionally left blank).
    There, that took about as long as listing Michelle Bachmann’s accomplishments. At one time Issa did have an original thought, but Tom DeLay beat it out of him.

    Why the witch hunt? To make himself look OK to the Teabaggers in his district so they do not run a “more conservative” candidate against him in a primary. If they did, he would lose the nomination and the Republicans would lose that seat.

  4. montanabill September 20, 2013

    It is so obvious that Benghazi is an administration cover-up, the responses here are like watching a holocaust denier.

    1. BillP September 20, 2013

      So now you are comparing Benghazi to the Holoccaust. That seems fair 4 dead to over 6,000,000. I guess Pickering and McMullen are just tools of the administration. Issa wouldn’t release the video of the closed door meeting with Pickering and McMullen until the text started to leak out to the public.

      1. montanabill September 20, 2013

        Nope. Just the action of closed minded denying. But nice twist attempt though. Yes, Pickering and McMullen have been proven to be tools of the administration. You didn’t watch yesterday, did you? In this administration, the State Dept. investigates itself, the IRS investigates itself and the Justice Dept. investigates itself. A great way to find the truth.

        1. BillP September 20, 2013

          Nobody is denying that Benghzi happened but you are comparing this to a Holcaust denier There are people who believe that the Holocaust never occurred, are you one of them? You sound like Old McDonald – seeing a conspiracy here, a conspiracy there, everywhere a conspiracy. You are not interested in the truth, you just want to attack the president.

          1. montanabill September 20, 2013

            But they are denying that the requests for additional security were received. They are denying that no possible help could have been provided. They are denying who is responsible for the ‘stand down’ order. They are denying that the ‘film story’ was simply political cover for Obama and they are denying that anyone in authority came up with it.

            If wanting the administration to come clean with the full facts and responsibilities for Benghazi, for the full facts and responsibilities of who is responsible for the IRS attacks on conservatives, who is responsible for targeting reporters and who is responsible for covering up Fast and Furious, if that is attacking the President, then, yes. That, however, is full interest in the truth.

          2. BillP September 21, 2013

            My main problem with your original statement is that you compared some of the responders to Holocaust deniers. When you right wing trolls star doing that I know that you are just making up things. You aren’t the only one doing this, last week another RWT claimed that Bill Moyers was the equal of Goebbels. When you do this you lose any credibility especially when you hide behind an alias (you at least put your 1st name in your’s), most don’t. Over 6 million people died because of the Nazi Final Solution so your comparison doesn’t have a shred of believability.

          3. montanabill September 21, 2013

            The key word is ‘deniers’ not Holocaust. Benghazi deniers are simply denying on a grand deaf, dumb and blind scale. Holocaust deniers are in the same mode. Wise up.

          4. BillP September 22, 2013

            If “deniers” is the key word them why use Holcaust. There is a world of difference in your original comparison. The Holocaust deniers profess that the Holcaust never happened but who has denied that Benghazi occurred? People differ over the facts in this incident but not that it took place. To say that these two incidents are the same it ridiculous and displays your total lack of rational thought. Wise up yourself.

          5. montanabill September 23, 2013

            Just keep twisting until you are happy. No amount of wishing or hiding from the truth is going to change Benghazi from being a massive failure by the State Dept.

          6. BillP September 23, 2013

            Talk about twisting, you made the original statement that compared the statements made by various people to the “Holocaust” deniers. Now the key word you say is “deniers” and again I ask you,why you chose Holocaust to accompany deniers? Why not use just the word deniers or liars? Once you bring in the Holocaust into the comment you,have changed the dynamic. In Benghazi an event that took a few hours and routed in 4 dead Americans versus an event that took place over a number of years and resulted in the death of millions. What I will keep doing is responding to any comment that compares any current event or people in the current govt to the Nazis or their Final Solution.

            You can write whatever you want but your comparison is pure bs and unless you are a Holocaust denier you know it is a ridiculous comment.

          7. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

            Well, I would like to fly over the rainbow but that is a movie and I never confuse that with reality. Sorry Bill but there is no conspiracy so you are wasting everyone’s time, just like Issa.
            Oh, in case you missed it consulates, which was what the Benghazi facility was, do not get the same kind of security embassy’s receive. Besides two of the people killed were at a CIA facility and not the consulate.

          8. montanabill September 25, 2013

            I suspect you spend a good deal of your time flying over the rainbow.

        2. Lynda Groom September 20, 2013

          Please proceed to provide your proof that Pickering and McMulen are tools of the administration.

          1. montanabill September 20, 2013

            Read their testimony from yesterday.

          2. Lynda Groom September 20, 2013

            I watched.

          3. montanabill September 20, 2013

            Then you know they admitted to a very limited investigation.

          4. Lynda Groom September 20, 2013

            All investigations have a beginning and an end. This one has been taking place for a year and still no definitive proof of wrong doing by the White House. What does it take to stop the nonsense?

          5. montanabill September 21, 2013

            The State Department allowing people to testify.

          6. Lynda Groom September 21, 2013

            Pat Ventrell of the State Department has already spoken about this matter in much detail. Lower-level survivors of Behghzai have not been offered to Issa group. There are many senior level officials that are willing to speak to the committee. What is the purpose of to speaking to folks removed from the chain of command that can offer little information regarding the decision making process above their pay grades? What do you believe they can add that fleshes out the events of the attacks in real time? How will comments from suriviors provide us with details of the decision making process taking place hundreds and thousands of miles away from them? People under fire are already under enough stress and rarely take notes on procedural matters. Just what do you want to see before a full understand of the tragic event sinks in?

          7. montanabill September 22, 2013

            The reasoning is very simple. You gather all the facts you can, usually starting with the lowest levels, people there or directly involved in passing on commands. As you move up the chain, those in the middle are caught between prior testimony and fear from their bosses. If the fear of perjury is greater than the fear of retaliation, they will testify honestly. At that point, the higher-ups can no longer dodge and say stupid things like, “what difference does it make?”

            What I want to see are the answers to a few simple questions:
            1) who, in authority, actually refused increased security and who, in authority, actually decreased it?
            2) who, with authority, made the decisions not to try to provide any help over a 9 hour attack?
            3) who created the ‘film’ story and who instructed Susan Rice and the President to stick to that story even days after it was clearly debunked?
            Now add a new question to the mix:
            4) why, after the President clearly told us those responsible would be brought to justice, has almost absolutely no action been taken?

          8. Lynda Groom September 22, 2013

            Why did Bush not get Osama? Why was the job left to Obama? These are just as ignorant questions as your number 4. You don’t have anymore idea what is being, or not being, done to bring those folks to justice than I do. Our actions are not on the evening news for a damm good reason. They are not sitting in plain sight in Chicago, but are holdlng up in a foreign country. Keep it real.

          9. montanabill September 23, 2013

            Did you watch the movie, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’? If so, you will know why it took so long to pin him down. And, if you truly think Obama was good enough to find Bin Laden, then surely, after one year and a much easier environment to search, he should have found at least one of the attackers. Or are you forgetting that testimony implied they weren’t really looking?

          10. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

            T repeat a previous post, fuc you Bill.

          11. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

            Except everyone that has any knowledge already testified.
            I’ll bet if you asked Tinkerbell she would have a different take.

        3. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

          Tell us Bill what would you like the truth to be? What would you like reality to be?
          Don’t hold back, we need a little amusement.

    2. awakenaustin September 20, 2013

      Yes, and Santa Claus brings presents on Christmas eve in his sleigh drawn by magic flying reindeer. Furthermore, it is obvious that the movies regarding Ironman, Captain America, and Thor are historically accurate documentaries.
      Finally, Apollo 11 really did not land on the moon, the 9/11 tragedy was an inside job (or a Jewish conspiracy – pick one), and President Obama was actually born in Kenya.
      Right montana?

      1. montanabill September 20, 2013

        Don’t peek behind the curtain, or let anyone who knows anything testify, and everything will be all right.

        1. awakenaustin September 20, 2013

          Just as a quick update. The Republicans run the house. They can subpoena anyone they want, anytime they want, to testify in public, on the record about anything they wish to ask about, and the Democrats and the President cannot prevent that. Sure the Administration could argue executive privilege, regarding some people. The House could then go to court and the Republican Supreme Court would say to hell with executive privilege – testify. There is a reason why the Republicans have no stomach for this fight. The clear and OBVIOUS reason is that despite their hopes, dreams and ambitions they know there isn’t any there – there. They will lose ultimately on this issue and not because of a cover-up but because the facts despite your hopes, dreams and ambitions do not support them or you.

          If you have nothing better to do, then be my guest continue your search to prove the existence of the tooth fairy, Bigfoot, and the truth about Benghazi.

          1. montanabill September 20, 2013

            It ain’t over til the pant lady sings.

          2. awakenaustin September 20, 2013

            Maybe you were out of the country and missed the news. Fmr. Sec of State Clinton testified on these matters before Congress.
            Didn’t answer all your questions? Call her back.
            Rep. Issa has threatened to call her back, encourage him to do so.
            My best guess, he has no interest in that because he isn’t interested in being publicly humiliated and having his ass handed to him in his hat one more time. It is more fun to hold these fake hearings and offer up nonsense and pretend it is something. If there is any group of people adept at pretending something is there when it isn’t or pretending not to see something which is there, it is the House Republicans.

          3. nirodha September 20, 2013

            Hillary has more brains in her little toe than Issa and his entire family! He doesn’t dare call her back; she’d hand him his head.

          4. montanabill September 20, 2013

            Don’t know about brains, but she certainly keeps her scruples in her little toe. Once people who are now being suppressed are allowed to be questioned, I would guess that Hillary will be recalled. She can still give a flip non-answer, but anything else will have to be the truth or she faces real trouble.

          5. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

            The only answer that suites you posts is fuc you.

          6. montanabill September 20, 2013

            I did and she told me, “what difference does it make”. Don’t hold your breath thinking Issa is through.

          7. howa4x September 20, 2013

            Issa should worry more about the effect of the sequester has, since he represents a defense laden district. The cuts to the defense budget will impact employment in his district as well as Cantors. If they shut the government down then all the military spouses will not receive checks.That is a great way to support the troops fighting around the world for our freedom. So what dose he do to protect his constituents? Hold yet another hearing on Benghazi. Is that what you call representation?. He is becoming the Don Quixote of the house. Instead of chasing windmills he chases conspiracies. OH that’s right he is doing this to become a right wing hero.

          8. disqus_fsqeoY3FsG September 21, 2013

            More like a right wing zero.

          9. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

            It’s over now, you just want to live in a land that never existed. History will not be kind to Issa just like they were not kind to Mccarthy. The worst thing to witness is a person that refuses to recognize reality.

    3. WhutHeSaid September 20, 2013

      Wow — you crackpots never tire of pissing in the wind, do you? I remember the accusations that the Clintons were murderers back in the 1990’s. You aren’t going to have any better luck with nutty conspiracy theories this time around, either, but by all means subject yourselves to yet another public flogging by Hillary — I don’t mind.

    4. Justin Napolitano September 24, 2013

      Montana you should shut up before people here know what a paid hack you are.

  5. howa4x September 20, 2013

    Republicans have no plan for anything. This is why they constantly repeal Obama/Romney care, or keep the IRS hearing going. I wonder what Issa is going to do when the sequester hits his defense laden district of California and the layoffs start to happen in mass. Or if they shut down the government Issa’s district will suffer since payments to the spouses of military personal will cease. I love his what me worry attitude about this

  6. nomoretraitors September 20, 2013

    No of course not. Nothing that happens in a Democratic administration (particularly this one) could ever be a scandal. Now if this had happened under Bush and Rice, different story completely.
    Now if there are any fair-minded liberals out there (and I do hold out a sliver of hope that there are), consider these questions:
    1. Why were warnings about the deteriorating security situation ignored? (the British and the Red Cross had already pulled out). And for those who might blame the “sequester,” here’s another question: If no funds were available for more security, then why not close the facility down? Either beef up security or get out, but don’t stay there and be a sitting duck.
    2. Why was no aid provided during the attack? A team specifically trained for this purpose was waiting on the ground in Tripoli and told to “stand down.” Why? The US also has assets in Italy, a short hop across the Med. Why were these not utilized?
    3. Why did the “administration” deliberately deceive the public by putting out the false narrative that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video? Why would the nation’s chief diplomat exclaim in a Congressional hearing, “What difference at this point does it make?” in reference to the motivation of the attack?
    Is this a cataclysm of 9/11 proportions? No. But it points to the refusal of this administration in understanding the threat we face from Islamic supremacy as well as the fallacy of helping oust Qadaffi, who posed no threat to the US and did what Saddam Hussein should have done — come clean on his WMD program.
    It also points to the venality of the Obama White House, motivated more by political concerns in an election year than the security of our personnel overseas. To have acknowledged the threat would have undermined the Obama narrative that Al Qaeda was on its “heels” (whatever that means) because Obama “got” Osama.

    1. nirodha September 20, 2013

      Umm, you seem to enjoy beating the same dead old horse, or conjuring up something new where nothing exists. As dumb as he is, even Darrell Issa is smart enough to just let this tired old horseshit fade away.

      1. Lynda Groom September 20, 2013

        Exactly, just like he did with Fast & Furious when it became obvious there was no evidence linking the program to the White House.

      2. nomoretraitors September 22, 2013

        Perhaps you’d like to tell the family members of those killed what a “dead horse” it is

        1. nirodha September 22, 2013

          Can I infer from your response that you are less smart than Mr. Issa?

    2. awakenaustin September 20, 2013

      Every single one of these questions has been answered. You just reject the answers. No answer will satisfy you except the one which confirms your beliefs.
      However, since your beliefs are based on your political biases and have no relationship to reality there are no available facts for you to gather to confirm your beliefs. You do not have any evidence to support your position. Which is evidenced, by your approach to this. Instead of offering evidence of malfeasance or misfeasance you demand everyone else answer (for the umpteenth time) a series of questions which have already been answered and which are based on events that never occurred.
      Do your worries about Benghazi keep you up at night? I hope so. I can’t think of a better use of your time.

    3. Lynda Groom September 20, 2013

      Nonsense. The commander of the Special Forces in Tripoli was Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson. He stated in closed-door session with the House Armed Services Commitee that his commanders told him to remain in the capital of Tripoli to defend Americans in the event of additional attacks and to help survivors being evacuated from Benghazi.

      ‘Contrary to news reports, Gibson was not ordered to ‘stand down’ by higher command authorities in responce to his understandable desire to lead a group of three other special forces foldiers to Benghazi’ said the GOP-led committtee summary of its classified briefing with military officals, including Gibson.

      Also in that summary Gibson acknowledged that if he had left Tripoli Americans in the city would have been without protection. ‘He also stated in hindsight, he would not have been able to get to Benghazi in time to make a difference, and as it turned out his medic was needed to provide urgent assistance to survivors ohce they arrived in Tripoli’ said the summary from Congress.

      Also Gen Dempsey, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs told Congress there was never a stand-down order. ‘They weren’t told to stand down. A ‘stand down’ means don’t do anything. They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.’

      Besides in testimony it was been stated by Patrick Kennedy that the Stevens was most likely dead within the first 90 mins.

      Keep it real.

      1. nomoretraitors September 22, 2013

        “his commanders told him to remain in the capital of Tripoli to defend Americans in the event of additional attacks and to help survivors being evacuated from Benghazi”
        Now why would his commanders tell him to remain in Tripoli to defend against a possible attack when there was an actual attack in Benghazi? That’d be like you calling the fire department because your house is on fire and the fire department telling you then can’t come because a fire might break out on the other side of town. Doesn’t make sense, now does it?

        1. Lynda Groom September 22, 2013

          Because little if nothing could be done to help those already dead in Benghazi. There is no interstate highway linking the two points. We don’t control the air space of another sovereign nation. Besides what do you think would happen when a handful of Special Forces showed up in an old Buick? Perhaps you’ve forgotten that a mess was also taking place in other cities and Tripoli was certainly a possible next target. It is after all in the same country as Benghazi. Of course there the treath of an immediate attack in Tripoli. It is also plain that in real time all of our outposts and embasse’s were on high alert and required their security forces to stay in place. Besides as the commander clearly stated ‘his medic was needed to provide urgent assistance to survivors once they arrived in Tripoli.’

          Cleary it makes no sense to abandon Americans in Tripoli in such a fluid and ever changing dangerous situation…now does it.

    4. Lynda Groom September 22, 2013

      As to number 2 you have to realize that in ‘real’ time violent and dangerous events still require lead time and some planning. We can’t just toss a bunch of SEALS into a C130 and drop them into a city. BTW, as the commander of the Special Forces in Tripoli told the committee there was no ‘stand down’ order. They had orders to stay in place and protect American assets in Tripoli. ‘Stand down’ means do nothing, and they had a job.

      1. nomoretraitors September 28, 2013

        That’s the purpose of the SEALS and other special forces: to deploy on a moment’s notice to anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the attack went on for about 8 hours. It was not all over in 30 minutes.

        1. Lynda Groom September 28, 2013

          If you had been paying attention you would know that Mr. Stevens was killed within the first 90 mins. There were no SEALS standing by that would have made a difference. BTW, did you not read that the commander of the Special Forces in Tripoli made in clear that he did not have the forces necessary to relieve Benghazi? He wanted to go with the handful he had, including himself, but he was needed to protect American interest in Tripoli.

  7. @CamelotK September 20, 2013

    I’ll never understand the true, and I do mean TRUE INSANITY of the Republican mind. We AMERICANS were attacked by criminal, extremists in Benghazi, and 4 of our citizens were slaughtered. **WE WERE ATTACKED.** WE.WERE.ATTACKED. Do Republicans want to go after the perpetrators? Track down the terrorists? Punish them severely and insure justice for the victims?

    NO, HELL NO. Republicans, in their worm infested, diseased, insane, mind, TURN ON OTHER AMERICANS, AND ACTUALLY BLAME THEIR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN.



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