The Conversation

Benghazi: Issues and News about the Benghazi Attack

Maxwell needs backup

Sep 17, 2014 7:58 AM PT

In response to Rep. Cummings: Maxwell Never Mentioned Sifting by State Dept. (Update: Sharyl Attkisson on Rep. Cummings' Denial):

I've been somewhat lukewarm towards the Ray Maxwell revelation about Hillary Clinton's operatives scrubbing the Benghazi documents, not because I doubt it's true - the Clintons have a long history of doing such things, culminating with the astounding spectacle of their droogie Sandy Berger shoving damaging material down his pants - but because it's got to be corroborated, or it won't make much difference.

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Rep. Cummings: Maxwell Never Mentioned Sifting by State Dept. (Update: Sharyl Attkisson on Rep. Cummings' Denial)

Sep 16, 2014 9:42 AM PT

[Several important updates below. Skip to the last one for my attempt to untangle this knot.]

Ray Maxwell reportedly told Congress about the State Department's sifting of Benghazi documents a year ago. However, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings tells Dave Weigel he never heard about it. Something doesn't quite add up.

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Report: Hillary Advisers Sifted Benghazi Documents Before Turning Them Over to Review Board

Sep 15, 2014 10:50 AM PT

A new report claims advisers to Hillary Clinton helped sift documents related to the Benghazi attack before they were handed over the review board tasked with investigating the incident.

The story by Sharyl Attkisson is based on an interview with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs Raymond Maxwell. Maxwell was one of four individuals who were eventually placed on administrative leave, the only accountability that ever took place for the failure to secure the Benghazi compound which ultimately resulted in the deaths of four Americans.

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Report: Ansar al-Sharia Had a House Near Benghazi Compound

Jul 22, 2014 2:41 PM PT

Since the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 there have been reports that the militants who attacked the compound seemed very familiar with its layout. Today, Fox News' Adam Housley reported new information that may help explain why.

Housley reported this morning that sources with knowledge of the situation say Ansar al-Sharia rented a house very near the compound which became the U.S. Consulate. The source tells Fox News, "We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do and nothing was done."

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The brief lifespan of truth

Jun 18, 2014 11:07 AM PT

In response to Frappe Sipping Benghazi Terrorist Was Reportedly Offended By A Youtube Video:

One of the things that fascinates me about the squabbling over the Spontaneous Video Protest narrative is the way Obama, Hillary Clinton, and their defenders proceed - probably correctly - on the assumption that nobody remembers what was actually said and done during the weeks after 9/11/12.  Clinton is explicitly presenting an altered reality where she always knew it was an organized terror attack, but there was also a video protest at the consulate, and she wisely measured both aspects of the event in her response.

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Frappe Sipping Benghazi Terrorist Was Reportedly Offended By A Youtube Video

Jun 17, 2014 10:43 PM PT

In response to It Took 645 Days to Arrest Benghazi Terrorist, 16 Days to Arrest Filmmaker:

David Kirkpatrick, the reporter who wrote the widely derided "clear the decks for Hillary" piece in the New York Times, last December, resurrected the narrative that Ahmed Abu Khattala, the captured terrorist, was motivated by the infamous Youtube video based on the dubious claims Khattala made himself in the days after the attack.

What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.

An earlier demonstration venting anger over the video outside the American Embassy in Cairo had culminated in a breach of its walls, and it dominated Arab news coverage. Mr. Abu Khattala told both fellow Islamist fighters and others that the attack in Benghazi was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

In an interview days after the attack, he pointedly declined to say whether he believed an offense such as the anti-Islamic video might indeed warrant the destruction of the diplomatic mission or the killing of the ambassador. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” he said.

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The Benghazi bubble

Jun 17, 2014 9:42 PM PT

In response to It Took 645 Days to Arrest Benghazi Terrorist, 16 Days to Arrest Filmmaker:

Funny you should mention that business where Khattala was hanging out with reporters and sipping frappes, because it's one of the things mentioned by the Washington Post's paid liar, Dana Milbank, in that disgusting hit piece he cooked up on the Heritage Foundation and the Benghazi panel held at their facility, which John Sexton mentioned below.  But Milbank mentioned the frappe incident as something only deranged conspiracy kooks would believe, rather than an objective fact quoted from reporting by the New York Times.

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Benghazi Suspect Captured, On His Way to the U.S.

Jun 17, 2014 9:40 AM PT

Ahmed Abu Khattala, one of the leaders of Ansar Al-Sharia, the group blamed for the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, has been captured and will be brought to the United States to face trial.

The Washington Post reports that Khattala was taken in a raid that involved both American troops and the FBI. Officials are not saying where he is currently being held but the Post notes that other suspected terrorists have been held on Navy ships before being formally handed off to the FBI.

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Benghazi Attackers Used State Department Cell Phones During Attack

Jun 11, 2014 6:39 PM PT

The Benghazi attackers on September 11, 2012 used State Department cell phones they seized from State Department personnel during the attacks and were overheard usign them to contact  senior terrorist leaders regarding the ongoing attack, according to a Fox report.

That would seem to contradict the notion that it was a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video as the administration claimed at the time and also indicate that they likely knew the truth, or certainly should have.

Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.

In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers' higher ups.”

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Lindsey Graham: Susan Rice's Benghazi Story Has 'Completely Collapsed - She Should Resign'

May 16, 2014 11:17 AM PT

Leading Republican Senators have taken another look at  National Security Adviser Susan Rice's initial account of the Benghazi attack in the wake of recently released documents, and have found that her story has "completely collapsed." 

While most critics of Rice's Sunday talk show appearances have focused on her false claim that the attacks sprung out of protests over an anti-Mohammed Youtube video, Rice also wrongly claimed the United States "obviously did have a strong security presence" at the compound as it was being attacked by Ansar al-Sharia.

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The DNC Used Benghazi to Solicit Donations

May 15, 2014 8:37 AM PT

Despite Democrats' apparent outrage over Republicans mentioning Benghazi in connection to fundraising appeals, it turns out the DNC did the same thing.

Democrats were shocked last week that some Republican leadership organizations including the RNC would mentioned the Benghazi scandal in fundraising appeals. NPR called it a "partisan flashpoint." The DNC's chairwoman and communications director both decried the politicization of a tragedy.

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The Left Continues Its Efforts To 'Controversialize' Benghazi Probe

May 7, 2014 12:57 PM PT

Last week, during a second day of tough questioning in the White House briefing room, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, doubled down on the preposterous lie that the Susan Rice talking points memo was not about Benghazi, and he accused Fox News of spreading conspiracy theories.

It looked to me like a signal from the embattled White House to the progressive troops to employ a new narrative ridiculing the story.

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Democrats and White House Indicate They Will Not Cooperate With Benghazi Investigation (Video)

May 5, 2014 1:32 PM PT

In response to Confirmed: Boehner Taps Gowdy To Chair Select Committee:

It appears that Democrats have coalesced around a strategy to deal with Speaker Boehner's decision to hold a Select Committee. They will respond by plugging their ears, closing their eyes, and covering their mouths. 

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) on Sunday called the establishment of a select committee to investigate Benghazi a “colossal waste of time” and encouraged his party’s leadership to not appoint Democrats on the panel.

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CBS' David Rhodes on 9/12: Benghazi 'Not Just a Spontaneous Mob Reaction' to a Film

May 5, 2014 9:48 AM PT

CBS News President David Rhodes described what the "government" believed about the Benghazi attack the day after it happened, saying it was not just a "mob reaction" to a film. He also predicted the incident would quickly become part of a political battle between President Obama and Governor Romney.

On 9/12/2012 CBS News President David Rhodes spoke to the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He was a last minute replacement for anchor Scott Pelley who was unable to attend because he was covering the breaking Benghazi story.

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Reuters Paints Graham's Remarks To Suggest GOP Playing Politics With Benghazi

May 4, 2014 4:01 PM PT

While generally not a big fan of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, if one comes across this current Reuters' version of his most recent "Face the Nation" appearance, you might get the idea that Graham is accusing the GOP of playing politics by hammering the Obama administration over Benghazi.

Unfortunately, it appears to be little more than Reuters playing it's own brand of liberal politics.

Republicans risk getting 'burned' on Benghazi issue: Senator

Although the issue may resonate with some voters, pushing it too hard is politically risky for Republicans, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is running for re-election this year.

"If we're playing politics with Benghazi, we'll get burned," Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

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The mainstream media is Obama's first and last hope on Benghazi

May 3, 2014 6:08 AM PT

In response to More Buffoonery: Obama Flacks Mock Fox News' Benghazi Coverage :

I think of all this as a series of coded commands to the White House's media allies, calling the Praetorian Guard together one last time to close ranks and ignore the Benghazi story.  Team Obama has been describing this as an "old story" since before Hillary Clinton stood at that ceremony and repeated the "spontaneous video protest lie" right into the faces of the victims' families.  The media has generally been very agreeable about passing that spin along to the public.

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Harry Reid Spox Mocks Benghazi Probe: 'Speaker Boehner literally changes name to Speaker Benghazi'

May 2, 2014 1:06 PM PT

In response to Confirmed: The House Will Vote To Establish A New Select Committee On Benghazi:

Here's how seriously Democrats are taking the news that Speaker Boehner is establishing a select committee to get to the bottom of what went wrong before, during after the attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens; information management officer Sean Smith; and former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

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Confirmed: The House Will Vote To Establish A New Select Committee On Benghazi

May 2, 2014 9:26 AM PT

In response to Report: Speaker Boehner To Appoint A Select Committee On Benghazi:

Speaker Boehner announced his decision to hold a vote to establish a Select Committee on Benghazi on Twitter:

Pundits have been comparing the discovery of the Rhodes email to the discovery of the Watergate tapes that blew that scandal wide open.
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How to Stop Benghazi from Happening Again: No Hillary

May 2, 2014 5:49 AM PT

Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor attempted to deflect Bret Baier's questions on Fox News' Special Report Thursday by arguing that what was important about what happened in Benghazi "two years ago" [sic] was less important than what happens in the future. "What we should be worried about is making sure that never happens again," Vietor said, hoping to shake Baier loose.

No doubt Vietor has a point. But it may not be the one he thinks he is making. Arguably, the best way to make sure that Benghazi never happens again is to make sure the people responsible for it are never given that kind of responsibility in the future. And the person--by her own admission!--most directly responsible is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Plainly, "never again" means no to Hillary in 2016.

Jay Carney Trends on Twitter

May 1, 2014 2:38 PM PT

After a second day of tough questioning in the White House briefing room,  #JayCarney is trending on Twitter -and not in a good way. Doubling down on yesterday's lie that the Susan Rice talking points memo was not about Benghazi, he went after Fox News - accusing them of spreading conspiracy theories. 

Henry: If the email was not about Benghazi, as you said yesterday and say again today, why did the White House turn it over to a conservative group seeking information about Benghazi?

Carney: You would have to ask the State Department about how they responded to FOIA requests. I would, again, point you to the fact — I mean, all you have to is read it, Ed. All right? Top line points, goals, that kind of stuff. The only mention of Benghazi in the email is a question about, what’s your response to a story by the Independent newspaper in, uh, the UK, that says we have intelligence — that we had intelligence — 48 hours in advance of the attack that was ignored. “Not aware of any actionable intelligence” was the answer. And then, what does it do? It cuts and pastes the same line from the CIA talking points that, again, was what Ambassador Rice used. 

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Retired USAF Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell: 'We Should Have Tried' To Save the Lives of the Americans In Benghazi

May 1, 2014 8:47 AM PT

Retired USAF Brigadier Gen. Robert Lovell, testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made clear that the military knew right away that what happened in Benghazi was "a terrorist attack" and not the result of a "demonstration gone terribly awry," and he also testified that they should have done more to save the four Americans who were killed. 

From his testimony:

There are many sayings in the military. One saying that rings most true is…..You Fight the way you Train. And in Benghazi, we did. 

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There will never be truth or accountability on Benghazi

Apr 30, 2014 3:27 PM PT

In response to Carney Knew The WH Document Was About Benghazi - He Used The Talking Points Himself on Sept. 14, 2012:

It's pretty wild to watch Carney and the rest of the White House spin team give up all semblance of talking about objective reality, and just say whatever crazy-ass thing they need to get through the evening news broadcasts.  "The Benghazi memo?  Why, that wasn't about Benghazi at all!  Or maybe it was about some guy named Ben Gazzi.  Or maybe there's some little town in Missouri called Benghazi.  Yeah, that's the ticket!"

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Benghazi Memo Remarkably Similar to Jay Carney's 9/14 Briefing Notes

Apr 30, 2014 3:13 PM PT

On the morning of September 14th, Jay Carney gave a press briefing in which he addressed the attack in Benghazi at length. There is good reason to think the memo used to prepare Amb. Rice for her television appearances was based substantially on Carney's briefing notes for that morning.

Deb has already made a good start at some of the relevant comparisons here.  I wanted to point out that Carney seemed to have delivered on all but one of the "top-lines" in the new document. Here are the White House talking points interspersed with quotes from Carney's briefing that morning:

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Jay Carney Violates 'National Honesty Day'

Apr 30, 2014 2:29 PM PT

In response to Carney Knew The WH Document Was About Benghazi - He Used The Talking Points Himself on Sept. 14, 2012:

I bet you didn't know today is "National Honesty Day."

April 30 is National Honesty Day, created by M. Hirsh Goldberg.

Goldberg, a former press secretary to a governor of Maryland, invented the day. Since the beginning of the month began with telling lies on April Fool’s Day, Goldberg felt the month should end on a higher moral note, according to

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Carney Knew The WH Document Was About Benghazi - He Used The Talking Points Himself on Sept. 14, 2012

Apr 30, 2014 1:11 PM PT

In response to Carney Spins, Claims WH Document 'Not About Benghazi':

"Spin" is a generous euphemism for the disgraceful deceptions this "public servant" spouts on a daily basis. Never forget - the White House Press Secretary works for the American people. He owes us the truth - and we are not getting it from him.

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Carney Spins, Claims WH Document 'Not About Benghazi'

Apr 30, 2014 12:06 PM PT

White House spokesman Jay Carney did his best to spin the revelation yesterday of a new document showing the White House pushed Amb. Susan Rice to blame a video during her Sunday show appearances. The problem is that Carney's spin is undercut by the facts.

The document, published yesterday by Judicial Watch, contained 4 overarching goals Amb. Rice was intended to get across to the public. Goal #2 was "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."

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LOL: Media Matters Whines That Fox News Cut Away From Democrat During Benghazi Hearing

Apr 2, 2014 2:30 PM PT

Oh waaah....someone break out the world's tiniest violin for Media Matters. You just can't overstate the injustice and inhumanity of this: 

After airing over 45 minutes of live coverage of a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Benghazi attacks -- including opening statements and Republican Chairman Mike Rogers' (MI) initial questioning of former deputy CIA director Michael Morell -- Fox News cut away for its own "analysis" just as a Democratic congressman's questions began.

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Ex-CIA Deputy Dir. Morell: 'Protest and Terrorist Attack Not Mutually Exclusive' (Video)

Apr 2, 2014 12:53 PM PT

Former CIA Acting Director Michael J. Morell testified Wednesday morning before the House Intelligence Committee on his role in the shaping of the administration’s widely discredited talking points on Benghazi. Republicans charge that Morell's past accounts of his role on Benghazi were "often misleading and sometimes deliberately false."

Republicans got few answers in the hearing, but a lot denials of wrongdoing. "I never allowed politics to influence what I said or did. Never," the 33 year veteran of the agency who has served both Republican and Democrat presidents insisted.

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Benghazi Panel to Boehner: Time for a Bipartisan Commission

Mar 6, 2014 10:58 AM PT

The National Security Action Conference hosted by Breitbart News across the street from CPAC featured a panel on the Benghazi scandal Thursday. There was a consistent message at the panel: We haven't heard the complete truth about what happened in Benghazi and it's time for Speaker Boehner to authorize a bipartisan commission to investigate.

Featured speakers at the pane included Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin (now Executive Vice President at the Family Research Council), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch and Charles Woods, father Tyrone Woods. Lt. The event was hosted by Frank Gaffney.

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Chairman Ed Royce at Odds with GOP Committee Members Over Support for Benghazi Select Committee

Feb 11, 2014 3:27 AM PT

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R - CA) is the only Republican on the Committee who has not signed on to become a co-sponsor a resolution that would create a select committee to investigate the attack against the U.S. compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

Twenty-four Republican members serve on Foreign Affairs.  The resolution, authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R - VA),  currently has 184 Republican co-sponsors.  

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House Foreign Affairs Benghazi Report Short On New Information

Feb 10, 2014 1:47 AM PT

GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released on Friday a report showing the State Department's lack of accountability following the deadly terrorist attacks at the compound and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

The report itself did not present anything new other than elements of the most recently released Senate Select Intelligence Committee report related to the  Benghazi investigation, which did present new information. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs report makes repeated references to an Accountability Reform bill, authored by Chairman Ed Royce (R - CA), that is not related to theBenghazi investigation. However, Royce's own bill has not moved beyond his own committee for nearly a year. 

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Why the Semantic Debate over Benghazi Will Continue

Feb 3, 2014 12:16 PM PT

Is an "act of terror" the same thing as a terrorist attack? Is this just a tiresome semantic argument or is there more at stake here?

General Carter Ham, previous head of AFRICOM, says he reported to Sec. Panetta that a terrorist attack was taking place in Benghazi. O'Reilly asked President Obama if he had been told, during those first hours, that a terrorist attack was taking place. Obama would only say that he learned of an attack and refused to confirm that the word terrorism was used.

O'REILLY: -- did he tell you it was a terror attack?

OBAMA: Bill -- and what I'm -- I'm answering your question. What he said to me was, we've got an attack on our compound. We don't know yet...

O'REILLY: No terror attack?

OBAMA: -- we don't know yet who's doing it. Understand, by definition, Bill, when somebody is attacking our compound...


OBAMA: -- that's an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened. So the -- so the question ends up being who, in fact, was attacking us?

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The empty pantsuit

Jan 27, 2014 8:04 PM PT

In response to What Makes Hillary So 'Inevitable' in 2016?:

I've been wondering the same thing, because even if you overlook the rather difficult-to-overlook-but-by-God-the-media-will-try matter of Benghazi, the State Department under Hillary was a mess.  If memory serves correctly, there were at least half a dozen scandals and cover-ups in progress, including some nasty business with very young prostitutes.  

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What Makes Hillary So 'Inevitable' in 2016?

Jan 27, 2014 3:51 PM PT

In response to Hillary Says Benghazi Attack Was 'Unpredictable' and 'Unforeseen' Event:

Somebody explain to me what it is that makes this woman so "inevitable" in 2016. Seriously, I don't get it. Even without the Benghazi debacle, the State Department during Hillary's tenure was marked by scandals and retaliation against whistleblowers while the Middle East burned. Her greatest feat as Secretary of State is that she traveled over a million miles - to accomplish what, nobody knows. 

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Hillary Clinton Says Benghazi Attack Was 'Unpredictable' and 'Unforeseen' Event

Jan 27, 2014 12:32 PM PT

Hillary Clinton expressed regret Monday for the failure in Benghazi even as she continued to suggest it was an "unpredictable" event. The Senate intelligence committee report published earlier this months concluded the attack was preventable.

Asked if she had any regrets about her term as Secretary of State, Hillary responded "Sure, I mean..." before pausing for a couple seconds. Eventually Hillary would cite the Benghazi attack as her biggest regret but only after framing it an "unforeseen" consequence and an "unpredictable" event.

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Benghazi Transcripts: White House Misled The American People On Obama's Preparations For 9/11

Jan 15, 2014 10:58 PM PT
Newly declassified documents obtained by Fox News, show that a press release issued by the White House Press Office on the eve of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, misled the public about military preparedness in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11. 

On Sept. 10, 2012 -- the day before Al Qaeda-linked terrorists carried out the bloody assault on the U.S. consulate and a related annex in Benghazi -- the White House Press Office issued a press release entitled "Readout of the President's Meeting with Senior Administration Officials on Our Preparedness and Security Posture on the Eleventh Anniversary of September 11th." 

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Senate Report Faults State Department for Lack of Security in Benghazi

Jan 15, 2014 10:32 AM PT

A Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Benghazi attack concludes that the State Department failed to appropriately upgrade security at the site given the deteriorating security in the region. Republican Senators specifically lay blame on Under Secretary Kennedy who made key decisions limiting security. In addition, the report offers new details on controversies surrounding the attack such as how the false claim of a demonstration came to be accepted by the CIA despite evidence to the contrary.

The report is broken into 14 separate findings, the first two of which highlight the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and the lack of response by the State Department. The Senate Committee report says the intelligence community produced "hundreds of analytic reports" warning that "militias and terrorists" planned to strike at the US in Libya. The report highlights seven of these reports by name (though one is redacted). For instance, on June 12, 2012 the DIA produced a report titled "Libya: Terrorists Now Targeting U.S. and Western Interests" which said in part "We expect more anti-U.S. terrorist attacks in eastern Libya."

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Jay Carney: Of Course Benghazi Was An Attack!

Jan 14, 2014 12:31 PM PT

During Tuesday's press briefing, Ed Henry asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about pronouncements he made in the White House briefing room, in the days following the Benghazi attack, referring to Fox News' exclusive report on newly declassified documents that show the nation's top civilian and uniformed defense officials, prior to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama, already knew that the assault was a terrorist attack.  

"You said we did not know it was a terror attack, Henry said."Why, if leaders said they knew, would you say that?"

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Declassified Interviews: Defense Officials Quickly Classified Benghazi as 'Terrorist Attack'

Jan 13, 2014 4:55 PM PT

Recently declassified interviews with senior military personnel reveal that the first information given to the President about the attack in Benghazi described it as a terrorist attack.

We've known since September of last year that the first call made from the compound in Benghazi as the attack was beginning described it as a "terrorist attack." Today, Fox News' James Rosen reports that the same assessment was shared by senior military leaders moments before the President was briefed on the situation for the first time.

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What the NY Times Got Right and Wrong on Benghazi

Dec 30, 2013 6:44 PM PT

The NY Times published a lengthy story by David Kirkpatrick Saturday which attempts to explain what took place last September 11th in Benghazi. Much of the story confirms things reported elsewhere, but the author comes to a different conclusion about two topics which have ongoing political implications: Who carried out the attack and why.

Kirkpatrick argues the attack was carried out by local militias not affiliated with Al Qaeda and that the film Innocence of Muslims played a significant role in fostering the attack.

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'60 Minutes' and the curious case of the Benghazi expose

Nov 30, 2013 5:19 PM PT

Eliana Johnson at National Review has written a thorough post-mortem on the bungled "60 Minutes" Benghazi piece, a high-profile special report that unfortunately spotlighted the dramatic stylings of B.S. artist Dylan Davies.  Davies sold CBS News reporter Lara Logan a bill of goods about his thrilling exploits on the night of the Benghazi attack, which directly contradicted the account he gave the FBI.  When government sources leaked the discrepancies to other media, Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, ended up with egg on their faces, and CBS News gave them a few weeks of leave to wipe it off.

Johnson writes about an insular, arrogant culture at "60 Minutes," which is run by Rathergate survivor Jeff Fager.  (Nobody involved in Rathergate should have survived it, so this is a bit of bad karma for CBS.)  Logan apparently gets starry-eyed in the presence of interview subjects with interesting stories to tell, which doesn't really sound like a good resume point for someone in her position.  It sounds like she jumped aboard the express train of "60 Minutes" hubris - Johnson's sources grouse that her good looks were her boarding pass - and rode it right into another sensational bad-reporting scandal.

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Benghazi, the greatest story never told

Oct 28, 2013 1:05 PM PT

We already knew about the astonishing heroism of ex-Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who stepped into the horrifying security vacuum Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton created in Benghazi, and died fighting the terrorists who would later be portrayed as irate movie critics bent out of shape by a YouTube video.  The big "60 Minutes" piece on Benghazi this weekend introduced us to a man who uses the alias "Morgan Jones," an ex-British soldier charged with training the guards for the consulate.

That would be the unarmed guards, mind you.  Jones only trained the regular duty security forces, and they didn't have guns.  Madame Hillary and her team of geniuses at the State Department hired a local militia to respond in case the consulate came under attack.  Jones thought very little of this crew, and accurately predicted they would run when they came under fire.  "We're here to kill Americans, not Libyans," the terrorist attacks informed the local personnel before giving them a pistol-whipping and sending them on their way.

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