As the May 8, House Oversight Committee hearings into Benghazi were winding down, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said, “There’s no evidence of conspiracy to withhold military assets for political reasons, no evidence of a cover-up.”
Instead, Cummings claimed the hearings forced “unsubstantiated Republican allegations about Benghazi [to disintegrate] one by one.”
Willing accomplices in the mainstream media joined Cummings in describing the hearings this way. The AP, for example, reported: “The three officials testifying Wednesday offered little that has not been aired in previous congressional hearings.”
But Cummings, the AP, and others who are pushing this narrative seem to have missed the May 8 testimony of former deputy chief of mission in Libya, Gregory Hicks. It was he who said he was told not to speak to Congressional investigators one-on-one, claimed everyone knew the Benghazi attacks were acts of terror from the moment they began, and who said U.S. special forces in Tripoli were ready to go to Benghazi when news of the attacks reached them but were halted by a “stand down” order.
And while the question of who gave the stand down order ought to be predominant, Joint Chiefs’ Chairman Martin Dempsey has testified that no stand down order was given.
Moreover, White House spokesman Jay Carney has been on the defensive regarding the Benghazi talking points since Wednesday’s hearing. Whereas the CIA allegedly removed references to Al Qaeda from those talking points, Carney says the edits were “stylistic not substantive.”
It just seems a bit early to declare there’s “no evidence” of a cover-up.