The Right-Wing's Most Brazen Lie of the Election -- Debunked
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That's because professional reporters who cover the national security beat aren't going to go to the partisan conspiracy theorists promoted by Fox News for the story. They're going to reach out to their contacts in the intelligence and national security communities. And the pros have reported that virtually every claim about Benghazi offered by the conservative media is simply false. Not many people are likely to believe an infamous birther like Jerome Corsi over officials from the CIA, the State Department or the DOD.
Fox News anchor Brit Hume said of the Benghazi attacks, “One of the problems we’re having here is that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News and a couple others, to do all the heavy lifting on this story.” He's absolutely right that Fox and the conservative media are the only ones that have pushed the “Benghazi-gate” story, but it's ludicrous to suggest that the mainstream press hasn't reported on the attacks. It has, extensively.
And make no mistake: real reporters have raised serious questions about the attacks. Barack Obama himself said on MSNBC, “There’s all kinds of legitimate questions to ask because any time a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans who are serving our country get killed we have to figure out what happened and fix it.”
Beyond the kinds of questions that always arise after such an event, the “scandal” falls apart. for example, conservative pundit Jennifer Braveras writes, “It is now clear that the administration knew almost immediately that the Benghazi attack was a premeditated act of terrorism.”
The reality is that it is still unclear exactly what happened in Benghazi. On October 19, Los Angeles Times correspondents Ken Dilanian and Shashank Bengali reported, “the assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last month appears to have been an opportunistic attack rather than a long-planned operation, and intelligence agencies have found no evidence that it was ordered by Al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials and witnesses interviewed in Libya.”
The attack was "carried out following a minimum amount of planning," said a U.S. intelligence official, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a matter still under investigation. "The attackers exhibited a high degree of disorganization. Some joined the attack in progress, some did not have weapons and others just seemed interested in looting."
A second U.S. official added, "There isn't any intelligence that the attackers pre-planned their assault days or weeks in advance." Most of the evidence so far suggests that "the attackers launched their assault opportunistically after they learned about the violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" earlier that day, the official said.
He and others described the attackers as a mob rather than a team of commandos. It included some organized elements, they said, but its intelligence was less than precise. A caretaker at the villa adjacent to the U.S. mission said the attackers initially threatened to raid his compound until he and a guard barred the gate and shouted: "Private property! Women inside!"
Libyan guards who served as the security force at the U.S. compound said the mob was made up of disparate types, some who appeared to be experienced fighters and others who were not. There were long-bearded men whose faces were obscured by scarves in the style of practiced militants and called each other "sheik." But there also were younger men, some who looked like teenagers with wispy beards on their uncovered faces.
There has also been some speculation in the foreign press that the attack was a hit on Ambassador Stevens, planned by former loyalists to Mohammar Ghaddafi in retaliation for supporting the rebels.