Vis a vis Benghazi, rumors, accusations and innuendos, all without substance, continue to stay afloat in ether-space for one reason and one reason only; i.e. to keep conservatives aflame and ever-ready to both donate and go to the polls in large numbers. And who are the purveyors of this MISinformation? Look to cable channel and print news as well as right-wing blog sources for your answer. What follows is a run-down of four key conservative claims vis a vis the attack on our Benghazi consulate in 2012, each one of which has been discredited by other news sources and/or fact-checkers.
Claim: The president and Sec. State Clinton as well as other administration officials witnessed the attack in real time as tv images were transmitted to them via a drone that was circling the hostility.
Fact-check: Snopes rated this assertion “False”.
Claim: Requests by military personnel to send aid to those under attack in Benghazi were denied.
Fact-check: Snopes rated this “false”.
Claim: Both General Ham and Rear Admiral Gauette, in command of our forces in the general theater of operation, were relieved of their respective commands for attempting to send aid to the beleaguered in Benghazi.
Fact-check: Snopes rated this statement “false” as it applied to both high-ranking officers.
Claim: Someone in the chain of command issued a “stand down” order to military personnel prepared to aid those in the Benghazi consulate.
Fact-check: Not so, according to a report dated 2-11-14, produced by the Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee and brought to light by the fact-checking Media Matters organization.
Claim: Ambassador Stevens’ requests for help were denied.
Fact-check: In the month preceding the attack, Stevens was twice offered more security assistance; first by the aforementioned Gen. Ham. Twice Stevens declined the offer. This was reported in detail by the McClatchy News organization’s DC Bureau on 5-14-13.
Summary: All of the foregoing, together, comprise a powerful contradictory response to certain conservative sources’ key talking points. That those same talking points remain afloat in ether-space testifies to the eagerness of the recipients of all this misinformation to accept it without question, to stubbornly resist any impulse to search for facts or even contrary points of view. This closedmindedness is born out of a visceral hatred of our president, the near-religious “article of faith” that he is pure evil and therefore must be guilty of the worst sorts of infractions and criminal behavior such as have been outlined in the various claims cited above. With these people, facts and evidence simply do not matter.
*All of the foregoing claims and fact-checks can be verified by means of Google searches using key words/phrases such as ” Snopes Benghazi”, “stand down order Benghazi”, and “Amb. Stevens refusal of help”.