House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Report Debunks Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

The House Intelligence Committee has concluded that the conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11/2012 attack in Benghazi are not supported by the evidence. That's unlikely to change anyone's mind, though.

Benghazi-Consulate

Late yesterday, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee released its declassified report on the September 11, 2012 attack on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that appears to largely debunk the allegations of conspiracy and scandal that have surrounded the attack over the past two years:

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The House Intelligence Committee report was released with little fanfare on the Friday before Thanksgiving week. Many of its findings echo those of six previous investigations by various congressional committees and a State Department panel. The eighth Benghazi investigation is being carried out by a House Select Committee appointed in May.

(…)

In the aftermath of the attacks, Republicans criticized the Obama administration and its then-secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016. People in and out of government have alleged that a CIA response team was ordered to “stand down” after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels. None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report.

The report did find, however, that the State Department facility where Stevens and Smith were killed was not well-protected, and that State Department security agents knew they could not defend it from a well-armed attack. Previous reports have found that requests for security improvements were not acted upon in Washington.

“We spent thousands of hours asking questions, poring over documents, reviewing intelligence assessments, reading cables and emails, and held a total of 20 committee events and hearings,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the committee’s chairman, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat, in a joint statement.

“We conducted detailed interviews with senior intelligence officials from Benghazi and Tripoli as well as eight security personnel on the ground in Benghazi that night. Based on the testimony and the documents we reviewed, we concluded that all the CIA officers in Benghazi were heroes. Their actions saved lives,” they said.

Quoting directly from the Executive Summary of the report, which I have embedded below, Kevin Drum highlights conclusions made by the Committee that appear to pretty substantially undercut the vast majority of the allegations that many conservatives have made over the past two years regarding the lead up to the attack, the attack itself, and the Administration response: (emphasis is Drum’s)

  • The Committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi….Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support….
  • Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.
  • Third, the Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al Qa’ida, participated in the attacks….
  • Fourth, the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate….There was no protest. The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke)….
  • Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for—and which were used for Ambassador Rice’s public appearances—was flawed….
  • Finally, the Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi. The Committee also found no evidence that the CIA conducted unauthorized activities in Benghazi and no evidence that the IC shipped arms to Syria.

The details behind these conclusions can be found in the report itself, which at 33 pages is a relatively easy read for anyone interested the topic and which appears to cover every aspect of the Benghazi story from the allegations about lack of preparedness on the part of the personnel responsible for security, to the apparently false rumors that the American military was ordered to “stand down” on a mission to attempt to intervene to either help the CIA fend off the attack or rescue the people who were under attack for the better part of that fateful day, to the idea that the “talking points” that Susan Rice was given when she appeared on the Sunday morning news shows and attributed the attack in large part to protests over an anti-Muslim movie that had been posted on YouTube. There have also been other conspiracy theories that have spread on the right, of course, including the allegation that someone in the White House gave U.S. military forces in Italy a direct order not to intervene in the attack, which apparently has also been directly debunked by the Intelligence Committee’s findings.

These findings are not entirely new. Many of them are similar to those reached by the previous six unclassified investigations into this matter which have not found anything approaching the type of grand conspiracy that many on the right — typified in the best way by people who have made “Benghazi” part of their name on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets — that the attack was somehow evidence of malfeasance, corruptions, or ineptness, or in some bizarre instances all three, on the part of the Obama White House and the State Department run by Hillary Clinton. Some theories go so far to claim that the entire attack was allowed to happen in order to murder Ambassador Christopher Stevens as part of a Vince Foster-esque plot that involves, depending on who you happen to be talking to, the CIA running guns to rebels in Syria, to simply an effort to cover up State Department security ineptness. The fact that there has never been any evidence uncovered to support any of those theories, or any evidence that there was any kind of cover-up in advance of the 2012 election, only seems to reinforce the idea among these people that there is, in fact, a conspiracy to be uncovered. Of course, that’s usually how it goes with conspiracy theories. The lack of evidence is itself evidence of the conspiracy. In that regard, then, this latest report, from a sources as seemingly unimpeachable as the House Intelligence Committee, which would seem to be the final word on the subject, is unlikely to quell the Benghazi buzz on the right at all.

None of this is to say that there’s nothing worth investigating in connection with what happened in Benghazi in September 2012, of course. The death of an American ambassador in an attack like this is something that ought not be ignored. Rather than looking for a conspiracy theory, though, that investigation ought to be looking more broadly at American policy in Libya both before and after the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the extent to which we failed to anticipate what that nation has turned into. Indeed, in the two years since the Benghazi attack the situation in Libya has gotten so much worse that we have been forced to evacuate all of our diplomatic personnel to Malta due to the advance of a new set of rebels warring with what passes for a central government in Tripoli. On some level, one wonders if the chaos that Libya has turned into is worth the benefit of having gotten rid of one of the most bizarre and oppressive dictators of his time. That, however, is a far more complicated and far less “sexy” than the conspiracy theories advanced on Fox News Channel and other media outlets.

This report, of course, is far from the end of the road in any case. Back in May, the House authorized the appointment of a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attack notwithstanding the fact that it has already been investigated a half dozen or more times. That committee, which will survive into the new Congress, has barely begun its work and is likely to continue in operation until well into the 2016 campaign season, which of course raises the obvious suspicion that its existence is as much about having an opportunity to make political hits on the likely Democratic nominee for President as it is about uncovering any part of the Benghazi story that hasn’t already been brought to light. Other political observers have wondered whether the committee is essentially the first step on the road to impeachment. Whatever the motivation, and you can rest assured that it will go forward, and that it is likely to be joined with committee hearings on the Senate side once the GOP takes control in January. It seems unlikely that any of these new investigations will uncover anything different than what we already know, but given the fact that this is largely about politics rather than uncovering some undisclosed truth, that will hardly matter.

Here’s the report:

Benghazi Report by Doug Mataconis

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Intelligence, Military Affairs, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Now comes the very real question of whether people, when faced with evidence of this nature, will change their minds.

  2. Stonetools says:

    The Benghazi “scandal” served its purpose, which was to whip up hatred against the President and to drive conservative voters to the polls. Mission accomplished. The Republicans have a majority in the Senate, which is why it is now safe for this report to be released. I expect that now Fox News and the rest of the right wing BS machine will tamp down mention of Benghazi- at least till HRC declares her candidacy, at which point we will start hearing talk of “unanswered” questions about Benghazi, and calls for a Senate investigation.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, Jenos will be our local test case. He’s the guy who’s been screaming Benghaziiiiii!

  4. Stonetools says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’m betting No. Too many people are invested in uncovering the “truth” about this conspiracy to give up now.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Well, look at it this way, it (those other committee reports on Benghazi) can still be used by House Republicans in their draft Bill of Impeachment.

    No minds will be changed. The same dumb-as-rocks people who called Benghazi the greatest foreign policy debacle in American history or who saw the so-called “cover-up” as worse than Watergate … will continue to believe that.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’m sure Jenos, being as he claims a rational person, will be along any time now to apologize for his shrillnes.

  7. DrDaveT says:

    There have also been other conspiracy theories that have spread on the right, of course

    You might want to stockpile copies of this sentence; you’ll be needing them.

  8. anjin-san says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I’m sure Jenos, being as he claims a rational person, will be along any time now to apologize for his shrillnes.

    I think the chances are much better that he will be calling out typos and telling us he never really cared about Benghazi, he simply felt a duty to the fallen to remind people of their sacrifice. Then he will tell us we are all obsessed with him.

  9. lounsbury says:

    Leaving aside the bizarre American right conspiracy theories (an embarrassment to proper non lunatic non-Leftists globally, the US right nowadays), one might rather focus on this item:

    “On some level, one wonders if the chaos that Libya has turned into is worth the benefit of having gotten rid of one of the most bizarre and oppressive dictators of his time. That, however, is a far more complicated and far less “sexy” than the conspiracy theories advanced on Fox News Channel and other media outlets”

    Being quite intimately connected with Libya and having actually done business with the country under Qadhdhafi, I still feel supporting the rebellion (or following the French in supporting it) was the right thing for USA and UK to do.

    However, post-Revolution American policy was deeply naive. Even grossly naive. One rather has the sense that the US administration went too far in hands-off, in reaction to the deeply, grossly and criminally incompetent hands-on idiocy of the Iraq model and the CPA.

  10. lounsbury says:

    I should add that an item that American commentators never touch on, but which motivated the French certainly was the very real possibility of Qadhdhafi, if he quickly mastered his rebellion, actively destabilizing Tunisia. I was in Tunis at this time, it was not a trivial or theoretical concern. Urban Tunisia and the Tripoli region have deep familial connections (the common family name Trabelsi = Tripolitanine)

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @lounsbury:

    We’ve reduced foreign policy debates in this country to a binary: Boots on ground? Boots not on ground?

    Not that we’ve ever been good at nuance, but this approach, the insistence on public debate — where the public literally cannot find the relevant country on a map — and the reduction of every deeply complicated problem to a simple question of whether or not American soldiers will be killed, infantilizes the entire conduct of foreign policy.

    Foreign policy in the US is now a game of gotcha! Hey, you said there’d be no boots and I see a boot, so there!

  12. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Now comes the very real question of whether people, when faced with evidence of this nature, will change their minds.

    So, first, I want to make note that this was reported and released on a LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

    Why? This is when BAD news is usually released. Bad news hopes that it is ignored over the weekend, and then a non-issue by Monday.

    So: Is this bad news?

    Well, yes, for those who have emotionally vested in hanging their hopes on an impeachable offence.

    Apparently… it ain’t Benghazi. And for them, that’s bad.

    But this is good news for America, right? Apparently not!

    I know this, because I decided to see how the folks at National Review were talking this…

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/393275/house-intel-investigation-benghazi-clears-administration-intelligence-community

    Clearly, from the comments there, it appears that the findings of a republican committee sating that there is no conspiracy… Is ITSELF a conspiracy!

    ** facepalm **

    wow. Check the link. Peruse the comments.

    It’s WAY past binary there. They are in the tinfoil dimension where there is something way off to the right of binary.

  13. Grewgills says:

    @lounsbury:

    However, post-Revolution American policy was deeply naive. Even grossly naive. One rather has the sense that the US administration went too far in hands-off,

    The French or the Brits could have stepped up.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    Where’s Jenos?
    Made a fool over Benghazi!!!! for the seventh time by Congressional investigations.
    I’m sure there is something he knows which they missed.
    If not, there are other conspiracies still available for theorizing.

  15. jukeboxgrad says:

    closed caption television footage

    This is an unfortunate error by Drum. He meant to say ‘closed-circuit.’ Not “closed caption.”

  16. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    It would be nice if everyone who pilloried Sysan Rice spent some quality time kissing her butt for helping to damage her reputation and career.
    Of course that would take spine…something absent from most of those who did the damage.

  17. munchbox says:

    Thanks Doug for clearing that up….maybe Junkie there will finally acknowlege the truth.

  18. jukeboxgrad says:

    finally acknowlege the truth

    Hilarious, since this report is more proof that I’m right and you’re wrong.

  19. Paul L. says:

    Opps AP story contradicts itself.

    Keep in mind, these are not two paragraphs separated by miles of text. They’re back to back. And somehow, in the space of four sentences, we went from there was no intelligence failure to reading it was intelligence analysts… who made the wrong call. If you’re making the wrong call – particularly one which turned out to be so incredibly far off base – then that sounds like an intelligence failure to me.

    Of course progressives will dismiss it as nitpicking and gotcha games.

  20. David M says:

    Wait, I just want to make sure I have this right. For two years, we’ve listened the right talk non-stop about how wrong it was that the administration was lying about Benghazi, and how it was a massive coverup. Now it turns out they were the ones who weren’t telling the truth about Benghazi, and all their theories about what really happened were nonsense?

    When can we expect the public apologies to start?

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:

    Being wrong about intel in the midst of a rapidly-changing situation is not an “intelligence failure.” It’s just a mistake.

    An “intelligence failure” would be the CIA spending tens of billions of dollars over the course of decades to stare fixedly at the Soviet Union and still manage to miss the collapse.

    Mistakes are inevitable. Failing to follow up, to analyze those mistakes and learn from them, that’s “intelligence failure.”

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @David M:

    Right after they start apologizing about being completely wrong about Obamacare.

  23. jukeboxgrad says:

    Paul L:

    If you’re making the wrong call – particularly one which turned out to be so incredibly far off base

    Jazz Shaw is quite ignorant to say that it was “incredibly far off base” to believe there was a protest.

    This is from the Senate report (earlier this year):

    CIA’s January 4, 2013, Analytic Line Review found that “[a]pproximately a dozen reports that included press accounts, public statements by AAS members, HUMINT reporting, DOD reporting, and signals intelligence all stated or strongly suggested that a protest occurred outside of the Mission facility just prior to the attacks.”

    Also (link):

    Witnesses in Benghazi said a small crowd gathered Tuesday night outside the consulate, a villa in a walled compound, to protest the anti-Muslim video… Some in the crowd had learned of the protest through Facebook. Others had heard of the video from Libyan students abroad or seen TV images of the Cairo protest. About 10 p.m., Abdel Monem Monem, a former advisor to the leader of the rebels’ transitional government, went to check and found about 50 people demonstrating without violence.

    Also (link):

    a lawyer passing by the scene said he saw the militants gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film

    Also (link):

    The US ambassador and three other US consulate staff were killed when the consulate was set ablaze in protests over an anti-Islam film

    (continued)

  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    Also (link):

    How ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Spread Around the Globe and Killed a US Diplomat … the film … reportedly led to the angry protests that killed a U.S. ambassador to Libya

    Also (link):

    US envoy dies in Benghazi consulate attack … An armed mob attacked and set fire to the consulate building during a protest against an amateur film

    Also (link):

    In Benghazi, Libya, several dozen gunmen from an Islamist group, Ansar al Sharia, attacked the consulate with rocket-propelled grenades to protest the film, a deputy interior minister for the Benghazi region told the Al-Jazeera network.

    And Morell said this:

    what she [Rice] said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed

    There was (and is) ample reason to believe there was a protest. There were many separate reports of a protest. Claiming the existence of a protest was not “incredibly far off base.” Shaw using that phrase is an example of the fallacy of bifurcation. He is suggesting that there could only be a terrorist attack or a protest, and there could not possibly be both. This is nonsense.

    Also, the question of the protest is separate from the question of the video. It’s fascinating to watch how these two separate questions are routinely combined, for no reason. Even if you were to establish that there was no protest, this tells you nothing about whether or not the attackers were motivated by the video.

  25. @michael reynolds: Fret not–Jenos is convinced, as per the comment thread of my post earlier this week, that Obamacare is nothing but a skein of lies.

  26. jukeboxgrad says:

    Paul L:

    Opps AP story contradicts itself.

    Aside from what I already said, your pal Shaw is misinterpreting both the AP article and the report itself. Shaw said this:

    somehow, in the space of four sentences, we went from there was no intelligence failure to reading it was intelligence analysts… who made the wrong call

    Show is implying that the words “no intelligence failure” are from AP. They are not. They are essentially from the report itself. The report says this:

    There is no evidence of an intelligence failure. Prior to the Benghazi attacks, the CIA provided sufficient strategic warning of the deteriorating threat environment to U.S. decision-makers, including those at the State Department.

    When you pay attention to the context, you see that the report’s statement about “no intelligence failure” is a reference to CIA’s performance prior to the attack, not after the attack. Shaw ignores this for the purpose of inventing a phony contradiction.

  27. anjin-san says:

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the right wing media. At the moment, the Fox News homepage has nothing on it above the fold, certainly none of the “Benghazi in flames” photos that have been more or less omnipresent on Fox for years.

    It’s also noteworthy that there is very little about Obama’s recent executive action above the fold.

  28. Davebo says:

    If you rely on Jazz Shaw for your facts you end up looking stupid.

    But if everyone already knows you are stupid there is really nothing lost.

  29. jukeboxgrad says:

    From the new report (scroll to p. 27 in your pdf reader):

    analysts received 21 reports that a protest occurred in Benghazi – fourteen from the Open Source Center, one from CIA, two from DoD, and four from NSA.

    Rice told us there was a protest because there was ample reason to believe there was a protest.

  30. sam says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Yeah. Re the comments at NRO, this one is priceless:

    I wonder how much the CIA and DoD contributed to the campaigns of the Congressmen/women on the Intelligence Committee?

  31. Humanoid.panda says:

    When you see someone mangle something so clear you do have to wonder if Shaw is an idiot or he is an extremely clever propagandist who knows his audience are idiots. I

  32. munchbox says:

    Hilarious, since this report is more proof that I’m right and you’re wrong.

    you are soooo deluded aren’t you? and i have to say that sounds like something a child would write.

    Claiming the existence of a protest was not “incredibly far off base.”

    not off base but false…. easily verifiable by locals on the ground ….and video tape footage apparently…..

    There was no protest. The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke)….

    crazy…right?

  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    and video tape footage apparently

    Which only became available after Rice spoke. I’m glad you believe in time travel.

    easily verifiable by locals on the ground

    Name one.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @munchbox:
    Well at least you are proof positive of The inability of some people to change their views in the face of contrary evidence.
    Sad, really.

  35. jukeboxgrad says:

    easily verifiable by locals on the ground

    One more thing about this. You have somehow failed to notice that in this thread I have already cited multiple “locals on the ground” who reported a protest. Here is one of them again, since you are so obtuse (link):

    About 10 p.m., Abdel Monem Monem, a former advisor to the leader of the rebels’ transitional government, went to check and found about 50 people demonstrating without violence. “It was normal. We were just showing [the Americans] not to insult our prophet Muhammad,” Monem Monem said.

    Your turn. Show me your quotes from named (or unnamed, if that’s the best you can do) “locals on the ground” who say there was no protest. So far you have presented this many such quotes: zero. But I’m sure you will quickly provide some, since you said “easily verifiable.”

  36. Dave says:

    @munchbox: You’re really embarrassing yourself here. You know how they say don’t bring a knife to a gunfight? You’re not bringing so much as a roll of toilet paper. Please do better or go away; right now you’re just comic relief.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    @munchbox:
    Given that you are unable to re-think your opinions in the face of contradictory facts…any further discussion is pointless. You can’t use reason with someone who insists on clinging to a position that they didn’t get to through reason. For someone like you it is more emotion than rational opinion. Such emotions can not be overcome with actual facts and/or logic. Like a teenager struck with their first crush…nothing anyone can say will make you see the truth.

  38. Tyrell says:

    A while back I heard that some people were arrested in connection with the cowardly attack on the embassy. If that is true then it is hugh time the trial got under. And that hoodlum in the photo needs to be at the head of the line.

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, Jenos will be our local test case. He’s the guy who’s been screaming Benghaziiiiii!

    No, that was Cliffy, our resident… “special person.” And it’s so comforting to know how I’m living, rent-free, in so many people’s heads.

    Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air noted two consecutive paragraphs of the report paint rather… contradictory conclusions.

    Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

    In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

    So there was no intelligence failure, just some intelligence analysts who made the wrong call.

    Just like ObamaCare, they lied at the time. Of course they lied; they had to. And we should just get over it, ‘cu everybody lies. If it got out before the election that Al Qaeda had just killed an ambassador, especially after Obama had done his little victory dance over Bin Laden, then that might have affected the 2012 election — and that would have been a major blow to our national security.

  40. jukeboxgrad says:

    So there was no intelligence failure, just some intelligence analysts who made the wrong call.

    Next time read the thread first. Your debunking has been thoroughly debunked.

  41. jukeboxgrad says:

    If it got out before the election that Al Qaeda had just killed an ambassador

    Aside from not reading the thread, you didn’t read the report. It explains who removed the words “ties to al-Qa’ida,” and why. Scroll to p. 30 in your pdf reader.

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Oh, and in other stories you won’t read here: the IRS miraculously found and released 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s e-mails, a top Obama bundler and Air Force One guest has been arrested for child rape, and the White House and Justice Department leaned on Bob Scheiffer to suppress Sharyl Attkisson’s stories about Fast & Furious. Apparently a White House Deputy Press Secretary traded killing Attkisson’s reports for leaks about Darrell Issa.

    Nice little quid pro quo there…”Here, you kill this story that makes Holder look bad, and we’ll leak you info that makes one of our political enemies look bad.”

  43. jukeboxgrad says:

    the IRS

    I understand your desire to change the subject.

  44. And so it came to pass that the question was answered. And that answer, while depressing, was unsurprising.

  45. Ken_L says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Some conservative pundits have done a straight, concise report without any discussion of its relevance to past freak-outs. However the comment threads are a joy to read, with “OMG even the Republicans are in on the conspiracy” and “this is meaningless wait for the NEXT, REAL report” being the most common responses. I had to admire one commenter who earnestly concluded that the committee must have uncovered material that could not be made public without compromising America’s national interests, and Republican members patriotically put duty ahead of partisan politics. There’s just no way to reply to that.

  46. Grewgills says:

    @Humanoid.panda:
    I would bet heavily on the latter.

  47. Grewgills says:
  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hey, you scored a perfect zero on intellectual integrity and honesty, to the surprise of absolutely no one. Congratulations.

  49. @Grewgills: Indeed.

  50. EddIeInCA says:

    Mediate has a piece on how Fox News, after it’s two years of breathlessly hyping BENGHAZI!!!!, gave the release of the GOP report all of 30 seconds on their show, “Special Report”. That’s it. But even worse, they reported it in a way that made it seem as though they (Fox News) have been right all along.

    See for yourself: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/how-fox-news-dismissed-todays-benghazi-report-in-less-than-30-seconds/

    Alot of people who watch Fox, will never know that the Obama Administration, and Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice, have been completely vindicated.

  51. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, and in other stories you won’t read here: the IRS miraculously found and released 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s e-mails,

    Oh, it may come as news to you but, the IRS should examine the non-profit status of organizations that claim tax-exempt status under the law.

    Also …. Benghazi, worst scandal in American history.

  52. Tyrell says:

    This report came out late yesterday. Think about that. See the significance of the date and the timing?

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    Yes, and you do not.

  54. steve says:

    “to suppress Sharyl Attkisson’s stories about Fast & Furious.”

    Is this the same Atkisson who is an anti-vaxxer? The same one who thinks your TV having reception issues means you must be bugged?

    Finally, you do realize that this is the HOUSE intelligence report? Are you claiming the the GOP is now covering up Benghazi?

    Steve

  55. munchbox says:
  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    Show me a quote from a Libyan who said there was no protest. Post a comment containing his precise words. I’ll wait.

    There is no such quote in your links.

  57. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    You do realize the timing is decided by the committee chairman, Republican Mike Rogers, right? Former FBI agent Mike Rogers?

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @munchbox:

    So, just to clarify, you would maintain that the Republicans on the committee know less than you do, have not analyzed the data with the special insight that you have, and are dishonestly conspiring to vindicate both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is that pretty much the size of it?

  59. wr says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Hilarious. The government devoted huge amounts of resources to trying to get those damaged hard drives working again and they think they may be able to resurrect some of the emails that had been destroyed — although there is apparently still restoration work to do — and loathesome J uses this fact as further evidence that the government is conspiring to cover up all the conspiracies he pretends to believe are true.

    If they sky is blue, he’d claim this is proof Obummer is covering up the fact that it’s actually raining, then he’d call someone stupid, and then he’d spin off into irrelevant garbage.

    Again.

  60. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No, that was Cliffy

    Hahahahahahaha
    But IRS and F&F, and what-not.
    Hahahahahahaha

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    This report came out late yesterday. Think about that. See the significance of the date and the timing?

    Yes, of course. It means that the Republican-led Committee did not want to release information and findings favorable to the Obama Administration prior to the mid-term elections, right?

    Honestly, conservatives are the most conspiratorially minded people in America today.

  62. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Given that you are unable to re-think your opinions in the face of contradictory facts…any further discussion is pointless. You can’t use reason with someone who insists on clinging to a position that they didn’t get to through reason. For someone like you it is more emotion than rational opinion. Such emotions can not be overcome with actual facts and/or logic. Like a teenager struck with their first crush…nothing anyone can say will make you see the truth.

  63. munchbox says:

    Junkie, that’s pretty demanding coming from a troll that links to links of links of their own comments….but since it seems you are willfully ignorant…or can’t read…here you go.

    The guard, interviewed Thursday in the hospital where he is being treated for five shrapnel wounds in one leg and two bullet wounds in the other, said that the consulate area was quiet – “there wasn’t a single ant outside,” he said – until about 9:35 p.m., when as many as 125 armed men descended on the compound from all directions

    according to a new report by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, personnel working at the CIA “Annex” in Benghazi on Sept. 11 reported on Sept. 15 that there had been no protest in Benghazi that day, and State Department security personnel who survived the Benghazi attacks told FBI interviewers on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 that they, too, had seen no evidence of any protest before the attacks.

    At around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012, the four guards at the compound entrance—Nasser, Ubayd, Abdullah and Anwar were casually eating sandwiches and talking about a recent soccer game. But on this night, the silence of the secluded streets was dramatically shattered when came the yells of “God is Great!” Nasser went out to investigate. “I immediately heard RPG explosions and saw a large group heading toward us up the road,” he said.

  64. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    And it’s so comforting to know how I’m living, rent-free, in so many people’s heads.

    You are an effective attention whore. You are good at being annoying, and it does get you noticed. Apparently this is an important thing in your life. Poor you.

    Oh, and thank you for being so very predictable 🙂

  65. anjin-san says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Like a teenager struck with their first crush

    No fair teasing Jenos about George Zimmerman.

  66. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: There could be something in that. I will work on it and get back.

  67. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: I wasn’t even thinking about election day.

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No, that was Cliffy

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/new-documents-indicate-security-fears-at-benghazi-prior-to-attack/#comment-1637686

    Maybe, if the Obama administration hadn’t spent two weeks lying about Benghazi and the rest of the time covering up, we wouldn’t have to speculate.
    Tell us more about the YouTube-crazed Muslim mob… that one never gets old.

  69. munchbox says:

    @turd mouth

    So, just to clarify, you would maintain that the Republicans on the committee know less than you do, have not analyzed the data with the special insight that you have, and are dishonestly conspiring to vindicate both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is that pretty much the size of it?

    that’s alot of projection there…. I don’t get how you guys think this is a “vindication”? Rice, zero, and hrc all claim there was a protest about a video that got out of hand and some guys went for a walk or something and brought their rpg’s and automatic rifles…really what difference does it make that they claimed one thing then this report says the opposite?

    Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for—and which were used for Ambassador Rice’s public appearances—was flawed…seems like a failure of intelligence on their part and yours…

  70. jukeboxgrad says:

    “there wasn’t a single ant outside”

    That is your only quote from a Libyan. He is an unnamed security guard. See if you can imagine any incentive he would have to claim he was taken by surprise.

    That’s what you have. This is what I have (from the new report):

    analysts received 21 reports that a protest occurred in Benghazi – fourteen from the Open Source Center, one from CIA, two from DoD, and four from NSA.

    So those 21 reports are some kind of Obama conspiracy, right?

    And I also have the multiple Libyan witnesses I already cited.

    By the way, this is from one of the articles you cited. Time, 10/21/12:

    Libyan Guards Recount What Happened in Benghazi … after 20 minutes, one of the attackers found him … They hit his head repeatedly as they taunted him. “You are not a Muslim,” they shouted. “You help the people who are against Allah and say bad things about the Prophet.” …

    Explain how “say bad things about the Prophet” is not a reference to the video.

  71. anjin-san says:

    This still seems to be pretty much a non-event in the right wing media. Conservatives are positively Soviet in their ability to pretend that events that run contrary to party dogma either:

    A. Never happened
    B. Are something other than what they really are

  72. jukeboxgrad says:

    Rice, zero, and hrc all claim there was a protest about a video that got out of hand

    It’s always fun to watch a straw man being demolished.

    It was not “a protest about a video that got out of hand.” It was a terrorist attack motivated by the video. Also, there is evidence that there were protesters, who were a separate group from the attackers.

  73. al-Ameda says:

    @munchbox:

    @turd mouth

    Not to interrupt your obsession with the greatest scandal and cover-up in American History but, I believe that Fox News owns the copywriter on that (@turd mouth).

  74. munchbox says:

    Fourth, the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate….There was no protest.

    It’s always fun to watch a straw man being demolished.
    It was not “a protest about a video that got out of hand.” It was a terrorist attack motivated by the video.

    Good thing you demolished their strawman! i didn’t say that …they did. Thanks for playing.

    Also, there is evidence that there were protesters, who were a separate group from the attackers.

    Oh…you would have thought the report would have then said there were prosters …you know protesting….clue number one….go back and re read point number four…real slow …so that it sinks in…

  75. munchbox says:

    Not to interrupt your obsession with the greatest scandal and cover-up in American History but, I believe that Fox News owns the copywriter on that (@turd mouth).

    oh boy…

    its really you guys that have an obsession with fox news….always trying to chase the best i guess 😉

  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    i didn’t say that …they did.

    Show me where Obama said what you are claiming he said.

    You said this:

    Rice, zero, and hrc all claim there was a protest about a video that got out of hand

    Consider these two statements:

    A) There was a protest motivated by the video, and the protest turned into a terrorist attack.

    B) There was a protest, and there was a terrorist attack. They were separate groups. Both were motivated by the video.

    A and B are not the same. A is not what happened, but there is plenty of evidence to support B. It is convenient for the GOP narrative to pretend that Obama said A, and this is what they routinely do. This is what you are doing. Trouble is, Obama didn’t say that.

    go back and re read point number four

    Help me find the part of the report that explains why there were 21 separate reports of a protest.

  77. anjin-san says:

    Thank you, munchboxjenos

  78. David M says:

    I think everyone here is confusing this report about Benghazi with “BENGHAZIIIIII!!1!1!1!!!!!”. If anything, this report confirmed everything they suspected.

  79. Jeremy R says:

    So will the media give the facts 1/100th the airtime and oxygen that they gave all the BS? Will they hold politicians accountable for coming on their networks and using them to broadcast two years of non-stop character assassination, baseless innuendo and conspiracies? Will those pols have to apologize to Susan Rice for using their lies to block her SoS nomination? Will Romney ever apologize for politicizing the dead within hours of the attack and setting this whole, seemingly unstoppable, crazy train in motion?

  80. Jeremy R says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    White House and Justice Department leaned on Bob Scheiffer to suppress Sharyl Attkisson’s stories

    Leaned on? A press flak called her editor and complained about her terrible reporting. It’s what press flaks do in every administration. They complain to editors constantly and make the case their reporters are getting it wrong. In previous admins it’s often involved a whole lot of shouting and swearing, and almost assuredly does in this admin too. It’s the dumbest “smoking gun” e-mail Judicial Watch has FOIA’ed and spun as an outrage yet.

    As to Attkisson, she gave the game away by taking a job at the Heritage Foundation’s GOP boosting, fake news site. A job no self-respecting journalist would take, but surely a far better fit for her.

  81. Tyrell says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Points not answered: how many have been arrested? If any have been arrested, when there be a trial? Any one who was involved inthis attack in any way or form needs to be tried, and taught a lesson. Where were the Libyan police and forces? What did they fo to defend the embassy? What could they have done better ? How about the embassy property there now ? Who is guarding it ?

  82. Another Mike says:
  83. jukeboxgrad says:

    Your sources are trying to sell a book.

  84. al-Ameda says:

    @Another Mike:
    Frontpage is, and always has been, a strong right-wing news and commentary website.

    That Frontpage would continue to insist that this (yet another) report did not give Frontpage the answers to the “Benghazi!” “scandal” they were looking for is completely consonant with everything we know about them and right-wing opposition to the president on virtually everything.

    Republicans are determined to investigate “Benghazi!” until they get the result they want.

  85. Another Mike says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    So, they just made it up? What they experienced firsthand was just made up?

  86. jukeboxgrad says:

    What they experienced firsthand

    One more time: they are trying to sell a book.

  87. Another Mike says:

    @al-Ameda:

    The author raises criticisms of the report, you merely attack the author’s webpage. So, you are left-wing, and the webpage is right-wing, thus you are right and they are wrong. That’s pretty simple.

  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    And then along came Lindsay Graham. Let the internecine games begin … 😀

  89. jukeboxgrad says:

    the webpage is right-wing

    The problem is not that they are right-wing. The problem is that their record demonstrates that they are right-wing hacks.

  90. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Republicans are determined to investigate “Benghazi!” until they get the result they want.

    Nah, they’re just determined to keep investigating it so long as they can continue to get political mileage out it. I think you’d be hard pressed to find many GOP members of Congress who actually believe the rhetoric emanating from their party about Benghazi (loons like Graham excepted …), but it has never been about finding answers. It’s always been about using / manufacturing the appearance of a scandal to win points at the expense of the opposition.

  91. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Or to put it in terms that the recent influx of dweebies can grasp:

    Do you really think that a Republican Congress spent 6 years, and over $100 million, investigating Clinton because they gave the slightest bit of a damn about some obscure real estate deal in Arkansas, or do you think they did it because it was a politically useful way to damage the presidency of a Democrat?

  92. C. Clavin says:
  93. Matt says:

    I was talking with Sean on jabber before the attack started. He commented there was some protesting but what worried him was that he saw one of their guards taking pictures of the place..

  94. munchbox says:

    Consider these two statements:
    A) There was a protest motivated by the video, and the protest turned into a terrorist attack.
    B) There was a protest, and there was a terrorist attack. They were separate groups. Both were motivated by the video.

    Ah yes …you have to rely on the false narrative of bifurcation to continue to defend the lies of zeros administration.

    Let’s look at that Straw man shall we? ….first off there was no protest …in either scenario. Now that that is settled. We can now look at what motivates terrorists to attack American interests. Let’s consider these two statements….

    1: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because of postings on YouTube.

    2: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because they are immersed in a death cult religion that promises rewards of martyrdom and consider Jews and westerners the infidel.

  95. jukeboxgrad says:

    you have to rely on the false narrative of bifurcation

    Your statement indicates you don’t understand the fallacy of bifurcation.

    Let’s look at that Straw man

    Your statement indicates you don’t understand the concept of “Straw man.”

    there was no protest

    From the report:

    analysts received 21 reports that a protest occurred in Benghazi – fourteen from the Open Source Center, one from CIA, two from DoD, and four from NSA.

    Rice told us there was a protest because there was ample reason to believe there was a protest. I think I already said this.

    Let’s consider these two statements….

    1: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because of postings on YouTube.

    2: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because they are immersed in a death cult religion that promises rewards of martyrdom and consider Jews and westerners the infidel.

    There you go again with the fallacy of bifurcation.

  96. Matt says:

    @Matt: When I say “before the attack” I mean minutes before it started.

  97. munchbox says:

    Good god junkie if that’s a fallacy then your comments are too …..all 21 of those reports are false. I guess they should have stuck with the first draft of the talking points then? But that wouldn’t have fit their political agenda now would it?

    Also why don’t you provide the third possibility of bifurcation then?

    Considering your statments contains the falsity of a protest you have some work to do to spin it your way.

    Lies and the liars that defend them occupy the fever swamp out of which you crawl.

  98. jukeboxgrad says:

    if that’s a fallacy then your comments are too

    Another fallacy. You have so many.

    all 21 of those reports are false

    You don’t actually know that, and that was certainly not known at time, which is what matters.

  99. munchbox says:

    LOL!!! You are the biggest wind bag…or how do you normally put it? Your assertions are back by this…nothing but the hot wind that comes out of your mouth?…and it stinks of the zeros nether regions…

    You don’t actually know that, and that was certainly not known at time,

    actually we did know that…THEN IT WAS BACKED UP BY VIDEO FOOTAGE….
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/13/168415/no-protest-before-benghazi-attack.html

    Someday you will understand that when you defend lies you lose …probably not today probably not tomorrow…but one day. One day you’ll see the forest…that obama has been diligently enabling..

    “The forest is Islam. The trees are theirs because the forest belongs to them. Jerusalem and Kashmir are not any different than New York or Sydney. Muslim historical claims are mythologies invented to give weight to their religious violence.”

  100. jukeboxgrad says:

    IT WAS BACKED UP BY VIDEO FOOTAGE

    Which was not available until after Rice spoke. I’m glad you believe in time travel. We’ve been over this. From the report (pdf; scroll to p. 28 in your pdf reader):

    Once the video footage became available on September 18, 2012, two days after Ambassador Rice spoke, and FBI reporting from interviews with U.S. officials on the ground began to be published on September 22, 2012, CIA changed its judgment and made it clear in a WIRe that ran on September 24th that CIA now assessed that no protest had occurred outside the TMF. … Accordingly, Ambassador Rice’s November 27, 2012, comments following her meeting with Acting CIA Director Morell, Senator McCain, Senator Graham, and Senator Ayotte acknowledged that the conclusion was incorrect.

    Rice initially said ‘protest’ because CIA initially said ‘protest,’ and Rice stopped saying ‘protest’ when CIA stopped saying ‘protest.’

  101. Grewgills says:

    @munchbox:
    Your link provides no video footage, it does however provide the unverified account of one man who claimed to be a security guard from an unidentified hospital. On the other side we have 21 sourced accounts made by people with verified identities. Why would you expect the state department to give more weight to one anonymous person over 21 non-anonymous sources? Could it be that you choose sources based on confirming your biases rather than based on the weight of the evidence and expect them to do the same?

  102. munchbox says:

    Thats why I said “then backed by”….geez you are stupid.

    Oh but they couldn’t report the facts on the ground from the people there…. Kinda like your excuse “they’re trying to sell a book” right? And no the cia didn’t say protest first…they said “direct assault” then changed it to protest all while they scrubbed muslim, terrorists, and al-qaida from it too.

  103. munchbox says:

    …which was the correct assessment all along….

  104. jukeboxgrad says:

    Oh but they couldn’t report the facts on the ground from the people there

    Since you care so much about “facts on the ground from the people there,” you should name all “the people there” who said the attackers were not motivated by the video. I’ll wait.

  105. munchbox says:

    Since you seem to know the motivations for Islamic terrorism why don’t you compile a list under these two definitions since your so concerned… You take number one …I’ll do number two… Ok? You could for extra points also compile a list of YouTube videos made by terrorists too. I’ll wait untill you post yours?

    1: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because of postings on YouTube.

    2: terrorists attack / kill Americans and their interests around the world because they are immersed in a death cult religion that promises rewards of martyrdom and consider Jews and westerners the infidel.

  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    You didn’t answer the question.

  107. munchbox says:

    ok I’ll go first…

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4749058/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/italians-united-outrage-over-hostage-death/#.VHPSsWcXJ8E

    Consider Fabrizio Quattrocchi, murdered in Iraq on April 14th. In the moment before his death, he yanked off his hood and cried defiantly, “I will show you how an Italian dies!” He ruined the movie for his killers. As a snuff video and recruitment tool, it was all but useless, so much so that the Arabic TV stations declined to show it.
    There was no such statement from Peter Kassig. Instead, “Jihadi John” appears with Mr Kassig’s severed head, and sneers, “He doesn’t have much to say.”
    Evidently, Mr Kassig also ruined the movie for his killers. We will never know how. The classical idea of “the good death” has little resonance in today’s western world, except perhaps among its soldiery – and Mr Kassig was not just another deluded humanitarian tourist in the heart of darkness but a battle-hardened army ranger. Did he show his captors “how an American dies”?
    If so, President Obama had no compunction about dishonoring his death. As with his distain for America as so at the Rose Garden ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents, the President who decided to pass off a deserter as an American hero.
    In his response to the beheading of Peter Kassig, Obama chose to turn a man who may have died heroically into just another Muslim victim:

    “Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity… ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own.”

    Abdul-Rahman“?
    Why, yes. Mr Kassig supposedly converted to Islam while imprisoned by the Islamic State. That’s to say, his submission to Islam was at the point of a sword.

    In America, at home, at liberty, he was not a Muslim. He was a Muslim only in captivity. He would not have been recognized by any government agency anywhere in the not by the DMV, not by the TSA, not by the zerocare website.

    Why is that “the point” the President feels he has to make? In the same video in which “Jihadi John” appears with Mr Kassig’s head, the Islamic State are seen decapitating 13 fellow Muslims from the Syrian army. If you’re a Muslim, you get the group beheading with the crowd-scene extras. If you’re an American or Briton, you get the star role, the solo act. The Islamic State knew which group Peter Kassig belonged to even if the President didn’t.

    so goes the latest in a series of you tube videos….

  108. jukeboxgrad says:

    You still didn’t answer the question.

  109. Eric Florack says:

    see also, the Warren Commission, and the results of its supposed debunking.

  110. @jukeboxgrad: I really don’t see what the problem is: he clearly has special insight into this situation, so who need evidence.

    But, the answers may lie with the Warren Commission.

  111. jukeboxgrad says:

    Who needs evidence? Only non-conservatives.

  112. munchiestofboxes says:

    Oh sorry…by virtue of the zeros admin working hard…..there aren’t many suspects to ask about what their motivations were/are because…well because …since there is but one….see my last post for the answer…

    http://world.time.com/2012/11/23/the-benghazi-attacks-person-of-continuing-interest/

    But when asked who was behind the Sept. 11, 2012 assault that took the life of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Khattallah gazes without emotion at his mobile phone as he sits for one of several interviews with TIME in a local hotel. “The attack came from the people,” he says, pausing to capture his thoughts. “I don’t know if anything was planned.” He grows vehement when confronted with allegations that he masterminded the raid (the Associated Press interviewed a witness who claims that Khattallah, who heads a militia called Abu Obaida Bin Jarra, guided fighters around the compound.) “The attack,” Khattallah insists, “that was not us.”

    Your turn… “I don’t need no stinking evidence”…the stink part… is the pile of death at islam’s door; and you folks wallow too close in appeasement attitudes that you come away smelling of it too.

  113. munchiestofboxes says:

    hey professor….have a great night!

  114. jukeboxgrad says:

    Khattallah

    You’re joking, right? I challenged you to name people who were there who say the attackers were not motivated by the video. Your idea of a response is to mention Khattala. Nice job proving how ignorant you are. Reuters, 10/18/12:

    Libyan Islamist says he was at U.S. consulate during attack … Abu Khattala is being investigated as a suspect in the Benghazi consulate attacks … “The film which insulted the Prophet was a direct attack on our values and if America wants good relations with the Muslim world it needs to do so with respect,” Abu Khattala said. “If they want to do it with force, they will be met with force.”

    NYT, 6/18/14:

    During the assault on the American diplomatic mission … Khattala was a vivid presence. Witnesses saw him directing the swarming attackers … As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding … Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the … insulting video, according to people who heard him.

    Just in case you didn’t know: Khattala has been arrested, and will be tried as a leader of the attack.

    So the only witness you can find is someone who proves you’re wrong. Hilarious.