I just wanted to make sure nobody missed this. It’s by far the most comprehensive account of the alleged Obama failures at Benghazi that the L.A. Times has done — but, of course, presented in the context of a refutation:
Maryland insurance executive Christopher Moody believes much of the news media is missing a major scandal in how the Obama administration responded to the attack in eastern Libya that killed four Americans.
Based on reports he’s seen and heard on Fox News, talk radio and elsewhere, Moody is positive that officials watched a live video feed in the White House situation room from an overhead drone as the attack in Benghazi unfolded. He knows that a U.S. Special Operations team was available in Sicily to help rescue the besieged Americans, but wasn’t sent. He is sure that President Obama or his aides refused requests to dispatch an AC-130 Spectre gunship that could have mowed down the attackers with its fearsome rotating cannons.
“The bottom line,” emailed Moody, whose father was a Democratic U.S. senator from Michigan, “is that [Obama] had the ability to save those four Americans and didn’t do it.”
Officials in the Pentagon and the intelligence community contend that none of those assertions are true.
And government officials’ version is basically taken as gospel:
But in Washington, the pursuit of answers has been complicated by a fog of partisan-driven misinformation that is notable even by election-year standards. With just days to go before the presidential election, legitimate criticism over the incident has become entangled with conspiracy theories alleging that the president and his top national security advisors intentionally or recklessly allowed Americans to die.
. . . .
Last week, Fox News alleged that CIA managers told security officials at an agency facility known as the Annex — which was a mile from the State Department compound in Benghazi — not to go to the aid of their American counterparts when the diplomatic buildings first came under attack. Fox said the team was delayed an hour before going to help, in contravention of orders. Ambassador Stevens and computer technician Sean Smith were killed when attackers set fire to the compound.
The Fox report also alleged that, hours later, when the Annex itself was under attack, officials in the CIA chain of command refused to pass along requests for military assistance. And it said that one of the CIA security officers had laser sights pointed at some of the attackers that could have allowed them to be targeted by a precision bomb. Two CIA security officers, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed when mortar rounds struck their position on the roof of the Annex.
In fact, CIA security officers responded to the attack on the State Department compound within 25 minutes, U.S. officials said, though it took them 50 minutes to arrive. CIA officers did not have laser targeting equipment, they said.
And Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta “ordered all appropriate forces to respond to the unfolding events in Benghazi, but the attack was over before those forces could be employed,” said Little, the Pentagon spokesman.
“There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support,” a senior intelligence official said.
You see the structure of the article. Fox News presents the partisan misinformation that x, but “in fact” government officials explain that not x is true.
And of course we had to wait (for days and days) for the refutation before readers could be told about any of the Fox News reports.
Par for the course; almost boring to point out; no surprise; I know, I know, I get it. Why do you think it took me two days to point it out? Still, it seems necessary to highlight, somehow.
Thanks to AZ Bob and others.