The Benghazi Hoax: The Truth Behind The Right's Campaign To Politicize An American Tragedy

Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

After a year of meticulously chronicling the right-wing lies behind the politicization of the American tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, Media Matters for America unveiled the definitive takedown of the Benghazi hoax.

An excerpt of The Benghazi Hoax, an e-book authored by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt explaining how the right-wing media turned a night of terror -- but also of valor -- into a phony scandal geared at damaging the Obama administration appeared Monday on Huffington Post:

No one could have imagined how quickly the murder of Stevens and three other Americans would become politicized by a hungry right-wing leviathan of savage punditry and pseudo-journalism. Nor could anyone fathom how the most basic facts would get twisted, contorted, and even invented out of thin air to create bogus narratives -- first to suggest that a U.S. president seeking re-election was incompetent, feckless, or sympathetic to terror, and then, when that faltered, to tarnish the reputation of his secretary of state as the public speculated she might run for president in 2016.

Had the Benghazi attack not occurred at this unique moment -- on a day when the Republican candidate for the presidency and his promoters in the conservative media were desperate for a new storyline, especially one that would undercut the popular effect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the year before -- this tragedy might not have been converted into a political scandal.

The Benghazi Hoax exposes Mitt Romney's bungled and shocking campaign to use Benghazi in his failed race against President Obama as the attack was still ongoing. The book details 15 Benghazi myths that right-wing media and Republicans in Congress have used in a reprehensible effort to damage the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- a campaign that continues to this day.

The New York Times reported that Fox News did not respond when asked to comment on Media Matters' plans to advertise the book on Fox's airwaves:

"We all agree that politicizing a terrorist attack crosses a line, but that's what Fox has done since tragedy struck in Benghazi," [Brock] says in the ad. "You, the Fox viewer, lose out when you don't get the facts, so we wrote a book about the Benghazi hoax. Get the facts for yourself."

A spokeswoman for Fox News did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rather than seeking to learn what went wrong with Benghazi's security in order to improve the security at other U.S. diplomatic facilities, Republicans in Congress, enabled every step of the way by the right-wing noise machine, have turned this American tragedy into a political football. But The Benghazi Hoax shows how, after 18 congressional hearings, more than 100 interviews, and the production of 25,000 administration documents, Republicans failed to find any wrongdoing by President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or any of their other targets.

From false claims about the "stand down" order that conservatives say was given to U.S. military forces during the attack, to conspiracies about Clinton faking a concussion to avoid testifying before Congress, the e-book gives readers the facts behind the right-wing lies.

In an interview with Politico, Brock explained what makes Benghazi different from other phony scandals that conservatives have tried to generate in the past. "Politicians of both parties can be expected to be dragged through the mud, but I think there's an element of the story that's important, which was there was a dishonoring of men and women who try to keep us safe, for partisan political gain," he said. "And I think there should be general agreement that politicizing a tragedy that results in American deaths crosses a line."

Retired General Wesley K. Clark, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, praised the e-book, saying "David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt peel back layer after layer of partisan deceit to reveal the truth about Republican motives and methods in the aftermath of Benghazi - and in so doing offer a strong warning to America and our media to focus on the facts - not partisan rhetoric." John Podesta, Chairman at the Center for American Progress, describes the book as "riveting" and "thought-provoking." Podesta concludes, "David Brock provides a definitive factual account of the Benghazi attack, as well as an in-depth analysis of the right-wing campaign to misrepresent the tragedy for political gain. Readers who are frustrated by the rampant dishonesty in our political system will find, in The Benghazi Hoax, a rallying call for both political change and informed journalism."

Brock and Rabin-Havt's work builds on hundreds of pieces rebutting conservative media lies, smears, and conspiracies about Benghazi that Media Matters has produced over the past thirteen months.

The Benghazi Hoax is available via Amazon for $0.99.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Person
David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt
Stories/Interests
Benghazi
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