Fox News' Latest Benghazi "Smokescreen"

Bret Baier's Benghazi Special Riddled With Factual Errors

››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

Fox News continues to push Benghazi falsehoods in its quest to tarnish President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On June 28, Bret Baier hosted Fox's "Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen" in the network's latest attempt to keep the Benghazi myth at the forefront. The one-hour special included repeatedly debunked falsehoods along with misinformation new to Fox's growing Benghazi mythology.

TIME

CLAIM

TRUTH

Benghazi Victims Were Left To Die

No Stand Down Order Was Ever Given And President Obama Ordered "All Available DOD Assets" To Respond

10:00

Baier On Benghazi Victims: "Did Their Government Leave Them To Die?" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

Tripoli Commander: No "Stand Down" Order Was Ever Given. On June 27, The Associated Pressreported: "The former commander of a four-member Army Special Forces unit in Tripoli, Libya, denied Wednesday that he was told to stand down during last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi." [Associated Press, 6/27/13]

Obama Ordered The Defense Department Respond With "All Available DOD Assets." On February 7, CNN reported that former Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before Congress that: "Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack with 'all available DOD assets' and try to protect U.S. personnel." [CNN.com, 2/7/13]

Decision To Not Send Second Force Was Made By The Head Of The Military's Africa Command, Who Was Concerned About Embassy Security In Tripoli. Diplomats on the ground the night of the attacks were concerned about threats to the Tripoli embassy complex, and a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that the assessment of Special Operations Command Africa leadership at the time was that "it was more important for those guys to be in Tripoli" for embassy security. [US News, 5/8/13]

House GOP Report: DOD Officials "Reacted Quickly To The Attacks In Benghazi." According to a House GOP interim report into the attacks on the Benghazi compound, "Department of Defense officials and military personnel reacted quickly to the attacks in Benghazi." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

10:26

Baier: "Sources Tell Fox News" Two Stand Down Orders Were Given. On June 28, when Fox News aired its special, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, host Bret Baier claimed "sources tell Fox News" two stand down orders were given:

BAIER [narrating]: At the annex, sources tell Fox News the CIA team is told to stand down, twice.  While an independent accountability review board appointed by the State Department concluded the CIA officers were quote "not delayed by orders from superiors."  [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

10:39

Baier To Chaffetz: "Why Were They Ordered Not To Respond? Why?" In a June 2013 Fox News special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, host Bret Baier asked Rep. Jason Chaffetz about the "overall lack of a military response that night." Baier asked "Why were they ordered not to respond? Why?" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

10:40

Rep. Chaffetz: "I Think You're Going To Find That A Lot Of Levers That The President Had At His Disposal Were Not Pulled." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

President Obama Tried To "Cover Up" What Happened

Ansar al-Shariah Told Bystanders That The Video Sparked Their Attack

10:01

Baier: "Did Their President Try And Cover Up What Happened That Night?" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

Members Of Ansar al-Shariah Told Bystanders They Attacked The Benghazi Compound "Because They Were Angry About The Video." On October 17, The New York Times reported: "

[E]yewitnesses have said there was no peaceful demonstration against the video outside the compound before the attack, though a crowd of Benghazi residents soon gathered, and some later looted the compound. But the attackers, recognized as members of a local militant group called Ansar al-Shariah, did tell bystanders that they were attacking the compound because they were angry about the video. They did not mention the Sept. 11 anniversary. Intelligence officials believe that planning for the attack probably began only a few hours before it took place." [The New York Times,10/17/12]

References To Ansar al-Shariah Were Removed From Original Talking Points To Avoid Tipping Off The Group. Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, reportedly testified in November that the intelligence community signed off on the final draft of the talking points, and that references to terrorist groups in Libya were removed in order to avoid tipping off those groups. The New York Times reported that "Petraeus made it clear the change had not been done for political reasons to aid Mr. Obama," according to Democrats who observed the testimony. [The New York Times, 11/16/12]

10:05

"Is It Imaginable To You That The President Of The United States Having A Conversation About 'What Story Are We Going To Concoct To Explain This?'" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

10:40

Baier: "Benghazi And The YouTube Video. Was The President Trying To Get Out The Truth - Or Create A Smokescreen?" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

10:45

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Administration "Thought They Could Get Away With This If They Make It A Story About A Crackpot American." On June 28, during a Fox News special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, Fox contributor Charles Krauthammer said: "They thought they could get away with this if they make it a story about a crackpot American.  It's not Al Qaeda, it's not a failure of American policy, it is not the fault of the president, it was simply something that got out of control because of a video - it doesn't wash." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

"Where Did The Story About The Mohammed Video Come From?"

Attackers Told Bystanders They Were Protesting The Video Which Had Sparked Protests Across The Muslim World

10:05

John Bolton: "Where Did The Story About The Mohammed Video Come From?" [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

Members Of Ansar al-Shariah Told Bystanders They Attacked The Benghazi Compound "Because They Were Angry About The Video." On October 17, The New York Timesreported: "[E]yewitnesses have said there was no peaceful demonstration against the video outside the compound before the attack, though a crowd of Benghazi residents soon gathered, and some later looted the compound. But the attackers, recognized as members of a local militant group called Ansar al-Shariah, did tell bystanders that they were attacking the compound because they were angry about the video. They did not mention the Sept. 11 anniversary. Intelligence officials believe that planning for the attack probably began only a few hours before it took place." [New York Times,10/17/12]

Sept. 14: NY Times: Anti-American Protests Over "Video Insult To Islam Spread To Nearly 20 Countries." An article in The New York Times on September 14 stated: "Anti-American rage that began this week over a video insult to Islam spread to nearly 20 countries across the Middle East and beyond on Friday, with violent and sometimes deadly protests." The article reported that protesters "had penetrated the perimeters of the American Embassies in the Tunisian and Sudanese capitals, and said that 65 embassies or consulates around the world had issued emergency messages about threats of violence." [The New York Times, 9/14/12]

10:21

Baier: "Nobody, But Nobody" In Libya Believed Attack Was Spontaneous Outrage Over YouTube Video. In June 2013, during a Fox News special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, host Bret Baier said: "In the days after September 11, 2012, Obama administration officials would claim that Benghazi was a spontaneous attack, carried out by a mob, outraged over a YouTube video.  But as you're about to see, nobody, but nobody, in Libya was thinking that on this fateful day." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

Secretary Of State Clinton Signed Cables Denying Security To Benghazi Compound

To Suggest That Clinton Signed This Cable Is A "Whopper"

10:12

Baier: Clinton Signed A Cable Scaling Back Security At Benghazi Compound. On June 28, during the Fox News special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, host Bret Baier said: "April 19th: A return cable- signed by Clinton - says security would actually be scaled back. Clinton will later deny knowing about the exchange." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

Washington Post: Suggesting Clinton Signed Benghazi Cable Is A "Whopper." In an April 26 factcheck of the claim that Secretary of State Clinton personally signed a cable scaling back security at the Benghazi compound, The Washington Postwrote: "Fox host Brian Kilmeade all but accused Clinton of perjury when he interviewed Issa, saying the report 'sharply contradicts her sworn testimony.... [It] is in direct contradiction of what she told everybody, told the country.' In response, Issa asserted that 'she outright denied security in her signature in a cable.'" The Postcontinued: "Issa has no basis or evidence to show that Clinton had anything to do with this cable -- any more than she personally approved a cable on proper e-mail etiquette. The odds are extremely long that Clinton ever saw or approved this memo, giving us confidence that his inflammatory and reckless language qualifies as a 'whopper.'" [Washington Post, 4/26/13]

During September 12 Rose Garden Speech, President Obama "Seems To Link" Attack To YouTube Video

During September 12 Rose Garden Speech, President Obama Referred To Attack As "Acts Of Terror"

10:45

Rosen: During The Rose Garden Speech, Obama "Seems To Link" Benghazi Attack To YouTube Video. On June 28, during a Fox News special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, reporter James Rosen said: "10:30 a.m., the Rose Garden: President Obama also seems to link the YouTube video to the murders of four Americans in Benghazi." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

President Obama Referred To Benghazi Attack As "Acts Of Terror" During His Sept. 12 Rose Garden Speech. Immediately after the attacks, Obama said during his speech that: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done."  [Whitehouse.gov, 9/12/12]

Final Version Of Talking Points Did Not Mention YouTube Video - Only Protests In Cairo

YouTube Video Triggered Protests In Cairo

10:48

Rosen: "There Is, In The Final Talking Points, No Mention Of The Video - Only A Reference To Earlier Protests In Cairo." [Fox News, Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen, 6/28/13]

New York Times: Hundreds Of Protesters Marched In Cairo "To Protest A Movie Attacking Islam's Prophet, Muhammad." On September 11, The New York Timesreported: "Ultraconservative Islamist protesters climbed the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and took down the American flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a movie attacking Islam's prophet, Muhammad. Hundreds of protesters marched to the fortresslike embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting slogans against the movie, whose origins are mysterious but which was reportedly produced in the United States." [New York Times, 9/11/12]

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bret Baier
Stories/Interests
Benghazi
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