Fox's Bolling Cites Repeatedly Debunked Benghazi Myths As Evidence It's Not A Phony Scandal
Research ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE
Fox News host Eric Bolling and Daily Caller senior editor Jamie Weinstein continued Fox's attempt to breathe life back into its manufactured Benghazi scandals by suggesting that issues debunked long ago were still open questions.
Claim: There Were Warnings About Threats To Benghazi Consulate And Nothing Was Done
Daily Caller's Weinstein Claimed Warnings About Potential Attack Were Ignored. On the August 8 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Weinstein said: "The fact that there were warnings about the threats to Benghazi and there was nothing done to beef up security. I think the American people see that as scandalous in and of itself." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/8/13]
Fact: Experts Say There Is No Known Intelligence Warning Of Benghazi Attacks
GOP Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers: No Evidence U.S. Had Information To Prevent Attacks. During an interview on Fox News days after the Benghazi attacks, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers was asked whether the U.S. had knowledge that could have prevented the attacks. Rogers responded: "As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I have seen nothing yet that indicates that they had information that could have prevented the event." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/14/12]
NY Times: No Evidence Of "A Warning That The Diplomatic Compound Would Be Targeted And That Was Overlooked By Administration Officials." The New York Times reported in October that there was no evidence that the government knew of an attack in Benghazi and ignored it:
Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack's aftermath such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials.
State Department officials have asserted that there was no specific intelligence that warned of a large-scale attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which they asserted was unprecedented. The department said it was careful to weigh security with diplomats' need to meet with Libyan officials and citizens.
"The lethality of an armed, massed attack by dozens of individuals is something greater than we've ever seen in Libya over the last period that we've been there," Patrick F. Kennedy, the State Department's under secretary for management, told reporters at a news conference on Oct. 10. [The New York Times, 10/29/12]
State Department Accountability Review Board: There Was "No Immediate, Specific Tactical Warning" Of Benghazi Attacks. The State Department's Accountability Review Board's unclassified findings about the Benghazi attacks found that there was no specific warning of the Benghazi attacks:
The Board found that intelligence provided no immediate, specific tactical warning of the September 11 attacks. Known gaps existed in the intelligence community's understanding of extremist militias in Libya and the potential threat they posed to U.S. interests, although some threats were known to exist. [State.gov, accessed 8/8/13]
Claim: "Who Called For A Stand-Down Order" And Talking Points About Video Remain "Questions"
Fox's Bolling: "Questions About Benghazi" Include Talking Points, "Who Called For A Stand-Down Order." On the August 8 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, guest host Eric Bolling said that "who called for a stand-down order and who decided the talking points were going to be about the video" were among the "questions about Benghazi." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/8/13]
Fact: U.S. Military Personnel Have Testified There Was Never A Stand-Down Order Given
The Hill: U.S. Forces In Tripoli Were Given "Initial Freedom Of Action To Respond To The Attack On The U.S. Facility In Benghazi." In a July 2013 post, The Hill reported: "Col. George Bristol, who commanded an Africa-based task force at the time of the terrorist attack, told the House Armed Services Committee that he gave Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson, who led the site security team in Tripoli, initial freedom of action to respond to the attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi." [The Hill, 7/31/13]
Associated Press: Commander Of Army Special Forces Unit In Libya Denied He Was Told To Stand Down. In June 2013, the Associated Press reported: "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 Team 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. [Media Matters for America, 5/09/13]
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]
Fact: Names Of Terrorist Groups Were Removed From Talking Points To Avoid Tipping Them Off
Former CIA Director David Petraeus: Names Of Terrorist Groups Were Removed To Avoid Tipping Them Off. In November, former CIA Director David Petraeus explained to lawmakers in congressional testimony that the names of terrorist organizations suspected of participating in the attacks "were removed from the public explanation of the attack immediately after the assault to avoiding alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them." [The New York Times, 11/16/12]
Former State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland Was Concerned Naming Terrorist Groups Could "Prejudice The Investigation." In emails exchanged between the CIA, State Department, and other administration officials concerning the drafting of the talking points on Benghazi -- emails made public by CNN in May -- Nuland expressed concern that publicly naming specific terrorist organizations could "prejudice the investigation" into who was behind the attacks. [Media Matters, 5/15/13]
CIA's General Counsel: FBI Instructions Said Not To Reveal Names Of Terror Groups Due To Criminal Investigation. In another email released by CNN in May, the general counsel of the CIA expressed concerns that naming terrorist organizations in the talking points could "conflict with express instructions from NSS/DOJ/FBI that, in light of the criminal investigation, we are not to generate statements with assessments as to who did this." [Media Matters, 5/15/13]