Fox News contributor Monica Crowley suggested that President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acted irresponsibly following the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, by claiming they were “unaccounted for” even though Obama and Clinton are both documented to have been active at the time of the attack.
On the May 9 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Crowley revisited the long-debunked myth that Obama and Clinton were absent or inactive following the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya. During her guest segment on a congressional hearing that took place the previous day, she claimed “the two leaders of the U.S. Government” were “unaccounted for that night. We have no narrative of where they were or what they were doing.”
In fact, news reports and congressional testimony have shown that both Obama and Clinton were active and engaged while the Benghazi attack was taking place. Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified in a May 8 House Oversight Committee hearing -- which was both over-hyped and selectively ignored by Fox News -- that Clinton called him on the night of the attack for a report of the events. He testified:
HICKS: I think at about 2 p.m. -- 2 a.m., sorry -- the Secretary, Secretary of State Clinton called me along with her senior staff were all on the phone and she asked me what was going on and I briefed her on the developments. Most of the conversation was about the search for Ambassador Stevens. It was also about what we were going to do with our personnel in Benghazi. And I told her that we would need to evacuate and she said that was the right thing to do.
During a February 7 congressional hearing, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified that the White House was fully engaged during the attack. Associated Press reported that when Obama learned of the attack, he responded immediately, telling Panetta and General Martin E. Dempsey to “deploy forces as quickly as possible.” In addition, the White House also released a photo of Obama with his national security team and Vice President Joe Biden being briefed on Benghazi on September 11, 2012: