Fox host Megyn Kelly repeated two long-debunked myths regarding the Obama administration's response to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, ignoring congressional testimony, military experts, and even photographic evidence in order to claim “we still don't have any answers” about military aid and President Obama's whereabouts on the night of the attacks.
On the December 3 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Kelly hosted Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (CA) to discuss this week's closed-door congressional testimony from two CIA contractors present in Benghazi during the attacks on September 11, 2012. During the interview, Nunes claimed that there are still unanswered questions about the administration's response to the attacks, asking, “What were they doing? How come nobody came to help?” Kelly did not push Nunes on his claim, instead parroting it: “Your point is, they didn't dispatch any help, even when it was unclear whether the attack had ended or not. What would be the delay when they didn't know it was over?”
Kelly later asked if the congressional hearings had “been able to shed light ... about what the president was doing at the moment of the attack and on the night in question,” to which Nunes said no. She concluded, “So we still don't have any answers.”
Kelly's questions have been asked and answered.
Military experts have repeatedly testified that the U.S. response to the attacks represented the best of our military's capabilities.
Then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ordered the Marine Corps' Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST), stationed in Spain, to get to Libya “as fast as you can” as soon as the first attack began. But as Fred Bruton, a former diplomatic security agent, and Samuel M. Katz, a journalist, explained, logistical issues obstructed an immediate response:
There was never a question concerning U.S. resolve or the overall capabilities of the U.S. military to respond to Benghazi. There was, however, nothing immediate about an immediate response. There were logistics and host-nation approvals to consider. An immediate response was hampered by the equation of geography and logistics.
Military experts including Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs retired Admiral Mike Mullen, have all agreed that the military did everything they possibly could that night.
In fact, even Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee have determined there's no evidence to suggest aid was delayed. From an April report (emphasis added):
The House Armed Services Committee also examined the question of whether the Defense Department failed to deploy assets to Benghazi because it believed the attack was over after the first phase. The progress report finds that officials at the Defense Department were monitoring the situation throughout and kept the forces that were initially deployed flowing into the region. No evidence has been provided to suggest these officials refused to deploy resources because they thought the situation had been sufficiently resolved.
Similarly, Kelly's question regarding the president's whereabouts the night of the attack has been repeatedly answered, both by Panetta and Dempsey, who testified that Obama's staff “was engaged with the national military command center pretty constantly” throughout the attack.
The AP also reported that Panetta and Dempsey were meeting with Obama when they learned of the attack and that Obama responded immediately, telling them to “deploy forces as quickly as possible.”