GOP Led Report Debunks Right-Wing Media's Benghazi Hoax
On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released the findings of a nearly two year-long investigative report into the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi. This report, like many before it, debunked right-wing media's myths about the attacks, concluding that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks, no stand down order was issued during attacks, and the administration's initial talking points about the attacks were based on the Central Intelligence Agency's assessment at the time, as the administration has long maintained.
The HPSCI report concluded:
[T]he CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi ;and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks. Their actions saved lives. Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support. The Committee, however, received evidence that the State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day and required CIA assistance.
Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.
The report added that “after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration's initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate” as "[t]here was a stream of contradictory and conflicting intelligence that came in after the attacks." According to the HPSCI, the CIA's initial assessment that the attack was inspired by protests -- on which Ambassador Susan's Rice infamous Sunday show talking points were based -- was inaccurate and corrected after “closed caption television footage became available” two days after Rice's Sunday how appearances.
The HPSCI report echoed findings from the Accountability Review Board for Benghazi and bipartisan U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that there were no intelligence failure before the attacks, no stand down order given to Benghazi response teams, no specific tactical warnings of an attack, and that Rice's reports were based on CIA assessment at the time.
Conservative media outlets spent more than two years relentlessly promoting these myths, despite being repeatedly debunked. Fox News alone hyped the idea of a “stand-down order” on more than 100 segments.