Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed that during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, CIA operatives were ordered to stand down instead of aiding those under attack. But Dobbs did not mention that the CIA has denied that its operatives were told not to help those in need -- despite the fact that Fox itself had reported the denial.
Dobbs: CIA Operatives Told Not To Aid Those Under Attack In Benghazi
Dobbs: CIA Operatives Were “Ordered To Stand Down” When They Reported Hearing “Gunshots At The Consulate.” Lou Dobbs began the October 26 broadcast of his Fox Business show by claiming that during the Benghazi attack, CIA operatives who reported “gunshots at the consulate” to their superiors were “ordered to stand down” and not permitted to come to the aid of those under attack.
During the segment, the following graphic aired:
Dobbs' segment followed a FoxNews.com article in which Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin wrote that Fox “learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to 'stand down' rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 10/26/12; FoxNews.com, 10/26/12]
But The CIA Denied Fox's Claims -- As Fox News Itself Has Reported
FoxNews.com Quotes CIA Spokeswoman: “No One At Any Level In The CIA Told Anybody Not To Help Those In Need.” Griffin's article included a statement from CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood:
“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi,” [Youngblood] said. “Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.” [FoxNews.com, 10/26/12]
Dobbs Did Not Report CIA Denial. During the October 26 edition of his Fox Business show, Dobbs did not mention the CIA's statement, despite the fact that Fox itself had reported it. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 10/26/12]
Dobbs Also Claimed Military Forces Were Nearby In Italy During Attack
Dobbs Claims Special Operations Forces “Were Stationed A Mere 480 Miles Away In Italy” During Benghazi Attack. Dobbs later said during the segment, “Fox News also learned today that Special Operations forces were stationed a mere 480 miles away in Italy, less than two hours by aircraft.” [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 10/26/12]
But Military Commandos Reportedly Did Not Reach Italy Until After Benghazi Attack Was Over
CBS/AP: Team Of Military Commandos “Did Not Arrive In Sicily Until After The Attack Was Over.” An October 25 CBS/Associated Press article noted that on the night of the attack, “a team of American military commandos were sent from Europe to an airfield at Sigonella, in Sicily, Italy, putting them at least an hour's flight away from Benghazi.” The article continued: “But U.S. officials say it did not arrive in Sicily until after the attack was over.” The article also noted that "[e] ven if the team had been ready in time, confusion about what was happening on the ground in Benghazi -- and State Department concerns about violating Libyan sovereignty -- made a military rescue mission impractical, officials say." [CBS/Associated Press, 10/25/12]