Fox's Wallace Forwards Right-Wing Myth That Obama Abandoned Americans In Benghazi
Research ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace falsely suggested no assistance was deployed to Benghazi, Libya, during the attack on September 11, continuing the right-wing media myth that President Obama abandoned Americans to die there. In fact, assistance was deployed from Tripoli to Benghazi on the night of the attack.
Wallace Suggests No Assistance Was Deployed To Benghazi During Attack
Fox's Wallace: Why Wasn't Assistance Deployed To Benghazi? Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod why there was no assistance sent to Benghazi, Libya:
WALLACE: On the night of the attack, the president met with top national security advisers and told them to deploy assets to the area. Question: Why did he decide not to deploy -- why not actually to send those assets in in the seven hours between the first attack and the second attack in Benghazi that night when -- in the second attack, seven hours later, two Americans were killed? [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 11/4/12]
Fact: Reinforcements Were Dispatched From Tripoli And Elsewhere In Benghazi
AP: Six-Member Quick Reaction Team And 60 Libyan Militiamen In Benghazi Responded To The Attack. The AP reported that a "six-member quick reaction security team arrived on the scene from its compound across town, the officials said. About 60 Libyan militiamen accompanied the team, and it again tried to secure a perimeter around [Ambassador Chris] Stevens' building, taking turns searching inside." [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Denver Post]
AP: Reinforcements From Embassy In Tripoli Arrived The Same Night. The quick-response team returned to its compound across town and the same night, a "team of reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived on a chartered aircraft at the Benghazi airport and reached the security compound," the AP explained. [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Denver Post]
Wash. Post's Ignatius: Reinforcements From Tripoli Arrived Before Second Attack In Benghazi. Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius described a "detailed CIA timeline" of the events that occurred during the attack in Benghazi, which shows that the reinforcements sent by the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived on the scene in Benghazi prior to the second attack of the night being launched:
- 11:56 p.m.: CIA officers at the annex are attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms. Sporadic attacks continue for about another hour. The attacks stop at 1:01 a.m., and some assume the fight is over.
- 1:15 a.m.: CIA reinforcements arrive on a 45-minute flight from Tripoli in a plane they've hastily chartered. The Tripoli team includes four GRS security officers, a CIA case officer and two U.S. military personnel on loan to the agency. They don't leave the Benghazi airport until 4:30 a.m. The delay is caused by negotiations with Libyan authorities over permission to leave the airport; obtaining vehicles; and the need to frame a clear mission plan. The first idea is to go to a Benghazi hospital to recover Stevens, who they rightly suspect is already dead. But the hospital is surrounded by the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Shariah militia that mounted the consulate attack.
- 5:04 a.m.: The team from Tripoli arrives at the CIA base. Glen Doherty, one of the GRS men from Tripoli, goes to the roof and joins Woods in firing positions.
- 5:15 a.m.: A new Libyan assault begins, this time with mortars. Two rounds miss and the next three hit the roof. The rooftop defenders never "laser the mortars," as has been reported. They don't know they're in place until the indirect fire begins, nor are they observed by the drone overhead. The defenders have focused their laser sites earlier on several Libyan attackers, as warnings not to fire. At 5:26 the attack is over. Woods and Doherty are dead and two others are wounded. [The Washington Post, 11/1/12]
Fox News Has Repeatedly Claimed Obama Admin. Abandoned Americans To Die In Benghazi
Fox's Johnson Suggests Obama Admin May Have "Sacrificed Americans" As A "Political Calculation" During Benghazi Attack. On the October 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. asked if there was a "political calculation that was made to sacrifice Americans on the ground so we didn't kill innocents in front of the consulate." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/12]
Fox's Liz Cheney: It Appears The President Made "No Decision To Do Anything To Rescue" Americans In Benghazi. On the October 24 edition of Hannity, Fox News contributor Liz Cheney stated, "What looks to have happened is, the only reinforcements that arrived in Benghazi, it sounds like, were called in from Benghazi. The rest of the movements that occurred resulted in no additional reinforcements at Benghazi." Cheney then claimed: "So far, everything we can tell points in the direction of the president making no decision to do anything to rescue these people. He's got to explain to the American people whether or not that's the case." [Fox News, Hannity, 10/24/12]
Fox's Guilfoyle: In Benghazi, Obama Administration "Decided" That U.S. Lives Were "Expendable." During the October 24 edition of Fox News' The Five, while discussing the Benghazi attack, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said of the administration, "[I]n this particular situation, they decided [American lives] were expendable." [Fox News, The Five, 10/24/12]
Fox's McFarland: "It Was Probably A Political Decision Not To Rescue Them." Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland claimed the supposed absence of aid to the consulate was "probably" politically motivated. From America Live:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (guest host): K.T., who is responsible for answering all of these questions?
McFARLAND: Well, that's the question you want to know. I mean, here's what's happened is, bad stuff happened, all right? So what is the administration doing? They're throwing a lot of dust up in the air to try to make sure you're not sure quite what happened, who to blame. Is it the movie's fault? Is it the intelligence community? Is it the security? Is it the State Department diplomats? We don't know the answers to that. I've got a guess that it's something that was a political decision. And not only a political decision not to give them the kind of security they wanted, but it was probably a political decision not to rescue them. And finally, is it a political decision to try to put a lot of blue smoke and mirrors in front of everybody so they don't know what really happened, and they won't know what really happened until after the election? [Fox News, America Live, 10/10/12]
Fox Regular Michael Scheuer: "Democrats Are Very Good At Watching Americans Die." On the October 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto asked his guest, former CIA official and Fox regular Michael Scheuer, to comment on upcoming congressional hearings about the September 11 Benghazi attack. Scheuer replied, "[T]he Democrats are very good at watching Americans die, Neil," and continued:
SCHEUER: As I understand it, they had live video for seven hours of U.S. individuals, ambassadors, CIA people, State Department people, being attacked and they did nothing. It was like they were watching 9-11 happen and just were holding back the police and the fire department and say, wait a minute, we got to really see was it terrorism or was it a workplace event. They're really terrible people, Neil. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/25/12]
Fox Regular Lars Larson Accuses Obama Administration Of Watching Americans Die In Libya. Frequent Fox guest and conservative talk radio host Lars Larson accused the Obama Administration of sitting by and watching a live feed of the September 11 attack at the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. From America Live:
LARSON: We've got the scandal of an American president, whose people -- I don't know if he personally sat there and watched that video -- but his people sat there and watched as this happened, and did nothing. Didn't even try to call in, you know, the assets that were available. [Fox News, America Live, 10/25/12]