As you may have noticed, the Wingnut Noise Machine is seriously pushing the notion that President Obama deliberately sat back and did nothing when a Libyan militia attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, apparently because he is either incompetent (the “charitable” view) or because he just plain hates America that much (the “reasonable doubt exists” view). It turns out that, according to intelligence officials, CIA agents stationed in Benghazi actually did come to the aid of the Consulate, as did a second CIA team sent from Tripoli, and Libyan military forces helped the surviving Americans get to the airport to escape after the attack. The officials also directly refuted Fox News’ claims that the CIA was ordered to “stand down,” and also dismissed the notion that airstrikes could have helped anyone in the consulate:
“Let’s say we were able to get an aircraft there. Do you go in and start strafing a populated area without knowing where friend or foe is?” a senior Defense official asked. “If you did that, you could kill the very people you are trying to help.”
Also, too, in the buried lede department, a New York Times story on the attack suggests that the intelligence officials briefing the press may have been just as interested in bureaucratic ass-covering as in slapping down the right-wing narrative:
By underscoring the C.I.A.’s previously unpublicized role in mobilizing the evacuation effort, the officials seemed to be implicitly questioning the State Department’s security arrangements in Benghazi
In any case, the NYT account points out that the CIA presence in Benghazi “appears to have been much more significant than publicly disclosed.” While the story does not directly address how this may have played into the Obama administration’s public discussions of the event, we will go out on a limb and speculate that the administration just might have been initially quiet after Benghazi because it didn’t want to expose just how big the CIA presence there was. Yes, we know, crazy talk — Occam’s Razor demands the simplest explanation, which is that Obama is a Manchuran Candidate bent on destroying America, and he just sat back and laughed while watching brave Americans die.
Or maybe he just let the Consulate burn because that’s where all his college records were stored.
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