Fox News aired new revelations this weekend in its documentary based on the forthcoming book, 13 Hours in Benghazi, but the left is not interested in what it calls old news. Benghazi is a “phony scandal,” right?
In fact, the left is on the defensive about this story, and is releasing salvos from all quarters. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Media Matters, and the Democratic members of the Select Committee have all gotten involved in the effort to dismiss what eyewitnesses have said about what happened that night, sometimes preemptively, as I cited in a previous column. Their message is loud and clear: This has already been investigated thoroughly; both sides agree that there was no wrongdoing other than bureaucratic missteps; this is another Fox News story and a phony scandal at that. Time to move on.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
What cannot be undone now is that eyewitnesses have publicly spoken out about what happened in Benghazi two years ago. What they say threatens to haunt the left’s strategy machine, which seems more concerned with spin than finding the truth.
Three contractors who were on the ground in Benghazi two years ago during the attacks on the U.S. Mission and CIA Annex said on Fox News that they were told specifically to “stand down” three times before defying orders, and heading out to try and save the personnel at the U.S. Mission, which was under fire—quite literally—less than a mile away from the Annex, where they were located at the time. They were delayed by 25 minutes, and say they could have possibly saved the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith if they’d been allowed to depart sooner. As a matter of fact, they all said that they believe the two would still be alive today had they been allowed to leave when they first made the request.
Washington Post writer Eric Wemple apparently received an advance copy of the book and said that these claims written therein, and previously reported by Jennifer Griffin in October 2012, were exaggerated for effect and “report after report has shredded this contention.” This is, of course, the line in the book that he voiced a problem with, saying it was mined for “maximum literary effect:”
“The more time the attackers had to dig in, the more likely they’d secure the Compound perimeter and organize defensive positions, at least until they achieved their objectives.”
“Maximum literary effect?” One wonders what world Wemple inhabits. Wemple points readers to the media’s favorite left-wing group, Media Matters, which also ran a hit piece on the broadcast sight unseen.
The day the documentary first aired, September 5th, the Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi went into full damage control mode. Representative Elijah Cummings (MD) stated that “these individuals were delayed while their supervisor attempted to ensure that he was not sending his team into an ambush,” the intelligence committees have already spoke to multiple witnesses on this issue, and “it is critical that the Select Committee understand what came before it to ensure we are not re-investigating the same issues all over again.” In other words, look somewhere else for your smoking gun. How many other topics are conveniently off limits for Rep. Cummings?