"Scrubbed" Benghazi Docs "Bombshell" Is Based On Evidence-Free Report By Discredited Benghazi Hoax Architect
A new report from discredited investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson baselessly suggested State Department staff removed damaging documents on Benghazi instead of turning them over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) for investigation. But Attkisson’s claims have been denied by the State Department and are based solely on speculations from a disgruntled employee after he was disciplined for his “lack of leadership” and engagement by the ARB.
In a September 15 report for The Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation, Attkisson reported that a former State Department diplomat alleges that “Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ’separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.” The Daily Signal described this as a “Benghazi Bombshell.”
Attkisson reported that the diplomat, Raymond Maxwell, a former deputy assistant secretary responsible for North Africa, says that in late 2012 he observed an “after-hours session” at which a State Department office director “close to Clinton’s top advisers” directed staff to separate out Benghazi documents “that might put anybody in the Near Eastern Affairs front office or the seventh floor in a bad light” from “boxes and stacks of documents.” Attkisson notes that “‘seventh floor’ was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.” Maxwell told Attkisson that while he was present, Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan “appeared to check in on the operation and soon left.”
Speculating that potentially missing, possibly damaging documents made it impossible for the ARB’s investigation to be thorough, Attkisson reported that Maxwell said ”he couldn’t help but wonder if the ARB—perhaps unknowingly—had received from his bureau a scrubbed set of documents with the most damaging material missing.”
Fox News’ America’s Newsroom quickly reported Attkisson’s claims, calling them a “bombshell development” and a “smoking gun of a potential cover-up”:
Fox subsequently reported that the interview indicated that Maxwell “claims Clinton allies scrubbed Benghazi documents.”
But Attkisson’s report has several flaws. It is based solely on conjecture from Maxwell, who does not claim and cannot prove that any documents were withheld from the ARB in its investigation, but rather only speculates about the fate of the documents that were reviewed.
The State Department has already denied Maxwell’s speculation in a statement to Attkisson — State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach called “the implication that documents were withheld ‘totally without merit,’” emphasizing that the “range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” Other allegations that the ARB investigation was biased have been repeatedly disproven.
Maxwell himself is a dubious source. He was placed on administrative leave after the Accountability Review Board’s investigation found a “lack of proactive leadership” and pointed specifically to Maxwell’s department, saying some officials in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs “showed a lack of ownership of Benghazi’s security issues.” A House Oversight Committee report released findings from the classified version of the ARB report, which revealed that the ARB’s board members “were troubled by the NEA DAS for Maghreb Affairs’ lack of leadership and engagement on staffing and security issues in Benghazi.”
Disgruntled over being “the only official in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which had responsibility for Libya, to lose his job,” Maxwell spoke to The Daily Beast in May 2013 in an attempt to “restore” his “honor.” Maxwell, who had filed official grievances regarding his treatment, expressed anger that Mills — the same staff member Maxwell speculated was involved in hiding potentially damaging documents — “reneged” on a deal to eventually bring Maxwell back to the NEA after his leave.
While Maxwell has previously been interviewed by the ARB, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Daily Beast, and Examiner.com, this is curiously the first time this allegation has been made public. FoxNews.com reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) had confirmed “that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year.” The claim is absent from the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi Attacks: Investigative Update Report on the Accountability Review Board, which was based in part on Maxwell’s 2013 testimony.
Attkisson, too, has been roundly discredited and is well known for her shoddy reporting, both during her time at CBS News and after leaving the network. Attkisson supported CBS’ disastrous Benghazi reporting, for which the network ultimately had to apologize and retract. And CBS executives reportedly saw her as “wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.”
Fox’s adoption of this story as a major new development is not surprising given the network’s history of relying on discredited Benghazi hoaxsters and using “bombshell" to describe everything but new developments in the story.
With the House Select Committee on Benghazi scheduled to convene for its first public hearing tomorrow, Media Matters is unveiling All Questions Answered, the definitive user’s guide to the committee that demonstrates how conservative inquiries into the 2012 attacks have been litigated over and over again.
You can read All Questions Answered at BenghaziHoax.com, a new Media Matters website featuring our latest research and curating nearly 1,000 pieces we have produced over the past two years chronicling and debunking the lies right-wing media have pushed about Benghazi.
Fox News and the conservative media have been politicizing Benghazi for more than two years, seeking to turn the tragic events of that night into a phony scandal in order to damage President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The network took credit for House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to create the select committee, a development Fox News contributors had sought for months. In the two weeks after the announcement the network devoted over 16 hours and 27 minutes — at least 227 segments — to Benghazi, a value of more than $124 million.
An excerpt from All Questions Answered details how the right-wing press turned an innocuous email from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes into a sham “smoking gun,” leading to the creation of the committee:
Conservative media outlets were up in arms, and they were soon followed by mainstream reporters. According to this new right-wing narrative, the White House had been withholding these emails from the public and congressional committees. But what did these emails actually demonstrate?
Rhodes’ job on the National Security Council was to provide communications guidance to administration officials speaking on foreign policy issues. In the wake of upheaval across the entire region, with violent protests taking place in Cairo and the attack on the United States’ diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Rhodes was tasked with preparing messaging guidance for then-national security adviser Susan Rice. In the emails unveiled by Judicial Watch, Rhodes took CIA-authored talking points — whose creation had been made public in detail a year earlier — and turned them into a messaging document.
That no new information was revealed mattered little. Simply the perception that the Obama administration was hiding something from the public created a media firestorm.
All Questions Answered goes down the list of conservative questions about Benghazi one by one, debunking the lies and myths about the attacks and the Obama administration’s response.
All Questions Answered is a supplement to Media Matters' best-selling 2013 ebook The Benghazi Hoax, which “tells in intimate detail the story of the deception created by those who fill airtime with savage punditry and pseudo-journalism and how the Republicans in charge of the investigative committees were empowered but ultimately failed to find a scandal - any kind of scandal - to tar a Democratic White House.”
h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA
A new book from five commandos who were guarding the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on the night of Sep. 11, 2012 claims that a U.S. official gave a stand down order that prevented forces from rescuing U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, who along with three other Americans, died in the attack.
But rather than buttressing long-standing Republican claims that the Obama administration bungled the operation (and later sought to cover it up for political purposes), the revelation highlights how far GOP efforts to tie the president and his closest advisers to the terrorist attack in Benghazi have fallen.
In the book, titled “13 Hours,” five commandos who were guarding the CIA Annex in Benghazi, claim that “they protested repeatedly as the station chief ordered them to wait in their vehicles, fully armed, for 20 minutes while the attack on the diplomatic mission was unfolding less than a mile away,” the New York Times, which received an advance copy of the book, reports. The commandos say “they left the base in defiance of the chief’s continuing order to ‘stand down.’”
The story undermines the conclusions of various government reports — from both the administration and Congress, which found that no such stand down order was given — and even if true, lacks the explosive punch Republicans have promised. The contractors say that the CIA station chief on his own authority and was not operating under orders from anyone in Washington D.C. “He hoped to enlist local Libyan militiamen, and the commandos speculate that he hoped the Libyans could carry out the rescue alone to avoid exposing the C.I.A. base,” the paper claims.
In the days and years following the 2012 attack, however, Republicans and conservative commentators had promised more. They claimed to have uncovered evidence attributing the “stand down” order to President Obama or a rotating cast of advisers:
BILL KRISTOL: “It would have been a presidential decision.” [10/26/2012]
REP. DARREL ISSA: “I have my suspicions, which is Secretary Clinton told Leon [Panetta] to stand down.” [2/17/2014]
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ: “[M]ilitary personnel were ready willing and able, and within proximity, but the Pentagon told them they had no authority and to stand down.” [5/7/2013]
RUSH LIMBAUGH: “Doug Ross maintains here that Valerie Jarrett gave the orders to stand down in Benghazi. Valerie Jarrett, who constitutionally is not in the chain of command and cannot do that. And that’s why this, if true, is a bombshell.” [8/6/2013]
Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee concluded that U.S. military would have been unable to respond in time to the attacks and a declassified version of the House Intelligence Committee analysis found “no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration.” Both committees are currently Republican-led.
As Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey explained to the Senate in February of 2013, “This is the middle of the night now, these are not aircraft on strip alert.” Then-secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified that “unfortunately, there was no specific intelligence or indications of an imminent attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. And frankly, without an adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of both the House Intelligence Committee and the Benghazi panel, dismissed the new allegations. Members of both the House and Senate “found that our personnel acted heroically and appropriately in trying to secure local assistance and avoid ambush,” Schiff said in a statement. “Nor did we find any evidence that a different course of action would have saved – rather than jeopardized – more lives. To second guess these decisions made in the fog of battle is both unfair to the brave personnel involved and highly irresponsible.”
But that’s not stopping Fox News and other conservative outlets from using the latest revelations to prop up the “stand down” conspiracy. The network is describing the stories in the new book “as a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an ‘old story.’” It will host a special featuring interviews with the security contractors interviewed for the book and promises to deliver a “first-hand account of what really happened in Benghazi.” But that truth keeps changing in ways that have Republicans second-guessing the strategy that many thought would lead them to a political victory over the White House.
The House Intelligence Committee just concluded a nearly two-year investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and finds no wrongdoing by the Obama Administration — destroying all claims by Tea Party and conservative activists.
In a stunning rebuke to its base, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify on Thursday the results of its nearly two-year, $3.3 million taxpayer-paid investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, finding no intentional wrongdoing by President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or by the Obama administration.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat, “said the report ‘confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.’”
Among the Intelligence Committee’s findings, according to Thompson:
— Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”
— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”
— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”
— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the attacks.
The Tea Party, Republicans, and conservatives have spent nearly two years claiming the Obama administration committed treason, were at the center of a massive cover-up, and have propagated many other falsehoods and conspiracy theories that have been officially rebuked by this report and several other official government investigations, most led, ironically, by Republicans.
Meanwhile, Republicans will start yet another series of hearings, led by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, trying g once again to prove that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the deaths of four Americans.
For a look at Tea Party memes of Benghazi, including Obama hang nooses, see our compilation on Storify.
Sean Hannity is lashing out at President Bill Clinton for not moving forward with a 1998 missile strike aimed at Osama Bin Laden that the military thought was likely to fail. But that same year, Hannity actually attacked Clinton for approving a different mission to kill bin Laden, claiming he was trying to distract from Monica Lewinsky.
SkyNews Australia recently aired audio of President Clinton stating in a speech shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks that he “nearly got” bin Laden with a proposed December 1998 cruise missile strike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but decided not to approve the attack because it would have killed hundreds of innocent Afghans.
Clinton’s comments were no revelation — the 9-11 Commission Report detailed how intelligence and military leaders recommended against the strike, citing significant flaws that included up to 300 civilian casualties, the possible destruction of a nearby mosque, and low likelihood of killing bin Laden.
But on the July 31 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity responded to the audio by lashing out at Clinton, saying that the former president “didn’t do it and look what happened to this country as a result just one day later. America changed forever on 9/11/2001. What Bill Clinton didn’t seem to understand on September 10, 2001, he had a chance to prevent that day of infamy from ever happening.”
Hannity’s comments stand in stark contrast to his reaction in August 1998, when the Clinton administration responded to al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by launching cruise missiles at the terrorist group’s camps in Afghanistan, “probably” missing Bin Laden himself “by a few hours.” Hannity responded at the time by criticizing Clinton, suggesting that the attack may have been an effort to distract the American people from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hannity repeatedly referenced “Wag The Dog,” a 1997 film in which presidential advisers fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal.
On his August 20, 1998 program — just hours after the strikes — Hannity repeatedly asked his guests if they “see a ‘Wag the Dog’ scenario here.” He went on to explain, “I do a radio show here in New York, and this story broke about 2:00, and I was on the air at 3:00, and every line was jammed and every person was saying the same thing, that in their minds, they’re thinking the scenario is ‘Wag the Dog,’ divert attention away from the crisis that is going on in Washington.”
Hannity went on to explicitly state that the timing of the attacks was due to “political motivation” (via Nexis):
HANNITY: Congressman, FOX News has learned that the president was presented with the military option going back to August the 12th. The president did not take that option at that time. As a matter of fact, it been done for political motivation.
And I only raise the question because, in part, look at what the president put the nation through for seven and a half months. Look at the president that let his wife and all his supporters lie for him. Look at a president who looked the American people in the eye — and who could imagine a scenario like this — wagging their finger at them and said, “I want you to listen to me. I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”
There is no moral authority any longer, Mr. Congressman.
According to the 9-11 Commission, the eight-day delay between when Clinton was first briefed on the Pentagon plans for strikes on August 12 and their execution was due to "considerable debate" over which targets would be hit and the need to inform congressional and international leaders. Ironically, the report also concluded that “the ‘wag the dog’ slur” was one of several factors that “likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against” bin Laden.
This would not be the last time that Hannity would criticize efforts to stop bin Laden. He was one of many conservatives who criticized then-Sen. Barack Obama by mischaracterizing Obama’s campaign trail statement that he would act unilaterally if he received “actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets.” As president, with the strong support of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama approved just such a mission, which resulted in bin Laden’s death.
h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA
Right-wing media selectively edited comments made by Hillary Clinton to falsely accuse her of endorsing Hamas’ extremist tactics. But Clinton made clear that Israel has a right to defend itself and credited its measures to decrease civilian casualties.
In an interview with Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton renewed her support for a cease-fire to end the current Israeli/Hamas conflict.
Right-wing media outlets co-opted Clinton’s interview to dishonestly claim that Clinton was justifying Hamas’ tactics and endorsing the extremist group.
On July 29, the Washington Free Beacon distorted Clinton’s comments, portraying them as justification of Hamas’ tactics in an article headlined “Hillary: Hamas Uses Human Shields Because ‘Gaza is Pretty Small.’”
On Fox News’ The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros accused Clinton of “trying to make an excuse for Hamas” and defending Hamas “for hiding rockets in places like schools.”
But the full context of the interview shows that Clinton credited Israel’s attempts to prevent civilian casualties by sending warnings before airstrikes and said that “obviously Israel has a right to self-defense.” Clinton noted that “any kind of conflict” has civilian casualties, but Gaza’s small size and Hamas’ tactics make them more acute (emphasis added):
CLINTON: I’m not a military planner, but Hamas puts its missiles — its rockets in civilian areas. Part of it is that Gaza’s pretty small and it’s very densely populated. They put their command and control of Hamas military leaders in those civilian areas. Israel, I know, has sent warnings and tried to get people to move, but in any kind of conflict there are going to be civilian casualties, and we need to try to get to a cease-fire as soon as possible.
Former Republican Congressman Todd Akin appeared on MSNBC on Thursday to hawk his new book and defend the now-infamous comments that doomed his 2012 Senate campaign. During an interview in August of 2012, Akin told a local TV station that pregnancy that results from rape is “really rare,” adding, “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
In the bizarre 7-minute exchange with host Chuck Todd, Akin invented an entirely new rationale for those comments, suggested that President Bill Clinton is guilty of rape, and clung to the discredited science that underpinned his assertions. Watch it:
“Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term and its abbreviation for legitimate case of rape,” he began, insisting that he used the term “because of the fact that it’s an abbreviation” for “legitimate case of rape.”
“The thing that strikes me as odd is this is something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes,” he explained, “because it doesn’t make any sense to say a conservative is saying that rape is legitimate.”
Akin then pivoted to “countless other examples of Bill Clinton being involved in assault on women or indecent behavior” and attacked Hillary Clinton for representing a suspect accused of rape as a defense attorney. But confronted by Todd about the scientific validity of his claims — there is no scientific evidence that adrenaline or stressful situations impact ovulation — Akin insisted that the science was still on his side. “There have been six recent studies and we can provide you with a footnote for those that say that stress has an effect on pregnancy,” he said. Asked if there should be any instance where abortions should be legal, Akin said, “I think that what doctors should do is to try to save life” and suggested that he would support abortion in cases where the child has no chance to live and giving birth would kill the mother.
In his book, “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom,” Akin writes that he regrets apologizing for the 2012 remarks in a TV ad. While on book tour, Aiken has also compared himself sympathetically to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), who spearheaded an infamous Communist witch hunt in the 1950s.
Former Rep. Todd Akin keeps insisting that he was unfairly persecuted for his infamous “legitimate rape” remarks, which helped to cost him the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Akin apologized for the remarks when they became a liability to his campaign, but recently published a book rescinding his apology.
Now, in a column today for WorldNetDaily, the far-right website publishing his new book, Akin claims that Politico reporters Anna Palmer and Tarini Parti “censored” his book by leaving out of their review his allegation that Bill Clinton is “a credibly accused rapist.”
Actually, the Politico story on Akin’s new book clearly mentions that Akin accused Clinton of rape, and Politico did not violate any of Akin’s rights by not publishing every single word he wrote in his book.Do you want to know how the media work? Or, more accurately, don’t work?
When asked to comment about my instantly infamous “legitimate rape” comment in my new book “Firing Back,” I describe what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should have said: “A credibly accused rapist is giving the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in two weeks, and you want me to denounce a decent, God-fearing man for his inelegant comments about rape? No, not happening, and if the truth hurts, put some ice on it.”
Although Politico reporters Anna Palmer and Tarini Parti had a copy of my book to work from for their July 10 article, “Todd Akin returns to national stage,” they censored the text to read, “[Bill Clinton] is giving the keynote speech at the Democratic convention in two weeks. …”
In removing the phrase “a credibly accused rapist,” they not only stripped the logic from the quote – what, the reader must wonder, does the “ice” have to do with anything? – but they also denied legitimacy to at least one solid rape accusation against Clinton.
As I explain in the book, rape is a horrible crime. I have zero sympathy for those who commit it. For this reason, had I been in Congress in 1998, I would have voted with my colleagues to impeach President Bill Clinton.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortune who funded conservative projects to discredit President Clinton, has died at age 82, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Scaife, who was the owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, died early Friday at his home.
His death comes less than two months after he announced in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he had an untreatable form of cancer.
"“Some who dislike me may rejoice at this news," Scaife wrote in May 18 column for the paper.
"Naturally, I can’t share their enthusiasm.”
Since the Reagan presidency, Scaife spread his estimated $1.4 billion fortune around to groups pushing conservative ideals.
He was closely tied to the investigation into President Clinton’s financial life and private life that helped lead to his impeachment in 1998.
Yet, in a dramatic turnaround, his paper endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008.
For the past 50 years, he poured money back into Pittsburgh, including funding the art museum at The Carnegie.
May he rot in Hell!!
Country music singer Larry Gatlin ranted about his “half-breed Cherokee Indian” grandmother and the Washington “Redskins” football team on Sunday in an attempt to show that that liberals were not proud Americans.
A Pew poll released last week found that 60 percent of liberals did not “often feel proud to be American.”
Without pointing out that the question had included the word “often,” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt invited Gatlin explain why liberals “are not proud to be an American.”
According to Gatlin, “limousine Lear jet liberals” formed a coalition with “low-information voters” to elect a “doofus” named Barack Obama.
“He told us that he hated America,” the country music star insisted. “In defense of low-information voters, I knew one. Little half-breed Cherokee Indian — yes, that’s Cherokee Indian for you Florida State Seminoles and Washington Redskins.”
At that point, Gatlin paused to demonstrate Florida State’s tomahawk chop “war chant.”
“She was very wise, though,” he said. “She said if a child acts badly, if a child is naughty, slap the grandmother. Because, see, that means the grandmother didn’t teach mother, and the mother didn’t teach the child. By the way, that was my grandmother.”
“Here’s what we have, we have old hippies from the ’60s, Bill and Hillary [Clinton], ruling our country, not governing our country,” Gatlin continued, arguing that liberals were upset when the country took military action because “they don’t believe there is a right or wrong.”
“They blame America, they blame Bush, they wrap their robes of self-righteousness around them, get in their Lear jets, and take off, and they’re still mad at me,” he quipped. “Love it or get out of my face!”
“The liberals, they’ll sing ‘Kumbaya’ but they won’t stand up and sing the Marine Corps Hymn!” Gatlin exclaimed, adding that President Obama did not know how to pronounce “Marine Corps.”
“Who elected this doofus anyway?” he asked. “The liberals and the low-information voters.”
From the 06.29.2014 edition of FNC’s Fox and Friends Sunday:
Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt is furious about Hillary Clinton’s recent remark that the gun lobby is a “minority of people” who “hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”
Pratt told Tea Party News Network host Tim Constantine on Tuesday that Clinton’s remark means she thinks that all gun owners are terrorists and is therefore ignoring Islamic terrorism, which he claimed is being taught in “most of the mosques in our country.”
“That means that they’re not willing to look at Islam and realize that Islam teaches killing other people,” he said. “Pure Islam from the Koran says that anybody who doesn’t agree exactly with Islam is to be killed, or enslaved at best. So, there’s your real terrorist. And it’s in most of the mosques in our country. You want to find the real terrorists, Mrs. Clinton, check out mosques.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
I’ve just lost any respect I had left for Terry Bradshaw.
Fox News on Wednesday continued its multi-year obsession with the terrorist attack in Benghazi by inviting NFL football analyst and former quarterback Terry Bradshaw to weigh in. Out Numbered host Andrea Tantaros began the segment by highlighting a…
Fox News analyst Pete Hegseth suggested on Tuesday that the arrest of a suspect in connection with 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi may have been a conspiracy to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just hours before she was scheduled to talk to the conservative network.
After Fox News broke the news on Tuesday that U.S. forces had detained Ansar al-Sharia commander Ahmed Abu Khattala, Hegseth said that he was pleased, but “we all have questions about the timing.”
"You have the former secretary of state, who is in the middle of a really high-profile book tour, and I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points," Fox News guest host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery noted.
"Something clearly changed in the calculus of the United States, and I think a lot of it does have to do with the State Department," Hegseth agreed. "I think this thing needs to be tied in a bow for certain individuals to have a clean break from an incident that has become, and will continue to be a scandal — an anchor around a certain individual’s neck, who may want to run for president."
"She’s having an interview today on Fox News," co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle pointed out.
To listen to Mitt Romney, George W. Bush never existed or led the country into two horrible and entirely avoidable wars with his pal Dick Cheney. Next he’ll claim the economic crisis was Obama’s fault too.
On Meet the Press this morning, failed candidate Romney had plenty of blame to spread on President Obama and Hillary Clinton about the situation in Iraq. Evidently his memory has gotten more flawed since he failed to win the Presidency in 2012.
First, the history lesson. The status of forces agreement failed candidate Romney claims is an Obama/Clinton failure was actually a George W. Bush failure. Bush negotiated and signed the status of forces agreement. Obama was hoping to get a framework in place after that agreement to allow a small residual force, but the Iraqis refused. It’s their country. What was Obama supposed to do? Recommit to invading and knocking out the government the United States installed?
When it comes to underestimating the threat, no one did that better than failed candidate Mitt Romney. Here’s a guy who completely missed the fact that he was going to lose his bid for the White House in 2012. It came as a complete shock to him. Why anyone thinks he’s credible on matters of strategic importance is beyond me.
Mitt Romney is a political failure and a joke. The idea that he merits any consideration in a serious discussion of a serious problem is laughable. If this is the best Republicans can put up to display their political and national security acumen to the nation, they’re all failures.
The Media Research Center (MRC) produced a video attacking Hillary Clinton for evolving on marriage equality, but that organization has no credibility on the issue, having promoted anti-LGBT messages for over two decades.
MRC released a video hosted by Dan Joseph in which he asked people on the campus of George Mason University to identify quotes out of context from someone opposed to marriage equality. When most of the people identified the unnamed speaker as a conservative or Republican, Joseph revealed that the quotes came from Hillary Clinton. The video portrayed Clinton’s evolution on the issue - she announced support for marriage equality in a 2013 video produced by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group - as politically cynical.
The video was recently revived after a discussion of Clinton’s position came up during the promotional tour for her book, Hard Choices.
But MRC has no room to criticize Clinton. The conservative group, which was founded in 1987, has been staunchly opposed to LGBT rights for over two decades, and has taken multiple opportunities to attack any outlet that portray LGBT people as anything other than freaks and outcasts.
MRC figures have complained about Hollywood’s “agenda” to “advance the cause of homosexuality,” attacked comic books with gay characters, and bemoaned the failure of television networks to tell their viewers “that homosexuality is morally wrong.”
Recent headlines on Newsbusters, the MRC blog devoted to “combating liberal media bias,” include: ”WashPost Promotes Gay Marriage in Virginia With ‘Aggressively Normal’ Lesbian Tableau; Opponents Ignored”; ”Media Go Ga-Ga for Gay Christians”; and “Twice in 24 Hours, ABC Touts Pro-Gay Cracker Ad; Network Assailed Mozilla Exec.”
MRC has done this for decades, without bringing its position into the modern era, while Clinton has noted she “constantly reevaluated” where she stood on the issue, eventually arriving at her current pro-equality position.
Here are some of the lowlights from MRC’s decades-long drumbeat against LGBT equality:
MRC’s Tim Graham: Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony At Grammys Was “Musical Agitprop To Mock … Traditional Values.” MRC’s Tim Graham said that a ceremony during the 2014 Grammys where 34 same-sex and opposite sex couples were married was “a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others.”
They can say this is not a stunt, but that’s exactly what it is, a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others. Entertainers never want to have a debate, just a series of arrogant “statements” with no opportunity for a conversation as they flush the Bible on national TV. [Media Research Center, 1/26/14]
Gainor Complained: “We Live In A PC Era” Where Anti-LGBT Discrimination Is Shunned. During the same appearance on the Janet Mefferd Show, Gainor complained that “we live in a PC era where people are bombarded 24/7 with media preaching what the left defines as tolerance, which is intolerance.” He added, “If you think that I should have some sort of special right that’s never existed in our country’s history, but we’re gonna create it out of whole cloth, then you’re tolerant. If you think that we’re should continue to do what we’ve done for hundreds of years. Oh, you’re intolerant. You’re a bigot. You’re an ‘ist’ of some sort.” [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show, 11/6/13]
MRC’s Dan Gainor Warned Of Satanic Gay Orgies In Church Halls. Appearing on the Janet Mefferd Show, MRC’s Dan Gainor warned that churches could be forced to rent out church halls to gay groups, who “could have a satantic orgy in your church hall.” He also worried that, “if you’re a photographer, and you’re a Christian, you could be forced to photograph it, or you will go to jail or be fined.” [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show, 11/6/13]
Bozell: Gay Characters On Children’s Television Are “Propaganda.” In his October 25, 2013 column, Bozell protested that the existence of gay characters on channels like “Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel” was “propaganda” and said that LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s push for more inclusive television was proof “they want children indoctrinated as well”:
They want children indoctrinated as well. GLAAD is also not shy when it comes to Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel. Apparently, children also desperately need the propaganda of gay characters in 42 percent of programming hours. They’re extremely happy with the liberalism of “ABC Family” and have relayed that Disney Channel executives promised GLAAD they will “introduce LGBT characters in an episode of its original series ‘Good Luck Charlie’ set to air in 2014, a first for the network.” The first of many, they expect. [Townhall.com,10/25/13]
MRC’s Graham Asked If Bullying Claims By Gay Teen Were “Overwrought.” In 2011, MRC’s Tim Graham complained that the media was being too sympathetic to a 14-year-old whose YouTube video about bullying had gone viral. After the child appeared on Good Morning America, Graham wrote, “No one wondered if perhaps Mowry’s accusation of constant daily bullying since first grade was overwrought. But the networks can’t even show any skepticism or neutrality or nuance. ” [Media Research Center, 12/15/11, via Equality Matters]
MRC Report Attacked CNN For “Supporting Homosexual Causes.” A 2011 report released by MRC criticized CNN for failing to “represent both sides” in the debate over same sex marriage and accused the network of showing “clear advocacy for homosexual causes” in its coverage. Among their examples, MRC cited CNN reporting on Atlanta being named the “Nation’s Gayest City” and challenging the effectiveness of “ex-gay” therapy. [Media Research Center, 7/28/11, via Equality Matters]
Bozell: “Why Can’t A Single Primetime Show Say - With No Strings Attached - That Homosexuality Is Morally Wrong?” In a 1992 article in The Hollywood Reporter, Bozell was quoted saying Hollywood demonstrates “liberal bias” by failing to portray gay people as “morally wrong.” He asked, “Why can’t a single primetime show say — with no strings attached — that homosexuality is morally wrong?” [Media Matters, 6/23/10]
Bozell: “The Only Characters On [Glee] Disapproving Of Homosexuality Are Vicious School Bullies.” In a 2010 column, Bozell attacked the Fox TV drama Glee. He argued that “The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies,” and that “Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle.”
The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies. In the May 25 episode, two brutish football players threatened to pummel the openly gay and riotously effeminate character Kurt for dressing up like a girl. Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle. [Townhall.com, 6/4/10]
Bozell: Comic Books With Gay Characters Are “A Red Light Neighborhood” With “Sexually Perverted Superheroes.” In a 2006 column, Bozell complained about gay characters in comic books and asked, “Who would have predicted, ten years ago, that the comics would become a red-light neighborhood where sexually perverted superheroes would be packaged to elicit from children fascination and sympathy?” [Media Research Center, 6/9/06]
MRC’s Brent Bozell: Hollywood Has An “Agenda” To “Advance The Cause Of Homosexuality As Normal Behavior.” In a 1999 New York Daily News article about a character on the show Dawson’s Creek coming out, MRC founder Brent Bozell is quoted lamenting the ”agenda in Hollywood to advance the cause of homosexuality as normal behavior by making those who think otherwise the deviants. A character can put forward an argument, but you can be sure it’s a character who moonlights as a troglodyte.” [New York Daily News, 2/24/99]
Bozell: “If You Are Trying To Teach [Children] That The Homosexual Lifestyle Is Decadent And Immoral, Understand That Television Is Telling Them Just The Opposite.” In a 1996 column Bozell wrote that “during its 1995-‘96 season, prime time television tried as never before to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle” and “If you are trying to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is decadent and immoral, understand that television is telling them just the opposite.” [Media Research Center, 9/25/96]
MRC On Philadelphia: “Anybody Who Was Morally Opposed To The Gay Lifestyle Was Presented As A Total Bigot.” In 1996, MRC’s Sandy Crawford criticized Philadelphia, the Oscar-winning film about a gay man who sued a law firm for discriminating against him for having AIDS: ”Philadelphia’ was a good film — beautifully acted and very compelling. But anybody who was morally opposed to the gay lifestyle was presented as a total bigot. You either were 100 percent for Tom Hanks or you were a villain.” [Kansas City Star, 3/96, via Media Matters]