Fox News is in hard-core BENGHAZI! mode again, but the interesting part of this round of stupid is that a new book shatters their 2-year old narrative.
In Fox News land, Hillary Clinton, or possibly the White House, depending on what day it is, issued a stand down order. What really happened, according to three of the co-authors of 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, is that the CIA station chief requested a pause while he tried to enlist Libyan local security teams to assist in the embassy defense.
In order to successfully counterspin the book, Fox is hosting a one-hour special tonight to build their own propaganda before the truth emerges about how much they've lied to their audience.
Speaking to Bret Baier on Thursday, the three co-authors told a story that contradicts everything Fox has insinuated over the last two years.
Word of the attack on the diplomatic compound reached the CIA annex just after 9:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the security team at the annex was geared up for battle, and ready to move to the compound, a mile away.
“Five minutes, we're ready,” said Paronto, a former Army Ranger. “It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we're ready to go.”
But the team was held back. According to the security operators, they were delayed from responding to the attack by the top CIA officer in Benghazi, whom they refer to only as “Bob.”
That's the CIA station chief. The one they've been using to bolster their claim that Hillary gave the stand down order. The one who whined about being left out of the CIA drafting of their talking points which Susan Rice then used to appear on the Sunday shows that weekend.
That station chief acted on his own, claiming that he wanted to get local Libyans to back up the security team. So yes, there was a stand down order issued, but it came from inside the CIA stationed inside Libya.
Fox News is desperately trying to move the goalposts before people wake up and figure out what they're doing. They'll use the catchphrase "stand down" to ring a familiar bell while ignoring the fact that the order came from the CIA officer in charge of the Benghazi mission security.
This book actually proves what clear thinkers have said all along: There was no failure on the part of Hillary Clinton or President Obama. There was no stand down order from Washington. There was no secret plot to allow our ambassador to be killed and there was no malfeasance on anyone's part except people in the CIA who have consistently leaked information to spin responsibility away from themselves to willing consumers of Fox News.
Media Matters points out that Fox News' own expert kills the conspiracy before it even gets off the ground:
In fact, during a panel discussing Baier's interview later on the program, conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Lane explained that the delay was probably to ensure the safety of the remaining CIA security personnel and was, in fact, not controversial at all:
LANE: The person I want to hear from is Bob, the CIA guy who told them to wait. Because when we hear from Bob we'll hear why he told them to wait. What we heard from your interview was they assumed he was waiting for more support from the local militia. Which, by the way, might not be a bad reason to wait. In other words, you want to go - you don't want to rush in with just three guys into what was obviously a very, very dangerous situation. You'd want to wait to see if you could round up some more support. In other words, there's a difference between waiting and waiting for no good reason and, even worse, waiting because you were told 'we don't care what happens to the Ambassador.' I want to hear from Bob, I want to hear the CIA make him available and tell us exactly what was going on. What I'm not hearing in this is that anybody in Washington said, 'we don't care what happens to the Ambassador, write it off, stay away.'
But that's not going to stop Fox from running with a Friday night 'special' to pretend like there's a big conspiracy out there. It might be funny if the whole thing wasn't such a tragedy.
If you're interested in reading more about the book, try this New York Times article, which is far more objective.