Friday News Dump: GOP House Report Says RoJo's Benghazi Conspiracy Theories are Nonsense | WisCommunity

Friday News Dump: GOP House Report Says RoJo's Benghazi Conspiracy Theories are Nonsense

In January of 2013, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson became a Tea Party hero when he repeatedly interrupted then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Johnson's central theme then, as now, was that in order to help President Obama's re-election bid, Clinton was involved in a massive cover-up of the actual events before and after the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.

 In a nutshell, Johnson's conspiracy theory goes like this: The Obama administration was warned at the highest levels that a terrorist attack on the Benghazi embassy was imminent, but because that didn't play well with the Obama campaign narrative that he had successfully choked out the threat of extremist Islamic terrorism, the administration turned a blind eye to cries from the embassy for added security.  Then, when terrorists attacked the embassy, instead of telling the American people the truth in the days immediately following the attack, the administration tried to conceal the terrorist attack by saying that it was the result of a protest over a derogatory Islamic video that boiled over into a riot. 

 Working with that theory in mind, when Johnson had the opportunity to question Clinton during her Foreign Relations Committee testimony, he fixated on why Clinton didn't immediately know all the facts about Benghazi and why the Obama administration's Susan Rice went on the Sundays news shows following the attack and said that they were because of a protest that boiled over into a riot.  In a heated exchange, Clinton, famously said, "What difference does it make?"  And then went on to argue that the truth of what happened was soon realized and made public and that the Obama Administration's initial public response, in the the fog of war, was neither here nor there. 

 Since this famous exchange, Johnson has gone to say that Clinton's handling of the Benghazi attack "" her for running for President and he has become somewhat of the point person for any and all Benghazi conspiracy theories.  Johnson even started a called "Victims of Government" with the catch phrase, "What difference does it make?  For [insert person's name]...everything"

 So, it’s been with baited breath that we've all been waiting to hear what the House's Republican-controlled Intelligence Committee would say after their multi-year investigation of the Benghazi attack.  In their , released in a Friday night news dump, they thoroughly debunked all of Johnson's wild-eyed conspiracy theories, including:

  • "The committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks.  Their actions saved lives. Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support."  
  • "The committee finds there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks" and that the "intelligence community did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks."
  • "The committee finds that the intelligence was and remains conflicting about the identities, affiliations and motivations of the attackers."

 And, most importantly, the commitee said there is no evidence of the "cover-up" element of Johnson's conspiracy theory:

  • "The committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress"
  • "The committee found intelligence to support the CIA's initial assessment that the attacks had evolved out of a protest in Benghazi;" 
  • "The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed captioned television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Susan Rice spoke)"

What difference do facts make in debunking Johnson's conspiracy theory?  Everything -- especially when they're coming from reasonable members of Johnson's own party.



November 23, 2014 - 11:39am