Let’s try one more time, there was no order to stand down issued to troops wanting to aid those killed in Benghazi in September of 2012. Both the House Republicans and Fox News who have repeatedly made the claim are well aware that it is not true. The testimony of CIA officials have long made it clear that every effort was made to assist those who were under attack that night.
Those who have maintained that nothing was done and that a stand down order was issued have done so relying on the claims made by low-level security contractors who were told to wait until heavier weaponry and more local assistance could be brought in. Those decisions were made by the local security chief who has said that going in sooner than they did would have resulted in more lives being lost and saved no one.
According to Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) who heads the House Intelligence Subcommittee which conducted interviews with CIA officials, the myth of the stand down orders arose from a decision by the CIA to “first gather intelligence and round-up Libyan militia allies armed with heavy weapons” before rushing into a situation which they were not prepared to handle.
The claim that no reinforcements were ever dispatched to Benghazi at any time is also completely false. After the failed attempt to rescue Ambassador Stevens and the others, militants had followed the small force sent for that attempt back to the CIA annex. Before that second attack on the annex reinforcements had arrived from Tripoli and the second attack was repelled.
According to a report by the AP, “None of those who testified would say they believed the ambassador or the others could have been saved had they arrived any faster.”
CIA officials said that there was confusion on the ground at the time of the attacks and that the officers in Benghazi had felt it best to wait for more support but that when it became, “clear that this additional support could not be rapidly obtained,” they deployed a team to the consulate to attempt a rescue. When they were unable to secure the location or locate the Ambassador they retreated to the relative safety of the CIA annex.
Most of this information has been available almost from the start but it has either been ignored or distorted by those on the right who want to find something to blame the administration for. At times Fox News programs and blogs have contradicted each other.
On October 26, 2012 Lou Dobbs reported that CIA operatives had been denied permission to go to the aid of the consulate and were ordered to stand down, while displaying this graphic:
On the same day Fox News.com published an article which quoted CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood as saying, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.”
It has been more than a year and time after time testimony has shown that there was no stand down order, there was no wrong doing on the part of anyone involved and no one was abandoned and left to die in Benghazi. It is time to lay this non scandal to rest and move on.
h/t: Freak Out Nation