The former Deputy Director of the CIA asserts in an upcoming book that prominent Republicans repeatedly lied, twisted, and distorted the CIA’s analysis of the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens in 2012. Michael J. Morell, who retired from the Agency’s number-two post in 2013, has used his forthcoming book The Great War of Our Time to slam Republicans for lying about the course of events in Libya and disseminating an intentionally distorted version of reality for political purposes.
Many Republicans’ continued delusional obsession with the Benghazi attack nearly three years after it occurred has underscored their increasingly desperate efforts to criticize President Obama and other Democrats by any means necessary. And, since reality indicates the resounding successes of Obama’s policies, their grasping at straws has led them to invent criticisms out of thin air with no regard for the facts.
Numerous Republican commentators have repeatedly asserted that as the attack was underway American troops in the city received an order to “stand-down” rather than assist their colleagues and fight off the attackers. The fact that an implicit suggestion of President Obama’s secretly working to support terrorists has been even entertained by mainstream Republicans illustrates the lunacy of the entire movement. While a refutation of such an outlandish charge is hardly needed, Morell writes simply that “the story that US soldiers were ordered to stand down and not come to the aid of their comrades” is blatantly “false.”
Another Republican theory about the Benghazi attack is that it had been meticulously planned for months prior to September 11th. These Republicans point to this story they’ve made up as proof of the failure of Obama to protect American citizens and fight terrorism. And yet, Morell, who unlike all the talking-heads on FOX is actually in a position to understand the situation, expounds in his book the mainstream and reality-based view that the attack “took place with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” Moreover, he asserts that the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm” but rather were “intent on looting and conducting some vandalism” as a wave of spontaneous anti-American protests broke out across the Muslim world following the release of a video many Muslims considered offensive.
Perhaps the most absurd of the Republicans’ fantasies about Benghazi is that the Obama Administration attempted to cover up the truth about the attack to protect the reputation of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This charge, like the others, demonstrates blatant and opportunistic political maneuvering on the part of the Republicans in spite of logic and reason.
Morell, along with all others with actual knowledge of the CIA’s response, stridently refutes this allegation. He writes that there is “no evidence” to suggest “that there was a conspiracy between the CIA and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the President and Secretary Clinton.”
While all sane and informed sources and individuals have known of these truths about the Benghazi attacks for years, their confirmation by the CIA’s number-two man at the time of the attacks throws up yet another wall of facts in the face of the Republican liars, one that they will undoubtedly find a way to jump over as they continue their baseless political witch hunt. Beyond simply delineating the fallacies of the Republican narrative, Morell criticizes them for politicizing the attack and the death of Ambassador Stevens, calling for an end to the use and misuse of CIA information “for political purposes.”
While Republicans charge that President Obama intentionally let America down in Benghazi, the true disgraces to America are those who knowingly peddle lies and misinformation about the death of innocent American citizens in pursuit of their own selfish political aims.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.