"Stand Down" and Other Benghazi Myths

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 20 2012 9:07 AM

"Stand Down" and Other Benghazi Myths

My new piece reads into the final unclassified State Department report on Benghazi, which debunks the scariest theories and rumors about how the attack went down. Example: Remember the theory that the administration watched the attacks occur and sent no back-up? Actually, back-up was sought in Tripoli right away, and arrived before the attacks that killed the SEALs.

I'm getting some interesting criticism of this piece, some of which says I underplay the "it was a response to a video!" talk that the administration led with. I just think that story was always overplayed. There were several contemporaneous embassy protests, and the administration was responding to all of them. The real Benghazi failure was the decision not to beef up security beforehand, for which some State officials have taken the fall. And while security funding is a focus of today's Benghazi hearing, we have no idea whether they'll be political momentum for it once the budget cutters re-emerge.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


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