Brian and Garrett Fahy

After Wednesday’s remarkable congressional testimony by State Department officials with inside knowledge of the Benghazi attack, it is settled that the explanations for the attack and the American non-response advanced by the Administration and its defenders are false.

In one day, three officials, in minute-by-minute accounts of the terrorist attack, laid waste to the “spontaneous video demonstration” narrative expressed by the UN Ambassador, the Secretary of State, and even the president in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant Secretary of State for counterterrorism, Greg Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, and Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya, testified and unrolled the Gordian knot of misinformation spun by the Administration since 9/11/12.

Thanks to their testimony, we know the following to be true:

  • On September 11, 2012, terrorists affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia, not movie demonstrators, attacked the consulate in Benghazi with small arms, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and mortars. Hardly the stuff of a spontaneous protest.
  • On September 11, 2012, special operations assets in Tripoli under the command of Lt. Colonel Gibson – assets that were requested by State Department officials, assets that could have stopped the second wave of the attack, the early morning mortar attack at 5:15 a.m. local time – were told to stand down by the Special Operations Command Africa headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. As Lt. Col. Gibson told Mr. Hicks, “I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.”
  • On September 11, 2012, the Libyan government knew it was a terrorist attack by radical Islamists.
  • On September 12, 2012, the State Department acting assistant secretary for near eastern affairs, Beth Jones, a confidante of Hillary Clinton, knew the attack was carried out by terrorists tied to Asnar al-Sharia, and so informed the Libyan ambassador to Washington.
  • On September 16, 2012, the new president of Libya, Mohammed al-Magariaf, declared that his government had no doubt the attack was predetermined. Moments later, United Nations ambassador Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows and baldly lied to the nation about the attack, relying on talking points scrubbed of the most crucial, accurate details.

Brian and Garrett Fahy

Brian and Garrett Fahy are attorneys from Los Angeles who previously worked in the White House and Senate Republican Conference, respectively. They write on national legal and political affairs. They can be reached at