Guy Benson

Carol had it right last week: Benghazi is back -- much to the chagrin of the White House, I'm sure.  To set the table for Wednesday's hearings, here's what we've learned over the last few days:

(1) Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was directly involved in the 9/11/12 raid that killed four Americans, including our Ambassador to Libya.  Leaders in Washington knew the Benghazi massacre was a terrorist operation "almost immediately," and officials on the ground suspected as much  "from the get-go."  The administration misleadingly denied and downplayed the terrorist connection for weeks.

(2) A special ops officer with detailed knowledge of the US response to the attacks says Washington could have ordered a rescue/intervention mission to save American lives, but did not, for reasons that remain unclear.

(3) Lawyers for potential whistle-blowers within the government say their clients have been intimidated into silence by the administration.  These attorneys also allege that the government has been uncooperative in granting them security clearances, which they say are necessary to facilitate adequate legal representation.

(4) Nearly eight months after the fact, and as political scrutiny is again ratcheting up, the FBI has finally released photos of several Benghazi suspects.  No arrests have been made in connection to the deadly terrorist attack so far.

(5) Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's signature appeared on a memo denying requests for increased security assets in Benghazi.  Amb. Chris Stevens and his predecessor in Tripoli both asked for enhanced protection due to the increasingly dangerous climate on the ground.

(6) The identities of three Benghazi whistle-blowers/witnesses who will testify this week have now been revealed.


On Fox News Sunday, Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch assailed the administration's talking points about the act of terrorism, labeling them "false" and "wrong:"



"This was a deliberate and strategic attack on the consulate."


I've always found the mendacious talking points (click that link and read it) to be the least significant element of his scandal, which is not to say it's unimportant.  The administration clearly made a conscious decision to mislead the public on the nature of the intelligence and security fiasco in Benghazi.  The president was, after all, caught up in the heat of a re-election campaign.  But the false information disseminated after the fact strikes me as less outrageous than the inexplicable decisions to (a) withhold requested additional security resources and actually withdraw existing ones -- resulting in a woefully inadequate security presence in a very perilous location, and (b) take no action to save American lives during the eight-hour siege.   Why were these courses of action adopted, and who's responsible?  And where was the president?  Perhaps some answers will be forthcoming the day after tomorrow on Capitol Hill.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography