Issues ››› Intelligence
  • VIDEO: Four Benghazi "Bombshells" That Turned Out To Be Duds

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA & JOHN KERR

    This week's release of Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will likely reignite the right-wing misinformation campaign about the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya. Conservative media, led by Fox News, have spent over three years trying to find evidence of a Benghazi "bombshell" - something scandalous about the way the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the attack.

    Conservatives have falsely accused the administration of lying about the cause of the attack, issuing a "stand down" order, failing to send aid to the facility, and dismissing the deaths of the victims. But every "bombshell" has turned out to be a dud. 13 Hours may give Fox News the highly dramatized Benghazi story it's been hoping for, but years of actual investigations have thoroughly deflated the right-wing Benghazi fantasy:

  • Right-Wing Media Cite Discredited Republican Lawyer To Claim Hillary Clinton Committed "Numerous Federal Crimes"


    Right-wing media are reporting discredited Republican lawyer Joseph diGenova's baseless claim that Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed "numerous federal crimes" with her private email use, failing to note that Clinton is not the target of the FBI's investigation and that the probe is not criminal in nature.

  • Benghazi Fabricator Demands Hillary Clinton Indictment Over Non-Criminal Probe


    Discredited Republican lawyer Joseph diGenova is baselessly claiming that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her staff will face criminal prosecution by the FBI over her use of private email as secretary of state, despite numerous media reports explaining that Clinton is not the target of the FBI's investigation, which is also not criminal in nature. DiGenova has been discredited as a result of unprofessional behavior while working for Republicans in the 1990s and false claims he has made about the September 2012 Benghazi attacks.

  • After Trump Proposes Ban On Muslims, Rupert Murdoch Calls For "Refugee Pause"

    21st Century Fox Chairman Cites "Radical Muslim Dangers" To Push For Pause In Refugees

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    News Corporation and 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch cited "radical Muslim dangers" to endorse a "complete refugee pause" one day after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a total ban on Muslims immigrating to or visiting the United States.

    On December 7, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," citing a flawed poll from an Islamophobic organization to claim that Muslims are a danger to America.

    Murdoch, a top executive of Fox News' parent company, previously echoed calls by Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz to limit the admission of Syrian refugees to "proven Christians":

    On December 8, amid widespread condemnation of Trump's proposal, Murdoch asked whether Trump has "gone too far," but then claimed that the "public is obsessed on radical Muslim dangers," and added that a "complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense":

  • Former Top George W. Bush Aide Explains How U.S. Counterterrorism "Efforts Are Undermined By Declaring Islam Itself To Be The Enemy"

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Former top aide to President George W. Bush and Washington Post opinion writer Michael Gerson denounced "U.S. politicians" who are "declaring Islam itself to be the enemy, and treating Muslims in the United States, or Muslims in Europe, or Muslims fleeing Islamic State oppression, as a class of suspicious potential jihadists." In the past week, this anti-Muslim posture has been exhibited primarily by GOP politicians and right-wing media. 

    In the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere, a number of Republican presidential candidates, governors, and media figures have used the violence to fearmonger about Muslims and Islam. With many on the right calling for the U.S. to deny entry to Muslim Syrian refugees, Newscorp. and 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch suggested that the United States "make [a] special exception for proven Christians." Others have pressed Muslim advocacy groups to accept "responsibility" for the Paris attacks and have advocated for the "profiling" of Muslims on U.S. soil.

    In a November 16 Washington Post op-ed Gerson described the dangers of "politicians defin[ing] Islam as the problem" -- namely that they are "feeding the Islamic State narrative" and "materially undermining the war against terrorism." From the op-ed:

    As careful as we should be in drawing lessons from tragedy -- and there is something particularly disgraceful in mounting a political soapbox at a funeral -- the horrors experienced in Paris demand a renewed dedication to the prevention of such attacks .

    Islamic State terrorists have goals beyond a blood-drunk love of carnage: to discredit the Syrian refugees (whom they hate) and to encourage the perception of a civilizational struggle between Islam and the West. They are succeeding at both.


    They are stoking religious conflict between Muslims and Christians in order to attract recruits, including from Western countries. And one way to encourage the appearance of civilizational conflict is through spectacular acts of murder that somehow (horribly) appeal to a Sunni Arab sense of historical disempowerment.


    All our efforts are undermined by declaring Islam itself to be the enemy, and by treating Muslims in the United States, or Muslims in Europe, or Muslims fleeing Islamic State oppression, as a class of suspicious potential jihadists. Instead of blaming refugees, we need to make sure our counterterrorism and intelligence policies give us a chance to screen and stop any threat (which means keeping the post-9/11 structures of surveillance in place). But if U.S. politicians define Islam as the problem and cast aspersions on Muslim populations in the West, they are feeding the Islamic State narrative. They are materially undermining the war against terrorism and complicating the United States' (already complicated) task in the Middle East. Rejecting a blanket condemnation of Islam is not a matter of political correctness. It is the requirement of an effective war against terrorism, which means an effective war against the terrorist kingdom in Syria and western Iraq.

  • Conservatives Use Paris Attacks To Stoke Fears About Admitting Syrian Refugees Into America


    Conservative media used the terrorist attacks in Paris to fearmonger about the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States, claiming that the U.S. cannot effectively vet potential refugees, ignoring experts who say that the thoroughness of the U.S.'s refugee vetting process sets it apart from those of European countries.