Fox News hosts and contributors repeatedly suggested that the Obama administration made a "political decision" to allow Americans to be killed in the September 11 Benghazi, Libya, attack on an American compound. But U.S. agents and the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli rushed to the aid of the compound during the attack, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the attack was over before the U.S. military had sufficient information on which to act.
Fox Figures Claim Obama Admin. Made A "Political Decision" To "Sacrifice Americans" In Benghazi Attack
Fox's Johnson Suggests Obama Admin May Have "Sacrificed Americans" As A "Political Calculation" During Benghazi Attack. On the October 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. asked if there was a "political calculation that was made to sacrifice Americans on the ground so we didn't kill innocents in front of the consulate." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/12]
Fox's Liz Cheney: It Appears The President Made "No Decision To Do Anything To Rescue" Americans In Benghazi. On the October 24 edition of Hannity, Fox News contributor Liz Cheney stated, "What looks to have happened is, the only reinforcements that arrived in Benghazi, it sounds like, were called in from Benghazi. The rest of the movements that occurred resulted in no additional reinforcements at Benghazi." Cheney then claimed: "So far, everything we can tell points in the direction of the president making no decision to do anything to rescue these people. He's got to explain to the American people whether or not that's the case." [Fox News, Hannity, 10/24/12]
Fox's Guilfoyle: In Benghazi, Obama Administration "Decided" That U.S. Lives Were "Expendable." During the October 24 edition of Fox News' The Five, while discussing the Benghazi attack, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said of the administration, "[I]n this particular situation, they decided [American lives] were expendable." [Fox News, The Five, 10/24/12]
Fox's McFarland: "It Was Probably A Political Decision Not To Rescue Them." Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland claimed the supposed absence of aid to the consulate was "probably" politically motivated. From America Live:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (guest host): K.T., who is responsible for answering all of these questions?
McFARLAND: Well, that's the question you want to know. I mean, here's what's happened is, bad stuff happened, all right? So what is the administration doing? They're throwing a lot of dust up in the air to try to make sure you're not sure quite what happened, who to blame. Is it the movie's fault? Is it the intelligence community? Is it the security? Is it the State Department diplomats? We don't know the answers to that. I've got a guess that it's something that was a political decision. And not only a political decision not to give them the kind of security they wanted, but it was probably a political decision not to rescue them. And finally, is it a political decision to try to put a lot of blue smoke and mirrors in front of everybody so they don't know what really happened, and they won't know what really happened until after the election? [Fox News, America Live, 10/10/12]
Fox Regular Michael Scheuer: "Democrats Are Very Good At Watching Americans Die." On the October 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto asked his guest, former CIA official and Fox regular Michael Scheuer, to comment on upcoming congressional hearings about the September 11 Benghazi attack. Scheuer replied, "[T]he Democrats are very good at watching Americans die, Neil," and continued:
SCHEUER: As I understand it, they had live video for seven hours of U.S. individuals, ambassadors, CIA people, State Department people, being attacked and they did nothing. It was like they were watching 9-11 happen and just were holding back the police and the fire department and say, wait a minute, we got to really see was it terrorism or was it a workplace event. They're really terrible people, Neil. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 10/25/12]
Fox Regular Lars Larson Accuses Obama Administration Of Watching Americans Die In Libya. Frequent Fox guest and conservative talk radio host Lars Larson accused the Obama Administration of sitting by and watching a live feed of the September 11 attack at the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. From America Live:
LARSON: We've got the scandal of an American president, whose people -- I don't know if he personally sat there and watched that video -- but his people sat there and watched as this happened, and did nothing. Didn't even try to call in, you know, the assets that were available. [Fox News, America Live, 10/25/12]
But U.S. Agents, Tripoli Embassy Responded To Benghazi Compound Alarm ...
AP: Agents At Benghazi Compound Alerted U.S. Officials To The Attack. In an October 9 conference call, a group of State Department officials reportedly told media outlets that additional forces came to the aid of the Benghazi compound as it was attacked. The Associated Press reported that in a control center at the compound, "agents watched on cameras as a large group of armed men flowed into the compound. They immediately sounded the alarm and made telephone calls to the embassy in Tripoli, officials in Washington, the Libyan authorities and the U.S. quick reaction force located at a second compound a little over a mile away." [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Boston Globe]
AP: Six-Member Quick Reaction Team And 60 Libyan Militiamen In Benghazi Responded To The Attack. The AP reported that a "six-member quick reaction security team arrived on the scene from its compound across town, the officials said. About 60 Libyan militiamen accompanied the team, and it again tried to secure a perimeter around [Ambassador Chris] Stevens' building, taking turns searching inside." [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Boston Globe]
AP: Reinforcements From Embassy In Tripoli Arrived The Same Night. The quick-response team returned to its compound across town and the same night, a "team of reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived on a chartered aircraft at the Benghazi airport and reached the security compound," the AP explained. [Associated Press, 10/10/12, via The Boston Globe]
... And Defense Secretary Panetta Said U.S. Military Did Not Have Enough Information In Time To Act
CBS/AP: Panetta Says U.S. Military Did Not Intervene Because Attack "Was Over Before The U.S. Ha[d] Sufficient Information On Which To Act." An October 25 article by CBS News and the Associated Press reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters that the U.S. military "was prepared to respond" to the Benghazi attack "but did not do so because it lacked what he called 'real-time information.' " The article quoted Panetta as saying, "You don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on ... (We) felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation." Panetta also told reporters, "It was really over before we had the opportunity to really know what was happening." [CBS/Associated Press, 10/25/12]