For Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the CIA arrived too late
The most outrageous Trumpster lie is this: “She lied. People died. Lock her up.” Trump is vulnerable here because Trey Gowdy, the Benghazi committee chairman admitted he doesn’t believe this, and his report clearly proves it’s not just false, it’s absurd.
Arguing with fake scandals can increase publicity and backfire. But saying nothing can raise suspicions. This is the lie we should attack first. It’s most damaging, most outrageously wrong, and trivial to disprove—using Republican evidence. Here’s how.
The Republicans spent four years preparing to chant “Lock her up!” A lie they chanted, day after day, at their national convention. But that chant is not based on their eight Benghazi investigations. Those only turned up evidence of CIA “stand-down” orders and military delays. The chant is based on a false accusation by two boastful CIA agents Geist & Teigen, and their adventure tale (the “13 Hours” book and movie) about a deadly “stand-down order,” which they imply was from Clinton. It was from the CIA to the CIA on a CIA base in Benghazi. No one else even knew they were doing this!
Real Republicans know this accusation is false and have disowned it. But Trump bought it for his convention. The majority Republican Report on Benghazi (call it the “Report“) proves the “stand-down” was the CIA’s doing and not Hillary’s. And even Geist & Teigen prove this. This post just documents those disguised admissions. Such outrageous charges should not stand.
First, take a look at some undisputed facts laid out by that Report. Then we will compare them to the lies at the GOP convention. The two big players are Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). And there were two Benghazi attacks.
- The first attack, on the State Department’s Mission compound, killed Ambassador Stevens and his assistant Sean Smith, likely in less than half an hour.
- The second attack, on the CIA’s Annex about a mile away, killed two CIA contractors about eight hours later.
When the first attack started, a State Dept Security agent immediately called the CIA Annex for support. They took 10 to 15 minutes to gear up and get in their vehicles and then the CIA’s “Chief of Base” told them to wait while he finished calling local militias (see p.55, in Part I of the Report). This “wait” is what the book and the movie “13 Hours” called the “stand-down order.”
That “order” is the main basis for the Republican chant, “Lock her up,” as was made clear by Geist and Teigen in the conclusion of their 22-minute prime-time pitch on Day 1 of the convention: “Hillary Clinton failed to protect her people on the ground. Had she done her job that night [dramatic pause]
Had she done her job that night, … Ty, Glen, Sean, and Ambassador Stevens would be alive today.” —Geist’s lie at the convention
But if Geist and Teigen are right—that the “stand-down order” did hold them back till it was too late—then the truth is just the reverse:
Had the CIA security team left when they were ready and not delayed due to the CIA stand-down order, Ty, Glen, Sean, and Chris Stevens would be alive today.
Here’s what Geist & Teigen Are Hiding:
CIA agents Geist & Teigen spoke for 22 minutes about CIA actions on Day 1 of the Republican Convention and never named the CIA! That “stand-down order,” if it happened, was a CIA order given on a CIA base to CIA operatives Geist, Teigen and four others. And in case you missed this, Hillary Clinton was not the Director of the CIA then, or ever. She played no part in the delay. She couldn’t have.
Her people at the Benghazi State Dept Mission compound were on the radio to the CIA Annex a mile away, begging for the CIA support that the CIA was supposed to provide. If the “stand-down order” caused a failure as Geist/Teigen & Trump claim, it was caused 100% by the CIA and not even the tiniest bit by Hillary Clinton.
Geist, Teigen and their CIA bosses argue about how long the wait was, who caused it and why. But nobody—nobody!—has ever claimed the wait/stand-down order was anything but a purely CIA decision by CIA agents on a CIA base. They just forget to mention it was all the CIA. No one beside the CIA employees on that base new about the wait/stand-down order until the State Department’s people were dead or perhaps for days after that.
In the Report’s cross examination of Geist/Teigen (it doesn’t tell which), Geist/Teigen says “The Chief of Base looks at me, he says: Stand down, you need to wait” (page I-55). As the Republican Report documents, the Chief of the CIA Base was a CIA officer:
On page I-31, the Report refers to “the CIA Benghazi Annex” and then to “the Chief of Base in Benghazi and another CIA officer.” There is no doubt. The “stand-down” order that is the basis of the book and the movie, “13 Hours” was, pure and simple, a CIA decision, with zero input from Hillary Clinton or her Department of State.
Teigen told the same story to the GOP convention 37 seconds into his talk. But he said it in a way that no one would notice: “On three separate occasions, we got told to wait by the Chief of Base, Bob. And we got told to stand down.” (Watch it.) He didn’t mention that the “Base” was a CIA base, or that he worked on that base under a CIA contract. Everybody on the Republican Benghazi Committee knows this.
No one in Washington, or even in the State Dept Mission a mile away knew what was happening on that CIA base (Annex), which is shown in this map from the very front of the Report.
As Teigen recounted at the convention, “Off to my right, I seen them pulling a body out of a window, limp body, it ended up being Sean Smith, he was already dead of smoke inhalation by the time we showed up.” (Watch it.) Chris Stevens died with Smith, but the smoke was so heavy the CIA team could not even find his body. So all the American’s left and went to the CIA base. The Libyans found his body and took it to a hospital, but it was far to late.
The Republicans’ Worst Lie Ever
But forget Geist and Teigen. They are just small-fry making a buck. The point is that the Republican Party spent four years and $7 million on eight Benghazi hearings, and the Report makes it exquisitely clear that the “stand-down,” if it was a problem, was a CIA problem on a CIA base. It just doesn’t ever say that—or deny it.
But Trump paid his agents to tell tell the big lie—”that if she had done her job that night … Ambassador Stevens would be alive today”—to whip his base into a frenzy calling for Clinton to be “put behind bars” and “locked up.”
What could be worse than a lie that grossly contradicts the acknowledged findings of the Republicans’ own $7 million investigation?
What could be worse than using that lie to charge an innocent person with murder when you know she had no authority over, no control of and no possible knowledge of the CIA’s wait/stand-down order?
If Trump is willing to showcase such a despicable lie, and Republicans say nothing, they cannot be trusting on anything.
- We must confront this outrageous lie.
- Call it out, and pass this on till it reaches Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth.
All of the Republican complaints about delay in sending troops from Spain, or even security agents from Tripoli, have nothing to do with Chris Stevens, Sean Smith or the State Department. It would have been physically impossible to get help in time from any of these locations. Plane can’t fly that fast. These considerations only apply to the military and CIA attempts to save the CIA base in Benghazi eight hours later, which could not handle its own defense, and consequently lost two CIA contractors to the terrorists.