Saturday, November 03, 2012

Worthy of Pulitzer, But Not in a Good Way

On October 26th, Fox News' Jennifer Griffin published serious allegations by anonymous sources about the Benghazi attacks:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. 

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to "stand down." 

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. ….They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. …The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights… 

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. 
In this interview, Jennifer Griffin added that the the CIA team left the annex to go to the consulate at 10:30, on foot.

I've  italicized the allegations unconfirmed by any other news organization and flatly denied in detail by the CIA and Pentagon.

The story isn't Watergate, it's the Maine.  Fox is following the model of the yellow press on the eve of the Spanish-American War, with sensationalist, inflammatory stories based on false rumors.

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