Letter to the editor: Check facts on Benghazi claims

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Check facts on Benghazi claims

In a recent letter ("Hillary's failures . . ." Wed. Oct. 5) assertions were made that do not square with the facts. One can look at the FactCheck.org website of non-partisan Annenburg Public Policy Center. The writer correctly states the security at U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 was inadequate, despite numerous requests from the consulate for increased security.

This is verified by PolitiFact Wisconsin. It is unlikely that Secretary Clinton personally denied the requests, given the size of federal bureaucracies. Libya was not known as "one of the most dangerous parts of the Middle East' at that time.

Hindsight is 20/20. Secretary Clinton and the national security chain of command regretted that assessment.

The controversy surrounding the Benghazi tragedy was how the administration characterized the attack, after the fact, regarding who the perpetrators were. Contrary to the letter's claim, "public records" do not "reveal that Hillary knew there was going to be a terrorist attack the day of Sept. 11." It is false that "she revealed this" foreknowledge "to her daughter." Hillary emailed Chelsea that evening about her distress that State Dept. personnel had been killed by "an Al-Qaida- like group." Ansar al-Sharia subsequently retracted their claim of responsibility.

The letter asserts that "they [Consulate security forces] were told to stand down." According to FactCheck's "Boehner and Benghazi" "The House intelligence committee report said that 'some [CIA] Annex team members wanted urgently to depart the Annex for the TMF [Temporary Mission Facility] to save their State Department colleagues,' but the Annex chief 'ordered the team to wait so that the seniors on the ground could ascertain the situation at the TMF and whether they could secure heavy weaponry support from local militias.' This order to wait has been described by some as a 'stand down' order, but it was not. The Republican-controlled House intelligence committee said that based on all the evidence, 'the Annex leadership deliberated thoughtfully, reasonably, and quickly.'

What Clinton said to families at Andrews Air Force Base is debatable.

"A clear picture of whether there had been protests in Benghazi didn't come together until Sept. 15, a day after Clinton met with the families, according to multiple Senate investigation reports. There simply is not enough concrete information in the public domain for anyone to claim as fact that Clinton did or did not lie to the Benghazi families." [PolitiFact Truth-O- Meter "Patricia Smith's claims . . ." ] Clinton asked at the Senate hearing "What difference at this point does it make?" about who the perpetrators were.

Repeating a claim by Marco Rubio during the Republican presidential debates that Hillary Clinton "says abortion should be allowed up to the moment of birth" does not make it true. "I have been on record in favor of a late pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother," she said on a Fox News Presidential Town Hall March 7, 2016.

When there's BS on all sides, it's good to check facts.

— Lucy Ijams Bennington


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