There Was No Stand Down Order: The Release of the Benghazi Transcripts Busts Republicans

Darrell Issa

Republican Benghazi-gasms appear to be shriveling under the sunshine of transparency.

Wednesday evening, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, decided to release the transcripts of interviews of nine military personnel conducted between January and April of this year regarding the attacks in Benghazi. McKeon has been saying for a while now that he’s satisfied with the military’s response to the Benghazi attack, but it seems no one in his party is listening to his attempt to keep them from attacking our servicemembers.

Darrell Issa (R-CA) earned himself Four Pinocchios for claiming that Secretary Hillary Clinton ordered former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to “stand down” during the Benghazi attacks and now Democrats are demanding an apology.

Upon the release of the transcripts* this evening, Democrats charge that they prove that there was no stand down order and actually, significant military assets were deployed on the night of the attacks that tragically killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Furthermore, “Republicans’ bankrupt priorities are on full display in this farce: they are now wasting more taxpayer funds per day than we spend on either the Veterans Affairs Committee or the Intelligence Committee.”


Democrats hardly stopped there. It got heated:

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Republicans need to apologize to those they accused, “These transcripts definitively show that Republican attacks against our nation’s military servicemembers and former Secretary of State Clinton are completely unfounded and utterly offensive. They have been refuted by military officials who repeatedly told our two Committees that there was no ‘stand down’ order and that significant military assets were deployed on the night of the attacks. Now that Chairman McKeon has made these transcripts public, I urge Republicans who made these baseless accusations to apologize to both Secretary Clinton and our brave men and women in uniform.”

Drew Hammill, spokesman for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, released a statement charging, “These transcripts prove that Republicans’ Select Committee to Exploit the Benghazi Tragedy is nothing more than a circus to inflame the most extreme and conspiracy-obsessed elements of their party while raising campaign funds off the deaths of four Americans.

“The investigation by the Armed Services Committee clearly left no stone unturned, but House Republicans are planning to waste millions of additional taxpayer dollars on long-disproved conspiracy theories in the Select Committee. Republicans’ bankrupt priorities are on full display in this farce: they are now wasting more taxpayer funds per day than we spend on either the Veterans Affairs Committee or the Intelligence Committee.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) issued a poignant statement that read in part, “The transcripts tell a tantalizing story of Americans trying to understand what was happening in Benghazi and save the lives of their countrymen. It was a frantic and difficult effort and unfortunately four brave Americans died. But it was not due to a lack of effort or a government conspiracy, as some continue to claim.”

It’s true that opposition parties will make political hay out of things that go horribly wrong under the other party’s leadership. But Republicans have taken their Benghazi conspiracies way beyond the norm, tromping on at least one family’s specific request that Republicans to stop using the death of their son to hurt President Obama. It became grotesque after Republicans started raising money off of their Benghazi conspiracies.

Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38), a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Republicans have yet to answer what this committee is supposed to do other than rehash debunked conspiracy theories, “Two months after its formation, we are still waiting for a schedule and a clear outline of the questions that the committee is tasked with answering. It remains incumbent on Republicans to prove that this committee is more than an opportunity to fundraise and score political points.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee and a member of the Benghazi Select Committee, was of a similar mind, as he skewered Republicans for wasting the money given to them for the Benghazi investigation. He said in a statement, “The Armed Services Committee did a thorough investigation into the question of whether military assets were available to rescue Ambassador Stevens and the other personnel under attack in Benghazi, and concluded that there were not. This Republican-led investigation also debunked the conspiracy theory that someone ordered the military to ‘stand down’ or otherwise impeded relief efforts – this was also emphatically not the case.”

Schiff urged Republicans to do something productive instead of giving mouth to mouth to their Benghazi conspiracy theory and he pointed out that just because they were given a $3.3 million budget to hunt President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn’t mean they have to spend it all on that.

But Republicans are so intent on finding a way to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look half as incompetent as Bush that they can’t be bothered to do their own work. They are too busy trying to trip the opposition. So it’s back to wasting millions on Republican fantasies about the tragic Benghazi attack, while the VA remains underfunded.

Democrats are right about certain Republicans owing an apology to our servicemembers and to those they accused of deliberately not helping the four Americans killed in the attack. But that would require an ounce of decency and more accountability and honesty than Republicans can muster these days.

*Read the transcripts here:

Transcript 1 LTC Defense Attache

Transcript 2 LTC Office of Security Cooperation

Transcript 3 LTC Military Trainer

Transcript 4 LTC Current Operations Director (SOCAFRICA)

Transcript 5 Brigadier General Scott Zobrist

Transcript 6 Rear Admiral Brian Losey

Transcript 7 Rear Admiral Richard Landolt

Transcript 8 Vice Admiral Charles Leidig Jr

Transcript 9 General Carter Ham

49 Replies to “There Was No Stand Down Order: The Release of the Benghazi Transcripts Busts Republicans”

  1. Called out and busted by a member of their own party, DAMN! Guess not every body is ready to down with the sinking ship. The Dems need to get some mileage out of this and let the public see what Issa and Co. are

  2. *predicted conservative response* “La, la, la, la, la – I can’t hear you – la, la, la, la. Benghazi!”

  3. Issa,the entire republican party, the loyal fake conservatives who hate themselves and have demanded Hillary’s head over this owe America an apology

    Issa owes us his resignation. Effective tomorrow

  4. You have to admit the since the Koch Brother’s GOP took control of the U. S. House of Representatives they have pledged to block President Obama at every turn. This they have done successfully. What happens now when the country collapses? Wall Street can use the cash in the $17,000.00 Dow Jones for toilet paper.

  5. If the parties were reversed, we would have heard “IMPEACH” about 100 times by now.

    For the right wing trolls out here, will you have the decency to admit how wrong you were?

    (Crickets, crickets…)

  6. What has GOPs not done to trash Obama. I assure you this Obama is not a cup cake for you to swallow. He is well seasoned from white genes and black genes so back off!

  7. Whether the Republicans like it or not, Hillary Clinton will be our next President for 8 years they can kiss being President of this Nation for another eight years after Obama. This my prediction and so shall it be.

  8. So the Republican Party has once again proven to be the unapologetic, barefaced, shameless, lying embarrassment to America, as they have been since their campaign to sabotage this Presidency.

    The Party of Lincoln is dead. There will never be another Republican President.


  9. And we’ll be hearing about this all over the mainstream media = Sunday morning news programs = the most popular web portals and newspapers because the mainstream media is vastly Liberal? I won’t hold my breath.

  10. They will simply be moving on to the next phony time and money wasting scandal. The hardest part about being lazy and having authority is trying to look as though you were earning your salary. It looks like Issa has solved this problem like a professional.

  11. So basically you approve of Issa and the republicans lying about Benghazi and the stand down order that never happened. The lying the republicans do is a slam on every person who has ever served

  12. If you think that your Republican Congress-critters are so supportive of our troops, ask them why they have been dragging their feet to fund the VA, only got their thumbs out when it became scandalous – they don’t give a rat’s ass about the military personnel, they care about the large military-industrial complex corporations manufacturing the toys of war, those who need to make big profits off the death and misery of our own and foreign citizens because they donate large amounts of money to Republican re-election campaigns.

  13. “If Mrs Clinton did not know that the embassy was vulnerable or threatened then SHE DIDN’T DO HER JOB.”
    She knew the state of security. And when Secretary Clinton asked for more security, the republican congress refused to fund it. Period. The responsibility is on them. And as Shiva points out, this was not an embassy or consulate, anyway.

    And frankly, it is disgusting that the people claiming to be so concerned about those deaths did not care in the slightest about the far greater number of deaths under Bush.

    So take your hypocrisy and shove it.

  14. “But wait!!!!” …see, that’s why you throw so much chit against the wall. One falls off, simply move to the next & see if IT sticks.

  15. He did. Issa and Gowdy just didn’t like the answers they were given because those answers didn’t fit the scenarios they concocted in their own warped little minds.

  16. They should apologise to all the American people from behind bars. It is hard for me to believe that all the lies, the money wasted, the underhanded things this committee has done, especially that issa crook. If there was a real investigation of all the money wasted and the lies that have been told he would finally be into something he couldn’t get squashed. He should have been in prison years ago.
    They sure know how to grow em in Ohio. The Governor of NC that has spent years hurting NC and the latest the Duke power coal ash spill and his part in it even being possible. And pushing the Fracking bill through.
    Ohio also gave us Roger Ailes another that should be behind bars for all the damage he has done to America. Let us not forget that useless sot John Boehner. And so so many others. List is just too long to go into here.

  17. definition: main stream media, sometimes called “lame stream media”- any news organization who isn’t Fox. According to the stepford Republicans, that’s any organization that doesn’t report with a total right-slant. I wonder, is there a GOPer who does any independent research? Any?!!!!!

  18. To quote this post “accountability an honesty” are something the rethugs of today know nothing about and care about, even less.

  19. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that it was not an embassy, this study in 1998 instructing the “Secretary of State” to make these inquiries would not have applied to Hillary Clinton, who in 1998 was First Lady. Of course, from 2000 to 2008 it would have applied to Condoleeza Rice, but I don’t hear you citing that.

  20. Of course, you were quick to condemn the administration over this “stand down order” that EVERYONE in a position to know said never existed. This release of the transcripts only confirms what has been said from the beginning by everyone, but which the right wing “scandal” machine has completely ignored, you included. Gullible people like you make this work.

  21. Thresa, I have to laugh, the Embassy had plenty of security. The Ambassador was in Benghazi without his security team at a government compound, (not the embassy), the Embassy is in Tripoli, no wonder the republican’s can’t investigate anything, you guys just make stuff up as you go.

  22. If the republicans continue to lie and slander regarding this issue, they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Not only was it frivolous it was neglicence with intent and forknowledge of the truth before telling the very harmful lies and using his office for personal campaign.

  23. Don, I believe you are closer to the truth than you may realize. I think the plan is to crash the economy again so the American people will bail them all out again as they walk away laughing again.

  24. Speaking as a 3rd-generation Army enlisted and someone who had more than a few friends sent to Iraq, your assertion that the Republicans aren’t attacking service members is BS. When you discount or ignore the testimony of multiple service members, including ones who were in charge or actually there, you are basically attacking their credibility and integrity. While there are times that such is warranted, namely in investigations of criminal misconduct in uniform, this is not one of those times. Their testimony corroborates independent witnesses, documents, and the assertions made by the administration. For a soldier their honor is dependent on their integrity. You cannot claim in the same breath to honor a soldier while at the same time dismissing what he tells you happened, especially when it’s backed by actual facts. As with most of the modern GOP, your claims of supporting the troops do not match your actions.

  25. Did you complain about the Bush administration and the dozen attacks on our embassies during his two terms? Are you even aware that two of the embassies were struck twice, with the second attacks occurring only a few months after the first? Are you aware that over 60 people died during these attacks? Until Republicans start asking questions about these embassy attacks, they have no business saying anything about Benghazi. We heard absolutely nothing from them during the Bush administration. F’ing hypocrites!

  26. Kilkee – There you go confusing issues with facts! Talipublicans create their own facts as they go along. That’s the new reality. The ignorance of the American public is the greatest resource of the theocratic right. Observing from South America I can honestly tell you that a good portion of the rest of the world thinks all Americans are gun toting, bible thumping lunatics! I find it more and more difficult by the day to refute their impressions.

  27. There is a difference between being a fool and making a fool of yourself.

    The stand down issue is a major issue for Issa, who has been lying about it this entire time

  28. The big problem for me is though this that this information was known from the start but Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), just decided to release the transcripts. Why didn’t he release the transcripts at the start of the Issa witch hunt?

  29. On October 23, 1983, during reign of St. Ronald Reagan, a suicide bomber killed 241 American troops in the Marine barracks in

    Wonder why St. Ronnie did not know about before the attacks?

  30. This only shows that no stand-down order was given by any of these military personnel. The people that need to be questioned is Leon Panetta and General Dempsey. These two testified before congress that President Obama told them, “Do everything possible to save our people.” That was a order from the Commander in Chief. The only person that can withdraw that order is the President. There is testimony before congress that no aircraft were dispatched to Benghazi on the night of the attack. That being the case, everything possible was not done. Panetta and Dempsey are guilty of failing to follow the orders of the Commander in Chief and should be charged accordingly.

  31. All you have is hindsight on everything. A diplomatic post is not an embassy

    Because your education is very limited you should know the host country was supposed to provide the protection. The Ambassador refused extra protection so hge wouldnt draw attention to his being there. The leader of the people who killed the ambassador has already admitted they did this because of the film when he was captured.

    Try as you might, there is no conspiracy for you to pin on anyone. Now go educate yourself on reality and stop getting garbage from breitbart or wherever you are getting it

  32. No reason for anyone to be uncivil, Thresa. You won’t get that from me.
    I think a great deal of the problem goes back to the Republican controlled House refusing to increase funding for heightened security at our embassies and such world wide, not just Benghazi. I believe this is a matter of public record that the Issas and Gowdys etc. just continue to ignore or shout over.

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