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UPDATE II: GOP House Intel Committee Report – No Obama Benghazi Wrongdoing

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The House Intelligence Committee just concluded an investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and finds no wrongdoing by the Obama Administration — destroying all claims by Tea Party and conservative activists.

In a stunning rebuke to its base, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify on Thursday the results of its nearly two-year, $3.3 million taxpayer-paid investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, finding no intentional wrongdoing by President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or by the Obama administration. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat, “said the report ‘confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.'”

Among the Intelligence Committee’s findings, according to Thompson:

— Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the attacks.

The Tea Party, Republicans, and conservatives have spent nearly two years claiming the Obama administration committed treason, were at the center of a massive cover-up, and have propagated many other falsehoods and conspiracy theories that have been officially rebuked by this report and several other official government investigations, most led, ironically, by Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans will start yet another series of hearings, led by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, trying once again to prove that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the deaths of four Americans.

For a look at Tea Party memes of Benghazi, including Obama hang nooses, see our compilation on Storify.

UPDATE I: Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in a statement said, “I took part in the extensive, exhaustive investigation that led to this report. I believe its conclusions should lay to rest all the baseless charges surrounding this tragedy that resulted in killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans.”

The bipartisan report is definitive – there was no intelligence failure surrounding the attacks, no cover up, no illegal activity, and no evidence that the Intelligence Community’s assessments were politically motivated in any way.”

UPDATE II:

“Just so we’re clear, this is a Republican-led committee, with GOP members outnumbering Democrats, 12 to 9,” Steve Benen at MSNBC writes Monday.

Taken together, the deadly violence in Benghazi two years ago has now been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the independent State Department Accountability Review Board, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 
How many of them uncovered evidence of a cover-up? None.
 
It’s against this backdrop that House Republicans have decided what’s really needed is …another committee. It will cost taxpayers several million dollars, and according to the committee’s leadership, the goal is to ask questions that have already been answered.
 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

14 Students and One Teacher Dead at Texas Elementary School Mass Shooting (Streaming Video)

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Fourteen students and one teacher are dead, and others have been injured after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

ABC News live video (below) reports “14 dead,” stating Gov. Greg Abbott has made that announcement. ABC News, online, citing multiple sources, reports the shooter is also dead.

CNN confirms 15 are dead:

NBC News adds: “The shooting occurred after new FBI statistics released Monday showed active shooter incidents in 2021 surged by more than 50 percent from 2020 and nearly 97 percent from 2017.”

Streaming video via ABC News:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Corporate Chief Shrugs Off Complaints of Network’s White Nationalism: ‘Comes With the Territory’

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Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman and CEO of the parent company of Fox News does not appear concerned about the far right-wing network’s embrace of white nationalism, saying the growing criticism just “comes with the territory.”

“I think when you’re in the news business, and you’re number one,” said Murdoch in an interview with Axios, “you get a lot of heat and it just comes with the territory.”

“I think the world is more divided and on edge than it has been, you know, for a very long time,” Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, added. “I think on the noise around it, so much of it is politicized … And so, you’ve got to be tough about it.”

The 50-year-old Murdoch took no responsibility for the world being more divided, on edge, and politicized.

Axios points out that a “broad array of Democratic officials and progressive groups have criticized Fox News, saying its hosts have referenced the ‘great replacement theory,’ a racist conspiracy theory that reportedly inspired the Buffalo shooter.”

Like his father, Lachlan Murdoch shares citizenship with Australia and the United States (but also with the U.K.)

Last week, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt called on the United States government to revoke Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. citizenship. He said the 91-year-old Australian-born media titan is “the most venomous and dangerous foreigner to ever arrive on American soil.”

Schmidt added:

Meanwhile, Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz noted, “Lachlan Murdoch has apparently given up on his obvious lie that Tucker Carlson doesn’t promote ‘replacement theory,’ he is making it quite clear that Fox prioritizes white supremacist content.”

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump says Lachlan Murdoch is blaming “complaints about white nationalist rhetoric on jealousy.”

“Presented with Tucker Carlson combining anti-left and anti-immigrant rhetoric into an indefensible the elites are out to get regular Americans narrative — a common racist trope — the CEO of Fox responds: Haters gonna hate. Never mind that nearly half of Republicans now think that this theory accurately reflects reality; people are just jealous of Fox News.

 

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Far Right Activist Behind CRT Panic Brags About Attacks on Disney, State Farm for LGBTQ Support: Others ‘Will Be Next’

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The far right-wing activist whose work helped ignite millions of Americans into fighting against the specter of something they had never heard before and knew nothing about is now bragging about turning his tactics against corporate America’s support for the LGBTQ community – and he’s just issued a warning, or, some might say, a threat.

Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, is the man behind the right’s false panic and fury over CRT, Critical Race Theory. He’s proudly said he wants to “have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,'” and “put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.”

To Rufo, those “insanities” include support for LGBTQ people.

“Mr. Rufo has taken aim at opponents of a new Florida law that prohibits teachers in some grades from discussing L.G.B.T.Q. issues and that critics call ‘Don’t Say Gay,'” The New York Times reported last month. “He declared ‘moral war’ against the statute’s most prominent adversary, the Walt Disney Company. And he has used the same playbook that proved effective in his crusade on racial issues: a leak of insider documents.”

Rufo consulted on and appeared with Governor Ron DeSantis “at the signing of a bill known as the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which bars teaching in workplaces and schools that anyone is inherently biased or privileged because of race or sex,” The Times added, noting that Rufo “warned Disney that an in-house program it had run that urged discussion of systemic racism was ‘now illegal in the state of Florida.'”

The signing was the culmination of Mr. Rufo’s long campaign to short-circuit corporate and school efforts at diversity and inclusion training.

On Monday news broke that State Farm, the insurance giant, had been supporting a program designed to put LGBTQ-supportive books into schools, libraries, and community centers. State Farm has been actively promoting its support of the LGBTQ community, but within hours the company dropped its support of the program, citing consumer complaints after a right-wing media outlet published a report.

Rufo is taking credit for the extensive vitriol being catapulted at State Farm, a century-old company whose “Like a good neighbor” slogan has been part of American culture for 50 years.

And now, just one week before LGBTQ Pride month, he’s very publicly threatening any other company that supports LGBTQ people, the LGBTQ community, diversity, or equality they will be next:

“There are three ways to wage war against corporations: reputational, political, and financial,” Rufo adds. “With Disney, we drove public approval down to 33 percent, passed legislation to remove its special status, and helped tank the stock by $50 billion. That’s how we win.”

 

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