David Dewhurst, the current lt. governor of Texas and probably the next governor as well, gave a talk recently to the Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party and told a big whopper of a lie, claiming that Obama sat in the White House watching live video of Americans being killed at the consulate in Benghazi. Politifact Texas has the facts:
“This election is about protecting you and your freedoms, which are given to you by God, but which are being trampled on by Barack Obama right now. I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama ought to be impeached,” Dewhurst said, according to the Observer. “Not only for trampling on our liberties, but what he did in Benghazi is just a crime.”
Afterward, Dewhurst elaborated on his criticism of the administration’s handling of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, which killed Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens. “I’m very concerned about Benghazi, in which all of the national news reporting indicated that live video was streaming into the White House,” Dewhurst told Observer reporter Christopher Hooks. “That means that there was an overhead platform, probably a drone in the area. At least that’s what it tells me,” he said. “And for not mobilizing some response to protect the ambassador and those three Americans is just outrageous to me. Just outrageous.”
Well, it might be if it were true. But it isn’t. Snopes already debunked this one. And when Dewhurst says “all of the national news reporting” said this, he apparently meant one news report without a source.
That Snopes post, last updated Nov. 1, 2012, traces the claim to an Oct. 24, 2012, Forbes magazine op-ed article, which opened: “Just one hour after the seven-hour-long terrorist attacks upon the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began, our commander-in-chief, vice president, secretary of defense and their national security team gathered together in the Oval Office listening to phone calls from American defenders desperately under siege and watching real-time video of developments from a drone circling over the site. Yet they sent no military aid that might have intervened in time to save lives.”
The Forbes article did not provide a source for writer Larry Bell’s reference to real-time video.
In its article, Snopes noted that a CBS News story also posted Oct. 24, 2012, stated that the FBI and State Department had reviewed video from security cameras that captured the attack on the consulate. The CBS News report continued: “The audio feed of the attack was being monitored in real time in Washington by diplomatic security official Charlene Lamb. CBS News has learned that video of the assault was recovered 20 days later from the more than 10 security cameras at the compound. The government security camera footage of the attack was in the possession of local Libyans until the week of Oct. 1,” CBS News said.
Earlier, on Oct. 12, 2012, the Daily Beast quoted two unidentified U.S. intelligence officials as saying that video taken the night of the attacks, showing a military-style assault took place, had been recovered the week before from the site of the attacks.
“The Obama administration has been studying the videos, taken from closed-circuit cameras throughout the Benghazi consulate’s four-building compound, for clues about who was responsible for the attack and how it played out,” the story said.
The story did not mention any live stream into the White House, though it said that in “addition to the footage from the consulate cameras, the U.S. government is also poring over video taken from an overhead U.S. surveillance drone that arrived for the final hour of the night battle at the consulate compound and nearby annex.”
They rate this a “pants on fire” lie. Not that it will matter. On Planet Wingnuttia, “truth” is defined as “whatever I want to be true.”