Phrase of the Day: The Benghazi Conspiracy Theory
attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11,
2012, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens,
died in the hours that followed. At the height of 2012 presidential
campaign, GOP insiders decided to use the attack as a political tactic
against the incumbent president during the campaign by insinuating lack
of competence, dishonesty and malfeasance on the part of the Obama
Though there was not evidence supporting these
allegations, rank and file republicans gave party insiders the benefit
of the doubt and took the allegations to be true. Thereafter fueled by
Conservative Media, conspiracy theories took hold of the party as party
members attempted to piece together facts into a narrative that would
besmirch the Obama Administration.
Initially, the GOP charged
the Obama Administration of whitewashing a terrorist attack, these
allegations morphed into even more outlandish claims of a stand-down of
military aid to the besieged facility, claims that the CIA was using
Benghazi for running guns to Syrian Rebels and even that the attack was
allowed to happen in order to murder the US Ambassador.
the 2012 election ended in defeat for the GOP, Party Insiders kept the
allegations alive as a ploy to be used against a potential 2016
presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton who was the Secretary of State
during the attack. As a result, disinformation about the Benghazi
consulate attack has been routinely disseminated through conservative
media such as Fox News with such disinformation expected to continue on
in effect for the duration of the 2016 presidential campaign - if
Hillary Clinton runs as a candidate for the democratic party.
having been dispelled by 7 different investigations, the Benghazi
Conspiracy continues to hold the attention of the hard right in America
due to three basic components. First. There was an actual attack on a
consulate and due to the "Fog of War" the sequence of events was not
Next insiders within the GOP
decided to use the attack on the consulate as tool to reinforce
previously held views within the GOP base about the Obama
Administration's approach to Islamic Terrorism.
finally, understanding what caused the consulate attack and the events
surrounding the attack required reliance upon "Elites" as the ordinary
person lacks the capability and knowledge to make a determination on
his/her own. This reliance on Elites and in particular reliance upon
partisan or dishonest Elites makes the ordinary individual particularly
susceptible to disinformation and manipulation. In the parlance of the
right wing media, rank and file republicans were "Gruberized" or
deliberately manipulated by GOP Elites in order to achieve a larger
objective - defeating the incumbent party and returning to power.
Link to House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Investigation Report.