Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

Leave it to a naive relative to forward something from a whackadoo relative, but I'm reading about Obama having troops in the area and refusing to use them to prevent the Benghazi attack. I'm reading about drones at the ready that weren't used. I'm reading about the Benghazi consulate as an operation to funnel guns and money to Islamic insurgents throughout the Middle East.

I'm kind of shocked because usually when you see this stuff it bubbles up to the level of a least talking about the crazy things the extreme right believes. I'd love to debunk my relatives as this all seems like the typical ramblings of these kids of people, but I don't know how. Does anyone know about these rumors?

And yes, I know this is the equivalent of asking someone to prove a negative but I feel like this stuff is crazy and out of left field, but I'd love to read someone with credibility taking this on and this is literally the first I've heard of this.

I am so tired of this stuff. Not a comment on you at all DS, just tired of all the blathering and inanity coming out from the Same Old Sources.

I just heard about Obama using HAARP to create superstorm Sandy in time for the elections. So I just went and cast my ballot for him ... I mean, the guy can control the friggin weather! How cool is that?

On a serious note ... I sit three feet from the wingnut who babbled that earlier and he scares the hell out of me. He mentioned something under his breath about Benghazi last week but I assume he is getting his stuff from infowars or something so I tuned him out. If I were you I wouldn't put too much faith in it unless you get it from a reliable source. Not saying it couldn't possibly be true but in general I dismiss things if there isn't a shred of evidence and I don't have the time to go chasing down the rabbit hole for every little bit of crazy that bubbles up.

Oh and I just found out about ObamaPhone! There is a whole world of misinformation that I seem to be ignorant of and although I like to get a good laugh out of it there is no way I can possibly try and refute things I have no idea about. I feel for you DS but I gave up long ago trying to help these folks. I got tired of doing the work to prove them wrong with facts only to have them spew some new crazy at me. Now I just have fun with it.

PissedYeti wrote:
I just heard about Obama using HAARP to create superstorm Sandy in time for the elections. So I just went and cast my ballot for him ... I mean, the guy can control the friggin weather! How cool is that?

On a serious note ... I sit three feet from the wingnut who babbled that earlier and he scares the hell out of me. He mentioned something under his breath about Benghazi last week but I assume he is getting his stuff from infowars or something so I tuned him out. If I were you I wouldn't put too much faith in it unless you get it from a reliable source. Not saying it couldn't possibly be true but in general I dismiss things if there isn't a shred of evidence and I don't have the time to go chasing down the rabbit hole for every little bit of crazy that bubbles up.

We have a guy like that in our office. A number of folks have told him to start taking his medication, but I have studiously avoided those kinds of comments for fear of HR.

Hey guys I'm actually with DSGamer here. Can I get a link to some substantive information on this? Even my well educated, libertarian friends are starting to wave this around. I'm kinda flat footed on this one.

DSGamer wrote:

drones at the ready that weren't used

Yeah, 'cause that sounds like Obama.

DSGamer wrote:
I'm kind of shocked because usually when you see this stuff it bubbles up to the level of a least talking about the crazy things the extreme right believes. I'd love to debunk my relatives as this all seems like the typical ramblings of these kids of people, but I don't know how. Does anyone know about these rumors?

At some point people just believe their own insanity, or the insanity of others. I will be respectful and not mention religion here...whoops.

Whether it is Aliens in Egypt, The Davinci Code, Moon Landing Denial, etc. you can choose to engage it (not advised), ignore it until you go insane (might be hilarious to watch), or just distance yourself from the people and their views.

You can flat out tell these people that if they begin to talk conspiracies, you will terminate the conversation. If they persist, you will remove yourself either temporarily or permanently.

If they are crazy AND respect you, they will drop it. If they are crazy and DO NOT respect you, you are better off gone.

I was pretty open on here about how bad ignoring crazy can be when it came/comes to my fiancee-wife and her nut job father.

KingGorilla wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
I'm kind of shocked because usually when you see this stuff it bubbles up to the level of a least talking about the crazy things the extreme right believes. I'd love to debunk my relatives as this all seems like the typical ramblings of these kids of people, but I don't know how. Does anyone know about these rumors?

At some point people just believe their own insanity, or the insanity of others. I will be respectful and not mention religion here...whoops.

Whether it is Aliens in Egypt, The Davinci Code, Moon Landing Denial, etc. you can choose to engage it (not advised), ignore it until you go insane (might be hilarious to watch), or just distance yourself from the people and their views.

You can flat out tell these people that if they begin to talk conspiracies, you will terminate the conversation. If they persist, you will remove yourself either temporarily or permanently.

If they are crazy AND respect you, they will drop it. If they are crazy and DO NOT respect you, you are better off gone.

Or you could do what one of my friends did....

He was a weapons inspector for the USAF and was sent into Iraq during OIL (Operation Iraqi Liberation). It became almost immediately obvious to him that they weren't going to find anything substantive, but there were a few gung ho types that were convinced that the big find was just right around the corner.

At one point, one complete wingnut was convinced that there was an enormous chemical weapons factory beneath a manhole cover in the middle of Fallujiah and that, once the marines secured the area, it would become obvious why we invaded.

Just to entertain himself, he asked how big this plant was and worked through the logistics with him. After about half an hour of leading this nutbar down the primrose path, he asked the question "now how do you think they got all that equipment down that hole?".

After about 30 seconds of dumb silence, he said "That's it! There has to be another entrance!".

IMAGE(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/175/315/PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg?1316330080)

PissedYeti wrote:
I just heard about Obama using HAARP to create superstorm Sandy in time for the elections. So I just went and cast my ballot for him ... I mean, the guy can control the friggin weather! How cool is that?

Now we know whose face is behind the mask:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/e8fDX.jpg)

Seth wrote:
Hey guys I'm actually with DSGamer here. Can I get a link to some substantive information on this? Even my well educated, libertarian friends are starting to wave this around. I'm kinda flat footed on this one.

That's the worst part ... most of the time it's people I regard as being pretty smart or tech savy and then BAM!! the crazy train shows up when we start talking politics. The aforementioned Obamaphone was from a guy I work with and have known for years. He and I have a great time joking around but mention Obama and it gets weird. When I looked it up and gave him hell for the misleading info he was off on the Keystone pipeline or something. Like a whack-a-mole with these people!

And Libertarian doesn't mean the same thing it used to when I voted that way. It's been co-opted by Republicans who don't want to admit as such. Just my take ...

I have trouble distinguishing American Libertarians from Italian Fascists much of the time.

Seth wrote:
Hey guys I'm actually with DSGamer here. Can I get a link to some substantive information on this? Even my well educated, libertarian friends are starting to wave this around. I'm kinda flat footed on this one.

Here's one. I'll find one of the other ones.

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/28/lyonsobama-needs-come-clean-what-happened-benghazi/

KingGorilla wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
I'm kind of shocked because usually when you see this stuff it bubbles up to the level of a least talking about the crazy things the extreme right believes. I'd love to debunk my relatives as this all seems like the typical ramblings of these kids of people, but I don't know how. Does anyone know about these rumors?

At some point people just believe their own insanity, or the insanity of others. I will be respectful and not mention religion here...whoops.

Whether it is Aliens in Egypt, The Davinci Code, Moon Landing Denial, etc. you can choose to engage it (not advised), ignore it until you go insane (might be hilarious to watch), or just distance yourself from the people and their views.

You can flat out tell these people that if they begin to talk conspiracies, you will terminate the conversation. If they persist, you will remove yourself either temporarily or permanently.

If they are crazy AND respect you, they will drop it. If they are crazy and DO NOT respect you, you are better off gone.

I was pretty open on here about how bad ignoring crazy can be when it came/comes to my fiancee-wife and her nut job father.

The problem with this one is that it's not on the level of HAARP or Bush lining the Twin Towers with explosives. It's plausible enough to be possible, but seems ridiculous. That's why I was seeking assistance as opposed to commiseration.

Well the thing is deployments and gear are classified materials until well after hostilities. And anyone purporting to give that info out is risking high treason until it is declassified, normally after the lives of the people involved.

DSGamer wrote:

Leave it to a naive relative to forward something from a whackadoo relative, but I'm reading about Obama having troops in the area and refusing to use them to prevent the Benghazi attack.

The closest US military assets of note, a US Army Commando unit, were at Naval Air Station Sigonella, a US base in Sicily, some 500 miles away. Those troops had been moved from somewhere else in Europe earlier that night, but by the time they were positioned the attack was over.

The basic story, as told by conservative media outlets, is that special forces troops located at the CIA annex in the embassy were repeatedly told to stand down by higher ups and that their requests for air strikes on the attackers and reinforcements were repeatedly turned down.

The problem is that there isn't exactly a source for those claims. FOX News referred to "sources on the ground in Bengazi," "FOX News sources," "FOX News CIA sources," and the like. Other conservative media then just cited FOX News as their source.

While the source is never named, there is one name repeatedly mentioned in the stories, though never with any quote attributed to him. That name is Tyrone Woods, a Navy SEAL who, unfortunately, was killed in the attack. There are also plenty of reaction stories from Woods father, who has gone on record saying that US officials are "murderers of my son" for failing to do anything about the attack.

All the articles repeat the same heroic story about Woods: that he and his fellow special forces troops rushed to aid the embassy, that he personally climbed to the top of the embassy and lased an insurgent mortar team who was firing on the compound while repeatedly calling for airstrikes, and that he bravely ignored the last of multiple orders from higher ups to stand down, and was subsequently killed.

You can draw any conclusion from that as you like, but it's likely that the "source" is Woods' father, meaning FOX has been publishing hearsay. Of course, you have to wonder when his son would have the time to call his father and relay to him the blow by blow of the attack. This makes even more sense considering that about half the embassy staff were CIA and between the two--the State Department and the CIA--there's not a huge likelihood of those folks telling tales out of school.

DSGamer wrote:

I'm reading about drones at the ready that weren't used.

There were two unarmed drones re-tasked to surveil the embassy. The first arrived on scene about midnight local time, two and a half hours after the first attack. The second drone got there some four hours later, likely right after the second attack on the CIA annex.

DSGamer wrote:

I'm reading about the Benghazi consulate as an operation to funnel guns and money to Islamic insurgents throughout the Middle East.

In their zeal to pin blame on the Obama administration House Republicans held hearings where it was inadvertently revealed that there was a CIA annex on the embassy grounds (fast forward to about 1:30). Apparently, it was a big operation, as well, with half the staff evacuated from the embassy and annex being CIA agents or contractors.

The NYT reported that the CIA's presence in Libya was to keep tabs on the various militant groups still active in area and monitor eastern Libya since it's still a hotbed of activity and hasn't really been pacified by the new government. They were also tasked with recovering MANPADs from the former Libyan army, tracking down chemical weapons, and otherwise helping out the new government.

It seems a bit far fetched to claim that the CIA is there to funnel guns and money to Islamic insurgents when it's trying to kill them everywhere else throughout the Middle East and Asia.

OG_slinger wrote:
It seems a bit far fetched to claim that the CIA is there to funnel guns and money to Islamic insurgents when it's trying to kill them everywhere else throughout the Middle East and Asia.

Didn't Romney argue that we needed to be arming the insurgents in Syria RIGHT NOW while Obama was arguing that we first needed to figure out who these insurgent were and how they stood in relation to the US before we started arming them? From that perspective, certain parties have been arguing that we SHOULD be arming the Islamic insurgents.

Regarding the conspiracy theories, just yesterday I had a friend's wife tell me that she found it "extremely suspicious" that gas prices went down a week before the election and that she felt Obama was just dropping the cost of gas to trick people into thinking the economy was recovering. From dozens of other theories I've been bombarded with over the last few weeks it seems the common thread is possessing the ability to both attribute nearly unlimited power and knowledge to the government while also believing they are completely incompetent and unable to run even basic services. It really is amazing how these beliefs can be held at the same time. If Obama can control the weather, has immediate knowledge of every enemy movement around the globe with guns at his fingertips to execute any individual at the push of a button, can control the price of gasoline to the penny even in a small gas station in rural Alabama, then why is he having so many problems getting his agenda through Congress and Romney is presenting a clear threat in the election?

Consider the likelihood of an air strike on a compound of several buildings, occupied by people without tactical radios and without contact with each other, doing anything other than blowing the f**k out of the Americans inside? If I remember correctly, by the time the relief troops had gotten to the compound - summoned by the survivors of the original assault who had to physically go get them - the Ambassador and Sean Smith were already dead. It just makes no sense that these guys were Ramboing around in the open, when the fire was so severe that just trying to move out of a building brought fire from MGs and rifles at ranges of tens of yards. And there's no evidence of a sweeping assault against the attackers, which tells us that they actually left after they got into the buildings and ran off the security forces who had managed to get mobile. And so on, and so forth.

It's a desperate Swift-boating attempt.

What in the hell obligates people to have to debunk every ridiculous fantasy that comes down the pike, anyway? Sometimes you just have to say "Dude, WTF?!" and shake your head dismissively.

Robear wrote:
What in the hell obligates people to have to debunk every ridiculous fantasy that comes down the pike, anyway? Sometimes you just have to say "Dude, WTF?!" and shake your head dismissively.

This is me saying, "Dude, WFT?!" as i walk away, shaking my head dismissively.

I dont know the sources nor what all is being said, but my first thought and i havnet yet heard an actual answer is why the security there was so lacking.

I heard Hillary's apology for it, but not an explanation.

ranalin wrote:
I dont know the sources nor what all is being said, but my first thought and i havnet yet heard an actual answer is why the security there was so lacking.

I heard Hillary's apology for it, but not an explanation.

I suspect that the real explanation is that it was, indeed, primarily a CIA installation and that a significant military presence there would have denied them the obscurity necessary to perform their duties efficiently.

Robear wrote:
What in the hell obligates people to have to debunk every ridiculous fantasy that comes down the pike, anyway? Sometimes you just have to say "Dude, WTF?!" and shake your head dismissively.

I actually appreciate OG taking the time to explain some of what they're talking about. Even if it's BS, I'm curious about the nature of the BS. It sounds like there was a kernel of truth from which they springboarded into a conspiracy theory. I'd love to see a link or two.

Keep in mind that I would generally say "Dude, WTF?" and walk away, except that when people are spreading misinformation sometimes you also have to prove why they're wrong.

I think people like that need to lay off the ganja.

fangblackbone wrote:
I think people like that need to lay off the ganja.

I suspect the opposite - that smoking a wee bit of the herb might chill them the f*** out.

Jonman wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:
I think people like that need to lay off the ganja.

I suspect the opposite - that smoking a wee bit of the herb might chill them the f*** out.

I was going to say. Mainlining Limbaugh and FOX News (along with meth) is probably the real problem.

It's a hell of a lot easier to make claims than it is to dispel them. What goes on so effectively on the right - and has for the last 30 years or more - is that these claims are made in large numbers, quickly, and referencing back to each other to appear more plausible. It's the Gish Gallop.

Even if every word was true, it still wouldn't matter, because they thought it was a civilian protest, not a raid by Al Qaeda. You don't deploy soldiers against protesting civilians, and you certainly don't airstrike them.

Once the 'protest' was well established, then and only then did Al Qaeda actually turn it into a real operation, and they were able to penetrate and kill everyone before the confusion cleared. We were so confused that, at first, we didn't even think it was a military attack, just a bunch of angry civilians. It took something like, what, 12 hours to figure out that it had been a deliberate military strike? (We call it terrorism, as we do with everything we don't like, but this operation was not against civilians, it was against the US government, and probably doesn't qualify.)

When it's a genuine "conspiracy", aka a Top Secret project, the messaging is typically quite uniform. They're prepared ahead of time. A few people know what really happened, and then most of the frontline folks are fed a bullsh*t cover story that's smooth and polished. Mixed messages and chaos are usually a sign of surprise. This doesn't have to be true, but confused/mixed messages invite investigation, so they'll avoid that whenever possible. If you're going to lie, and our government does a great deal of that, it first and foremost needs to look plausible.

The fact that the messaging was completely screwed up indicates very strongly that there was no conspiracy, and that's totally ignoring the fact that there's no reason to fake an attack like that in the first place, nor to ignore an attack we knew was happening.

edit: slight grammar fix.

DSGamer wrote:
Robear wrote:
What in the hell obligates people to have to debunk every ridiculous fantasy that comes down the pike, anyway? Sometimes you just have to say "Dude, WTF?!" and shake your head dismissively.

I actually appreciate OG taking the time to explain some of what they're talking about. Even if it's BS, I'm curious about the nature of the BS. It sounds like there was a kernel of truth from which they springboarded into a conspiracy theory. I'd love to see a link or two.

Keep in mind that I would generally say "Dude, WTF?" and walk away, except that when people are spreading misinformation sometimes you also have to prove why they're wrong.

My question then to OG would be how much of his own time was wasted just to get to the truth of the matter? During the Bush years I tried my best to counter the crazy but I just got burnt out from spending my time just to have them go off on some other thing. The well is deep ...

Robear wrote:
It's a hell of a lot easier to make claims than it is to dispel them. What goes on so effectively on the right - and has for the last 30 years or more - is that these claims are made in large numbers, quickly, and referencing back to each other to appear more plausible. It's the Gish Gallop.

This. Now I have a name for it. Thanks.

PissedYeti wrote:
My question then to OG would be how much of his own time was wasted just to get to the truth of the matter? During the Bush years I tried my best to counter the crazy but I just got burnt out from spending my time just to have them go off on some other thing. The well is deep ...

I don't know. Maybe an hour? In the age of Google it's pretty damn easy to get to actual source of political rumors or attacks.

I don't mind doing it because most of the time someone in my family brings it up. I had dinner with my parents last night and had to explain to my mother that, no, Obama wasn't going to raise her taxes because her and my dad's pensions didn't remotely come close to $250,000 and, no, Obama didn't sign an executive order that lets welfare recipients get their government benefits without even looking for a job. But, hey, they have the TV on all day and it's mostly tuned to CNBC or FOX News and that's the kind of stuff they get told over and over.