Roll Call reports that Republican aides are saying staffers are getting bogged down chasing bogus accusations.
“We have got to get past that and figure out what are we going to do going forward,” a GOP aide told Roll Call. “Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn’t believe some of this stuff. It’s just — I mean, you’ve got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.” Another aide expressed frustration at accusations that military assets weren’t properly deployed during the night of the attacks and that a team from Tripoli could have been flown in to fight off the attackers:
“There are some real issues there and then there is just some crazy stuff,” the senior House GOP aide said. “The crazy stuff is, you know, the airman in Ramstein [Air Base, Germany,] that knew that the Predator [drone] was armed. There are no armed Predators in the region there. The [status of forces agreement] does not allow us to fly them armed, and everybody knows it.” [...]
GOP aides described another criticism aired at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing that there were four security officers at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli who were ordered to remain in the capital for several hours after the first reports of an attack, rather than being scrambled to assist the consulate in Benghazi.
“The stand-down order was for four guys,” the GOP aide said. “When you step back and say how were the people killed at the annex, they were killed by an indirect fire mortar round. Four more M-4s [rifles] inside the annex doesn’t change that outcome. In fact, they might have just created more casualties. We have got to get down to what really happened on the DoD side and for us the DoD side was not properly postured, why?”
It appears that some Republicans are also beginning to see that the GOP’s Benghazi affair isn’t paying dividends. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed away from some Republicans’ baseless claims of an Obama White House cover-up. And Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) in an interview on Fox News on Monday warned his colleagues about taking the issue too far: