In the closing days of the election, Republicans are throwing everything they can think of at President Obama to rattle his position on national security. Though a CBS poll taken immediately after the final Presidential debate had 64 percent of undecided voters believing Obama would be better on national security than Mitt Romney, the right remains convinced that Libya will be Obama’s undoing.
Despite former Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice imploring that attacks be held off until an investigation is complete, more partisan Republicans refuse to heed her advice. To facilitate this, the right wing is floating almost any theory, no matter how implausible, in hopes of bringing Obama down, for example:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Fox News this morning claimed, without offering any evidence, that veterans no longer trust Obama post-Benghazi:
MCCAIN: I’ve been traveling all over the country on behalf of Mitt Romney and I can tell you, our veterans are angry. They’re angry, and they no longer trust their Commander-in-Chief. Because this debacle has been — not only what has happened infuriated them, but also the cover-up.
John Bolton, seeming to take cues from conspiracy theorists Frank Gaffney and Aaron Klein, speculated on Tuesday that the U.S. may have been buying arms from terrorists in Libya to give to Syrians at the time of the attack:
BOLTON: Well, there has been speculation about it. I’ll just say my personal opinion. If we were buying weapons from the al Qaeda or terrorist militias in Benghazi to give to the Syrian opposition, I’m outraged by that because these surface-to-air missiles and other weapons from Gadhafi’s arsenal falling into the hands of terrorists is bad enough. For the U.S. to be transmitting them to opposition forces in Syria I think would be beyond the pale.
Also on Tuesday, Newt Gingrich referred to “rumors” about emails implicating the White House in incompetence:
GINGRICH: There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down. But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action.
CHAMBLISS: Once the president in January of 2009 signed the executive order, saying we are going to shut down Guantanamo … any enemy combatant, as this individual is, there are no policies in place to take possession and interrogate him in a way to gain valuable information.
Meanwhile, Sean Hannity is now claiming to have sources who heard “damning” audio tapes of those under attack in Benghazi:
HANNITY: [D]on’t you think, in fairness, in the complete spirit of transparency that the Obama administration promised, that if there are tapes that we could hear that caused Ty Woods to disobey orders, risk his military career, his life, and then he gave his life, why not release them to the American people before the election so we could get a picture of the full truth?
Watch all of their claims here:
As varying and disparate as they are, these right-wing claims all focus more on attacking the Obama administration than any desire to seek the truth on Benghazi. For the last month and a half, after Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sept. 16 appearance on several news shows, the right has taken every opportunity to try to politicize the attacks. So far all of their attempts and claims have gone down in flames.
In comparison, the State Department’s investigation is set to be completed in the coming weeks, which will lay out in full any security failures. Likewise, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will be convening hearings after the election to determine what intelligence failures actually happened on Sept. 11.