A central element of conservative conspiracy theories spread in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 attack on our diplomatic facility and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, has been the myth that the military could have responded to the attack more quickly and therefore saved lives.
In the most outlandish version of this story, President Obama or Hillary Clinton ordered the military to “stand down” rather than come to the aid of the Americans who were under attack.
Earlier this week, a letter from two House Democrats to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who is chairing the select committee investigating the Benghazi attack, revealed that the GOP’s own chief investigator acknowledged during the investigation that nothing “could have been done differently to affect the outcome in Benghazi.”
In an interview on Fox News today, Gowdy responded to this newly released information by acknowledging, “Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that — they couldn’t.”
This conclusion is in line with the findings of previous Benghazi investigations. For example, after the House Armed Services Committee completed its investigation of the attack, Buck McKeon, the California Republican who was then the committee’s chairman, told reporters, “I think I’ve pretty well been satisfied that given where the troops were, how quickly the thing all happened and how quickly it dissipated, we probably couldn’t have done more than we did.”
After spending more than two years and $6.9 million asking questions that have already been thoroughly answered, it is time for this investigation to conclude. At a minimum, those who propagated lies about the military’s ability to respond that night should now apologize.