Fox host Martha MacCallum was obviously taken aback on America Live today when her conservative, Republican guest shot down Fox’s Benghazi/Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory of the day, that the Obama administration is covering up the theft of 400 missiles that were stolen from Benghazi, Libya on their way to Syria. But good little GOP foot soldier that she is, MacCallum valiantly soldiered on with the theory anyway.
MacCallum started the segment with an audio clip of anonymously-sourced allegations from Joseph diGenova, a Benghazi partisan whose wife and legal partner has a history of pushing dubious claims. But MacCallum left out the record of partisanship and jumped straight to giving diGenova cred. She described him as “former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova, who now represents one of the Benghazi whistleblowers who we watched testify before Congress in some very stirring testimony a month or so ago. …Listen to this!” She then played a clip of diGenova saying the following:
It’s pretty clear that the biggest concern right now are 400 missiles which have been diverted in Libya and have gotten into the hands of some very ugly people and they are worried, specifically according to these sources about an attempt to shoot down an airliner.
Driving the point home, a banner on the screen blared: "NEW BENGHAZI THEORY: ATTY CLAIMS REAL SCANDAL IS MISSILE THEFT"
“Do you think he’s on to something here?” MacCallum asked her guest, Christian Whiton. He replied unequivocally, “No, unfortunately, I don’t. You know I think there’s a lot to blame the Obama administration for in regard to Benghazi and there’s still a lot of things we don’t know… But there are just many problems with this theory.” He listed some of the technical issues, including doubting that the missiles could have been there to begin with.
By the way, Whiton is no Democrat or liberal. Whiton served as a U.S. State Department official from 2003-2009, in the George W. Bush administration, and more recently as a senior campaign advisor and deputy director of national security staff for the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign.
But MacCallum pressed ahead. She said the information “could have come from the whistleblower that (diGenova) represents who was a very credible witness when we watched him in front of Congress, by the perception of a lot of people, at least. This idea that perhaps they were moving missiles in order to aid the rebels in Syria is an idea that was also floated by Rand Paul.” She went on to say that Hillary Clinton had been “very skeptical,” hinting, no doubt, for her guest to run with the Fox News meme that Hillary Clinton was part of, if not spearheading, the cover up.
But Whiton didn’t. He only demolished the theory further:
There are just a number of reasons that that doesn’t add up. If you were gonna supply the Syrians with arms, first of all, it’s unlikely you would publicly be saying you’re not doing that while you were doing it, you would probably just be quiet in public. Second of all, you would actually procure the Russian-designed weapons that the Syrians need – you’d procure those from Eastern Europe and then just send them to Turkey and Syria and transfer them there. There’d be no reason to try and acquire used materiel from a bunch of militias in Libya. That would then blow the secrecy of your mission. Also, the night before Ambassador Stevens, our ambassador to Libya, was killed, he wrote in his diary that he was looking forward to getting back to Benghazi the next day. …Highly unlikely he would have made that diary entry if he was off to meet with militias and arms dealers.
But MacCallum kept on trying. “But the question remains, though, of what was happening at that outpost at Benghazi.” She said, “Obviously it was a CIA activity” and asked if it was “more logical” that they were “cleaning up weapons” from the Libya uprising there.
Whiton thought so. However, anticipating that MacCallum would theorize those weapons had been earmarked for Syria and were now dangerous, he added, “I don’t think they were terribly useful. None ‘em were used against our aircraft.” While he was at it, Whiton blasted diGenova for blaming the missiles for the recent embassy closures. Whiton said, “Why you would close an embassy in far away, say, Pakistan because of loose manpads in Libya? …It strains credulity.”
Obviously, MacCallum was not about to take “no evidence of stolen missiles” for an answer. Instead, she said, “Interesting. Well, we’ll see what Joe diGenova comes out with. If he comes forward with more details on that, but you say that you disagree with his account.”
But I’m willing to bet that Fox will ignore Whiton’s comments and continue on with this baseless conspiracy theory in prime time tonight.
But something was going on in or from that CIA annex that the admin. does appear to be fairly frantic to keep secret.
The idea that Joe DiGenova’s “whistleblower” gave compelling testimony at the congressional hearing is totally ludicrous. His appearance was heavily hyped in advance by right-wing media, and he had almost nothing of interest to say. After the fact, even righty news accounts barely mentioned him. (This is the guy several ranks down in the State Dept. counterterrorism team who whined that Hillary didn’t consult them, which was then contradicted sharply by the actual director thereof.)
DiGenova was very, very careful about what he said and allowed his interlocutor, and listeners, to draw all sorts of conclusions without confirming any of them.
He’s a sly dog, that one.
Never let the truth stand in the way of a good smear!!!