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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
AIM's 'Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi' Is A Kangaroo Court
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A July 29 Accuracy in Media post by Roger Aronoff announced AIM's formation of a "Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi." This group, Aronoff claimed, "will focus on resolving some of the many questions surrounding the September 11th attacks last year on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the nearby CIA Annex, that remain unanswered to this day."

Actually, this "citizens' commission" looks more like a kangaroo court.

Here are the people on AIM's little commission:

  • Larry Bailey, Capt. (SEAL), USN (Ret.)
  • Charles Jones, B/Gen., USAF (Ret.)
  • Clare Lopez, former CIA operations officer
  • Admiral James Lyons (Ret.)
  • General Thomas McInerney (Ret.)
  • Wayne Morris Col USMC (Ret)
  • Wayne Simmons, former CIA officer
  • General Paul Vallely (Ret.)
  • Former Congressman and Retired Army Colonel Allen West 

It says a lot about AIM's panel that at least four of them -- Bailey, Vallely, McInerney and Jones -- are birthers. Additionally, West has called Obama a "usurper and charlatan," which is birther-friendly language.

Of the rest, Lopez is a supporter of the MEK, which until recently was considered a terrorist group by the US government, and has written for the rabidly anti-Muslim Clarion Project; Simmons says the U.S. should profile students from Muslim countries and claims waterboarding is not torture; and Lyons claims that the scandal involving an extramarital affair by David Petraeus was a cover for Benghazi, suggesting that slain ambassador Christopher Stevens was supposed to be kidnapped and held hostage in exchange for release of "blind sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman.

Only Morris appears to have made no public statements attacking Obama, and even that is suspect given that he's on a "citizens' commission" with other conspiracy theorists and Obama-haters.

Media Matters reports that during AIM's press conference announcing the "citizens' commission," several speakers lauded Fox News for its role in pushing forward attacks on the Obama administration over Benghazi. Speakers also repeated discredited claims, such as that a stand-down order had been issued preventing a military response to the Benghazi attack.

So far, it looks like AIM's "citizens' commission" has as much credibility -- and as much interest in fairness and facts -- as Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" on Obama's birth certificate.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 PM EDT

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