Keeping Up With the Latest Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

| Fri May 3, 2013 12:45 AM EDT

Have you been keeping up with the latest on Benghazi! Yeah, me neither. But I guess it's time to correct that. It turns out there are two new developments that the wingers are pretty sure will finally blow the lid off the whole thing.

First up is a dramatically anonymous "military special ops member" who told Fox News that there was a team based in Croatia that could have been scrambled to Benghazi in time to do....something:

“I know for a fact that C-110, the EUCOM CIF, was doing a training exercise in ... not in the region of North Africa, but in Europe,” the operator told Fox News' Adam Housley. “And they had the ability to act and to respond.”

....“We had the ability to load out, get on birds and fly there, at a minimum stage,” the operator told Fox News. “C-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in a matter of about four hours...four to six hours.” Being so close, C-110s would have been able to respond had there been a second attack, the source added.

And why are we only hearing about this now? Because everyone who knew about it was afraid to come forward, natch. You know how ruthless Obama can be. Today, though, Billy Birdzell, a former special ops team leader, pretty much torched the whole conspiracy theory. He makes three points. First, Obama ordered the C-110 group to launch at 2:39 am. Four hours later the attacks were over, so the team couldn't possibly have gotten there in time to stop anything. Second, even if they'd been launched earlier, it's fantasy to think they could have gotten to the compound within four to six hours. Third, even if, miraculously, they could have gotten there in time, they couldn't have done anything to stop mortar fire, which is what killed the two consulate guards in the annex.

"The person in the interview is a clown," says Birdzell. Click the link for his extremely persuasive full analysis.

So that's one down, but next up are four, count 'em, four anonymous whistleblowers who are said to be "career-level officials at the State Department and the CIA." One of the State Department whistleblowers is represented by Victoria Toensing, a longtime Republican operative whose name you might recall from both the Monica Lewinsky and Valerie Plame affairs. Ed Henry of Fox News asked Obama about all this at his press conference on Tuesday, but apparently even the vast apparatus of the West Wing can't keep up with the latest Republican conspiracy theories on Benghazi. Obama had no idea what he was talking about. In any case, supposedly the four whistleblowers will be testifying in front of Darrell Issa's oversight committee next week:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, has promised bombshells at the hearing, which he says will “expose new facts and details that the Obama administration has tried to suppress.”

....Lawyers Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, who say they are trying to represent Benghazi witnesses who want to testify publicly about what they know, on Thursday repeated claims that access to their clients was being inhibited by pressure from unidentified administration officials. Mr. diGenova said on Fox News that the hurdles he faced amounted to a “cover-up” and that the Accountability Review Board failed to interview key witnesses for its report, starting with Mrs. Clinton.

And not only did Obama try to "suppress" this bombshell testimony, but now that he's (apparently) failed, the four officials from State and CIA are in considerable danger thanks to their decision to come forward. Issa has so far declined to provide the names of next week's witnesses because, he claims, he's concerned about "possible retaliation whistleblowers could face at the hands of administration officials."

What's it all about? Beats me, but among other things I gather the witnesses are going to rehash old charges about Hillary Clinton turning down requests for more security at the Benghazi consulate and dropping the ball on the night of the attacks. There's also a bunch of background sniping involved in the whole thing, including Toensing's claim that the State Department refused to give her a security clearance and Issa's pique over the rules under which his committee has been allowed to view documents. Beyond that, who knows? I guess we'll find out next week.