Issa Disputes His Four-Pinocchio Ratings–Gets More Pinocchios
Full-time Obama investigator, Congressman Darrell Issa, took issue with receiving four Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler. It concerns his contention that U.S. troops were told to “stand down” during the Benghazi crisis. No stand down order was given, but then Issa changes the meaning of “stand down” to make himself seem credible. All that does is give you more Pinocchios.
Politicians are never happy to receive Pinocchios from the Fact Checker. We understand that, and of course offer them a chance to dispute our reasoning.
On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace brought up two Four-Pinocchio ratings given to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for remarks concerning the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. He offered two rationales in arguing that our rating was wrong, so let’s review the issues again.
The first Four-Pinocchio rating concerned this statement by Issa on “Fox and Friends” on April 24, 2013:
“The secretary of state was just wrong. She said she did not participate in this, and yet only a few months before the attack, she outright denied security in her signature in a cable, April 2012.”
The Fact Checker awarded Four Pinocchios because every single cable from Washington — hundreds of thousands of them a year, even the most mundane — automatically receives the secretary of state’s signature, per State Department protocol. Very few cables are ever shown to the secretary before being sent, and there is no evidence that Clinton ever saw this particular cable.
Speaking to Wallace, Issa explained, “The first one was for quoting something that was in somebody else’s report, believing that it was true, which is an unusual way to get four Pinocchios.”
But that was a report Issa signed. And the second four-Pinocchio statement was on the “stand down” issue.
As Wallace noted, the second Four-Pinocchio rating concerned Issa’s recent assertion that he suspected that Clinton ordered Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to “stand down” troops during the effort to rescue Americans under attack. As Issa put it on Feb. 17:
“Why [was] there not one order given to turn on one Department of Defense asset?”
In his response to Wallace, Issa moves the goal posts. “We know for a fact is not one aircraft, not one rescue of DOD was launched to get there in that 8 1/2 hours,” he said. Here, he confirms our reporting that Panetta did issue a series of orders, but because of the location of assets, they didn’t arrive until the next day.
That’s four more Pinocchios for Chairman Issa.