The American media won’t touch Benghazi with a ten foot pole, since there is no way that either Hillary or Obama come out of it looking good. The Europeans, however, are not so squeamish. (Hat tip: Snoopy the Goon, a fellow Watcher’s Council member who blogs out of Israel at Simply Jews.)
Earl Aagaard caught something in the very first line of an AP report about the fact that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is about to be freed from prison. If Nakoula’s name doesn’t ring a bell, let me refresh your recollection.
Nakoula posted on YouTube a short video that purported to be a trailer about Muhammad’s life. It was as inconsequential as any bit of fluff ever put onto YouTube. For the Obama administration, however, it was a life saver.
In the immediate aftermath of riots at the Egyptian embassy and the al Qaeda-related slaughter of four Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the administration discounted both its own responsibility and resurgent anti-American Islamist terrorism by saying that Nakoula’s video triggered events in both Egypt and Benghazi. To the extent that his ten-minute nothing of a video trailer for a non-existent movie was seen as an insult to “the Prophet,” the administration implied, Muslims got righteously upset and, pretty much by accident, attacked a US embassy, a consular office, and a CIA outpost, killing an American ambassador, a consular aide, and two former SEALS.
(You can see other cleverly-captioned Nakoula arrest posters here.)
Well, put that way, what else could our government do but arrest someone who had so much blood on his hands? Within just a day or two, administration flunkies discovered that Nakoula had violated his parole (nobody says Nakoula is the most savory character in the world), had him arrested, and kept him hidden away in the bowels of the American prison system. Now, over a year later, he is finally to be free.
In that intervening year, of course, we’ve learned that everything the administration said about Nakoula’s little video was a lie. The rioting in Egypt took place because of the September 11 anniversary, while the attack on the Benghazi consulate was a carefully planned attack by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. To the extent the jihadists talked about the video, it was an ex post facto cover for their terrorist activities — and the Obama administration knew this from the minute the riots in Egypt and the attack in Benghazi came into being. After all, Ambassador Christopher Stevens had seen the attack coming for some time and had begged for increased security in Benghazi. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, turned a deaf ear to his pleas.
When the attack finally came, barring Hillary’s single phone call and Obama’s quick visit to the situation room, both Hillary and Obama were AWOL. We don’t know what Hillary was doing, but we know that Obama was getting some rest before campaigning in Las Vegas.
With those facts in mind, how does the Associated Press report on the fact that Nakoula, the Obama administration’s designated scapegoat, is finally being set free? This way:
A California man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in parts of the Middle East is due to be released from federal custody this week.
Wow! That the AP can say that when we know with certainty that Nakoula’s film did not lead to violence is a breathtaking example of pro-administration spin. In the year since the attack, AP, which is supposed to track actual news, must have known that Al Qaeda used the film as a cover for a coordinated, planned attack against American outposts in the Middle East, and a sleazy, dishonest, incompetent administration seized on that cover in an effort to hide its own gross culpability. Pravda couldn’t have done a better job of covering its government master than AP did in that single, dishonest sentence.
Fear not, though, because two can spin at that game. The brilliant and inimitable Charles Martel, whom I count as one of my dear friends in both the real and the cyber world, has put forth his own idea for spin supporting a pro-American effort in the Middle East:
President Charles Martel’s address to the nation, September 24, 2013:
“My fellow Americans, as you know by now, two U.S. cruise missiles were accidentally launched earlier today and fell inadvertently upon two of the holiest shrines in Islam.
“One careened into the sacred well at Iran’s holy city of Qom, where, according to Shi’ite belief, the 12th Mahdi awaits his return to lead mankind from Daar al Habib—the world at war with Allah—into Daar al Islam, the world in submission to Allah.
“Fortunately, our concern that the misdirected missile may have prematurely awakened the Mahdi remains unfulfilled. U.S. satellite images show that the well is a shambles and apparently whatever lifeforms existed at the bottom of it now lie crushed beneath tens of thousands of tons of rock.
“Nevertheless, we send the Iranian people our deepest apologies and sincere wishes that the Mahdi gets out from under.
“The other missile ended its totally erratic course at the Kaaba in Mecca, the sacred black rock at the very center of Islam’s earthly manifestation. It, like the Mahdi’s well, is a complete wreck. Luckily, the accidental launch took place when only the janitors were buffing the Kaaba, so there was little—although regrettable—loss of life.
“We know that in Muslim belief Allah wills all that happens, and that man himself is predestined to carry out that will. Somehow Allah willed the launch of those two missiles—and believe you me, we are hunting down the man or woman and ship that launched them—and He can will the Kaaba’s instant restoration. If not, the United States stands ready to deliver building supplies to the good people of Mecca, although given the harsh terrain and conditions there, we would probably have to use M-1 tanks to make those deliveries.
“Again, we apologize for the bad lobs. We trust that Allah, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, will rebuild the Kaaba in the wink of an eye and dust off the Mahdi, thereby restoring His people’s faith in His ability to do anything He wants—including launch missiles against them.
“Good night and God bless the United States of America.”
Darryl Issa has tweeted out one of the most appalling photographs I’ve ever seen emerge from the United States House of Representatives.
Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing about events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. You remember what happened on that day, don’t you? If you don’t, I’m happy to give you the official Obama administration version:
That was the day that a Libyan movie review got a little bit out of control. Apparently Libyan fighters coincidentally affiliated with Al Qaeda took umbrage at a poorly made seven minute YouTube trailer promoting a movie that was never actually made about Muhammad’s life. Since Libya has no popcorn to throw at the screen, these same outraged movie critics inadvertently managed to overwhelm our under-guarded diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens (and perhaps torturing him before doing so), as well as U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
The same crazed movie reviewers then shifted their attack to the nearby CIA Annex where they engaged in a several-hour-long firefight with former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Both men died at their stations.
Meanwhile, back at home, some unknown person, but definitely not Barack Obama (even though he had sole authority to do so), told nearby troops told to stand by. Also, after a single phone call early in the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was sufficiently well informed about everything to vanish from the scene entirely. (And really, what difference at that point, did it make?) As for Barack Obama, well, he really did need his beauty sleep before an upcoming Las Vegas campaign stop.
The administration later assured us that, despite a slew of increasingly desperate emails from Ambassador Stevens about security concerns, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had absolutely no idea whatsoever that an American embassy outpost in a war-torn land riddled with al Qaeda operatives might need more than a couple of local guards at the front door. That’s why the Marines weren’t there to fire any of those “shots across the bow” that Obama suddenly loves so much.
In sum, the incompetence of a Democrat administration left a U.S. outpost vulnerable to a terrorist attack; that same Democrat administration could not be bothered to rouse itself to protect Americans fighting for their lives in a tiny outpost of America on foreign soil; and the Democrat administration then tried to cover-up its gross dereliction of duty by lying consistently in the days and weeks following the attack. Other than that, of course, the Democrats have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to events in Benghazi.
The Democrats’ sordid Benghazi history may explain a shocking tweet that Rep. Darryl Issa sent out two hours ago right before Patricia Smith, who is Sean Smith’s mother, and Charles Woods, who is Tyrone Woods’ father, were to have testified about their sons’ lives and deaths:
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) September 19, 2013
The far side of the room, shown empty in the photo, belongs to the Democrats. The only Democrats who stayed were Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jackie Speier.
Absent further information about this mass retreat, it appears that the Democrats, having presided over these men’s deaths, do not have the decency to look their survivors in the face, if only to apologize.
(Cross-posted at Gateway Pundit, where I’m helping out as Jim Hoft recovers from a very scary month, health-wise.)
(Welcome, Ace of Spades readers! I’m always delighted when you come to visit. If you’d like something a little meatier to read now that you’ve already clicked over to Bookworm Room, may I recommend my post discussing how the IRS scandal makes it possible to compare Obama to Henry II, Pastor Martin Niemoller, and Al Capone?)
One of my Facebook friends who is, like me, a refugee from the Left, put together a perfect summary of what came out of today’s testimony. If you’re on Facebook, please share this article or just block and copy this summary and send it around:
What have we learned so far the from Benghazi hearing:
1. Security support was denied before and during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US Benghazi Consulate by the State department.
2. Ambassador Stevens’ last words “Greg, we are under attack!” [To Greg Hicks - his second in command in Tripoli]
3. It was clear to everyone in Libya that this was a coordinated attack – NOT a demonstration over an obscure YouTube anti Islam video.
4. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked to Mr. Hicks – then the top diplomat in Libya – during and after the attack. She knew exactly what was going on.
5. During the attack, President Obama did not speak once with the Pentagon, and most likely went to bed while a US embassy was under attack.
6. Five days later UN ambassador Susan Rice in a media campaign orchestrated by State tells the world repeatedly that this was a demonstration over the anti Islam video – no one consulted Gerg Hicks – now the top diplomat in Libya over the talking points.
7. The obscure movie maker is jailed (and is still in jail in California)
8. Greg Hicks – the top diplomat in Libya – is shocked and embarrassed by Susan Rice’s appearances. When he raises the issue with his superiors at State they turn hostile.
9. When a congressional investigation team comes to Libya, Greg Hicks – still the top diplomat in Libya – is ordered by State Department lawyers for the first time in his 22 year long career not to talk to a Congressional committee. A State Department lawyer is sent along with the committee to make sure Hicks is kept away.
10. When he does talk to the committee, a furious Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, calls Hicks and demands an explanation and a report.
11. Gregory Hicks – a diplomat with a stellar record – has been harassed by the State Department and has not had an appointment since the Benghazi affair.
To which I will add what I’ve said before, this is Watergate (crime and cover-up), Iran-Contra (probable arms running), and a possible new one — an American president and Commander in Chief who deserves to be court-martialed for gross dereliction of duty.
I wrote a long post at Mr. Conservative about Barack Obama’s potential vulnerability to serious action based upon his conduct as president. Some of the expresses my thoughts, some of it is more a reflection of others’. I’ll post here the redacted version that’s pure me. I’d like your feedback:
Barack Obama became a national player in significant part by presenting himself as an anti-war politician. It would be the height of irony if this “anti-war” president ended up being indicted for war crimes, impeached for war conduct, or court-martialed for dereliction of duty. The unraveling of his Benghazi narrative, however, may mean that those are precisely the possibilities facing him.
With Libya, Obama thought he could play both sides of the game. He would get America “involved” in al Qaeda efforts in Libya to remove Qaddafi, but he’d never actually declare war. It would just be an “action” or a “support” or a whatever else that wasn’t actually war and that therefore needn’t neither a formal declaration of war nor Congress’s consent. Obama’s non-war successfully removed Qaddafi from power and, as always happens when a strong man leaves, left a power vacuum.
It turns out that Obama forgot to heed the words liberal columnist Thomas Friedman repeatedly said to President Bush: “You break it, you own it.” Bush took those words seriously in Iraq (and must have been horrified when Obama’s precipitous withdrawal undid all his good work). When it came to Libya, though, Obama thought he could just walk away. Any efforts he took to secure U.S. interests in Libya were minimal or perhaps, as we discuss below, dangerous and under the table.
Burned by his non-war failure in Libya, Obama opted to go for a “we won’t even speak of it” approach to Syria. He might have gotten away with this except that, when rumors began that Bashar al-Assad was gassing his own people, Obama forgot that he was supposed to stop with making clucking noises about how bad chemical weapon use would be. Instead, he went off teleprompter and announced that, if there was evidence that Assad was using chemical weapons on his people, that act would be a “red line” and the U.S. would have to act. Obama got very lucky when Israel, which became concerned by the Hezbollah/Iranian/Syrian build-up of weapons immediately across its border, did some surgical strikes, taking the heat off Obama, and putting it back on Assad.
And then there’s Benghazi. The wheels are really coming off the bus with that one. The testimony before the House today and in the coming days reveals that, from start to finish, the Obama administration was negligent, at times criminally so. What the whistleblowers knew from the start was that the September 11 consulate attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. People on the ground saw it coming in the months before it happened and begged then-Secretary of State Hillary (“What difference does it make?”) Clinton for help. She refused. When it was actually happening, people on the ground (especially Glen Doherty and Lance Woods, who were manning a stalwart, doomed defense) begged for help – but the available help was given a stand down order.
Only the president can issue stand down orders. That’s because doing so is that big a deal. Obama, however, appears to have been minimally interested in the whole thing. He left the White House situation room early, got a good night’s sleep, and went campaigning the next day. There are no records that he was in contact with the situation room after he Left – even though he is Commander in Chief and this was an attack on American soil. He left his troops to die. No one has ever explored whether the American Commander in Chief can be court-martialed for dereliction of duty. This would be a good time to check out that issue.
What Obama, along with Hillary Clinton, did do instead of coming to the aid of their people on the ground was to engage in a massive cover-up. We can guess as to the reasons, with Obama’s desire to win the upcoming election surely being one of them. Rather than acknowledging the terrorist attack, Obama, Hillary, and their flunkies made the rounds everywhere saying that the attack was because of an obscure video that inflamed devout Muslims. Once Obama & Co. gave the video this kind of massive publicity, members of the Religion of Peace rioted throughout the Muslim world, resulting in dozens of deaths. Those deaths lie at Obama’s feet.
And lastly, there’s the question of why we had such a busy consulate and CIA station in Benghazi. Rumors are swirling that the Obama administration was using the Libyan facilities to do some gun running. In other words, what happened in Libya was like Iran-Contra (gun running), plus Watergate (cover-up), plus something entirely new (a Commander in Chief’s gross dereliction of duty).
Will Obama be impeached now or indicted as a war criminal or court martialed? No. As long as he owns the Senate, this won’t happen. Should Obama’s behavior in Benghazi and in Libya and with the drone strikes in Pakistan come under scrutiny with an eye towards indictment or impeachment or court martial? Absolutely. And here’s how to make it happen: In every single election between now and forever, vote for Republican candidates who believe that Obama has committed crimes and failed in his duties to the American people and to the men and women who serve under him.
(I wrote another post yesterday for Mr. Conservative that is pure Bookworm Room — so much so that I almost hesitated to put it on the Mr. Conservative site. I did, though, because I had deadlines. And now I’m publishing it here, in slightly modified form, so that I can have the conversation I always enjoy so much with you guys and gals.)
Will Benghazi be the Obama administration’s Waterloo? From Day One, the Obama administration has been trying to sweep under the rug a terrorist attack on American soil – and yes, it was on American soil since the consulate was a small piece of America in the middle of Libya. Obama breathed the word “terror” once, in an undertone aside, and then the administration, with the mainstream media’s help, got down to its responsiblity-avoiding narrative: the attack was all because of an obscure YouTube video. Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.
The administration’s cover-up might have been successful were it not for three things: (a) Special Forces kept the the pressure up, because they refused to see former SEALs’ Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty’s deaths go unavenged; (b) Republicans in Congress began to push hard for hearings, and announced that attack survivors, who have been discretely hidden away, would finally appear in public to testify; and (c) Fox News’ aired an interview with a whistle-blower who revealed that American intelligence has long known who did the attack and could have taken the attackers into custody or otherwise acted against them.
Suddenly, things started moving. First, the FBI finally released photos of three suspects. Second, CNN reported yesterday that those who doubted the administration and media narrative about a film review run riot have been proven right. According to an unnamed senior U.S. law enforcement official, “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP]” were a part of the attack.
Once having started with a few tumbling rocks, the Benghazi avalanche started going full force. Retired Navy SEAL Billy Allmon wrote a column for The Western Center for Journalism stating that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama deliberately left four Americans to die in Benghazi. Hillary did so by failing to give them adequate security (and then lying about events to Congress). Obama, though, is the one who really has blood on his hands because he refused to send readily available help over to rescue the besieged Americans – despite the fact that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, former SEALS who died at the scene, provided a steady stream of usable information. Instead, he got a good night’s sleep while they were fighting and dying, and then went campaigning the next day.
Today, information came out suggesting that the Benghazi avalanche that may be the thing that finally buries forever the Obama administration’s “bad video” Benghazi spin. It turns out that the State Department whistle blowers who will testify before Congress aren’t low level desk jockeys. They are, instead, extremely highly placed officials who have first hand knowledge of what happened in the lead-up to the terrorist attack and during the attack itself:
• Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and, at the time, the highest-ranking American diplomat in Libya;
• Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and
• Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks (although, as someone who had previously offered testimony, he does not consider himself a whistle-blower).
Nordstrom’s October 2012 testimony before the House oversight committee was an early indicator that the Obama administration wouldn’t be able to run away from its gross culpability. Hillary’s State Department, according to Nordstrom, absolutely refused to provide security for the consulate in the months leading to the attack. As far is Nordstrom was concerned, “For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building.”
All these stories, which will continue to grow bigger with Congressional testimony, reveal that something rotten was (and is) happening in the White House. Doug Ross, who runs the Director Blue website, has put together a timeline of everything we know with certainly about the Benghazi attack. His analysis reveals “four inescapable conclusions”:
a) Hillary Clinton lied under oath to Congress.
b) Barack Obama went to sleep knowing that a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans were under terrorist attack.
c) Barack Obama awoke refreshed the next day to begin fundraising.
d) The entire Executive Branch lied repeatedly to the American people to save Obama’s chances for reelection.
Since the attack on the consulate, the administration has lied and the media has run interference. It will be interesting to see how these two branches of the Democrat machine handle earth-shaking testimony establishing that the administrative could have prevented the attack from ever happening and that Obama deliberately left Americans to die. And it will be even more interesting to see whether the American people actually care that their president was responsible for these shocking practical and moral failures.
For the past several months, the administration has worked hard to keep the public focused on gun control and gay marriage, with all its attendant fascist hysteria. By doing so, it has kept the public from paying attention to what is the biggest scandal of the Obama administration: the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack that saw four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, die horribly at terrorist hands.
After the Benghazi attack, the administration lied repeatedly to the American people. At first, it appeared that these lies were to hide the fact that al Qaeda, rather than being as dead as Obama had stated just days before, was very much alive. It then appeared that the lies were intended to obscure the disgraceful news that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been warned about the upcoming attacks, but had done nothing to increase security. Recently, though, it’s begun to appear that the lies came about because the administration was covering-up its use of the Benghazi outpost as the operations base for an illegal gun running scheme into Syria.
Two of the men who died in Benghazi – Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty – were former U.S. Navy SEALS. Not only may they have saved dozens of American and friendly-Libyan lives (we don’t know because the administration is silencing survivors), but they also took out unknown numbers of terrorists before they died themselves. While Obama’s administration has been trying to brush these men aside, their fellow Special Operations comrades have not forgotten them.
More than 700 Special Operations veterans, gathered together under the umbrella of a group called “Special Operations Speaks,” have put their names and reputations behind Sen. Lindsey Graham’s flagging effort to get information about Benghazi. They have sent a letter to Congress urging that it start a special probe into the Benghazi attack. The signatories set out their purpose clearly:
The purpose of this letter is to encourage all members of the US House of Representatives to support H.Res. 36, which will create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. It is essential that a full accounting of the events of September 11, 2012, be provided and that the American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on US diplomatic personnel and facilities. We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen.
The letter identifies sixteen specific topics they believe Congress should investigate, including the absence of a military response, the actual number of Americans injured, the location of the survivors, the identity of those present in the White House situation room for the full 8-hour duration of the attack, the failure to even consider sending F-16 fighters stationed only 2 hours away in Italy, the presence or absence of strike aircraft that could have responded to SEAL Tyrone Woods’ use of a laser to designate targets, and the nature of Ambassador’s Stevens’ business in Libya when the attack occurred.
These former Special Operations veterans may find that fighting a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House is one of the hardest battles of their careers. The stakes here aren’t spilled blood, but are possibly much higher: impeachable, and possibly criminal, corruption at the highest echelons of American government. Cornered corrupt politicians are as vicious in their own way as the most hardened terrorist. We wish Special Operations Speaks, and all its members, the best of luck with this battle.
And another post that’s pure me, only it showed up at Mr. Conservative first:
It shouldn’t have been complicated – if you’re responsible for the president’s huge, hi-tech, armor-plated, gas guzzling limo, and if that car is taking a trip overseas with the president, you make sure that everyone knows that this gas hog takes ordinary gasoline, not diesel.
Someone on the Obama payroll forgot to take this basic precaution, leading to a humiliating moment for American prestige during Obama’s recent trip to Israel: his car wouldn’t start.
According to Israel’s Channel Two, the wrong fuel caused the problem:
The Americans filled it up with diesel, rather than petrol.
Speaking with the New York Times, however, Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said that the Secret Service didn’t actually know what caused the breakdown:
“We experienced mechanical trouble with one of the cars,” said Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service. “We don’t know the cause.”
There have been media reports that the vehicle had been filled with diesel fuel rather than gasoline.
Donovan said the Secret Service “did not have a read on what the specific issue is at this point.”
Donovan sounds as if he’s engaged in face-saving bureaucratic-speak. Right now, we’ve got our money on the Israeli version of the story. We’re also taking bets here that, while no one in the Obama administration was fired or punished for the deaths of four people in Benghazi, if this Limo-breakdown was indeed a fuel failure, someone’s going to lose his job.
In politics, as in so much of life, image is everything. When one considers the complete disaster President Obama’s Middle East politics have been (he’s made no progress in advancing peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he’s overseen the economic and structural collapse of myriad Muslim nations, and the Muslim world hates him even more than it hated George Bush) a broken down car in Israel seems like the perfect metaphor for Obama’s Middle Eastern strategy.
Congressional Republicans have been working hard lately at something we all should care about — talking to the Benghazi survivors. Sen. Lindsay Graham has been making it something of a personal crusade. As far as he’s concerned, there’s a cover-up going on:
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, in an extensive interview with Fox News, alleged that the injured survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been “told to be quiet” and feel they can’t come forward to tell their stories — as he urged the House to subpoena the administration for details if necessary.
The South Carolina senator said he’s “had contact” with some of the survivors, calling their story “chilling.” He told Fox News that “the bottom line is they feel that they can’t come forth, they’ve been told to be quiet.”
I have no doubt but that this is true. I mean, this is the same administration that lied for weeks about what happened in Benghazi. If they’d lied a a ruse to lure the attackers out from cover to kill them, that would be one thing. But the administration, from Obama on down, seems to have lied solely to hide two facts: (a) contrary to Obama boasts, al Qaeda is not dead, and (b) Hillary is incompetent.
Hillary is also hiding what went on. When she appeared before the Senate to testify about Benghazi, and was asked about the fact that four men died on her watch, her response was the equivalent of “Come on! Stop crying over spilled milk.”
The fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
To answer Hillary’s question (not that she wanted an answer), it makes a big difference. It makes a difference because we should weed out incompetents before it happens again; it makes a difference because the dead deserve justice; and it makes a difference because the living deserve justice.
If this seems like I’m rehashing an old issue . . . well, maybe I am. But it’s back in the news because of Sen. Graham’s push for info. It’s also back in my mind for a funny reason.
My kids love the TV show Psych, which they watch on Netflix. Every kid in the neighborhood loves Psych. It’s a cute show about a flaky, extremely observant young man (James Roday) who pretends to be psychic to help solve crimes, and his knowledgeable eccentric sidekick (Dulé Hill). The kids especially love Hill’s character, and it’s no wonder that they do. He’s a charming comedic presence, and he and Roday work well together.
If Dulé Hill’s name seems familiar to you, you might remember him as the president’s personal assistant in the Aaron Sorkin TV Show The West Wing. That show, of course, was about the perfect Democrat president. As far as Sorkin was concerned, President Bartlet was Bill Clinton without the character flaws and with all of his past mistakes corrected.
My kids wanted to see a young Hill, so we managed to find (again on Netflix) the episode in which Hill first appeared. He did a nice job, but what really captured my attention was a bit of dialogue that Sorkin put in the mouth of the “perfect Democrat president.” The episode is entitled “A proportional response” and one of its plot points revolves around the fact that Bartlett is figuring out how to respond to a terrorist attack in the Middle East that brought down a plane on which his personal physician was flying:
President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is furious about a plane carrying his personal physician being downed in the Middle East. After initially requesting a retaliatory attack that would kill a great many people, Bartlet’s military advisors try to convince him to take a more cautionary maneuver.
So, keep that in mind — one American dead in an attack against an American plane. Here is what Sorkin would have the perfect Democrat president do under those circumstances (emphasis mine):
- Bartlet: What’s the virtue of the proportional response?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: I’m sorry?
- Bartlet: What is the virtue of a proportional response? Why’s it good? They hit an airplane, so we hit a transmitter, right? That’s a proportional response.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Sir, in the case of Pericles 1 –
- Bartlet: [talking over him] They hit a barracks, so we hit two transmitters.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: That’s roughly it, yes, sir.
- Bartlet: This is what we do. I mean, this is what we do.
- Leo: Yes, sir, it’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.
- Bartlet: Well, if it’s what we do, if it’s what we’ve always done, don’t they know we’re going to do it?
- Leo: Sir, if you’d turn your attention to Pericles 1 –
- Bartlet: I have turned my attention to Pericles 1. It’s two ammo dumps, an abandoned railroad bridge and a Syrian intelligence agency.
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Those are four highly-rated targets, sir.
- Bartlet: But they know we’re gonna do that. They know we’re gonna do that! Those areas have been abandoned for three days now. We know that from the satellite, right? We have the intelligence. [over Leo's attempt to speak up] They did that, so we did this. It’s the cost of doing business. It’s been factored in, right?
- Leo: Mr. President –
- Bartlet: Am I right, or am I missing something here?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: No, sir. You’re right, sir.
- Bartlet: Then I ask again, what is the virtue of a proportional response?
- Admiral Fitzwallace: It isn’t virtuous, Mr. President. It’s all there is, sir.
- Bartlet: It is not all there is.
- Leo: Sir, Admiral Fitzwallace –
- Admiral Fitzwallace: Excuse me, Leo…pardon me, Mr. President, just what else is there?
- Bartlet: The disproportional response. Let the word ring forth, from this time and this place, gentlemen, you kill an American, any American, we don’t come back with a proportional response. We come back with total disaster! [He bangs the table]
- General: Are you suggesting that we carpet-bomb Damascus?
- Bartlet: I am suggesting, General, that you, and Admiral Fitzwallace, and Secretary Hutchinson, and the rest of the National Security Team take the next sixty minutes and put together an American response scenario that doesn’t make me think we’re just docking somebody’s damn allowance!
President Obama might want to start studying a few old episodes of The West Wing. Maybe if he familiarizes himself with it, he’ll figure out that it’s no response at all, let alone a “proportional one” to let the deaths of four Americans, including an Ambassador, get buried in order to hide the President’s (and his team’s) lies and mistakes.
By the way, if you have followed Sorkin’s career, you’ll know that he’s a drug-fueled genius with a true gift for words and a passion for using TV and movies to convince people of the Democrat Party’s virtues. He also runs to the well a few too many times:
Last week, we learned that President Obama was completely AWOL during the Benghazi attack. While Americans under his command were dying, he caught a few Zs.
This week’s revelations are even uglier. Typically, the Daily Mail is very excited about those parts of a new book that discuss General Petraeus’ downfall (it was a coup engineered by disgruntled CIA staff, including his personal security detail, who didn’t like his focus on paramilitary actions, rather than intelligence gathering).
What ought to strike all of us as infinitely more interesting is what Benghazi: The Definitive Report reveals about President Obama’s and John Brennan’s activity in the Middle East in the months leading up to the September 11 slaughter.
The book’s authors, Jack Murphy and Brandon Webb, have a unique edge that gives their books insights it’s impossible to imagine in any other similar books. Webb was a SEAL for ten years, while Murphy was a Green Beret. These guys have contacts. Many, many contacts.
According to the Daily Mail (which doesn’t always get things right), this 83-page makes the following political revelations (emphasis mine):
‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report‘ is a short read at just 83 pages. However, it is packed with little-known details and exclusive information and background about the consulate attack. Here are a few key excerpts from the book:
(Deputy National Security Advisor) John Brennan also ran a highly compartmentalized program out of the White House in regard to weapons transfers, and Stevens would not have been trusted with that type of information. Stevens likely helped consolidate as many weapons as possible after the war to safeguard them, at which point Brennan exported them overseas to start another conflict.
During the rebellion against Gaddafi and in the aftermath of his death, Libya and North Africa became a staging ground for a dizzying array of operations by SpecOps, paramilitary forces, and international private military contractors working for everyone from European nations to multibillion-dollar oil corporations.
What we do know is that the British Special Air Service (SAS) landed in Libya at some point—probably the secretive intelligence gathering component of the SAS called ‘The Increment,’ which works alongside MI-6. Elite counter-terrorist operators from America’s Delta Force were deployed to Libya as ‘analysts,’ which allowed President Obama to declare that America did not have any boots on the ground but was simply providing air support for the rebels. The reality was that Delta Force had a small contingent instructing the rebels in the finer points of weapons and tactics.
Behind closed doors, President Obama had given his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, carte blanche to run operations in North Africa and the Middle East, provided he didn’t do anything that ended up becoming an exposé in The New York Times and embarrassing the administration. In 2012, a secret war across North Africa was well underway.
With JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), Brennan waged his own unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure. These Direct Action (DA) operations, unlike the traditional ISR missions mentioned above, were ‘off the books’ in the sense that they were not coordinated through the Pentagon or other governmental agencies, including the CIA. With Obama more than likely providing a rubber stamp, the chain of command went from Brennan to McRaven, who would then mobilize the men of ISA (Intelligence Support Activity), SEAL Team Six, or Delta Force to conduct these missions.
With a small element launching from an airfield in a European nation, JSOC operations targeted Al Qaeda personalities within Libyan militia organizations. In the weeks before the Benghazi tragedy, they most likely hit a known associate of Al-Suri in order to get him to “up periscope” and increase his visibility, which would then make it possible for JSOC to run a targeted operation to kill or capture him.
The aftermath of one of these secret raids into Libya would have grave consequences for all of them, including former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. SOFREP believes the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12 was blowback from the late-summer JSOC operations that were threatening the Al Qaeda-aligned militant groups (including Ansar Al-Sharia) in Libya and North Africa, now a leading base of operations for Islamic extremism.
Stated simply, Obama set the stage for the tragedy, and then refused to show up for the final performance.
At this point, we know that the media will circle the wagons to protect Obama. But with this information out there smack dab in the middle of the Brennan hearings, I suspect that the President might decide to jettison Brennan. With Hagel having outed his two-digit IQ, and Brennan being revealed as a Middle Eastern gunrunner, Obama might have to rethink his CIA and Defense wish-list.
Every time I watch a Bill Whittle video, I think to myself “This is incredibly good. It can’t get better than this.” And every time I’m wrong, because Bill Whittle’s astounding gift for powerful, honest insight and analysis keeps growing.
Whittle reaches the top of his game — again! — in this video “What difference does it make?” in which he rips apart Hillary’s loathsome statement dismissing the deaths of four men who died, not just on her watch, but because of her watch.
My post title says President Obama has been tactless of late. That’s not true. He’s always been tactless. Remember him denigrating handicapped people on the Jay Leno show?
Lately, though, the President has upped his game. Last week, shortly before the Sandy Hook shooting that saw myriad children die, Obama “jokingly” told Barbara Walters why he really ran for president:
We joke sometimes about how Malia’s getting to the age now, and boys start calling and, you know, sort of, I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing Secret Service protection to have men with guns around at all times. . . .
For a president who has sat back while hundreds of black children have died on the streets of Chicago and other cities, it’s impossible to imagine a more tactless remark. The remark reverberates especially strongly now, since Obama’s minions have gotten hysterical at the thought that the children of ordinary Americans should also be protected by armed guards.
You’d think Obama had topped his game with that one, but you’d be wrong. Unaided, our esteemed President just came up with another spectacularly tactless remark, this one about Benghazi (where four men, including an American ambassador, were brutally murdered on Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s watch) (emphasis mine):
When you read the report, and it confirms what we had already seen based on some of our internal reviews, there was just some sloppiness, not intentional, in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies. So we’re doing a thorough renew. not only will we implement all the recommendations that were made, but we’ll try to do more than that. You know, with respect to who carried it out, that’s an ongoing investigation. The FBI has sent individuals to Libya repeatedly. We have some very good leads.
Videos don’t kill people. Terrorists don’t kill people. Nooo, nooo. What kills people is sloppiness. I’m sure the families of the four dead men were relieved to hear that nothing really bad killed their loved ones.
In today’s news, we learned that Muslims in Libya kidnapped twelve men that they claimed were homosexuals in order to execute them:
Extremists say they will execute a dozen men they allege are homosexuals, whom they abducted last Thursday at a private party in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district.
A body calling itself the ‘Private Deterrent Force’, which is believed to be part of the extremist Nawasi militia group, has posted images of the men on their Facebook page. One picture (above) shows them, heads covered, standing with their hands against a wall.
At the time of writing, the picture had received 315 ‘likes’ and had received comments such as “flog them hard”, “lets see the bullets”, and “ride them like camels”.
Accompanying text describes the men as “the third sex” and says that they are to be mutilated and executed.
I posted this on my Facebook page, along with a comment saying that, lately, nothing good has come out of Libya. Within a few minutes, a high school classmate, very gay, commented on this post. Interestingly, he didn’t comment on the post to excoriate a culture that brutally murders his fellow homosexuals. Instead, he said that the Middle East isn’t very gay friendly, but neither are any Christian countries, including the U.S. Before I could take him to task for that manifest idiocy, another friend of mine — a Democrat gay man who is a closet conservative — chimed in to say that this was the stupidest comment he’d ever heard, and that it was impossible to conflate the Muslim’s murderous approach towards gays with any attitude towards gays displayed in a Western, majority-Christian country.
Since my closeted conservative friend had dealt more than adequately with this gay Leftist idiocy, I opted for a different line of thinking. Assuming that, as a Leftist, he’s fairly pro-Israel, even as he supports the same countries that murder gays, I decided to put in a plug for Israel. I therefore pointed out that there’s a sad, funny irony in the fact that the safest place for gay Palestinians is Israel, with accords full civil rights to the LGBT crowd. Since I always like to back up my statements with evidence, I went trolling on Google for news stories about how Palestinian gays find sanctuary in Israel.
What I found, to my surprise, were savage attacks from the Left about the fact that Israel is hospitable to gays. The previous sentence is not the result of a typographical error. The Left finds it absolutely infuriating that Israel treats gays like people (just as it does women and its Arab citizens). As far as the Left is concerned, this is all a despicable trick aimed at hiding the fact that it is an Imperialist Nazi-like nation bound and determined to commit genocide against its Palestinian neighbors. (The Left conveniently ignores the soaring Palestinian population, something inconsistent with decades of alleged genocide, just as it ignores the genocidal, antisemitic rantings emanating from all parts of the Muslim world, rantings that have no anti-Arab corollary in Israel.)
This is not fringe stuff. Perhaps because I was busy with Thanksgiving travel last November (2011), I missed completely a Jewish lesbian’s nasty opinion piece in the New York Times accusing Israel of “pinkwashing”:
After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel.
In the Netherlands, some Dutch gay people have been drawn to the messages of Geert Wilders, who inherited many followers of the assassinated anti-immigration gay leader Pim Fortuyn, and whose Party for Freedom is now the country’s third largest political party. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who massacred 77 people in July, cited Bruce Bawer, a gay American writer critical of Muslim immigration, as an influence. The Guardian reported last year that the racist English Defense League had 115 members in its gay wing. The German Lesbian and Gay Federation has issued statements citing Muslim immigrants as enemies of gay people.
These depictions of immigrants — usually Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish or African origin — as “homophobic fanatics” opportunistically ignore the existence of Muslim gays and their allies within their communities. They also render invisible the role that fundamentalist Christians, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jews play in perpetuating fear and even hatred of gays. And that cynical message has now spread from its roots in European xenophobia to become a potent tool in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”
Pinkwashing not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel’s gay community, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations.
Sarah Schulman, who wrote that putrid little piece, should be given a one-way ticket to Iran or Saudi Arabia or Libya or Gaza to see what kind of “gay rights” exist in those parts of the world. The “rights” usually boil down to “Do you want to be hanged, stoned, flayed, or beheaded for the crime of being a homosexual or lesbian?” Of course, that’s not what would happen if she went to those backwards countries. Backwards they may be, but they know a useful idiot when they see one. Schulman would be feted and stuffed full of propaganda about the love Muslims feel for gays.
What’s just as bad as Schulman’s willful obtuseness is the fact that she’s got a nice platform from which to indoctrinate equally stupid, blind gays here at home. (I’m not saying all gays are stupid and blind. I am saying that those who believe Leftism is more important than human rights are willing vessels for this kind of propaganda.) You see, Schulman is a “Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.” Not just a professor, but a “distinguished” professor. To my mind, she is distinguished only by being either evil, or stupid to the point of being evil.
Who knew that Susan Rice was a Thomas Gray lover? He was the poet who, in his widely forgotten “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” penned the unforgettable line that, “where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”
Rice, whom Obama would like to have serve as his Secretary of State is reveling in her ignorance about events in Benghazi. As you recall, five days after Islamists engaged in an organized terrorist attack against the American presence in Libya, killing four, she made the rounds of the talk shows assuring Americans that this was all a movie review run amok.
By this time, of course, the CIA, the DNI, and the White House all knew this for the lie it was. Heck, the Times, inadvertently betraying the administration it serves, had already revealed information in news stories proving that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.
Rice isn’t backing down, though. She’s doing the only thing someone who is either a liar, or incurious to the point of imbecility, can do: she’s blaming others. Thus, when a reporter asked her about her talk show presentations, she cheerfully pleaded ignorance:
As a senior US diplomat, I agreed to a White House request to appear on the Sunday shows to talk about the full range of national security issues of the day, which at that time were primarily and particularly the protests that were enveloping and threatening many diplomatic facilities—American diplomatic facilities—around the world and Iran’s nuclear program. The attack on Benghazi—on our facilities in Benghazi—was obviously a significant piece of this,” Rice explains.
When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers. Everyone, particularly the intelligence community, has worked in good faith to provide the best assessment based on the information available. You know the FBI and the State Department’s Accountability Review Board are conducting investigations as we speak, and they will look into all aspects of this heinous terrorist attack to provide what will become the definitive accounting of what occurred.
Interestingly, Gray’s little remembered Ode paints a grim view of the knowledge that comes with experience. Looking down in Eton, he envies the young boys their innocence, joy, and resiliency. For him, at least, real life is the kind of thing that makes you want to run and hide:
Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond today:
Yet see how all around ‘em wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune’s baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey the murtherous band!
Ah, tell them, they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow’s piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness’ altered eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their Queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemned alike to groan;
The tender for another’s pain,
The unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.
I was planning on ending this post by saying that I’m sure Rice would agree with Gray’s sentiments. On the the hand, given that she’ll soon be failing upwards, it’s questionable whether she has any regrets at all.
So, now we know that Susan Rice made the talk show rounds relying on an information sheet that “somehow” got modified between the CIA and Rice. Hmmm. Who had the authority to do that? Hmmm. I’m sure it wasn’t someone subordinate to Petraeus. Maybe it was someone higher up the food change who reports directly to the President. (Right about now, you should be hearing the name “James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence” floating through your mind.)
If Petraeus is telling the truth this time around (and sadly, his reputation for honor is somewhat besmirched), we can draw a few conclusions:
1. If Obama knew, he deliberately committed a fraud against the American people. If he didn’t do so for national security reasons, but did so for purely political ones, he and the American people have a problem. This is especially true if it turns out that he made the decision not to send aid to the Americans under siege in Benghazi, because he feared that to do so would have created a spectacle that could have harmed is reelection chances.
2. If Obama did not know, we have a serious problem in that we’ve elected the Sergeant Schultz of Presidents. He knows nothing: Not Fast & Furious, not Benghazi, not the post-Benghazi cover-up. He is, as he himself said, just there for set decoration. To the extent that he’s incapable of handling the duties of Commander in Chief and Chief Executive Officer, he and the American people have a problem.
Regarding these problems, it’s fun mental exercise to bandy about the word “impeachment.” I am not a constitutional scholar, so I have no idea if either of these is an impeachable offense. Both, however, severely harm the Obama brand in the wake of a close and hard-fought election. That’s fundamentally bad for the American body politic.
Back to my list:
3. If Rice didn’t know that the talking points had been doctored, she’s an idiot. All the information was there, so that ordinary people reading the news could figure it out. I think being an idiot should preclude you from serving as Secretary of State.
4. If Rice did know that the talking points had been doctored, she’s a liar and dishonest broker. This brings us back to point one: if her lies were told for national security, that’s one thing; if they were told to insulate the president’s reelection chances from ugly publicity about a failed Middle East policy, that’s something else altogether.
I’ll close, not with any words from me, but with an email from a reader:
Today’s newspapers, radio, tv, internet blogs, etc are full of discussions about who knew what when concerning the participants in the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. Fingers are pointing in every direction. Hopefully, one day we shall know the truth.
One thing that is lost in this discussion is the fact that four Americans are dead, including a US Ambassador. Were there calls for help? Who from? Who to? Why no response? Sec of Def Panetta’s explanation that “we don’t send troops into unknown situations” or something similar seems to have shut the discussion down. What???? The new military doctrine is “We must know everything before we send in the military.” Really????????
Four Americans are dead and Washington is focusing on what started the attack? Don’t get me wrong, I think that is important to know – especially in light of what seems to be purposeful lying to the public. But as an American, and the mother of an ROTC son who might be called to serve, I want to know why we didn’t, and now apparently don’t, do rescue operations. Also, if I was a member of the US Consular Corps, I would be rethinking my career choice.
Here’s what didn’t happen in Benghazi on September 11, 2012: Despite advanced warning of the attack, and despite urgent, detail rich phone calls from the CIA/former Navy SEAL operatives under attack, and despite real time video feeds of events unfolding on the ground,* no one came to help. No one came to help the 30-odd people trapped in the embassy, no one came to help Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, and no one came to help Glen Doherty and Lance Woods as they rescued those trapped people and then spent seven terrifying hours on the roof of the administration’s CIA outpost, holding off an al Qaeda affiliate’s attack before they were finally killed.
During this long night, Obama seems to have hung out a bit watching events before going to bed in preparation for a campaign junket to Las Vegas. (One Las Vegas paper does not appreciate that effort.) The next day, the administration started playing the blame game. First, Obama and his shills blamed a 14-minute nothing of a video. To add verisimilitude to an otherwise unconvincing narrative, the government ignored the First Amendment, arranged for the video maker to be arrested for exercising his right of free speech and, seven weeks later, keeps him imprisoned. (And yes, he was ostensibly jailed for a parole violation, but I think we all know that the way he was treated was a farcical overreaction that can only be explained as part of a larger cover-up.) Just so you know, they do the same kind of thing in China, which is not blessed with a First Amendment.
When the video story fell apart, Hillary said events in Benghazi were her responsibility (although she was careful to blame unnamed subordinates for the actual security failure). Interestingly, neither the administration nor the media demanded her resignation or even an investigation. When the Obama administration started to turn its knives on Bill Clinton for allegedly giving bad campaign advice, Hillary leaked that, well, no, really, she’d done everything she could to increase security, but nobody (read: the White House) would let her.
With the State Department pushing back, the next obvious culprit was the CIA — especially once we learned that Woods and Doherty had begged the CIA for help. The media and the White House were thrilled. Thrilled, that is, until General Petraeus said that no one on his watch had refused help. Suddenly, all eyes (except, of course, for mainstream media eyes) were back on the White House.
Next up for blame? The Pentagon, of course. Leon Panetta lamely explained that “Golly, it was dangerous out there and the military never sends its troops into danger, don’t you know.” Panetta’s excuse was ridiculed by people who care and accepted as the God’s honest truth by the mainstream media. The White House again heaved a sigh of relief.
But then, darn it, Lance Woods’ father refused to slunk back into the night. Instead, he told a few home truths: Obama was a cold fish, Hillary lied again about the video, and Joe Biden . . . . Well, there really aren’t words for a man who walks up to a bereaved father and makes vulgar remarks about his dead child’s anatomy. The MSM kept silent on this one too, but enough people (plus Fox, of course) were agitating that the story suddenly started to spread — and that despite the media’s by now quite valiant efforts to ignore it to death:
Mother Nature suddenly seemed to send a reprieve to Obama: A Category 1 hurricane that, while not strong, managed to blow directly landward, wrecking havoc across vast swaths of the heavily populated Northeastern seaboard. While Obama has not been forthcoming with pictures of him handling Benghazi, he rushed out photos of him meeting with his Council about Hurricane Sandy, hugging bereaved Hurricane victims, and generally looking manly and noble amidst the rubble.
Too bad for the President that, four days before the election, things aren’t going so well in those areas damaged by the Hurricane. People on Staten Island are suffering terribly and vocally. This may well be because, as Danny Lemieux suggested to me, Staten Island is staunchly Republican. However conservative political leanings certainly don’t explain the disaster in New York’s Public Housing apartments, which have no power and no plumbing. As always, Matt Drudge neatly sums up the situation:
So, here we are, President Obama, four days before the election, and you’re still not off the hook. Indeed, as of today, it’s entirely possible that things are about to get a whole lot worse for you. Your blame game started falling apart when all the other suspects (the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon) seemed to have followed your absent lead. That was all negative evidence, though, that you weren’t doing anything to help Americans under Jihadist attack in Libya. That is, there was no smoking gun pointing to your involvement and subsequent dereliction of duty as Commander in Chief. But now there is (emphasis mine):
The Benghazi debacle boils down to a single key factor — the granting or withholding of “cross-border authority.” This opinion is informed by my experience as a Navy SEAL officer who took a NavSpecWar Detachment to Beirut.
Once the alarm is sent – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.
That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation.
Please read the whole thing. What’s apparent is that, as a matter of law, the only person who could have helped in Benghazi was the president himself. The President’s authority in this regard is the equivalent of the famous nuclear brief case or red phone or red button that featured so prominently in voters’ minds during the Cold War years. Back then were always asked to consider “whose hand should be on the button.”
Regarding Benghazi, everyone else could plan and argue and organize, but only the President had the power to make it happen. And nothing happened. Hillary was right: it was 3 a.m. and Obama didn’t answer the phone. Damn him!
*A spokesman for the National Security Council denies that there was a real-time video feed.
What we think Obama is hiding in Benghazi is disgraceful executive conduct on September 11, 2012, which lead to the deaths of four Americans, including a United States Ambassador. What Frank Gaffney thinks the administration is hiding is much worse: gun-running.
The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Well! Does this mean that, if he gets re-elected in November, he gets impeached in December? And does that mean VP Biden, who seems increasingly senile, suddenly becomes President Biden? There’s no way to put a pretty face on things if Obama wins again.
The Anchoress has noticed something interesting: The Benghazi cover-up is so huge that the drive-by media isn’t doing it’s usual lying, puffing, and obfuscation. Instead, it’s fallen completely silent. It is pretending that Benghazi never happened.
Sherlock Holmes certainly understood that, when wrongdoing is at issue, silence is as significant as noise:
“Silver Blaze“, one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle ranked “Silver Blaze” 13th in a list of his 19 favourite Sherlock Holmes stories.
One of the most popular Sherlock Holmes short stories, “Silver Blaze” focuses on the disappearance of the titular race horse (a famous winner) on the eve of an important race and on the apparent murder of its trainer. The tale is distinguished by its atmospheric Dartmoor setting and late-Victorian sporting milieu. It also features some of Conan Doyle’s most effective plotting, hinging on the “curious incident of the dog in the night-time:”
Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
When last I wrote, the CIA denied giving a stand down order and denial of aid to Glen Doherty and Lance Woods. Since then, the White House has issued a carefully worded statement to the effect that “Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi.” That leaves only the Pentagon and, just as Hillary threw herself into the breach a couple of weeks ago, yesterday Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fell on the sword for Obama:
“(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
Panetta’s statement is ludicrous on its face because we know that, both because of satellites and phone calls from Doherty and Woods, everyone in Washington knew exactly what was going on — and they watched in real time, for seven hours. Yes, that’s too little time to start a war, but it’s more than enough time to deploy special forces. Doherty and Woods knew that special forces could help because they once served in the same force that would have been deployed. I can only imagine how these two men felt knowing that their country had the capability to save them, but then realizing as they fought alone on that rooftop that the current government was abandoning them. Just the thought makes me feel simultaneously tearful and nauseous.
So, we know Panetta is lying about the facts. We’re also unaware of any legitimate reason for this lie. Absent a legitimate reason, we can only conclude something very ugly: Way up on the chain of command, someone made a decision that was the product either of gross military malpractice or cold-hearted political calculation. The latter, of course, would be the administration deciding that, if it could just focus public attention on the video, the Obama campaign could avoid a “Black Hawk down” scenario that would reflect badly on the president. In other words, Obama or Axelrod or Jarrett decided that, for campaign reasons, discretion was the better part of valor and decency. That might have worked in a pre-internet age, but nowadays, there’s no way to keep the lid on that type of lie.
As for the latter consideration — gross military malpractice — even if (and it’s a big if) the order to leave people to die emanated from the Pentagon, the responsibility still rests on Obama’s shoulders. As Commander in Chief (it says so right there in the Constitution), he is and was the ultimate military authority America. Ordinarily, of course, the President is not involved in every decision the military makes. However, this was an emergency and the White House has stated that Obama was briefed and aware of the situation. That means that he was the man in charge. If risk aversion, campaign calculations, or any other algorithm unrelated to saving American lives factored into the decision to watch but not act in Benghazi, it’s Obama’s fault. As Harry Truman understood, but Obama hates to admit, when it comes to the presidency, the buck stops there.
I’ll close with Mark Steyn, who beautifully sums up events in Washington, D.C., and Benghazi:
You’ll recall that a near-month-long attempt to blame an obscure YouTube video for the murder of four Americans and the destruction of U.S. sovereign territory climaxed in the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden’s bald assertion that the administration had been going on the best intelligence it had at the time. By then, it had been confirmed that there never had been any protest against the video, and that the Obama line that Benghazi had been a spontaneous movie review that just got a little out of hand was utterly false. The only remaining question was whether the administration had knowingly lied or was merely innocently stupid. The innocent-stupidity line became harder to maintain this week after Fox News obtained State Department e-mails revealing that shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern, less than a half hour after the assault in Benghazi began, the White House situation room knew the exact nature of it.
We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and special forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy — or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hellhole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’s father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”
It would be shocking and disgusting if the American people gave this calculating coward another four years, not just to lead this nation, but to serve as Commander in Chief of the finest military in the world.
The more I have a chance to digest today’s news stories, the more I am struck by how unbelievably tragic the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi seem today, even more so than they did on September 11. On that day, smart people suspected that al Qaeda had struck again. To the extent four men died, we pointed to the enemy and said, “They’re evil. They killed Americans based upon a politico-religious ideal that loathes individual freedom, capitalism, women, Jews, homosexuals, and Christians.” I felt ugly chills run up and down my spine when I saw the picture of those desperate, bloody fingerprints smeared on the wall, but I still knew who the enemy was, and it wasn’t us.
Today, though, I’ve learned that we have met the enemy and it is us — or, at least, some among us. Nobody had to die in Benghazi. For seven hours, Woods and Doherty called for help, but no help came. Help was in reach. The administration was watching events on satellite, Woods and Doherty were calling in details, and there were nearby support forces. But the administration sat tight and let those men die, while Obama slept before heading off to Vegas for cash.
The heartbreak of all of this is that four dynamic lives were snuffed out so senselessly. The horror is that they died because our government decided that going in would be bad for the elections and, therefore, that it was better to cover up the truth than to save American lives.
Because the media has given up it’s job as an independent fact-finder on behalf of the American people, the administration might have gotten away with this cover-up if it hadn’t done two stupid things: (1) blame the intelligence community for the administration’s despicable decision-making and (2) tried to set Bill Clinton up as a scapegoat for Obama’s probable election loss. Attacking the intelligence community resulted in today’s leaked story (which Wolf Howling analyzes with incredible care), while targeting Bill prompted leaks from the Clinton camp holding that Obama had previously nixed additional security in Libya.
Bruce Kesler, a veteran of the Vietnam War (which was another combat situation that saw Democrats abandon innocents to their death), says that this latest episode should be proof-positive that Democrats cannot defend America:
The cumulative evidence is now evident to all with even bad eyesight that Benghazi is sad proof of what conservative critics have been saying for the past four years, that President Obama, his appointees and administration lack the dedication, insight and guts to defend the United States honorably or resolutely.
Democrats were known as the Party of national security weakness for a generation after their betrayal of South Vietnam and Jimmy Carter’s callowness in the face of the Iranian radicals. Aging memories, war tiredness, and big lies from the Obama administration managed to recover some national security credibility.
(Read the rest of Bruce’s analysis here.)
Maybe because I’m one of those excitable, hormonal women CNN wrote about (and then ran away from), I would go further than Bruce did in indicting both the Democrats and the administration for being weak on national security. If today’s report is to be believed, the administration was not just guilty of mismanagement.
What happened in Benghazi was an act of war against the American people — but not just an al Qaeda act of war, as the administration, quite belatedly, would have us believe. It was also an Obama act of war. In other words, Obama was speaking from the heart when he made his little slip during the third debate and said “this nation, me.” To Obama, the nation is not Americans, their hopes, dreams, economic interests, and security. To Obama, the nation is — Obama. And when the American people get in the way of the Obama Nation-State, the American people have to go. What Obama did was an abandonment of his Constitutional responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief and as our nation’s chief executive. Our president has become the American Fifth Column.
Let me borrow a line from the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign: “It’s time for them to go. It’s time for them to go. It’s time for them to go.”
Cross-posted at Brutally Honest
I have been keeping abreast of the news, and I do know that there’s a cascade of information about Benghazi rolling out now. Yesterday I posted about Edward Klein’s claim that Hillary had tried to get security for Benghazi but that higher-ups (presumably in the White House) had simply ignored the request.
Today we learn that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty begged the CIA for help, but the CIA refused, despite the fact that the White House, the CIA, and the Pentagon all watched as events unfolded — which meant that they saw the CIA annex under attack. Obama, apparently, slept through most of it, as he needed his beauty sleep before heading off to Vegas for some fundraising. Obama has his priorities and he sticks to them. Put another way, the Democrat political hierarchy watched Americans die, while the Commander-in-Chief abandoned his post.
I also know that Tyrone Woods father has said that Obama was a dead fish; that Hillary stuck resolutely to the “a video caused all this” lie; and that Joe Biden, if he’d thought it had with both hands for a week, couldn’t have come up with a cruder, more insensitive remark to make (quite jovially) to a dead hero’s father: “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” At some point, while we weren’t looking, Biden apparently crossed the line from stupid to senile.
When the Benghazi attack originally happened, Mitt Romney provided a statement expressing appropriate outrage at the American deaths and questioning the administration’s video-centric response to the embassy attack in Egypt:
This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, it’s disgusting, it — it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice and honor.
I also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt, instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.
The White House distanced itself last night from the statement, saying it wasn’t cleared by Washington. That reflects the mixed signals they’re sending to the world.
The Democrat establishment and media went crazy: How dare Mitt Romney “politicize” a tragedy by criticizing the administration! A whole news cycle got used up with this Squirrel attack, as the administration, without any media push back, doubled down on the video lie.
I asked myself then, as I often do, “What does it mean to politicize something?” After all, I thought, when a politician is involved everything is political. It became apparent to me during the week that to “politicize” something means to have a Republican criticize a Democrat for the latter’s ineptitude in handling a national security crisis. That’s not much of a definition, though, because it doesn’t apply equally to both sides of the political equation.
Reading today’s news, I finally and fully understand what it means “to politicize something.” It means that, in the face of a crisis, an administration’s response is guided, not by what’s right, but instead by what will fool the American people into continuing to support that administration. Obama made a cold, brutal calculation that, if he wanted the American people to believe that his (or Panetta’s) Osama kill order destroyed Al Qaeda, he would forever after have to pretend that Al Qaeda doesn’t exist. To do so, he would have to ignore completely all Al Qaeda activity, including the cold-blooded slaughter of four Americans. Rather than admitting that Al Qaeda wasn’t as dead as he thought it was, Obama sowed the ground of his Potemkin Village with American blood:
You and I are paying close attention to all this. People who already have some allegiance to conservativism have been watching Fox News, so they’re also paying attention. The real question, with a week and a half left before the election, is whether today’s revelations will boil so aggressively that they will blow the lid right off of the MSM’s attempts to suppress this story. I’m hoping that the media’s self-interest will result in this news coming to the fore.
It’s not that the media resents being fooled. In this case, the media has undoubtedly been complicit in that fooling. The media, however, likes winners. With luck, to the extent that the wheels are coming off the Obama bus, the members of the drive-by media are going to be hopping off that bus and standing at the roadside pointing and jeering.
How reliable is Edward Klein? I don’t know. I don’t believe anyone challenged the facts in his book The Amateur, even if they disagreed with their import. One thing that was immediately clear from reading The Amateur was that Klein got a lot of his information from Hillary Clinton’s camp. Klein’s reliability is very important today, because he now claims that he’s gotten some new information from the Hillary camp, and this information, if true, is staggering in its implications: lawyers close to Hillary claim that Hillary asked for more security in Benghazi and that the Obama White House denied that request.
According to Klein’s sources, Hillary has been keeping mum about this to stay loyal to the Democrat party, while Bill has been urging her to go public with the information to save her reputation. Here’s what I think happened:
Events played out exactly as Hillary’s leakers claim. Hillary was silent about the White House’s culpability when it still looked as if Obama could win, because she needed to be on Obama’s good side in the event he won the election. Now that Obama has the stale smell of failure about him, two things have happened. First, Hillary doesn’t believe that Obama’s coat tails will be very useful. And second, the Democrats are launching a preemptive strike against Bill Clinton, claiming that it was his bad advice that led to Obama’s disastrous campaign decisions.
The Obama administration won’t be the first to learn that you don’t mess with Bill Clinton, especially if there’s nothing in it for Bill. And so the leaks begin. This way, Hillary still looks loyal, but Bill gets to destroy someone who is trying to destroy him. Even if it’s not war in the Middle East, there’s going to be a war in Washington, D.C.
This leaked report also makes sense from both a military and a security standpoint, as Wolf Howling explains:
Why should we believe this might be true? I have enough experience in the military and with providing security with weapons loaded to know that the people administratively charged with making decisions on security would not possibly have denied the requests absent a policy decision made at a much higher level. And indeed, I cannot see any career employee in the chain of command denying a request for more security in Benghazi, given the availability of assets and all that was known about the deteriorating situation. In other words, I would bet my last dollar that the decision to deny more security was made pursuant to a policy decision in the political chain of command – and that means Clinton and / or Obama. And if there is any truth to the story above, then that person was Obama.
(You can, and should, read the rest of Wolf Howling’s analysis here.)
Assuming that concrete evidence surfaces quickly, the real story is whether the MSM will be able to sit on this story until after the election. If the media can’t control the narrative, this story should be the last nail in the Obama campaign coffin.
UPDATE: My post about today’s news — that the administrrefuse refused to send help — is here.)
There is something about how the Libya question was raised in last night’s debate that smelled awfully like Chicago, yesterday.
When Pres. Obama raised his objections to Romney’s challenge on Libya with Candy Crowley, he appeared to imply that Crowley had already read the transcript of the Rose Garden speech that Obama gave immediately after the Benghazi attack. Crowley indicated that she had. So, how would Crowley happened to have read and “memorized” that particular Rose Garden transcript in advance of the Town Hall debate unless she had been prepared in advance for a) the question and b) for Obama’s response? It is also interesting how she scrambled to steer the discussion away from Libya the moment that Romney began to drill down on this headline issue. I believe that this exchange was totally set-up.
Here is the outtake video on the exchange. What do you think?
A friend wrote to me quite appropriately outraged about the fact that Nancy Pelosi is saying that, if there was a security failure in Benghazi, blame belongs to the Republicans:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on CNN Tuesday attempted to shift the blame for the disastrous handling of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya from the Obama administration onto Republican lawmakers, arguing they withheld $300 million in funding that could have provided much-needed security at the consulate.
Appearing on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show, Pelosi also said calls coming from the GOP to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi are likely politically motivated.
“So, are you saying this is political from their perspective,” Blitzer asked the congresswoman.
“One might suspect that,” she replied.
Read the rest here.
So, if I understand Pelosi’s reasoning, the State Department, which is responsible for embassy security and which is entirely under Democrat control, said no to multiple requests for increased security in Benghazi because Republicans wouldn’t hand over $300 million? Yeah, right. This from an administration that, without even blinking, spent several trillion dollars we don’t even have on green boondoggles, socialized car manufacturing, and other exciting Democrat initiatives?
Even someone without a sense of smell can recognize that this doesn’t pass the smell test. As my friend says, the reason there was no security in Benghazi is that the administration wanted “no boots on the ground.” They didn’t want it to appear that U.S. forces were “invading” another country. A shallow administration had a shallow reason for putting American lives at risk.
On the one hand, what Pelosi says is absolutely maddening. After all, given her access to the legacy media, she has a bully pulpit to spin these fantastical tales to the American people. On the other hand, though, that bully pulpit leads to hubris, which leads to stupidity — and, eventually, stupidity is hard to hide.
What I’m about to say appears like a digression, but it’s not: Another friend told me that he heard two gals in a suburban coffee shop, both obviously stereotypical liberal soccer mom types. Except that one said to the other something along the lines of “I don’t know. It seems like the news never reports anything critical about Obama. All they say is good stuff about him and bad stuff about Romney.”
I mention this because even the most biased and disinterested Americans might be figuring out that people like Nancy Pelosi are full to the brim with hubris and fecal matter. (Setting a good example for my kids, I don’t swear.)
Of course, that coffee shop gal might have been like me — a stealth agent politely trying to open liberals’ eyes to the fact that they live in a bubble, and an increasingly dangerous one at that. Part of my stealth tactic comes about because I’m not a big fan of direct confrontation. Part of it, though, comes about because I believe that, when a person’s ideology is being challenged, it’s much more effective to infiltrate from behind than to engage in a full frontal attack. Using the dumb blonde strategy is an effective way to get people to think without making them feel threatened.
Anyway, I’m almost pleased when Nancy Pelosi says such insanely, intuitively stupid things because it gives me great openings to suggest to my blindly liberal friends that their leaders have mouse-sized brains and rat-sized personalities.