House Democrats stage mass walkout before parents of Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith testify before Oversight Committee

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:

Townhall explains what you’re looking at:

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.)

Found it on Facebook — what came out of the Benghazi hearings today

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 the Obama administration did to America's ambassador

What the Obama administration did to America’s ambassador

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.

Hillary underestimated just how bad Obama would be at 3 a.m.

Hillary told voters that, when the 3 a.m. phone call came and the White House answered that call, she would have better qualifications to deal with whatever emergency awaited the President:

I don’t think even Hillary could have envisioned that Obama would ignore the call entirely:

The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi. That is the upshot of today’s Capitol Hill hearing featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

After a pre-scheduled afternoon meeting, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified that he never heard from President Obama the night of September 11. In fact, Panetta said, he had no further communication from the White House that night—even as the attack turned deadly. This is truly extraordinary—and appalling.

And both Panetta and Dempsey admitted in today’s hearing that they were not in touch with Clinton at all the evening of 9/11. “[W]e never received a request for support from the State Department,” Dempsey said, explaining why the American military had not made any attempt to save the endangered Americans.

So the Cabinet officials weren’t in touch with each other, and the president wasn’t in touch with anyone.

The irony, of course, given the portentous warning in the ad, is that Hillary was also MIA when the phone call came through — and had been for some months before that blooding night.

A foreign policy/war powers law establishes that the unnecessary deaths in Benghazi were Obama’s responsibility

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.

We have met the enemy and it is us — the administration cold-bloodedly leaves Americans to die *UPDATED*

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.”

UPDATE:  Both Blackfive and General David Petraeus make clear that the orders on this one came from the top.  (HT:  Ace of Spades)

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest

Obama, in the crudest, most brutal way possible, politicized what happened in Benghazi

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.

[snip]

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.