Obama is trying to focus attention on gun control, but Special Forces haven’t forgotten their own

(This is another Mr. Conservative post that perfectly reflects my views on the subject.  If you’d like to join the Special Operations Speaks’ petition, you can find it here.)

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.

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 very good idea for recognizing Woods’ and Doherty’s bravery and sacrifice

The Mellow Jihadi suggests official recognition for the unusual bravery Lance Woods and Glen Doherty showed in their final hours.  I realize that such recognition will not bring these men back, but acknowledging their sacrifice is something we do for the good of the country.  If we cannot honor those who died in our service, and if we cannot give exceptional honors to those who died in exceptional ways, we are not deserving of their sacrifice.  I would also extend some official recognition to Sean Smith and Christopher Stevens, both of whom died in the service of their country — and abandoned by their country.

Of course, this being Obama’s Benghazi, Bruce Kesler points out a few teeny-weeny problems with giving these men the posthumous credit they so valiantly earned.

Tuesday morning flotsam and jetsam Open Thread

My brain hasn’t yet synthesized all the fascinating data out there, including the wrenching stories of Sandy’s devastation.  For the time being, I’ll just pass interesting links on to you.  Please feel free to do the same.

***

The former Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet has written a white-hot article excoriating Obama and his administration, based upon what we know to date about events in Benghazi.  Because the White House is withholding information, and because the lap dog media is refusing to seek information (or even to talk about Benghazi), I have no problem with convicting Obama et al on the information currently available.  If that crew wants a full and fair trial in the court of public opinion, it had better start releasing reliable information.

***

There’s a fascinating story in my local paper today about a grocery store chain called Mi Pueblo.  It was founded as a Mom-and-Pop store by a pair of illegal immigrants.  It’s now a large, legal chain serving the Hispanic community throughout California.  It’s also a law-abiding chain, in that it uses e-verify to make sure that it’s employees aren’t illegal immigrants.  Here’s the interesting part:  by abiding with federal law, the store has incurred the wrath, not only of the illegal immigration ground, but of SEIU.  Yup, the unions are furious that as store refuses to employ illegals.  Think about that:  unions used to fight illegals, because they were seen as taking jobs away from legal American workers.  Now, unions see the effort to stop illegal immigrants from working as a nefarious plot to weaken the unions. Legal American workers — those who are native-born or have green cards — should think long and hard about what the unions what to do for them.  At the moment, it looks to me as if the unions aren’t out to protect workers, they’re out to protect unions.

***

Victor Davis Hanson nails the fantasy-based “reality” that keeps affluent Californian’s voting for Democrats.  I live surrounded by this mentality:

Did California’s redistributive elite really believe that they could all but shut down new gas and oil production, strangle the timber industry, idle irrigated farmland, divert water to the delta smelt, have 37 million people use a highway system designed for 15 million, allow millions of illegal aliens to enter the state without audit, extend free medical programs to 8 million of the most recent 11 million added to the population, up taxes to among the highest in the nation, and host one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients — and not have the present chaos?

The California schools — flooded with students whose first language is not English, staffed by unionized teachers not subject to the consequences of subpar teaching, and plagued with politicized curricula that do not emphasize math, science, and reading and writing comprehension — scarcely rate above those in Mississippi and Alabama. Did liberals, who wanted unions, a new curriculum, and open borders, believe it was good for the state to have a future generation — that will build our power plants, fly our airliners, teach our children, and take out our tumors — that is at the near-bottom in national test scores?

Do Bay Area greens really believe that they that will have sufficient water if they blow up the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir? Did Barack Obama think that the Keystone pipeline or new gas and oil leases in the Gulf were superfluous, or that we do not need oil to make gasoline, wheat to make flour, or to cut timber to produce wood?

Did liberals (and their hand-in-glove employer supporters who wished for cheap labor) think that letting in millions from Central Mexico, most without legality, English, or a high school education (and in some sense at the expense of thousands waiting in line for legal admission with capital, advanced degrees, and technological expertise), was not problematic and that soaring costs in law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the schools, and the health care industries were irrelevant?

***

Reagan famously said “Trust, but verify.”  In an internet age, one has to say “verify before you trust anything.”  Case in point?  A Halloween costume a young Boston Democrat put together to mock Tea Partiers.  It features her grimacing, while holding a misspelled birther sign.  Well, it went viral on the internet, not as a spoof, but as a “genuine” picture of a deranged young Alabama Tea Partier.  The young woman involved (who did not intend to prank anyone), has learned a valuable lesson about her own political party.  Maybe in a few years, she’ll be a true Tea Partier — and a nicer person for it too.

***

Jonah Goldberg scolds the mainstream media for its incredible lack of curiosity about Benghazi.  Goldberg doesn’t see a conspiracy.  He sees liberal group-think that is so all-encompassing that the media people think candidate George Bush’s alleged conduct in 1974 is more important than President Barack Obama’s conduct in September 2012.

***

While Jonah Goldberg is willing to damn the media with faint praise (stupid, not evil), Thomas Sowell is not so kind about the administration.  He thinks that, when it comes to Benghazi, there’s a giant con going on.  I think he’s right.  (Is it redundant to say that one thinks that Thomas Sowell has made an intelligent, accurate argument?  Doesn’t the name Sowell already encompass that description?)

***

Keith Koffler does a great job summing up the way in which Obama has demeaned the presidency.  We thought the Clinton presidency already did that but, looking back, that’s not quite accurate, Clinton demeaned himself with a variety of scandals, but he managed to stay presidential when he was in the business of politics (rather than the business of shtupping the help).  Obama, however, has demeaned the presidency itself, by using sex, obscenities, and insults within the context of politics.

***

Of course, when it comes to demeaning the office of the presidency, Obama is getting a lot of help.  Witness this obscenity-laden video that purports to show members of the “Greatest Generation” engaging in vulgar trash-talk against Romney.  Those elderly people who honor dignity should be offended by this, even if they’re Democrats.

***

This is a lovely article that uses a faux debate to draw a devastating contrast between Barack Obama and Winston Churchill.

***

And here is another devastating contrast:  the vast cultural divide between Lena Dunham, who coos that voting for Obama is like losing ones virginity, and Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who fought to the death to save others.  Sadly, their Commander in Chief came from the Dunham side of the cultural divide, and left them to die alone in a Libyan hellhole.  (Incidentally, Tyrone Woods left behind an infant son.  If you would like to donate to a fund for that little boy, Power Line recommends this legitimate organization.  It’s an easy way to donate.  I was able to use PayPal, so I put some of the money you guys have so generously sent me towards Baby Boy Woods’ education.)

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest

Obama abdicated his constitutional responsibility as Commander in Chief

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.

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.

Navy SEALS do their job to the bitter end, even when it’s not actually their job

I wonder whether any branch of the military has lost a larger proportion of people than the Navy SEAL in the years since 9/11.  Certainly they’ve done their bit and more to fight for American freedoms.  We now learn that, in Benghazi, former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, gave their lives to try to Ambassador Stevens even though they were not at the embassy in any official capacity:

The two former SEALS,  Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The officials provided the information to the Washington Guardian, saying they feared the Obama administration’s scant description of the episode left a misimpression that the two ex-Navy SEALs might have been responsible for the ambassador’s personal safety or become separated from him.

Woods and Doherty were unable to save either Stevens or themselves.  Of course, if they haven’t fought, there’s no telling how many more Americans might have died.  It turns out that the State Department was so determined to keep a low profile in Benghazi (despite advance warning of a terrorist attack), that it hired a British security firm that happily complied with the State Department’s “no weapons” rule.  Here’s a question I wonder if anyone has asked:  If Woods and Doherty hadn’t picked up weapons and given their lives, how many of those British security people would have died along with the Americans?

Meanwhile, while American embassies burn (and Israel stares down another Holocaust), Obama fiddles and diddles away his time in Vegas, on Letterman, partying with Beyonce, and talking with pirates.  Feckless is too nice a word for him, and I’m too much of a lady to use the ones that apply.