Tag Archives: Benghazi

IRS, Benghazi, DoJ and Apple

Can you imagine, just for a second imagine, what the world would say if Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple, responded the way the Obama Administration has handled the trio of scandals?

“Mr. Cook, we the senators seated before you, want to know how you avoided paying your fair share of taxes!”

“Senator, I cant say that I know that answer.  I don’t know what happened there.  We were not clear on who exactly carried it out.”

Can you imagine what would happen if a CEO of a company was so in the blinds as this administration is having us believe it was?

What’s worse – A President and administration that knows what’s going on and doing inappropriate things or a President and administration having not clue one as to what is going on?

You Know It’s Bad When

Maureen Dowd

You know it’s bad when you are a democrat and Maureen Down is piling on:

THE capital is in the throes of déjà vu and preview as it plunges back into Clinton Rules, defined by a presidential aide on the hit ABC show “Scandal” as damage control that goes like this: “It’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s old news.”

The conservatives appearing on Benghazi-obsessed Fox News are a damage patrol with an approach that goes like this: “Lies, paranoia, subpoena, impeach, Watergate, Iran-contra.”

(Though now that the I.R.S. has confessed to targeting Tea Party groups, maybe some of the paranoia is justified.)

And more:

… a simple truth: The administration’s behavior before and during the attack in Benghazi, in which four Americans died, was unworthy of the greatest power on earth.

And still more:

In the midst of a re-election campaign, Obama aides wanted to promote the mythology that the president who killed Osama was vanquishing terror. So they deemed it problematic to mention any possible Qaeda involvement in the Benghazi attack.

Looking ahead to 2016, Hillaryland needed to shore up the mythology that Clinton was a stellar secretary of state. Prepared talking points about the attack included mentions of Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group, but the State Department got those references struck. Foggy Bottom’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, a former Cheney aide, quashed a we-told-you-so paragraph written by the C.I.A. that said the spy agency had “produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to Al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya,” and had warned about five other attacks “against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British ambassador’s convoy.”

When the left begins to attack the left….you know it’s bad.

Benghazi Hearings – Elizabeth Jones’ Email

Elizabeth Jones

After watching a good portion of the hearings this afternoon I was struck by three facts:

  1. The administration knew very very early on that this was an act of a terrorist organization.
  2. The administration mishandled the crisis from a tactical perspective.
  3. For days that numbered into double digits, the Obama administration mislead the American people as to the cause of the attacks.

Let’s focus on the first; the knowledge within the administration that this was a terrorist act carried out by an organized enemy.

A top State Department appointee told Libya’s ambassador to the United States one day after the military-style assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that the terror group Ansar al-Shariah was responsible.

But four days later, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said on television that it was the product of a spontaneous protest.

During a fiery and emotional congressional hearing on the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Rep. Trey Gowdy read aloud from an email dated Sept. 12, 2012 to senior State Department officers, from Elizabeth Jones, the acting Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Describing a conversation she had with then-Libyan ambassador Ali Aujali, Jones wrote in the previously undisclosed email that ‘I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.’

The next day.

September 12th.

The acting Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs told the Libyan Ambassador to the United States that the group that conducted these attacks was affiliated with Islamic terrorists.

What this means is that every single word that Obama, Clinton and the rest of the administration regarding the YouTube video, not to mention the arrest of the man who posted it, was flat out untrue.

This wasn’t a fog of war type situation.  There was no careful couching of words due to a potential lack of clarity.  This wasn’t a “all indications seem to validate the strong likelihood of an element of organization, possibly linked to known terrorists, again possibly Islamic in nature…yada yada yada”.

No.  This was a clear and sure statement from a ranking American diplomat to the Libyan Ambassador to the US that, in fact, we know what this was and here it is.

But who saw this email?

Her email, Gowdy said, went to ‘almost everyone in the State Department,’ including spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

They all knew.  And then:

Nuland, according to a report in The Weekly Standard, was instrumental in raising red flags about the CIA’s candid assessment of how and why the consulate was attacked, which the agency prepared as talking points for members of Congress.

And according to a report from House Republicans released in April, Nuland wrote in an email that ‘my building leadership’ at the State Department wasn’t happy with those talking points.

In the ensuing 24 hours, the talking points were edited heavily, reportedly by White House deputies, and all references to Islamic terrorism were removed.

Jones is clean I suspect.  Nuland?  She’s complicit.  She saw the email and took demonstrable actions.  Further, she implicates “my building leadership” in her response.

After the hearings today, there is no longer any doubt that the administration knew these attacks were not the result of a spontaneous protest.  It is very clear that full knowledge of the actors in Benghazi were known and little, if any doubt, existed.

What remains is the “So?  What?” aspect of this story.  So the administration knew.  So the administration sent Susan Rice on 5 Sunday morning talk shows claiming the events were the result of a YouTube video.  So Obama mentioned the video for days and for days after the events of September 11, 2012.

So.  What.

Indeed.  That’s the question.

 

Media Fail

I mentioned this earlier today:

Pathetic.

Benghazi Hearings: May 8, 2013

Catching up on the hearings today, there are several things that are clear:

  1. The United States government, at all levels, knew that what was happening in Benghazi was a terrorist action.  No one thought that this was the result of a protest gone bad.
  2. There were multiple stand-down orders given.  Perhaps they were legitimate, however, they were given.
  3. The talking points as delivered by the Obama administration regarding the reason for the attacks were manipulated and were never true as it pertained to the YouTube video.

An interesting note on news coverage:

Not surprising, only Fox News features the hearings.  All three main news outlets, ABC, CBS and NBC have only minimal attention to those hearings.   NBC has a link to the story but it isn’t prominent.  CBS and NBC do display a link to watch the hearings live but ABC has no mention.

This despite that CBS’ most popular story is the one regarding Benghazi.  Yet no where to be seen.

Benghazi – Enough To Damage Obama, Keep Hillary Out Of 2016?

Benghazi

Something Wicked This Way Comes

It’s clear now that the Obama administration misled America regarding the events that transpired that day in September.  There is no longer any doubt:

 Mark I. Thompson, the acting deputy assistant for operations in the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau, will testify on Wednesday that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton willfully blocked out his department’s involvement on the night of the September 11 Benghazi attacks — and that he has been threatened and intimidated by unnamed State Department officials about saying as much in public, and that al-Qaeda was involved all along. The scoop comes from — where else? — sources close to the congressional investigation speaking to Fox News, two days ahead of testimony by Thompson and two other whistleblower witnesses before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Fox’s sources characterize Thompson has having “concluded on Sept. 11 that Clinton and Kennedy tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau out of the loop as they and other Obama administration officials weighed how to respond to — and characterize — the Benghazi attacks.”

That charge would seem to suggest that the State Department’s actions that night last summer came straight from the top and allegedly without input from Thompson’s Counterterrorism Security Group at Foggy Bottom. As CBS News reports, we know that the Obama administration “did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource, the Counterterrorism Security Group.” And since a certain segment of Issa’s Washington is (still) looking back and (still) trying to figure out what went wrong when the American diplomatic mission was attacked, one of the big questions heading into Wednesday’s hearing is whether or not CSG involvement would have made a difference. As The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin insists, the two other witnesses — a regional State Department security officer in Libya and a former department deputy chair of the mission — could send the affair “into a whole different level of scandal.”

Not only did the administration fail to handle the situation appropriately the night of the attacks, they covered up that failure.  Additionally, in order to prevent Obama from being embraced in an election year, they administration attempted, and largely succeeded, in mis-characterizing what happened that night:

After a briefing on Capitol Hill by CIA director David Petraeus, Democrat Dutch Ruppersburger, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked the intelligence community for unclassified guidance on what members of Congress could say in their public comments on the attacks. The CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis prepared the first draft of a response to the congressman, which was distributed internally for comment at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, September 14 (Version 1 at right). This initial CIA draft included the assertion that the U.S. government “know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.” That draft also noted that press reports “linked the attack to Ansar al Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved.” Ansar al Sharia, the CIA draft continued, aims to spread sharia law in Libya and “emphasizes the need for jihad.” The agency draft also raised the prospect that the facilities had been the subject of jihadist surveillance and offered a reminder that in the previous six months there had been “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy.”

After the internal distribution, CIA officials amended that draft to include more information about the jihadist threat in both Egypt and Libya. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy,” the agency had added by late afternoon. And: “The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and Libya.” But elsewhere, CIA officials pulled back. The reference to “Islamic extremists” no longer specified “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda,” and the initial reference to “attacks” in Benghazi was changed to “demonstrations.”

The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.

The only question remaining is how long the administration can contain the damage.

Oh yeah, and if this prevents a Hillary 2016 run.

Benghazi – Can We All Agree Now

Obama has been lying the whole time.  He knew.  They ALL knew.

The attacks in Benghazi were terrorist attacks and Obama refused to admit that fact.  He specifically mentioned Benghazi 7 times in the Rose Garden speech and not once did he refer to them as terrorist attacks.  Only when speaking about the general 9-11 attacks in the large view did he use the words terrorist attacks.

The White House marched Patraeus out and had him repeat their lie:

Former CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers at a closed-door briefing Friday the agency believed the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack from the beginning.

Now, let’s admit that:

  1. Obama mishandled the whole crisis.
  2. Covered up the fact that they knew.
  3. Leveraged Patraeus’ affair in order to get him to repeat the video story.
  4. The perceived weakness of the White House may be behind the attacks in Israel.

Oh yeah, and that this had EVERYTHING to do with the elections.

From The “I Am So SHOCKED” File

Suffice it to say that I’m not surprised:

“To have a journalist have top secrets of the United States and not have it come from the CIA, not have it come from the director of national intelligence, this seems to have been given to him from someone in the White House,” King said.

Meanwhile, classified documents on the Benghazi terrorist attack will now be made available to lawmakers at a special meeting on Capitol Hill. It will be in a classified setting which means lawmakers cannot take copies with them.

In a real world with real laws and real leaders we wouldn’t be looking at classified documents 3 days AFTER an election where debate moderators and Presidents lie on national TV covering up the obvious.

But of course, we don’t live in that real world.

Romney Was Right And Obama Has Been Covering Up Benghazi

For a long time now I’ve been advocating the position that Benghazi has been a big deal.  I thought that Obama mismanaged the event in real time, the next morning I felt he was off.  Further, in the weeks that followed the man-made disaster, I felt that Obama was feeding us information that didn’t ring true.

And all the while there wasn’t mention of it at in the media; Fox was the only organization that was prosecuting Obama on this issue.  And guess what?  It was Fox that was being accused of “foul play.”  As if the media doesn’t have a job to ferret out administrations and get the real truth.

Well, in recent days I’ve seen CBS doing some good work.  I didn’t finish the post I started by there was an article this past week where CBS reported on e-mails they obtained.  Good stuff.

And now we learn that CBS interviewed Obama on 60 Minutes but didn’t include the whole interview.  Fine, we all know that not every single bit of film makes the cut.  However, CBS DID release the full interview later and this is part of what was left on the floor:

“Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack,” correspondent Steve Kroft asks the president. “Do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?”

“Well, it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans,” Obama answered. “And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”

Obama would. not. answer. the. question.

Mr. Kroft straight up asked the man a yes or no question, “Do you believe that this wasn’t a terrorist attack?”

And the President would say it was.

This should have come out the minute the interview was over.  This shouldn’t have been cut.  This was the EXACT point Romney made during that second debate when he was pounding the Barckness Monster over his handling of the attacks.

Obama and his team were clearly out of their element.

At least now we know.

Benghazi Continues To Demand Attention

I’m preparing a post regarding the continued saga that is Benghazi.  However, before I do I think it’s important to point out a little analysis I did on a past post in the comments.

Scott mentioned that Obama referred to the attacks as “acts of terrorism” the next day.  I’ve read the transcript and listened to the remarks.  And I don’t remember ever thinking that Obama referred to the attacks in Benghazi as those “acts of terrorism.”  In fact, I was struck by how he AVOIDED that reference.  He does this here in the same way that he refuses to name terrorism instead referring to it as “man caused disasters.”  In the same way that he refers to the Ft. Hood shooting as “work place violence.

Obama does NOT want to label events as terrorist attacks.

So I went back to the transcript and looked for Obama specifically referencing the attacks on the consulate.  This is what I found:

He mentions the attacks directly in the statements I’m copying.

The first:

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.

The second:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.

The third:

We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

The fourth:

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.

The fifth:

And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

The sixth:

We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.

The seventh:

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.

And that’s it – seven mentions of attacks and not one single reference to terror.

Now, to be sure, the left has some righteous ammunition on statements and context.  Take the republican’s attack on “You didn’t build that.”  Clearly Obama was referencing the infrastructure work he mentioned directly before that comment.  That didn’t stop the right, and me, from scorching him over those comments but at least I mentioned that the context supported Obama’s contention.  But here, the democrats are trying to pull the same shennanigans – they wana change the context.  And theyjust can’t do it.