If you’re wondering why then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would want a permanent State Department post in Benghazi (and just before the November 2012 elections), here’s one reason: optics.
The optics in question involve the State Department (and the Obama Administration) being able to claim victory in the so-called Arab Spring and validate the Administration’s lead from behind philosophy in Libya. In other words, it was about posturing, regardless of whether any real victory (i.e., advancement of U.S. foreign policy goals) had been achieved.
But why bother to posture? It’s simple enough for Mrs. Clinton: while she possesses political recognition as a result of her husband, her being a U.S. Senator, and finally, being the then-Secretary of State, she’s still short on the bona fides of actual accomplishment. That is, she’s done very well at filling the squares of political advancement but she still lacks a legacy of actually making things better.
A second reason might be preemptive scandal suppression. That is, if a permanent post in Benghazi was needed as a front for an arms buy-back program for the weapons provided to anti-Gaddafi “freedom fighters” who inconveniently turned out to be anti-American terrorists. If it was shown the aforementioned Libyans used U.S government provided arms to kill Americans, the reveal would be most unpleasing to Mrs. Clinton regardless of whether or not she decides to mount another presidential run.
Legacy-wise, claiming one and avoiding the other would be better than merely being remembered as “hysterical” by a Russian Foreign Minister. Especially following her Russian Reset.
One major item of interest will be to find out why the Accountability Review Board “authors” didn’t bother to interview Mrs. Clinton. (If you think Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former CJCS Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen actually wrote the ARB, you don’t understand the process. Rather, they put their names on the report to provide an air of credibility. They’re signatories and not authors.)
The likely answer is something like this: 1) the ARB couldn’t ask Mrs. Clinton any questions because they knew they lacked the freedom of action and authority to do so, and/or 2) Mrs. Clinton conveniently wasn’t available to the ARB (by plan) to provide a statement or testimony, and/or 3) Both the ARB and Mrs. Clinton had an interest in protecting Mrs. Clinton.
The Administration is trying with all its might to put Benghazi to bed and is now offering anonymous interviews to the media. The intent is to defuse the lie, deceive, and distort story angle and instead, to portray those in the Administration as truthful, yet obviously befuddled, idiots. Really.
The befuddled idiot angle seems self-evident:
The list of mea culpas by Obama administration officials involved in the Benghazi response and aftermath include: standing down the counterterrorism Foreign Emergency Support Team, failing to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, failing to release the disputed Benghazi “talking points” when Congress asked for them, and using the word “spontaneous” while avoiding the word “terrorism.”
Ah, but consider the context of Benghazi cover-up. It was less than 60 days out from the presidential election and Benghazi was wholly contrary to the President’s desired narrative.
Some may rightly wonder why this is supposed to be an either-or deal: after all, it’s possible to be both a liar and an idiot.
What’s causing the desperation? The desperados, of course: why don’t they come to their senses?
This desperation is seen in the response to the depth and breadth of the emerging Obama Administration scandals, which are merely the natural consequence of the President’s ideology and political methods. Like Col. Kurtz, some in the traditional media are starting to wonder if the President’s methods are… unsound.
Based on past practice, it seems unlikely the President’s sycophants and courtiers—that is, his closest advisors—will let him harbor any self-deprecating thoughts, let alone ponder the truth that he, like all of us, to include the rest of the political class, are highly flawed and far-fallen creatures. But just what sort of pap are the President’s more casual scribes, Pharisees, and fanboys pushing?
Emanuel “Leave it to” Cleaver (D-MO) offers the proposal that (contrary to all evidence) the President is doing God’s work and that anyone interested in the truth behind the Administration’s myriad scandals is into… wait for it… racism.
Robert Shrum says, “The animating principle of today’s GOP is relentless animus toward the president.” Crimes and misdemeanors? Scandals? Look, squirrel!
Alec MacGillis thinks none of this can be blamed on big government or bad government, only on… bad laws. (And laws, bad laws included—think Obamacare—come from where, Alec?) Also, as it regards Benghazi, MacGillis feels the government fail was because its power was insufficient (emphasis in original) when it mattered. Such thinking begs the question: just how much should we give to make the Leviathan bigger? They only answer: more.
The normal solution to government fails are calls for more government. In this case, the solution is more basic; an attempt to blame others. No matter how furiously the left may spin the Obama scandals, even America’s most highly (and willfully) ignorant citizens need to deal with the truth, including—especially—those in the White House.
Nancy A. Youssef from McClatchy asks ‘Why did the CIA (that is, the Administration) say a protest preceded the Benghazi attack?’
… interviews with U.S. officials and others indicate that they knew nearly immediately that there had been no protest outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi before attackers stormed it…
She’s right and goes on to provide multiple examples of the absence of any evidence of protests at Benghazi. So why would all 12 versions of the talking points say the protests were ‘spontaneously inspired’ by protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo?
Although Youssef fails to answer her own question, there are some reasonable hypotheses, several of which overlap:
- The traditional media had already blamed the Cairo protest on the Mohammad YouTube video, ergo, the Benghazi attacks could also attributed to the same cause.
- The talking point drafters felt Americans have already been desensitized to “demonstrations” and “protests” in the Arab world, so its inclusion was necessary. You know: Arabs demonstrate all the time. Sometimes things get out of hand.
- The ‘protests” line was overlooked due to more substantive disagreement on purging the references to al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia, jihad, terrorism, earlier attacks, and the CIA warnings.
- The ‘protests’ line was included as boilerplate; an attempt to address human curiosity and to vaguely assign causation.
- The talking point drafters couldn’t bring themselves to suggest the Benghazi attack was a naked and preplanned assault undertaken to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.
- The talking point drafters didn’t want to suggest in any way the Arab Spring had been a foreign policy failure which weakened American national security interests.
Linking the Benghazi tragedy to the YouTube video most neatly fit into the left’s existing narrative. Small wonder it was glommed onto by the Obama Administration as an excuse for what happened.
Off the record Deep background meetings between the Obama Administration and the press regarding the September 11, 2012 Benghazi security debacle. Hmm: when was the last time something like that happened between government and the press? (That is, in America and not in East Germany…)
Sounds like it’s time for the Administration (via the Carney worker) and the traditional media to try and get its story straight.
Classic name of the day from the Obama Ministry of Truth: spokesman Josh Earnest. Really. Spokesman Jane Sincere must have been off today.
The Administration has to be feeling the fear. After all, Hillary Clinton may take exception to being bussed. Beyond that, David Petraeus could feel this is an opportune time to move out on his image rehabilitation and cooperate with the House and/or media.
Although it’s imprudent to disagree with Victor Davis Hanson, those who say the revelations (that is, the truth) behind the Obama Administration’s Benghazi security debacle may turn the incident into their own private Watergate are simply wrong.
Instead, it’s far more likely that Benghazi will instead become the Obama Administration’s version of Lewinskygate. That is, it will be ignored as long as possible and then, ignored some more. “It’s the YouTube video,” “What difference does it make?!,” “That was a long time ago…”
Why and how can such a thing be shrugged off? It’s the media. Never estimate the ability of the traditional media to disregard a blockbuster story if it portrays one of their idols in a negative light. (More recently, ponder the Kermit Gosnell abortion non-story.)
While it may be true that at some point, Benghazi will simply become too big to ignore, don’t just fall back on platitudes like ‘follow the money.’ Rather, follow the loyalty.
WARNING, IRONY ALERT: On the other hand, is it possible that Benghazi—sometime before the 2016 elections—could turn into Hillary Clinton’s Watergate?
In the Cold War, the West and the Soviets (and their satellites) played cat and mouse spy games which occasionally became deadly. The great fear was that the militaries would become involved and escalation would occur, possibly up to and including nuclear war.
Now the bad old days of the Cold War are receding in the rear view mirror of history, only to have been replaced by an age of terrorism. Yet with the age of terrorism, everything is backwards: now instead of fearing other nation’s militaries, we fear the terrorism (yes, often state sponsored) that’s seemingly baked-into others’ populaces. With the Cold War we had a low-probability, high-consequence problem; with the age of terror we have a high-probability, lesser-consequence problem (for now. A nuclear Iran will change things.).
As far as Benghazi is concerned, there weren’t just warning signs to be teased out of all that was going on; there were flashing lights and klaxons, obvious and apparent to anyone who was paying attention. Except that paying attention—and acknowledging that the Administration was paying attention—would run counter to the re-election rhetoric needed by Mr. Obama and his creaky crew of professional public servants and great government gurus.
The Foreign Policy article ‘Troubling’ Surveillance Before Benghazi Attack highlights the need for the media to press the Administration for full Benghazi disclosure. First unbold prediction: it—the media action, writ large, and the Obama Administration’s full disclosure—won’t happen.
Second unbold prediction: Leon Panetta will end up taking most of the blame for the Benghazi debacle. He’s old, won’t hold elected office again, and will take one for the team. Hillary Clinton’s political future still needs to be protected by the left. 2016 and all that. I’m sure the left would rather blame CIA Director David Petraeus, but he’s likely made himself unassailable.
The Administration wasn’t hush-mouthed with good news: when Stuxnet damaged the Iranian nuclear program; with regard to revealing counter-terrorism sources and methods; or (especially) when Special Ops forces killed terrorist supreme bin Laden. But now that terrorists have killed Americans, somehow mum is the Administration’s word and “pending investigation” is their key-phrase.
Mr. Obama and his team are desperately hoping to run the (electoral) clock out on Benghazi.
Lance Armstrong is a disgraced cycling super-doper who proclaimed his innocence until it was clear he couldn’t keep up the game in the face of a landslide of proof to the contrary.
Tommy Vietor is the spokesman for the National Security Council and he’s proclaiming the innocence of the White House with regard to the Administration’s security and foreign policy debacle in Benghazi:
… [Vietor] has said that despite some claims, there was no real-time video of the attack being watched in the Situation Room.
OK, let’s introduce the legal concept of quibbling. Vietor was not under oath and beyond that, his paraphrased statement doesn’t mean the real-time video wasn’t available, just that it wasn’t being watched (or that it wasn’t being watched specifically in the Situation Room). Was said video being watched at the State Department? In the Pentagon? In any other of the myriad government watch, operations, and intelligence centers?
As for recent stories suggesting otherwise, Vietor says, “the White House didn’t deny any requests for assistance. Period. Moreover, what the entire government did – the White House, State Department, Intelligence Community, Department of Defense included – was to work to mobilize all available assets and move them into the region as quickly as possible. That’s what the President ordered the Secretary of Defense and Chairman to do the first time he was briefed about these issues. Many of those assets were later used to reinforce embassies in places like Yemen, Libya and Egypt.”
Again, let us deconstruct the not-under-oath Vietor statement. First, perhaps someone in the Administration (far bigger than the White House) kept the request from being elevated to the White House (which is a location and only a vague organizational description).
Next, what’s the point “to mobilize all available assets and move them into the region as quickly as possible” if no assistance has been requested or none is anticipated? And if assets are available, what’s the point in avoiding discussion on whether or not they should be employed?
Conventional wisdom offers it isn’t the crime, it’s the cover up. Regarding Mr. Obama’s Benghazi problem, it’ll be the crime and the cover up.
And as for Lance Armstrong? Like Tommy Vietor, his public statements were not given while under oath.
When the CIA issues a statement designed to put some air between itself and the Administration with regard to the security debacle in Benghazi, you know the stuff may be approaching the fan.
For those who have forgotten, here is the CIA’s statement:
“We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night—and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.”
First off, such a statement would have been approved by the Director. Why? Because the issue is a political football and CIA Directors are political players. Additionally, the reputation of the organization is at stake if the public believes the CIA may have left their own to suffer and die. Finally, the statement was e-mailed. Why? To avoid immediate follow-up questions directed at the CIA.
Oh, and was issued on a Friday afternoon, as memory serves.
Phrases like “say with confidence” and “reacted quickly” are subjective; they are indicative of the CIA’s best assessment at a particular point in time and are designed to present the agency in a positive light.
However, the tone shifts with the next sentence. “No one at any level in the CIA told anyone not to help those in need,” means 1) the CIA was not the decision-make on this issue, 2) the CIA elevated the issue to the decision-maker, and 3) the decision-maker choose to not take action. The assertion is presented as an absolute and it’s an absolute which begs more questions (that is, the kind of questions where depositions are taken and testimony is provided).
And of course, after the fact, Leon Panetta has said: “You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” Not only is this an idiotic offering—the military and first responders almost never have full knowledge of any situation—but it’s effectively a non-denial that requests for aid were not only made, but that they were rejected.
Who was the decision maker, Leon?
Meanwhile Mr. Obama is kicking the Benghazi can, instead offering that the whole thing is being investigated. Hurricane Sandy removed much of the focus on Benghazi and with much of the media in the tank for the President, Mr. Obama is now just hoping he can get through the election without another major revelation of the Administration’s incompetence, flawed leadership and policies, and/or political malfeasance.
It first appeared to be a case of people died, Obama lied. Now it looks more like a case of Obama denied, Obama lied, people died.
If Mr. Obama is re-elected, Leon Panetta will take the fall: he was going to rotate out anyway, his political future is somewhere well behind him, and he’s a Democrat team player.
Benghazi is the Administration lie that won’t stop giving.
Reuters reports the White House and State Department knew the Benghazi debacle was a terrorism event within two hours of the attacks.
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
So what was the purpose of the Administration, its surrogates, and the President, wrongly and longly claiming the attack was a spontaneous protest caused by a low-quality YouTube video? Simply this: their lies were an attempt to keep the truth from coming to light.
First, what is the truth with regard to Benghazi? That the President’s Middle East foreign policy hasn’t done what he says it’s done.
Next, what was the purpose of blaming the intelligence community (and later, the State Department) for the Administration’s lies? To attempt to shift the blame for their own unethical behavior onto others.
Finally, what was the purpose of attempting to shift the blame for their own unethical behavior? To win the election.
And elections, to the left, are all about power and using it to force their worldview on everyone else.
The Obama Administration is in the throes of an ineptness seldom seen in national-level politics (even in Europe), the Benghazi debacle.
The CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.
“Within 24 hours” could be less than an hour, although that seems a stretch. But it was in plenty of time to keep Susan Rice from repeating an Administration lie five separate times five days later (assuming they wanted to do so).
And since there was a video drone feed available, one might think the Obama Administration could connect the dots… unless the dot connection cut against their ‘We got al Qaida on the run’ narrative they’ve been pushing to voters.
Voters don’t like being lied to, especially when the Obama explanation is ‘What are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?’
Similarly, don’t forget the tragically miscategorized—and thus misrepresented—“workplace violence” of Major Nidal Hasan (screaming “Allahu Akbar”) at Fort Hood, Texas where he’ll stand trial for killing 13, an unborn child, and wounding 29.
This will not end well for the Administration.
Some in the intelligence community aren’t too happy with UN Ambassador Susan “Fried” Rice, White House spokesman Jay Carney “Worker,” Secretary of State Hillary “Stand By Your Man” Clinton, or Director of National Intelligence James “In The” Clapper.
Why? Because those four—and there have to be more—were participants in what looks like a determined and coordinated attempt to paper over the truth of the President’s Middle East policy failures.
The Administration is likely living in fear that the world will discover they’ve birthed an uglier Middle East policy baby than George W. Bush—and of course, there’s still Iran—with just a month left until the presidential election.
Officials say the ODNI’s false information was either knowingly disseminated or was directed to be put out by senior policy officials for political reasons, since the statement was contradicted by numerous intelligence reports at the time of the attack indicating it was al Qaeda-related terrorism.
Post-Benghazi, post-debate, the President and his Administration seem diminished every day. Don’t forget the President told us at the Democrat Convention that al Qaeda was on the run. The reality?
In recent months Egypt-based al Qaeda terrorists were dispatched to Libya and Syria, where they have been covertly infiltrating Libyan militia groups and Syrian opposition forces opposing the Bashar al Assad regime.
In addition to Egyptian government backing, intelligence from the region has revealed that operatives from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the main spy service, and from Iran’s Quds Force paramilitary group and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are also facilitating al Qaeda terrorists based in Egypt that are preparing to conduct operations to increase instability throughout the region.
And if this were a Republican administration, this—along with Fast and Furious—would be bigger than Watergate.
As pressure continues to mount on the White House regarding the 9/11 Benghazi security debacle which left four Americans dead including Ambassador Chris Stevens, new deputy White House spokesman Douché struck back at Administration critics.
The emergency hire of Douché comes as the Benghazi story has continually worsened for the Administration, especially given the recovered diary of the deceased American Ambassador which revealed myriad, continuing, and unanswered security threats to the Benghazi mission.
In an unusual attempt to change the subject away from the Administration’s foreign policy failures, Douché suggested that Ambassador Stevens lied to his diary, offering the following: “While the tragedy in Benghazi is a sad statement regarding the insensitivity of Americans, Coptic Christians, and especially Mormons towards Islam, a religion of peace, even more sad is the fact Ambassador Stevens felt compelled to lie to his own diary. Why would he do such a transparently dishonest thing?”
Follow-up questions from the White House press corps centered on President Obama’s upcoming Halloween party and his scheduled appearance on the Cartoon Network show Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Douché, who also continues to appear on MSNBC, write for Time, and ghost write for Farside Zakira at Newsweak, has already finished his presidential debate analysis over thirty hours in advance of tomorrow’s debates. Read it here.
(Philup Nubia and Zerxes Jones-Smith from PMNS’s Mumbai Information, Research, and Translation Service enclave contributed to this article.)
The Obama Administration doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on the Benghazi debacle as being attributable to the Muhammad movie trailer as the source of all Muslim rampage, including its culpability for the in the murder of four Americans.
Why? Because failure to assign blame to an external source means the Administration would be responsible for the gross security failure at Benghazi.
And more so, a gross security failure is indicative of a gross leadership failure which can be further equated to gross policy failures and gross failures of competence.
For an Administration that’s predicating a re-election based on domestic policies of wealth transfer and class warfare (while ignoring the debt, unemployment, crony capitalism, new government barriers to wealth creation, etc.) and foreign policy “wins” via the death of Bin Laden and the success of drone strikes (ignoring the melt-down in the Middle East, the failure of the Russian reset, Iran going nuclear, unending China human rights violations and territorial disputes, etc.), the whole house of cards regarding Obama’s leadership, policies, and competence comes falling down.
What will America’s smartest president and the world’s most powerful man to do? Blame Bush, or better—in the mind of Barry and his handlers, to include the MSM—blame Romney.