“The buck stops there,” is the underlying message President Obama’s myriad mouthpieces are pushing. Or translated into Biden-speak, “Yes, he don’t.”
The HHS fundraising scandal? An underling who didn’t first seek permission to shakedown industry.
Benghazi? Well, maybe mistakes were made… but not at the White House.
Tapping the AP’s phone lines? You’ll have to talk to Justice about that.
The IRS targeting conservative groups? An isolated event involving only a few people.
In Obamaland, with the President’s policy goal of all government all the time, the fish rots from the tail and not the head.
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.
Besides telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (chance: nil), there is one other thing the President could do to keep the public from talking about his IRS and Benghazi scandals. He could release his sealed records.
Yes, the President, as an act of good faith with the public (and more importantly—to him—to change the subject), could finally release the following:
- College applications
- College loan and scholarship applications
- SAT/ACT/LSAT scores
- Selective service registration
- Medical records
- Illinois state Senate records
- Law client list
- Michelle Obama’s sealed records
But don’t hold your breathalyzer on this change of topics. After all, Obama will find it far easier to blame George W. Bush and/or Rush Limbaugh for his own death-by-a trillion-cuts-of-ineptness and the corresponding ethical failures.
And opening his sealed records would likely confirm the depth of duplicity of our President’s past.
But it would change the subject.
The IRS scandal? Indefensible and disgraceful. Expect a Benghazi-like “accountability review board” to find and try low-level Obamunists who will take the fall. We’ll see contrived media weeping and gnashing of teeth without any call to hold the higher ups accountable. Scapegoat, thy name is mid-level manager.
And on the Benghazi debacle and subsequent cover up? Also indefensible, also disgraceful. However, the true ideologues in the media will not merely avoid the call for the truth or political accountability, but will come to the active defense of Hillary Clinton, the Democrats next best thing. Likely excuses: partisan witch hunt; old news; more denials; lower-level scapegoats; those making accusations are disgruntled; etc.
If Republicans are truly on a partisan witch hunt, they’ve already found their partisan
man witch in Hillary Clinton.
More Clinton fist pounding and hysterics are unlikely to carry the day. Instead, expect a Clinton whisper campaign, surrogate attack dogs, her “unavailability” to testify, and going to ground in the hope voters will forget all this prior to the 2016 election cycle.
And while the presidency is said to be more than any one person can handle, some, like our current seat warmer in chief, have shown themselves to be far less capable than others. Barack Obama is perhaps the only man on earth who can make Jimmy Carter look like George Washington.
Even the traditional media smells the fear regarding the cover up behind the Benghazi debacle that resulted in four American deaths. From The New Yorker:
This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single [editing] adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions [the CIA and the State Department] were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”
Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now.
Remarkably because there were actually 12 revisions and in the end, substantive concerns, like all reference to terror, had been tossed down the memory hole.
While the media understands that they need at least a fig leaf of credibility, the White House spokesman apparently doesn’t. Ergo Jay Carney’s practice that a lie, repeated often enough, becomes the truth (if told to the right people).
The Administration is out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas on how to proceed on the massive lie foisted on the American public. That means they’ll likely fall back on their standard playbook: muzzle those who might otherwise provide insight, dismiss the story as old news, threaten and/or attack anyone who would pursue the truth as “disgruntled” or “partisan” (the IRS is standing by), and repeat as required.
Finally, it seems Jay Carney has lost his soul, thus joining the “elite” group of “leaders” he serves. The only real question is how long ago did Carney lose it?
Signs point to ‘no’ per the Magic Eight Ball of government scandal. Obama isn’t going to get a third term and the many Clinton clingers in the traditional media can be expected to continue to worship their idol.
But how wholly politicized and self-protecting is the State Department? Well, they’re a huge government bureaucracy, so the answer is wholly wholly. And during the many edits of the Administration’s post-Benghazi/pre-election talking points this appears:
[State Department spokesman Victoria] Nuland objected to naming the terrorist groups [in the talking points] because “we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.”
Or in other words, “Let’s not tell America what we think to be true and provide updates as they emerge. Instead, let’s hold out for a meaningless investigation which will be released after the presidential election.”
What happened next? More historical revisionism.
[After the Deputies Committee meeting] which took place Saturday morning at the White House, the CIA drafted the final version of the talking points – deleting all references to al Qaeda and to the security warnings in Benghazi prior to the attack.
The CIA, in this case, almost certainly served as a voice actuated switch: they input the changes—that is, they drafted the final version of the talking points—that others directed.
Just before half-time in the Obama Administration’s Benghazi Bowl, the score was Ministry of Truth 44, Truth 0. And just after half-time, Truth is now on the board.
It’s true that bad news ages poorly: by withholding bad news or papering over it, action is not taken which might help mitigate the problem(s).
Now, Hillary Clinton is finding out that lies tend to age poorly as well. Especially when one is under oath, as in, providing testimony (see Clinton, William Jefferson), for example, in her case, to Congress.
Will there be a bill to pay for Clinton’s highly elastic definition of truth? Not until the run-up to the 2016 elections, if ever. Voters have short memories—there’s still plenty of time for them to forget what has happened—and the traditional media famously chooses to practice selective outrage.
And still, the truth is out there.
As the saying goes, it isn’t the crime, it’s the cover-up.
But as far as it concerns Benghazigate, a plausible storyline has emerged which suggests it’s the crime and the cover-up. Consider the following:
1) the safe room wasn’t safe.
2) the nation’s CIA Director was purposefully not involved in other, ongoing clandestine operations in Libya which directly contributed to the Benghazi debacle.
3) the President had given carte blanche to John Brennan to covertly clean up some of the post-Arab Spring bad guys—terrorists who were part of the U.S. lead-from-behind/war-that-wasn’t-a-war effort to oust Kaddafi—using JSOC resources.
4) Ambassador Chris Stevens’ local “site security,” was five Libyans without weapons (as would be condoned by Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer), who may have aided and abetted in the security debacle.
5) the “spontaneous protesters” had rifles and RPGs, and later, used French-made mortars for deadly effect.
6) since the CIA didn’t know what was going on—this was a Brennan authorized JSOC campaign—they were unprepared for the Benghazi carnage that occurred.
7) The adultery of David Petraeus was an intentional outing by CIA insiders.
So, Mr. President—with all due respect—please explain 1) the legality, wisdom, and foreign policy/national security goals associated with U.S. operations in Libya and 2) the reasoning behind the purposeful deception in blaming the Benghazi debacle on a nearly comical YouTube video which had been posted months before.
In the meantime, as Depeche Mode might say, enjoy the silence.
Although it’s too early to say—and it’s impossible to underestimate the stupidity of many voters (witness the results of the 2012 presidential elections)—it would seem Hillary Clinton’s failed testimony performance regarding the Benghazi security debacle could only have hurt her 2016 election chances.
Bluster and emotions are a poor substitute for a leader’s preparation, competence, and professionalism. (President Obama is thought to have waivers for these useful leadership traits.)
One can’t help but notice the incongruity between Clinton’s words (‘I am responsible and in charge’) and her body language, tone, and… other words (‘This isn’t my fault. Can’t we just move on?’)
And is the fix in? Consider the fact Clinton wasn’t interviewed for the Benghazi after-action reports. It’s telling both politically and professionally. (As is the fact this testimony is being given four-plus months after the event and two-plus months after the elections.)
From CBS comes this as delivered by “a senior U.S. official familiar with the drafting of the [CIA’s original Benghazi] talking points”:
“The points were not, as has been insinuated by some, edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist affiliations, or play down that this was an attack,” the official tells CBS News, adding that there were “legitimate intelligence and legal issues to consider, as is almost always the case when explaining classified assessments publicly.”
“Most people understand that saying ‘extremists’ were involved in a direct assault on the mission isn’t shying away from the idea of terrorist involvement,” added the official. “Because of the various elements involved in the attack, the term extremist was meant to capture the range of participants.”
If the above is true, why did the President and his surrogates tie themselves up in knots in order to blame the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi on the YouTube Mohammad video? The answer is transparent: they needed to do so to keep their pre-election ‘we won the war on al Qaeda’ narrative from unwinding.
Furthermore, if the above block quote is true, why would Mr. Obama then claim during the presidential debate that he called Benghazi ‘a terror event’ (which he didn’t) the next day in the Rose Garden?
Obama denied, people died.
…the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI.
While CBS then goes way out of its way to tell us neither the White House nor the State Department made the changes, the bigger point is this: the DNI is a part of the Obama Administration and the DNI has a boss. It’s the President.
Furthermore, if ODNI hadn’t made the changes, would someone else—say the “White House” or the State Department—have still directed the very same changes in order to ensure Susan Rice could thus misrepresent the Administration’s pre—election narrative on the Sunday talk shows? After all, on short-turn coordination, changes tend to be made in parallel rather than in serial.
However, an intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public, because there was not strong confidence in the person providing the intelligence.
So here’s the story and the Administration is sticking to it: the al Qaeda links were too tenuous but the Mohammed YouTube video/spontaneous protest story wasn’t?
Barry, your scandal-dog excuses still don’t hunt.
Bigger than Watergate.
While the focus on who edited the Petraeus brief to Congress regarding the Benghazi attack swirls around, here’s (perhaps) a better question: who authored the Benghazi-riots-were-caused-by-a-YouTube-video idea?
When we know who penned the idiotic “spontaneous riot” theory, we’ll likely also know who edited the CIA’s talking points.
Benghazigate: all roads lead to Obama (that is, the White House, the Obama Administration, or the Obama re-election effort. And yes, they overlap.)
When David Petraeus says the CIA’s talking points on Benghazi were edited to take out references to the event being a terror attack, there’s only one place that such editing could occur: from somewhere above the CIA and from somewhere within the Obama Administration machinery.
In other words, although our sadly incurious media has no desire to connect the dots—or to follow them in any way—the dots all lead to Obama.
Obama personally? Perhaps, although it seems likely that a politico from his re-election effort would be more likely. After all, who has the most to lose? (Oh, that would be Obama, but anyway…)
Is it possible that Petraeus, having to perform as CIA Director with his not-yet-public sex scandal hanging over his head (and his entire political future very much in doubt) was compromised at his initial Benghazi brief to Congress? All dots lead to ‘yes.’ And is it possible that now the damage has been done, Petraeus is free to tell the truth?
Connect your own dots: your results will not vary.
Pre-Petraeus scandal, it appeared Leon Panetta would be tagged as the Administration’s Benghazi scapegoat for the death of the four Americans who were left to twist in the wind during the Benghazi attack. Now it’s clear the Administration thinks the narrative on the event has changed from the Administration’s disgraceful and inept performance to the personal foibles of Petraeus. In such a case, no Administration scapegoat is required (other than the one they already have).
Tell me again how many people were killed as a part of the Watergate scandal?
Benghazi: Obama denied, Americans died.
But instead Barry offers “What are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”
Fast and Furious: bigger than Watergate. Benghazigate: bigger than Fast and Furious.
One of the very few things scarier than Obama’s performance so far would be the Biden presidency. And Barry, you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes.
The lies you now hear from the government (not an all inclusive listing): “We’re still glad to see you. We’d never read your e-mail or sell your information to a third-party. We respect your right to privacy.”
From the Hill:
Google received more requests from the U.S. government to hand over user data during the first half of this year than from any other country, according to the search company’s biannual “Transparency Report” released on Tuesday.
The increase in the first half of the year is attributable to the Administration’s run up to the election.
Post-election, the government’s expected requests will be due to a combination of factors, mainly political payback, preparing for the mid-term and 2016 elections, and of course, the Petraeus/John Allen/Jill Kelley/Paula Broadwell case.
The FBI is too busy to get to Benghazi and collect evidence; they’re not too busy to bust into Broadwell’s house and carry her belongings and personal information away. What was the charge again, fellas?
Who is the bill-payer for the Administration’s Benghazi debacle? It would appear to be one David Petraeus.
From ABC regarding the Benghazigate/David Petraeus resignation debacle (BTW, far too much can be described as a debacle at this point in the history of the Obama Administration):
The FBI withheld its findings about Gen. David Petreaus’ affair from the White House and congressional leaders because the agency considered them the result of a criminal investigation that never reached the threshold of an intelligence probe, law enforcement sources said today.
I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again: when is the FBI the first responder for what’s been described as harassing (but not threatening) e-mails received by an ordinary citizen (the “social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base”)?
The song remains the same: never.
Good grief, $1.6 billion disappears under Jon Corzine’s watch and nothing happens and yet the FBI goes all in with their e-peeping for the MacDill social liaison receiving harassing e-mails?
(Update: the WSJ reports “The FBI investigation began with five to 10 emails beginning around May…”)
The next ABC blurb:
Despite the lengthy investigation into Broadwell by the FBI, the White House says it was not made aware of it until Wednesday, the day after the election, a revelation that surprised many.
OK, who is “the White House” and is that different than the “Obama Administration”? Building’s don’t speak or hear but people—people in the Administration—do. And doesn’t the FBI work for Eric “My People” Holder? Think this was compartmentalized from Holder? Neither do I.
Had Petraeus been a normal career intelligence type and not a plausible political candidate in a holding pattern, would this entire “investigation” have occurred? No.
While Petraeus is guilty of disgracefully self-destructing (as an admitted zipper-case), somewhere, J. Edgar Hoover isn’t just smiling: he’s laughing his guts out.
Not to pat myself on the back or anything (Ow, my arm!) but imitation is said to be a form of flattery. Compare and contrast, if you dare.
First, from me on 1 November 2012 regarding Benghazigate and the CIA’s statement:
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?
Next, from Jed Babbin at The American Spectator on 11.12.12:
The statement said that no one in the CIA chain of command turned down those pleas for help. Which could only mean two things. First, it confirmed that the pleas for help did come, and were heard at the highest levels of government. Second, that someone higher than Petraeus had to have turned down the requests for help from Americans under fire. In the executive branch of government, the only person who outranks a cabinet member such as the CIA Director is the president.
Actually, the Director of National Intelligence has the entire intelligence community including the CIA; that’s why Clapper could suggest Petraeus resign. But
my Babbin’s larger point is correct: the non-response of the U.S. government regarding the Benghazi terror attacks has been both a tragic debacle and a national security scandal.
And while great minds may think alike, some think faster than others. (And for less pay, I’m sure.)
Think the Administration will appoint a special prosecutor a la Valerie Plame and Scooter Libby? Me neither…
The Petraeus resignation backstory smells worse and worse. From Politico:
The FBI reportedly happened upon former CIA Director David Petraeus’s extramarital affair while investigating a complaint from a woman close to Petraeus who had received harassing emails from the general’s alleged mistress.
First, when does the FBI get involved—as an apparent first responder—in complaints about “harassing emails”?
Answer: I’ll take “never” for a thousand.
…the sexual demeanor of the [Petraeus/Paula Broadwell] emails pointed to an affair. Investigators approached Petraeus two weeks ago about what they had discovered and told him no criminal charges would be filed, according to The New York Times.
Next, what charges—exactly—would be considered?
Beyond that, if there is no crime, what exactly was being investigated?
Finally, given that adultery has been granted status as a societal non-crime, why did Petraeus resign?
While Petraeus is a self-confessed zipper case and such behavior can’t be condoned, it seems he’s getting—so to speak—shafted.
BTW, All In is the title of Broadwell’s biography on Petraeus. Sounds like some sort of Freudian slip or double entendre which is sadly appropriate for this whole peculiar spectacle.
Benghazigate is a national-level cover-up of a security and foreign policy debacle that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
Watergate was merely a national disgrace.
Will Mr. Obama be able to run out the clock on Benghazi? It would appear he will. That doesn’t ensure his re-election, but a Watergate-like media frenzy which unpacked the entire Benghazi story would reasonably increase the chances of Mitt Romney’s election.
The intelligence community, purposefully thrown under the bus by the Administration more than a month ago, has been simultaneously backpedaling while assuming a defensive (‘not our fault’) position. From Fox:
Fox News was told by both American and British contacts who were in Benghazi that night [9/11] that the CIA timeline rolled out this past week is only “loosely based on the truth” and “doesn’t quite add up.”
It’s easier to attribute the initial problems with the Benghazi debacle to the Administration’s policies (and incompetence), but over time, the conspiracy story-line (that is, they needed to protect their national security narrative; that al Qaeda is toast) has more explanatory power.
While the fog of war and its corollary, the first report from the field is always wrong, may have explained some of the initial fumbles, the Administration has had six weeks since the Benghazi debacle to get a factual story together and has still failed to do so.
The Hurricane got the Administration out of the Benghazigate semi-spotlight and the media shows little interest in engaging on the subject as it might reasonably result in a Watergate-like scalping of Mr. Obama, VP Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, or Leon Panetta. If the media felt they could get the scalps of DNI James Clapper and/or CIA Director David Petraeus, that would likely generate more interest.
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.