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 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.
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.
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?
A harsh assessment—perhaps intended as self-congratulatory praise—from Hillary Clinton regarding Syria, Iran, and Israel:
“I’ve done what was possible to do,” Clinton told reporters on the eve of her last day as secretary of state.
Let us unpack Clinton’s statement.
Because nothing good (as defined by clear movement towards achieving U.S. foreign policy goals as it concerns Syria, Iran, and Israel) has occurred, apparently getting nothing done was the only possible outcome.
Yet if getting nothing done was the only possible outcome, anyone could have done the nothing that occurred. Or restated, no one could do anything. Or re-restated, anyone could have done what Hillary Clinton didn’t do. Or re-re-restated, with all due respect, “What difference did she make?!”
And as it regards other areas of foreign policy, is it possible Mrs. Clinton’s entire tour as Secretary of State was a wasted opportunity resulting in foreign policy… regression? Consider the Benghazi debacle, the Arab Spring, the North Korean nuclear program, Iran, and the impact of the Administration’s Fast and Furious program on Mexico (although that would entail co-repairing substantial Justice Department ineptness). Or how about this fact from 2011?
Perceptions of the U.S. and President Barack Obama have nosedived in the Arab World to levels lower than during the Bush administration, a remarkable reversal for Obama, who made a speech vowing a new era of relations with the Arab world shortly after being elected.
“But, but, but…,” the left sputters, “there’s the Russian Reset.” (Back to the original AP article.)
“The Russians are not passive bystanders in their support for [Syria’s] Assad. They have been much more active,” she [Mrs. Clinton] told reporters. “But maybe they will change…
Or, maybe the Russians won’t change. Maybe they have picked their team and that Assad (and by extension, Iran) is on that team.
Once again, what do we have here? A media-created “rock-star diplomat” who has no hits.
We’ve heard of a horse with no name, but how is it we have a rock-star diplomat—Hillary Clinton—who has no hits?
Still others suspect Hillary is more of a dancer, a dancing monkey, that is, who only knows three diplomatic chords…
… perhaps, after playing the role of the dancing monkey to President Obama’s organ grinder during the interview with Steve Kroft, she [Mrs. Clinton] is eager to speak for herself about her record, without the boss looking over her shoulder.
The problem for a hit-free rock-star diplomat is when you only know three chords, you’re reduced to the likes of the sycophantic Steve Krofts of the world while leaning on—with all due respect—cheap histrionics in front of, for example, the Senate.
A rock-star diplomat with no accomplishments who only knows three chords. Hmm. Maybe she coulda/shoulda/woulda learned to play the guitar; she coulda/shoulda/woulda learned to play them drums…
Vacuous cheerleading from the New York Times and 60 Minutes is still vacuous cheerleading.
And now, enjoy a real—kinda—rock-star.
A comment regarding the predictable lapdog once called ‘the free press’ from IBD. (The comment was in reference to Steve Kroft’s infomercial with the President and Hillary Clinton on the 60 Minutes therapy couch, where Kroft managed to make George Stephanopoulos look bipartisan, inquisitive, and objective.) From IBD:
America’s elitist media establishment is no longer just an ideologically lopsided disgrace; like some banana republic’s prostituting state press agency, it is subjugating our free system of government by an informed people.
Given Steve Kroft’s performance with the President and Mrs. Clinton, you could even say he’s not just a predictable media lapdog, but also that he gives a predictable media lapdance. And knowing that is likely why Obama and Clinton ended up with Kroft, at 60 Minutes, and on CBS.
On the other hand, you have your Obama organizatione non grata, Fox News.
And as it regards Fox News (and several others), the Administration is exerting it’s substantial bureaucratic power by denying access to unfavored media and demonizing the same.
An entire Administration living in a bubble is not a good thing. Will the President and his staff choose to exit the bubble and engage in the arena of ideas?
Don’t hold your breathalyzer.
The New York Times says Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel.
So what’s a great sinner to do? Perhaps establish a process of buying carbon indulgences with one’s travel miles or even easier, just rely on your liberal bona fides.
This topic only needs to be addressed because the very same New York Times observed Hillary Clinton’s main claim to fame in her tenure as Secretary of State seems to be that she traveled many miles.
And yet another publication wryly observed, “If diplomatic achievements were measured by the number of countries visited, Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the most accomplished U.S. secretary of state in history.”
Yes, those suffering under the debilitating intellectual effects of libotomies often confuse 1) activity with adding value and 2) intentions with outcomes.
Under Secretary Clinton, shuttle diplomacy was exchanged in favor of shuttle activity. Shuttle activity, to paraphrase the Secretary herself, ‘Is what it is,’ but don’t pretend it’s anything else. After all, What difference does it make?
Of course, there’s another eco-terrorist, selflessly planning to rack up the carbon sins in the name of saving the small people from themselves. (And it isn’t even the easily mocked super-crony capitalist/crazed sex-poodle Al Gore.)
‘Do as I say and not as I do’ is a recurring—and annoying—liberal theme.
What do Hillary Clinton and Foreigner have in common?
Cold as Ice? Maybe. Juke Box Hero? Nope. The Bill Clinton themed Hot Blooded and Dirty White Boy? Yes, I can see that. Urgent? Nah. I Want to Know What Love Is. Certainly, but not what I had in mind.
What did I have in mind? Double vision.
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.)
Remember when we were told that Barack Obama wasn’t up to the task of taking that three a.m. call? Of course, the individual making that assertion was only partly correct: it seems that she isn’t up to the job, either.
So if pretending that Benghazi was a protest about a YouTube video doesn’t make any difference—see the rant below at about the 1:15 mark—why not just tell the truth in the first place?
What difference does it make?! Just this: the truth was contrary to the Administration’s re-election goal and four Americans died along the way.
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.
From Washington DC, Hillary Clinton prepares to brief Congress on the issue of the security of the U.S. embassies overseas. A preview of the testimony centers on George W. Bush’s failure to fund embassy security upgrades, his failure to use contracted security forces, his failure to improve relations with Islamists everywhere, his failure to censor American citizens as required, and his failure to provide President Obama with a satisfactory change-of-command briefing on the subject. Unnamed Administration sources add that all is well in the Middle East and that this is all a part of the President’s “lead from behind” effort, which is said to require another four years to complete.
On a related subject, the media is prepared to support the Secretary’s positions.
In Arizona and regarding the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious conspiracy which resulted in the death of one Border Patrol agent and innumerable Mexican citizens, the Administration “did its best to deflect criticism downward for decisions that should have been made and monitored at much higher levels.” The Administration, the highest level of government, had no further comment.
On the business front, GM wants out of the Administration’s $82 billion taxpayer-funded bailout of the automotive industry. The bailout, generously estimated to have saved one million jobs, many of them in China, also killed 200,000 American jobs. The overall effort is a part of the Administration’s commitment to win re-election and to additionally bring the United States in line with its global partners. If true, each “job saved” cost the taxpayers over $100,000. Finally, the Administration hopes to make up on the $50,000 lost on each Chevy Volt sold with higher sales volume.
With gas prices at historical highs, the Administration is asking drivers everywhere to check their tire pressures and consider investing in a Chevy Volt. Administration advisor and former President Jimmy Carter suggest setting the thermostat to 68 (not the air conditioning, the heat), putting solar water heaters on the roof, and should conditions permit, wearing a cardigan sweater.
In the nuclear arena, the Administration is said to be pleased with “useful and constructive” negotiations with Iran regarding their renegade nuclear weapons programs. The U.S. is now said to be considering supplying Iran with a small number of nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles if Tehran agrees to end their illegal pursuit of such weapons.
Finally, the Administration has released their new “American Obama” flag. An Administration spokesman descried the flag as “… one for all Americans. The President isn’t any different than anyone else, except being smarter; he just wants to stay stoned out of his skull, ensure government-provided bread and circuses, and let his freak flag fly.” A Romney campaign spokesman said the symbol is disrespectful and should be retired immediately. The media universally condemned the Romney campaign for its insensitivity and referred the issue to the Justice Department as a thought crime before announcing Mr. Romney’s candidacy to be “dead on arrival.”
Stay tuned for updates which will occur as time and conditions permit.
Why has Bill Clinton become the face of President Obama’s re-election efforts?
It’s a simple case of distraction. Economic distraction. Barry’s surrogates are needed stat.
Next, in an attempt to mitigate the non-success of the Arab Spring, expect Hillary Clinton to become the face of Obama’s foreign policy efforts and for Barry to distance himself from his own Administration.
The first lesson: speeches (and policies) have consequences.
The second lesson: desperate acts for desperate presidents.
Finally, maybe Chelsea Clinton is available as a temporary Administration/campaign overhire?
And now, the Russians are sending attack helos to Syria.
The Obama administration said Tuesday that Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and warned that the Arab country’s 15-month conflict could become even deadlier.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. was “concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.”
She said the shipment “will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
Other than the above, America getting hosed on ‘New START,’ continued Russian saber-rattling regarding missile defense, and Russian top-cover to Iran’s nuclear program, it’s all been a smashing success.
Richard Williamson at Foreign Policy (part of the family of Washington Post-It holdings) offers the reality of a painful yet honest headline, Obama’s Jimmy Carter Moment.
The crux of the article relates to Obama’s foreign policy failures regarding North Korea, Syria, and Iran. However, the overarching truth is under Obama’s leadership, the nation has suffered a nearly unending litany of Jimmy Carter moments and it isn’t just limited to parallels to Russians in Afghanistan or the Embassy takeover. If you’re old enough to remember, think the economy.
What’s the Obama campaign to do? It’s clear, isn’t it? Attack Mitt Romney and run away from the President’s record. Pursue big, transformational ideas like Hey! Let’s get the President on the Jimmy Fallon-Gong show!
Williamson points out North Korea continues to steal international aid while simultaneously working on its nuclear weapons and delivery system programs. And Syria has not exactly been a foreign policy home run. Rather, its more a foreign policy version of hitting into a double play:
When the carnage began, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downplayed the Syrian regime’s brutality, emphasizing that many in Washington saw Assad as a “reformer.” As the carnage continued unabated, she stated that “world opinion is not going to stand idly by.” But in both instances, standing idly is exactly what “world opinion” — supposedly led by the Obama administration — has done.
And Iran. After the 2008 elections, the President no doubt held high expectations that Iran would respond to his transcendent leadership. Yet his failure was two fold: 1) one of self-delusion, thinking their leaders would do his will instead of their will and 2) one of sloth, outsourcing all foreign policy to the State Department and making Hillary Clinton the captain of the non-domestic, not-military ship.
Maybe Mrs. Clinton can head off for secret negotiations with Iran, knock back a few Coca Colas with the boys in the Tali-band, and do some table dancing. You rock, infidel girl!
Couldn’t hurt (er, actually, based on the photo, maybe it could…).
How comfy cozy is the liberal cocoon? Pretty tight.
First you have Maureen Dowd—she’s the snarky one with observations generally several decades past their sell by dates—asserting Hillary Clinton is absolutely groovy.
Hillary Clinton cemented her newly cool image and set off fresh chatter about her future…
Then, you have Joe “GaffeMaster Flash” Biden saying Al Franken is a leading legal scholar.
“He has been one of the leading legal scholars,” Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report. He also said that Franken “is deadly serious” as a senator. He made the comments while recalling concerns that then-candidate Franken could not be taken seriously as a Senate candidate given his SNL work.
The reality: Hillary is about as cool as a microwave and Franken is as sharp as a marble. Biden is somewhat less sharp than Franken; more like a Nerf marble.
Your results will not vary.
With the President’s approval ratings in the septic tank (that’s lower than merely in the toilet), some are starting to ponder who could stand in the Democrat’s gap should Obama choose to pull a Lyndon Johnson.
These searchers of political intrigue don’t have to look very far, in fact, not even beyond the existent cabinet to find the candidate of their dreams,
George Clooney Hillary Clinton.
There’s a saying for such behavior: desperate acts for desperate parties.
Mrs. Clinton’s stature has grown as Obama’s has cratered and the healing hands of time have eased the memories of her spousal unit/former philanderer in chief. Indeed, many people today pine for Mr. Clinton’s bygone era of dot com bubbles, perpetual scandal, and a fully compliant media.
And as we all know from Obama’s too-accurate assessment, she’s likable enough.