Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category
During tonight’s roundtable, Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Chris Wallace that he had seen video during today’s closed door hearing that “clearly showed” the terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate was a terrorist attack.
Later, the panel discussed what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s what Juan Williams said:
WILLIAMS: Well, he said clearly that, you know what, events in Egypt were triggered by the video and it could mean that some of the things that happened in Benghazi could have been in response but it could have been used as a pretext for people who wanted to engage in a terrorist attack. The second thing he talked about was throwing Susan Rice under the bus and then he said it was a political statement and then he defended his comrades in the Senate, Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham. But clearly, he didn’t respond to the notion that there was intelligence as you pointed out earlier in the show, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who said that that’s the intelligence that Susan Rice had. There’s no question about that. There’s nothing political about that. She said that she was responding to the intelligence community’s assessment that said, and by the way, the fragmentary stuff that they may pick up, the guy in Tripoli sent in this report, that’s not what the community based their assessment on. That was fragmentary stuff at the time.
Unfortunately for Juan, Steve Hayes actually paid attention to what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s Steve’s response:
HAYES: It’s not at all fragmentary. The takeaway from what Saxby Chambliss said is that, after reviewing this information all afternoon, “It was clear from Day One that this was a terrorist attack.” Now we’re two months out. We’ve seen all of this intelligence and that’s his assessment. It’s also the assessment of everyone who’s looked at the intelligence. Even the State Department has acknowledged that there was no protest. You had Democrats coming out on Sept. 13 saying, in effect, that this was a terrorist attack. It was pre-planned. It was sophisticated. The question is why did we know all of this information the first three days and why did David Petraeus say on Sept. 14 that all of this was possibly triggered by the video?
It’s impossible to say with intellectual integrity that a video that might or might not have triggered the Cairo riots might also have triggered the terrorist attack in Benghazi. After all, the distance between Cairo and Benghazi is 800+ miles.
Unfortunately, Juan Williams is letting party loyalty, not facts and logic, shape his opinions. An attack can’t both be a sophisticated, pre-planned attack and something that developed out of a spontaneous protest. The fact that the attack was pre-planned necessarily eliminates the terrorist-attack-grew-out-of-a-spontaneous-protest meme.
There’s another question that’s left hanging there, namely, why didn’t Susan Rice take into consideration the footage that was livestreaming from the overhead drone? It’s a scary thought to think that she totally relies on James Clappers’ briefings for her information.
Let’s remember who James Clapper is and what he’s ‘famous’ for, then explain why anyone would trust his briefings.
Finally, here’s the video of the SR Roundtable discussion:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), asked the right questions of President Obama, Ambassador Rice and the State Department during this interview:
Sen. Graham is spot on when he said that President Obama “failed before, during and after the [terrorist] attack.” That’s indisputable. He failed to insist that the State Department didn’t provide proper protection to our diplomats, especially considering the fact that Christopher Stevens and the CIA had identified 10 different al-Qa’ida-related militias in Benghazi.
President Obama failed, apparently, to check with Secretary Panetta about what steps he was taking to kill the attacking terrorists. There’s no excuse for why an American president wouldn’t be in the Situation Room, monitoring the video feed from the unarmed drone with his national security team. That’s a total failure on President Obama’s part.
At that point, all other appointments must be rescheduled. Orders must be given to the CIA and the Pentagon that they send President Obama’s national security team updates every half hour on the situation on the ground and where the military is in deploying troops to protect Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.
Anything short of that is sloppy behavior that can’t be tolerated during a crisis of this proportion.
As for Ambassador Rice, why did she rely solely on the CIA’s briefing? It’s sloppy for her not to have checked with Charlene Lamb, the State Department career woman who was maintaining live, real time communications with the diplomatic staff. She’s the woman that sent timely updates to the White House Situation Room, too. Didn’t she think that information might’ve been helpful in connecting the dots of what happened that tragic night?
Perhaps that was her goal all along. Perhaps Ambassador Rice didn’t want to know what had happened. Perhaps she thought that finding out what really happened in Benghazi would hurt her boss. Perhaps she thought that knowing the truth would end her opportunity to be the next Secretary of State.
Put in that context, Ambassador Rice’s actions are perfectly understandable.
Finally, President Obama’s repeated statements that his national security team did everything they could to rescue Christopher Stevens and the other American patriots doesn’t square with the facts. It’s a great-sounding statement in terms of PR value but it doesn’t have anything to do with the truth.
Tags: Lindsey Graham, Benghazi, Investigation, National Security, President Obama, Susan Rice, Situation Room, CIA Briefing, Charlene Lamb, Live Feed, State Department, Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Military, Christopher Stevens, Diplomats, Patriots
During Wednesday’s presidential press conference, President Obama made a statement that hasn’t gotten the scrutiny it deserves. Here’s what President Obama said that’s got me curious:
QUESTION: Thank you Mr. President. Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham both said today that they want to have Watergate-style hearings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and said that if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of State, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. Senator Graham said, he simply doesn’t trust Ambassador Rice after what she said about Benghazi. I’d like your reaction to that? And would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that?
OBAMA: Well first of all I’m not going to comment on various nominations that I’ll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. Those are things that are still being discussed. But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
If Senator McCain and Senator Graham, and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received? And to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. And, you know, we’re after an election now.
It’s interesting that President Obama said that the purpose behind Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012 was to “make a presentation” based on the intelligence briefing she’d received from the CIA. Making a presentation to the nation seems rather one-sided. Then again, President Obama has made it clear that he isn’t interested in getting all the facts out to the public, his statements about making everything available notwithstanding.
The last thing he wants is to face difficult questions like why the military, of which he’s the commander-in-chief, failed to respond to Christopher Stevens’ desparate pleas for help during the pre-planned and well-executed terrorist attack on Benghazi. It’s a safe bet that President Obama doesn’t want to talk about why he sent Ambassador Rice to the Sunday morning shows.
After all, by his admission, Ambassador Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi.” If she didn’t know anything about the Benghazi terrorist attack prior to her CIA briefing, why didn’t President Obama send someone from the CIA to the Sept. 16 talk shows? If not someone from the CIA, why not send someone from the DoD? Those people wouldn’t have needed a CIA briefing because they were watching the terrorist attack live on their video screens.
The only explanation that fits President Obama’s purpose is to have a black woman go on the talk shows so she wouldn’t be questioned by the hosts and who could plausibly say ‘I’m only repeating what the CIA told me’.
This established without doubt that President Obama a) didn’t want an expert talking about what really happened that night in Benghazi and b) doesn’t want to answer any questions about Benghazi.
Let’s be straightforward about this: President Obama’s political priorities got 4 American patriots killed. He knows that. What’s worse is that he’s hiding behind the oldest dodge in the book, aka the I-can’t-talk-because-there’s-an-investigation-underway line.
The other difficult question that President Obama doesn’t want to answer is why there’s such a huge discrepancy between the DoD’s timeline of events and the CIA’s and State Department’s timeline. He would’ve gotten pressed on those if we’d had real White House reporters instead of off the books Democrat stenographers.
The bright side for those of us who genuinely care about the truth is that President Obama’s biggest admissions happen when he’s off prompter.
Tags: Susan Rice, Plausible Deniability, CIA Briefing, Talk Shows, Benghazi, Terrorist Attack, President Obama, Christopher Stevens, DOD, Special Forces, Leon Panetta, State Department, Hillary Clinton, National Security, Democrats
It’s time for President Obama, Secretary Clinton, CIA Director Petraeus and Defense Secretary Panetta to be grilled extensively on their decisions, or lack thereof, during the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2012. I don’t want this hearing to be about a ton of peripheral topics. Citizen journalists will sort through Susan Rice’s and Jay Carney’s spin.
This shouldn’t even be about President Obama attending a Vegas fundraiser the day after the terrorist attacks. Again, that’s something citizen journalists can sort through. Here are the things this hearing must be about:
- Who was the first senior administration official to get real time reports from the consulate the day of the terrorist attack? Did this senior administration official report this immediately to President Obama? If not, why not?
- When did President Obama’s national security team first tell him about the terrorist attack? Was this during his afternoon meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta the day of the terrorist attack?
- During his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order Panetta to send troops to protect the diplomatic staff in Benghazi? If he didn’t order protection for these American patriots during his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order military support later in the day? If not, why not?
- Secretary Panetta said that he didn’t send troops in because they didn’t know what they’d be jumping into. Mike Baker dispelled that myth by saying the CIA and military are receiving a “glut of information” in real time from the CIA, specifically the Global Response Staff. Did Secretary Panetta recommend to President Obama that the military jump into the firefight/terrorist attack? If he did, what was President Obama’s response? If he didn’t, why didn’t he make that recommendation?
- When did Charlene Lamb first tell Hillary Clinton about the terrorist attack? When she was told about the terrorist attack, did Ms. Clinton immediately contact President Obama? If not, why not? If she did, what time was it that she contacted him?
- President Obama was the only person with the constitutional authority to order troop deployments during an act of war. Terrorist attacks on American consulates are without question acts of war. Did he order spec-ops troops to be deployed to Benghazi to protect the diplomats from the terrorist attack? If he didn’t, why didn’t he?
These hearings need to start with focusing in on a single subject so the American people get a detailed understanding of President Obama’s national security team operations and his decisions to protect or not protect Christopher Stevens and his diplomatic staff.
Once that base of information is established and the American people understand President Obama’s failings, then the hearings can expand into other areas. Until then, they must stay focused.
Tags: Benghazi Terrorist Attacks, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Democrat Politicians, David Petraeus, Delta Force, CIA, Charlene Lamb, State Department, Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, Patriots, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Spinmeisters
This San Diego Union-Tribune editorial just might breath new life into the investigation surrounding this administration’s cover-up of the Benghazi scandal:
Until last week, the White House had taken a moderate hit over the fact that for two weeks after it happened, officials had fostered the impression that the four Americans were killed Sept. 11 in a spontaneous protest triggered by a blasphemous anti-Islam video posted on YouTube, not by a coordinated terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. But administration officials pushed back by saying the “fog of war” had left them uncertain about events, and that when White House press secretary Jay Carney and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had cited the video, they were only repeating the best available information they had. The president’s repeated comments conveyed the impression that he wasn’t aware of the attacks as they were unfolding, saying only that the next day, he ordered increased security for embassies in the area.
Just by writing this paragraph into their editorial, the San Diego Union-Tribune became the first major city newspaper to call this administration out for their shifting stories about the terrorists’ attack. This paragraph will help get Californians’ attention:
What did President Barack Obama know and when did he know it? Why has the Obama administration kept changing its story about how Ambassador Chris Stevens, security officials Tyrone Woods of Imperial Beach and Glen Doherty of Encinitas, and information officer Sean Smith, who grew up in San Diego, died on Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya? Why won’t the mainstream media treat the incontrovertible evidence of the White House’s dishonesty and incompetence like the ugly scandal it obviously is?
Without great reporting by CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson and Lara Logan and FNC’s Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin, this would’ve been a nonstory. These ladies’ thirst for the truth is giving this administration plenty of heartburn. Now that the San Diego Union-Tribune has joined in highlighting this scandal, President Obama better hope another shoe doesn’t drop.
Tags: President Obama, Cover-Up, Benghazi, Terrorist Attacks, Sharyl Attkisson, Lara Logan, CBS, Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin, Fox News Channel, San Diego Union Tribune, National Security, Election 2012
I’ve listened to a ton of Clinton spin in my lifetime. Most of it was weapons-grade spin from Lanny Davis, Mike McCurry and Joe Lockhart. Hillary’s spin from Wednesday morning’s press conference was utterly pathetic:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday a Facebook post in which an Islamic militant group claimed credit for a recent attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya did not constitute hard evidence of who was responsible.
“Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence. I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be,” Clinton said during an appearance with the Brazilian foreign minister at the State Department.
That’s insulting. What proof did President Obama’s administration have that a virtually unknown video had triggered the protests? The other myth they trotted out was that protests outside the Consulate were hijacked by terrorists.
This administration didn’t exercise caution when they trotted out fabrications of hijacked protests or obscure videos. Now they’re cautioning Americans to exercise restraint before trusting Ansar al-Sharia’s tweets that they attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Let’s remember that the administration that’s telling everyone to exercise restraint is the administration whose president once said that he didn’t know all the facts about the arrest of Prof. Henry Louis Gates but was certain that the police acted stupidly.
On Wednesday, Liz Cheney said that it was her experience when she worked at the State Department that terrorist organizations that claimed credit for terrorist attacks on their website usually committed the terrorist attacks.
Hillary can tell us to exercise caution all she wants but that doesn’t mean we’ll listen.
Tags: Benghazi, Terrorist Attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, President Obama, Jay Carney, Web Video, Protests, Cover-up, Embassy Emails, Spin, Henry Louis Gates, National Security, Democrats
When I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday, I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. This video of Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was stunning for reasons that will become clear to everyone who watches it:
Here’s a partial transcript of the jawdropping parts:
SEN. DURBIN: What I find hard to accept — I have to disagree with my friend Sen. Graham — is this notion about the president’s foreign policy. The president has been a strong and steady leader. We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq. We are going to end the war in Afghanistan. Al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self. Osama bin Laden is moldering in some watery grave somewhere. And we’ve now put enough pressure on Iran with the sanctions regime that they won’t develop a nuclear weapon that they now want to sit down and talk. These are all positive things.
This is incredible. For the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate to say that “al-Qa’ida is shadow of its former self” is heaping dirt on Christopher Stevens’ grave. Do the pictures from Benghazi look like al-Qa’ida is “a shadow of its former self”? Does Sen. Durbin think that the al-Qa’ida flag flying at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is proof of his insulting statement?
This is what’s known as Sen. Durbin taking one for the team.
It’s jawdropping that Sen. Durbin could say that this administration had “responsibly ended the war in Iraq” when al-Qa’ida is rebuilding in western Iraq:
Iraqi and U.S. officials say al Qaeda is rebuilding in Iraq.
The officials say the extremist group has set up training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts, seizing on regional instability and government security failures.
Iraq has seen a jump in al Qaeda attacks over the last 10 weeks, and officials believe most of the fighters are former prisoners who have either escaped from jail or were released by Iraqi authorities for lack of evidence after the U.S. military withdrawal last December. Many are said to be Saudi or from Sunni-dominated Gulf states.
During the war and its aftermath, U.S. forces, joined by allied Sunni groups and later by Iraqi counterterror forces, managed to beat back al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch.
But now, Iraqi and U.S. officials say, the insurgent group has more than doubled in numbers from a year ago to about 2,500 fighters. And Pentagon data shows it is carrying out an average of 140 attacks a week.
As a direct result of the Obama administration’s failure to put in place an agreement with the Iraqi government to keep troops strategically positioned in Iraq, al-Qa’ida is now rebuilding, training and carrying out attacks inside Iraq.
That isn’t the only place where al-Qa’ida and their affiliates are regrouping, as Sen. Graham points out in this last word:
Iraq is falling apart. Bin Laden may be dead. Al-Qa’ida is on the rise. If you don’t believe me, visit the training camps that have sprung up after we left. Syria is a contagion affecting the region. Thirty-two thousand people have been killed while we’ve been doing nothing. Islamic extremists are beginning to infiltrate Syria.
Sen. Graham effectively dismantled Sen. Durbin’s statements that al-Qa’ida “is a shadow of its former self” with a blistering recitation of indisputable facts. What part of building new training camps in western Iraq and carrying out 140 terrorist attacks a week sounds like “al-Qa’ida is a shadow of its former self”?
It isn’t a secret that Sen. Graham isn’t my picture of a conservative. That said, he’s done a great job of laying out the facts about al-Qa’ida’s resurgence since President Obama discontinued the Bush Doctrine. Thanks to that foolish decision, al-Qa’ida is building new bases throughout north Africa, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.
If that’s Sen. Durbin’s picture of “responsibly ending the war in Iraq”, then he’s a too irresponsible to trust foreign policy and national security to.
Prior to this presidential campaign, I’d always thought of Juan Williams as an honorable man despite being a hopeless liberal. I’ve never thought of him as a towering liberal intellect.
Williams’ op-ed reinforces that image:
So if Romney chooses to go back to the topic of Libya he is taking a big risk. It again could prove to be a blind alley where he gets mugged a second time. Meanwhile both sides fear any factual slip or glaring lack of knowledge in this last debate before the election. That fear is large in the Romney camp as they prepare a candidate with no foreign policy experience.
If anyone’s at risk on the subject of Libya, it’s President Obama. He’s the one who’s lied about the timeline of events. It’s his administration that’s went from one explanation to another to another.
If Mitt wants to paint President Obama into a corner, he’d highlight how the Obama State Department monitored the 5-hour-long gunfight in Benghazi as it happened. He’d highlight the cables from Ambassador Christopher Stevens requesting more security forces for Benghazi. He’d highlight the fact that, if Vice President Biden can be believed, the State Department didn’t communicate with the White House on the rise of al-Qa’ida terrorist attacks in Benghazi.
What Juan Williams apparently doesn’t get is that this administration’s policies got a diplomatic team killed.
Romney scored a major win in that first, Denver debate. His poll numbers continue to climb. But after Obama’s win in the second debate will that surge come to a halt?
The answer will likely be based on President Obama’s success in the third debate.
Two specific sets of voters, women and young people, will be at the heart of judging the winner.
In the first debate Romney was able to reach out to women voters and his rise in the polls is tied to his success in racing into a basic tie for the women’s vote, at least according to some polls.
In the foreign policy debate the president will want to appeal to women as a level-headed leader while portraying Romney as a man who wants more wars.
Talk about disgusting. Williams wants President Obama to “appeal to women as a level-headed leader” after this administration ignored the growing threat posed by al-Qa’ida affiliates in Libya, Mali, North Africa and western Iraq?
That might’ve worked if he’d put a higher priority on dismantling terrorist networks than he paid to picking off high-ranking al-Qa’ida terrorists one-at-a-time.
Americans are starved for true leadership. That isn’t something they’ve seen from this administration.
Mitt Romney can clinch a victory in November by showing the leadership traits and attention to detail that haven’t been seen during this administration.
People for the American Way, one of DC’s most liberal special interest groups, is trying to kick Michele Bachmann off the House Intelligence Committee with trumped up charges. Here’s what they’re saying:
In an Oct. 3 paid message in The Nation magazine, People for the American Way said “these fringe conspiracy theories and McCarthyite fear tactics have no place in Congress and especially have no place on the House Intelligence Committee.”
Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Lynn Westmoreland, Tom Feeney and Trent Franks asked the IGs of several cabinet departments to investigate whether the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining undue influence on US foreign policy. That’s what PFAW characterizes as “fringe conspiracy theories and McCarthyite fear tactics.”
PFAW is nothing more than another fringe lefty organization. They’ve got a patriotic-sounding name and a radical leftist agenda. PFAW’s board of directors reads like a who’s who of committed leftists. Alec Baldwin, Mary Frances Berry, Julian Bond and founder Norman Lear are the highest profile board members. This key paragraph from PFAW’s statement on John Roberts’ confirmation as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court speaks volumes:
We are disappointed with those Democrats and moderate Republicans who chose to support Judge Roberts, despite his long record of working to undermine rights and legal protections, his evasive answers to the Senate, and the Bush administration’s continued refusal to release key documents that would have illuminated his record and approach to the Constitution.
That’s BS. John Roberts was a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for 2 years before his confirmation as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s impossible to accumulate a “long record of working to undermine rights.”
Now PFAW is criticizing Michele Bachmann, arguing that she’s using McCarthyite fear tactics.
“Rep. Bachmann’s reckless behavior is an abuse of her sensitive position on the committee, a threat to our national security, and an discredit her office and to our great nation ….I think the time has come for her to be removed from Congress once and for all.”
Graves’ statement sounds awfully similar to PFAW’s statement. That’s proof he isn’t the new Democrat he’s said he is.
Monday night in Lima, Peru, Hillary ‘manned up’ and took responsibility for the Benghazi assassinations of the diplomats at the Benghazi Consulate:
Lima, Peru (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm over the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she’s responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.
“I take responsibility,” Clinton said during a visit to Peru. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
That’s fine but it doesn’t take President Obama off the hook. I’ve said for over a week that this wasn’t just a single scandal. I said that it’s really 3 scandals.
The first scandal is that the State Department pulled security teams for Libya at a time when Christopher Stevens was telling the State Department that terrorist threats were increasing. That’s certainly within Hillary’s realm of responsibility.
The next scandal is the White House, not the State Department, sent Susan Rice out to the talk shows to lie about the first scandal. That’s the White House’s responsibility because they’re the people that grant permission for the interviews.
Tonight on Special Report, Brit Hume said quite correctly that Susan Rice didn’t just recite the White House’s chanting points. He said that Rice recited the White House’s chanting points almost verbatim on each of the talk shows. That’s proof, Hume said, that this was rehearsed, not something that she said spontaneously.
The third scandal is this administration relying on the media to ignore the scandals. This administration wouldn’t have tried pulling off this scandal if they thought the media was going to take the investigation seriously.
Despite her taking responsibility for the Consulate scandal, Sens. John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham spoke forcefully against Clinton’s statement:
Clinton’s statement of responsibility was “a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever,” the Arizona senator said in a joint broadside with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. However, they added, “The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the commander-in-chief. The buck stops there.”
Again, Hillary is attempting to act like a team player. That’s a noble gesture but it isn’t a substitute for presidential leadership. Attempting to assist in a cover-up isn’t leadership anyway.
This is just another futile attempt to take this disaster off the front page. It’s a despicable attempt to look noble. It’s a poor attempt to look noble.