Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category
Bret Baier’s interview with Tommy Vietor, the former spokesman for the NSA, is feisty but it’s more informative than feisty. Here’s a brief clip of the interview:
This sentence jumps off the page:
VIETOR: He told Tom Donnilon and his joint chiefs and his SecDef to begin moving all military assets into the region.
This is significant because of what was happening throughout northern Africa, which Andy McCarthy highlights beautifully in this article:
As we have covered here before (see, e.g., here), the release and return to Egypt of the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman (whom I prosecuted in the Nineties), has been a cause célèbre in Egypt for many years. On September 10, 2012, the day before rioting at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, an Egyptian weekly, El Fagr, reported that several jihadist organizations, including the Blind Sheik’s group (Gamaat al-Islamia, or the Islamic Group) and al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri’s group (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), were threatening to burn the American embassy in Cairo to the ground. The promised action against the embassy was an effort to extort the release of Abdel Rahman and other jihadists jailed by the United States.
Apparently, the administration didn’t take the Blind Sheikh’s son’s threat seriously. That’s apparent because, according to Mr. Vietor, more than 24 hours later, President Obama still hadn’t moved military assets into the region.
That’s incredible for multiple reasons. First, it’s the anniversary of 9/11. That alone is reason to preposition troops and put them on high alert. Second, the Blind Sheikh’s sone threatened to raid the Cairo embassy and take hostages in an attempt to free his terrorist father. Third, the riots at the Cairo Embassy happened as predicted, with the hostage-taking the only thing that didn’t happen. Fourth, the distance between Cairo and Benghazi is only 400 miles by air. A flight that distance takes less than an hour in the Navy’s and Air Force’s fastest jets.
This begs a totally new set of questions that haven’t been asked yet.
First, why didn’t President Obama and Secretary Clinton take threats seriously enough to preposition troops in the eastern Mediterranean Sea? Second, why didn’t President Obama order military assets be moved into the Mediterranean when the Cairo attacks happened as predicted? They started 4 hours before the initial attack on Benghazi. Third, why didn’t President Obama head to the Situation Room the minute the first reports of the Cairo riots happened? According to Mr. Vietor, President Obama never went to the Situation Room.
President Obama and his administration spent an entire convention bragging about what a great national security president he was. Vice President Biden said that “bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive.” Then-Sen. Kerry said “Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off now than he was 4 years ago.”
The reality is that President Obama, Secretary of Defense Panetta and Secretary Clinton didn’t position military assets in the Mediterranean. Thanks to their inaction and inattentiveness, 4 American patriots were murdered by an emboldened group of terrorists. Those terrorists still haven’t been brought to justice.
It’s time we got a real commander-in-chief who worries more about Las Vegas fundraisers than he worried about 4 American patriots who were murdered.
Technorati: Tommy Vietor, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Situation Room, Cairo Protests, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Christopher Stevens, Blind Sheikh, 9/11, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Bret Baier, Fundraiser, Election 2012
When it comes to energy issues, Rolf Westgard is worth listening to. Apparently, though, he’s developed a habit of hearing what wasn’t said:
More than 90 percent of Crimeans vote to rejoin Russia, and Russia gets ready to annex Crimea. The West protests the referendum with threats of sanctions.
We have short memories, having forgotten how Texas, New Mexico, and California were “annexed” from Mexico. Then, we didn’t even wait for a vote.
Republican war drums are rolling, accusing Obama of not getting tough. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, has blown his trumpet in stating, regarding Ukraine, that we have a “weak and indecisive president” who “invites aggression.”
He must know there is nothing militarily that any American president could or would have done to deter Putin in this situation.
That’s shameful. “Republican war drums” aren’t rolling, as Westgard accuses. The sharpest Republican foreign policy/national security minds have said that arming Ukraine while reaching missile defense agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic would tell Putin that his expansionist ambitions have consequences without going to war.
That President Obama has refused taking that step, instead opting for sending Ukrainians MREs instead of actual weapons proves President Obama is “a weak and indecisive president.” I never thought I’d live to see the say that I’d see a wimpier president than Jimmy Carter. Suffice it to say that I’ve lived to see that day.
That’s only part of how to make Putin rethink his expansionist ambitions. Last week, I heard a pundit say that Putin’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. That’s BS. Putin’s acting like the 800-pound gorilla, which isn’t the same as being the 800-pound gorilla.
Dramatically increasing American oil and natural gas production would dramatically hurt the Russian economy, which is heavily reliant on oil revenues. Those of us who lived through the 1980s remember that President Reagan used a multi-pronged approach in bringing the then-Soviet Union to its knees. First, Reagan built up the military, which Jimmy Carter had decimated. Next, Reagan made the U.S. economy the envy of the world, ushering in 6 straight quarters of economic growth that exceeded 5% annual growth. Finally, he deregulated the oil industry, which devastated the Soviet economy.
That’s how President Reagan acted forcefully while demolishing the Soviet Union without firing a shot. That’s what mainstream Republicans are pushing for today. That’s the opposite of Dr. Westgard’s accusations. The difference is that I can verify my statements. Dr. Westgard can’t verify his accusations.
Technorati: Russia, Vladimir Putin, Soviet Empire, Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, President Obama, Jimmy Carter, Appeasement, Democrats, President Reagan, Missile Defense, Economic Growth, Deregulation, Oil Revenues, GOP
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s passion for school choice is eloquently laid out in Gov. Jindal’s op-ed. First, Gov. Jindal makes the case against the status quo:
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the city’s burgeoning charter school movement. He’s diverting more than $200 million in funding marked for charter schools, and has also thrown hundreds of students out of their promised school buildings. He has also declared his intent to nullify arrangements that allow charters to locate in existing public schools rent-free.
The mayor’s open warfare against Eva Moskowitz, who founded a network of 22 charter schools, has all the markings of a petulant tyrant holding low-income students hostage. De Blasio has said, “There’s no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent” — as if the 6,700 students in the charter schools she runs were a mere afterthought in his personal vendetta against a fellow Democrat.
Last May, he told a teachers-union forum that Moskowitz “has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” Yes, by all means, let’s not “tolerate” someone behind a movement to empower parents and students with more — and better — education choices. This woman who is making it possible for low-income kids to have an equal opportunity for a quality education must be stopped.
Gov. Jindal gets it. He’s consistently talked about school choice in the context of giving students a shot at the American Dream. He’s even got a history of fighting for his policies:
In Louisiana, we know a thing or two about government authorities meddling in parents’ right to choose the schools that are best for their children. President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit trying to impede our program that gives parents of low-income students in failing schools an opportunity to attend a better school. Fully nine in 10 students participating in the program are minorities, yet the Justice Department seeks to block the program on the grounds that it would lead to racial segregation. The lawsuit would be funny if it weren’t so sad — and if the lives of so many young African-American children weren’t at stake.
President Obama’s Justice Department filed their lawsuit to placate their allies in the teachers union. That’s the same reason why Mayor de Blasio is implementing his anti-choice policies in NYC. It’s shameful that President Obama and Mayor de Blasio worry more about placating their special interest allies than they worry about doing what’s right for the nation.
In that respect, President Obama and Mayor de Blasio are showing their anti-American stripes. If they cared about making life better for everyone, they wouldn’t be attempting to implement these misguided policies.
Thankfully, people are standing up for themselves and their families rather than just caving in the face of the Left’s peer pressure.
Gov. Jindal understands this, which is why I think he’s the favorite to be the GOP presidential nominee. It isn’t thatI haven’t notice that other polls show Christie or Bush or Rand Paul leading or near the top. It’s that Gov. Jindal has a lengthy history of domestic policy successes without angering the GOP’s conservative base.
Gov. Jindal has championed school choice. He’s pushed tax reform. Those are definitely issues conservatives will positively respond to. Most importantly, he hasn’t hugged President Obama like Gov. Christie and he hasn’t been a foreign policy pacifist like Sen. Paul.
Technorati: Bobby Jindal, School Choice, Tax Reform, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Pacifism, National Security, GOP, President Obama, Eric Holder, Justice Department, Bill de Blasio, Teachers Unions, Democrats, Election 2014
This article is proof that Hillary Clinton is worried that her incompetence on foreign policy and national security matters will cost her the White House:
In recent weeks, as the standoff over Ukraine escalated, Hillary Clinton did something that she never did as secretary of State: She put considerable distance between herself and the president she served loyally for four years. While Barack Obama cautiously warned Vladimir Putin to back off his claims on Ukraine, Clinton rolled out a rhetorical cannon, comparing the Russian president’s moves to the seizure of territory by Adolf Hitler that set off World War II. Her comments were so harsh and controversial that she was forced to walk them back a bit, saying, “I’m not making a comparison, certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”
Clinton’s remarks appeared to be an indication of two things. One, she’s concerned enough about shoring up her reputation for toughness that she may indeed be thinking about running for president in 2016. Clinton offered up, in other words, a rare and enticing hint about the question that everyone in the politics game is asking these days. Undoubtedly she knows that the effort she led as secretary of State in 2009, an attempted “reset” of relations with Russia that included a new arms treaty, now looks naive in the face of Putin’s repudiation of Obama over Ukraine and his lack of cooperation on other issues, such as resolution of the Syrian civil war. Two, Clinton could be worried that by the time the next presidential season rolls around, what was once seen as one of Obama’s stronger points—foreign policy—could easily become a liability to whomever is seeking the Democratic nomination.
Hillary’s tough-as-nails image is just that — an image. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. She played the fool on the world stage by handing Russia the now-infamous Reset Button:
She’s the one that announced the United States was reneging on its commitment to their allies in Poland and the Czech Republic. There’s no doubt that President Obama agreed with these policies. Still, there’s little doubt that Hillary thought these were the right decisions at the time.
Hillary is nothing if not a shrewd politician. She isn’t hesitating in throwing President Obama under the bus for being a pacifist. It’s apparent she thinks she has to look tough on the international stage. The best thing that Republican presidential candidates can do is question Hillary’s competence, highlighting her appeasement-first attitude with regards to Benghazi, her dovishness towards Iran and her naivete towards Putin’s Russia.
For all her supposed foreign policy expertise, she’s been wrong on almost as many national security issues as John Kerry, which is frightening considering he’s been making national security mistakes for almost 30 years.
Just when President Obama, Vice President Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. This article provides the salt for these clowns’ open wounds:
First, Sarah Palin. In 2008, the Alaskan conservative warned that Putin was on the prowl. Quote: “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
Wow. Mrs Palin not only got the country that Putin would threaten right, she also predicted the reason behind it. Obama’s “indecision and equivalence” over Iran, Egypt and, most importantly, Syria, has probably encouraged Putin to believe that there would be next-to-no Western response to an attack on Ukraine.
This was highly predictable. It’s only surprising to the children at Foggy Bottom and in the West Wing. They either didn’t see this coming or they didn’t care. History won’t award a gold star to any of these fools for their decisions prior to Russia’s invading Crimea. (A dunce’s cap for each is the better fit.)
Unfortunately for the Feckless Foursome, the humiliation doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there:
Second, Mitt Romney. Romney’s foreign policy approach was broadly mocked in 2012. The country was keen to withdraw from overseas conflict in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan and Mitt’s vague neo-conservatism seemed out of step with the public mood. Sometimes, said the critics, it came off as something that his advisers were coaching him to say; a nod and a hint to AIPAC rather than a strongly held belief. Rachel Maddow concluded, “It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.”
Romney confirmed the sceptics’ worst fears when he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Barack Obama lashed out with some adolescent sass: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because. The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Actually, people who lived through the 80′s are praying that we’d that type of leadership back. That was when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John-Paul II brought down the Soviet Empire. That was when Jeane Kirkpatrick and Lech Walesa contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Feckless Foursome didn’t notice or didn’t care that Putin still thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the collapse of the century“:
Mr Putin therefore went out of his way to extol the virtues of democracy and talk up Russia’s potential for foreign investment. He lamented, however, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe”.
That’s quite the contrast in sobriety. The Feckless Foursome insisted that Russia was a friend that didn’t have expansionist goals, despite Putin’s expansionist rhetoric. While Rachel Maddow was making herself look stupid, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin said unpopular things that turned out to be 100% right.
Finally, I’d love asking Mrs. Clinton how that reset button thingy is working out lately.
Technorati: President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Reset Button, Vladimir Putin, Russian Bear, Soviet Empire, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Tear Down This Wall, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John-Paul II, Lech Walesa, National Security, Cold War
People who didn’t see the Obama-O’Reilly confrontation on Super Bowl Sunday should follow this link to read the transcript of the interview. Saying that President Obama didn’t look at the top of his game is understatement. Here’s something where President Obama looked foolish:
O’REILLY: All right.
Was it the biggest mistake of your presidency to tell the nation over and over, if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance?
OBAMA: Oh, Bill, you’ve got a long list of my mistakes of my presidency…
O’REILLY: But, no, really, for you…
OBAMA: — as I’ve (INAUDIBLE)…
O’REILLY: — wasn’t that the biggest one?
OBAMA: But this is — this is one that I regret and I’ve said I regretted, in part because we put in a grandfather clause in the original law saying that, in fact, you were supposed to be able to keep it. It obviously didn’t cover everybody that we needed to and that’s why we changed it, so that we further grandfathered in folks and many people who thought originally, when they got that cancellation notice, they couldn’t keep it or not (INAUDIBLE)…
That’s an outright lie. It wasn’t a mistake that the grandfather clause offered little protection. It was intentionally written to force people off of their health insurance policies and into the exchanges. To quote Charles Krauthammer, it wasn’t a glitch. It was a feature.
President Obama’s deceitfulness hurt him in this exchange, too:
O’REILLY: All right. Libya, House Armed Services testimony, General Carter Ham, you know, the general?
OBAMA: Yes. Right.
O’REILLY: Security in Africa.
O’REILLY: He testified that on the day that the ambassador was murdered and the three other Americans, all right, he told Secretary Panetta it was a terrorist attack. Shortly after Ham, General Ham, said that, Secretary Panetta came in to you.
O’REILLY: Did he tell you, Secretary Panetta, it was a terrorist attack?
OBAMA: You know what he told me was that there was an attack on our compound…
O’REILLY: He didn’t tell you…he didn’t use the word “terror?”
OBAMA: You know, in the heat of the moment, Bill, what folks are focused on is what’s happening on the ground, do we have eyes on it, how can we make sure our folks are secure…
O’REILLY: Because I just want to get this on the record…did he tell you it was a terror attack?
OBAMA: Bill — and what I’m — I’m answering your question. What he said to me was, we’ve got an attack on our compound. We don’t know yet…
O’REILLY: No terror attack?
OBAMA: We don’t know yet who’s doing it. Understand, by definition, Bill, when somebody is attacking our compound. That’s an act of terror, which is how I characterized it the day after it happened. So the question ends up being who, in fact, was attacking us?
O’REILLY: But it’s more than that…because of Susan Rice.
OBAMA: No, it…
O’REILLY: It’s more than that because if Susan Rice goes out and tells the world that it was a spontaneous demonstration…off a videotape but your…
O’REILLY: — your commanders and the secretary of Defense know it’s a terror attack…
OBAMA: Now, Bill…
O’REILLY: — I’m just confused.
OBAMA: And I’m trying to explain it to, if you want to listen. The fact of the matter is is that people understood, at the time, something very dangerous was happening, that we were focused on making sure that we did everything we can, to protect them. In the aftermath, what became clear was that the security was lax, that not all the precautions and that needed to be taken were taken and both myself and Secretary Clinton and others indicated as much.
First, it shouldn’t have taken time to know that security was lax. Ambassabor Stevens had been screaming at the top of his lungs that al-Qa’ida was gaining strength in eastern Libya. There was a gigantic hole in the wall at the consulate. Secretary Clinton and President Obama both should’ve known about that because that isn’t routine information that’s handled by people low in the food chain. That’s information they need to know about. That’s why I’m certain that both of them knew about the deteriorating conditions in Benghazi.
It’s more than that, though. O’Reilly is right in identifying Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows as a game-changing event. There’s no reason for the administration to send out someone who wasn’t properly informed. That’s if you believe that she was ill-informed, which I don’t believe. If she spred misinformation on those shows, then we’re looking at an administration lying to protect themselves during a political campaign.
This part is especially damning:
OBAMA: Bill, listen, I’ve gone through this and we have had multiple hearings on it. What happens is you have an attack like this taking place and you have a mix of folks who are just troublemakers. You have folks who have an ideological agenda.
O’REILLY: All right.
OBAMA: You have some who are affiliated with terrorist organizations. You have some that are not. But the main thing that all of us have to take away from this is our diplomats are serving in some very dangerous places.
The attacks weren’t random acts of violence. The military knew within moments that this was a well-coordinated attack executed with military precision. Right before Rice appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer interviewed the Libyan president. Libya’s president said without hesitation that this was a terrorist attack carried out with military precision.
Rice then insists that it was the result of a riot that started because people objected to an internet video by an obscure videographer. That’s utterly laughable, especially considering the fact that most people in northern Africa don’t have access to the internet.
By this point, President Obama is clearly frustrated. He’s frustrated because the lapdog media doesn’t insist on getting to the bottom of things. This exchange shows how frustrated President Obama is:
O’REILLY: I’ve got to get to the IRS…
O’REILLY: but I just want to say that they’re, your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn’t want that out.
OBAMA: Bill, think about…
O’REILLY: That’s what they believe.
OBAMA: — and they believe it because folks like you are telling them that.
O’REILLY: No, I’m not telling them that.
O’REILLY: I’m asking you whether you were told…
OBAMA: But — and what I’m saying is…
O’REILLY: — it was a terror attack and you…
OBAMA: — and what I’m saying is that is inaccurate.
First, President Obama accuses O’Reilly of telling lies to the people. Then he says that he simply asked a question. Finally, he said that O’Reilly said some things that weren’t accurate.
Essentially, what happened is that President Obama accused a journalist of lying to the people; when that didn’t work, he insisted that he was simply asking a question. When that didn’t work, President Obama resorted to form by accusing Mr. O’Reilly of people inaccurate information.
What’s inescapable is the fact that President Obama isn’t skilled at truthfully and fully answering tough questions. It’s easy to see it frustrates him.
David Ignatius’s latest article is one of the most blatantly partisan and intellectually dishonest articles I’ve read about Benghazi. Here’s one of Mr. Ignatius’s most ridiculous claims:
Driving the Republican jihad was a claim, first reported in October 2012 by Fox News, that CIA personnel had wanted to respond more quickly to the Benghazi attack but were ordered to “stand down,” perhaps by political higher-ups. Although this claim was promptly rebutted by CIA officials, it was repeated by Fox at least 85 times, according to a review by the liberal advocacy group Media Matters. This barrage fueled Republican charges that the Democrats were engaging in a cover-up.
What’s wrong with that paragraph is that the charge wasn’t refuted. It was substantiated by Gregory Hicks’ testimony:
Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of Mr. Hicks’ testimony:
REP. CHAFFETZ: How did the personnel react to being told to stand down?
MR. HICKS: They were furious. I can only say…well, I will quote Lt. Col. Gibson, who said “This is the first time in my career where a diplomat had more balls than someone in the military.
First, let’s question Mr. Ignatius’s methodology. Why would people think that the CIA would know about AFRICOM’s decision? AFRICOM is part of the military, not part of the CIA. Second, Ignatius’ article totally ignores Mr. Hicks’ testimony. Is Mr. Ignatius willing to call Mr. Hick and Lt. Col. Gibson liars or just mistaken?
If I’m given the option of trusting someone on the ground in Libya who talked with Ambassador Stevens or trusting Media Matters, that isn’t a difficult decision. Media Matters are paid liars. That’s what they do. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only questionable statement from Mr. Ignatius’ article:
The Obama administration’s supposed cover-up on Benghazi became a crusade for leading Republicans. A low point came when Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report last September questioning “the independence and integrity of the review” by the Mullen-Pickering group. These were extraordinary charges to make against a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former ambassador to six countries — especially since Issa didn’t present any conclusive evidence to back up his allegations.
The ARB report wasn’t an investigation. It didn’t talk to any State Department personnel on the ground that night in Benghazi. They didn’t talk with Greg Hicks. They didn’t talk with Hillary Clinton or or Leon Panetta. The report’s chief conclusion was that there was a system failure or, as Charles Krauthammer put it, the State Department building failed Christopher Stevens that night.
That isn’t an investigative report. That’s a whitewashing. Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mr. Panetta for not pre-positioning military forces to respond to hot spots in northern Africa? Why didn’t the ARB affix blame on Mrs. Clinton for going AWOL while the terrorist attack was raging? Had the ARB done either of those things, it would’ve been a credible report. Had they done both of those things, it would’ve rocked Washington.
Therein lies the problem. Pickering is a diplomat trained in downplaying things. The last thing a diplomat wants to do is ruffle people’s feathers. The ARB report was predictably flawed before it started. What was needed was someone who didn’t mind ruffling feathers, someone who wouldn’t hesitate in asking tough questions and including tough criticism of leaders when they didn’t act to rescue the American patriots who were needlessly assassinated that night in Benghazi.
Finally, there’s this BS:
Perhaps the silliest aspect of the Benghazi affair was the focus on the errant “talking points” prepared for Congress, which cited incorrect intelligence about “spontaneous demonstrations” in Benghazi that wasn’t corrected by the CIA until a week after the points were delivered on Sunday talk shows by Susan Rice, then U.N. ambassador. Rice is still under a cloud because she repeated the CIA’s “points” prepared at Congress’ insistence.
Calling them CIA talking points is wrong. The original document drafted by the CIA was accurate. It wasn’t until Victoria Nuland got involved that the document changed dramatically:
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned …”
It’s clear that Nuland’s first concern was political. She wasn’t worried about the accuracy of the CIA’s initial document.
Greg Hicks’ testimony dalt with a) things Amb. Stevens told him directly before being assassinated and b) things Lt. Col. Gibson told him directly. Ms. Nuland’s part in the administration’s cover-up dealt with ‘sanitizing’ Gen. Petraeus’ document outlining what happened that night in Benghazi. That’s quite a stark contrast.
That’s why I’ll passionately argue that Mr. Ignatius’ article isn’t a serious refutation of what happened in Benghaz. The first hint that this was a hit piece came early when Ignatius talked about the “Republicans’ jihad”. That alone speaks volumes about Ignatius’ motivation.
Technorati: David Ignatius, Media Bias, Thomas Pickering, Mike Mullen, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, Talking Points, Greg Hicks, Lt. Col. Gibson, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Qaeda, Political Cover-up, Obama Administration, Election 2012
On Thursday, Sen. Feinstein tried selling the spin that Hillary wasn’t responsible for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that the bipartisan report released this week on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya did not mention Clinton even once.
“I regret that the ‘Additional Views’ of the report adopted solely by six members of the Republican minority unfairly criticizes Secretary Clinton,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes.
Nothing in the bipartisan report, Feinstein said, assigned any blame for the attacks to Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time.
“Ultimately… the final responsibility for security at diplomatic facilities lies with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” said the “Additional Views” approved only by Republicans. “We believe there should be a full examination of her role in these events, including on the night of the attacks.”
Technically, Sen. Feinstein is right. There’s nothing in the report that blames Hillary for not taking actions that might’ve prevented the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2012. There should be plenty in the report criticizing Hillary for not acting on urgent requests from Christopher Stevens, the assassinated US ambassador to Libya. As usual, the All-Star Panel didn’t pull punches:
Andrew Napolitano nailed it when he said that “This report raises more questions than it answers.” He later opined that “the people who were responsible for this were the ones who did the investigating.” Charles Krauthammer ridiculed Sen. Feinstein, saying “the weakness of the Senate report is that it blames buildings. It blames the State Department. It blames the CIA. It blames the military, these bureaucracies. In the end, it doesn’t blame anybody. No human is held accountable.”
Let’s turn this around on Sen. Feinstein. Let’s use her logic against her. If Hillary wasn’t responsible for protecting Christopher Stevens, then Rumsfeld wasn’t responsible for Abu Ghraib and President Bush wasn’t responsible for waterboarding KSM.
Using Sen. Feinstein’s logic, Langley (the building) caused KSM’s waterboarding and the Pentagon (the building itself) was responsible for Abu Ghraib.
This paragraph is exceptionally telling:
“Our responsibility throughout this review was to focus on the intelligence,” Feinstein said. “The report finds the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on terrorist activity in Eastern Libya and given known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission.”
That’s a different way of saying that their committee would do a rehash of the Accountability Review Board’s report. In the real world, where people attempt to connect the terrorists’ dots, people would ask a) who’s responsible for embassy and consulate security, b) what procedures were in place to make sure urgent requests got the Secretary of State’s attention, c) why military assets weren’t pre-positioned and placed on alert to respond to crises and d) why President Obama and Hillary Clinton were nowhere to be found during the terrorist attacks.
Sen. Feinstein accused Republicans of using the report to hurt Hillary Clinton politically. The reality is that Hillary Clinton’s decisions hurt Hillary politically. I’d further argue that political figures should take a political hit for making terrible decisions that got American patriots needlessly murdered.
Returning to reality, let’s admit that Hillary a) ran in 2008 on the claim that she was the only candidate prepared to properly handle a 3:00 am phone call, b) didn’t take action to prevent the needless assassinations of American patriots and c) took the Secretary of State’s job to check off the ‘national security box’ for when she runs for president in 2016.
Finally, let’s admit that, based on what she’s done, Hillary was a mediocre Secretary of State.
Technorati: Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Senate Intelligence Committee, Investigation, Accountability Review Board, Benghazi Terrorist Attacks, Christopher Stevens, National Security, Democrats, Donald Rumsfeld, Abu Ghraib, President Bush, Waterboarding, Langley, Pentagon
Catherine Herridge’s reporting in this video is the smoking gun that the Left’s apologists say doesn’t exist:
Here’s part of Herridge’s article:
Several Al Qaeda members emerged as “leaders of the pack” in last year’s Benghazi attack, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News following release of a bipartisan report blowing apart claims the assault was the work of local extremists with no formal terrorist connections.
The former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, first identified by Fox’s Bret Baier as a suspect 16 months ago, at the very least helped lay the groundwork for the operation.
“Certainly Qumu was involved in planning in this…he is a member of a group that is affiliated with Al Qaeda so in my mind that makes him Al Qaeda,” said Chambliss, R-Ga.
According to the timeline that’s been put together from the House Armed Services Committee testimony, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack within fifteen minutes of the start of the attack. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report said that there were direct ties to a former Gitmo detainee who was part of al-Qa’ida’s network. That’s proof that President Obama and Hillary Clinton lied about the origin of the attack. We know this because Hillary accused an obscure filmmaker of triggering the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
This information from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report doesn’t help the administration either:
It concludes that the Benghazi attackers came from two official Al Qaeda affiliates, bin Qumu’s Ansar al-Sharia, and a fourth group, the Jamal network, whose leader is connected to the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.
“Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups including AQIM, Ansar al-Sharia, AQAP and the Mohammad Jamal Network participated in the September 11, 2012 attacks,” the report said.
That doesn’t leave the administration any wiggle room on whether this was a professionally coordinated terrorist attack. This information mocks the State Department’s spin that “core al-Qa’ida” wasn’t involved in planning the Benghazi assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. People in New York, at the Pentagon and across the country don’t care whether “core al-Qa’ida” planned Stevens’ assassination. They’re just worried that Detroit is bankrupt and al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.
People are worried that the terrorists are gaining more sanctuaries where they can plan and train for their next major terrorist attack. People don’t care whether the State Department’s narrative is spin. They care about whether their families are safe. Based on what we’ve seen happening during this administration’s time in office, people have a right to be worried that another terrorist attack is right around the corner.
The Obama/Hillary/Panetta national security team has been close to worthless. They killed bin Laden, the leader of a psychotic movement. Then they let that movement grow and flourish. Al-Qa’ida in Iraq had been demolished. Their training bases in Afghanistan had been demolished. Then President Obama and Secretary Clinton abandoned Iraq to appease their nutjob anti-war supporters. Now al-Qa’ida is alive and well in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia.
If you want to read an article that’s filled with political vindictiveness and terrible writing, I’d recommend this article from the AP’s Laurie Kellman. Here’s Ms. Kellman’s opening
A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party’s re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.
For people keeping score at home, that opening sentence is 45 words long. Run-on sentences of that length don’t help people focus their attention. English instructors frequently recommend that writers keep sentences to 18 words or less. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:
After winning the government shutdown, congressional Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects. Now Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Thank God for ‘professional’ writers. Seriously, what person would be interested in the rest of the article after Ms. Kellman’s opening? It gets worse because Ms. Kellman transitions from unprofessional writer to professional political hack:
Cummings, the White House’s biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity.
Chairman Issa’s agenda thus far has been to highlight this administration’s dishonesty and incompetence. When President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ frequent impassioned pleas for more security, they ignored him. As a direct result of their passivity, Ambassador Stevens and 3 other American patriots were executed in Benghazi.
That isn’t “waging war against the administration.” That’s investigating a tragic incident that didn’t need to happen. Investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations isn’t “waging war against the administration.” It’s investigating the abuse of power that’s happened all too frequently with this imperial administration. It’s a legitimate investigation because abuses of power of this scope can’t be tolerated. Period.
Let’s not be naive. There are political consequences for these foolish decisions. Congress is questioning President Obama’s integrity because he isn’t a man of integrity. The American people have noticed. As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically.
Hillary Clinton’s integrity hasn’t dropped…yet. She left Washington, DC before Greg Hicks’ riveting testimony about what happened that night in Benghazi. There will be a political price to be paid for her passivity and terrible decisionmaking. How high of a price she’ll pay isn’t knowable at this time. Suffice it to say it might be a steep price.
Republican members of Chairman Issa’s committee haven’t editorialized. They’ve asked professional, probing questions. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Their job is to investigate, not to be the administration’s stenographers.
If President Obama’s administration hadn’t made this many major mistakes, Chairman Issa’s committee wouldn’t have been justified in investigating this many things. Because they made this many egregious mistakes, Chairman Issa was obligated to investigate.
If that constitutes an attack in Ms. Kellman’s mind, then it’s safe to say she’s a stenographer, not a reporter.