Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category
Glenn Reynolds’ latest USA Today column is delightful reading, starting with the opening paragraphs:
There are two Americas, all right. There’s one that works, where new and creative things happen, where mistakes are corrected, and where excellence is rewarded. Then there’s Washington, where everything is pretty much the opposite. That has been particularly evident over the past week or so. One America can launch rockets. The other America can’t even launch a website.
In Washington, it’s been stalemate, impasse, and theater the kind of place where a government shutdown leads park rangers to complain, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” Well, yes. The politics don’t work, the websites don’t work, even for the people who manage to log on, and the government shutdown informs us that most of government is “non-essential.” Instead of correcting mistakes or rewarding excellence, it’s mostly finger-pointing, blame-shifting, and excuse-making.
Simply put, DC is where incompetence and cruelty (see shutting down the World War II Memorial) aren’t criticized. The heartland is where wealth and jobs are created without a sneering politician criticizing companies for making too much money.
President Obama has taken political nastiness and incompetence to unprecedented levels. His economic policies are a total disaster because they’re contrary to the rules of time-tested rules of capitalism. Three part-time jobs are created for every full-time job that’s created. Still, the administration insists that we’re on the right path.
Americans know better.
Russia laughs at us. Syria blows us off. Al-Qa’ida in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt attack our embassies and consulates with little fear of reprisal.
In short, we’re the global joke.
Politicians don’t care about that; like two-year-olds in an ice cream parlor, all they want is more. But the rest of us should think long and hard about how many resources we should allow politicians to control, given their track record lately. Because Washington is clearly a world that doesn’t work.
Ronald Reagan spoke to this way back in the 1980s. Here’s what he said:
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Lois Lerner violated TEA Party activists’ First Amendment rights. Instead of getting prosecuted, she got a cushy retirement pension. Hillary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ repeated requests for more security forces. As a result, 4 American patriots needlessly died. Now she’s gearing up for another run at the White House.
Where’s the Democrats’ outrage over these disgusting incidents? Lois Lerner didn’t hesitate in using the full force of the US government on people simply wanting to exercise their First Amendment rights. Hillary was nowhere to be found prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2012. Christopher Stevens repeatedly told the State Department hierarchy that terrorists were pouring into Benghazi and that the compound wasn’t safe. Please beef up security, he urged.
Instead of listening to him, Hillary chose to proceed as if Benghazi was as safe as downtown St. Cloud on a Wednesday afternoon. During the 2008 campaign, Hillary ran an ad questioning Barack Obama’s qualifications if a call came in from overseas at 3 am. Clearly, 4 years into his administration, he wasn’t prepared to deal with a crisis. Apparently, Hillary wasn’t prepared for that type of crisis either.
Technorati: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lois Lerner, International Crisis, IRS, First Amendment, Government Shutdown, Christopher Stevens, Benghazi, Libya, Terrorist Attack, Accountability, Democrats
Friday night’s Almanac Roundtable was noteworthy for what wasn’t discussed. Dan Hofrenning, Kathryn Pearson and David Schultz delivered their usual uninformative amount of drivel. Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola asked the usual bland questions. Profound statements were nowhere to be found.
That isn’t exactly noteworthy or surprising.
What’s noteworthy, though not surprising, is the fact that the panel didn’t talk about Friday morning’s lackluster jobs report. Friday morning’s jobs report, along with al-Qa’ida’s startling resurrection and the IRS scandal widening, was the week’s biggest news. Despite those important stories, the focus of last night’s discussion centered on the GOP’s civil war.
Watching liberals discuss conservatism is as informative as listening to 8-graders discuss Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
There’s no question that Republicans are disorganized right now. The TEA Party, however, is anything but disorganized. The TEA Party, despite Charlie Rangel’s racist accusations, is getting fired up.
But I digress.
It’s interesting that this panel of liberals didn’t find it noteworthy to highlight another lackluster jobs report. Had they taken the time to dig into yesterday’s jobs report, they’d see President Obama’s policies aren’t working. In fact, they’re predictably failing.
In my post yesterday, I cited ZeroHedge’s findings. In their post, they cite the fact that 953,000 jobs have been created this year and that 731,000 of those jobs created are part-time jobs. That 77% of the jobs created this year are part-time jobs is frightening. That’s unprecedented in American history.
President Obama says he wants to grow the economy “from the middle class out.” Ditto with Gov. Dayton and Democrats in the Minnesota legislature. It’s impossible to grow the middle class when 77% of the jobs getting created are part-time jobs.
Despite these disturbing economic statistics, Wurzer and Eskola decided that political squabbles inside the minority party in Minnesota was the most important subject to discuss. While that’s amusing, the economy is frightening. That shouldn’t have been a difficult decision.
Wurzer and Eskola should’ve highlighted the dismal economy.
That didn’t have a prayer of happening, though, because they’re loyal Democrats who won’t talk about anything that makes President Obama look bad.
I prevent a letdown by keeping my expectations low for Almanac. They rarely disappoint.
First, watch this video of Greta’s interview of Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) on the administration’s spin about “phony scandals”:
Things get especially heated late in the interview. Here’s a partial transcript based on that exchange:
GRETA: I’d like to have the President sit down, and Jay Carney sit down with some of these Americans. I’ve met some of them and say that some of their concerns, whether it’s an IRS concern or a border agent family, that their concerns are phony. That’s what I’d like. I’d like the President to have the guts to look some of these people in the face who really believe in what they’re doing, whatever they’re pursuing and tell them that their concerns are phony.
REP. GOWDY: Well, I’ll just say this, Greta. You were in the criminal justice system. I was too. If you want to sit down with Brian Terry’s mother and look her in the eyes and tell her that scandal was phony, Fast and Furious. Or how about the innocent Mexicans — we don’t know their names, but there’s at least 200 who’ve been killed because of guns we sent into Mexico and tell them that’s a phony scandal. Or 4 murdered Americans who went because we sent them to represent us in a foreign land. And the world is set on fire and they’re murdered in Libya and go call that phony. I dare him to look Ty Woods’ father in the face and tell him it’s a phony scandal.
When I watched that interview and connected those disgusting events with Jay Carney’s comments about phony scandals, my fists were clenched with outrage. How dare that punk talk so blithely about events that left people needlessly dead. From this point forward, it’ll be impossible for me to think of Mr. Carney as anything but a subhuman ball of slime.
It’s one thing to engage in spin. It’s another to treat as utterly insignificant the political abuse that the IRS engaged in against TEA Party activists. Ditto with treating Benghazi as insignificant when 4 American patriots died needlessly because this administration put a higher priority on a campaign narrative than on protecting American patriots serving in a terrorist-infested fledgling nation.
President Obama doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to use that line in front of the families of those killed in Benghazi. In many ways, he hasn’t progressed beyond the mentality of a Chicago street punk. He’s a heartless SOB, too, because he’s talking disrespectfully about fallen American patriots.
What’s worst is that he’s done a full 180 degree pivot on the IRS. When the storyline was about rogue agents in Cincinnati, President Obama was fired up, at least in public. Now that the storyline included a political appointee/political fixer in the IRS Chief Counsel’s office, the IRS is a “distraction”, a “phony scandal.”
Carney should be scorned mercilessly. He can’t think that the IRS being used as a political weapon against President Obama’s enemies is acceptable. He’s a former stenographer, aka journalist, so he can’t think that the DOJ digging into James Rosen’s personal emails is acceptable.
These aren’t phony scandals. They’re the real thing. That this administration is now attempting to downplay them this way is disrespectful. Thankfully, Greta and Rep. Gowdy took this admninistration to the woodshed last night.
Tags: President Obama, Jay Carney, Phony Scandals, Scandals, IRS, Operation Fast and Furious, James Rosen, Brian Terry, Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, IRS Targeting, TEA Party, Activists, Greta van Susteren, Trey Gowdy
When Michele Bachmann officially becomes a private citizen again, the St. Cloud Times will need to find a new villain. Their hatred of all things Michele has been documented throughout the years. I’m not sure I ever read them praise her. If they did, it was buried in their avalanche of criticism of Michele. The Times’ hatred of her stems mostly from Randy Krebs. His op-ed is filled with incredible criticism. This one is most ironic:
I find the most stunning aspect of Bachmann’s political style is her refusal to admit she makes mistakes. It’s like she’s perfect, like she walks on water.
This coming from a man who isn’t capable of admitting he’s ever made a mistake. Last year, when Michele and 4 other conservative Republicans worried about the State Department’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant, I tried submitting a YTE editorial. Randy Krebs rejected the YTE, calling my statements “unsubstantiated allegations.” I explained in this post how Krebs wasn’t just a little bit wrong:
This week, I attempted to submit an LTE defending Michele Bachmann. I tried highlighting the fact that the questions Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Rooney asked were both legitimate and substantive. I used information from Andrew McCarthy’s article to show that Huma Abedin’s parents had significant ties to radical Islam, including to the Wahhabist movement that produced 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists.
Despite quoting Mr. McCarthy’s impeccable documentation for the LTE, Mr. Krebs told me that they wouldn’t publish an LTE based on “unsubstantiated allegations.” It’s insulting that Mr. Krebs would argue about “unsubstantiated allegations,” especially considering this research by Walid Shoebat. Shoebat’s research is detailed, on topic and damning. Mr. Shoebat was a “radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of Jihad” until his conversion to Christianity.
Here’s the subtitle to Mr. McCarthy’s article:
Michele Bachmann has every right to ask questions.
Krebs’ blind hatred of Michele Bachmann wouldn’t permit him to admit that his criticism of Michele wasn’t right. He’d excoriated her for her calling for an investigation. The lead prosecutor in the trial against the Blind Sheikh said this about Michele’s claims:
Representative Bachmann is one of five House conservatives who have raised concerns about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of our government. Glenn Beck reported Tuesday that GOP leadership is trying to extort an apology out of Bachmann by threatening to boot her from the House Intelligence Committee if she fails to submit.
That got me to wondering: Any chance Speaker Boehner might take just a couple of minutes out of his busy jihad against Bachmann to focus on how the State Department, during Ms. Abedin’s tenure, has cozied up to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist?
I suspect that the man who led the successful prosecution and conviction of the Blind Sheikh might know more about the Muslim Brotherhood than Mr. Krebs. When I pointed out that Mr. McCarthy was a respected expert on terrorism, I got an email from Krebs saying that my YTE was based on “unsubstantiated allegations.”
Isn’t it a bit ironic that Krebs now whines that Michele can’t admit when she’s wrong? First, shouldn’t Krebs practice what he preaches before criticizing others for what he won’t do? Mr. Krebs, if you aren’t willing to admit your verifiable mistakes, why should we listen to anything you say?
Finally, it’s long past time for Mr. Krebs to admit that Michele’s positives exist and that they’re important. Perhaps that isn’t possible because he’s approved far too many I-hate-Michele LTEs. The common trait of those LTEs is that they’re filled with emotion-filled, fact-free anti-Michele rants.
Witness her 2012 campaign. She agreed to only three debates with challenger Jim Graves, all within the last two weeks of the election. Only one of those was in a public setting, here in St. Cloud. But even it was moderated by the deep-red St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.
The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce is filled with people who believe in capitalism and who do good work. Saying that they’re “deep-red” isn’t just a stretch. It’s an exaggeration of epic proportions. That statement by Mr. Krebs shows just how liberal he is.
The Times is running a loose shop. If they don’t get their act together quickly, they’ll fade into irrelevance. That said, Mr. Krebs is in danger of that already.
This article shows that congressional Democrats aren’t interested in getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. They’re more interested in protecting their political flanks than finding out why this administration was caught flat-footed with Benghazi:
Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering has agreed to be deposed by Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) Oversight panel on June 3 after being threatened with a subpoena. Democrats say they’re wary of a trap, and want to be able to counter what they say is Issa’s habit of leaking “cherry-picked” portions of witnesses’ testimonies to the press.
“If it’s true to form, if it’s a closed deposition, his staff [will] cherry pick content and leak it once again to the press that’s only too willing to print it,” panel member Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told The Hill. “It might be grossly inaccurate. In fact, it may be the opposite of what’s being asserted. But by the time somebody gets around to reporting that, if they ever do, the damage is done.”
That’s rich. The Democrats are complaining that the press isn’t giving them a fair shake. That isn’t the full extent of the Democrats’ PR tactics:
Democrats say Pickering and his co-author, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, should be able to defend their report in a public hearing. Pickering could not be reached for comment.
“House Republicans have politicized this investigation from the beginning, and they have recklessly accused Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen of being complicit in a cover-up,” said the panel’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). “It is time for the Chairman to honor his commitment to hold a hearing to allow these officials to respond to these reckless accusations, instead of imposing new conditions to keep them from testifying. Members of Congress and the American people should hear directly from these officials, in public, and the Chairman’s efforts to keep them behind closed doors undermines the Committee’s credibility and does a disservice to the truth.”
Trey Gowdy explains why the committee is deposing witnesses:
The goal of a deposition, oversight panel member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told The Hill, is to get “the full facts.”
“It’s hard to unlock the mysteries in five-minute increments in a committee hearing,” Gowdy said. “So if you want to find out what happened and who he interviewed, what questions he asked, why he didn’t interview certain people, you need to do it in a deposition.”
These investigations aren’t a witch hunt. They’re part of a real investigation, complete with initial questions that establish a base of facts, followed by the rarest of things in Washington, DC: thoughtful followup questions. That’s what happened during a bygone era when investigations went where the facts took them. That’s what happened when investigations found the truth and let the political chips fall where they may.
Speaking of political chips falling where they may, this speaks directly to that:
Democrats say Issa’s real target is Clinton, the presumptive Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential election.
It’s possible Hillary will suffer political consequences as a result of her mismanagement. Had she made the right decisions, she wouldn’t be getting criticized for making a string of stunningly foolish decisions about the security forces in Benghazi.
It’s time to detonate the ‘Republicans are politicizing Benghazi’ storyline. Foolish decisions were made. American patriots died as a direct result of Hillary Clinton’s shoddy decisionmaking. Hillary lied when she told the diplomats’ families that a video caused the terrorist attack was done to protect a president during a political campaign.
If Hillary gets tarnished because Republicans ask intelligent questions about what happened in Benghazi, then it’ll be because Hillary made foolish decisions. It isn’t because Republicans politicized the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Finally, there’s this:
Democrats say they should have been given a chance to interview Mark Thompson, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism, ahead of the May 8 hearing. They say his Republican attorney, Joseph diGenova, shielded him from Democrats.
Issa strongly denied interfering during the hearing.
“Mr. Thompson, is it your decision who you talk to?” he asked. “And did any of my people ever tell you not to talk to the Democratic minority?”
“No,” Thompson answered.
The Democrats’ accusations are essentially empty. They’ve had the right to access witnesses and ask questions. It isn’t Chairman Issa’s fault that these whistleblowers’ testimony is making the administration look bad.
This past week, lots of pundits from across the political spectrum have warned Republicans not to overreach on the AP story. They’re warning that this is a national security issue. That isn’t exactly accurate. It’s time to unravel the DOJ’s disgusting behavior.
At the heart of the scandal is this statement from Attorney General Holder:
Here’s what Attorney General Holder said that isn’t accurate:
HOLDER: This was a serious leak, a very, very serious leak. I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if it isn’t the most serious leak, it is among the top 2 or 3 leaks I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk. And that is not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk and trying to determine who was responsible for that required very agressive action.
First, this wasn’t a leak. Here’s the real story:
Although the Justice Department has not explained why it sought phone records from the AP, Pruitt pointed to a May 7, 2012, story that disclosed details of a successful CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Usama bin Laden.
The AP delayed publication of that story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security.
“We respected that, we acted responsibly, we held the story,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the AP published the story only after officials from two government entities said the threat had passed. He said the administration still asked that the story be held until an official announcement the next day, a request the AP rejected.
This wasn’t a leak. The AP apparently got word that the CIA asset wasn’t in danger. The CIA said they wanted another day to issue a press release on spoiling this terrorist plot. At that point, the AP decided that they didn’t need to hold their story any longer.
It’s believable that the CIA was upset that they didn’t get to issue their press release first. Based on the fact that the DOJ hasn’t disputed the AP’s statements, it’s fair to assume that the AP acted appropriately in terms of taking the national security and intelligence gathering needs of the nation into serious, sober consideration.
That’s the front end of this scandal. The next part is what makes this one of the most disturbing scandals in recent history. Based on what we know from the first part of the scandal, we know that there wasn’t a need for urgency in stopping a leak that might’ve compromised a CIA asset in the Middle East. That means the DOJ wasn’t entitled to grab the records it did without telling the AP about this massive grab of AP phone records. That means the DOJ was obligated to going to court to apply for a search warrant and for the AP to contest the scope of DOJ’s phone records grab.
The federal government’s need to protect intelligence-gathering assets in harms way isn’t disputed. In fact, the AP apparently acted responsibly in this respect.
Now that we’ve determined these basic, undisputed facts, it’s time to question DOJ’s actions. Did the DOJ need to sieze 2 months of the AP’s phone records? Did DOJ need 2 months of phone records of over 100 AP reporters and editors? If it didn’t, why did DOJ sieze these sensitive records, especially without giving the AP the chance to contest the DOJ’s actions?
Unless new facts emerge that support DOJ’s actions, Americans of all political stripes should question DOJ’s ham-handed behavior in this matter.
UPDATE: Follow this link to read more on the DOJ-AP scandal.
When Sen. Boxer talks, I start looking for my waders because the BS is about to fly. This op-ed is proof that the BS flies when Sen. Boxer speaks:
The facts are clear: The day after the attack, President Obama appeared in the White House Rose Garden and called the events in Benghazi an “act of terror.” And within eight days of the attack, Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and said that the “attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi” is “proof” that “acts of terror and violence continue to threaten our citizens and our interests around the world.”
It’s true that Matthew Olsen said that during the hearing. It’s equally true that he said it in response to a question. It’s equally true that Olsen got chewed out for admitting that in committee. Most importantly, President Obama repeatedly talked about an offensive video being the thing that triggered the terrorists’ attack. President Obama either referred to the offensive video or said it was too early to say anything, that his administration was still investigating.
The administration sought to relay the best information it had at the time. When Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on Face the Nation, sharing information that was prepared and signed off on by multiple government agencies, she made clear that the information was preliminary and warned that “we’ll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions.”
That’s a bald-faced lie. This administration, specifically Victoria Nuland, insisted that most of the CIA’s initial intelligence report be deleted because she worried that “members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for ‘not paying attention to Agency warnings.’”
Furthermore, Gregory Hicks testified that there was never a mention of a protest by Christopher Stevens or any other diplomats in Benghazi. Finally, the CIA, the US diplomats and the Libyan president all knew within hours that this was a terrorist attack. The intelligence didn’t “evolve.” The only thing that evolved is the Obama administration’s story.
As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I well remember Secretary Clinton’s testimony following the Benghazi attack. She took responsibility and pledged to do everything in her power to put corrective measures in place. And she didn’t gloss over the profound pain and suffering this tragedy caused for the families of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Pat Smith, the mother of slain diplomat Sean Smith, said Sec. Clinton talked to her and promised to stay in touch. Last week, Pat Smith said that Hillary never called her after the ceremony on Sept. 14. Hillary’s faux empathy apparently only lasted a couple hours.
Finally, Sen. Boxer glosses over the fact that Hillary’s State Department turned down Ambassador Stevens’ request for more security. In fact, the State Department cut the security team instead.
President Obama and his apologists have insisted that the changes in the CIA’s intelligence community’s report on the Benghazi terrorist attack were the result of bureaucratic infighting. We’ve been told that that’s typical. This morning, Jim Geraghty wrote this in his morning e-letter:
If there was evidence that everyone within the State Department, military, and White House were doing everything they could to rescue our guys on that awful night, we would have heard about it long ago. If there was a good reason for the “talking points” to get edited down from a false premise (a demonstration) but at least serious information (previous CIA warnings about terrorist activity) to false pabulum, we would have heard it by now; the latest lame excuse is that the 14 edits merely reflect “bureaucratic infighting between the CIA and State.”
It’s time to return to Realityville, people. Bureaucratic infighting is typical when people are putting a plan together or figuring out a long-term strategy. Bureaucratic infighting isn’t supposed to happen when people are trying to determine the truth about events.
Bureaucratic infighting might happen when deciding whether to beef us security for diplomats. Bureaucratic infighting might happen when deciding whether to attempt a rescue of diplomats during a terrorist attack. Bureaucratic infighting might happen when people try to determine the proper response to repeated terrorist attacks on foreign missions.
Once the attacks have happened, however, the infighting stops. To determine the truth, the experts on the ground must be talked to. At that point, the only exercise left is determining whether the CIA’s report was accurate. If it was, then their report should be given to the proper people.
The BS that this administration has been spreading since the caskets returned to the United States has been insulting. It’s time this administration puts to rest their ‘the video made them do it’ storyline.
Finally, it’s time to utterly discredit James Clapper’s statement that he felt sorry for Susan Rice for telling the truth. Nothing she said on those Sunday morning talk shows was the truth. Clapper’s insistence that the talking points are accurate indicates that he’s a political appointee, not an intelligence officer.
In a stunning statement this morning, President Obama insisted that the Benghazi investigation is much ado about nothing:
“And suddenly three days ago this gets spun up as if there’s something new to the story,” Obama said in response to a question about Benghazi. “There’s no there there.”
The president continued, “Keep in mind, by the way, these so-called talking points that were prepared for Susan Rice, five, six days after the event occurred, pretty much matched the assessments that I was receiving at that time in my presidential daily briefing.”
There’s plenty that’s new here. Prior to Wednesday, I didn’t know that Hillary Clinton talked with Gregory Hicks while the Benghazi attacks were happening. Prior to Hicks’ testimony, I didn’t know that Hicks told Hillary that there was an attack going on.
In addition to new information from the testimony, there’s also tons of new questions to get answers to. First, who eliminated the FEST option? Next, why was the FEST option eliminated? Third, who gave the orders to Lt. Col. Gibson to not rescue Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods? Fourth, why was this order given? Fifth, why did the State Department’s objections to the CIA’s report take precedence over the truth? After all, the CIA got it right the first time. Sixth, why did Beth Jones send out an email calling the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack? Seventh, why was the truth the final casualty of the terrorists’ attack?
As for President Obama saying that the “talking points that were prepared for Susan Rice” “pretty much the assessments” he was receiving during his PDBs, that’s BS. It’s insulting. The CIA’s initial report talked about a terrorist attack, with members of Ansar al-Shariah participating in the attack. The CIA’s initial report also talked multiple warnings from the CIA of mounting terrorist threats to foreign interests in Benghazi. That was deleted from the State Department’s talking points. Make no mistake, either, about the talking points. What started as a CIA intelligence report was eventually turned into a State Department CYA talking points memo.
This op-ed exposes a disturbing thought process:
For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.
On Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed the details of the editing process for the C.I.A.’s talking points about the attack, including the edits themselves and some of the reasons a State Department spokeswoman gave for requesting those edits. It’s striking to see the twelve different iterations that the talking points went through before they were released to Congress and to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who used them in Sunday show appearances that became a central focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Administration’s public response to the attacks. Over the course of about twenty-four hours, the remarks evolved from something specific and fairly detailed into a bland, vague mush.
Why the media thought that the Republicans’ investigation into Benghazi is a matter of the media’s bias. Common sense always said that the administration wasn’t telling the truth on what happened in Benghazi. That and Libyan president Mugariaf telling Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer that it was a planned terrorist attack that took the lives of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
The hearings have identified who ordered the rewriting of the State Department’s CYA document. What the hearings haven’t done yet is identify who told Lt. Col. Gibson not to attempt to rescue the diplomats stationed in Benghazi. The hearings haven’t identified who eliminated the FEST option. YET.
When President Mugariaf told Schieffer that terrorists had killed Christopher Stevens, most thinking people bought into that because presidents of countries know what’s happening in their countries. When Susan Rice started with the administration’s ‘the video made them do it’ lie, most people knew that was BS. A video that’d been seen by 100 people worldwide didn’t start the uprising.
We now know that the Petraeus-led CIA got it right the first time with their report on what happened that night. Similarly, we know that the State Department, with help from the NSC’s Ben Rhodes, turned the CIA intelligence report into a political talking points document.
What’s most disturbing, though, is the media’s intellectual curiosity was essentially nonexistent. The notable exception to that is Sharyl Attkisson. She dug into the administration’s spin and uncovered important facts. The good news is that the media finally appears to be getting curious. Jonathan Karl’s article is a step in that direction, though Steve Hayes’ article opened the floodgates on the subject.
The initial draft revealed by Karl mentions “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi” before the one in which four Americans were killed. That’s not in the final version. Nor is this: “we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.”
Omitting the “five other attacks” and the “we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack” is like omitting the hijackers names from the initial 9/11 report. The ARB’s ‘investigation’ is filled with the same omissions.
Question: Are people in DC incapable of asking straightforward questions?