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.
Last week, Benghazi erupted when Gregory Hicks testified that a) Hillary Clinton called him during the terrorist attack and b) he told her that they were in the midst of a terrorist attack. Later that week, the IRS admitted that they had targeted TEA Party organizations in an investigation. This afternoon, this headline will rock the White House to its core:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, CT, and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
Benghazi is about this administration’s decision not to protect its diplomats. The IRS scandal is about this administration’s use of the IRS’ investigative authority to target political opponents. This AP scandal is about having a chilling effect on the gathering of news.
If a government knows who the AP or any other media organization is talking to, that’s certain to have a chilling effect on people who might otherwise become whistleblowers. This is a good summarization:
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.
That’s chilling. This is worse:
The government would not say why it sought the records. U.S. officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have leaked information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qa’ida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.
This isn’t a conspiracy theory. An integral part of a conspiracy theory is a theory. It stops being a conspiracy when facts and proof are added into the equation.
Apparently, when it comes to Obama administration scandals, when it rains, it pours.
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 article is the article everyone’s expected since Election Night. Unfortunately, it isn’t the article we’d been hoping for.
Thissen, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook said they agreed on spending targets and will give conference committees a few other guidelines, such as:
- The sales tax would not rise on consumer goods, including clothing, but businesses could pay sales tax on goods sold to other businesses.
- Income taxes would go up on people in the top 2 percent of Minnesota earners, couples with $250,000 or more taxable income.
- An income tax surcharge would be added for Minnesota’s richest of the rich, with proceeds going to help repay money the state has borrowed from school districts.
- Cigarette taxes would rise.
- Some business tax breaks would disappear.
- All-day kindergarten would be funded.
- The state would spend $400 million in property tax relief, such as by increasing aid sent to local governments.
Thanks to this agreement, companies will leave Minnesota. Businesses staying will get with multiple tax increases. Businesses will get charged sales taxes on services. Additionally, they’ll get hit with higher income tax rates. That’s bad enough but that isn’t all. Current deductions will get eliminated, too.
Why would a business stay in Minnesota and absorb all those tax increases in a single year? The simple answer is many won’t.
The supposed property tax relief is a mirage. When liberal mayors get their increased LGA checks, it won’t go towards property tax relief. It’ll go towards increased spending. That isn’t a prediction. It’s noting what’s happened in the past without fail. Anyone that thinks Chris Coleman won’t increase spending on things that aren’t necessities isn’t paying attention. He’s done it in the past. He’s a creature of habit. He’ll do it again.
The three Democrats said middle-income Minnesotans would not pay more taxes other than for cigarettes. But when reporters pushed him on the subject, Dayton said that some of the business taxes could trickle down to consumers in higher prices.
Whether it’s in the form of a direct tax increase or it’s in the form of higher prices charged by businesses who’ve gotten hit with a tax increase, the net effect is that the middle class will get hit with higher prices, leaving people with less money to spend on the things of their choosing.
Most importantly, this budget won’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy. The best outcome we should expect from this budget and these policies is that it won’t hurt the economy too much. Fewer jobs will be created as a result of the tax bill. Company profits will be significantly smaller. People will have less disposable income thanks to the energy bill that’s about to get signed.
Gov. Dayton has sent out emails touting a “better budget for Minnesota.” That’s what we deserve. Unfortunately, the DFL has seen to it to give us this budget, which doesn’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy.
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?
This post on the Strib’s Access Vikings blog is particularly amusing. Here’s what I thought was amusing:
This morning at the Capitol, Governor Mark Dayton became the latest to question the Vikings on the Kluwe topic.
“I don’t feel good about it,” Dayton said. “I mean I’m not in position to evaluate the role and their punting abilities. But it seems to me the general manager said right after the draft that they were going to have competition. Well, then he brings the one guy [Locke] in, he kicks for a weekend and that’s the competition? I mean, I just think sports officials ought to be honest about what the heck is going on. Same way I think public officials should be honest about what’s going on. So that bothers me probably as much if not more than the actual decision.”
I agree that it’s important for public officials to be honest. Where was Gov. Dayton’s insistence on honesty when told politicians that the revenues from e-tabs would cover the state share of the Vikings stadium? Tons of people from across the political spectrum questioned whether they’d generate the revenue they needed. They criticized the funding mechanism loudly and persistently.
It’s now known by anyone who’s read a newspaper the last month that the e-tabs funding mechanism is a terrible failure. Needing $35,000,000 this year for the Vikings stadium, e-tabs generated $1,700,000, a $33,300,000 shortfall. That isn’t falling a little short. It isn’t even falling well short. That’s falling laughably short.
If you fall short by $300,000 or $400,000, people can reasonably say that it was just a tough year. You can’t say that when you fall short by 90+ percent.
As for the Vikings cutting Kluwe, his activism on the gay marriage issue caused the Vikings to rethink him as their punter. I didn’t read where they disagreed with Kluwe’s position on the issue. I did read where Kluwe’s punting suffered in terms of consistency in September and October, which they attributed to Kluwe’s advocacy.
The Vikings had the right, in fact the affirmative responsibility, to insist on Kluwe doing the job he was making $1,500,000 for last year.
In other words, the Vikings determined that Kluwe put a higher priority on his advocacy than on his profession. When a player is making $1,500,000 a year, that player’s team has a right to expect professionalism.
Kluwe didn’t live up to that expectation.
When the House DFL voted to artificially increase the use of solar power, they voted to raise the price of electricity on every Minnesotan. Almost. The DFL bill includes a carve-out for companies in northern Minnesota. Rep. Mike Beard has been the expert on energy issues in the House for years. Rep. Beard isn’t known as someone given to making wild statements. When he talks about energy issues, I listen because I’m about to learn something. Here’s what Rep. Beard wrote about the DFL’s energy bill:
House Democrats passed their hugely controversial Energy Policy omnibus bill this week that increases even more aggressive, unfunded renewable and solar mandates on utility companies.
Besides huge technological difficulties implementing the new law, it will increase electric costs for all ratepayers (homeowners, businesses, hospitals, you name it) and decrease the reliability of our state’s energy sources.
This bill benefits, to the best of my knowledge, a few Minnesota solar companies that rely on a mandated pool of government money to survive, even though they have over three decades of federal mandates throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at their industry.
This bill is a positive step forward except for a few things. First, it raises the price of electricity on everyone in the state. Except for the people of northern Minnesota. Second, it mandates the use of a form of energy that can’t compete with other forms of energy without massive government subsidies. Third, it mandates the use of a form of energy that isn’t reliable.
This video does a fantastic job of explaining why subsidizing solar power is a waste of the taxpayers’ money:
This partial transcript summarizes things:
REP. BEARD: I still have a picture of a poster in my office that Jimmy Carter’s administration put out in 1978, thirty-five years ago, that by the year 2000, fully 20% of our power would come from solar PB. He dropped $12,000,000,000 on that adventure. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing. One tenth of 1% today, thirty-five years later, is solar PB. And so we’re going to take another run at that windmill, and I’m not talking about the ones on Buffalo Ridge. We’re picking winners and losers and we’re desperately hoping that these are winners this time.
Last night on Almanac, Michael Noble pushed the DFL mantras that renewables were the way of the future, that we’re falling behind other nations so we have to invest now. That’s BS. Rep. Beard’s statistical summarization shows that Noble’s statements are spin. Thirty-five years and tens of billions of dollars later, not to mention stories like Solyndra and other failed solar power companies, have produced negligible results.
Some people will insist that that’s a good investment. People who don’t have a vested interest in that will insist that that’s the definition of pissing the taxpayers’ money away to support people with the ‘right’ political connections. Here’s another observation from Rep. Beard:
Unfortunately, this Energy Policy bill picks winners and losers. The winners are politically connected ‘green’ energy groups that are being given a government guaranteed market, while utility companies, electric co-ops, municipals and all ratepayers pay the price.
This DFL legislature is intent on pissing away the taxpayers’ money on things that are proven failures. They’re intent on doing this because these initiatives support their special interest allies.
From the start, the Obama administration insisted that the Benghazi talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice relied on were written almost exclusively by the CIA. According to this article, that story was pure fiction. What’s more is that the White House and the State Department knew it was fiction:
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland raised specific objections to this paragraph drafted by the CIA in its earlier versions of the talking points:
“The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”
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 …”
In other words, Victoria Nuland knew that the initial talking points from the “IC” included references to al-Qa’ida and the “five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi.” Ms. Nuland knew that those references were damaging to the State Department and this administration. That’s why she insisted that that information be deleted from the talking points.
Ms. Nuland was right. Members of Congress likely would’ve used the information to expose President Obama and Hillary Clinton for being inattentive about terrorism in general and Benghazi in specific.
It’s difficult to say that President Obama and Hillary Clinton paid attention to terrorism when they’re defending their decision to cut security forces in the aftermath of the previous terrorist attacks in Benghazi. It’s especially difficult to defend their decisions in light of the multiple frantic requests for more security troops.
These paragraphs are particularly disturbing:
In an email dated 9/14/12 at 9:34 p.m. — three days after the attack and two days before Ambassador Rice appeared on the Sunday shows, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote an email saying the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.
“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.”
“The State Department’s concerns need to be addressed” is just a fancy way of saying the talking points must be rewritten to eliminate the information that makes this administration look bad.
Finally, this speaks for itself:
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.
It isn’t accurate to say that the talking points weren’t “the best analysis of the IC” as Jay Carney and Hillary Clinton insisted. The talking points were the product of a massive State Department rewrite.
A loyal reader of this blog has stepped forward with firsthand information on President Potter’s agreement with the J.A. Wedum Foundation. Here is this person’s account:
A Modest Proposal (with apologies to Jonathan Swift)
by Silence Dogood
Coborn’s Plaza apartments have been a well-kept secret since they opened in the fall of 2010. Even getting accurate occupancy numbers during the first two years was difficult and only given in whispers with those hearing the secrets being sworn to secrecy. Some of that secrecy ended November 13, 2012 when Len Sippel, Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, released the list of approved funding for permanent investments that included $2,250,000 for the “Coborn’s Welcome Center.”
This eye-popping number actually covers the deficit for Coborn’s Plaza for the last two years so the loss only averages $1,125,000 per year. The amount of the loss for the first year for Coborn’s Plaza has never been shared with the Faculty Association or made public. As a result, one is left to imagine that it is even larger than the annual loss for the last two years. What has apparently been a tremendous deal for the Coborn’s Corporation and the J. A. Wedum Foundation has, without a doubt, been and will continue to be a financial boondoggle for SCSU.
The initial year (2010-2011) of the 20-year Coborn’s Plaza lease cost SCSU $3,408,360, which divided by the number of rooms (453) means that the annual rent per room (including parking) is $7,524. Because of the escalator clause in the contract, the rent for fall semester 2013 (including parking) works out to $7,828 (or $652 per month for 12 months a year). Rents for two semesters for the least expensive 4 bedroom unit is $7,274 and $7,874 for the most expensive studio apartment. So if there is a mixture of a lot more of the more expensive studio apartments and less of the 4 Bedroom Units and they are all occupied, SCSU will about break even.
Some lawyers who work in real estate law have informed me that no one would ever sign a contract guaranteeing 100% occupancy; this is simply “insane” (their word not mine). In the apartment rental business an occupancy somewhere about 91% is the level that is generally accepted as being ‘full’ since there are always rooms that need paint, carpet that needs replacing, roofs that are leaking, as well as a whole host of other reasons that prevent 100% occupancy [NOTE: SCSU's dormitory occupancy averages 95%, which is close to the national median.]. So unless SCSU charges more than the actual cost of the room, for each empty room the university is on the hook for the rent and, as a result, will always lose money.
This spring there are 317 of 453 rooms occupied for an occupancy rate of 70.0%. The administration predicts that next fall 334 rooms will be occupied, increasing the occupancy percentage to 73.7%. At this rate of growth, Coborn’s Plaza will be filled to capacity in 7 years. However, when the increase of 17 students for next year is broken down, 10 of the 17 is due to an expected expansion of the inebriate housing section. This is a unique housing opportunity for students with prior abuse problems that allow them to return to college. The question is, can the expansion of the inebriate housing continue into the future because if the occupancy increases by only seven students per year, it will take 17 years to get to 100% occupancy (just about the time the twenty-year lease ends).
At the April 30, 2013 meeting of the Budget Advisory Group, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Associate Vice President for Financial Management and Budget, informed the committee that even under the best scenario of 100% occupancy, Coborn’s Plaza would lose $50,000 annually (the high range was to lose over $100,000 annually). This is disturbing because the chance of Coborn’s Plaza having 100% occupancy is probably in the same range of winning the Powerball lottery (in case you didn’t know, the current odds of winning are 1 out 175,223,510).
MnSCU Board Policy 7.3.5 Revenue Fund Management states that Revenue Fund Facilities (i.e., dormitories) are required to be self-sustaining, which means that they can’t lose money. So in order for the university not to lose money on Coborn’s Plaza, the rents would have to increase significantly since the occupancy rate is only 73.7%. In order to just break even, at the current rate of occupancy, the rent needs to increase by 35.7% to $885 per month (for 12 months a year). The rent is significantly larger if you only want to stay for the two academic semesters.
The ‘good news,’ however, is that since Coborn’s Plaza is not considered a ‘Revenue Fund Facility’ the university rather than the students living in the dorms are on the hook for the extra cash needed to pay the lease. This is probably a very good thing because if the students in the dorms on campus were paying higher rents to fund the people staying in Coborn’s Plaza as well as for the empty rooms in Coborn’s Plaza, there just might be a rebellion on campus.
Originally, Coborn’s Plaza was intended only for upper-level undergraduate students. However, this restriction was quickly eliminated by the need to put bodies into the rooms and first-year students are housed there if they are willing to part with the necessary cash. It is even rumored that St. Cloud Technical and Community College students are being housed there but since it is not easy to get information from the administration, I had difficulty getting confirmation.
St. Cloud State is pretty well known as a kind of ‘blue collar’ university; there are more Hyundai’s and Hondas in the student parking lots than BMWs and Acura’s. So it is logical to ask who made the decision that the university needed luxury off-campus housing where each room has an individual bathroom?
It always seems that administrators are ready to appear at groundbreaking ceremonies and ribbon cutting ceremonies where they can slap each other on the back and congratulate themselves. ,However, has anyone stood up and taken responsibility for what appears to be a horrible financial decision? President Potter’s signature is on the contact.
The original contract called for a 3% per year increase in the lease payments for years 3 through 20. Personally, I wish some of my current investments would do so well. Is there any chance I can still get in on the action? The original contract was apparently ‘renegotiated’ reducing the annual increase to only 2%. Additionally, it looks like the university can get out of the contract after ten years—IF it makes a decision to do so before the end of year five of the lease.
At first glance, the revision of the contract seems like a victory for the University. However, until I can review the entire contract, I am reserving final judgment. But it must be understood that even under the new lease agreement, as it was previously mentioned, with even 100% occupancy, the annual loss will be at least $50,000 and possibly upwards of $100,000. Right now at 73.7% occupancy the university is losing over $1,100,000 per year!
At Meet and Confer on March 28, 2013 between the Administration and Faculty Association, President Potter said that “to admit a mistake would make his leadership team look weak.” He was referring to the closure of SCSU’s accredited Aviation Program and not Coborn’s Plaza. Most of us expect that our leaders continuously rethink their decisions in light of new information and, when warranted make a correction—even if it means admitting a mistake. I kind of like the idea of a leader who admits that they just might be wrong every now and then. To me, it doesn’t make them look weak; it makes them look like a true leader.
So for the ‘Modest Proposal,’ let’s sign an agreement with CentraCare and convert Coborn’s Plaza from dormitory apartments into a secure chemical treatment facility. With Lindsay Lohan as well as other Hollywood personalities available for treatment every few months, we could turn Coborn’s Plaza into a profit center and President Potter could ‘declare victory.’ Perhaps this ‘Modest Proposal’ is too reasonable to be rejected outright so my apologies to Jonathan Swift.
However, the original idea behind Coborn’s Plaza has certainly not been successful and it looks as if the administration has even admitted that it will never be financially successful. Unless, of course, you consider that with even 100% occupancy losing a minimum of $50,000-$100,000 per year is successful. All in all, with an estimated loss over $3,000,000 in the first three years of operation, Coborn’s Plaza could cost SCSU well over $20,000,000 over the twenty-year lease. Many people have lost their jobs over less.
First, what is a university doing getting into the rental property business? Next, it’s astonishing to hear of a university president signing a contract that essentially guarantees a private rental property company a profit. Third, it isn’t unreasonable to question whether these annual losses have necessitated the closing of academic programs. Losing $1,125,000 a year for 3 years doesn’t come out of SCSU’s petty cash fund.
This is only the first shoe to drop at SCSU. It’s a pretty big shoe to drop but it isn’t the only big shoe that’ll drop in the coming days.
This is my third post on Benghazi in the past 24 hours. My first post on the subject highlighted the whistleblowers coming forward. The second post highlights how the whistleblowers are destroying the administration’s credibility. This post deals with the fact that the media wall is crumbling. Here’s what CNN is reporting:
In an interview with congressional investigators, the former top diplomat in Libya expressed concern that more could have been done by the military on the night of September 11, 2012 and morning of September 12, 2012, to protect those being attacked at the U.S. compound and annex in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, he wondered why the military did not send a plane as a show of force into Libyan airspace, and why four U.S. Special Operations soldiers were not permitted to travel to Benghazi on a Libyan plane the morning of September 12.
“The Libyans that I talked to and the Libyans and other Americans who were involved in the war have told me also that Libyan revolutionaries were very cognizant of the impact that American and NATO airpower had with respect to their victory,” Greg Hicks, then the US deputy chief of mission in Libya, told investigators on April 11 of this year. “They are under no illusions that American and NATO airpower won that war for them. And so, in my personal opinion, a fast mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night.”
Hicks went on to say he believes “if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced”, around 9:30 p.m. that night, “I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”
Prior to this article, most of the reporting on Benghazi had been done by Sharyl Attkisson and Lara Logan from CBS and Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin of Fox News. With this article, CNN is now jumping into the issue. With that, the media freeze-out is almost over.
Brit Hume has as good of instincts on the DC media as anyone. Here’s his observations on the Benghazi coverage:
The media didn’t cover this properly for the longest time, mostly because they wanted President Obama to win re-election. Had the DC media investigated the Obama administration’s decision to leave Christopher Stevens and his diplomatic team to die going into the debates, it isn’t a stretch to think it might’ve changed the election landscape.