Patterico's Pontifications

5/6/2013

Benghazi Talking Points Change Was Shocking to U.S. Acting Ambassador to Libya

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am



John Sexton yesterday at Big Peace:

In an appearance on Face the Nation this morning, Rep. Darrell Issa revealed several new pieces of information about the Obama administration’s controversial description of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, casting doubt that the White House mischaracterized its cause by mere accident.

“The talking points were right and then the talking points were wrong,” Issa explained in response to a question about reporting at the Weekly Standard. The CIA and Greg Hicks, who took over as Charge d’Affairs in Libya after the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, both knew immediately that it was an attack, not a protest.

Hicks, who did not appear on the show but whose reactions were featured based on transcripts of interviews with Issa’s committee, said he was stunned by what UN Ambassador Susan Rice claimed on five different news shows on Sep. 16. When she appeared on Face the Nation, she followed an interview with the President of Libya who claimed he had “no doubt” it was a terror attack. Moments later, Amb. Rice contradicted him and claimed a spontaneous protest was more likely.

The acting ambassador was appalled — and had good reason to be:

Acting Ambassador Hicks watched the Sunday shows and said he found this contradiction shocking. “The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he accused. Hicks added, “My jaw hit the floor as I watched this…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day.”

. . . .

A report published Friday by the Weekly Standard suggests that State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland took issue with the initial talking points and, with backing from the White House, removed any evidence of al Qaeda involvement and of prior attacks on western targets in the region. According to emails reviewed by the Weekly Standard, Nuland said her superiors (unnamed) were concerned about criticism from Congress.

Instapundit wants to know if the filmmaker Nakoula “was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false.” I make no accusations on that front; my attitude is the same as it was in this post. As I said then, it sounds like they had good reason to violate his probation. That said:

The problem we have here is that the head of the federal executive has criticized this guy repeatedly. His administration pressured Google to take down his movie; his Cairo embassy called it an “abuse” of free speech; and his State Department apologized for it in a country (Pakistan) where a public official offered money for the filmmaker to be killed.

So even if the line guys are doing their jobs the way they would otherwise, the President has made them look like political hacks. Which is unfortunate on several levels.

I think Issa should (and will) look into this and see if there is any evidence of pressure by Obama’s administration on federal prosecutors. And if there was? Combined with the revised talking points, Mr. Obama may have some serious problems.

103 Responses to “Benghazi Talking Points Change Was Shocking to U.S. Acting Ambassador to Libya”

  1. Ding!

    509th Bob (96a8a6)

  2. Excellent post, plus making federal attorneys look like political hacks undermines the rule of law — something Obama seems to do regularly.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  3. The Administration made a big deal about how Nakoula gravely insluted Islam and so should be jailed. Do you suppose that Nakoula’s life could now be in danger? And, ironically, wasn’t it the Administration that insulted Islam by authoring and spreading a flase story about Muslims rioting over a YouTube video?

    There are real Muslims, some of which are terrorists who still attack America, and then there are the caricature Muslims that the Administration has tried to spawn for political cover. This Administration is too stupid and self-centered to perceive the difference.

    Oh, and why were they going all over the world apologizing for free speech?

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  4. I think the meta- gets lost in all this. It was politicized by Team Obama from Day 1 because of election politics.

    JD (283b0e)

  5. Yes, it was a short-term solution to keep this from becoming an election issue, and it worked. Now they are dealing with the long-term fallout and I suspect Obama believes he is so popular he can talk his way out of it. He’s like Clinton in that regard.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  6. Obama also has unprecedented media support covering it up. If he were a Republican, his favorability rating would be 2% by now.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. Yes, it was a short-term solution to keep this from becoming an election issue, and it worked. Now they are dealing with the long-term fallout and I suspect Obama believes he is so popular he can talk his way out of it. He’s like Clinton in that regard.

    Naturally, they are already trying out the whole “this happened seven months ago and the GOP is just trying to overturn the results of the last election” line of defense. It’s the older sibling to the “at this point, what difference does it make” argument.

    JVW (4826a9)

  8. They’re like children, only without the cute redeeming qualities.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. Looks like Hillary got her chance to answer that 3am phone call she was so concerned about during her 2008 bid for the Democrat nomination.

    ropelight (4ace92)

  10. I think Issa should (and will) look into this and see if there is any evidence of pressure by Obama’s administration on federal prosecutors. And if there was? Combined with the revised talking points, Mr. Obama may have some serious problems.

    I don’t think so. Not with a willing media to cover up any of Obama’s “sins”. We will hear things like it wasn’t Obama’s fault it was the State department, or they all lie, republicans do it too. It will be covered up when it should be front page news.

    They’ll look for the squirrel and cover that instead. What have you heard about the California dem party official who took all that money? Why is’nt she in jail? What about the dem official who made the racial comment about sending govenor Nikki Haley “back where she came from”? How about Obamacare hurting the poor by reducing their hours or the taxes on the middle class. What about Kermit Gosnell?

    If the media doesn’t report it, it won’t be seen and there will be no outrage. Maybe the media will start doing their job and report the news minus their liberal filter. Don’t hold your breath, I’m not holding mine.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  11. Looks like Hillary got her chance to answer that 3am phone call she was so concerned about during her 2008 bid for the Democrat nomination.

    Comment by ropelight (4ace92) — 5/6/2013 @ 8:44 am

    And failed, big time.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  12. Liberals typically have very long memories. Their perception of what happened decades, or even centuries, ago is used to justify everything from affirmative action to illegal immigration, even abortion. See Pigford.

    But this Benghazi thing happened a long time ago, so it’s irrelevant.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  13. They’ve already started with the republicans cut the embassy security budget lie. And even though the person in charge of security at the State department has said budget wasn’t the issue, they’ll keep on lying. Just look at the trolls who come here and repeat disproven talking points even after they’ve been shown their talking points are false.

    The only thing we can do is keep talking, maybe someone will hear like they finally did with pigford.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  14. then Hillary’s head got all clotty to where she couldn’t make the testimonies until she found her lucky charms

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. I would point out here that the Acting Ambassador to Libya was not the only one shocked. It appears that Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice was also shocked, though her shock at the news came a little bit too late for her. :)

    Otter’s line to Flounder in Animal House fits Ambassador Rice quite well: “You f(ornicated) up. You trusted us!”

    The Delta Tau Chi Dana (3e4784)

  16. You’re probably right, but you’re focusing on the wrong points.

    Arguing whether or not the Obama Administration downplayed the terrorist aspect is something that smacks of inside Washington posturing and hasn’t – and won’t – resonate with the public. In a way, Clinton is right, it makes no difference now what someone said in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

    The issue that should be focused on is the Administration not responding to save the lives of Americans under attack. They failed to provide Benghazi with security in advance and left them to die once the attack started. This is a failure that most Americans can grasp, the job of an American president to protect Americans from harm. Attacking on this front would cause more problems for Obama than continuing to argue over who said what and when.

    steve (369bc6)

  17. Anybody who thinks Obama will be held accountable in this clobberfork is smoking the same stuff the choomer smoked all those years ago.

    glenn (647d76)

  18. Looks like Hillary got her chance to answer that 3am phone call she was so concerned about during her 2008 bid for the Democrat nomination.

    Imagine the commercial that the GOP can run if she somehow becomes the Democrats’ nominee in 2016.

    JVW (4826a9)

  19. “The talking points were right and then the talking points were wrong,”

    That’s more or less what I said. First the Administration had it right and then it had it wrong. And Mitt Romney did not understand this.

    So when Obama pointede what he had said on September 12, he was completely flustered.

    But it wasn’t the ‘talking points’ that had it right I think, although maybe Issa is talking about the talking points themselves, but I would think it is simply the public statements. the whole week they klept edging more and more toward the idea of a spontanenous – that is, unplanned, spu or the moment attack.

    And this happened, I said because of Sooper Sekrit intelligence that was coming from Saudi Arabia and other places.

    It was not a political decision. It was disinformartion aimed at Obama. They didn’t expect he would go so public with it. It defeated
    the purpose. It was intended to limit U.S. action
    Had only a few people been exposed to the disinformation, they might not have found out it was wrong. But when the White House went so public with this version of events, the White House found out it was wrong. It all exploded.

    It could not have been intended to fool the public. By the time they went public it was already well known in the press there was no demonstration. The White House went with this story because they thought it was true.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  20. In many other places in the world, besides Benghazi, there were demonstrations against the video after Sept 11, 2012.

    And the people involved in Benghazi claiemd to reporters it was about the video.

    Somehow the U.S. Embassy in Cairo also thought the demonstration that day would be about a video.

    They didn’t apologize for the freedom that allowed the video in order to fool the American public.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. No, Sammy, the administration went with a deliberate lie, in order to camouflage a multiple AQ attack, underway not only in Benghazi but at the American school in Tunis, and the air base in the Bastion,

    narciso (3fec35)

  22. Instapundit wants to know if the filmmaker Nakoula “was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false.”

    I think he was targeted and jailed because they actually thoughjt the video was related to the protests and attacks. They belived that cover story.

    The cover story did not originate in Washington. I don’t know why peoiple can’t get that into their heads. The video was the cover story of the Muslim Brotherhood cum the attackers.

    It was believed in Washington because there are moles in the CIA who backed it up. These same moles got rid of the CIA Director lest he one day get rid of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  23. “So when Obama pointede what he had said on September 12, he was completely flustered.”

    Sammy – That merely goes back to the word parsing Carney and Obama were using at the time – calling the attack an act of terror, which is attacking innocent people – and then later pointing at those words to try to claim they said it was a terrorist attack from the start, an attack involving terrorists, not the nature of the attack, when they asserted no such thing because they were still investigating.

    Anybody would be confused by somebody claiming you said something you clearly did not and saying words meant something they did not and then having the debate moderator support your position.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. moles suck

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  25. Smart diplomacy at work. Call the President of a Middle Eastern nation a liar or a misinformed fool. What the heck, he’s just a camel jockey and he doesn’t vote in the US elections.

    Comanche Voter (29e1a6)

  26. 24. “So when Obama pointede what he had said on September 12, he was completely flustered.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/6/2013 @ 9:25 am

    Sammy – That merely goes back to the word parsing Carney and Obama were using at the time – calling the attack an act of terror, which is attacking innocent people – and then later pointing at those words to try to claim they said it was a terrorist attack from the start, an attack involving terrorists, not the nature of the attack, when they asserted no such thing because they were still investigating.

    That’s correct. On September 12, 2012 Obama was playing it safe.

    Anybody would be confused by somebody claiming you said something you clearly did not and saying words meant something they did not and then having the debate moderator support your position.

    There words weren’t clearly wrong. Romney jhust wasn”t familart with the history. Obama had leaned more earlier in the week toward connecting this with terrorists groups than he did later.

    It could also be a fair statement of fact to say that was terrorism even if you didn’t mean to assert any connection to known terrorists groups.
    Certain kinds of crimes are terrorist attacks by their very nature. Maybe Obam,a didn’t quite believe that. Obama harkened back to that again in April. It took two tries in April until when -in a second try – he finally called the Boston marathon bombing terrorism, and maybe without the precedent of Benghazi he wouldn’t have done that.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. People that are the smartest ever cannot be racist. So by immediately contradicting the new Libyan President, he was spared the embarrassment of being out of step with the new Middle East narrative… “It is all the fault of the USA, From nukes in Iran to hemorrhoids in Algeria”.

    In the instance of Nakoula or whoever he really is, Obama embarrassed the Federal system of justice. If they’d have never mentioned or blamed the video all day Sunday for Benghazi, they could have arrested multiple alias fraudster quietly without making the Federal prosecutor and the LASO look like complete political tools.
    I disagree a bit with Instapundit on this, but his larger point is that Obama/Holder regime has swept much worse than Nakoula under the rug…
    Makoula is also unlucky/stupid his chosen criminal profession is a federal crime, because with “realignment” here in CA they’d have simply restated and reset his terms of probation, confiscated his computer and then sent him home.
    What a dumbass. His scam is winding up again, maybe starting to work, but he decides to fly under the radar by doing a video crapping on Islam

    SteveG (794291)

  28. Greetings:

    I would also like to hear more about whether our Ambassador had actually been raped. That allegation has pretty much disappeared from the resurging discussions of the attack for some reason or other.

    Additionally, those ersatz resignations of those almost sacrificial lambs in the State Department could also do with some deep drilling into.

    11B40 (09a989)

  29. Camp Bastion: I didn’t recognize that. But that was an attack in Afghnistan I had heard about:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/after-benghazi-there-was-camp-bastion/article/2528670

    The only thing it has in common with Benghazi is that it took place at about the same time, around Sept 11, and that security had been outsourced.

    Outsourcing of security is a big PROBLEM with the Obama Adminsitration. They do this because of ideology.

    In other words: Why should we say Americans are better soldiers than others? Why should that be? And why can’t other countries do what we do? Why are we better? It’s not logical. It’s not logical.

    So they persistently treat any plausible ally as just as good, and as uncorrupt.

    And so they fail.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  30. Comment by 11B40 (09a989) — 5/6/2013 @ 10:02 am

    I would also like to hear more about whether our Ambassador had actually been raped.

    Wqell, they say now he was killed because of smoke inhalation and he never left the compound until some people – maybe associated wioth teh attackers – removed his body.

    I think this was disinformation by the attackers, making the whole thing look unplanned..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  31. Glenn wrote:

    Anybody who thinks Obama will be held accountable in this clobberfork is smoking the same stuff the choomer smoked all those years ago.

    The only chance to hold him accountable was last November, and we didn’t. The other people in the decision-taking loop are all gone now: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the military commanders in the area, all gone now. Only General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remains in his position. There’s no one left to throw under the bus.

    The realistic Dana (3e4784)

  32. 21.Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 5/6/2013 @ 9:19 am

    No, Sammy, the administration went with a deliberate lie, in order to camouflage a multiple AQ attack,

    The multiple attack wasn’t quite strictly “Al Qaeda” as there is no Al Qaeda franchise in Egypt, where it is more proto Al Qaeda, and it was some Egyptian who organized the group that did it in Benghhazi.

    It was the terrorists who wanted to camoflage a planned multiple attack, and as I said, they commissioned the video for that purpose. No ressonable person should have believed this all started when a video became known, but there were moles or fools in the CIA.

    underway not only in Benghazi but at the American school in Tunis, and the air base in the Bastion,

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  33. Gamaa Islamiya, the HQN, the Tunisian Combatants they are all AQ, just like the Caucasian Emirate and the Yarmuk Jamaat

    narciso (3fec35)

  34. It looks like the dam is breaking, and the many lies of Obama about Benghazi are collapsing.

    SPQR (768505)

  35. The only chance to hold him accountable was last November, and we didn’t. The other people in the decision-taking loop are all gone now: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the military commanders in the area, all gone now. Only General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remains in his position. There’s no one left to throw under the bus.

    You’re right, of course. But this, combined with Obama’s swing-and-miss on gun control, his ridiculous claims regarding sequester, the ongoing problems with implementing Obamacare, and the upcoming budget battle in which it seems he is playing a weak hand, will hopefully seek to unify conservatives, attract independents, and diminish the abject love he receives from the media to a degree where any hopes of Democrat congressional gains in 2014 go up in smoke and Obama assumes lame-duck status a whole lot earlier than the Obamaphiles had expected. Maybe these problems will help the GOP capture the Senate in 2014, at which time everyone can start grandstanding for 2016.

    JVW (4826a9)

  36. I think he was targeted and jailed because they actually thoughjt the video was related to the protests and attacks. They belived that cover story.

    There were NO protests in Banghazi. REPEAT: NO PROTESTS. The attack there started with gunfire, not protest signs.

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  37. We’ll know things are getting bad from the Dems on this matter if Hillary checks in to the hospital again, or if Bill gets himself another young girlfriend.

    JVW (4826a9)

  38. 36. –The undercurrent Chappaquiddick made it impossible for Ted to ever run for president. Benghazi should make it impossible for Hillary to ever run for president as well.

    elissa (b26d6e)

  39. I think it was aimed at Hillary, but she belatedly spotted it and refused to die on that hill. So they sent out Susan Rice to lie instead. Now it’s coming out too early.

    Darn!

    mojo (8096f2)

  40. “There words weren’t clearly wrong.”

    Sammy – When did Obama first actually call the attack on the Benghazi Consulate terrorism instead of conflating it with a protest of a video that got out of hand or an act of terror. Can you pin that down for everybody instead of debating the meaning of the word “is?” When Obama went on Letterman he would still not call it terrorism so it is absurd to believe he called it terrorism on Sept. 12 when he had less information. The narrative you attempted to peddle then and are resurrecting now has never made any sense.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. If you are not following Sharyl Atkisson’s twitter feed, you are missing out.

    JD (b63a52)

  42. Sammy is either unable to grasp the basic facts, or is intentionally trying to muddy up the waters.

    JD (b63a52)

  43. “Sammy is either unable to grasp the basic facts, or is intentionally trying to muddy up the waters.”

    JD – Why can’t it be both.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. Remember that the Cairo Embassy put out a series of ridiculous tweets apologizing for the American video the afternoon of 9/11/12 which were roundly condemned in the U.S. Romney issued a statement the evening of 9/11 saying we should not apologize for our freedom of speech and was immediately attacked by the left.

    Hillary also issued a statement the evening of 9/11 relating to Benghazi which mentioned the video, but not terrorism:

    “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

    The media immediately circled the wagons around Hillary and the Benghazi video narrative was born.

    http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197628.htm

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. i hate hillary she thinks the rules don’t apply to her

    if I ever got any employees killed you better believe I’d be in big trouble

    I couldn’t just say ohnoes I have a clotty head

    there would be real actual accountability, reflective of the seriousness of the situation

    but not for Hillary no no no cause her shit don’t stink

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  46. i don’t understand why you racists are still obsessing over something that happened a long time ago…

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  47. On the morning of 9/12/12 in his Rose Garden remarks, Obama made oblique reference to the video meme birthed by Hillary the previous evening and acts of terror in general:

    “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts………………………….

    No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done……..”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/12/remarks-president-deaths-us-embassy-staff-libya

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”

    This does not comport with my experience on Reddit

    SarahW (b0e533)

  49. I agree with the comments that Obama didn’t want Benghazi to be a campaign issue. But I am convinced it’s for larger reasons than his campaign slogan that “Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.”

    There was no legitimate reason for the US to have a diplomatic facility in Benghazi at that time.

    This is from the American embassy’s website:

    http://libya.usembassy.gov/visas.html

    Office of Consular Affairs

    Important Notice: Please be advised that Embassy Tripoli’s Immigrant Visa services have been temporarily suspended. Please monitor our website for information on resumption of service. All Immigrant Visa services for Libyans resident in Libya are currently being processed by the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco. Please visit their website for information on applying for an Immigrant Visa.

    The USG is perfectly comfortable sending Libyans across Algeria, which is a pretty long way, to Morocco for consular services. So if they have no problem sending all Libyans a couple of countries over for consular service they would obviously have no difficulty telling eastern Libyans to go to Tripoli.

    This is underscored by the fact that Stevens visit to Benghazi was called “confidential” by the administration (a ridiculous notion since he had widely known events scheduled but let’s go with the administration lie for the sake of argument). There’s no way to provide consular services to Libyans if they aren’t supposed to know when it’s open.

    There are no US citizens to speak of in Libya, but there’s no way they could know when to go to this “special diplomatic facility” when its operating hours are “confidential” to get a passport or help with federal benefits they are supposed to receive, etc.

    Those are the two legitimate reasons to have a consulate in major cities not served by the embassy. To provide assistance to the country’s own citizens and provide consular services to the host nation’s citizens to promote trade and tourism.

    The Benghazi facility could do neither. So, what was it’s purpose? That, too, I am convinced is something Obama desperately didn’t want to become a campaign issue.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  50. I still think it had to do with the CIA facility in Benghazi, and that’s why Petraeus had to be silenced/moved out.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  51. this breathtakingly beautiful albeit very likely haunted hotel in Colombia

    more here

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  52. 50. I still think it had to do with the CIA facility in Benghazi, and that’s why Petraeus had to be silenced/moved out.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 5/6/2013 @ 1:24 pm

    Yes, it had something to do with the secret CIA facility in Benghazi that apparently was known to every jihadi with an AK. But not just that.

    As Obama himself stated, Stevens was his personal representative in Libya. Which is by definition true; an ambassador is the representative of one head of state to another.

    So why did Stevens need a base of operations in Benghazi as Obama’s personal representative?

    I think this is an even more important question to ask in light of the fact that we now know that the Obama administration didn’t even talk to any US personnel in Libya before sending Rice out to lie and on one talk show attempt to undercut Libyan President Magarief. The fact that Obama even considered Rice as SecState shows he had no problem with his SecState working against the Libyan head of state.

    So what was his personal representative to Libya doing in Benghazi?

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  53. DRJ, if you’re at all interested you can go back and look. I’ve said from the start that it’s weapons-grade stupid to involve an ambassador in a CIA operation. It’s thermonuclear weapons grade stupid to have him get his hands dirty inside the country where he’s stationed.

    Stevens had just returned from Austria and immediately departed Tripoli for Benghazi where he had dinner with the Turkish Consul General. If that dinner meeting had anything at all to do with the CIA operation, what possible business had to be conducted with the Turks in Benghazi that couldn’t have been conducted in Austria?

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  54. I remember that, Steve57, and I’m basically agreeing with you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  55. Imagine if Buuuuuuuuuush had done this.

    JD (283b0e)

  56. I didn’t mean to imply you were disagreeing with me, DRJ. I was just expanding on your point.

    By the way, if anyone isn’t reading the DiploMad blog they’re seriously underinformed.

    http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  57. I can understand State and Clinton wanting to reduce their security footprint. I can understand an attack on 9/11 would be embarrassing in that light.

    Moreover, the running of weapons to al Qaeda in Syria would have gotten a higher profile in the Senate.

    But why would you risk an Ambassador for all that, unless, of course, you had reason to believe it wasn’t a huge risk, or you had much to gain doing so?

    As Issa said on Face the Nation, we do not have a good reason for the Politburo’s course. Incompetence doesn’t cover it.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  58. 57. …Incompetence doesn’t cover it.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 5/6/2013 @ 3:09 pm

    No truer words. Although incompetence surely played a part.

    If the Obama administration wanted State to play a part in some sort of nefarious business with the Turks, for instance, why have Stevens play an obvious role. Susan Rice was clearly a loyalist; she could have done all that needed to be done at the UN with the Turkish permanent representative. It would have passed unnoticed. No travel would have been involved. There are myriad reasons why Rice might have needed to meet with the Turkish ambassador to the UN; the cover stories are endless and basically impenetrable. Is not Yasar Halit Çevik an Erdogan loyalist in the same vein as Rice is clearly Obama’s lackey? If not, why couldn’t he be replaced with someone who could be trusted with extremely sensitive business?

    If Stevens needed to be involved the Obama administration could have concocted some excuse to bring him back to DC for consultations.

    Nothing about this adds up. The unfortunate fact for the Obama administration is that the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic facility simply serves to highlight the fact that there was a Benghazi diplomatic facility. And no legitimate reason for it.

    And the fact the US ambassador was killed in Benghazi on 9/11/2012 simply highlights the fact that a US ambassador had no pressing legitimate need to be in Benghazi that night.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  59. As narciso links above (always follow…), CBS and Tapper have said per Hicks there was a 4 person special ops unit in Tripoli that was ordered from above not to go
    and the previous military testimony was that it would take 20 hrs to get an F-16 from Italy there. Really, 20 hrs? Didn’t we learn anything at Pearl Harbor? If that is true, I think that may be worse in itself than whatever happened at Benghazi.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  60. Doc, the report you bring up is one of the reasons I find the Benghazi debacle similar to the USS Liberty incident (I always put “USS” in there because to my mind the term “liberty incident” refers to a sailor going to Tijuana and getting drunk and mugged and showing up at the the border crossing with no money, no wallet, and no shoes).

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  61. Is Sharyl Atkisson the same person who was doing what she could with Fast + Furious?
    She deserves a fan club, though her life is probably difficult enough as it is without a semi-official conservative cheering bench.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  62. Yes, she is, MD, committing more than one ‘random act of journalism’

    narciso (3fec35)

  63. 59. Dog has not yet lied under oath, unlike basically the rest of his posse.

    I would think the head of the Joint Chiefs is looking for a tumble.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  64. 58. As you or DRJ may have alluded the CIA had a illegal detention/interrogation center at the Annex.

    We suspect Al Qaeda and Mursi behind the attack. What if Brennan et al. had a plan to use Arab Spring to bring a new ME order into their orbit cutting out Putin?

    Stevens could have been chum.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  65. gary, let’s not adopt the NYT view of the Constitution which would have the legislature providing oversight of the executive.

    They are two co-equal branches of government.

    That said the departments that comprise most of what the executive claims is needed are entirely the creation of Congress.

    So while his posse can be called before Congress to testify under oath, Obama can’t. Nor can any of the officers specified by the Constitution as belonging to executive branch.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  66. Issa has made “Fast and Furious” disappear.
    I presume this nit wit lawyer will make Benghazi vanish as well.

    mg (31009b)

  67. mg, I don’t think you can exactly say that charging the AG with contempt of Congress is exactly making Fast & Furious disappear. It’s not moving through the courts as fast and as furiously as any of us might like, but I can’t see it as an example of Issa letting things go. There’s only so much he can do on his own as a committee chairman. For the rest he needs the support of the speaker.

    Who is Boehner. Say no more.

    Apropos of nothing, an illustration of the absurdity of America 2013. The USAF officer in charge of the sexual assault response team has been arrested for misdemeanor sexual assault.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/06/officer-who-led-air-force-sex-assault-response-branch-accused-groping-in-va/

    As one might expect alcohol was involved.

    A police report says that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman’s breast and buttocks. Police say the woman fought him off and called police.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/06/officer-who-led-air-force-sex-assault-response-branch-accused-groping-in-va/#ixzz2SYybCQNa

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  68. Steve57, The fact that most of the public knows little about fast and furious is a fault of Mr. Issa and the rest of the republican progressive sect. No one holds these dip shits accountable.

    mg (31009b)

  69. Heck of a job, btw that supposed lesson about deBaathification, never mind;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/10040285/Gunman-order-Libya-cabinet-to-quit.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  70. In more important news, on Monday at Andrews Air Force Base, Republican Senators Chambliss and Corker defeated President Food Stamps and his playing partner Reggie Love Democrat Senator Udall.
    We’ll find out tomorrow from Jay Carney if George W Bush, Israel, or the sequestration is to blame.
    Then again, what difference does it make at this point—after all, that golf game was a long time ago.

    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (65a34b)

  71. I need to amend my comment #67. If the charges prove true, putting LCOL Kusinski in charge of combating sexual assault is the perfect metaphor for putting Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorists in charge of teaching the US law enforcement, intel, and defense establishments what the main Muslim-related security threat is to the US and how to combat it. “Islamophobia.”

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  72. I would like a special prosecutor please.

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  73. MD in Philly, Sharyn A. is the F&F reporter. Her contract has not been renewed by CBS so she is going out with all she’s got.

    Wonder why the terminated her?

    Patricia (be0117)

  74. with these lefty pricks
    we got binders full of lies
    no one seems to care

    Colonel Haiku (4e5a95)

  75. From the Administration who brought us Smart DiplomacyTM comes … “How many foreign President can you piss off ?”

    Neo (d1c681)

  76. carol the news crone on cnn got mugged and they stoled her iphone and ripped out some of her hair

    it really doesn’t make for a very good story

    news crone mugged, iphone stolen

    no fair pulling hair news crone cackles vengefully

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  77. Weepin’ Johnny Boehner will protect:

    a. his golf buddy
    b. the contents of the file in which repose whatever they’ve got on Weepin’ Johnny Boehner
    c. All of the above

    Ken (cfc102)

  78. Get a life you clueless dolt. Hicks wasn’t there, and all his statements are heresay or comments on published reports, personal opinion and not fact. Keep shtupping that conspiracy chicken!

    Chris Kluwe (e98de9)

  79. Among the largest squirrels, was the notion that they couldn’t do a fly by from Sicily, which is the staging area to North Africa, that’s where they intercepted the Achille Lauro hijackers.

    narciso (3fec35)

  80. I think he was targeted and jailed because they actually thoughjt the video was related to the protests and attacks. They belived that cover story.

    This is the worst part of the scandal.

    People used the Benghazi attack to attack our First Amendment rights, even going so far as to argue that the Supreme Court should overrule its own precedents

    That cover-up threatened our freedoms.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  81. see how teh klueless
    are so willfully klueless?
    artless to a fault

    Colonel Haiku (59727e)

  82. 77. Get a life you clueless dolt. Hicks wasn’t there, and all his statements are heresay or comments on published reports, personal opinion and not fact. Keep shtupping that conspiracy chicken!

    Comment by Chris Kluwe (e98de9) — 5/7/2013 @ 6:57 am

    My nominee for the guy who lost Al Gore’s intertubes circa 2013.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  83. That was a large squirrel, Steve.

    narciso (3fec35)

  84. On Benghazi, O gets a free pass
    For just sitting around on his ass
    Blame a movie, he said
    For four people dead;
    No one said Obama had class.

    The Limerick Avenger (3e4784)

  85. The pre-hearing politicization process is continuing apace with the budget cut narrative surfacing in more places. The only problem with the budget cut narrative is that it does not address the deliberate lies told by the Administration, nor were budget factors cited as an issue by the ARB which was hand-picked by the Administration and run by a terror apologist. It was a narrative invented out of whole cloth after the fact to provide air cover to Clinton and Obama and distract from the fundamental screw up, lies and cover up.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  86. The only problem with the budget cut narrative is that it does not address the deliberate lies told by the Administration, nor were budget factors cited as an issue by the ARB which was hand-picked by the Administration and run by a terror apologist.

    I disagree that there are only those few problems with the budget cut narrative.

    Why is Congress obligated to commit us, the taxpayer, to spend money to fortify diplomatic facilities in places where we have no pressing need to put diplomatic facilities? What was so important about Benghazi that the Obama administration needed a base of operations in “Injun country?”

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  87. The other fundamentally dishonest aspect of the budget cut talking point is that State has already acknowledged that funding had nothing to do with their security decisions and posture.

    JD (283b0e)

  88. “Why is Congress obligated to commit us, the taxpayer, to spend money to fortify diplomatic facilities in places where we have no pressing need to put diplomatic facilities? What was so important about Benghazi that the Obama administration needed a base of operations in “Injun country?””

    Steve57 – Since money was not a factor in Benghazi security decisions according to the ARB, your former question is more related to the overall budget process while your latter question is just among the many unanswered questions that remain about our presence in Benghazi and why it was necessary to have Stevens there on 9/11.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  89. He was there (openly) to sponsor the opening of a hospital or something – he had contacts in benghazi from 2011 and he did not want to pull out of there and abandon the place to terrorists – and covertly maybe to meet with teh turkish intelligence station chief to implore him not to let surface to air misiles go thriough Turkey top the rebe;ls sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia – actually make a pitch for nothujunbg at all. A ship left bnenghazi but would unload in Turkey.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  90. SOOPER SEKRIT intelligence. You can’t forget that b

    JD (283b0e)

  91. 91. He was there (openly) to sponsor the opening of a hospital or something

    Ambassadors do that kind of stuff all the time. Without the existence of some sort of “special diplomatic facility.” They fly in, attend some ceremony, and fly out and back to the embassy. Or maybe if the situation warrants they stay in a hotel.

    You can secure a hotel, you know. Even the effin’ Preezy sometimes stays in a hotel when he travels.

    So why the Benghazi “special diplomatic facilty?”

    – he had contacts in benghazi from 2011 and he did not want to pull out of there and abandon the place to terrorists – and covertly maybe to meet with teh turkish intelligence station chief to implore him not to let surface to air misiles go thriough Turkey top the rebe;ls sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia – actually make a pitch for nothujunbg at all. A ship left bnenghazi but would unload in Turkey.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 5/7/2013 @ 2:41 pm

    Even if you’re right about this you do realize that none of the remainder is part of the legitimate function of an ambassador which is to represent one head of state to another.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  92. and covertly maybe to meet with teh turkish intelligence station chief to implore him not to let surface to air misiles go thriough Turkey top the rebe;ls sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia

    Hey, you know who else could have done that? The US ambassador to Turkey in Istanbul. So why Stevens in Benghazi?

    We can speculate all we want, but the speculation highlights the fact that there was nothing Stevens had to do in Benghazi that couldn’t have been done somewhere else.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  93. Or by someone else.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  94. Steve57.
    But he was there. So, either it was a really bad idea on his part or there was something to do that we don’t know about.
    I presume the idea to stay in Benghazi for no reason but to get a discount on cab fare the next day or something meaningless wouldn’t have come from higher.
    So either he had a dumb idea or higher had something for him to do.
    And his earlier calls about security indicate that he probably wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Benghazi for no particular reason.
    He was up to something that required him to be there which isn’t currently obvious. Wonder if we’ll know.
    Somebody will probably say, with faux expressions of regret, that it might have been something wrt a lover. That’ll end that.

    Richard Aubrey (6c93a4)

  95. 96. …So either he had a dumb idea or higher had something for him to do.
    And his earlier calls about security indicate that he probably wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Benghazi for no particular reason.
    He was up to something that required him to be there which isn’t currently obvious. Wonder if we’ll know…

    Comment by Richard Aubrey (6c93a4) — 5/7/2013 @ 7:29 pm

    Yup. Either he got a stupid hair up his *** or somebody large and in charge did.

    Neo-Neocon had an insightful post.

    http://neoneocon.com/2013/05/07/speechwriters-as-experts-its-all-about-the-words/

    Speechwriters as experts: it’s all about the words

    Several people have mentioned Ben Rhodes in connection with the Benghazi debacle (just Google “Ben Rhodes Benghazi” and you’ll find plenty of the speculation). It’s not at all clear how much responsibility Rhodes had for the decisions during the Benghazi attack and the spin afterward. But what is clear is that Rhodes is one of Obama’s many advisors who lack anything remotely connected with expertise, except in the art of politics and speechwriting. Despite this, for Obama Rhodes doesn’t just write about foreign policy, he helps to make it.

    Rhodes’ resume is singularly unimpressive, except after he was tapped by Obama to write for him and then to somehow be a foreign policy “expert.” Rhodes is hardly unique in the Obama administration for having this sort of background. The president seems to prefer to have people around him with even less experience and expertise than he has, which is saying something.

    Other presidents have been inexperienced, but they have made efforts to choose experienced and knowledgeable people to make up for their own shortcomings. Obama does not believe he has any shortcomings, and so he does the opposite. For the most part, his advisors tend to have several characteristics in common besides their lack of substantive knowledge about their new fields: (1) they are good with words; (2) they are young; (3) they are focused on politics; (4) they revere Obama.

    …[NOTE: More about Ben Rhodes here [written in 2010]:

    …Rhodes has enjoyed a rapid rise — because why?

    Granted he is quite the wordsmith. That must qualify him for one of the top jobs involving our national security. It must have been a symbiotic relationship — a talented speechwriter with a talented speech reader.

    …From fiction writing (displayed so well in the Cairo speech and the Iraq Study Group) to Deputy National Security Adviser-and he is all of 32 years old. And he is the Deputy national Security Adviser with grave responsibilities for our security.]

    I don’t know which of one of these pot heads came up with the bad idea that led to Benghazi, but when I say it’s amateur hour in the White House I’m not making things up. The delinquents at the kiddie table are in charge of national security and foreign policy.

    What’s worse is that they’re convinced that since they went to Harvard or Yale or Stanford they’re infallible.

    Heaven help us.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  96. 78. Profane punter betrays years of head flushings at the hands of pissed defensive teammates.

    Ray Guy we feel sorry for, your mother, not.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  97. 66. BJ lied in deposition to a Grand Jury, i.e., perjured himself.

    There will be ample opportunity to flay the quarry.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  98. I hope Issa doesn’t poop his pants. Giving a lawyer this much responsibility has screwed us before.

    mg (31009b)

  99. Steve57,

    In his testimony today, I think Greg Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on 9/11/12 because Hillary Clinton was pushing him to make Benghazi a permanent consulate. Stevens and some of his staff traveled to Benghazi as a part of that effort.

    Perhaps it was part of the Administration’s goal to normalize Libya prior to the 2012 election, to eliminate it as a campaign issue.

    DRJ (a83b8b)


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