Patterico's Pontifications


TOTUS Fireside Chat on Syria – Open Thread

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:47 pm

[guest post by JD]

Teh One’s speech writers likely all jumped from the roof of the White House by now, since we have had 74 different positions since this was announced. I can’t bring myself to watch it.

Live blog in comment thread …


Obama and Kerry Refuse To Make Benghazi Survivors Available to Congress, On the Eve of 1 Year Anniversary

Filed under: General — JD @ 2:57 pm

[guest post by JD]

Secretary of State John Kerry has told House Oversight Committee he will not comply with Republican requests to make Benghazi survivors available for interviews by Congress. Chairman Issa R-CA says if Kerry doesn’t change his mind, there could be subpoenas.

Sharyl Atkisson continues to commit acts of journalism, while this Admin continues to cover their arses. /spit


Off-the-cuff Ad Lib Gaffe Or Planned All Along?

Filed under: General — JD @ 2:51 pm

[guest post by JD]

John Sexton has an excellent post outlining the nonsense emanating from Sec Longface about how his off-the-cuff remarks yesterday became the Russian “proposal”, to which the Admin jumped onto like passengers on the Titanic to a lifeboat. Since then, the comical series of blunders has again morphed to the point where Obama’s credible threat of force, that increasingly looks like it would fail in the House, and the Senate, gave weight to their position and allowed room for the Russian proposal. It morphed further when Kerry testified that his gaffe was actually part of a secret plan that he and Obama had been pushing for.

“Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting for that, but he isn’t about to do it and…can’t be done obviously.”
Within hours of saying this, an unnamed official had told CNN that Kerry’s statement was a “major goof” and added that Kerry “clearly went off script.”
Separately, a spokesperson for State sent an email to multiple reporters clarifying that “Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons…” A rhetorical argument is not a proposal.
Before leaving the UK Kerry had a pre-scheduled phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During that call it was Lavrov who brought up Kerry’s comments. According to Reuters, Kerry flatly told Lavrov that his comments were not intended to be a proposal of any kind. Reuters quotes Kerry saying he voiced “serious skepticism” when Lavrov suggested they should explore the possibility.
Over at the White House press room Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken was on hand to reinforce the 40-minute pro-strike speech which Susan Rice had just concluded. Blinken was asked “Does that mean that the Secretary of State when he mentioned this idea in Britain earlier today that that was a proposal coming from this administration?” Blinken replied “No, no, no we literally just heard about this when you did.” Pressed on this point Blinken added “I believe [Kerry] was speaking hypothetically…”
At the State Department, spokesperson Marie Harf was also asked whether Kerry was making a proposal. She replied “the Secretary was not making a proposal…The Secretary was making a rhetorical statement…”
So we have it from Kerry himself, from a State spokesman by email, from Deputy National Security Adviser Blinken, from State’s spokeswoman and from CNN’s unnamed source that this was not a proposal.

Ezra Klein is a fanboi.

Ditto, SanFranNan.

Credibility no longer means what it once meant. To Obama, Lurch, and their sycophants, it apparently means throw every conceivable idea at the wall and pray to Allah that they can find a lie that will allow one idea to stick.

We are in the best of hands.


John Kerry: Diplomatic Genius . . . and Blatant Liar

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am

John Kerry was for the Iraq war before he was against it. Glenn Kessler — the erratic Pinocchio guy at the WaPo who wouldn’t assign Pinocchios to Obama for setting a red line and then claiming he didn’t — has now bashed John Kerry for making up stuff about his position on Iraq. Compare and contrast the two Kerry statements:

John Kerry, Sept. 5, 2013:

[W]hen I was a senator, we opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq, but we know full well how that evidence was used to persuade all of us that authority ought to be given.

John Kerry, 2003:

It appears that with the deadline for exile come and gone, Saddam Hussein has chosen to make military force the ultimate weapons inspections enforcement mechanism. . . . If so, the only exit strategy is victory. This is our common mission and the world’s cause. We’re in this together. We want to complete the mission while safeguarding our troops, avoiding innocent civilian casualties, disarming Saddam Hussein, and engaging the community of nations to rebuild Iraq

Meanwhile, Kerry’s thinking-out-loud solution “give the weapons to the UN” solution — to the conumdrum created by Obama’s thinking-out-loud ad-libbed “red line” statement — has diplomats everywhere shrugging their shoulders and saying: yeah, I guess we could do that.

It’s kind of like a parent saying: “If you do that, you are going to be in SUCH BIG TROUBLE” — and then saying you can’t watch your favorite program at the usual time. You’ll have to wait a half hour instead.

But, shrug. I guess we could do that.

Congratulations, Mr. Kerry, on your brilliant off-the-cuff diplomacy and your shiny new Pinocchios!

P.S. Hey Mr. Kessler! How about examining Obama’s “nobody is listening to your phone calls” statement in light of your own paper’s recent revelation that Obama’s law enforcement guys are, in fact, listening to Americans’ phone calls?

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