Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s Situation Room Told Within Hours That Al-Qaeda Affiliated Group Claimed Responsibility for Benghazi Attack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:15 pm


Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

But who was told?

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.

Luckily, Mitt Romney pressed President Obama on this hard last night, causing Obama to commit, in a high profile setting, to a version of events that increasingly appears inconsistent with the emerging facts.

Comments to Election Predictions Thread Fixed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:34 pm

I can’t guarantee the problems won’t recur, but the double posts have been deleted and the ability to comment freely restored. If you were having trouble before, I apologize. You can now feel free to make your election predictions on the appropriate thread.

UPDATE: Nope, still removing double posts. Thought I got them but I didn’t. Sorry.

Make Your Election Predictions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

The debates are over, and the time has come to make your predictions. I ask all readers, even lurkers, to weigh in on the following questions:

1) Who is our next president, and what will be the breakdown in the Electoral College?

2) Will we win the Senate, and what will be the numerical breakdown?

3) How many seats will we gain in the House?

I’m terrible at this stuff, but that’s no excuse for not playing, so here goes:

Romney will win, narrowly, with 272 electoral votes, squeaking out Ohio.

We fail to take over the Senate, 49-51.

The House stays the same.

Mock away, but make your own predictions!

L.A. Times “Fact Checks” Detroit Op-Ed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

You’ll be shocked to learn they give the edge to Obama:

In a presidential debate that was supposed to focus on foreign policy, the most contentious dispute over who was telling the truth was the exchange between President Obama and Mitt Romney over Detroit.

“You know, if we had taken your advice, Gov. Romney, about our auto industry, we’d be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China,” Obama said, touting his role in the financial bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, which began under the George W. Bush administration in late 2008.

In an opinion article in November 2008, Romney urged the government, as the headline said, to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

“A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs,” Romney wrote. “The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.”

A managed bankruptcy is quicker and less chaotic than a regular bankruptcy and allows a company to restructure its operations to make it stronger when it emerges from the process. The dispute in the debate boils down to whether a managed bankruptcy for General Motors and Chrysler would have been possible at the time without the government providing approximately $80 billion in financing to keep the companies running during the process.

No, the dispute in the debate is whether Romney planned to liquidate the auto companies, and whether he planned to give them government assistance. I explained this last night. As Obama says: check the record.

Romney said Monday night that he had not advocated allowing General Motors and Chrysler to go out of business.

“I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars. And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry,” he said. “My plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. … I said they need — these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they’d built up.”

Obama accused Romney of trying to “airbrush history.”

“You were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy,” Obama said. “You said that they could get it in the private marketplace. That wasn’t true.”

The bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, the government-appointed watchdog for the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, backs Obama on this. It said in a January 2011 report that private financing was not available for General Motors and Chrysler in late 2008.

Nice. Through contortions they pretend Obama was the one telling the truth.

For the real truth, see my post from last night.

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