Patterico's Pontifications


More Reasons to Worry About a Slippery Slope From the Assassination Memo

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:56 pm

Think it’s crazy to worry about a slippery slope when a memo tells Barack Obama he’s good to kill American citizens who aren’t imminently about to attack the United States?

What if the U.S. citizen is a 16-year-old whose crime is having a terrorist dad?

Now, I can hear you saying: “hey, if the 16-year-old happens to be standing right next to his terrorist dad when we kill the dad . . .” If that’s what you’re thinking, stop. It’s not entirely clear what did happen . . . but it’s clear that’s not what happened:

He was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also born in America, who was also an American citizen, and who was killed by drone two weeks before his son was, along with another American citizen named Samir Khan. Of course, both Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were, at the very least, traitors to their country — they had both gone to Yemen and taken up with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and al-Awlaki had proven himself an expert inciter of those with murderous designs against America and Americans: the rare man of words who could be said to have a body count. When he was killed, on September 30, 2011, President Obama made a speech about it; a few months later, when the Obama administraton’s public-relations campaign about its embrace of what has come to be called “targeted killing” reached its climax in a front-page story in the New York Times that presented the President of the United States as the last word in deciding who lives and who dies, he was quoted as saying that the decision to put Anwar al-Awlaki on the kill list — and then to kill him — was “an easy one.” But Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn’t on an American kill list.

Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penin[su]la. Nor was he “an inspiration,” as his father styled himself, for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he gone “operational,” as American authorities said his father had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American interests. He was a boy who hadn’t seen his father in two years, since his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his father was on an American kill list and who snuck out of his family’s home in the early morning hours of September 4, 2011, to try to find him. He was a boy who was still searching for his father when his father was killed, and who, on the night he himself was killed, was saying goodbye to the second cousin with whom he’d lived while on his search, and the friends he’d made. He was a boy among boys, then; a boy among boys eating dinner by an open fire along the side of a road when an American drone came out of the sky and fired the missiles that killed them all.

I would need to know more about this attack to know whether to be outraged by the attack. Maybe he was collateral damage to an attack on another terrorist. Here’s the problem, and here is what is certainly cause for outrage: a spokesman for this administration is willing to justify it as the fruits of his dad’s decision to be a terrorist. Watch at 1:56:


ADAMSON: …It’s an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he’s underage. He’s a minor.

GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.

Conor Friedersdorf:

Again, note that this kid wasn’t killed in the same drone strike as his father. He was hit by a drone strike elsewhere, and by the time he was killed, his father had already been dead for two weeks. Gibbs nevertheless defends the strike, not by arguing that the kid was a threat, or that killing him was an accident, but by saying that his late father irresponsibly joined al Qaeda terrorists. Killing an American citizen without due process on that logic ought to be grounds for impeachment. Is that the real answer? Or would the Obama Administration like to clarify its reasoning? Any Congress that respected its oversight responsibilities would get to the bottom of this.

Emphasis added.

See? If they think they can come up with a cute sound bite to justify it, they’ll try literally anything. They’ll look you in the eye and say it’s OK to kill a kid because his dad’s a terrorist. That may not be what happened, but that is the position that this idiot Gibbs is defending.

Glenn Greenwald has more on the memo and what makes it worrisome. I think we have to apply to Obama the same standards we would apply to such a law under Bush. To me, at first glance, the idea that a single official can make a decision when there is no imminent threat sounds unAmerican. Where are the checks and balances?

If a president would need a warrant to wiretap American citizens, presumably he should need a warrant to, um, kill them.

129 Responses to “More Reasons to Worry About a Slippery Slope From the Assassination Memo”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. this is what democracy looks like?

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  3. This is who they targeting at the time,

    As it happened he wasn’t at that location,

    narciso (3fec35)

  4. But they couldn’t do this (use drones) in Benghazi?

    jb (b6437f)

  5. this is the sound

    of National Soros Radio silence

    hello darkness my old friend

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  6. Here’s a fun trick. Substitute “Ari Fleischer” for “Robert Gibbs.”

    Hilarity will ensue.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  7. This is some of that flexibility that Obama warned us about on that open mic.

    Elephant Stone (98fbaf)

  8. Remember when they were verklempt over us just holding a teenager jihadist, Omar Khadr, at Gitmo,
    good times,

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Great. Murdering people anonymously from the sky is okey dokey but don’t go waterboarding anyone with terrorist information.


    Only liberals can fit their cork screwy little minds around the process that produced those two opinions.

    Jcw46 (eda37d)

  10. If only someone had told Obama that those “spontaneous protesters” outside our embassy in Benghazi happened to be American citizens, perhaps Fearful Leader would have authorized an airstrike against them.

    Elephant Stone (98fbaf)

  11. I think we have to apply to Obama the same standards we would apply to such a law under Bush. To me, at first glance, the idea that a single official can make a decision when there is no imminent threat sounds unAmerican. Where are the checks and balances?

    If a president would need a warrant to wiretap American citizens, presumably he should need a warrant to, um, kill them.

    Gee, ya think?

    J.P. (bd0246)

  12. It’s cool. The MSNBC lefties are now suddenly really ok with drone strikes, so I guess everything is copacetic.

    JVW (4826a9)

  13. First, i have a post fisking the white paper, here.

    Second, as for this, personally i have never cared what the President’s spokesmodel says overly much. Gibbs is not a deep man and he is not in charge of anything important.

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  14. If Obama had a son and he looked like Abdulrahman al-Awlaki would Obama put him on his “kill list?”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  15. Interesting. The New York Times has an editorial in Wednesday’s edition opposing the Administration’s white paper. Is it just me being a right-winger who hates liberal editorial boards, or is this editorial written in a way to object forcefully to the policy without delivering any real criticism to Barack Obama himself? Note that they even invoke the GW Bush bogeyman as a reason for why this is bad policy. I guess half a loaf is better than none, but dammed if liberals haven’t decided that Obama can’t be held accountable for his own policies.

    JVW (4826a9)

  16. So, during this emerging Age of Obama, we as American citizens are not allowed to photoshop photos of the President, but he’s allowed to kill us with drone strikes ?

    Elephant Stone (98fbaf)

  17. From the Greenwald article linked above:

    The definition of an extreme authoritarian is one who is willing blindly to assume that government accusations are true without any evidence presented or opportunity to contest those accusations. This memo – and the entire theory justifying Obama’s kill list – centrally relies on this authoritarian conflation of government accusations and valid proof of guilt.

    They are not the same and never have been. Political leaders who decree guilt in secret and with no oversight inevitably succumb to error and/or abuse of power. Such unchecked accusatory decrees are inherently untrustworthy (indeed, Yemen experts have vehemently contested the claim that Awlaki himself was a senior al-Qaida leader posing an imminent threat to the US). That’s why due process is guaranteed in the Constitution and why judicial review of government accusations has been a staple of western justice since the Magna Carta: because leaders can’t be trusted to decree guilt and punish citizens without evidence and an adversarial process. That is the age-old basic right on which this memo, and the Obama presidency, is waging war.

    elissa (94e93f)

  18. Obama is less popular than George Bush in the Arab world. The drone policy may have something to do with it, but more likely it’s because Obama is viewed as an arrogant but indecisive, blameshifting pussy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. “But Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn’t on an American kill list. Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penin[su]la. Nor was he “an inspiration,” as his father styled himself, for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he gone “operational,” as American authorities said his father had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American interests. He was a boy who hadn’t seen his father in two years, since his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his father was on an American kill list and who snuck out of his family’s home in the early morning hours of September 4, 2011, to try to find him. He was a boy who was still searching for his father when his father was killed, and who, on the night he himself was killed, was saying goodbye to the second cousin with whom he’d lived while on his search, and the friends he’d made. He was a boy among boys, then; a boy among boys eating dinner by an open fire along the side of a road when an American drone came out of the sky and fired the missiles that killed them all.”

    – The Atlantic

    And that’s not even the most f*cked up thing.

    The most f*cked up thing is that after 12 years of pointless, non sequitur war, there are probably ten thousand other dead Arab boys who fit the same basic description.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  20. I can’t think of the right word to express my contempt for Obama right now.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  21. We don’t stand for much, anymore.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  22. This all reminds me of Hillary caught on camera, laughingly, glibly saying, in regards to the death of Libya’s Moammar Kadafi, “we came, we saw, he died.”

    It’s the inappropriateness of the whole thing that turns me off, even if it were emanating from people who were ideologically down-to-earth and ethical—which Hillary and Barack sure as hell aren’t.

    I think one reason so many truly contemptible things can happen under the watchful eye of the left — why liberal communities and societies can become so deranged (eg, crime sprees, dysfunction in general, and irresponsible behavior run amok in schools, youth, parents) — is because there is a sense (certainly among the left, but perhaps among the public in general) that if one’s philosophy rests on a foundation of compassion and do-gooderness (whether it actually does or doesn’t), then no matter how two-faced and disgusting that person is, all is forgiven.

    Maybe that’s why so much of the left throughout the Western World makes for — and has become — truly odd bedfellows with the reactionaries of the Islamic world.

    Mark (07279d)

  23. Seems we’ve had some wars with enemies that were US citizens. How did we deal with them in WW-II or the contretemps between the Northern and Southern portions of this nation? There is historical precedent. Are we suddenly changing it JUST because the POTUS doing it is Obama and not one of our boys? Did the camel’s nose, neck, upper torso, and virtually everything but the tail we had happen at civil war prison camps and battle fields produce the results you claim to fear?

    I’m sorry. I cannot support you on this one. Maybe Patterico is not always right even though he might be technically correct in a word weenie sense.


    JD (1a2024)

  24. We need more than just an executive branch official deciding someone is a valid target. WWII was a declared war, and we fought American citizens who were military for the enemy. There were at least two branches overseeing those operations. The drone strikes don’t have that check on power.

    We also need clarification about location of the declared targets. There is no requirement they must be in a foreign country at the time of the targeting. I find that pretty scary.

    MayBee (5d58db)

  25. Johnny Taliban Walker Lindh was captures on the battlefield and given a trial, no?

    MayBee (5d58db)

  26. Whatever happened to “wolf boy”? The bearded rodent sitting next to traitor lindh.

    mg (31009b)

  27. “I think we have to apply to Obama the same standards we would apply to such a law under Bush.”

    Serious question, since when has that ever not been the case?

    The memo here by the way is not the thin end of the wedge or the top of a slippery slope, it actually sets out the justification for an immediate slide all the way to the bottom – and if that weren’t enough, precludes any questioning of the evidence or the decision-making process within the Executive.

    Feel better now?

    eddie (970bcf)

  28. Great analysis, Aaron, there were some odd things that struck me about that paper, They declared the war, Leviticus, and papa Awlaki even bought the tickets for the hijackers,

    narciso (3fec35)

  29. If the kid was on the kill list, we probably have an issue here. If he was intentionally hanging out with somebody on the kill list–legitimately–we have a different problem. If he happened to be passing by, that’s bad luck, presuming the actual target was legit.
    I have queried folks–who were objecting when Bush was POTUS–thus: If there are two terrorists riding in the vehicle, and one is a US citizen, why does he get a break the other guy doesn’t? Never had an answer.
    Still, to paraphrase The Anchoress, I get so dreadfully tired of saying, Imagine if Bush were still president.
    But, as has been said elsewhere, this certainly saves POTUS any additional embarrassment at Gitmo.

    Lastly, Gibbs’ reply is inhuman. If the Admin does not withdraw it, conclusions can be drawn.

    Richard Aubrey (a79e47)

  30. The target was the fellow I mentioned above, who is still around,

    narciso (3fec35)

  31. While I’m by no means happy about the rationalization, I will say that I have limited sympathy with people who get killed wandering around in a war zone….which describes most of the middle east right now.

    Of course THAT can be blamed in part on Obama’s apparent determination to get us involved in every third-world piss-up going……

    C. S. P. Schofield (fdfc57)

  32. Like the Khadr clan, Canadian nationals, pop was one of Osama’s buds, youngest son, the one they whined so much about, ‘popped’ a ranger, older son
    got his act together at Gitmo.

    narciso (3fec35)

  33. Meh. How is this any less of an outrage than Ruby Ridge?

    That was over 20 years ago.

    Did you think things were going to get BETTER?

    The lack of journalistic oversight is a large part of what allows this crap to happen. While Ruby Ridge occurred on Bush Pater’s watch, it wasn’t really part of the news cycle until Clinton was PotUS, and the fact that it preceded Waco by a short time frame only meant the media wasn’t about to pay any attention.

    Yu Vil Rezpekt Yur Bettirs!!

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obamaᵒ (98ae1f)

  34. The most f*cked up thing is that after 12 years of pointless, non sequitur war, there are probably ten thousand other dead Arab boys who fit the same basic description.

    12 years”?

    Do you just make numbers up, hoping no one will call you on it?

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obamaᵒ (98ae1f)

  35. Pat,

    The person who was killed and his son had many chances to turn themselves in and refused and carried on planning atrocities against Americans.

    Its the same as the police shooting someone who is brandishing a gun and is warned to put it down or they will be shot.

    Obama did the right thing and should continue to target Americans overeas who are actively plotting and carrying out war acts against us.

    EPWJ (016f5f)

  36. overseas — sorry

    EPWJ (016f5f)

  37. 34. Good points.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  38. We had an army major who was corresponding with Awlaki, who wrote a powerpoint on jihad, and they didn’t send him on drills into the texas hills,

    narciso (3fec35)

  39. I’m happy to see Rico toss those who want to talk about the ME a bone. Nor Luap sympathizers among them, more often moral equivalencers.

    But the title “Slippery Slope” again directs us to the prospects for homeland implementations and extra-WOT exercise.

    Just sayin’.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  40. WRT Waco and Ruby Ridge: The feds chose wisely to pick on and massacre people whom the Right Sort would think deserved it. The sympathy from the Cultural Elite, the Chattering Classes, the MSM was entirely missing.
    Indeed, there is more sympathy for terrs than for the Branch Davidians, or Weaver and his family.
    This must be kept in mind.

    Richard Aubrey (a79e47)

  41. Smock Puppet,

    Little details such as “facts” don’t often interest him.

    Elephant Stone (5d58ea)

  42. The person who was killed and his son had many chances to turn themselves in and refused and carried on planning atrocities against Americans.
    Comment by EPWJ (016f5f) — 2/6/2013 @ 6:42 am

    — It’s nice to know that you pay attention.
    The son “refused” a request/demand that he turn himself in?
    The son was “planning atrocities against Americans”?
    Got any proof there, skippy?

    Icy (ecbc5a)

  43. To me, at first glance, the idea that a single official can make a decision when there is no imminent threat sounds unAmerican.

    Again, I think you’re reading the memo wrong. The danger is that a single official can decide when there IS an “imminent threat”, especially when “imminent threat” is so loosely defined that it can mean anything.

    Kman (5576bf)

  44. You’ll have to forgive Leviticus. He was taught in school that Bush43’s first act as POTUS was to initiate undeclared wars against anyone and everyone that ever dared chant “Death to America!”

    Icy (ecbc5a)

  45. Either/or, Kman. Both scenarios are scary.

    Icy (ecbc5a)

  46. As pointed out in the earlier link, it’s not an OLC opinion, it’s like musings in longhand

    narciso (3fec35)

  47. Either/or, Kman. Both scenarios are scary.

    True dat.

    Kman (5576bf)

  48. It is like kmart feels compelled to be a sophist even when it is agreeing with someone.

    Apparently it is the pinnacle of anti-American behavior to pour water on a terrorist’s face, but perfectly alright to jam a Hellfire in his face from a drone.

    JD (b63a52)

  49. kfap is all about collateral damage—its remarks.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  50. Icy

    Sure he knew – no doubt he revealed in his fathers notoriety, his father was a celebrated public figure and there is very little doubt that he was grooming his soon as well.

    At 16 my daughter committed to west point, at 17 her great uncle died at wake island.

    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

  51. her great uncle was 17 at wake island when he died

    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

  52. Its sa soo many islamic terrorists hid behinf children while killing our women and children, maybe our friend Icy needs to rewatch the women jumping from the Towers before he gets all mushy on us when they apture our female soldier and dismember then alive.

    I had to hear this stuff in person in Arabia all the time and listen to what they were going to do to me or my wife it we didnt leave etc etc etc.

    Brave sir Icy!!!

    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

  53. Had he been captured and brought to Gitmo, he might have learned some lessons,

    narciso (3fec35)

  54. See that guy behind the third rock from the left, stop shooting at him, he looks like an American.

    But sir, he’s shooting at us.

    It doesn’t matter, he’s entitled to due process, we’re not supposed to kill him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. Roman Solution:
    Kill the entire family so no reprisals can be mounted in the future.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  56. The real question is why did the WH seek this opinion since the legal footing is well established for the military to seek and destroy the enemy during periods of armed conflict? The Predators aren’t doing anything that F-16’s or Special Forces don’t already know how to do. The memo turns the existing system upside down and makes the military a support activity to the intelligence community commander effectively adding the DNI to the existing National Command Authority (Pres/SecDef). Whatever merits this might have, implementing this by Presidential decree is foolish at best.

    crazy (d60cb0)

  57. I don’t want female soldiers on the battlefield.

    You should try commenting based on facts rather than assumptions. It might help you to look a little bit less foolish.

    Icy (ecbc5a)

  58. “The Predators aren’t doing anything that F-16′s or Special Forces don’t already know how to do.”

    crazy – Absolutely. President Spike the Football would have been much better off just keeping his mouth shut, but he can’t help himself. Democrat presidents also seem to make a habit of sticking their fingers in the inner workings of military operations, often not for the better.

    I share A.W.’s view that there is not a barrier to Obama doing what he did. That in war time due process is effectively suspended. Our goal is essentially to break things and kill people. Once somebody has been identified as an enemy, their nationality does not matter.

    The memo was not artfully drafted, but I think that’s more a function of the lawyers hired in the DOJ by this administration being largely a bunch of pinko, commie, buttwipes that they are not used to arguing for the position Obama has taken and are in fact trying to split the baby to satisfy their liberal base, resulting in a POS legal justification.

    Domestically, however, things get more complicated.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. @daleyrocks – I’m suggesting it’s way worse than that because it effectively turns USC Title 10 and Title 50 upside down. As with other bad decisions by Congress and the Bush administration made worse by the Obama administration the desirable ends don’t justify the unlawful means.

    crazy (d60cb0)

  60. Just wait until critics of Obama are targeted in this country!

    I want an Iron Dome system under the 2nd Amendment to protect me from Obama’s drones.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  61. “@daleyrocks – I’m suggesting it’s way worse than that because it effectively turns USC Title 10 and Title 50 upside down.”

    crazy – I’m not sure exactly what you mean. If the powers were available but unexercised by other CICs, doesn’t it just suggest more bad decision making on Obama’s part rather than unlawful activity.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  62. GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children.

    So we can expect a similar response to all the anchor babies etc when they are piled onto the transport back to the illegal alien parents home country

    aussiebill (838163)

  63. Apparently a few pool reporters may be starting to get curious. Bam walks, Carnie passes serious gas. From the Daily caller:

    President Barack Obama today walked away from a roomful of journalists, leaving Jay Carney to evade numerous media questions about the administration’s semi-secret, closed-door process of killing American citizens who are tied to jihad.

    The numerous questions were prompted by the release late Monday of the administration’s legal brief explaining why it has the legal and presidential authority to kill overseas Americans in al-Qaida, even without a trial or public due process.

    “I think you’ve seen in the way that this president has approached them the seriousness with which he takes all of his responsibilities on this,” claimed Carney, moments after Obama walked out of the press room

    elissa (e10d64)

  64. Carney has to be the most incompetent press secretary in my lifetime. He can’t come up with a coherent sentence regardless of how long he’s sat with his crayon trying to compose it.

    SPQR (768505)

  65. I’m just dumb engineer, but the execution of this juvenile seems wrong.

    If he is being killed using lawfare instead of warfare and being a juvenile, hasn’t Obama violated Roper v. Simmons?

    John P. Squibob (2fb82d)

  66. Carney might not be the most incompetent PS of all time, but he certainly ranks in the Top Two!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  67. 19. Obama is less popular than George Bush in the Arab world. The drone policy may have something to do with it, but more likely it’s because Obama is viewed as an arrogant but indecisive, blameshifting pussy.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/5/2013 @ 10:47 pm

    But remember, folks, the attack on our diplomatic facility CIA cover operation had nothing, NOTHING, to do wit the Obama administration or its policies.

    Notice it didn’t take several months of investigations for this crew to figure that out. The one thing they were immediately sure of was that they couldn’t be blamed.

    Speaking of blame, I’m sure this guy brought it upon himself.

    Slain Marine sensed insider attack was coming, dad says

    “He told me if I have to stay here until November… I’m not going to come home.”

    Greg also asked his father to prepare to tell his mother and his two younger brothers that he’d be killed.

    “I don’t understand,” his father said. “Out in the field?’

    “No, in our base,” Greg replied.

    Thankfully these trigger happy Marines are restrained by our wise ROE.

    They might get it into their head to run around killing the people who get up into their face and threaten their lives.

    That might offend Muslims.

    Thankfully, President Kill List put these Marines on a tight list. Greg Buckley Jr. has been prevented from disgracing the United States by committing the war crime that could have saved his life.

    When it comes to determining who does and who does not pose a threat to American lives, the last person you ought to listen to is some grunt who’s up against it. No, the Prom Queen in the WH is the supreme athoritah.

    Always remember, and never forget, the next time a US embassy front for some clumsy CIA operation gets attacked, it has nothing to do with this administration or its policies.

    Probably some soldier in serious need of sensitivity training offended a Muslim by showing him the sole of his foot.

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  68. *Thankfully, President Kill List put these Marines on a tight list leash.*

    I would hope the Preezy isn’t actually putting serving Marines on a kill list, but these days it’s hard to be sure of anything.

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  69. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 2/6/2013 @ 8:37 pm

    Considering what he has to try to defend/cover up, it is hard to criticize him.

    Wouldn’t it be great if something happened as in “Liar, liar”, and all of a sudden he had to start telling the truth?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  70. That is a tragic story, Steve57.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. Steve, a truly monumental failure of the chain-of-command – but at this point “what difference does it make”!

    When she dies, I hope a vandal scratches that into her headstone.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  72. There is probably nothing really wrong (except what can go wrong in any war) with what Obama is actually doing, but the legal justifications get off completely on the wrong foot.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  73. Both Panetta and Dempsey in testimony today said they were aware of warnings of danger in cables from Ambassador Stevens, but the funny thing was that Hillary said she was not in her testimony even though the cables were sent to the State Department.

    Dempsey and Panetta also said they did not talk to Obama on the night of 9/11 except for their regularly scheduled 5 pm conference call, yet Obama assured us he was doing everything possible to aid our people on the ground in Libya. Today’s testimony sheds some doubt on that assertion.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  74. “There is probably nothing really wrong (except what can go wrong in any war) with what Obama is actually doing”

    Sammy – It just shows he’s in over his head and unqualified to meddle in certain areas.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  75. Teh Won could do a lot for himself by going on TV and pleading Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, explaining to the American People why his earlier criticism of the Bush/Cheney policies was “misplaced”, and what the justifications are for what he is doing now.
    But, that would be assuming that he isn’t the complete preening narcissist that he is, and is capable of admitting error – whether factual, or political – which he isn’t!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  76. DRJ, yes it’s tragic.

    It’s also infuriating. PC really does kill. Recall that 17 Sailors were killed on the Cole because the rules of engagement dictated that result. A Sailor had the people on that bomb-laden boat in the sights of his M60 until he was ordered to quit pointing his gun.

    That might have offended somebody.

    13 Soldiers died at Fort Hood because no one was allowed to discuss the glaringly obvious about Maj. Hassan.

    That might have offended the wrong people, too.

    And what was the Army’s official reaction? To fret about diversity. And then to follow that up with a report in which they couldn’t really determine a motive.

    Now they’re actually blaming the troops for their own murders.

    In all honesty if I was given the chance to redo my 20 years, I wouldn’t. I couldn’t help but nod in agreement when I heard the DoS’s regional security officer for Libya testify that:

    “His response to that was, ‘You are asking for the sun, moon and the stars.’ And my response to him – his name was Jim – ‘Jim, you know what makes most frustrating about this assignment? It is not the hardships, it is not the gunfire, it is not the threats. It is dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. And I added (sic) it by saying, ‘For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.’”

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  77. Hillary has always had a very bad case of selective-memory syndrome.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  78. You can drone anyone, include the village chief in Ma’rib, now anything else, verboten,

    narciso (3fec35)

  79. 77. Dempsey and Panetta also said they did not talk to Obama on the night of 9/11 except for their regularly scheduled 5 pm conference call, yet Obama assured us he was doing everything possible to aid our people on the ground in Libya. Today’s testimony sheds some doubt on that assertion.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/7/2013 @ 1:23 pm

    I think it’s appropriate to point out that only the President has cross-border authority. No commander is going to invade another country on their own authority. That order has to be signed by Commander-in-Chief.

    So we just got the confirmation, as if we needed it, that President Tiger Beat has been lying through his teeth for for four solid months.

    Panetta, Dempsey defend U.S. response to Benghazi attack

    Soon, Panetta and Dempsey met with President Barack Obama, the secretary told lawmakers.

    Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack with “all available DOD assets” and try to protect U.S. personnel, Panetta said.

    Ayotte and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina asked how many times Obama spoke with Panetta and Dempsey after learning about the attack.

    Once, in a half-hour conversation with the president, the men said; Obama did not personally get back in touch with them to ask how the mission to help personnel in Benghazi was going.

    “Do you think it’s a typical response of the president of the United States to make one phone call, do what you can and never call you back again and ask you, ‘How is it going, by the way?'” Graham asked.

    Panetta replied, “The president is well-informed about what is going on, make no mistake about it.”

    There was no mission. And Panetta is trying to misdirect everyone with that reference to Obama being well-informed. That’s not the point.

    The fact that Obama disengaged means he made the conscious decision as soon as he found out about the attack to let those men get killed. The SecDef and the CJCS could move some forces around Europe, but they weren’t going anywhere near Benghazi without an order from the President.

    As I’ve been saying, I’ve heard people in this administration say some really stupid things. But this is jaw-dropping.

    I definitely retired at the right time. If I were still in I’d be livid. I just couldn’t put up with the daily insults. Actually, I’d be making plans to get out as fast as I could.

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  80. “Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack with “all available DOD assets” and try to protect U.S. personnel, Panetta said.”

    Steve57 – The confirmation is that no plan was drawn up for a cross border rescue mission requiring Obama’s approval. The people in Benghazi were on their own except for support from Tripoli.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  81. In response to a question from Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he was aware of a cable sent in August by Ambassador Stevens that said security in Benghazi was not adequate.

    “Unfortunately, there was no specific intelligence or indications of an imminent attack on that — U.S. facilities in Benghazi,” Panetta said. “And frankly without an adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond.”

    I just thought this pack of lies deserved some comment.

    Diplomats still in Benghazi say they had long questioned U.S. reliance on local militia

    BENGHAZI, Libya — Even before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, diplomats from other nations and Libyan security officials had questioned the wisdom of a U.S. decision to rely primarily on members of a local militia to protect its compound here.

    Diplomats here told McClatchy that while it’s customary to depend on local forces to protect diplomatic missions, only the United States of the 10 or so foreign missions here allowed the local militia to be the first line of defense. The others said they instead depended on military forces from their own country to provide security.

    “A few months ago, there was a small attack here and the Libyans fled,” said a diplomat from a European nation who asked that he not be further identified so that he could speak candidly about his assessment of security here. “After that, I decided to only use special forces” from his own country.

    …As the security situation deteriorated, several Libyan officials and the Blue Mountain guards said they urged the United States to buttress security at the consulate, even as Stevens was wildly popular among residents here. The Libyans, they said, could not secure themselves from a mounting extremist threat.

    “I told them, you should have your own security,” Waniss said. “Don’t depend on the Libyans.”

    Everybody had actionable intelligence. And we’re supposed to buy this story Hillary!, Panetta, and Dempsey are insulting us with?

    And who could possibly forget this:

    The Library of Congress: AL-QAEDA IN LIBYA: A PROFILE

    Ansar al Sharia figures prominently in it. I don’t know how anyone could have spelled things out more clearly to these liars. We knew what our allies knew; they’d get together on a regular basis in Benghazi to discuss the security situation. But even without the LOC and our allies speaking s-l-o-w-l-y and l-o-u-d-l-y so even the Obama admin might grasp what was going on in Benghazi one might think that the events of the day might have caused somebody to think “Hey, we might have a contingency developing in North Africa” and get a few guys together to respond to one on short notice.

    Dempsey noted that, at the time, he was also concerned with other potential flashpoints — Sanaa, Yemen; Khartoum, Sudan; Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Baghdad, Iraq. “We had some pretty significant intel threat streams against those places as well,” he said.

    I see there were lots of places that Dempsey and Panetta were getting ready not to respond to.

    Oh, and those special forces that these European countries rely on for their own security? These countries, our allies, had special forces that were right there in Benghazi.Several of them have talked to the press because they’re puzzled why we didn’t ask them to help. Even counting the CIA contractors, these countries that still had diplomatic missions in Benghazi had a larger troop presence than we did.

    Perhaps if Obama had convened the Counterterrorism Security Group and deferred to the experts somebody might have thought of that.

    This is an example of Obama doing everything in his power to come to the aid of his own ambassador. Whom he claims to know personally. He couldn’t be bothered to convene the one interagency task force that’s got the expertise to coordinate the response to something like this.

    Clearly they fenced this off from anyone who couldn’t help with coming up with alibis. There is no better indication that this administration immediately went into *** covering mode when Obama found out about the attack; according to the WH that would have been just before meeting with Panetta at 5pm. As if that’s believable; the President wasn’t on the far side of the moon. He was tooling around DC in a car equipped with must be the most comprehensive communications suite available.

    Also I italicized a few of Panetta’s favorite word. There was no specific intel; there was no intel of an imminent attack.

    I thought those words were interesting, especially in light of the leaked assassination memo:

    4. Expanding the concept of “imminence” beyond recognition

    The memo claims that the president’s assassination power applies to a senior al-Qaida member who “poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States”. That is designed to convince citizens to accept this power by leading them to believe it’s similar to common and familiar domestic uses of lethal force on US soil: if, for instance, an armed criminal is in the process of robbing a bank or is about to shoot hostages, then the “imminence” of the threat he poses justifies the use of lethal force against him by the police.

    But this rhetorical tactic is totally misleading. The memo is authorizing assassinations against citizens in circumstances far beyond this understanding of “imminence”. Indeed, the memo expressly states that it is inventing “a broader concept of imminence” than is typically used in domestic law. Specifically, the president’s assassination power “does not require that the US have clear evidence that a specific attack . . . will take place in the immediate future”. The US routinely assassinates its targets not when they are engaged in or plotting attacks but when they are at home, with family members, riding in a car, at work, at funerals, rescuing other drone victims, etc.

    Many of the early objections to this new memo have focused on this warped and incredibly broad definition of “imminence”. The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer told Isikoff that the memo “redefines the word imminence in a way that deprives the word of its ordinary meaning”.

    When it comes to assassinating Americans they’ll invent a whole new, broad definition for the term. When it comes to protecting American lives they’ll invent an extremely narrow definition of the word.

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  82. I guess some of these Senators are sick of the Obama admin insulting their intelligence over Benghazi.

    Saxby Chambliss called Dempsey’s testimony “simply inadequate.”

    McCain went further. He called Dempsey a liar to his face.

    Senator McCain to General Dempsey: Your Testimony ‘Is Simply False’

    But like everyone this administration appoints, Dempsey is a shameless liar. He’s going to stick to his story and try to weather the storm.

    If I were in charge of these hearings I’d invite foreign witnesses to testify. People who aren’t part of the the criminal conspiracy that is the Obama administration.

    Of course, I doubt any would show up. No doubt the diplomats speaking to reporters about how amazed they were that the US didn’t secure our own diplomatic mission in Benghazi as well as they did probably don’t want to get involved.

    The Libyans don’t want to get on the wrong side of AQ and its affiliates. And they also probably don’t want to be on the receiving end of a US drone strike.

    How much does anyone want to bet that a Libyan eyewitness that could potentially blow Obama’s Benghazi cover is just the kind of “imminent threat” that this administration will respond to with military force.

    Steve57 (bc3ba2)

  83. Should a President who jokes about using predator drones be trusted to use them?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  84. McCain is on when he is on.

    I am looking forward to seeing a “harmony” (or not!!) of the various statements that were made both in and out of congressional testimony by all of the members involved.

    For example, I think it was claimed by the WH earlier that the one was “in constant contact” with the appropriate cabinet members, etc., during Benghazi, and Panetta now says they had no contact with him after their previously-scheduled meeting, and his whereabouts was essentially unknown.

    Nobody knew where the President was? He skipped out on his SS detail and his wife at the same time?

    Do they really want to claim that?

    Good point, DRJ, but we don’t trust him anyway.
    (In addition, Hawkeye Pierce for one was always joking in the OR, but that didn’t mean he was not a good surgeon.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  85. Somewhat related, from

    There are a couple of interesting questions about the Federal government’s robust purchase of ammunition at a time when “a decade of war is ending.” Here are two from Investors Business Daily:
    1) Other Federal agencies have offered some sort of explanation about their purchases, but DHS has bought 1.6 billion rounds without explaining why it needs that kind of stock. That’s enough ammunition to cover the Iraq War outlays for 25 years (although not the right types: these are mostly handgun cartridges…

    Here’s one more question, from me: Currently the US Navy is slashing ship maintenance, and delaying the departure of the carrier group scheduled to support operations in Afghanistan. The US Army says that 78% of its brigades will be unsat for combat due to anticipated training cutbacks. Both services are engaged in fighting an actual war.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  86. Did Hawkeye joke about killing his patients, MD?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  87. DRJ,
    Not trying to defend Obama (heavens, no!),
    or argue with you (heavens double no!!),
    Just saying, dark humor does happen and by itself may just show a person at their worst trying to make light of a situation (including protecting their daughters).
    Hawkeye probably did joke about “unorthodox” surgical technique with some patients, as well as joking that would make one think he was incompetent.
    I was trying to show I could be generous in giving the one the benefit of the doubt on one issue, even though I think there is a very long list of more serious problems he has, and that he is overall not to be trusted any further than I can throw a Wisconsin lineman (i.e., not far).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  88. MASH, the movie, was one long never-ending series of quips that fall into the “dark humor” category.
    We loved it!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  89. MD,

    I thought about this all afternoon. My first instinct was to let it go because I know that dark humor is a coping mechanism and a part of life. My guess is that, because you can see a parallel in your experience as a physician, you are willing to give Obama a break on this incident. But are you really telling me that doctors you trust and admire would joke in a public speech about euthanizing patients who tried to date their daughters? Remember, we’re not talking about an informal setting such as a private club or office, or a closed operating room. We’re talking about prepared public remarks.

    If so, then I assume you think it would be equally appropriate for a judge and a prosecutor to joke (in prepared public remarks, not in chambers or in a closed courtroom) about using the death penalty to deal with someone who wanted to date their daughters.

    I don’t think that is what you believe but if it is, please let me point out that these were planned remarks that were undoubtedly written in advance and vetted by several layers of people, not to mention approved by Obama himself. I think that’s very different from dark humor and, instead, indicates Obama’s detached approach to his Presidential authority and a cavalier attitude toward other people’s lives.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  90. Also, MD, bear in mind that Obama didn’t say this in a general sense. He specifically named the Jonas Brothers who were attending the same event. They were so concerned they felt the need to respond, including one of the brothers who said “We’re not pedophiles” because Obama’s daughters (at the time) were 8 and 11 years old.

    Is this still your idea of acceptable dark humor?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  91. Dark humor is racist.

    JD (456bb7)

  92. All this will not end well.

    Dirty Old Man (0e3dac)

  93. Obama’s foreign policies bother me for a lot of reasons. Usually I’m concerned by his reluctance to take positions and his willingness to let other countries dictate his response. But this bothers me because, like liberals going back to Woodrow Wilson, he’s trying to combine law and war.

    Obama and Holder have repeatedly tried to treat the War on Terror as a criminal proceeding instead of a war — trying to close Gitmo, seeking to try combatants in U.S. courts, and insisting on Mirandizing suspects. I don’t agree with that approach but if that’s their position, they should be consistent. Letting a President secretly decide which American citizens should die and then carry out their executions is not due process.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. like liberals going back to Woodrow Wilson, he’s trying to combine law and war

    Yep, good comment DRJ

    EPWJ (f44e22)

  95. DRJ @94/95, you’re making excellent points. My beef with this crew is they are entirely too cavalier about the use of drones. As indicated by Obama’s comment. As indicated by Gibb’s comment that Awlaki’s 16 year old son was fair game to be killed in an entirely separate attack because he should have had more responsible parents.

    Then there’s the fact they launched a drone just to get the kid.

    Earlier crazy commented that the drones aren’t doing anything SOF or F-16s aren’t doing. Yes they are. Recall when the SEALs raided UBL’s compound. They didn’t kill his entire family; just UBL. The drones are killing entire families. And guests when they take out a wedding party.

    I agree a president has the authority and duty to order belligerents to be killed during the course of armed conflict. Even US citizens. But the Law of War still applies and the comment about killing Awlaki’s kid for having a lousy dad seems to indicate they aren’t interested in doing so. Even if there’s more to the story that’s the attitude it conveys. Plus there’s the issu of just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.Is it counterproductive? The Benghazi attack is a perfect example as there’s plenty of widely known evidence the Libyan militias wanted revenge for drone attacks at Darna (which is further evidence Panetta and Dempsey were lying to the senate, not to mention Hillary).

    Steve57 (7cc1ba)

  96. No, the target was someone else, one of the Al Banna clan, they didn’t get him.

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman takes the Obama Administration to task in its assassination-by-drone policy:

    The white paper should have said that due process doesn’t apply on the battlefield. By instead making due process into a rubber stamp, the administration is ignoring precedent and subverting the idea of the rule of law. When is some law worse than none? When that law is so watered down that it loses the meaning it has had for 800 years.

    Of course, the Obama Administration can’t follow Feldman’s suggestion and say that due process doesn’t apply on the battlefield. The battlefield is everywhere, maybe even in America.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  98. Emperors, even pseudo ones such as Teh Won, have no need to follow any Rule of Law, their word is the Law.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  99. Too and Delahunty make the case that Obama’s policy effectively turns the battlefield into a criminal proceeding, and further degrades the military’s ability to fight the War on Terror.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  100. Yoo, not Too. Auto-correct doesn’t know John Yoo.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  101. It is imperative that to fully comply with the ROE’s in effect, that top-notch lawyers be secunded to front-line units to accompany all patrols; after all, we seem to have an excess of graduates coming out of Law Schools.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  102. What makes the current administration so idiotic — so ludicrously irresponsible — is that on one hand it displays a clumsy, cavalier attitude (and rationalization) about drone strikes killing third-party bystanders, and, on the other hand, rails against and harangues over an obscure video posted to Youtube for supposedly inflaming the passions of Islamo-fascists in the Middle East.

    This is the worst of both worlds. It’s Barry exhibiting the traits of “imperialist America” and “blame-America-first” America. Meanwhile, he can proudly wear his Nobel Peace prize medal, while Hillary can guffaw in the background, “we came, we saw, he died.”

    Mark (eb2f6a)

  103. He was playing the old standards, not coming up with new material;

    narciso (3fec35)

  104. Isn’t it funny how the pansy-ass liberals who were shreiking about “wire-tapping !” and “water torture !” won’t lift a thumb to protest against Obama’s drone strikes ?

    Elephant Stone (f49811)

  105. It’s not easy being Green!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  106. You can see why they are best buds,

    recall a lot of the companies in the data dumps, had serious connections to Iran, and other countries

    narciso (3fec35)

  107. Yesterday we speculated how long it would take to use drones in America, and today this report says spy drones will be used to track Dorner. I assume the drones will be used for surveillance only but if they find Dorner alone and the drone is armed, would they kill him?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  108. Sickening. More on drones and Benghazi and surprise! Brennan was deeply involved. Explosive new book co- written by Glen Doherty’s best friend about Petraeus’ ouster and Benghazi attack.

    Petraeus was humiliated after a ‘palace coup’ by high-level intelligence officers who did not like the way he was running the CIA, authors say.

    Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL, and Jack Murphy, a former Green Beret, reveal the new claims in their book ‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report

    The book also claims that Petraeus and Ambassador Chris Stevens were caught off guard by Benghazi consulate attack because they weren’t briefed about on-going U.S. military operations in Libya.

    The book claims that neither Stevens nor even Petraeus knew about the raids by American special operations troops, which had ‘kicked a hornet’s nest’ among the heavily-armed fighters after the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

    John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, had been authorizing ‘unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure,’ according to the e-book. Brennan is Obama’s pick to replace Petraeus as head of the CIA.

    Webb and Murphy say Benghazi attack was a retaliation for secret raids authorized by Obama security adviser John Brennan

    elissa (6d38b2)

  109. I want to see the internal logs noting calls and meetings between Brennan and Donilon.
    Those two have been up to no good.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  110. narciso @103, as I said even if there’s more to the story Gibbs’ comment indicates disdain for the Law of War, or more properly the Law Of Armed Conflict. To be lawful the use of force must meet the requirements of military necessity, distinction, and proportionality.

    When Gibbs brushes off killing this 16 y.o. by saying he should have had more responsible parents does that make it sound like the administration is doing all it can to distinguish between legitimate targets and non-combatants? Does it sound like that’s even a consideration. I’ll leave it at that and won’t go into how it calls into question whether they have any regard for military necessity and using only the amount of force proportional to acheiving the objective.

    These people’s pie holes are going to cause a lot of trouble but these administration yayhoos seem smugly assured it won’t be them personally so that’s ok. As long it’s just some underling like those CIA or DoS personnel that won’t make them lose any sleep. As Obama demonstrated 11 September 2012.

    Steve57 (aa0283)

  111. He’s very stupid, if the case comes up again in some venue, they will likely depose him, or at least use his statement, Now as with many of these fools, there is a tiny fragment of truth, he probably did admire his father’s efforts against the Great Enemy, why else would you go out into what known to be a dangerous area, but as with the tribal chief of Ma’rib found out, the free fire zone is kind of expansive,

    narciso (3fec35)

  112. Is Judge Baltasar Garzon still active in Spain?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  113. Yes, Gibbs is very stupid. But that’s why he fit in so well with the rest of Obama’s clown car administration. The whole Libyan adventure was stupid from the start and it keeps getting stupider. Either that or they so hate the US they’re deliberately trying to stir up anti-American hatred and radicalize the Muslim world. Mark is correct; their policies are the worst of all possible worlds. Imperial arrogance combined with a blame-America-first policy of knee-jerk apologetics that in the Islamic world is only taken as weakness. (And that projection of weakness started with Obama’s apology tour that took him to Cairo.)

    We’re on a path to simultaneously give them reasons to hate us but also reasons not to respect us. When Hillary! started issuing statements apologizing for that obscure video, including buying air time on Pakistani TV to do it she made a bad situation worse and put lives at stake just so Obama could downplay the 9/11/13 debacle before the election (add that to the list of why it still matters “at this point”).

    As elissa observes this was a revenge attack. I already mentioned the drone flights over Darna (not strikes as I mistakenly said). The Libyans posted a threat to the Americans “diturbing the skies over Darna” on one of their militia social media sites over these flights that started in July.

    Zawahiri put a 42 minute video telling the Libyans to take revenge on Americans for the drone strike that killed Abu Yahya al Libbi on TouTube 9 Sep. It was moved and shown on jihadi sites 10 Sep (and we’re supposed to believe those liars who said there wad no intel indicating an attack was imminent didn’t know about THAT video?). Now elissa gives us new info. Fact is while Obama is bragging about Libya as an example of his FP genius his ham handed strategy is on the verge of sending Libya the way of Mali. Toppling the Tripoli TNC government and putting the country in the hands of AQ and its allies.

    Steve57 (08bc52)

  114. Yes, this puts things things into more perspectives;

    narciso (3fec35)

  115. Interesting, that. I had read various reports that sources in eastern Libya reported that the Benghazi attack “almost certainly” involved coordination among AQ affiliates inside and outside Libya, but not that.

    Just a word about Darna. It’s about 140 miles east of Benghazi and thus that much closer to the Egyptian border. It has always been radically Islamist and over the years has sent more than its fair share of young men abroad to wage jihad against Americans in Iraq and A-stan. The head of Ansar al Sharia, bin Qumu, has a home there and other Salafist groups are headquartered there too. They’re about one drone strike away from taking over the town as the drones have been overhead daily since the 9/11/13 attack, irritating the residents to no end who widely agreed with the AQ affiliates about establishing a sharia state and driving the US out of Muslim lands to begin with.

    We’ll see if Barry and his foreign policy/nat’l security wrecking crew is stupid and/or malicious enough to play into the radical militias’ hands.

    AQ and its affiliates are further along in Darna to taking over, but they’re making progress toward that goal across the country.

    Steve57 (43b783)

  116. Cyrenaica where both Derna and Benghazi are,have always been like another country, they lean more Islamist, unlike the West, Muammar was not one, whatever his other faults,

    narciso (3fec35)

  117. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/8/2013 @ 3:21 pm

    Is this still your idea of acceptable dark humor?
    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/8/2013 @ 3:26 pm

    I don’t think I intended to mean that I approved of it, though I clearly see how that was understood.
    And the fact these were comments in public and written ahead certainly speaks against it.

    My main thought was that there are so many terrible things this person is responsible for, with Fast and Furious and Benghazi on the top, that bad jokes pale in comparison.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  118. Doc, c’mon! Dark humor about protecting his daughters? From the Jonas brothers? Like they’re going to overpower the secret service detail gaurding Sasha and Malia (although they could have hired a few Colombian hookers and worked out a trade).

    If Barry was really worried about it you know what would have worked better than a stupid joke about a drone strike? Not letting them go to the concert. But in all honesty those girls were as safe there as in their mother’s (fantastically toned!) arms given the personal protection detail and the Preezy knew it.

    It’s just an example of the kind of stupid thing The Won says when he’s trying too hard to be cool. Not to mention irresponsible. It’s why I call him President Prom Queen. He thinks his job is to be belle of the ball. That’s why he says stupid things like that.

    And goes to sleep and leaves the details about unimportant events like an attack on a US diplomatic mission to underlings. Tiger Beat had to get his beauty sleep so he could be the center of attention of an adoring crowd at a campaign event in Vegas. Where in another fit of stupidity he compared his campaign worketrs to the men who died in Benghaz. At least that wasn’t as consequential as the stupid joke about drones.

    In a world where stock markets can fall hundreds of points if Bernanke says awrong word after a meeting of the Fed a responsible serious chief executive would know bettet than to make light about an issue that already has people inflamed in large parts of the world. A serious and responsible chief executive we do not have in the Prom Queen.

    Steve57 (43b783)

  119. John Fund has some thoughts on the new book ‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report’ (referenced above, over at The Corner.

    A lot of fact-checking will have to be done to substantiate the claims by Webb and Murphy. But from my own reporting, I have learned that no one runs afoul of senior CIA officials — or John Brennan — lightly or without peril. CIA officials angry at the Bush administration’s treatment of the agency in 2006 helped elevate the Valerie Plame affair into a national scandal and crippled much of the White House’s ability to conduct foreign policy. In the end, there was precious little evidence of any real security breach or wrongdoing beyond a perjury conviction of Scooter Libby, a top aide to Vice President Cheney.
    If true, much would be explained about why the Benghazi consulate was targeted and why the administration has been so anxious to avoid congressional and media scrutiny of the first assassination of a U.S. ambassador in over 30 years.

    elissa (6d38b2)

  120. Actually the lies go quite a bit back, Goss tried to force out the backstabbers like Grenier, Drumheller, Pillar and co, but they retaliated.

    narciso (3fec35)

  121. elissa, those scumbags at the CIA didn’t like how an administration treated them so they decided to cripple its ability to conduct foreign policy by concocting a story that an overt employee at Langley was really a covert agent. A woman who hadn’t covertly collected intel anywhere except if you count gossip on the DC cocktail circuit as intel for well over the number of years the statute requires to declassify her identity. And these “patriots” are proud of it.

    This is one of a couple of reasons I’ve been saying for years we need to bulldoze the agency and start over. The bloated domestic bureaucracy exists only so a bunch of dead wood can impress people at parties with where they collect their paycheck. Note I didn’t say with where they work as they don’t do any work for that money as far as I can tell. And as Frum indicates if they have to choose they’ll put the interests of the agency first to the detriment of the country’s. They are worse than useless; they’re a national security threat.

    Steve57 (08bc52)

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