Team Clinton ‘worried’ about #Benghazi investigation, pushed for Dems on panel

Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

The Politico reports that in spite of the grandstanding of several House Democrats in response to the creation of the Benghazi special committee led by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Team Clinton played a large role in getting them to agree to participate:

Hillary Clinton’s world was so worried about a Republican investigation of the Benghazi attacks, they sent a message to House Democrats: We need backup.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly considered boycotting the panel, an idea that Clinton supporters feared would leave the potential 2016 candidate exposed to the enemy fire of House Republicans.

So Clinton emissaries launched a back channel campaign, contacting several House Democratic lawmakers and aides to say they’d prefer Democrats participate, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Pelosi’s staff said they have not heard from Clinton’s camp.

On Wednesday, Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, giving Democrats another crucial mission in the months ahead of what was already a tough election year: act as Clinton’s first line of defense.

[…]

Clinton and her allies know from experience the kind of damage an emboldened Republican House committee can inflict.

If Clinton testifies, it will almost certainly be one of the blockbuster moments for the committee and an important prelude as she considers a second run for the White House.

Some Democrats are already worried that they have been too slow to prepare for the expected partisan battles on Benghazi. Republicans have been teeing up for months.

The Democrats on the committee may be able to blunt some of the damage, but I think it’s Clinton herself who will be her own worst enemy if called to testify.   When on the defensive, she comes off as such – taking the typical Clintonian attitude that she shouldn’t dare be called to account, that everything she does is “for the greater good” and shouldn’t be questioned … and that attitude shows in her responses, as it did the last time around.  

As always, stay tuned.

(Via Memeorandum)

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker: Our network has no shame whatsoever

CNN Jeff Zucker

Image via Salon.com

There’s really no other way to interpret Zucker’s remarks, as quoted from a Monday interview he did with thew New York Times – which was recorded by Capital New York (via):

Last night, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker gave a hint of where the network will go next now thats its two-plus-month coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is subsiding.

“I don’t think there’s any question about our commitment to breaking news, as evidenced by all the questions about the plane,” he told New York Times television reporter Bill Carter during an interview at the Deadline Club’s annual awards dinner. “So we’re still there whenever that happens, but we’re going to supplement that with some different kind of storytelling.”

[…]

CNN’s round-the-clock coverage of the search for the missing Malaysian flight was mocked widely for its obsessiveness, and was the “so-called 777 in the room” at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in midtown, where the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was celebrating its annual awards.

Asked whether he considered his channel’s ratings-elevating coverage of the event was ever excessive, Zucker said, “If I take a step back from our coverage of the Malaysian plane’s disappearance, I’m incredibly comfortable with it. I believed early on, right from the start, that it was an enormously important story: an American-made Boeing jet liner, with Rolls Royce engines with 239 people, disappears into thin air…That’s why we devoted the resources that we did to it.”

CNN continues to mention the story every day, Zucker said, noting that the families of the 239 people aboard the plane still ask for updates. Yesterday, CNN reported that raw satellite data about the plane’s course could soon be made public.

Zucker was also asked if his network would devote any significant amount of time covering the upcoming Benghazi special committee hearings where House Republicans will try to get to the bottom of who knew what and when:

“We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” he said. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

Translation: If they can figure out a way to sensationalize the hell out of the murders of four innocent Americans on foreign soil for ratings, as they did the MH 370 disaster, they’ll be all over it.  Keeping a watchful eye on government hearings purely for the sake of a little thing like oversight and accountability is not enough. As far as politically “shaming” his network into covering an issue, it all depends on who is having the “temper tantrums” and doing the “shaming”, however (natch):

Carter asked if the network, which has been criticized for its oversight of climate change, might devote more live airtime to the subject.

“Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about,” Zucker said, “but we haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience’s part.”

Don’t ever change, CNN.  Please don’t ever change.

Eleanor Clift doubles down on #Benghazi “smoke inhalation death” stupidity

Eleanor Clift

The fail is strong with this one.

Still acting in the role of human shield for possible 2016 contender Hillary Clinton, liberal commentator Eleanor Clift is standing by her remarks that Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t ‘technically’ murdered in Benghazi:

A longtime political pundit under fire for claiming the American ambassador to Libya was not “murdered” in Benghazi is standing by her claim he died of smoke inhalation.

“I’d like to point out that Ambassador (Chris) Stevens was not ‘murdered;’ he died of smoke inhalation in that safe room in that CIA installation,” Eleanor Clift, a columnist at The Daily Beast, said Sunday on “The McLaughlin Group.”

While Clift may be technically correct in light of reports that Stevens died from smoke inhalation, she was criticized because the ambassador died as a result of a fire ignited during a terrorist raid on the Benghazi consulate on Sep. 11, 2012.

She stood by her comment Tuesday during a radio interview.

“I was taking issue with the sort of glib use of the word ‘murdered,'” Clift told radio host Steve Malzberg. “My point is that it was a very chaotic event. The CIA was involved, which is why there was a lot of confusion initially, and that all the questions that this special committee is raising have been asked and answered in previous investigations.”

Malzberg asked if she would feel the same way if it was her relative. She replied, “I would say he died of smoke inhalation.”

Right. In the same way a man whose house was deliberately set on fire wasn’t “murdered” but instead “died of smoke inhalation” – or “died of 1st degree burns on their entire body.” The same way a woman whose car was intentionally wrecked while she was still in it “died from blunt force windshield trauma” or “drowned in the river.” Would someone please buy this woman a 55 gallon drum of clues when it comes to murder classifications, please? She sure as hell needs it.  Dum dum. o=> :-w

The Democrats’ rationale for boycotting the #Benghazi committee just died

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Oh, they might still try it, though I think they’d be dumb to do so (1), especially when Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA say they welcome it:

But Panetta and Morell, noting the attack has been subject to many investigations already, said they welcome the latest one in the House.

“If you look at the polling numbers a not insignificant percentage of the American people still have questions,” Morell said.

Morell, who said he already has testified four times about Benghazi, said he is 100 percent confident the upcoming investigation will show that allegations “the intelligence community politicized its analysis” are false.

Panetta, a former Central Coast congressman and Democratic Party stalwart, said there needs to be an investigation to lay out the full story to the public. “The problem has been sometimes bits and pieces of information keep coming out” that raise more questions, he said.

“Obviously there is a concern whether it’s going to be a political effort to target an issue for a campaign,” Panetta said. “I hope Democrats participate, and it really is a legitimate effort.”

Spoken like two men who have nothing to hide, or at least think they can come through the hearings relatively unscathed. It also makes it very difficult for the White House and State to continue to denounce the committee as a farce or a political stunt (2) when two key former officials say “fine by me.” Given the questions about Obama and Clinton’s actions (or non-actions) with regard to Benghazi, continued resistance may well convince more and more people that there really is something to hide.

One other thing to bear in mind: there’s been friction between the White House (and to a lesser extent State) and the intelligence and military communities for years. One has to wonder if the latter aren’t relishing the opportunity for a little payback.

via Power Line

Footnote:
(1) Come on, if you were Hillary Clinton or Susan Rice or Tommy “Dude” Vietor, among others, would you want to go before this committee with no allies there to at least try to cover for you? And, if you’re the Democrats, do you really want to leave the field to the Republicans, who smell blood?
(2) Of course it’s political — this is what Opposition parties do. But the key is that it is not solely political, and there are indeed very serious questions to answer.

PS: It would help if I placed the update on the right post.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

In “protect Hillary” mode, Eleanor Clift says Amb. Stevens died of “smoke inhalation”

Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

There are any number of excuses liberal Democrats are using to circle around potential Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in order to try and protect her on the Benghazi issue, but this one – via the Washington Times – takes the cake:

Eleanor Clift, noted liberal columnist and pundit from the Daily Beast, insisted during a broadcast discussion of Benghazi on “The McLaughlin Group” that U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens wasn’t really murdered.

[…]

Her exact words: “I’d like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not ‘murdered,’ ” she said, bending her fingers in the air to suggest the drawing of quote marks, “but died of smoke inhalation in a CIA safe room.”

[…]

Ms. Clift’s reply: The terrorist attack was fueled by the anti-Muslim video. And “it was still a CIA [outpost]. If you’re going to put somebody on trial, put David Petraeus on trial, not Hillary Clinton.”

The Times was quoting Mediate.com, which has video of the exchange you can watch. Pretty shameful that Clift is so much in the tank for Hillary Clinton that she deliberately tries to obfuscate the issue in order to help her chances at running for President.

Next thing you know, someone will be yelling out, “What difference at this point does it make?!?” Oh wait, that’s already happened

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz sinks to new lows w/ #Benghazi tweet

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

‘I don’t know why I’m such a raging demagogue. I just am …’

Well, the Democrats are laying down the gauntlet on the issue of the Trey Gowdy-led Benghazi select committee and rather than agree to participate in the investigation, they’ve chosen to suggest Republicans are doing it for political gain. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz led the way last night with this disgusting tweet:


Apparently the fact that there are four dead Americans whose families still haven’t gotten the answers they deserve has escaped these lying shills. The fact that an innocent video maker will live in fear for the rest of his life because incompetents in the Obama administration chose to blame him and incite death threats against him rather than to own up to their own horrific failures – failures that not only cost the lives of Ambassador Stevens and three others but could end up costing the video maker, too.

In the eyes of Congressional Democrats – and their rank and file as well – the means justify the ends here. And it’s sickening. The fact that the violent, bloody murderers of four innocent Americans – whose bodies were desecrated afterwards – haven’t been brought to justice doesn’t matter. And they could care less about the fact that they deliberately falsely blamed an innocent American citizen for inciting the Benghazi riots and murders. Whatever it takes to get President Obama and their de facto 2016 pick Hillary Clinton off the hook, right? They find taking the time to condemn talk show host Rush Limbaugh on the floors of the House and Senate a worthy endeavor but see investigating the murders of four Americans on foreign soil as something done for nothing more than “political gain.”

If that doesn’t sober people up as to the depths of absolute depravity within the Democrat party, starting all the way at the top with our celebrity President, I don’t know what will.

———–

Related: Twitchy Team documents the Twitter responses to Wasserman Schultz’s partisan hackery.

#TBT: Congressman @TGowdySC owns media on questions surrounding #Benghazi (VIDEO)

Congressman Trey Gowdy

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC-4
Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I present to you this awesome video of Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC-4) – recently named Chair of a new select committee on Benghazi – taking the media to task (presumably) last October for their failure to ask important questions of the President and his administration on the Benghazi issue. My friend @KatMcKinley, from who I saw this video on Facebook, sets it up:

This is epic. Watch at the end when Trey Gowdy asks the media questions. Such a grand takedown that I hope all media there slithered away in shame. If you watch nothing else today, watch this. He basically drops the mic at the end. My respect for him just tripled.

I think yours will, too, after you watch it:

Doubly cool is the fact that Gowdy is ignoring recent reported threats against him and is pressing on for answers:

While appearing on Fox News Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., laughed off a death threat he received after being tapped to head a select committee on the Benghazi terror attack, Newsmax reported. He also told Megyn Kelly he intends to subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As we reported Tuesday, Politico said journalists had received emails saying harm would come to Gowdy over the Benghazi investigation. Capitol Police did not provide any details, but said “an active, open investigation” is underway.

“I was a prosecutor for 16 years. This is not my first death threat,” he said. “I’m always happy when it doesn’t come from my wife, and this one did not. So, I’m going to be fine, and it’s not going to keep me from doing my job.”

I really like this guy.

Leaked Chinese documents show planning for a North Korean collapse

**Posted by Phineas

"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“I’ve got some bad news, boss…”

To paraphrase Whoopie Goldberg, I’m pretty sure these weren’t “leaked-leaked,” so much as deliberately slipped to the Japanese, knowing they’d go public. It’s a not-so-subtle to warning to Dear Leader III: “If things fall apart, don’t count on us to bail you out:”

China has drawn up detailed contingency plans for the collapse of the North Korean government, suggesting that Beijing has little faith in the longevity of Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Documents drawn up by planners from China’s People’s Liberation Army that were leaked to Japanese media include proposals for detaining key North Korean leaders and the creation of refugee camps on the Chinese side of the frontier in the event of an outbreak of civil unrest in the secretive state.

The report calls for stepping up monitoring of China’s 879-mile border with North Korea.

Any senior North Korean military or political leaders who could be the target of either rival factions or another “military power,” thought to be a reference to the United States, should be given protection, the documents state.

According to Kyodo News, the Chinese report says key North Korean leaders should be detained in special camps where they can be monitored, but also prevented from directing further military operations or taking part in actions that could be damaging to China’s national interest.

The report suggests “foreign forces” could be involved in an incident that leads to the collapse of internal controls in North Korea, resulting to millions of refugees attempting to flee. The only route to safety the vast majority would have would be over the border into China.

“Foreign forces,” of course, being the United States and South Korea. Kim Jong Un’s behavior since taking power, from hysterical rhetoric to live-fire artillery drills in sensitive areas to his penchant for executing rivals in various psychopathic creative ways, and especially his continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, has to worry governments with security interests in Northeast Asia. And the last thing anyone wants is a Korean conflict that might again force Beijing to come to Pyongyang’s aid and place Chinese forces in combat against Americans. North Korea’s behavior has become unpredictable since L’il Kim took power, and a lack of predictability in Great Power relations makes everyone nervous. Hence a the message to Kim that’s about as subtle as a gun to the face: instead of helping you, we may put you in a camp, instead.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this Chinese report comes out at just about the same time we learn of credible reports that North Korea has developed nuclear warheads that can fit on an ICBM. Missiles that can reach the United States:

According to the 16-page report, “The North Korean Nuclear Threat to the United States,” the Defense Intelligence Agency stated in an unclassified assessment made public a year ago that “DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North [Korean government] currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.”

“This is disturbing news,” the report says. “The North Korean regime is one of the most fanatic, paranoid, and militaristic dictatorships on the planet. … While North Korea has long made occasional nuclear attack threats, the scope, magnitude, and frequency of these threats have vastly increased in 2013.”

North Korea has in the recent months issued provocative threats to carry out nuclear strikes on U.S. cities and against American allies.

By the way, the Obama administration is trying to deny the conclusions in this report, because it doesn’t fit with their diplomacy. Feel reassured.

Anyway, back to Chinese planning for a North Korean collapse, one has to wonder if the Chinese haven’t seen the same information as DIA (they have much better contacts than we with the regime, though they’ve worsened in recent years) and decided to let Pyongyang know that no help would be coming their way if they decided to play a game of nuclear chicken with us. Quite the contrary, in fact. In that case, it might even be in China’s interests to euthanize its ally before it could push us over the edge. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out they have a North Korean general on tap for a convenient coup, or that they were prepared to invade, themselves. For fraternal, humanitarian reasons, of course.

And let’s keep in mind that a military crisis might not be the catalyst for a North Korean state failure: East Germany fell apart after the Soviets left from sheer exhaustion, and the Soviet Union just sort of twitched and dissolved without us having to fire a shot. North Korea is subject to periodic severe famines, and the economy can’t produce what the people need. They’re only held in line through terror and constant propaganda — what if that suddenly stops working? Or what if some general decides he doesn’t want to be the next to go up against the wall? Rather than a military confrontation, Beijing might find itself dealing with hundreds of thousands of starving Koreans looking for food. Better to use the People’s Liberation Army to “restore order” south of the Yalu and keep those people from overwhelming the neighboring regions of Manchuria.

It’s a lot of speculation, I realize, which is all we have when dealing with a black box like North Korea. But, that the Chinese are taking the possibility of sudden regime collapse so seriously (and this isn’t the first time they’ve warned Pyongyang) means we should, too.

via Walter Russell Mead

RELATED: Earlier posts on North Korea.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Rep. Trey “Get’ ‘em” Gowdy to head up #Benghazi select committee

Congressman Trey Gowdy

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC-4
Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

This is super awesome to hear:

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor known for his aggressive style of questioning at congressional hearings, has been tapped to lead a select committee tasked with investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

House Speaker John Boehner made the announcement Monday afternoon.

“With four of our countrymen killed at the hands of terrorists, the American people want answers, accountability, and justice,” he said. “Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come.”

Boehner said Gowdy’s courtroom background makes him the “ideal person” to lead the newly announced investigation.

Gowdy said in a statement he was “honored” to serve as chairman. “While people are free to draw different conclusions from the facts, there should be no debate over whether the American public is entitled to have all of the facts,” he said.

Gowdy’s name had been high on the short list ever since the speaker announced Friday he would call a House vote on forming a select committee. Boehner had long resisted calls for such a probe, but reversed course after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in shaping the administration’s public narrative after the attack.

[…]

But Gowdy seemed to attract the most attention. Gowdy is a second-term lawmaker, a former district attorney and federal prosecutor, and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

I.can’t.wait.  This guy is as tough as they make them and he is not cowed by cries of “racism!” or “distraction!”   He tells it straight like it is.  I can think of few politicos in Congress who possess more of a dogged determination than him.  If that’s not enough for you, Congressman Issa – who has also been a warrior on the issue of Benghazi – praised his appointment to the select committee:

Issa, though, praised the selection on Monday, saying Boehner “could not have chosen a Member more committed to getting the full truth about the before, during, and after of the Benghazi terrorist attacks than Congressman Trey Gowdy.”

Finally, at long last, the American people – and more importantly, the families of the victims – may soon have answers.

#Benghazi: State Dept. knew within hours that it was a terrorist attack

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And not a demonstration. I don’t know how I missed this over the weekend (1), but the administration’s favorite investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, posted this little bombshell to her site back on the 1st (via Hot Air):

Internal Emails: State Dept. Immediately Attributed Benghazi Attacks to Terrorist Group

A newly-released government email indicates that within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya; the State Department had already concluded with certainty that the Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia was to blame.

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks. They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.

The email is entitled “Libya update from Beth Jones. ” Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.

“When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,” Jones reports in the email.

There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.

“If the video was a cause, why did Beth Jones of the State Department tell the Libyan Ambassador that Ansar Al Sharia was responsible for the attack?” said Chaffetz.

Gosh, that’s a darned good question Rep. Chaffetz asks. Do you think the forthcoming House special investigative committee on the Benghazi massacre might want to ask that of Ms. Jones, too?

There’s much more in the article about the origin of the controversial “talking points” and the subsequent effort to push the false narrative about a video being the goad for the attack, but I want to draw your attention to the routing of Jones’ email. These are the people copied in:

Among those copied on the emails: Deputy Secretary William Burns; Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman; Jake Sullivan, then-Deputy Chief of Staff (now promoted to national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden); Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy; Cheryl Mills, then-Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff (now on the board of directors of the global investment firm BlackRock); and Victoria Nuland, then-State Dept. spokesperson (now promoted to Asst. Secretary of State). 

Note particularly the name of Cheryl Mills. We’ve met her before, a couple of times. A longtime Clintonista, she has the reputation of being “Hillary’s fixer.” She was also, as Attkisson reminds us, the Secretary’s chief of staff. If Mills had this information, not to mention the other bigwigs on that list, then it is inconceivable that Hillary herself did not know that it was her department’s firm opinion that the attack was caused by Ansar al Sharia. Add this to the fact that she spoke with the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya that night  and then think about her promising the bereaved relatives of the victims, just a few days later and as their bodies were being delivered home, that the US would get the video maker. (2)

This wasn’t a case of honestly believing something that turned out to be false. Hillary Clinton was lying to heartbroken people and knew she was lying.

I can’t wait for these hearings to get started. Hillary is going to find out that, at this point, the truth still makes a difference.

RELATED: More Attkisson – Did Tommy “Dude” Vietor contradict the sworn testimony of White House officials? Must-read: Andy McCarthy on the AWOL President. More McCarthy: “Why I should not be the select committee’s special counsel.” Jonah Goldberg: “Benghazi made simple.”

UPDATE: Changed the headline to be a bit more accurate.

Footnote:
(1) Sharyl really needs to get an RSS feed going for her site.
(2) In fact, the very evening of the attack, she put out a press release blaming the video, after she had talked with President Obama, a conversation the contents of which we still do not know.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)