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

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**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)

#Benghazi: Boehner to appoint special investigating committee? UPDATE: Here we go

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**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

At last. Just posted on Fox News:

House Speaker John Boehner is “seriously considering” appointing a special committee to probe the Benghazi attacks and an announcement from GOP leaders could come as early as Friday, sources tell Fox News.

One senior GOP source told Fox News that Boehner, who has faced pressured from rank-and-file members for months to form such a panel, is expected to go forward with the committee.

It’s unclear whether the decision is yet final. Some sources told Fox News this is a “done deal,” while others said it is “close.”

The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.

For more about the emails in question and their significance, see….

This is one of those “about danged time” moments. What was probably the back-breaker for Boehner was the revelation that the White House had withheld this email when first demanded by the House, then released it only as part of a judicial decision in a FOIA lawsuit regarding Benghazi, and then claiming it really had nothing to do with Benghazi, even though it clearly did. (And why release it as part of the documents demanded in a Benghazi lawsuit, if it had “nothing to do with Benghazi, per se” and was previously classified? And why was it classified?) This just screams “something to hide.” which is like blood in the water to Opposition politicians.

Keep in mind there are really three parts, interrelated but distinct, to the “Benghazi question:”

  1. Prior to the attack: What was the role of then-Secretary Clinton, her top aides, and the State Department in determining the level of security in Benghazi, and why wasn’t the level or protection raised, or the compound evacuated, in the face of clear warning signs? Why were no emergency-reaction assets pre-positioned nearby to come to the aid of a station in a clearly dangerous area? Defense and the White House, too, have questions to answer here.
  2. During the attack: Where exactly were President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and when? Who was calling the shots? What actions, if any, did they take that night? Who made the decision not to even attempt a rescue with assets available in Sicily and Italy? (This last question was examined by the House Armed Services committee, which found no wrongdoing, but the testimony yesterday of General Robert Lovell (ret.), Deputy Director for Intelligence for Africom, the combat command responsible for Benghazi, makes it worth reopening.)
  3. After the attack: Who came up with the largely fraudulent story about a video? Why was it pushed on the American people for weeks after the massacre, including Secretary Clinton lying to the faces of the victims’ families? Why were the reports from State Department and CIA personnel on the ground in Libya that there was no anti-video demonstration ignored? My strong suspicion is that this was done to protect Obama’s reelection and Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but we need to know a lot more.

Clearly this committee would have a lot of work to do, much of it taking a lot of time. (Remember how long the Watergate hearings took?) Even if nothing criminal occurred, the American public has a right to a full public audit of the decisions and actions of its hired help before, during, and after the crisis.

Having raised the possibility, I can’t see Boehner not going through with this, which means we can expect some televised fireworks as witnesses are called under oath and House Democrats try desperately to protect the White House.

Stock up on the popcorn. smiley popcorn

RELATED: Earlier posts on the Benghazi massacre.

UPDATE: It’s on. Boehner will form the committee and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (1) is expected to lead it. Meanwhile, Issa’s House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary Kerry regarding the State Department withholding documents.

Footnote:
(1) Good choice.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Obama knew that night that it was a terrorist strike

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**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And not some lousy video made by a two-bit crook.

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

And on the question of whether the attack was t he result of a demonstration caused by a video, General Ham had this to say:

“In your discussions with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta,” [Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA)] asked, “was there any mention of a demonstration or was all discussion about an attack?” Ham initially testified that there was some “peripheral” discussion of this subject, but added “at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack, and we knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. [Sean] Smith, unaccounted for.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, a first-term lawmaker with experience as an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, pressed Ham further on the point, prodding the 29-year Army veteran to admit that “the nature of the conversation” he had with Panetta and Dempsey was that “this was a terrorist attack.”

So. There you go. We on the Right always knew Obama was lying about Benghazi, but apologists on the Left and in the media (but I repeat myself) kept dismissing the allegations as a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, partisan politics, and even, naturally, “racism.”

But now we have the testimony of the general in charge of the combat command responsible for Benghazi that he, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarded this as a terrorist attack — within minutes of the attack beginning! Panetta and Dempsey then went to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at which, we’re supposed to believe, they didn’t give their boss their considered opinion? They just let him believe the massacre happened because of some video few ever saw? That they let him and his advisers go on for weeks like this, when they knew the truth?

Garbage. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know that night that our consulate had come under terrorist attack. He then lied about it repeatedly to protect his reelection campaign, pushing the lie about a video both to the nation and before the United Nations. He sent his then UN Ambassador to lie about it on no less than five Sunday talk shows. His Secretary of State, whose incompetence left those men to die in Benghazi, lied before Congress, lied to the American people, and lied to the faces of the families of the victims in order to protect her own chances at the presidency. And the video-maker they turned into a scapegoat for their own failings was rousted out of his home on a petty parole violation and tossed into jail, his constitutional rights gut-shot, a move worthy of the best Third World police states. And the whole object of the lying was to fool us, the American people.

No one else.

By all rights, news like this should destroy Obama’s presidency, leading to his resignation in disgrace. It won’t, though. Barring a truly shocking revelation, its time as a scandal has passed. The press will stay focused like a laser on traffic jams in New Jersey. But, when we weigh both this and the serial lies told to sell Obamacare, there is one lesson anyone with a still-functioning brain should draw:

Anyone who takes at face value anything said by Barack Obama or his staff is a fool.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Before we attack #Syria, let’s look at Libya, shall we?

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**Posted by Phineas

If Obama wants to launch us into another humanitarian intervention against an Arab dictator (1), perhaps we all should look at how his last Big Adventure turned out? That would be in Libya, where, according to The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn, things have gone from bad to God-awful:

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

Sweet. Our intervention there was so successful that the Prime Minister is threatening to bomb his own ports. Oil production, Libya’s only source of revenue, has cratered to a tenth of what it had been prior to the intervention, denying the government the revenue it needs to maintain forces to control the country. Far from governing Libya, this gelded government can barely control its own capital, Tripoli:

Rule by local militias is also spreading anarchy around the capital. Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation into the violent crushing of a prison mutiny in Tripoli on 26 August in which 500 prisoners had been on hunger strike. The hunger strikers were demanding that they be taken before a prosecutor or formally charged since many had been held without charge for two years.

The government called on the Supreme Security Committee, made up of former anti-Gaddafi militiamen nominally under the control of the interior ministry, to restore order. At least 19 prisoners received gunshot shrapnel wounds, with one inmate saying “they were shooting directly at us through the metal bars”. There have been several mass prison escapes this year in Libya including 1,200 escaping from a prison after a riot in Benghazi in July.

In short, after overthrowing Qaddafi, a tyrannical cross-dressing nut-job who, nonetheless, kept order and worked with us, we and our allies left Libya to its own devices, apparently doing squat-all to strengthen the central government. Instead, we patted ourselves on the back, picked up our toys, and left the place to torn apart by various tribal and jihadist militias.

Read the whole thing; it’s a searing indictment of the incompetence of the British, French, and especially the American governments. The lack of any planning or even simple foresight about what to do after “we won” is stunning. If the Bush Administration could be justly criticized (2) for not properly planning for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, then the Obama administration’s failure to do even rudimentary post-war preparation is a blazing sign of incompetence. At least the Bush people had a plan, bad as it was. The yo-yos of Team Smart Power couldn’t even be bothered to scratch one out on a cocktail napkin.

And now they want to intervene in Syria.

But, don’t worry. I’m sure the Obama people have learned their lesson, gamed out the various possibilities in Syria after we intervene in order not to be mocked, and made plans for each contingency.

And I’m also Napoleon.

While Congress considers granting permission for this humanitarian intervention, they’d be advised to take a close look at the results of the last one.

RELATED: Andrew McCarthy on the people John McCain thinks we should help in Syria. Oh, yeah. It’s Libya all over again. Stanley Kurtz on Samantha Powers, one of Obama’s foreign policy guru’s, our current UN Ambassador, and one of the main architects of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine of humanitarian military intervention. For an encore, Kurtz asks a rhetorical question: Shall we now retake Libya in the name of humanitarianism? Here’s an excerpt from his answer:

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda factions driven out of Mali by the French make their home in Libya’s southern desert, armed with weapons plundered from Qaddafi’s arsenals. Other arms, and no doubt Islamist fighters as well, flow to the rebel forces in Syria, strengthening precisely those elements that most threaten our counterweight to Assad. A year ago, Senators McCain and Graham repeatedly cited our apparent success in Libya as a model for intervention in Syria. They haven’t mentioned it lately.

Footnotes:
(1) I can see a case for intervening, but I think the bulk of the good argument is against it. But that’s not out of any sympathy or liking for Assad, whom I think should be strung up from a lamp post. If he’s lucky.
(2) As I’ve said, I did and do support the liberation of Iraq under Bush. But, there’s no arguing that the post-war occupation and reconstruction was poorly planned, and for that they deserve criticism.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Does al Qaeda now have surface to air missiles?

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**Posted by Phineas

Oh, this is not good. Not good at all:

The photocopies of the manual lay in heaps on the floor, in stacks that scaled one wall, like Xeroxed, stapled handouts for a class.

Except that the students in this case were al Qaeda fighters in Mali. And the manual was a detailed guide, with diagrams and photographs, on how to use a weapon that particularly concerns the United States: A surface-to-air missile capable of taking down a commercial airplane.

The 26-page document in Arabic, recovered by The Associated Press in a building that had been occupied by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Timbuktu, strongly suggests the group now possesses the SA-7 surface-to-air missile, known to the Pentagon as the Grail, according to terrorism specialists. And it confirms that the al Qaeda cell is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of ex-Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

“The existence of what apparently constitutes a `Dummies Guide to MANPADS’ is strong circumstantial evidence of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb having the missiles,” said Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to the United States’ military command in Africa and an instructor to U.S. Special Forces. “Why else bother to write the guide if you don’t have the weapons? … If AQIM not only has the MANPADS, but also fighters who know how to use them effectively,” he added, “then the impact is significant, not only on the current conflict, but on security throughout North and West Africa, and possibly beyond.”

This is the fruit of the Obama-Clinton “smart power” regime, and the fatuous “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine of our future UN Ambassador, Samantha Power. Not only has their “humanitarian war” in Libya caused chaos in North Africa –what happened in Mali was a direct result of destroying the vile but tamed and no danger to us regime of Gadhafi– but these loose MANPADS are now a threat to air traffic throughout the region and beyond.

Yes, “beyond.” There’s a reason the “p” in MANPAD stands for “portable.” These things are easily smuggled. Imagine if one or more shows up in Europe, Asia, or just outside LaGuardia. Think of what just one successful shoot-down will do to air traffic worldwide, not to mention the immediate casualties. The potential is absolutely nightmarish.

Quite a legacy for Obama, and a heckuva record for Clinton to run on in 2016.

via Michael J. Totten

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

With friends like these: Was Egypt involved in the #Benghazi massacre?

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

US Consulate, Benghazi

The idea seems insane — Egypt participating in the assault on our consulate, when they desperately need outside help to keep their economy (barely) functioning? Sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theories, and Egyptian society thrives on such, but journalist Cynthia Farahat presents enough interesting facts to make one go “hmmmm:”

The terrorist attack in Benghazi is far more disturbing than previously thought. Although it has not been reported in the U.S. media, the possibility exists that the Egyptian government may have played an operational role in the attack. YouTube videos of the terrorist strike raise a serious problem that only an Arabic speaker would detect: some of the terrorists are speaking in the Egyptian dialect of the Arabic language.

Indeed, one of the videos shot with a cell phone of one of the attackers emerged around the time four Americans were killed. It shows a mob approaching the American compound under siege, clearly telling the terrorists in the dialect of Upper Egypt: “Mahadesh, mahadesh yermi, Dr. Morsi ba’atna” —which translates to: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, Dr. Morsi sent us.”

The words “Mahadesh yermi” for “don’t shoot” are characteristically spoken in Egyptian Arabic, while Libyans from Benghazi would say, “Matermey” for “don’t shoot.”

“Dr. Morsi” refers, of course, to president Mohamed Morsi of Egypt. The name Morsi is Egyptian and does not exist in any other Arabic speaking country.

Farahat also draws an interesting connection to an event I had forgotten about: at a campaign rally a couple of days after the Benghazi massacre, Obama said Egypt is not an ally, an amazing statement of the deterioration in our relations, given the close cooperation between Egypt and the US over the prior 30 years.

Could it be that US intelligence had picked up on the same linguistic clues Farahat noticed and came to the same conclusion, and that Obama was sending a veiled message that “we know what you did?”

Later on, Farahat discusses a possible explanation for Egypt’s involvement (if they were) that makes the idea at least plausible for me: that Morsi needed to placate more radical Muslim Brotherhood factions and so sent some guys to Libya to establish his jihadi “street cred:”

According to the MB and Sunni doctrine, it’s only permissible for Islamist leaders to maintain a ten-year duration of hodna (Islamic truce) with an infidel nation. This raises the question of whether breaking the truce was the root of the Sep. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi. That attack against America was, according to Islamist doctrine, the only way the MB would be allowed to renew a truce. The MB also might have possibly needed to legitimize their Islamic rule among their jihadist followers through exercising jihad.

So, you see, if true, Morsi had to participate in the massacre of our people in order to keep the hotheads on his side happy.

Nothing personal, you know?

Except it was very “personal” for Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyone Woods.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

New administration defense on #Benghazi: “We’re not evil, just idiots.”

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

“Oops! Our bad.”

You know it’s bad when pleading stupidity is the best you can come up with.

Via Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:

Obama administration officials who were in key positions on Sept. 11, 2012 acknowledge that a range of mistakes were made the night of the attacks on the U.S. missions in Benghazi, and in messaging to Congress and the public in the aftermath.

The officials spoke to CBS News in a series of interviews and communications under the condition of anonymity so that they could be more frank in their assessments. They do not all agree on the list of mistakes and it’s important to note that they universally claim that any errors or missteps did not cost lives and reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” Nonetheless, in the eight months since the attacks, this is the most sweeping and detailed discussion by key players of what might have been done differently.

“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”

My first observation is that “lying” and “idiots” are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact I suspect the former came about trying to cover for the latter.

The article addresses several questions, among them: Why wasn’t the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) activated? Why was the Counterterrorism Security Group, described as…

an interagency task force (…) to be convened when emergency terrorist events are suspected. According to a public military document, it’s part of a plan to “synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism.” 

…not convened? Where was the “in extremis” (emergency rescue) force?

The answers are, well, “special.” Things along the lines of (paraphrasing) “we didn’t think that was their mission” (FEST); they had been made “lower level” (CSG) and senior people were dealing with it; and “they were off on a training mission (because we didn’t notice the significance of the 9/11 anniversary) and they couldn’t be recalled in time.” Like I said, pleading incompetence.

Read the whole thing, it’s worth your time. You’ll notice that not really touched on is the issue of security for Benghazi prior to the attack on the consulate. I suppose they got tired of saying “We’re idiots” over and over.

Like I said above, one can be both a liar and incompetent at the same time, when the lying is used to cover the incompetence, particularly Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s; she had screwed up our Libya policy big-time, and the commander in chief needed his beauty sleep to be ready for his big fundraiser in Vegas the next day. These underlings weren’t just furiously trading emails and holding meetings to fight a blame war between State and the CIA, they were figuring out how best to cover their bosses’ arses and not damage his reelection campaign and her 2016 run.

And, in the process, lying to the American people, Congress, and the families of the victims.

There is “malicious”, and there is “idiot.”

And then there are “malicious idiots.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Shocker: Lying weasel Jay Carney caught lying like a weasel about #Benghazi

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

US Consulate, Benghazi

And I think the shocking thing is that it’s the MSM exposing him (emphases added):

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict* what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

*(MSM-speak for “Jay Carney is a lying weasel.”)

We already know from The Weekly Standard that State and a failed fiction writer now working as an Obama national-security aide were heavily involved in “editing” the initial CIA talking points. This ABC report shows how many iterations they went through before the bowdlerized version was handed to Ambassador Rice for her role as designated mouthpiece the following Sunday. Then, when the talking points were shown to be a fiction, Carney went before the public to lie about their origins. The only question is was he knowingly lying, or was he played for a sap?

But, annoying as it is to have yet another example of the administration’s dishonesty over Benghazi (1) come out, the real story in my opinion here isn’t that a press secretary lied to cover his boss and his top aides. No, the real story here is that the MSM is finally getting interested in Benghazi, finally “uncovering” all these shocking revelations only after Obama has been safely reelected.

They’ve done their job, you see. They pushed Obama over the finish line twice, so now they can go back to pretending they’re objective journalists. There’s no need to “play Pravda” anymore, at least in this case. Now they can break news of things they could easily have discovered back in September, October, and November, except that it might have hurt Obama’s reelection chances.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad they’re finally doing their jobs. Benghazi is a huge scandal and the story has to be told. But don’t expect me to praise them for “holding the powerful accountable,” when their self-serving cynicism (2) is so dazzling.

RELATED: The Right Sphere reaches back in time to remind us that Carney’s boss was telling the same lies on a national stage just before the election.

Footnote:
(1) Remember, the administration knew what happened that night from their people on the ground. The jihadis themselves knew what happened; it was their operation. The only people being deceived here were us.
(2) There are a few exceptions, of course, but the corruption of the MSM as an institution is spread far and wide.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The mystery of Obama and #Benghazi

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

US Consulate, Benghazi

In my last post, I focused on Hillary Clinton’s craven behavior, driven by her lust for the Oval Office. But, as I point out, that doesn’t let Obama off the hook. He is the President, he is the Commander in Chief, and yet when American diplomats were attacked that night, he apparently went to bed.

Andrew Malcolm has a great column at IBD blasting Obama. Here’s an excerpt, but read the whole thing:

Obama has had himself photographed firmly atop other national security events like the whacking of Osama bin Laden. The Democrat held a brief Rose Garden photo op on Benghazi the next morning before rushing off to fundraisers in Las Vegas. We know he and Clinton both blamed the offensive video for weeks after they knew that line was phony.

What we don’t know is where the hell was the commander-in-chief all-night while two former SEALs, a communications specialist and the first U.S. ambassador in three decades were being murdered on-duty six time zones away.

We do know that then Secy. of Defense Leon Panetta claims Obama instructed him in the early evening of 9/11 to do everything necessary to protect Americans and embassies abroad.

We also know now that “everything” wasn’t really anything at all.

But I’m sure he got a good night’s sleep.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Hearings show Hillary Clinton really is “Lady Macbeth.”

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

“Banquo’s blood”

I’ve joked since the Clintons first came on the national scene that Hillary was a modern-day “Lady Macbeth,” willing to do anything and put up with anything to get power and keep it. Think about it: why else would someone suffer repeated public humiliations from a serial-philanderer husband, one widely reputed to be a rapist? Because she wants power, and needed Bill to have a shot at her ultimate goal — becoming president, herself.

That was the reason for her Senate “career.” Not to serve and represent the people of New York (where, in fact, she was a carpetbagger), but to give her a national stage from which she could launch a presidential bid in 2004 or 2008, widely expected to be an anointing… until a certain young, male, charismatic senator came along and snatched the crown —her crown!— from her. And there she was again, left making a deal with a powerful man to keep open the road to her dreams. I have no proof, of course, just a gut feeling based on watching Hillary over the course of 20 years, but I think the deal went something like this: In return for ending her primary battle against Obama and delivering her supporters’ votes, she received a plum cabinet post with global exposure and the unofficial title of “heir apparent.” (Really, no one other than Joe takes Joe’s own ambitions seriously.) The deal struck, all was set. Just a few more years and her heart’s desire would be hers.

Then came Benghazi, the truth of which had to be covered up, lest it expose her incompetence and ruin her last chance to be president.

But the ghosts of the men who died that night would not stay quiet, and questions of “why” ate at the consciences of three good Americans who would no longer suffer the truth be kept silent, and so came forward yesterday to tell the nation what they knew and saw and did.

And their testimony condemns Hillary Clinton.

Most damning was the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya at the time of the attack, who became our top diplomat there when Ambassador Stephens was killed. Among other things, he attested under oath to the following:

  • That there was no demonstration in Benghazi. In two conversations with the Ambassador, demonstrations were never mentioned. In fact, Stephens’ last words to Hicks were “We’re under attack!” The embassy knew that night from Ansar al-Sharia’s Twitter feed that they were taking responsibility for the attack.
  • That the YouTube video Clinton and the Obama administration desperately tried to blame for the disaster meant nothing in Libya.
  • That he himself briefed Clinton herself over the phone at 2 AM Libyan time (8 PM EST), giving her a full update on the situation. Again, no mention of a video, no mention of a demonstration.

And yet, two hours later, Clinton was blaming the video. Days later, standing over the coffins of the four killed in Benghazi, she told the father of one that they would “get the guy” who made that video.  CIA analysis was scrubbed at State Department behest to remove references to terrorism. Our UN ambassador went on five different talk shows the following Sunday, five days later, and blamed the video. The President of the United States, himself, stood before the United Nations General Assembly and proclaimed the video to be the culprit.

Yet Hillary knew the truth the night it all happened. And she lied. She lied not only to the nation, not only to Congress, but to the father of Ty Woods, one of the retired Navy SEALs who died that night while trying to save American lives.

While she was trying to save her political career.

I’m not excusing anyone in the upper reaches of the administration. Not Susan Rice, not Leon Panetta, not Jay Carney, and certainly not Barack Obama. They all had to have known; they all had their own arses to cover, or those of their patrons. (See for example Bryan Preston’s theory.)

But it was Hillary Clinton who knew from the start, and hers were the policies that lead to inadequate security in Benghazi. Those were her personnel in Libya, and hers was the responsibility.

But “The Deal” had been made in 2008, and it had to be preserved. Thus a desperate lie about a video was born and a pathetic little videographer was made the scapegoat, and the First Amendment was crushed.

All to keep clear Hillary Clinton’s path to the throne she knew should be hers:

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’
–Lady Macbeth, “Macbeth,” Act I, scene v

What a pathetic, disgusting creature she is.

Afterthought: This isn’t over. Unanswered are questions about what other actors that night did then and in the days after, especially the President. Also, while Mr. Hicks testified that a stand-down order did come to the second relief team, he does not know who was on the phone with the Lieutenant Colonel in charge. The “chain” of that order needs to be made clear. Clinton herself should be hauled before the committee again, as should Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, and Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s chief of staff and “fixer” at the time. And anyone else in that circle who was in a position to know. Somewhere in that rats’ nest is a new John Dean, waiting to talk.

RELATED:

Roger L. Simon compares Hillary to the Medicis.

“Seven Things We Learned From The Benghazi Whistle-Blower Hearings.” Must reading.

A good ABC News article on the Benghazi hearing.

Eli Lake on “They knew it was terrorism.”

One of the Benghazi whistle-blowers was demoted for asking too many questions.

Why was State’s FEST team not deployed?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)