Intellectual fascism: respected scientist hounded for daring to doubt the “climate consensus”

**Posted by Phineas

"The new liberal tolerance"

“”Confess, Dr. Bengtsson! Recant your heresy!!””

Well, so much for freedom of thought and open debate in the sciences. Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, a Swedish meteorologist with an accomplished professional record, just a couple of weeks ago joined the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a British organization skeptical of the theory of catastrophic man-caused warming and headed by noted skeptic Lord Lawson. It was quite a coup for the GWPF, since Bengtsson was highly regarded in the Warmist camp and is a specialist in numerical modeling, which is critical to Warmist arguments. (1) But, Bengtsson had become highly critical both of the pressure for consensus in climate science, seeing it as anti-scientific, and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-sponsored global scientific organization that regular issues reports of “climate doom.” Via Judith Curry, here’s an excerpt from an interview Dr. Bengtsson gave with the Dutch web site State of the Climate, in which he shares his opinion on “scientific consensus:”

Interviewer: Is there according to you a “climate consensus” in the community of climate scientists and if so what is it?

Bengtsson: I believe the whole climate consensus debate is silly. There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast. Here there is no consensus as you can see from the IPCC report where climate sensitivity varies with a factor of three! Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models. Here I intend to stick to Karl Popper in highlighting the need for proper validation.

If you read the whole interview, you see that Lennart Bengtsson is an “old school” scientist, one who respects the scientific method and knows that theories (which is what a model is!) must always be tested by observation. I doubt this man would ever say “The science is settled, so shut up.” Thus he joined the GWPF in the spirit of open investigation and good science.

That was his big mistake.

Just a week later, Dr. Bengtsson was forced to resign from the GWPF’s board of advisers, hounded by his former colleagues and even in fear of physical violence. From his resignation letter:

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen.

It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

Emphases added. This isn’t “science.” This is a mob of fanatics, a primitive tribe turning on one of their own who’s dared to point out their idol is just a piece of wood. It’s naked Lysenkoism; all that’s needed is a show-trial. They should be praising Professor Bengtsson for being willing to work with reasonable skeptics, but, instead, they set on him like a rabid pack of hounds. Convinced of their righteousness, they’re willing to frighten an old man for the cause. (2)

Science, and with it civilization itself, does not advance when scientific questions are put off-limits as untouchable dogma. Down that path lies a new bonfire of the vanities.

RELATED: Science as McCarthyism.

Footnote:
(1) Especially since the Earth keeps refusing to cooperate.
(2) He’s nearly 80, for Pete’s sake!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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)

#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)

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

**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: Proof of what we knew — the White House is full of lying suckweasels

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

So, more than 19 months after four Americans –including our ambassador– died at the hands of al Qaeda allies in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, part of the truth finally comes out: the White House political operation used the story of  a video to protect President Obama reelection, sacrificing the truth, our national security interests, and any shred of decency owed the victims’ surviving families on the altar of his political needs.

Independent reporter Sharyl Attkisson has the story:

Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.

One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, 2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure: Ben Rhodes is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.)

In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET” and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television network political talk shows.

The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Via Twitchy. There’s much more, so read it all.

Remember, Obama had been claiming for months that al Qaeda was “on the run,” nearly beaten. It was one of his justifications for reelection: he had crushed our mortal enemy. Then they attacked our consulate and killed our personnel, and suddenly the whole narrative was about to fall like the house of cards it was.

This wasn’t a meeting of a group meant to deal with a foreign policy crisis. No, Rhodes was heading up a political damage control team. That’s where the priority was. Not in determining how this happened, not in pursuing our enemies, and certainly not in our Head of State and Commander in Chief taking responsibility, because that might have meant handing a cudgel to the Republicans. Jim Geraghty weighs in (emphasis added):

Yes, Rhodes’s speechwriting always focused in the foreign-policy realm. He was a longtime assistant to Lee Hamilton, then joined Obama as a speechwriter in 2007. But this guy’s not an expert on Libya. There’s no way he was in any position, from Washington, to overrule the assessment of the folks on the ground. He’s a message guy. And he quickly concluded – accurately – that the administration’s obvious ill-prepared presence in Libya, and failure to organize timely rescue efforts, on the 9/11 anniversary represented a serious threat to the president’s reelection. They needed a scapegoat; the video was the best option at hand.

That included, by the way, trampling the First Amendment rights of the video maker, who was hauled off in the middle of the night and pilloried in the press to play that scapegoat.

And before anyone says things were still unclear and they really thought the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the video, check the dates. Rhodes’ email was dated the 14th; the attack happened on the 11th. By the night of the attack, within hours, they knew that it was a terrorist strike, not an out of control riot against a video:

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.

As I wrote at the time:

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. 

And that was three days before Rhodes’ email, which can only mean this was a deliberate attempt to lie to the American people in order to save Obama’s (and Hillary’s) craven political rear ends.

No wonder they tried to keep this email secret.

RELATED: At PJM, Roger Simon says this is “worse than Watergate” and calls for impeachment.

PS: And this only answers one major question about the Benghazi massacre. Still left begging is the question of just where Obama was that night and what was his role, if he even had one. The question of Hillary’s accountability for her incompetence leading up to the disaster is a whole other matter.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#IRS revokes tax-free status of conservative group

**Posted by Phineas

"The new liberal tolerance"

The IRS questions another conservative

I have to admit, I have no idea if the Patrick Henry Center really did break the rules and thus earned the revocation of its 501(c)(3) status, but you’d think the IRS would be extra-super-duper reluctant to do this, given the revelations over the deliberate targeting of conservative groups:

The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exemption for a conservative charity, saying the group’s criticism of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry violated rules against political activity.

The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty engaged in “deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns,” according to the IRS decision released Friday and first reported by USA Today.

The IRS said the group’s tax-exemption would be revoked as of July 1 unless the decision is successfully appealed.

Tax-exempt groups are restricted from engaging in certain political activity, including participating in partisan campaigns in support or opposition to a candidate.

“Improper politicking ” was the reason given for the close and slow scrutiny given to conservative groups applying for tax-free status after the 2010 election (few if any left-wing groups received the same treatment), and it was only recently revealed that Lois Lerner, former head of the Exempt Organizations Division, was trying to coordinate with the Justice Department to pursue prosecution of conservative groups. (1)

The Internal Revenue Service is already one of the most loathed organizations in America, something that’s only grown worse in the wake of this scandal, and I find it hard to believe that someone there approved this move without having an air-tight case. It would just be begging for trouble to do otherwise.

On the other hand, the Beltway bureaucracy often seems sealed within an echo chamber high atop an ivory tower, so maybe someone was dumb enough to think they could swat a pesky conservative group with impunity.

Either way, it’s more grist for Mr. Issa’s mill.

RELATED: Earlier posts on the IRS.

Footnote:
(1) Following up on the helpful suggestion of Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), it should be noted. If they’re not actively conspiring, they’re at least sympatico in their liberal fascism.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

FAIL: In #NCPOL Dem Mayor scandal, CNN uses pic of GOP Governor

LOL. In the midst of all the national coverage my fair city was receiving last night on the Charlotte Democrat Mayor scandal, there was this (via multiple Twitter sources, including @WilsonShow):

CNN oops

Um, that’s our GOP GOVERNOR, CNN, not Charlotte’s corruptocrat Democrat Mayor. Duh …

Now, Gov. McCrory (R) used to be Charlotte Mayor, but that was several years ago. We’ve had two elected Democrat Mayors since then – Anthony Foxx, who is now Obama’s transportation secretary, and Patrick Cannon, who resigned last night.

I’m sure this wasn’t intentional on CNN’s part. Nope, not at all:-?

Culture of Corruption – Charlotte edition: Dem Mayor charged w/ bribery, theft (UPDATE: CANNON RESIGNS)

Patrick Cannon and Anthony Foxx

Then-Charlotte City Councilman-now-Mayor Patrick Cannon (l) and then-Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (r) – now Obama’s Transportation Secretary – in happier times.
Image via PraiseCharlotte.com

Huge news out of Charlotte today:

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges, with the FBI alleging he took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash delivered in a briefcase last month to the mayor’s office where he also solicited $1 million more.

In return for the money, trips, hotel rooms and access to a luxury SouthPark apartment, Cannon promised to help agents posing as potential commercial investors with zoning, parking and other city-related issues.

According to officials, Cannon turned himself in to federal marshals after learning of a warrant for his arrest. He was immediately taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler of Charlotte.

Cannon, a Democrat, was charged with theft and bribery after the FBI sting operation, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, pending indictment, which could come as early as next week. The court file shows Charlotte attorney James Ferguson is representing Cannon.

If convicted on all charges, the 47-year-old mayor faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. He remains mayor until he either resigns or is convicted, according to city officials. The case is still being investigated, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cannon is the longest-serving elected official in Charlotte, having joined the city council in 1993. He is the region’s highest-ranking official to be charged in a corruption case since former N.C. House speaker Jim Black of Matthews, also a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2007.

Cannon’s arrest follows a four-year investigation, which stretched from a Las Vegas resort to the mayor’s office on the 15th floor of the Government Center, which Cannon has occupied for only five months.

You can read the federal complaint against Cannon here.   Governor Pat McCrory (R), who was Mayor of Charlotte for a number of years, had this to say earlier today after the news broke:

The former 14-year Charlotte mayor spoke to Cannon for a roughly an hour at 10 a.m. Wednesday about the ongoing saga involving control of the Charlotte airport, just a couple hours before his arrest. The news came as a shock, he said.

“I’m shocked, I’m saddened, I’m angry – about the allegations, about the impact that has on a city I dearly love,” he said.

“I’m heartbroken about what’s happened and I’m angry at the same time because it’s someone I’ve known for a long period of time and I love this city,” McCrory said in an interview outside an event in Raleigh. “This city has had an incredible reputation for a long, long time about its high ethical standards. The city does not deserve that type of behavior.”

McCrory has known Cannon for 30 years. His brother Phil was Cannon’s “Big” in the Big Brother’s program; Cannon was a groomsman in his brother’s wedding. McCrory said he helped teach Cannon how to swim at age 13.

“He was very close to me and my family,” he said. “I’m just extremely disappointed and angry.”

The arrest and charges against Cannon bring to light some interesting questions: Will he be the only one charged locally? Or were there others who we’ll learn about later?  Will he step down? He hasn’t given any indication of yet that he will. And why has former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx – also a Democrat, who now serves at a national level as Obama’s Transportation Secretary – refused to comment?

Needless to say, news of the allegations against Cannon and his arrest today come at a very inconvenient time for NC Democrats who remain severely fractured after a series of high-level embarrassments, scandals (flashback!), leadership battles, and money issues so much so that Senator Kay Hagan is bypassing the state party in her re-election bid here and instead is will use the Wake County Democrat party HQ as her reelection hub.  I suspect Cannon will decide to not step down and instead stay on as Mayor while this thing plays out in court.  The case is still under investigation but if the trial starts before the election this year he may face increasing behind-the-scenes pressure from Democrats both at the city and state level to leave office so they can try and contain the damage.

Grab the popcorn and, as they say, stay tuned.

Updated – 8:05 PM: And just like that, Cannon has resigned:


Story here. As to who takes over the Mayor’s chair:

City Manager Ron Carlee tells NBC Charlotte that Cannon’s resignation is effective immediately. Mayor Pro-tem Michael Barnes will take over immediately in the interim until city council appoints a city councilmember as the new mayor.

Still wrapping my thoughts around this. Cannon was Mayor for all of 114 days. And he was an elected official on the City Council while some of the alleged bribes allegedly took place, and knowingly ran for Mayor with that in mind. Talk about stupid!

#Benghazi: Obama lied in his Super Bowl Interview

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl (1), so I not only missed that, but Bill O’Reilly’s pre-game interview with President Obama. Given that we’re talking about two of my least favorite people in public life, I don’t think I missed much skipping this, either.

But then I came across a Washington Examiner article yesterday about the interview, specifically, the portion dealing with the massacre in Benghazi and did a double take. I couldn’t let this pass:

“That is inaccurate,” Obama said of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion that the administration sought to sweep under the terrorist-nature of the attack in the final months of his 2012 re-election campaign.

“We revealed to the American people what we knew at the time,” said Obama.

In a contentious pre-Super Bowl interview with O’Reilly, Obama said early on during the attack — when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta informed him about the assault — that U.S. officials did not tell him exactly who was involved.

“People understood at the time that something very dangerous was happening,” Obama said. “In the aftermath what became clear was the security was lax — not all the precautions that should have been taken were taken.”

This is a family show, so I can’t use the first words that came to mind, so I’ll just leave it at “Mr. President, you lie like a rug.”

Let take a little walk back in time, shall we, and see just what people knew the night that consulate was attacked:

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.

Emphasis added. As I asked at the time, by what logic can anyone argue that the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff would go to a meeting with the president in the midst of a crisis and not tell him what they just learned?

“Didn’t tell me exactly who was involved?” Hello? Does 9/11/12 give you a hint, sir? Or how about the weeks of threatening behavior and outright attacks on Western targets in Benghazi itself before the assault? You may not have known which exact splinter group of the local al Qaeda franchise did this, but the general affiliation was clear that night.

Oh, but later in the O’Reilly interview Obama says “any attack on a US facility is a terrorist attack.” This is the same misdirection he tried in his public statement the day after the Benghazi incident, when he talked of a generic terrorism, not the specifics of what happened that night.

The fact is that for weeks after the event, based on a hastily concocted series of talking points, the decision was made to blame a crappy video that few ever saw (2) and turn the maker, a two-bit crook whose constitutional rights were shredded, into a scapegoat to deflect blame from the administration’s incompetence.

In short, O’Reilly was right and Barack Obama, again, lied.

And still not a single one from among the attackers has paid any sort of price for killing four Americans.

PS: Yeah, yeah. I know: “Obama lied” is a redundancy.

Footnote:
(1) Thank God. Who kidnapped the Broncos and replaced them with a JV high school team?
(2) Journalist Lee Stranahan makes a persuasive argument that the video played some role and that critics dismiss it at the risk of weakening their own arguments. In my own view, however, the video was more pretext than cause.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Lady Macbeth regrets

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

“Madame sends her regrets.”

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee-in-waiting (1) spoke before the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association in New Orleans last weekend and took full responsibility for the security lapses at Benghazi that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Ambassador, saying, “I was in charge, but I put politics ahead of good sense. I failed, and now four good men are dead because of my failure.”

Wait. No, she didn’t.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton remained vague Monday about whether she will run for president in 2016 and said the attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, were the biggest regret of her four years as the United States’ top diplomat.

Before a large crowd of politically active car dealers, Clinton, the overwhelming favorite among possible Democratic presidential contenders, discussed her signal accomplishments — notably a recommendation that U.S. commandos go into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden (2) — and her regrets.

“My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said during a question-and-answer session after her keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in a packed 4,000-seat room.

Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed when militants attacked the lightly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a better-fortified CIA base nearby on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.

“Regrets.” Pardon me while I spit. Regrets are what you send when you can’t attend a dinner party. Regret is what you feel for not asking that neat girl or guy in high school to the prom, or when you turn down a great job offer and later realize how stupid you were.

Those are things you regret.

What happened in Benghazi was an atrocity, a murderous attack on US government personnel made possible by multiple layers of serial incompetence at the State Department, including the Secretary of State, herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Regrets?” Try “criminal negligence.”

Instead of speaking to car dealers, Clinton should be facing a jury.

via Sister Toldjah in email

PS: Might as well get this out of the way — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” A lot, Hill. A lot.

Footnotes:
(1) In her own mind, at least.
(2) Please. I’ll give Obama credit for ordering a direct assault on bin Laden, but, let’s be real: any American president, including James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter, would have done the same. And, Hillary? You were just one adviser among many.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)