Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“Benghazi was a first-class military and moral disgrace”

Another laughable Benghazi lie
“Benghazi was a first-class military and moral disgrace”
  • Last Updated: 11:32 PM, November 25, 2012
  • Posted: 11:00 PM, November 25, 2012
Michael A. Walsh
More than two months after an Islamist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, we still don’t know what really happened that night — and, thanks to a secretive White House and an incurious Washington press corps, we probably never will. Not officially, that is.
But there’s no real mystery about it. From the evidence that’s emerged in dribs and drabs since the Sept. 11 calamity, it’s clear that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan al Qaeda-affiliated group coordinating with its allies elsewhere in the Muslim world, used the cover of riots in Cairo to launch a preplanned assault on our lightly guarded Benghazi consulate and a CIA safe house that may have been doubling as a secret prison.
That much was clear to our intelligence community almost immediately — and, in any case, should have been the working hypothesis from the jump.
The Arab Spring, falsely painted by a soft-headed US media as a purely pro-democracy movement, has in fact prompted seizure of power by Islamists. Benghazi, an armed hotbed of radicalism, was a fine target of opportunity for a strike at the Great Satan.
What’s also heart-rendingly clear is that our diplomats and security personnel understood the danger they were in, repeatedly requested more resources — and were left to die, as US military and intelligence assets monitored their deaths in real time, lacking the orders to protect them.
Benghazi was a first-class military and moral disgrace, and one that the Democrats paid absolutely no price for in the recent election.
But the questions won’t go away. Who gave the order to stand down as the consulate was under fire? Who came up with the cockamamie story — so eagerly peddled by UN Ambassador Susan Rice and other administration spokespersons right after the event — that the sacking and looting were in response to an obscure video that lampooned the origins of Islam and had been posted on You Tube for months?
And why did President Obama cling to such a risible explanation, and then (with a timely assist from Candy Crowley in the second presidential debate) turn on a dime and claim he knew the assault was terrorism all along?
To turn tragedy into French bedroom farce, the truth was further obscured by CIA Director David Petraeus’ unaccountable public silence — until his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell (which the administration surely had known about for months and was holding over his head for just such an occasion) caused him to resign in disgrace a few days after the election.
Finally, to turn farce into insult, hapless Director of National Intelligence James Clapper scuttled forth from his let’s-pretend lair to claim that his office — nominally, the highest rung of the intelligence-community ladder — had edited the CIA’s early talking points memo to remove all references to al Qaeda and terrorism.
That claim was met with peals of incredulous laughter within the IC, where Clapper (like Petraeus, a retired general) is regarded as a buffoon and his office (created as part of the ham-fisted Bush response to 9/11) as a useless, money-sucking bureaucratic appendage that does nothing to increase national security — but is easily manipulated by a cynical president with a domestic axe to grind.
And here’s where the fog of war collides with the blinding clarity of politics. Obama had already determined to run as the Slayer of Osama bin Laden, and a horde of howling Arabs shouting, “Obama, Obama, there are still a billion Osamas” as they pulled down the American flag in Cairo and attacked us elsewhere was an inconvenient truth that had to be obscured by any means necessary.
With the election safely behind him, the president and his allies are now trying to rehabilitate Ambassador Rice’s shredded reputation, cheerily tossing around the usual charges of “racism” and “sexism” as they smear conservative opposition to her potential nomination as secretary of state in the second Obama term. They’d rather not reopen the Benghazi can of worms.
But reopen it we must — either by open congressional hearings or during Rice’s confirmation hearings — if Chris Stevens and the others are ever to receive justice.

TIME’s Joe Klein: Libya Controversy ‘Really Isn’t an Issue’
“Have you ever in your life seen so many so-called journalists dismiss the importance of American officials being killed by terrorists?”
                                 TIME Political Reporter Joe Klein
Posted on October 22, 2012
TIME’s Joe Klein weighed in over the weekend on the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, seemingly dismissing the entire situation in an effort to downplay the controversial aftermath.
“This business about the…Libya consulate has been like the October mirage — it really isn’t an issue,” he remarked on “Meet the Press.”
Klein was likely trying to exclusively reference the Republican claims that the administration has been misleading the country, but is coming under heavy fire for being so dismissive about an event that resulted in the gruesome deaths of four Americans.
Klein also said that President Obama and Mitt Romney have “essentially the same positions on foreign policy,” so Monday’s debate will be “fascinating.”
He added:
And so, once again…Obama is going to have a very strong position because his foreign policy has been largely successful in terms of substance, but in terms of style, he still has to climb — re-climb the mountain and make a convincing case to the American people that they will be more comfortable with him in their living rooms the next four years.
President Obama cites the killing of Osama bin Laden as one of the cornerstones of his foreign policy achievements and– until recently– credited the so-called “Arab Spring” for bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.  After the attack in Libya, though officials have confirmed that the White House knew within 24 hours what really happened, the administration spent more than a week saying a YouTube video caused a spontaneous protest that killed four Americans.
Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard wrote: “Honestly, have you ever in your life seen so many so-called journalists dismiss the importance of American officials being killed by terrorists?”

From: XXXX
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 2:33 PM
To: Dave LaRocque
Subject: RE: Joe Klein" "The Benghazi Circus"

"A good laugh"??

Joe Klein has a son in the Diplomatic Service.  He takes the topic of embassy/consulate security very seriously.

You really expect me to query my son about "...the ex-SEALs left to die in Benghazi."?    I'm not going about to lose all intellectual credibility by posing such a blatantly loaded question.

Subject: RE: Joe Klein" "The Benghazi Circus"
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 07:52:51 -0800
Thanks – I needed a good laugh.

What does your son think about the ex-SEALs left to die in Benghazi?




The Benghazi Circus

Nov. 20, 2012

Well, I’ve been on a desert island since the election–and I return to find the tawdry sadness of David Petraeus‘ resignation after a lifetime of service to our country. And the even more tawdry attempts by various Republicans to create a scandal over the tragic deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in the Benghazi terror attack.

Let me just repeat this flat out: there is no scandal here–except for the reprehensible behavior of politicians like John McCain and Lindsey Graham who have conducted a scurrilous campaign against Ambassador Susan Rice. (Even their usually knee-jerk amigo Senator Joe Lieberman has refused to join them in this jihad). I tried to catch up on all the hoo-hah since returning from the beach and it seems to me that Rice’s talking points were accurate, if vague, in the way that talking points usually are.

There were two attacks in Benghazi that night. The first was a spontaneous response to the anti-Islamic film that had caused similar protests in Cairo and elsewhere. That is important: there would have been no terrorist attack if the film hadn’t provided the opportunity for mayhem. Most of the protesters were members of local salafist militias, who quickly realized that the security at the consulate was nearly nonexistent. They organized a second attack with heavier weapons, including mortars. And so we have four essential facts that do not contradict one another:

1. the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the film
2. it was followed by an organized attack.
3. both attacks were populated and organized by terrorist militias, with loose ties to Al-Qaeda.
4. security at the consulate was inadequate

So there are two questions: Did the Obama Administration make a political decision to coverup the (rather tenuous) Al-Qaeda involvement? And why was the security so lax?

Answer to question 1: Ambassador Rice’s talking points were scrubbed by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to CBS. The specific names of the militias involved were removed for security reasons, apparently, so that our intelligence assets on the ground could continue to monitor the miscreants. This is a minor, silly point in any case: the President called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” the day after it took place–which proved a rather embarrassing moment for Mitt Romney in the third debate, when Candy Crowley corrected him on the point (Romney’s information throughout the campaign was defective, having been sourced by right-wing fantasy reports). There was no coverup.

Answer to Question 2: According to a really excellent piece by Bob Worth in the New York Times magazine last Sunday, the level of security in Benghazi was determined by…Ambassador Chris Stevens:

In the rush to assign blame after Stevens’s death, it was largely overlooked that Stevens, as the top-ranking diplomat in Libya by that point, was the one responsible for making final decisions about what kind of security was appropriate there, how to use it and what qualified as safe and unsafe.

Worth wasn’t blaming Stevens. He was admiring him for trying to practice the sort of hands-on diplomacy that has become more difficult in the era of terrorism and amped-security. Indeed, Worth was raising a larger and very important question–what sort of risks should we ask our diplomats to take? It is a question that hits very close to home for me since, as some of you may know, I’m the father of an American diplomat who has served in difficult places, including a year in Baghdad.

It is also the sort of question that John McCain might have asked back in the days when he was an honorable public servant. But he’s now a political caricature, severely debilitated by anger and envy. His trigger-happy foreign policy beliefs have always been questionable, but this Benghazi crusade has put in the weird circle inhabited by nutcases and conspiracy theorists like Michele Bachmann and Allen West. He should honor the memory of those who lost their lives that terrible night by putting a cork in his disgraceful behavior immediately.

Joe Klein @JoeKleinTIME

Joe Klein is TIME's political columnist and author of six books, most recently Politics Lost. His weekly TIME column, "In the Arena," covers national and international affairs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both articles are slanted in favor of BS disinformation and soft pedal of the Benghazi tresonous act by Obama and his minions.This guy starts out by saying we may never know what happened,who's we? The fact of the matter it is known what happened and has been exposed in several expose's,Glenn Beck has done what I believe to be a very real partial explanation with documented proof.However, yes there is more to the story,but,the most important fact about this story is
the usurper POTUS supporting the Muslim brotherhood with weapons of all kinds!The fake POTUS watched all the action on monitors, via drones and did nothing,he needs to be arrested for treason and found guility of treason and executed!Not only for this high crime against the USA,but for all the other murders he has been complicit with from his gay church members (3)killed to prevent them from letting the cat out of the bag that Obama is a gay as one can be.His marriage is all part of the downlow(false front) that Rev Wright helped set up for Obama,everything about this POS is phony and criminal.Fast and furious gun running,murder of judge Roll in Arizona,Lt Harris info officier,all the men thet died on the oil platform Horizon,2500 supposed deaths of foreign innocent citizens from drone strikes and the latest talked about secret service agent
who was found dead due to carbon monoxide poisoning.We have the most dangerous group of killers in the W/H mostly all communists and are elected officials due nothing to stop the treason and murders.Our militia's sit back knowing all these hanious crimes are taking place and do nothing?! Do you people ever wonder WHY? It's the fucking corrupt leaders,get a clue!These bastards need to be stopped now,like yesterday! Subordinate militia people in command need to step forward and do the job the militia was created to do! Rid our country of all the cockroache traitors and embeded enemy combatants!PS That includes all his clones!