Stonewalling Benghazi

The Benghazi terrorist attack of September 11, 2012, might get the award for the least covered political scandal of recent times. As I’ve noted before, the ramifications of this event are far greater than anything in Watergate, yet Watergate is a household name, while Benghazi remains clouded in obscurity.

This White House pulled out all the stops from the beginning to mislead the public about the nature of the attack, sending UN ambassador Susan Rice to all the talk shows to blame it on a video. Even now, a former NSC official, Tommy Vietor, being interviewed by Fox’s Brett Baier, said, “Dude, this was two years ago!” As if that should end the story. It was actually another part of the orchestrated attempt to insinuate that this is only a Fox fantasy of some kind:

Talking Points

First of all, is “dude” really a grownup way of talking to a news reporter? But just as juvenile is Jay Carney, who refused even to acknowledge that an e-mail about Benghazi stemming from the White House that shows complicity in conjuring up the false story, isn’t an e-mail about Benghazi at all:

Benghazi E-mails

Yes, that pretty much illustrates the absurdity of the administration’s response to what Charles Krauthammer calls “the smoking gun.” Carney is a one-man stone wall:

Stonewall

Apparently, the hope at the White House is that somehow all of this can continue to be swept under the rug:

Rug

After a while, it becomes rather too difficult to ignore reality. The Obama Media—which should become the standard term for the mainstream news outlets—is horrified by the latest turn of events. They have tried so hard to avoid investigating this story:

Benghazi Coverup

Now, they’ve had to try to act as if they are interested:

Belated Reporting

But a significant segment of the media population seems willing to do almost anything to shield this president:

Coverup

It’s not just one person, though, that they are trying to protect. Another one at the center of this scandal also is in the limelight, and has much to fear from the truth:

Go Away

This is not an “old” story. This is one that cannot go away until all the facts are clearly revealed. House Speaker John Boehner has finally decided this rises to the level of a special investigative committee rather than a scattershot approach to finding the facts. Let’s hope that new committee can perform a valuable service to the American people.

The Benghazi E-mails

Benghazi AttackBenghazi is back. Big time. As it should be. All the facts about the terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans have never been uncovered. Questions remain about a number of issues: Why was that consulate even open in a hostile environment? Why was it not adequately protected? Could our military have gotten there in time to stop the attack? How in the world did an obscure internet video become the scapegoat for the violence? How did politics play into the decision to blame the video?

Benghazi-HillaryThe Obama administration has ducked and weaved to avoid straight answers. It has gone to great lengths to shield both Obama and Hillary Clinton, the latter of whom staged her infamous response to a congressional committee with a fake outrage, yelling, “What difference at this point does it make?” when asked about her role in the tragedy.

Congress sought relevant White House e-mails about the attack last year, only to be stonewalled. It took a Freedom of Information Act request by a private organization, Judicial Watch, and a court order to force the administration to finally release those e-mails. What they reveal is revealing.

One of the e-mails is now the subject of great attention. Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser, outlined what the official response should be. The summary is simple: blame the internet video for the violence; deflect attention from policy failures; emphasize Obama’s cool and collected leadership. All of this is in the context of the 2012 presidential campaign as the Obama people were more focused on reelection than actually conducting foreign policy and getting to the truth about the Benghazi episode.

Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to assert that this particular e-mail had nothing to do with Benghazi, despite the fact that it is mentioned specifically in the e-mail. His absurd answers to reporters finally doing their job after two years could be called comedic, if not for the horror of the Benghazi event itself.

This is a story that should not go away. It is far worse than Watergate, as is the IRS debacle. Yet it appears that only one network besides Fox took the time to include it in broadcasts yesterday. The New York Times didn’t think it worth the trouble either. These journalists don’t deserve any awards for their work:

Pulitzer Pies

And when the president decides to lecture other nation’s leaders on their behavior, he has no credibility:

Irresponsible Behavior

Benghazi and the IRS are open wounds that need immediate attention. They cannot and should not be ignored. Will the mainstream media do its duty for once? Not unless their feet are held to the fire. It’s time to turn up the heat.

The O’Reilly-Obama Interview

O'Reilly InterviewDid you watch the interview Bill O’Reilly did with President Obama? There were two parts—the live portion on Super Bowl Sunday and the taped portion that he showed on his program last night. As always, reaction runs the gamut, but I think the consensus from balanced people is that O’Reilly was polite but firm, and that he asked questions Obama has never been asked yet by any other reporter. Of course, that’s because he has avoided being in a situation where he could be asked.

I think the live portion of the interview was better because O’Reilly did his best to hold Obama’s feet to the fire on Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and Obamacare. On the taped segment, the best exchange came on the issue of the much-delayed Keystone Pipeline. Obama wouldn’t commit to approving it; O’Reilly asserted his vagueness could be understood as a decision to approve. Obama just stared.

There was one constant throughout the interview: Obama’s unwillingness to directly answer questions, as he attempted to deflect those questions either by changing the subject or accusing Fox News of stoking fires that have already gone out. As far as he was concerned, those were all non-issues.

Benghazi? All that’s been investigated; the attack wasn’t all that organized (despite the conclusion from a Senate committee led by Democrats that determined otherwise). If it weren’t for Fox, Obama intimated, no one would care about it anymore. Well, he’s right about that, but not in the way he meant. Thank goodness there is one news organization that continues to press for real answers.

The IRS? Why, none of the investigations have uncovered corruption. In fact, he asserted, there was not even a “smidgen” of corruption to be found. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Obamacare? It’s working wonderfully. Millions are signing up. It was all fixed a month or so after the disastrous rollout. No problems anymore. As for why he didn’t fire Kathleen Sebelius . . . well, he gave a non-answer, never even mentioning her name in response to the question. No, we’re just concentrating on doing the right thing for the American people, he assured us.

For those who haven’t yet drunk the Obama koolaid, this interview should have given them pause. Why all the ducking and dodging? Why no straight answers? No corruption? No terrorist attack? Obamacare working just as it was intended?

Either our president is living in a fantasy world or he’s simply committed to the strategy that says if you say the same thing often enough with enough force, people will start believing what you say is true, regardless of the evidence. Neither option should make anyone comfortable.

The Very Preventable President Hillary

One of the favorite tricks of politicians is to talk in vague terms about responsibility and regrets, while never really taking responsibility or making it clear just what regrets they mean precisely. Hillary Clinton did her best the other day to continue this dishonorable tradition. In an interview on CNN, she said, when asked about her tenure as secretary of state, “My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi.” But that’s about as far as it went.

Let’s review:

  • The diplomats in Benghazi requested more security from their boss at the State Department, i.e., Hillary Clinton; that request was denied.
  • Once the attack began, she, in concert with President Obama—if indeed he was truly in the loop at all while preparing for a Las Vegas fundraiser/campaign stop—decided it wasn’t necessary to send troops to protect those in mortal danger.
  • After it was over, despite all the briefings revealing it was a terrorist attack, she and the rest of the administration, Obama included, sent out the false message that the whole affair was incited by an internet video about Islam, and that it was simply a spontaneous demonstration, not a planned terrorist attack. The maker of the video was arrested and jailed.
  • No one connected with the decsionmaking during the Benghazi episode has lost a job or been disciplined. No one has ever been held accountable.

So what’s this about having regrets? If she were truly forthright and honest, she would admit to her outright failures. Most people have to face consequences when they mess up in their jobs. Not Hillary Clinton.

Report Card

Of course, she went on the record with her “regrets” because she is running for president. She’s trying to get this trifling affair—in her estimation—out of the way. The media will help her by declaring she has apologized, when in fact she has done no such thing. They will urge voters to move on, nothing to see here. This is all part of what they view as the inevitability of her historic march toward the presidency, one that simply must occur because she is a woman. Now that we’ve had our first black president, it’s only right to anoint a woman. But not just any woman; it must be Hillary because she has the liberal progressive seal of approval.

While the media attempt to portray her rise to the highest office in the land as a done deal, there are great numbers of us out here in the hinterlands who are not adhering to the media theme. We can’t, for the life of us, figure out what she has ever done to deserve the promotion. They only thing she has going for her is her name. And why anyone would pine for the return of a Clinton to the White House is beyond imagining. Only those with an ideological agenda and those with extremely short memories would find that prospect appealing.

Preventable

I’m not bowing to what some call the “inevitable.” There’s nothing inevitable about President Hillary Clinton. Haven’t eight years of her husband and another eight of the current administration been enough to destroy the prestige of the office of the presidency?

A Sober Analysis

I try very hard not to be a conspiracy theorist. I make every attempt not to be shrill in my commentaries. I seek to bring faith and reason together and deliver a sober analysis of events. The cartoons I use so often are the comic relief to illustrate my main points. It’s my genuine hope that fair-minded individuals will read these daily ponderings and acknowledge their honesty, at least.

So I want to make sure I’m not simply partisan when it comes to dissecting the latest news. If people on my side of the political divide—and let’s be clear, it is a huge divide at the moment—do anything wrong, I will be just as critical of them as I am of those with whom I disagree. Why am I saying this now?

Chris Christie 2In the past week, three individuals who are either conservative or Republican, or both, have been in the news for charges of wrongdoing. First, we had New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is being blamed for lane closures on a bridge causing a massive traffic jam; he supposedly did this for political payback to those who didn’t support him. He claims lack of knowledge of that action and has fired some of his personnel over it.

Bob McDonnellClose on the heels of that controversy, the just-retired Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell, now faces charges, along with his wife, that they committed fraud and gave out political favors to a man who lavished gifts and money on the McDonnell family.

Dinesh D'SouzaThen, just yesterday, came the alert that Dinesh D’Souza, the man who made the documentary 2016: Obama’s America, is being indicted for breaking the law with respect to campaign donations, that he orchestrated a behind-the-scenes scheme that allowed him to give over and above what he was allowed to contribute to someone’s campaign.

Let me be clear—a phrase used often by Richard Nixon and resurrected by Barack Obama—that if they are guilty, they need to face the consequences of their actions. At the very least, Christie should have known what his minions were doing. The McDonnells, if the charges are true, have exhibited a rather tawdry desire for material gain. In their case, however, tawdriness may not equate with breaking any laws. We’ll see. As for D’Souza, one might wonder about his ability to recognize right from wrong in light of his dismissal from the presidency of King’s College for being engaged to a woman while not yet divorced from his wife.

So, let the chips fall as they should.

Yet . . . yet . . . please excuse me if I have some nagging doubts. A traffic tie-up does not rise to the level of directing IRS agents to target conservative organizations. Taking advantage of political office to get loans and golf club outings is not as egregious as passing firearms to Mexican drug cartels. And seeking to give more to a campaign—this should be a free country with the liberty to support one’s political aims, right?—is hardly a Benghazi.

Why do I make those comparisons? In all three of these cases—Christie, McDonnell, and D’Souza—these are federal charges being brought. They don’t emanate from the three states where the offenses were committed, but directly out of the Obama Department of Justice, headed by one Eric Holder. This is the same man who refuses to indict anyone in the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups and who claims ignorance of Fast and Furious. This is the same administration, with Obama and Hillary Clinton at the helm of foreign policy, that stonewalls any investigation into the misdeeds and incompetence of Benghazi, and that spread a false story about an anti-Islam video being the cause of the September 11, 2012, attack.

Why the eagerness to prosecute those who may have committed lesser offenses and the complete unwillingness to take responsibility for the actions of those who work for them? This is evenhanded justice?

One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe there is something devious going on here. Christie was considered by many to be the greatest threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. That’s probably not the case now. McDonnell was a rising star in the Republican party; his political career is now over. D’Souza’s film devastated the veneer of moderation Obama tried to cultivate and revealed him as an anti-Western guy with radical plans for America.

So forgive me if I might view these investigations and indictments as somewhat less than honest law enforcement. Forgive me if I harbor thoughts of political payback and the destruction of those whom the administration considers to be its enemies.

This is my best and most sober analysis for today.

The Senate Benghazi Report: Assigning Blame

Benghazi AttackPeriodically, the American public needs to be reminded that on September 11, 2012, four Americans—including the ambassador to Libya—were murdered in Benghazi. Investigations into what happened, who was responsible for the lack of security, why the military sent no help, who was involved in the attack, etc., have been ongoing. One of the main problems with getting answers is that the Obama administration has refused to cooperate fully. Some people who were on the ground in Libya and others in the loop have not been allowed to testify. A wall of silence has greeted investigators in both houses of Congress.

Finally, the long-delayed, long-awaited report on Benghazi from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was released this week, 16 months after the event. For those who may think this report may be partisan against the administration, it is instructive to note it is a Senate report, the chamber controlled by Democrats. The chair of the committee was Democrat Diane Feinstein of California. Here’s a short summary of the committee’s findings:

  • At least four Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were involved in the attack. This makes the administration’s line that there was no Al Qaeda participation a lie.
  • The State Department was responsible for security, yet failed to act on repeated requests for enhanced protection. Officials at State seemingly paid no attention to the facts: attacks on other Western outposts, genuine warnings of threats, evacuations of Westerners from a deteriorating situation.
  • The Department of Defense had no real contingency plans in case of an attack and didn’t position military assets in a way that would allow them to come to anyone’s aid. Later comments that there was no way the military could have done anything to help are less credible when the lack of foresight is taken into consideration.
  • Internal e-mails show that President Obama and all top-level people were informed immediately that this was a terrorist attack. This exposes another big lie. For two weeks, this administration tried to blame an obscure internet video for a “spontaneous” demonstration. In fact, there was no demonstration; this was a pre-planned terrorist activity, and they knew that’s what it was.

The majority portion of this report, written by Democrats, does its best to avoid mentioning Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State, Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, and, of course, the man at the top, Barack Obama, on whose shoulders ultimate responsibility lies. The Republicans on the committee, writing the minority report, show no such reluctance in naming names. You could call that partisan, if you wish, but they have the facts on their side.

Will Obama and his people ever be held responsible for their reprehensible actions and non-actions in this tragedy?

Permanent

That’s going to depend on whether the media will ever take their job seriously and whether the American people will ever realize that all the obfuscation spewing from the administration over this event was their attempt to hide the truth less than two months before the election. The people were fooled in November 2012 once again. Have they learned their lesson?

Trusting Untrustworthy Sources

I don’t read the New York Times. I guess that makes me unsophisticated. It also keeps me from being misled. According to recent accounts, if you were to make the Times your only source of news, you wouldn’t know much of anything about Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, DOJ overreach against reporters [come on, Times, those are your kind of people], or the real problems with Obamacare. You might know there is controversy on each of these issues, but you wouldn’t be getting all the facts because there is a full-scale attempt to shield President Obama from his foibles/lies/deliberate plans to “transform” America.

Pruning Service

Of course, the Times gets a lot of help. MSNBC and CNN have lost all credibility as genuine sources of news. They are now little more than apologists for the president. Sometimes it seems as if there is no limit to the lengths to which they will go to spin a story in his favor. The Mallard Fillmore comic strip recently showcased the effort. While exaggeration is used to make the point, humor only works when there is an element of truth in it:

Magic Pres

Best Media Ever

Getting Embarrassing

We are in need of great discernment. You can’t simply accept everything you read. I would also note here that I am cautious about relaying some accounts from conservative websites, especially if something is almost too good to be true. I wait a while to ensure that whatever is being said can be confirmed. Even on my side of the political spectrum there can be a tendency to jump on a story that doesn’t have enough evidence. One doesn’t help one’s cause by transmitting falsehoods.

The media bias in favor of this president, however—and all things progressive—is too well documented to fear misstatement. Indeed, the greater error lies on the side of those who ignore the bias and continue to trust untrustworthy sources.