A Select Benghazi Committee

Trey GowdyToday, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to set up a special select committee to deal with all the issues stemming from the Benghazi terrorist attack. Unless some unforeseen circumstance intervenes, this committee will finally become reality and may provide the answers that should have been forthcoming long ago. Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has been chosen by Speaker Boehner to chair the committee; he already is receiving death threats from the Tolerant Left.

Gowdy seems to be the right person for this task: he has been one of the most articulate of all the congressmen on a variety of scandals plaguing the Obama administration; he comes across as someone who won’t be intimidated and will see this through to completion. Democrats in the House have threatened not to participate on the committee, labeling it purely political. The deaths of diplomats, the tardy response to the attack, and the ensuing misrepresentation of what transpired that day in Benghazi are not political talking points; they are serious events that deserve special attention and resolution.

The Obama media has done its best to aid in the coverup. This committee is important if the average American who has no idea what’s going on is ever to be informed:

Who Is Ben

The real question is whether the administration’s lapdog media will give the investigation its due:

Page One

Some information, though, is hard to contain. The recently divulged e-mails that point to collusion within the administration to concoct the false story about an internet video being the cause of the attack have sneaked into some news outlets:

Smoking-Gun Control

There’s also a lot of mystery concerning Obama’s whereabouts while the Benghazi tragedy was unfolding. Where was he? What was he doing?

Integrity

Prepping for a debate? Getting ready for his Las Vegas fundraiser? Well, that’s all old news, isn’t it? That’s what we’re told constantly. Like, dude, that was two years ago:

Two Dozen Lies Ago

And the White House press conferences lately, with ringmaster Jay Carney, have been a real circus. At least some members of the White House press corps have decided to step up and demand answers that aren’t ridiculous. It’s been tougher for Carney the past couple weeks; what must he be thinking by now?

Please God

On the administration’s side, this entire episode has the makings of a bestseller with movie rights:

Liar Liar

Yet the Democrat theme will always be that there’s no there there—let’s just move on:

Move On

That theme is becoming overused. Hopefully, the public will see it for what it really is: a stonewall that seeks to sweep away a genuine investigation.

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.

Real Scandals, Legitimate Investigations

Economic SpeechThe Obama administration has found its latest theme. We’re hearing it from spokesperson Jay Carney and the president himself. Carney dismisses all questions about the plethora of scandals plaguing the administration, saying they are “fake” and “phony” scandals generated by the Republicans. President Obama yesterday, in what he billed as a major economic speech, but which most viewed as his typical campaign speech, belittled Republicans for standing in the way of economic progress and wasting the country’s time with all the attention on make-believe scandals. His exact words were “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”

Well, first of all, Mr. President, you are Washington. You have been the chief executive for nearly five years; for the first two years of your presidency, you had control of both houses of Congress. What did you do with that advantage? Obamacare, which is a wholesale disaster, and a massive stimulus bill that only stimulated government spending. The American workforce, during your tenure, has lost 7.8 million people (those are the ones who couldn’t find jobs and gave up); new workforce dropouts have outnumbered new employees by 237 to 1. Most of the new jobs added have been part-time, not full-time.

And you blame the Republicans?

About those “phony” scandals: let’s look at the facts.

Benghazi

It’s been nearly a year since that horrible event. Testimony has shown massive incompetence and an equally massive coverup connected with that incident. We now also know that survivors of the attack have been coerced into signing nondisclosure agreements and bullied into not testifying before Congress. What is the administration trying to hide? Calls for a special committee to deal with it exclusively are rising, and justly so.

IRS

Evidence is now overwhelming that the intensive investigation of conservative groups and stalling on their tax-exempt statuses was politically motivated. No longer is there any credibility that this was the work of a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Testimony has established that it was directed from the top of the IRS in Washington, and that a political appointee, William Wilkins, who is chief counsel for the agency, was intimately involved. This same man met with the president on April 23, 2012; his boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, met with administration officials on April 24. The next day, April 25, Wilkins sent out more guidelines for how to handle tax-exempt applications from conservative groups. While this is still not absolute proof of collusion with the Oval Office, it comes awfully close. It’s hardly a “phony” investigation, particularly since it affected the operation of these groups in the 2012 campaign and provided a boost to Obama’s reelection bid.

There’s also the absurd waste of money on parties, etc. It’s a culture of corruption.

This Just In

DOJ

Where to start? Fast and Furious? Failure to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated voters at a polling place? Confiscation of reporters’ phone records? Accusing James Rosen of Fox of being a criminal co-conspirator for asking questions? Funding protests against George Zimmerman? Overall racial bias in its operations? Eric Holder should be terminated as attorney general.

NSA

This one’s a little more nuanced. We do need, in my opinion, a capability to track terrorists that includes spying on their phone calls. However, what we don’t need is a blanket coverage of all American citizens, even if it’s only storage of records and nobody sees them right now. The potential for tyranny is blatant. This can become a mechanism for unprincipled politicians to get back at those who disagree with them. The NSA’s program must be limited to finding genuine threats against the nation. The House yesterday considered a bill that would have guaranteed those limits; it just barely failed to pass, and may be revisited in the near future. Above all, we must be sure our rights, as enunciated in the Bill of Rights, are not abridged.

Patriotism

So, in summary, these are not “fake” or “phony” scandals pursued for purely partisan purposes. The investigations are legitimate. The administration knows they are legitimate; they are the ones creating the distractions they so piously bemoan. They know where these investigations will lead, and they fear the backlash. As they should.

Veiled Disdain & Baghdad Jay

I watched some of the House hearing on Friday when outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller was being questioned. First impressions can be wrong at times, but my first impression of Miller was confirmed as the hearing progressed. What I saw was a man who seemed to think it somehow beneath him to be forced to appear before these congressmen. I sensed an air of superiority in Miller, combined with a thinly veiled disdain for the entire proceedings.

His testimony, such as it was, only furthered the theme of the entire Obama administration as these scandals unfold. Yes, mistakes were made, but nothing, absolutely nothing, was carried out from a political motive. It was just a coincidence, I guess, that groups with Tea Party, patriot, 9/12, or constitutional in their names were singled out for extra scrutiny, while progressive organizations flew through the process with nary a second thought. Miller never admitted any real wrongdoing; he even said he didn’t consider it illegal to set up a different standard for targeted groups. Actually, he refused even to acknowledge the word “targeted” because he said it was too pejorative a term. How dare we judge the motives of our civil servants.

This is insulting to the intelligence of the American people. I just hope enough of them feel sufficiently insulted to respond by resisting the numerous attempts to run roughshod over them. In the person of Steven Miller we see the ultimate bureaucratic character: unresponsive, haughty, more-intelligent-than-thou. We also see, in a microcosm, the heart of the problem with any government agency, but particularly one with the power of the IRS.

One of the highlights of the hearing was the articulate lecture offered to Miller by a congressman from Pennsylvania, Mike Kelly. He aimed directly at the IRS’s power over people and the intimidation factor. His mini-lesson was, to use a word overused by the younger generation, awesome. It was greeted with a standing ovation from the spectators in the room. That, in itself, should be a message to this administration.

Yet they still don’t get it. In the middle of all the muddle, the president found time to attend another one of his unending celebrity fundraisers. At the event, he blamed all his problems on Rush Limbaugh. And when Jay Carney appeared on Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, he said there were no scandals. He called Benghazi a “total concoction by Republicans” and even boasted that the released e-mails showed “Republicans are wrong.” So, in his mind, everything is fine.

Who recalls Baghdad Bob, the media hack for Saddam Hussein, who went on what was left of Iraqi TV at the time of the invasion, to assure everyone that there was no real invasion? That kind of disconnection with reality is cropping up in our current circumstances. Perhaps Carney needs a change of clothes so he can play the part more effectively:

There’s an aura of unreality about all of this. How long can blatant, public lies continue to carry their contrived message?

The “I didn’t know anything” theme is getting kind of old, too:

Well, maybe someday they’ll find who’s really responsible for all these misdeeds:

Is that really out of the question? Who knows to what depths they will sink.

Tyranny Revealed

It wasn’t all that long ago—like last week—that President Obama made a rather bold statement about people who warned against big government becoming a tyranny. He said they were off-base and we should avoid listening to them. Remember?

Well, it didn’t take long to peer around that corner and spy the tyranny. This has been a very bad week for Obama:

How bad is it? Even the lapdog media has been rudely awakened:

The funniest/saddest spectacle has been the lame attempt by White House press secretary Jay Carney to handle these controversies. His statements have been so far from objective truth that even the president’s most ardent supporters have to be embarrassed by the performance. In a city—Washington, DC—where politicians and reporters are hesitant to use the “l” word, some have been heard to utter it:

Some cartoonists have been slightly more subtle in making the same point:

Yet, despite it all, there is the president adamantly declaring “there’s no there there.” Kind of reminiscent of someone else who continually assured us there was “no smoking gun”:

Nixonian comparisons are beginning to surface with increasing frequency.

Using the IRS Against “Enemies”

So many significant stories are emerging at the same time, it’s hard to comment on everything. I wanted to be sure to write about the Gosnell verdict on Monday. I freely admit I’m disappointed by the sentence he received: two life terms without parole in exchange for not appealing. As I said in the earlier post, if ever anyone deserved the death penalty, it is Gosnell.

At the same time that the Benghazi investigation heated up last week, we learned the IRS was targeting conservative groups who were applying to become non-profit organizations. An IRS official admitted it publicly last Friday. Any group that had Tea Party in the name or that even spoke about making America better or studying the Constitution, became a target. These organizations had been telling the media this ever since the harassment began in 2009, but no one took them seriously. Now we know they were treated differently simply because of their political views.

The IRS is supposed to be a nonpartisan agency. White House spokesman Jay Carney even pointed to the fact that it has only two political appointees. In fact, the past head of the agency had been appointed by Bush. He testified that nothing of the sort was going on, but now it has come to light he knew back in May 2012. The report on Friday came in the form of an apology.

That apology is far too little and much too late, as far as those organizations who were put through the wringer are concerned. The animus of the IRS toward them was blatant.

Much of this scrutiny was apparently an attempt to blunt the conservative movement’s momentum in elections, both in 2010 and 2012. The IRS became an arm of the Obama administration and campaign.

Naturally, the White House is saying the president had nothing to do with this. After all, the IRS is an “independent” agency of the government. Yet we all know how this works. Previous presidents have been able to use the IRS against their political enemies—FDR and Nixon, for instance, did so. In fact, one of the impeachment articles against Nixon dealt with his use of the IRS to undermine his opponents during Watergate. A president doesn’t have to give anyone a direct order; those in sympathy with him at the agency can easily detect what he wants, something Obama has “joked” about during his presidency—having people investigated by the IRS. One study showed that IRS employees gave far more to his campaign than to Romney’s.

Another feature of this administration is always to push the blame onto low-level employees. In this instance, we’re told some employees in the Cincinnati office didn’t understand the parameters of what was permissible. Yet now information has come forth showing that IRS employees in Washington, DC, were right in the middle of it. But, as far as President Obama is concerned, it’s all separate from his administration. It’s just one big mistake.

I have as much trouble believing that as I do his tall tales on Benghazi.