Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 09:19 am
When you've lost Maureen Dowd....

When Myths Collide in the CapitalBy MAUREEN DOWD


THE capital is in the throes of déjà vu and preview as it plunges back into Clinton Rules, defined by a presidential aide on the hit ABC show “Scandal” as damage control that goes like this: “It’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s old news.”

The conservatives appearing on Benghazi-obsessed Fox News are a damage patrol with an approach that goes like this: “Lies, paranoia, subpoena, impeach, Watergate, Iran-contra.”

(Though now that the I.R.S. has confessed to targeting Tea Party groups, maybe some of the paranoia is justified.)

Welcome to a glorious spring weekend of accusation and obfuscation as Hillaryland goes up against Foxworld.

The toxic theatrics, including Karl Rove’s first attack ad against Hillary, cloud a simple truth: The administration’s behavior before and during the attack in Benghazi, in which four Americans died, was unworthy of the greatest power on earth.

After his Libyan intervention, President Obama knew he was sending diplomats and their protectors into a country that was no longer a country, a land rife with fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Yet in this hottest of hot spots, the State Department’s minimum security requirements were not met, requests for more security were rejected, and contingency plans were not drawn up, despite the portentous date of 9/11 and cascading warnings from the C.I.A., which had more personnel in Benghazi than State did and vetted the feckless Libyan Praetorian Guard. When the Pentagon called an elite Special Forces team three hours into the attack, it was training in Croatia — decidedly not a hot spot.

Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Chris Stevens were rushing to make the flimsy Benghazi post permanent as a sign of good faith with Libyans, even as it sat ringed by enemies.

The hierarchies at State and Defense had a plodding response, failing to make any superhuman effort as the siege waxed and waned over eight hours.

In an emotional Senate hearing on Wednesday, Stevens’s second-in-command, Gregory Hicks, who was frantically trying to help from 600 miles away in Tripoli, described how his pleas were denied by military brass, who said they could not scramble planes and who gave a “stand-down” order to four Special Forces officers in Tripoli who were eager to race to Benghazi.

“My reaction was that, O.K., we’re on our own,” Hicks said quietly. He said the commander of that Special Forces team told him, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more” chutzpah “than someone in the military.”

The defense secretary at the time, Leon Panetta, insisted, “We quickly responded.” But they responded that they would not respond. As Emma Roller and David Weigel wrote in Slate: “The die was cast long before the attack, by the weak security at the consulate, and commanders may have decided to cut their losses rather than risking more casualties. And that isn’t a story anyone prefers to tell.”

Truth is the first casualty here when competing fiefs protect their mythologies. Some unhinged ideologues on the right cling to the mythology that Barry and Hillary are out to destroy America.

In the midst of a re-election campaign, Obama aides wanted to promote the mythology that the president who killed Osama was vanquishing terror. So they deemed it problematic to mention any possible Qaeda involvement in the Benghazi attack.

Looking ahead to 2016, Hillaryland needed to shore up the mythology that Clinton was a stellar secretary of state. Prepared talking points about the attack included mentions of Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group, but the State Department got those references struck. Foggy Bottom’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, a former Cheney aide, quashed a we-told-you-so paragraph written by the C.I.A. that said the spy agency had “produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to Al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya,” and had warned about five other attacks “against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British ambassador’s convoy.”

Nuland fretted about “my building leadership,” and with backing from Ben Rhodes, a top White House aide, lobbied to remove those reminders from the talking points because they “could be abused by members” of Congress “to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”

Hicks said that Beth Jones, an under secretary of state, bristled when he asked ask her why Susan Rice had stressed the protest over an anti-Muslim video rather than a premeditated attack — a Sunday show marathon that he said made his jaw drop. He believes he was demoted because he spoke up.

Hillary’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, also called Hicks to angrily ask why a State Department lawyer had not been allowed to monitor every meeting in Libya with Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who visited in October. (The lawyer did not have the proper security clearance for one meeting.) Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, has been a rabid Hillary critic on Fox News since the attack. Hicks said he had never before been scolded for talking to a lawmaker.

All the factions wove their own mythologies at the expense of our deepest national mythology: that if there is anything, no matter how unlikely or difficult, that we can do to try to save the lives of Americans who have volunteered for dangerous assignments, we must do it.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/opinion/sunday/dowd-when-myths-collide-in-the-capital.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 May, 2013 07:05 pm
Quote:
All the factions wove their own mythologies at the expense of our deepest national mythology: that if there is anything, no matter how unlikely or difficult, that we can do to try to save the lives of Americans who have volunteered for dangerous assignments, we must do it.

Yes, the GOP and FOX mythology is just that, a mythology.
There is no great scandal there, only politicians covering their ass.
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:15 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Obama identified the attack as terrorist on 9/13 why didn't Rice on 9/15?

There is a State Department memo from 9/12 identifying the terrorist group responsible for the attack. The UN Ambassador and designated spokesperson for the Administration on 9/15 didn't know this?


I don't really know, perhaps they were being overly cautious as the days went on with what they had to say until the investigation was completed.

Feinstein meet the press video

Quote:
The talking points were changed for political reasons.


Your opinion, but even if so, it really is not the big deal you make it out to be.

Quote:
Your offering a Mother Jones article has a credible source of unbiased news?


No, thought it was a good article and articulated the points I was to make.

Quote:
You find it only a little curious that the Inspector General is investigating Hillary's Blue Ribbon Panel?


Yes I do find it a little curious.

Quote:
As for the comparison to Watergate, I limited it to to the reaction of Obama supporters to those of Nixon supporters. Same dismissal and denial.


Since I am unaware really of those reactions during those years, I really can't take your word for how those reactions are similar.


Quote:
Oh please don't toss out that canard about budget restraints. Whatever funding restraints were imposed they weren't embassy specific. Only an idiot would cut security expense across all embassies. Are you suggesting Hillary is an idiot?


Actually the cut backs were embassy specific.

Quote:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010.


CNN source
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:19 am
@hawkeye10,
Gates: Some Benghazi critics have "cartoonish" view of military capability

Quote:
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates forcefully defended the Obama administration on Sunday against charges that it did not do enough to prevent the tragedy in Benghazi, telling CBS' "Face the Nation" that some critics of the administration have a "cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces."

Gates, a Republican who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2006 and agreed to stay through more than two years of President Obama's first term, repeatedly declined to criticize the policymakers who devised a response to the September 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

"Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were," said Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

"We don't have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible." he explained.

Suggestions that we could have flown a fighter jet over the attackers to "scare them with the noise or something," Gates said, ignored the "number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from [former Libyan leader] Qaddafi's arsenals."

"I would not have approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft, over Benghazi under those circumstances," he said.

Another suggestion posed by some critics of the administration, to, as Gates said, "send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, would have been very dangerous."

"It's sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces," he said. "The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm's way, and there just wasn't time to do that."

Gates said he could not speak to allegations that the State Department refused requests for additional security in the months prior to the attack. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been increasingly targeted for criticism by Republicans for her handling of the crisis and the government's response, with some even raising the possibility that the State Department engineered a coverup to protect her political future.

But when Gates was asked whether he thought that might be a possibility, he replied flatly, "No."

"I worked with Secretary Clinton pretty closely for two and a half years, and I wouldn't want to try and be somebody...trying to convince her to say something she did not think was true," he said, adding that he has not spoken with Clinton about the events in Benghazi.
H2O MAN
 
  -4  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:25 am
@revelette,

Based on his asinine & idiotic comments, Gates knows plenty of Benghazi supporters
that agree with what happened and who got murdered by Muslim extremist in Benghazi
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:27 am
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:45 am
Quote:
ABC News is buying into right-wing scandal mongering over the tragic September 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, with an "exclusive" report that doesn't stand up to minimal scrutiny, with flaws that are being used by the right to call for a major investigation.

The so-called "exclusive" report, posted at ABCNews.com, purports to uncover dramatic new developments in the right wing's Benghazi witch hunt, but in reality it is little more than a rehash of previously covered debates over whose input was given to the early draft of intelligence talking points put together in the early days of the investigation into the attacks. None of this largely rehashed debate disproves what Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified in November: that the intelligence community signed off on the final draft of the talking points, and that references to terrorist groups in Libya were removed in order to avoid tipping off those groups.

The May 10 ABC News report focuses on the much discussed CIA talking points that were prepared in the days immediately after the September 11, 2012, attack, and which were used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in her appearance on several news programs to discuss those attacks. Nothing in the ABC News report focuses on the actual events of September 11, 2012, only on the editing process of a talking points memo and what information should be made available for public dissemination during an ongoing investigation into a terrorist attack:


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

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

Karl goes on to explore whether this disproves comments White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made in late November 2012, more than 2 months after the attack, about the role the White House and the State Department played in editing the final version of those talking points; whether the editing process proves that the White House was engaged in an effort to downplay the role of terrorism in its public statements immediately after the attack; and whether the editing process proves that the talking points were scrubbed of references to terror solely for political reasons.

Karl's report feeds into the right-wing conspiracy mongering over the Benghazi attacks and the desperate campaign to fabricate a cover-up. Friday morning, Fox News hosts cited the report as evidence that a major investigation was needed.

(video at the source)



Yet Karl's speculation is easily disproved.

The entirety of the ABC News report focuses on emails that lay out the process of drafting the intelligence community's talking points and the debate over whether to include references to terrorist groups, and whether those references were "scrubbed" to cover up failures at the State Department. What Karl doesn't point out is that the former head of the CIA said that this is not the case. After Petraeus gave closed-door testimony before congressional leaders in November, The New York Times reported:


David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers on Friday that classified intelligence reports revealed that the deadly assault on the American diplomatic mission in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration refrained from saying it suspected that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups.


Mr. Petraeus, who resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair, said the names of groups suspected in the attack -- including Al Qaeda's franchise in North Africa and a local Libyan group, Ansar al-Shariah -- were removed from the public explanation of the attack immediately after the assault to avoiding alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them, lawmakers said.

Karl also forwards the notion that the White House was aggressively trying to downplay the role that terrorism played for political reasons while the President was calling the attacks an act of terror at the same time. In his first public comments after the attack, President Obama very clearly referred to the attack as an act of terror. One day later, Obama again referred to the Benghazi attacks as an act of terror. Those comments came September 12 and September 13. Yet Karl implies that edits to a document that were made on September 14, after Obama had already labeled the attack an act of terror, demonstrate that the administration was trying to downplay the role that terror played.
This leaves Karl with the "exclusive" that emails weighing in on early drafts of the talking points amounts to a contradiction with comments Carney made in November:


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

But as Carney notes in comments printed at the end of the ABC News report, there has never been a question that multiple agencies had input into the formation of the talking points, which in the end were drafted by the intelligence community:


"The CIA drafted these talking points and redrafted these talking points," Carney said. "The fact that there are inputs is always the case in a process like this, but the only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive. They corrected the description of the building or the facility in Benghazi from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like. And ultimately, this all has been discussed and reviewed and provided in enormous levels of detail by the administration to Congressional investigators, and the attempt to politicize the talking points, again, is part of an effort to, you know, chase after what isn't the substance here."

ABC is left with a major exclusive dissecting the distinction between input and editing.


Again, links to back up statements and/or facts at the admittedly liberal source
gungasnake
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 10:30 am
@revelette,
Quote:
ABC News is buying into right-wing scandal mongering over the tragic September 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, with an "exclusive" report that doesn't stand up to minimal scrutiny, with flaws that are being used by the right to call for a major investigation.


The fact that a mainstream media outlet (ABC) would sooner or later figure this thing out and begin telling the truth about it is the whole story. The rest of the sentence and the verbiage following it are meaningless.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 01:25 pm
http://i1.cpcache.com/product/281482575/obama_100_douchebag_tile_coaster.jpg
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  6  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 04:14 pm
I'm gonna get in trouble for this, but I'm gonna say it anyway.

This whole thing about Benghazi is a tempest in a teapot.
Yes, mistakes were made, yes a US ambassador was killed, and yes we need to find out what happened, but to blame anyone in DC seems to be pointless.
Contrary to what some people believe, there were no US military units close enough to respond in time, even if the order had been given.
The nearest air force or marine units that could have responded were in Italy, and the marine embassy guards in Tripoli do not have the firepower to fight there way through a major assault like that.

Every embassy detail relies heavily on local authorities to maintain the sanctity of the embassy, with the marine guards there as a last resort.
They are tasked with the safety of the ambassador, the grounds, and the civilian employees, while relying heavily on local authorities to handle anything outside the grounds of the embassy.

So yes, we need to know what happened so we can make sure it doesn't happen again, but trying to find a scapegoat is counterproductive and dangerous.
Butrflynet
 
  4  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 04:37 pm
Republican Defense Secretary Robert Gates:


"Frankly, I have heard 'why didn't you just fly a fighter jet over and try to scare them with the noise or something'. Well, given the number of surface-to-air missiles that have disappeared from Gadhafi's arsenals, I would not have approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft over Benghazi under those circumstances. ...

"And to send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on, on the ground," he added. "I think would have been very dangerous and, personally, I would not have approved that because we just don't -- it's sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces. The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm's way, and there just wasn't time to do that."



Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/05/12/Gates-says-critics-have-cartoonish-view-of-military/UPI-36611368389568/#ixzz2TDLZxaHW
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 05:11 pm
@mysteryman,
Well, it's kind of like Watergate and a whole raft of other incidents. It's the lies, evasions, coverups that make an incident into a problem. Not that they'll ever learn, of course.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 05:42 pm
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:
The nearest air force or marine units that could have responded were in Italy, and the marine embassy guards in Tripoli do not have the firepower to fight there way through a major assault like that.


But according to the WH, there was no "major assault" ...it was just a "spontaneous uprising". Wouldn't it have made sense to fly in a few extra guards to reinforce the safety of an ambassador against the rioters?


URL: http://able2know.org/topic/199238-20
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 06:06 pm
@slkshock7,


The WH is guilty of lying to everyone about this, but what does it matter now?
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:22 pm
@slkshock7,
I guess you like cartoons.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 09:29 pm
@Butrflynet,
Quote:
"And to send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on, on the ground," he added. "I think would have been very dangerous and, personally, I would not have approved that because we just don't

if the intel community did not know what was going on in that global hot spot over a year after we entered a civil war there then they are useless....how about we save a half trillion dollars a year and shut them down MKAY?
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 May, 2013 07:05 am
The following is an of why the whole Benghazi Boogaloo has turned into a sideshow.

Quote:
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) responded to President Obama’s forceful condemnation of the GOP’s effort to portray his administration’s response to the attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya as a cover-up on Monday, suggesting that the president sought to downplay the severity of the incident by describing the killings of four Americans as an “act of terror” rather than a “terrorist attack.”

In the day following the Benghazi attacks, Obama appeared at the White House Rose Garden alongside then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In his remarks, Obama referred to the incident as an “act of terror” and used the phrase again at a campaign rally the day after in Denver, CO. “I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished,” he said.

But Issa claimed that Obama relied on the “act of terror” formulation to dissuade Americans from thinking it was a terror attack, thus improving his chances of re-election.

“The president sent a letter to the President of Libya where he didn’t call it a terrorist attack even when at the time the President of Libya was calling it pre-planned Sept. 11 terrorist attack,” Issa told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “The words that are being used carefully — like you just said, ‘act of terror’ — an ‘act of terror’ is different than a ‘terrorist attack.’ The truth is, this was a terrorist attack, this had Al Qaeda at it.”

Seven days after Obama’s comments at the Rose Garden, National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen called the the assault in Benghazi an “opportunistic attack” in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. “I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” he said, presumably pleasing Issa.

During a visit to Washington Hospital Center on Sep. 13, 2001 — just two days after the attacks on the World Trade Center — President George W. Bush described the incident as an “unbelievable act of terror.”


Links at the source

0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 14 May, 2013 07:07 am


4 dead Americans and the subsequent cover-up is not a "side show".

Truth is strength...
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 May, 2013 07:18 am
@H2O MAN,
Considering there was no cover up, yes, sadly, it has become a sideshow.
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 May, 2013 07:19 am
The Benghazi hearings: what’s new and what’s not
0 Replies
 
 

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