Epic Fail: Benghazi-Gate Unraveling

27 10 2012

“Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Alfred Pennyworth, “The Dark Knight” 2008

How can you look into a grieving parent’s eyes and lie?

That is my first question. I said in my last Benghazi-Gate post that “When families begin to call for your head, there is bound to be a reckoning.”

Evidence of this just keeps on coming.

Charlie Woods is the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who gave his life trying to defend the consulate and safe house in the Benghazi attacks–even after calling TWICE for help. Both calls were denied, and SEAL Woods was given orders to stand down. He disobeyed those orders, and with fellow SEAL Glen Doherty, defended both the consulate and the safe house for 7 hours while the State Department and White House officials watched.

Yet, for 14 days after the Benghazi attack, the White House and State Department did a song and dance about an anti-Islamist video being the cause of the 9/11/12 uprising, when they knew this was not the case. Due in no small part to strong reporting from Breitbart.com, Eli Lake of Newsweek, Fox News, and others in the conservative blogosphere, this blatant cover up might have been allowed to stand.  Once the Congressional Oversight Committee did its investigations, the facts were codified on record, and allowed a deeper unfolding.

Charlie Woods said it best:  “I do not appreciate cowards, and I do not appreciate lies.” Neither do the American people, and the Obama administration and State Department have exhibited both over this last month and a half since the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

The video of the interview with Charlie Woods from Fox’s America Live with Megyn Kelly is heartbreaking. Mr. Woods tells his story of the lies and obfuscations from the Obama administration that dishonor the memory of his son, a true American hero.

As more facts are revealed, the falsehoods told by the White House and the State Department continue to unravel, exposing the shocking degree of the cover up.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asserted on Thursday that there was no way they could have sent in outside assistance, because they did not have enough intel at the time to take action, and he did not want to put American forces at risk.

Retired General Bob Scales, appearing Friday On the Record with Greta Van Susteren debunked Panetta’s claims, and confirms the information given by Investigative reporter Jennifer Griffin:

“[T]wo military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the Consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers. “

The drones had night vision capabilities, the ability to see through the fog and the fire of battle, and to even pinpoint and target certain weapons (like the mortar shells).

The CIA continues to distance itself of any culpability, placing the failure to act directly into the lap of the Obama Administration. The CIA confirmed that they requested help and were denied. As confirmed by Jennifer Griffin’s on-ground sources, during the attack Special Operator Woods and Navy SEAL Doherty reported back to base, giving relevant intel that would allow anyone assisting to know exactly where and when to strike:

“According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. ”
CIA Operations were denied request for help during Benghazi attack sources say.

This raises other questions: Who gave the order to stand down? Why was help refused, when the technology to assess the situation, and the ability to help was already in place?

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has announced it will hold a closed hearing on November 15 (after the election) into the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attack, including the intelligence and security situation there. There is word that additional hearings are also set to follow.

Of course, President Obama continues to dodge direct questions about this continuing debacle. After doing a fluffball interview with MTV, he sat down with Denver’s local News 9 reporter Kyle Clark who asked direct questions about the Benghazi tragedy:

“President Obama discussed the situation in Libya during a satellite interview Friday afternoon with 9NEWS reporter Kyle Clark, who also asked if it’s fair for Americans to be told to wait until after the election to learn what truly happened in Libya.

“‘The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,’ President Obama said. ‘Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.'” (emphases mine)

“President Obama was directly asked twice whether pleas for help on the ground in Libya were denied during the attack. Both times, he repeated his standard call for a thorough investigation.”

The full transcript of the interview and the video can be seen here. The President looks haggard, tired, and like he doesn’t even believe the regurgitated talking points that are coming from his mouth. He fails to make a convincing argument.

If President Obama wins re-election (which looks less and less likely) then his administration will be under investigation, not just for Benghazi, but for his other domestic policy failures (Fast & Furious, Solyndra/Sun Power). If he is found to be culpable in the cover up of Benghazi-Gate, he could possibly be impeached.

If there is any justice, he will wear his Foreign Policy decisions like an albatross around his neck.

If President Obama is not re-elected, then Benghazi-Gate will be the legacy. A Middle East foreign policy that was supposed to bring peace and new relations with Islamic countries, that only added more fuel to the fire of Islamist hatred, opened America up to further attack (the Underwear Bomber, Times Square Bomber, Fort Hood), and precipitated the death of Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens and three American heroes.

For many, November 7 cannot come soon enough.

UPDATE: More unraveling from Nice Deb and The Blaze. Sources place President Obama in the Situation Room while the Benghazi attacks were happening. According to Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer on Fox’s Judge Jeanine Pirro, “He and only he could issue a directive for Sec of Defense, Panetta to do something.”

Nice Deb nails it: “Once again, Obama voted ‘present’.”

Advertisements




Epic Fail: Benghazi-Gate Cover Up

13 10 2012

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”

— Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

I was six when the Watergate scandal was raging, so its impact was mostly lost on me. It was only later in life that I understood the gravity of a President willfully deceiving the American people and believing he had done nothing wrong in doing this.

However, no one died in Watergate. Lost reputations for sure, along with the lost confidence of the American people in their elected officials; but no one lost their life.

We cannot say the same with Benghazi-Gate. Four dead Americans: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods are the result of the Obama administration’s malfeasance toward security and intelligence, and their willful deception about the true causes surrounding this terrorist attack.

The legacy media has finally stopped covering for President Obama and has begun to cover the scandal–three weeks after the attack on September 11, 2012. Our legislative body in the form of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called for hearings, and on Wednesday, October 10, the Committee took over four hours to grill various State Department personnel on the security failures in Benghazi. The testimony given was both revelatory and  deplorable. Requests for heightened security were made by top security officer Eric L. Nordstrom, but were denied by the State Department. Nordstrom reflected the fatalism of these refusals when he testified, “The takeaway from that, for me and my staff: It was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is, again, ‘How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?’ “

Tragically, we now know the answer to that question. I recommend you view the hearings for yourself here. They are a strong indictment on the divide between the bureaucratic bubble of Washington, D.C., and the actual people who are putting their lives on the line every day.

Sobering.

If you are not up to speed on the full scope of this debacle, this video from Western Journalism gives an excellent overview on the terrorist attack, the cover up, and what is at stake if this is not fully investigated before the election.

President Obama, who missed 62 percent of his intelligence briefings in 2011 and 2012, initially refused to acknowledge the Libya tragedy was a terrorist attack, preferring to blame it on an anti-Muslim video, and declaring the administration would gain “justice” for the fallen.

Four weeks later, there is little justice and even fewer answers. Marc A. Thiessen rightly compares the Bush administration’s response after 9/11/2001, and the stunning lack of response of the Obama administration toward this crisis.

“Three weeks to reach the “crime scene”? Within days, CNN reporters were able to rummage through the rubble and recover the ambassador’s diary, and Post reporters were able to access and photograph the destroyed diplomatic compound. But the administration can’t get the FBI to the scene for three weeks? It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration is treating the attack as a crime — but it can’t even get the criminal investigation right.”

The real Libya scandal: The failure to respond.”

So far, the heavy lifting has been done by investigative reporting: Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, Fox News, Breibart.com, the Daily Caller, and a host of other conservative websites have uncovered what looks increasingly like a concerted effort on the part of the Obama Administration to obfuscate the truth.

Aside from new media and the Congressional Oversight committee, the rest of Washington is giving the appearance of business as usual. And unless directly confronted on the matter, the Obama administration remains in campaign mode. President Obama would rather champion for Big Bird than talk about the breakdown that occurred on his watch. Of course, when anyone from the administration (or campaign) is asked to give an account, they continue to shift the story, and lay blame elsewhere.

In the Vice Presidential debate Thursday night, VP Joe Biden denied that the administration knew anything about requests for heightened security. Hours before VP Biden uttered that stunning lie, campaign stooge Stephanie Cutter blamed the politics of the Romney/Ryan campaign for that fact that Benghazi is even an issue. Fox News’ Bret Baier, (who conducted the interview), reminded Cutter that it might be an issue because four people are dead. Deer-in-the headlights Stephanie merely doubled-down on her claim. I would expect nothing less from a woman who makes her living off spin and slander.

On Friday, The Carney undercut the State Department and the Intelligence Community with more dancing and double-talk:

While all of this has been raging, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remained largely incognito. She emerged Friday to address the Center for Strategic and International Studies. However, her speech did little to bring clarity or direction. From the Boston Herald:

“‘We do not have all the answers. No one in this administration has ever claimed otherwise.

“‘We are providing the best information we have at that time and that information continues to be updated, it also continues to be put into context and more deeply understood through the process we are engaged in,’ she said.”

The U.S. Intelligence community is not taking lightly these apparent efforts to hang this mess around their neck. In a piece in the UK Daily Mail, it highlights a joint statement by Michael Hayden, ex-CIA director, and Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security. Hayden and Chertoff  call out the Obama administration on their thinly veiled attempts to make Intelligence a scapegoat.

“During the Vice Presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi,’ they said in the statement.

“Given what has emerged publicly about the intelligence available before, during, and after the September 11 attack, it is clear that any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence. Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.”

EX-CIA Chief slams Biden for throwing U.S. Intelligence Community under the bus

Brutal.

But an even more fatal blow was rendered by Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, when she appeared on CNN decrying the loss of her son’s life, and calling out the administration for its obstructionism and cowardice.

When families begin to call for your head, there is bound to be a reckoning, and rightly so. Let’s just hope it occurs before November 6.





11 09 2012

I originally wrote this for September 11, 2006, but the thoughts and exhortations are just as true six years later as they were when I wrote them. On this 11th anniversary of the 9/11 Tragedy, let us remember the courage and the coming together of a nation. But most of all, let us remember those who died and those they left behind.

As the Girl Turns

On today, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, we remember the 2001 atrocity committed against our nation and the world.The previously “friendly skies” of United and American were turned into weapons at the hands of Islamic-fascists, destroying the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and close to 3,000 lives.

Along with the lives lost, our illusions that our nation is a safe place were permanently shattered.

Five years later, we are still fighting a global war on terror against those who want to destroy us.Some feel its a failure, others feel we need to stay the course and are gaining ground.I’m not here to argue the validity of either viewpoint.My focus has been on what five years of terror threats and the federal and local action and reaction to it has produced.

Three weeks preceding the 9/11 anniversary, a terrorist plot in Britain was thwarted.Radicals who were…

View original post 874 more words





Illustrating Absurdity

17 11 2010

 

Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/publicdomainpictures.net

Can we get any more absurd than complaining about a TV-show being fixed?  When did Dancing with the Stars become purist high art?  Seriously, give Bristol Palin credit for trying to do something with her life instead of immediately getting on the government dole.  I don’t watch the show, and don’t care to watch the show, but if I hear one more blogger or avid show watcher belly-aching about Bristol Palin winning for another week, I may just call in and vote for her!  Obviously there is something about her the American people love, kind of like Fantasia Barino–so deal with it and truly, truly get over it, or change the channel.  Blogosphere in a tizzy over Bristol Palin’s advance to the finals.

Climbing off the soapbox now and on to real matters of import.  This TSA/Airport Security Body Scanner/Invasive Groping mess.  Jon Tyner‘s phrase “You touch my junk, and I’ll have you arrested” has entered the hallowed lexicons of our language, right up there with “Don’t Tase me, Bro!”

But the Associated Press offers up their anemic response to what is fast becoming a national crisis.  Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints.  AP boils all this brouhaha down to 1) blame the passenger, and 2) we haven’t made any real sacrifices for national security.  So terrorizing a three-year-old is just a minor bit of inconvenience?

The lefty-heavy Los Angeles Times in their article, “Shut up and be scanned”, offers this bit of sunny advice:

“There’s no bright line to indicate where our quest for security becomes intolerably invasive of our privacy, but we’re still pretty sure the TSA hasn’t yet crossed it. Although the pat-downs are seriously embarrassing, they’re also usually voluntary — to avoid them, you just have to go through the scanner. And fears about the scanners have been overblown.”

Bite me.  Michael Graham at Boston Herald gives more reasoned (and sensible) advice.  We take this now, imagine what we’ll have to put up with later? Airport security is one big scan.  And Jennifer Abel at the Guardian UK gets even more caustic.  Get your hands off me, TSA!

I will watch with relish next week to see how passengers and TSA fare on the biggest travel Holiday of the year.   Thanks to John Tyner, I’m sure many will come armed with a camera phone that also includes their lawyer’s number. So glad I’m staying in town!

 

 





Lest we Forget…

11 09 2010

I do not understand how anyone can.  The world has never been the same since, and will never be the same for the survivors, those who died, and their family, friends and loved ones.

The New York Daily News helps us to remember the fallen.

Lest we Forget: Victims of September 11.





In My Orbit

9 09 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s not in My Orbit, or everyone else’s today?  The news media, pundits, and bloggers won’t let go this “Pastor” in Gainsville, Florida who is threatening to burn the Qu’ran on 9-11.

As far as I’m concerned, they are all missing the point in fixating on Islam, Muslim reaction, and their favorite buzz word: hate.

The epistle of John says, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  I not only question this man’s sanity, but whether he even knows God–here’s why:  Whatever you feel about Islam and Muslim extremism, is really not the point; it is categorically unloving to the victims, survivors and families of 9-11 to do such an act on the day when we remember, mourn and continue to seek answers.  It would be equivalent to anyone burning the American flag on the July 4 holiday!

But Lo, and Behold, an intrepid blogger has found a connection between this “Pastor” at Dove World Outreach Center, and the Westboro Baptist Church.  Why am I not surprised?  Good investigation and commentary: Qu’ran Burning Church Linked to Westboro…

Frankly, it’s another sad smoke and mirrors distraction from real news.  High on my list of real is Mayor Richard M. Daley (“Daley II”) choosing not to run for re-election.   I was 10 years old (and a bit of a political junkie even then) when Daley I (Richard M.) keeled over from a heart attack.  He had no plans of stepping down–the decision was made for him.  Apparently Daley II learned a cautionary tale from his Dad, and is quitting while he’s ahead.  His 21-year dynasty surpassed his father’s, along with the graft and corruption–but I digress.  His wife Maggie Daley is battling cancer, so I give him a hat tip for wanting to focus on her battle, rather than continue to line his own political nest.

There are rumors that Rahm Emmanuel wants to fill the shoes–not getting any love in the Obama Administration, it seems.  In America, there are two ways to set up a monarchy: Become a Senator or a Mayor.  For someone with ambitions like Emmanuel, a Presidential administration is small change.

My sister texted me with this message: “Woohoo the DYNASTY has CRUMBLED!!”  She expresses the sentiment of many a Chicagoan, current and former.  No matter where you live now, you never stop being a Chicagoan, nor are you disconnected from its curious form of politics.

Of course, we have an expert on this in the White House, so now the rest of the nation is getting intimately acquainted, whether they like it or not.





Epic Fail

14 06 2010

You know you are losing brownie points when a fanboy at the Daily Beast exposes your lack of follow-through. Richard Wolfe writes a breathless article Obama Briefed in April on How Bad the BP Spill Was, basically stating that the administration had been fully apprised of the potential devastation of the spill, and decided to become Calvinists instead of Pentecostals.  A pull quote:

“What has not been previously disclosed: The president was not only briefed on the real-time events of the spill, but also on just how bad it would be—and how hard it would be to plug the hole.”

And another:

“The fact that Team Obama was warned of the extent of the disaster so early on suggests that White House officials were aware of the environmental challenge long before they decided to demonstrate concern via presidential visits to the Gulf.”

This is after the May 27 press conference where President Obama insisted, “The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort.”

In charge, but moving like the sludge that is the spill.  This from the Houston Chronicle: U.S. and BP slow to accept Dutch expertise:

“Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help.

It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands.

The response from the Obama administration and BP, which are coordinating the cleanup: ‘The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, “Thanks, but no thanks,”‘ said Geert Visser, consul general for the Netherlands in Houston.”

Moving into Day 54 of this unmitigated disaster, apparently the O-Administration had a change of heart:

“Now, almost seven weeks later, as the oil spewing from the battered well spreads across the Gulf and soils pristine beaches and coastline, BP and our government have reconsidered.

U.S. ships are being outfitted this week with four pairs of the skimming booms airlifted from the Netherlands and should be deployed within days. Each pair can process 5 million gallons of water a day, removing 20,000 tons of oil and sludge.

At that rate, how much more oil could have been removed from the Gulf during the past month?

The uncoordinated response to an offer of assistance has become characteristic of this disaster’s response. Too often, BP and the government don’t seem to know what the other is doing, and the response has seemed too slow and too confused.”

Hmmm…

Also shedding light on that singularity statement President Obama made, Kevin Kristy at PolitPage put together an indicting photo display on just how focused our President really was.  Someone else kindly put it in video form, with heartbreaking images of the increasing damage on the Gulf Coast.  This video is now going viral–I hope I help it along:

Realizing just how much this poor handling of the crisis has affected his approval ratings, President Obama is now making plans to meet with BP’s CEO, after stating in a Today show interview that he has not even talked to the man.  He also launched an independent commission to investigate, and is headed for his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast.  Even AP isn’t covering up on this one–note my emphasis:

Struggling to show leadership in a crisis, President Barack Obama is embarking on a three-state tour of Gulf Coast states tainted by oil before speaking to the nation about the country’s worst environmental disaster and what to expect in the weeks ahead.”

Therein lies the problem with assuming charisma, pretty words and panache automatically add up to leadership abilities.   With an abysmal approval rating of 44%, if our President does not alter his course and quickly learn some leadership skills, this blog title will be what people think about his Presidency.  Making history, indeed.