BENGHAZIGATE: THE STATE OF THE STORY
Even for one who follows the news obsessively — one such as I — it has been extremely difficult to keep up with the developments in the Benghazigate story this week. In his weekly column, Mark Steyn incorporates Thursday’s and Friday’s breaking news and brings the story up to date with his characteristic flair:
“We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video,” said Hillary Clinton. No, not the person who made the video saying that voting for Barack Obama is like losing your virginity to a really cool guy. I’ll get to that in a moment. But Secretary Clinton was talking about the fellow who made the supposedly Islamophobic video that supposedly set off the sacking of the Benghazi consulate. And, indeed, she did “have that person arrested.” By happy coincidence, his bail hearing has been set for three days after the election, by which time he will have served his purpose. These two videos — the Islamophobic one and the Obamosexual one — bookend the remarkable but wholly deserved collapse of the president’s reelection campaign.
You’ll recall that a near-month-long attempt to blame an obscure YouTube video for the murder of four Americans and the destruction of U.S. sovereign territory climaxed in the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden’s bald assertion that the administration had been going on the best intelligence it had at the time. By then, it had been confirmed that there never had been any protest against the video, and that the Obama line that Benghazi had been a spontaneous movie review that just got a little out of hand was utterly false. The only remaining question was whether the administration had knowingly lied or was merely innocently stupid. The innocent-stupidity line became harder to maintain this week after Fox News obtained State Department e-mails revealing that shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern, less than a half hour after the assault in Benghazi began, the White House situation room knew the exact nature of it.
We also learned that, in those first moments of the attack, a request for military back-up was made by U.S. staff on the ground but was denied by Washington. It had planes and special forces less than 500 miles away in southern Italy — or about the same distance as Washington to Boston. They could have been there in less than two hours. Yet the commander-in-chief declined to give the order. So Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hellhole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. “Within minutes of the first bullet being fired the White House knew these heroes would be slaughtered if immediate air support was denied,” said Ty Woods’s father, Charles. “In less than an hour, the perimeters could have been secured and American lives could have been saved. After seven hours fighting numerically superior forces, my son’s life was sacrificed because of the White House’s decision.”
Why would Obama and Biden do such a thing? Because to launch a military operation against an al-Qaeda affiliate on the anniversary of 9/11 would have exposed the hollowness of their boast through convention week and the days thereafter — that Osama was dead and al-Qaeda was finished. And so Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock on the door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall-guy into custody.
This goes far beyond the instinctive secretiveness to which even democratic governments are prone. The Obama administration created a wholly fictional story line, and devoted its full resources to maintaining it…. [W]hen the president and other prominent officials stand by as four Americans die and then abuse their sacrifice as contemptuously as this administration did, decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene.
At the photo-op staged for the returning caskets, Obama et al. seem to have been too focused on their campaign needs to observe even the minimal courtesies. Charles Woods says that at the ceremony Joe Biden strolled over to him and by way of condolence said in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” One assumes charitably that the vice president is acknowledging in his own inept and blundering way the remarkable courage of a man called upon to die for his country on some worthless sod halfway across the planet. But the near-parodic locker-room coarseness is grotesque both in its inaptness and in its lack of basic human feeling for a bereaved family forced to grieve in public and as crowd-scene extras to the political bigshot. Just about the only formal responsibility a vice president has is to attend funerals without embarrassing his country. And this preening buffoon of pseudo-blue-collar faux-machismo couldn’t even manage that.
But a funny thing happened over the next six weeks: Obama’s own cue balls shriveled. Biden had offered up a deft campaign slogan encompassing both domestic and foreign policy: “Osama’s dead and General Motors is alive.” But, as the al-Qaeda connections to Benghazi dribbled out leak by leak, the “Osama’s dead” became a problematic boast and, left to stand alone, the General Motors line was even less credible. Avoiding the economy and foreign affairs, Obama fell back on Big Bird, and binders, and bayonets, just to name the “B”s in his bonnet. At the second presidential debate, he name-checked Planned Parenthood, the General Motors of the American abortion industry, half a dozen times, desperate to preserve his so-called gender gap. Yet oddly enough, the more furiously Obama and Biden have waved their binders and talked up Sandra Fluke, the more his supposed lead among women has withered away. So now he needs to enthuse the young, who turned out in such numbers for him last time. Hence, the official campaign video (plagiarized from Vladimir Putin of all people) explaining that voting for Obama is like having sex. The saddest thing about that claim is that, for liberals, it may well be true.
Both videos — the one faking Obamagasm and the one faking a Benghazi pretext — exemplify the wretched shrinkage that befalls those unable to conceive of anything except in the most self-servingly political terms. Both, in different ways, exemplify why Obama and Biden are unfit for office. One video testifies to a horrible murderous lie at the heart of a head of state’s most solemn responsibility, the other to the glib shallow narcissism of a pop-culture presidency, right down to the numbing relentless peer pressure: C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it; why be the last hold-out?
If voting for Obama is like the first time you have sex, it’s very difficult to lose your virginity twice. A flailing, pitiful campaign has now adopted Queen Victoria’s supposed wedding advice to her daughter: “Lie back and think of England.” Lie back and think of America. And then get up and get dressed. Who wants to sleep with a $16 trillion broke loser twice?
Just about the only item of recent news related to the story that Mark omits is Obama’s interview with KUSA 9News anchor Kyle Clark (video below). Clark asks Obama the same question twice, right at the top of the interview:
KYLE CLARK: Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi Libya denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do. But we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.
KYLE CLARK: Were they denied requests for help during the attack?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.
Oh, and one more thing. On the question why those requests for help were denied during the attack, the CIA released a statement yesterday, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.” Bill Kristol explicates the CIA statement:
So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.
It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why—and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations—did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?
Those are the questions that Obama avoids answering in his interview with Kyle Clark.
This is now growing to be the biggest scandal in American Presidential history. If the mainstream media were objective instead of part of the propaganda arm of the Obama Regime, this story would be headline material.
You may know what the story is, but there are shocking details you may not know. What must we do about this scandal?
The scandal is the attack on our American consulate in Benghazi. This scandal has gone from bad to worse. Usually it is the cover up that is worse than the scandal. Remember, it was the cover-up, not the break in at the Watergate that brought down Richard Nixon.
For two weeks, the Obama Regime lied to us about the attack, claiming that this was not an organized terrorist attack but a response to an anti-Muslim film. Every member of the Regime was dutifully trotted out to not only lie to the American people but to make a full frontal assault on the First Amendment.
Then we find out that Hillary Clinton and others in the State Department had requested more security for the Benghazi site and Obama denied that request.
The media reporting on the attack on the compound makes it sound like the Compound was quickly over run. Former Navy Seals Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods were part of a unit that was near by. They repeatedly asked for assistance and fought for seven hours before being killed.
Part of the compound was a CIA operation to help track down weapons missing since the end of the Qaddafi regime. The existence of this CIA operation and its headquarters was apparently an open secret in Libya.
As the CIA operators called for help, a CIA paramilitary team was a mile away and was told repeatedly to stand down. Special operations forces, including C-130 Specter gunships were an hour away.
They were not sent. Reports are now coming out that there was a drone over Benghazi at the time sending back real time images to the White House.
Now even more reports are coming out that the slain Ambassador Chris Stevens may have been up to his eyeballs recruiting jihadists for Syria. Before his death, a freighter from Libya, with a Captain from Benghazi docked in Turkey carrying 400 tons for weapons for the rebels fighting in Syria. These included sophisticated surface to air missiles. These surface to air missiles are shoulder fired, meaning they are very portable and only need one or two people to fire them. This is an arms smuggling scandal that could make the former Iran-Contra scandal look insignificant.
According to Aaron Klein at WND, the Consulate itself was not a consulate but an operations hub that served to coordinate aid for rebel led insurgencies through out the Middle East.
The weapons that Chris Stevens and the American government were helping to smuggle to Syria, with the help of the Islamist government in Ankara, were going to not to the secular moderates, but to Al-Qaeda type terrorists.
Republicans have a habit of coming into power and deciding they are simply going to ignore scandals from the previous Democrat administration.
This cannot happen this time.
Mitt Romney’s first priority when he is sworn in must be the economy. That is good. But he needs to find a really tough Attorney General and tell him to launch an investigation, get to the bottom of what happened and present the matter to a Federal Grand Jury and start getting indictments and convictions.
When an American President leaves Americans to die the way Obama did, it is criminal. When American forces that could easily help are told repeatedly to stand down, and other Americans who are calling for help are killed, it is murder. When American officials are funneling weapons to Al-Qaeda type terrorists, weapons that one-day might be used against us, that is not just wrong. It is illegal.
Republicans far too often treat Democrats as “Members of the club.” That club being the political class that runs Washington. They believe there are certain courtesies you give to members of the club, including covering for them. Remember what the Clinton administration people did to the White House when George W. Bush was sworn in? What did Bush do? He simply ignored it.
Remember what happened to Bill Clinton and the independent investigation into his conduct? The day before he left office, it ended with a joke. He paid a $25,000 fine to resolve the issues related to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and agreed to be disbarred in Arkansas. On the last day in office, he pardoned Marc Rich, a fugitive financier. Many have argued that this was done in exchange for various contributions. That might have been bribery but the Republicans would not investigate.
The American people are tired of business as usual. The Benghazi scandal is the biggest scandal ever to reach a President. There have been other scandals but no one died in those scandals.
If Mitt Romney’s administration will not investigate and prosecute this because it is the right thing to do, then they should do it out of a sense of self-defense.
Obama’s “Arab Spring” which has toppled regimes all over the Middle East, has opened the door for terrorists to acquire not only surface to air missiles but also possibly chemical WMD’s. Thousands of these shoulder fired surface to air missiles that were in Libya are now missing.
It is not a question of if, but only when some of those weapons will be used against America.
If the Romney administration does not aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsibly early, the Democrats will show them no such mercy.
My question…where is the Main Street media? Where is Romney? Where are our Representatives???
Turning to our borders now….
3,400 Border Patrol Agents on the Chopping Block By Janice Kephart
In an amazing untold story reflecting President Obama’s doubletalk on immigration, during Tuesday’s town hall-style debate with Mitt Romney he claimed responsibility for putting more Border Patrol agents on our border than ever before. What he did not say is that come January 2, 2013, the president’s failure of leadership could result in 3,400 Border Patrol agents losing their jobs. Also on the chopping block are 3,400 Customs and Border Protection inspectors, 932 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents, and 802 ICE deportation and removal officers.
We now learn that budget sequestration — which will slash the federal budget by 9.4 percent in 2013 for discretionary defense appropriations and by 8.2 percent in 2013 for discretionary nondefense appropriations — is actually worse than thought. A law passed 14 months ago required another 1.9 percent reduction in 2013 if the Congressional Super Committee failed to come to agreement on a budget, which is exactly what happened.
Why didn’t we know just how bad the cuts would be? Apparently when the Obama administration submitted its report to Congress, it “forgot” the extra 1.9 percent. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently told Congress the amount now will be $60.6 billion rather than the already debilitating $50 billion cuts previously expected. OMB reported exactly where the cuts would be and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, quickly made its key aspects public in a pleading “dear colleague” letter to fellow members of Congress, asking for cooperation to solve the pending budget disaster.
While the White House is reported to be asking other Democrats and those affected in the defense sector to stay “mum” regarding the cuts until after the election, the fact is that keeping quiet likely will not induce the president to divert from campaigning to force a budget compromise on Congress and further economic collapse on Americans.
To make an obvious point even more obvious, sequestration will enhance and underscore Obama’s open border policies. Border agents are already operating in the wake of failed southwest border security policies that have left both civilians and U.S. immigration agents dead on both sides of the border and placed hundreds of guns in drug lords’ hands in and out of the United States. President Obama failed to acknowledge either issue in Tuesday’s debate with Mitt Romney.
Rep. Dicks’ letter presents alarming concerns. Below are the key excerpts from the 15-page letter explaining current sequestration requirements and what they mean for immigration and border security. Note that only border agents dealing with enforcement are cut; no U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel are included because the agency is almost entirely funded by fees paid by immigrants, businesses, etc. USCIS is responsible for implementing President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) administrative amnesty and is necessary to process applications from those illegal aliens seeking to take advantage of the program.
My purpose here is to illustrate the consequences of an automatic, across-the-board, uniform percentage reduction prescribed by the Budget Control Act (BCA). This letter will examine the impact of sequestration on the whole range of Federal responsibilities and, I hope, help make the case for Congress to act responsibly by agreeing to a more sensible approach to deficit reduction.First, let us remember the purpose of sequestration. In an effort to reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion, the BCA captured the initial $1.2 trillion in cuts almost entirely by capping discretionary appropriations over the ten years from FY 2012 to FY 2021. To get the second installment of $1.2 trillion, Congress established the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Concerned, however, that the Congressional Super Committee might require additional motivation to agree on a balanced deficit reduction plan, Republicans and Democrats agreed to sequestration. Sequestration is not so much a back-up plan as an inducement for all sides to reach a compromise. Clearly, any thoughtful, deliberate agreement will be an improvement over the mechanical and indiscriminate nature of sequestration cuts. So the BCA provided plenty of time, more than one full year between the due date for the Joint Committee to propose its recommendations and the imposition of sequestration, to enable Congress and the President to try again.
To be clear: If sequestration takes effect, it is only because it failed to motivate Congressional action as intended. The across-the-board cuts take effect only because the Joint Select Committee failed, and only if, in the ensuing year, Congress and the President fail to reach agreement on a more sensible deficit reduction plan. [emphasis added]
The Sequestration Transparency Act (STA) directed OMB to report on how the Administration interprets the law related to implementing sequestration. On September 14, OMB submitted its report estimating percentage cuts for defense and nondefense appropriations based on assumptions set in the STA:
- A reduction of 9.4 percent in 2013 for discretionary defense (function 050) appropriations for each non-exempt item
- A reduction of 8.2 percent in 2013 on discretionary nondefense appropriations
OMB, in accordance with the STA, looked at only one aspect of sequestration. As another motivation to act, the BCA also set up a second, separate sequestration to enforce the firewall between security and non-security appropriations. Because the Joint Committee failed, a new and lower defense firewall goes into effect, requiring an additional cut in defense spending. Based on levels in the agreed upon continuing resolution for FY 2013, we estimate:
- An additional reduction of 1.9 percent in 2013 only for discretionary defense (function 050) accounts
If Congress fails to replace sequestration with a responsible, long-term deficit reduction plan, Moody’s has warned they will downgrade America’s credit rating and the Congressional Budget Office notes they will overturn their forecast of steady growth for 2013, predicting another recession with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. CRS estimates that sequestration alone would result in 1.4 million jobs lost in the same year.
Required reductions of budgetary resources for the Department of Homeland Security will roll back significant progress in securing our Nation’s borders, increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry and airports, impact aviation and maritime safety and security, leave critical infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper disaster response time, and eliminate cyber security infrastructure that has been developed in recent years.
Since the sequester would not be ordered under the BCA until January, federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security would be forced to compensate for the first quarter of spending with even greater budget cuts through the rest of the year.
Over 24,500 jobs could be lost to achieve reduced funding levels including:
- 3,400 Border Patrol agents — a reduction in Border Patrol agents to below FY 2009 levels, from an anticipated 21,370 agents to 17,970; a cut of this magnitude would significantly impact progress along the Southwest Border. DHS would not be able to maintain the minimum number of 21,370 agents set by P.L. 112-74.
- 3,400 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers — a reduction in CBP Officers to below FY 2007 on-board levels, from an anticipated 21,775 Officers to 18,375; this reduction will significantly increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry.
- 932 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agents – a decrease of this magnitude would significantly impact efforts to investigate crimes involving counter-proliferation, terrorism, and transnational threats.
- 802 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operation positions – These cuts to on-board levels will significantly roll back progress that has resulted in record-high removals of illegal criminal aliens this past year.
In order to sustain frontline operations in recent years while facing declining budgets, DHS has already taken significant reductions to administrative and mission support functions over the past several years. Over $3 billion in cost avoidances and savings have been achieved to date, which leaves little else to cut without directly impacting frontline operations.
Where possible, DHS and its Components would attempt to avoid cutting frontline positions. However, as stated by OMB in its report to Congress, “No amount of planning can mitigate the effect of these cuts.”
My question…where is the Main Street media? Where is Romney? Where are our Representatives???
Stay safe this weekend. I’m thinking we shall lose power (we always do) so who knows when the NTKN will be back. In the interim here are some storm safety tips:
- Emergency Contacts List – If you don’t have one, put it together now.
- Water – Keep at least one gallon per person per day
- Food and other provisions – Prepare a three-day supply of non-perishable (canned or dried) food. If you have pets, make sure you have enough wood and water for them, too.
- Flashlights: Have them, and have extra batteries
- A first-aid kit: Have one for your home, and a seven-day supply of medications
- Personal documents – Medication list and medical information, proof of address
- Extra cash – ATMs and credit card machines may not work in the event of a power outage. Pick up cash in advance.
- Charge your cell phone – Keep chargers and an extra batter on hand
- Fill your gas tank and set aside an extra set of car and house keys
- Secure your property – Bring inside bikes, lawn furniture, etc.
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters if you have them
- Smoke detectors – Make sure they have fresh batteries and are operating properly
- Generators – If you have one, review the instructions
What to do during the storm:
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve food
- Turn off or unplug propane tanks, electronic equipment and appliances
- Stay indoors. Drive only if necessary. If a road has been blocked off, do not drive around safety barriers. Emergency officials say flood waters are extremely dangerous and can hide other dangers, such as collapsed roads or other obstructions.
- During power outages, don’t use candles, they can be a fire hazard
- Don’t use gas cooking ranges for heating your home because of carbon monoxide hazards
- Wear protective clothing and closed-toed shoes
- Use your cell phone for emergency calls only, to conserve battery life
- Don’t bring generators indoor