The following scene is fictitious. Any resemblance between the characters, or the events they refer to, and real people or real events, is purely coincidental.
A stretch of wasteground, deserted but for two figures approaching each other from opposite sides. No buildings in sight. No road, no passing traffic or pedestrians. Both figures, one elderly female (Hillary), one elderly male (Tom), are muffled up to the ears and have hats with brims pulled down over their faces. Both look nervously about them to make sure they’re not being followed or observed.
When they’re close to each other Tom speaks.
Tom: Hi Hillary. So what is it you need to see me urgently and secretly about?
Hillary: It’s the Benghazi thing. We managed to keep it off the front pages, but you know what happened. I got Susan to stick her neck out trying to spread the video story. Told her I’d definitely tell Barack that she was the one to have my job at State when I retire if she’d do that little thing for me. But then some people may they rot in hell let out part of the truth about what really happened, and we just didn’t manage to make the video story stick, and now the Republicans are trying to make a scandal of it.
Tom: So where do I come in?
Hillary: I told Barack we must set up an official inquiry that can take some weeks so it only comes out when we’re safely over the election, and while its going on we won’t have to answer any questions – we can say we don’t want to anticipate the findings. With luck by the time the inquiry’s finished the whole thing will be forgotten or at least seem very stale news.
Tom: And you want me to head this inquiry – right?
Hillary: It has to be you, Tom. You know the area. You know the people. You know how Barack feels about them. The same way you do.
Tom: But why the secrecy? You’ll be making a public announcement that I’ll be heading it, won’t you?
Hillary: Of course. But we have to talk about what your inquiry will find out.
Tom: I get you. Okay, tell me what you want me to hide.
Hillary: Well, its really, really important to Barack to have everyone believe he’s defeated al-Qaeda. You know?
Tom: Sure, I understand that. Though I personally always thought that bin Laden guy was a fine looking fellow. Good at what he did too. Bit of a shame that he had to go. I understand Valerie nearly got Barack to leave him be, but the navy people just wouldn’t stop pushing once they’d found out where he was and they knew they could do it.
Hillary: Thing is, the vast right wing conspiracy has found out that there may have been some al-Qaeda people among the mob who killed Chris.
Hillary: Stevens. Our ambassador to Libya.
Tom: And you want that kept that out of my findings?
Hillary: Well, it’s out now so you may not be able to. They’ve even picked up leads to our weapons transfers.
Tom: Weapons transfers?
Hillary: Yeah – guns and stuff. Stuff left over from when we supplied the rebels against Gaddafi. Stingers – whatever they are. Chris was organizing their transfer through Turkey to the rebels in Syria.
Tom: Good. I mean – bad if anyone found out about that, eh? By the way, who are these Syrian rebels, d’you know?
Hillary: Well, that could be even more embarrassing. Some of them are also al-Qaeda.
Tom: Okay. Okay. Sure. Fine.
Hillary: We don’t want that to come out in the inquiry. And certain other things that you’ll come across will have to be …. you get me?
Tom: Suppressed. Of course. So let me ask you this. What can come out in my report?
Hillary: You can find that Chris didn’t get enough protection. Everyone knows that much by now. But you mustn’t blame me or Barack. You mustn’t find his policies at fault. And Barack himself mustn’t come into it at all. Or me.
Tom: Okay. I see. Fine.
Hillary: Without actually naming names you can hold some of my underlings responsible for refusing protection. I mean, everyone knows we refused more protection when Chris asked for it so there’s no point in trying to hush that up.
Tom: You want anyone in particular named?
Hillary: No. No names. You can say that nothing anyone did is a firing offense. I mean, I might fire a few people anyway just to make it look as if I’m so angry with them that I’m ready to go beyond your recommendations. Zeal. I’ll show zeal.
Tom: And what about Chris himself? Can we put some of the blame on him?
Tom: He asked for too much?
Hillary: Er – rather he didn’t make his needs clear enough.
Tom: They might call that “blaming the victim”.
Hillary: Well don’t make too much of that. What you can make as much as you like of is the Republicans in the House not voting us enough money for the proper protection of our embassies and diplomats.
Tom: Is it true?
Hillary: True enough. There’s a grain of truth … and it’s something people will believe. Above all, keep me out of the picture. Me and Barack.
Tom: Didn’t you make a public statement that you accepted responsibility?
Hillary: Yep. I thought that was a good move. Made me sound courageous. And honest. Didn’t it?
Tom: Sure it did.
Hillary: I was rather hoping it would be enough and I wouldn’t have to do anything more.
Tom: Doesn’t the House want you to answer some questions?
Hillary: Yep. That’s bad. They’ve got film of me saying it was all because of the video when Barack and I met the coffins coming home. I even told one of the dead guys’ father that we would punish the disgusting little man who made the video. But I think I can get out of having to testify. I have important engagements abroad. A wine-tasting in Australia, as a matter of fact. And after that – well maybe I’ll fall sick or something. Bang my head and lose my memory if the worst comes to the worst. I’ll think of something.
Tom: Is there anything else you should tell me now? I mean, what other cats are already out of the bag?
Hillary: Let me see. They may make a lot of noise about us paying local militias to guard our installations.
Tom: You hired Arabs to guard them? Armed?
Hillary: Of course armed.
Tom: Trained to use arms?
Hllary: They knew how to use them. They were militants. No point in …
Tom: Hold it right there a moment. Let me get this straight. You’re saying that you hired terrorists to guard our people in Libya?
Hillary: Don’t use that word! You know Barack won’t allow it.
Tom: (Whistles) I didn’t realize he’d gone as far as that. Didn’t you tell him it would be dangerous? I mean, I know what he’s aiming at, but I thought he was better at the art of throwing dust in people’s eyes than that. I think we should suppress that.
Hillary: It’s already known.
Tom: Already known? (Whistles again)
Hillary: Stop doing that, Tom. It’s not that bad. I don’t want it to be that bad.
Tom: This ain’t gonna be easy, sister. Anything else that could be an impeachable offense? Better you tell me now …
Hillary: Well, there was a secret CIA operation going on. Taking prisoners. Interrogations.
Tom: (Taking a deep breath) I don’t know if I can do this, Hillary. An illegal operation?
Hillary: I don’t know. Honestly, Tom, I don’t know anything about that. I – I – . It wasn’t my idea. I’ll have to get Petraeus to fill you in about that.
Tom: Speaking of Petraeus – he seems to resent Susan putting the blame on the info his people gave her. He seems to be wanting to tell the truth – I mean the real truth. Out loud. In public.
Hillary: Don’t worry about him. I promise you, we’ve got him where we want him.
Tom: You have? I see. I see. But now tell me. What’s the real story why we didn’t send anyone to help them. Our people in Benghazi. Why didn’t we? Don’t worry, you know what you tell me here will go no further. But to satisfy my own curisity. After all, we could have, couldn’t we? We even got a plane from Italy to within a couple of hours from Benghazi. What happened then?
Hillary: I told them … I mean we told them … I mean, Barack said … At least, Valerie said … Jeez Tom, you expect me to know? You can ask Leon. But whatever he tells you, remember what I’m telling you now. Nothing that would be bad for Barack – or me …
Tom: So let me be clear what you want from me. Bottom line – you’re asking for a whitewash?
Hillary: Well yes, of course. But it mustn’t seem like a whitewash. You know? You must make it seem really, really tough. I want them to use words like “scathing”.
Tom: A scathing report. Yep. Sounds right.
Hillary: And make recommendations for how we should get our act together and improve the way we deal with protecting our people abroad. That sort of thing. A whole lot of recommendations. And make them sound … draconian. Make it sound as though we take the whole thing to be a teaching moment and we really want to learn from it going forward.
Hillary: Yes. But not so draconian that I can’t say I accept them. I need to say I accept them all. It will make me sound …
Tom: You’re setting me quite a challenge here.
Hillary: I know you’re up to it, Tom. Will you do it? For the cause. You know what I mean?
Tom: Okay, Hillary. I’ll do it. I’ll do my best … but you understand it might not work?
Hillary: Just do it. We’ll make it work. Me and Barack. Between the two of us we can’t fail. I’m very experienced, you know, in getting out of tight corners. And Barack is incredibly –
Both together: LUCKY.
At PJ Media, Andrew C. McCarthy makes a well-reasoned, well-substantiated case that it is “time to move on from the GOP”. He argues that the Republican Party “is not remotely serious about implementing limited government policies or dealing with the two central challenges of our age, existentially threatening deficit spending and Islamic supremacism.” The Republicans, since they dominate the House of Representatives, have the power to solve the debt crisis but lack the will. And when it comes to opposing Obama’s pro-Islam policies, “the current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight”. (The whole article needs to be read.)
The Middle East … is aflame. A heavy contributing factor is the American policy of embracing and empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamists allies, very much including al Qaeda. The Brotherhood is a committed enemy of the United States. … It considers the destruction of Western civilization from within to be its principal mission in the United States.
In 2011, President Obama launched an unprovoked war in Libya against the Qaddafi regime, which Republicans had been telling us for eight years had mended its ways and become an American ally – such that Republicans in Congress supported transfers of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tripoli. Obama’s Libya war was guaranteed to put Islamists in power and put Qaddafi’s arsenal at the disposal of violent jihadists. By refusing to foot the bill, congressional Republicans could have aborted this counter-productive aggression – in the conduct of which the administration consulted the U.N. and the Arab League but not the branch of the U.S. government vested by the Constitution with the power to declare and pay for war. Instead, Republicans lined up behind their transnational progressive wing, led by Senator John McCain, which champions the chimera of sharia-democracy – McCain called the Islamists of Benghazi his “heroes.”
That pro-Islamist policy is directly responsible for the heedlessness of establishing an American consulate in Benghazi. It led to the attacks on our consulate and the British consulate, and ultimately to the terrorist murder of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya (weeks after British diplomats had the good sense to leave town).
The scandal brings into sharp relief an alarming fact that has long been obvious: notwithstanding their abhorrence of America and the West, Islamists are exerting profound influence on our government. Known Islamists and officials with undeniable Islamist connections have infiltrated the government’s policy councils; simultaneously, American policy has moved steadily in favor of Islamists – such that the government supports and funds Muslim Brotherhood affiliates that are hostile to us; colludes with these Islamists in purging from agent-training materials information demonstrating the undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadist terror; collaborates with these Islamists in the effort to impose repressive sharia blasphemy restrictions on our free speech rights; and, we now learn, knowingly misleads the American people on the cause of murderous Islamist tirades, of which the atrocity in Benghazi is only the most recent example.
A few months back, long before these policies resulted in the killing of our American officials in Libya, and even before these policies abetted the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt … five conservative Republicans called for an investigation of Islamist influence on our government. Five members of the House – i.e., less than one percent of the Congress – was willing to stand up and confront a profound threat to American national security. The Republican establishment had the opportunity to back them, to prove that the GOP could at least be serious about a profound threat to our national security. Instead, senior Republicans – the Islamist-friendly transnational progressives to whom the party disastrously looks for foreign policy leadership – castigated the five. Speaker Boehner followed suit.
As the weeks went on, and event after event proved the five conservatives right and the apologists for Islamists wrong, the Republican establishment went mum. When the Islamist empowerment strategy coupled with the Obama administration’s shocking failure to defend Americans under siege resulted in the Benghazi massacre, the Republican establishment was given a rare gift: an opportunity, in the decisive stretch-run of a close presidential contest, to exhibit national security seriousness and distinguish themselves from Obama’s dereliction of duty. To the contrary, Gov. Romney and his top advisors decided to go mum on Benghazi; and congressional Republicans essentially delegated their response to Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham – the very “Islamic democracy” enthusiasts who had championed U.S. intervention on the side of Libyan jihadists in the first place (only after having championed the American embrace of Qaddafi).
This has to stop. The current crop of Republican leaders has shown no stomach for the fight. In fact, notwithstanding that President Obama lost a remarkable ten million votes from 2008 in his narrow reelection last week (i.e., 13 percent of his support), House Speaker John Boehner is treating him as if he has a mandate to continue his failed policies – as if the country and its representatives have no choice but to roll over on the immensely unpopular Obamacare law and concede on feeding Leviathan even more revenue and borrowing authority without deep cuts in spending … ; as if the country shares Boehner’s insouciance about the Islamist threat.
By reappointing Boehner and his leadership colleagues today, Republicans are telling us that their answer to failure is more of the same. They have a right to make that choice, but there is no reason why Americans who are serious about our challenges should follow along. The Republican establishment is content with more government, more debt, and more entanglement with our enemies. When called on it, they tell us they are powerless to stem the tide. But the problem is the lack of will and a sense of urgency, not lack of power. It is time to find a new vehicle to lead the cause of limited, fiscally responsible, constitutional government. The Republicans are telling us they are unwilling to be that vehicle. If that is the case, it is time to move on.
Can the “new vehicle” be anything but a new political party? And what could be its nucleus? The Tea Party? Not if it includes the same enfeebling component of Christians as the Republican Party does. We, of course, would like it to be secular constitutionalist, as dedicated to the cause of individual freedom as the Republican Party was dedicated at its foundation to the cause of freeing the slaves, and as willing to fight for it.
Needless to say, the poster above is addressed to Obama. Aptly.
To add to the information we have posted (see for instance immediately below) on the subject of the Benghazi betrayal, here are some new and interesting items from an article by Arnold Ahlert.
General Carter Ham, top commander in Africa, tries to defy an order not to respond to request for help from Benghazi, and is instantly fired:
The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”
Did General Petraeus have anything to do with refusing to send help?
A spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
Ambassador Stevens was not only sending arms to jihadists already fighting in Syria, he was also actively recruiting jihadists to go there. He was riding the tiger!
“Egyptian security officials” revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens “played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime. Yet … reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.
Yes, Stevens worked with men who later killed him:
Business Insider reveals ”there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents – particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens – were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels”, and that, beginning in March 2011, Stevens was “working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.” In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that “Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.”
Stevens’s death did not stop the flow of arms from Libya to Turkey destined for Syria which he had helped to organize. Most of the weapons had come originally from the erstwhile Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe:
Three days after the attack in Benghazi, it was revealed that ”a Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria…has docked in Turkey,” with a cargo that “weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.” Business Insider speculates the weapons came “most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles – the bulk of them SA-7s – that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc.” The Insider then reaches a devastating conclusion. “And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey – a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact (meaning Belhadj) during the Libyan revolution – then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.”
What other conclusion is possible? A US ambassador doesn’t make a massive interference in the affairs of foreign countries without his government knowing what he’s doing. His mission is to implement his government’s policy by whatever means it instructs him to use. That was what the Banghazi mission was chiefly established for:
Far from just a diplomatic mission in Libya, the evidence suggests that one of the explicit functions of the U.S. “consulate” was to oversee the transfer of Libyan weapons from the Gaddafi regime’s stockpile … to the opposition in Syria.
Who would have given the direct order – presumably handed down in the first place from the Commander-in-Chief – for summarily replacing General Carter Ham with his second in command? Would it be the Defense Secretary?
It was Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who announced General Ham’s replacement – as quietly as he could, in the stealthy mode that characterizes all releases of information about the Benghazi disaster.
James S. Robbins at the Washington Times, quoted by Arnold Ahlert above, further reports:
On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, “the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.
On October 25 Panetta had this to say:
The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.
James Robbins comments:
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command. …
This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. …
He conjectures further:
Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.
Loyal Leon Panetta is walking the razor’s edge between the truth and the Obama version of it.
Guardedly, with hooded eyes, Panetta answered an unwelcome question by declaring – two weeks or so after the the Benghazi disaster – that “it was a terrorist attack because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack.”
So according to the Defense Secretary an attack must be identified as a terrorist attack if terrorists carry it out. Reason would make the case the other way about: if a terrorist attack takes place, you can then rightfully call the attackers “terrorists”. Panetta’s way, if the attack had been mounted by say the Libyan police force, it would not have been a terrorist attack even if they used the method of terrorism.
And let’s look again at the other statement that emerged from this verbal acrobat’s mouth, about why no help was sent to the Americans in peril – a statement that we know contained at least one lie:
The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.
That’s a basic principle of armies, or just of the US army? That you don’t deploy “into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on”? Isn’t it enough to know that it’s harm’s way? How much does a fighting force need to know about an armed attack before it can act in defense? In other words, what is an army for? (Yes, yes, we know that in Afghanistan US armed forces were compelled to do social work, but that hasn’t become the official job description – yet.)
And there’s another lie Panetta told, about not having “some real-time information about what’s taking place”. Masses of information was pouring into Washington – as well as reaching General Ham somewhere in Africa – from the CIA center itself right from the very beginning of the onslaught, and also from a drone overhead starting soon after it began.
When will we learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Probably never. The investigating committee set up by Obama cannot be relied on to reveal it.
But lots of individuals know parts of the story. Will some of them speak?
General Ham has been removed from his command, but he is still alive and still has the power of speech. Our hope is that he will come forward and tell what he knows.