Still missing, the truth about Benghazi 3

There needs to be a full  and careful investigation into what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/2012, when the representative of the United States, Ambassador Chris Stevens, and four other Americans were killed in an attack by Muslim terrorists.

They could have been saved, but were abandoned to die.

The Democrats are terrified that a full and careful investigation, with full disclosure of all the facts, and a comprehensive report will reveal gross dereliction of duty by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and her State Department, the CIA, and perhaps also a number of military commanders. 

Already it’s known that the administration made up stupid, childish lies to cover up its dereliction of duty.

You might say to us, “But haven’t there been numerous investigations and reports, all of them largely exonerating the administration?”

Yes, and all of them piecemeal, all of them inadequate, all of them poorly conducted, all of them propping up to one extent or another the stupid childish lies of the Obama gang.

And that even includes the last report, conducted by the Republican led House Intelligence Committee.

It makes one fear that even when the Republicans hold majority power in both houses of Congress, as they do from today, they will disappoint the hopes of the electorate who gave it to them by caving in to the bullying demands of the Democrats, and naively, or lazily, or disingenuously pass the lies that their stooges choose to tell.

This is from the Daily Signal by the meticulous journalist Sharyl Attkisson:

It neither “exonerates” nor “debunks.”

It specifically states that it is not the final word on Benghazi.

Yet national press outlets claimed all of the above about the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released on Nov. 21.

The Washington Post stated that “the panel’s findings were broadly consistent with the Obama administration’s version of events,” though many of the administration’s versions of events have been discredited or proven incorrect.

USA Today portrayed the report as a sweeping effort that “cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing” and the Associated Press claimed the report concluded “there was no wrongdoing by Obama administration officials,” though it didn’t examine most aspects of the administration’s actions regarding Benghazi. For example, the committee did not attempt to dissect White House actions or decision-making. And it did not generally “assess State Department or Defense Department activities” . 

What the House Intelligence Committee did do was focus on a narrow slice of Benghazi: the intelligence community. As such, the report largely defends the CIA.

It is nothing more or less than another in a series of compartmentalized investigations into the Benghazi debacle.

The House Armed Services Committee focused on actions of the Pentagon, largely serving to defend military interests. The Accountability Review Board focused on actions of the State Department, though it chose not to interview some key players, such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Each investigation occurred over a different time period amid two years of evolving accounts by Obama administration officials as new information filled in blanks or contradicted previous, official accounts. In some instances, investigations produced findings that contradicted one another or documentary evidence.

And no single investigation on Benghazi to date has heard from all relevant witnesses or had full access to complete information.

So why did some in the news media adopt the spin of Democrats such as Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff, who claimed the report “completely vindicated” the White House?

Some media even used the charged language of the Obama administration, disparaging those investigating the many contradictions and unanswered questions as “conspiracy theorists”.

The Huffington Post claimed the Intelligence Committee report “torched conspiracy theories.” AP and USA Today claimed it “debunked a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies.” Slate likewise stated that the committee had “debunked Benghazi conspiracies.”

The articles advance limited and sometimes inaccurate representations of the committee report. They fail to acknowledge the countless documented instances in which the Obama administration provided false or conflicting information about Benghazi, and hid information entirely from public view.

At times, the committee report — as it defends the intelligence community’s performance during Benghazi — flies in the face of evidence. It relies heavily on witnesses who have previously given inaccurate information or testimony: then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

1) The committee concluded, “the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi.” Yet security was insufficient to prevent terrorists from overrunning the CIA Annex, killing two of the four Americans who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2012.

2) The committee found “no evidence” of a “stand down order.” But that is at direct odds with testimony from some eyewitnesses. Three security operators stated they were given a “stand down” order in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

3) The committee appeared to focus on technical utterance of the words “stand down” and “order” rather than the spirit of the allegation: that willing responders were delayed or prevented from providing urgent help. For example, the committee acknowledged that CIA Annex team members “wanted urgently to depart the Annex” to “save their State Department colleagues” but that the chief of base in Benghazi “ordered the team to wait” to assess the situation. Also, the committee didn’t address the case of the Foreign Emergency Support Team in the United States, which began “packing its bags” to respond to Benghazi, only to have the State Department block its deployment.

4) The committee found “no evidence” of “denial of available air support” and stated that, “the CIA received all military support that was available”.  But testimony provided earlier to the House Armed Services Committee acknowledged that the military could have launched an F-16 fighter jet and decided against it. …

The president’s principle military adviser, Maj. Gen. Darryl Roberson, previously acknowledged in testimony to another congressional committee that military aircraft could have buzzed the hostile Benghazi crowd to try to scatter it. “So there is a potential you could have flown a show of force and made everyone aware that there was a fighter airborne,” Roberson conceded to the House Armed Services Committee.

Further, there were U.S. military assets in Djibouti that remained untapped. A former U.S. ambassador to East Africa stated, “The [Benghazi] compound was under siege for almost nine hours. The distance of 1,900 miles is within the range of the ‘combat ready’ F-15s, AC-130s and special forces.”

5) The committee found “no evidence of an intelligence failure”. Yet there was obviously an intelligence failure, since terrorists bearing heavy arms and rocket-propelled grenades preplanned and successfully executed multiple attacks on the Benghazi compound and Annex.

Another intelligence failure documented by the committee is the flawed analysis by a Washington, D.C.-based CIA officer who reportedly convinced Morell to advance the YouTube video narrative even though the CIA station chief on the ground in Libya had said that was not the case.

6) The committee accepted Morell’s claim that the talking points were not on the agenda of a Sept. 15, 2012, White House Deputies Committee meeting prior to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s advancing the incorrect spontaneous protest narrative on Sunday TV talk shows. However, internal emails show that Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes specifically convened the meeting to discuss various agencies’ disputes about the talking points.

7) The committee accepted Morell’s testimony that changes to the talking points were “in no way due to White House political influence” and were just “a reflection of how little we knew at the time”. However, documents show the State Department had voluminous information about terrorist links and had already notified Libya, in no uncertain terms, that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible for the attacks.

Still, this report is better in some respects than the earlier ones. Sharyl Attkisson explains:

Though the Washington Post claimed the committee’s findings were “broadly consistent with the Obama administration’s version of events,” they differed in many substantive respects.

1) The Obama administration initially claimed no security requests were denied. But the committee confirmed the State Department repeatedly denied security requests.

2) The Obama administration initially claimed there was “a robust American security presence inside the compound, including a strong component of regional security officers”.  But the committee found there was a handful of State Department diplomatic security agents who were apparently unarmed when attacked.

3) The Obama administration repeatedly blamed the attacks on a mob motivated by a YouTube video and initially claimed there was no meaningful evidence of terrorist involvement. But the committee stated that all of the Obama administration officials interviewed “knew from the moment the attacks began that the attacks were deliberate terrorist attacks against U.S. interests. No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts”.

4) The Obama administration initially claimed, in March 2013, that government press officials made no changes to the Benghazi talking points. But the committee found that CIA public affairs officials made three critical changes to the talking points.

5) Morell initially claimed he had no idea who changed the Benghazi talking points. But the committee confirmed that Morell was directly involved in making and overseeing key talking points changes to remove mention of terrorism and al Qaeda.

6) The Obama administration initially claimed the attacks were an outgrowth of protests. But the committee found “there was no protest”.

Although USA Today claimed the committee “cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing,” the actual report makes numerous references to administration officials doing things wrong.

1) The committee confirmed that the Obama administration’s public narrative blaming the attacks on a YouTube video was “not fully accurate”.

Was there any truth in it at all? We think it highly unlikely. What follows confirms our belief:

2) The committee stated that the process to develop the inaccurate talking points was “flawed” and “mistakes were made.

3) The committee found that Morell wrongfully relied on his incorrect analyst in Washington, D.C., instead of his correct chief of station in Libya, who explicitly stated the attacks were “not spurred by local protests”.

No local protests spurring the attack? So the administration’s stupid and childish claim that there were protests against an obscure anti-Muslim video was simply not true.

Furthermore, the “Additional Views” appendix to the committee report, submitted by Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and three other Republicans, found the following:

4) Morell “operated beyond his role as CIA deputy director and inserted himself into a policy-making and public-affairs role” when he removed references to terrorism from the talking points.

5) Morell provided testimony that was “at times inconsistent and incomplete”.

6) The Obama administration failed to exert “sufficient effort to bring the Benghazi attackers to justice”.

7) The Obama administration’s response to the attacks was marred by “inadequate interagency coordination” and “devoted inadequate resources to this effort and lacked a sense of urgency”.

8) Senior State Department officials, including then-Secretary Clinton, placed U.S. personnel “at unnecessary risk” by dismissing “repeated threat warnings” and denying requests for additional security. 

9) Senior U.S. officials perpetuated the “YouTube” narrative that “matched the administration’s misguided view that the United States was nearing a victory” over al-Qaeda.

10) The administration’s “failed policies continue to undermine the national security interests” of the United States.

11)There was a “failure of senior U.S. officials to provide for the defense of U.S. interests against a known and growing terrorist threat”.

12) The State Department “failed to provide sufficient security for its facility in Benghazi”.

13) The Obama administration perpetuated a “false view of the terrorist threat” that “did not comport with the facts”. 

Even as some news reports stated that Republicans had in essence “exonerated” the Obama administration on all counts, Chairman Rogers attempted to correct the mischaracterizations.

In an op-ed published Dec. 10, Rogers stated, “Some have said the report exonerates the State Department and White House. It does not.”

He went on to state that his committee looked only at narrow questions as they pertain to the intelligence community. For that reason, he said, the committee did not interview key eyewitnesses from the Department of Defense and the State Department.

It remains unclear how so much news reporting could miss the mark as far as it did.

One news article claimed the Intelligence Committee report concluded [UN Ambassador] Rice innocently relied on bad intelligence on Sept. 16 when she advanced the spontaneous protest [on numerous TV channels]. Yet the actual report clearly states that the committee has no idea what the White House communicated to Rice before she presented the talking points.

The “tallking points’ were the stupid and childish lie about the video.

A news article unequivocally stated that “it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call” on the nature of the attacks. Yet the report is clear that it did not examine the role of political appointees or figures in the White House, State Department or Defense Department.

In reporting on the House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi report, numerous news outlets headlined that there have been seven investigations on Benghazi and that an eighth is underway — the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

The implication is that Benghazi has been more than thoroughly examined and those who support continued inquiry are beating a dead horse.

Indeed, eight investigations might be overkill if each had been comprehensive and duplicative, and had turned up no new information. But each has uncovered new facts or different versions of facts as Obama administration accounts have continue to evolve.

The necessity of further investigation isn’t a function of how many probes have been held, but of their depth and quality as well as the contradictions unearthed and the quantity of outstanding questions.

In those respects, one could easily argue there haven’t yet been enough investigations into Benghazi.

So no report has yet done the job. Dare we hope that the  House Select Committee on Benghazi will do it?  The head of it, Trey Gowdy (R-SC], has “vowed to keep digging” until “we have a complete understanding of what happened”.

Maybe – just maybe – the truth about Benghazi will yet be told.

“Sexism” is not the issue 4

A three-ring circus has been erected around the false video narrative, with the Petraeus/Rice/Clapper follies detracting attention from the three essential issues: the Obama administration’s disastrous Libya policy, the president’s dereliction of duty on September 11, 2012, and the troubling goings-on at the Benghazi consulate that wasn’t a consulate. 

We quote from Andrew McCarthy’s astute analysis of the devious political distractions from the main issues of Benghazigate being spun by the administration and the media.

CBS News is reporting that it was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that purged references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from talking points given to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Rice used those talking points to promote the lie that the Benghazi massacre resulted from a spontaneous mob protest rather than a planned terrorist attack. CBS adds that the CIA and FBI signed off on this false version of events.

This is all farce, of course. There being no more honor among con-men than among thieves, there comes a time in all busted conspiracies when the conspirators start pointing fingers at each other.

To pause briefly over details of the farce:

When the subject of Ms. Rice’s fitness to be secretary of state arose during last week’s press conference, the president summoned up some faux bravado, daring two Rice critics, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, to “go after me,” not the gracious Madame Ambassador, if they wanted a fight. …

If Susan Rice is a weak little woman who needs the protection of a big strong male, then she certainly shouldn’t be appointed Secretary of State – or, for that matter, Ambassador to the UN.  It’s absurd to put women who need such protection into jobs that expose them to the storm winds of international conflict.

For decades now administrations both elephantine and asinine have appointed women as legates to Arab states – to Muslim states that despise women and regard them as obscene walking sex-organs that need to be covered up to the eyeballs – with disastrous results.  It was a woman ambassador, April Glaspie, sent by President George H. W. Bush to Iraq, who blunderingly gave the green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990.

Now to return to the nub of the matter:

With their guy safely reelected, this spectacle has finally drawn the Obamedia’s attention to the president’s Benghazi travesty. Let’s not get lost here. It is critical to step back and bear two things in mind:

(a) All of the players here, including Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (both of whom the CBS report purports to absolve), are guilty of conspiracy — in this case, to mislead Americans about the cause of the attack and to aid the administration’s Islamist allies, whose objective is to impose sharia blasphemy standards on our country (a project on which the Obama administration has been colluding with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 2009). It was not for their own benefit that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Rice were, respectively, doctoring talking points and using them to create a false impression. Obama was the intended beneficiary. Patently the White House — which pitched Rice to the Sunday shows because Obama wanted to get the Mohammed-movie talking points publicly aired — was in the loop.

(b) Given that the conspiracy is a cover-up, there is the more salient matter of what is being covered up? The brain-dead mantra in Washington is always — all together now — “The cover-up is worse than the crime.” That is not true here. …

What is bad, very bad, is:

Four Americans were killed in Benghazi as a direct result of President Obama’s unprovoked and … unconstitutional war in Libya. This foolish gambit had the easily foreseeable result of empowering Islamists, very much including violent jihadists who now have access to much of the Qaddafi arsenal, in addition to other arms and training they received from the U.S. and NATO in the mission to overthrow Qaddafi (then, an American ally).

That was the first wrong step, whether a mistake or (as we suspect) action intended to promote revolutionary Islam.

Then what it led to:

The jihadist siege against the American installation in Benghazi lasted for over seven hours. The commander-in-chief knew the attack was underway while it was happening — which is obviously why he won’t answer questions about when and how he learned of it. He had military assets in proximity to Benghazi that could have come to the aid of the besieged Americans. Yet, Obama failed to take meaningful military action, an inexcusable dereliction of duty. Then, he told the American people he had done all he could do to protect those who were killed and wounded, an inexcusable betrayal of trust. Both counts of malfeasance are impeachable offenses. Rice’s false statements, Clapper’s purge, and Petraeus’s contradictory statements to Congress do not erase any of that. Obama has far more to answer for than anyone else in this debacle, and it is imperative that he be held accountable.

No help reached the beleaguered ambassador. So either Obama gave the order to go to their aid as he says he did and it was not obeyed, in which case he is ineffectual and his officials rebellious; or he did not give the order, in which case he is lying.

Andrew McCarthy goes on to discuss just what scandalous facts the cover-up is trying to conceal: Was the CIA station in Benghazi being used, without authority, to detain terrorist prisoners? Or was it gathering arms for shipment to Syria in whose civil war the policy is not to interfere? Or was it something even worse?

It’s the answers to those questions that we wait to hear, not who changed the wording of talking-points given to the little lady who parroted what she was told on TV in order to conceal shameful secret enterprises in the Arab world by the Obama conspiracy. What were those shameful secret enterprises?

Or as Andrew McCarthy puts it:

The cover-up here is not worse than the crime. Congress must not allow itself to get sidetracked. What matters most is what the administration is hiding — not the fact that the administration is hiding it.

Communism with a god 2

Western sages coined the word “Islamist” to mean someone who took Islamic ideology too far; religious duty to pursue jihad to the point of mass killing, perhaps by suicide bombing, too seriously. In other words, an extremist. This allowed the sages, whose heads were more full of pride in their own tolerance than of little grey cells, to intone ad nauseam, “the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people who wouldn’t hurt a fly”. After which some of them would urge unknown spokesmen for that “vast majority” to come forward and denounce the “Islamist'” violence loud and clear.

They wait patiently, year in year out, for the silence to be broken.

The idea was that there are two Islams: a “moderate” one that does not take the commandments of the Koran – such as “kill the infidel” (Sura 9:5) – to be instructions to action, and another Islam that does.

The term “Islamist” has passed into common use to mean fanatical pursuers of Islamic jihad.

Now comes a new division: “moderate Islamists” – in other, equally oxymoronic, words: moderate fanaticsmoderate extremists.

The idea crops up in this report about the elections in Tunisia:

A moderate Islamist group [Ennahdha] that was brutally repressed for decades was poised Monday to become Tunisia’s dominant political faction after a landmark election to choose a council that will draft the country’s new constitution and appoint an interim government. …

“The best way to deal with the Islamists is to include them in the process,” said Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an election observer with the National Democratic Institute. “There’s no excuse for keeping them out.”

In stark contrast to the Islamists’ success was the apparent poor performance of the secular Progressive Democratic Party …  The PDP ran a campaign that cast its leaders as the protectors of secular and modern values. … The PDP conceded its loss and pledged to work in the opposition rather than with Ennahdha.

In “the opposition”? How long will an opposition be allowed, we wonder.

The same idea of “moderate Islamism” was implied by the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, when, in February, 2011, he told a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood was ” largely secular” andeschewed violence .”

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, does not agree with him. Its motto is:  “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

The probable coming to power of “Islamist” parties in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya is in fact a most ominous development.

Frank Gaffney, President Reagan’s assistant secretary of defense, warns:

War is on its way in the Middle East as Muslim countries are determined to force a showdown over the future of Israel …

“I’m afraid there’s a war coming, a very serious, perhaps cataclysmic regional war,” he said. “It will be presumably over, at least in part, the future existence of the state of Israel. It may involve all of its neighbors, as they have in the past, attacking Israel to try, as they say, to drive the Jews into the sea.

“It may involve the use of nuclear weapons … But whatever form it takes and whenever it occurs, it is unlikely to be contained to that region, and we must do everything we can to prevent freedom’s enemies from thinking they have an opportunity to engage in that kind of warfare.”

That means standing “absolutely, unmistakably” as one with Israel and doing everything to prevent Iran getting its hands on nuclear weapons.

Gaffney …  was speaking on the day that the “moderate” Islamist party Ennahda claimed victory at the ballot box in Tunisia and the day after Libya’s new rulers declared that country will be run on Islamic principles and under Sharia law. Gaffney does not believe Ennahda is really a moderating force. “I don’t believe there is such a thing as a moderate Islamist party,” he said. “The challenge with Islamists is that they seek to impose what they call Sharia on everybody, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. …

“They may, as a matter of tactical expediency, choose to do so in incremental ways, often nonviolently, at least initially.

“The problem is that, because ultimately they must — according to Sharia, according to what they believe is God’s will — make everyone feel subdued in order to achieve their God-mandated direction, they will not remain moderate. They will not be satisfied with anything less than the ultimate supremacy of Sharia and they certainly will not resist the use of violence when it becomes expedient to get their way.”

Gaffney … foresees a rising tide of Islamist governments growing throughout Middle East and North Africa and spreading even further.

“We’re witnessing not just the violent kind of jihad that these Islamists believe God compels them to engage in, but also, where they must for tactical reasons, a more stealthy kind, or civilizational jihad as the Muslim Brotherhood calls it. We’re witnessing that playing out, not only in places in the Middle East but also in Europe, in Australia, in Canada and here in the United States as well,” he said.

The spread of Sharia, which Gaffney said is often referred to as “Communism with a god,” is “the most urgent and grievous challenge we face as a free people.

“Those who follow this program of Sharia believe that God is directing them to engage in jihad or whatever form of warfare is necessary to accomplish their goals . . . .Through stealth, they have successfully penetrated important parts of the free world including our own government and civil society institutions.”

The Obama administration has to stop “embracing” the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaffney said.

“This is legitimating our enemies … It is facilitating their influence operations and their penetration and it greatly increases the prospect that they will be successful at what the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents indicate is their desire, which is to destroy western civilization from within.”

Gaffney noted that Ennahda had won what appears to be a clean election in Tunisia, but that doesn’t mean there ever will be another vote there.

“The problem is not simply democracy. People are pointing to Tunisia as a perfect example of democracy at work. …  fine if all you want is one-man-one-vote one-time. That is precisely what the Muslim Brotherhood and its like-minded Islamist friends want.” …

“What we are likely to wind up with, not just in Tunisia, not just in Libya, not just in Egypt, but probably in due course in Syria — as we have in Lebanon, as we have in Gaza and probably will have down the road in Yemen, Bahrain, maybe Saudi Arabia — is the takeover, the unmistakable takeover, perhaps through the ballot box, of people who will not seek or allow others freedom, who will impose Sharia and who will use whatever resources they amass as a result, not only to suppress their own people, but to endanger us.”

We think Frank Gaffney is right about the Arabs wanting to make war again on Israel. They ache to make war on Israel. He’s also right that “Islamist” leaders are the most likely to try it.

But could they do it? Perhaps not in the near future. Egypt is desperately poor, on the verge of bankruptcy and mass starvation. Libya is rich enough to make war, but for all the pretense that the rebels were an army, it was only a collection of ad hoc militias, and the Libyan nation is a mass of quarreling tribes and factions vying to get their hands on the money Gaddafi stacked up round the world. True, a war against Israel would unite them, but could they fight it? Not on their own.

Yet sooner or later the war that Gaffney predicts will come. It may not come until the middle of the century, when Europe will be predominantly Muslim. Or it may be initiated soon by Iran, with nuclear bombs.

And when the war comes, the sages of the West who have helped to put “moderate Islamist” parties in power throughout the Arab world, will have gone a long way to promote the victory of “Communism with a god” and the fall of our civilization.