October 14, 2012

After the Benghazi attack: "We're going through a mission accomplished moment."

Here's Bob Woodward, today on "Fox News Sunday," talking about the what the Obama administration has said about the Benghazi attacks:
WOODWARD: There are lots of unanswered questions. And I love documents, and they released some documents in this, and if you go and look at the original request for more security, they say our policy, our goal here is to shift from an emergency footing to normalize the security relationship.

Now, this is in March, six, seven months ago. Anyone looking at that what say, wait a minute, read the document in which they say, oh, the situation is incredibly unstable. Well, why are you trying to normalize your security in a situation that's visibly unstable? You even acknowledge that.

So you've got a bad policy. And anyone looking at that would say, wait a minute; we are screwed up; we can't normalize here.
So that's the first problem. The second problem is, as soon as an ambassador is killed, the president should be more proactive and be out there. He can go, you know, five minutes in the White House briefing room and say this is really serious; we're going to get to the bottom of it; we don't have the answers. And all of this could have been nipped in the bud and it was not.

[MODERATOR CHRIS] WALLACE: And what do you make of the fact that, five days later, Susan Rice goes out and tells this story about a spontaneous protest, when we now know the State Department never thought there was a spontaneous protest? In fact, we know -- and they were in touch, in real time, with people on the ground in Benghazi on the 11th.

WOODWARD: I haven't -- you know, I don't think we know exactly why she did that or what was going on. But the key... is, two weeks later, the president's at the U.N. and citing this YouTube video, I guess half a dozen times. That, as we now know, had virtually nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi.
Now, look at what Senator Lindsey Graham said on "Face the Nation":
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, the facts are there was never a riot. The-- the night in question, September 11th, Ambassador Stevens was being visited by the Turkish ambassador that wasn't the sole around the compound and the coordinated attack lasted for hours with al Qaeda-associated militia. My belief is that that was known by the administration within twenty-four hours and, quite frankly, Susan Rice, on your show on September 16th, the President on the 18th and the 25th, kept talking about an attack inspired by a video. They're trying to sell a narrative, quite frankly, that the Mid East, the wars are receding and al Qaeda has been dismantled, and to admit that our embassy was attacked by al Qaeda operatives and Libya leading from behind didn't work I think undercuts that narrative. They never believed that media would investigate. Congress was out of session, and this caught up with them. I think they've been misleading us, but it finally caught up with them.

... Al Qaeda is alive. Bin Laden may be dead. Al Qaeda is alive and they're counter-attacking throughout the entire region. And the truth is that the foreign policy choices of President Obama is allowing the region to come unraveled.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Where did you get this information that led you to this conclusion? Did you talk to officials there? Did you talk to people in the CIA? Did you talk to people in the administration? How are you so convinced of-- of what you have just stated?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: The intelligence community on the ground in Libya has told Senator Corker and myself that within twenty-four hours, they communicated up to Washington that this was a terrorist attack. The president of Libya on the same date said it was a terrorist attack. The video of the compound shows that there was nobody at the Benghazi consulate. There was never a group to riot. And the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a- a video and a riot would be-- hold the administration blameless. They said it was a copycat of Cairo. It wasn't a copycat. It was a sustained attack that lasted for six or eight hours, using heavy weapons which undercuts the idea that al-- al Qaeda has been dismantled and on the run and it certainly undercuts the idea that our policy choices in Libya have not going after the militia, not helping the Libyans training the national army were good choices.
Shieffer plays video of Susan Rice, 5 days after the attack, saying "We did not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, it's not just Susan Rice. The President of the United States said that it was the result of a video on David Letterman two days later. And the facts are very clear. There was never a riot. There was never a group of people around the embassy. It was a coordinated terrorist attack that took hours. Patrick Kennedy from the State Department briefed congressional staffers the day after the attack saying it was a terrorist attack. The next day after she was on your show, the-- the counterterrorism deputy said it was a terrorist attack and the President after that went on national TV The View and David Letterman talking about we're not sure if this was inspired by a video, a hateful video.
Amazing that Obama was doing this on "Letterman" and "The View" — the day after the attack!
The reason they're trying to sell this, if it is true it was an al Qaeda-inspired attack that was coordinated involving heavy weapons that lasted six-to-eight hours and our embassy consulate was so exposed and they had denied numerous requests to reinforce it, is Exhibit A of a failed foreign policy. I have seen this movie before. I went to Iraq in 2004 and everybody told me things are going fine. This is just a few dead-enders. Iraq was falling apart and you couldn't get the truth from the Bush administration. The Mid East is falling apart, and they're trying to spin what happened in Libya because the truth of the matter is al Qaeda is alive and well and counter-attacking.

Iraq, they have been doubling of al Qaeda operatives in Iraq since we left, twenty-five hundred. Iran is flying over Iraqi air space to deliver weapons to Syria. Syria's becoming thirty thousand people dead and foreign fighters moving into Syria. The Iranians have quadrupled the amount of enriched uranium they have to build bombs, as the Obama administration talks to them. This whole region is about to explode, al Qaeda is on the march. Northern Mali is now under the control of radical Islamists that make the Taliban look like choir boys. So they're trying to sell something, (INDISTINCT) the facts on the ground will not justify. When John Kerry said at the Democratic National Convention ask bin Laden is he better off. They're trying to spike the ball after killing bin Laden create a false narrative about the true state of al Qaeda and it all caught up with them in Libya.
Connect what Woodward and Graham said. Woodward said the administration withheld security from Libya because they wanted to make things look normal, to convey a message that the conflict had wound down. And Graham is saying the video story was a message — a narrative — a story that they wanted to tell. It was the story that al Qaeda is vanquished, that the mission is accomplished.

Now, here's Congressman Darrell Issa, also on "Face the Nation." He was refuting the Democratic talking point that attributes lack of security to a GOP budget cut.
REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (Government Reform & Oversight Committee Chairman): There's 2.2 billion in discretionary reprogrammable money that wasn't used. The fact is they are making a decision not to put security in because they don't want the presence of security
That's what Woodward said above.
In our hearing, and in testimony, we were told they removed their diplomatic plates because they wanted to be invisible. They didn't put any markings on this building that was attacked because they didn't want to have people know they were. That is not how you do security. After there was a twelve-foot hole blown in the wall of this compound, all they did was rebuild the wall, no new reinforcement, no kind of capability to protect somebody inside....

This is not very Republican, if you will, but when President George W. Bush went aboard an aircraft carrier and said, "mission accomplished" I listened rightfully so to people saying, look, but there's still problems, and they're still dying, and quite frankly, things got worse in many ways after that famous statement.

.... We're going through a mission accomplished moment.
ADDED: After Graham and Issa's powerful interviews, Schieffer informed us that the administration "declined" to send any onto the show to defend its position. So for the Democratic perspective, they had Congressman Elijah Cummings, who is the ranking Democrat on Issa's committee.
REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Bob, first of all, what happened to Ambassador Stevens and the other three public servants was...
I paused the recording and said: "He's about to say "tragedy.'"
... indeed a horrible tragedy. 
Before unpausing, Meade and I enumerated the talking points we thought he was about to deliver. The first was it was a tragedy, which you can see he said. We had 5 total, and Meade held the 5 fingers of his left hand aloft so he could tick them off. And Cummings said each one, even using the very words we thought he'd say (words other Democrats, notably Biden at the debate, had already used):
We will search their killers down and bring them to justice. The one thing we must not do, though, Bob, is make this out to be a-- and treated like a political football, and I think that's basically what's happening. We have a situation where we rushed to a hearing. We don't have substantial evidence, yet. We're still gathering evidence, coming to conclusions, and looking in search of facts and this is what has happened. But, again, we-- there's a lot to be answered. And I think you asked the right questions. Yeah, there are a lot of things that we need to address. But this is not the way to do. We have an FBI hearing going on, investigation going on, and Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, has appointed an accountability review board to look at this. And we will get the answers. But the way we're doing it, I think, is basically based on a campaign schedule, trying to give Romney some talking points
Schieffer pummeled him with a great question:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this, Congressman, and I say this with all respect--if there were a car wreck here on M. Street outside my office and I looked out the window and saw a car wreck out there, I wouldn't have to wait till the cops came to know it was a car wreck. I mean it was a car wreck. There were two dozen people in that compound there. They had windows. They could look out the window. They could see that there was no demonstration going on. And, yet, it was not until last week that the administration admitted that this was a preplanned terrorist attack and not a spontaneous demonstration.
What can he say? Something about "an evolving situation," which is just absurd, because how does the story of the anti-YouTube-video demonstration ever get started? You start with nothing — don't you? — and then add details. Schieffer says "well" and Cummings goes into spluttering mode:
But, Bob, Bob, you know, I just listened to that interview, both of those interviews, and-- and this conspiracy stuff is kind of ridiculous, to be honest with you. 
This sounds desperate. Graham and Issa were articulate, and all Cummings has is the accusation that their legitimate questions are "conspiracy stuff" and "a witch-hunt." It's insulting and lame.

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
donald said...

Um, Republicans are racist.

FTFY.

Mogget said...

It reminds me of what happened to the Spanish government when they tried to blame the al-Q train bombing on the Basques, back in 2004, perhaps. The public caught on PDQ and the government was replaced.

Shouting Thomas said...

Douthat at the NY Times says this is all turning into a plus for the Obama admin.

Why? Because Romney is such an outspoken hawk. He's scaring people.

This seems to make sense to him.

Icepick said...

What I can't understand is why a "normalized" security situation wouldn't include Marines and such. Marines are in the embassy/consulate in Barbados, for Christ's sake, why wouldn't a detachment be with our facilities in Libya? Or is Barbados, like Paris, not normalized?

Lem said...

I believe this is the most likely scenario.

Still, there should be an investigation by a special prosecutor.

Holder's Justice is woefully compromised.

edutcher said...

That Mission Accomplished thing happened about a year or so ago when Zero was spiking the ball.

He wanted everybody to think nailing bin Laden and drone strikes were winning the war so he could send the troops back home and cut the size of the Army. The irony here is that, for all the whining the Lefties did about the campaign in Iraq, they took the campaign in A-stan no more seriously; it was just a convenient crutch to allow them to say A-stan was the real fight (which they have screwed up mightily).

Unfortunately, anybody paying attention knew Al Qaeda was reconstituting itself and that all the lax security was going to come back to bite us.

Lem said...

Americans have died and administration officials including possibly the president have lied.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Rather than standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, Obama is standing on the bodies of 4 US citizens.

wildswan said...

If the President didn't know what was going on in Libya, that doesn't speak well for the President. The President needs to know what's going on. Who would hold back information the President needs? No one. So why didn't the President know what the State Department knew? Why didn't he know what the intelligence community knew? Why is the President uninformed?

It's worse than the attack itself to find out that the President took weeks to find out what happened while others knew at once. How can he make good decisions when his facts are out-of-date?

Ann Althouse said...

"What I can't understand is why a "normalized" security situation wouldn't include Marines and such. Marines are in the embassy/consulate in Barbados, for Christ's sake, why wouldn't a detachment be with our facilities in Libya? Or is Barbados, like Paris, not normalized?"

I think Woodward is saying -- based on the documents -- that the Obama administration had some idea that acting like there wasn't a military situation was a way of ending the military situation, as if it's all about messaging and narratives... either because that's effective or because it's what they wanted to say in the political campaign. The latter is what Graham thought.

Shouting Thomas said...

Nobody seems to be interested in the questions that naturally occur to me here:

Why did that video become the explanation for the attack? Althouse tried to find some sort of answer, but I thought that her explanation was kinda weak.

Why the exploratory step of goose stepping the video maker? Who was Obama trying to please here? Was he trying to defuse the anger of Al Qaeda? Or was he trying to convince his potential voters of something?

I think this story will continue to unravel. Much more to come. Will it come in time to influence the election? Will Obama's media pets continue to downplay and conceal?

edutcher said...

PS If you want to have some fun, recite this scenario to your Lefty friends and watch them ask where you keep your tinfoil hat.

The weird part is, given this Administration's penchant for apologizing to cutthroats, you can make a case that it just might be true.

Icepick said...

And the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a- a video and a riot would be-- hold the administration blameless.

And I don't get this either. If the Ambassador could get killed by some random mob doesn't that mean the situation is even worse than if the Ambassador is killed by a quasi-military unit using training, tactics and military weapons (e.g., mortars)? How is that a better story?

"Yes, we're totally incompetent, but it was a bunch of Ay-rab Dante and Randals pissed off about the contractors on the Death Star in "Return of the Jedi", not a terror attack by America's Number One enemy of the last 11 plus years."

America's Politico said...

Imagine the year is 2014 and that Romney is the POTUS. And another Embassy (somewhere in the trouble world) is attacked and (hypothetically) someone is killed.

Reid is still the Sen. Maj. Leader. He is old, hunch-back, but still has young staff to assist him. Reid calls a hearing. The emphasis is to show to American voters that Romney is clueless.

Will NYT post the hearing details on the Front Page?

Before you answer, please read the following:

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/why-wasnt-libya-hearing-on-page-a1-of-the-times/

gk1 said...

After seeing how badly the press covered for obama by turning on Romney for saying the obvious, I keep waiting for the press to redeem itself. I guess after they get done wiping the egg from their face on missing the coming landslide for the (R)'s, we might see some navel gazing article tucked away on A-20 of the NYT

Icepick said...

Americans have died and administration officials including possibly the president have lied.

The only way the President hasn't lied is if he is the least informed man in Washington DC. Given his lack of interest in his daily intel briefs this is, distressingly, a real possibility.

Mamie said...

Shouting Thomas:

I don’t think Douthat is saying that this is turning into a plus for Obama. He’s saying that Obama is in trouble, but not as much trouble as he should be in, because Romney isn’t pushing his criticism to include all of Obama’s Middle East policy.

From Douthat:

The only good news for Obama in this mess is the fact that Romney, always intent on projecting toughness, hasn’t attacked the original decision to go to war in Libya, or tied the intervention itself to Al Qaeda’s North African advances.

If the Republican nominee were less reflexively hawkish, the White House might be facing the more comprehensive critique that it deserves — and the story wouldn’t be about just the specifics of Benghazi, but also the possibility that Obama’s entire policy in the region has put American interests and lives at risk.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, if I read Douthat's piece correctly, the real problem, as the Obama admin sees it, is that Romney continues to commit "gaffes" that scare people.

Seven Machos said...

I liked Althouse's answer re: the videotape quite a bit. She said Obama was planning on using the video as some scapegoat, and they used it anyway, or it got used anyway, as events completely ran roughshod over Obama's attempts at narrative.

Remember: the video thing was out there a day or so before the ambassador's death.

DKWalser said...

It's worse than a "mission accomplished" moment. This is the 1979 Iranian Revolution all over again, only this time its destroying several countries, not just one. A moralistic President Carter overthrew decades of bipartisan US foreign policy by withdrawing support for the Shah of Iran, naively believing that the Iranian people would choose a progressive, democratic government if left up to their own devices. They might have; they weren't left to their own devices. Instead, we, and they, ended up with the Islamic government that has brutalized Iran and made mischief in the region ever since.

Fast forward a few decades, and another moralistic US President overturns decades of bipartisan foreign policy by withdrawing support for Mubarak and actively supporting the overthrow of other autocrats in the region -- all without doing anything to prepare for stable successor governments that would be friendly to the US and would protect the basic human rights of their citizens.

The major difference, other than scope, is that Carter could be excused as merely (disastrously) naive. Obama is, at best, willfully ignorant. I could have learned from Carter's poor example. He was too smart to learn from Carter or anyone else.

rhhardin said...

Bush's Mission Accomplished referred to the carrier's mission, not the media spin of it.

elkh1 said...

Normalize or not, Benghazi was in a war torn Middle East country, and it was Sept 11. Anyone has half a brain knows the Islamists love anniversaries.

Icepick said...

I think Woodward is saying -- based on the documents -- that the Obama administration had some idea that acting like there wasn't a military situation was a way of ending the military situation, as if it's all about messaging and narratives...

Possibly. Various speeches by Obama as well as many bios of the man suggest that he seems to think his speechifying alone can transform the world. I think this is why so many people in the chattering class love him - he's a "word guy" like them. They don't care about the actual work that needs to be done, the words are the only things that matters. I think that's one of the reason Andrew Sullivan, for one, has such a hard-on for Obama. Has Sullivan ever acknowledged that Obama has ever lied, despite the evidence?

America's Politico said...

Douthat like Brooks are not really Conservatives. Note that they do not have the Prize - Pulitzer. They only way to get it, is to show that Obama is cool and GOP is not that ready. I.E. to acknowledge what the rest of NYT already says but in a different manner - IE as a conservative columnist.

I find Douthat and Brooks, as really not bright guys. Then again, I have a high standard. I consider Ann and Glenn, Profs., as the smart people.

rhhardin said...

Obama is the administration of pretext.

Icepick said...

Why did that video become the explanation for the attack?

My guess is that it was the only straw they could grasp at the moment. The incompetence of everything else around the Administration on this issues suggests that they didn't really have a more nefarious purpose in using it. Really, would you believe that this bunch would be capable of some grand conspiracy after the way they've totally fucked up this situation?

Seven Machos said...

Douthat is overthinking this. The average American voter is going to lump this whole thing into: things suck and we need a change. That's the narrative, and there's nothing Obama can do to change it at this point.

Looking back, I can see now how hard Obama and his team were trying before the first debate to paint a picture that Obama was destined to win. It almost worked. It seemed to work. But, really, it was just words unfettered by reality. When those words were subjected to reality, in terms, as it happened, of a debate, the whole picture dissipated instantly.

This election is over. Romney has won.

CWJ said...

For me, the most venal aspect of this is the administration's willingness to literally spout spin and lies over the coffins of the dead. Collateral damage indeed.

AllenS said...

Everyone who watches "Letterman" and "The View" thinks that Obama did nothing wrong.

Chuck said...

A common theme from Democrats; the Libyan murders are not a voting issue.

Journalists do seem to have an interest in the issue; it is a story that cries out for further investigation. The problem is that so many journalists want more than anything for Obama to win re-election.

DKWalser said...

I could have learned from Carter's poor example.

Should have been: He could have learned from Carter's poor example. What I may have learned is of little consequence.

Pogo said...

Mortician accomplished.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

If there every were a time to declare mea culpa and take the responsibility and blame the Libya security débâcle was that time. Image how Obama would have gained politically had he been transparent and upfront about exactly what had happened and how his administration made mistakes.

Paul said...

Sooooo the upshot is Obama LIED and people DIED, right? The killing of the four was to fake a 'mission accomplished' and when it failed the administration told everyone to shutup and say it was just a bunch of over excited movie critics that killed them.

And Obama wonders why he is going down, down, down, in the polls. Even in the electoral college he is now most at the 50/50 mark.

I hope Mitt, as President, first gives everyone in the nation exemption from Obamacare, and then releases ALL the cables relating to this mess.

McTriumph said...

Icepick
Good question, did the President even meet with his National Security Advisers before flying to the Las Vegas fundraiser ? By the time he flew out, the national security apparatus knew the true nature of the attack. AS serious as this was, if not why?

Chuck said...

A comprehensive and devastating takedown by Mark Steyn at NRO.com:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/330299/who-s-politicizing-benghazi-mark-steyn

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Just a point of clarification: Bush never said Mission Accomplished in his speech on the carrier. The phrase comes from the banner hanging behind him. He said it was the end of major combat operations.

Hagar said...

The State Dept. (D.C.) was in contact with their people on the ground by satellite phones while the attack was underway, so it would be remarkable if Hillary! was not being told at the time.

The CIA is said to have lost an intelligence gathering center in the attack. There has not been a peep out of the CIA (WTF!, over?), but it is not believable that the CIA was not in contact with the ground in real time. It would also be most remarkable if the they did not immediately alert the White House.

So what the heck is going on here?

And note that the "war" in Libya has been sort of this way from the beginning, with all the Government agencies doing a Sgt. Schultz routine of "I don't know. It's not my job. You'll have to ask those other people (NATO, or the Brits, or whoever) about that!"

SteveR said...

My take on this from far away from Washington was always that the AQ is still active story did not meet the campaign narrative, thus the need to spin it. Hell I just this afternoon saw an Obama ad touting the demise of AQ.

They were also counting on the MSM to buy it. They are still counting on most Americans to buy it.

Darcy said...

"But what about the videeeeeooooo?!"

Hagar said...

Have we gotten to a point where it is possible for someone who knows his (or her) way around the Government to maneuver the United States into a fighting war without the people who are supposed to be in charge having anything to do with it?


Dan Brown, call your office!

Michael K said...

"Fast forward a few decades, and another moralistic US President overturns decades of bipartisan foreign policy by withdrawing support for Mubarak and actively supporting the overthrow of other autocrats in the region -- all without doing anything to prepare for stable successor governments that would be friendly to the US and would protect the basic human rights of their citizens. "

The problem here is that Obama does not think that governments friendly to us are a desired outcome. After all, we are a bad country that has done too much bad stuff in the middle east. We don't deserve friendly countries, let alone allies.

McTriumph said...

"But what about the videeeeeooooo?!"

The real time videos from the security cameras at the compound and the drone overhead are "classified" till after Nov, 6th.

R. Chatt said...

Joe Biden assures the American people, "We're going to get to the bottom of this," as if there really had ever been some debate about the attack being a protest gone bad.

I don't think he meant, we'll see if there is some connection between the Al Qaeda group in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood Islamists in Cairo, and whether the riots were manufactured for 9-11, or whether Stevens was specifically targeted because he was a gay American, or whether he actually was sodomized by the mob after they found his body... etc.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Let us remember one of the reasons to be inflamed about the, 'it was a video!' Argument; because we all saw our govt trash free speech in order to appease a mob--the justification being, national security. When it turns out that was bogus, we are left with, our govt trashed free speech...for what?

Liberals used to care about free speech--at least, they said they did. But some folks will swallow anything for their candidate. Both republicans, and democrats.

cubanbob said...

This wasn't a tragedy. It was depraved indifference.
These bastards need to go to prison.

Gideon7 said...

Re: 'Mission Accomplished'

It was the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln who put up the banner, not the White House. In his speech W said the opposite: that the task ahead was far from over and would take years.

(Sorry but the "Mission Accomplished" trope irks me every time I see it.)

Mamie said...

Distraction is still the operative method – Yahoo! News right now is headlining this:

Christopher Stevens' Dad: Politicizing Son's Death Would Be 'Abhorrent'

Shouting Thomas said...

This foreign policy talk assumes that the U.S. has the power to enforce some kind of sensible solution in the Middle East and in the War on Terror in general.

I am more in favor of a chaos theory.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a "fix" for the problems of the Middle East or a "fix" for the existence of Al Qaeda. Those problems are beyond our control, as we discovered in depth in Afghanistan.

Given that, what should a Presidential candidate set forth as a sensible U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and a sensible method for defense against Al Qaeda?

I would appreciate it if one of the candidates would admit that the Middle East and Al Qaeda are beyond out control, and that our policy should be constructed to make the best out of what is a very bad situation.

sonicfrog said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Douthat at the NY Times says this is all turning into a plus for the Obama admin.


I'm not a big fan of Douthat, he he ain't sayin' what you said he's sayin'.

It was an error on Romney's part to make the statement before the facts were know. He didn't get it right. But the Obama administration, in their zeal to try and make Romney look bad and ran with the anti-muslim video story, committed the worse error of responding to Romney instead of waiting to comment on the actual events.

When it started to become clear that Benghazi was indeed a terrorist attack, the administration continued to run with the "video" story. Why? Because, in their isolated circle of advisers and in some of the media, it looked like that was working. Romeny seemed to be taking a hit from this. But once the true nature of the attack permeated out into the regular media, they got caught in the trap they originally laid out for Romney....

As Andrew Sullivan is so fond of saying.... Meep. Meep.

Maguro said...

I think Woodward is saying -- based on the documents -- that the Obama administration had some idea that acting like there wasn't a military situation was a way of ending the military situation, as if it's all about messaging and narratives...

During the Iraq war, there was a sort of consensus among center-left military analysts that one of things the US did wrong was to take force protection too far...mandatory body armor and helmets, hardened vehicles, weapons always locked and loaded, etc. The British had a better approach in Basra, supposedly. They wore berets, not helmets, eschewed body armor, drove canvas-topped Jeeps instead of up-armored Humvees or MRAPs. Sort of a "winning friends and influencing people" approach to counterinsurgency.

And while the "soft hat" approach seemed to work for a while, the British occupation of Basra ended badly. Ultimately, their good intentions and friendly gestures counted for nothing and their enemies tried their damndest to destroy them.

I think a similar mentality is probably at work here. Act like security's not a problem and it won't be! Befriend the locals, don't alienate them with scary armed soldiers and security contractors...be nice and open and they'll be nice to you, etc, etc. It's naive idealism all the way down.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Marnie: I'm cynical enough to think that the dad's comment came at the prompting of the Whie House.

Any decent person feels awful for the family. But, if I were Romney, I'd say, respectfully, this episode concerns all Americans, and they deserve answers now, not later.

Shouting Thomas said...

Jose Feliciano is performing the most original version of the "Star Spangled Banner" I've heard in decades at the opening of the Cards/Giants game.

And, he's not resorting to screeching vocal acrobatics.

He actually redid the voicing of the chords.

Quit brilliant!

John Burgess said...

@Icepick: I think you may have a few mistaken ideas about USMC Security Detachments.

The lack of US Marine Corps Security Guards is no indication that security was taken lightly. Not all diplomatic missions have them for a variety of very valid reasons. Among those reasons: the host country won't allow it; the mission is too small to warrant a security guard detachment;

The USMC Security Guard detachments are 'reward' assignments that only go to top-performers and there may not be enough of them available to staff a mission; neither State nor the USMC may have the funding readily available to pay for a security detachment.

Marine Security Guards are not combat troops. Although they have the training, of course, they are not armed for combat. Weapons are primarily defensive -- things like tear gas and flash-bang grenades. Offensive weapons are limited to handguns, shotguns and -- sometimes -- a few M16s.

The role of the USMC Security Guards is not to defend human life, though of course they will do that where possible. Their first order of business is solely to buy time for the destruction of classified documents and equipment. Once that's done, they can put down their arms or shift to a more aggressive role. What they do, however, is determined by the Rules of Engagement established by the US Ambassador in the country in consultation with State and the USMC. I have no idea what the ROE are for Libya.

garage mahal said...

Americans have died and administration officials including possibly the president have lied.

ChimpyMcHalliburton!

You're like wazaaaaaay fucking out there man. Go bang a drum or something with the Kos Kidz instead. Sympathizing with terrorist enemies instead of your own president is definitely a new low for Republicans.

Wow!

Fr Martin Fox said...

ST: the sound is off here, so I didn't hear it. And, it shoulda been the Reds.

yashu said...

I think Woodward is saying -- based on the documents -- that the Obama administration had some idea that acting like there wasn't a military situation was a way of ending the military situation, as if it's all about messaging and narratives... either because that's effective or because it's what they wanted to say in the political campaign.

This is such an apt description of the Obama admin's modus operandi in so many areas, not just foreign policy... it's scary.

Shouting Thomas said...

Incredibly original rendition, Fr. Fox.

He also did it with some kind of modified samba rhythm.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sympathizing with terrorist enemies instead of your own president is definitely a new low for Republicans.

This theme has been showing up a lot.

The Archie Bunker defense.

Incredibly funny to watch lefties resort to the Archie Bunker defense!

Jaske said...

Evolution of verbs and adjectives.

garage mahal said...

We're at war! Don't you get it? They want to kill us!!!

garage mahal said...

Pick a side. Sheesh.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage...

The American people have a right to have their elected officials give them the straight story. Do you disagree?

Do you really think we've had the straight story? Really? Really?

Americans died. And the First Amendment was trashed.

We have a freaking right to demand our President tell us the truth. Even if its, "I screwed up."

Hagar said...

A good beginning might be to face up to the fact that whether the US wants to be at war with them, the other side (Iran, al Qaeda, Taliban, Wahabhi, etc.) believe they are at war with us.

It is all interconnected and separate solutions simply are not there. It is no good to just play whack-a-mole with the latest outbreak.

AllenS said...

garage, they are killing some of us. Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but 4 were just killed in Libya.

Mark said...

Apparently Obama has decided (at least for now) not to throw Hillary! under the bus. Today would have been the day to stamp her ticket.

ricpic said...

garbage sticks with the president who made political hay of "my friend" Ambassador Stevens while standing over the Ambassador's casket and then flew off to Vegas to fundraise.

Millions of DECENT Americans are beyond rage at this point. We flush the turd on November 6.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Mark--

I don't understand your point; it sure seems like the White House has thrown Mrs Clinton under the bus.

garage mahal said...

The American people have a right to have their elected officials give them the straight story. Do you disagree?

Sure. Did you read the State Dept briefing? Seems pretty transparent to me.

It took over a year to get a report on what happened on 9/11. And remember Bush and Republicans didn't want that investigation from the beginning.

Further from that detailed report, what else did you need to know immediately?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

I want to know where the, "it was the video!" Explanation came from. It didn't come from the intel folks. So, where?

The First Amendment got trashed. By the president. A man went to jail. For a video. In the USA.

I want to know why.

Shouting Thomas said...

Further from that detailed report, what else did you need to know immediately?

Why the Obama admin obviously fabricated a cover story that was bullshit.

Bush didn't fabricate a cover story for 9/11.

Darcy said...

You're getting scary, garage.

Nonapod said...

After this debacle my general impression of Obama's administration (other than them being morally bankrupt) is that there are no real leaders when it comes to messaging. I get the sense that there's a lot of people in the inner circle who have different, conflicting ideas about how to deal with things and there's a general lack of focus. The result is this flimsy narrative that leads one to conclude outright lies and incompetence. Jarrett, Biden, Axlerod ect. are certainly much more buffoons than puppet masters.

BaltoHvar said...

We just bombed this country back 5 decades in order to Liberate it. It is in military and political chaos. Yet we have Officers of the Administration on the ground attempting to conduct Diplomatic (and possibly covert) duties and operations. Further, this bombing was certainly a U.S. Military action unprecedented outside of possibly A-stan and/or Iraq. Indeed an act of War.

Seems a "Go Team" may have been a good plan, stationed off the coast in case anything happened requiring their attention.

It is rather significant that now the Meme "Mission Accomplished" is being used against a (D) Administration the same way the Libs and (D)'s used it to deride the previous Administration.

Icepick said...

John Burgess, I'm actually aware that the Marines are more of a color guard. But they're also a symbol of taking things seriously. We had neither the symbols or the reality of serious security operations in Benghazi. The security had been withdraw earlier, even though the people in charge of security AND the Ambassador actually wanted more security.

The point is that the Administration did not do anything to indicate that they took the Libyan mission seriously, and in fact did completely the opposite.

Where was the competence? Where was the fucking competence?

And as much as Joe Biden wants to laugh about it, and Barack Obama wants to go screw around on Letterman and call it a bump in the road, and unpaid shills like garage mahal want to pretend it doesn't matter, we just had a massive and total foreign policy fuck-up. A US Ambassador and three other Americans are dead because the Administration choose to deploy him in one of the most dangerous places in the world for Americans and then effectively stripped them of all security, despite the repeated requests by the Ambassador and others with direct knowledge of the situation.

To compound that, the Administration spent many days, almost two whole weeks, telling the most brazen lies about what had happened, and continue to lie in ways that at best suggest complete incompetence and a total disregard for anything but clinging to power at the expense of everyone and everything else.

Shouting Thomas said...

The State Dept. brief, garage, contradicts the Obama admin's cover story that it trotted out for a week... that the embassy attack was cased by the "disgusting" video.

I like the way you sidestepped that. Clever.

Carnifex said...

Seven Machos said--"This election is over. Romney has won."

I agree whole heartedly with his assessment. That it mirrors mine has nothing to do with it. People will believe their own lying eyes more than the MSM. They know the economy is still fubar. They know Zero has lied, repeatedly. And they know nothing he has proposed has worked.

Now a few prognostications to prove my prescience...

1) Romney will win handily, but not overwhelmingly.(too many dummies allowed to vote)

2) The GOP will claim they have a mandate. The DNC will claim that the seats it wins is because the GOP doesn't. Neither side is right. The last person to win a mandate was Reagan.

3) Nothing further will become of any investigations into political corruption ala FF, or Solyndra, all investigations will be halted in the name of "healing" the country.(pols protect their own)

4) Romney may get the economy moving by his 2nd year. The MSM will harp on this "failure". Any and all sign of progress will be from inertia of the Zero years.

5) By Romney's 4th year, the economy might be back to 5 percent unemployment, but more realistically it will be a few tenths over 6, which will be declared a massive failure by the MSM, and the DNC. Hillary will be the only person who can possibly correct it.(they have no one else)*

6) Some enterprising reporter will continue to chase after the real BC, and find that Mick was right after all, but will be loudly denounced by both parties , and the MSM, as a hack.

Print this out and post it on the fridge...I'm better than Nostradamus. Trust me.

*This assumes Zero doesn't want to run again. I don't think he enjoys being president. It was thrust on him. He won't run again.*

grackle said...

What I can't understand is why a "normalized" security situation wouldn't include Marines and such.

The Obama policy is to have a "low profile presence," which means no uniformed presence which means no Marines for security. It apparently also means very little security at all. It might lead the Libyans to believe that the US is a bad country.

Will Obama's media pets continue to downplay and conceal?

A totally unnecessary question.

A comment: And the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a- a video and a riot would be-- hold the administration blameless.

A comment on the comment: And I don't get this either. If the Ambassador could get killed by some random mob doesn't that mean the situation is even worse than if the Ambassador is killed by a quasi-military unit using training, tactics and military weapons (e.g., mortars)? How is that a better story

A comment on the comment on the comment: Because a mob getting violent is like an earthquake or a tornado getting violent. No one's to blame. Who could foresee a tornado? It's simply a "tragedy" – not a fiasco. If a vile video producer is to blame Obama is NOT to blame. Target the video producer, make him the villain, the cause of the "understandable" Muslim mob rage, arrest the video producer, perp-walk the video producer – which they did and the MSM fell into line blaming – until the whistleblowers stepped forward. If not for Nordstrom and Wood the MSM would probably still be blaming the video. Get it now?

Icepick said...

And let's not forget that Biden, during the recent debate, either just accused Administration personnel of lying under oath before Congress, or admitted that the President and all the senior people at the White House are kept completely out of the loop by their subordinates.

So the defense is that either they've chosen incompetents to work for them or that the White House isn't trusted with basic information, or both.

Let's just elect Charlie Manson President. I'm sure all the staffers will just ignore him, too. It won't be any different than what we've currently got going.

Seeing Red said...

They watched Benghazi for 6 hours and didn't send in the AF to stop it?

What is going on?

Mark said...

I don't understand your point; it sure seems like the White House has thrown Mrs Clinton under the bus.

More dangling in front of the bus. The Administration is insinuating that the buck stopped at State, but no one has said "we weren't informed"; the phrasing instead is "we didn't know" (we being, presumably, Obama and Biden) which leaves plausible deniability that the fault was within the White House staff.

It's a tricky game, and one pretty much guaranteed to generate defensive leaks. My guess is that the pros around Obama (who isn't a pro) know this and are willing to take on some water if it will mitigate the chance of a catastrophic hull failure.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage,

I'm going to be very direct with you, because I consider that a compliment. It sure seems to me that in your eyes, Mr Obama can do no wrong. I am not a partisan; I have never in my life (I'm 50) had a president I didn't find fault with. No, not even Reagan. It sure sounds like you can't find fault with our president.

Titus said...

There was nothing wrong with mission accomplished.

tits.

Browndog said...

So called "safe house" was a CIA operations center. Over-run by al Qaida, top secret documents/electronics/codes now in the hands of the religion of peace.

Titus said...

Father Fox is working this comment section.

I say you go Father Fox! And you even said freaking!

Did Lemsy and you make up?

tits.

grackle said...

It took over a year to get a report on what happened on 9/11.

They kept trying to find something so they could pin it on Bush. Took'em a year before they finally gave up.

Lem said...

Did Lemsy and you make up?

I will have more flexibility after the election.

Mark said...

*This assumes Zero doesn't want to run again. I don't think he enjoys being president. It was thrust on him. He won't run again.*

Carnifex, I agree Obama doesn't like most of the tasks of being President (more on that in a moment) but he sure as hell seems to enjoy the perks.

Unlike W.J. Clinton, I think Obama's going to have to pay for his own greens fees come next February. Also, while I expect he'll be able to do all right on the speaking circuit, he's not going to be able to match Bill, and His Royal Aloofness won't be able to "consult" or whatever it is to put the right people in touch with the right people anyplace outside of Chicago. (If there).

So he's going to feel a double burn as being both the failed Democrat and second fiddle to that cracker from Arkansas.

B*tch-slapping Hillary a second time would mitigate that somewhat.

Also, he apparently does like one part of his job. Obama doesn't like to do what he doesn't like to do. He misses more than half of his Intelligence briefings, but apparently personally authorizes the drone strikes. He can delegate the response to an Ambasador's assassination, but he pushes the buttons (I wonder if literally) on the Hellfire launches.

I hope I'm wrong on this.

Browndog said...

Seeing Red said...

They watched Benghazi for 6 hours and didn't send in the AF to stop it?

What is going on?


Had a drone overhead for the last hour-

Not the "I have missiles, and will pulverize you" drones, but the "hey, I can take really high quality pictures of two former Seals/CIA operators getting shot" kinda drones.

Michael K said...

"Carnifex, I agree Obama doesn't like most of the tasks of being President (more on that in a moment) but he sure as hell seems to enjoy the perks. "

Also, if he doesn't win the Arabs might want their money back from that Harvard Law School tuition.

deborah said...

The irony is, if I understand the timeline, that the Administration advertised the anti-Muslim vid, causing protests to erupt throughout the the area all the way to Indonesia.

A political ad in a timeline format would be very informative.

gadfly said...

Then there is the October Surprise twist offered by Doug Ross.

wildswan said...

It took a year to produce a full report on 9/11. By the end of the day on 9/11 we knew it was Islamic extremists. It might take year to know which Islamic extremists attacked the Benghazi consulate and why them. But by the end of the day everyone at State and the CIA and everyone in touch with State and the CIA knew the attack had nothing to do with the video. But not the President and the Vice President of the United States. Isn't that strange - why are they the ones who know nothing? What does the President know and when does he get to know it?

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"It was an error on Romney's part to make the statement before the facts were know. He didn't get it right. But the Obama administration, in their zeal to try and make Romney look bad and ran with the anti-muslim video story, committed the worse error of responding to Romney instead of waiting to comment on the actual events."

No, Romney was exactly right. That is confirmed by the fact that the administration dismissed the Cairo embassy statement soon after Romney made his comment. It had nothing to do with Libya.

Inga said...

Deborah, demonstrations against the video occured on the very SAME day in EGYPT, as the attack in Libya. To blame the Obama administration for the anti video demonstrations that occured in over 15 countries is disingenuous at best .

Shouting Thomas said...

Please, Inga, please don't start with your shit again.

You've been demonstrably and obviously wrong. You've repeatedly counseled surrender and suppression of the First Amendment.

How do you dare to continue to show your face on this one?

PatCA said...

The "normalization", or giving diplomats no protection, shows an almost psychotic belief in appearances. Does he not know human beings were there?

And if he wanted the appearance of normalcy, why didn't he just have a bunch of Special Forces or Marines there in uniform inside the gates? They would have repelled the attack and no one here would be complaining!

As I say, the next debates are going to be brutal to Obama. I would urge him to resign now, but I hate the instability that would cause.

Oh, and if you want to experience some of the terror our people went through, go through every day, go see Argo. After the first 5 minutes of de rigueur anti-US blather, it's an amazing, gripping anti-Islamist film.

AReasonableMan said...

This topic invariably brings out the tin-foil hat brigade. It's a Republican party talking point that will remain operative until the election is completed, at which point it will be immediately dropped.

Seeing Red said...

I wonder what the Romney campaign really knows?

Shouting Thomas said...

Unbelievably, Inga is still pitching "the video caused it" several days after the Obama admin bailed on that cover up.

Amazing.

Kelly said...

Mark, I think Obama will be very popular with the overseas crowd and the college speaking circuit. I even imagine Michelle getting into politics. Say what you will, but her speech at the democrat convention was good. She has improved by leaps and bounds in her speaking. Her one problem is her dress. Much like Hillary, she is trying to be something she isn't Which is why her style is so horrendous, despite what people pretend.

Mark said...

To blame the Obama administration for the anti video demonstrations that occured in over 15 countries is disingenuous at best .

Things that make you go Hmmmmm....

This is not a shot at the Obama Administration. But the fact that so many places went batshit crazy at the same time (supposedly over an obscure YouTube video) but not where an actual consulate was being attacked and looted makes a case that Al Qaeda's capabilities may be a lot stronger than the general public suspects.

Just something to think about.

Kelly said...

SeeingRed, that's a good question. Romney began receiving intel briefings some time around mid September.

Seeing Red said...

They have our weapsons so this is going to get even better.

Seeing Red said...

Next time we keep our own toys and give them someone else's.

Inga said...

Shouting Thomas, seriously GO TO HELL and quit saying what YOU think I'm saying here.

Seeing Red said...

Via The Belmont Club:

The headline from the Daily Mail suggests that a frame is being passed around. “Hillary Clinton reveals what REALLY led to Benghazi massacre – and demolishes White House claim it was triggered by anti-Islam film”

The State Department has said that it never believed the September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of a protest over an anti-Islam movie – directly contracting the rest of the Obama administration.

By trying to distance her department from the inept and deceptive handling of the Benghazi attack, which left U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials dead, Hillary Clinton could help herself politically for a 2016 presidential run....

Ralph L said...

Amazing that Obama was doing this on "Letterman" and "The View" — the day after the attack!
No, you misread that. It was "the day after she appeared on your show."

Old Dad said...

Inga,

Please. Face facts. The offensive video was published on YouTube in midsummer, to no discernible reaction. It's a ridiculous piece of trash--agreed. The explosion on 9/11/12 was orchestrated by Al Quaeda. You do see the coincidental date?

Fog of war admitted, the Administration's excuses for their incompetence are ridiculous, and manifestly untrue.

Answer the poor mother who just wants to know how her boy was murdered. She was promised an answer, even a crappy one--so far nothing.

This is not a partisan issue. We, through our elected officials, allowed a well orchestrated band of thugs to murder our fellow citizens. We should all be ashamed.

Mark said...

Of course, if we assume that some entity managed to orchestrate demonstrations across a hemisphere in order to capture a consulate and whatever documents were on site or in the possession of the Ambassador and his staff, we do NOT need to assume it was Al Qaeda.

I'm really starting to worry about the Unknown Unknowns.

Lem said...

Bush's Mission Accomplished referred to the carrier's mission, not the media spin of it.

They are still using that false narrative after all this time.

Shouting Thomas said...

Shouting Thomas, seriously GO TO HELL and quit saying what YOU think I'm saying here.

You are so damned funny, Inga. No, you've gone into the all caps mode. A sure sign of desperation.

A day from now you'll be doing the crybaby routine because people are being mean to you.

Why in God's name do you post here?

AprilApple said...

"It was the video" is a lie. It was a lie and it is a lie. And the media are still in the tank with that lie and covering for their incompetent, self-absorbed administration.

PatCA said...

And BTW what is happening with the filmmaker, who is now in jail, in solitary thanks to our DOJ and appearing "disheveled and disoriented" according to one account.

Are they waiting for him to just die so he won't cause any more political trouble? Why hasn't any journalist tried to interview him or see how he's doing?

Inga said...

The video was aired on Egyptian TV on the Saturday before 9/11 with translation to Arabic. Demonstration outside the Egyptian Embassy took place on Tuesday 9/11, the same day as the attack on the consulate in Libya. Every single day after 9/11 demonstrations against he video spread to over 15 countries.

Lem said...

Shouting Thomas, seriously GO TO HELL and quit saying what YOU think I'm saying here.

Ellie..

Temper.. temper.

Remember what Althouse said about caps.

... in all caps, which... isn't that yelling? I'm tired of all this yelling!

Seeing Red said...

Read Belmont Club. The video was the cover for what and why did the administration go along?

Shouting Thomas said...

Jesus, Inga, what a case of brain rot!

Are you sure you're not working for The Onion?

Shouting Thomas said...

Inga, are you just a fan of anti-blasphemy laws?

You seem to be looking for any possible rational to justify suppressing the First Amendment to satisfy the Jihadis.

yashu said...

By the way, I have increased respect for Bob Woodward. Maybe he does merit his legendary reputation.

The fact that Bob the Nixon Slayer has been asking tough questions and reported inconvenient truths about Obama's administration as well, proves to me Woodward really is a good reporter, a bona fide journalist (as opposed to journolist) doing what journalists ought to do.

Virtually all "journalists" in the contemporary MSM (especially those working in supposedly top-tier journalistic institutions) doubtless see Woodward as a hero and paragon. For many, Woodward & Bernstein & Watergate was the reason they became journalists in the first place. Watergate changed forever the nature of journalism and the way journalists see themselves.

How ironic, or tragic, that the vast majority of those "journalists" (or journolists) practice a travesty of "Woodward & Bernstein" journalism, have not followed the essence of Woodward's example but perverted it. For them, it's not about finding out and revealing the truth i.e. facts, whatever they might be, and holding all those in power accountable, but: taking down a Republican administration, and using their influence to "change the world" as their partisan ideological inclinations see fit. If that means whitewashing, spinning false narratives, colluding to protect and prop up a Dem administration, so be it.

"All the news that's fit to print."

Woodward's real example should shame them.

I do note that CNN, among other MSM outlets, have been notably tougher on Obama lately. Which means, doing a merely adequate-- at least barely adequate-- job of journalism, for the first time in Obama's admin. Better late than never, I guess.

Seeing Red said...

CNN's rating suck, what do they have to lose?

Mark said...

Inga, fine and lovely. The attack on the consulate was not part of those protests. It was (apparently) a well-executed military exercise. Besides losing four American citizens, we apparently lost a good deal of valuable (to the enemy) intelligence material.

Stop. Think. What's going on here?

Hey, if it makes you feel better, try to imagine a world where the RNC was behind it all.

Inga said...

No Mark, I don't think blaming any wag the tail scenario would be correct, whether it be RNC or DNC.

AprilApple said...

I wonder why angry ME rioters were yelling "Obama! we are all Osama!" after the highly visible DNC convention --where the killing of Osama bin Laden was mentioned.

chickelit said...

@Lem: How did your exorcism end the other night?

yashu said...

I'm really starting to worry about the Unknown Unknowns.

I do too, very much. Under Obama's administration, I fear that that set (out of the Rumsfeld three: known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns) may have increased dramatically.

Lem said...

Deborah, demonstrations against the video occured on the very SAME day in EGYPT, as the attack in Libya.

Brake it to her gently...

Ellie you got the Libya attack timeline all messed up.

Inga said...

Lemmy, put down the bottle and read your own link.

Richard Dolan said...

Quite apart from the fact that Team Obama has been caught in a huge cover-up and that it's 'Bin Laden is dead' boast has been exposed as a mindless exercise in missing the point that al Qaeda is more menacing than ever, the most important fact worth noting is who is doing the telling and exposing.

When CBS News -- that's Bob Schieffer -- starts going after the Dem spokesman and eviscerates his talking points, you know this story is just going to build and build. Jake Tapper and ABC News have been pursuing it for a while too. Same with Martha Raddatz at the VP debate -- they all know Team O's been caught lying, and they'll keep chasing the story. Cutter and Carney and (on Tuesday) Obama will be pummelled with it again and again. Couldn't come at a worse time for them, and on this one all the media types who usually protect Team O will be leading the charge (except for the MSNBC crowd, of course)..

O deserves everything he's about to get.

Richard Dolan said...

Quite apart from the fact that Team Obama has been caught in a huge cover-up and that it's 'Bin Laden is dead' boast has been exposed as a mindless exercise in missing the point that al Qaeda is more menacing than ever, the most important fact worth noting is who is doing the telling and exposing.

When CBS News -- that's Bob Schieffer -- starts going after the Dem spokesman and eviscerates his talking points, you know this story is just going to build and build. Jake Tapper and ABC News have been pursuing it for a while too. Same with Martha Raddatz at the VP debate -- they all know Team O's been caught lying, and they'll keep chasing the story. Cutter and Carney and (on Tuesday) Obama will be pummelled with it again and again. Couldn't come at a worse time for them, and on this one all the media types who usually protect Team O will be leading the charge (except for the MSNBC crowd, of course)..

O deserves everything he's about to get.

Lem said...

@Lem: How did your exorcism end the other night?

I was asked by our lovely Freeman Hunt to let it go.

I have a lot of respect for her.

Mark said...

Expanding a bit further, if the wave of protests were engineered to cover the attack on the consulate, then either (a) the enemy had strong reason to believe that what was in the consulate was worth stirring up security forces all over the world; (b) the enemy wanted to send the message that they could stage such an operation, or; (c) they wanted both the intel and to send the message.

Al Qaeda was always about sending messages, but their's has traditionally been aimed at the masses, whom they sought to subjugate through fear. (That's the whole point of terrorism, of course.) Assuming I'm correct, this is a message aimed at governments; we have the ability to tie you into knots while we do our dirty work.

If I'm right, it certainly seems to have worked.

PatCA said...

McTriumph, Obama did not meet with his security team before leaving for Vegas, but he was "in touch" with them, per Axelrod's statement today.

Inga said...

Yes Mark, exactly.

Lem said...

Lemmy, put down the bottle and read your own link.

Hey you are right, they dont even mention the Benghazi attack of 9/11.

It didnt happened.. how about that?

Browndog said...

Deborah, demonstrations against the video occured on the very SAME day in EGYPT, as the attack in Libya.

Brake it to her gently...

Ellie you got the Libya attack timeline all messed up.


Lem, that account is woefully inadequate, and completely dumbed down.

You should know better than to trust The Hill, a political blog.

EMD said...

this is a test since my keyboard is all screwed up.

Lem said...

Lem, that account is woefully inadequate, and completely dumbed down.
You should know better than to trust The Hill, a political blog.


I just read it... I linked assuming again that a timeline would include the event the timeline is about.

Holy shit.. they dont even mention the Benghazi attack.

Mark said...

Inga, if my analysis is correct, Obama still has to answer for why this new capability has emerged on his watch.

Bush got no quarter for being on the job for only eight months when the first 9/11 happened. (True, this wasn't the catastrophe that one was, but then again, those were different times.) I don't know why you'd expect any quarter for Obama here in the last months of his first term.

Inga said...

Yes Mark, again exactly.

Lem said...

Bush got no quarter for being on the job for only eight months when the first 9/11 happened.

Thats a very good point.

Obama has been in office awhile... He cant say his people were not in place yet or whatever.

chickelit said...

I remember back when Qadaffi [sp?] fell, some people were worried about the fate of a cache of RPG weapons and whether al-Q got their hands on them. Has anyone linked those weapons lost to those used in the attack.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse - you must have seen two things on Fox News this morning:
1- Britt Hume suggested the NYT panelist, Zeleny, should leave early to get to Susan Rice's house to interrogate her and
2- Hume had Wallace confirm that only the White House approves the guest pamelists for the program so Susan Rice's multiple appearance had to have been approved by the White House [I assume Hume was imlplying Rice was coached what to say on those Sunday mornuing shows].

Hume's comment came in the last ten minutes of the show.

AllenS said...

Obama isn't going to answer to anyone about this. Some nameless underling will be blamed, and then that will be that.

Browndog said...

chickelit said...

You may be thinking of shoulder fired SAMs (surface-air missiles)

hence, the CIA operation 2 miles from the consulate

Carnifex said...

I think Mark brings up an excellent point about unknown unknowns. Suppose you have AQ cells scattered across the ME. Not a terrible supposition to make. Also you have the Muslim Brotherhood, who is ubiquitous.

Now, AQ wants a snatch and grab on the consulate in Benghazi because apparently Zero likes to walk softly, and carry no stick at all. Why the consulate is unguarded is debatable, but assume Zero does NOT want to have his ambassador killed if only because it makes for bad press. AQ knows this because they surveil all American outposts in the ME.

So AQ asks the Brotherhood, do you mind doing a little distraction work for us? You know the chantings, the burning the US flag. You want a #78? Exactly! When and where? And that' the problem.

How to co-ordinate to all the MB cells that this video is going to be a distraction for a major movement. HHhmmmmm...Who do we know that has a vast, secret organization, with convenient offices located around the ME, if not the world? One who isn't really an ally, and resents all the power they lost to the US. One who was embarassed by the amateur in the WH with a promis of being more flexible after his election.

Just spitballin'.

@ FR Fox

Garage used to be a decent sort. He spends all his time at the daily Kos anymore and has gone around the bend. Every now and then you see his old self peek out. I think he knows he's wrong but can't admit it yet. Hopefully, he'll see the light one day.

@Inga

You go girl...I got to say that the ones getting on you for defending your right to say something about someone not getting their right to say something, are not letting you say something...the very thing they are accusing you of wanting to quash. So keep saying that we don't have the right to speak freely to those who would rescind your right to speak freely.(freely speaking)

David said...

And why is Woodward on Fox?

Because the other networks don't like his attitude anymore. He's so yesterday. Plus he's just a hack, never did have any game. The Watergate reporting was all Bernstein.

Inga said...

Carnifex, the thing is.... I never said anyone didn't or shouldn't have the right to speak freely. Some speech is just stupid.

It's not the speech that is precious, it's the RIGHT to that speech which is precious. But if y'all want to continue to conflate me saying that the filmmaker shouldn't have the right to free speech, with his speech being stupid, go right ahead, since that Is free speech, right?

McTriumph said...

They love Bernstein on MSNBC's Morning Joe, he's a hoot and always looks like he needs a bath or to lose weight. The total shit that comes out of his mouth is pure comedy gold and proof that Woodward was the intellect on that team.

mrkwong said...

Frankly, what I heard today was Lindsey Graham interviewing for Secretary of State in Romney's Cabinet.

And it wouldn't be a bad role for him.

Mark said...

If we don't have the "right" to speak stupidly then we lose the "right" to speak if there's anyone in authority who can define "stupid", either through legislation or via some hopped-up Administrator, as what we want to say.

Can't bad-mouth Scientology under President Cruise's administration. That stupidity will get you jailed.

Mark said...

And if you miss the point, Inga, you are enabling Obama's persecution of the "stupid" guy who's now locked up in solitary on grounds that are under seal.

David said...

The Obama administration won't admit mistakes. That is probably the main factor in why they let this get so out of control.

How about this, from a "senior official" of perhaps even the President himself?

"As to security, it was obviously inadequate. We lost four American lives to a terrorist attack. That's the definition of failed security.

"I know that those responsible for security felt that it was adequate. Everyone feels terrible about this terrible event, especially me. It happened on my watch and therefore it's my problem.

"We will begin an intensive review of this incident and of security at all diplomatic facilities. We are not looking for scapegoats, but we are looking to assure that we take all possible steps to assure that this does not happen again. This review will look at how everyone influenced out security decisions, from the President on down.

"I will say that initial reports indicate incredible courage by the security people at the consulate in the face of a powerful terrorist attack. We in the executive branch all have to show moral courage equivalent to their physical courage as we try to understand how this happened."

Think a response like this even entered someone's mind? Fat chance.

Kennedy's good performance in the Missile Crisis began when he took responsibility for the failure at Bay of Pigs.

Inga said...

Ah, but Mark, you DO have the right to speak stupidly, I don't recall anyone saying that right should be taken away.

I didn't know Cruise was running for Prez.

Inga said...

Mark, he is a felon who violated his parol and he is being investigated.

Inga said...

AND he is a flight risk.

Palladian said...

Some speech is just stupid.

Yes, you keep demonstrating that.

Inga said...

And He's in protective custody to keep the jail's Muslims from killing him.

Inga said...

Oy, the Yenta.

Mark said...

How did he violate parole? What is the grounds of the investigation? Why is he considered a flight risk?

He's being denied visitation too, as I understand. I only hope they let his lawyer in once in a while.

How do you feel about Mumia Abu-Jamal, BTW?

McTriumph said...

For you conspiracy theorist here's a fun alternative scenario to Benghazi attack and the Video. It posits that the Benghazi attack was Obama's October Surprise gone bad.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2944654/posts

Inga said...

I had to refresh my memory about Abu Jamal, at first glance, to me it looks like he did the crime, he does the time.

However, I probably don't know enough details of his case to really make an informed opinion.

PatCA said...

chickelit, the man from State testified somewhere between 10 to 20K SAMS are missing.

Yes, that's 10,000 to 20,000, capable of bringing down an airliner.

mrkwong said...

Let's remember there are two different issues here.

The first is the failure to provide adequate security at the Benghazi consulate.

The second is the coverup, the misdirection, the attempt to blame the attack and the murder on the Youtube clip.

The former is probably a State failure. If there's some kind of directive from the White House to minimize the security footprint in Libya then, well, I'm sure the Clintons have several copies in safe places. Regardless, this was a screwup that a government can survive. You can a couple underlings and go on.

The latter is the kind of thing that could contribute mightily to Obama being washed from the White House. It's such an utterly stupid conception that it could only have sprouted from the mind of someone who expected freedom from press scrutiny, someone who believes the American voter will do what Joy Behar tells them to do.

So who is that idiot?

McTriumph said...

PatCa
Is that what the two dead Navy Seals were looking for, they weren't consulate security.

Mark said...

Mumia is not a political prisoner. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is a political prisoner.

Mumia is in jail for a crime he admits he committed.

Nakoula is in jail because he did something that pissed on Obama's petunias.

That the Progressives refuse to see the difference, and even laud the cop killer while being cool with Obama's record re: civil rights, should be a signal that you need to actually understand where your current hero has his feet planted.

Mark said...

mrkwong, just so.

Inga said...

Mark, are you assuming Obama is my hero? And you are making more assumptions as to why the fim maker Nakoula is in jail.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McTriumph said...

Mark
There are some moderate Egyptian Muslims that speculate that Nikoula isn't a Coptic. That he was in the witness protection program for becoming a state's witness against his partner in an internet bank scam raising money for the Muslim Brotherhood. That would explain the press's confusion concerning his real name.

Mark said...

Inga, as always I act as the data warrants. Addressing my assumptions re: Nakoula, he's pretty effectively bound and gagged, isn't he? Not something I think happens often to white collar criminals.

(Speaking of which, why isn't Jon Corzine in custody?)

As to Obama as your hero, I've never seen a pixel from you that was anything but laudatory (or exculpatory) for him.

I'm one of those information-driven libertarians, you see.

Inga said...

False flag operation?

Inga said...

Mark, then you must be new here at Althouse.

deborah said...

"It's such an utterly stupid conception that it could only have sprouted from the mind of someone who expected freedom from press scrutiny..."

And it would have worked if Congressional members hadn't come back during recess to hold hearings. I would like to have seen Axelrod's expression when he heard.

Inga said...


"Much about the case of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the alleged director of the anti-Islam video, doesn’t add up.

For instance, federal prison records show that Nakoula was released from prison for bank fraud in late June 2011. Yet he was shooting the film that was made into the video that has provoked violent protests across the Middle East just one month later, in July 2011, according to a Craigslist casting call and reported interviews with actors who worked on the low-budget film.

Law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, also seemed suspiciously quick to ID Nakoula as the filmmaker behind the video, when so many aspects of the video’s provenance are murky.

Criminal records also show that Nakoula had served two other prison sentences, one following his arrest in 1997 for intent to make methamphetamine, and a later one in 2002 for violating the terms of his probation. But much about how those cases remains murky.

Journalists Christine Pelisek and Michael Daly, writing at The Daily Beast, raise the theory, was Nakoula an informant?

Nakoula’s lawyer is not returning phone calls or responding to emails, but it seems reasonable to wonder if Nakoula’s case was not part of this investigation. One question that bears asking is whether Nakoula helped persuade the feds that the drug money was going to Muslim extremists. He is a Coptic Christian. [...]

In the court file for the second case, Indictment CR09-00617, the records regarding the plea deal are sealed. That can be construed as another indication that Nakoula had previously been an informant. His lawyer is not responding to calls or emails regarding this, either.

In a case where so little of the official story adds up, this theory seems plausible."

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1YA4lEx-AUMJ:http://backchannel.al-monitor.com/index.php/tag/sam-bacile/%2Bnakoula+partner+raising+money+for+Muslim+brotherhood&hl=en&tbo=d&tbs=qdr%3Aw&nota=1&biw=1024&bih=672&ct=clnk

Inga said...

There is a lot we don't know about Nakoula.

exiledonmainst said...

Inga, give it up. This isn't about the video. It never was.

And yet,you're still trying to paint Nakoula as some big player in this? Nakoula is a complete non-story, although, as a footnote it is interesting to see how many so-called *snicker* "liberals" were ready to wave the first Amendment goodbye in their desire to attack a complete non-entity.

Palladian said...

There is a lot we don't know about Nakoula.

And none of it is your business.

There's a lot we don't know about the Obama administration, specifically related to the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. All of that is our business.

Inga said...

Non entity?Nakoula

Inga said...

None of anyone's business? Palladian, how fucking stupid are you?

PatCA said...

Who cares what Nakoula did or who he "really" is?

He is in jail, in solitary, for political reasons.

And he's not doing well. Another Daily Beast writer described him as "disheveled and dissipated looking."

grackle said...

Bush got no quarter for being on the job for only eight months when the first 9/11 happened.

There were attempts to blame the Bush administration after New York City and the Pentagon were attacked. These blows glanced off ineffectively since Bush had retained all of the previous administration's(Clinton) officials who had anything to do with national security. To blame them would have been blaming Clinton, something the MSM would not do. Bush was either smart or lucky, probably both.

Obama isn't going to answer to anyone about this. Some nameless underling will be blamed, and then that will be that.

I think that "nameless underling" will be Charlotte Lamb. Her career is almost certainly ruined. But I also believe it may not do Obama and his MSM minions much good. We may be seeing the beginning of the "cascade effect" I've seen talked about on the blogs.

So AQ asks the Brotherhood, do you mind doing a little distraction work for us?

Bingo.

You go girl...I got to say that the ones getting on you for defending your right to say something about someone not getting their right to say something, are not letting you say something...the very thing they are accusing you of wanting to quash.

The back and forth has raised my curiosity – just what sin has Inga committed? I've not seen anything incriminating quoted yet. And please, no vague condemnation, just her words.

For you conspiracy theorist here's a fun alternative scenario to Benghazi attack and the Video. It posits that the Benghazi attack was Obama's October Surprise gone bad.

I think the last person Obama wants to look like is Carter.

http://tinyurl.com/9sdpsht

McTriumph said...

PatCA
I believe that Inga is just making the point I was. The filmmaker may be in this deeper than we think, but not the way the administration wants us to believe. It's possible or just a fun theory.

McTriumph said...

grackle
No doubt Ms Lamb is going down, but she didn't make the "no footprint" policy in Libya, just implemented it.

Palladian said...

None of anyone's business? Palladian, how fucking stupid are you?

Dear Inga, you're a totally uninteresting, bothersome twat. I only occasionally respond to your droppings as a way to reach out to other commenters who register measurable brain activity. You needn't respond to me.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Oh but Palladian, of course I must respond to you, you are a presumptuous little yenta, talentless alas. Hawking your mediocre wares among the commentariat here, thinking you are dropping gems, when they are but mere turds.

Cedarford said...

mrkwong said...
Frankly, what I heard today was Lindsey Graham interviewing for Secretary of State in Romney's Cabinet.

And it wouldn't be a bad role for him
=============
Graham is an unreconstructed odious neocon and warthirsty John McCain's sidekick.
I'd rather see lying Susan Rice be SOS under Romney than that weasely gay tool, Graham.

Cedarford said...

PatCA said...
Who cares what Nakoula did or who he "really" is?

He is in jail, in solitary, for political reasons

================
No, he is in jail because he is a scumbag and con man that violated his probation.

You and other Neocons casted the dirtball as some sort of political martyr or 1st Amendment Hero - don't "get" what Probation means.
You injure a family driving drubk, you don't have a "right" to legally drink though everyone else can.
You do a robbery with a gun, while you are on jail release on probation, you can't have a gun.
You do bank fraud and Identity theft using the internet and through a series of false IDs used to perpetrate the con scam - you don't get the right to use false ID or the internet.

The Egyptian dirtball used the internet, and ran through 3 of the 7 faked passports he had in doing the "Prophet scam".

And everyone wants to know if he is a false flag of Al Qaeda, the Israelis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis, or Fundie Christians - whatever people bankrolled him.

exiledonmainst said...

I have always found Palladian's comments interesting and intelligent, although I don't always agree with him. (Hell, I don't always agree with anybody.)

And I like his art. I am a bad Catholic (but am still a Catholic) and Palladian, from what I understand, is an atheist. Nevertheless, I find his variations on Christian themes compelling.

Palladian, I've been hit with a ton of expenses lately, and I don't see myself being able to spare much until the New Year rolls around. I definitely want to buy a print of yours, though. I've got way too much empty wall space now, because I'm picky about what I hang on my walls. I have my eye on several of your prints and I'd be pleased to own your work.

Inga said...

I wouldn't hang Palladian's crap in my bathroom. My daughter was an art major, with far more talent and a much kinder personality. I don't attack anyone here, but if some folks here think I won't fight back tooth and nail, they sure haven't been paying attention.

So Palladian, word to the wise, I will always respond to you.

grackle said...

No doubt Ms Lamb is going down, but she didn't make the "no footprint" policy in Libya, just implemented it.

Yes, Lamb was obviously following what she thought was policy. I've read many policy guidelines in my day. They are sometimes vague and contradictory and sometimes this is by design. It can be a way for superiors to provide cover for themselves in case a risky policy goes wrong – in which case the subordinate takes the blame. I usually kicked them back upstairs with a memo asking for specifics. In this way I could have it on record and my butt was covered. It's a simple rule that has stood me in good stead for years. So I wonder about the wording of the actual policy. If it does not specifically state that security requests should not be honored(which I doubt it does) then I think Ms. Lamb is doomed. And provides the MSM with what the MSM will tout as a plausible excuse for Obama and Hillary.

Palladian said...

I wouldn't hang Palladian's crap in my bathroom.

Oh the ignominy!

exhelodrvr1 said...

DAvid,
Kennedy did not have a good performance in the Cuban Missile Crisis - that's part of the Camelot myth.

MayBee said...

I think Woodward is saying -- based on the documents -- that the Obama administration had some idea that acting like there wasn't a military situation was a way of ending the military situation, as if it's all about messaging and narratives... either because that's effective or because it's what they wanted to say in the political campaign. The latter is what Graham thought.

Maybe someone with better Google skills than I have can find it- I remember Obama saying during one of his primary debates that countries respond poorly to us when we act strong, and act friendly to us when we do not.
It was back when he used to really push the idea that all countries are equals, the US should not hold itself above others.

It was of a piece with the whole "you reach out an open hand and we will not respond with a fist" thing from his inauguration.

It seems to be Obama's policy idea- when the US is friendly, other actors will be friendly back. Nobody has their own motivation to hurt us, it is only ever in response to how we act. This what his doctrine, and it seems he thought Libya was going to be the perfect laboratory for it.

We helped Libya with very little national interest, we kept a small footprint, we reached out a friendly hand, and Obama believed we would be met only with a friendly hand back.

(that's why the stories about the Libyans protesting against the attacks on our embassy were so important. See? This isn't what the Libyans wanted! They love us! That's nice, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to the US being blind to a successful terrorist attack and then lying about it)

MayBee said...

As for what Obama knew, here is the easiest question to ask:

"As soon as you heard our Ambassador in Libya was under attack, what did you do? Who did you call, and when? Give us a timeline of your actions and communications".

It isn't that hard. We don't even need drone tapes. Obama has a telephone, and we had live eyewitnesses. So pick up the phone and call. Our Ambassador was murdered! It's kinda a big deal!

Joe Schmoe said...

Regarding our administration's 'investigation' as to what happened in Benghazi; it reminds me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

"We have top men working on it right now."

"Who?"

"Top. Men."

MayBee said...

Many Democrats (including our beloved Garage Mahal) are screaming that Issa "outed" a CIA operation at his hearings (because the GOP objected to the State Department showing the CIA safehouse on a map).

Susan Rice tried to pass off the two ex-SEALs (CIA?) guys who died as Stevens's protection force. That's pretty appalling.

But...what she counting on their activities being classified to hide her lie behind?

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