May 19, 2013

"Look, I can't speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable."

The Weekly Standard has this clip of Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer this morning on ABC's "This Week," asked whether the IRS's actions were illegal:



Drudge links to this in a top-left headline reading "Law is irrelevant," which appears above the main headline: "'IRRELEVANT' WHERE OBAMA WAS DURING BENGHAZI," which links to another Weekly Standard clip of Pfeiffer — appearing, also this morning, on "Fox News Sunday" — saying "I don't remember what room the president was in on that night, and that's a largely irrelevant fact":



The double use of the word "irrelevant" seems significant, but let's notice the difference between the 2 usages.

In talking about Benghazi, the interviewer, Chris Wallace, is trying to extract a specific fact about the events, a fact that has not yet come out and that Pfeiffer might know. Pfeiffer blows out a tirade of truly irrelevant verbiage to distract us from the question asked, including the notion that the fact isn't important. Who cares where the physical body of Obama was as long as he was "in touch"?
Well, some people would like to know, so tell us the fact and let us decide what use to make of it. To withhold the fact — on the ground that, in your opinion, we don't need it — is to make us think it would be damaging. We're likely to think Obama went golfing or something like that. Otherwise, why not just cough up the irrelevant fact? It must be relevant, we think, at least for political purposes, or Pfeiffer wouldn't strain so hard to suppress it. (He does claim at one point that he doesn't remember where Obama was.)

But in the ABC interview, the use of "irrelevant" was mostly a bad choice of words, and it unnecessarily makes Pfeiffer seem cagey and evasive. The question is whether what the IRS did was illegal. Pfeiffer doesn't want to give a legal opinion. He says: "Look, I can't speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable." He could have put that more elegantly: I am not a lawyer, and this does need to be analyzed to determine if there were legal violations, but what I can say clearly and categorically — even if no laws were violated — is that the activity was outrageous and inexcusable.

Not every terrible policy is illegal. You can condemn a policy and vow to end it without determining that it's illegal. Pfeiffer — like Obama — concentrates moving forward and fixing problems, not prosecuting anyone for committing a crime in the process of doing the work of government. I can see why Pfeiffer wants to be circumspect about the question of whether anyone committed a crime, and he's only withholding his own legal opinion, not — as in the Fox News interview — trying to suppress a fact we'd like to know.

159 comments:

AprilApple said...

"the law is irrelevant"

We know. Corrupt progressive activities are above the law.

rhhardin said...

It's a country of outrageous and inexcusable, not a country of men.

Seeing Red said...

..."At the elementary school, Obama watched a group of youngsters learn to write about their favorite zoo animals and quizzed them on simple arithmetic. When one girl had a hard time coming up with the answer to one equation, Obama said in a sympathetic tone that “subtraction is tougher than addition....”



FORWARD!

rhhardin said...

Outrageous is actually pretty mild, except for an etymology mistake.

It comes from outre, beyond what is proper; make into a noun with -age.

Then English spots "rage" in it and it's useful in promoting the doctrine that what is beyond what is proper deserves rage, "the word itself says so."

This had so many benefits that the French reimported the word.

Michael K said...

Perjury is illegal and some folks will go to the gray bar hotel if there is any justice. I do wonder about justice when dealing with Obama.

George Will had a good point. Big government makes such misbehavior more dangerous. Mark Twain could joke about Congress being in session. Now it is no joke.

chrisnavin.com said...

spin (v.)

Old English spinnan "draw out and twist fibers into thread," from Proto-Germanic *spenwanan.

Alles klar?


MadisonMan said...

Trying to make the use of irrelevant in the quote wrt to the IRS where the actual meaning is clear into a further example of how Obama ignores the law is stupid.

It makes someone sound like a lawyer. It reminds me of It all depends on the meaning of is.

Mumpsimus said...

It's not irrelevant, it's a hippopotamus!

AprilApple said...

The left's culture of intimidation starts with Obama and trickles down.
Defense of this intimidation leads talking points to sounds like gibberish and truly irrelevant verbiage.

"what difference does it make..." and all that.
Also:
The Clinton effect.
"I don't remember..."

The Drill SGT said...

Wallace was trying to get to one of my major issues with Obama on 9-11.

WALLACE: let's turn to benghazi. he had a meeting with panetta in the afternoon, heard about this on an unrelated subject, wanted them to deploy forces as soon as possible. the next time he shows up, hillary clinton says she spoke to him at around 10:00 that night after the attack at the consulate, not the annex, but the attack at the consulate had ended. question, what did the president do the rest of that night to pursue benghazi?

WALLCE: here's the point, though, the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. four americans, including the ambassador, are killed. dozens of americans are in jeopardy. the president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the chairman of the joint chiefs to deploy forces. no forces are deployed. where is he while all this is going on?

WALLACE: i'm simply asking a question. where was he? what did he do? how did he respond in who told him you can't deploy forces and what was his president?


So when did his NSA staff tell him that what he says were his clear instructions to safeguard our staff? What did he do when told that Panetta disobeyed his instructions? Roll over and go back to sleep?

Dante said...

Let's not forget Hillary's "What difference does it make?" If it doesn't make a difference, it is irrelevant.

I "Of no consequence" has entered into the talking points about the scandals, and that's why the word "irrelevant" was used wrongly in this instance.

Don't worry, all this programming is "irrelevant" too.

Beorn said...

This President is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

St. George said...

If the WH won't tell the public where the President was the night of terror attack, there is something they're hiding.

Was he drunk? Stoned? With his mistress? His boyfriend? Or did he just not care and couldn't be bothered? Or was it all five of the above?

Becon said...

"Pfeiffer — like Obama — concentrates moving forward and fixing problems, not prosecuting anyone for committing a crime in the process of doing the work of government."

But if you're a whistle blower...

Drago said...

"Pfeiffer blows out a tirade of truly irrelevant verbiage to distract us from the question asked, including the notion that the fact isn't important."

Left wing standard operating procedure.

Similar, very similar, to Obama's answer to the question of when the White House first learned about this issue (scandal) and Obama responded with a very specific mention of simply when he became "aware of the IG report".

The only reason the "clintonian" spin tactics work with the press is because the press is still, and always will be, on Obama's side.

If a republican or a conservative provided such a steady stream of non-responsive answers to pointed questions, the media would be all over them with repeated questions (as they should, BTW).

edutcher said...

"The law is irrelevant"?

Oh, where, O where, is a dedicated conlawprof to lay down the law when she is needed?

Steffi is falling down on the job.

PS where does Choom find these morons?

The last cloud of pot he smoked?

edutcher said...

Drago said...

The only reason the "clintonian" spin tactics work with the press is because the press is still, and always will be, on Obama's side.

I think that's changing. The Gray Lady will be the last to fall, but it appears others are getting testy about the AP thing.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kev said...

(the other kev)

The context of the statements is - dare I say it - irrelevant. The impression left is that this administration picks and chooses what laws it wants to follow.

It's like Nixon's famous statement calling college students bums. Once you read the actual quote, you can he's referring to the students who are burning buildings, but the damage is already done.

Titus said...

I would have sex with that guy.

He looks like he may have a good body.

tits and thanks.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

edutcher said... Drago said...

The only reason the "clintonian" spin tactics work with the press is because the press is still, and always will be, on Obama's side.

I think that's changing. The Gray Lady will be the last to fall, but it appears others are getting testy about the AP thing.

5/19/13, 11:26 AM

Ace of Spades has a cute star wars based cartoon on this point.

The Drill SGT said...

Drago,

I noticed that about the Obama IRS response.

The varviant is what the IRS brass prays will save their collective asses from false statements charges.

Congressman: Commissioner, Has the IRS been targeting the Tea Party?

Commissioner, "The IRS "is" not targeting the Tea party.

like hands in a gunfight, watch the IRS weenies use of "tense".

Each time Congress asked, the folks like Miller will say that no, we are not targeting, and of course failed to make clear that of course they WERE, but stopped yesterday...


campy said...

I think that's changing. The Gray Lady will be the last to fall, but it appears others are getting testy about the AP thing.

Don't kid yourself. This is just a lovers' spat that will soon pass.

Big Mike said...

While I understand and accept what you write in your last paragraph, the notion that "the law is irrelevant" seems to be a common meme on the left.

edutcher said...

"I don't remember what room the president was in on that night, and that's a largely irrelevant fact"

"I was in Switzerland during that war".

And, on a related note, one half of Woodstein disagrees with the other,

Mortuary bob says Barry's lying about Benghazi.

So the cracks in the dam are beginning to appear.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Pawlak said...

What is the current state as to suing government officials for "Violations Of Civil Rights Under Color Of Law"?

n.n said...

Liberals follow selective standards. Progressives follow unqualified standards. It should not be a surprise that they would be concerned with people who recognize the objective standards set forth in our national charter, The Declaration of Independence, and principal law, The Constitution. The liberals and progressive even reject the standards set forth by nature when it suits their purposes. The worst offenders are, of course, the generational variants, the rebels with a cause and without a clue.

There are several reasons to reject the Left, including their propensity to form monopolies, denigration of individual dignity, and devaluation of human life. This is not to say that other people are not vulnerable to exhibiting the same fatal flaws and will not submit to corruption, but there is a value in following objective, reproducible standards. Not the least of which is to hold people accountable and responsible for their actions.

Obama revealed his motivations when he suggested "redistributive change" was a solution. He revealed his true nature when he described human life as a punishment. His policies sponsor corruption of individuals, institutions, society, and humanity.

Whether Obama directed this institutional discrimination is irrelevant. Through his actions and responses to events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, America, Mexico, etc., he provided an official sanction for useful and opportunistic idiots to prosecute his policies.

Issob Morocco said...

Why the video ?

Bob Ellison said...

I watched that entire interview. I say that to forestall any Professors coming on and saying "hey, you, you're lazy and stupid and not trying".

The interview was a disaster. Pfeiffer might have a future somewhere, but whoever hires him had better not value bluntness and honesty.

The truth is so obvious: Obama lied about Benghazi, he sic'd the IRS on conservatives, and he got the FBI to snoop on reporters. This guy is Nixon.

Sadly, the spin will probably work. My liberal friends keep saying roughly "there's no there there". Truth is not working right now.

Chip S. said...

Keep this in mind, taxpayers: the president's mouthpiece has now told you that questioning the president's actions on that night is "offensive".

You've been given fair warning. Now shut up or be audited forever.

Issob Morocco said...

Alles klar der IRS commissar

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

It looks like Drudge has added a third irrelevant from this guy. He said it is irrelevant who changed the talking points.

So is this a new strategy? Or is it just a verbal tick of this one guy. I don't see irrelevant as a compelling defense.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildswan said...

"What does it matter"; "it's irrelevant." Here's another way to say the same thing.

"Shut up" he explained.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

edutcher said...

And, on a related note, one half of Woodstein disagrees with the other,

Mortuary bob says Barry's lying about Benghazi.

It should be interesting to watch Woodward. He has an ax to grind against the administration. I don't remember why but the administration basically said Woidward was too old and senile.

n.n said...

I will agree with Pfeiffer on one point. The law is indeed irrelevant if it violates our unalienable human rights. It is also irrelevant if it serves to sponsor corruption. Actually, it is not irrelevant. It is malignant when it serves those purposes.

So, does the problem derive from the law, a selective rule of law, or executive action?

Chip S. said...

If I wanted to find out where the prez was on the afternoon and evening of the Benghazi attack, I'd ask the WH photographer.

Pogo said...

And thanks to Roberts, the Constitution is irrelevant.

Pogo said...

In that I mean the Constitution is now a malleable thing, and can be made to fit the facts as needed.

And hence irrelevant.

rhhardin said...

Irrelevant never forgets.

AprilApple said...

IIRC - Wasn't Obama on his way to Las Vegas for a razzle-dazzle election campaign stop filled with celebrity glitz and fawning pop culture? Obama didn't cancel.

Rob said...

Or in the timeless words of Vice President Al Gore, "My counsel advises me that there is no controlling legal authority or case that says there was any violation of law whatsoever."

Ambrose said...

This seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable statement to the effect that the IRS actions were wrong -whether or not they actually violated some law. Not everything that is improper has to be illegal.

rhhardin said...

Or did he just not care and couldn't be bothered?

Obama didn't see any decision that had good consequences for himself.

So he ducked the issue, which made it go away.

Bob Ellison said...

Benghazi was a Watergate-level scandal. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and his UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, concocted a lie together, a lie that they knew was implausible, one they could not plausibly defend before knowledgeable people, to win Obama's re-election.

Why does the press keep saying it's not such a big deal? They keep saying, as Pfeiffer said, that the really bad thing is mistrust in government. Yes, indeed: if you mistrust government, you might not be fooled anymore. We must fight that tendency.

But the scandal is lying and stealing an election. That's what happened. Mistrust in government is a healthy thing, but the MSM treats it as a cancer.

wildswan said...

nn said
So, does the problem derive from the law, a selective rule of law, or executive action?

The problem is lawless executive actions and regulations that are replacing law.
The Economist magazine has a very interesting article this week which actually says right out that Obama is putting together regulations and executive orders in such a way as legislate - to create the same effect that would have happened had Congress passed a law which Congress voted down. And they have quote from Obama's chief of staff about this practice that "when you've tried it once you get to like it."

So when a White House spokesman says "The law is irrelevant" I argue that he really does mean the law is irrelevant. What is relevant is only what one man feels,namely Obama. This is bad. The idea behind our Constitution is that we are a government of laws, not men. But the Obama White House is going on record with reputable journalists as being a government of men, of one man, Obama, not laws. I don't say he will be impeached but I think that after a struggle we could get everyone fired who carries out this policy.

Rialby said...

Obama before Benghazi = Carter at his most ineffectual
Obama during and after Benghazi = Nixon

Had Obama put forces in, they failed and he admitted it, he would have been Carter after the Operation Eagle Claw debacle.

Instead, Obama did nothing and far worse. Obama is worse than Nixon.

Rialby said...


5/19/13, 12:04 PM
Rialby said...
As Charles Krauthammer said a couple of weeks ago re: Benghazi - the Dem talking point is - we could have put troops in the air during the firefight but look, the fight was only 7 hours long and it wouldn't have made a difference. Unfortunately, they can only use that excuse with the benefit of hindsight. During the fight, they didn't know if it was a 7 hour fight or a 17 hour one. Obama failed his ambassador and his fellow countrymen.

The Drill SGT said...

Issob,

McCarthy over at NRO did a peice on that. The Money quote:

We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted:


"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."

Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?

Broomhandle said...

My guess is that, on the night Benghazi went down, Bark's handlers never even bothered to wake him up. They handle everything but the golf anyway, so why wake the president? That's the fact they're trying so desperately to conceal.

Rialby said...

Could they be reeling us in only to hit us with a withheld pic of the POTUS in the situation room on that night?

Probably not. They would have released it already. He was asleep or otherwise predisposed.

Henry said...

Who cares where the physical body of Obama was as long as he was "in touch"?

Wonderfully phrased. At once true on its face and pointedly diminishing in its meaning.

In a strange way, President Obama seems mostly just a physical phenomenon. He is a voice and a visage, a vertical presence in a formal setting.

When he leaves the room there is no guiding spirit left behind. His handlers want us to think that he is at once in touch and also outside the scope of accountability. With this president, where most things happen in his absence and his presence is carefully staged, that almost seems possible.

Ronald Reagan was called the Teflon President. Nothing stuck to him. Obama is the Oakland President. There is no there there.

Aridog said...

Drill SGT ... in citing Wallace he is quoted as saying Obama talked to General Dempsey at 4:00 PM...and that has to be on 12 September 2012, because the initial attack on the consulate didn't even start until around 3:45 AM EDT Washington DC time on 12 September. By 4:00 PM Washington DC time it was 10:00 PM Libyan time and nothing remained but ashes and 4 dead....plus 20 odd survivors we haven't had the chance to hear from yet.

Did he mean 4:00 AM Washington DC time? That would correspond with the initial attack on the consulate. The time lines cited for Obama, Panetta, Clinton, and Dempsey do not correlate with the incident time lines.

pm317 said...

So now we are getting to the important question, finally. Where was Obama on the night of Benghazi? Maybe having sex with his umbrella?

Conserve Liberty said...

Ya know what? Obama probably didn't have anything to do with any of these failures of good governance ..... but

Clinton?
Podesta?
Axelrod?
Holder?
Geitner?
Jarrett?

Chip S. said...

Maybe having sex with his umbrella?

He does seem like a bottom.

pm317 said...

They would have released it already.

No, This is just the beginning at least for that question. They will release a photoshop as soon as the clamor gets louder.

Michael said...

The question shouldn't be whether he was being updated or not. It should be whether he was in charge or not. Unfortunately, I think we know the answer to that.

Michael said...

The question shouldn't be whether he was being updated or not. It should be whether he was in charge or not. Unfortunately, I think we know the answer to that.

Nathan Alexander said...

You can be prosecuted for perjury if you it is proven that you lied.
You can't change your story once you have answered a question with something definitive.

However, you can't be prosecuted for something that happens in your mind, like, incorrect judgment whether something is important, or if something you were told just slipped your mind.

So that's why you see things like "irrelevant". That allows him to avoid answering something definitive. If later it ends up important, he can just say that it seemed unimportant at the time. Can you prosecute him for not recognizing the importance of a fact? Of course not. Mistakes were made.

That's why you see statements like "As soon as I found out about this, I made sure..."
There is no time given. "This" is not identified. You can drive a Mack truck through the holes in that seemingly substantive answer.

The fact that the Obama administration feels the need to use self-protective language is a clear indication they know they have done things that could get themselves thrown in jail and the President impeached.

If only the news media cared about the truth when Democrats are in charge...

The Drill SGT said...

Aridog,

I have to assume that the 4PM time is really sometime between 4 and 5. on 9/11

As I understand it, Pannetta and Dempsey get what I assume is a CRITIC by 4PM (as does Obama) and they discuss it at or before the previously scheduled 5PM staff mtg with Obama...

Get a direct order to act

Then they go off and sit on their hands

edutcher said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

And, on a related note, one half of Woodstein disagrees with the other,

Mortuary Bob says Barry's lying about Benghazi.


It should be interesting to watch Woodward. He has an ax to grind against the administration. I don't remember why but the administration basically said Woidward was too old and senile.


The actual aide is unidentified, but, in true Choom Gang fashion, David Plouffe thought it would be fun to pile on.

Strange bedfellows.

Moneyrunner said...

The word is that it was date night with Michelle.

edutcher said...

Those 2 "rogue" agents really go around:

Both the Cincy and Baltimore offices targeted the former executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party.

If these revelations keep coming, even the RINOs might even get mad.

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

Drill SGT...time line doesn't make sense. Benghazi and Tripoli are both 6 hours *ahead* of Washington DC EDT time. For example, I just checked and it is 1:40 PM EDT here in Detroit and 7:40 PM in Libya.

In short, in Washington DC time terms, nothing happened on 9/11....it was already 9/12.

Here is the time line I originally posted, corrected for typos in the first one and delimited to just Washington DC EDT time.

3:40 AM Washington DC time, 9/12/2012, the attack begins on the Consulate.

4:00 AM Washington time, 9/12/2012, [even allowing 10 extra minutes] the CRITIC message was sent to all crisis response offices...which includes, State, CIA, DOD, NSA , etc.

8:00 AM Washington DC time, 9/12/2012, Secretary Clinton telephones Gregory Hicks in Libya and he reports the *attack* directly to Secretary Clinton.

10:00 AM Washington DC time, 9/12/2012, the Annex in Benghazi is attacked.

Saint Croix said...

Lots of people were calling on the IRS to investigate Tea Party activities, including Senator Durbin, Senator Schumer, Senator Franken, and the New York Times. Now it's outrageous?

The Obama administration is not telling us what it actually thinks. It's telling us what we want to hear.

When Obama says he has an urge to start telling the truth like Bulworth, what he means is that he wants to stop lying and spinning and hiding what he actually thinks.

So, no, I do not think Obama is "outraged" on behalf of those Tea Party groups that were denied a tax exemption. But I am glad that he now feels obligated to put up this facade.

madAsHell said...

IRRELEVANT' WHERE OBAMA WAS DURING BENGHAZI

I agree. It doesn't matter where the Obama was. Why would you seek the advice of someone who hasn't a fucking clue!!

Coketown said...

I watched on mute. He's a handsome man, but what he's saying is irrelevant.

Quaestor said...

Among most presidential scandals the cover-up is at least as bad (illegal, unethical, immoral, etc.) as the original misdeed. It appears Obama and his minions haven't learned that lesson from history.

Terry Ott said...

It really IS irrelevant. I used the same explanation when the officer stopped me for going through the red light while talking on my cell phone, with no seatbelt, and the smell of alcohol on my breath.

Me: "I'm not sure I was doing any or all those things just now, but what's the difference? Isn't it all about what happens from here on out?"

He: "I guess you have a point there; there was no accident, nobody else saw you, you seem to be alert and aware of the situation. So, sorry for the inconvenience. Please drive safely."

Coketown said...

But let's put this in language liberals can understand:

We need to know where Obama was during Benghazi to eliminate the possibility that he was reading My Pet Goat.

That if nothing else would be a scandal of the highest order. Right? Isn't that why the left is still lathering in contempt 12 years later?

Lem said...

I know Obama wants to move forward... but for a reference, I'm going back to the campaign and the Althouse tag 'Obama the boyfriend'

Its like Obama wants to stay together... and while trying to persuade us to keep him, he keeps saying the wrong things.

You know... whatever happened happened... its irrelevant... in the past... lets move on.

edutcher said...

Saint Croix said...

Lots of people were calling on the IRS to investigate Tea Party activities, including Senator Durbin, Senator Schumer, Senator Franken, and the New York Times. Now it's outrageous?

Out of 51 Demos, 9 (so far, and just about 20%) asked for this.

Looks like the Choom Gang isn't the only ones who have some 'splainin' to do.

pm317 said...

@Aridog, your timeline does not look right. The attack started in the afternoon around3 PM on 9/11, DC time.

Benghazi timeline

Leland said...

I just keep wondering if a CEO of an energy company, say BP or ExxonMobil were to say, "Sorry about that, mistakes were made; but we made fixes and would like to go on."

BP was held criminally liable, and 2 employees are still being tried for crimes. And then there is the $40 Billion paid, which for some of these "irrelevant" activities would be a good tax cut. Let's say we cut $40 billion from the White House entertainment budget?

Anyway, if we need more regulation, that regulation should start with the government policing itself to follow the law. Otherwise, it is irrelevant to expect private individuals, companies, and organizations to respect the law.

The Drill SGT said...

Ari,

isn't your timeline backward?

4:00 AM Washington time would be 10AM Benghazi time,


My math is:

10PM 9-11 Libya = 4PM 9-11 DC

jelink said...

Most likely, Obama was getting busy in the Jesse Love Bedroom, formerly known as the Lincoln Bedroom.

Lem said...

So he ducked the issue, which made it go away.

Somebody is bound to show up with an umbrella.

Quaestor said...

Eastern time is -5 GMT, Benghazi is +1 GMT

Renee said...

From Organizing for America in their most recent email...

"

Friend --

This is just adorable in every way.

Myles, a 7-year-old from Milwaukee, wrote Vice President Biden a letter to suggest that if guns shot chocolate bullets, no one would get hurt.

The Vice President wrote back. Take a look at his response, then share it with your friends:
Dear Myles --

I am sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter.

I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate.

You are a good boy.

-- Joe Biden

-------------------------

TOTALLY RELEVANT!!!


Original Mike said...

Contrary to Pfeiffer's assertion, there is no evidence that Obama monitored the situation that night. The people who could provide that evidence, the White House, have not provided any. The only logical conclusion is that Pfeiffer's assertion is a lie.

Rialby said...

Guys, the attack started at 940 Local time in Benaghazi. Remember, Stevens walked Turkish ambassador out after dinner and then the attack started shortly thereafter. That's 340 EST.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack

Fact is, it's the middle of the afternoon in DC. The attack lasted until 1030 EST. Where was Obama during this 7 hour period? Does he really go to sleep before 11pm?

Lem said...

If Obama wants to 'reconnect'... get the women back... there is always Oprah.

Rialby said...

Btw, 4.5 hours into the attack (that's 8PM EST for you keeping score at home), Amassador Stevens is dead.

Original Mike said...

What time did the guys at the annex die?

mr. burlingame said...

.

Rialby said...

Whoops!

http://washingtonexaminer.com/anonymous-cincinnati-irs-official-everything-comes-from-the-top./article/2530001

So much for the mixed-up rubes working in an outpost far away from the smart folks back at HQ story line.

n.n said...

wildswan:

That is why we consider monopolies or monopolistic behavior to be undesirable. That is why we reject left-wing ideologies on principle, as they are founded on the formation of those undesirable structures and behaviors.

It is competing interests which keep the honest people honest and others from running amuck.

We will need to identify and implement better compromises if we hope to limit normalization of dysfunctional behaviors and control progressive corruption.

Obama's advocacy for redistributive change is incompatible with accountability. His description of human life as punishment is incompatible with preserving our unalienable rights.

Lem said...

Who cares where the physical body of Obama was as long as he was "in touch"?

His phone was on vibrate?

mr. burlingame said...

pretty simple request for someone: can the WH provide a photo of the President in the situation room during the evening of Sept 11th? Since it was obviously, as the WH says, a terrorist attack, occurring on the anniversary of another attack (hence the attack should have been anticipated), surely a WH photog was on hand, as one is for practically any other event of even minor import, to photograph the situation. Who on the NSC team was there in the situation room that evening? Was the President there? Joe Biden? Jacob Lew? Axelrod? Any other political types?

Original Mike said...

Can Congress compel State, National Security, and Pentagon officials to answer the question: "What was your contact with the President that night?"?

Chase said...

Don't you just love how the promised "most open and transparent administration" also wants to set the ground rules on what should transparent, wants to judge which questions from the American people are relevant?

Who's with me?!!

Browndog said...

unfettered into irrelevancy...

Lem said...

Obama was there in spirit.

He doesn't need to be physically present anywhere for him to make things happen.

He is the most powerful man in the world.

Aridog said...

pm317 said...

@Aridog, your timeline does not look right. The attack started in the afternoon around 3 PM on 9/11, DC time.

You are right...damn I hate it when I make such dumb mistakes....and add the time differential ass backwards. :-(

Drill SGT's time frames are right.

Corrected time line: EDT vs. EET[GMT+2]

3:40 PM Washington DC time, 9/11/2012, the attack begins on the Consulate.

4:00 PM Washington time, 9/11/2012, [even allowing 10 extra minutes] the CRITIC message was
sent to all crisis response offices...which includes, State, CIA, DOD, NSA , etc.

8:00 PM Washington DC time, 9/11/2012, Secretary Clinton telephones Gregory Hicks in Libya
and he reports the *attack* directly to Secretary Clinton.

10:00 PM Washington DC time, 9/11/2012, the Annex in Benghazi is attacked.

Even with the expanded time frame, the Chairman JCS phone call to Terry Jones, and notification to Reuters, AM 9/12/2012, to set the narrative is perplexing if not planned outright.

yashu said...

Obama's location sure seemed relevant when we heard-- in novelistic detail-- all that transpired on the day of Bin Laden's capture. They even released a photograph of the entire gang in the situation room.

Too bad, as luck would have it, a photographer was on hand for the one night, and not the other. And everyone's memories were so sharp about the one night, and not the other.

Chase said...

Most.Dishonest.Administration.EVER.

lemondog said...

Anonymous Cincinnati IRS official: “Everything comes from the top.”

Snake eating itself

Rialby said...

Back on the IRS really quickly -

This is to dispel something I saw earlier about - maybe the people in Cincinnati were just working really hard and trying to do a good job.

Either the low-level staff was politically motivated or the mid- to upper-level staff was. There is no other explanation.

Why? There is only one way to get waaay ahead in public jobs. Work harder? Nope.

Be politically connected to those in power? Yes. And when I say those in power, I don't mean at the very top. Had Mitt Romney won, the IRS would still be full of left-leaning partisans. They never go anywhere.

So, either the people at the bottom decided to do something they thought would please their left-leaning superiors or the people at the top pushed the decision down. My hunch is that it's the latter.

Cedarford said...

Pfeiffer saying "I don't remember what room the president was in on that night, and that's a largely irrelevant fact":

================
This is correct, it is irrelevant if Obama was somehow engaged in the events no matter what room he was in, even if he was conferring with the JCS while sitting on a toilet - but Pfeiffer is all about imagery.
He was careful as was Axelrod - to detail where Obama was in every moment of his "heroic" mission to "get bin Laden". We had all the photos, and a detailed hagiography of descriptions of what Obama said to who, where they were.

So given past ability of the White House flunkies to get the who, where, and when of the Black Messiah like on the night of bin Laden's death....

Saying "we don't know, or it is "irrelevant" what Obama did, who he talked to, when, and where he was on Benghazi " - makes lots of people think they know the answers to that and don't want the public to know - because it wouldn't be good for the Messiah's image.

And more and more, as this drips on, the default image that will take root is Obama sleeping soundly through the night while Hillary, Valerie Jarrett, Huma royally fucked up.

And people do need to remember that it wasn't just Benghazi - Cairo Embassy was overrun, Tripoli Embassy was overrun, Yemen was in the process of gunning down a dozen and a half Jihadis trying to storm that Embassy. Americans in Pakistan and Afghanistan were in bunker mode on 9/11.

And Obama's highest priority seems to be in all that, not just Benghazi..to get a good night's sleep so he could do A+ oration at his Las Vegas fundraiser and be awake enough to enjoy his Jay Z and Beyonce tributes.
And let other people sweat the side stuff happening overseas.

SteveR said...

So moving forward is about "solving problems"? That sounds like a group that looks to the next election. Not about truth and fact-finding, but fundraising and speeches, not about compromise and consensus but gaining power for a smooth path to implementing an agenda.

bagoh20 said...

What could the President possibly have been up to that is so damaging that we simply cannot know it. The imagination runs wild.

I guess he could have been sitting in the hot tub, smoking a bong shaped like the head of Mohammed, and getting hummers from midgets in SCUBA gear, but other than that, what could it possibly be that's so bad?

Browndog said...

My take from the morning shows via Obama surrogates:

The problem was a Bush appointee did not engage in partisan targeting because the Supreme Court; Citizens United and broken campaign finance laws.

However, all these issues have been fixed because the acting head of IRS is going to retire 2 weeks earlier than planned.

Quaestor said...

The Vice President wrote back...

This is what Joe Biden should have done with his life -- writing letters to backward 7-year-olds.

Saint Croix said...

This idea that IRS agents in the local office went rogue is bullshit.

And the head of the IRS at the time has been promoted. She's now the iRS official in charge of Obamacare!

"You're on the list for a heart transplant? What books are you reading?"

David said...

Obama's location and activity during Benghazi must be pretty damn embarrassing. Otherwise they would have disclosed it by not to end the discussion.

Writ Small said...

Only the threat of prison time will force people to cooperate and turn in the higher ups who gave the orders.

If we want to get to the bottom (the top?) of this, the law is far more than just "relevant."

Writ Small said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carnifex said...

The law IS irrelevant. When you have an AG in Holder, and a president like Zero, who pick and choose what laws they are actually going to enforce then the law becomes totally irrelevant, and we live in a dictatorship. Period. Dot. End of sentence.

And then you have the Dread Traitor Roberts piling on that words only mean what we mean them to mean at the time we choose, and everything is a fucking free-for-all.

Makes me wish the Joker brothers had better aim.

Ps. I notice ALL the chirping little liberals are silent today...really? hiding your head in the sand is what your president does. I guess the spine transplants didn't take.(And don't tell me he's my president too. It's irrelevant)

yashu said...

The Heisenberg Uncertainty President.

Carnifex said...

@Bagoh

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with getting hummers from midgets in SCUBA gear, trust me.

Chip S. said...

Axelplouffe's Cat.

Lem said...

I know what happened... but, I was not allowed to speak on the condition of my anonymity... until today.

That day started just like any other normal day...
Except history will record that on that day, Obama secretly beamed down to the planet to negotiate a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The success of the mission ultimately hinged on the ability of the principals keep the meeting secret... everybody was kept in the dark... including Michelle and the girls.

It took a long time for the administration to even set up the meeting... Obama was caught between and a dart and a hart place.

So, Obama chose to save Israel over managing what at the time appeared to be just a bunch of guys out for a walk one night who later decided to kill some Americans.

Obama could not be in two places at the same time... people forget that... the man is human you know.

Alex said...

This guy is pure Alinsky, make it all about the GOP. Attack, attack, attack. Never answer any real questions.

Saint Croix said...

If this was "rogue IRS agents," the Obama administration would arrest them, frog march them out of the office, and leak their names to the press.

That's how the Obama administration deals with rogue film makers. You go on talk shows and blame the bad apples. But these IRS agents get to remain anonymous? You are "outraged" and yet strangely sympathetic.

Cedarford said...

Aridog -

4:00 PM Washington time, 9/11/2012, [even allowing 10 extra minutes] the CRITIC message was
sent to all crisis response offices...which includes, State, CIA, DOD, NSA , etc.


Ari - Has anyone reported on the contents of that CRITIC emergency message?
Atkinsson? Hayes? Anyone in Congress get the contents?

Was it a "demonstrators have gathered" thing, lost in the 6 other "Embassies under seige by demonstrators protesting the video" messages?

Or "organized attack underway, useless Libyan guards have fled, help!!!" sort of CRITIC message??

El Pollo Raylan said...

Alex said...
This guy is pure Alinsky, make it all about the GOP. Attack, attack, attack. Never answer any real questions.

In the end, if he loses people like Woodward and that generation, he will have personally done more damage to both parties than anyone I can imagine. Who knows, maybe that's his goal--all to get everyone back for a shitty childhood.

Essexman1 said...

I remember all the hoopla about how Bush was at an elementary school during 9/11 and then stayed there. I guess it depends on what you mean by "irrelevant". Or as a friend says "it depends on whose ox is being gored"

Alex said...

I have to wonder how effective this always attack-mode ON will work? Maybe the brainwashing of the American public through the public education system is reaping benefits for the Democrats now?

yashu said...

This guy is pure Alinsky

It is worth remembering that Obama is no ordinary Democrat, but an avowed Alinskyite (worked in Alinskyite organizations and even taught Alinsky workshops-- this latter fact is new to me).

neoneocon reminds us what that means.

Aridog said...

Cedarford said...

Ari - Has anyone reported on the contents of that CRITIC emergency message? ... Atkinsson? Hayes? Anyone in Congress get the contents?

To my knowledge the contents of the message have not been released and I don't expect they would be. I'm pretty sure (as sure as I can after my time line screw up) other vets like Drill SGT don't expect it to be released either. All we have are Gregory Hicks' words in testimony under oath that all of his communications said "attack" and never "protest"...at the time he was Deputy Chief of Mission and upon Stevens death he became Chief of Mission ..e.g., Chargé d'affaires in the absence of the Ambassador.

I can think of no reason for Hicks to lie or fabricate anything. The constantly repeated video clips of the consular attack show guys running around with RPG's...not a common "demonstration" device.

PS: In case you didn't see it on the older thread...the $500 donation has been made to the 173rd Foundation as promised.

The Drill SGT said...

C4 said...Or "organized attack underway, useless Libyan guards have fled, help!!!" sort of CRITIC message??

It won't be from the PFC's to Majors (in the WHCA) that saw it. They are too well trained to disclose the msg traffic...

Rabel said...

I posted this in the wrong thread, so I'll repeat it here:

We know where the President was and what he was doing up until just before 8pm on Sunday Nov. 11.

5-6 Regularly scheduled security briefing with Panetta.

6:30-7:26 Phone call with Netanyahu.

7:28 Informal Meeting with security staff in Oval Office. Photo

After that ???. Sunday Night Football Nov. 11, 2012 Houston at Chicago

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

Axelplouffe's Cat

Only measurement by an MSM reporting instrument (such as a CNN broadcast or NYT article) resolves the quantum indeterminacy one way or the other. Until that time, things are and are not, neither are nor are not the case. Even the cat doesn't know-- until he hears of it on the black box.

It's a very special cat.

Drago said...

El Pollo Raylan: "In the end, if he loses people like Woodward and that generation, he will have personally done more damage to both parties than anyone I can imagine."

This is where I disagree with some/many(?) of my conservative brethren.

It's quite possible that Obama can "lose" the Woodwards of the world.

At this rate, I would give that outcome a better than even chance.

But the idea that Obama could lose the Woodwards of the world and have that cause real brand damage amongst the libs (note: not leftists) is wishful thinking.

The very next dem that steps up and wins the nomination is going to get all the same Obama-love.

And the very next rep that steps up and wins the nomination is going to be accused of being evil incarnate.

That's simply where we are in our evolutionary journey away from republican principles of government.

I believe the die has already been cast.

All we need now is about 30 to 40 Million more uneducated third world immigrants and our fate is 100% sealed.

That's just simple math...and human nature.


Michael K said...

John Kass explains it well in the Tribune. "How I learned about the Chicago Way."

The Trib is still trying to make a paywall work so you have to go through Real Clear POlitics. It's the top story.

Chilling but I grew up in Chicago, too. Every week the police captain's "bagman" came by every tavern for payoff. If you didn't pay, your customers got parking tickets. If you did, they didn't.

This is just the same practice scaled up.

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

How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

El Pollo Raylan said...

yashu said...

It is worth remembering that Obama is no ordinary Democrat, but an avowed Alinskyite (worked in Alinskyite organizations and even taught Alinsky workshops-- this latter fact is new to me).

I believe you, Yashu. You always seemed reasonable and level headed. But for some reason it reminded me of the night Seven Machos jumped all over people for even broaching the topic of Alinksy: link

That 7 Machos was a piece of work. Now he's just lost in the annals of Althouse.

Baron Zemo said...

He is lost in anal?

What?

I mean he was a strange dude but I thought it was downtownlad who got lost in anal?

wildswan said...

The timeline someone posted shows that two guys flew from Tripoli to Benghazi and got to the Annex in time to make a difference - the two who were killed there. So why is everyone allowing the State dept. to say others couldn't have made it and made a difference?

AllenS said...

Thank you, Aridog.

AllenS said...

Thank you, Aridog.

virgil xenophon said...

@The Drill Sgt/

"It won't be from the PFCs to Majors..."

Don't be so sure. It was an Intel SSgt at HQ, 7thAF, Saigon that let the cat out of the bag that CG7thAAF Gen John D. Lavelle was conducting his own bombing campaign outside the than current ROE in Cambodia which led to his removal..

virgil xenophon said...

And unfortunately Drago@359pm is right on the money. We really are doomed--it'll be like living in an occupied country in WWII..

virgil xenophon said...

PS: to above:

Only there is/will be no "America" to come liberate us..

Mark said...

I do know what the tool was trying to do: concede that the activity may have been illegal but focus on buffing the Administration's image by asserting that illegal or not the Administration would make sure it never happens on their watch again.

Right.

The problem is that (a) if not illegal then yes it was morally and ethically monstrous and (b) if illegal -- and it certainly seems like it was illegal -- then the IRS ignored the rule of law.

When you get down to it, the best you can say is Obama's IRS behaved as a moral and ethical monstrosity.

And the rank and file in Cincinnati are starting to leak like sieves, because they aren't taking the fall for this crap.

Matthew Sablan said...

It probably is irrelevant; after all, what difference, at this point, does it make?

wildswan said...

nn

I like "progressive corruption". "Mr. President you have gangrene in your presidency. It's progressive and ..." "Well if it's progressive it' s good. Lean forward into gangrene."

yashu said...

That 7 Machos was a piece of work.

Aw, I always liked 7 Machos, even when I disagreed with him. Very smart guy, could be an arrogant son of a bitch sometimes, but the brawls he got into (often with other people I liked) were always interesting.

Thought he was a good example of the intelligent diversity of opinion to be found on the right (and on this blog).

I miss him as a commenter-- wonder what he'd have to say these days.

pinkmonkeybird said...

We were told this was the most transparent administration ever. And now learning the truth is irrelevant?

furious_a said...

The attack lasted until 1030 EST. Where was Obama during this 7 hour period? Does he really go to sleep before 11pm?

Both he and Hillary! Let their respective 3AM phone calls roll to voice mail.

yashu said...

Both he and Hillary! Let their respective 3AM phone calls roll to voice mail.

Maybe not. Andrew McCarthy asks a good question: what did Hillary and Obama talk about at 10pm?

Bill Dalasio said...

Pfeiffer — like Obama — concentrates moving forward and fixing problems, not prosecuting anyone for committing a crime in the process of doing the work of government.
That strikes me as an exceedingly generous assessment. If we're to believe Mr. Obama's focus is "on moving forward and fixing problems", we're stuck with a rather odd incongruity with regard to his administration's fixation on George W. Bush.

ken in sc said...

Objection your honor, That's irrelevant and immaterial. Plus, you should make them shut up for contempt.

Hagar said...

I think Bob Schieffer had the best question for Mr. Pfeiffer: "Why are you here?"

pm317 said...

Do you all remember this?

Panetta: President Obama was absent night of Benghazi attack and did not check in once during the night of the deadly terror assault

pm317 said...

@Yashu.. so there was a call at 10 PM between Hillary and Obama, and Hillary spilled the beans that the call happened when everyone else in the WH was trying to keep Obama's whereabouts a mystery which they still are trying to do.. I guess their calculation is him being AWOL is better than not doing anything at all and let those people die.

Saint Croix said...

Dan Pfeiffer appeared on Meet the Press and Bob Schieffer ripped him a new one.

Nixon comparisons!

Why are you here? You don't know anything!

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Apparently Bob remembers the last time the Obama administration sent somebody on his show who had no idea what was going on, and he's still pissed off about it.

yashu said...

pm317, yep, that's very possible.

Funny that Obama being "in touch" that night might be just as inconvenient a fact as his being AWOL.

Hence the need for quantum indeterminacy.

bagoh20 said...

"quantum indeterminacy"- It's plausible deniability with the adjustable lie option available on new models you can see at your local Bullshit dealer today. Ask for a test drive, but don't bring your I.D.

Rusty said...

yashu said...
That 7 Machos was a piece of work.

A good one. he could hold up his side of an argument.

El Pollo Raylan said...

quantum indeterminacy

A quantum of solipsism

Lydia said...

Anyone else see the resemblance between Pfeiffer and this guy?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Lydia: when I watch Pfeiffer getting grilled by Green with the sound off I thought it looked like Rush Limbaugh vs. a very young Ralph Nader.

Have a look: link

joyce said...

Good points but the relevant ones aren't speaking and the ones who could do something aren't listening either :)