Posts Tagged ‘Benghazi’

In 1934, Dizzy Dean was the best pitcher in the National League, winning 30 games and leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. In the fourth game of the Series, Dean stood on first base as a pinch runner. The batter hit a grounder to Tigers second baseman Billy Rogell, who tagged second and threw to first to turn a double play. Instead, the ball hit Dean square in the head as he dashed toward second base. He was carried off the field and sent to a nearby hospital to be examined for a concussion. The next day, the Detroit newspaper headlines read, “Dean’s Head Examined: X-Rays Reveal Nothing.”

I was reminded of that story yesterday with the news that the House Of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its final report on the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, after a two-year investigation.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

In other words, move along, nothing to see here. All the Republican blathering about a vast conspiracy and coverup? Er, um, never mind.

Of course, our dear conservative friends still don’t even know that the Republican-led Intelligence Committee finally admitted there was no such thing. This is because the report merited all of about 15 seconds on Fox News. In other words, if conservatives blinked, they missed the results.

How much do you want to bet that the next book by Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan contains more than one chapter lambasting President Obama over his handling of Benghazi (and nary a word about the actual findings)?

By the way, the Cardinals won the ’34 World Series in seven games. Dizzy and his brother, Paul, won all four games for the “Gas House Gang,” the only time that’s ever been done.

As mersault mentioned in another thread today, yet another investigation on BENGHAZI!!! has been concluded (This is the fourth completed investigation, BTW: State Accountability Review Board, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs). Shockingly (not), the House Intelligence Committee came to the same conclusions as the other three:

– Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

– “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

– “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

– The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

The House Intelligence Committee is chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers, no friend to Obama or his administration. He has attacked Obama for trading five Guantanamo detainees for SGT Bergdal, says Obama has emboldened Putin, and claimed Obama is soft on terrorists and wouldn’t pursue the BENGHAZI!!! suspects. I think it’s safe to say the wingnuts will have a hard time painting Rogers as some lackey whitewashing BENGHAZI!!! away in order to protect Obama and Clinton.

This puts pressure on Rep. Gowdy’s show trial, but I’m sure he has plenty of forewarning on Roger’s Committee’s findings. Look for Gowdy to focus on Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State, with the intent being to pin the blame solely at her feet for not providing enough security. We’ve been through that before, but I’m sure he’ll still try. Otherwise he’ll end up looking like more of a fool than Darrel Issa, and that’s pretty hard to do.

UPDATE: This story has been out for a couple of days now and we can see what the right wing response is: Crickets. None of the conservative newspapers, Fox News, or blogs have said a single word about the report, hoping that if they ignore it long enough it will cease to exist. Good luck with that.

The BENGHAZI! Show Trial

Posted: May 7, 2014 by Marner in Current Events, Open Thread, Politics
Tags: ,

You don’t have to believe me when I say the House Select Committee on BENGHAZI! is a show trial that has already reached it’s conclusions before it has even been formed. You can just read what Rep. Gowdy has to say:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said the special committee he’ll lead on Benghazi could continue into the 2016 campaign, when Hillary Clinton might be running for the White House.

Asked about that possibility Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gowdy said the length of his work would depend on the administration’s level of cooperation.

 “It would be shame on us if we intentionally dragged this out for political expediency,” said Gowdy, the special committee’s chairman. “On the other hand, if an administration is slow-walking document production, I can’t end a trial simply because the defense won’t cooperate.”

That sure doesn’t sound like an unbiased search for the truth, now does it?

I’ve been busy as hell lately, but stopped in for a quick post.

I’ve been on the fence on whether or not Democrats should participate in the BENGHAZI! select committee. I think Pelosi did the right thing by insisting the committee be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. As expected, the Republicans refused since that would prevent them from using the committee to conduct Anti-Clinton campaign activities. Now, Pelosi should refuse to provide any Democrats for the committee and let it be shown for the shameless, partisan PR stunt that it is.

Your thoughts or anything else you want to chat about in the comments.

Since the latest Republican lies about Obamacare have blown up in their faces in the last couple of weeks, the Republicans are scrambling to find something to run on for the November elections. They could have gone with a positive message about what the e Republicans will do for the American people, but in order to do you that you need to have a positive message. Telling prospective voters the truth about how you are going to restrict their freedoms and make sure poor people receive less pay and less health care doesn’t win elections. So what’s a Republican going to do? I know…BENGHAZI!

In a last ditch effort to save his Speaker job, John Boehner has caved to the Teahadist wing of his party and will create a select committee to investigate BENGHAZI! This announcement comes on the heels of a “smoking gun” email that was released and testimony from a retired Brigadier General before Darrel Issa’s witchunt committee. Boehner is seeing an assault coming from his right flank, led by Eric Cantor, and he is doing what he can to strengthen his defenses. This special committee is pointless and will go absolutely nowhere, but the truth isn’t Boehner’s concern. This will allow him to say he gave the Teahadists what they demanded and allow the grandstanders to be named to the committee so they have a platform to continue spreading lies and disinformation. Go below the fold for the rest of the story.

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The Republicans in Congress have failed at every turn in trying to make Benghazi a huge scandal for President Obama and Hilary Clinton. It’s not for lack of trying, though, with Darrell Issa employing the same crack investigative tools that he used in his IRS investigation debacle. When the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) issued their Benghazi report 4 months ago, it took the wind out of the Republicans sails since it was a bi-partisan, factual assessment of what actually happened and destroyed a number of wingnut conspiracy theories. Some people just don’t give up on their fantasies (see again Darrell Issa) and the “Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi” is comprised of these types of people.

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi (CCB) was put together by Accuracy in Media (AIM), a rabidly right wing group bankrolled by Richard Mellon Scaife, which purports to be a media watchdog. AIM’s biggest claim to fame is their insistence that Vince Foster was murdered, presumably by Bill and Hilary Clinton. AIM follows the Judicial Watch process of investigation, which is to submit a pile of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, then put out a press release claiming everything you say is true because you submitted FOIA requests. In this case they used Scaife’s “Communications Stream of Conspiracy Commerce” strategy identified by the Clinton White in the 1990’s:

This is how the stream works. First, well funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Next, the stories are reprinted on the internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and New York Post) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media.

Just substitute AIM for Western Journalism Center, The Daily Mail for British tabloids, and Fox News for right-of-center American media and the strategy has been followed to the letter. Other Right wing websites have picked up the story and ran with it, including such shining examples of journalism as WND, Newsmax, PJ Media, Drudge, and FreeRepublic. Now, you have people who hate Obama touting this report as the completely true, while the State Department and SSCI reports are nothing but coverups.

AIM created a “Citizen’s Commission” to investigate Benghazi and they generated a report based entirely on public reporting and interviews with mostly anonymous sources. Their published report came to four Findings:

  1. The United States ignored Muammar Qaddafi’s attempts to surrender.
  2. The United States changed sides in the War on Terror, actively supporting Al Qaida.
  3. US military forces were in position to aid American personnel in Benghazi.
  4. Benghazi is being covered up at all levels of government.

The extremists on the right will accept this report as the truth without digging any deeper than AIM’s press release and the Daily Mail article, and that’s unfortunate. Go below the fold to see just how worthless this “report” is, except to those who only believe the worst about the US government.

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