Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

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.

On Wednesday, Sen Rockefeller held a hearing of the Senate Commerce committee and some sparks flew. Rockefeller made this statement in a hearing about the ACA:

“It’s very important to take a long view at what’s going on here. And I’ll be able to dig up some emails that make part of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t look good, especially from people who have made up their mind that they don’t want it to work. Because they don’t like the president, maybe he’s of the wrong color. Something of that sort,” Rockefeller said. “I’ve seen a lot of that and I know a lot of that to be true. It’s not something you’re meant to talk about in public, but it’s something I’m talking about in public because that is very true.”

That set Sen. Ron Johnson off.

“I didn’t object to this because of the race of the president. I objected to this because it is an assault on our freedom. And Mr. Chairman, I have to admit, I have a great deal of respect for you, but I’m the only one in the room, and I found it very offensive that you would basically imply that I’m a racist because I oppose this health care law. That is outrageous.”

Did you catch that? Rockefeller said some people oppose the ACA because of racism and Johnson twisted his words to say that Rockefeller called him a racist. This is the reverse race card played by Republicans on a regular basis. They make the false claim that liberals call all opposition to Obama racist, so therefore, no opposition to Obama can ever be racist. The GOP even went so far as to say racism has ended. It’s a weak attempt to keep liberals from pointing out that racism is alive and well in our country.

Just recently, numerous stories have appeared that only serve to reinforce that point. We have Cliven Bundy saying, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.” Republicans will say he is just a singular nutcase, even though they were full-throated in support of him until he opened his mouth, but he isn’t a lone wolf and racism is alive and well in the Republican Party. A New Hampshire police commissioner unapologetically called Obama a n****r. A county Republican Committee in Illinois sent out a newsletter calling Obama a zebra; half black, half white, and all ass. A Republican Party official in California sent out a picture of Obama’s face pasted on a chimpanzee’s body. A Republican Precinct Chairman in North Carolina opened up about the real reason for passing photo ID voting laws when he said, “If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

It’s not just about Obama, though. Racism is still prevalent throughout the country and it is not restricted to the South, as demonstrated by Robert Keller in Utah.

“What Keller wrote down, in a letter to the family last December, was a direct threat. His hate-filled letter – which concluded with “Get this n****r out!” – explicitly warned the parents that he would kill either the boy or the parents if they did not remove him from the neighborhood.

By Keller’s own description the letter read, “If it was my daughter – I think I wrote that I’d slice his throat or something like that.”

Keller told KUTV that he was inspired to write the letter out of fear that the boy might try to date white girls. “I just said, ‘What’s gonna happen later on down the road, when this black kid starts chasing these girls? Which I’ve seen,” he said. “That’s what set me off. I saw him walking down the street with a white gal.”

When Republicans try to shield themselves and their constituents from any accusations of racism, liberals need to forcefully push back. Stating the obvious fact that some opposition to Obama is based on racism is not the same as saying ALL opposition is based on racism. We can’t let the Republicans get a free pass to say anything they want by denying racism exists.

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.

(more…)