November 20th, 2012

Who changed the Benghazi talking points? (smoking guns, then and now)

CBS reports that a source says that the Benghazi talking points were changed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, without the knowledge of the White House.

Let me stipulate a few things. The first is that I have come to believe we’ll never learn the truth about Benghazi; the combination of this administration and the completely complicit MSM is almost overwhelming. The second is that even if we were to learn the truth, the majority of Americans either would not be paying attention, or wouldn’t much care about it even if they were. The third is that, even if this CBS report is the truth, it would indicate a remarkable degree of incompetence on the part of the Obama administration—for not being more involved in the information that was given the public; and/or for not correcting the story much, much earlier rather than doubling down on the stupid and transparently incorrect “it’s the video” narrative.

And that’s not just hindsight about the video versus terrorists. The terrorist link was clear from the start, as I wrote here. What’s more, who bears the responsibility for misinforming the American public on Benghazi is just one small part of the big picture of the Benghazi debacle, which also features incredibly poor security preparation prior to the attack, ignoring staff requests for more security, and an inadequate response during the attack, as well as the subsequent coverup that has been the more recent focus.

Many of us on the right think that Benghazi is a scandal with issues that make it at least potentially far more important than Clinton and Lewinsky and even than Watergate. I agree. But I’ve already said I don’t think it will ever get much traction with the public because of the audacity of the Obama administration and the cooperation of the press.

So, what was so different with Monicagate and Watergate? Note that one featured a Republican (Nixon) and one a Democrat (Clinton), the first a man who was hated by the MSM and the second a man who was loved. Both scandals had long introductory periods of moderately successful coverup (despite the intrinsic interest generated by the sexual nature of the Clinton scandal), but then both exploded and the public became convinced they were serious controversies. The difference between then and now is that both featured smoking guns that forced people to pay attention: for Nixon it was the existence of the tapes themselves, and then the so-called “smoking gun” tape that seemed to implicate the president directly in the coverup and obstruction of justice, and for Clinton the famous semen-stained blue dress that proved once and for all that he had had some sort of sexual relations with “that woman.”

I submit that, but for each of those things, those scandals might never have reached critical mass. Clinton’s denials would have held—and Nixon’s probably would have as well, despite the fact that he lacked press support. Remember also that what did Nixon in and convinced him to resign was the fact that his fellow Republicans deserted him, informing him that they would probably impeach and vote to convict. For Clinton, what ever could be more of a smoking gun (smoking hot) than the dress Linda Tripp had convinced Lewinsky to save, which was finally turned over to investigators, providing proof positive of his affair?

Nixon resigned because Republicans deserted him, but the Democrats never deserted Clinton. Therein lies the difference between the two outcomes, and the reason Clinton was able to weather the storm of his impeachment.

So, back to Benghanzi. What smoking gun could ever be uncovered? A memo with Obama’s name on it saying “Hey, let’s do a coverup and lie to the American people to protect ourselves?” He’s nowhere near that stupid. Obama will let subordinates take the fall; it almost doesn’t matter which ones, but he has plenty who would look good under that bus. And I doubt there are any smoking gun tapes, or any tapes at all.

By the way: are there any White House tapes? No one’s ever asked, although it would be an interesting question. I doubt the answer would be “yes.”

What’s more, Democrats would never turn on Obama, even if there was a literal smoking gun and it was discovered that Obama murdered the ambassador himself. Yes, I know he didn’t (that’s for the trolls among you), but just try to imagine what sort of offense would be enough to get the Senate to vote to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. Difficult, isn’t it?

76 Responses to “Who changed the Benghazi talking points? (smoking guns, then and now)”

  1. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Would an affair with a white woman do him in? Nah, they’d just gush over how diversity has really come to the White House. Or how Obama is so fair minded and non-racist. It does boggle the mind.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    JJ: an affair would no longer do any president in (at least, not any Democrat). It didn’t even do Clinton in–it was the coverup and the court testimony that caused the impeachment, not the affair itself.

  3. Steve Says:

    This scandal is bigger than the lying in question. Who gave the order to stand down?

  4. holmes Says:

    It’s amazing. The President, and the federal government overall, was really designed for foreign affairs. Here we have a total bungling (at best) and at worst a scandal and cover up and basically people don’t care as long as they are getting their checks.

  5. holmes Says:

    Steve- surely some other underling who is expendable gave the order to stand down. We’ll punish that poor sap who can now retire.

  6. Instapundit » Blog Archive » BENGHAZI AND SMOKING GUNS: Then And Now…. Says:

    [...] BENGHAZI AND SMOKING GUNS: Then And Now. [...]

  7. vanderleun Says:

    As someone else said: “A sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

  8. vanderleun Says:

    “…. just try to imagine what sort of offense would be enough to get the Senate to vote to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. ”

    Okay, step one is to wait until some sort of random nuke from Iran incinerates the entire senate….

  9. holmes Says:

    By the way, the report doesn’t say who added the talking points about the video. As far as I can tell, it only addresses the idea that Al-Qaeda links were dropped. So who assumed, then, that it was about a video and we needed to jail the videomaker?

  10. George Pal Says:

    “the majority of Americans either would not be paying attention, or wouldn’t much care about it [Benghazi] even if they were.”

    Which is to say the candidate did not matter, the campaign did not matter, the debates did not matter, the Party planks and platforms did not matter, and the speeches did not matter. I believe ADD is only a disorder for those who wish not to suffer from it. Those who desire blithely to wallow in it are likely to be unapproachable on any matter and are greatly represented in the base of the Democratic Party – idiots. Now how can the Republicans sway the idiot vote their way?

  11. M J R Says:

    neo, I agree with your analysis, but I wish only to add a little, as far as Clinton/Lewinsky is concerned.

    The Stupid Party (the “R” guys) badly misplayed the Clinton impeachment. Some of them seemed too focused on the prurient aspect of Clinton’s misdeeds, and the mainstream media [already in love with Clinton, as you point out and most of us here surely understand] were only too happy to accommodate them.

    The impeachment was not — or, should not have been — about marital infidelity or sex. This was a sitting president who was clearly guilty of -1- perjury and -2- witness tampering.

    Even the “D” guys agreed on the facts, but their talking point was that whatever Clinton did, “did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”

    And you can bet your last dollar that nothing the present incumbent ever does will ever manage to “rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”

    But you and I and most of us on this forum already know that . . .

  12. davisbr Says:

    What MJR said. I recall arguing with liberal friends (I used to have some back in the day: I’ve since abandoned all of ‘em …actually, I’ve reached the point of active loathing now I think on’t) back in the day that it wasn’t the sex, it was the misuse of the presidential office to commit perjury.

    Since he was subsequently disbarred, post-impeachment, I was right. Which proved the point.

    I actually used to think that the presidency should be held in respect.

    …I’ve long since been disabused of that quaint, antiquarian position.

    …another case of winning the battle, but losing the war.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    M J R and davisbr: I disagree about perjury. I don’t believe Clinton committed perjury, although he did lie. There’s a difference, though—perjury has a specific legal definition.

    I’ve discussed that fact on this blog before. Some day I really should write a post about it. But to see the previous discussions, start here, and continue on reading down the thread, paying particular attention to all the comments of mine about Clinton and perjury. This comment deals with why Clinton was disbarred; it was not for perjury.

    Non-lawyers may think that’s nitpicking, but it’s not. Or, rather, it’s that law by necessity involves nitpicking. There are excellent reasons that perjury is defined in a fairly narrow and restrictive way compared to “lying.”

  14. davisbr Says:

    Neo? Disagree.

    Read this at Slate, this at the AP, and this at the NYT.

    Clinton most certainly did commit perjury in the technical sense. And admitted to it (by his “plea bargain”).

    He wasn’t convicted of it. Plea bargain.

    That is all.

  15. M. Report Says:

    Tape recordings are so 20th century. :)
    What I have read and believe to be true
    is that there are specified chains of command
    up and down which documented data and orders
    flow according to predetermined protocols;
    The evidence is there, but the public will
    never see it, will never even know it exists.
    To give one example, _somewhere_ there is
    a signed, time-stamped order to stand down.

  16. Carl in Atlanta Says:

    The pre-attack incompetence and magical thinking were bad enough, but what is maddening is the Big Lie propaganda campaign: they didn’t even care whether they sounded believable. And now it looks like they’re going to get away with it.
    I know I posted this link on an earlier thread of video of Hillary Clinton’s eulogy at Andrews AFB on 9/12, but do go to 1:02 and listen to just 30 seconds or so of some US-Prime grade bullshit:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9544850/US-President-Barack-Obama-vows-to-stand-fast-against-protests-as-bodies-of-Americans-return-from-Libya.html

    ARGHH!

  17. Henry Bowman Says:

    The Senate would get incensed only if B.O. had one of its members murdered. For example, use of a missile-equipped Predator to kill Sen. Rand Paul just might get them really worked up. But perhaps not, as Rand Paul is not [yet] in the old boys’ club.

  18. Mr. Frank Says:

    The standard for a Democrat to get tossed out is that voiced by Edwin Edwards of Louisiana. One must be caught in bed with a live boy or a dead woman.

  19. JoyO Says:

    OK, we now know who deleted the references to terrorists.

    The most important thing we need to know if whether Obama really issued an order to do all that could be done to save the four Americans. We need to see the order and WHEN it was issued published on the front page of the NYT, WP, and LAT — and we need to know if that order was issued before or after the four Americans were murdered by the terrorists.

  20. Charles Says:

    White House tapes?

    There aren’t any Obama White House tapes. Tapes are only made when the President is in the Oval office; They do not tape when the President is on the golf course or when the Prez is busy shooting hoops.

  21. Bamalamabingbang Says:

    Yes, there are tapes. They were in the situation room watching people die. They were on live links telling people to stand down and all of that is recorded. Problem is the principles would need to declassify it and that won’t happen till you have a president from another party.

  22. Bob from Virginia Says:

    I am one of those who thinks the Lewinsky scandal occurred because Clinton was unfamiliar with the term “none of your business”. The public knew about Clinton’s proclivities, just did not care and wanted to keep it that way (as I did). As for Obama, Bernie Goldberg pointed out the normal rules don’t apply to Obama. His public support is more in the nature of today’s fashion. Plus most people are fat, happy superficial concerned about trivia and very low information.

    The good news is that all that may soon change.

    The fiscal cliff is one national disaster we should all enjoy.

  23. Oldflyer Says:

    I don’t think MJR was paying attention during the Slick impeachment and trial.

    It was about lying; it just didn’t matter to the Dimocrats. Most of them refused to even go review look the evidence, which was available under lock and key for obscure reasons. Sen Harkin of Iowa went so far as to call the evidence “a pile of dung”. (I dubbed him “The Dungmeister” and wrote a letter to the Editors of the Des Moines Register suggesting that sobriquet. They never responded.)

    Neo, you may be right about perjury, but as many have found to their regret, lying to a federal officer at almost any level is a crime. Clinton lied to federal officers.

    It is a phenomenon of American politics that the Dims, and that includes the Media of course, will never abandon one of their own under any circumstances ; while the GOP has a cadre that cannot wait to throw their politicos under the bus at the first sniff of scandal or weakness.

  24. M J R Says:

    neo, thanks for engaging me.

    davisbr, thanks for doing the legal heavy lifting for me.

    Oldflyer, I ^was^ paying attention. Until I read your comment a minute ago, I had forgotten how “[m]ost of them refused to even go review look the evidence.” But I certainly was aware of it then, and I am painfully reminded now.

    I need to amnd my statement that “[e]ven the ‘D’ guys agreed on the facts.” Those “D” guys who were willing to look did agree on the facts, while those who were not willing were/are even more contemptible.

    I sure recall now, a decade and a half later, the feeling of utter contempt I had for the unwilling ones. Not a pleasant emotion at all. Shall I thank Oldflyer for reminding me? [bad joke!]

  25. M J R Says:

    “amend” yes — “amnd” no

  26. davisbr Says:

    @neoneocon

    Added (after carefully considering your arguments and links cited in the linked thread):

    the dictionary definition of perjury,

    on Jones v. Clinton ref. at Wikipedia,

    analysis of Judge Wright’s judgment at the WA Post, and

    white paper on perjury at Fordham (a PDF of 45 pages). This is an analysis of Supreme Court cases; it is rather involved.

    And finally Judge Wright’s findings (a PDF of 8 pages).

    Weber destroyed Clinton. The law does NOT depend upon what the meaning of “is” is.

    That way lies madness …the “here be dragons” of ancient cartographers.

    And unnecessary in the case of Jones v. Clinton.

    Clinton admitted to perjury by settling (whether you want to call it a declination or plea bargain).

    The “urban myth” of his “non-perjury” is an attempt at historical misdirection by minitru …we were “there”. We know he was guilty of perjury: his acceptance of the bargain was his literal admission of guilt.

    He just copped a plea.

    I very, very much disagree with the validity of reasoning of your historical cites.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “even if we were to learn the truth, the majority of Americans …wouldn’t much care about it …”

    And therein lies the tale.

    “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

    “A house divided against itself cannot stand. ”

    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.” Abraham Lincoln quotes

    At some point America will either awaken from this nightmare or fall to tyranny. If it should fall to tyranny, we will have the ‘sacred right’ to liberate ourselves. In such circumstances, whether we shall be able to do so will be almost entirely dependent upon whether our military remembers that their oath is to the Constitution…

    “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. “ A. Lincoln

  28. davisbr Says:

    Additional, and analysis (sorry: I can’t leave this one be, either).

    When the Senate didn’t convict Clinton on the facts as presented by the House, their malfeasance may not have irreparably damaged the constitutional and legal foundations of the Republic. Perhaps.

    But we are certainly still suffering the consequences of that evil done to the heart and soul of the Republic by the Senate.

    And that evil will not be ameliorated, if it ever will, until all the participants however minor, and all of us, are long since dust.

    They played politics. They should not have. It was bigger than that. We’ve not yet come to grips with how big …but the excesses of the Obama administration and the Democrat Congress of 2009-2010 would not have occured if they had done their duty, and …unequivocably justly …convicted Clinton.

  29. davisbr Says:

    …I was furious, livid, back then that the full power of the office of the president was being used against a common citizen, in a civil matter.

    And that my fellow citizens either didn’t see that, or it didn’t matter to them.

    It wasn’t the politics. It was never about the politics.

    “Equal rights under the law” was proven myth.

    I didn’t think it could get worse.

    …though I suspect that subsequent events have proven I was wrong about that.

  30. M J R Says:

    Geoffrey Britain, 4:35 pm –

    Is this the same Abraham Lincoln that suspended habeas corpus during the War Between the States?

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/historicdocuments/a/lincolnhabeas.htm

  31. JimV Says:

    http://www.investors.com/image/RAMclr-112012-seenoevil-IBD.jpg.cms

    Says it all

  32. parker Says:

    The post attack talking points are not the real issue, although lying to the congress and the public is a serious matter. Even so, the order to stand down with air assets only an hour away is the real issue. Who gave that order? It had to have been Obama. Otherwise, someone countermanded the order of POTUS. That seems highly unlikely to me.

    Keep badgering your representative and senators and convince others to do the same.

  33. Jaynie Says:

    Discouraging analysis, neo, but most likely very accurate.

    Two commenters raised a very interesting question, though. One asked about who inserted the language blaming the video as inciting the violence. And Carl posted a link to Hillary talking about the video in which she tacks on “that we had NOTHING to do with.” Now that reminds me that we have indeed heard that phrase quite often from HC and BHO.

    Spoiler alert- conspiracy theory just ahead.

    That “we had NOTHING to do with” phrase always clanked in my ears. Who ever said you did? Well, i just watched Stephen Coughlin on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom panel [ http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=m-ch-fea&v=-sRkbkIuJHw ]. He focused like a laser on the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, issues here. He pointed out that Clinton is working together with the OIC – Organization of Islamic Cooperation – to promote a UN initiative, to surpress anti-muslem speech, that would curtail our Freedom of Speech here in the US.

    That along with the weirdness of the story of the filmmaker, nakoula basseley nakoula. Apparently, this guy was released from prison, with 5 year probation restrictions on using the Internet. Well, so he is released June 2011; he begins filming this incendiary video in July of 2011. So, right away he begins. Wraps and posts the film to Youtube July 2012.

    Just weirdly coincidental, to me. I smell a rat, or a stooge. And why has no one from the media, particularly conservative media, attempted to interview Nakoula. (I wonder, too, why none on our side have attempted to interview the Benghazi survivors.)

    Also, Tyrone Woods father said Clinton came over as if to give her condolences, but instead she assured him that she’d track down the filmmaker and prosecute him. Or words to that effect. Huh? Filmmaker? So sickening to realize that at that point she knew very well there was no protest against be video in Benghazi.

    So, just maybe the video was inserted back into the Benghazi narrative because we need to see the horrors of anti-islam speech to soften us into accepting restrictions on the First Amendment.

  34. davisbr Says:

    @parker.

    Yes.

    Who gave that order?

    We’re seeing a typical pattern here, as the administration slowly cedes ground.

    If the MSM were not complicit in covering the debacle, this would have blown all to hell already.

    Someone, somewhere, is going to not roll over on this.

    Unfortunately, I have to add “maybe” to that. After Petraeus (gawd, his name even sound Roman, don’t it …i.e., re: “Belisarius”).

  35. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Back on 17 November I commented, “The plot thickens. Here is a link to a Sept 12th NYT story about the attack. It is remarkably detailed and seems it could only have come from contacts in the CIA, State, DOD, WH, or all four. The video is prominently mentioned as the motivating factor in the Benghazi attack. The administration was running with the story of the video as motivator almost immediately. Anything else was potentially embarrassing to the slayer of bin Laden. So, as far as they are concerned it is the story, period. How dare anyone question it.”
    http://tinyurl.com/cb2gemx

    Read the NYT story carefully. You will see all the points covered that the adminstration is using. Notice that whoever wrote the story claims that there were interviews of the Benghazi attackers during a lull in the attack. The claim is made that the attackers said they were incensed by the video. Yet, I have not seen any journalist come forward with that claim since then. That does seem odd. It seems to me that if it is true and can be corroborated, the WH need only refer people to that report.

    The story says that State was getting reports about possible unrest due to the video as much as eight days before the attack on 9/11. Common sense would say that someone at State (Hillary I’m looking at you) should have called for increased security. Someone at Sate should ahev notified DOD about the possible unrest and violence so they could plan a forward leaning position for 9/11.
    This lack of what was called “forehandedness” in the Navy I served in strikes me as being incompetent. I think light should be shone more onm the lack of foresight and preparedness rather than the post attack CYA messaging.

    I also mentioned on 17 Nov. my career encounter with the fact that the buck stops at the top. All of these failures may have been due to incompetent subordinates, but the C-in-C, Obama. has the ultimate resonsibility for those failures.

  36. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Is this the same Abraham Lincoln that suspended habeas corpus during the War Between the States?” MJR

    Yes, absolutely. Lincoln did what he believed he had to do to stop the secession and keep the country together. (“Lincoln did so in response to riots, local militia actions, and the threat that the border slave state of Maryland would secede from the Union, leaving the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., surrounded by hostile territory. Lincoln chose to suspend the writ over a proposal to bombard Baltimore, favored by his General-in-Chief Winfield Scott.[9] Lincoln was also motivated by requests by generals to set up military courts to rein in “Copperheads,” or Peace Democrats, and those in the Union who supported the Confederate cause. Congress was not yet in session to consider a suspension of the writs.”)

    One of life’s unpalatable truths is that sometimes there are no good choices, just really bad ones.

    Can you make the case that Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus was unconstitutional and even unnecessary? Sure, but consider that had Lincoln NOT suspended habeas corpus and, had it turned out that it was a necessary ‘evil’, it would only have been after it was too late and the damage done.

    Leaders don’t have the benefit of hindsight and especially in trying times, often have to make unpleasant decisions without the certainty of knowing what the best decision may be.

    So we have to judge the man by the overall results achieved, commensurate with the sacrifices asked and made to achieve those results.

    I for one, judge that Lincoln succeeded past all reasonable expectations and met his own standard;

    “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    IMO, it’s undeniable that Lincoln sought no untoward personal benefit or power from his decision to suspend habeas corpus, the decision may have been unnecessary but in Lincoln’s judgement, it was the least of the ‘evils’ before him. I think he was right because you can’t fight and win a war for survival with unhindered internal division and ongoing sabotage of your efforts.

    Isn’t that what we’re doing right now with the left’s efforts to hamstring America?

  37. Dick Says:

    One quick point that I wish could be made more often…It seems that everyone has forgotten the ‘original’ issue with Clinton was not Lewinsky. It started with Whitewater investigation, then Paula Jones sexual harrassment lawsuit. Lewinsky’s tainted dress was just proof that Clinton would lie to Congress while under oath.

  38. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “All of these failures may have been due to incompetent subordinates”

    Nope. Only Obama has ‘cross border authority’ so he had to be involved in any consideration of whether to assist.

    And with an American Ambassador’s life on the line, no way is this a purely military decision on Panetta’s part (he lied about gen. Ham’s concurring in the decision) as to whether its “too risky” (please!) to send troops into harm’s way.

    No, the ‘incompetent subordinates’ is a ploy, an attempt at giving Obama ‘plausible deniability’.

    Obama alone made the decision and he’s guilty as hell. But he’s too much of a moral and political coward to take the responsibility and ‘accept the buck’.

    Despicable contempt is less than he deserves.

  39. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Tin hat time.
    The only scenario that explains everyone’s behavior to me is one that was proffered early.

    Obama had arranged a kidnapping of Stevens so that he might be traded for the Blind Sheik.
    The CIA ops didn’t know that and wouldn’t stand down as ordered.
    The al quaeda ops felt betrayed when their people were being killed and retaliated with vengeance killing and raping Stevens.
    Is that any weirder than everything else we’ve seen and heard as explanations?
    Of course you’d have to have an extremely low opinion of Obama and his associates to believe that.
    done.

  40. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I believe I’ve established my low opinion of Obama.

    But the hypothesis that “Obama had arranged a kidnapping of Stevens so that he might be traded for the Blind Sheik” has never resonated for me. Not because I can’t imagine he would do such a thing but because it would be, problematic at best as a political calculation. Talk about handing the Republicans a hammer with which to beat upon him with…which is not to say that counter-intuitively, it might not have made sense to him and Valerie Jarrett.

    I guess my difficulty in accepting that scenario is the disregard for the utter depravity of such a political calculation and the monumental arrogance it would take to assume that no political negatives would permanently besmirch him.

    Then again, now that I’ve put into words my thoughts, maybe its not so implausible after all.

    I mean, he does have the MSM to create a ‘firebreak’ against any ‘firestorms of protest’ that might erupt, right?

    On the other hand however, there is the aphorism, “Never ascribe to malice what can be sufficiently explained by stupidity”

  41. M J R Says:

    Geofffrey Britain, it’s just that at 4:35 PM, your final quotation was . . .

    “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.“ A. Lincoln

    . . . and I could not resist reminding dear readership that in 1862, Lincoln interfered with the Constitution. [Actually, they probably were already aware; I just thought it was a timely reminder nonetheless. It was a bit of a snark, I confess. Nothing personal intended.]

    Was that the lesser of evils? That rationale has been used by both saint and sinner through the decades. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes it’s not.

    I certainly agree with you that “that Lincoln sought no untoward personal benefit or power from his decision to suspend habeas corpus.” (Geoffrey Britain, 6:00 PM) But is that beside the point?

    You go on, “I think he was right because you can’t fight and win a war for survival with unhindered internal division and ongoing sabotage of your efforts.” Just so (smile). Then you conclude, “Isn’t that what we’re doing right now with the left’s efforts to hamstring America?”

    I no comprendo. What exactly are you suggesting that “we’re doing right now”? By “we”, do you mean right-of-center types like most of us here? I’m not being disingenuous; something is not getting through.

  42. parker Says:

    “I think he was right because you can’t fight and win a war for survival with unhindered internal division and ongoing sabotage of your efforts.”

    It was not a war of survival. The states are supposed to be sovereign. All Lincoln had to do was allow them to secede. FYI, I’m not condoning slavery. Slavery is evil. However, slavery was legal in 1861 as it was in 1789. Given the direction of the USA since Teddy Roosevelt, I would like to see states secede and form alliances apart from the DC mentality. Abe, Teddy, Woodrow, and FDR were, and BHO is, usurpers and destroyers of the law of the land. They did not/do not need no stinking Constitution.

  43. davisbr Says:

    @Dick at 6:01 pm
    One quick point that I wish could be made more often…It seems that everyone has forgotten the ‘original’ issue with Clinton was not Lewinsky. It started with [the] Whitewater investigation, then [the] Paula Jones sexual harrassment lawsuit. Lewinsky’s tainted dress was just proof that Clinton would lie to Congress while under oath.

    Yes. Exactly, and not “a quick point” at all, but rather the core issue of the impeachment.

    The entire “public sex issue focus” was a textbook case of misdirection by the Clinton team.

    The ploy succeeded …but only in the Senate. The House had stood firm. But by then, the Democrats were sure they had sufficient cultural cover from the story-line to commit their abrogation of constitutional responsibility.

    The fix was in.

    The judicial implication of Judge Wright’s decision was mostly ignored: she was not able to ameliorate the Senate’s miscarriage of justice. The public didn’t really “get it” that Clinton should have been additionally convicted for “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

    The previous links cited at the Times, the Post, and Salon – hardly hotbeds of conservatism, even then – show that journalists of the period did “get it” though.

    Obfuscation has been the priority ever since.

    History will not be kind to the Senate, nor William Clinton, though. Weak gruel though hope in that may be, it’s about all that remains.

  44. parker Says:

    “OK, we now know who deleted the references to terrorists.”

    It was not the DNI, he has been thrown under the bus. It was BHO. He is POTUS or else he is on the golf course.

    “The most important thing we need to know if whether Obama really issued an order to do all that could be done to save the four Americans.”

    It it was BHO who did not issue an order to do all. Why? It did not fit the narrative that Osama is dead and GM is alive. Its the video E1012. We are beyond the margins of the map and there be monsters out there.

  45. duh Says:

    lets see, it does not make a fuck what you do if you are a democrat, because THEY will overlook anything to maintain the democrat agenda.

    It does not matter what you do as a republican, they will crucify your ass.

    There, it is that simple. duh.

  46. Bill Dalasio Says:

    Some of them seemed too focused on the prurient aspect of Clinton’s misdeeds.

    To be fair, Mr. Clinton played that one brilliantly. He made the entire matter a question of the legal definition of sex. That put his opponents in the position of HAVING to focus on the prurient aspects of the matter to establish a lie.

  47. RigelDog Says:

    I can’t really think of anything Obama could do that would induce the press and the opinion makers to turn on him, other than if he began to espouse conservative views. He could slaughter golden retriever puppies on the White House lawn at high noon and the headlines would read, “President rids nation of Yellow Menace.”

  48. Francesca Says:

    Re: Jaynie

    You have raised an important point. Why have none of the ~30 survivors of Benghaz talked or been interviewed? WHY? Are they all dead? Of course not. Have they been ordered to remain silent? Possibly. Where are they? Does anyone know? Who can follow up on this?

  49. Mark Richardson Says:

    Accessory to Murder

  50. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The CIA’s intelligence would have gone directly to the WH. It bypasses State and I believe the Dept of defense as well.

    I think the most likely scenario by far is that Clapper edited the talking points. He’s the only one with authority over Petreaus who could have done so while simultaneously providing the WH with cover to claim that they never saw Petreaus’ talking points about jihadists.

    I’m also struck with all the silence about Clapper, it’s been a ‘black hole’ as far as his involvement and anything by Petreaus passes through his boss Clapper. It’s Clapper that demanded Petreaus resignation.

  51. Francesca Says:

    I want to interject another name into this discussion: Valerie Jarrett.

    Didn’t she persuade Obama NOT to go after Osama three times? Doesn’t this refusal to help our Ambassador and three other Americans sound somewhat similar? Don’t risk anythng or the political fallout might cost the election. WHO IS THIS WOMAN? WHAT DOES SHE HAVE ON OBAMA? Of course, if my idea has any merit, the responsibility is still on Obama.

  52. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Francesca: WHO IS THIS WOMAN? WHAT DOES SHE HAVE ON OBAMA?
    Just had that conversation with my wife.

  53. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    MJR @ 7:22,

    Sorry for any lack of clarity. My point with Lincoln seeking no personal or political gain was to demonstrate that, as he understood it, he had the good of the country as his first priority. That matters when taking, what in normal times, would be unjustified actions.

    My second point was that its unrealistic to expect success when fighting an external enemy if one allows excessive internal dissension and sabotage to occur. Lincoln was facing not mere disagreement but active opposition.

    My third point was that today, in the West, the left is acting as a fifth column, i.e. “a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group, such as a nation, from within.”

    “A key tactic of the fifth column is the secret introduction of supporters into the whole fabric of the entity under attack. This clandestine infiltration is especially effective with positions concerning national policy and defense. From influential positions like these, fifth column tactics can be effectively utilized, from stoking fears through misinformation campaigns” to academia indoctrinating a nations youth and media being used to misinform a nations public through news, opinion and entertainment.

    The left is actively opposing and hindering an effective American response to every existential threat this nation faces. The left is intentionally bankrupting this country and the entire West’s financial system. And they’re doing it from within through money, political influence and the support of millions of “useful idiots”.

  54. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    parker,

    If the states are sovereign and may secede whenever they wish, than there is no sovereign federal government. It’s a chimera, a pretense.

    It was a war of survival for both sides. The south’s entire way of life hinged upon the outcome and for the country at large, its survival as a coherent entity was at stake.

    Had Lincoln and the North allowed secession, manifest destiny never would have occurred and the US would have balkanized.

    The predictable consequences in the 20th century of a balkanized America of the 19th century are all too obvious.

    It’s not rational to ignore historical trends and so while larger and more powerful nation states emerged, the American continent would have remained balkanized.

    Even if we grant that Hitler might not have emerged, Stalin most certainly would have but there would have been no America to oppose Communism.

    No alliance of small states can successfully oppose a powerful, militarily aggressive nation state bent on world domination.

  55. parker Says:

    “So, just maybe the video was inserted back into the Benghazi narrative because we need to see the horrors of anti-islam speech to soften us into accepting restrictions on the First Amendment.”

    The old “horrors of anti-Islam speech” is a favorite straw man. The question is what does anyone admire about Islamic culture? The answer is a diatribe of ‘progressive’ talking points: racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Is this what anyone admires?

  56. RandomThoughts Says:

    No alliance of small states can successfully oppose a powerful, militarily aggressive nation state bent on world domination.

    I wonder how “states seceding and forming alliances apart from the DC mentality” (per parker) would fare against radical Islam bent on world domination.

    I’d rather not find out.

  57. M J R Says:

    Geoffrey Britain, 10:01 pm –

    Thanks for the reply. I understood your points #1 and #2 — although they came through much more clearly the second time around.

    It was your point #3 that had me non-comprehending, but this one came through very well this time as well.

    We’re on much the same page here — little surprise given the political orientation of neo’s blog. There is a question as to the extent that the left’s actions are in fact intentional, but I do declare, with ev’ry passing year they appear more and more intentional (and not serendipitous or incompetent).

  58. parker Says:

    “If the states are sovereign and may secede whenever they wish, than there is no sovereign federal government.”

    The federal government exists only with the assent of the states. If the states must bow down to the sovereignty of the feds the 9th & 10th amendments are null and void. I reiterate: the states, under the original contract, are sovereign. The original 13 voted to create the fed, any state at that time could have voted no and gone their own way. In what way were any of the states not allowed to vote no in 1789?

  59. parker Says:

    “I’d rather not find out.”

    Are you not finding out who “… would fare against radical Islam bent on world domination.” Look around and what do you see? How is BHO faring against radical Islam bent on world dominion? I suggest DC is currently aiding and abetting radical Islam. So, who stands up against radical Islam? BHO? Al Sharpton? Pelosi? Reid? Schumer? Durbin? Rahm? MSNBC? NYT? The Atlantic? The Economist? Bill Maher? John Stewart?

    Who? Names please!

  60. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    parker @ 11:18,

    The federal government exists only with the assent of the states.

    Not so. Neither exists at the assent of the other. Both the State and Federal government(s) exist at the assent of the people.

    “If the states must bow down to the sovereignty of the feds the 9th & 10th amendments are null and void.”
    Sovereignty is not absolute rule. Both the Sate and the Federal governments operate within the framework of the Constitution. Which means that they are each also constrained in their powers.

    9th Amendment:
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” [my emp.]
    Sorry but the 9th does not apply to the states…

    10th Amendment:
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Nothing there about the right to secede so that ‘right’ must be found or excluded elsewhere in the document and it is, the ‘right’ to secede is expressly, though not specifically, denied to the states as the passages below make clear.

    US Constitution [my emphasis]
    Article 1.
    Section. 10.

    “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation

    “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

    ‘The original 13 voted to create the fed, any state at that time could have voted no and gone their own way.”

    Every state had the right to vote no. In point of fact, Edmund Randolph of VA settled the lengthy and heated argument over slavery by rising and stating, “Gentlemen, the issue is not whether we shall have slavery, the issue is whether we shall have union”…

    However…once the State legislatures ratified the Constitution, they forfeited the right to say “we quit” as the Articles cited above demonstrate.

    Barring a new amendment, a second Constitutional Convention or the utter and permanent collapse of the Federal government, the document remains in effect.

  61. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    parker @ 11:40,

    The current dereliction of duty by the Obama administration and perhaps a majority of Congress is not prima facie evidence that a collection of states could be effective at resisting a resurgent Islam. One truth does not automatically make another assertion true.

  62. Al Reasin Says:

    Interesting that we have not heard from the 30 plus survivors of Benghazi. I want to see the communications that shows Obama ordered the military to do what was needed to rescue those in Benghazi. Because if the info is a lie, someone, somewhere will exposed the lie. Anyway, why have all those special forces and bases if on 9/11, after many attacks on our embassies, our government did not have our trained special ops people on alert. As ex-military, having been involved in what-if situations, I have zero understanding of what allowed the Benghazi situation to develop. I can only conclude that the military was overruled by the civilian leadership’s political considerations.

  63. John McLachlan Says:

    Surely, the local military commanders would prepare to intervene and dispatch assets as quickly as possible, without requiring permission to do so, in order to ensure that if the president gave the requested cross border authority, the intervention could be accomplished in a timely manner.

    Why wait for cross border authority, before dispatching aircraft, which could have remained in international airspace, until cross border authority was granted by the president?

    Did anyone in the military formally request cross border authority?

    Were aircraft dispatched by local commanders and then recalled, after the president refused to grant cross border authority?

    Did the president wait too long and then give permission for a rescue mission, when it was clear to all subordinates that such a mission was superfluous?

  64. Jaynie Says:

    I agree with you All Reasin: “I want to see the communications that shows Obama ordered the military to do what was needed to rescue those in Benghazi. Because if the info is a lie, someone, somewhere will exposed the lie.”

    Is there some reason that the Feinstein-Rogers committee never asked Petreous anything other than the content of the Sunday show talking points? I expected that, once they had him there to testify (although I understand it was NOT under oath), that there would have been so much ground to cover. One important question was surely about the President’s order to do anything it takes to protect our people.

    Also, did the committee ask the former General about his movements on the night of the attack? Was he at the White House, or was he in communication with the President at all during the horror in Benghazi?

    Did they ask him about Paula Broadwell’s assertion that the CIA Annex was holding jihadi prisoners? Were there questions about the stories that Ambassador Stevens was overseeing weapons transfer, weapons left over from the Libyan conflict, to Syrian rebels? Rebels that include our stated enemy al qaeda. Perhaps that was the reason that the Turkish official was with Stevens the night if Setember 11th.

    In a normal world the MSM would be enthusiastically investigating all these angles. Imagine if the President in question were a Republican. Jennifer Griffon and Catherine Herridge, at Fox News, have been doing courageous, incredible work on the Benghazi attack, and more reporters digging into the Washington stuff would be great.

  65. Jaynie Says:

    Only Obama could successfully have it both ways :

    1. Completely stonewall any and all information he knows about that horrible night in Benghazi. Refer to some lame-o “ongoing investigation” when asked even questions about himself and his own behavior (duh).

    2. Challenge McCain and Graham to bring it, to “come after me” (spoken with thuggish accent) for your information, and stop picking on that poor little gal, Susan Rice (else she gets the vapors and swoons, I guess).

    Thank you, lapdog media. Or, gross media malpractice.

  66. Artfldgr Says:

    and it seems they waited on reporting the israel issue (as did neo) till now, the people dont know who started it.

    ie. by failing to report the start of conflict that is now escalating, they insure the public is confused as to who started what…

    the news now is showing victim and potential victims of Israel, and blaming Israel BECAUSE no one covered the beginning, and so leaves the definition of who started it in the hands of who is playing

    well done…

  67. Jaynie Says:

    Fox News Watch ostensibly analyses the media.

    The show has knowledgeable panelists, Cal Thomas is amazing, and does a fair job as far as it goes. Way too often, though, it devolves into simply covering a news story rather than its media coverage.

    This show would be so great if it were to focus, laser-like, on shenanigans within the MSM, both on the air and behind the scenes. Naming names and shaming, insofar as lefty can feel shame, would give the show real muscle.

    We keep hearing about the imminent death of the MSM, all the while its power and influence seem to remain strong. And some conservatives (my husband for one) dismiss them as a dying dinosaur. I fear that the rumors of MSM demise are greatly exaggerated. Sadly.

  68. LoveEconomicFreedom Says:

    We are witnesses to the first administration in history where the executive branch has merged with the MSM in an extremely cooperative way so they are really one organization. Reminds me of how you always heard in the past that the communist party really ran the USSR and not the elected officials. “Political Officers” parallel all true military officers but have veto power over any decision. Politics is always the most important priority. And to some degree, the administration is above and beyod any balance or control by the other branches (we will work day and night on what we can do outside of congress). I think the problem is that people are trying to understand and measure this adnministration using history of past administrations and their agreement to live within the law, and to make the country and not politics the primary priority.

  69. GayPatriot » Two great pieces on Benghazi & media bias Says:

    [...] Who changed the Benghazi talking points? (smoking guns, then and now) Comments [...]

  70. Mike Tanis Says:

    This is battle field preparation for 2014 and 2016. Even if Obama himself stays above the fray the stench of this episode will waft over the Democratic Party.

  71. Zachriel Says:

    neo-neocon: Many of us on the right think that Benghazi is a scandal with issues that make it at least potentially far more important than Clinton and Lewinsky

    That important? Heh.

  72. neo-neocon Says:

    Zachriel: so very interesting that you leave out the rest of the quote, “and even Watergate.”

    And that of course the two examples—Lewinsky and Watergate—were used because they are examples of an impeachment (Clinton) and resignation because of threatened impeachment and conviction (Nixon) in recent years. My point is that these two things were considered impeachable, and Benghazi (where the allegations are worse) is considered “move right along, nothing to see here.”

  73. Zachriel Says:

    neo-neocon: Zachriel: so very interesting that you leave out the rest of the quote, “and even Watergate.”

    It was the Clinton imbroglio that caught the eye.

    neo-neocon: And that of course the two examples—Lewinsky and Watergate—were used because they are examples of an impeachment (Clinton) and resignation because of threatened impeachment and conviction (Nixon) in recent years.

    Nixon attacked the foundations of constitutional government. The Clinton scandal was the result of a long series of attempts to find dirt in order to undermine the Clinton Administration.

    neo-neocon: My point is that these two things were considered impeachable, and Benghazi (where the allegations are worse) is considered “move right along, nothing to see here.”

    The current allegations are hardly on the level of Watergate. There was certainly a failure in Benghazi, caused by exposing the ambassador to inordinate risks. There’s nothing else except innuendo posing as questions.
    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/stephen-colbert-makes-mockery-foxs-benghaz

  74. neo-neocon Says:

    Zachriel: your priorities are extremely odd, to say the least. If Benghazi had happened under Bush, you’d be howling for the deepest and broadest of investigations to get to the bottom of this travesty in which:

    (a) the most elementary security precautions were not taken
    (b) this occurred despite the obviousness of the risk, and multiple requests from our people in Libya
    (c) the people were not protected in real time during the attack, despite requests, and knowledge of what was happening in real time at the White House
    (d) the MSM has protected the president and lied for him, and protected his lies (i.e. Candy Crowley, see my posts on the subject)
    (e) the president has not answered the most simple and basic questions about Benghazi, and the MSM does not ask them

    Moving right along, nothing much to see here. Of course.

  75. Zachriel Says:

    neo-neocon: your priorities are extremely odd, to say the least. If Benghazi had happened under Bush, you’d be howling for the deepest and broadest of investigations to get to the bottom of this travesty …

    Intelligence failures under Bush include the military action that sought disarm Iraq of non-existent WMD. The military invasion and bungled occupation resulted in the implosion of Iraqi society, 100000 deaths and millions of refugees. During the Bush Administration, there were also deadly attacks on embassies in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. There was also the attacks of 9-11-2001.

    Understanding these failures is important to preventing their recurrence.

    neo-neocon: … in which:(a) the most elementary security precautions were not taken
    (b) this occurred despite the obviousness of the risk, and multiple requests from our people in Libya

    Yes, the source of the failure was putting Americans in an untenable position.

    neo-neocon: (c) the people were not protected in real time during the ate potack, despite requests, and knowledge of what was happening in real time at the White House

    That’s probably not the case. Military assets were deployed, but the people were evacuated before they arrived. There is no magic military solution.

    neo-neocon: (d) the MSM has protected the president and lied for him, and protected his lies

    At this point, there is no evidence of anyone lying. Nor is there a reasonable rationale for lying.

    neo-neocon: (e) the president has not answered the most simple and basic questions about Benghazi, and the MSM does not ask them

    The failure is evident. Understanding that failure is necessary to prevent its recurrence. Not sure what information you think is being withheld.

  76. neo-neocon Says:

    Zachriel: you demonstrate a vast ignorance (feigned or real) on the subject, so read up.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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