As usual, Jon Stewart is on point…
As usual, Jon Stewart is on point…
May 7, 2012
The House Oversight Committee has released excerpts of their interview with Gregory Hicks, one of the two high-profile whistleblowers who will be testifying at tomorrow’s hearing. From what we have heard thus far from Hicks, his account of the events that took place between high level security and State Department officials on September 11, 2012 as a U.S. consulate in Libya was under siege differ drastically from what we have been told by the Obama administration.
CBS News reports:
According to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound “when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have the authority to go now.’ And so they missed the flight … They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”
No assistance arrived from the U.S. military outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack or trapped inside compounds by hostile forces armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.
Hicks told congressional investigators that if the U.S. had quickly sent a military aircraft over Benghazi, it might have saved American lives. The U.S. Souda Bay Naval Base is an hour’s flight from Libya.
“I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them,” Hicks testified. Two Americans died in the morning mortar attack.
During an interview with CBS , Hicks says that everyone knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack “from the get-go.”
As Washington braces for the hearing Wednesday, the Benghazi attack, response and investigation is once again turning into a major scandal that conservatives lament Obama dodged in the fall shortly after the attack and amidst the presidential campaign. Jim Geraghty notes though in his column on the conservative National Review Online that Republicans should go into the hearings dedicated strictly to unearthing facts, rather than showboating.
Dear Republicans on the House Oversight Committee:
Please do not grandstand. Please do not take the time before the television cameras to tell us how outraged you are, even though what you are investigating is, indeed, outrageous. There will be plenty of time for that after the hearing. All day Wednesday, give us the facts, and then more facts, and then more facts….
On ‘Real News‘ Tuesday the panel previewed what to look for from tomorrow’s hearing, namely, if we get answers to two questions: Were military forces told to stand down? And, did the administration lie to the American people afterward about the events that took the lives of four Americans?
Watch clip here.
No doubt you’ve seen Sen. Rand Paul’s made-for-TV tantrum yesterday at the U.S. Senate’s Benghazi hearing. When the Kentucky senator had his turn to question Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he said:
“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that. Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”
Setting aside Sen. Paul’s thickheaded and insensitive remark that the murder of four Americans in Libya is “the worst tragedy since 9/11″—worse, for example, than 4,000 Americans killed in a pointless and costly war—his tea party toadying, “Had I been president,” should not pass without comment.
If Sen. Paul had been president, of course, the mess in Benghazi probably would’ve been a lot worse, as our embassy personnel would have had much less protection, given the GOP’s deep cuts to Secretary Clinton’s security requests. But he’s not president, and here’s why he shouldn’t even open his pie hole to entertain the possibility:
The Top 10 Reasons Rand Paul should never start a sentence, “Had I been president…”
#10. Half the audience will laugh so hard they won’t hear the rest of your comment.
#9. The other half of the audience will cry so hard your remaining words will be lost in their bawling.
#8. Security will remove you as an outside agitator, perhaps even an anarchist.
#7. Your nitwit tea party followers will have to change their “Rand Paul for Emperor” signs. (They have to change them anyway because they misspelled Emperor.)
#6. Sinners will buy up the world’s supply of coats, jackets, and blankets, anticipating hell freezing over.
#5. Michele Bachmann will sue you for “Presidential Batshit Crazy” copyright infringement.
#4. World leaders will set their nuclear missiles on high alert.
#3. Capitol police will immediately perform a breathalyzer test on you.
#2. Stocks will plunge, except for the companies that make “The End is Nigh” signs.
And the #1 reason Rand Paul should never start a sentence, “Had I been president …”
#1. Forget it, dude, ain’t gonna happen.
H/t: Yankee Clipper
This should make Senators McCain, Graham and Ayotte quite happy. I’m not…
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from the list of candidates for secretary of state Thursday afternoon, ending a weeks-long fight with Republicans over statements she made on television talk shows shortly after the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.
In a letter to President Obama, Rice said: “I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.T he position of Secretary of State should never be politicized. . ..I am saddened that we have reached this point, even before you have decided whom to nominate. We cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction from the most pressing issues facing the American people.”
Obama, who had defended Rice on several occasions in recent weeks, accepted her decision and issued the following statement:
“Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”
This will not deter the right-wing Obama Conspiracy factory.
They will find ways to continue to blame Obama for the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012.
Their attack on Ambassador Susan Rice fizzled after General Patraeus’ closed testimony at the Capitol yesterday. Patraeus confirmed that Ambassador Rice was given a CIA-revised version of events in Benghazi to report to the media. The revision was for national security reasons, according to Patraeus.
Funny thing, it appears Sen. John McCain, Rep. Peter King, et al have adapted the Romney style of never apologizing, even for obvious mistakes or outright lies. They definitely owe U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice an apology…
Benghazi gate is not going as Republicans planned, and in fact, the failure to gain traction on their narrative is further compelling Republicans to hysterics. Since they drew so much attention to this issue, courtesy of the need to defend Romney’s Libya debacle just hours after the attack, the media is now paying attention just in time to catch the GOP crazy in full bloom.
It was impossible to miss John McCain’s growing desperation yesterday, as his plans to bring down Obama backfired and the narrative of the day became him skipping the very briefing that would have answered his questions. Trending on Yahoo all day was “John McCain Missed Briefing While Slamming Obama Over Benghazi Attack”. Alexa treated him no better.
Embarrassed and humiliated, the Senator screamed at a CNN for pointing out that while he appeared on TV to talk about how he needed more information about Benghazi, he missed his own committee briefing on Benghazi.
Asked to comment, he said, “I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?” Followed up by, “I’m upset that you keep badgering me.”
Then, Republicans in a House Foreign Affairs hearing ratcheted up their accusations to full scale crazy, likening what the Obama administration has done on Benghazi to being worse than Watergate and repeatedly accusing him of lying.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) bordered on hysteria about how “this” was not just some cover up of a third-rate Watergate burglary, “What is clear is that this administration, including the president himself, has intentionally misinformed, read that LIED, to the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy… This is not simply a cover up of a third-rate burglary.”
The ranting continued with other Republicans chiming in.
It was quite apparent to the American people that Mitt Romney was going to be a puppet for right wing extremists once they heard about Grover Norquist’s statement (illustrated above) during his speech at CPAC 2012…
Republicans suck at math. They can’t figure out polling. They can’t figure out that pandering to only around 25% of the populace, the white and the bigoted, isn’t going to win them elections.
The Republican whine fest since losing the Presidential election on Tuesday has been a source of amusement to many on the left. They’re scrambling; trying to figure out why it happened. Where did they go wrong? Michael Hammond at RedState.com thinks he has the answer. Actually 30 of them, to be exact. Since it would probably be called plagiarism for me to copy/paste his post into mine, I’ll simply interpret his 30 reasons. You can read them for yourself, if you’d like. In fact, I’d recommend it.
I really have to wonder if Hammond witnessed the same election I did. Mitt Romney lost because Republicans have no ideas. They tried to alienate more than 50% of the population. Their candidate was a stiff-as-a-board plutocrat and, most importantly, Obama is, and has always been, the moderate most of the country is looking for.
President Obama came on strong from the beginning of the third and last Presidential debate, while Romney avoided answering questions and seemed nervous and cautious. Here’s a round up of reaction on Twitter:
Ed Henry @edhenryTV Obama seems more comfortable weaving his way around world — Romney appears to be watching every word carefully to avoid gaffe, v cautious
jmartpolitico @jmartpolitico Mitt seems nervous out of gates
Jim Acosta @jimacostacnn Obama did come out swinging. #CNNDebate
Laura Rozen @lrozen Obama sounding a bit more sure footed so far……Romney like he memorized the map of MENA
Scott Conroy @RealClearScott Romney asked lay-up question on Libya. Doesn’t answer it.
Arlette Saenz @ArletteSaenz Obama: When asked about our greatest geopolitical threat, you said it was Russia…The 80′s are now calling us for their foreign policy back
Ed Henry @edhenryTV Obama zing on Russia: The 1980′s wants its foreign policy back
jasoncherkis @jasoncherkis Looks like we are getting the Obama from the second debate.
Major Garrett @MajoratNJ Significantly, Romney does not describe what new U.S. strategy should be in Libya, Syria, Mali, Egypt or region.
Marc Ambinder @marcambinder Romney wants to let the Arab world fight terrorism on its own, but would leave more troops in Iraq
Philip Klein @philipaklein This is not the same Mitt who wanted to double Gitmo.
John Heilemann @jheil Romney very soft on Libya.
Mitt Romney did a good job repositioning himself from The Other Mitt by copying most of Obama’s ideas on foreign policy. If the public buys that, it might help him as the policies he’s had up until today were not attractive to most voters. In spite of his memorized talking points, Romney was out of his element on the subject of foreign policy. He looked nervous and he refused to answer questions with specifics, using a pivot to domestic policy or the Middle East in general to avoid laying out his policies. Mitt Romney spent the debate agreeing with President Obama.
The President was strong, articulate, knowledgeable and confident, as his record indicated he would be. The CBS flash poll of uncommitted voters agreed, with 53 percent saying Obama won and 23 percent saying Romney won. That’s a bigger win than Romney got with the same group in the first debate. Swing state voters with PPP agreed that Obama won 53-42, and are planning on voting for Obama 51 and Romney 45.
Soledad O’Brien has been on a roll putting her guests in check when they wander of topic…
Soledad O’Brien and Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a very heated exchange over President Obama’s response to Libya on Monday’s “Starting Point.”
O’Brien replayed a clip of Matthew Dowd, a former member of George W. Bush’s administration, defending the White House against criticism that it doesn’t have the answers about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He said that it took far longer than two weeks to get to the truth about weapons of mass destruction.
O’Brien asked Giuliani if Dowd had a point. “So we’re gonna blame this on Bush too?” Giuliani said.
“You gotta stop putting words in my mouth, sir,” O’Brien interjected. After some back-and-forth, she continued, “Every time I ask you a question, you like to push back as if somehow the question being posed to you is unfair. It’s not. I’m a journalist, you said some things. I’m trying to get some accurate responses from you. You are welcome to answer.”
Giuliani said that Dowd’s response seemed like an attempt to blame Bush for the Benghazi attack. He also argued that Obama should have disclosed any knowledge about previous attacks on the consulate and how the U.S. reacted.
“That’s not what Matthew Dowd is saying,” O’Brien objected.
“But it doesn’t take a long time for the president of the United States to tell us whether or not he was aware that this consulate was attacked twice before and if he was aware what did he do to protect the consulate?” Giuliani countered.
“But the point and my question is, does Matthew Dowd have a point?” she said.
The Foreign Policy Debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will be held this coming Monday. There’s no doubt that the Benghazi attack will be front and center in that debate.
I’m one of those folks that want the truth to come out and not the talking points from the Right-Wing conservative bubble that Rachel Maddow spoke of last night.
In my opinion an informed citizen will vote more wisely than an uninformed citizen. Hence…this post.
The Tea Party Congress, having, with Paul Ryan’s leadership, deeply cut funds for embassy security, held a hearing on Wednesday on the circumstances of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which it tried to point fingers at the State Department and the Obama administration.
That’s right, the Republicans cut funds for embassy security, and now are blaming the State Department for laxity.
One of the Republican talking points is criticism of Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and other Obama administration officials for saying that the events on Sept. 11 began with a demonstration outside the consulate against the hate film “The Innocence of the Muslims.”
But the fact is that the Libyan Arabic press initially reported that there was such a demonstration, and Libyan officials in Benghazi said so, as well, and I conveyed these assertions here.
The indications that this was a revenge attack for the killing of al-Qaeda number 3, Abu Yahya Libi, were a) that a rocket propelled grenade was deployed against the consulate, which goes rather beyond typical mob violence; and that b) the safe house to which dozens of consular personnel were moved by Libyan special forces itself came under mortar attack. This latter fact was reported later in the week by Libyan journalist Hadeel Al-Shalchi.
But it is natural that there should have been a fog of war around the attack. The one who would normally have been reporting back to the State Department about the details– Ambassador Chris Stevens– died from smoke inhalation.
I frankly can’t understand what the Tea Baggers are driving at here. If their complaint is lack of consulate security, then they shouldn’t have cut the money for it.
If their complaint is that early accounts of what happened were chaotic and ultimately inaccurate, what else would they expect? When would that have not been so in the aftermath of such a disaster? As I’ve pointed out before, lots of embassy attacks occurred under Bush, including one in Athens, and I doubt they GOP even held a hearing on most of them.
One subtext seems to be that Obama naively unleashed al-Qaeda in Libya by helping overthrow Qaddafi, and then was unprepared for its attacks. But July’s parliamentary elections showed that radical Muslim movements are a tiny minority in Libya. The largest single party is nationalist, not Muslim fundamentalist. Libya has a problem with the militias that grew up during last year’s revolution. But many of them, as with the Zintanis or the Berbers of Jabal Nafusa, are hardly pious fundamentalists. I was in Libya in May-June, and it simply isn’t the violent basket case that Americans keep depicting it as.
I don’t know if Americans are finding this politicization of the tragedy in Benghazi distasteful. They should be.
Romney on the campaign trail started telling the story of an ex-Navy Seal who died in the attack, who had been stationed in a facility a mile from the consulate, wand who ran toward the danger. Romney praised his courage and Americanness, attampting to appropriate some of it for himself.
But Romney never ran toward danger in his life. He dodged the draft for Vietnam by trying to convince French people not to drink coffee or wine.
The deceased SEAL’s mother asked Romney to knock it off, saying that she doesn’t trust the GOP standard bearer.
That’s the same response Americans in general should have to the distasteful and cynical attempt on Capitol Hill to deploy Chris Stevens’ killing for narrow political gain at the polls.
Rachel Maddow can be described as extremely intelligent, sarcastic, funny, opinionated and having a Ph.D in Political Science.
What I have not seen in the four years of watching her on MSNBC and a prior two years of listening to her on Air America Radio, is a very ticked off Rachel Maddow, until last night.
“Can You Say That A Little Louder, Candy” rant begins at about 6:11
DailyKos – by Exurban Mom
Rachel Maddow is angry. One doesn’t often catch Ms. Maddow in a moment of anger; she is calm, deliberate, and thoughtful at all times, even when an asshole like Alex Castellano treats her like crap. But last night, as she closed out her show, she delivered an almost Olbermann-like rant against the right wing closed bubble of disinformation.
The last segment on her program Wednesday evening was called ”Can You Say That A Little Louder, Candy?”. In the segment, Rachel discusses the closed loop of right wing media and how the disinformation feedback loop can lead a candidate like Romney astray. When you are only trying to appeal to the base, who is also trapped in the bubble, you end up making mistakes like Romney did on the Libya question. After replaying that moment from the debate, Rachel begins her closing.
Best part? She ended the rant by throwing her papers at the camera, perhaps a subtle homage to our friend Keith.
Thanks, Rachel, for telling the truth. Those of us living in the reality-based community appreciate you so much.