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Friday, October 28, 2016

After a year of demanding answers about the terrorist attack that took place in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the right wing got them in the form of a well-reported exposé by The New York Times‘ David Kirkpatrick.

And they don’t like these answers at all.

From the night of the murders, Republicans have been shamefully trying to politicize the attack that killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens, first as a means of stopping the re-election of President Obama, and then to damage the reputation of former secretary of state and possible candidate for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton. (We know the desperate attempt to prolong this “scandal” is all about smearing Hillary Clinton because Republicans have said it’s all about smearing Hillary Clinton.)

Within hours of Stevens’ death, GOP nominee Mitt Romney accused the Obama administration of “sympathizing” with extremists, as the State Department tried to protect the lives of diplomatic personnel in the face of protests across Northern Africa ginned up in opposition to an offensive depiction of Islamic religious iconography being spread on YouTube. Sensing they had a crisis to parallel 1980’s taking of hostages in Iran, Republicans continued to wage a campaign designed to paint the Obama administration as weak on terror. The Romney campaign suggested that the president was refusing to label the attack as “terrorism” and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested former UN Ambassador Susan Rice was lying and covering up the involvement of al-Qaeda when she offered CIA-approved talking points that the video played a major role in the attack.

Kirkpatrick’s reporting substantiates just about everything Ambassador Rice said as she appeared on several Sunday morning news shows just days after the attack:

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that al-Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

This reporting closely echoes the original investigation ordered by Secretary Clinton and  led by Thomas Pickering, an esteemed diplomat who served under Presidents Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton.

It was clear that the video played a role, even before Kirkpatrick’s report. But it was unclear if it was the actual motivation for the attack or just a major factor in the unrest destabilizing the region. The Times‘ Middle East correspondent clearly asserts it was central.

It was also unclear if al-Qaeda had played a role in the killings. But this new report likely won’t settle that question, despite Kirkpatrick’s certainty, because the makeup of the terror network is so murky. “There’s a long-running debate among experts about whether al-Qaeda is more of a centralized, top-down organization, a network of affiliates with varying ties to a core leadership or the vanguard of a broader movement better described as ‘Sunni jihadism,'” Politico Magazine’s Blake Hounshell points out.

All of this leads to a question Secretary Clinton asked when testifying in front of a Senate committee.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • docb

    The fools have nothing else..they have failed at all levels!

    • Independent1

      You sure have that right! They even failed at making Obama a 1 term president and in keeping him from accomplishing a lot during his presidency thus far. Here’s a link to some of what’s been accomplished during Obama’s presidency if you have 5-10 minutes to go through the complete list:

      Have a very happy and healthy New Year!!

  • charleo1

    What Issa never acknowledges, is a fundamental truth about uncovering, and thwarting terrorists attacks. And that truth is, we cannot be guarding every possible
    target, every port, every train station, or every embassy, with overwhelming force.
    A few years ago, counter terrorism expert Richard Clarke, pointed out the enemy
    simply through implanting false information about missions they had no plans of
    attempting to carry out. Was costing us hundreds of millions, hardening up targets
    on a mostly unsubstantiated threat. A policy Clarke pointed out, as erring on the
    side of caution. A policy prescribed to by the Bush Administration, and continued
    by President Obama. So, the fact that security cost money should surprise no one.
    The fact, that the State Department requested additional funds to make our
    embassies around the world more secure, was denied in 2011, by the T-Party,
    controlled House, of which Congressman Issa is a member, is not, by my opinion, pointed out often enough. Secondly, necessity is the Mother of all invention. The
    fact was, the Republicans were losing the election that September. And they knew
    it. After the attack, in which Ambassador Stevens was killed, Republicans at once
    sought to politicize the attack, and lay it off on the President. Even before they knew
    the facts. Romney was, the morning of September 12, shooting from the hip, and
    making assertions that were not at the time, nor by subsequent, and thorough investigations, born out by the facts. However, Romney’s claims of incompetency,
    pale in comparison to the outrageous, and unbelievable charges, that a President
    on the eve of his bid for reelection, would have had preexisting knowledge of an
    imminent attack, and done nothing. What such claims do exhibit, is a Party that is
    bereft of morals, uninterested in the truth, and all too eager to twist any situation
    into a scandal to further their political goals. Not my idea of people we should trust
    to act in the best interests of the Country. But more like those who would seek to
    use a terrorist attack as an excuse, to carry out an ulterior agenda.

    • Independent1

      I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. And some statistics that I feel don’t get enough media attention is that fact that since Carter was in office, that there had been an average of 10 attacks on our consulates and embassies under each of the 4 preceeding presidents with at least 60 people losing their lives during each presidency; whereas, in the 5 years under Obama, there have been two somewhat major attacks and 2 lessor attacks with only 1 attack resulting in the loss of 4 lives. Making it crystal clear that the past 5 years have been by far the safest for our overseas offices in more than 30 years. Only someone totally blind cannot see that those in the GOP are outright hypocrites who are making an absolute mockery of America’s legislative processes.

      • charleo1

        In these accusations, as is hallmark for this radicalized Party. Nothing
        is presented with any perspective. But, as a heretofore unparalleled,
        lapse in competence, leadership, capability, or just fill in the blank.
        Incredibly, it was not enough, evidently to claim irresponsibility, or lack
        of due diligence. Not nearly so. It must be presented as nothing less than a deliberate act of treason! Which is ridiculous on it’s face. So,
        once again, the ideologues preach to the choir. So, we’ve heard this
        song before. Simply singing it with more fervor, does not make up for
        it’s being a lie.

        • Mark Forsyth

          Curious isn’t it,how often repeated propaganda refuses to become truth? Similarly,a pig will never be a bluebird.

          • docb
          • Mark Forsyth

            Why it’s enough to make one wonder on the whereabouts of the alleged “Liberal Media” that the trolls so fondly bitch about.

          • plc97477

            “Liberal media” is any media that does not allow their warped reality to be true. It is media that tells the truth.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Tell it to the trolls.They are the ones who accuse mainstream media networks of being ultra liberal.The link that docb provides above clearly indicates by the frequency with which the networks interview republicans that they do not meet the definition of liberal,at least as far as the trolls use the term.

          • charleo1

            Facts, they are stubborn things.

          • Mark Forsyth

            So are We!

      • MichelleRose3

        All quite true, despite the lack of sematic rigor. Let’s add an ad hominem to that, though. Darrell Issa and John McCain have been the two primary drivers behind these Benghazi lies. We can dismiss McCain to some extent because he’s well into his dotage and may not be capable of logic anymore.

        But Darrell Issa knows precisely what he’s doing and why. That makes him an extraordinarily evil man. Issa knows damned well how and why the Benghazi attacks went down, but he’s attempting to generate political capital and prestige by using the deaths of four Americans as a screen for his real intentions. He is, therefore, an opportunistic, predatory, lying son-of-mangy-yellow-dog.

        Can you tell that I despise Mr. Issa? Good! Because he represents all that is wrong and twisted about this country and its political processes. That we allow this man to make a mockery of the political process is a measure of our collective reluctance to call out public liars. Case in point: his taxpayer-supported “anti-Obamacare” roadshow. That man is so corrupt, he makes Agnew look like a Trappist monk.

        Consider: Issa has been investigated nunerous times on ethics charges, yet he continues to spout his blather as if completely unconcerned about how we might regard the source of that blather. Not a word falls from his lips that isn’t designed to improve his prestige, expand his wallet, and strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. (Which would be most of his constituency and all progressives in general)

        Senator Stevens and his three staffers died as a directg result of the Republicans’ deliberate reduction of embassy security funding. He knew damned well that something like this might happen when he voted against increasing the level of security at our at-risk legations all around the world; knew it and used it as a political tool when the worst-case scenario suddenly became a reality. That makes him a vulture, circling above its prey until it finally expires. That man and his co-conspirators in Congress were perfectly aware that reducing security would result in something like this. And now he’s using it as an excuse to attack the Prez and his former Secretary of State.

        If I was Mrs. Clinton, I would have been a lot more irritable that day and rammed his own words and votes back down his lying throat. But Mrs. Clinton is and always has been a classy woman. Childish arguments are beneath her. She also knows that Issa’s vote was one of the reasons our embassy in Benghazi was unable to remain secure. I suspect she knows WE know that much too, because the record speaks for itself.

        Issa should be recalled. He’s a liar, a predator, a hypocrite (which ordinarily isn’t cause for recall, but in this case, it cost four lives) and a scheming, underhanded Party hack with the morals of a rattlesnake. I wouldn’t trust him any farther than I could throw him. (Although it does bring a dreamy smile to my lips to think of throwing Darrell Issa down a few flights of stairs.) His party loves him, though. He’s tirelessly evil and endlessly inventive. Yes, predators have to move fast and change-up the tactics in order to survive.

        Otherwise, a bigger and meaner predator will come along and end him, an event devoutly to be wished.

      • totenkatz

        You need to separate American dead from local nationals killed, and you better check your facts as there have been numerous attacks, in the last five years, on our Embassies, Consulate Generals, Consulates, U.S Interest Sections and American Presence Posts then you list. Hell there have been more attacks on our Embassy in Kabul then you list as lessor attacks and don’t forget about the recent attack on our Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. I work for Diplomatic Security so I might know something about this. And this isn’t Democratic or Republican I just don’t like anyone stating something as fact that isn’t.

    • Dominick Vila

      I suspect the insinuations made about President Obama being knowledgeable of potential attacks against our embassies and consulates worldwide, but especially in the Islamic world, is based on the fact that all U.S. Presidents in recent decades have been warned about that circumstance. The problem is that those warnings are generally too vague to take effective precautions, that turning our diplomatic missions into bunkers who make us the laughing stock of the world, that doing so would be an admission of failure, and that it would cost billions to protect those facilities at a time when the emphasis is on spending reduction by the very party advocates austerity and blames the Democrats for spending too much.

      Regarding advance warning of imminent attacks, let’s not forget all the warning George W. Bush got, during the daily national security briefings he neglected to attend, regarding an imminent attack on U.S. soil. Instead, he spent much of his time chopping firewood in Crawford.

      The larger question for me on the Benghazi issue is why did a U.S. Ambassador decide to go to that city, which everyone knew was a former Kadaffi stronghold with many radical Muslims, with only two security guards? What was he doing there? Who was he meeting? The explanation given about saying goodbye to the departing Turkish ambassador makes no sense. The latter lived and has his office in the Turkish embassy a few blocks from our embassy in Tripoli. The only influential Americans in the Benghazi area are the Koch brothers, who have substantial oil investments in that area.
      The timing, two months before a presidential election is also a matter of interest. I have the feeling there is a lot more to that tragedy than meets the idea, and that Issa’s inquisitorial tactics have more to do with the need to deflect attention that nefarious or incompetent behavior by the Obama administration. I think it is also fair to point out that this is a shot across the bow directed at Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic candidate in 2016.

      • RobertCHastings

        Well, I, for one, will never forget both the warnings W received directly from Clinton AND Clarke, and the Security memo he received from Condoleeza Rice (at the time a chief security advisor) stating (I paraphrase) “Terrorist plans to use loaded airplanes in attacks on tall buildings”. One cannot get much more specific than that, and one would have to be somewhat stupid to ignore it. Was this ever examined by Issa?

        • Independent1

          Your second to last sentence there pretty much describes the two lunkheads that were in office when 9/11 happened – stupid as rocks. Or was it stupidity?? or was allowing the al Qaeda attack to happen just all part of their plan to create another reason for getting Congress to agree to attacking Iraq?? Their claim that Saadam was in cohoots with bin Laden in planning a terrorist attack on the homeland???

          The fact that Bush and Cheney had General Frank developing an Iraq attack strategy within just a few weeks of taking office in 2001, sort of makes it appear that these two lunkheads had been planning the war even before the election. And how could any rational president and vice president totally ignore 7 warnings from the CIA in 3 months that an imminent attack was coming and keep refusing to let them focus on trying to prevent it?? unless of course allowing it to happen was intentional.

          And why did Bush decide to take a 30 day vacation in Texas right after the 7th warning on August 6th, tying Nixon for the longest running vacation (30 straight days) of any president at least since 1900?? And why when the returned just days before 9/11 did Georgie Boy decide to skip out of Washington almost immediately after returning from 30 days away such that he was down in Florida reading stories to school kids when the attack actually took place?? (I’m not sure where Dickie Boy was). Were they more aware of the impending attack than they want to admit and have let on?? My sense is that they were.

          And like you asked about Isaa, why hasn’t any Congressional person Republican or Democrat done more to find out the answers as to why B & C purposely allowed 9/11 to happen but preventing the CIA from trying to prevent it???

          • sigrid28

            If any of what you propose is true, this surely is how plausible deniability got a foothold in American politics in the 21st century, as a way for the neocons to set the scene for war in the Middle East. Now they have the nerve to accuse to Obama administration of–essentially–doing the same thing they did: use the excuse of plausible deniability to promulgate an act of war. One of the greatest accomplishments of Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration is their vehement refusal to take the bait and their ongoing determination to fight Darrel Issa and his inquisitors on the entire argument on the whole face of it. On this outrage staged by Republicans, Democrats in goverment have done us proud. About the media, I would have to say, not so much.

          • RobertCHastings

            Bush had little to do with the preplanning of the invasion of Iraq. Two of the main culprits for that were Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. They spelled their plan out in the mid-1980s, when Cheney was a functionary under Reagan and Wolfowitz was an up-and-coming neocon. They envisioned an American hegemony in the Middle East.
            The first bombing of the World Trade Centers happened in Feb. of 1993, one month after Clinton was sworn in, and Clinton was largely blamed by conservatives for this. 9/11/01 was 8 months after W took office, and, once again, Clinton was blamed for it,even though the Clinton administration and his security adviser, Richard Clarke, clearly warned the Bushies about AQ. Even Bush’s own National Sec. Adviser, Condie Rice, sent Bush a security memo to the effect of foreign terrorists planning the use of fueled airplanes as missiles against tall buildings. How much more obvious can you get?
            Immediately after the 9/11 attack, OBL’s family was safely escorted OUT of the US instead of being held and questioned. That, along with your other very valid points, does make one wonder.

          • Independent1

            Your description on how the planning for the Iraq war took place between Cheney and Wolfowitz fits right in with what I’ve concluded in piecing together information I’ve come across from internet searches over the past several years.

            Since after the war started, Cheney kind of went off on his own and randomly gave out no-bid contracts to companies like Haliburton, Blackwater and others that he probably had buddies leading or working for, it’s been my assumption that it was Cheney who approached Bush with the idea of attacking Iraq; probably during the Republican Convention for the 2000 election when it was clear Bush would probably get the nomination. Cheney probably approached Bush with: Say, have I got a deal for you. You pick me as your VP and when we get in office, we’ll push to start a war with Iraq which could be very profitable for the both of us – here’s the deal….

            And since it’s also been my guess that GWB had a vendetta against Saddam for trying to kill his dad after the Gulf War in Kuwait, why wouldn’t he go along with it since he could not only make money but could very well satisfy his vendetta against Saddam as well. So although Bush may not have been in on the original planning, he sure was all for the lies and distortions or whatever it took in getting Congress to allow him and Cheney to go ahead with starting the war.

            Bush and Cheney should both be in prison charged with at least dereliction of duty in allowing 9/11 to happen by not letting the CIA try to stop the attack, if not for outright defrauding the American people into starting an unnecessary war that ended up costing America billions of dollars and more than 4,000 soldiers their lives.

      • charleo1

        After reading a good deal of the information, and testimony, combined with a good deal of false, or questionable testimony, The
        odds are we may never know for sure what Ambassador Stevens was doing in Benghazi on this particular day. We do not have a clear or reliably complete record of who he communicated with, or what was discussed. We do know from communications he had with his Father, leading up to his death, he was aware he had been targeted for assassination. Why he evidently felt safe enough to travel to this area without a larger security force is yet another unknown, we may never get a full explanation. Another question for which we probably not get conclusive answers to, is exactly which faction, or factions were ultimately responsible for the attack. We can make our list of likely suspects. Loyalists of Kaddafi, or militant factions of Kaddafi’s tribe. Islamist insurgents that are sent in from around the Mid-East,
        to carry out jihad against the Western powers. Or locally formed groups, that may or may not have been connected to Al Qeada directly. Or were perhaps, only sympathetic with Al Qeada. Or a combination of all these factions. One of which we know had considerable knowledge of how to launch an attack, and use
        military weaponry. Once again, our problem becomes we simply do not have a reliable source of inside information into the murky, and complicated world of guerilla insurgencies. We do know, the CIA
        was involved in taking out, as in assassinating those with plans we knew about, or thought we knew about. That were trying to topple the weak, unstable, and hastily formed pro-western, government in Tripoli. And we were not making any friends among this group, in doing so. This latest NYT article will be rejected out of hand by the Right. Which sees too much potential political hay still to be made in this story. Especially as they expect Hillary Clinton to be the next Democratic Nominee for the Presidency. So, Issa and his gang of political headhunters will keep acting as though they are digging for some, Watergate type of conspiracy, the Obama Administration is trying desperately to covered up. While painting the Democrats as weak on terror. A mantle that slipped severely for the Republicans, with the war in Iraq, and Obama, locating, and killing Bin Laden. An issue I think many on the Right believe they must recapture, before they can wrest the White House from the Democrats.

        • Dominick Vila

          Whomever carried out the Benghazi attack may be sympathetic to the Al Qaeda cause, but I doubt AQ was involved in the attack. There are enough radical Muslims, most of them former Kadaffi loyalists and/or members of his tribe to carry out an attack like that to avenge the death of their leader.
          The only probable motives for Sen. Stevens’ decision to go to Benghazi, in my opinion, involve meeting CIA operatives working at the consulate annex, or meeting an American VIP visiting the area. Neither possibility will be confirmed for obvious reasons, and Issa is well aware of that and taking advantage of the situation.

          • charleo1

            As you say, even with all we don’t know, and will probably not ever know, at least for many years. The reality is, we are at war, and have been at war with certain players in that part of the world, for a very long time. Long before 9/11/01. And, just
            as important, Americans in this Country should be aware the
            battlefield is not only located in Afghanistan, but across the
            Mid-East, and Arabian Peninsula. Be it the Cuds Force in Iran, that are arming, and training Hezbollah, in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine, to a franchised, “Al Qeada,” that sent the so called underwear bomber, to bring down a plane over Chicago. And our security apparatus is under tremendous pressure to ferret out these various groups. Many of which we still know very little about. For example, what is their capability? Who funds them? And where is their mission most likely to bring them into contact, with our allies, us, or some other State in the region? In this respect, Americans are going to need to realize everything their government refuses to share with them, does not mean there is a scandal being covered up. And, spurious inquisitors like Darrell Issa, are well aware of this. Aware that special-opp
            contingents, may be covertly on the ground in any number of missions, in these places. And aware the government cannot
            answer the questions he’s posing, without endangering the
            lives of our people. Or the lives of people, within their own
            Country, that are taking great risks to themselves, and their families to work with us. So, Issa and his self promoting
            grandstanding, is actually working on behalf of the very people we are fighting. They, like him, have many questions
            they would love to have answered, I’m sure.

          • Dominick Vila

            You touched on what is probably the most important part of this issue, the damage all this criticism is doing to our troops, to our intelligence agents, and to thousands of informants who are risking their lives to keep us safe and identify those determined to do us harm.
            In their attempts to demonize everything President Obama does, derail his agenda, and destroy his record, the GOP is undermining the ability of the intelligence community to operate with the confidence they need to infiltrate the enemy and do their job. The level of cynicism being employed by some Obama detractors, such as Darrell Issa, reflects their lack of patriotism and how far they are willing to go to score political points, even when they know that doing so is damaging our credibility as a nation and endangering the lives of fellow Americans.

          • charleo1

            Well, that’s it perfectly! It is, of all the ways this new bunch of Obama haters, that are willing to allow the Country to fail, to see Obama fail, are potentially the most dangerous. Which makes it, at least in my view, the most traitorous. I have to wonder, seriously, where is the line for some of these people? Because, that used to be it. If it could hurt the Country, then, it was clearly something that mustn’t be done. Not these guys. Whatever their agenda is, they believe it’s more important than anything else. Including, what’s best for the Country. So, I’m aganist them, and their agenda! Not because I’m a Democrat. But because I’m an American. They threaten to cause default. And manage to instill enough fear to cost businesses sales, and the economy some investments, and jobs. Which shows contempt, and disregard for both the same business people they constantly hold up as the real creators of wealth. And the people they insist are too lazy to get a job. But then, neither are important enough, they won’t intentionally crap on them, if it allows them to squawk, and howl about bad Obama’s crappy economy is. There is a fundamentally flawed sense, with these people, of what their role as a public servant is supposed to be.

      • bhaggen

        Why won’t the administration allow the Benghazi survivors to testify before Congress & end all the speculation? What is the White House so worried about? Maybe their real concern isn’t about the events of September 11 at all but, as you mentioned, having to explain what our guys were doing in Benghazi in the first place. Was Benghazi an off the books, gun-running operation, like Iran-Contra in the Reagan years? Clearly the Benghazi “consulate” wasn’t a regular consulate that issues visas and tracks down lost luggage. And why was it crawling with special ops contractors?

        • Dominick Vila

          Witnesses have already testified in front of the Congressional Intelligence Committee behind close door. The objections involve public hearings and the need for secrecy should be obvious to everyone.
          Iran-Contra involve a gun running operation with a regime we did not recognize and with a country we had no diplomatic or trade relations with. That is not the case in Libya.
          Moammar Kadaffi, and his tribe, are from the Benghazi area. The Benghazi area is considered one of the most dangerous in the Islamic world since Kadaffi was deposed and killed.
          Indeed, the decision of Ambassador Stevens to leave the relative safety of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and travel to a dangerous area with only two security agents is baffling. Especially when we consider that consular operations in Benghazi had stopped months earlier and that the only thing that were still going on was CIA surveillance…and oil business deals. I would not be surprised if the reason for that trip involved the latter.

    • Duckbudder

      It’s not like Obama had a memo a month before hand saying “Attack on Benghazi Imminent”.

      • Allan Richardson

        But W had a memo a month before 9/11 saying “Al Qaeda planning to hijack airliners and use them as suicide bombs.”

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Issa has never been one to allow facts to get in the way of his personal witch hunt. Too bad his constituents didn’t do for him as they did fro his neighbor “Tail Gunner Bob” Dornan.

      • charleo1

        Yes, with Issa, it’s his, “feeling,” that the answers go right up to the
        top levels. What a hack!

        • Independent1

          And what’s really scary is that Boehner is as bad as Issa. We’re not the only ones who can see that Issa is ‘hack’ and is constantly pursuing witch hunts that turn up nothing. Yet Boehner who can see that to and yet does nothing about it. Boehner is a really sad example for a Speaker of the House. It really scares me that Boehner is 2nd in line behind Biden to take over the presidency should something happen to Obama and Biden.

  • George Allegro

    In related news, Hussein Obama’s 1/2 brother Malik is now on a terrorist watch-list in Egypt:

    • Paul Bass

      How in the heck is that related news??? Oh I get it, you’re a republican just trying to start s**t! Especially since Egypt is now run by the UN-ELECTED military, and you believe their lies?

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    So what the GOP is really doing is refusing to stop trying to turn lies into truth? Gee…Now there’s a surprise. Their slash and burn tactics disallows them to act like adults and admit when they are wrong. Trying to prove negatives is what these little bois of the GOP are all about…that and pulling childish tantrums.

    • morbius777

      But what the Democrats ARE NOT DOING is taking the ball and running with it (to borrow a football metaphor). We need to start ATTACKING, ATTACKING, ATTACKING. Stop trying to get along and hammer the sons of bitches.

      • RobertCHastings

        Works for me! You can get only so far with being reasonable, especially when your opponents REFUSE to be reasonable. We saw a “Castle” episode the other night in which Becket, on a target range, nailed the crotch, twice, then severed the femoral artery. Mighty fine pattern.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        As a former Republican, one of the worst things any Democrat or Independent can do is to stoop to the GOP’s low levels. The Democrats in my state are busy with their jobs that address issues most Americans care about. When you pay most of your attention to spoiled selfish little GOP tyrants, you waste valuable time and nothing productive moves forward. Most of us already do call out the liars of the GOP at every opportunity. Their strategies to turn lies into truth just doesn’t cut it with educated Americans. It’s why the GOP tyrants always come off sounding like a bunch of rabble rousing babble brained loonies.

        • morbius777

          If you listen to “Morning Joe”, that’s sure not the impression I get.

          • steelie guide

            morning joe scarborough is a throwback moderate republican, that, at times, can be pragmatic whilst maintaining the angry white guy mantra.

          • morbius777

            Well, when Joe goes on one of his rants, and Mika sits there biting her tongue, I find myself reaching for the off switch. If I want to listen to Republican/conservative simultaneous patting themselves on the back for claiming the moral high ground, whining about how the country just doesn’t understand them and their motives, and trashing Obamacare (which was actually a Heritage plan), I’ll listen to Fox….. NOT.

          • plc97477

            I turned off morning joe some time ago.

          • morbius777

            Yeah, it’s to bad also. I think its a great concept. But can you imagine the outrage if Rachael Maddow hosted a similar morning show on Fox???? LOL

  • morbius777

    How about a public investigation of Issa’s reported criminal past???? I think it would be enlightening.

    • edwardw69

      How about his criminal present?

      • Siegfried Heydrich


  • Dominick Vila

    The GOP obsession with Benghazi has a lot more to do with the need to establish a parallel between their dismal record on terrorism – ranging from 9/11, to attacks against our closest allies, to attacks against a dozen U.S. embassies/consulates – than unprecedented circumstances or wrongdoing. To restore credibility on the issue of terrorist, at home and abroad, they have no choice but to suggest that the same has taken place since President Obama became president, basic arithmetic and logic notwithstanding.

    The only recourse for those who controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress when the worst foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil took place, when our embassies and consulates were being attacked, including 3 attacks against the same U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, while we were courting Musharraf and giving Pakistan billions of dollars, is to insinuate ineptitude in the way we handled the Benghazi terrorist attack. I agree with the claim, however, that the Benghazi attack was probably carried out y former Kadaffi loyalist than Al Qaeda operatives.

    Let’s face it, considering their dismal record on terrorism, the lies they used to invade countries that had nothing to do with 9/11 while granting the homeland of the leader, planners, financiers and executors of 9/11 preferential status. Their record on domestic policy, which contributed to the near collapse of our economy, the resumption of deficit spending, and unprecedented accumulation of debt that they now blame on the guy who ended up holding the bag. The effects of deregulation and policies designed to help the top 1% of U.S. earners at the expense of the middle class and the poor, and their constant attacks against Social Security, Medicare and ACA, I think it is easy to understand why they are desperately trying to find excuses, even when those excuses lack merit and make them lose credibility in the eyes of most rational people. Sadly, there are many among us who buy their rhetomric and seem to suffer from a severe case of amnesia.

    • sigrid28

      In “I Am Malala,” her autobiographical account of life in Pakistan prior to the Taliban’s attempt on her life, there is a photo of Malala taken during her recovery in Birmingham, UK, picturing a teenager hugging a teddy bear while sitting up in her hospital bed reading a book–a real book, with small print and hundreds of pages. Only her countrymen will recognize this posture and this act as a rebuke to a culture that would deny women education and assassinate even a child who declares openly that that should be otherwise. It reminded me of the carved effigy of Eleanor of Acquitaine (1122-1204) that rests over her grave Fontevraud Abbey: it too is a rebuke to those whose acts of terror would have silenced her many times during her reign as queen of England and France and mother of kings and queens throughout Europe. The West as well as the East has a tradition of defiant learning and the impulse of misogynistic tyrants to suppress it.

      I do not know exactly when Republicans in our country stepped out of the ongoing historical continuum–and decided it was necessary to pass legislation that takes women back to the conditions they endured when they were effectively powerless–but I do know that it coincides with an anti-intellectual bias on the far right, grounded in religious fundamentalism that shares many characteristics with the extremists who attempted to kill Malala and who attacked the U.S. consular mission in Benghazi, killing our ambassador and three members of his security staff. Republicans can only exploit the Benghazi tragedy if the public and their base on the far right, whose votes they need to hold public office, remain deliberately ignorant of the real facts of the case and Democrats hold Issa and his cohorts responsible for publicizing lies. Note also that this is a case of men trying to promote an interpretation that denounces not only President Obama but two powerful women, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton. In this context, it feels more and more like Malala’s world.

      Taking in Malala’s account of the societal forces that still keep women in Pakistan illiterate, I can see why the most powerful advocates for liberty are those who have been systematically denied it through outright discrimination. In the U.S. as well, educated women may be the key to overcoming Republicans in the 2014 and 2016 elections, because our relatively new powers, compared to the role of women in the age of Eleanor of Acquitaine, and are once again under attack. I’m with Eleanor and Malala: let’s throw the book at them.

      • Power and political ambition. That’s what motivated them.

        It’s what motivates them to do everything, actually. If someone belongs to a demographic that typically leans to the left, Republicans regard them as the enemy and maneuver to restrict their rights as much as possible.

        We already saw this with their slew of 2012 “Voter ID” laws, which many of them outright admitted were designed to disenfranchise minorities and the poor. It can also be attributed to pretty much everything else they have pushed for in recent memory.

        The middle and lower classes: Cut SNAP and unemployment benefits and attempt (forty times) to repeal the PPACA.
        Unions: Restrict collective bargaining rights and defund govt. agencies.
        Minorities: Attempted repeal of the DREAM act
        LGBT: Denial of marriage rights and benefits.
        The college educated: Defense of predatory lending practices and vouchers for “Christian” degree mills.
        The solar industry: “Tax the sun” initiatives.
        Women: Criminalization of abortion and gutting of domestic abuse protections.

        When George W. Bush said “You’re either with us or you are with the terrorists,” this is what he meant. The G.O.P. lives in a completely black and white fantasy world where, if there is even a slight possibility that you might not agree with them 100%, you are the enemy and must be destroyed.

      • jointerjohn

        Thank you for pointing out the appropriate comparison of the misogynistic party of American politics and those frightened little boys who want the middle east to be a tree house club with a sign “No Girls Allowed”. Everyone needs to keep in mind that all the belief systems of the Judeo-Christian heritage, which includes Islam, are heavily male-centric. As long as we don’t get hones about those realities little progress will be made.

      • Dominick Vila

        Great post! The only thing I can is that after decades of discrimination women are making head way in college enrollment, where they are now a majority, and are making progress in hard sciences. Many are now holding important positions in places like Silicon Valley, something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Sometimes the human spirit, and our determination to overcome barriers to succeed, is much more powerful than the obstructionism that dominates our political discourse. If the trend continues, it will not be long before our mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters become the breadwinners, while their male counterparts play video games and text.

        • sigrid28

          Not to mention many more women serving in Congress as well as state and local government. If she runs, I hope Hillary will be elected president in 2016. Happy New Year to you and yours.

          • Dominick Vila

            Happy New Year to you, to your family and to all my cyber friends.

      • Allan Richardson

        Politics is like driving: select R to go backward, or D to go forward.

        • sigrid28

          In a nutshell. Thanks.

    • RobertCHastings

      Great post. You implicate them with, not only current behaviors, but with their past failures, things that must never be forgotten.

  • Nathan Fletcher

    What no one wants to say is that unfortunately the Ambassador was warned not to go to Benghazi because of the poor security there and the untrustworthy militia paid supposedly for the compounds security. They ran and were no where to be found when the attack started and were likely aware it was going to happen to begin with. This was not unknown that the militia was shady and not to be trusted. Yet he went anyway. Doesn’t the date raise the question around the world of the possibility of some terrorist activity? Does it make sense to be hundreds of miles from the most secure place in the country on that date? No, of course not. Does it not make sense to let the CIA know you are coming before you arrive for more security on that date? Of course it does. Shouldn’t the CIA Have said don’t come there at all? Of course it does. If the Ambassador let the CIA know he was coming would they have changed his mind? Maybe. It is hard to say that the Ambassador step into a hornets nest and that he made a poor decision that cost him The ultimate loss of his own life and others defending him. No one wants to say that he was responsible for this by making that bad decision despite warnings.

  • howa4x

    This is what happens when you leave desperate militia groups heavily armed. We’ve seen this in Iraq post invasion where the Iraqi army went home with it’s guns and the religious blood letting began. Most generals wanted the Iraqi army to be transformed into a new police force since the old one was mostly disbanded, but Ambassador Bremmer refused leaving the country defenseless to descend into civil war. Republicans never took responsibility for this major foreign policy debacle, and still don’t and thousands of American soldiers lost limbs and lives. No House investigations were done. This is why Issa ‘s investigation of Benghazi was political from the start. Having just come off of a Fast and Furious investigation fiasco solely done to ruin Obama’s re election chances this tragedy gave Issa one more bite at the apple. He spent more time leaking sensitive documents than finding the truth. It got so bad the administration refused to give him certain confidential for fear it would jeopardize national security since they would end up immediately on FOX news. Interestingly we are branding Snowden a traitor for releasing the same type of documents, yet do nothing about Issa’s security lapses. This shows just how little the republicans really care about our safety and care more about partisan advantage.

    • morbius777

      I think it’s high time to have a congressional investigation into Issa’s checkered past…. publicly.

  • steelie guide

    what the media always forgets, along with the gop, is that the house cut back monies that would have been used to increase security in our embassies. then, they turn and point fingers. very sophomoric.

    • Theodora30

      No, very effective. Republicans know our “liberal media” won’t bother to give the American people all the facts they need to understand issues. After all they could not be bothered informing people that it doesn’t matter if Obama was born in Kenya or on the moon. There is no question that his mother was an American which makes Obama a citizen at birth and therefore qualified to be president.

      For 30 years they have not debunked the lie started by Reagan that tax cuts do not add to our debt, something even Bush’s too Econ advisers admitted. (To see a rare exception google the WaPo article “Mr. Giuiliani and the Tax Fairy”).

      They didn’t tell people that those businesses that Bush II ran both went belly up or that there was much stronger evidence of his being guilty of insider trading when he was at Harkin Energy than there ever was of any wrongdoing by the Clintons in Whitewater. Journalists couldn’t even bother to inform the public that the accusations against the Clintons came from a con man, David Hale, who had been caught red-handed embezzling $ 2 million from the Small Business Administration and was looking to make a deal – which Ken Starr gave him..

      And then there is the NY Times allowing Judith Miller to use it as a mouthpiece for Bush and Cheney’s WMD lies. The Knight Ridder newspaper chain’s reporters got the story right by talking to the career analysts at the CIA, something the Times should have insisted on instead of taking Miller’s word on such a crucial story. The Scooter Libby trial revealed that Cheney saw the highly respected Meet the Press with its toady St. Tim Russert as his best platform for getting his propaganda out virtually unchallenged. In his testimony Russert even admitted he got the WMD story wrong because nobody from the CIA called him. Apparently picking up the phone to check what he was being fed the way the Knight Ridder guys did was beneath him.

      These are just a few easily verified examples of the MSM allowing right wing lies about Democrats, even their beloved Obama, and policies to stand. Republican leaders know these strategies work and that neither the media nor Democrats will push back too hard. Granted the Times did finally debunk their Benghazi story but not until long after the right wing narrative has taken hold. And now they have CBS News being run by a former Fox News executive.

  • Marsha Matthews

    Issa the Assa and the rest of the GOTP still believe that Dylan Davies is credible. Jesus H. Christ himself could tell them that they are wrong and they’d call him a stinkin’ liberal liar. Hey, I wouldn’t expect less from a group who believes the sky is green, the grass is blue, cows cluck and chickens moo.

  • totenkatz

    Okay so the President and Hillary both said it was a terrorist attack so now it wasn’t???? I believe the Times got it wrong again.