Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Perfect Benghazi Article

Some of you might be thinking: I'm sure that there's not much to all the conservative fuss about Benghazi, but I'm open to the possibility of some Obama Administration malfeasance...I wish there was some way for me to catch up on what Benghazi is really supposed to be about without having to dive into the crazy.

Well, if that's you, then there's a Politico article now just for you. It's from yesterday afternoon, and titled "Huckabee: Benghazi will drive Obama from office."

It seems that, the Huck says, "as the information and facts begin to come out, it will become so obvious that there was a concerted and very, very deliberate attempt to mislead this country." Also? "[W]hen the facts come out, they will not be able to stand." Indeed, "this goes all the way to the heart of the integrity of the United States government." You think that's scary? Well, "as the facts come out, I think we’re going to see something startling." After all, "When a president lies to the American people and is part of a cover-up, he cannot continue to govern." Don't forget, "as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die.”

I'm really not leaving anything out; that's what the Huck has to say, or at least that's what's reported in this Politico piece. There's a cover-up, and the facts will come out, and there you go. What's being covered up? Not even a hint. What facts will emerge? No suggestions at all. Apparently it's from his radio show on Monday...maybe he went into extensive detail that Politico didn't think was relevant to the case for why Barack Obama would be driven from office. Maybe he didn't. My sense? It doesn't matter! 

You know, there's some historical precedent for all of this. Tip O'Neill, soon after becoming House Majority Leader, started getting the House ready for impeachment proceedings, well before the avalanche of revelations on Watergate began. Not because he knew or even suspected exactly what would show up when investigations continued, but because he believed that Richard Nixon's White House was up to so many things that if it unraveled impeachment would be the solution. I think that's basically what's happening here, and presumably what happened with Bill Clinton, too: Republicans are just certain that there's a ton of illegal, unethical, and politically toxic material that would be unearthed if only they could put a special prosecutor on the job. 

Now, O'Neill thought that because he listened carefully to what people were talking about. My guess is that Huckabee et al. are listening carefully...to each other, and working themselves over nothing. Or maybe the Huck doesn't believe any of it, but just cares about the ratings for his radio show. At any rate, and pending something new, this Politico piece really is everything you need to know about Benghazi.

26 comments:

  1. Now Benghazi is a perfect example of the feedback loop!

    Seems the RW hope is this will be HRC's undoing rather than BHO's. I am skeptical that it'll be dumped on both because one will be saddled with the blame (my guess HRC's "What difference at this point does it make?" will be the money quote) and the other one (my guess, BHO) will be relegated as impotent. The politically advantageous thing would be hold the smear on HRC til after mid terms and if House is still GOP controlled sick Issa on it. It seems very little has changed evidence-wise.

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  2. The facts are pretty much in, actually. Some Islamist militants attacked the U.S. consulate, and yes, security was not what it should have been and they had asked for more. However, the State Department's security resources were stretched thin and they chose not to beef up security there, which was obviously a mistake in hindsight.

    At first, the CIA thought that the attack probably
    grew out of a spontaneous demonstration over the ridiculous anti-Muslim video, later they decided not so much. Some of the first idea got said publicly, at the CIA's actual request, even though they weren't sure, because they didn't want the bad guys to know what they knew.

    That's it. Impeach away.

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    1. It's not much of a defense to say that the administration misled the country at the behest of the CIA.

      The truth was known as early as Sept. 13, when State Department officials disputed the official line. Yet the administration didn't acknowledge this for almost a month, at which point the story had long since lost most of its interest to all but "the crazy" conservative media.

      http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

      Obama embraced a narrative that was not only unproven, but disputed by people within his own State Department. In the political context of the moment, I think that's troubling.

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    2. First, it didn't take a month. Second, the consulate had not requested more security. Third, what form of security works against bombardment?

      Lastly, the video was cited by the very organization that launched the attack as part of the reason they attacked that day.

      An actual embassy really was attacked for it. Saying Obama embraced that narrative is a lie. I'm tired of it.

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    3. Well indeed Couves; impeach away! We all know what the Constitution says. "Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours". Name one. Name *one*. You can't, because there isn't one there. And please don't say "misleading the country" because I don't want to accidentally expectorate on you when I laugh in your face.

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  3. It also brings up the question of why Politico would assume an unemployed former governor of Arkansas would know so much more about the dirt on Benghazi than, say, Politico would.

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  4. So I guess it's not slander to say, with no evidence, that a person "lie[d] to the American people and is part of a cover-up"? If he said that Obama organized the attack himself would that count as slander?

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    1. Public figure exception. Obama has to prove actual malice, which is exceedingly difficult.

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    2. Prove malice? Huckabee's career is malice against Obama. What's there to prove?

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  5. Imagine the outrage if Obama had been president when the most devastating terrorist attack on US soil occurred.

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  6. "This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die."

    Boy, wait till Huckabee finds out about Normandy.

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    1. Let me correct this for you...

      Boy, wait till Huckabee finds out about Pearl Harbor.

      Done.

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    2. Ah, but three times as many Americans died at Normandy, and I've heard rumors that the army went there on purpose! How long did they think they could cover that up? Don't you see the scandal?

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  7. "When the facts come out..."

    I love it. A local channel has recently been airing these conspiracy shows about UFOs and so on on Saturday afternoons and they're full of this type of language. "But IF this report is true, then..." or "If this can be verified, then..." I wonder if Huck also thinks the US government has let aliens build a massive underground city wherein they can experiment on humans....

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    Replies
    1. How did you find out about that?

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  8. Actually, they have some "whistle-blowers" who are supposed to testify about Benghazi tomorrow--before Issa's committee, I believe. (Recently, the Republicans were saying that the administration was threatening the whistle-blowers to keep them from talking, but it seems they got over that somehow.) I imagine that Huckabee's comments and similar ones that have been going around are intended to prime people to interpret whatever is said tomorrow as something scandalous. Do others find it odd that they don't seem to know in advance what the whistle-blowers are going to say? Or is that part of the act?

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  9. Evidently Huck slept through the recent Iraq unpleasantness.

    JzB

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  10. So yeah, Politico seemed to have quoted the Huckster warmly and accurately. When does the actual journalism come in again?

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  11. I think it's fair to say we saw more evidence of a coverup today...

    From the Guardian:

    Hicks testified that he had been demoted "after I asked the question about Ambassador Rice's statement on the TV shows." "I've been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer," he said.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/08/benghazi-congressional-hearing-live-blog

    HICKS: "The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya."

    MCHENRY: And did you know that within a couple days or the day of?

    HICKS: Yes.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/05/08/benghazi_whistleblower_hicks_youtube_video_was_a_non-event_in_libya.html

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    1. I'll bite: how is this evidence of a cover-up? (And of what?)

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    2. Jonathan, the White House spun a story about the attack that was incorrect. The response of deputy mission chief Hicks:

      “I was stunned,” Mr. Hicks said when asked what he thought when he heard Ms. Rice’s explanation. “My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/us/politics/official-offers-account-from-libya-of-benghazi-attack.html?smid=pl-share

      When Hicks asked his superiors about why something other than the truth was being told to the American people, he got pushback and punishment. It doesn't sound like there was any interest in seeing the truth brought to light, at least not at that moment. Instead we got another story, for weeks, and the only plausible explanation is that political motivation was at play.

      I'd love to hear your alternate explanation for why our deputy mission chief in Libya was punished after trying to correct major errors (to put it mildly) in the White House's Benghazi narrative. Or, for that matter, how the White House could even arrive a narrative that was so at odds with what high ranking embassy staff knew to be the truth.

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    3. What is Hicks' authority on this? He was in a different city. A city in which the video wasn't, the extremist group isn't present, and what?

      What is his authority on this? What cover-up is he alleging?

      NOTHING. He has nothing but to gain more wingnut welfare.

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    4. I have no idea why he was punished, but I don't understand it as fitting with a cover-up; in a cover-up, you try to get the people who know the truth to stay quiet -- you don't go out of your way to piss them off. As far as how the White House could have a different view of something than one of the people involved -- that happens all the time.

      But back up: what is the crime? What is being covered up?

      I've yet to hear anything about this -- any fact-based accusations about this -- that's worse than the basic fact of a policy disaster. Which was in plain view from the get-go.

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    5. Yes, Hicks has spoken in public, and what has he revealed? That the embassy in Tripoli, where they were destroying communications equipment because they feared they would be next, kept four soldiers in Tripoli while sending others to Benghazi--where they arrived too late to do anything but collect the survivors and bring them back.

      And Libyan witnesses at the scene in Benghazi have said that the attackers complained openly about the video during the attack. Part of the premature closure on this topic is the assumption that if you mention a role for the video then you must somehow be denying that it was a terrorist attack. That just doesn't follow. Also, the L.A. Times recently reported that one of the things complicating the FBI investigation of the Benghazi attack is the "hybrid" nature of the event, part terrorist attack and part mob violence. So, while it was wrong that a demonstration preceded the attack, there was apparently some spontaneous element to what went on. How important that might be is still not clear to me, but it also shows that the strict dichotomy--either "terrorist attack" or "mob action"--doesn't describe what happened.

      And I'd also like to know what people expected the air force to do: shoot up the diplomatic compound and the streets of a Libyan city with Vulcan mini-guns and hope to hit only militia members?

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    6. Crissa -- Hicks was second in command in Libya.

      Jonathan, it was clear from the start that we were being told something other than the whole truth and I think it's becoming increasingly clear that we were lied to. It's not nice to say, but you can't seem to offer another plausible explanation for what happened here.

      Scott, I think it's clear that, even with the information he has today, Hicks is astonished by the White House's fabrication.

      He's not the only one. From factcheck.org:

      "There were no protesters at the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack, even though Obama and others repeatedly said the attackers joined an angry mob that had formed in opposition to the anti-Muslim film that had triggered protests in Egypt and elsewhere. The State Department disclosed this fact Oct. 9 — nearly a month after the attack."

      http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

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