Mike Huckabee News
Mar 17 2014
Commentaries about Benghazi from the beginning
Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious right from the start, at least to those who are willing to LOOK AT IT what has occurred during an event.
We had Hillary Clinton and this administration's number from the very beginning --- that from the first, the whole fake story smelled like rancid cheese.
On October 15, 2012, the HR said, “The fact is, if our government will lie to us about Benghazi, they’ll lie to us about anything.” (It's THIS, in addition to the fact that our ambassador and three others were killed, that makes Benghazi so important.) Of course, we’ve learned since that day how right we were, as Obamacare turned out to be one big lie as well. Tragically, we just can’t believe them --- not those at the White House, IRS, NSA, HHS or State Department. We certainly can’t trust anything Hillary says. We’ve sensed that was the case for twenty years, ever since her “vast right-wing conspiracy” days. Time has only proven our suspicions right.
We’re on to her. Her brand of say-anything-necessary politics is antithetical to democracy and exactly what we need to get rid of in Washington. Imagine how great it would be if we didn’t have to second-guess every last word that came out of there!
Sept. 14, 2012
Libyan authorities arrested four men suspected of being involved in instigating the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens. More and more, it’s looking like a planned attack by anti-American terrorists, using mob outrage over a movie that insults Islam as a cover. By the way, to prove that not everyone in the Middle East agrees with the mob, a group of brave Benghazi citizens held their own rally and posted photos of themselves on Facebook, holding protest signs that said things like, “Benghazi is against terrorism,” “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans,” and “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.”
Sept 17, 2012
For years, the left has bashed George W. Bush for not seeing 9/11 coming. But just how much warning do THEY need? The State Department continues to insist that the attacks on our embassies, even the one in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, were just inflamed mobs reacting spontaneously to a YouTube video. But those closest to the fire aren’t buying it. A full day before the attacks began, the Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian intelligence got a letter warning of widespread embassy attacks, and it was dated September 4th. Now, Benghazi security official Jamal Mabrouk has told CNN that he met with the embassy staff three days before the attacks, to warn them of the rising threat and deteriorating security. Libya has now arrested 50 people suspected of planning the attack. Meanwhile, our own government has taken a bad filmmaker in for questioning.
And Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” our ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, insisted that the embassy attacks were spontaneous and not planned. She also insisted that the US is not impotent in the face of these widespread attacks. Really, is that the strongest message we can send? When you have to go on TV to insist that you’re not impotent, you might as well be appearing in a Viagra commercial.
Sept. 19, 2012
Stop the presses! After a full week of ever-more-ludicrous denials, the White House yesterday finally left open the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the deadly rocket grenade attack on our Libyan consulate on 9/11 might have been premeditated and not just a spontaneous flash mob hopped up over a YouTube video. Spokesman Jay Carney said there are armed groups in the region, looking for opportunities to take advantage of, and maybe they did that. But he still insisted that the White House is not aware of any advance warnings from Libyan officials. Actually, Benghazi security official Jamal Mabrouk said that he met with the embassy staff three days before the attacks, to warn them of the rising threat. I covered that story two days ago. So obviously, the White House needs to start listening to the Huckabee Report.
Sept. 20, 2012
After eight days of denials, the White House finally admitted what many suspected from the start: that the killing of our people at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was “a terrorist attack.” Yesterday, Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that we now have evidence that the attackers who knew exactly where and how to target our safe house included alleged members of al Qaeda. In fact, it appears there were attackers from a number of militant groups operating in and around Benghazi. Olsen said they still don’t have proof whether the attack was preplanned, or they were just taking advantage of the protests over the YouTube video. Considering that several people say they warned us days in advance, I wonder how long it will take before they finally admit that a deadly attack by al Qaeda on 9/11 was pre-planned.
Sept. 24, 2012
Over the weekend, mob violence continued to rage across the Muslim world. But in Libya, at least one mob got it right. While the rest of the Middle East is burning American flags and issuing fatwas against an anti-Islam filmmaker and the unwitting actors he duped, a mob of protesters in Benghazi, Libya, had enough. Instead of railing mindlessly against America, they took revenge for the death of someone they saw as their best friend: the slain US ambassador, Christopher Stevens. A huge crowd of angry Benghazi citizens swarmed the headquarters of Ansar as-Sharia, a militia suspected of being involved in the attack. Warning shots didn’t faze the crowd, and the heavily armed militants were forced to run for their lives. Locals said they’re fed up with these Islamist militias trying to move in and fill the power vacuum. Let’s pray we see a similar refusal to be cowed in Egypt.
Oct. 10, 2012
Today, Congress will begin its probe into the failed security at our Libyan consulate that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. You’re sure to hear about two memos obtained by Reuters. They’re from US security officer Eric Nordstrom, who was based in Tripoli up until two months before the attack. In one, he complains that a State Department official wanted to keep the number of security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low.” In the other, Nordstrom argued for more security by pointing out 230 security incidents in Libya in the previous year. Neither memo got any response.
Oct. 11, 2012
Yesterday, Congress began its probe into the deadly attack on our Libyan consulate, and it could be summed up by an old Firesign Theater album title: “Everything You Know is Wrong.” For weeks after the attack in Libya, the official story was that nobody predicted any security problems, and the violence erupted out of protests over a YouTube video. Now, we’re learning that our top security official in Libya twice begged the State Department for more security, but got no response. And State now admits that there were no protests outside our consulate in Benghazi that day. The attackers came out of nowhere. When they couldn’t break into the safe room, they set the furniture on fire and our diplomats died of smoke inhalation. I have a feeling a lot more smoke will be blown before we finally get to the bottom of this story.
Oct. 15, 2012
The White House continues to deny it had any warnings of the deadly attack in Libya, but that’s getting harder to swallow by the day. We now have sworn testimony that officials in Libya repeatedly requested more security and were refused. Next, the Administration blamed Republican budget cuts. It turns out the GOP House increased embassy funding by $100 million, but the Administration chose to hire cheap Libyan locals as consulate guards, while spending 100 grand to put Chevy Volt recharging stations in our embassy in Vienna. Now, some people are finally starting to ask what the media would be saying if this preventable disaster had happened under President Bush. I can’t imagine – but then, I can’t imagine Bush skipping 60 percent of his security briefings.
With the unfolding facts not going their way, the Obama campaign is now attempting to spin this as politically-motivated. Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter even suggested that it’s only news because of Mitt Romney making a big deal out of it. First, I doubt that Mitt Romney has the power to determine what reporters write, or the campaign news would’ve been very different up until now. Secondly, to suggest that a security lapse like this, that resulted in the deaths of four brave Americans in a terrorist attack on our own soil on the anniversary of 9/11 wouldn’t even have been news if it weren’t an election year is an insult to the victims’ memories and families and to every American’s intelligence.
The fact is, if our government will lie to us about Benghazi, they’ll lie to us about anything. If the political consequences are more important to this administration than the consequences to you and your family, then we have to believe that this election is not just a choice between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a choice between an America that’s owned by the people and served by the government, or an America that is owned by a government that desires to be served by the people.
Oct. 22, 2012
For weeks, the White House told us that what happened at our consulate in Libya on September 11th was a spontaneous uprising over an anti-Islam YouTube video. Then, when it became apparent that intelligence knew it was a planned terrorist attack from day one, the President implied that his peripheral use of the word “terror” in his first statement proved that he’d acknowledged all along that it was terrorism. But wait: now the L.A. Times is claiming that maybe it wasn’t a planned attack after all – or at least, not well-planned. The paper cited unnamed officials as saying there’s no intelligence that the attack was planned in advance. They claim it was just an opportunistic attack, the attackers were disorganized, and some joined it halfway through and had no weapons; they were just interested in looting. And so far, investigators have found no evidence of Al-Qaeda participation. So in tonight’s debate, will Obama go back to claiming it was all over a YouTube video, and that Romney was right, he never called it terrorism?
Meanwhile Friday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa released 169 pages of documents that included previously-classified cables from our late ambassador Chris Stevens. He warned way back in June of the rise of Islamic extremism in Libya, and of seeing al-Qaeda flags outside Benghazi. He begged for more security, which never materialized. Even on September 11th, just hours before he was murdered, he relayed worries from a Libyan commander that local security was too weak to keep the country secure. We may not know what happened that night, and the Administration’s story since then has been changing faster than the autumn leaves. But one fact stubbornly remains: whether the attack was spontaneous or planned, if the consulate had had the security our people there repeatedly begged for, it never would have succeeded.
Oct. 29, 2012
Something terrible happened at our Libyan consulate on September 11th, but will we ever know what? Friday, Fox News reported that even as the nine-hour siege in at our Benghazi consulate was underway, the Administration ordered the CIA not to send help. The two ex-Navy Seals, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, reportedly ignored the order to stay away, and killed 60 insurgents before losing their own lives. The CIA denied being told not to send help, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dismissed the story as Monday morning quarterbacking. But leaving Americans to die is no game. And one thing nobody can deny is that the Administration’s story of what happened that night and what they knew about it keeps changing. If this is true, it should be the #1 story in America. But we’ll never know until the rest of the news media wake up and investigate it.
Nov. 2, 2012
The mainstream media seem reluctant to cover the attack on our consulate in Benghazi and the White House’s ever-changing stories about it – at least, before the election. But some cracks are finally appearing. This week, the Washington Post got the White House to deny that they refused to send help to our consulate in Benghazi. Officials claim the nearest rescue forces were over 700 miles away. Even the Post admits that raises another troubling question: when we knew al-Qaeda was on the rise, why were our response forces so far away? Fox News has now uncovered a classified cable, showing the Libyan consulate staff held an emergency meeting about the rising al-Qaeda threat and asked for more security a full month before the attack. That raises two troubling questions: Why was nothing done? And why are we expected to wait until after the election for an answer?
Nov. 5, 2012
If you’re confused about what happened in Libya, when armed militants attacked our consulate and killed four Americans, don’t feel bad: you’re not alone. Not even the people who were there agree on what happened. Friday, the CIA released a timeline, claiming that a small force of CIA agents rushed to the rescue as soon as the first call for help came at 9:40 p.m., but they were outgunned. If they thought that would stop the questions, think again. Fox News reports that multiple sources who were on the ground that night in Benghazi say the consulate’s security manager made calls up to an hour earlier than that, warning that armed militants were gathering outside. Both American and British sources in Benghazi claim that the militants were reported to be setting up roadblocks several hours before then.
The American sources asked why the CIA sent a ragtag team from Tripoli when we had a first responder air base in Italy, almost the same distance away. The British sources said they had more people there than America did, so why weren’t they asked to help? Both the American and British sources say the CIA timeline “doesn’t quite add up,” and at the very least, the lack of security and the inadequate response were the result of “complete incompetence.” So finally, someone said something that nobody can argue with.
Nov. 20, 2012
The White House’s varying accounts of the raid on our Libyan consulate give new meaning to the term, “He said, she said.” Former CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly testified that he knew the raid in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and put that into talking points for the Administration. So when US Ambassador Susan Rice blamed it on a flash mob upset over a YouTube video, someone must’ve edited Petraeus’ talking points, right? Wrong, says the White House. A National Security Advisor claims Rice repeated what intelligence sources told them, and they made only one technical edit, changing “consulate” to “diplomatic facility.” So Petraeus’s notes said one thing. The Administration didn’t change them, but said something completely different. What really happened? House Intelligence Committee member Pete King says Obama challenged Congress to come after him, so Congress may have to ask the President directly.
Of course, any investigation of this scandal is going to have to come from the House. Harry Reid has already denounced it as a “baseless partisan attack” and declared that there will be no Senate action on it. That’s hardly a surprise, since under Harry Reid, it seems there’s never any Senate action on anything. He rejected the GOP request to look into Benghazi just like he’s rejected budgets from both House Republicans and President Obama for four years now. These days, when a high school student is asked on a test, “What does the Senate do?,” I’d argue that a perfectly acceptable answer would be “They do crossword puzzles.”
Nov. 29, 2012
For years, foreign policy initiatives in the Senate have been led by John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman. But with Lieberman’s retirement, a sea change is taking place. Replacing Lieberman in the foreign policy inner circle is Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. That means that for the first time in decades, there will be a female perspective in the Senate’s foreign policy leadership. Normally, that would be big news in the mainstream media. But you’ve likely not even heard her name. Two reasons for that: one, she’s a Republican. And two, the first issue she’s dealing with after moving into the power circle is grilling UN Ambassador Susan Rice about her story on the Benghazi attack. One favorite media theme is that questioning Rice is sexist. That might be hard to sell if the public realized one of her most skeptical inquisitors is female.
Dec. 20, 2012
There’s a new report on the deadly attack in Benghazi, and it’s scathing. Just about every accusation of incompetence involving Benghazi has been confirmed by the independent Accountability Review Board. Their new report blasts the State Department for ignoring requests for more protection, its lack of experienced security personnel, and for relying on untested local militias and specific attack warnings instead of anticipating the general dangers in a deteriorating situation. They say many officials showed poor leadership and failed to plan and coordinate. And they confirmed there were no protests over a YouTube video, as UN Ambassador Susan Rice claimed. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to testify to Congress today before getting a concussion. She says she’ll accept all 29 of the panel’s recommendations. Understandably, since reading their report on her Department must’ve felt like getting a second concussion.
Dec. 21, 2012
This week, an Independent investigative panel released a scathing report on State Department security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans at our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. After listing a number of instances of incompetence, wrong-headedness and some might say dereliction of duty, the panel made no specific recommendations for punishment. But that doesn’t mean there were no recriminations. No, sir, heads are rolling over this…or at least, nodding. Four State Department officials have now been removed from their posts over it. Oh, no, they weren’t fired. But they were “placed on administrative leave pending further action.” I’d tell you their names, but you’ve never heard of them. But they are highly-placed. One is an assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, and two of them are deputy assistant secretaries. Now we know why there are so many deputy assistant secretaries and assistant associate deputy secretaries in Washington: so that when the “buck stops here,” there’s always someone you’ve never heard of who ends up holding it.
Jan. 23, 2013
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton finally testified to Congress. Secretary Clinton visited Congress to answer questions about how her State Department mishandled requests for security from our diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, who were murdered on September 11th in what now looks to be a planned terrorist attack. But this was one of those hearings where the questioners already knew what happened. They just wanted someone to explain why. The Washington Guardian reported before the hearing that House investigators had learned the State Department didn’t simply refuse the diplomats’ requests for more security. From May to September, the State Department reportedly slashed the number of six-man Mobile Security Deployment teams from three to one. So by the time the 9/11 attack came, they had only six security officers left in Libya. You know, the Texas Rangers used to have a motto: “One riot, one Ranger.” Apparently, the State Department used the same formula to determine how much security we needed in Libya.
Jan. 24, 2013
Reactions are still rolling in to Hillary Clinton’s Congressional testimony Wednesday on the deadly September 11th attack in Benghazi. Those who think the State Department’s failure to provide security to our diplomats was criminal negligence saw it as a histrionic show that didn’t answer any major questions. And they found Mrs. Clinton’s claims that she accepted full responsibility to be hollow, since it came with no consequences, either for her or any other top State Department officials. Meanwhile, her defenders in the media hailed her testimony as tough, moving and masterful. They no doubt consider the issue closed now, and are relieved that she can move on to running for President and never be asked about it again.
There are only two quotes that are likely to live on past this week: First, Paul Ryan telling Sec. Clinton that if this had happened when he was President, she would’ve lost her job. That will resurface if he runs for President. The second was when Mrs. Clinton was pressed on the confusion over whether it was a mob uprising or a terrorist attack, and she snapped, “What difference…does it make?” The difference is that her department should have been prepared for a terrorist attack. Because they failed so completely, despite months of warnings, four Americans are dead. That’s what those hearings should have been about: not theatrics, point-scoring or political viability. But about the four people who died because of preventable, inexcusable incompetence.
Feb. 11, 2013
Today marks exactly five months since the deadly 9/11 attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. We still don’t know why security was so lax, or why nobody came to help until it was too late. But at least we finally know who WASN’T in charge. Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified to Congress about that tragic night. He said he had a pre-scheduled phone call at 5 p.m. with President Obama, and they discussed the ongoing attack. Then, as our people in Libya were fighting for their lives, Obama never spoke to Panetta again that night, although he did find time for an hour-long politically-motivated call to Israel.
So Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey were asked what communications they had with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that night. Both said they didn’t talk to her, either. This news hasn’t been covered much in the media, but you’d think someone would remember the famous campaign ad from 2008, when Mrs. Clinton slammed Obama by asking, when an urgent call comes in at 3 a.m., who do you want answering it. On September 11th of last year, that 3 a.m. call came. Apparently, they both let voice mail take it.
April 25, 2013
Our diplomats died in Libya, but the questions refuse to die. When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was grilled by Congress about her department’s actions on the night four Americans were killed in Benghazi, she snapped, “What difference does it make?” Well, it might make a big difference, if voters read Congress’ report. It concludes that the Administration had plenty of warnings, but failed to heed them or to give the military authority to respond. They also find Secretary Clinton was responsible for cutting security at the US consulate despite knowing of the threats and the pleas for more security, and that the Administration lied to downplay terrorism, first by blaming a YouTube video, then falsely claiming they were trying to protect an FBI investigation. The White House will dismiss it as a partisan attack, but it’s the result of months of investigations by five House committees. I suspect that anyone who claims to have read it and is still unconcerned about the people in charge of our Middle East security is lying to cover up that they didn’t really read it.
May 1, 2013
Now that the official investigation of the attack on our Libyan consulate is over, maybe we’ll finally learn what really happened. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fumed at Congress, “What difference does it make” what happened the night four Americans were killed by a terrorist mob in Benghazi, Libya. But it must make a big difference to someone. Fox News reports that at least four career officials at the State Department and CIA are lawyering up as they prepare to provide Congress with sensitive information about the attacks, and the way the Administration handled both the lead-up and the unfolding crisis. One attorney said the whistleblowers claim unnamed Administration officials threatened to destroy their careers if they cooperated with Congress. A State Department spokesman denied that, and suggested that Congress just accept the department’s internal investigation that exonerated all higher-ups. If you believe that will happen, I have a time share in Benghazi to sell you.
May 6, 2013
President Obama really should start watching Fox News…President Obama claimed last week not to know about any Benghazi whistleblowers. But Fox News just revealed the identities of the secret witnesses who will testify to Congress about the Administration’s actions before, during and after the deadly raid on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. And they aren’t low-level pencil pushers. They include Gregory Hicks of the US Embassy in Libya; Mark Thompson of the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, former top US security officer in Libya. Whatever they plan to say, it’s not likely to be positive. On my Fox News show, I talked to former Justice Department whistleblower J. Christian Adams. He warned that speaking out could easily spell the end of their government careers. But he noted that we’ll also learn a lot about Obama by watching his reaction to their testimony. That will tell us whether the President cares more about the people who died in Benghazi, or preserving his own political power.
May 7, 2013
Are you ready for Benghazi, round two? Rep. Darrell Issa is reopening the investigation into the deadly attack on our consulate in Libya. And this time, he has three new witnesses who threaten to dismantle an alleged stone wall put up by the Obama Administration. They’re all top officials who were in positions to know what happened. It’s already been reported that deputy Libya mission chief Gregory Hicks thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go, and he said his jaw hit the floor when he heard UN ambassador Susan Rice blame it on an anti-Islamic YouTube video. And CBS learned that, incredibly, the administration never convened its Counterterrorism Security Group, the one group that knows all the resources. I don’t know if this will spell the downfall of the Obama White House or Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, as some predict. But there’s nothing more toxic to a political career than the slow, steady drip of a cover-up gradually being uncovered. Oh, and by the way, the guy who made the YouTube video? He’s still in prison.
May 9, 2013
We now know more about Benghazi. But will it matter? Yesterday, the House finally heard from three top officials on the Obama Administration’s handling of the murders of four Americans last September 11th in Libya. Here’s what they had to say: our consulate didn’t meet minimum security standards, which could only be waived by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The YouTube video was a “non-event” in Libya. Everyone knew it was a terrorist attack. Falsely contradicting Libya’s President on that point contributed to a 17-day delay in getting the FBI into Libya. Military rescuers could have been there in 2 to 3 hours, and were furious at being told to stand down. Those internal State Department investigators who cleared the State Department never even questioned Hillary Clinton or one of the whistleblowers. The counterterrorism unit head who denied the whistleblower’s account of being cut out of the loop wasn’t even in the US at the time. And after questioning the falsehoods, one witness was demoted to a desk job. There’s no question, something here stinks like fish in the Libyan desert. The question now is, will anything be DONE about it?
May 10, 2013
We’re finally learning what happened in Benghazi. Today, let’s talk about why. The Obama Administration claims the deadly attack in Libya was beyond their control. Critics say it was preventable, and was covered up because it might have hurt Obama’s reelection. But the NeoNeoCon blog has another theory that’s sparking debate: too many incompetent yes men. Obama was elected with no executive or security experience. Other Presidents overcame that by appointing expert advisors. But Obama mostly appoints fellow leftwing academics and political operatives. When Benghazi struck, military experts were ordered to stand down. Instead, the decision-making was left to people like Hillary Clinton, her longtime fixer who’d been installed at State, and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, a former Obama speechwriter with a degree in fiction. That must’ve come in handy when creating the YouTube excuse. Maybe the problem is that the people in charge of national security are just as qualified as the people who’ve been making decisions about the economy.
May 13, 2013
The curtain is finally being raised on the Benghazi scandal. Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney must’ve felt like the Wizard of Oz, begging reporters to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” even as it became obvious that he was operating a big smoke machine. The press corps peppered Carney with 36 questions on Benghazi. He repeated the same old defenses that had already been exposed as a sham. He claimed the White House used the CIA talking points, and the only changes were non-substantive. But ABC had reported that the CIA thought al-Qaeda was involved, which was scrubbed out after 11 rewrites because the State Department was afraid Congress would blame them for the lack of security. Those weren’t CIA talking points, they were C-Y-A talking points. Carney blamed everyone – the CIA, Republicans, Congress 28 times – he even blamed Bush out of force of habit. But for once, nobody was buying. Saturday, the White House press room was briefly evacuated due to smoke. I wonder if it was just an overloaded smoke machine.
Another part of the Benghazi story has also come under fire: the claim that no military rescuers were sent in because there wasn’t time to get them there. On my Fox News show Saturday, I interviewed retired Lt. General William Boykin, the former commander of Delta Forces. He knows more than just about anyone about the deployment and capabilities of our elite rescue troops. The Pentagon timeline shows that over 7-1/2 hours passed between the first attack and the deaths of the former Navy SEALS who were holding off the attackers. Gen. Boykin estimated that we could’ve had a jet there to at least scare the attackers within 2 to 3 hours, and boots on the ground within 5 to 6 hours. As for the argument that the rescue mission might’ve been too dangerous, well…that’s what Navy SEALS do. Gen. Boykin says it’s the philosophy of the US military that you never abandon your people, even if all you can do is go in and recover their bodies. As for the excuses for why that order never came, he called them “incredible.”
May 14, 2013
A lot of information about the deadly attack on our Benghazi consulate has been pouring out over the past couple of weeks. Between the major news media outlets rushing to catch up with all the new info on a story they’ve ignored for months, and all the Democrats insisting there is no new info so just keep playing video games and pay no attention, it can be hard to keep up with it all. So kudos to intelligence expert Mark Baisley at Townhall.com for laying out the whole story from the beginning in Cliff’s Notes style. Just go to Townhall.com and search for the title: “Benghazi For Dummies.” And by the way, if you’re a journalist just now discovering this story, Benghazi is spelled with an “h.”
May 17, 2013
UN ambassador Susan Rice’s hopes to be Secretary of State collapsed after she appeared on all the news talk shows, pushing the bogus YouTube excuse for the deadly Benghazi attack. But Foreign Policy magazine quotes a White House source as saying she’s got a new job waiting for her as Obama’s National Security Advisor if and when Tom Donilon steps down. And nothing’s likely to prevent that. She doesn’t need Senate confirmation. Besides, recently-released emails show that she wasn’t involved in crafting that phony excuse, she just went out and repeated it. Why would that possibly disqualify someone from being America’s National Security Advisor? As Washington Times columnist Charles Hunt notes, in Washington, nobody ever really gets fired for incompetence. They just end up in a better job at some other federal agency.
May 21, 2013
The White House has a new spokesman with an amazing talent for not saying anything at all. White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer was on all the Sunday news shows, giving a dazzling display of doubletalk. When Chris Wallace on Fox News asked a simple question – What did the President do on the night of Benghazi attack? - Pfeiffer dodged it over and over. He claimed Obama was “kept up to date,” attacked Republicans, and said the question is, what are we going to do to move forward? Well, no: that wasn’t the question at all. Likewise, on CBS, Bob Schieffer struggled to get answers out of Pfeiffer. Instead, he got denial, stonewalling and blame-shifting. Pfeiffer declared that Obama will not be bogged down by partisan accusations that aren’t even scandals, really. Schieffer got so fed up, he said he didn’t want to compare this to Watergate, but that’s the exact same approach that Nixon took. He demanded to know why Pfeiffer was there instead of a higher-ranking official. Hey, show some respect. The kid may be young, but from the way he pirouettes around hard questions, he just might be the best ballet dancer Obama’s had since Rahm Emanuel left.
When you go to that much trouble not to answer a question, it raises so much speculation about why that it’s usually worse than just answering it. In this case, critics suspect that what Obama was doing that night was letting his underlings handle the unfolding crisis in Benghazi while he rested up to fly to a celebrity fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day. At least, that’s the story that’s been floating around for months. If he has a better one to contradict it, then he needs to get it out fast. And if the truth is worse than that…Well, never mind. Nothing could be worse than that.
May 22, 2013
We’re already being asked to believe that hundreds of instances of IRS intimidation of conservatives were all the doing of two desk jockeys in Cincinnati. Just like the White House wants us to swallow the in-house Benghazi investigation that cleared all the higher-ups. It resulted in a deputy assistant secretary of state named Robert Maxwell being put on administrative leave. Maxwell was never charged with anything: he’s just being paid to sit at home. But he’s sick of holding his tongue. Maxwell told the Daily Beast that he had nothing to do with Benghazi security, and he’s being scapegoated by Hillary Clinton’s team. Maxwell says the flaws were perpetrated by the top political leadership at State working with senior career bureaucrats. They were responsible, and they should be held accountable. But don’t hold your breath. State Department leaders still have too many people below them who’ve yet to enjoy the new Washington policy: redistributing the blame.
July 30, 2013
In President Obama’s speeches last week, there were only two new words, but they’ve ignited a firestorm. The phrase “phony scandals” must’ve tested well, from the way the President and his spokespeople are repeating it like parrots. But to people affected by those scandals, that phrase is a slap in the face. Last week, over 700 retired Special Forces veterans held a press conference. It included veterans of such dangerous missions as the killing of Osama bin Laden. They presented a petition to Congress, urging both parties to support an investigation of the botched security that allowed terrorists to murder four Americans in Benghazi. A spokesman said that with the Commander-in-Chief calling Benghazi, IRS harassment of conservative groups, and the deadly Fast and Furious fiasco “phony and fake scandals,” it’s time for Congress to demand a full, unvarnished investigation. The media have a duty to inform the public, but chances are, you never heard about that press conference until now. That’s another example of a genuine scandal.
Another reason that the “phony scandals” line seems to be backfiring is because to people who are directly affected by those scandals, they’re anything but phony. And since the scandals include NSA surveillance of virtually every American, that makes for one very large mob of ticked-off voters.
Congressional Republicans can sense blood in the water. Instead of being shamed into silence, they’re taking the offensive. Before the August recess, they plan to vote on 10 bills, all aimed at beefing up oversight of abusive bureaucrats. They include proposals to end big bonuses, require approval for conferences, prevent the IRS from handling our health care, stop pay to senior officials while they’re under investigation for serious offenses, and require Congressional approval of any new regulations that would hurt business and cost jobs. Of course, this new oversight push isn’t likely to make it past the Senate. But Republicans are urging voters to pressure them to pass it, and remind Washington bureaucrats that they work for the people, not the other way around. Republican leaders say it’s needed to restore faith in government. Personally, I’d say the best way to restore faith in government would be for bureaucrats to stop falling under investigation for serious offenses in the first place.
August 2, 2013
President Obama has made it clear that he thinks the scandals plaguing his administration are phony. But what if the scandals are real, but it’s the investigations of them that are phony? Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the murders of four heroic Americans. And yet, we still don’t know what the President was doing that night, why the security was so botched, why nobody was sent to help, and who was behind the attack. We sent the FBI, but they claim to be stymied, and there have been no arrests. Maybe they should turn on CNN. Their reporter Arwa Damon went to Benghazi, found one of the lead suspects the FBI can’t seem to locate, and got him to sit down for a 2-hour interview. By the way, he told her he’s never been contacted by the FBI or the Libyan government. CNN didn’t say when the interview will air. But no matter how long that takes, I’d bet he still won’t have been brought in for questioning.
Aug. 5, 2013
The White House is learning that the media abhor a vacuum… When President Obama dismissed the Benghazi attacks as a “phony scandal,” it was like waving a red flag at reporters. CNN, Fox News and others are now claiming that dozens of CIA agents were present in Benghazi at the time. They might have been secretly smuggling weapons to Syrian rebels, which might have sparked the attack. We’re hearing that these agents are being given polygraphs to make sure they haven’t talked, and even assigned new identifies to hide them from Congressional investigators, which would be a serious breach of the law. Is any of this true? That’s the problem: we don’t know yet. But as long as the Administration keeps stonewalling, the stories, the rumors and the digging will never go away. Meanwhile, the best comment came from conservative satirist Iowahawk, who asked, since when does the government give employees lie detector tests to make sure they AREN’T telling the truth?
Aug. 8, 2013
It’s taken nearly a year, and a lot of pressure, but charges have finally been filed against a Lybian military leader in the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead. The charges are still under seal, so details are under wraps. Ahmed Kattalah is the first, but probably not the last, to be charged.
In the meantime, President Obama is coming under some criticism for the massive closures of embassies across the Middle East in response to the latest terror threat. Even officials in Yemen think it’s an overreaction that plays into the hands of the terrorists, making them look more powerful than they are. But in this case, I have to side with the President. For nearly a year, critics have rightly slammed the State Department for not taking the security threat to our consulate in Libya seriously enough. They can’t turn around now and criticize him for taking the threat too seriously. Besides, the President has access to information that the rest of us don’t. When American lives are at stake, if he thinks it’s best to err on the side of caution, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
Sept. 11, 2013
Today, America remember September 11th. But have we forgotten the lessons of that dark day?... Within hours of the 9/11 attacks, we knew who the killers and their supporters were, and we committed our nation to bringing them to justice. But today is also the anniversary of another deadly attack. One year ago, four Americans were murdered in a planned ambush of our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Unlike the clarity following the 9/11 attacks, the fog of Benghazi was created largely because our own government lied to us and fought to cover up what really happened. Worse, they manufactured a ridiculous story about a YouTube video being the reason for it. President Obama implied that it and other controversies were “phony scandals,” but the attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead was not phony. Just as surely as we vowed to find bin Laden, we must continue to demand to know what really happened that tragic night in Libya and to bring justice to the killers of our people.
Sept. 13, 2013
The first anniversary of the deadly attack on our diplomatic outpost in Libya just passed. So why do we still not know for certain what happened?... It’s been 367 days since four Americans were murdered in a terrorist assault in Benghazi, and we haven’t even heard from the witnesses yet. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki tried to explain why to the House Oversight Committee, and made the situation as clear as a Louisiana swamp. She denied they were blocking any department employees from testifying, but said that revealing their identities might put their families at risk and jeopardize the investigation. A questioner pointed out that she was saying that it’s not true that witnesses weren’t being made available to Congress, but in fact, people aren’t being made available. Asked to clarify that, she replied, "I don't have any more for you." A committee spokesperson accused the State Department of being devious and disingenuous. This battle will go on. But for how many more years?
Sept. 17, 2013
How will our State Department ever get to the bottom of Benghazi when they refuse to even remember it?... Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the massacre of four brave Americans, including our Libyan ambassador, in a terrorist attack on our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. It also marked one shameful year of inaction on bringing the murderers to justice. We observed that anniversary here. And Talking Points Memo reports that there was a memorial at the US Embassy in Tripoli, but nothing at all scheduled in Washington. A State Department source who asked not to be named said that about 25 staffers with ties to Libya quietly rebelled against the official blackout by holding their own memorial in the office lobby. They told stories about the victims, cried, hugged, laid flowers by a memorial plaque…then stood awkwardly for a moment…and went back to work. As for Secretary of State John Kerry, he didn’t let the day pass completely unnoticed. He did mention it -- in an interoffice email.
Sept. 18, 2013
If the questions about the deadly terrorist attack on our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi are a “phony scandal,” as the President put it, then why does there seem to be such an effort not to investigate it? This week, Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf revealed that his office had received a call from a man claiming to know a CIA employee who’d faced a backlash at work and had to hire a lawyer after he refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent him from talking about Benghazi to Congress or the media. The CIA refused to comment, other than to repeat CIA Director John Brennan’s denial that any employees were forced to sign non-disclosure agreement or take polygraph tests to make sure they didn’t talk about Benghazi. But Wolf said he called the law firm and spoke with the attorney, who confirmed that her client was having an issue with the CIA.
So who’s telling the truth? It should be easy enough to find out. Since the CIA insists that nobody’s had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, how about sending the employee over to talk to Congress? If it’s a phony scandal, and nobody’s got anything to hide, that should clear it right up. But I don’t be holding my breath for that to happen.
Sept. 24, 2013
A mother’s anguished words may smash through a wall of silence… You probably didn’t see it in the news, but the investigation of the deaths of four brave Americans in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, is still going on. And last week brought the most devastating Congressional testimony yet, from Patricia Smith, mother of slain Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. In an anguished voice, she recounted how, at Sean’s casket ceremony, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice and Leon Panetta all hugged her and told her that her son was killed because of a YouTube video. And they swore they’d get to the bottom of it. She said she now knows that was a lie, and they knew it was a lie when they said it to her, over her son’s casket. Not one of them ever got back to her. She said she feels that she doesn’t count. All that counts is protecting their own jobs. I don’t know how anyone could look Patricia Smith in the eye and tell her that her son’s murder is a “phony scandal.” But then, it wouldn’t be the first time someone looked her in the eye and lied to her.
One thing that might finally help to focus attention on the Benghazi attack is the news that HBO plans to make a TV movie based on the book, “Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi.” The book claims to be based on the exclusive cooperation of eyewitnesses and confidential sources within the intelligence, diplomatic and military communities. If their stories aren’t being told to Congress, maybe telling them as part of a realistic recreation of those 12 horrific hours in Libya will be even more effective at getting Americans’ attention and convincing the public to demand answers and accountability from Washington.
Nov. 11, 2013
Last night, CBS’s “Sixty Minutes” issued a rare on-air apology and retraction of their recent report on the deadly terrorist attack on our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. One of their sources, a British security official who claimed to be on the scene that night, was discovered to have previously told his employer that he wasn’t there. The source claimed he’d been under pressure to deny he’d been there, but the account he gave to the FBI would back up the version he told to “Sixty Minutes.” When it didn’t, the show had no choice but to retract the story, even though there were other sources, as well. CBS insiders are rightly embarrassed, but they did the right thing by owning up to it and correcting it. Journalism is known as “the first draft of history” for a reason.
Now, of course, there are defenders of the Obama Administration saying, “See? Their chief source was a liar, so that proves the whole scandal is a hoax and everyone should just drop it.” Well, nice try. But I’d remind them of just how many people in the Obama Administration tried to tell us that was a spontaneous uprising by a mob upset over a YouTube video. If one liar discredits your entire narrative, then the White House still has CBS outnumbered by several liars to one. I urge journalists to keep on digging through all the lies until they finally uncover the whole truth about how and why four brave Americans, including our Libyan ambassador, died. They and their families deserve nothing less.
Jan. 6, 2014
Last week, the New York Times printed a report on Benghazi that made a lot of people suspect they'd followed President Obama to Hawaii for Christmas and just rerun the news from September of 2012. The Times basically restated the original story out of the White House just hours after the deadly Benghazi raid: that it was a bunch of hooligans rioting because they were upset over an anti-Muslim YouTube video. It didn't take long before witnesses and investigators were crying foul. They say it’s been established that the attack was planned and carried out with military precision, timed to the anniversary of 9/11, after a series of threats that had led our diplomats to beg the State Department for more security, which never came. The Times had to issue a response that, no, they hadn't already endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, and this was not an attempt to rewrite history to defuse the issue and help her campaign.
But the Times may have trouble getting people to believe that. They've let their editorial opinions leach into their news reporting so much that they've become like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf Every Time He Saw A Republican." Look, I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton runs for President, most of the media will pretend Benghazi never happened. But speaking as an old political campaigner, I predict that her Benghazi problem will be two things she said herself. When she ran in 2008, she famously asked, "When the phone rings at 3 a.m., who do you want answering it?" Later, when she was pressed about why our outpost in Libya that was under her command was overrun and four Americans, including our ambassador, were murdered, she asked, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential candidate, and the Republicans don't run an ad that puts those two quotes back-to-back - "Who do you want answering the phone at 3 a.m.?" and "What difference does it make?" -- then I'll buy a “Hillary 2016” cap myself, just to eat it.