Christopher Stevens

Report on DOD Response to Benghazi Released by House subcommittee

After reviewing thousands of pages of a series of Benghazi-related documents, including classified emails and situation reports, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations released a summary of its members’ particular reviews regarding what is known of the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack and the Department of Defense’s response.

According to Think Progress, the Subcommittee concluded that “there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night,” but according to the report, “given the uncertainty about the prospective length and scope of the attack, military commanders did not take all possible steps to prepare for a more extended operation.”

In other words, what the Subcommittee concluded appears to sound nothing close to what Think Progress reported.

The White House, the Subcommittee found, failed to address a growing concern related to the deteriorating security situation in Libya, which created a particularly vulnerable situation for U.S. personnel stationed in Benghazi. The Subcommittee also found that the response of our military was “severely degraded because of the location and readiness posture of U.S. forces, and because of lack of clarity about how the terrorist action was unfolding.”

Benghazi Whistleblowers: Troops Could Have Intervened

We’re learning more about what did and didn’t happened during the attack on the consulate in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four American citizens, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. According to a military special operator who spoke to Fox News, military support could have been on the ground at the consulate before the second attack.

“I know for a fact that C-110 CIF was doing a training exercise in the region of Northern Africa but in Europe. They had the ability to react and respond,” the unidentified special operator turned whistleblower told Fox News. “They would have been there before the second attack. They would have been there at a minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfil out of the problem situation. Nobody knew how it was going to develop, and you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of advisors say hey, we wouldn’t have sent them there because the security was unknown situation.”

“If it’s an unknown situation, at a minimum you send forces there to facilitate the exfil or medical injuries,” he added. “We could have sent a C-130 to Benghazi to provide medical evacuation for the injured.”

Morning in America, or Mourning in America?

Like a broken record, Obama claims to need four more years to fix the economy because he inherited from George W. Bush the worst economy since the Great Depression. He tells us when he took office he found it was worse than he thought, but that rings hollow. After all, if he thought it was the worst since the Great Depression, how much worse could it have been? Regardless, we need to revisit the claim that this is the worst economy since the Great Depression. Is it really? I think Ronald Reagan would argue differently were he with us today.

According to historical data of the Federal Reserve Bank, when Obama took office, the Fed’s prime interest rate was only 3.25%. By contrast, just one month before Reagan took office from President Jimmy Carter, the prime rate hit an all-time high of 21.5%, dropping to “only” 20.5% the day he took office. The inflation rate Obama inherited was zero, whereas Reagan inherited an inflation rate of 13.5%. The economy under Jimmy Carter was so bad that a new term, “Misery Index”, was created (an economic measure derived by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate). The price of gold, a bellwether reflecting economic stability, hit an all-time high in the last year of Carter’s presidency, reaching $2328/ounce in 2011-inflation adjusted dollars. We could go on and on, but the point is that Ronald Reagan would have gladly traded the economy he inherited for the one Obama inherited. Granted, the economy Obama inherited was bad, but not the worst, and he asked us for it.

Libya attack issues have not been put to rest

Candy Crowley

Since Tuesday’s debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, there has been a lot of talk about the performance debate moderator Candy Crowley, who, as a noted yesterday, went far beyond her role to become a “fact-checker.”

During the debate, President Obama was asked a pretty clear cut question about the security failures that led up to the terrorist attack in Libya. The questioner, Kerry Ladka, told Obama that he and friends at work “were sitting around talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans.”

“Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?” Ladka asked Obama.

Obama gave a long-winded answer where he talked about his appreciate for United States diplomats. He then noted that he gave instructions in the wake of the attack to “beef up security,” investigate the incident, and to “find out who did this.” Obama criticized Romney for allegedly politicizing the attack and defend his out foreign policy record.

Obama eventually said, “[W]hen it comes to this issue, when I say that we are going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable, and I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there, because these are my folks, and I’m the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home”

You can read the entire answer in the transcript, but no where in his response did he actually, you know, answer the question. The question wasn’t about what Obama was going to do or about foreign policy initiatives. It was very direct — “Who was it that denied enhanced security [to the consulate in Benghazi] and why?”

Benghazi Attack Fallout: Hillary vs the White House

Political junkies have long known that the relationship between the White House and Sec of State Hillary Clinton is far from great. I am actually surprised she’s held on this long— considering the vicious exchanges they both had (along with Bill) during the 2008 campaign.

Maybe all is forgiven in politics? Not really. Last year, the Hillary-Obama relationship reached a boiling point over the invasion of Libya. The Sec of State— who was pushing for military action— was not pleased with Obama’s lack of resolution on the issue:

Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up…She’s exhausted, tired.

Fast forward to the Benghazi embassy attacks— where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed— and we can again see the tension boiling.

House Republicans begin digging on Libya security failures

Libya hearing

Yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committe held its first round on hearings over last month’s terrorist attack at the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and the subsequent cover-up.

House Republicans are looking to get to the bottom the security failures that aided terrorists in attacking the consulate and finding out why the White House and State Department initially blamed the anti-Islamic video, “Innocence of Muslims,” for the incident. In case you haven’t read anything about the hearing, things got a little testy.

Eli Lake, who has contributed some excellent reporting on aftermath of the attack and cover-up, has a great breakdown of the hearing:

The star witness for Republicans at Wednesday’s hearing on the assault on the consulate in Benghazi said he twice urged the State Department to keep an elite diplomatic security team in Libya, but was denied each time. The team, a group of soldiers attached to the national guard, left the country in August.

In his testimony, Eric Nordstrom, the top U.S. diplomatic security official in Libya until the end of June, was at times harshly critical of his superiors at State. His tone differed from his prepared remarks, which appeared more measured, and which he said were written with the help of guidelines from the State Department. In those remarks, he said the vast majority of his requests for security resources were “considered seriously and fastidiously.

The Images of Benghazi You’ll Never See


The above picture is from a story in BuzzFeed, of Libyans in Benghazi denouncing the attack on the consulate and the death of envoy Chris Stevens.

Betcha twenty bucks it doesn’t go far in the mainstream media, because they just want to show violence and flames and people out for our blood.

But this is the real message here: people are individuals. Groups do not have minds. We should not, and can not, blame all Libyans for what happened in Benghazi. Just something to remember as the fallout from this incident hits all of us.

Jay Carney: Benghazi talking points “not about Benghazi”

Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the reason the Obama administration didn’t turnover a September 2012 email with talking points for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is because the “document was not about Benghazi.”

“Why were you holding back this information? Why was this email not turned over to the Congress? Why was it not released when you released all the other emails?” ABC News correspondent Jon Karl asked Carney. “This is directly relevant. Why did you hold this back?”

“Jon, I can say it again and again, and I know you can keep asking again and again,” Carney replied. “This document was not about Benghazi.”

“It was her prep for the, for the Sunday shows,” Karl noted, to which Carney replied, “It wasn’t her only prep, Jon. She relied on her — for her answers on Benghazi, on the document prepared by the CIA, as did members of Congress.”

Hillary Clinton’s State Department legacy is Benghazi

A reporter asked a State Department spokeswoman early this week to name some accomplishments that come out of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

“Off the top of your head, can you just identify one tangible achievement that the last QDDR resulted in?” Matt Lee asked.

“Well, Matt, obviously it’s an extensive, expansive topic…,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki replied before being cut off. The two went back and forth for a moment before the frustrated, skeptical reporter said that he “won’t hold [his] breath” for an answer to his question.

While this is just one video, it is the latest in a series of similar responses to a similar question: “What exactly are Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments?” It’s like that scene out of Office Space in which the “Bobs” quiz Peter, the protagonist of the movie, on the ins and outs of his job at Initech.

Poll: 46% say Benghazi will hurt Clinton in 2016

Most voters believe that the Benghazi terrorist attacks could come back to haunt Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016, according a poll released on Monday by Rasmussen Reports.

A bipartisan report released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Benghazi terrorist attack — which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christoper Stevens — could have been prevented. The report implicated elements of al-Qaeda in the attack and faulted the State Department for not addressing security concerns in Libya.

The Rasmussen poll found that 46% of voters believe that the events that led up to Benghazi will hurt Clinton, who served as Secretary of State when the attack occurred, up from 43% in October. Four percent (4%) believe it will help her.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) don’t believe Benghazi will have any impact on Clinton’s candidacy, down from 41% in October.

While the Senate report noted that the terrorists who used furor over an anti-Islam YouTube as an opportunity to carry out the attack on the American compound, it concluded that the incident was not a protest gone awry as the White House and administration officials, including Clinton, initially claimed or intimated.

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