White House

Obama’s false Benghazi narrative continues to crumble: CIA listened to terrorists talk to leaders on State Department phones

There’s been a stunning new revelation about the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. The CIA listened in on the night of the deadly attack as terrorists used State Department cell phones seized after they stormed the compound to contact leaders to report their success (emphasis added):

Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.

In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers’ higher ups.”

How does she still have job?: Susan Rice tries and fails to defend the White House’s Bergdahl narrative

Nearly a week after she appeared on ABC News’ This Week to try to frame the narrative on the Obama administration’s deal with the Taliban, Susan Rice defended her characterization of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by telling CNN that she meant something entirely different than what she actually said:

Speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta from the 70th anniversary event to mark D-Day in Normandy, France, Rice said her remark about Bergdahl was describing his decision to enter the military in war time.

“I realize there has been a lot of discussion and controversy around this,” Rice said to CNN about that remark. “What I was referring to is the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That in itself is a very honorable thing.”

“But ‘honor and distinction?’” Acosta asked.

“Jim, really,” Rice said. “This is a young man whose circumstances we are still going to learn about.”
[…]
“He is, as all Americans, innocent until proven guilty,” Rice said. “He is now being tried in the court of public opinion after having gone through enormously traumatic five years of captivity. His parents, the same.”

Oh, whatever. Rice said, in no uncertain terms, that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction,” and this was in the context of, as George Stephanopoulos put it, “questions about how he originally was captured and whether or not he had deserted, had left his post.”

Today in Liberty: Remembering the Unknown Rebel, Obama administration fails to win over senators on Taliban deal

“As the tanks neared the Beijing Hotel, the lone young man walked toward the middle of the avenue waving his jacket and shopping bag to stop the tanks. I kept shooting in anticipation of what I felt was his certain doom. But to my amazement, the lead tank stopped, then tried to move around him. But the young man cut it off again. Finally, the [Public Security Bureau] grabbed him and ran away with him.” Charlie Cole

— Remember the Unknown Rebel: Twenty-five years ago today, an unidentified man, thought to be a student, walked in front of a line of tanks on their way to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where thousands of students, yearning for freedom, were protesting China’s totalitarian government.

The day before the photo above was taken, the military had stormed Tiananmen Square, killing as many as 1,000 protesters. The famous photo of “tank man” is censored in China, but his stand against an oppressive government is an inspiration to millions. But to show what exactly this brave guy was up against, see below.

Resignation Friday: Eric Shinseki, Jay Carney are leaving the Obama administration

President Barack Obama announced the resignations of two high-profile administration officials, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, today in separate appearances before the White House Press Corps.

Shinseki’s resignation wasn’t necessarily a surprise. The VA inspector general released a devastating report this week on the “systemic” problems in the VA medical system. The report confirmed the existence of a secret wait list at the Phoenix VA hospital with some 1,700 veterans.

President Obama was, reportedly, “extremely troubled” by the findings, but didn’t immediately push Shinseki, who has served in the post since 2009, out the door. The White House, however, declined to express support for the embattled VA secretary on Thursday.

“This morning I think some of you also heard Ric take a truly remarkable action. In public remarks, he took responsibility for the conduct of those facilities and apologized to his fellow veterans and to the American people. And a few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki offered me his own recognition,” President Obama told reporters this morning. “With considerable regret, I accept it.”

Many Republicans had already called for Shinseki’s resignation, but some Democrats joined in the chorus after the VA inspector general’s report. President Obama said Shinseki’s presence would have been a “distraction.”

Incompetent White House learned about the VA scandal on the news

The White House first learned of fraudulent waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals through — drumroll, please — news reports. At least that’s what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday afternoon at the daily press briefing.

“If you mean the specific allegations that I think were reported first by [CNN] out of Phoenix, I believe we learned about them through the reports. I will double-check if that’s not the case,” said Carney. “But that’s when we learned about them, and that’s when, as I understand it, [VA] Secretary [Eric] Shinseki learned about them and immediately took the action that he has taken, including instigating his own review — or initiating his own review, but also requesting that the inspector general investigate.”

The House should pass the USA FREEDOM Act as-is and dare Obama to veto it

There’s some very concerning news on the push inside the House of Representatives to end the NSA’s bulk data collection programs. Negotiations with the White House could mean that the USA FREEDOM Act will be further watered down before it heads to the floor for a vote, potentially putting the best NSA reform measure in jeopardy:

Privacy advocates are worried that a bill intended to reform the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) is being watered down before it heads to the House floor.

“Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.

“Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said.
[…]
While pro-reform advocacy groups and members hailed the House bill as a positive first step, many lamented the revisions and said the legislation will be in trouble on the floor if it undergoes further changes.

There is a “growing chorus of concern” that the bill that makes it to the floor for a vote could be a less meaningful version of what passed the Judiciary and Intelligence committees with overwhelming bipartisan support, the aide said.

Though the measure was somewhat watered down before it passed the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month, the USA FREEDOM Act remained the best of the proposed measures to end the NSA’s bulk data collection programs, and it has broad, bipartisan support. Further changes could make the reforms in the measure unacceptable to privacy advocates both inside and outside of Congress.

Today in Liberty: White House wanted Geithner to lie on Sunday shows, Boehner won’t arrest Lerner

“Increasing the minimum wage is political pandering, pure and simple. It does nothing to increase economic growth, which would create millions of jobs and lead to higher wages for everybody. The government shouldn’t set the price of labor, the free market should. It’s sad that some would rather play politics instead of making the case for pro-growth policies like tax reform and passing new trade deals with other nations.”Club for Growth President Chris Chocola

— White House wanted Geithner to lie about Social Security: In his new book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says that the White House wanted him to lie about Social Security’s impact on the federal deficit on Sunday talk shows. “I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit. It wasn’t a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute,” Geithner writes. “Pfeiffer said the line was a ‘dog whistle’ to the left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security.” By the way, Social Security consumed 4.9 percent of the economy in 2013, slightly more than major government healthcare programs. Over the long-term, the Ponzi scheme will be outpaced by Medicare, but not by much.

White House official’s brother a day after Benghazi: Our government thinks this was a coordinated attack

David Rhodes

On September 12, 2012, the day after the deadly Benghazi attack, CBS News President David Rhodes offered some insight into Obama administration’s thinking at the time.

“Our government thinks that, you know, there’s a really good chance this was not just a spontaneous mob reaction to what some thought was an offensive film,” Rhodes said, “but actually a coordinated effort timed to the 9/11 anniversary.”

Rhodes was speaking to the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, filling in for a report who was covering the Benghazi attack. Parsing his words here, it tells us that the administration taking everything into account — the YouTube video, which had sparked protests in Egypt and other countries, and the involvement of Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamic militant organization with ties to al-Qaeda.

What makes these comments so relevant is that David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, the then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Director and author of an email directing then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to spin the attack as a reaction to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. The Rhodes email was authored on September 14, three days after the attack.

Trey Gowdy to lead House’s search for truth on Benghazi

Trey Gowdy

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced this afternoon that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will lead the select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 attack on the American outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

“With four of our countrymen killed at the hands of terrorists, the American people want answers, accountability, and justice,” Boehner said in a statement. “Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come. His background as a federal prosecutor and his zeal for the truth make him the ideal person to lead this panel.”

Boehner announced plans to hold a vote, which could come as early as this week, to establish a select committee on the Benghazi attack, a decision was spurred by the disclosure of previously unreleased emails between White House and Obama administration officials.

“I know [Gowdy] shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy and will not tolerate any stonewalling from the Obama administration. I plan to ensure he and his committee have the strongest authority possible to root out all the facts. This is a big job, but Rep. Gowdy has the confidence of this conference, and I know his professionalism and grit will earn him the respect of the American people,” Boehner added.

Ex-White House spokesman botches Benghazi: “Dude, this was like two years ago”

Tommy Vietor

Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor doesn’t want to be asked tough questions over the false narrative the White House and the Obama administration presented to the American people about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

Vietor appeared on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier on Thursday to discuss the edits made to the controversial talking points on the Benghazi attack. Those talking points shaped the initial narrative that the attack wasn’t an attack, but a spontaneous protect that spiraled out of control.

“According to the emails and the timelines, the CIA circulates new talking points after they’ve removed the mention of al-Qaeda. And then at 6:21, the White House, you, add a line about the administration warning of September 10 of social media reports calling for demonstrations. True?” Baier asked.

“Uh, I believe so,” Vietor replied.

Baier followed up, asking the former White House official if he personally changed the talking to points to get away hide the involvement from Islamic militants.

“Maybe,” Vietor said, “I don’t really remember.”

“You don’t remember?” Baier asked.


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