Annnnd the shoe drops. Short version: yeah, the administration lied through its teeth. Like it does.
Via Legal Insurrection.
Can’t say that I blame him: the executive branch has thoroughly fornicated the canine on this one.
Darrell Issa is scheduled to travel to Libya next week as part of his investigation into the attack last year on the Benghazi consulate, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.
The California Republican, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, did not invite Democratic counterparts on the trip, which has been in the works for over a week and begins on Sunday with stops in Italy and Egypt.
Having seen the Democrats that got assigned Oversight… can’t say that I blame Issa for that, either. The only way any of them would discover a clue to what happened in Benghazi would be if one of the Democrats tried to obscure an incriminating footprint, over-balanced, and fell through a false wall and right into al-Qaeda’s hidden lair. That’s not quite likely enough to be a reliable strategy, though.
It’s from Talking Points Memo, but what the heck: the Obama administration is apparently doing its best to forget that the Benghazi attack ever happened.
Staffers at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. held their own private ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the first anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya after finding out the agency would not be organizing a formal, official memorial service.
The Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack left four people dead, including the American Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and Sean Smith, an information management officer in the department’s foreign service.
A State Department staffer who worked with Stevens in Libya and asked not to be named told TPM there were about 20 to 25 staffers at the memorial. The informal gathering was put together after staffers inquired and learned the department would not be holding an official event to mark the anniversary.
Details are still sketchy:
Security officials say a powerful explosion has caused serious damage to Libya’s Foreign Ministry building in the heart of the coastal city of Benghazi.
The early Wednesday morning blast also damaged the building next door housing the Benghazi branch of the Libyan Central Bank.
…and there’s no word yet whether this bombing was specifically done in commemoration of last year’s 9/11 al-Qaeda attack on our consulate (and murder of four Americans, including our Ambassador) in Benghazi, or whether it was done in commemoration of 2001′s 9/11 al-Qaeda attack on the WTC and the Pentagon. Although it’s certainly reasonable for us to embrace the power of ‘and,’ here.
Jake Tapper freaking looks like he needs one.
Short version: four Americans died in Benghazi in a terrorist attack (including our Ambassador), that there was an intolerable lack of security is the only thing that everyone agrees on, and yet nobody is being held accountable for anything - and the Obama administration is clearly taking the position that anybody who doesn’t like the current state of affairs can just go die in a grease fire. For that last bit I am merely articulating what Jake would probably dearly love to say, only he’s on CNN and they don’t approve of such language on the air.
Great. Now I need a drink.
A Google News search on ["Susan Rice" "executive privilege"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) returns two stories. The main one is at Fox News, where K.T. McFarland pointed out that President Obama, now that he has appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security Adviser, can invoke executive privilege to keep her from testifying before Congress. The second is at Mediate, and notes that McFarland said the same thing to Fox News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum earlier today.
So I think that we have established here that the President is hiding something about Benghazi; we’re now just trying to figure out what Barack Obama is hiding*.
Cynical, but more or less correct:
The hundred pages of Benghazi e-mails released this week tell us almost nothing about how four Americans came to die so tragically in that Libyan city. But they are a case study in why nothing works in Washington.
Rather than reading these messages for their substance on Benghazi (on which officials were still basically clueless three days after the attack), try perusing them as an illustration of how the bureaucracy responds to crisis — especially when officials know they will be under the media spotlight.
What you find is a 100-page novella of turf-battling and backside-covering.
Also: damning. We were told that this administration was different, somehow. Which was, of course… a false thing, told to people who are now learning better, and we have to remember that people do not deserve to be lied to, even if they had been warned ahead of time. The point is that Barack Obama – and his entire staff, explicitly including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – is a creature of the system, not its nemesis.
No, seriously, this is the angle that they’re going to run with:
“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”
Personally, I take the position that the administration needs to embrace the healing power of ‘and,’ here. But as the philosopher once put it: men must paddle before they can swim. (more…)
You picked a hell of a week for this subtitle, Powers:
We are coming off four years of being oversold one fantastical story after another about the evils of Obama-land; stories that didn’t pan out.
You want to call for a mulligan? – I’m only going to offer it because you were horrified about the Kermit Gosnell case. I’m a fair-minded man.
PS: I just watched that Jay Carney press conference. Not many journalists there thought that there wasn’t a Benghazi story…
McClatchy (!) has decided to get in on the Benghazi dogpile, probably because, hey, no line for this one*!
Lost in the controversy over who requested revisions of CIA-written talking points on September’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans is one key fact: In every iteration of the document, the CIA asserted that a video protest preceded the assaults, and no official reviewing the talking points suggested that that was in error.
Yet interviews with U.S. officials and others indicate that they knew nearly immediately that there had been no protest outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi before attackers stormed it, setting a fire that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, a State Department computer expert. A subsequent attack on a CIA annex nearby killed two security contractors, former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
Why the CIA insisted that there had been a protest tied to a YouTube video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad for several days after the attack, mirroring some news reports, has never been publicly explained.
Well, never been publicly explained by the CIA. Everybody reading this knows that the actual reason that the protest was linked to the video is because the Obama administration could argue that there’s no realistic way to predict when a random event like a ‘spontaneous demonstration’ would go deadly. But a planned terrorist operation? Yeah, the American public has an expectation that counter-terrorism agencies are supposed to catch that sort of thing. Goodness knows that the Obama administration has been pushing itself as being hyper-competent and on-the-ball; a disaster like Benghazi** might have destroyed that narrative. Which is why they kicked the can down the road by claiming that nonsense about a video. (more…)
Alt title: Jim channels ME – God help him – on CNN.
Which is to say: he said pretty much what I would have, assuming of course that anybody was ever insane enough to put me on CNN.
The short version: Jim did some vigorous pushback on the excuse of Oh, well, we’d cover this story except that there’s some random person on the Right pounding the table so we can’t look like loons that far too many people in the media like to use. As Jim put it in his Morning Jolt:
John Dickerson took perhaps too long to get to this paragraph, and he wrote it through gritted teeth, but he does put a finger on the central problem for the Obama administration right now:
The substantive differences between the president and Republicans on the budget may be insurmountable, but now it seems like even if the pipe dream of a substantive budget agreement could be reached it wouldn’t be enough. Even if Republican senators can engage in a trust-building exercise with the White House, how can they convince their constituents that the president is offering them a fair deal on the budget? A poisoned well is now roiling. Any Republican who tries to convince their constituents about a deal will now likely get funny looks. Their constituents would wonder why they were engaged in negotiations with an administration that has told evolving stories about its response to the attack in Benghazi and that houses an IRS targeting conservative groups.