Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11, 2012

Obama Administration Security Plan in Libya: "Hope That Everything Would Get Better"
by Guy Benson
October 10, 2012

This may have been one of the more damning statements in today's Congressional hearings on the deadly terrorist in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11.   Watch the State Department's security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, explain how he was provided with no guidance or leadership from Washington, repeatedly denied resources, and left to fend for himself in a country crawling with dangerous jihadists:

Your takeaway quotation: "I raised that specific point in a meeting with the DS director in March, that 60 days there was no plan. And it was hope that everything would get better.” 

Mr. Nordstrom lamented the "complete and total" lack of planning and direction from Washington.  His petitions for beefed up security measures and manpower weren't merely rejected (in fact, American security forces were reduced), they were actually criticized. Let's not forget that the State Department was well aware of major threats on the ground in Libya; their own intelligence determined that the risk of Islamist attacks against our diplomats was "high."  But when their in-country personnel tried to do something to mitigate that risk and protect our people, they were told to stand down and just "hope that everything would get better."  Totally unacceptable.  These revelations, quite frankly, fuel my original theory about the administration's cover-up.  Here's what I posited a few weeks ago:
Why would Washington deny "repeated requests" for beefed up security in Benghazi, even when it was so obviously required?  That's what investigations are for, but here's a common-sense working theory: This president has demonstrated many times over that the one area of government he's willing to cut -- as in real, net cuts -- is the military.  Obama's regime-change war in Libya was managed in such a way as to minimize even the appearance of US involvement, to the point of "leading from behind." Boots on the ground were never an option because Obama wanted this to be a clean, casualty-free effort, unlike the terribly hard and costly work in Iraq and Afghanistan.  More security for US interests would have meant more US forces in Libya -- which could be perceived as escalating a new war of Obama's doing.  Couldn't have that politically, so we proceeded with an exceedingly "light footprint," to a lethal fault.
Once that reckless political posturing blew up in their faces, the White House scrambled to blame the attack on something -- anything -- else, be it non-existent "spontaneous" protests, obscure videos, or what have you.  Anyone else have a better working theory?  Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is angrily denouncing any questions about the assassination of a US ambassador and the sacking of a consulate in a war-torn country as "outrageous" and "political."  Shameless.  What's outrageous is that the massacre of our diplomats, despite ample warning and numerous requests for help.  What's political is the cover-up, which was designed to muddy the waters and deflect blame during a campaign season.  I'll leave you with this jaw-dropping statement from the State Department's Charlene Lamb, insisting that the administration had provided "the correct number" of security assets in Benghazi prior to the attack:

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State Dept: We Never Believed What Hillary Clinton Said
by Daniel Halper
October 10, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought up the now infamous anti-Muslim video at the transfer of remains ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, upon the arrival of the remains of 4 Americans killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The ceremony, where President Obama also spoke, was held September 14, three days after the attack, and was broadcast live across the nation on television.

The video, the Obama administration long suggested, was what sparked attacks against Americans, in Libya and elsewhere across the Muslim world. And bringing up the video at the transfer of remains ceremony helped build that false narrative.

But now, nearly a month later, the Obama administration is changing its story altogether about what happened at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The AP reports:

"The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry, giving congressional Republicans new fodder for criticizing the Obama administration's initial accounts … The State Department's extraordinary break with other administration offices came in a department briefing Tuesday, where officials said ‘others’ in the executive branch concluded initially that the protest was based … on a film that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad. ‘That was never our conclusion,’ a senior official told reporters."

Indeed, there was no protest at all there since it was a coordinated attack by al Qaeda on the eleventh anniversary of the most deadly terror attack against America ever, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But that's not at all what Clinton said at the time.
"This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men," (said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 14, 2012) "We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable. The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. And we will, under the President’s leadership, keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world."
In fact, there is now evidence that suggests all those attacks--in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia--were planned, coordinated, and carried out by al Qaeda, and therefore had nothing to do with any anti-Muslim video posted on the Internet.

But that has not stopped President Obama from campaigning with this line, "today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more."
And despite the State Department apparently not believing the video had anything to do with the attack, Hillary Clinton stood directly in front of the dead bodies of four Americans killed while serving their country and said otherwise.

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Angst grows among President Obama's supporters
by Glenn Thrush
October 10, 2012

First came the nausea. Then came the anxiety.
After months of watching Mitt Romney twist in the media glare, a growing number of President Barack Obama’s supporters — though confined for now to a noisy minority of liberals — are peering into the Obama-might-actually-lose abyss for the first time after last week’s disastrous first debate.

Some progressives seem to be going into primal panic mode — to the profound annoyance of the Democratic professional political class and an Obama campaign predicting a rebound at next Tuesday’s debate in Long Island.

“That’s my party: Irrational overconfidence followed by irrational despair,” quipped veteran Democratic political consultant Jim Jordan, summing up the view of Obama’s campaign and a half-dozen top Democratic aides interviewed for this story.

But a lot of Democrats are somewhere in between — they simply can’t believe Obama could be that bad again. Or could he?

“My honest and truthful answer is Democrats are not panicked — and I’m not exactly sure why,” said longtime Clinton adviser James Carville, who thinks Obama will still win. “Maybe I’m being silly here, but I’ve talked to a lot of people today and everybody’s saying the same thing. … Should I be more concerned than I am?

“We’re all trying to talk ourselves into a state of panic, and we’re not quite there yet.”
The quick shift in the poll numbers in the week after the debate illustrates the volatility of the race in general — and the dangers of assuming that the outcome hinges on a tiny number of undecided moderates in swing states who will use the debates as a guide. Romney’s surge, especially among previously Obama-friendly subgroups, suggests a much more fluid electorate — a dangerous dynamic for an Obama campaign that has trumpeted the “stability” of the race in the battleground states.

Insiders see Obama’s flop as turbulence, unsettling but hardly fatal, and say their internal polling shows erosion but not anything approaching collapse.

A handful of liberal pundits — amplifying the visceral reactions of the party’s liberal base to the debate and Obama’s subsequent dip in the polls — think the plane is plunging into a cliff. They have found their muse in Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan, whom Obama reads regularly and was once invited to a White House state dinner.

“Did Obama just throw away the election?” Sullivan wrote in a widely read column posted Monday night, which drew 21,000 Facebook likes within a few hours.

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