Benghazi Fallout: Obama Job Approval Tanks
by John Nolte
October 27, 2012
While the Corrupt Media does its worst to black out the unfolding scandal over Libya, rather than stupidly playing defense on the left's abortion-turf, New Media has done its best to report the Libya story and get it out there. This is called a counter-narrative, and with the help of a number of unforced errors on behalf of the Obama campaign, it might be having a negative effect on the most important number for an incumbent seeking reelection: job approval.
In the Rasmussen poll that tracks the president's approval rating amongst likely voters, over the last four days, Obama's job approval has dipped from 50 to 47%. Meanwhile, his disapproval number has spiked to 52%. That's a five-point negative spread.
Normally, I would ignore that as statistical noise. But what makes the Rasmussen drop noteworthy is a similar plunge in the Gallup Poll -- which is even worse for the president, because Gallup measures Obama's approval ratings with "all adults." Generally, the looser the screen, the better Democrats poll. If Obama is cratering with "all adults," his numbers are likely worse among the tighter screen of registered and likely voters.
Today, Gallup has Obama upside down, 46-49% with all adults. Three days ago, Obama was above water, 51-44%. That's a huge swing.
Again, this might just be statistical noise. But when you look at the news coming out of Libya and the small, mean-spirited pettiness we're seeing from the president and his campaign, there's reason to believe this shift might be real.
Read more: http://goo.gl/51kj2
Reagan Defense Official: If Obama Really Gave the Order to Secure Libya Personnel, ‘There’s a Paper Trail’
by Madeleine Morgenstern
October 27, 2012
A former Department of Defense official said Friday that if President Barack Obama really gave an order to secure U.S. personnel when the consulate in Libya came under assault, there will a paper trail to prove it.
Francis “Bing” West, who served as an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that the president’s explanation about his actions when the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked should be easily verifiable.
“President Obama today said that he gave an order to everyone while the attack was going on to do everything they could to secure the personnel,” West said. “Now that’s really big because that means that those who were turning down [former Navy SEAL] Ty Woods when he was asking for the help were going against the orders of the president of the United States.”
Woods was one of four Americans killed in the Libya assault. Obama on Friday wouldn’t answer directly whether pleas for help on the ground were denied during the attack, telling KUSA-TV, “the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”
“A chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t take an order from the president when he says ‘do everything’ and not put that in writing and send it out to the chain of command,” West said. “If that actually happened the way President Obama today said it happened, there’s a paper trail and I think people reasonably enough can say, ‘well can we see the order?’ because hundreds of others supposedly saw this order.”
“But if there is no order then people have to ask some very basic questions, ‘what the heck happened?’” he said.
Read more: http://goo.gl/swvKl
Libyan witnesses recount organized Benghazi attack
by the Associated Press
October 28, 2012
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — It began around nightfall on Sept. 11 with around 150 bearded gunmen, some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants, sealing off the streets leading to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They set up roadblocks with pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, according to witnesses.
The trucks bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a powerful local group of Islamist militants who worked with the municipal government to manage security in Benghazi, the main city in eastern Libya and birthplace of the uprising last year that ousted Moammar Gadhafi after a 42-year dictatorship.
There was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam's Prophet Muhammad. But a lawyer passing by the scene said he saw the militants gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film. Within an hour or so, the assault began, guns blazing as the militants blasted into the compound.
One of the consulate's private Libyan guards said masked militants grabbed him and beat him, one of them calling him "an infidel protecting infidels who insulted the prophet."
The witness accounts gathered by The Associated Press give a from-the-ground perspective for the sharply partisan debate in the U.S. over the attack that left U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. They corroborate the conclusion largely reached by American officials that it was a planned militant assault. But they also suggest the militants may have used the film controversy as a cover for the attack.
The ambiguity has helped fuel the election-time bickering in the United States ever since.
The Obama administration has sent out muddled messages whether it was a planned attack or a mob protest that got out of control. A day after the attack, President Barack Obama referred to "acts of terror." He told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview aired the following Sunday that he believed those involved "were looking to target Americans from the start."
Within 24 hours of the attack, both the embassy in Tripoli and the CIA station chief sent word to Washington that it was a planned militant attack. Still, days later, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, said the attack began as a spontaneous protest over the film.
Republicans, embroiled in a heated presidential campaign, seized on the confusion. They have accused the Obama administration of being hesitant to call it a "terrorist attack" linked to al-Qaida because that would weaken one of Obama's key campaign selling points — that under his watch, al-Qaida had been weakened and Osama bin Laden had been killed..
Islamist militias in Benghazi had in previous months threatened to attack the compound.
Yasser el-Sirri, a former Egyptian militant who runs the Islamic Observation Center in London closely tracking jihadi groups, said the attack "had nothing to do with the film but it was a coincidence that served the (militants') purpose."
He believes the ambassador was the target and the attackers may have been inspired by an al-Qaida call to avenge the death of a top Libyan jihadist on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. But he offered no firm evidence that was the motive.
The news trickled out slowly the night of the attack, with initial reports overshadowed by the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo by protesters angry over the film. It was only the next morning that Stevens' death was confirmed.
The past week, the AP has gathered accounts from five witnesses, including one of the embassy guards and several people living next door to the consulate compound who were present when the militants first moved in. Most spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals for talking about the attack.
The neighbors all described the militants setting up checkpoints around the compound at about 8 p.m. The State Department's timeline says the attack itself began at around 9:40 p.m.
Khaled al-Haddar, a lawyer who passed by the scene as he headed to his nearby home, said he saw the fighters gathering a few youths from among passers-by and urged them to chant against the film.
"I am certain they had planned to do something like this, I don't know if it was hours or days, but it was definitely planned," said al-Haddar. "From the way they set up the checkpoints and gathered people, it was very professional."
The guard said he saw no protesters. He heard a few shouts of "God is great," then a barrage of automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades began, along with barrages from heavy machine guns mounted on trucks.
The attackers set fire to the main consulate building. Stevens and another staffer, caught inside amid the confusion, died of smoke inhalation.
The attack came from the front and the side. A neighbor whose house is on side of the consulate compound said militants with their faces wrapped in scarves attacking.
Because of the checkpoints, "it felt like our neighborhood was occupied, no one could get out or in," he said.
The effectiveness of the roadblocks was later revealed in the State Department's account of the evacuation. It described how the rescue force came under heavy fire and grenade attacks as they tried to leave the consulate area.
They evacuated staffers to a security compound across town, where they continued to come under fire. A precision mortar hit the compound's building at 4 a.m., killing two other Americans.
Read more: http://goo.gl/PlUEu