Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Benghazi Witch Hunt


Previous Posts:

Snark Amendment: Snarking the Petraeus Affair
Snark Amendment: Wingnut Conspiracy Theory: Petraeus Can't Speak Truth on Benghazi Due to Blackmail Over Affair (or something)

During her appearances on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16, 2012, Ambassador Rice's comments were prefaced at every turn with a clear statement that an FBI investigation was under way that would provide the definitive accounting of the events that took place in Benghazi. At every turn Ambassador Rice provided — and said she was providing — the best information and the best assessment that the administration had at the time, based on what was provided to Ambassador Rice and other senior U.S. officials by the U.S. intelligence community.
~ Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

The one way I really think [moderate Republicans could have a voice] is to get off this Benghazi thing. To me, this would be the clearest signal from sane conservatives that they have turned this corner, because I still do not know what the scandal is, I do not know what the point of it is, I do not know what Obama’s fiendish plot was.
. . . Let’s talk about the other Rice, Condoleezza Rice. She’s the National Security adviser when 3,000 Americans are killed on American soil by Al Qaeda while she is still locked in her office talking about Russia being the biggest threat. She gets to be the Secretary of State after that. Susan Rice just goes out there and says exactly what the CIA told her they knew at the time, but somehow she is the most evil person ever
~ Comedian Bill Maher

There must be a leftist, government cover-up going on! But honestly, the engine that is and has been driving the crazy for the Republican Party and the conservative movement, it’s still Sen. John McCain.
~ MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, via Raw Story

Attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice:

. . . to me a terrible mistake to make whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally and to show the significance of that, I believe she should resign, yes.
Either way it was wrong. It was intentionally or it was done through ignorance, but in either case I think we have to show that there is a price to be paid for such a gross misstatement of reality and of the facts.
. . . She was the one who was sent out by the administration. She was the one who went from show to show. She was the one who was out front. She was the one who was there. And therefore she was going to get the glory of that. Now she should pay the consequences.
~ Rep. Peter King R-NY, Homeland Security Committee Chairman via CNN

She is responsible to the Senate of the United States...I was on 'Face the Nation' the morning she came on and told that incredible story and right after the president of the Libyan National Assembly said it was al Qaeda...and yet she never changed her story."
. . . Rice is not  very bright, because it was obvious that this was not a 'flash mob' and there was additional information by the time she went on every news America."
~ Senator John McCain R-AZ on CBS This Morning

Somebody has got to start paying a price around this place. I don't think she deserves to be promoted. There are a lot of qualified people in this country the president could pick, but I am dead-set on making sure we don't promote anybody that was an essential player in the Benghazi debacle.
. . . This is about the role she played around four dead Americans, when it seems to be that the story coming out of the administration - and she's the point person - is so disconnected to reality I don't trust her. And the reason I don't trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn't know better she shouldn't be the voice of America.
~ Senator Lindsey Graham R-SC

If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after someone they should go after me. When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me.
. . . she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.

~ President Obama in his first press conference via CNN

The president of the United States did not tell the American people the truth about the attacks that took four brave Americans' lives that went on for eight, seven hours, for which we were totally unprepared. Mr. President, four brave Americans died. It has now been eight weeks. The American people have received nothing but contradictory statements from all levels of our government," he said, pounding his hand on the lectern.
. . . this president and this administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a cover up, neither of which are acceptable to the American people.
~ Senator McCain after the President's remarks

Mr. President, don't think for one minute I don't hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as commander-in-chief before, during, and after the attack.
. . . I'm not asking (Rice) to step down. I'm just not going to promote anybody that I think is up to their eyeballs in the debacle.
~ Senator Graham after the President's remarks

House Foreign Affairs Meeting on Benghazi 11-15-2012 Heated Up

This is not simply a cover up of a third-rate burglary. We have four of our personnel dead, and it is not a McCarthy-era tactic to demand accountability and to demand that American people are not misinformed about it to the point that they don't know what the threat is.
. . . What is clear is that this administration, including the president himself, has intentionally misinformed, read that LIED, to the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy. Now President Obama has the gall to float the name as possibly secretary of State, the name of the person who is the actual vehicle used to misinform the American people during this crisis.
~ Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R-CA

Let's just hang the guilty parties. . . .
The stench of hypocrisy that hangs over this city today emanates from this room. I've listened to my colleagues talk about the President of the United States and others in the administration using [the] terms 'deliberate', 'lies', 'unmitigated gall', 'malfeasance,' which is malicious and knowing evil-doing, 'disgust', 'coverups'.
If you want to know who is responsible in this town, buy yourself a mirror!
. . . (The Administration requested) $440 million more than you guys wanted to provide. And the answer is that you damn didn't provide it! You REDUCED what the administration asked for to protect these people. Ask not who the guilty party is, it's you! It is us. It is this committee, and the things that we insist that we need have to cost money.
~ Rep. Larry Ackerman D-NY

Smear, character assassination, judgment before all the facts are in is McCarthyism. and that's an attempt to besmirch, in my opinion, the reputation of a very talented and capable public servant. I want no part of it.
. . . The election is over. The president won reelection. The voices of the public were heard. They want us to cooperate. If you want an honest investigation of this tragedy, we will join you. But if you want to persist in trying to put this, lay this somehow at the doorstep of the president or the secretary of State or the United Nations ambassador, you will find us ready and willing to resist to the teeth.
~ Rep. Gerald Connolly D-VA



John McCain lashes out at CNN reporter over Benghazi
TED BARRETT, CNN PRODUCER: I understand that you did miss this briefing yesterday…
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I’m not … No more comment.. I have no more commment.
CNN: I’m not sure… (Cross talk.)
MCCAIN: … My schedule, and I’m not gonna comment on how I spend my time in the Senate.
CNN: I mean, is there a …?
MCCAIN: I will not comment. I have no further comment..
CNN: Is there a legitimate reason…?
MCCAIN: I have no further comment. I have no further comment.
CNN: (Garbled.)
MCCAIN: How many times do I have to tell you? I have no further comment.
CNN: Why can’t you comment on that?
MCCAIN: Why can’t I?! Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment. Who the hell are you to tell me whether I can or not?!
CNN: I’m a reporter, and I’m asking you a question.
MCCAIN: That’s fine, and I’m giving you an answer. For the tenth time… Get away from me, please.

CNN: Did you make a mistake by not attending that … You’re very mad about it, you must admit.
MCCAIN: I have no comment and I’m angry at you because …
CNN: (Garbled.)
MCCAIN: Why should I not … why can I not have a comment?
CNN: Because you missed an important briefing on a subject you are intensely upset about.
MCCAIN: I have no comment — I’m not upset. I’m upset that you keep badgering me.
CNN: You want a select committee. You want all of this…
MCCAIN: I want you to stop badgering me.>

The Senate Intelligence Committee Met with Petraeus Friday Nov. 16 to Clarify Things

The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda … He completely debunked that idea.
~ Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff after meeting with Petraeus

(Petraeus' testimony) clarified some of the issues that were still a little cloudy
~ Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA after the meeting

I'm going to try to tell you what I can that's not classified. We had a meeting with Director Petraeus, giving us a chronological -- telling us in a chronological order exactly what we felt happened, how it happened and where we're going in the future.
In the beginning we feel that it was spontaneous. The protest -- because it went on for two or three hours, which was very relevant. Because if it was something that was planned, then they could have come and attacked right away.

He (Petraeus) ... stated that he thought all along he made it clear that there was significant terrorist involvement, and that is not my recollection of what he told us on September 14.
. . . He was a strong soldier. Very professional, very knowledgeable, very strong," King said. "He's a solid guy. I consider him a friend, which made the questioning tough. You realize the human tragedy here.
~ Peter King, R-NY

We have seen wrong intelligence before and it all surrounded our going into Iraq, and a lot of people were killed based on bad intelligence. And I don't think that is fair game. I think mistakes get made. You don't pillory the person.
To select Ambassador Rice because she used an unclassified talking point, to say that she is unqualified to be secretary of state, I think, is a mistake. And the way it keeps going it is almost as if the intent is to assassinate her character.
~ Senator Dianne Feinstein D-CA, head of the Intelligence Committee, who read Rice's original talking points on Benghazi out loud to reporters, via CNN:

The three unclassified talking points that were used by Rice on September 16 were read aloud to reporters on the Hill Friday.
They are:

-- The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

-- This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.

-- The investigation is ongoing, and the U.S. government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of U.S. citizens.

ABC News Story
During Thursday's closed-door briefing, the committee members saw a film put together by the National Counterterrorism Center of the events in Benghazi. Also testifying Thursday were FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce, Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen.

"The film is a composite from a number of sources. It is real-time and does begin from when before the incident started and it goes through the incident and the exodus," Feinstein said.

She added that the footage includes video shot from an unmanned aerial vehicle. But she did not answer whether the video showed the ambassador, who was killed in the assault on the compound.
Sen. Chambliss, said that viewing the real-time video of the attack is very sobering.

Does John McCain just want to be Chairman of a Benghazi Investigating Committee?

From MSNBC Politics Nation
Ryan Grim of Huffington Post: . . . The facts are these - (McCain's) slide into irrelevance would be stemmed by a new committee. He's behind Tom Coburn on Homeland Security. He's not on Foreign Relations. ...He's off his current ranking seat on Armed Services (in Jan). He's already done the Indian Affairs committee. That's the perch he used to go after Jack Abramoff, so he couldn't really do that again. So yes, if they create a new committee and he's the top Republican on it, that allows him to keep going on Sunday shows, and he can continue to pontificate.
Reverend Al Sharpton: And you have breaking news on that committee?
Ryan Grim: That's right. Harry Reid just sent a letter back to (McCain) saying thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks. We're gonna do this through the normal channels and he's rejecting the idea.
Rev. Al: So the Majority Leader is rejecting Mr. McCain's request for a special committee?
Ryan Grim: Right.

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