"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

American Left Circulating False Story to Save Obama from Benghazi Fallout

"Whoa. Now Benghazi was a Hilary thing. You can't blame me for things that go in my administration. It just makes no sense."

Would you expect anything else? Looks like they're already trying to insulate Obama and leave Hilary Clinton out in the cold.

From a Breitbart piece by Joel E. Pollack:

Yet the fundamental problem remains the fact that the president did not order a rescue--and did not, apparently, take any interest as the fight went on.

The left apparently believes otherwise--that President Obama was engaged throughout the evening of September 11, 2012 and issued specific orders to Special Operations forces to intervene.

One article that has been making the rounds in left-leaning foreign policy circles is a guest post at Thomas E. Ricks’s “The Best Defense” blog at Foreign Policy, written by Georgetown graduate student and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Billy Birdzell.

Birdzell argues that the Special Operations whistleblower interviewed by Fox News on May 2 was incorrect to suggest that an immediate intervention would have saved lives.


Birdzell makes another, more interesting, claim--that the president specifically “gave the launch order at 0239” [8:39 p.m EDT] to send Special Operations into Benghazi.
He cites the Pentagon’s own timeline of events, posted by CNN in November, which reports:

2:39 a.m. to 2:53 a.m. [Benghazi time] -- The National Military Command Center gives formal authorization for the deployment of the two special operations force teams from Croatia and the United States.
Note that the Pentagon cites the National Military Command Center (NMCC), not President Obama, as the source of the orders.

The NMCC serves the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs. Typically, if the President were to give an order, it would likely go through the NMCC.
The problem for Birdzell--and Obama--is that we know President Obama gave no such orders--neither to Secretary Panetta nor to General Dempsey. They testified before the Senate in January that they had no communication with the president after 5:30 p.m.

The fact remains that President Obama did nothing after that initial briefing. He did not even call the Pentagon to check on the progress of whatever efforts were under way.
He claims he gave “directives” about “securing our personnel,” but no evidence of those directives has been produced. If he did issue them, it was before 5:30 p.m. on 9/11--or the following day, when the attacks were over and he was off to a Las Vegas fundraiser.

What Birdzell, and the left-wing foreign policy establishment eagerly circulating his post, cannot escape is that the Commander-in-Chief did nothing while U.S. citizens were under attack. They prefer to focus the debate on minor points of contention--such as whether Special Operations could (in hindsight) have arrived in Benghazi in time, or whether Secretary Clinton really signed a communication that bears her “signature.”
And worse yet, the fact is that Obama then falsely blamed a filmmaker for the attack (while knowing it was a terrorist attack and not some protest that got out of hand). His administration then, in all likelihood, pressured attorneys to arrest filmmaker/scapegoat, and then went jet setting to Nevada to a campaign fundraiser, confident that the media would downplay the whole incident-- which, of course, they did.

From Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit posted May, 6 2013:
But the Administration still blamed filmmaker Nakoula, who is still in jail. They did this to keep the Benghazi debacle from exploding before the election. It worked. And filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail.

Related: Dem Rep. Stephen Lynch on Benghazi Talking Points: ‘It Was Scrubbed … It Was False Information. There’s No Excuse For That.’

UPDATE: Benghazi Plot Thickens.

(Above reposted from yesterday.) But here are some further lines of investigation. Some Obama-defenders will note that Nakoula was jailed for probation violations, of which he may have even been guilty. But, as I note in my Due Process When Everything Is A Crime piece — to be published next month, in substantially revised and updated form, by the Columbia Law Review — prosecutors can always find a reason to put someone away if they really want to. The question is, why, exactly, were they so eager to put Nakoula away?

The fast-tracking of Nakoula’s jailing was highly irregular. Among other things, I’d like to see the Congressional investigators get Nakoula’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale — and perhaps his boss, U.S. Attorney AndrĂ© Birotte Jr. — under oath about communications from the White House or the Justice Department regarding this case.

Because what it’s looking like is that Nakoula was targeted and jailed so as to provide a scapegoat/villain in a politically motivated cover story that the White House knew was false. If that’s the case, it’s extremely serious indeed, and in some ways more significant than whatever lapses and screwups took place in Benghazi. I’d also be interested in hearing from Nakoula’s attorney, Steven Seiden, about any threats made by the government to secure a plea deal.

If there’s an impeachable offense anywhere in the Benghazi affair — and at this point, I’m not saying there is — it’s more likely in what happened with Nakoula than in the problems abroad, which by all appearances are simple incompetence, rather than something culpable. Railroading someone in to jail to support a political story, on the other hand, is an abuse of power and a breach of trust.
My prediction: Obama will throw Hilary Clinton under the bus-- it's hard to believe that after so much blood was spilled during the 2008 primary that they ever actually got along-- and then smile, blame the whole thing on Bush and the Iraqi war and then rely on the media to spread his talking points as they invariably do.

Will it work? Maybe.

But I have to believe that at some point people will have had enough the media's glossing over of Obama's gross incompetence and his complete lack of leadership and governing skills.

I suppose that the whole Benghazi affair illustrates two of Obama's worst qualities-- incompetence and political scapegoating.

First we see the incompetence and naivety of his State Department in dealing with the unpredictable and intensely violent situation in Libya. Their failure to provide adequate security for political reasons (so as not to offend the "allies" they were courting, the Libyan rebels), and then their failure to mount any sort of support for their beleaguered embassy. Obama's personal disinterest in the affair, aside from the the potential bad press of a terrorist attack, is also noteworthy.

Secondly we see Obama's scapegoating of a filmmaker who was absolutely blameless for the Benghazi attack. I guess without an ability to blame Bush directly, Obama instead publicly blamed the filmmaker Nakoula. The man was then arrested the next day, after Obama promised punishment for those responsible, and then had his people whip up a batch of false talking points to mislead the American public. All for the sake, or perhaps "greater good," of the Obama campaign.

Is Obama really the best we can do with now, America? Really?

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