Official Offers Account From Libya of Benghazi Attack — WASHINGTON — A State Department official presented a minute-by-minute account on Wednesday of what happened during the seige of the diplomatic compound in Benghazi last Sept. 11, offering the first public testimony from an American official …
Benghazi: Incompetence, But No Cover-up — The hearings deepen the tragedy, but not the scandal. — There was tragic incompetence, plainly, in the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, and even possibly some political calculation. It is a record that may well come …
Failings of Bam & Hill laid bare — After a remarkable House hearing yesterday, we can say this with almost complete certainty: The Obama administration knew perfectly well that last year’s Sept. 11 attack on Americans and American facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist act …
A Coverup Laid Bare — Thanks to House Republicans, Americans finally got to hear from the State Department officials the Obama administration never wanted to testify. They are now called “whistleblowers,” but that’s only because their accounts of what really happened in Libya on Sept. 11 …
SEN. GRAHAM: Are you surprised that the president of the United States never called you, Secretary Panetta, and say, ‘how’s it going?’
SEC. PANETTA: I — you know, normally in these situations –
SEN. GRAHAM: Did he know the level of threat that –
SEC. PANETTA: Let — well, let me finish the answer. We were deploying the forces. He knew we were deploying the forces. He was being kept updated –
SEN. GRAHAM: Well, I hate to interrupt you, but I got limited time. We didn’t deploy any forces. Did you call him back — wait a minute –
SEC. PANETTA: No, but the event — the event was over by the time we got –
SEN. GRAHAM: Mr. Secretary, you didn’t know how long the attack would last. Did you ever call him and say, Mr. President, it looks like we don’t have anything to get there anytime soon?
SEC. PANETTA: The event was over before we could move any assets.
SEN. GRAHAM: It lasted almost eight hours. And my question to you is during that eight-hour period, did the president show any curiosity about how’s this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? Did he ever make that phone call?
SEC. PANETTA: Look, there is no question in my mind that the president of the United States was concerned about American lives and, frankly, all of us were concerned about American lives.
SEN. GRAHAM: With all due respect, I don’t believe that’s a credible statement if he never called and asked you, are we helping these people; what’s happening to them? We have a second round, and we’ll take it up then.
SEC. PANETTA: As a former chief of staff to the president of the United States, the purpose of staff is to be able to get that kind of information, and those staff were working with us.
SEN. GRAHAM: So you think it’s a typical response of the president of the United States to make one phone call, do what you can and never call you back again and ask you, how’s it going, by the way, showing your frustration we don’t have any assets in there to help these people for over seven hours?
SEC. PANETTA: The president is well-informed about what is going on. Make no mistake about it.
SEN. GRAHAM: Well, that is interesting to hear.
Hillary Clinton is ending her tenure as secretary of state in fiery fashion. “You really get the sense that [Mrs.] Clinton barely managed to restrain herself from dropping an F-bomb there,” remarks New York magazine’s Dan Amira. He refers to an exchange between the secretary and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning.
Johnson pressed her about the administration’s conflicting explanations for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the ambassador and three other Americans. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” said the secretary snappishly to the senator. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”
So it’s “our job to figure out what happened” but it doesn’t make a difference what happened? Huh? What would we do without rhetorical questions? We suppose we’d answer them, as Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin does:
The answer to her question is clear. An administration that sought, for political purposes, to give the American people the idea that al-Qaeda had been “decimated” and was effectively out of commission had a clear motive during a presidential campaign to mislead the public about Benghazi. The fact that questions are still unanswered about this crime and that Clinton and President Obama seem more interested in burying this story along with the four Americans that died is an outrage that won’t be forgotten.
Well, gosh, I can think of a few reasons why it matters. First, it mattered enough for the Obama administration to send Susan Rice to five different Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking was a spontaneous demonstration of anger over a months-old YouTube video, while saying that there was “no evidence” that it was a terrorist attack. On one of those appearances, the president of Libya told US audiences the exact opposite — that it was the work of terrorists and that they had a pretty good idea of who they were. If it didn’t matter, what was Susan Rice doing when she tried pushing that meme, which the White House had to abandon within days as leaks within State and CIA made plain that there was no demonstration?
It also matters because Barack Obama at the time had been bragging about crippling al-Qaeda while on the campaign trail. That false narrative made it seem as though State and our intel community couldn’t have possibly known that the sacking would have occurred, and got blindsided by a grassroots reaction to the video. Instead, it turned out to be a planned terrorist action about which the US embassy in Libya had warned State for months, repeatedly requesting more security.
There’s also the matter of Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi. His actions, and that of NATO in following his initial lead, decapitated the ruthless regime that at least was keeping a lid on terrorist networks in eastern Libya. The rise of those networks in the Benghazi region should have been a predictable outcome from the power vacuum the US/NATO campaign left in the region, which resulted in the ability to conduct this attack. That also reflects on the decision to remove the military security at the consulate even with the deteriorating environment very clear to anyone paying attention. That also matters because of how the transfer of weapons to the militias in that US/NATO effort and the resultant power vacuum has destabilized Mali and potentially a wide swath of North Africa.
So it matters because of credibility.
And yes, “What difference does it make?” is the attitude of someone who feels entitled to their high place.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said.
She is expected to remain at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor her condition and treat her with anti-coagulants, said Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.
I wish her a prompt and full recovery. This can be a most serious condition.
There are a number of questions, though,
“Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion,” Reines said.
Was she ever evaluated in an Emergency Department? Did she even go to the hospital? Did she undergo head CT scanning? This is standard of care for head trauma patients.
As I understand it, a complication such as a blood clot is only found in polytrauma patients, in which case the question of did she ever go to a hospital for the concussion is more important. Particularly since it prevented her from testifying on Benghazi.
We weren’t told the site of said blood clot. Was it her brain (recently concussed)? Was it her leg (where she had a blood clot back in 1998)? The former is a big deal, the latter, not so much. Why not specify the site, since it make such a big difference, medically? Oh, but we’re told we must not display any skepticism, any hint of suspicion that the SOS is trying to avoid having to testify about Benghazi. The woman is ill. Only a clod would say a clot was a plot.
are you saying that Hillary (who has a history of DVT’s) suffered an intracranial hemorrhage 3 weeks ago that went unnoticed by herself and her crackerjack team and did not so much as require a visit to the ER or a simple CT head scan?
Some individuals have been held accountable inside of the State Department and what I’ve said is that we are going to fix this to make sure that this does not happen again, because these are folks that I send into the field. We understand that there are dangers involved but, you know, when you read the report and it confirms what we had already seen, you know, based on some of our internal reviews; there was just some sloppiness, not intentional, in terms of how we secure embassies in areas where you essentially don’t have governments that have a lot of capacity to protect those embassies. So we’re doing a thorough-going review. Not only will we implement all the recommendations that were made, but we’ll try to do more than that. You know, with respect to who carried it out, that’s an ongoing investigation. The FBI has sent individuals to Libya repeatedly. We have some very good leads, but this is not something that, you know, I’m going to be at liberty to talk about right now.
The murders of four Americans during a seven-hour long attack, due to “sloppiness”?
This is not about sloppiness. Sloppiness implies security was implemented, but did it in a manner leaving things in a state disarray. Mr. President, you didn’t implement anything, you removed it and in doing so, thereby leaving your Ambassador Stevens and his staff wide open to attacks. Attacks this administration was warned about from several sources. What transpired wasn’t sloppiness, it was criminal.
Ahem. Obama conducted an unauthorized war against Moammar Qaddafi that decapitated the regime the previous year, which gave free reign to networks of Islamist terrorists in eastern Libya. That was no secret; in fact, it was pretty well known that those “militias” participated in the uprising we enabled. There had been a series of attacks on Western interests by these networks in 2012 before the September 11th attack that killed four Americans, including a few attempts on Americans before that. Despite all this data, State deliberately dismissed military security for the consulate and insisted it could rely on local militias for security.
And this is “just some sloppiness, not intentional”?
“We haven’t heard anything. We know as much about her concussion as we know about (Venezuelan president) Hugo Chavez. This is an open society, she is the secretary of state, she has disappeared,” said Krauthammer, who called the media’s handling of the Benghazi story since Sept. 11 “astonishing.”
The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.
The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not “resigned” from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.
The four were made out to be sacrificial lambs in the wake of a scathing report issued last week that found that the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was left vulnerable to attack because of “grossly inadequate” security.
State Department leaders “didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes,” a source close to the situation told The Post., adding, the “public would be outraged over this.”
They ought to be, but the media’s been assiduously ignoring this story.
This looks as though the Benghazi coverup is continuing at the State Department. Remember we still haven’t heard from Obama, or Clinton (Who were not questioned as part of the Accountability Review Board report) in fact Mrs. Clinton has not been seen in public for almost two weeks–she must have had one heck of a concussion.
“If public reports are true, it is disgraceful and deceitful that senior officials at State who ignored multiple pleas of help from our consulate in Benghazi continue to have any influence over our foreign policy abroad. While I have asked State Department officials several times for clarification on this administrative matter, they remain silent.
The ARB was clear: these high ranking officials were among those responsible for the failures in leadership and management at State regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack. This game of smoke and mirrors by the Obama Administration and State does not do justice for the American people who deserve clear and transparent answers.”
An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticized the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound, according to a report by the panel made public on Tuesday night.
The investigation into the attack on the diplomatic mission and the C.I.A. annex in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans also faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards for the mission and for failing to make sufficient safety upgrades.
The panel also said American intelligence officials had relied too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks, which they did not have in the case of Benghazi, rather than basing assessments more broadly on a deteriorating security environment. By this spring, Benghazi, a hotbed of militant activity in eastern Libya, had experienced a string of assassinations, an attack on a British envoy’s motorcade and the explosion of a bomb outside the American Mission.
Finally, the report blamed two major State Department bureaus — Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs — for failing to coordinate and plan adequate security. The panel also determined that a number of officials had shown poor leadership, but they were not identified in the unclassified version of the report that was released.
“Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus,” the report said, resulted in security “that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”
Clinton’s story beggars belief: While traveling in Europe, she contracted a stomach virus . . . which made her dehydrated . . . which made her faint at home . . . which caused her to fall and hit her head . . . which gave her a nasty concussion.
She didn’t even go to the hospital for the “nasty concussion”, and didn’t get a note from her doctor.
She sent Susan Rice on talk shows the Sunday following the attack, she blamed the video,