Return to the Hot Topics Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Benghazi - The next chapter

Posted by esh_ga z7 GA (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 11:32

Here it is, the post you've all been waiting for. Now is the day that Hillary, she of the blood clot, finally testifies on the State Department's handling of Benghazi.

Here are her prepared remarks prior to the questioning:

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity.

The terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, that claimed the lives of four brave Americans -- Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty -- are part of a broader strategic challenge to the United States and our partners in North Africa. Today, I want to offer some context for this challenge and share what we've learned, how we are protecting our people, and where we can work together to honor our fallen colleagues and continue to champion America's interests and values.

Any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact: Since 1988, there have been 19 accountability review boards investigating attacks on American diplomats and their facilities. Benghazi joins a long list of tragedies, for our department and for other agencies: hostages taken in Tehran in 1979, our embassy and Marine barracks bombed in Beirut in 1983, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, our embassies in East Africa in 1998, consulate staff murdered in Jeddah in 2004, the Khost attack in 2009, and too many others.

Of course, the list of attacks foiled, crises averted, and lives saved is even longer. We should never forget that our security professionals get it right 99 percent of the time, against difficult odds all over the world. That's why, like my predecessors, I trust them with my life.

Let's also remember that administrations of both parties, in partnership with Congress, have made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from the tragedies that have occurred, to implement recommendations from the review boards, to seek necessary resources, and to better protect our people from constantly evolving threats. That's what the men and women who serve our country deserve. And it's what we are doing again now, with your help. As secretary, I have had no higher priority, and no greater responsibility.

As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility. Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure.

Taking responsibility meant moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis and further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world. It meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in Benghazi and to recommend steps for improvement. And it meant intensifying our efforts to combat terrorism and support emerging democracies in North Africa and beyond.

Let me share some of the lessons we have learned, the steps we have taken, and the work we continue to do.

First, let's start on the night of September 11 itself and those difficult early days. I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. So I saw first-hand what Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called "timely" and "exceptional" coordination. No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from the military. And I want to echo the Review Board's praise for the valor and courage of our people on the ground -- especially the security professionals in Benghazi and Tripoli. The Board said our response saved American lives in real time -- and it did.

The very next morning, I told the American people that "heavily armed militants assaulted our compound" and vowed to bring them to justice. And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of "an act of terror."

You may recall that in that same period, we also saw violent attacks on our embassies in Cairo, Sanaa, Tunis, and Khartoum, as well as large protests outside many other posts where thousands of our diplomats serve.

So I immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world, with particular scrutiny for high-threat posts. We asked the Department of Defense to join interagency security assessment teams and to dispatch hundreds of additional Marine security guards. I named the first deputy assistant secretary of state for high threat posts, so missions in dangerous places get the attention they need. And we reached out to Congress to help address physical vulnerabilities, including risks from fire, and to hire additional diplomatic security personnel.

Second, even as we took these steps, I also appointed the Accountability Review Board led by Ambassador (Thomas) Pickering and Admiral (Mike) Mullen so that we could more fully understand what went wrong and how to fix it.

I have accepted every one of their recommendations -- and I asked the deputy secretary for management and resources to lead a task force to ensure that all 29 of them are implemented quickly and completely... as well as to pursue additional steps above and beyond those in the board's report.

Because of the effort we began in the days after the attacks, work is already well underway. And, as I pledged in my letter to you last month, implementation has now begun on all 29 recommendations. Our task force started by translating the recommendations into 64 specific action items. All of these action items were assigned to specific bureaus and offices, with clear timelines for completion. Fully 85 percent are on track to be completed by the end of March, with a number completed already.

We are taking a top-to-bottom look, and rethinking how we make decisions on where, when, and how our people operate in high threat areas, and how we respond to threats and crises.

As part of our effort to go above and beyond the review board's recommendations, we are initiating an annual High Threat Post Review chaired by the secretary of state, and ongoing reviews by the deputy secretaries, to ensure pivotal questions about security reach the highest levels. And we will regularize protocols for sharing information with Congress.

All of these actions are designed to increase the safety of our diplomats and development experts and reduce the chances of another Benghazi happening again.

Now, in addition to the immediate action we took and the review board process, we have been moving forward on a third front: addressing the broader strategic challenge in North Africa and the wider region. Because Benghazi didn't happen in a vacuum.

The Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. And instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria.

And let me offer my deepest condolences to the families of the Americans and all the people from many nations who were killed and injured in the recent hostage crisis. We remain in close touch with the government of Algeria and stand ready to provide assistance if needed. We are seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so that we can work together to prevent terrorist attacks like this in the future.

Concerns about terrorism and instability in North Africa are not new. Indeed they have been a top priority for our entire national security team. But after Benghazi, we accelerated a diplomatic campaign to increase pressure on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups across the region.

In the first hours and days, I conferred with the president of Libya and the foreign ministers of Tunisia and Morocco. Two weeks later, I met with regional leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and held a special meeting focused on Mali and the Sahel. In October, I flew to Algeria to discuss the fight against AQIM. In November, I sent Deputy Secretary Bill Burns to follow up in Algiers. And then in December, he co-chaired the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Abu Dhabi and a meeting in Tunis of leaders working to build new democracies and reform security services.

In all these diplomatic engagements, and in near-constant contacts at every level, we have focused on targeting al Qaeda's syndicate of terror -- closing safe havens, cutting off finances, countering extremist ideology, and slowing the flow of new recruits. We continue to hunt the terrorists responsible for the attacks in Benghazi and are determined to bring them to justice. And we're also using all our diplomatic and economic tools to support the emerging democracies of the region, including Libya, to strengthen security forces and provide a path away from extremism.

The United States must continue to lead -- in the Middle East and all around the globe. We have come a long way in the past four years. We cannot afford to retreat now. When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences. Extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened.

That's why Chris Stevens went to Benghazi in the first place. Nobody knew the dangers better than Chris, first during the revolution and then during the transition. A weak Libyan government, marauding militias, even terrorist groups... a bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel, but he didn't waver. Because he understood that it was critical for America to be represented in that pivotal place at that pivotal time. Our men and women who serve overseas understand that we accept a level of risk to protect this country we love. They represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. And they cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs.

It is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs and to do everything we can to reduce the risks they face.

For me, this is not just a matter of policy -- it's personal.

I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID: Nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and at more than 275 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day -- often in difficult and dangerous circumstances thousands of miles from home -- because they believe the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the earth has ever known.

And when we suffer tragedies overseas, the number of Americans applying to the Foreign Service actually increases. That tells us everything we need to know about what kind of patriots I'm talking about. They ask what they can do for their country. And America is stronger for it.

Today, after four years in this job, after traveling nearly 1 million miles and visiting 112 countries around the world, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. Every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words "United States of America" touches down in some far-off capital, I feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensible nation. And I am confident that, with your help, we will continue to keep the United States safe, strong, and exceptional.

So I want to thank this committee for your partnership and your support of our diplomats and development experts around the world. You know the importance of the work they do day in and day out, and that America's values and vital national security interests are at stake. It is absolutely critical that we work together to ensure they have the resources and support they need to face increasingly complex threats.

I know that you share our sense of responsibility and urgency. And while we all may not agree on everything, let's stay focused on what really matters: protecting our people and the country we all love.

Now I am now happy to answer your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: source


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

The Senate hearing went well. Hillary was, of course, strong, cool, and capable. No big explosions or conflicts, although a couple Republicans tried to (briefly) back her in to a corner on some issues--including her former "friend" McCain (showing off for his t-party constituents).

She flat-out and matter-of-factly stated that there were "No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from the military. If you remember, that accusation was one of the ones repeated against her and the White House and the military often and loudly. No one today offered any evidence to the contrary.

Next, she has to face the House hearing--which I would guess will be much more hostile and confrontational. That may be interesting to watch.

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Well I only watched parts of this. What struck me before and during this thing is that Republicans kept on saying they wanted to get to the bottom of this and yet.....they kept imposing their take on this thing. McCain went as far as to say to the Secretary of State, "Get your facts straight!" I was hoping she would say, "You can't handle the facts!"

For me, from the meager parts I saw, it was just another dog and pony show. The other part that stood out to me was the Secretary stressing we should learn from what happened and the Senate Republicans reliving their version of what happened.

I have a hard time watching these things any more because one already knows how they are going to play out and instead of learning something it just creates more of a rift.

-Ron-


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

A few people died because of a video. Meh!

Let's move on.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Indeed....This never would have been such a huge issue if this administration wouldn't have been in such a hurry to push Rice onto all of those talk shows saying it was because of a video.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

The Senate hearing had little to say about Dr. Rice, and Hillary was firm in her support of Dr. Rice. A couple firecrackers (metaphorical) went off and one Republican said he would have fired Hillary if he had been president. Then the subject was dropped (at least in the portions I was watching). She refused to let the Republicans mischaracterize the White House.

She did point out that Congress had not authorized the money for the State Office to deploy more military protection at the various embassies, including Benghazi.

Hillary kept focusing what we learned for future reference--rightfully so, in my opinion.

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I burned my copy.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Yeah Rand Paul Mr small govt wanted to know where was government. Can't stand that man!


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I find it so frustrating ! For months all you hear is how the "people" deserve answers. Shots at Mrs Clinton for not answering questions.....then when they have her there, and can really get answers to their questions, all they do is take their entire time pontificating and stating THEIR opinion of what happened and then give her no time, or very little time to answer!

It's all about their political life not the lives of the Ambassador and his security staff....it's disgusting!


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I think I would fire mr Paul for this kind of stupidity.

"Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be constitutional does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right."

This cretin may run for president...I sure hope so ... as a doormat for Hilary.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

It's all about their political life not the lives of the Ambassador and his security staff....it's disgusting!

Well said.

"Their political life" means trying to pin blame on Obama. We saw it here on HT in post after post after post. Didn't work. He was reelected. Won't work going forward either. It will only add to the demise of the ever shrinking GOP.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I think the thing that bothered me most that it was very clear from the git go that they only wanted to hear themselves speak in front of the cameras....they didn't really care about asking questions and listening to the answers.

However I can guarantee you that even as I type there will be those that are perfectly content to see their elected officials act in this way.

...for the record the Dems were equally self serving, it wasn't just the Republicans.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

" Whether it was a protest or some guys out for a walk that decided to kill Americans, at this point what difference does it make."
In other words, the American people are so used to being lied to, who cares.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

mrskjun wrote,

In other words, the American people are so used to being lied to, who cares.

Is honesty important to you?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

obsessive hostile fantasies and a lack of creative imagination sums up the proceedings!
They seem similar but are light years apart!


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Strange--I didn't get that meaning out of her words.

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Nor did I..

it was one of the few times she really got testy. The context of what she said was obviously lost on some.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Clinton forcefully defends handling of Benghazi attack

"With all due respect, the fact is that we had four dead Americans," Clinton said angrily as she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an appearance delayed more than a month because of her ill health.

"Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" she said, making chopping motions with her hands for emphasis.

"It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

What would the Congress do without these periodic opportunities to relieve their gas problems? It's an equal opportunity, regardless of party or topic. Have we EVER learned anything new from this kind of 'hearing'. (What a misnomer -- what member is *listening*? You can see them chomping at the bit, waiting to speak their little spiels.)


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 20:05

Factotem you owe me two bottles of screen cleaner :)


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

"Factotem you owe me two bottles of screen cleaner :)"

I know. You would think that K would stop talking because it gets worse and worse.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Poor Poor GOP...


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Desperation.

P-U!


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

She held her own and gave it right back to them. 2016 will be here sooner than you know, boys. That Rand Paul is despicable.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I watched most of yesterday's hearings and Ii though Hillary totally rocked. She was smart, decisive, and her depth of knowledge was almost mind-boggling. As for the comment mrsk points out, it was clear that Clinton thinks we need to fix a problem not endlessly rehash the issue. She took responsibility, accepted every recommendation from the committee that studied the issue, and generally behaved like the professional she is.

McCain looks pettish and Rand Paul looked the whining pi$$and that he is. Disgusting.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Hilary " Tammy Wynette" Clinton, once again standing by her man. Very sad.
Hopefully one day she'll feel comfortable enough to tell the truth about what happened, because she didn't do that yesterday.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

"Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" she said, making chopping motions with her hands for emphasis.

"It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."


It sounds like she contradicted herself in this statement. First she says it makes no difference what happened. Then she says we need to figure out what happened so we can stop it from happening again. So do we need to figure out what happened and why it happened or should we just accept the fact that it happened?

I'm still not buying the "no money" excuse. There are contingent funds available that can be used for things like extra security.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Jhug, I think she was talking about what happened in totality, how things broke down in the process and protocols not just a narrow focus on "type" of terrorist.

The independent board (ARB), headed by Admiral Mullen, stated that money was a factor.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Actually jhug, I think she was talking about whatever they wanted to tell the American people was of no consequence. That we are so stupid, telling us lies doesn't even matter. And when she kept saying that they didn't know for sure, or have no answers yet, then why did she stand up at Andrews AFB and go on about this video that caused this and how she would go after the video maker? Then she takes full responsibility in the same breath she says she was unaware of anything? The dems were so busy patting her on the back, not one of them asked a legitimate question. It was nothing but a dog and pony show by dems and repubs alike.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

whatever they wanted to tell the American people was of no consequence

You want a stellar example of telling people information of no consequence?

[I have] five words for [critics] to reflect on: Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. We were told by every level of government here there were Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that justified a war. The invasion of the United States. We are still searching for those weapons. They didn't exist. Thousands of Americans lost their lives. We could have a hearing on that if you like. - Dick Durbin

Thousands of Americans and citizens of Iraq died because of that deception. Unlike that example, Benghazi was investigated.

Durbin went on to characterize the information-gathering process carried out after the Benghazi attack as conducted in good faith.

[Investigators] did a thorough review here, found shortcomings in our protection of our people overseas and reported them honestly. You not only initiated that review, you accepted its findings in their totality -- no cover-up, an attempt to be totally honest, and to make sure a tragedy like this never occurs again.

Posture all you want, mrskjun. The families of America lost way more family in Iraq - let's investigate that and hold people accountable.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

It sounds like she contradicted herself in this statement. First she says it makes no difference what happened. Then she says we need to figure out what happened so we can stop it from happening again.

No contradiction. She is saying four Americans died and who killed them is not as important as preventing this kind of attack from ever happening again. In other words, whether AQ attacks or just an angry mob, we need to find ways to protect our embassies.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Didn't you notice how many times Hillary said the questioners should go read both the classified and unclassified report if they wanted more info.? If part of the report is classified, it means it is NOT for public consumption--it is "secret." You are just going to have to accept that because there were secret CIA activities going on there, we are not ever (or at least for a long time) ever going to know everything that went on at Benghazi.

My theory (still speculation) is that the CIA doesn't want to reveal certain information because certain details could compromise aspects of international relations. The one fact we know for sure is that the CIA put out the story about the video causing the violence. Why, we are not sure and they aren't saying. To me, it is obviously some kind of CIA cover story that didn't work. In other words, it is the CIA that needs to be investigated (not going to happen, however), not Hillary's office or the White House.

Another example of the questioners being out of line is the one who demanded aggressively who got fired or suspended for not properly reporting the Benghazi info up the chain of command? (He obviously thought he had caught her on that one!) Hillary said someone was suspended in her office. He demanded to be told right there on public TV with the nation watching the name of the person suspended. Hillary said No, she wouldn't tell him BECAUSE IT WAS AGAINST THE LAW TO PUBLICALLY BROADCAST EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION (like who was suspended/fired, why, details of their employment, etc.). And Hillary was right. The questioner was trying to push hard so that Hillary would forget her proper role and reveal info. she (and any employer) is not supposed to reveal to the inquisitive public. Hillary kept her cool and told the senator: NO.

By the way, that is the kind of info that is probably in the secret report that she kept telling the senators and reps to go read if they wanted more details--especially the ones she was not authorized to reveal publically.

But it is obvious that conservatives/rightwingers/t-partiers would prefer to keep Benghazi as a dead horse they can keep on beating whenever they feel the need to attack the person they fear may be the next presidential candidate in 2016.

Did anybody notice that Benghazi is no longer being promoted as Obama's scandal, but now is considered Hillary's scandal? Before Obama's election, he was the miscreant in this scandal. Now that he can't be elected again, it is Hillary's misdeed--since she still can be elected again.

What? Benghazi is all about politics? Say, it isn't so!

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

What? Benghazi is all about politics? Say, it isn't so!

*

No, it's not all about politics.

It's about the serious failure of Obama Administration representatives to do their jobs which caused the unnecessary deaths of four Americans serving their country.

It's about why the public was intentionally misled, multiple times, about why these people were killed.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Like I said, some people " prefer to keep Benghazi as a dead horse they can keep on beating . . . .

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

It's about the serious failure of Obama Administration General Petraeus' CIA.

My thanks to Kate and Chase for their comments; I've only heard the sound bites from the testimony.

Remember all the GOP praising of Hillary Clinton after the election of Barack Obama -- you could have had her instead of this guy! Now that she's a potential candidate for 2016, they're back to the attacks typical of when she was First Lady. How long before the Hillary-killed-Vince-Foster insanity returns?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I'm still not buying the "no money" excuse. There are contingent funds available that can be used for things like extra security.

Well, sure, Jlhug , but it's always easy to do Monday morning quarterbacking. There are a zillion ways we could be using contingent funds right this minute to prevent future tragedies in MANY unstable areas of the world, but how could even the most informed civil servant accurately predict where to do so 100% of the time?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

So the Ambassador goes to Benghazi for what reason? I still don't know.

They guys were killed just outside of a previously secret CIA base with, what was it, 35 Americans living and working there? Doing what?

And that had nothing to do with anything. Nope, nothing. To the point nobody even brought it up in the hearings.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

National security, David, national security.

NATO weapons flowed in without much knowledge of who the insurgents were; disgusted Libyans, long-time political opponents, jihadists, and whoever felt like fighting. After the fall of Qaddafi, we know weapons flowed south, and there's circumstantial evidence that arm shipments from Libya arrived in Syria. Given that the U.S. embassies often have CIA personnel under cover as State Department employees, who knows what Ambassador Stevens was involved in. Analyses that I have heard and seen have his presence there as incidental to the attacks; the target was the CIA safe house.

Edited to add more comments.

This post was edited by nancy_in_venice_ca on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 10:21


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Anyone who thinks govt agencies and departments and divisions have a pile of money that they can move around at whim has never worked for the government. If the money is designated for X, the head of the unit would be in serious trouble if he/she used it for anything other than X.

It is true that govt. units often have monies designated as "general funds," but those are not a big pile of money available to pay for on-going security salaries and other expenses. Most general funds would be depleted very quickly if they had to carry on-going security expenses, much less for ALL the places where the State Dept. has official offices!

So yes, I believe the State Dept is dependent on Congress to authorize and designate additional monies to cover security in State Dept. offices around the world.

And yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives REFUSED TO ALLOCATE MONEY FOR STATE DEPT. SECURITY MATTERS -- after having spent the day accusing Hillary of not spending more money (that she didn't have) on security.

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

The militant attack was against a CIA installation; when that failed the militants dropped back to the annex holding the State Dept. interest section defended by a few men rather than by the local security hired for that purpose. Those men either ran or joined with the militants in the attack. Who knows, since these matters beyond these skimpy details are classified.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

demifloyd wrote,

It's about why the public was intentionally misled, multiple times, about why these people were killed.

You misled the public about why these people were killed, and you have never admitted it or corrected the record. What is your opinion of people who do that?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I read that the 2009 budget for the State Dept. was 38.3 billion and 2012 budget was 53.4 billion. If true, this wasn't a very significant cut.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Building massive embassies in their own fortified compounds and guarded by armies of mercenaries do add to the budgets of the State Department. USAID's budget has also expanded as we bring democracy and the American Way to the poor benighted of the world.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

No. Its about politics.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I'm not sure anyone but the terrorists know why the Americans were killed.

It was very interesting to note that not one single question yesterday was about what was going on at the Benghazi location that might trigger a terrorist attack...not one question.

So much for the Congress critters wanting the truth for the American people...they simply wanted to grandstand for the public.

If I was an American who professed deep outrage for the happening at Benghazi I would be furious with the House and Senate members who, when given the chance to ask hard question of Mrs Clinton, directly and with her under oath, chose not to do that. Instead they pontificated and got no one any closer to the truth.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

My theory (actually, my speculation) is that the House and Senate have read the secret reports and therefore do understand clearly and fully what clandestine CIA activities were going on and why they need to be kept secret. That is why they didn't ask probing questions of Secretary Clinton.

Then why bother to hold the hearing? To save face--after all the fuss they raised before they read the secret report, they didn't want to publically admit how out of line and dangerous for international relations their verbal attacks on Dr. Rice, Secretary Clinton, and President Obama had been. So they held a token hearing, pretending they were asking "real" questions but in reality asking nothing very pertinent that, in fact, might spill the CIA secret beans.

Since nothing other than saving face was to be gained by going through with the scheduled hearing, why not try to get a little political mileage out of it--you know, several jabs directed at the possibly future presidential candidate for the opposing party.

Just part of the play-acting.

Kate

This post was edited by dublinbay on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 13:09


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I'll buy into that scenario, Kate. Most Congressional hearings staged at that level are little more than stages for posturing politicians to show the folks back home how hard their candidate has been working. Real work is done at subcommittee and staff levels.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Yesterday I heard an interview with Wayne White who was with the State Department during the Bush I & II Administrations. He was very specific in placing blame on Congressional Republicans for lack of funds for proper security, claiming that this is a long-standing problem due to the Republicans' traditional antagonism towards State -- too international in scope, and not inclined to military response -- and the GOP's preference for military solutions.

Wayne White is a Policy Expert with Washington's Middle East Policy Council. He was formerly the Deputy Director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research's Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia (INR/NESA) and senior regional analyst. He also served as Principal Iraq analyst and head of INR/NESA's Iraq team.

White was Chief of INR's Maghreb, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq division and State Department representative to NATO Middle East working groups. He served as the State Department's intelligence briefer on Iran and Iraq for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and Jordanian cabinet-level officials, and on Iraq, Iran, and Syria for senior Israeli defense and military officials. He was a Political Officer at the US Interests Section in Baghdad, US Sinai Field Mission peacekeeper, and in various capacities as an Embassy Officer in Niger during the Sahel Drought Emergency.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Not one question about what was going on at the Benghazi location?

Oh yes there was. Rand Paul (of whom I am no fan) asked Hillary directly: "Is it a fact that that location was operated by the CIA and was part of an operation for transferring weapons from Libya to Turkey?" In other words, were we running guns to the rebels in Syria? Not all that surprising a question, since the US has run guns to rebels in other places. A question, in fact, which was discussed here on Hot Topics pretty soon after Benghazi occurred, with links posted, etc.

To which Hillary said, "Turkey?" Followed by a mumble of voices, then she deflected the question, and then Paul ran out of time. Interesting that the one salient question - why? - was lost in "hearings-chatter".


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

So CNN got it wrong in this analysis in October?

Here is a link that might be useful: CNN fact check


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Also, I know that Departments can request supplemental funding and Overseas Contingency Operations funds from Congress. I cannot find anything that says that these funds were requested. If the State Department had recognized the need for funds to pay for extra security, they should have requested them. If the request was denied, then the "no money" excuse would be valid. Please refer to the first paragraph on page 17 of Flashing Red: A special Report on the Terrorist Attack at Benghazi. Based on this report, Congress is generally receptive to providing supplemental funds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flashing Red


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

jhug...I don't think anyone is saying that the SD requested additional funds and was denied them.

Are you suggesting that ,should they have requested additional funds, the funds would have been granted? I find that to be unlikely given they won't even approve the transferring of EXISTING funds from one allocation in the SD to another in order to improve Embassy security.

If they won't do that, I can't believe they would approve ADDITIONAL funds.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I'm suggesting that they should have requested additional funds if funding the extra security was a problem. They did not. That implies that they didn't feel like there was a need for extra security. If extra funds had been requested and Congress denied those extra funds, then, lack of funding contributed to the lack of security and it is fair to blame Congress. However no one knows whether or not Congress would have given the extra funds if they were asked for them. Blaming Congress for a lack of funding just doesn't make sense when Congress was never asked for additonal funds to meet this special need. If you don't ask, no one can tell you no. If someone screwed up and failed to ask for extra funds, how can Congress be blamed for not responding to a non-existant request?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Well jlhug, I've read your link and did not find much pre-episodic support for Congress to provide supplemental funds for security at minor State Dept. sites. From other readings, I gather that Congress was pushing for privatizing security and withdrawing DOD staffing at legations.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

This furriner figured that Hillary acquitted herself reasonably well.

When are your leaders ... and, since you're a functioning democracy ... the people as well, going to realize that your country is in mortal danger and that you need to all work together instead of continually fighting one another?? That's a luxury that you can no longer afford.

ole joyful


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Just to clarify, if there is a specific need, I think Congress would have taken a pretty close look at providing those funds. It appears they did so in the past based on the information in the Flashing Red report and what I can find on line. If there was a need, then, even if the request would probably be denied, shouldn't the State Department make a request for additional funds? "No support in the past" seems like a weak excuse for not requesting additional funds today.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

but jhug...as we speak they are refusing to allocate funds to embassy security.

I think this must be one of those issues that we will each see as we are inclined to see it.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Chase, I read that earlier today. Still we will never know whether or not Congress would have made a supplemental allocation for Benghazi because the State Department never asked. I think the Congress' response depends on how good of a case is made and what the alternatives are. It also depends on how good of salesman the person asking is.

Bottom line from my point of view is the State Department should have either asked for funds or removed the personnel from that embassy until there was adequate security. They did neither. Blaming it on a lack of funds seems to be a weak attempt to divert a portion of the responsibility for the inaction.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Not accepting the fact that Congress deliberately and willfully has denied funding repeatedly and even now is stonewalling on the transfer is to me equally as weak an argument.

Enough said, at least for me.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 16:53

"Is it a fact that that location was operated by the CIA and was part of an operation for transferring weapons from Libya to Turkey?"

Few are interested (at least on here) in the answer to that question. I would like it answered, but the fact that it wasn't is answer in itself.

Last I checked Congress "has the checkbook", but why let facts get in the way of a good old con conspiracy.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

The facts and circumstances in each instance are different. While I understand what you are saying Chase, I do not think the State Department did everything possible to provide proper security because they didn't ask and base their request on the conditions at Benghazi. I think they ignored the problem and, as a result, didn't do anything by either asking for funds or closing the embassy.

If you don't ask, you really don't know whether or not Congress would have provided the funding. You can guess but you do not have a definitive answer.

Chase, I agree that we will have to agree to disagree.

Edited to add - If I based my interactions with the IRS on what they've done in the past, I'd never bother to pick up the phone. When I've picked up the phone to ask, I'm not always successful but for the clients that I am successful, it was definitely worth asking. The worst thing they can do is say no and then we aren't in any worse of a position than we were before.

This post was edited by jlhug on Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 17:00


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 17:05

If you are doing something that is not "exactly legal", you may not want to advertise that fact by asking for "extra security".

But what do I know...


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Europeans urged to leave Benghazi
Britain, Germany and the Netherlands warn of imminent threats in the Libyan city and urges its nationals to evacuate.
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2013 17:45

Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have urged all of their citizens to leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi due to a specific threat to Westerners.

Britain has said it is aware of a "specific and imminent" threat to Westerners in the Libyan city of Benghazi and urged British nationals to evacuate, giving no details of the nature of the danger.

"We are now aware of a specific and imminent threat to Westerners in Benghazi, and urge any British nationals who remain there against our advice to leave immediately," the Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday.

The Foreign Office declined to give more details about the nature of the threat in the city, cradle of the 2011 revolution that toppled former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry warned its citizens to avoid Benghazi and the area to its east, saying the security situation was uncertain and that there was a risk of violence.

"All journeys, including for transit, and stays in certain regions, specifically Benghazi and the region to its east, are advised against," the ministry said on its website.

The German Foreign Ministry declined to give any further details to explain its warning. Berlin had warned Germans since last week's deadly attack in Algeria of a heightened risk of violence or kidnapping for Westerners across North Africa and countries bordering the Sahara.

An attack on the US mission in the eastern city in September last year killed four Americans, including the US ambassador, part of a wave of violence targeting foreign diplomats, military and police officers.

Libya has been awash with weapons since the fall of Gaddafi, and its institutions have struggled to rein in armed groups keen on ensuring they receive what they see as their fair share of power for helping to oust Gaddafi.

Benghazi in particular has been the scene of power struggles between various armed rebel groups.

Best wishes
Jon

Here is a link that might be useful: It ain't over . . .


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I think they ignored the problem and, as a result, didn't do anything by either asking for funds or closing the embassy.

It was not an embassy; it was a consulate.

Regarding the funding:

But as part of the Republican majority that has controlled the House the last two years, Mr. Issa joined in cutting nearly a half-billion dollars from the State Department’s two main security accounts. One covers things like security staffing, including local guards, armored vehicles and security technology; the other, embassy construction and upgrades. In 2011 and 2012, President Obama sought a total of $5 billion, and the House approved $4.5 billion. In 2009, Mr. Issa voted for an amendment that would have cut nearly 300 diplomatic security positions. And the draconian budgets proposed by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, would cut foreign affairs spending by 10 percent in 2013 and even more in 2016.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

"If you are doing something that is not "exactly legal", you may not want to advertise that fact by asking for "extra security". LOL, Ohiomom, you get it. You really get it!

Another interesting fact popped up this morning when the New York Times reported the following: The Algerian government states that a couple of the terrorists captured during the debacle at its oil outpost also took part in the Benghazi attack. On the one hand, we must consider the source of this claim, on the other hand, the NYT finds it newsworthy.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I know they captured some of the gas compound attackers alive, but given the reputation of the Algerian intelligence and military for extracting information under, um, 'enhanced' techniques, one wonders on the validity of the info.

Particularly when looking at the big picture, given the mess in the Sahara these days, the Algerians might be after something and throwing this info out there might advance that cause.

/getting into Middle East intrigue


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 19:21

Thank you Sable ... :)


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

And there you have it. Ignore them, and you have lost the "war on terror". Fight them, and you face humiliation. The Algerian Belmokhtar understands this. We do not. Diversified tactics, the French minister tells us. Mingling with the population. Camouflage. Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane.

Fisk on the new face of AQ.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mokhtar Belmokhtar


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Fisk's article is interesting but sort of obtuse to those of us without prior knowledge of North African history and politics. The struggles he describes between black African masses and the less settled and Arabic warrior classes has been ongoing for centuries. Throw in anti-colonial history to the mix and porous borders and the present falls under the throes of chaos. Where is China and Chinese interests in all this upheaval?


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

You're welcome, Ohiomom, and sorry for the delay, but carpal tunnel has me down (just applied a heat patch). We will probably wait a long time for the answer to our question.

"...one wonders on the validity of the info..." Yes, but consider that the original AQ raised heck from within Saudi to Kenya and Tanzania and Yemen and the US; then it is not illogical to think that Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is perfectly capable of doing the same from Benghazi to Casablanca and from the Med into sub-Saharan Africa.

I've been mostly off the computer because of my arm; the best tv reportage I've seen has come from Erin Burnett, CNN's feisty reportress. Yesterday she played an interview she had with an AQIM spokesman, and had some good commentators. When Mali first blew up she took herself to Burkina Faso, to a refugee camp on the Malian border - that was an hour of very compelling television.

For those without "prior knowledge", as was I, here's a recommendation for a fascinating, painless lesson in that region's anthropology, sociology, and geography: Michael Palin, ex-Monty Python guy and intrepid world explorer, has a mini-series on dvd entitled Michael Palin: Sahara. He travels (in 2001 iirc; 9-11 happened while he was en route) from Gibraltar to Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Libya, Algeria, and back to Morocco, and other points in between. He travels overland, by train, bus, camel and boat, never complains, always interested in everything around him, most of all the people, from the guardians of Timbuktu to the Tuareg caravans. Really interesting was his trip through Libya, where he zipped from Benghazi to some Roman ruins on the coast, never mentioned Tripoli, and clearly breathed a sigh of relief in Tunisia, then made a very dangerous train trip through Algeria. Of course, this is Michael Palin, so sometimes a bit of M. Python will escape in a wink and a grin and a nudge-nudge. Highly worthwhile for these newsworthy times!


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 26, 13 at 10:14

We will not only wait a long time, but I highly doubt we will every get the real story.

Thanks for the recommendation on Michael Palin, as I know little of this area of the world. Going to hunt down the dvd at my local library.

Hope your feel better Sable


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Remind me, which ones of these jerks skipped the briefings - to do press stints instead, ranting against Clinton and Obama? Next time, attend them and there will be no need to ask stupid questions.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

That is true, maddie--at least one of the jerks trying to put Hillary on the spot (maybe more than one--I forget) admitted to the press that he did not attend those briefings at which they went over the classified material that couldn't be covered in a public hearing.

You have to wonder about someone who rants and raves about wanting more info on Benghazi but refuses to attend the meeting intended to update Congress on classified info about Benghazi.

Not too bright, maybe?

Kate


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

One of those jerks was McCain.

~Ann


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

"And you thought Concussiongate was over! The web of conspiracy theories surrounding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's concussion from fainting on December 15 (and her subsequent hospitalization on December 30) mostly dissipated when Clinton testified last week before the Senate and House about the September attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (A bunch of vocal conservatives believed Clinton was faking her injury as a ploy to avoid testifying.) But, judging from Fox News Channel's morning talk show Fox & Friends today, elements of Concussiongate - such as the belief that Clinton is somehow still messing with the circumstances of her injury in all these recent public appearances - stubbornly persist. Here's what co-host Brian Kilmeade said this morning during a discussion of Clinton and President Obama's joint 60 Minutes interview:

I think for some reason [60 Minutes] just didn't dig into anything at all. ... For one thing, I would like to know, did [Hillary Clinton] pass out and hit her head, was she pushed? How did she hit her head and get a concussion?

Pushed? By whom? Her notoriously protective press secretary? A roving band of Tumblr users? Whatever the content of Kilmeade's imagination, co-host Gretchen Carlson quickly (and admirably) shut down the conversation, apparently aware of how absurd the speculation sounds. Watch the exchange below:

at the link.....

Here is a link that might be useful: FOX news at it again


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

And we wonder why the Righties on HT sound bizarre at times. It's crap like this. First Fox said she was faking the concussion NOT to testify. Then it wasn't nearly as serious as she said (I guess all the doctors were in this conspiracy too), now she was pushed? Have these people lost their minds?

Jon Stewart should be fun tonight. Priebus and Jindal are trying to rebrand the party. Maybe they should start with their mouthpiece Faux news.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 17:48

It would be funny to see this "story" balloon away in the echo chamber headlines ----

Drudge Report : "Hilliary Was Pushed!!"

The Beck Pecker : "Was it Vince Foster's Ghost?!"

Hannity Hotwire : "Biden was in the Room!"

Rushed Limbaughdomie : "She was pushed by Biden while being possessed by Foster's Ghost!"


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

LOL! vgkg


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 9:37

Fox News Exclusive:

"First reported by Fox News, it has now been confirmed through at least 4 other sources that Hilliary was pushed. Why isn't the liberal media reporting this story? Just another example of liberal media bias in favor of covering up for this administration!"


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

Now you've done it, vgkg. The conspiracy is sure to go viral because it has been vetted on HT.


 o
RE: Benghazi - The next chapter

I thought the hearing was so disgusting and the obvious political posturing of those conservative congressmen to be such a disgraceful embarrassment that I wouldn't listen or read anything more about it - not even here in hot topics, until just now.
--All this really ugly stuff from the right goes on about some new "issue" - then it fades away to make room for the NEW desired big deal they so wish to be fact and blather on and on about, whipping up conservatives voters, KNOWING its not true or not as they present it to be.
--And conservative voters really do figure out it was never as it was presented but will remain silent, or will repeat the falsehood endlessly as it it were, after all, fact.

Why? They think its a scored 'point' in some juvenile way?
Do they think it elevates the honor of the party or its supporters?
If so then they need a big ole' refresher course on applied ethics.

Like there aren't enough actual subjects they can't discuss about very important issues that the administration - or congress itself, has not addressed?
What's with the

FOUR DEAD AMERICANS!!! ....

......said with SUCH breathless *outrage*, as if Obama himself ordered a hit? And ruining a woman's chance to the assignment of SOS by the flat insistence that she had to have lied about what she knew, protecting the President?

No embarrassment laced with a little guilt there, 'eh, from Christian conservatives and their co-horting voters....not a drop...not even from those right in this forum who at the very least strongly implied that Clinton was trying to get out of testifying by faking illness and concussion and then dangerous blood clot....thus, again, implying that Obama was behind this true tragedy.
Not one word from any of them or any of you right here.
-And they wonder why the majority of Americans voted against Romney? He was the perfect image of who the average conservative of today is.

Shame on every conservative who has not condemned this whole disgrace
from conservatives. Shame on all who kept repeating this story when the families of these men ASKED them not to.
Shame on them for using the deaths of these four Americans in the deep wish for political leverage.

I really do appreciate the humor shown on this thread about the pitiful desperateness displayed from the right regarding this whole thing. Will it open the eyes of any conservative who tells themselves that they are basically good and HONEST people? No, but the humor did provide a grin, thanks for that.

But conservatives?
They will just ignore it, Mrsk will use it again as fact in some future new *outrage* thread she starts, the rest will back her up and continue to complain about how mean we are to conservatives, Sleepless might perhaps use that moment to pop in to add her own outraged remarks regarding how unfairly MEAN we are to conservative forum members, CW will continue to believe this story is really, really true but the facts have been hidden in some vast, left wing conspiracy and that will be that.

Not one word of admission that this story had no truth to it, was wrong that it turns out that this story was but only another attempt to smear the administration, and all at the expense of the dead's surviving families. Its what this party has reduced itself to.
I hope that 2016 gives them another loss. The party and it's supporters aren't ready yet, they display their ineptness every day in every way. Like using four dead Americans for political game, even by conservatives in this forum, without a hint of admission that they got it all wrong, after all, thus smearing Rice, depriving her of a positiin of a lifetime and smearing Clinton herself in the process.

Shame on you all.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hot Topics Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here