Yeah - speaking out against Obama & Hillary? Traitor! Because obviously, it’s criticizing one’s own party - an argument against interest - that demonstrates a lack of principles. Circling the partisan wagons and reciting talking-points (about talking-points)? Now *that* would be integrity.
I’m not surprised if you find it puzzling that I’m more concerned with what the commander-in-chief and Secretary of State have done than with the reaction of the opposition, because that’s clearly where your own focus is, as though that were somehow exculpatory. In your only paragraph not about Republicans, you say “Hicks, who was stationed in Tripoli, not Benghazi, and his colleagues must have had more information than the CIA[,] whose annex was breached in the attack. The CIA still thought that the attacks were spontaneous when they issued the talking points on the 14th.” Hicks, as our Number-Two man in the country, had contact with Stevens, who told him “We’re under attack.” You could almost plausibly read that as meaning “by a spontaneous demonstration”, but that isn’t the phrasing I’d use. Hicks was also in contact that same night with the Libyan prime minister Abdurrahim el-Keib and, presumably then or soon afterwards, with president Magariaf, who like Hicks was shocked to see Susan Rice on TV with the “film review turns deadly” line, which he himself knew was wrong. Where then do the “spontaneous demonstration” talking points come from? Per a Senate report (see previous link), “While the [intelligence community] worked feverishly in the days after the attack to identify the perpetrators of the attack, they did not place a high priority on determining with certainty whether a protest had in fact occurred. The IC’s preliminary conclusion was that there had been a protest outside of the mission prior to the attack, making this assessment based on open source news reports and on other information available to intelligence agencies. The IC later revised its assessment” (my emphasis). So a causal connection between Cairo and Benghazi was immediately drawn by some news-outlets, fed to the CIA, and then fed back to newsmen again! (If our eggheads and spooks are really no further ahead of things than the Associated Press, then some heads ought to roll not just in Foggy Bottom but in Langley as well.) And then, what mention the CIA did make about terrorism was scratched under pressure from “building leadership” (the Sublime Porte?) at State, so that criticis wouldn’t be able “to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings,” because really, “why would we want to feed that either?” So you have the CIA dropping the ball on intelligence, then pressured by the “leadership” at the State Department, which failed to secure our diplomatic staff in volatile places on volatiles dates, while the campaigner-in-chief is on his way to Las Vegas and a filmmaker is about to be given a year in jail (for breaking parole but really for “slander[ing] the prophet of Islam”). …But you’d apparently rather talk about Jack Burkman and Sean Hannity. Ex-reporter Jay Carney may be a brazen liar, but your response to this Buzzfeed article shows that at least he knows what works.
The matter at issue is the administration’s response after the attack, though this obviously has much to do with what happened before and during it. During the attack, there was no real resistence on our part (for which the CIA is partly to blame) and we sent nobody in during the extended attack (for which is the administration and Panetta’s Defense Department are to blame). But the CIA did warn Clinton & State, and hence the administration, of the threat by groups including or like Al-Qaeda. Ignoring those warnings makes State look very bad, as their spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said explicitly. So between the time that CIA initially released the talking-points and when the administration distributed them, they went through twelve revisions, which took out indications of State’s negligence (most important link/video is here). The scrubbing of Al-Qaeda & Co. from the record reportedly shocked Gen. Petraeus. This twelve-times-revised version is what Carney was pitching from the podium, and was the script Rice was using when she was going around claiming the whole thing was a “direct result” of The Innocence of Muslims (whose director then became a convenient Emmanuel Goldstein figure and who was arrested on different charges but really for his film). (And now, the “most transparent administration ever” (tscha!) seems to be wanting to throw their old frienemy Hillary under the bus. Note this by the smarmy Jay Carney: “The only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive.”) If this scandal happens to take down anyone at fault from the CIA, the State Department, the Republican party, or any other quarter, that’s fine with me. Is it also fine with you for the buck to stop at the Oval Office?
#1 Walrus, but whatevs.
No, the irrelevant question of irrelevant Romney and whether or not he politicized news events is the red herring. And an effective one too: Carney threw it out, and now people who don’t want to talk about the actions of those in power can divert the conversation to the words of those who aren’t. “Actual handling of Benghazi? Look, a squirrel!”
Carney says (I paraphrase), “Did we fail to provide security? Did we fail to respond to threat reports? Are we at fault for the deaths of American diplomats and the compromising of intelligence held at the consulate? Did we scrub the talking points multiple times? Did we strike a blow against the First Amendment by blaming this attack on an internet video? Did we have the American ambassador to the U.N. (along with me, Carney) repeatedly lie about the cause of the attack, then arrest the director on another pretext, and go to the U.N. and say that no one should tolerate criticism of “the prophet” Mohammed? Did we put pressure on whistle-blowers and demote anyone who threatened to cast doubt on our story? …Well, yes. I mean, all the above is true. BUT, a guy who’s not even on the national stage anymore once politicized the attack. So there!” Look, get off the partisan horse (I didn’t vote for Romney either). Carney’s a paid and shameless shyster, who says that the Benghazi affair itself is old news from “a long time ago” and then claims that the words of an irrelevant man from even longer ago somehow not only counts as a tu quoque of equal weight to the actions of the people actually in power, but is even somehow exculpatory! What utter bullshit.
It doesn’t matter what Romney’s response was.
This has nothing to do with him, and that’s the point.
My wife and I adopted a small cat - all black, with a little red tongue, who lies down all night without a peep but when the alarm-clock goes off, makes sure you get up. Much easier to deal with than her orange tabby stepbrother. We love her. Apparently they have a hard time placing black cats and ours had sat on the shelf for a long time. Superstition? Aesthetics? Do consider taking in one of these hard-to-adopt little friends.
#11 and #37 are my favorite, out of a lot of good ones.
A friend of mine and I watched Drop Dead Fred in the theater while in high school. On acid.
Are these really 22 separate types of hipster, or just a big collection of faux-individualist douchebags?
I think that in twenty-something years we will look back on photos like these the way we now look at fashion photos from circa 1990.
#19 Axelrod looks like he was a member of the Choom Gang.
Yeah, Republicans - great job performing late-term abortions and postnatal infanticide! Thanks for snipping those babies’ spinal chords, Republicans!
In D.C. “twenty minutes away” is often just getting to the next part of town.
First Jesus on grilled cheese, then Allah in tomatoes, and now Ganesh in cupcakes.
The gods truly work in mysterious ways.
#6. How to Be a Really Nice Person “Scary because this means that the person reading this book is the world’s meanest person.” Non sequitur. Could be a nice person wants to be even nicer. What a dumb thing to say.