Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BenghaziGate



Mr Obama's road to perdition?
[We have added commentary to update this post 
(originally published 5/14/2013) 
to explain why Benghazi has disappeared from 
the headlines during the 2016 Presidential Campaign]

Click here for related story [Washington Post]
The Congressional Hearings on Benghazi gained traction through expert testimony from diplomats, senior security personnel, military officers, and intelligence operations staff at the Pentagon and at the State Department, and it appeared the Benghazi wildfire was about to consume the Oval Office and the formerly unimpeachable President.

[Note: Speaker Boehner and Committee Chair Gowdy successfully derailed the Benghazi hearings]

But, just in the nick of time, it appears the skill sets of Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, Obama's crack strategists [both skilled Stalinist operators] seem to have saved the day by possibly setting controlled fires to stem the Benghazi wildfire.

After a week of Benghazi testimony on the Hill, it seemed likely there might be trials and convictions ahead for Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta, and perhaps Articles of Impeachment for the President. 

But, abruptly, we learn through "inadvertent disclosures" by Administration personnel that:


a) Eric Holder's Department of Justice has been spying on the Associated Press, monitoring its phone lines, and heaven forbid, even monitoring the phones at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
     (1) Did DOJ have warrants for such a search?
     (2) If so, how were they authorized, and by whom?
     (3) Are the provisions of the Patriot Act and the NDAA coming into play?
     (4) Does this action serve to intimidate the Press Corps?

and,

[LIBERTARIANMEME]
b) The IRS has admitted harassing Conservative political groups, particularly the Tea Party prior to the 2012 election.
     (1) Oddly, this conduct was old news until Lois Lerner, Director of the IRS Exempt Organization Division, "...let slip last week that low-level IRS staffers had focused extra scrutiny on Conservative groups with words such as 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their names." 
    (2) Where and when did Ms Lerner "let slip" this information -- and to whom?  Did she plant the information?
    (3) Conservatives had complained loudly about this harassment throughout the 2012 campaign, and the Media paid no attention.

(4) Suddenly, this practice is front page news -- following a week of damaging Benghazi testimony?  Odd.  Why now?  Why not a year ago?  So now, Mr Obama is OUTRAGED at this discovery and is DEMANDING a full investigation. 

This is a classic political "Bait and Switch"!

Divert the Media with carefully timed and placed leaks of real information on scandalous, albeit on-going situations which the Press will pounce on and the talking heads will babble about for weeks, dominating the airwaves with these scandals and diverting attention from the Benghazi hearings.

Thus, the political strategy to overcome a dangerous political "wildfire" situation is much the same as combating a forest fire: that is, light "backfires" to consume oxygen and combustible materials in the path of the oncoming, and seemingly uncontrollable forest fire.

The Benghazi Forest Fire:

In this case, the wildfire is the Benghazi Congressional Inquiry, with a lengthy string of expert eye-witnesses in the queue, preparing to give full disclosure on everything relating to orders by Clinton and Panetta to ground and Naval forces, to the details of what rescue capabilities existed within minutes of Benghazi -- as opposed to the 16 hours response time Panetta claimed. 

The stakes?
Criminal charges against Clinton and Panetta, and ultimately, 
Articles of Impeachment
for Mr Obama. 

Payback is Hell, Barry! [NYDailyNews]
The potential spectacle of bringing General Petraeus in as a witness to fully disclose what the CIA was doing in Benghazi, and why the CIA Station Chief in Tripoli and the Benghazi Base Chief were ordered to "stand down" was deemed to be an indefensible situation.  We'll likely learn the CIA was moving weapons from Libyan warehouses to Syrian rebels -- and to the Muslim Brotherhood.

[Note: Subsequent revelations disclosed the CIA's involvement in moving arms to Syrian, al Qaeda, and ISIS anti-government forces.  It was these activities which led to Ambassador Stevens to covertly fly to Italy to communicate with the State Department regarding these activities -- presuming State would shut down these illegal operations.  His penalty? Death by Hillary's "video" and staged "protest".]

And, Mr Obama no longer has any means to prevent General Petraeus from testifying.

[Note:  So we thought.  But both GOP and DNC leadership supported the Kangaroo Court which tried and convicted -- and sentenced Petraeus in record time to silence him.  There were, of course, intimations that his family was also at risk if he dared to speak out further on Benghazi -- and he has since been silent.]


40 Ships, 175 Aircraft, 21,000 Military Personnel
We might also learn the reasons why not one of the US 6th Fleet ships positioned off the Libyan coast were not allowed to respond to calls for help from the Benghazi consulate.  The ships were equipped with transport and attack helicopters, and there were more than a thousand combat ready Marines at the ready.

There was also a Special Operations ship posted nearby, specifically designed to deal with rescue situations precisely like the attack on Benghazi.

Add to that testimony that the Commander of the US Navy Sixth Fleet, positioned off the coast of Libya, to explain why none of the dozens of his fixed or rotary winged aircraft could be deployed to rescue the diplomats in Benghazi. 

[Note:  Since 9/11/2011, there has been no disclosure from DOD or the US Navy about the disposition or response of any element of the 6th Fleet or Task Force 60 during the Benghazi attack]

We also note that the Predator drone flying overhead had been disarmed prior to launch -- deviating from protocol.  The drone provided real-time video coverage of the attack to the White House SitRoom, the National Military Intelligence Center [NMIC] and the National Military Command Center [NMCC]; had it been armed - [or had it been authorized to engage], it could have assisted those taking fire at the Consulate. 

World's Deadliest Aircraft - ordered to stand down

We wonder at the Stand Down order for the AC-130 gunship, also flying overhead, which had both regular and infrared video, plus Gatling Guns, plus a 105 howitzer, plus rockets and a massively powerful spotlight.

It was not allowed to engage even the spotlight. 
[YouTube link for video of capabilities]




General Petraeus appeared ready to disclose all, depending on whether or not the correct questions would be posed by Congressman Issa and his panel. We've not heard the results of the secret testimony he gave behind closed doors.

[Note:  General Petraeus was brought down in a "sex scandal" with his paramour/biographer with whom he shared "classified background information".  He was accused, indicted, tried and convicted in a matter of weeks of a "felony" and sentenced to prison and loss of his Military retirement pay and benefits.  The felony prevents him from holding a political office in the future; the process also prevented him from testifying further on Benghazi or other Intelligence matters]

GEN Ham & ADM Gaouette

It would be beneficial to hear from Admiral Gaouette and General Ham, both highly regarded commanders of nearby military rescue forces -- but both were relieved of their commands within minutes of their giving orders to their Special Ops personnel to respond. 


General Ham disappeared for several weeks, perhaps to be threatened with the end of his career -- and perhaps harm to his family -- only to return to his post, visibly shaken and wearing glasses, after Mr Panetta had installed his replacement with a much less qualified general.

Admiral Gaouette was pilloried by Mr Panetta's office which advertised that the admiral was relieved because he used profanity while disciplining a subordinate for his reckless conduct in his high-speed maneuvering through a naval formation.  Adding to this charge was another in which he used a term "which could possibly have been interpreted as 'racist' " while he was being 'roasted' at a party." 

That's quite a stretch! 
The Navy even went so far as to attempt to prove that on the day of the attack on Benghazi, Admiral Gaouette's ship was in Guam, Singapore, Seattle, and/or Norfolk - simultaneously; which of course contradicted Mr Panetta's public affairs news release welcoming the the USS Stennis as a participant in NATO"s Middle East war exercises -- in August, just a few weeks before the attack on Benghazi. 

These are issues which have not yet been addressed in the hearings, but which we expect will be in future sessions.  But, will the Press cover and report on the hearings?  Or will the Administration employ the "back-fire" diversions of the scandals involving the IRS and the DOJ spying on journalists to shift the public's attention away from Benghazi. 

I have Holder's back this much!
What better defense than to reveal on-going, but less egregious Administration malfeasance, complete with sacrificial lambs from the IRS and DOJ to toss under the bus.

Why, Mr Holder will likely be "forced to resign" [even though he announced several months ago his intent to resign].

All this drama will take months to play out, with the Oval Office hope that the Benghazi wildfire will burn out for lack of oxygen -- and/or Media attention.

[Note: Congressman Issa was aggressive in pursuing and publicizing his findings; once Trey Gowdy controlled the hearings, he barred Issa from participating -- or even observing, and the Benghazi hearings "disappeared".  We wonder what it took for Gowdy to sell out.  Gowdy wins the prize for the most hypocritical politician on Capitol Hill, outpacing even Boehner.]

As that GOP Master of Strategy, Lee Atwater, noted long ago,
"The American Public has an attention span of about three months, 
after which they will lose interest in any scandal."

Watergate, of course, was the exception to that rule -- and we hope BenghaziGate will be as well.