The Administration's responses to the terror attack, which included for nearly 10 days denying that the attack was a attack, terming it a 'spontaneous demonstration' which was motivated by the obscure 14 minute video posted in late June on You Tube, has raised some real questions around what the Administration knew and when did they know it.
We now know that there were dozens of attacks on Western diplomats and diplomatic facilities in Benghazi - but someone in the Administration decided to not only not provide additional security forces to protect our facilities and personnel, but a decision was made to withdraw security forces from Libya a month before the 9/11 anniversary.
We now know that there was no 'spontaneous demonstration' - just an attack by a large number of heavily armed terrorists specifically directed at the US Consulate timed for the 9/11 anniversary.
We also now know, without a shred of doubt, that the Administration did lie, particularly when the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, 5 days after the attack spent a Sunday morning on half a dozen news programs, continued to press the Administration position that this was a spontaneous demonstration gone awry, not terrorism, and there was nothing that the Administration could have done.
VP Biden's answer to the question on Libya teed up by debate moderator Martha Raddatz during Thursday's debate, done in the name of damage control and political expediency, was that the WH knew none of the real facts - that this was a terror attack, there was no demonstration, and there were no requests for additional security personnel or security threats.
What the Vice President has done is reaffirm that the Libya represents a major failing and a major scandal involving the Administration.
When we look at what the happened in Libya, and the Administration's actions in the aftermath, we've looking at a major screwup committed by either US intelligence community - which had a detailed picture of what happened in Benghazi on 9/11 and failed to share it with the National Security command, including the White House, or they did provide an accurate and detailed picture of what happened, and for political purposes (in a close election), the Administration, including the President, Vice President, SecState, US Amb. to the UN, and others ignored what they were told and decided to spin a story to cover up their failings, and those of their policies, in order to paint a politically convenient story.
If members of the intel community, up to the incompetent Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, decided on their own to not escalate the information they knew, heads have to roll - starting with Clapper's. These are decisions that are well outside their pay-grades. As I also speculated, if this is the case, how are we to trust the US intelligence community to really know what is happening in Iran, for example, regarding their nuclear weapon ambitions. Either they are incompetent - which questions the leadership and actions of the entire community or they did their jobs and politics took over.
With the Administration in a tight race for reelection, with evidence that a key aspect of their foreign policy is imploding - along with yet another Islamic terror attack on US interests which hearkens back to the failings of another beleaguered Administration in a fight for reelection - and given the history of this Administration to focus on the political / political expediency, it seems to be far more likely that someone in the Administration concocted a strategy to spin this in a manner to downplay the event.... particularly in the light of the President attending a Las Vegas fundraiser during the immediate aftermath when we didn't know the status of Chris Stevens.
This 'most open and transparent' Administration has had a stunning run of major scandals throughout their nearly four years in power - across a wide swath of the Executive Branch. Only the complicity and support of the mainstream media has kept many of these from bringing down the Administration or major players within the Administration (at the Cabinet or Senior Adviser level). However, there is a limit of how long and to what degree these actions and failings can be hidden from those voters who are willing to look at what is going on as opposed to being enthralled with the cult of personality created around this President.
Joe Biden did not close the issue around Libya with his answer in the debate. Rather, his answer has given this story a new life. The President, in particular, has been boxed into a position where he either has to throw the US Intelligence community under the bus, throw the State Department (Hillary Clinton / Susan Rice) under the bus, or honestly admit to the American people just weeks before the November election that his team blatantly and openly lied to the American people for the basest of reasons - self-centered political expediency.
This box is one of the main reasons why I think that regardless of the performance of President Obama in the two remaining Presidential debates, this race has fundamentally turned against the President. The polls are not reflecting a 'bounce' - but a solid movement away from the President. Only the most rabid of the progressive base are going to ignore the political mendacity of the Administration around the Libya spin - and the rest are going to look at this along with the other major issues (Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Immigration, DOMA, Energy policy, Middle East) and decide that the Obama Administration is the most incompetent and feckless Administration to lead this country since Jimmy Carter and decide that like Carter, Obama needs to be replaced.
One sign of this is that in the 10 days since the first Presidential debate, the crowds that are attending Romney / Ryan campaign events are continuing to surge....
Another sign - the big story inside the Beltway today is not the mainstream media touting the need to get a clear and honest answer from the Administration, but focusing on the latest DNC sponsored media event which has been a key target since that first Presidential debate: A million 'muppet' march to be held in Washington DC on November 3rd to protests the calls by Mitt Romney to eliminate the taxpayer subsidy of PBS - which according to the DNC / Obama campaign, is a clear and direct threat towards 'Big Bird'.
Really? With the economy, with the questions around Libya, with Syria and Iran, soaring gas prices, massive unemployment, and a fiscal cliff...
... less than 60 days off which will sap an additional 700,000 to 1,000,000 jobs and 1% - 1.5% GDP growth, the big focus is BIG BIRD?
Or is the next big focus the President deciding to appear on Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show' on Comedy Central next Thursday night in the latest effort to kiss up to his increasingly disgruntled base?
In a final comment on the VP debate, I highlight this video which was posted on Powerline titled Biden vs. Biden...
In yesterday's QH, I referenced CBS News Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan's harsh and accurate criticism of the policies and words of the Obama Administration regarding their positions in the Middle East - particularly around the threat of Islamic terrorism. Ms. Logan was the reporter who was brutally assaulted and injured while covering the Arab Spring in Cairo - attacked by Salafists because she was a Western woman. She has made many trips throughout the region as part of her job - including tours in Afghanistan. She knows first hand who our enemies are - and she is now speaking out because the Administration is not telling the American people the truth of the situation or conditions.
What she says is extremely important.
It has occurred to me that some readers might not know what Ms. Logan has been saying. From Frontpage Magazine, here is a video of Lara Logan telling us that our way of life is under attack and we are being lied to by the Obama Administration....
“Our way of life is under attack and if you think that’s government propaganda, if you think that’s nonsense, if you think that’s warmongering, you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight.”Killing Osama Bin Laden did not end or win the war being waged on us.
“In your arrogance, you think you write the script, but you don’t. There’s two sides and we don’t dictate the terms. In fact after eleven years of war in Afghanistan, we’re rushing for the exits as fast as we can, not only do we not dictate the terms, but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage.”
“Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, ‘We’ve killed all the slow and stupid ones. The ones that are left are more committed and they didn’t become any kinder or gentler in the last eleven years.’
“‘Another thing he said. We think we’ve won the campaign and they haven’t even begun to fight.’”
“If you fail to identify the ideological component to this fight, if you fail to identify what your enemy is really fighting for, if you lie about who they really are, I don’t see how you can possibly have the right strategy.”
“There’s a narrative coming out of Washington, much of it driven by Pakistani lobbying money and by Taliban apologists. One of my favorite things to read about is how the Taliban today is so unlike the Taliban of 2001, they’re a more moderate, gentler kinder Taliban who just can’t wait to see women in the workplace occupying an equal role in society and great economic prosperity for all of Afghanistan and they don’t really want to take us back 3,000 years into that terrible place I witnessed.”
“And when I look at what’s happening in Libya, this big song and dance, whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest, and you just want to scream for god’s sake, are you kidding me, the last time we were attacked like this was the USS Cole which was a prelude to the 1998 embassy bombings which was a prelude to 9/11. And you’re sending FBI to investigate. I hope you’re sending in your best clandestine warriors who will go in to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and that the United States will not do nothing about it.”
Today in History
1792 - The cornerstone for the White House is laid in Washington D.C. The building would not be completed until 1800. The second President, John Adams and his wife, Abigail, would be the first residents.
1812 - British and Indian forces under the command of Sir Issac Brock defeat the invading Americans at the Battle of Queenstown Heights on the Niagara front in Ontario, Canada - ending the last American invasion of Canada. General Brock was killed during the battle.
1845 - Texan voters approve a new state constitution that would, when accepted by the US Congress, make Texas the 28th state in the United States.
1915 - Scottish poet Charles Sorley is killed in action during the Battle of Loos on the Western Front in World War I. Captain Sorley had achieved acclaim as a poet prior to enlisting earlier in 1915 to fight in the BEF. After his death, 37 poems he had penned while in the trenches were published including a haunting poem titled 'When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead' which talked of the carnage of the First World War.
1943 - The new government of Italy declares war on its former ally, Germany, and joins the Allied forces.
1977 - 4 Palestinian terrorists hijack a Lufthansa jetliner - demanding the release of the German Baader-Meinhof terrorist organization being held by German authorities. The aircraft would make a journey through multiple countries before landing in Somalia on October 16. On the 17th, a German special forces team would recapture the aircraft, rescuing 86 hostages and killing 3 of the 4 terrorists.
2010 - The last of 33 trapped Chilean miners were rescued from the chamber they were trapped in two months earlier after a cave-in. The 69 days they spent underground was a record. A bore hole drilled to the chamber allowed food and water to be delivered to the trapped miners. Another larger bore hole was drilled to permit a specially constructed capsule to be lowered to carry the miners back 2,000 feet to the surface.