It’s Good To Have A Friend

The Washington Free Beacon reported today that giving money to the Clinton Foundation has many benefits.

The article reports:

Drug companies that have donated to Hillary Clinton’s foundation received most of the contract money from an international tuberculosis initiative after the foundation was brought on to manage the initiative’s procurement operation, public records show.

Two of every three dollars spent acquiring anti-tuberculosis drugs through the program, which is administered by the World Bank, have gone to two companies—Swiss health care giant Novartis and Indian drug company Lupin Ltd.—that together have donated up to $130,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton and her allies have pointed to the foundation’s international charitable work to deflect allegations of cronyism. However, the millions of dollars in contracts awarded to the two drug companies illustrate how foundation donors profited from laudable causes.

The article also points out:

Clinton has pointed to her foundation’s work in promoting access to pharmaceuticals in the developing world as an example of its laudatory humanitarian mission.

However, critics have noted how beneficiaries of other foundation-backed pharmaceutical access programs have made large financial contributions to the group. Companies that received funds from the foundation to provide low-cost HIV drugs, for instance, were donors to the foundation.

In many cases, the same companies were also lobbying the State Department for lucrative international health contracts while Clinton was secretary of state.

Despite years of collaboration with the industry, Clinton has described pharmaceutical companies as her “enemies,” even as lobbyists for the industry bankroll her presidential campaign.

Unfortunately, this kind of corruption has been going on with the Clintons for a very long time. It needs to end. If she is elected, the Clinton Administration will be a money-making scheme to enrich the Clintons while ignoring the problems and needs of America.

It Just Keeps Dripping

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line today reporting major gaps in Hillary Clinton’s appointment calendar during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The article reports:

AP has identified at least 75 meetings that Hillary Clinton had with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors, and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded (or not properly recorded) on her State Department calendar. AP identified the meetings by comparing her calendar with separate planning schedules supplied to Clinton by aides in advance of each day’s events.

In many cases, Clinton’s State Department calendar simply excluded the meeting altogether. On other occasions, the names of those with whom she met were omitted.

It seems clear that the omissions were made to obscure Clinton’s ties to tycoons and big donors. For example, in one omission, Clinton’s State Department calendar dropped the identities of a dozen major Wall Street and business leaders who met with her during a private breakfast discussion at the New York Stock Exchange in September 2009.

The first thing to notice here is that the search for this information was initiated by the Associated Press. Usually the press is supporting Hillary Clinton. Since the press tends to be aligned with the Democratic Party, this is an interesting development.

The article further reports:

AP had to go to court to pry from the State Department the records it needed to expose this latest example of Clinton’s lack of transparency and her ties to the wealthy.

The AP first sought Clinton’s calendar and schedules from the State Department in August 2013, but the agency would not acknowledge even that it had the material. After nearly two years of delay, the AP sued the State Department in March 2015.

The department agreed in a court filing last August to turn over Clinton’s calendar, and provided the documents in November. After noticing discrepancies between Clinton’s calendar and some schedules, the AP pressed in court for all of Clinton’s planning material.

The U.S. has released about one-third of those planners to the AP so far.

Is this a person we want in the White House?


Changing History As It Occurs

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the recent editing of a State Department press briefing on December 2, 2013. A question asked by Fox News reporter James Rosen was edited out of the archived video of the briefing.

The article reports:

The deleted segment of the briefing featured Fox News reporter James Rosen asking then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether the Obama administration had lied about having secret talks with Iran in 2011. Psaki essentially admitted that it had.

Rosen inquired, “Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?” Psaki responded, “James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”

The start date of the Iran nuclear negotiations is back in the spotlight because of a New York Times Magazine piece in which Ben Rhodes admitted that the Obama administration “largely manufactured” a narrative for the Iran deal in order to garner support for it. A key element of the manufactured narrative was that negotiations began in 2013 with the election of a “moderate” Iranian president.

It looks like the State Department tried, by editing the video, to cover up the administration’s lie about when Iran negotiations commenced (together with the admission that it is willing to lie), and then lied again by claiming that the cover up was the product of a glitch.

Remember, this video is supposed to be an accurate archived record of American history. The State Department chose to edit it to rewrite a portion of history. I thought only Communist countries did that.

The article explains the consequences for the editing of the video:

Who requested the scrubbing? The State Department claims not to know. It says that officials “tried” to determine who ordered the edit, “but it was three years ago and the individual who took the call [to edit the tape] just simply doesn’t have a better memory of it.”

Jen Psaki, who made the admission that needed to be deleted, is an obvious suspect. She denies responsibility.

Will the State Department launch an investigation? No it will not. Current spokesperson John Kirby says:

There were no rules governing this sort of action in the past, so I find no reason to press forward with a more formal or deeper investigation. What matters to me — and I take it seriously — is our commitment to transparency and disclosure.

The Obama State Department just can’t stop lying.

I have been known to complain about the mainstream media slanting the news or lying to Americans. Now we have evidence that the government is lying to us. It’s time for a new government.

Is This Important? Why Or Why Not?

I have actually attempted to avoid writing about Hillary Clinton’s emails. However, when new information comes out, I feel obligated to say something. One recent bit of new information is the State Department Inspector General‘s report on Secretary of State Clinton’s email server.

On Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times posted an article about Mrs. Clinton’s email server that included the following:

Clinton has long said she used a personal email server solely as a matter of “convenience.” But the result wasn’t very convenient; because of State Department spam filters, Clinton’s emails weren’t getting through to her own department. According to the report, when an aide proposed giving her a government email address, Clinton agreed, but added: “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

Clinton has emphasized that the law did not prohibit her from using personal email for official business – and that’s true. But the inspector general notes that State Department rules required her to get permission to use a personal server, and she never complied.

And Clinton has said she turned over all her business-related emails as soon as the State Department asked for them. The inspector general says her submission of documents was “incomplete” and later than the law requires.

On May 28, The Washington Post reported:

Clinton initially sought to downplay the report as old news. “It’s the same story,” she told Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas. “Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented.

Except that it was. While other secretaries of state had used personal email addresses, none of them had exclusively done so. And as Helderman and Hamburger noted, the State Department IG report scolded Clinton not only for using the email address exclusively but also for slow-walking the release of those emails to the State Department.

Judicial Watch recently posted a download of an education panel they hosted on March 23 about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Judicial Watch is an organization that has been working toward more transparent government for a number of years. They have held both Republican and Democratic administrations accountable. Their panel included Jason Leopold, an investigative reporter for Vice News, Joe diGenova, attorney and former U.S. attorney, Dan Metcalfe, head of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy for the AU law school; a non-partisan educational project devoted to openness in government, freedom of information, government transparency, and a study of government secrecy in the United States and internationally, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, and Michael Bekesha, an attorney for Judicial Watch.

The report is twenty-four pages long. Here is one excerpt:

Joe diGenova stated: 

I believe Mrs. Clinton decided from the beginning of her tenure as a constitutional officer — she is a constitutional officer — that she would procure a server with the assistance of the State Department, including having them install it in her home in Chappaqua. When she did that, Chappaqua became the State Department. Those records were in fact in the possession of the United States government at that point. I am going to be fascinated by the argument she is going to make that they were not. She moved the secretary’s office from Foggy Bottom to Chappaqua. There is simply no disputing that. She made a decision that her business would be conducted on that server. That was her decision. It wasn’t anybody else’s decision. When she did that, she transferred federal records into that house and into that server. They may very well argue whatever they want to argue about it, but I think they are going to have a really tough time convincing anybody those were not government records from day one in her possession in that place. What is crucial, is that nobody knows what she ordered deleted. Her representations are irrelevant. They mean nothing. They are of limited evidentiary value, given the scheme that was worked out here to deny access and to deny information.

It does matter that Mrs. Clinton used a private server. The server was not encrypted, and many people who understand computers have stated that it would have been very easy to hack into that server. On May 25th, NBC News reported that Guccifer, a known hacker, claimed that he had broken into Mrs. Clinton’s server. That has not yet been proven, so we will wait for further news.

If you check the sources on this story, you will see that this is not simply the right-wing press reporting on Hillary Clinton’s emails. There is a genuine problem here, and the truth matters. This story shouldn’t be about the election, but because Mrs. Clinton is running for President, it seems to be that way. The story is actually about whether or not all Americans are treated equally under the law. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen.


This Used To Be Called Obstruction Of Justice

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and email server. I know everyone is getting sick of this story, but that is by design. The guilty parties in this sordid story have a vested interest in dragging it out until everyone loses interest so that the culprits can go free.

However, the story in the Washington Free Beacon is very relevant to the investigation:

State Department officials removed files from the secretary’s office related to the Benghazi attack in Libya and transferred them to another department after receiving a congressional subpoena last spring, delaying the release of the records to Congress for over a year.

Attorneys for the State Department said the electronic folders, which contain hundreds of documents related to the Benghazi attack and Libya, were belatedly rediscovered at the end of last year.

They said the files had been overlooked by State Department officials because the executive secretary’s office transferred them to another department and flagged them for archiving last April, shortly after receiving a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

If you believe that these files were accidentally lost, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you. You can even have the tolls that are collected. Seriously, this used to be called obstruction of justice. However, it has become routine under the Obama Administration. Note that the files were removed after the congressional subpoena. A charge of obstruction of justice or contempt of Congress would be appropriate. I suspect that neither will occur. This is how you slow-walk an investigation so that by the time the truth comes out, people will be too tired to listen.

The article further reports:

The House Benghazi Committee requested documents from the secretary’s office in a subpoena filed in March 2015. Congressional investigators met with the head of the executive secretary’s office staff to discuss its records maintenance system and the scope of the subpoena last April. That same month, State Department officials sent the electronic folders to another bureau for archiving, and they were not searched in response to the request.

The blunder could raise new questions about the State Department’s records process, which has come under scrutiny from members of Congress and government watchdogs. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blasted the State Department’s Freedom of Information Act process as “broken” in January, citing “systematic failures at the agency.”

The inspector general for the State Department also released a report criticizing the agency’s public records process in January. The report highlighted failures in the executive secretary’s office, which responds to records requests for the Office of the Secretary.

I hope that in November the American people will clean house in Washington. This total disregard for the law is not healthy for America.

The Mess In Washington And Some Suggested Solutions

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article about the eight worst federal agencies in Washington and how they could be fixed.

Here are some of the highlights. The article begins with the Department of Education. It has a 2016 budget of $79 billion. About 6 percent (250) of its employees are considered essential. It has existed for 36 years.

The article states:

McCluskey (Neal McCluskey, who directs the Center for Educational Freedom at the libertarian Cato Institute) said only two Department of Education activities can be justified: the Office for Civil Rights, to enforce the 14th Amendment, and Impact Aid, which gives federal funds to school districts that are burdened by nearby federal installations such as military bases or large science labs. Even then, the department doesn’t perform those two activities particularly well, McCluskey said, but at least they’re justifiable.

In the ideal world, McCluskey would simply get rid of the department. “What the federal government does in education, largely through the Department of Education, is unconstitutional. As important, we don’t have evidence it’s really helping. So why should it continue to do any of this?”

The next department the article lists is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has a 2016 budget of $8.14. About 7 percent (1072) of its employees are considered essential. It began operating in December 1970.

The article reports:

Ozone rules, the EPA’s new regulations for smog, also are a captivating force for lawyers looking to sue the agency. Greens are suing the agency because the regulations made law last year were not strict enough. Hailed as the most expensive regulations in history, industry is suing because they argue they are too strict. As a twist, industry groups have come to the EPA’s aid in the lawsuit by the greens.

Tom Pyle, director of the conservative American Energy Alliance, says in addition to the EPA’s far-reaching regulations that need to be reined in, “the whole agency needs to be reorganized.”

For example, his group has proposed a host of streamlining proposals in recent years targeting the National Environmental Policy Act review process, known as NEPA.

The NEPA review process has become a key target for critics who see it as an overly burdensome and duplicative process for permitting energy and infrastructure projects.

Another agency the article lists that are in need of reform is the Department of Health and Human Services. Payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers are not carefully scrutinized and fraud is a problem. Another issue in the Department is the Food and Drug Administration’s lack of speed in bringing new drugs to the market.

Other agencies listed are the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Personnel Management, the Secret Service, the State Department, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Please follow the link to the article to read the details in each department. We need someone in Washington who is not afraid to upset the status quo.

Does The Truth Have An Impact?

Today’s U.K. Daily Mail included an article about Hillary Clinton’s emails. I know we are all rather tired of hearing about Hillary’s emails, but the article brings out an interesting piece of new information.

The article reports:

Hillary Clinton‘s claim that she was unaware top secret documents on her private email server were highly classified took a hit on Friday, with the revelation of a State Department contract she signed in 2009.

The ‘Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement,’ which Clinton inked during her second day as Secretary of State, declared that she was personally responsible for determining if sensitive documents in her possession were classified at the government’s highest level.

‘I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI.’

SCI – Sensitive Compartmented Information – is the highest level of ‘top secret’ classification, applying to information so sensitive because of the sources and methods used to obtain it that it can only be viewed in a special room, hardened against electronic eavesdropping, constructed for that purpose.

Mrs. Clinton has stated on the campaign trail that she wasn’t expected to know what is classified. Obviously, the surfacing of this document shows that to be untrue. It is really becoming very clear that Mrs. Clinton has a very distant relationship with the concept of truth.

The article further states:

Government officials who sign the same document Clinton signed acknowledge ‘agree that I shall return all materials that may have come into my possession or for which I am responsible because of such access, upon demand by an authorized representative of the United States Government or upon the termination of my employment.’

Clinton never returned her email server to the federal government. She housed it in her Chappaqua, New York home while she was America’s top diplomat, and then moved it when she left the Obama administration – entrusting it to a Colorado company that was not cleared to handle SCI-level documents.

The State Department acknowledged in September that Clinton’s home-brew server also was never authorized to handle such information.

The FBI is currently investigating Hillary’s email mess, in an information dragnet that has also roped in her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and current top campaign aide Huma Abedin.

Both of those women also signed the DCI nondisclosure agreement.  

As this scandal continues to unravel, it will be interesting to see how the voters weigh in.

Still Seeking The Truth

Today’s Daily Signal posted an article by Sharyl Attkisson about the scrubbing of the records turned over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigating the attack on the Benghazi CIA annex. Sharyl Attkisson left the Washington bureau of CBS News after realizing that they were not interested in actual investigative reporting on the Obama Administration. She has continued her investigative reporting and has been one of the few people to continue the investigation into Benghazi.

The article reports:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

The story at the Daily Signal provides a detailed account of Secretary Maxwell stumbling on the operation one Sunday afternoon.

The story continues:

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

We need more people in Washington with integrity and fewer people who simply follow orders.

The article continues:

When the ARB issued its call for documents in early October 2012, just weeks after the Benghazi attacks, the executive directorate of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs was put in charge of collecting all emails and relevant material. It was gathered, boxed and—Maxwell says—ended up in the basement room prior to being turned over.

In May 2013, when critics questioned the ARB’s investigation as not thorough enough, co-chairmen Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen responded that “we had unfettered access to everyone and everything including all the documentation we needed.”

Unfettered? I don’t think so.

The article concludes:

Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman.

“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls.

“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’ ”

I hope the Congressional Committee investigating Benghazi has better ‘unfettered access’ than the ARB.

Unfortunately This Is Not A Surprise

Yesterday’s Daily Beast reported that Secretary of State John Kerry has cleared the Benghazi officials placed on administrative leave by Hillary Clinton after the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. The four State Department officials come back to work at the State Department starting today.

The article reports:

Last December, Clinton’s staff told four mid-level officials to clean out their desks and hand in their badges after the release of the report of its own internal investigation into the Benghazi attack, compiled by the Administrative Review Board led by former State Department official Tom Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Ret. Adm. Mike Mullen. Those four officials have been in legal and professional limbo, not fired but unable to return to their jobs, for eight months… until today.

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell, the only official from the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs bureau to lose his job over the Benghazi attack, told The Daily Beast Monday he received a memo from the State Department’s human resources department informing him his administrative leave status has been lifted and he should report for duty Tuesday morning.

No explanation, no briefing, just come back to work. So I will go in tomorrow,” Maxwell said.

This a classic cover-up operation. Choose four scapegoats, wait until the scandal is no longer on the front pages of the newspaper, and then re-instate them. The article mentions that none of the four officials will be able to get his previous job back.

The article concludes:

There was also concern in Congress that only mid-level officials with little direct responsibility for the Benghazi attack had been taken out of their jobs following the ARB report release.

“The ARB tried to blame everyone but hold no one responsible, except for some of the lower level people who were not in control of the situation,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight National Security subcommittee, told The Daily Beast in May.

Unless Congress develops a backbone and truly investigates what happened at Benghazi and why, this scandal will fade quietly into the sunset. This is what happens when organizations investigate themselves.


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Searching For The Truth

Yesterday CNS News posted a story questioning the accuracy of some of the Congressional testimony regarding the attack at Benghazi.
The article reports:

An attorney whose firm represents two Benghazi whistleblowers said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lied to the Senate when he said there was never a “stand down” order during the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11, 2012.

This contradicts the testimony of Gregory Hicks, former number two State Department diplomat in Libya. According to the article:

Hicks told Congress that after the first attack, a security team left Tripoli for Benghazi with two military personnel and that four members of a special forces team in Tripoli wanted to go in a second wave but were told to stand down.

I have previously reported on this aspect of the story ( Despite the fact that the attack was more than nine months ago, these questions about what happened that night remain unanswered. I believe that all Americans are entitled to answers–especially the family members of those who lost their lives their night.

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Is It Acceptable To Lie To The Public?

On Thursday President Obama nominated Victoria Nuland to be assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department. Ms. Nuland was the State Department spokesperson during the Benghazi press conferences. She was also involved in revising the talking points given to Susan Rice regarding the Benghazi attack before Ms. Rice went on the Sunday talk shows.

Fox News posted an article today explaining the problem of promoting Victoria Nuland:

Nuland’s statements on Benghazi are sure to be thoroughly examined. 

On Sept. 17, 2012, six days after the attack, she declined to label it an act of terrorism. 

“I don’t think we know enough. I don’t think we know enough,” she said. 

That was a day after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said on several Sunday shows that the strike was triggered by protests over an anti-Islam film. Rice for months has been the target of Republican ire over the administration’s mixed signals on the attack narrative. But a set of emails released by the Obama administration this month in fact showed Nuland and other officials involved in editing the talking points before Rice’s appearance. 

Nuland challenged references to extremists being involved in the attack, and objected to references to prior security warnings and incidents. 

The things Ms. Nuland said were outright lies. Even if she was pressured into lying by her superiors, has it become a policy of our government to promote people who lie? Don’t we need people in the government who will stand up and tell the truth regardless of the consequences?

I am sure Victoria Nuland has been a valued member of the State Department. I have a problem, however, promoting someone who chose departmental loyalty over loyalty to the American people. Was she required to take an oath pledging to uphold the U. S. Constitution? If she was, I suspect that her actions after Benghazi violated that oath. It is unfortunate that she got caught up in this mess, but it also unfortunate that she made the choice to lie to the American people.

This Really Does Not Look Good

CNS News reported today that when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Libya in 2011, the Department of Defense pre-positioned ‘assets’ off the coast of Libya in order to ensure her safety.

The article reports:

The fact that the assets were pre-positioned for Clinton’s visit was included in the annual report of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (BDS). asked the Pentagon if it would specify which military assets had been prepositioned off Libya at the time Clinton’s visit. The inquiry was forwarded to U.S. Africa Command, but a spokesman for that command declined to add any details to what had been stated in BDS report.

“One of the most complex security challenges presented to the Secretary’s [Diplomatic Security] Detail was her equally historic and ground-breaking trip to Libya in October [2011], after the fall of the Qaddafi regime,” said the BDS annual report.

So we are left with a variety of questions. Was our intelligence so far off that we had concluded that Benghazi was safe when we decreased the security provided there? Does America routinely abandon its diplomats in unstable areas without adequate protection while going out of its way to protect their superiors? What did the State Department think had changed in the time Secretary Clinton visited Libya and the time Benghazi was attacked.

Just a note. As hearings convene next week on Benghazi, remember one thing–the person who produced the video that was NOT responsible for the attack in Benghazi is still in jail. How is that possible?

Please follow the link above to read the entire story.

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Will We Ever Hear The True Story Of Benghazi?

CNS News reported yesterday that the State Department was denying security clearances to the lawyers hired by the whistle-blowers who want to testify to Congress about Benghazi.

The article reports:

Rep. Darryl Issa (R-) is demanding Sec. of State John Kerry grant clearances to attorneys like his partner, Victoria Toensing, who has an active Top Secret security clearance:

“Victoria Toensing, my partner, has just been retained by one of the Department of State whistleblowers who are going to appear before the Issa committee.  On April 26, Congressman Issa sent a letter to the new Sec of State, John Kerry, demanding that the lawyers who are going to represent the whistleblowers be cleared – be given clearances – so they can talk to their clients and the committee about classified information.”

“She (Toensing) got a new top secret security clearance within the last year. And, now, they will not clear her or any of the other lawyers to represent the Department of State people. This is so outrageous,” DiGenova (ormer U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, founding partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of diGenova & Toensing, LLP) said.

The question that comes to mind when I read this is, “How much of the information about Benghazi is classified because it needs to be and how much of the information about Benghazi is classified to save face for someone involved?”

I hope that we have enough people in Congress to pressure the Obama Administration to grant the security clearances to the lawyers so that the attack at Benghazi can be investigated. If there were available forces in the area, America needs to know why they were not deployed and why Americans were left to die.Enhanced by Zemanta

A Story That Keeps Simmering Beneath The Surface

Forbes Magazine posted an article yesterday about the survivors of the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi in September.

The article reports:

And the number of survivors may be even larger than previously suspected. There may be more than 30 survivors, including State Department and CIA personnel as well as government contractors, according to a March 1, 2013 letter sent by Rep. Wolf and Rep. Jim Gerlach to Secretary of State John Kerry . As for those government contractors mentioned, they are believed to include former U.S Navy Seals and other former special-forces operators.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been in touch with the families of the survivors, and has stated that family members told him that the Obama Administration has asked the survivors to remain quiet and not share their stories.

Why is this important? It has become fairly obvious that the attack on the outpost was was a major al Qaeda operation. It had nothing to do with any protest about a video.

The article further relates:

The survivors could tell Congress, and the public, important new details. Libyan reports indicate that there were upwards of 100 attackers in Benghazi, that they were organized into machine-gun fire teams and mortar crews, and appeared to take orders from men wearing Afghan-style clothing. So far the Obama administration has provided few details about the attackers, their organization or their motivation.

The attack was an act of war. Because America is war-weary, President Obama ignored that fact in order to win an election. There is also the basic problem of a terrorist attack–who do we go to war with? Even if you look at terrorism as a law enforcement issue, which this administration and the Clinton Administration have tended to do, the criminals responsible for this attack are still at large.

The article also points out that no one has been held responsible for the fact that the State Department ignored the warnings that the outpost needed more security.

The attack on the Benghazi outpost needs to be investigated fully and the American public informed as to what happened. Meanwhile, the way America responded to that attack has made us look weak in the Middle East, opening the door for more unrest.

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What Has America Become ?

Today’s New York Post is reporting that the four State Department officials who resigned in the wake of the Benghazi attacks really didn’t resign–one has a new job and the other three took a short leave of absence.

The article reports:

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “has accepted Eric Boswell’s decision to resign as assistant secretary for diplomatic security, effective immediately.” What Nuland omitted was that Boswell gave up only the presidential appointment as assistant secretary, not his other portfolios.

The other officials — Deputy Assistant Secretaries Charlene Lamb and Raymond Maxwell, and a third who has not been identified — were found to have shown “performance inadequacies” but not “willful misconduct,” Pickering said, so they would not face discipline.

It is so sad to see what has happened to America. The political class now rules at the expense of the people, at the expense of the concept of responsibility, and at the expense of honor.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Buck Stops Somewhere Down There

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the resignations at the State Department after the Benghazi report was released. Four people have resigned. The names of three of them have been released–Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security, and Raymond Maxwell, a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa.

The article reports:

Patrick Kennedy, the under secretary for management, apparently will keep his job, even though he has vigorously defended the State Department’s decision-making on Benghazi to Congress. A blogger who monitors goings on at Foggy Bottom suggests that the State Department is erecting a firewall to protect officials at the Undersecretary level and higher.

The ARB report did not criticize Kennedy or other officials at that level. However, it did find that there was a culture of “husbanding resources” at senior levels of the State Department, and that this culture contributed to the security deficiencies in Benghazi. According to the report, the culture at State “had the effect of conditioning a few State Department managers to favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation.”

There are some real questions as to how much responsibility for the death of Ambassador Stevens these people actually bear. Were their superiors aware of the previous attacks? Were their superiors aware of the increase in terrorist activity in the area? Were their superiors aware of the attack after it began?

The article reports:

Congress apparently intends to pursue the question of whether, and to what extent, blame should be assigned higher up the chain. Rep. Ed Royce, the incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that “the degree that others bear responsibility warrants Congressional review, given the report’s rather sweeping indictment.” And, he added, “the Foreign Affairs Committee must hear from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton concerning her role, which this report didn’t address.”

Secretary Clinton needs to appear before Congress and testify about this matter. She is the Secretary of State, and this occurred on her watch. Her appearance will not necessarily make things any clearer–I doubt she would answer any questions directly if she were to appear. My feeling is that her schedule will not allow her to testify in front of the committee before she steps down as Secretary of State, and after she steps down, she will simply say that since she is not longer Secretary of State, there is no reason for her to appear. The Clinton playbook really hasn’t changed much.

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Asking The Foxes To Help Protect The Henhouse

CNS News reported today that the Obama Administration will ask the Global Counterterrorism Forum to consider allowing Israel to contribute to its forum–not become a member–but to contribute. It is interesting to note that more than a third of the forum members are Islamic nations.

The article reports:

State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Friday that the administration has “succeeded and agreed with our partners” in the Global Counterterrorism Forum to include the issue (allowing Israel to contribute) as a formal item on the agenda for a GCTF ministerial meeting in the United Arab Emirates.

Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are included as members of the forum.

Please read the article at CNS News for further details. The obvious questions is, “Why are we participating in this forum that excludes Israel when all we really need to do is ask Israel (the most successful country in the world in dealing with terrorism) how to deal with the problem?”

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Don’t Mess With The State Department

The State Department has an interesting history. They selectively leaked information during the Bush Administration to undermine the Bush presidency. From the beginning of the Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton (and the State Department) took responsibility for not providing accurate security in Benghazi. President Obama has said in multiple news conferences and campaign appearances that his claim that the attack on the Embassy Annex was caused by a video was based on information he received from the State Department. Well, the truth is starting to come out.

This article is based on three sources–an article posted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air today, an ABC News story posted last night and a Fox News story posted today.

Hot Air reports:

If the scoop from Reuters last night surprised Americans with the knowledge that the intel community knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous demonstration that spun out of control, no one was more surprised than Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss.  His committee has been requesting those e-mails for weeks, and Chambliss to Fox and Friends that the information in them shows why they demanded them in the first place.

…Finally, we have last night’s revelation that the Situation Room got e-mails from the intel community while the attack was underway that clearly gave evidence that this was no spontaneous demonstration gone amok. They had plenty of evidence — “concrete evidence,” to use Jay Carney’s terminology — that the sacking of the consulate and assassination of our Ambassador was a planned terrorist attack.

ABC News reports:

A series of email alerts sent as Obama administration officials monitored the attack on the U.S consulate in Benghazi last month are the latest to shine light on the chaotic events that culminated in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The names of the individual recipients of the emails, first reported by CBS News but independently obtained by ABC News Tuesday evening, are redacted. A source who requested anonymity said it appears they are sent by the State Department Operations Center to distribution lists and email accounts for the top national security officials at the State Department, Pentagon, the FBI, the White House Situation Room and the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Fox News reports:

A series of internal State Department emails obtained by Fox News shows that officials reported within hours of last month’s deadly consulate attack in Libya that Al Qaeda-tied group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility.

The emails provide some of the most detailed information yet about what officials knew in the initial hours after the attack. And it again raises questions about why U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, apparently based on intelligence assessments, would claim five days after the attack that it was a “spontaneous” reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film.

First of all, if anyone in the White House was aware of this attack in real time, why didn’t they send help? Second of all, why the rush to blame the video? Third, why is the man responsible for the video being kept in jail until after the election?

The attack in Benghazi was an indication of the fact that the Arab Spring has not brought democracy–it has brought persecution of Christians, Sharia Law, and chaos. These are not the results of a successful foreign policy. We have been lied to from the start of the reporting on this attack, and it is time to vote the liars out of office.


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Appearance vs Security

Katie Pavlich at posted an article today about some of the recent comments made about the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi.

The article explains:

Last week during congressional testimony from State Department officials who were on the ground in Libya, we heard over and over again that more security for the consulate in Benghazi was requested but denied. We also heard repeatedly from Democrats, including Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings, claiming a lack of funding was at fault for less security in Benghazi during the time of the attack on 9/11 that left four Americans dead. State Department officials said funding had nothing to do with the situation and now, Chairman Darrell Issa has revealed the State Department is sitting on $2 billion for consulate security, but won’t spend it.

From a common sense perspective, this makes no sense, but the rationale is explained later in the article:

Issa (Rep. Darrell Issa , Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) claims the State Department will not spend the already approved funds because they didn’t want to the appearance of needing increased security.

“The fact is, they [the State Department.] are making the decision not to put the security in because they don’t want the presence of security,” Issa said. “That is not how you do security.”

Four people are dead because the Obama Administration valued appearances more than they valued security.

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Mistaken Priorities posted an article on Friday about some of the money spent on American Embassies overseas.

The lead paragraph of the article points out:

While our consulate in Benghazi was guarded by unarmed Libyan contractors making $4 an hour, our embassy in Vienna received an expensive charging station for its new electric cars to help fight climate change.

The article also states that there were 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012. Forty-eight of those incidents took place in Benghazi. Was anyone paying attention?

The article states:

In a May 3, 2012, email on which Ambassador Stevens was copied, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. Embassy in Libya to continue their use of a DC-3 airplane for security operations throughout the country.

Four days after the use of an ancient DC-3, along with other security requests, was being denied, on May 7, 2012, the State Department authorized the U.S. Embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric-vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts.

The article concludes:

Instead of an “Energy Efficiency Sweep Of Europe,” money should have been provided for a terrorist sweep of the Middle East that included protection for our diplomats in places like Benghazi. The $535 million wasted by Obama-Biden on Solyndra would have helped.

It seems that someone’s priorities were misplaced.

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Does This Mean I Can Leave My Shoes On ?

Yesterday the Weekly Standard posted an article about a rather amazing statement made by senior official in the State Department.

The article reports:

The war on terror is over,” a senior official in the State Department official tells the National Journal. “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.” 

Evidently, the theory behind the statement is the belief that the Arab Spring has changed things. The Obama Administration sees the need to cultivate positive relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘moderate’ Muslim groups. That’s a really interesting idea considering that the stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide caliphate achieved by overthrowing western governments either by force or subversion. (google: Holy Land Foundation Case documents)

I understand that the State Department wants to make friends with everyone. That is an admirable goal, but how wise is it to attempt to cuddle a rattlesnake? The war on terror is not over. Unfortunately, those who seek to do us harm are still out there planning. Are we planning defense?

The article concludes:

This new outlook is radically different than what was expressed under President George W. Bush immediately after September 11, 2001. “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity,” Bush said on November 6, 2001. “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.

For President Barack Obama, it would seem, one can be both with us and against us–or not with us, but not quite against us. 

We shouldn’t forget the need to protect our country. I’m not sure that President Obama understands that concept.



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