Well here we are with full blown congressional hearings on the Obama Administration’s alleged bungling of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. The accusation being that the State Department with the CIA and the White House, knowingly covered up the fact that they were taken completely unaware and then claimed a viral Anti-Muslim video for the attack and murder of four U.S. civilians including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Benghazi, as we all now know, is in Libya and is where the U.S. maintained our consulate as well as a CIA installation. The truth is the attack was carried out by a jihad group and not as we were first told, by a violent riot that was a result of a demonstration against an anti-Muslim video.
Immediately, the Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, went on the talk shows and claimed that it was a spontaneous reaction to this video that got out of hand. Now whether Rice knew the actual reason and was lying or did not have all the information and was repeating what she had been told should be the actual reason for the hearings. Both are a model of ineptitude and the administration needs to be open and honest about what they know and when they knew it. Was there an information lock down? Was Rice given talking points with no facts to back them up? Who gave them to her? Was she set up as the administrations fall guy? Was she left out of the information loop? Is it possible that in the immediate aftermath, this was the best intelligence they had? This and many more questions need to be asked and answered so that we can learn what happened and ensure that this does get repeated. Those who willfully withheld information need to explain why. If the administration had information they were not sharing we need to know why.
But the tenor of the hearing is so politically bent, it is hard to imagine any real answers will come out. It seems that in the five years of a nearly scandal-free White House, this is the raw meat the GOP can leap on with utter abandon. Let me be clear before I go on. I agree that there was a huge fuck-up in October. I agree that we need to really understand if there was any way this could have been prevented. And I believe that incorrect information was sent out before there were actual facts to back it up.
But, I am less interested in the nonsense about who told who to say what and what information was known and immediately shouted from all the cable news shows than I am about the consistent lack of security funding that may have protected our consulate and those inside. We need to know why there was not enough security at this embassy when they requested it. According to the Democratic House Oversight Committee staff, the amount that the GOP-led House passed for two accounts that pay for embassy security in fiscal 2012 ($2.311 billion) was $330 million less than the Obama administration had requested ($2.641 billion). A GOP House Appropriations Committee aide confirmed the House bill had less in these accounts than what the administration requested. However, the final bill, after being worked on by the Democratic-led Senate, put in more money than what had passed in the House.
So we do know that the GOP-led House rejected the additional funds that were requested by the White House for embassy security, yet they will not entertain the reality that the embassy was out-manned because of the lack of additional security. I would like to know who voted to decrease the budget for embassy security. I would like to put them in the hearing hot seat and ask them how do they feel now? Did the saving a few bucks make up for the loss of four lives?
This whole witch hunt is so hypocritical it actually makes me shake with anger. Meanwhile, 10 years after we invaded a sovereign country, Iraq, not ONE hearing has been called to go after the liars that put us there and killed thousands of US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
Why have Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Bush not been brought to task for their monumental failures? They spent trillions we did not have and sacrificed thousands of lives for what? To get back at Saddam Hussein? They took our soldiers out of Afghanistan where we know Al Qaeda was and sent them to invade a country that had NOTHING to do with the 9/11 attacks. And THIS was not investigated???
The Bush administration knowingly lied repeatedly to the American people over and over again regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction that were so dangerous, so imminent, so close to being used against the United States that we just had to go to war against Iraq RIGHT NOW.
But even earlier, we know that President Bush, while on vacation again in Crawford, received a Presidential Daily Briefing warning, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” FBI highlights Al Qaeda activities consistent with hijacking preparations, as well as surveillance of federal buildings. [Date the public knew: 5/18/02] Then even more damning, on 8/6/01 a CIA officer flies to Crawford to call Bush’s attention to document. Bush replies, “All right, you’ve covered your ass now.“ [Date the public knew: 6/20/06] On 9/10/01, NSA intercepts messages that say, “The match is about to begin” and “Tomorrow is zero hour.” Not translated until Sept. 12. [Date the public knew: 6/10/02]
And most damning was the 9/20/01, the anti Iraq organization Project for the New American Century (PNAC) sent a letter to Bush: “Even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power.” [Date the public knew: 11/22/05] On 9/22/01 Bush was briefed by intel community that there is no evidence linking Saddam to 9/11. [Date the public knew: 11/22/05]
The Bush administration’s willful manipulation of intelligence is shocking.
At a March 2006 congressional hearing examining the march to war in Iraq, Republican congressman Walter Jones posed “a very simple question” about the administration’s manipulation of intelligence: “How could the professionals see what was happening and nobody speak out?” Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, responded with an equally simple answer: “The vice president.”
But after lying to the public and falsely claiming Mission Accomplished, after outing CIA agent Valerie Plame and putting her life in jeopardy because her husband publicly criticized President Bush for falsely stating Hussein bought nuclear weapons-grade uranium in the African nation of Niger, after (GASP) finding there were no WMDs, after admitting that there was no exit plan, “We don’t have an exit strategy, we have a victory strategy.” U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in 2005, not a single person from the White House administration was called out to explain this massive and deadly deception. Even after General Colin Powell finally admitted Iraq was a mistake and the public was (deliberately) misled, not a single administration official was brought to a single hearing to explain their irresponsible, and possibly criminal actions. Actions which caused the absolutely unnecessary deaths and horrific injuries to thousands of US servicemen and women over a 10-year period. Now that is shocking.
I’m not saying that Benghazi wasn’t a tragedy and that we do need answers to how information is disseminated and who was responsible for putting out false statements, who knew what when, but seriously? These concerned public servants are salivating at the thought of an Obama cover up. Let me remind our esteemed Senators and Congressmen, the cover up which you should have been uncovering is the massive trail of deception, lies, threats, outright fraud and dangerous criminal actions of the Bush Warriors. Those cowards who, while never serving a day in the military themselves, took every opportunity and gleefully sent thousands of our brave and dedicated soldiers on a no-win situation with bullshit reasoning and outrageous consequences.
Where is the outrage for this? Where is the Congressional Hearings with the Warrior Quartet?
Bush is retired, opening his library (the first one he’s been in?) and is happily hanging out in Crawford painting creepy pictures of himself in the bath. Cheney got a new heart (insert joke here) while still acting like he did nothing wrong, all the while having the brass cojones to criticize the Obama administration on Fox. And Condi Rice, you know the one who never bothered to follow up with her boss about the whole plane attacking the U.S. thingy? She’s now a Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Rumsfeld has written a book, “Known and Unknown: A Memoir.” So, yeah, they sure learned their lesson.
What do you think? Are these empty witch hunts? Is this the only hearing for Embassy terrorists ? Did you know that U.S. embassies have been attacked 10 times while President George W. Bush was in office? Oh and eight of those attacks occurred while Rumsfeld was serving as Secretary of Defense.
Including the attacks on Tuesday, U.S. embassies have come under attack twice since Obama took office.
For the complete Benghazi report, please click here.