Saturday, May 3, 2014

These are not the emails you are looking for

By Donald Sensing

Jonah Goldberg makes a humorous, though solid, connection between White House Jay Carney's press conference style and the classic scene from the first Star Wars movie released:



Goldberg:

Carney: These are not the droids you’re looking for, idiots. 
Ed Henry, Fox News: But Jay, these look exactly like the droids we’ve been looking for. In fact, the serial numbers match. 
Carney: Ed, I understand your network is deeply invested in finding a story here. But the simple fact is that these are in no way the droids you’re looking for. Move along. 
Henry: One last follow-up, Jay. The golden droid on the right just said, “Excuse me sirs, but we are in fact exactly the droids you’ve been looking for. Thank goodness you found us.” ...
There is an enormous amount of theorizing about what the “real story” behind Benghazi really is. To me it’s always been obvious. The White House was caught off guard — for reasons stemming both from ideology and incompetence — on September 11, 2012. As they have after virtually every other (jihadist) terrorist attack on Americans, they acted as if it had absolutely nothing to do with them. As with the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and other Islamist assaults, there’s always some other reason for the bloodshed, some attempt to claim, at least for a while, that this was an “isolated incident” with no broader implications for the War on Terror or Obama’s foreign policy. Admittedly, even this White House understood that spinning the Benghazi attack as an isolated incident wasn’t going to work (such intense spinning could risk irreparable scrotal torsion). So they went with the story about the video. ...

Given that the Benghazi attack came during the thick of the presidential election, it’s no surprise that the White House’s political and ideological instincts overpowered everything else.
So the White House's recently-released emails reveal their their principal concern about the attack, coming less than two months before the presidential election, was to show that the attack and the four American deaths were the result of a Youtube video, not anything having to do with American policy.

And now, as Obama's former minister used to say, "The chickens are coming home to roost." A US House select committee will soon be formed to probe deeply into the Benghazi debacle.

Select committees are ...
... created by a resolution that outlines its duties and powers and the procedures for appointing members. Select and special committees are often investigative in nature, rather than legislative... .
Select committees have been formed for varying reasons since the beginning of the republic. It was conclusions reached by a Senate committee regarding the Watergate cover-up that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. Had he not resigned, Nixon certainly would have been impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate - not mainly for the criminal break-in of his minions at the Watergate Hotel, but for the lying and cover-up that followed that reached all the way into the Oval Office itself.

The key question asked by the Senate's special committee was that of Howard Baker (R-Tenn.).
 During the committee's proceedings, he captured the essence of the committee's inquiry with a succinct question that became a Washington mantra: "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"
 It frankly is impossible that any Democrat of the House select committee would ask that question in even the most ambiguous way of any witness. Nonetheless, it must be asked and must be answered.

And it will be asked. But it won't be answered.

But let's start with an even more basic question: When the attack was occurring, over a period of several hours, what was the president doing and what was his involvement in the decision process?

Answer: In the evening, Washington time, when the attack was starting in Benghazi, the president was just beginning "debate prep" for an upcoming debate with Mitt Romney. According to "the former Communications Director for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor," President Obama was never in the White House Situation Room during the entire event.

"What did the president know, and when did he know it?" is a question relating to the ridiculous spin doctoring after the attack concerning the source of the outright lie to the American people that the attack was actually a spontaneous "demonstration" out side the US consulate because of a Youtube video perceived to insult Islam. Multiple witnesses and sources in the CIA and State and Defense Departments have confirmed that they knew it was a preplanned al Qaeda attack almost at its inception.

But first things first. Four Americans died that night with no kind of rescue attempt being mounted - and the attack went on for hours. So the first relevant question is not about the cover-up, but about the president's involvement in shaping events that night: "Where was the president and what was he doing?"


Update: Andrew McCarthy:
We do know that the president was informed about the Benghazi siege only minutes after it began — because military officials, who have felt obliged to account for their actions, have reported telling him about it. We know, as The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol notes, that “while Americans were under assault in Benghazi, the president found time for a non-urgent, politically useful, hour-long call to [Israeli] Prime Minister Netanyahu” — a call made because Obama was wooing Jewish voters unsettled by his notorious disdain for Netanyahu, and thus a call it was in his interest to publicize. We have been told, moreover, that about five hours after learning that Americans were under attack, Obama had a phone call with Secretary Clinton — immediately after which, even as Woods and Doherty were still fighting for their lives, Clinton put out a statement spinning the Benghazi violence as the product of an obscure anti-Muslim Internet video.
But this is all of a longstanding behavior of this administration, quite the usual pattern.

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