Tag Archives: Benghazi

The Magnitude of Hillary’s Lies

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Fact checkers say they have been having a field day with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. They tend to say both lie or dissemble or speak half- or untruths.

As citizens, we can become hard-pressed to consume these lies, and the facts to which they are often joined, apply our ratiocination to them, and determine which facts – and lies – are acceptable.

The organs of alleged unbiased news reporting proffer their own conclusions. For example, the Washington Post has declared that Trump has spoken many more falsities than Hillary, though both to one extent or another remain distrusted.

I’m not in a position to dispute the Post. There is too much to learn and to weigh. As reasoning men and women, however, we do not merely want to consider the characteristic of number but also the characteristic of magnitude.

Please understand I do not condone dishonesty, nor would I suggest that one liar be held to a lower standard than another liar, or one liar to a higher standard than another. Yet as citizens who observe the unfortunate reality of ambitious campaigns and the fantastical rhetoric by which candidates seek to create an illusion about themselves and about their opponents, We are often faced with the task of sorting out, not merely fact from fiction, but the values of those facts and, most painfully, the values of those fictions.

So we come to Trump and Hillary. I prefer that neither of them lie. It’s a task enough to evaluate and render a verdict on their individual policies and their collective effect as a group without sifting through their, well, deplorables.

In fact – ahem! – we can use policies as an example. A person may be inclined to agree with more of Hillary’s policies, for example, but if that person sees a greater magnitude of importance in keeping out illegal immigrants and potentially violent refugees, as well as creating new, higher paying jobs, then the magnitude of the policies Trump advocates will propel her to pull the lever for Trump.

Analogously, we want to weigh the magnitude of the fictions, the lies, each candidate has spouted. Which lies tend more toward being intolerable? Which lies, while drawing our ire, can we live with?

It is here that Trump wins the debate on honesty, such as it is, and thus “earns” our trust.

Trump’s lies range from simple, bloated exaggerations to equivocations to fibs of embarrassment to sheer fictions: the border wall is going to be “beautiful” (really?); he knows more than the generals and intelligence officers; he always opposed the Iraq war; the president was born on foreign soil.

In fairness to him, most of those statements are not completely false, if one considers a figurative or equivocal sense or even a generalized one. For those of us anxious to see citizenship in our country full of meaning and value and to see our immigration laws respected and enforced, the wall and its accouterments will be beautiful. Trump does NOT know the intelligence business like the generals and intelligence officers do, but he may well know better how to figure out and use any accurate and full intel they can give him. Trump’s opposition to the Iraq War was set in stone and has remained consistent since before the War began and after an initial interview when he tepidly okayed, clearly before he had given it serious thought, intervention in Iraq. Although Mr. Obama’s birther issue was worth pursuing, when Trump pursued it beyond the presentation of the birth certificate, it became a lie.

(A quick digression here: Mr. Obama aided and abetted the movement when he chose to withhold his birth certificate from examination. The president has manifested also what I would call a “third world” attitude and intellection that falls far short of America and Americans first and that subverts the national interest. His Kenyan father influenced the president in that direction. Forbes presented an in-depth article on this several years ago.)

While a desire for a pristine image generates lying for the sake of image, not all image lying enjoys the same magnitude. Franklin Delano Roosevelt prevented news reporters from taking photos of him in his wheelchair. He did not want to be seen as a cripple and attach that lack of capacity to his function as commander-in-chief. So every photo of him without his wheelchair is a lie, but a tolerable one.

Trump lies to project an image of strength and success. While the particulars are sometimes lies – he knows more than the generals and intelligence officers – he owns a proven track record of negotiation, leadership, and success. Such lies are silly and sometimes stupid and counterproductive. Within the context of that overall success, however, they are more tolerable that the prevarications of Hillary.

That’s because of the magnitude of Hillary’s lies.

Hillary lied to enhance her image, but she used those lies to cover criminal behavior. She used those lies to cover her exposure of national security information to our enemies for the sake of her short-term (convenience) and long-term (ability to erase mistakes and cover her tracks) objectives. She lied to cover her failure to properly assess the intelligence and events in Benghazi that led to the deaths of an American ambassador and three Americans trying to protect him. She lied when she said an American film mocking Islam caused the deadly Benghazi consulate attack. She repeated that lie to the survivors of the murdered Benghazi Americans, THEN LIED WHEN SHE SAID SHE NEVER TOLD THEM THAT! She lied when she told a senate committee investigating the Benghazi terrorism that she did not want to interrupt the process of the assessment of what was going down in Benghazi when as secretary of state she was, in fact, the most key person in that process outside of the president. She lied when she claimed that she came under fire during a landing in Bosnia in 2008.

Except for the Bosnia lie, all the above-listed image lies possess a greater magnitude and consequence for our country and its citizens than anything Trump has said. They all speak with force about the defective nature of Hillary’s character. Her growth and accomplishment as a liar enables her to produce a facade of friendliness and professionalism, of caring and idealism, of togetherness and fighter. Hillary is not the usual, classical populist; she is a populist for the socially engineered ideologues and those who aren’t but who out of fear or a sense of shame or guilt follow its moralizing bullet train. She is a populist for the divided: she has carved up the country into tidy factions to which she can appeal: women, latinos, blacks, gays, etc. Divide and conquer.

Hillary is the Great Divider. Whoever or whatever you are, she’ll carve you up into a group, victimize you, then sell her goods to you in exchange for your vote. She’s like an attorney who buys you drinks at the bar, hands you your keys, watches you drive off and collide with someone, then comes over and gives you her card.

The problem is that carving up everyone into a group and convincing them she is fighting for them inevitably produces contradictions. So Hillary supports gay rights, except that she wants to import more Islamic refugees who want to kill gays. Hillary “fights” for children, except the ones she aborts, and especially the ones she aborts who are halfway out of the womb, still kicking, until the doctor inserts a cold, metal clamper into the womb and crushes their skulls. Hillary fights for women until her husband molests or harasses those women – that’s when she FIGHTS women and sets up a “War Room” to find and destroy the reputations and testimony of the women he victimized. Hillary stands with our forces until she refuses to take telephone calls or find out what’s going on in Benghazi and people die. Hillary stands for free trade agreements and partnerships that cost Americans jobs and create unconstitutional, extra-legal international bodies to render verdicts that involve powerful special interests until it might cost her votes in a presidential campaign. And one of the most laughable lies/contradictions is her rants against Trump’s stand on nuclear nonproliferation when she helped put together and sanctioned the Iran deal, which guarantees that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons!!!

There you have it, though I’m sure many more prevarications exist in Hillary’s record, Hilliar’s record.

Evaluating and rendering judgment isn’t only about quantity, but quality. They aren’t only about numbers but magnitude. The magnitude of Hillary’s individual lies, and of the whole collection of them, is off the charts!

You must decide. The challenge before you is the simplicity of Trump’s character. He’s a blunt New Yorker who wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s why he can get away with paying no tax. He thinks he was smart to use the tax laws the way they are. I don’t like that he didn’t pay any tax, if that is the case, but it’s hard for me to disagree that it takes a pretty smart guy to do that legally.

Clinton’s deception is built on a rock solid foundation and long accomplished history of sophistry. She has practiced lying and dissembling for so long, she feels – she knows – she can get away with it. She owns the ability to convince well-meaning people that she is what she isn’t and that she isn’t what she is. Of course, there must be a willingness to believe, but nobody preys on that like Hillary.

Will you be divided and conquered, or will you slip past Hillary’s sophistry, to see her as she is, and to govern yourself accordingly.

It’s all in the magnitude of Hillary’s lies.

Bill Bashes Obamacare; Hillary Laughs at Voters

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An amazing thing happened yesterday. Former President Bill Clinton called the Affordable Health Care Act – known widely as “Obamacare” – crazy. In fact, he named it, “the craziest thing in the world.”

The former president said Obamacare was crazy because it has imposed an unbearable burden on middle class Americans who were working “60 hours a week” to pay for it to succeed, a burden that has punished them financially.

It’s not the first time Mr. Clinton has savaged the piece of legislation that the current president, Mr. Obama, considers the signature act of his presidency and his legacy, and which Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary, has vowed to perpetuate.

You can hear or read the former president’s exact words here:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/04/politics/bill-clinton-obamacare-craziest-thing/index.html

and here:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bill-clinton-criticizes-obamacare-calls-u-s-healthcare-crazy-article-1.2817355

To be fair, Mr. Clinton did not advocate for a complete turn away from universal health care, though he did not advocate a strict staying with it either. He did suggest that at least in the respect he described, Obamacare was a failure that needed urgent attention for a remedy.

The bottom line, however, is that “affordable” health care isn’t affordable for everyone. A huge chunk of hardworking Americans, the mainstream of this country, is being punished to make it work. The reason that is so is because huge corporations were granted an inexpensive out from the system, which many have taken, and the 25 million persons now allegedly covered by Obama’s plan put absolutely nothing into it.

Pundits and people alike are struggling to reconcile Mr. Clinton’s denunciation of Obamacare and his wife’s angry, dogmatic support of it. Some explanations have been proposed, and we will review them and add a possibility.

It’s not just that Mr. Clinton disagrees with his wife; it’s that he has more than once disagreed with her on this issue. So there has been time for Hillary’s campaign to school Mr. Clinton on what he can and cannot say. Hillary has said her husband will be a major source of counsel and management in her administration, perhaps her chief advisor. So she knows and has known exactly where he stands.

So what’s up with Mr. Clinton’s denunciation of Obamacare?

Some are explaining it as Bill out of control, in discord with his wife and with Mr. Obama, the latter with whom he shares no lost love. His stunning frankness reveals at the least his intention to influence his wife away from the system constructed by Obamacare, perhaps completely away from universal health care at least as embodied in the existing legislation. Mr. Clinton, who was willing to deal with Republicans to help create a solvent administration that eventually created a financial surplus, wants to see his wife replace the affordable health care act with something different that keeps alive the ideal of universal health care but through pragmatic legislation that would reject Obama’s financially destructive act.

A toned down version of that explanation suggests that Mr. Clinton is signaling to Republicans that Hillary will compromise on the affordable health care act, something she cannot say during her campaign, while signaling faithful Democrats that she will never relinquish the ideal of universal health care. In this scenario, the affordable health care would be modified – significantly – but some sections would be left intact. This also provides a give-and-take with Republicans. In exchange, Hillary will want something else, and she will expect the Republicans to give it to her. For the time being, Mr. Clinton may have to walk back or appear to walk back his comments, but the long term signal is clear: Hillary will deal where Obama wouldn’t. It’s her own version of Trump’s “nothing is sacred, nothing is off the table” without her declaring such.

This is both good and bad for the American people, if it is true. The achievement of ideological and policy objectives requires either overwhelming support or compromise. In this day of polarization, compromise will usually fit the bill. Things will get done, and that alone would be a vast improvement over the Obama administration.

Compromise also reveals, however, the underlying reality of an establishment class divided into two factions who wield power for their enrichment and satisfaction. The give-and-take is for them, and only collaterally, if at all, serves the public in the sense that the public must be kept mollified just enough to go along with their decisions and to remain blind and deaf to what is really going on. It’s a kind of “Shove this bottle of formula in your mouth while mommy and daddy decide what we are doing” philosophy of governance. The baby consumes the formula and falls asleep. Mommy and daddy shovel the baby into the crib in a room upstairs at the back of the house. Mommy and daddy party wildly with the other mommies and daddies downstairs.

In a democracy, each and every citizen is a mommy or daddy. No one should lord over them. However, our system is not set up that way any more, from the limited two parties to the donor class who can pump fistfuls and suitcases of dollars into shaping policy and buying the allegiance of lawmakers. Our democracy is failing us, and too many of us cannot see it.

A third explanation is simply that Mr. Clinton, much older now (70), is speaking with the frankness of age. He’s looked at Obamacare and he doesn’t like it. Mr. Clinton believes it’s a bad policy that doesn’t work, even though his wife may have no desire to make anything but minor tweaks to it. He doesn’t reflect her or her campaign’s thinking at all but, in spite of his prevarications about his sexual conduct, just wants to give his straight observations to his fellow Americans. That neither makes him conservative nor denies his liberality, nor does it mean he stands against universal health care. He just thinks the Obamacare legislation was the wrong tool to get it done, and he’s not going to fudge it for his wife, perhaps much to her chagrin.

This explanation, too, has merit. Mr. Clinton, the politician par excellence, has shown signs of weariness along the campaign trail. He wants people to know what he’s thinking, and even he has his times where he cannot tolerate the BS. Mr. Clinton desires policies that work as much as policies that achieve his objectives. He does not believe the two are incompatible, and he is genuinely shocked at the machinery of the Obamacare legislation, which punishes a large segment of hardworking American citizens.

This looms as a key difference between Mr. Clinton and his wife.

Like Mr. Obama, Hillary stands out as an ideologue first and foremost who pulls and twists reality to conform to her ideology and its desired outcomes. Mr. Clinton is a liberal idealist but a pragmatist, too. He works to achieve his liberal objectives within the shape of reality.

Understand that neither the terms “ideologue” nor “liberal idealist but a pragmatist, too” are intended to imply that either Hillary or Mr. Clinton always act in accordance with their meanings. There are times when all of us wax ideological or pragmatic regardless of the category into which we generally fall. Many times other categories prevail in our reflection and decision-making. Thoughts and emotions swirl within a complexity we don’t always understand, at least not right away.

Generally speaking, however, Hillary and Mr. Clinton can be understood in the manner described.

A fourth explanation lies in the dishonesty and pridefulness that blemishes Hillary’s character. Hillary has marked her career by support for policies she varnishes with the rhetoric of “fighting for women” or “fighting for the middle class” or possession of a “fitness” or “temperament” for office or a “resumé of experience” that will bring stability and security and prosperity to American citizens. Yet she, and perhaps her husband, too, mock those who support her, precisely because she knows they are accepting her faux reasoning.

Remember when Hillary was asked whether she wiped her private server of government emails or ordered that her server be wiped? Do you remember what she said and how she said it?

What, like, with a cloth or something?”

You can surf to YouTube and query “hillary wiped server with cloth”, and you will find a multitude of videos to choose from, including videos from Bloomberg and CNN, enemies of Trump and supporters of Clinton.

What, like, with a cloth or something?”

The profundity of significance in her faux question does not even lie with its dissembling, although that is an element of the profundity. Rather, it lies with the attitude that gave birth to the dissembling, the notion that she could look reasonably intelligent reporters in the eye and American viewers in the eye and mock them by saying something she knew was disingenuous and something she knew was a flimsy cover for the fact that she did have her server wiped!

That attitude of mockery persists in every defect of her performance as a professional politician. That’s why she lied about sending and receiving classified material on her private server, in violation of the law and the protocols that governed the management of classified material. She already knew she would not be prosecuted. She is saying, “I can do what I want, and you won’t touch me, and I am still going to govern this country and run your lives. I am going to lie to you, make it obvious, and provide an explanation you will be only too willing to accept because I have taken – and you have given me – influence over your minds.”

Hillary Clinton is living proof of Neal Stephenson’s concept of mindshare and the ability of collectives (in his book, In the Beginning Was the Command Line, collective or collectivist corporations) to establish and grow a toehold in people’s minds to the point where people accept and defend that corporate view willingly.

Hillary is not alone. Many other elitist practitioners of mindshare exist on all sides of the ideological spectrum. Indeed, she has drawn endorsements and support from many of them. But the strength of her arrogance and her snobbery elevates her even among other elitist practitioners. Yet her supporters do not, perhaps cannot, because of their intellectual abdication, see it or act on it.

So when Mr. Clinton spits on the features and working of Obamacare, and Hillary allows him to, it is a part of her psychology, of her pattern of gamesmanship: letting Americans know what she really is and yet convincing them to pull the lever for her and her wasteful policies anyway. That’s why she screamed with all the affectation of indignation, “What difference does it make!?” during a senate hearing.

Please, examine carefully what she said. Her reply to the question of obtaining timely information to make a decision about what to do in Benghazi was to say:

With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and to do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

First, please note that Hillary was asked to respond to a question about why she didn’t pick up the phone, call the ambassador in Benghazi or others there, to find out exactly what was happening. She avoided answering at first. Afterward, she said she didn’t want to interfere with the process and uttered her notorious “what difference does it make” line.

Second, Hillary was asking about an event over which she had authority and management. She was not someone “outside of the process”. As secretary of state, other than the president, she was the chief part of the process. She, of her own choice, became an aloof outsider to the process with fatal consequences.

Third, Hillary tosses in an axiom about what should be done from this point on to obscure her accountability for what should have been done before the murders by terrorists occurred at Benghazi. Sure, she should figure out what happened, since she didn’t know beforehand, so death can be prevented in the future; that does not exclude the requirement that it was her job to figure out what was going on, either before it went down or as it was going down, to prevent the unnecessary deaths of our four fellow Americans in the first place. That’s why she received classified diplomatic and intelligence information that she illicitly stored on her server.

This is a huge point. Every western country with an embassy or consulate in Benghazi pulled out its people. They pulled out their people because they knew an attack was coming. They knew who it was coming from, too. The only person and the only government in the western world that maintained a diplomatic presence in Benghazi in spite of overwhelming evidence and information that that presence was in peril was the government that spun around the Obama-Hillary axis, the United States.

It’s unfortunate to have to say it, but Hillary has no shame. She then further torqued the whole Benghazi tale and flatly lied to the faces of the relative-survivors of the four Americans murdered about why they had been murdered: Libyans were protesting an anti-Muslim film. Then she lied to everyone else about what she had said to the relatives of the murdered! A mountain of lies!

One cannot exaggerate the immensity and offensiveness of the personal lie Hillary told to the surviving relatives of the Americans murdered in Benghazi. It’s offensiveness is bloated to the greatest, most expansive proportions. And It’s impossible to exaggerate the immensity and the baldfacedness of the lie that an anti-Muslim movie generated the murderous riot in Benghazi. Playing on the guilt some Americans feel about their natural aversion to Islam and its tenets of violence and its prophets of violence, she blamed the murders of four Americans on America and Americans. Americans are anti-Islamic and thus anti-diversity and anti-compassion and so we made a film that ridiculed Mohammed and Islam (thought we had free speech) and WE brought death to our own people. It’s a terrorist’s, and a murderer’s, dream: “I murdered you because you caused me to murder you. It’s your own fault!”

Mindshare. Hillary has captured it from her supporters, well-meaning but terribly misled and intellectually abused supporters. You may not think or believe or even entertain anything ill about Islam or Islamics, but you may think, believe, and entertain anything ill about yourself and your country.

That’s the tie-in with Mr. Clinton’s stunningly frank disembowelment of Obamacare. Hillary is laughing at you, because she and Obama took an ideal, twisted it into an unworkable policy, got you to accept it (got Congress to accept it without even reading it!). She’s telling you, through herself or her husband, that she is feeding you fecal matter and getting you to eat it anyway. She’s telling you, signaling to you, that she is lying to you, and then employing the simplest, most indignant, and most intellectually subversive excuses to protest the truth of her lies, and finally laughing at you when she obtains your acceptance, if not your agreement!

Sophistication and truth are not the same thing.

That has been her victory. That is the contest she really wants to win. Winning the presidency is simply the crown to her pathology of egomania and prevarication.

As much as any shame that accrues to her, we the voters are full of shame if we accept her and elect her.

Caveat emptor!

When Trust Collapses

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It has become common practice to label candidates from opposing parties as liars. Though the designation may be true, it loses its force as we writers employ it repeatedly and as the partisans in the political theater insert it into their scripts repeatedly.

I, too, am guilty.

So what is one to do? Say it in a fresh, meaningful way remains our only recourse.

On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey announced the findings of his bureau’s investigation into then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of her own server to send and receive State Department communications, including messages deemed classified, i.e., designated as owning a level of security beyond the normal, such as “Top Secret”.

Comey stated the investigation did not find evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton when she exposed classified material to public scrutiny, including the scrutiny of our enemies.

The FBI director did find that Hillary Clinton was careless and reckless in the way she set up and used her private email account for the nation’s secret business. He also noted that her legal hirelings scrubbed the server so thoroughly that neither the FBI nor the State Department was able to recover all her government emails, emails that do not belong to her but that belong to we, the people, through our elected representatives and their agents. Further, Comey observed that Hillary Clinton, shall we say, uttered several falsehoods.

That means she either asserted the existence of something that did not exist, or she asserted the nonexistence of something that did exist.

I won’t belabor the outcry that she should be prosecuted for her actions. As a foreign policy buff, I am shocked by her attitude and her actions, but it seems pointless to dwell on the legality or criminality of them. We need to determine the damage and remedy it. We need to ask ourselves why such a person is running for the highest office in the land.

As voters, we must ask ourselves the significance of her utterance of falsehoods, falsehoods she repeated often in the same or modified form.

The first falsehood we will examine is when Hillary Clinton claimed that she turned over all her State Department emails to both State and to the FBI. Comey said that was false, that, in fact, they still have not all been turned over, in part because not all were recovered, and they likely never will.

A second falsehood is her coy deflection of what it meant to “wipe” a server, asking reporters what they meant, like “with a cloth”. Not only was her expression utterly disingenuous and a spitting on the intelligence of American citizens, a sign that she knew exactly what she had been doing, but she did, in fact, have her server wiped.

A third falsehood: no classified material ever made it to her server. She neither sent nor received classified material at her private email account. The falsehood of this claim was established early on, so she mutated her claim to say that she did not send or receive material that was labeled classified from her private email account.

That mutation became a fourth falsehood. Comey made it clear that at least some of the emails, and he pointedly remarked both emails that originated with her and emails that were sent to her, were labeled classified, including those with the highest confidentiality rating.

Yet a fifth falsehood is Hillary Clinton’s claim that she only used one device to access her private email server onto which she hijacked the nation’s business. Comey stated she used multiple devices, which opens up greater theft of secrets for our enemies’ hackers.

Which brings us to a sixth falsehood: the private email server was not exposed to hackers. Comey said there was evidence that hackers attempted and may have succeeded in breaking into her vulnerable, private servers, or that they accessed email contents from the recipients’ end, the unsecured accounts of those persons to whom she sent her emails.

We could go further and address other utterances of falsehood she directed to American intellects, such as her stated reasoning for using a private email server: her convenience so she could access both work and private emails. Knowing that her government emails were subject to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, why would she or anyone else want to place their truly private emails on the same server, much less the same account, and risk having them exposed to the public?

She wouldn’t. The ONLY reason she would, would be to have the ability to destroy her government emails. In other words, hiding the public’s business from the public so that the public would not know what she had been doing or saying. She was using the private email as a cover to control access to her performance as a public servant.

So what should we call Hillary Clinton? What noun or adjective adequately describes her native propensity to prevaricate? How does any voter place his or her trust in Hillary Clinton?

Both Adolf Hitler and one of his lieutenants, Joseph Goebbels, said essentially the same thing: “The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.”

Now, I won’t use any extreme rhetoric, so be clear that I am not comparing Hillary Clinton to Adolf Hitler or Joesph Goebbels in terms of their Nazi program, their slaughter, their fascism, their cruelty, etc. However, a comparison is to be made in regard to a tool that both have chosen to employ: big lies. Where does it stop for Hillary Clinton?

She won’t release transcripts of her richly compensated speeches to the Wall Street financial barons, not a lie, but clearly she wants you, and especially the average working man and woman, to stay in the dark about what she told them. She claimed she came under fire in Bosnia, a falsehood that she manufactured to be held in higher esteem. She uttered a falsehood to explain why our ambassador to Algeria and three other Americans were killed at Benghazi, an anti-Muslim film produced by an obscure filmmaker, then repeated that falsehood to the relatives of the victims. She then called the relatives of the victims liars when they revealed what she had told them, though they had documented her words. She placed what she thought were Muslim sentiments over those of her fellow countrymen!

Yet Hillary Clinton has the gall to point at Donald Trump and to accuse him of bigotry and racism because he wants to enforce our nation’s lawfully enacted immigration laws and national security protocols.

Does Hillary Clinton really believe in anything she says or does, or are they just covers for what appears to be nothing more than a program of self-entitlement and self-enrichment?

Donald Trump is far from a perfect candidate. In fact, the whole field, both Democrat and Republican, represented the best our country had to offer at this point in history, yet most fell far, far short of evincing any sort of genuine love for fellow Americans, and love of country and service to it, as well as qualifications to govern it. More than ever, we can discern the biases, the narrow and mulish viewpoints, the manipulations of special interests, and the “principles” used to provide cover for those special interests, and the selfishness with which these professional officeholders approach their “public service”.

Whatever a voter’s ideology is, can he or she abide someone like a Hillary Clinton, who of her own choice tramples on the truth?

Ask yourself: Is Hillary Clinton trustworthy? If the answer is “no”, you know for whom to vote. If the answer is “yes”, you need to ask yourself two questions: how many falsehoods does she get to utter to your face before she loses your trust; and are you enabling Hillary Clinton’s falsehoods by avoiding their significance?

The Implications of the Benghazi Report, Part II

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This is Part II of my post on the Implications of the Benghazi Report by Congress. For Part II, I have relied on reporting by NBC News.

 

In the first sentence of its article, NBC states the Benghazi report “details an array bureaucratic miscues and inter-agency blunders.

NBC added in the second paragraph that the report “paints a more nuanced portrait of incompetence.

Further, in its third paragraph, NBC asserted that the report offered “new details about why U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, one of the casualties, was at the compound of the Libyan city [of Benghazi] with only two State Department bodyguards, months after the British and others had evacuated the area.

(In a side note, the reason was to lay the groundwork for both the creation of a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and to seal that with a visit by Hillary Clinton herself. Do you think she would have been attended by the type of security her ambassador received? Of course not! Yes, I understand she would have been a target of greater value in the eyes of Muslim terrorists, but it’s also true that if you know a place is dangerous, then you provide security commensurate with that danger.)

Two Republicans on the committee wrote their own report that criticized Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, directly.

The bottom line? The committee’s findings could underscore accusations that the Obama administration – and [Hillary] Clinton’s State Department – were more concerned with public perception that with acting decisively to save American lives.

How do we reach that conclusion, indeed, go further, by moving from “could” to “did”? How do we as informed citizens scrutinize the assertion that a disconnect existed between the Obama administration and Clinton State Department on one side, and the diplomatic and security officers on the ground in Libya on the other? We identify the facts needed to underpin such a conclusion and make sense of them.

In light of the presidential campaign, remember that Hillary Clinton herself has nailed competence and fitness for the presidency to the table as paramount prerequisites. So before we continue or reiterate those facts, let’s take a quick look at how Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration have responded to the release of the congressional committee’s report.

Hillary Clinton responded to the report’s release by saying the investigation “took on a partisan tinge.” She added that “I think it’s time to move on.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest gave this description: political fantasizing.

Ask yourself whether those attitudes betray the very disconnect the committee report describes.

That the report was partisan is without question. Both Democrats and Republicans made political hay with it. That is where the facts will lead us to a sensible position.

The Obama administration and Clinton State Department contracted for U.S. personnel to be protected – not by American forces – but by a Libyan government sanctioned paramilitary group called the February 17th Martyrs Brigade. Just before the ambassador and his fellow Americans came under attack, including those at a “secret” CIA station, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade abandoned its posts, defected, vanished!

That abandonment is portrayed in the motion picture 13 Hours.

Who did eventually come to the aid of the Americans? Former forces of Muammar Ghadafy, whose government Obama and Hillary Clinton had helped to topple! Who didn’t come to the aid of the Americans? The Muslim paramilitary force Obama and Hillary Clinton paid to do the job as part of the alliance with the new Libyan government!

Martyrs indeed!

Already you can see two facts and a pattern emerging from those facts. The United States moves into an area (Benghazi) that every other government and private organization flees because it is too dangerous; and the United States places American lives in the hands, not of its own trustworthy forces, but in the hands of forces hostile to us and our way of life.

What’s the pattern that’s emerging? Neither the Obama administration nor the Hillary Clinton State Department knew or understood what was happening in Libya, so they glibly took actions that endangered, then cost American lives.

And get this: the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, which did not martyr itself for your fellow Americans as it was paid to do, was “recommended by the Libyan government.” That’s some government you are doing business with, Mr. President and Mrs. Secretary of State!

I will deal with two additional points, two double-talking confabulations uttered by the State Department and the Pentagon respectively. Examine their wording carefully.

First, we entertain some words from State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner:

“We received diplomatic clearance, as is standard, to send a flight into Tripoli to evacuate our personnel. The process of gaining clearance did not delay or cancel any asset going to Libya. Concerns about what they wore had no bearing on the timing of their arrival.”

Toner is the trickster, he is. Let’s assume for argument that everything he just said is true. Does this mean there were no delays in acting? No. Does this mean that there were no things that could have caused a delay if we weren’t late in acting anyway? No.

Just hearing that the Marines had to change in and out of uniforms/civilian attire four times should be enough to boil the red blood in every American. You don’t waste time launching a military mission, any mission, even less so one designed to save American lives. The State Department should keep its nose out of military assignments because they will botch them every time.

More importantly was the delay in knowing and understanding the situation, in seeing the facts and patterns as they developed, and governing oneself accordingly. This was critical for Ambassador Stevens, and it is critical for us to understand.

By the time the State Department made a decision to act, it was already too late. All the evidence the report cites, some of which I detailed in Part I of the Benghazi Report, illustrates the lethal ineptitude of the State Department and the Obama administration, the former managed by Hillary Clinton, the latter by Obama. The bucks stop with them (that is, ironically, even truer in Hillary’s case!).

Hillary Clinton and Obama ignored what other private organizations and countries did in the face of growing violence in Benghazi. They ignored al-Qaeda in Benghazi. They ignored the repeated threats against particular people and countries on social media and elsewhere, which were carried out, including against their own ambassador, months in advance. They ignored the findings of their own security analysts. They ignored the pleas for more help and protection from their own ambassador. And they ignored the threat to kill Americans in Libya made the day before the attack began.

Yet they trusted the recommendation of the new Libyan government and its phony paramilitary force!

Second, NBC reported that several of the witnesses the Benghazi committee interviewed told the committee that the orders to deploy did not include sending forces to Benghazi! Instead, “Their understanding was that the assets needed to be sent to Tripoli to augment security at the embassy, and that the State Department was working to move the State Department personnel from Benghazi to Tripoli.”

NBC’s reporting is not clear on this, but it appears that the State Department requested troops to protect its embassy in Tripoli, 400 miles away from Benghazi, instead of at Benghazi, where the attack was occurring. That’s kind of like the FBI sending all its agents to Atlanta to investigate the Orlando night club massacre.

How can any citizen, regardless of political persuasion, sanction such incompetence, such demeaning and devaluing of American lives and operations!?

Hillary Clinton is not competent. It’s a label her partisans throw out repeatedly. She had no prior diplomatic experience when she was appointed secretary of state, and it showed, badly. The wounds of her tenure as secretary of state remain desperately in need of care.

Hillary Clinton lied to the relatives of the Benghazi victims about why they were murdered, then lied about lying to the relatives. She lied about coming under fire as she landed in Bosnia.

A person lies to create or maintain a perception. As we come full circle in our discussion of the Benghazi report, we can see Hillary Clinton wanted to create and maintain a perception that she was acting successfully within the new Arab spring, as the seemingly democratic movement that toppled a number of dictators was called. It was one of the bricks she wanted to lay as she built a stairway to the Oval Office. But she got it all wrong, and still gets it wrong, and Americans lost their lives because of it.

Hillary Clinton continues to lie. I’m not sure she is able to do otherwise. She lies about being competent to serve as commander-in-chief when she has never spent a single day in training, defending, attacking, wielding effectively a weapon, tasting the battlefield, and serving in close proximity to death. Hillary Clinton, along with her husband, has always held the military in the lowest regard. The commanders must be bristling to think such a person void of experience, truth, and understanding could possibly be selected by the American people to lead our forces.

God help us and keep us from her!

The Implications of the Benghazi Report, Part I

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The committee led by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) released Tuesday (28 June 2016) its reports on the attack at Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Three groups within the committee offered separate reports. The Republican majority released its report. The Democrat minority released its report the day previously. Two Republican congressman released their own report. This latter report stands out as the one that heaps the most discredit on the executive branch under Obama and the State Department under Hillary Clinton for their actions or inactions. The Republican majority report stands in the middle. The Democrat minority report waves a finger.

Unless stated otherwise, this post will discuss the majority report.

Even the Media offer different conclusions about the significance of this majority report. The Washington Post and The New York Times offered almost identical headlines that the report “Finds No New Evidence”. Fox News declared that the report “Slams Administration Response”. Meanwhile, NBC News seemed to take a position somewhere between those two poles when it said “House Republican Report Sheds New Light On Benghazi Attack”.

For convenience, I will base what I write in Part 1 of this post on The Washington Post report. In Part 2, I will use the NBC News report as my foundation.

Since we are in the midst of a presidential election, I will highlight those points that relate to it. Draw your own conclusions. While both parties bear some responsibility for the politicization of the investigation, it is impossible to avoid relating the investigation to Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State during the tragedy and to a great extent she represents what would be a continuation of the Obama administration if she were to win election.

Let’s examine first what The Washington Post considered the five most damning aspects of the majority report:

1. The State Department failed to protect our diplomats in Libya.

2. The CIA misread how dangerous the situation was in Libya.

3. The Defense Department failed to rescue Americans in time.

4. The Obama Administration stonewalled the investigation.

5. Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, influenced the State Department’s review of its performance in the Benghazi tragedy.

Points 1 and 5 relate directly to Hillary Clinton’s competence and arrogation of power. Is Hillary Clinton competent if she cannot and does not protect American diplomats? Why did she bungle Benghazi and cost the ambassador and three others their lives? The majority report does not blame Clinton by name. However, if the buck stops with Hillary Clinton, as it should with all leaders, the blame for those deaths is hers. Further, by having her chief of staff make “suggestions” (the report says the State Department “was consistently influenced by” Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff) about how the State Department’s review would look, Hillary Clinton made sure she was seen in the best and brightest possible light, even if the facts cast a rather dark shadow over her.

Do the facts cast a dark shadow over her? The Washington Post reports (emphasis mine) “that requests for more security in Benghazi leading up to the attack went unheard or were refused.” How did Hillary Clinton’s State Department allow requests from her ambassador for more security to go unheard? Stevens was an ambassador in a Muslim country Hillary Clinton knew or should have known was volatile and prone to terrorism. Why would Hillary Clinton’s State Department turn a deaf ear to such a logical, needful precaution? Worse, why would her State Department refuse such a request?

Whatever mechanism Hillary Clinton employed to handle such requests ended up costing lives. She failed.

It gets worse. The majority report revealed the State Department interfered with the deployment of forces when it pushed for those forces to launch their mission without their uniforms. According to one witness, Marines changed into and out of their uniforms/alternate clothes four times.

Think about that. United States forces prepare for an emergency, life-saving deployment to Benghazi, but they have to stop and change four times because the State Department does not want them to wear the uniform of the United States Marines, which they are, and of which they, and we, are proud. Would you want police or firefighters to change the clothes they were wearing four times before they went to rescue you from a home invasion or a fire? What does that say about the Obama administration’s priorities? What does that say about Hillary Clinton’s and the State Department’s priorities? What does that say about their competence, their ability to protect Americans?

The facts do cast a very dark shadow over Hillary Clinton and her State Department.

The other points relate to Hillary Clinton, though indirectly so. Still, she was part of an administration that has been accused of fudging intelligence reports and analyses so that they conform to the groupthink that prevails under Obama and which Hillary Clinton shares: No defect exists in Muslim religion and culture. They are all peaceful! The problem is us! When we act like Americans, or identify as Americans, we provoke them to hatred and bloodshed! So delay the mission, toss those American uniforms, and don’t do anything to provoke those peaceful Muslims, even though the very reason you are being deployed is to respond to their pre-existing attack on our diplomatic compound!

It fascinates me to read that in an interview the CIA chief at the secret Benghazi facility called “The Annex” cited, as far as I know, one error with the movie about the attack, 13 Hours (in which David Costabile plays the CIA chief). He claimed he never ordered anyone to “stand down” when the diplomatic compound at Benghazi came under attack. As far as I know, the station chief does not dispute any other depiction in the movie. Producer Michael Bay replied that he placed those words in the movie to make sure both sides were heard. That suggests that Tyrone Woods, who died in the attack, relayed to his fellow defenders that the CIA chief had told him to stand down out of earshot of anyone else. In the movie, Woods and his brave but small cadre of defenders later act contrary to that order to save their fellow Americans.

Do Obama and Hillary Clinton impose a deadly groupthink that sabotages American lives and interests?

Consider the accusation (in a discrete report that had nothing to do with Benghazi), some would call it revelation, that the CIA under Obama has been fudging its analyses. In fact, at the least, the CIA had been misreading the situation in Libya for awhile. Not only does the CIA, apparently, fail to see the mallet to the face coming towards the Americans in Benghazi after months of violence and threats, it actually allows all kinds of weapons left over from the fall of Muammar Ghadafi to find their way into the hands of terrorists. Our government was actually working with a known terrorist and helping that to happen!

Readers can find a list of the threats and violence that led up to the Benghazi attack through this link:

8 major warnings before Benghazi terrorist attacks

When you get to the page, scroll down after the article, and the advertisement for a book, to the comments. You will find a useful list of the previous violence and threats in Benghazi. Many of those individual events can be found at other sources on the Internet, but the compilation here is quite good.

It is very hard for us to believe that our own State Department, executive administration, and intelligence agency could bungle security for the sake of their groupthink, then try to cover it up afterward. Yet the compilation provides that unflattering and unforgiving characterization of how the State Department under Hillary Clinton and our chief intelligence agency under Obama missed the mark – widely – in discerning, handling, and evaluating accurately the facts right in front of them, and how peremptorily they rejected the insights of professional security analysts and their own ambassador, people who actually experienced what was going on in Tripoli and Benghazi, because their assessments did not agree with the groupthink position.

How could anyone conclude otherwise?

The terrorists threatened to attack the Red Cross. They did, and the Red Cross pulled out of Libya. They threatened to attack the British. They did, with an RPG. The British pulled out. They threatened to harm Ambassador Stevens. We didn’t listen. Our leaders did not want to hear. The terrorists attacked Mr. Stevens all the same, and he died. As the compilation will show readers, many other facts were ignored as well, including an al-Qaeda rally in Benghazi in June and a direct threat to kill Americans in Libya from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri the day before the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack. We had plenty of time to evacuate Stevens and the other Americans or to send our Marines to protect them.

If all of that smacks of incompetence at best, what must citizens think of the explanation by Hillary Clinton’s State Department and Obama’s administration that a film which made fun of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, caused a spontaneous attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi?

Remember that our actual embassy was in Tripoli. No riots, protests, or attacks motivated by the film, or any other thing, occurred there. In fact, other than pre-existing conflicts, no other such attacks occurred anywhere else in the world!

Hillary Clinton’s explanation is a stunning lie. It is a fabrication cooked up by someone in the State Department or the intelligence community after underlings searched a database or the Internet for something anti-Islamic. She deliberately proffered the fabrication to an American public – and to the relatives of the victims – because she thinks them gullible or stupid or both, or unfit to receive the truth, which is that she and the administration hung Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans out to dry for the sake of their groupthink.

Saving American lives and holding to principles and policies that put first the citizens you are serving is not and should never be partisan. Shameful Hillary Clinton does not deserve blame because a bunch of partisan congressmen say she does. She deserves blame because that’s what the facts say. She deserves blame because Americans died on her watch and she could have prevented it.