Benghazi And Going The “Full Nixon”

Thoughts from Roger L. Simon:

The Benghazi scandal is more disturbing than just lying about a terror attack to get reelected. And that’s pretty disturbing, considering the lies were made directly to the families of the victims. (cf. Hillary Clinton telling Charles Woods, one of the dead SEALS’ father, they were going to get the guy who made that video and revenge his son’s death.)

The Benghazi scandal, in all probability, would not have happened if the administration and/or the State Department took the War on Terror seriously or even, dare I say it, put the words terrorism and Islamic together in a sentence. But that would break a thousand narratives in the mind of Barack Obama, from his childhood with Frank Marshall Davis until now and back.

So now he is riding the whirlwind. The question is, will he carry us (and Western Civ) with him?

The biggest difference between Watergate and Obama’s crimes against the Constitution is that, unlike Republicans in 1974, there are probably no Democrats with similar integrity in today’s Senate. The House shouldn’t impeach unless and until Democrats start to call for it (and if this happens, it will be because they finally realize what a disaster a continuation of his rule will be for the “progressive” agenda). They wanted him, they got him, and he’s their problem now.

28 thoughts on “Benghazi And Going The “Full Nixon”

  1. ken anthony

    Why did he feel the need to qualify it? Benghazi is a thousand times worse.

    The IRS scandal will define the right (the left defined itself long ago.) If they can’t make anything stick to the point of jail time they are irrelevant. The only thing remaining would be a 2nd amendment solution. We may continue on for a long time before that happens, but it will remain true until such time.

  2. wodun

    And now 2014 midterms have much more significance. Those Senate races are ones to watch for more Democrat dirty ticks. Now that it is out in the open, doesn’t mean Obama has any intention of changing.

  3. Jim

    Benghazi is a thousand times worse.

    Benghazi got its long awaited 15 seconds of fame last week, and there’s still no sign of anything criminal, much less a Watergate-scale scandal that sends a dozen people to federal prison. The big ABC scoop that set off the flurry of attention turned out to be based on credulous second hand accounts of emails that had been doctored by House GOP staffers. Once the actual emails were out, and showed nothing more than routine inter-agency squabbling, the air came out of the balloon.

    But you guys will go on hoping…

    1. wodun

      Glad you support the tyrant throwing innocent people in jail to appease the mob.

      Do you report your neighbors for fishy behavior to flag@whitehouse.gov?

      Did you cheer when Romney donors got IRS audits?

    2. MfK

      As a newly-minted Leftist member of the Democrat Party, I have to agree with Jim when he says “Benghazi got his long awaited 15 seconds of fame last week…” In fact, Benghazi had all the fame he would ever get from 1965 to 1968, in Run For Your Life. Sure, he had bit parts in movies after that — the most notable being as Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski. I just don’t see how a dead actor can affect our Savior in Chief. Am I right Comrade Jim, Comrade Gerrib?

    3. Rick C

      Only in Baghdad Jim’s fevered imagination is “misremembering one detail of a series of emails a reporter wasn’t allowed to copy” doctoring email. But since Baghdad Jim is a soulless shill who believes Democrats can do no wrong, he will never acknowledge that.

      1. Paul Milenkovic

        OK, OK, Jim, Chris, and others express their heart felt opinions around here and they don’t always get a good reception. What gives? Why is it that we cannot “put ourselves in Jim’s shoes” and see things from a different point of view?

        How is it that people are going around calling this a “faux scandal”? What makes this a scandal or makes anything a scandal?

        Essentially, scandal is about the breach of morals. A traditional adultery scandal is about morals, but what constitutes the moral behavior that is violated? That changes with time, place, and circumstances. Margaret Thatcher famously reacted to allegations of scandal of some lower-ranking officials, “With girls? Thank goodness!”

        Again, the shifting sands of moral judgement — a male official having an affair with a woman one third his age is “boys will be boys” whereas with a man of that generation is cringe-worthy? Is this reaction anti-gay and anti-woman at the same time?

        What gives with Benghazi? What difference does it make says that Sec State. Come to think of it, how does a “shirker” like Mr. Bush have thousands of our service people lose their lives and he is a rock star before military audiences whereas Mr. Kerry has multiple Purple Heart medals from combat in Vietnam and he gets Swiftboated?

        Honor.

        If your moral code is that “getting our people killed” is the scandal, then George W Bush should have been impeached and Hillary Clinton should be asking “what difference does it make” losing four of our people in Libya. Maybe the manner in which four people are killed — indifference to their safety before the fact, leaving them to their fate during the fact for a jealously guarded reason, mumbling about it after the fact — is perceived in some quarters as dishonorable? But if this parsing of honor is outside your moral code, it isn’t a scandal, now, is it? And why are people getting worked up about it, apart from seeking petty partisan gain?

        But for all the people telling us “this story will go nowhere and will fizzle” and this is all “delusional Obama (hatred)”, where do you think all of these rumors and “false stories” of stand-down orders, orbiting AC-130′s, and parked troop-carrier C-130′s are coming from? Is it all from chair-borne wingnuts?

        “Beware the fury of the Legions” is an ancient saying Jerry Pournelle is fond of. Jerry used this saying to express his concern about Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistant, and Libya. What he is saying is that our military people, increasingly a separate and foreign-seeming culture in our greater society, aren’t opposed to fighting or even losing their comrades. They have serious “issues” with what they see as dishonor.

        Brave talk about the Benghazi affair being a chair-borne wing-nut fantasy may be to bolster the morale of the Left base, discourage the Right base, and it may very well be true. But remember “civilian command authority” and that the military people in-the-know cannot talk, and especially the ones how are with honor. But that they don’t talk doesn’t mean they don’t have “feelings” on this subject.

        Beware the fury of the Legions, Jim.

        1. Jim

          Honor

          A politically selective sort of honor. There are 800,000 veterans waiting for their disability claims to be processed. Surely that is as dishonorable as not moving heaven and earth in a too-late-to-make-a-difference Benghazi rescue mission to save two private military contractors, but does it attract 1% of the media or Congressional attention?

          indifference to their safety before the fact

          As opposed to the indifference shown by invading Iraq with an obviously inadequate force to manage the occupation?

          this parsing of honor

          A parsing of honor that treats the Iraq debacle as more “honorable” than Benghazi is indistinguishable from GOP spin.

          1. Paul Milenkovic

            You are not the Obama Administration, you represent yourself as a private citizen without any special connections, but you vigorously defend the Obama Administration as being aligned with your world view, and that is your right and privilege. So give me some latitude with a broad “you” that encompasses both you personally as well as the political end of the spectrum enjoying political power with the Obama Presidency?

            Whatever your views of the military and America’s proper role in the world with respect to the exercise of America’s considerable diplomatic-backed-up-by-the-armed-forces-smart-power, if “your guy” is the President, it is a Good Thing ™ to have America’s considerable military power answerable to your leadership to do (or not do) the things in your judgement need to be done (or not done).

            In other word’s, your guy (and yes, Mr. Obama is also my guy too, I am not playing that City of Madison, WI lefty bumper sticker “He’s not MY President” thang), our guy is Commander-in-Chief. Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful armed forces on the planet. Nobel Peace Prize recipient, going out speaking to make amends for your predecessors bull-in-a-china-shop use of military power, you are still not going to dismantle the military and become a Gandhi-ist pacifist, authority over that military is one of the levers of exercising power, overseas and in an indirect way, posse commitatus act notwithstanding, domestically as well.

            What makes “the guys (and women)” in the military respect your authority, what makes them follow your orders? And you do want their respect, and you do want their obedience, now, don’t you?

            OK, Civilian Command Authority and a soldier does what they are told. I know a lot about that — I have men and women in uniform in my Public University civilian classroom, and I am quite familiar with the bounds of opinion they are at liberty to express or not express.

            What I am telling you is that the Benghazi thing is not just a waking wingnut fantasy, there is a whole side to how this plays out “in the military ranks” that a person has to kinda read between the lines because the military people can’t and won’t speak up.

            I don’t know how aligned you are with people actually within the walls of the West Wing, but “not moving heaven and earth in a too-late-to-make-a-difference . . . rescue mission to save two private military contractors”, ouch! If you, Jim are saying that, this is one thing, but if there is anyone inside the Administration even thinking such thoughts, we are “so hosed.” Yes, the military tradition in the U.S.A. is strictly Civilian Command Authority, but “you” collectively are “using up the design margin” of garnering the respect and obedience of the military based on the culture and the history of such things going back to Alexander the Great and before.

            Yes, go on thinking that what I was saying is “GOP spin.” This is not about garnering partisan advantage by the wingnuts portraying Mr. Obama in a bad light. I used to take our tradition of Civilian Command Authority for granted, but some old dude in a train compartment in England reading a copy of Gibbons straightened young naive American me out on that score (He was telling me what Reagan and Thatcher were doing to gain the trust of the armed forces — raise their pay — and something told me this fellow didn’t caucus with Thatcher’s Tories).

          2. Karl Hallowell

            A politically selective sort of honor. There are 800,000 veterans waiting for their disability claims to be processed. Surely that is as dishonorable as not moving heaven and earth in a too-late-to-make-a-difference Benghazi rescue mission to save two private military contractors, but does it attract 1% of the media or Congressional attention?

            So why are you complaining about those 800,000 veterans now? Is it honorable to complain about problems only when it is useful rhetorically (and ignore them otherwise, assuming the problem actually exists in the first place)? I find an occasion to use yet another historical quote (I’m getting most of these from Civilization 5 so I’m not that “well rounded”):

            Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

            And I guess, treating them as disposable assets or necessary evils, and well, they might not do that much for you. Benghazi is a problem because both Obama failed to act decisively and because his behavior after the fact was so bizarre and self-serving. Putting Rice on stage, officially, to deliver an incredible claim that the attacks were due to an unknown YouTube movie is ridiculous on its own. And there’s no indication that Obama has ever seen Benghazi as anything other than an issue to be dodged.

            How do you think US employees, civilian or military, deployed in other countries with dangerous conditions will view this? “I’m so comforted that there will be a great dog and pony show back in the States when my office gets blown up or my patrol ambushed.”

          3. Jim

            And you do want their respect, and you do want their obedience, now, don’t you?

            Yes. But what, exactly, about the Benghazi episode should threaten the respect and obedience of our armed forces?

            there is a whole side to how this plays out “in the military ranks” that a person has to kinda read between the lines because the military people can’t and won’t speak up.

            So Obama needs to change his decision making to stay on the right side of an unspoken sentiment in the ranks? That’s how policy should be made in a free society?

            This is not about garnering partisan advantage by the wingnuts portraying Mr. Obama in a bad light

            How exactly is a fair observer supposed to tell the difference?

            And I guess, treating them as disposable assets or necessary evils, and well, they might not do that much for you.

            Sending more soldiers into Benghazi, when the attack was already over and the best case scenario was avoiding additional casualties, would qualify as treating them as disposable assets.

            Benghazi is a problem because both Obama failed to act decisively

            When exactly could “decisive” action have made any positive difference?

            and because his behavior after the fact was so bizarre and self-serving

            Only to partisan opponents who needed no excuse.

            Putting Rice on stage, officially, to deliver an incredible claim that the attacks were due to an unknown YouTube movie is ridiculous on its own

            She recited talking points prepared by the CIA. What was she supposed to do?

            there’s no indication that Obama has ever seen Benghazi as anything other than an issue to be dodged

            How would your ideal president have acted?

            Jimmy Carter responded to an attack on a diplomatic facility by approving a disastrous rescue mission that humiliated the country, further endangered the hostages, and left eight airmen and marines dead. Was that decision more honorable? Did it earn Carter respect from the ranks?

          4. Paul Milenkovic

            “Yes. But what, exactly, about the Benghazi episode should threaten the respect and obedience of our armed forces?

            So (President) Obama” (I never call him “Obama” — I always say Mr. Obama or President Obama or the President) “needs to change his decision making to stay on the right side of an unspoken sentiment in the ranks? That’s how policy should be made in a free society?”

            In any kind of leadership position having tremendous power over the people you are “leading” — a parent, a teacher, a coach, a clergy person, a corporate manager with hire/fire authority, a platoon commander, and yes, even the President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, there is a fine line and a fine judgement to be made as to when you enforce that authority and when you give in “to what the kids/students/congregation/employees/troops” want. A leader who doesn’t know this comes across as a human body part along the perineal meridean, pick the anterior or posterior sector.

            I respect being loyal to the President and to the political side-of-the-aisle he represents as I respect loyalty in a person as a personal virtue. But an Eleanor Clift-esqe reflexive defense of every last arguably faulty decision made by this president is getting tiresome.

            But as to what about the Benghazi episode threatens obedience of our armed forces, maybe not much, especially since I am not in the loop of such facts that not 8,000 or even 80,000 but a full 800,000 men and women, a sizeable fraction of the total number deployed overseas over time since 2003, have disability claims being slow-walked although there is probably Republican obstruction holding the President back on this for all I know.

            But suppose, suppose just hypothetically that there were Special Forces platoons just itchin’-to-get-in-the-fight and they weren’t allowed. But if you are just out of Basic or a highly trained Special Forces fighter, yes, the final authority and orders and responsibility if things go wrong stand with the President, The Buck Stops Here and the Sec Def had to do the buck-accepting.

            And the formal and unspoken laws and traditions of Civilian Command Authority run deep — I know of this first hand in my classroom interactions with active-duty military people. But as I said in engineering lingo, “A leader doesn’t burn through the design margin in the system.”

            One more thing, I am not going to put words in President Obama’s mouth what he should have said, but I will put words in the mouth of “my guy” Mr. Romney about what he should have said on the Tonight Show.

            “If the President were forthright and completely transparent on Benghazi, it would have not made one bit of difference in the election — it may have even increased his margin of victory for being straight with the American people. To the extend that it may become known that the President was not these things, it will make a big difference in the next election . . . and in the one after that and according to our history, in the one after that.”

          5. Karl Hallowell

            Yes. But what, exactly, about the Benghazi episode should threaten the respect and obedience of our armed forces?

            1. The considerable effort spent to blame the attack on a YouTube video rather than reassure overseas personnel that what happened in Benghazi wouldn’t be repeated. This was a clear demonstration of priority. Getting reelected was more important than morale of overseas personnel.

            2. No eyewitness accounts. If there was nothing to hide, then why are they going through the trouble of hiding it?

            3. The Obama administration showed considerable disinterest in catching the attackers. For example, the FBI didn’t have access to the crime scenes for a month. Remember that?

            Sending more soldiers into Benghazi, when the attack was already over and the best case scenario was avoiding additional casualties, would qualify as treating them as disposable assets.

            Where’s the evidence for that, Jim? And let us not forget that what is easy to see with hindsight is not so easy to see at the time.

            Only to partisan opponents who needed no excuse.

            Why can’t you see that there is a real problem here, like so many others? Did you feel the same way when the evidence for WMD in Iraq turned out to be mostly fabricated or exaggerated? Why does Obama get a pass for playing these games?

            She recited talking points prepared by the CIA. What was she supposed to do?

            No. These were talking points prepared by the Obama administration. Unless Rice somehow had a lot more authority than she did, then she shouldn’t have done anything. HOWEVER, Clinton and Obama should have corrected her statements in a timely manner – say the very same day. They did not. She spoke with their authority.

            Jimmy Carter responded to an attack on a diplomatic facility by approving a disastrous rescue mission that humiliated the country, further endangered the hostages, and left eight airmen and marines dead. Was that decision more honorable?

            Yes.

    4. Dave

      No one seems to want to talk about Jonathan Karl quoting some GOP apparatchik’s doctored email thread, rather than the actual message chain. This story will fizzle and go nowhere. The idea that it’s bigger than Watergate or Iran-Contra is just delusional Obama Derangement Syndrome in search of any story that might possibly tear this president down. But in reality Obama’s popularity rating is holding up well.

      1. Paul Milenkovic

        Mickey Kaus holds the belief that the game changer (in the wrong way) is Immigration Reform and that everything, and he means everything else (Benghazi, Affordable Care Act, Fiscal Cliff, he means everthing) is small ball.

        He also expresses the opinion that when the opposition is granted face-saving concessions, they are willing to engage in the politics of go along to get along, and Immigration Reform (which Mr. Kaus thinks is an existential disaster) will sail right through.

        His theory is that if the Republicans start losing some battles is needed that they feel agrieved and persecuted with their backs against the wall, with nothing to lose politically by sinking Immigration Reform.

        Maybe you are right — these faux scandals will fizzle. Maybe this is the only way that Immigration Reform will get slowed down . . .

    5. ken anthony

      Jim, crime is something they determine in court. This isn’t about crime. This is about human decency. Obama and Hillary continue to prove that they have none. The second we were under attack support should have been on it’s way from many sources until we knew we had enough to handle the situation.

      I don’t want to hear any bullshit about how they could not have arrived in time. You never know how much time you have which is why you NEVER wait or delay.

      An ambassador was killed. This is not a little thing you can pooh pooh. An embassy is sovereign soil. There is very little difference between killing an ambassador and killing a president. Both are representatives of the entire country. If it had been a country that did it rather than terrorists it would be an act of war. In this case, Libya should be responsible for bringing them to justice and should welcome our investigators help until every rock has been looked under.

      This is not, “What does it matter?”

      If we had any honor left in our country, both Obama and Hillary would be toast over this incident. It should have only taken a few weeks at most.

      1. ken anthony

        Why is this important? Because even in time of war, ambassadors often travel between the hostile countries and are protected by their hosts. They perform an act that lessons the effects of war. Like making sure prisoners are treated humanely.

      2. Jim

        There is very little difference between killing an ambassador and killing a president.

        Really!?! Do you think it’s worse than 1998 embassy bombings, which killed hundreds (but no ambassadors)? Worse than 9/11? You so desperately want something to pin on Obama and Clinton that you’re losing all sense of proportion.

        Nobody thinks that the death of an ambassador is unimportant. But this “scandal” has never been about the inadequate security that lead to Stevens’ death. It’s been about military missions that could have been undertaken after his death, or about talking points written and delivered after his death, or about what Hillary Clinton said when his coffin arrived in the U.S. And none of those alleged scandals has amounted to anything.

        What does it matter?

        How about some context:

        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 that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.

        1. Paul Milenkovic

          “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 that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. ”

          With all due respect Madam Secretary, the difference it makes is whether the Administration genuinely didn’t know who was behind the attacks or whether the Administration very well knew but attempted to obfuscate what they knew to maintain a political narrative with the American people, a very dangerous path to follow in a Democracy.

          With all due respect Madam Secretary, the difference it makes is whether our First Amendment Consitutional Freedoms are being infringed upon, within the borders of our great nation. First Amendment freedoms exercised by a person of bad repute making an odious video, but if we don’t draw the line there, who decides who is a law-abiding person making a virtuous video that merits those freedoms? And whether our First Amendment freedoms are set aside in pursuit of national security? Or perhaps a political motive that the Administration portray itself in a good light?

          The difference it makes, Madam Secretary, as a nation, we have and will continue to face the tension between our cherished freedoms that are rather unique in this world and not offending people in a global society, where such offense can have lethal consequences given the striving and strife in this world. The difference it makes is the Administration staking its reputation on Benghazi being such a “test case” when it was known early on to the Administration that it was nothing of the kind.

          Jim, there is a lot of wing-nuttery on Benghazi out there for you to properly challenge, but why on this green Earth are you defending the indefensible, the Sec State’s infamous statement uttered in anger at her questioners? If it weren’t for her cowardly retreat behind a veil of vocal indignation, her questioner could have “hit that one out of the park” along the lines I have indicated.

          There is a healthy give-and-take with some spicing up with snark on both sides of the political divide, but to defend Secretary Clinton’s “what difference does it make” statement?

        2. Karl Hallowell

          Really!?! Do you think it’s worse than 1998 embassy bombings, which killed hundreds (but no ambassadors)? Worse than 9/11?

          The ineffectual response to the attack undermines US credibility which I think worse than merely losing a lot of lives.

  4. Gregg

    So now we have this from Prof Jacobson:

    “White House-created “doctored” war on Jon Karl and Stephen Hayes falls apart”

    Jim of course, suggested that maybe Karl would be a little more circumspect before he believes information that seems to indict Obama.

    What Karl REALLY needs to do is be more circumspect in accepting a counter-attack from the WH as having a speck of truth:

    “White House planted “doctored” email narrative in press, then used press reports to push the “doctored” narrative as a political talking point
    ……
    When White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer appeared on Sunday talk shows and repeated the “doctored” narrative, it had come full circle. A “senior aide” (Pfeiffer?) leaked a single email to Tapper, the media and other Obama supporters used that planted narrative to bash the entirety of the Benghazi talking points reporting, and then Pfeiffer went on talk shows and drove home the “doctored” narrative.

    But that “doctored” narrative has fallen apart substantively once the actual emails (100 of them selected by the White House) were released………
    ………
    A very, very minor difference in wording between the summary reported by Karl and Hayes, which was non-substantive because the summaries were correct in the context of the email chain, was used by the White House to leak a narrative via Tapper which then was used to attack all the reporting as “doctored.” The White House then used the narrative it planted in the media to bootstrap on the reporting to justify the narrative as a political talking point, to which it clings based on that same reporting.

    A completely circular, phony “doctored” narrative was wholly created by the White House and then used by the White House to attack accurate reporting.”

    Isn’t that marvelously complex? Isn’t it lucky for Tapper that Prof. Jacobson smelled a rat?

    Isn’t is amusing that Jim would fall for such a complex and contorted WH lie?

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/05/white-house-created-doctored-war-on-jon-karl-and-stephen-hayes-falls-apart/#more

    1. Jim

      The Karl “scoop” put Benghazi back on the front page. It reported, as a verbatim quote, text that was not in the email supposedly being quoted, text that advanced the GOP take on the emails. So either a GOP source gave Karl a doctored email, or else gave Karl a slanted summary that Karl screwed up by reporting as a verbatim quote.

      The story has virtually disappeared since all the emails were released, because the thrust of Karl’s scoop — that the White House slanted the talking points for political reasons — is completely undercut by the actual emails.

      1. Gregg

        5 links on Drudge alone:

        FBI ID’s five suspects in Benghazi attack…

        Administration officials privately admit mistakes… Issa warns Hillary…

        New Whistleblowers?

        CIA ‘Honored Benghazi Chief in Secret Ceremony’…

        Others (from instapundit):

        RUMSFELD ON BENGHAZI: ‘There were forces that could’ve done something.’

        ROGER KIMBALL: Benghazi as Lazarus, Back from the Dead.

        You also seem to think Fast and Furious is over with…’fraid not:

        CBS News’ Sharyl Atkisson: My Computer Has Been Compromised. “Attkisson believes the possible infiltration of her computer began in Feb. 2011 during her reporting on Fast and Furious.”

        Watchdog report says DOJ official retaliated against ‘Furious’ whistle-blower, lied about it. “

        Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico.

        Breaking – Report: DOJ Leaked Docs to Smear Fast & Furious Whistleblower, Says Inspector General.

        keep on whistling..it’s a loooong graveyard.

      2. Leland

        Not even WaPo is buying the “Doctored” email argument. They won’t go the full Baghdad Bob like Jim. Only Jim is that stupid.

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