Worst Department of State, ever

March 26, 2014

This is someone’s brilliant idea of an effective strategy to deal with Putin over Ukraine:

Word of advice to Secretary Kerry and President Obama: Communitarianism is not a foreign policy and shaming is not an winning tactic when you’re dealing with an ex-KGB officer. Know what I’m saying?

BTW, the person in the photo is Jen Psaki, the official spokeswoman for the United States Department of State. Way to work the gravitas, there, Jen.

PS: I’ve saved a screen cap in case they delete it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


John Kerry focuses the State Department like a laser… On climate change

March 10, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Because, as we all know, Man-caused climate change the Dread Demon Carbon Dioxide is the “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” a threat we have to deal with now and with all our efforts. Not nukes in the hands of Iranian mullahs yearning to bring about their version of the Apocalypse. Not jihadist terror groups also jonesing for a few kilotons of their own. Not H-bombs and rockets in the possession of Kim Jong Un, who, when not feeding relatives to the dogs and ordering the execution of Christians, might decide to restart the Korean War. Not Vladimir Putin, who, with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal, has decided to start dismembering neighboring states and daring the West to do something, anything about it. Not a rising, hyper-nationalist, aggressive, nuclear-armed China, which is rattling sabers at its island neighbors and looking to challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific.

Nope. Global warming is the greatest threat to America, and so Secretary Kerry has ordered our ambassadors around the world to make that their top priority:

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on American ambassadors around the world to make the fight against climate change a top priority ahead of new UN talks next year.

In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”

“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.

“It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.

He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”

Note that the environment has been one of the “central causes” of John Kerry’s life, his personal mission. Thus the Department of State, charged with conducting the nation’s diplomacy, is now at the service of John Kerry’s personal tilt at the windmill. Silly me for thinking State’s job is to pursue the nation’s interests, not one dull man’s obsessions.

Of course, Kerry probably thinks his cause is the nation’s. It’s solipsism as foreign policy.

I ask again: Have we ever had a more fatuous, dunderheaded  bore as secretary of state than John Kerry?

Via Doug Powers, who provides illustrative examples of the Kerrys’ “Green lifestyle.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Really? They couldn’t pay to have a good model made?

March 3, 2014

Apparently Hillary Clinton’s infamous reset button was swiped from a hotel swimming pool. Couldn’t they at least have ordered from Amazon?

And the woman who headed this team wants to be the next President of the United States.

The monkey speaks for me:

"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”


Have we ever had a more fatuous Secretary of State than John Kerry? Updated.

March 3, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Really, all that seems able to come out of that mouth of his is an endless stream of meaningless blather that would make Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.

Courtesy of Hot Air, this is what Kerry had to say about the Ukraine crisis yesterday:

Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to steps the U.S. can take to hold Russia accountable for its military movements in Ukraine, including economic sanctions and potentially military action.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today on “This Week,” Kerry said Russian troops moving into the Ukrainian region of Crimea was “a military act of aggression” and that the U.S. will move swiftly to impose penalties if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not withdraw his troops.

While military force is among the options President Barack Obama is considering, Kerry said the U.S. and its allies hope they can avoid such action.

“The hope of the U.S. and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation,” he said.

The indirect language of diplomacy uses phrases that convey very specific messages without putting the other side publicly on the spot, in a situation where he cannot back down without being humiliated. And when you say “all options are on the table,” John, that includes military action. You’re essentially telling the other side that, should we not get satisfaction, we’re willing to go to war. This is the kind of talk you do not engage in lightly, especially when dealing with another nuclear power. The very idea of a “military option” in Ukraine is insane for any number of reasons.

I wonder if Kerry even knows what the words he’s saying actually mean. If he doesn’t, he’s a bigger dunce than I thought, which would be impressive. If he does and somehow thinks that will intimidate Vladimir Putin, then he’s dangerously incompetent. Putin has taken the measure of the Obama administration after years of watching it in action, and he knows darn well their threats are meaningless. After abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defense, after the laughable reset button, after cutting and running in Iraq and Afghanistan, and after the disaster of Obama’s Syria policy, Putin knows any threats from this American administration are empty. He probably rolled his eyes and laughed when Kerry said all options were on the table.

Then there was this:

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.

“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” one of several appearances on network interview shows.

“It’s serious in terms of the modern manner in which countries resolve problems,” Kerry said.

“That’s not the act of somebody who’s strong,” Kerry added, saying Putin is acting out of “weakness” and “desperation.”

I can think of many ways to describe President Putin, but “weak” and “desperate” wouldn’t even occur to me.

On the contrary, Vladimir Putin is a revanchist thug who, seeing that Washington won’t do anything meaningful (1) to oppose him, is going to push as hard as he can until someone dares to make him stop. His goal is not just to rebuild the Russian/Soviet empire, but forge a Eurasian Union (2) as an alternative bloc against the US and the EU. The bleatings of a Boston Brahmin about Putin being out of step with the times are meaningless to him

Secretary of State John Kerry (3) embodies the ideals of liberal internationalism, and brutal realist Vladimir Putin is showing just how empty they and he are.

Footnotes:
(1) For a sketch of the meaningful things we could do to stand up to Putin’s thuggery, check out Tom Rogan’s recommendations, especially that to, borrowing a phrase, “drill, baby, drill.”
(2) This is some scary stuff.
(3) To think he almost became president in 2004. I may have nightmares.

UPDATE: Speaking of Putin’s “weakness and desperation”…

Crimea Russia Ukraine mobile artillery

Those, my friends, are Russian mobile artillery pieces. On Ukrainian territory. Don’t they look weak and desperate? (h/t Jim Geraghty)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Foreign Service officers revolt against lousy Obama appointees

February 14, 2014
Qualifications

Qualifications

In the Catholic Church, the sin was called “simony,” the buying and selling of sacred offices, such as bishoprics. The practice was one of the abuses that lead to the Reformation. Now Foreign Service officers are rising against a secular simony, the Obama administration’s appointment of unqualified ambassadors who also happen to be big campaign donors:

After a string of rocky confirmation hearings for President Obama’s diplomatic nominees, the group representing America’s Foreign Service professionals signaled Friday that it’s had enough.

The organization, in a major rebuke, is now urging that the White House set minimum qualification standards for its ambassadorial nominees.

“The topic of the qualifications of ambassadorial nominees is of great interest to AFSA’s membership,” The American Foreign Service Association said in a statement. “All Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that we have the most effective leaders and managers of U.S. embassies and missions advancing U.S. interests around the globe.”

The American Foreign Service Association has long argued that ambassadorial nominees should, for the most part, come from the ranks of career professionals — as opposed to the ranks of top-dollar political donors. But the organization is taking its concerns to a new level, announcing Friday that it will propose new guidelines for “the necessary qualifications and qualities” for diplomatic candidates.

The statement said the group has been “closely monitoring” recent confirmation hearings.

AFSA has good reason to be upset. Administrations have typically operated under a 70-30 rule, under which political appointees (as opposed to professionals) were kept to around thirty percent of the available posts. Some went a little higher, others a little lower. The Obama administration, on the other hand, has broken all records: per AFSA, fully 53% of all appointees have been political, the trend rocketing during the second term.

If they were qualified, the practice would contemptible and venal, but tolerable. But many of these appointees are spectacularly unqualified:

  • Senator Max Baucus, appointed to represent us in China, admitted he was “no real expert” on China. This is the same China that holds most of our debt and is a growing military rival in the Pacific. The only reason Team Smart Power yanked him out of the Senate (from which he was retiring) was to try to save the seat for the Democrats in the coming midterms.
  • Hotelier and mega-bundler George Tsunis was so ignorant of of Norway, to which he had been appointed, that he managed to offend the Norwegian government at his confirmation hearing.
  • Noah Mamet, another bundler, admitted under questioning that he’s never been to Argentina, one of the most important countries in South America and which appears to be heading into a crisis. Maybe they should have asked if he could find it on a map.
  • And Colleen Bell, an Obama bundler and soap opera producer appointed to be our ambassador to Hungary, a nation whose democratic institutions are under attack by rising fascism, couldn’t describe our strategic interests in this NATO ally. Senator McCain utterly humiliated her in her hearing.

AFSA, which is not a union per se and has traditionally kept a low profile, is making the unprecedented demand that ambassadorial appointments meet some minimum qualifications. One would think this would already be true, but not apparently in Chicago-on-the-Potomac.

What’s next? Appointing Obama’s favorite horse?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Lady Macbeth regrets

January 28, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

“Madame sends her regrets.”

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee-in-waiting (1) spoke before the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association in New Orleans last weekend and took full responsibility for the security lapses at Benghazi that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Ambassador, saying, “I was in charge, but I put politics ahead of good sense. I failed, and now four good men are dead because of my failure.”

Wait. No, she didn’t.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton remained vague Monday about whether she will run for president in 2016 and said the attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, were the biggest regret of her four years as the United States’ top diplomat.

Before a large crowd of politically active car dealers, Clinton, the overwhelming favorite among possible Democratic presidential contenders, discussed her signal accomplishments — notably a recommendation that U.S. commandos go into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden (2) — and her regrets.

“My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said during a question-and-answer session after her keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in a packed 4,000-seat room.

Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed when militants attacked the lightly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a better-fortified CIA base nearby on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.

“Regrets.” Pardon me while I spit. Regrets are what you send when you can’t attend a dinner party. Regret is what you feel for not asking that neat girl or guy in high school to the prom, or when you turn down a great job offer and later realize how stupid you were.

Those are things you regret.

What happened in Benghazi was an atrocity, a murderous attack on US government personnel made possible by multiple layers of serial incompetence at the State Department, including the Secretary of State, herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Regrets?” Try “criminal negligence.”

Instead of speaking to car dealers, Clinton should be facing a jury.

via Sister Toldjah in email

PS: Might as well get this out of the way — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” A lot, Hill. A lot.

Footnotes:
(1) In her own mind, at least.
(2) Please. I’ll give Obama credit for ordering a direct assault on bin Laden, but, let’s be real: any American president, including James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter, would have done the same. And, Hillary? You were just one adviser among many.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: consulate staff pleaded for help during attack

November 20, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

It’s enough to make one want to punch a wall in frustration:

State Department employees at the Benghazi compound knew they were in a death trap and made a series of radio distress calls to the CIA annex during the terror assault last year, according to congressional sources familiar with recent testimony on the attack from five CIA personnel.

Sources told Fox News that the radio calls, which were described in closed testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, were characterized as almost frantic, with State Department employees who knew they could not defend themselves “pleading” for their lives.

Let me interrupt for a moment to state something we all know in our hearts is true: If this had happened under George W. Bush, those Americans would not have had to beg for help. The operatives at the Annex would not have been told to stand down and they would not have had to defy orders in order to help those trapped at the consulate. Whatever his other failings, Bush understood a commander-in-chief’s  duties.

Unlike certain other Savior-Presidents I can think of.

Back to the story:

When the CIA team arrived from the annex about a mile away, they found the State Department employees without guns that could adequately protect them; one of the agents was found hiding in the consulate, apparently in a closet. The testimony lends more weight to repeated claims, in the wake of the attack, that the consulate was not adequately protected despite being located in a volatile and violent area prone to attack.

When the CIA personnel were asked for their reaction to the administration’s initial explanation that an anti-Islam video and a demonstration gone awry were to blame for the attack, Fox News is told they were seething with anger because everything on the ground — from their perspective — showed it was a premeditated attack.

At least three of the five — who were all in Benghazi — responded to the scene that night. The witnesses testified that five mortars rained down on the annex in less than a minute. They pointed to those details as more evidence of a professionally trained team, describing the attack on the annex as akin to a professional hit on the operation in order to drive it out of Benghazi.

Emphasis added. Be sure to read the rest. The testimony of the CIA personnel comports with the analysis given by Lt. Col. Wood in the now-retracted “60 Minutes” story on Benghazi. It also supports the contention of Dylan Davies, the British security specialist at the center of the “60 Minutes” controversy, that the consulate, located in a known al Qaeda recruiting area, was woefully insecure in spite of repeated requests to Washington for upgrades.

An article from yesterday, also by Catherine Herridge, raises new questions about the role of former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, whose testimony in 2012 was strongly contradicted by that of the survivors of the battle:

This testimony is seen by lawmakers as more overwhelming evidence that the attack was premeditated terrorism and that these facts were known almost immediately by then-CIA Director David Petraeus – who downplayed the skill and planning needed to use mortars with such accuracy during his Sept. 14, 2012 briefing to Congress.

Somehow, I think the relevant committees of the House will have new questions for the disgraced war hero.

The central issue here, however, is the incompetence bordering on malfeasance on the part of both Hillary Clinton and President Obama. The State Department under Clinton was almost bloody-minded in its refusal to provide adequate security for a post that was effectively in daily contact with the enemy. And President Obama failed utterly in his duties to oversee our interests in a nation where he had overthrown the government and created a client state. Why wasn’t he verifying that Benghazi had sufficient protection? Why didn’t he make sure there was a sufficient force on standby to come to the aid of a station in hostile territory?

Wait. What am I saying? There was fundraising to be done!

Obama, Clinton, and their immediate advisers are absolute disgraces to their offices and an embarrassment to the nation. We’re stuck with Obama until January, 2017, but Hillary Clinton should be confronted with her catastrophic incompetence at every chance until she is finally and thankfully hounded from public life.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: attackers knew where the “secret” safe room was

November 15, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Inside job

As if we needed more proof that there was no way this was the product of some “spontaneous” demonstration in protest against a video hardly anyone saw, one of the survivors has testified that the jihadis knew their way around the compound, including where the ambassador’s “safe room” was:

The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate last year knew the location of the safe room where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his security team sought shelter, according to a congressman who spoke for 90 minutes with the diplomatic security agent severely injured in the assault.

“He confirmed this – that it was a very well orchestrated, and well organized, almost a military operation, using military weapons and using military signals,” the late Florida Rep. Bill Young said after meeting diplomatic security agent David Ubben at Walter Reed Medical Center last summer, when both were patients there.

After Young’s death in mid-October, his widow, Beverly Young, gave Fox permission to use her husband’s comments about the Sep. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the record. The congressman had originally spoken to Fox on background last summer.

“He (Ubben) emphasized the fact that it was a very, very military type of operation they had knowledge of almost everything in the compound,” Young explained. “They knew where the gasoline was, they knew where the generators were, they knew where the safe room was, they knew more than they should have about that compound.”

Now, how could they have known that?

An August 16 classified cable, reviewed and reported on by Fox News last fall, showed there was an emergency meeting in Benghazi less than a month before the attack due to rapidly deteriorating security. The cable warned the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (1), and other State Department leaders in Washington, that the consulate could not sustain a coordinated assault.

The cable also reflected a grave concern among officials on the ground that the Libyan militia charged with protecting the consulate had been compromised, perhaps even infiltrated by extremists.

Don’t forget, that unit, the 17 February Brigade, melted away when the attack started. Wouldn’t want to get in their friends’ way, after all.

Ubben’s testimony supports the contention of LtC. Wood in the controversial “60 Minutes” interview that this was a well-planned, coordinated, professional assault.

Barack Obama’s largely avoided the consequences of Benghazi; barring compelling evidence of collaboration with the enemy, he won’t be impeached for it, though I suspect his dereliction that night warrants it.

However, Hillary Clinton is just as culpable, if not more so. The moronic “go softly” policy we undertook in Libya, to the extent of hiring local militias for security in a known al Qaeda recruiting zone, was hers. The failure to correct the security flaws were hers. The failure to press for sufficient forces pre-placed to launch a rescue mission in the event of attack was hers. And many of the lies told in the aftermath, including to the families of the fallen, were hers.

She was an incompetent, blundering, dishonest and dishonorable failure as Secretary of State and should never, ever come anywhere near the presidency. We can only hope that those investigating the events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi keep digging and find enough to ruin whatever political future she has left.

That would at least be a measure of justice for the four Americans who died there.

via JWF.

Footnote:
(1) Who therefore lied about never having seen cables about security risks in Benghazi. Yet another example of the Sgt. Schultz administration in action.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


John Kerry throws freedom-seeking women under the bus

November 8, 2013

Amazing how progressives shout loudly for women’s rights, except in countries where women are truly oppressed. As for Kerry, the “Winter Soldier” is too dense to be called a “willing dhimmi.” He likely has no idea how he’s enabling totalitarian Sharia law.


Kerry on the Hill: “Assad used chemical weapons because Obama is weak.”

September 3, 2013

Wow.

Per Marc Thiessen of AEI, here’s what the Secretary of State said am few minutes ago while testifying before a Senate committee on the need to intervene in Syria:

One of the reasons Assad has been using these materials is because they have, up until now, made the calculation that the West writ large and the United States particularly are not going to do anything about it. Impunity is already working to kill a lot of people and to make things more dangerous. I guarantee you that is in their assessment.

As Thiessen points out, the leader of the West and the United States is the President of the United States. Ergo, Kerry is saying that Assad used chemical weapons because he assumed Obama can be safely ignored.

It’s the ultimate indictment of Obama’s blundering foreign policy and his incompetent Mideast grand strategy. His weakness has encouraged brutal dictators to use horrific weapons and, to stop it, we have to repair Obama’s self-image. What a great reason to start a war. At least the British had Jenkin’s ear.

Passing thought: What if this backhanded insult was Kerry’s way of getting revenge for being humiliated by Obama last week? Nah. He’s not that clever and is too anxious to be a team player.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Cover up complete, scapegoats rehabilitated

August 20, 2013

They’ve served their purpose, after all:

Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that the four State Department officials placed on administrative leave by Hillary Clinton after the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi do not deserve any formal disciplinary action and has asked them to come back to work at the State Department starting Tuesday.

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

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

“No explanation, no briefing, just come back to work. So I will go in tomorrow,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell previously told The Daily Beast that the reasons for his administrative leave designation had never been explained to him. He contended that he had little role in Libya policy and no involvement whatsoever in the events leading up to the Benghazi attack.

“The overall goal is to restore my honor,” Maxwell had said.

The honor of the Department, however, and that of the United States, was sacrificed to preserve The Deal.

"Forget honor. What about justice?"

“Forget honor. What about justice?”

Good question.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: And, just like that, the missing colonel is found

July 19, 2013
American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Funny how that works, when Congress controls the appropriations leash:

The U.S. Department of Defense has agreed to make available to Congress a Marine Corps colonel who was in command of U.S. Special Forces in Northern Africa on the night armed terrorists staged a military-style assault on an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

A series of requests for Marine Col. George Bristol’s testimony from Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, both Republicans, had fallen on deaf ears until Friday. The Pentagon had claimed that since Bristol had retired, it ‘cannot compel’ him to tell congressional panels what he knows about the Benghazi attack.

The Mail was able to locate the colonel’s home in Virginia, but the Pentagon was stumped. That lasted until the Marines Corps Times spilled the beans that he wasn’t really retired, yet.

Here’s why the committee wants to talk with Colonel Bristol:

On that day, Bristol was commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, placing him directly in the chain of command where decisions were made about evaluating and deploying assault teams when American personnel in Northern Africa are in harm’s way.  

Other military officials have testified before Congress, including Gen. Carter Ham, who appeared on June 26 before a closed session of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Bristol’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he led a task force with authority over military special operations in 12 countries, including forces tasked with countering violent extremist organizations.

During a change of command ceremony in March 2013 that saw him rotated out of command, he said ‘an evil’ had taken hold in Africa, and ‘it is on us to stomp it out.’

‘Africa is not the next ridgeline,’ Bristol told Stars and Stripes. ‘It is where the enemy is going now. And we are going to do something about it.’

The obvious question to ask the colonel, then, is why we didn’t “do something about it” in Benghazi. I’ll be interested in the answers.

So will the survivors of the four Americans who died there.

via The Anchoress

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Survivors pressured to sign NDAs?

July 18, 2013
American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

No wonder the House Oversight Committee can’t get to interview these people — State is trying desperately to hide them:

Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, said today on the House floor that survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements:

“On Tuesday I raised the question of why none of the Benghazi survivors, whether State Department, CIA, or private security contract employees have testified publicly before Congress,” said Wolf.

“According to trusted sources that have contacted my office, many if not all of the survivors of the Benghazi attacks along with others at the Department of Defense, the CIA have been asked or directed to sign additional non-disclosure agreements about their involvement in the Benghazi attacks. Some of these new NDAs, as they call them, I have been told were signed as recently as this summer.”

“Asked or directed” meaning “sign or your jobs are on the line.” This is bunk: employees of the federal government cannot be made to sign “non-disclosure agreements” that are proof against an investigation by the People’s elected representatives. This is nothing but browbeating by a cabinet department and White House that is hoping anyone interested in what really happened that night will just give up and go away. It’s time to subpoena not only the survivors, but whoever issued the order to require NDAs and to require them to explain why.

But wait! There’s more!

Wolf continued: “It is worth noting that the Marine Corps Times yesterday reported that the Marine colonel whose task force was responsible for special operations in northern and western Africa at the time of the attack is still on active duty despite claims that he retired. And therefore could not be forced to testify before Congress.

Here’s a quote from the Marine Corps Times piece:

When insurgents attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, last fall, Col. George Bristol held a key post in the region. As commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, he was in a position to know what options the U.S. had to protect Americans under fire.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in the Sept. 11 attacks, sparking national outcry and a congressional investigation examining the lack of protection. Several U.S. officials have testified before Congress since — but not Bristol, a salty Marine whose task force was responsible for special operations in northern and western Africa.

Defense Department officials have told members of Congress that Bristol cannot be forced to testify because he retired after stepping down during a March change of command ceremony, according to several media reports. The Pentagon reinforced that point of view to Marine Corps Times on Tuesday.

“Col. Bristol was not invited by Congress to testify before he retired,” said Air Force Maj. Robert Firman, a spokesman with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “The DoD has cooperated fully with Congress and the Accountability Review Board since the beginning of this investigation, and we will continue to do so.”

That isn’t the case, however. While Bristol is preparing for retirement, he is on active duty through the end of July, said Maj. Shawn Haney, a Marine spokeswoman, on Wednesday. He will be placed on the inactive list on Aug. 1, she said. That contradicts statements that Pentagon officials have issued to both Congress and the media.

I’ve mentioned Colonel Bristol, before, and expressed… “skepticism” at the claim that they just didn’t know where he is:

Sure, the Pentagon can’t find him. They have no forwarding address for his mail, no entry for a stateside residence, and no friends who might know how to get in touch with him. Nope. He just retired and walked out that door and vanished, and nobody in the vast US military bureaucracy knows where he is. It’s a real-life case of “Where’s George?”

And yet now we’re told he’ still on active duty for another week? This is looking a lot less like bureaucratic bungling and a lot more like obstruction of congress (PDF). I’m reminded of the wise words of the great Vince Lombardi.

And to whose benefit?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Odd detail about that break-in at the lawyers for the State Department whistleblower

July 9, 2013

Following up on this story, I ran across an odd item in US News:

Among the odd details about the robbery is that only one credit card was stolen from a drawer that contained four cards. It’s unclear to the attorneys why the crooks took one card from the drawer, but left behind three others and unsecured silver valued around $125.

The missing credit card was used for several retail purchases at Dallas’ Valley View Center mall around 4:45 p.m. on June 29, Mathias said.

Eerily, the shopping spree happened four hours before security cameras in the firm’s office building recorded two suspects first entering the building and then leaving with computers.

The report from Foreign Policy indicated nothing of traditional value to a thief had been taken, other than the computers from the law firm representing Aurelia Fedenisn, the former State Department investigator who’s made serious allegation of corruption and cover-up at State. The thieves ignored silver, computers in another, unlocked office, all sorts of things, just taking the attorneys’ laptops.

Except for one credit card?

So, what happened? Was there a third burglary earlier in the day that wasn’t caught on video? Did one of the thieves, under orders to steal only the laptops, get greedy and make a mistake that will enable the police to trace him? Was there an utterly unrelated theft, making this another in a chain of coincidences?

Who knows? Right now, it seems to be just a bit of interesting data. But it could be more. We’ll be watching to see where the police investigation leads.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Has the Obama administration gone “full Watergate?” Break in at whistleblower’s law firm.

July 8, 2013

Somewhere, G. Gordon Liddy and James McCord are thinking “copycats!”

The offices of a Dallas law firm representing a high-profile State Department whistleblower were broken into last weekend. Burglars stole three computers and broke into the firm’s file cabinets. But silver bars, video equipment and other valuables were left untouched, according to local Fox affiliate KDFW, which aired security camera footage of the suspected burglars entering and leaving the offices around the time of the incident.

The firm Schulman & Mathias represents Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator at the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General. In recent weeks, she raised a slew of explosive allegations against the department and its contractors ranging from illicit drug use, soliciting sexual favors from minors and prostitutes and sexual harassment.

“It’s a crazy, strange and suspicious situation,” attorney Cary Schulman told The Cable. “It’s clear to me that it was somebody looking for information and not money. My most high-profile case right now is the Aurelia Fedenisn case, and I can’t think of any other case where someone would go to these great lengths to get our information.” 

According to the KDFW report, the firm was the only suite burglarized in the high-rise office building and an unlocked office adjacent was left untouched.

Among the allegations made by Fedenisn , which include accusations of a US ambassador and big Obama donor soliciting underage prostitutes, were charges that high-level officials of the State Department, then run by Hillary Clinton, interfered with eight investigations and then watered-down her report. When she complained to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), State Department agents came to her home and intimidated her children. At that point, she retained lawyers.

And now their office has been broken into.

Did we suddenly travel back to 1972, and no one told me? If so, I’d like to take my algebra final over again, please.

The Watergate break-in was once described as a “third-rate burglary.” Well, whoever undertook this one at Schulman & Matthias would probably be happy to get promoted to third rate, this was such a hack job. Consider: not only did they pass up on silver bars (roughly $18 per ounce), but they ignored an unlocked office with over a dozen computers there for the taking. Other than the minimal disguises one sees in the video, there was no effort to hide their activities or what they were after. Fedenisn’s lawyers insist they just don’t have a case right now as big and as full of potentially explosive political implications as hers.

But, could State agents really be this stupid? I think we can mostly rule out the attorneys’ other clients; the coincidence that they’re also a national-level whistleblower’s lawyers is just too great. But if so, who? People desperate to protect Hillary’s chances for the presidency? Obama flunkies looking to preserve “The Deal?” Friends of the ambassador or other agents named in the probe, or the agents themselves? Was it all just a huge coincidence and these two just a pair of petty burglars?

I don’t know, but there are too many coincidences with this administration for me to blithely write this off as yet another.

Final thought: Regarding the break-in, itself, the initial reaction of myself and others has been one of incredulity — they couldn’t be this lame, right? Not blacking out the cameras, not disguising what they were after, etc. I mean, a good checkout-line thriller novel by James Patterson would at least give you the basics.  If they were agents of the Federal government, they’d at least be competent, right?

Maybe not. Think back a bit and consider the case of CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson and her computers, also a clumsy operation. Attkisson, among other stories, had been digging for the truth like a dog after a bone in the Benghazi scandal. Fedenisn, on her part, exposed major corruption high in the State Department. What both scandals have in common is Hillary Clinton at the top with every incentive one could think of to suppress both. I think we all can see a potential pattern here.

I’m not saying this is what it has to be, but it does kind of make one scratch the old chin and think “hmmm…,” doesn’t it? smiley thinking

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Coincidence? US ambassador named in State Dept. scandal to be replaced

June 24, 2013

A case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?” Via The Weekly Standard, we learn that Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Belgium:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Denise Bauer – Ambassador to Belgium, Department of State

Now why, you may ask, is an ambassadorial appointment to a minor ally worthy of our notice? Well, think back about two weeks or so to an item that flared brightly, but briefly, amidst all the other scandals embroiling the Obama administration and touched the current ambassador:

A [Diplomatic Security] agent was called off a case against US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over claims that he solicited prostitutes, including minors.

“The agent began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” says the memo.

“The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team . . . were well aware of the behavior.”

Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation ceased, and the ambassador remains in place, according to the memo.

Gutman was a big Democratic donor before taking the post, having raised $500,000 for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and helping finance his inaugural.

This was part of a larger article in the NY Post detailing sex and drug scandals (1) in the State Department under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a scandal in which the whistleblower is claiming she is being threatened.

To get back to Ambassador Gutman, is it just a coincidence that he’s leaving soon after being named in a salacious scandal? According to his Wikipedia entry, a Belgian newspaper mentioned his tour ending early last May. But the whistleblower, Aurelia Fedensin, retired from State in December, 2012. It was her report, reportedly bowdlerized by Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy and Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s then Chief of Staff, that exposed Gutman’s “hobby.”

Call me cynical and suspicious, and this may just be a normal rotation, but doesn’t this look an awful lot like easing someone out the door who’s very embarrassing, after a decent interval to sweep things under the rug?

Not that cover ups would ever occur under Obama and Clinton. *cough!* Benghazi *cough!*

Huh. Must’ve had something caught in my throat.

Footnote:
(1) I know, I know. Sex, drugs, and the Clintons. Who would ever believe that?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Yet another scandal: A US ambassador soliciting underage prostitutes?

June 12, 2013

It started with the dial already set to “Bad:” accusations of sexual assault, illegal drug rings, and members of former Secretary of State Clinton’s security detail hiring call girls. On top of that were charges in an Inspector General’s report that high-ranking officials at State had interfered with investigations by the Diplomatic Security Service’s (DSS) criminal division and the Inspector General’s office. The charges were so serious that, as my blog-buddy ST reported yesterday, Clinton’s apologists broke out the ultimate Obama administration defense: “We knew nothing until we heard about it on the news!”

And yet now, what started out as “bad” has gone to “God awful:”

A DS agent was called off a case against US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over claims that he solicited prostitutes, including minors.

“The agent began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” says the memo.

“The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team . . . were well aware of the behavior.”

Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation ceased, and the ambassador remains in place, according to the memo.

Gutman was a big Democratic donor before taking the post, having raised $500,000 for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and helping finance his inaugural.

Emphases added.

Jim Geraghty quotes Foreign Policy’s report of the Ambassador’s denial (1):

In a fast-developing story, U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has been named as the diplomat accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to State Department documents obtained by NBC News. Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.

“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.”

But notes that the Ambassador took no questions, either. Hmm…

If true, this is sickening on several levels. Not only was a US ambassador, who not only represents the United States but is also the personal representative of the president, trolling for hookers, but he may well be a pedophile, too.

On top of that, and if true, Ambassador Gutman created a huge security risk by exposing himself (ahem…) to multiple dangers. What if that Lolita under the street lamp had been a Russian or Chinese agent? Spring the honey trap and hello, blackmail! Or what if, while his security detail was wondering where in the heck he had gone (2), the woman-for-rent had been working with our jihadi enemies, and we suddenly found ourselves with an ambassador kidnapped and held hostage by al Qaeda?

The mind boggles at the stupidity. Does no one under this administration take their job seriously? Does no one have a sense of honor and duty?

Okay, we all know there are good men and women all throughout the US government who do. Four of them died doing their duty in Benghazi.

And the people named in these reports acting like drug-crazed satyrs are a disgrace to them all.

PS: If you read the linked CBS and NY Post articles, two names might easily jump out at you: Cheryl Mills, who was Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, and Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, both of whom reported directly to Hillary Clinton. Their names should be familiar to you because of the questionable roles they played in the Benghazi massacre and its aftermath: Mills, apparently known as Clinton’s fixer, had a fit when DCM Hicks talked alone and against instructions with Congressman Chaffetz, there to investigate what had happened. On the night of the Benghazi attack, Kennedy (or someone in his office) prevented an interagency team designed for just such an emergency from taking flight to Libya. If you see a pattern here, you’re not alone.

Footnote:
(1) Great title for a thriller, no?
(2) Or were out looking for their own, apparently.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi headdesk moment: Why the review board stopped questioning Clinton

May 14, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

“Don’t ask questions”

Via PJM. This is one of those statements that makes you think “No, you didn’t just say that, did you?”

He did:

“Now, with hindsight, don’t you [Amb. Thomas Pickering, co-chair of the Accountability Review Board] think it would have been important to ask her about that conversation and other decisions she made that night? Because she [Secretary Clinton] was intimately involved,” [Wolf] Blitzer asked.

“We did. We did. We interviewed the senior staff members…”

“But why not her?” Blitzer pressed.

Pickering replied that they “felt that everything that we saw was fully and competently taken care of.”

“We didn’t have a reason in any way at all to suggest there was anything that she might have known that was not already relayed to us. It was straightforward. We thought they did an excellent job the night of. There were many different pieces of testimony we put together with respect to that,” he continued.

When asked if the ARB was trying to protect Clinton, Pickering said, “Well, the criticism may be the criticism. We will have to live with that, but the truth is that we didn’t feel there was a need to do that on the basis of all the evidence we had accumulated to date.”

“And knowing what you know now, was that the right decision?” Blitzer continued.

“Yes, of course it was the right decision.”

“To avoid any serious questioning with the secretary of state?”

“Well, if we had started down that line, where would it have ended?” Pickering asked.

Oh, gee, Ambassador, I don’t know. How about with “the Truth?” Clinton was on a 2 AM (Libyan time) phone call with DCM Hicks, by that time the highest American official in Libya because the Ambassador was missing in a besieged consulate and later found dead. He made no mention of a “demonstration” or a video. Every bit of evidence from our people on the ground –relayed to Clinton directly– and from intelligence that night indicated this was a terrorist attack. Maybe you could have asked her just where in the process of revising the talking points a dozen times the idea of a video being the cause of it all entered the picture?

And if that wasn’t in your purview, how about why repeated requests for additional security (or even just to keep the security they had) were denied? Why was the inter-departmental FEST counter-terrorism team never activated that night, despite repeated requests from the Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge to be included?

That’s why you ask the questions: You may not know where they’ll end, but, when you get there, you’ll have the accountability your board was supposed to establish.

Unless, in your dictionary, “accountability” means “whitewash.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Hearings show Hillary Clinton really is “Lady Macbeth.”

May 9, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

“Banquo’s blood”

I’ve joked since the Clintons first came on the national scene that Hillary was a modern-day “Lady Macbeth,” willing to do anything and put up with anything to get power and keep it. Think about it: why else would someone suffer repeated public humiliations from a serial-philanderer husband, one widely reputed to be a rapist? Because she wants power, and needed Bill to have a shot at her ultimate goal — becoming president, herself.

That was the reason for her Senate “career.” Not to serve and represent the people of New York (where, in fact, she was a carpetbagger), but to give her a national stage from which she could launch a presidential bid in 2004 or 2008, widely expected to be an anointing… until a certain young, male, charismatic senator came along and snatched the crown –her crown!– from her. And there she was again, left making a deal with a powerful man to keep open the road to her dreams. I have no proof, of course, just a gut feeling based on watching Hillary over the course of 20 years, but I think the deal went something like this: In return for ending her primary battle against Obama and delivering her supporters’ votes, she received a plum cabinet post with global exposure and the unofficial title of “heir apparent.” (Really, no one other than Joe takes Joe’s own ambitions seriously.) The deal struck, all was set. Just a few more years and her heart’s desire would be hers.

Then came Benghazi, the truth of which had to be covered up, lest it expose her incompetence and ruin her last chance to be president.

But the ghosts of the men who died that night would not stay quiet, and questions of “why” ate at the consciences of three good Americans who would no longer suffer the truth be kept silent, and so came forward yesterday to tell the nation what they knew and saw and did.

And their testimony condemns Hillary Clinton.

Most damning was the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya at the time of the attack, who became our top diplomat there when Ambassador Stephens was killed. Among other things, he attested under oath to the following:

  • That there was no demonstration in Benghazi. In two conversations with the Ambassador, demonstrations were never mentioned. In fact, Stephens’ last words to Hicks were “We’re under attack!” The embassy knew that night from Ansar al-Sharia’s Twitter feed that they were taking responsibility for the attack.
  • That the YouTube video Clinton and the Obama administration desperately tried to blame for the disaster meant nothing in Libya.
  • That he himself briefed Clinton herself over the phone at 2 AM Libyan time (8 PM EST), giving her a full update on the situation. Again, no mention of a video, no mention of a demonstration.

And yet, two hours later, Clinton was blaming the video. Days later, standing over the coffins of the four killed in Benghazi, she told the father of one that they would “get the guy” who made that video.  CIA analysis was scrubbed at State Department behest to remove references to terrorism. Our UN ambassador went on five different talk shows the following Sunday, five days later, and blamed the video. The President of the United States, himself, stood before the United Nations General Assembly and proclaimed the video to be the culprit.

Yet Hillary knew the truth the night it all happened. And she lied. She lied not only to the nation, not only to Congress, but to the father of Ty Woods, one of the retired Navy SEALs who died that night while trying to save American lives.

While she was trying to save her political career.

I’m not excusing anyone in the upper reaches of the administration. Not Susan Rice, not Leon Panetta, not Jay Carney, and certainly not Barack Obama. They all had to have known; they all had their own arses to cover, or those of their patrons. (See for example Bryan Preston’s theory.)

But it was Hillary Clinton who knew from the start, and hers were the policies that lead to inadequate security in Benghazi. Those were her personnel in Libya, and hers was the responsibility.

But “The Deal” had been made in 2008, and it had to be preserved. Thus a desperate lie about a video was born and a pathetic little videographer was made the scapegoat, and the First Amendment was crushed.

All to keep clear Hillary Clinton’s path to the throne she knew should be hers:

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood,
Stop up th’access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’
–Lady Macbeth, “Macbeth,” Act I, scene v

What a pathetic, disgusting creature she is.

Afterthought: This isn’t over. Unanswered are questions about what other actors that night did then and in the days after, especially the President. Also, while Mr. Hicks testified that a stand-down order did come to the second relief team, he does not know who was on the phone with the Lieutenant Colonel in charge. The “chain” of that order needs to be made clear. Clinton herself should be hauled before the committee again, as should Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, and Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s chief of staff and “fixer” at the time. And anyone else in that circle who was in a position to know. Somewhere in that rats’ nest is a new John Dean, waiting to talk.

RELATED:

Roger L. Simon compares Hillary to the Medicis.

“Seven Things We Learned From The Benghazi Whistle-Blower Hearings.” Must reading.

A good ABC News article on the Benghazi hearing.

Eli Lake on “They knew it was terrorism.”

One of the Benghazi whistle-blowers was demoted for asking too many questions.

Why was State’s FEST team not deployed?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Confirmed: #Benghazi consulate denied military help, administration cover up collapsing

May 6, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

“No authority”

Via Sharyl Attkisson/CBS News, this is just disgusting:

The deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has told congressional investigators that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command South Africa.

The account from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions from the Obama administration, which insisted that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were utilized. Hicks gave private testimony to congressional investigators last month in advance of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

According to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound “when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have the authority to go now.’ And so they missed the flight … They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”

No assistance arrived from the U.S. military outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack or trapped inside compounds by hostile forces armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

The fact that a relief team was available in Libya and was ready to go is important, if one bears in mind the question of cross-border authority. That means presidential authorization wasn’t necessary: the Special Ops guys were ready to board the plane and, as Hicks states later in the article in a transcript of his testimony to congressional investigators, the Libyan government wanted us to intervene:

Q: So what would have been the risk of — do you think it would have been risky for us to send someone, do you think it would have been counterproductive for us to send a fighter pilot plane over Benghazi without that permission?

A: We would have certainly wanted to obtain that permission. I believe we would have gotten it if we had asked. I believe that the Libyans were hoping that we were going to come bail them out of this mess. And, you know, they were as surprised as we were that American — the military forces that did arrive only arrived on the evening of September 12. Yeah.

Remember, Hicks was the Deputy Chief of Mission, our “Number Two” at the embassy after the Ambassador. With Ambassador Stevens dead, he was in charge. He was in a position to know the Libyan government very well and, by his words, it looks like the Libyans would have been happy to green-light almost anything we wanted to do.

But someone in no uncertain terms told that relief team to stand down. Just who gave that order and why the administration lied about it are questions the House Oversight Committee should focus on this upcoming Wednesday.

There are other questions regarding available military aid that night: Hick asserts that, had we flown a couple of fighter jets over Benghazi, we would have scared the jihadis off:

“I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them,” Hicks testified. Two Americans died in the morning mortar attack.

Attkisson points out that the Souda Bay Naval Air Station in Crete is only an hour away, while an earlier CBS article reported on available aid at Sigonella, Sicily, also an hour or so away. Yet, in an article at The Daily Beast, Eli Lake reports that Hicks says he was told the nearest fighter cover was at Aviano, Italy, too far away to help. That latter backs up then-Defense Secretary Panetta’s assertion to a Senate committee that no air assets would have been available quickly enough. But… no fighter assets at two nearby airbases, when we have a consulate that’s sitting in the middle of a jihadi recruiting ground? Forgive me if I’m skeptical, but, when I read in the same article…

[Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin] Dempsey said he could not have gotten troops on the ground within 13 to 15 hours.

Panetta was firm throughout his testimony that there were no “undue delays” in decision making and there was no denial of support from Washington or from the military combatant commanders when the attack happened.

…and compare it to the testimony of the Deputy Chief of Mission who was there on the ground screaming for help with a team of Special Forces ready and anxious to go, well, forgive me if I think we’re being shoveled a load of horse manure.

In fact it’s plain to everyone, even Bob Schieffer (h/t The Jawa Report), that this administration has been lying through its teeth since the day this attack took place. They deliberately altered talking points (1) based on orders from “on high,” blaming a video no one had ever seen and vilifying the poor schmuck videographer, denying the attack had anything to do with al Qaeda, and then, when it couldn’t be denied any longer, hiding behind a whitewash of an “accountability report” that is itself now being investigated.

All this coverup and all these lies, and, near as anyone can figure out, it was all meant to protect Obama’s reelection and Hillary Clinton’s chances to succeed him.

Somewhere Richard Nixon nods in understanding.

Wednesday should be fascinating.

RELATED: The Weekly Standard with more on the stand-down order. Background on Gregory Hicks. The complete Benghazi timeline in spreadsheet format. Another whistle-blower reveals Secretary Clinton’s efforts to go around her department’s own counterterrorism bureau the night of Benghazi. Who the heck is Ben Rhodes, and why is a failed fiction writer making US national security decisions? (h/t Rick Moran)

Footnote:
(1) If you read nothing else, read that article. It’s devastating.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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