#Benghazi: “60 Minutes” report devastates administration lies

October 28, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

The Obama administration had plenty of warning that  something was coming and did nothing. That’s the upshot of this CBS video report that aired last night on 60 Minutes. The men interviewed by reporter Lara Logan, British security specialist “Morgan Jones” (a pseudonym), Green Beret LTC Andy Wood, who was among the top US security official in Libya at the time, and Greg Hicks, who was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya and who testified before Congress about the massacre, absolutely lay waste to the administration’s early claims about Benghazi. Here’s Morgan on security at the American compound:

Contrary to the White House’s public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.

Five months before that night, Morgan Jones first arrived in Benghazi, in eastern Libya about 400 miles from the capital, Tripoli.

He thought this would be an easy assignment compared to Afghanistan and Iraq. But on his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.

Morgan Jones: There was nobody there that we could see. And then we realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.

Lara Logan: What did you think?

Morgan Jones: Instantly I thought we’re going to have to get rid of all these guys.

Morgan Jones’ job was training the unarmed guards who manned the compound’s gates. A second Libyan force — an armed militia hired by the State Department — was supposed to defend the compound in the event of an attack. Morgan had nothing to do with the militia, but they worried him so much, he could not keep quiet.

Morgan Jones: I was saying, “These guys are no good. You need to– you need to get ’em out of here.”

Lara Logan: You also kept saying, “If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?”

Morgan Jones: Yeah. I used to say it all the time. Yeah, in the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.

And lest you doubt Jones’ chops, he sneaked into an al Qaeda-controlled Benghazi hospital to verify that Ambassador Stevens’ corpse was indeed there. So we know that for months people whose job was “security” were warning the ambassador and State about the dangers. Stevens himself sought out Jones, concerned about the safety of the station.

And State and the White House did nothing.

Next was Colonel Wood, who verified Morgan’s account to show everyone knew something was brewing:

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they–

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: –attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left–

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Wood repeatedly warned the embassy and Washington, but, in D.C., the warnings went unheeded. Wood also pointed out why this could not have been a spontaneous mob action, the crap story the administration was pushing in the days after the massacre. Discussing the later battle at the CIA annex where two former Navy Seals were killed, Wood spoke of the precision of the enemy attack:

Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.

Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.

Lara Logan: In the dark.

Andy Wood: Yea, that’s getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.

Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?

Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.

Kind of kills the “a You Tube video caused it” story, too, doesn’t it?

Finally, there is a portion of the testimony of Greg Hicks I want to highlight. Discussing how he felt about the failure to render aid during the battle, he said:

Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says–

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they’re not. And I– for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn’t believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, “Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

Lara Logan: That’s a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We–, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.

And you can bet that same dread went through the minds of every Foreign Service officer and every soldier stationed around the world: “If they didn’t come for Chris Stevens and the others, will they come for me?”

Much of this, of course, is known to those of us who’ve followed this scandal from the beginning. But, thanks to a generally pliant media, the White House and the State Department’s stonewalling has been successful.

The 60 Minutes report isn’t perfect –left uncovered are the myriad questions about Obama and Clinton’s actions that night and the subsequent cover up, as well as the reasons for the lack of a rescue mission– but CBS and Logan are to be commended for finally getting this out in front of the general public.

One wishes this had come out a year ago.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


BBC – Real risk of a Maunder minimum ‘Little Ice Age’

October 28, 2013

Though I think this is much more likely than catastrophic man-caused warming, it should still be taken with skepticsm: first, the BBC wholly bought into the “warming mania,” so it’s always possible they’ll fall for the next climate hysteria. (Remember global cooling in the 70s?) Second, the professor cited in the article is on record as saying a few years ago almost the opposite of what he’s saying, now. Everyone can change their opinions, of course, as new data comes in, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Watts Up With That?

From BBC’s Paul Hudson

It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age’, a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe.

The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there’s a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions.

I’ve been to see Professor Mike Lockwood to take a look at the work he has been conducting into the possible link between solar activity and climate patterns.

According to Professor Lockwood the late 20th century was a period when the sun was unusually active and a so called ‘grand maximum’ occurred around 1985.

Since then the sun has been getting quieter. 

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#Obamacare chronicles: more sticker shock, canceled coverage, and Halloween horror

October 27, 2013
No way!!

Wait! It’s not free??

I swear by the Good Book, I’d love to be working in a Republican communications shop scripting campaign commercials; Obamacare is making their job so easy.

The Los Angeles Times published an article yesterday that tried valiantly to convince us that there are both winners and losers under Obamacare, but it seems the only real-world examples (1) they could cite were of the losers, such a pregnant mother-to-be:

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Remember what I wrote about campaign commercials? If “Obamacare hurts pregnant women” isn’t being broadcast over every woman-oriented medium in summer and fall 2014, someone needs to be shot.

The quote of the day, however has to come from the unnamed woman who just learned that unicorns don’t exist:

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'” Kehaly said.

Reality has a way of shattering those Candyland dreams,  doesn’t it? Maybe she can commiserate with these people.

There are hundred of thousands, if not millions of Americans, not only in California but across the nation, finding themselves in similar situations: losing the coverage they like, being cut off from the doctors they trust, finding their choices restricted and their costs increased, and this is all before they actually have to try to get decent medical care under this anti-constitutional monstrosity.

Which means, as time goes by, there are going to be more and more angry people who also happen to vote, which already has Democrats in a near-panic. After all, they voted for this thing; we didn’t.

And we will be sure to make that quite clear to all and sundry.

Oh, that Halloween horror I mentioned? Check out this web ad from Generation Opportunity. This year, the scariest Halloween monster won’t be Frankenstein, but Uncle Sam:

RELATED: From Reason Magazine, Obamacare has a big problem with Medicaid sign-ups — too many of them. After nearly four weeks after the opening of the Obamacare web site, more than 330,000 people have gotten to the point where subsidy calculations can be made. That’s across the entire nation. No word on how many of those actually bought a policy.

PS: I can’t resist going back to the LAT article and pulling one last quote, this from the director of Covered California, that is a sterling example of progressive-bureaucratic arrogance:

“People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn’t have been part of the common risk pool,” [Peter] Lee said. “We are better off all being in this together. We are transforming the individual market and making it better.”

Translation: “People could have kept the coverage they were satisfied with, but then we wouldn’t have been able to force them to pay more for coverage they don’t want or need. We’re from the government and we know how a free market should be run.” Just amazing.

Footnote:
(1) As opposed to “All is well” pronouncements from regime apparatchiks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare web site contract a “crony contract?”

October 26, 2013
"Friends helping friends?"

“Friends helping friends?”

File this under “Things that make you say ‘Hmmm…'”

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

There is another strange item: at the company’s insistence, the Caller included the fact that a CGI executive testified before Congress that four unnamed companies had submitted bids. But, since CGI Federal’s was the only bid considered, this at first glance seems even more… “odd.” Why would they want to draw attention to evidence of special treatment?

The Daily Caller article provides no more evidence of any particular friendship or close connection between Michelle Obama and Toni Townes, but, given what we all know about the administration’s history of cronyism and Michelle Obama’s own involvement in patient-dumping scheme, this is worthy of note and further investigation.

Like I said, “hmmm…”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare roll-out: Covered California – “We speak Asian!”

October 26, 2013

Really, @CoveredCA? With the large numbers of Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and other East Asians living in this state? Via Twitchy:

 

And here’s a screenshot, in case they delete it.

Yeesh.


#Obamacare train wreck: thousands of elderly losing the doctors they like

October 25, 2013
"Obamacare"

“Obamacare rolls on”

Well, that’s not fair of me. Elderly, ill New Yorkers on the Medicare Advantage program actually have a choice: they can give up their doctor and take whomever their insurance will give them (whether they like that person or not); they can give up their insurance and pay for the doctor themselves; or they can try to find a plan their doctor is part of… and probably pay a lot more. Shockingly, many of these people are unhappy with their Brave New World:

The are 2.6 million elderly New Yorkers who receive Medicare, the public heath-insurance program for the elderly.

But one in three patients — nearly 900,000 — are enrolled in Advantage, Medicare HMOs run by private insurers.

Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz, who serves 30 patients under Medicare Advantage at his Brooklyn practice, said he was blindsided by UnitedHealthcare’s decision to give him the boot.

“A patient can’t see his doctor? What are they doing!” he asked.

They’re only doing what’s economically rational for the company, Doc, given the perverse incentives created by Obamacare.

And how do patients feel about this?

…Wilma Streicher, 76, was equally baffled. “Of course I want to keep Dr. Leibowitz. I don’t see why they want to push him out,” she said.

Patients of other doctors faced the same dire situation. Lung-cancer patient Jeannette Campregon, 79, received a letter from EmblemHealth saying that her internist, George Ruggiero, was terminated from her VIP High Option Medicare Advantage network.

Emblem notified her she could stay in her current plan and choose another doctor, pick a different plan to keep her doctor or call a customer-service rep for help.

“I’m going absolutely nuts,” said Campregon, who got conflicting information from three different service reps. “I don’t want to change my doctor!”

Ingrates and liars! Amanda Marcotte would demand they show a screenshot or it didn’t happen! They’re obviously under the delusion that the President said they could keep their doctor if they liked their doctor. How stupid, how…. Oh, wait:

In reality, this is no laughing matter. Anyone who’s had to deal with an elderly relative undergoing treatment knows just how important it is to the success of that treatment for that person to like and trust their doctor. More confidence, less stress, and a greater willingness to undergo what’s needed to get better. I can attest from painful personal experience how important the doctor-patient relationship is to these people, as I’m sure many of you can, too.

But now Obamacare is ripping all that up, in many cases threatening relationships built up over decades. And if it’s happening in New York, you can bet it’s happening across the nation, too.:

And here’s the devastating statistic you’ll see cited until the numbers change:

Over 500,000 individuals have seen their insurance policies cancelled in just 3 states. In all 50 states, only 476,000 applications have been “filed” in an exchange.

In short, Obamacare has caused more people to lose their health insurance than gain it so far.

Even if Obamacare were, by some miracle, repealed tomorrow, the carnage left in Obamacare’s wake is tremendous. Not just economically, vast though the disruption of the insurance markets has been, so far, but also on a very personal level, as we’ve seen in the Post article. And yet these are some of the very people Obama and his Pied Pipers claimed over and over would be helped by their new wonder-law.

What the Democrats have unleashed in their arrogance and hubris is unforgivable, and we can only hope voters make them pay a terrible price at the ballot box.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How lame is the Obama White House?

October 24, 2013

So lame, they can’t even slander someone right.

They’re an embarrassment to the Chicago Way.

via Instapundit