Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Benghazi ... the last word ... really

Seven days late and seven million dollars short, the Republicans of the Select Committee on Benghazi released their report today.  No Democrats on the Committee were involved in crafting the 800-page Republican report.  They released a report of their own yesterday. 

To the surprise of no one, the Republican report contains no new evidence that Hillary Clinton did anything wrong, slept through the 3 a.m. phone call, gave any stand-down command, or that she blamed the attack on a video - which did exist - but she never cited that video as the motivation behind the attack. Neither did any "Clinton administration" have anything to do with these attacks. One ended in 2001 and the other doesn't begin until 2017.  Trey Gowdy's slips of the tongue really say it all.

Nothing has been so wasteful in time and tax dollars as this so-called investigation.


Hillary's defense team was quick to respond to the Republican move.

“New Revelations” From Benghazi Report Notably Old

Republican efforts to exploit the Benghazi tragedy to score political points against Hillary Clinton has been both disturbing and fruitless.
Two years and $7 million after its inception, the taxpayer-funded partisan witch hunt known as the Benghazi Committee concluded quite fittingly: Republican members, who insisted in breaking precedent and releasing their own report rather than a bipartisan one from the committee, selectively leaked out portions of their report in the middle of the night.
As objective viewers quickly determined, the report offers no new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. So, having once again failed in their efforts to uncover a smoking gun, committee Republicans have opted to repackage previously known information and present it as new. Here are a few examples:
“NEW REVELATION” – A team of Marines was delayed on a runway in Spain as there were deliberations over what uniforms they should wear.
Benghazi Republicans Report Summary: “The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I… A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times.”
FACT – The uniform issue was revealed in 2013. It was again confirmed by Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee in 2014. Moreover, it had zero impact on the mission, and safety was the driving concern.
Fox News, 1/22/2013: “Fox News has learned that U.S. Marines who were part of a FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) responding to Libya were told by the State Department to deplane, change out of their U.S. military uniforms and put on civilian clothes before flying to Tripoli… Defense Department spokesman George Little says that the FAST team would not have been in Libya in time to save any lives, and any delays to change out of military uniforms likely did not make a difference since all surviving State Department personnel left the consulate for the CIA Annex about an hour and 45 minutes after the attack began”
GOP Armed Services Committee Report on Benghazi, 2/2014: “Presumably, warfighters changed out of uniform because of concerns that the arrival of combat-ready troops might unduly alarm or inflame Libyan observers.  Although General Dempsey acknowledged to the Senate that this action delayed the platoon’s arrival in Libya, he said it was not enough to prevent it from getting to Benghazi before attack survivors departed.”
Select Committee on Benghazi Interview of Marine FAST Commander, 9/2/2015: QUESTION: And you mentioned that, even had you had aircraft collocated and loaded up within an hour, you could not have made it to Benghazi prior to the second attack. Is that right?
FAST COMMANDER: That is correct, ma’am. And as per FAST mission, we are not designed as a hostage rescue force. We are not—what was happening on the deck on the evening of the 11th to the morning of the 12th is not within the parameters of FAST mission. [...]
QUESTION: And you mentioned in the last hour even the confusion you had over the uniforms did not make a difference in your ability to complete your mission. Is that right?
FAST COMMANDER: Absolutely not.
Pentagon Joint Staff Director For Operations Admiral Kurt Tidd, Interview with Select Committee on Benghazi, 4/4/2016: “It was from a security perspective that, I think, they were thinking of not moving uniformed marines at night in buses through the—you know—or, actually, in the early hours of the morning through downtown Tripoli to the embassy.”
“NEW REVELATION” – Clinton had planned to visit Libya at the end of 2012, and witness testimony asserted that she wanted the Benghazi post made permanent.
Benghazi Republicans Report Summary: “The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part III… Emails indicate senior State Department officials, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin were preparing for a trip by the Secretary of State to Libya in October 2012. According to testimony, Chris Stevens wanted to have a “deliverable” for the Secretary for her trip to Libya, and that “deliverable” would be making the Mission in Benghazi a permanent Consulate.”
WaPo: House Benghazi report: Clinton was planning a trip to Libya before the attacks
The Hill: “Among the report's new revelations is the notion that Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the Americans killed, was in Benghazi with the aim of erecting a permanent diplomatic post, to replace the temporary one that came under fire.”
FACT – In 2013, Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission to Libya, publicly testified that Clinton had wanted the Benghazi post made permanent and had planned to visit Tripoli.
House Oversight Committee Hearing, 5/8/2013: REP. THOMAS MASSIE [R-KY]: Did you tell the Accountability Review Board about Secretary Clinton's interest in establishing a permanent presence in Benghazi? [...]
GREGORY HICKS: Yes, I did tell the Accountability Review Board that Secretary Clinton wanted the post made permanent. Ambassador Pickering looked surprised. He looked both ways on the -- to the members of the board, saying, "Does the 7th floor know about this?" And another factor was our understanding that Secretary Clinton intended to visit Tripoli in December.

“NEW REVELATION” – Hillary Clinton attended a video conference that was held on the night of the attacks.
NBC News: “In a newly revealed two-hour secure video conference on the night of the attacks led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and attended by Clinton and others…”
FACT – The video conference was previously known about; Hillary Clinton even wrote about it in her own book, ‘Hard Choices’.
Hillary Clinton, Hard Choices, pg. 327: “I headed to the Operations Center for a secure videoconference between various government agencies and the White House Situation Room, officials from the National Security Council, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other agencies. This was a Deputies meeting that did not include Principals, but protocol was the last thing on my mind. I downloaded to the group my discussions with Greg and President Magariaf, and I stressed how critical it was to get our people out of Benghazi as quickly and safely as possible.”
Hillary chimed in briefly from the campaign trail in Denver where she unveiled a technology and innovation agenda.

Time to move on and worry about the almost 33,000 gun-related deaths a year in the United States.

phone calls (2)