Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’
By Paul Brandus | The Week
“With all this manure,” the boy replied, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
The administration has long maintained that the now-infamous talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five Sunday talk shows just days after the September 11 attack were the product of the intelligence community. We know the talking points originated in the intelligence community. But the final product itself? No.
ABC News reports that the documents were heavily edited by the State Department. And not just edited, but censored: State requested that references to Ansar al-Sharia — tied to al Qaeda — be deleted. It also requested that references to CIA warnings about terror threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack be deleted as well. (Read the whole ABC story here.)
Rewind to November 28. Here’s what White House press secretary Jay Carney told us at that day’s press briefing:
Those talking points originated from the intelligence community (IC). They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened. The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment (emphasis added) that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.
And Carney just two days ago stuck to this story, telling us:
The only edits made by anyone here at the White House were stylistic and nonsubstantive. They corrected the description of the building or the facility in Benghazi from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like. And ultimately, this all has been discussed and reviewed and provided in enormous levels of detail by the administration to congressional investigators, and the attempt to politicize the talking points, again, is part of an effort to, you know, chase after what isn’t the substance here.
Carney’s phrase “here at the White House” may be accurate in the physical sense, but in the broader context there’s no question he was referring to the Obama administration at large. And as Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard — which first published some of the email traffic between the White House and State Department on this — charged, “senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what happened.”
So who at the State Department was involved in changing — and censoring — the talking points? According to one email, spokesperson Victoria Nuland — who reported to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — expressed specific concern about this particular CIA talking point:
The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya. These noted that, since April, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy. We cannot rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks. [Via ABC News]
Is there a White House connection? ABC notes that in a Sept. 14 email — two days before Rice went on TV — Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.
“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department,” Rhodes noted.
The final talking points eventually given to Rice reflected State’s concerns, but Carney told us that it’s all on the up-and-up because the changes were signed off on by the CIA.
There’s a meatpacking-like quality to all this. You don’t really want to know how your hamburger is processed, do you? The administration’s defense — and it’s looking thinner than ice on a late spring pond — is that government bureaucracy is messy and multi-layered and that’s a big part of why Rice said what she did.
Benghazi occurred seven weeks before election day. The administration’s strategy was simple: Downplay the terror attack, change the narrative, and run out the clock. And that’s what it did.
But now the dam has burst. Carney’s “here at the White House” comment has essentially thrown Clinton under the bus. Republicans, who leaked the edited emails to Karl and Hayes, have succeeded on two fronts: They’ve got the administration on the defensive over Benghazi, and they’ve weakened the Democrat’s most formidable 2016 candidate.
It seems that after all that digging, Republicans have found their pony at last.
- Carney Claims on Changing #Benghazi Talking Points at Odds With the Facts (speaker.gov)
- White House slams ‘attempts to politicize’ Benghazi (politico.com)
- Obama administration e-mails raise new questions on Benghazi (cnn.com)
- Benghazi Talking Points Changed 12 Times (restart.typepad.com)
- ABC Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference (rubinoworld.com)
- ABC: Benghazi talking points went through 12 revisions, scrubbed of terror reference (hotair.com)
- Benghazi Talking Points Changed 12 Times By Obama Regime, Scrubbed Of Terror References (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- ABC Finds Benghazi Talking Points Extensively Edited by State Dept. (nationalreview.com)
By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo! News
In the wake of last week’s presidential election, thousands of Americans have signed petitions seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the United States. The petitions were filed on We the People, a government website.
States with citizens filing include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Oddly, folks from Georgia have filed twice. Even stranger, several of the petitions come from states that went for President Barack Obama.
The petitions are short and to the point. For example, a petition from the Volunteer State reads: “Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.” Of all the petitions, Texas has the most signatures so far, with more than 23,000.
Of course, this is mostly a symbolic gesture. The odds of the American government granting any state permission to go its own way are on par with winning the lottery while getting hit by a meteor while seeing Bigfoot while finding gluten-free pizza that tastes like the real thing.
An article from WKRC quotes a University of Louisville political science professor who explained that these petitions aren’t uncommon. Similar petitions were filed following the 2004 and 2008 elections. Still, should the petitions garner 25,000 signatures in a month, they will require an official response from the Obama administration.
From the We the People site:
The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. We created We the People because we want to hear from you. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
Not everybody who wants to secede is polite enough to write a petition. Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote a post-election newsletter in which he urges the Lone Star State to leave the Union.
“We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity… Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.”
- Texas Reaches Required 25,000 Signatures in States Secession Movement, 25 States Now Have Secessions Petitions Filed (21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com)
- Secession petitions filed in 20 states. . . the chaos increases . . . ~J (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- BREAKING: 20 States Petition to Secede from the United States (21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com)
- Secession petitions filed on White House Web site (washingtonpost.com)
- 20 States File Petitions to Secede from the United States (artopia444.wordpress.com)
- 20 States File Petitions to Secede from the United States (biblicaltimes.wordpress.com)
- US secession bids after Obama win (bbc.co.uk)
- UPDATE: 25 States Petition to Secede from the US, Texas Gets Needed 25,000 Signatures in 3 Days (21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com)
- Secession (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- Nearly half of the US threatens to secede (rt.com)