What difference does it make?

Three columns here: Two on Benghazi and Obama’s and Hillary’s lies about everything that happened there and then another column on how Ellen is now friends w/ George Bush and how the Libs are rewriting history about how badly they lied and treated him when it actually mattered when he was president.

The Damning Dozen: Twelve Revelations from the Benghazi Hearings

Guy Benson | May 09, 2013  for TownHall.com


Much of the media and liberal establishment simply ignored yesterday’s Benghazi hearings.  They were content to see, hear, and speak no evil — which is typically the fastest way to kill a story in Washington.  Others framed the proceedings as just another quixotic, partisan effort to hype a long-resolved story.  Selling that template requires adherence to two fallacious assertions: First, that no major questions remain regarding the 9/11 terrorist assault on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya  — and second, that no new information emerged from the whistle-blowers’ hours-long testimony.  The former claim is outright insulting.  The latter betrays either aggressive ignorance or wishful thinking.  House Oversight Committee Republicans’ focused questioning extracted quite a few nuggets of relevant information.  For their part, many committee Democrats were focused on unseemly efforts to attack, distract and smear — all employed as they cynically groused about Republicans “politicizing” the investigation.  Cutting through the nonsense and dissembling, here’s what we now know:

(1) Murdered US Ambassador Chris Stevens’ second in command, Gregory Hicks, was instructed not to speak with a Congressional investigator by Sec. Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills.  Hicks said he’d “never” faced a similar demand at any point during his distinguished 22-year diplomatic career. When he refused to comply with this request, the State Department dispatched an attorney to act as a “minder,” who insisted on sitting in on all of Hicks’ discussions with members of Congress (higher quality video is available here):  

(2) When Hicks began to voice strenuous objections to the administration’s inaccurate talking points with State Department higher-ups, the administration turned hostile.  After being lavishly praised by the president and the Secretary of State for his performance under fire, Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones instantly reversed course and launched into a “blistering critique” of Hicks’ leadership.  He was subsequently “effectively demoted.”  Hicks called Rice’s talking points “stunning” and “embarrassing.”

(3) Secretaries Clinton and Rice (the president’s hand-selected messenger on Benghazi to the American people) repeatedly stated that the attack arose from “spontaneous protests” over an obscure YouTube video.  This was never true.  Hicks called the YouTube a “non-event” in Libya.  He and others on the ground — including Amb. Stevens — recognized the raid as a coordinated terrorist attack from the very beginning.  Hicks testified that he personally told Sec. Clinton as much at 2 am on the night of the attack, along with her senior staff.  [UPDATE – Rep. Trey Gowdy also revealed an email sent on 9/12 in which Assistant Sec. Jones confirmed to a Libyan official that the attack had been carried out by terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia].  Days later, Rice recited bogus talking points on five American television networks, and Clinton denounced the video while standing next to the flag-draped coffins of the fallen.  Hicks said there he never mentioned any “spontaneous demonstrations” related to a video in his phone call with Clinton:

Questions: How, why, and by whom did the administration’s talking points get scrubbed and re-written?  Why did the president refuse to identify the attack as terrorism in an interview with CBS News on September 12, and why did he allow Sec. Rice to disseminate patently false information on his behalf?


(4)
A small, armed US force in Tripoli was told it did not have the authority to deploy to Benghazi in the midst of the attack.  Twice. Flight time between the two cities is less than an hour. Members of the would-be rescue contingent were “furious” over this obstruction.  The witnesses said they did not know who ultimately gave the “stand down” orders, or why.  If it was not the Commander-in-Chief calling the shots, why not, and where was he?  Whistle-blower Mark Thompson, a career counter-terrorism official at State, said he called the White House to request the immediate deployment of a Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) to Benghazi.  He was told it was “not the right time” to do so, then was cut out of the communications loop. 


(5)
The US’ security chief in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, averred that Sec. Clinton “absolutely” would have been briefed on his (and Stevens’) repeated requests for an increased security presence in Libya.  This claim undercut committee Democrats’ nitpicking over whether Clinton’s signature appeared on the memo denying those requests: 

Furthermore, the Benghazi compound was operating below the bare minimum global security standard for US diplomatic missions — despite being in an exceedingly dangerous place, and having been subjected to previous attempted attacks.  Only the Secretary of State has the authority to grant exemptions for minimum security requirements.


(6)
Amb. Stevens was stationed at the vulnerable Benghazi compound on a dangerous symbolic date at the behest of Sec. Clinton, who wished to make that diplomatic mission a permanent outpost.  This detail should only intensify questions as to why the consulate was so poorly protected (see item #7).


(7)
Nordstrom stated that elements of the lightly-armed Libyan militia group tasked with protecting the consulate were “certainly” complicit in the attacks.  No US Marines were present at the time. Hicks estimated that at least 60 terrorists swarmed into the compound during the attack.  Eight months later, zero arrests have been made.

(8) A mortally wounded Amb. Stevens was taken to a hospital controlled by the Islamist extremist group (Ansar Al-Sharia) primarily responsible for the assault.  Administration officials initially pointed to locals rushing Stevens to a local hospital as evidence of local goodwill from protesters who didn’t approve of the mob spinning out of control.  Hicks said the American contingent did not go to retrieve Stevens from said hospital during the fight because they were fearful that it was a trap.

(9) The US government did not seek permission from the Libyan government to fly any aircraft into Libyan airspace, aside from a drone.  The witnesses testified that they believe the Libyan government would have complied with any such request.  The fact that none was even made indicates that there was never a plan or intention to rush reinforcements to Benghazi.  This renders the “would they have made it on time?” argument largely irrelevant — the facts in item #4 notwithstanding.  Another important point about the “they wouldn’t have made it” defense: The assault lasted for eight hours and took place into two waves at two different compounds.  How could anyone have known how long the fighting would last?  How could they have anticipated that ex-Navy SEALs Woods and Doherty wouldn’t have been able to stave off the enemy for a few more hours?  Help was not on the way.  It was never sent.

(10) Despite committee Democrats’ repeated claims and leading questions, reduced funding or “austerity” had absolutely nothing to do with the inadequate security presence on the ground.  The State Department itself made this fact crystal clear at previous hearings, as did the administration’s internal “ARB” review.  Why did multiple Democrats flog an obsolete, thoroughly-debunked explanation, if not to muddy the waters?


(11)
Oversight Democrats tried to cast doubt on Mark Thompson’s credibility, suggesting that he’d declined to participate in the administration’s ARB probe.  Thompson corrected the record, noting that he “offered his services” to those investigators, who in turn did not invite him to testify.  Democrats also claimed that the House hearings were slanted because the leaders of the ARB investigation were not invited to participate.  In fact, Chairman Issa explicitly did invite them, as confirmed by letters obtained by ABC News.  They chose not to participate.  Democrats were dead wrong on both counts.


(12)
During her Congressional testimony on Benghazi, Sec. Clinton memorably asked, “what difference does it make?” in regards to the provenance of the administration’s incorrect talking points.  Gregory Hicks and Eric Nordstrom both attempted to answer that question.  Hicks did so in granular detail (the false explanation opened a nasty rift between the US and Libyan governments, impeding the FBI’s investigation for weeks).  An emotional Nordstrom was more general (we lost friends; the truth matters):

One of the few points of bipartisan agreement was that the number of unresolved issues merit additional hearings on Benghazi.

Hillary: What difference does it make if there were no protests in Benghazi?

Ed MorrisseyPosted at 12:01 pm on January 23, 2013  for Hotair.com

Allahpundit included this in his earlier post as an update, but I have a few thoughts on why this line of questioning matters. Senator Ron Johnson pressed the outgoing Secretary of State for an answer as to how her department and the White House came to declare that the attack erupted spontaneously from a protest outside the consulate when State could see in real time that there wasn’t any such protest under way. A clearly exasperated Clinton shot back, “What difference does it make?”

Well, gosh, I can think of a few reasons why it matters. First, it mattered enough for the Obama administration to send Susan Rice to five different Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking was a spontaneous demonstration of anger over a months-old YouTube video, while saying that there was “no evidence” that it was a terrorist attack. On one of those appearances, the president of Libya told US audiences the exact opposite — that it was the work of terrorists and that they had a pretty good idea of who they were. If it didn’t matter, what was Susan Rice doing when she tried pushing that meme, which the White House had to abandon within days as leaks within State and CIA made plain that there was no demonstration?

It also matters because Barack Obama at the time had been bragging about crippling al-Qaeda while on the campaign trail. That false narrative made it seem as though State and our intel community couldn’t have possibly known that the sacking would have occurred, and got blindsided by a grassroots reaction to the video. Instead, it turned out to be a planned terrorist action about which the US embassy in Libya had warned State for months, repeatedly requesting more security. 

There’s also the matter of Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi. His actions, and that of NATO in following his initial lead, decapitated the ruthless regime that at least was keeping a lid on terrorist networks in eastern Libya. The rise of those networks in the Benghazi region should have been a predictable outcome from the power vacuum the US/NATO campaign left in the region, which resulted in the ability to conduct this attack. That also reflects on the decision to remove the military security at the consulate even with the deteriorating environment very clear to anyone paying attention. That also matters because of how the transfer of weapons to the militias in that US/NATO effort and the resultant power vacuum has destabilized Mali and potentially a wide swath of North Africa.

So it matters because of credibility. There doesn’t seem to be any at the White House or State on any of these issues, nor answers to questions of what exactly this administration did to prepare for the inevitable outcome of its own policies in Libya and the broader Arab Spring. It matters because those policies are going to get more people killed than just the four Americans in Benghazi last September, and already have.

Whoopi Goldberg Shocks the World with a Statement About Conservatives

Posted at 6:29 pm on October 10, 2019 by Alex Parker 

for RedState.com

On Thursday, Whoopi Goldberg had — get ready for it — some nice things to say about the conservative cause.

Yes — you read that correctly.

During a discussion on The View, the ladies waxed on Ellen DeGeneres’s goofily controversial friendship with George W. Bush.

That would be, the man whose image not long ago graced many a Democrat’s bumper with the added accent of devil horns.

That would also be the man at the helm during the Iraq War.

And that would be the war which Democrats — including Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Joe Biden (Obama wasn’t yet in Congress) — voted to declare.

As for the Ellen issue, Meghan McCain asserted having friendships with those who believe differently is a good thing. Sort of:

“I think part of the issue is, and I’m, like, somewhere in the middle on all of this. It’s not that we can’t have be friends on both sides. Obviously, we all do. Any normal person probably does. I don’t choose my friends based on their political background — I mean, unless it’s something truly radical. I would have a hard time being friends with Rand Paul or anyone associated with him, I’m just gonna put that right there. I say it on the show every day because I won’t be here tomorrow.”

She added, “Blood on your hands, Rand Paul.”

The daughter of late Senator John recalled the extreme characterization of W. back in the day:

“There is a revisionist history with the Bush administration that I take intense umbridge with. I think, great, Michelle Obama wants to be friends with him, but I remember the things said about President Bush when he was in power. He was called for impeachment, a warmonger, lied about weapons of mass destruction and Hurricane Katrina. Part of the issue for me is just confusion. Did your opinion on Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War change? There has to be a level of consistency with your politics. I don’t blame Ellen.”

Meghan apparently agrees, in part, with Bill Maher: They were all just messin’ around with the terrible things said about Bush, but Trump is truly awful:

“The revisionist history about President Bush, my husband says when you cry wolf with every Republican which is what I believe happened with Bush, Romney, my father on forward, sometimes when you cry wolf, the beast shows up, and the beast is Donald Trump. I think part of the reason is maybe take a second look at some conservatives when you talk crap about them while they’re in power.”

By the way, here’s what Bill had to say in 2016:

“I know liberals made a big mistake, because we attacked [George W.] like he was the end of the world. And he wasn’t. And Mitt Romney, we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars because I was so afraid of Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have changed my life that much, or yours. Or John McCain. They were honorable men who we disagreed with, and we should have kept it that way. So we cried wolf, and that was wrong. But this is real. This is going to be way different.”

Back to The View, following Meghan’s remark came Whoopi’s eyebrow-raiser.

Buckle up:

“There are some conservatives that have done some really good stuff.”

Yes!

Do it to it, Whoopi.

Let us all remember this day in history — October 10th, 20HolyCow.

“George, for whatever it’s worth, did a lot of stuff I didn’t like, but something he did do was he had a smart idea — how to deal with immigration. I liked that. And your own party — your own party pooped all over it, and it didn’t happen.”

Whoopi said if she were Ellen, she would’ve “mess[ed] with George:

“The man who owns the Cowboys sent tickets and she ended up sitting next to Bush. These are two gay women. If he has got a problem, he’s going to be real uncomfortable. I would be leaning on him. I would be just hugging him. I would be messing with him because if you have the opportunity to take a second to show people your humanity, why wouldn’t you try?”

From all I’ve observed of George, something tells me he would’ve loved it.

-ALEX

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