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Old 05-02-2014, 04:30 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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With trepidation, Benghazi

The purpose of this thread is a narrow one, although, similar to events in Benghazi themselves, what is now starting out as a spontaneous reaction to the media firestorm around Ben Rhodes' email may be hijacked by more heavily armed extremists and evolve into something larger.

My question is this:

For those who do believe that there was an administration cover-up surrounding the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, what piece(s) of information and/or evidence could theoretically change your mind, if such information/evidence were to surface?

As I've followed this controversy playing out in the media and Internet, I struggle to see what evidence could possibly sway the side arguing that there was a cover up, so strong is their conviction. Hence, I struggle to see how the belief that there's been a cover-up can qualify as anything but an article of faith.

For my part, while I don't believe there was a cover-up, if you show me an email or tape recording, or even credible testimony, indicating that any administration official knowingly lied to the American public for political reasons, or neglected to provide consulate security for such reasons, I will be the first to demand that heads roll.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:36 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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The very term "cover up" is the problem. Republicans are alleging that the White House knew why the Benghazi outpost was attacked and tried to make up a different reason for why it was attacked.

As Hillary Clinton said, who cares why it was attacked? The salient event is that it was attacked, and there's still zero evidence to suggest that there was a realistic way to prevent the attack.

The main thing that would change my mind about the issue is if some intelligence came to light that the U.S. knew that the attack was going to happen, and someone high up decided to bury that intelligence and not do anything.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:43 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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Implicit in Clinton's asking who cares why it was attacked is the recognition that there was zero political upside to the administration lying about the genesis of the attack. "Our consulate was so poorly protected that it was overrun by a ragtag gang of rabid Muslims" is not a winning piece of political spin. That's why the conspiracy theory didn't hold water from the get-go.

But I'm willing to grant the Republicans that it matters why it was attacked. Let's just suppose for the sake of discussion that it does, because the administration thought otherwise it would lose bragging rights re: the war on terror.

What could convince Republicans that the administration did not perpetrate a cover-up?

Last edited by Donald Rump; 05-02-2014 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:49 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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What could convince Republicans that the administration did not perpetrate a cover-up?
Well, for example, if the administration complied with Congressional subpoenas for relevant information. Hiding relevant information from Congressional investigation is the very definition of cover-up, isn't it?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:20 PM
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More likely both sides know that this would be a fishing expedition to see if they can find anything at all that would be embarrassing to the administration, regardless of its relevance to Benghazi. Basically hoping for the kind of thing that turned the whitewater investigation into a blowjob investigation.

Terr, I suspect you of running a puppies to hamburger franchise. Please send me your entire web history for the last 5 years, or I will suspect you of trying to cover this up.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 05-02-2014 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:21 PM
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and there's still zero evidence to suggest that there was a realistic way to prevent the attack.
I think you'll find that a crack team of commandos on mini-bikes, parachuted into the city in the dead of night and supported by unarmed F-16s doing strafing runs...

(high five to those who remember that particular trainwreck)
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:26 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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More likely both sides know that this would be a fishing expedition to see if they can find anything at all that would be embarrassing to the administration, regardless of its relevance to Benghazi.
And yet the email that was hidden by the administration from the Congressional subpoena was directly relevant to Benghazi events.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:26 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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One thing that would sway me is if it could be shown that the President wasn't a big fat liar. But so much for that.

Seriously, if you look at all the information, especially in light of the newest information, and the degree that the administration has tried to be the opposite of transparent (Ha, remember that lie!), I
d say it takes a very imaginative mind to conclude that there was not a cover-up.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:31 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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What were they covering up, exactly? That an ambassador died because anti-American militants attacked a diplomatic outpost? We've known that for years.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:36 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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What were they covering up, exactly? That an ambassador died because anti-American militants attacked a diplomatic outpost? We've known that for years.
The covered-up email that was released recently shows that the administration knew that the attack was not a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video but a planned terrorist attack, and still planned to lie and, later, lied that it was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video.

And whatever the cover-up's reason was, hiding relevant documents from a Congressional subpoena, I believe, is a criminal offense. Isn't it?

Last edited by Terr; 05-02-2014 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:36 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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There were two narratives:

A) the attack was spontaneous, caused by some stupid video. How could anyone really see that coming?

B) Al Qaeda was not as done as Obama claimed. And not only was he wrong about that, he was so wrong that on the anniversary of 9/11 he didn't have the foresight to make sure Americans in the Middle East were safe. Even after extra security was requested!

And the backdrop for all this is the 2012 election. And they just happened to push the narrative that would be least damaging to the president on the campaign trail. This one really isn't that hard.
  #12  
Old 05-02-2014, 05:36 PM
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Were they covering up that the President is a liar? Every President is a liar. It kinda comes with the job.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:36 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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I think you'll find that a crack team of commandos on mini-bikes, parachuted into the city in the dead of night and supported by unarmed F-16s doing strafing runs...

(high five to those who remember that particular trainwreck)
Ah, a delectable wave of nostalgia just washed over me...
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:38 PM
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And the backdrop for all this is the 2012 election. And they just happened to push the narrative that would be least damaging to the president on the campaign trail. This one really isn't that hard.
Exactly. So what?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:38 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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Were they covering up that the President is a liar? Every President is a liar. It kinda comes with the job.
Yeah, but they're not supposed to get caught doing so. I hear Gepetto is very disappointed in him.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:40 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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More likely both sides know that this would be a fishing expedition to see if they can find anything at all that would be embarrassing to the administration, regardless of its relevance to Benghazi. Basically hoping for the kind of thing that turned the whitewater investigation into a blowjob investigation.
I think this captures pretty well what's driving the Republican side. As for the administration, I think there's a natural inclination to want to release as few internal documents to external parties--particularly rabidly antagonistic external parties--as they can get away with. Presumably, the administration thought they could weasel their way out of releasing every single document pertaining to Benghazi. Dumb move (as shown by Boehner's ample political cover to now escalate the investigation) but not prima facie evidence of a cover-up.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:41 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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Exactly. So what?
I don't understand your question. It implies that one should not care that a President flagrantly lied to us in order to gain political advantage in an election. I do. I shows him to be of low character. Not that that's anything new.

Perhaps his 2012 campaign slogan should have been: "If you like the liar you have in the office now, you can keep the liar you have in the office now."
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:42 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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I think this captures pretty well what's driving the Republican side. As for the administration, I think there's a natural inclination to want to release as few internal documents to external parties--particularly rabidly antagonistic external parties--as they can get away with. Presumably, the administration thought they could weasel their way out of releasing every single document pertaining to Benghazi. Dumb move (as shown by Boehner's ample political cover to now escalate the investigation) but not prima facie evidence of a cover-up.
So, hiding relevant documents from a Congressional subpoena is not evidence of a cover-up? That's an interesting (as in "completely asinine") viewpoint.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:45 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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The covered-up email that was released recently shows that the administration knew that the attack was not a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video but a planned terrorist attack, and still planned to lie and, later, lied that it was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video.
It shows no such thing. Where in the documentsdocuments does it say that they knew it was a "planned" attack?

Susan Rice went on the talk shows and explicitly blamed heavily armed extremists, and distinguished them from the "folks" who showed up in imitation of what was going on in Cairo. Again, this is her statement:

"But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to -- or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in -- in the wake of the revolution in Libya are -- are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there."

So where's the lie again?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:48 PM
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It seems like the GOP's argument is that Obama was trying to "cover up" that al Qaeda was not, in fact, as marginalized as he had claimed. That, somehow, this attack struck at the credibility of Obama wrt to the War on Terror. Now, it's certainly true that Obama made statements to that effect, but I never saw those statements as something he he hung his hat on, and that needed to be protected from all questioning. The leap from point A (Obama's credibility rests on aQ being marginalized) to point B (OMG! the attack in Benghazi means aQ is on the upswing and Obama is losing the WoT!!) is one not easily made, in my mind.

Last edited by John Mace; 05-02-2014 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:50 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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So, hiding relevant documents from a Congressional subpoena is not evidence of a cover-up? That's an interesting (as in "completely asinine") viewpoint.
Correct. Given that these recently released documents provide no support to the allegation that the administration lied, what were they trying to cover up by withholding them?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:52 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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It shows no such thing. Where in the documentsdocuments does it say that they knew it was a "planned" attack?
The email released shows that the Administration prepared talking points that pointed, explicitly, to the "Internet video" as the cause of the incident, not a planned terrorist action. Other documents/testimony, uncovered in Congressional investigations so far, show that at the time of the email, the Administration knew that it was a planned terrorist action.

The Administration lied that they didn't make those talking points. The email shows that lie.

But the above is irrelevant to the current brouhaha. As the well-known saying goes, it's not the original scandal that gets people in the most trouble - it's the attempted cover-up. Hiding the email in question from the Congressional subpoena, even though it was directly relevant to it, is a criminal offense.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:54 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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By the way, can we get back to the question I laid out in the OP?

What conceivable piece of evidence, were it to surface, would get people who believe there was a cover-up to change their minds?

As far as I can tell there is no such thing, which qualifies the Benghazi controversy as a conspiracy theory and all of us on the "con" side are wasting our time discussing it.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:56 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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The email released shows that the Administration prepared talking points that pointed, explicitly, to the "Internet video" as the cause of the incident, not a planned terrorist action.
I don't think you're reading the documents carefully. If you scroll up the pdf (starting on page 5), it's clear from the suggested script that the administration expected these Sunday shows to be on the topic of the protests roiling the Middle East generally, which (except in the case of Benghazi) were uncontroversially recognized to have been prompted by this stupid video. Among questions they expected to be asked:

"What are you doing to monitor the situation in the Middle East?"
"Can you explain the President's comment that Egypt is not an ally?"
Discussion of the video generally
Ordered departures of embassies generally
War Powers Resolution
and, the attack on Benghazi

The context is clearly the unrest that was roiling the Middle East generally. So the smoking-gun line in question--"To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy"--is not about Benghazi specifically, but about the broader situation unfolding in multiple countries. His point that the situation broadly speaking was ignited by a video rather than any particular American military or administration policy strikes me as pretty unassailable.

Should Ben Rhodes' line have read: "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video--with the notable exception of Benghazi, where we believe the evidence suggests a pre-planned attack that coincidentally fell on the same day as protests targeting other diplomatic facilities--and not a broader failure of policy?" Maybe, but that's not what their intelligence said at the time (see CIA talking points), so why would they say that?
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:02 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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I don't think you're reading the documents carefully. If you scroll up the pdf (starting on page 5), it's clear from the suggested script that the administration expected these Sunday shows to be on the topic of the protests roiling the Middle East generally, which (except in the case of Benghazi) were uncontroversially recognized to have been prompted by this stupid video.
From the email in question:
"The demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex".
And, once again, hiding the email in question from the Congressional subpoena, even though it was directly relevant to it, is a criminal offense.

Last edited by Terr; 05-02-2014 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:10 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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"The demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex".
That statement accurately reflected the intelligence provided to the administration in the CIA talking points. I don't understand what point you're making here.

I'll grant that the administration shouldn't have withheld documents. There's all kinds of reasons they might have done that. It does not constitute ipso facto evidence of a cover-up, particularly when the contents of said document contribute nothing to the case being built.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:12 PM
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What conceivable piece of evidence, were it to surface, would get people who believe there was a cover-up to change their minds?
How about: that the White House had evidence that the attack in Benghazi was a consequence of the Internet video.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:13 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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By the way, if you keep insisting that the Administration, at the time of producing those talking points, didn't know that it was a planned terrorist attack:

From the Armed Services subcommittee hearings:

WENSTRUP: "As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack."

HAM: "Again, sir, I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack."

WENSTRUP: "And you would have advised as such if asked. Would that be correct?"

HAM: "Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir."
When Panetta was questioned about it in the same committee:
Inhofe: "Secretary Panetta, [when you informed the President] do you believe that unequivocally at that time we knew that this was a terrorist attack?"

Panetta: "There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack"
and when reporters asked two of Hillary Clinton's top aides:
Reporter: "What in all of these events that you've described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?"

Aide: "That is a question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion."
  #29  
Old 05-02-2014, 06:14 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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If the subpoenas had been promptly complied with, and had produced documents that showed that the administration honestly believed that this was a spontaneous protest caused by a video, then this issue would already be dead.

Of course, if they had such documents, they would have complied with the subpoenas. They didn't, which led to increased suspicion that they were not being forthcoming.

As for the 'what difference does it make?' argument - you have to be kidding. The Obama administration had a narrative going that Obama was very good on terrorism. Bin Laden was dead, al-Qaida on the run, drone strikes made the leadership of al-Qaida ineffective, yada yada. This was a narrative they very much wanted to take into the election. Benghazi was a real thumb in their eye - they refused to beef up security, they ignored warnings of renewed terrorist activity in the region - warnings so strong that it caused other countries to completely shut down their embassies. The result was a dead ambassador and a terrorist flag flying over a U.S. embassy. You can see why they'd want to cover that up.

Having an embassy be overthrown and an ambassador killed by a planned terrorist attack was clearly very damaging to an important narrrative the administration was trying to carry into the election. So, it appears they just made up a story about a 'spontaneous' attack by a mob, and tried to pass it off on the American people. It's entirely possible that had the public known the real facts of what happened before, during, and after Benghazi that Obama would not have been re-elected. That makes it a pretty big deal indeed.

And this doesn't even touch on what happened that night. Why was no rescue operation mounted? Why did the CIA people in the annex have to violate orders to go to the aid of the embassy? Why was a rescue mission being prepared told to stand down? It's possible that this coverup wasn't just about changing the narrative afterwards, but also may have involved decisions to keep the U.S. response minimal to prevent it from blowing up into a bigger story. If so, that's criminal behavior. That's the kind of thing a real investigation would uncover.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:14 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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That statement accurately reflected the intelligence provided to the administration in the CIA talking points.
You're saying the CIA's intelligence about the Benghazi attack pointed at the video?
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:19 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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Re Xema: But the White House (via Susan Rice) never made that claim. They said they believed--believed--that the Benghazi demonstrators were inspired by the Cairo protesters, who themselves were motivated by the video. There's a distinction.

Moreover, the WH didn't blame the attack on the demonstrators, but on armed extremists who hijacked the demonstration. In my book, extremist is an accurate characterization of the attackers and consistent with them being Ansar al-Sharia, Al-Qaeda, whatever, which was not known with certainty at the time.

In making these claims, the WH relied on an intelligence assessment from the CIA. So where's the issue?

Last edited by Donald Rump; 05-02-2014 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:20 PM
Terr Terr is offline
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Re Xema: But the White House (via Susan Rice) never made that claim. They said they believed--believed--that the Benghazi demonstrators were inspired by the Cairo protesters, who themselves were motivated by the video. There's a distinction.

Moreover, the WH didn't blame the attack on the demonstrators, but on armed extremists who hijacked the demonstration. In my book, extremist is an accurate characterization of the attackers and consistent with them being Ansar al-Sharia, Al-Qaeda, whatever, which was not known with certainty at the time.

In making these claims, the WH relied on an intelligence assessment from the CIA. So where's the issue?
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...6&postcount=28
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:30 PM
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Re Xema: But the White House (via Susan Rice) never made that claim. They said they believed--believed--that the Benghazi demonstrators were inspired by the Cairo protesters, who themselves were motivated by the video. There's a distinction.

Moreover, the WH didn't blame the attack on the demonstrators, but on armed extremists who hijacked the demonstration. In my book, extremist is an accurate characterization of the attackers and consistent with them being Ansar al-Sharia, Al-Qaeda, whatever, which was not known with certainty at the time.

In making these claims, the WH relied on an intelligence assessment from the CIA. So where's the issue?
Hijacked what demonstration? There never was one. There never was a report of one. The first message out was from Stevens back to the embassy saying that they were under attack. This is a link to CNN's timeline of events: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/politi...ine/index.html It is clear that it was an attack from the outset. The very mention of a protest that got hijacked was made up out of whole cloth, with plausible deniability due to the Cairo protest. But just because it was a plausible lie doesn't make it to be anything but a lie.

And to actually answer the OP, I would like to see 1 shred of evidence that there ever was a protest.

Last edited by tonyfop; 05-02-2014 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:33 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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The covered-up email that was released recently shows that the administration knew that the attack was not a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video but a planned terrorist attack, and still planned to lie and, later, lied that it was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video.
So you are claiming that the recently revealed email is proof that the White House altered the CIA's talking points?

There's one problem with that:

Here are the Benghazi talking point emails. It shows that at 11:15 am, the talking points indicated that the attacks were a spontaneous response to the protests in Cairo.

Here is the "smoking gun" email. It was sent at 8:09 pm the same day.

Explain to me in clear English how an email that is sent 9 hours after the draft talking points is evidence that the later email modified the earlier talking points. It's pure fucking nonsense. It's partisan extremists pointing at two sets of talking points saying basically the same thing and screaming, "SEE?!?!? CONSPIRACY!!! THESE TALKING POINTS SAY THE SAME THING!1!"

Quote:
And whatever the cover-up's reason was, hiding relevant documents from a Congressional subpoena, I believe, is a criminal offense. Isn't it?
I laugh at the implication that the White House had a plan to criminally subvert a congressional subpoena, but could find no legal way to get around a FOIA request. I mean, get a grip.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:39 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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As for the 'what difference does it make?' argument - you have to be kidding. The Obama administration had a narrative going that Obama was very good on terrorism. Bin Laden was dead, al-Qaida on the run, drone strikes made the leadership of al-Qaida ineffective, yada yada. This was a narrative they very much wanted to take into the election. Benghazi was a real thumb in their eye - they refused to beef up security, they ignored warnings of renewed terrorist activity in the region - warnings so strong that it caused other countries to completely shut down their embassies. The result was a dead ambassador and a terrorist flag flying over a U.S. embassy. You can see why they'd want to cover that up.

Having an embassy be overthrown and an ambassador killed by a planned terrorist attack was clearly very damaging to an important narrrative the administration was trying to carry into the election. So, it appears they just made up a story about a 'spontaneous' attack by a mob, and tried to pass it off on the American people. It's entirely possible that had the public known the real facts of what happened before, during, and after Benghazi that Obama would not have been re-elected. That makes it a pretty big deal indeed.

.
The problem with this theory is that the administration clearly looks worse (or at least as bad) if a mob, inspired by the video. attacks and kills than if a terrorist attack. inspired by the video or something else, does the same thing. No one in or outside the administration was pretending that we no longer had anything to fear from Al-Qaida. A terrorist attack, if anything, would be more understandable and excusable than letting a mob of angry locals take over the consulate. President approval ratings seem to go up after a terrorist attack, I know Bush II enjoyed quite a 9/11 bump in the polls.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:56 PM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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Hijacked what demonstration? There never was one. There never was a report of one. The first message out was from Stevens back to the embassy saying that they were under attack. This is a link to CNN's timeline of events: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/politi...ine/index.html It is clear that it was an attack from the outset. The very mention of a protest that got hijacked was made up out of whole cloth, with plausible deniability due to the Cairo protest. But just because it was a plausible lie doesn't make it to be anything but a lie.

And to actually answer the OP, I would like to see 1 shred of evidence that there ever was a protest.

You refuse to read what Susan Rice actually said.

"But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to -- or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in -- in the wake of the revolution in Libya are -- are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there."

Where does she say that there was a protest in Benghazi? She characterized it as there being "folks who came to the embassy to replicate a challenge" to America. That's too mendacious for you?

By the way, Susan Rice explicitly points out that heavy weaponry got into the hands of extremists precisely thanks to the revolution that OBAMA ENCOURAGED. If they were trying to deflect blame here, they sure weren't doing a good job.

Moreover, her statement is 100% consistent with the original CIA talking point, namely,

"We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex."

If you have evidence that the CIA talking points were the product of political pressure from the White House, I'll consider that there was a scandal.
  #37  
Old 05-02-2014, 07:00 PM
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If the subpoenas had been promptly complied with, and had produced documents that showed that the administration honestly believed that this was a spontaneous protest caused by a video, then this issue would already be dead.

Of course, if they had such documents, they would have complied with the subpoenas. They didn't, which led to increased suspicion that they were not being forthcoming.

As for the 'what difference does it make?' argument - you have to be kidding. The Obama administration had a narrative going that Obama was very good on terrorism. Bin Laden was dead, al-Qaida on the run, drone strikes made the leadership of al-Qaida ineffective, yada yada. This was a narrative they very much wanted to take into the election. Benghazi was a real thumb in their eye - they refused to beef up security, they ignored warnings of renewed terrorist activity in the region - warnings so strong that it caused other countries to completely shut down their embassies. The result was a dead ambassador and a terrorist flag flying over a U.S. embassy. You can see why they'd want to cover that up.

Having an embassy be overthrown and an ambassador killed by a planned terrorist attack was clearly very damaging to an important narrrative the administration was trying to carry into the election. So, it appears they just made up a story about a 'spontaneous' attack by a mob, and tried to pass it off on the American people. It's entirely possible that had the public known the real facts of what happened before, during, and after Benghazi that Obama would not have been re-elected. That makes it a pretty big deal indeed.

And this doesn't even touch on what happened that night. Why was no rescue operation mounted? Why did the CIA people in the annex have to violate orders to go to the aid of the embassy? Why was a rescue mission being prepared told to stand down? It's possible that this coverup wasn't just about changing the narrative afterwards, but also may have involved decisions to keep the U.S. response minimal to prevent it from blowing up into a bigger story. If so, that's criminal behavior. That's the kind of thing a real investigation would uncover.
Please, Sam, it was not an embassy. You may think that a trifling matter, but it makes the whole thing sound worse. No need to mix fiction with fact if you have a strong case.
  #38  
Old 05-02-2014, 07:05 PM
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And this doesn't even touch on what happened that night. Why was no rescue operation mounted? Why did the CIA people in the annex have to violate orders to go to the aid of the embassy? Why was a rescue mission being prepared told to stand down?
The fact that you believe this nonsense which has been thoroughly debunked by Republicans in the House who are not Darrell Issa is proof that you aren't interested in the real facts.
  #39  
Old 05-02-2014, 11:38 PM
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The fact that you believe this nonsense which has been thoroughly debunked by Republicans in the House who are not Darrell Issa is proof that you aren't interested in the real facts.
Indeed. Shades of the train wreck referred to by Kobal2 way up at the beginning of this thread.
  #40  
Old 05-03-2014, 12:09 AM
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People keep using words like "hidden" and "withheld" for this supposedly revealing email. Do we have any evidence that someone a) even looked at it, b) thought it was relevant, and c) deliberately kept it away from congress?
  #41  
Old 05-03-2014, 12:13 AM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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By the way, if you keep insisting that the Administration, at the time of producing those talking points, didn't know that it was a planned terrorist attack:

From the Armed Services subcommittee hearings:

WENSTRUP: "As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack."

HAM: "Again, sir, I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack."
Wenstrup is setting up a straw man. No one denied this was an attack and not a demonstration. Susan Rice said the attack was carried out by armed extremists. What more do you want from these people?
  #42  
Old 05-03-2014, 12:17 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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The Obama administration had a narrative going that Obama was very good on terrorism. Bin Laden was dead, al-Qaida on the run, drone strikes made the leadership of al-Qaida ineffective, yada yada.
I suspect that part of why this poster and others sound so silly is that not a single person I know was influenced by this supposed narrative, if there even was one.

But then again there are stupid people out there who might eat that sort of message up. Dunno. It's not like we've ever been at significant risk from terrorists, but that doesn't stop people from freaking out.
  #43  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:47 AM
Xema Xema is offline
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Are the following statements true?

Susan Rice said: "But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated." But prior to the time she said this the White House possessed information that showed the attack was premeditated and there was no reason to believe it was a response to a video or a protest in Cairo.

Hillary stood by the coffins of the four victims and told the Woods family "we're going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video." But prior to saying this she knew the true nature of the attack, and that the video was not part of the reason for it.

Last edited by Xema; 05-03-2014 at 09:52 AM.
  #44  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:01 AM
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A cover up would mean that some information was hidden. None was. There was a terrible mistake made here, Americans had no business being in Libya without much more heavily armed security. Instead of any serious investigation into this failure we are wasting time on Republican self-delusion about a cover up of public information.

I got some news for you Republicans:

SPOILER:
Racer X is really Speed's brother Rex!


Start your investigation of that one.
  #45  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:25 AM
Terr Terr is offline
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A cover up would mean that some information was hidden. None was.
You mean when Congress subpoenaed the White House, all relevant emails were disclosed and none were held back?
  #46  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:27 AM
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You mean when Congress subpoenaed the White House, all relevant emails were disclosed and none were held back?
What information was covered up?
  #47  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:31 AM
Donald Rump Donald Rump is offline
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But prior to the time she said this the White House possessed information that showed the attack was premeditated and there was no reason to believe it was a response to a video or a protest in Cairo.
Do you have a cite supporting this claim? The CIA talking points indicated that a spontaneous reaction to the events in Cairo evolved into an attack by heavily armed extremists.

Frankly until someone can demonstrate that the CIA was subjected to political pressure in crafting the talking points, I don't understand what we're even debating.

By the way, Susan Rice did not categorically deny that it could have been preplanned.
  #48  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:37 AM
Terr Terr is offline
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What information was covered up?
The fact that it was White House talking points that talked about the attacks being "spontaneously inspired" - while, as I documented above, the Administration knew that they were not.

You do realize that withholding subpoenaed materials from Congress is a criminal offense, right?

Last edited by Terr; 05-03-2014 at 10:40 AM.
  #49  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:46 AM
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The fact that it was White House talking points that talked about the attacks being "spontaneously inspired" - while, as I documented above, the Administration knew that they were not.

You do realize that withholding subpoenaed materials from Congress is a criminal offense, right?
It doesn't matter, withholding documents does not form a cover up. No documents contained information that was covered up. Talking points aren't information. There was nothing covered up. Why don't you think the terrible planning and lack of attention to the obvious threat are not a scandal but an imaginary cover up is?
  #50  
Old 05-03-2014, 10:50 AM
Terr Terr is offline
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Frankly until someone can demonstrate that the CIA was subjected to political pressure in crafting the talking points, I don't understand what we're even debating.
CIA has changed the talking points several times under political pressure. That has been documented.
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