With Trump’s impeachment trial underway, Larry decides to look back at two scandals from Barack Obama’s presidency: the IRS and Fast & Furious scandals. Larry discusses whether these incidents were impeachable or not.
Barack Obama says his administration didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed them. Funny … we seem to remember nothing BUT embarrassing scandals. Join Jon Miller on a stroll down memory lane to revisit some of the most grievous scandals that plagued the Obama administration.
One of the best-known versions of this meme is the ridiculous screed at Huffington Post “13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News,” which has around 90K shares and likely well over a million views.
“May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.”
REALITY: NINE AMERICAN DEFENSE CONTRACTORS KILLED.
After numerous State Department warnings, and Saudi Arabia investigating al Qaeda for a potential planned attack, three defense compounds were assaulted with car bombs and armed attackers. Nine defense contractors were killed.
Bush immediately called the attack part of the “war on terror,” and two of the attackers that survived the raid were killed by Saudi police forces. You know, just like Benghazi. (CNN)
6. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.
“July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.”
“September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.”
REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN.
“Attackers used vehicle bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons to mount a coordinated assault on the U.S. Embassy here Wednesday, leaving 10 guards and civilians dead outside the main gate but failing to breach the walled compound. No Americans were killed.” (Washington Post); (CSM)
(Even if there was misreportage, no embassy officials were killed or missing, and those who were killed were done so in a matter of minutes.)
So of all the Americans killed, only one was a diplomat, and he was killed almost instantly. Nine others were defense contractors.
It is my belief that this “13 Benghazis” post was published with the intention of deceiving the public. It may have been an attempt at persuading Americans to dismiss further inquiry into how the Benghazi terror attack was handled and how it was reported to the public….
I wanted to update this post (5-2013) just a bit with a challenge along similar veins by Bob Beckel on the Five, and Dana Perino’s response to his muddled thinking (the short exchange is HERE if you wish):
Bob Woodward compares to Watergate:
(Original 2012 post)
Back to the older response to an acquaintance:
Media Matters, a Soros funded org, has infected liberal blogs with what they feel is a good argument or response to both Democrats and Republicans wanting to know what the failure was in Benghazi, Libya and how 4-Americans can die when they requested help a month prior. Here is a cut-n-paste of it as it was presented to me on FaceBook:
2002 U.S. consulate-Karachi,Pakistan-Attacked-10 killed,51 injured 2004 U.S. Embassy bombed-Uzbekistan-2 killed,9 injured 2004 Gunmen storm U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed 2006 Armed men attack U.S. Embassy in Syria-1 killed,several injured 2007 Grenade launched into U.S. Embassy in Athens 2008 Bombings at U.S. Embassy in Yemen-10 killed 2012 U.S. Annex in Benghazi, Libya attacked-4 killed. Republicans outraged and suddenly concerned with the safety and security of American’s abroad. Now they demand investigations.
Years of discussing religion and politics has taught me to check out what is presented, so I at least (I do have a life) looked into the first two examples… and a patter emerged.
Here are a couple of my responses to the above via my FaceBook.
The first is this:
Suicide Bomber for your 2002 example (Karachi), not a long, preplanned attack that more boots on the ground (that was both requested and called for earlier than the attack) could have prevented. IF in the 2002 Karachi, Pakistan attack they requested because they saw pre-planning on the terrorists part with additional intelligence an attack was eminent and they requested better fortified positions to stop vehicles (suicide attacks) from coming in [and these requests were denied], then I would be interested. Plus, NOT A SINGLE U.S. person died in the attack. All Pakistani. PLUS, even if U.S. personnel have died in an attack similar to Benghazi… they were most likely Marines protecting sovereign U.S. soil. The expectation of an ambassador is to be protected, not to fight. So your “well aware of the risks” argument is another conflated comparison.
You are creating straw-men arguments through conflation and non-sequiturs, and then comparing the two as if the same. Sloppy thinking Ross. No idea of the requested help a month before and during the attack. Dumb.
Here is the second example examined:
Your 2004 example of the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed
(BBC — 2004) …A Saudi security source told Reuters news agency that heavy security had prevented the attackers from getting into the Jeddah consulate by car…. All Americans who were at the consulate are reported to be safe…. Correspondents say security around the consulate has been extremely tight since a series of bombings by Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia began in 2003, mainly targeting buildings that house foreigners. They add that the attack must have been very well planned, given the security measures…. The embassy and the mission in Dhahran had been closed as a precaution following the Jeddah attack…. (BBC)
So, a synopsis of your 2004 example:
★ Many Defenses Due To Intel Because of Previous Attacks; ★ No Americans Died; ★ Other Sites Temporarily Closed Due To This Attack.
★ No Defenses Even Though Previous Attacks On This Site and Intel and Requests; ★ Security was Decreased; ★ Not Closed Temporarily Even Though Attacked, Intel Was Coming In, And 9/11 Date.
APPLES AND ORANGES ~ Compare to Benghazi:
The U.S. mission in Benghazi, at an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the Sept. 11 attack, drafted a contingency plan to suspend operations as security deteriorated — and in the near-term, recommended that consulate operations be moved to the CIA annex about a mile away, according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.
The State Department’s senior representative at the consulate told those at the Aug. 15 meeting that the security situation was “trending negatively” and reported “this daily pattern of violence would be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future, particularly given the minimal capabilities” of the Libyan security forces.
With no apparent reason to believe conditions would improve, the cable notified the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the “Emergency Action Committee” was updating “Post’s tripwires in light of the deteriorating security situation … to include a ‘suspension of operations’ section.”
The term “tripwire” refers to lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of suspending operations.
The cable marked “SECRET” also said, of the possibility of moving the consulate operations: “Mission personnel could co-locate to the Annex (CIA outpost) if the security environment degraded suddenly. … (There was agreement) to formal weekly meetings to discuss the security environment. … In the longer term, we believe formal collocation with the (Annex) will greatly improve our security situation.” The warnings reflected a grave concern among officials on the ground that the Libyan militia charged with protecting the consulate had been compromised, perhaps even infiltrated by extremists.
Summarizing the Aug. 15 meeting, the cable sent the following day reported that “certain sectors of the 17 February Brigade were very hesitant to share information with the Americans, but as the largest brigade they acted as a buffer for the Mission against some of the more anti-American, Islamist militias in town.” The brigade was charged with protecting the consulate.
Moving the consulate operations to the CIA annex might not have ultimately saved the four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the Sept. 11 strike. The annex ended up coming under fire and was the site where two of the four Americans were killed.
But the concerns in the cable — which also warned Washington that the consulate could not be protected in the event of a “coordinated attack” and that “approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps” were known to operate within Benghazi — are further evidence that the U.S. mission in eastern Libya repeatedly warned Washington that they were a target.
The reference in the cable to the February 17 Brigade was significant.
This week, new documents recovered from the Benghazi compound by Foreign Policy magazine further support the classified cable’s prescient warning that the Libyan militia was compromised. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, the consulate staff believed they were under surveillance. A document found by the magazine stated “this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore … this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission.”
This reporting is consistent with an online post from Sean Smith, an avid gamer, shortly before the consulate was overrun by terrorists and Smith was killed. As reported by Wired magazine shortly after the attack, Smith wrote: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”
Days after the attack, an intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News: “One thing for sure is that the 17 Brigade was nowhere to be found and the Americans were left on their own in the assault.” On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very bad, the intelligence source said the consulate security was “A 10 — total security failure. Benghazi was known to be a major area for extremist activities. Militias’ loyalty is easily bought and sold. Deals with militia leaders are worth nothing.”
The cable also shows the consulate staff and CIA leadership in Benghazi agreed to work hand-in-glove, which included reviewing “emergency action plans” and addressing areas of collaboration. ….
Also, there is more info about what the annex was capable of:
Sources who have debriefed the team that was at the CIA annex the night of the attack in Benghazi say that the CIA operators from the Global Response Staff, or GRS, were equipped with Mark 48 machine guns and had two types of laser capability. Each weapon had both a “passive” as well as a “visible” laser that could be used against the Libyan attackers.
The presence of laser capability on the roof of the CIA annex confirms what Fox News sources that night in Benghazi originally said, which is that they had laser capability and for 5 hours and 15 minutes were wondering where the usual overhead air support was, especially since, according to this source, they radioed from the annex beginning as early as midnight asking for it.
The presence of lasers raises more questions about why air support was not sent to Benghazi even protectively once it became clear that the fighting had followed the CIA rescue team back to the annex.
U.S. military officials say they “thought the fighting was over” after the team left the consulate and that there was a lull in the fighting.
Fox News has learned the guns were fitted with PEQ-15 lasers. The “passive” laser is not visible to the naked eye but can help team members identify hostile forces when the shooter is wearing NODS, or Night Observation Device attached to their helmet. The visible laser system places a red dot on the attacker and warns the attacker not to shoot, encouraging them to flee the scene. U.S. troops often use the visible laser to scare children or other civilians who find themselves in the middle of combat activity. When civilians see the laser they often back off in order not to be shot.
The GRS team that was present at the CIA annex provided security for the CIA station, as they do around the world. They are highly trained in countersurveillance, close target reconnaissance and in depth reconnaissance. Enemy fighters have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq to use their cell phones to follow or intercept these “passive” lasers without having night vision or NODS.
The Annex team also had Ground Laser Designators, or GLD. This kind of laser equipment emits code and signal when there is overhead air support, unmanned aerial surveillance, drones or Spectre gunships, for instance.
A source present the night of the attack says that the GRS team that was defending the annex asked where the air support was at midnight. Former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed 5 hours and 15 minutes later.
Larry Elder plays a great refutation of Valerie Jarrett’s assertion that the Obama administration was scandal free. In fact, this claim is demonstrably false, as THE DAILY WIRE highlights, here are four of their thirteen (with inserted media) — BREITBART lists eighteen:
1. Operation Fast and Furious. This egregious example of a reckless government endangering lives and then scrambling to cover it up has haunted Obama for years. As Daily Wire has explained, “Operation Fast and Furious involved the Obama administration arming drug cartels and thugs south of the border as a means to undermine the Second Amendment. The program resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. One of the Islamic terrorists in the Garland, Texas, attack also used a gun that was obtained through the Fast and Furious program.”…
2. Benghazi. The terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya resulted in four brave Americans dying despite the fact that help could have been sent, but wasn’t. Requests for security prior to the attack were repeatedly denied, and after the attack Obama and Hillary Clinton falsely blamed it on a video considered offensive to Muslims. During the election, Benghazi became associated with Clinton—and rightly so—but it is also Obama’s scandal as well. It is still not known what Obama was doing that night.
3. The IRS targeted conservative organizations. In 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organizations Unit, admitted that Tea Party organizations were targeted under the agency, but blamed it on lower-level employees. Such organizations were heavily scrutinized with invasive questions. Since then, Lerner and IRS commissioner John Koskinen have denied any wrongdoing and have stonewalled congressional efforts to investigate the matter, citing computer crashes for being unable to turn over related emails.
Meanwhile, a federal court concluded in August that conservative groups might still be facing targeted scrutiny from the IRS. It has also been reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) knew about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as early as 2011.
The use of the IRS to punish political opponents is a proud Democrat tradition:
The first step of Johnson’s climb to power was accomplished by cheating during the 1948 Senate race in Texas, when he “miraculously” won the election by only eighty-seven votes.
Johnson’s dishonesty and ruthlessness were chronicled in 1964 by J. Evetts Haley in his book A Texan Looks at Lyndon as Johnson was facing Barry Goldwater in the upcoming presidential election in November of that year. Haley’s book was roundly trashed by liberals, who claimed he had gotten his facts all wrong, but decades later, after all the damage was already done to our culture, liberal historians like Robert Caro confirmed that Johnson did indeed steal his 1948 election by having his operatives stuff Ballot Box 13 with fake votes. He was called “Landslide Lyndon” for having “won” the election by only eighty-seven votes.
While in the Senate and running for reelection in 1954, Johnson faced criticism from two anti-Communist nonprofit groups that were educating the public about his liberal views. In retaliation for this attack, Johnson managed to insert language into the IRS Code that prohibits nonprofits, including churches, from endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. In effect, this corrupt man used the power of the IRS to silence his opposition. From that time forward and to the detriment of American society, the churches became less involved in public life and were too often unwilling to speak out on moral issues. Johnson would not be the last to use the IRS to silence opponents. President Obama’s operatives used the IRS to silence opposition at a level that could make an opportunist like Lyndon Johnson blush.
William J, Murray, Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World With Central Planning (Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2016), 158-159.
4. The DOJ seized Associated Press phone records as well as phone and email records from Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the AP’s case, the DOJ was investigating a story involving “a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States,” according to the Washington Post. The DOJ seized two months of phone records from the AP without informing the news outlet. …
In the Rosen case, the DOJ was investigating a story Rosen did involving North Korea and tracked “his movements and conversations,” according to Fox News, including phone numbers belonging to Rosen’s parents. The DOJ had listed Rosen as a “co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act in regards to the story—allegedly pressing a source for classified information. Rosen was never charged with a crime….
In a wonderful interview with Kiberley Strassel, Dennis Prager asks away on some VERY important issues that we conservatives should be knowledgeable on. Namely how the Professional Left is using government to suppress political opposition to their view of life. The subject was so interesting I bought her book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech“
There is a lot to listen to here, all of it is worthwhile… so settle in.
Her columns at The Wall Street Journal can be found here
You can also see her on Fox talking about her book, here
…New York Times columnist David Brooks, a center-right pundit, highlighted a notable exception.
“I have my disagreements, say, with President Obama, but President Obama has run an amazingly scandal-free administration, not only he himself, but the people around him. He’s chosen people who have been pretty scandal-free.
“And so there are people in Washington who do set a standard of integrity, who do seem to attract people of quality.”
It’s even a point of pride among insiders. David Axelrod recently boasted, “I’m proud of the fact that basically you have had an administration in this place for six years in which there hasn’t been a major scandal. And I think that says a lot about the ethical strictures of this administration.”…
More like a complicit Press and people in high places covering up. And much to Cummings chagrin, an oversight connection to the Obama administration and the IRS scandal has already been made. Here The Blaze reports on this article before Maddow highlights it:
“He has … acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service … confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law.”
That was a scandal and Nixon was forced to resign.
Gay Patriot has a post that has a great insight by Theodore Dalrymple that while used for a different purpose, fits here as well:
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” ~ Theodore Dalrymple
This understanding is enforced by Rachel “Madcow’s” own words when she aligns herself as more radical than one of the worlds most notorious propagandists/murderers in history! Mao Zedong—the total number of dead from 1959 to 1961 was between 30 million and 40 million!
Here are some of the Presidents scandals for contemplation:
MRCTV notes the Top-Twenty-Five-Hits list of scandals… Obama still had 31/2 years to go (via Natural News):
…“almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending” (Bloom, 1987, p. 25). The following story should elucidate:
The story is told of a man who stopped outside a clockmaker’s shop every morning on his way to work and synchronized his watch with a large clock standing in the shop window. One day, the owner of the shop got to talking to him and asked him what kind of work he did. Rather sheepishly, the man told him he was the timekeeper at a nearby factory, and that one of his responsibilities was to ring the closing bell at five o’clock every evening. As his watch kept very poor times, he synchronized it very morning with the clock in the shop window. The shop-owner, even more embarrassed, replied, “I hate to tell you this, but the clock doesn’t work very well either, and I adjust it every time I hear the factory’s closing bell!” ~ Ravi Zacharias, “Address to the United Nations’ Prayer Breakfast.” (from a paper on Multiculturalism for school)
Trevor Timm, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the order “shockingly broad.”
“Not only are they intercepting call data into and out of the country, but they are intercepting all call data in the United States, which goes far beyond what the FISA Amendments Act allows,” Timm said.
“This is an abuse of the Patriot Act on a massive scale,” said Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “Since the law requires that the telephone records sought be relevant to an investigation, it appears that the FBI and the NSA may have launched the broadest investigation in history because everyone’s telephone calls seem to be relevant to it.”
…The “top secret” order issued in April by a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court at the request of the FBI instructs the telecommunications giant Verizon to provide the NSA with daily reports of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
Is it crucially important to consider 1) the creeping, creepy surveillance-state context in which this current administration operates and 2) the naked contempt this current administration has shown for the privacy rights of its political enemies?
Hell yes, absolutely.
The Author of The Patriot Act Says NSA Has Violated It With Massive Phone and Internet Data Grabs
….She [Malkin] starts by reminding about the NSA phone surveillance of the Bush administration:
The Bush NSA’s special collections program grew in early 2002 after the CIA started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah. The CIA seized the terrorists’ computers, cellphones and personal phone directories. NSA surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible. As a result of Bush NSA work,the terrorist plot involving convicted al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris was uncovered — possibly saving untold lives…
Normally, the government obtains court orders to monitor such information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But the window of opportunity to exploit the names, numbers, and addresses of those associated with the top terrorist leaders was obviously small…
So the Bush administration had the NSA track Americans’ overseas phone calls, insofar as captured terrorist phone numbers might show up. But the Obama administration? Not so much…err, so little:
The new Obama order covers not only phone calls overseas with the specific goal of counterterrorism surveillance, but all domestic calls by Verizon customers over at least a three-month period.
[Malkin now links/quotes an article at Politico:] Trevor Timm, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the order “shockingly broad.” …The “top secret” order issued in April by a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court at the request of the FBI instructs the telecommunications giant Verizon to provide the NSA with daily reports of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
I’m willing to preserve our counter-terrorism efforts. And I don’t know much about the legal ins/outs of all this. But, all domestic calls by Verizon customers? Sheesh! This surely goes beyond the Bush NSA surveillance that the public debated in 2005.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) grilled a University of Baltimore law professor during a Wednesday House hearing and made a compelling case as to why a special counsel is needed to investigate the IRS scandal. At one point, he even offered the professor some “free litigation advice” when he refused to answer one of his questions that seemed pretty straightforward.
Professor Charles Tiefer was brought in by Democrats as an expert to help determine whether the House Judiciary Committee should appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS scandal. Tiefer, who previously served as solicitor and deputy general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives, was also recently asked by Democrats to provide a statement on House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama, which he called an “embarrassing loser.”
“Professor Tiefer, would you seat a juror who referred to your client as an obscene body part?” Gowdy asked, clearly referring to emails that show ex-IRS official Lois Lerner referring to conservatives as “assholes” and “crazies.”
Professor Tiefer didn’t say a word for about five seconds before he muttered, “I’m sorry?”
I agree that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it is a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there, because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist. (See: National Review)
Fox News has this interview of the chair of National Organization of Marriage from just two weeks ago:
DAILY SIGNAL – Two years after activists for same-sex marriage obtained the confidential tax return and donor list of a national group opposed to redefining marriage, the Internal Revenue Service has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to settle the resulting lawsuit.
The Daily Signal has learned that, under a consent judgment today, the IRS agreed to pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage as a result of the unlawful release of the confidential information to a gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, that is NOM’s chief political rival.
“Congress made the disclosure of confidential tax return information a serious matter for a reason,” NOM Chairman John D. Eastman told The Daily Signal. “We’re delighted that the IRS has now been held accountable for the illegal disclosure of our list of major donors from our tax return.”
In a separate posting, Gay Patriot notes the following: