House Committee: No Benghazi Scandal

by Walter Brasch

The House Select Committee on Intelligence, following almost a two-year intense investigation, unanimously determined there is no basis for what has become known as the Benghazi Scandal.

The Committee consists of 12 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

The pretend-scandal began Sept. 11, 2012, when terrorists raided the U.S. consulate, and killed the ambassador and three others.

Although there was confusion, and the Obama administration didn’t have all the facts when it began to inform the American people about the events and the causes, there was no evidence of anything even remotely linked to a scandal. However, as expected, the blathering mouths of the Extreme Right Wing media pundits and politicians, and those who blindly parrot their “talking points” in bars, on front porches, and hunting lodges, kept caterwauling about scandal.

Among the findings of the House Committee, all of which conflict with the manufactured propaganda by the Extreme Right Wing:

     –There was no stand-down order given to any personnel-military or civilian-who tried to assist. This information is consistent with testimony provided to the House Armed Services Committee.  In contrast, immediate response by the United States prevented additional injuries and deaths.

     –Although Intelligence agencies were warned about a possible threat, there was no advance knowledge of what was planned.

     — The Extreme Right Wing attacked Ambassador Susan Rice for her initial reports, possibly worried that President Obama would nominate her to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was planning to leave the Administration after more than four years.

     –Although there was a lack of coordination between the intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and the White House, the Obama Administration did not deliberately mislead the American people. Committee Member Adam Schiff said evidence suggests, “The initial talking points provided by the Intelligence Community were flawed because of conflicting assessments, not an intention to deceive.” As new information became available, the Administration informed the people.

–All activities by the CIA were legal and authorized.

     –There was no illegal activity or illegal arms trading that allowed any weapons provided by the U.S. to get into the hands of the terrorists.

Now, here is also what is known.

     –In contrast to Extreme Right Wing allegations that the Obama Administration has done nothing to find those who killed the four Americans, the person believed to have been the leader of the attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattalah, is in federal custody, awaiting trial. The United States has identified and is conducting operations to bring other terrorists to trial.

     –Ambassador Christopher Stevens five months before the attack had requested additional military security. However, his request was denied. The reason? The Republican-led obstructionist Congress had earlier refused to fund additional personnel and budget for embassy and consulate security.

     –During the George W. Bush administration, terrorists killed 60 personnel in 10 separate attacks at U.S. consulates and embassies. There were no outraged Republicans.

Within a week of the seventh anniversary of 9/11, terrorists killed 16 at the U.S. embassy in Yemen. Americans grieved but did not launch a barrage of lies and half-truths, nor try to politicize the deaths of the 60 Americans.

     –The Extreme Right Wing, apparently worried that Hillary Clinton would become the leading candidate for president, has willfully and maliciously attacked her leadership during this crisis, hoping to tarnish her reputation and reduce the possibility she will become the nation’s first female president.

Given the reality that a thorough investigation by a Republican-led House committee shows there is no scandal, you’d expect the rest of the House to drop its $3.3 million investigation that they increased for political purposes months before the November mid-term elections.

You’d also expect Fox News empty heads who have been screeching “scandal!” almost 24/7 for two years to either admit they were wrong or to just shut up.

You’d expect that. But, you won’t get it in an atmosphere fueled by hate and prejudice.

[Dr. Brasch is an award-winning journalist and author of 20 books. His latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania, an overall look at the health, environmental, economic, and political issues of horizontal fracturing .]

 

Romney Flunks Foreign Policy 101

Barack Obama characterized Mitt Romney’s latest foreign policy gaffe as “shoot first, aim later.”  This is how wars are started:  leaders are clueless about how and what they say.  Mitt Romney got his proverbial 3 AM phone call this week and fumbled it.  The killing of the American Ambassador to Libya and three other embassy personnel had the GOP candidate smirking at the thought he’d scored a point on the president.  Instead of showing calm and concern for those who lost his lives an AP photographer caught him smirking as he walked off the stage.

The fact he got his facts wrong and made a hurried statement which, as president, could have been monstrous, shows he isn’t qualified to be president.  Mitt Romney doesn’t have the temperament, the sense of seriousness or the gravitas to be president.

This follows his recent foreign trip where he proceeded to insult the locals everywhere he traveled.  It began in London when he questioned Great Britain’s preparation for the Olympics.  They went off smoothly.  He then went to other European countries including Poland where a key adviser told the press to kiss his ass.  That’s a real good way to get good press.  Did anyone back home read anything else about the Poland trip except for that?

In Israel he said the Jews success had to with their culture, that they’re good with money.  How many anti-Semitic jokes and tortures have come from that mind set?  Mitt went to three of our staunchest allies and insulted them all.  He thinks war with Iran is a good idea and casino crook Sheldon Adelson is financing much of his campaign to insure such a war.  Adelson’s War is what it will be called as he thinks we should fight and die for Israel.  Israel can fight its own wars.  Americans shouldn’t die on their behalf.

Romney has criticized the ending of Iraq War, one which was started on a pack of lies issued by his own foreign policy advisers during the Bush/Cheney years.  If you like George W. Bush’s foreign policy Mitt Romney is your man.  His reckless mouth should be good for several additional wars.

Chris Stevens’ death was a tragedy.  When the initial White House statement was issued there had been no violence at the consulate.  Romney lied about that fact because he didn’t take time to check his facts before rushing to a microphone to try and gain political advantage.  His smirk after thinking he’d scored a point instead of showing gravitas on a sensitive international situation proves he isn’t up to the job.

Foreign policy has a bad habit of sneaking up on presidents who ran on economic issues.  Our enemies always test a new president to test their mettle.  I shudder to think how badly a President Romney might fail that test.  9/11 was the test of George W. Bush, one he failed miserably.  Hundreds of thousands have died as a result.  We can’t afford a President Romney.