By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Last week, the Democrat Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi virtually declared war on the majority members, criticizing their pace, rules, and committee scope.
Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that the Select Committee was on a wild goose chase for a nonexistent “unicorn” and “nefarious conspiracy,” and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) falsely called the stand down order a “myth.”
But in what may be a turning point for the Select Committee, Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy emphasized at the January 27th hearing that “we’re gonna pick up the pace…. I have no interest in prolonging” the investigation into Benghazi.
“Letters haven’t worked. Southern politeness hasn’t worked. We’re going to ratchet it up,” he said at what members of the mainstream media, such as U.S. News and World Report, characterized as a “partisan grudge match.”
The next day Chairman Gowdy issued a statement that defied Democrats outright, arguing he “will continue to move the investigation forward in a fair and impartial manner, but…will not allow the minority’s political games and unreasonable demands to interfere with the investigation.” Rep. Gowdy said he will continue operating under the scope originally set by the House of Representatives.
This, the media preferred to coin as political failure or “out of control” politics. “The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which began with dignity last year, spun out of control Tuesday as Democrats complained that Republicans were abusing their authority and Republicans threatened to spray the Obama administration with subpoenas,” wrote Dana Milbank for The Washington Post. Milbank specializes in snarky columns criticizing and marginalizing conservatives, and even took aim at the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi for a conference held on Benghazi in 2013.
Regarding the hearing last week, the Associated Press in turn, remarked, “The partisan tone marked a sharp turnaround for a panel that had won praise for a bipartisan approach through its first two public hearings.”
The subject of the first two slow-rolling hearings was the current state of embassy security, a topic suggested by the committee’s Democratic members which had little to do with the administration’s response to the attack—and which conveniently glosses over the security failures of 2012 to emphasize present solutions instead of accountability.
MSNBC focused largely on political angles instead of substance. For Alex Seitz-Wald, it was all about Hillary Clinton. “Gowdy and Republicans had been hoping to preserve and grow the credibility of their inquiry, which is part of the reason for their assiduous avoidance of taking pot shots at Clinton Tuesday,” wrote Seitz-Wald. “But Democrats are seeking to undermine the credibility of the panel, in the hopes that it will be viewed as a partisan witch hunt if it ever demands testimony from Clinton.”
New bombshell reporting by The Washington Times shows that Clinton was the strong voice pushing to intervene in Libya in 2011 in the first place, which set the stage for the attacks. Ultimately, however, President Obama was the “Decider-in-Chief” and bears at least equal culpability.
Chairman Gowdy told Megyn Kelly of Fox News last May that he plans to subpoena Mrs. Clinton, and repeated that in December. We now learn that the Select Committee has requested Clinton and other top State Department officials’ emails, and that Rep. Gowdy is willing to bring Clinton before the Committee just 30 days after receiving “all the [State Department] documents,” according to CNN.
Select Committee Members would also like to interview 22 persons with firsthand knowledge of Benghazi whom Congress has never spoken to before. The Associated Press reported on January 28, the day after the hearing, that State Department officials said they were ready to “commit” to interview dates for these persons.
But the press doesn’t seem interested in holding the administration accountable for the fact that the State Department waited from the December 4 request until January 28 to issue such a guarantee.
The State Department representative, Joel Rubin, said at the January hearing that a part of the committee’s relationship with the department is indicating priorities for requests—as if more resources could not be allocated to provide such information to the committee more swiftly.
Rubin, formerly of the Ploughshares Fund, also said at the hearing that he was a friend of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in 2012 at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Rubin wrote the following for ThinkProgress that year:
“Instead of getting that support, their deaths are being used as a partisan attack on President Obama, part of a false narrative that the president failed them. What has failed them is our political system. Rather than supporting a serious, nonpartisan investigation into what took place and what went wrong, waiting to get all the facts out, conservatives are trying to affix blame for their deaths for political advantage. This is how some conservatives use terrorist attacks against America.”
Now Rubin helps guard the gates for that same President who would like this simply dismissed as a phony scandal.
Although the media, along with the Democrats, may accuse Chairman Gowdy of partisan politics as he attempts to more aggressively investigate the Benghazi attacks and the resulting cover-up, I am cautiously optimistic about his new tone.
“The letter exchanges between Gowdy and Cummings [prior to the hearing], as well as Tuesday’s hearings, should put to rest forever the fiction that this type of investigation can be conducted in some Nirvana-zone of bipartisan comity,” Kenneth Timmerman astutely wrote for Front Page Magazine.
With this new focus on government stonewalling the Committee brought the possibility of embarrassing the administration to the fore, and the backlash was palpable.
Accuracy in Media and the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi have long been critical of the Mike Rogers’ House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, which contains a number of factual errors and glosses over the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. Apparently the Select Committee asked to examine the HPSCI’s research in October—and had been asking the Central Intelligence Agency for these files ever since. These files were only produced by the agency after learning that a hearing on them was scheduled.
Similarly, the State Department has produced 40,000 pages related to Benghazi, but Rubin wouldn’t answer as to whether the information provided to the Accountability Review Board was provided fully within those documents.
He also refused to say whether he thought the Select Committee was frivolous.
“If Gowdy is proceeding as a good prosecutor should, he is lining up all his ducks before he goes public with anything,” CCB member, and former CIA officer, Clare Lopez told WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi last week as part of a series of articles about the CCB’s own investigations. “I think it’s premature to jump to a condemnation of the process or the committee leadership when the truth is that we don’t know,” she said.
“Delays by Gowdy are unnecessary at this time,” CCB Member and Retired General Paul Valley told Corsi after the Times’ bombshell dropped. “Gowdy can press forward now as he does have sufficient intelligence and documents to call all witnesses and issue subpoenas as necessary.”
“Additional delays will only give the obstructionists in the Obama White House, the State Department and the Democrats in Congress time to thwart the efforts of the select committee,” Vallely said.
While the administration continues to stonewall the Select Committee whenever possible, and Democrats continue to complain that the investigation isn’t bipartisan enough, the CCB will continue to search for the truth in its own citizen-led investigation.
We have already dug up some disturbing facts in our 2014 interim report, such as:
- the administration decision to dismiss the possibility of truce talks with Moammar Qaddafi;
- helping arm al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya; and
- the inadequate military response that night.
“I don’t know if the decision came from the White House or from Hillary Clinton at the State Department,” Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic told Corsi about those failed truce talks. However, Admiral Kubic said, “…the advice for me from AFRICOM was to basically just leave everything alone, to simply stand down.” Who, exactly, at the White House decided it was unnecessary to pursue truce talks with Qaddafi?
The CCB and Accuracy in Media are continuing the search for the truth with our own Freedom of Information Act initiative. Currently, the Department of Defense is withholding 12 pages of maps from us regarding the position of military forces during the attacks.
As we await our day in court, we will not stop digging for the truth through whatever means are available to us. I am encouraged by the possibility that the Select Committee might likewise now use all the powers at its disposal to force the administration to reveal what happened that night and in the aftermath, not only to its Congressional investigators, but to the public as well. America deserves answers, not more stonewalling.
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
In case anyone missed it, the worst case scenario – a trifecta from hell – just occurred. Yemen has fallen to the rebels; the King of Saudi Arabia just passed away and Iran now has the capability to drop nuclear missiles in our laps. The shadow of crisis hasn’t passed… it’s engulfed us in its stormy, dark depths.
On Tuesday, as Obama bloviated on about how, “The shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the Union is strong,” Iran was testing their new toys and Yemen was coming apart at the seams. You remember Yemen… that success story that Obama touted last fall, just like Biden clucked on about Iraq. The shining example for all the world to see on how Obama’s fight against terrorism was working. Except, as with every other lie Obama has put forth on the foreign policy front, it has failed. Now we are evacuating the embassy in Yemen – in fact, during Obama’s speech, we had three US Naval warships off the coast of Yemen ready to evacuate the embassy. Think about that. Just like Libya, another embassy is being emptied. At least this time, no dead American bodies are being left in its wake.
The Yemeni government fell to the Houthis, who are big on death to America and Israel just like all of these murderous Jihadists are. Tens of thousands are in the streets protesting and chaos reigns. The really fantastic part of all this is that they are Shiite and backed by Iran, with whom Obama has been spooning ever since he got into office. Why wouldn’t he, when he’s got an Iranian Valerie Jarrett calling the shots? Yemen is home to the most vicious sect of al Qaeda on the planet – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). These are the same Jihadists who were linked to the Paris attacks two weeks ago. With the death of the King of Saudi Arabia and the fall of Yemen – the door to Iran seizing more territory and power has swung wide open and it is a very real possibility. Al Qaeda will have a field day as well.
And it gets worse. ISIS is now expanding into Yemen and al Qaeda has pledged their allegiance to ISIS. It is widely said that the Houthis and al Qaeda don’t get along, but in the violent furtherance of Islam, I wouldn’t count on that score if I were you.
From Allen West:
And the Obama administration just announced it would send 400 advisors/trainers to Syria. But we’re allowing Iran to pursue its nuclear program, 10,000 centrifuges,– and the Washington Post just gave President Obama three more Pinocchios for his SOTU assertion that Iran’s nuclear program has slowed down. And as you know, Obama threatened to veto congressional action to sanction Iran.
Why should we kinda care? The Yemeni government was pro-American and was aiding in the fight against Islamists within their borders. Now, not only has the Yemeni government been toppled, it has been replaced with the specter of Iranian influence in the vicinity of a chokepoint entering the Red Sea — and not far from Somalia — yet another hot bed of Islamism.
Now, add on top of this hot fudge sundae the fact that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia just passed away. Yemen is the southernmost country on the Arabian Peninsula where chaos now abounds at a time of a transition of leadership in Saudi Arabia.
Faced with upheaval and self-preservation, the Saudis could very well step up their support of Sunni Islamic terrorists to combat Iran and the Houthis.
Iran is now the big boy on the block and he’s packing heat. With the new Axis of Evil formed between Iran, Russia and China, I would not be surprised — at all — if Iran already has the bomb.
Iran’s latest coup de gras came this week:
Iran has apparently produced an intercontinental ballistic missile whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.
On Wednesday night, Channel 2 showed satellite imagery taken by Israel’s Eros-B satellite that was launched last April. The imagery showed new missile-related sites that Iran recently constructed just outside Tehran. One facility is a missile launch site, capable of sending a rocket into space or of firing an ICBM.
On the launch pad was a new 27-meter long missile, never seen before.
The missile and the launch pad indicate that Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is an integral part of its nuclear weapons program, is moving forward at full throttle. The expanded range of Iran’s ballistic missile program as indicated by the satellite imagery makes clear that its nuclear weapons program is not merely a threat to Israel, or to Israel and Europe. It is a direct threat to the United States as well.
So, tell me again why our President is threatening to veto any new sanctions against Iran? Why our Marxist leaders are insisting that Iran has a right to nuclear power, which in reality is nuclear warfare capability? Are we on the wrong side, suicidal or both? Obama is knowingly releasing the worst of the worst from Gitmo to go back and actively command and assist these terrorists. This isn’t some far off battle that doesn’t affect us. Iran’s missiles can now reach the United States! And it isn’t just them – it’s Russia and China too. They are literally salivating at the thought of taking us down and Obama is helping them. Please give me one shred of evidence he is not aligned with our enemies, given that he is gutting our military at a time when the world is on fire and an Islamic Caliphate is rising, waging global war and conquest. Weakness is sensed by all our enemies around us and it acts like an aphrodisiac in wartime. I might also remind everyone that there is a Russian naval warship docked in Cuba, while our diplomats are over there cuddling with dictators. You are known by who you associate with. You might ask yourself why Obama has such a fondness for Islamo-fascists and dictators.
Syria has basically fallen apart. Assad has a nuclear program and it could easily fall into the hands of ISIS or the Iranians. We all know how brutal and barbaric ISIS is, but try to imagine those monsters with nukes. This development is significant in light of the Iranians’ announcement two weeks ago that they intend to build two new nuclear reactors and the Obama Administration’s insistence that such a clear expansion of the Iranian nuclear program does not constitute a violation of the Joint Plan of Action to “freeze” the program while its ultimate status is being negotiated. Take that along with this:
The P5+1, AKA The U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany came up with something even worse. As Reuters and other sources are reporting, not only did they they give the Ayatollahs another 4 months to ‘negotiate’ while the centrifuges spin, but they actually bribed them with a further release of $2.5 billion in frozen funds just to keep the faux negotiations going. So not only does Iran get another 4 months for weapons development, they get the badly needed funds to continue!
If you throw into the mix that Israel took out an Iranian Revolutionary Guard General and some Hezbollah scum to boot, you have the makings of Armageddon. Next, Iran’s parliament has started to draft a law that would allow the country’s nuclear scientists to intensify their uranium enrichment, a step that could complicate ongoing talks with world powers. That’s tit for tat because of threatened sanctions from the US they say. It wouldn’t matter, any excuse will do… Iran would step up enrichment regardless because they are looking to bring the apocalypse on, pure and simple. And Obama, of course, is proclaiming he will steamroll Democrats (that’s right – Democrats) who get in his way and try to impose sanctions on Iran. Democrat Robert Menendez said during a committee hearing: “The more I hear from the Administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” That’s because they do, Bob.
This comes to light as Obama and the White House claim that John Boehner was out of line by inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress in March without clearing it first. Then the White House lied about a Mossad report and said that Israel had spat in their face. See where this is going? Obama will stand against Israel all the way and do all he can to make sure that Iran finishes becoming a nuclear power and a world threat.
The shadow of crisis is now engulfing the US. If you pray, now is the time. Two years is a long time for Obama to finish destroying us. I keep reflecting on the fact that you don’t see the US mentioned in end times eschatology. I really hope that is an oversight, because the path Obama is taking us down leads right into the arms of our worst enemies.