Archive for Benghazi

The Corner of I Don’t Know and Irrelevant

Posted in Benghazi, DOJ, IRS with tags , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by indeepschmidt

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We ended the week on “I Don’t Know” Street and now we begin a new on “Irrelevant” Street. Thus, we are on the corner of “I Don’t Know” and “Irrelevant”.

The landscape of “I Don’t Know” looked much like hysteria. When asked a question Attorney Eric Holder simply stated “I don’t know”. He blamed that fact of his recusal from the Associated Press scandal that broke about the Department of Justice seizing the phone records and wiretapping the phones of reporters and editors during a leak investigation. Then we also saw “I don’t know” used in the House Ways and Means Committee Hearing into the Internal Revenue Service Scandal. Outing going Commissioner Steve Miller had no problem using the words when asked a variety or questions regarding “who knew what and when” the IRS began targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney used that narrative. “I don’t know” or “we had no knowledge of that” was commonly used by the Press Secretary when asked repeatedly all week-long about both of the mentioned scandals plus Benghazi. The Benghazi situation seems to be mostly about who audited the official talking points that we used by both the White House and State Department in wake of the terrorist attack on 9/11 of last year as well as who order the military to stand down.

Now we move forward to “Irrelevant” Street. On Sunday, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer said that it was “irrelevant” where President Barrack Obama was during the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. He also went on another show and said it was again “irrelevant” who edited the Benghazi talking points. Then just to make sure we knew where we were, he went on yet another show and said, “I can’t speak to the law here, the law is irrelevant.” That same rhetoric was repeated Sunday on the same 5 morning shows that Ambassador Susan Rice went on that originally began part of the Benghazi scandal.

Now we know where we are. However, we still have no idea where we are going. There is still a major scandal ongoing with the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. We also find out today that the President and DOJ are continuing their assault on the first amendment of the constitution by new revelations that the DOJ investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2009. If that was not enough, it is still unknown if he will be charged criminally. He has been named as a co-conspirator in a 40 page application for a search warrant presented to a federal judge. Along with Rosen, late today we find out Producer Mike Levin and another reporter also had their emails taken. More details are sure to come but one has to wonder if like the AP this investigation included phone records.

At this point, it is becoming very clear that the press is no longer free. The government is outright spying on reporters, interfering with reporting and clearly taking constitutional exception to areas where the media are concerned. Now, more than ever, political views by the media need be cast aside and the media needs to stand as one. Whether they agree with each other, reporting or stories are “irrelevant”. What is relevant is the DOJ and Obama Administration are attacking the free press. If the media does not bond together to battle a common foe two things are surely going to happen, there will be more cases of this against the media and people will no longer believe what is reported in the media.

The Chicago Way

Posted in Benghazi, IRS with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by indeepschmidt

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The Chicago Way of doing business has become ordinary tactics in DC these days. The onion is being peeled back a layer at a time and the tears are  beginning  to flow. The time has come for congress to take a knife to it and let’s get to the center. President Nixon was impeached in part to facts arising that he improperly used the IRS to go  after his enemies.Today has been another very busy day in the news. The commissioner of the IRS has reportedly late today been called to testify on the Hill this Friday. President Obama appeared with the Prime Minister of England and fielded two questions about the IRS scandal and Benghazi. He then went on what seemed to be a never-ending filibuster about Syria. That was it. Class dismissed. He shrugged off any knowledge of the IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. He then blew off any suggestion in the media that he did any other than label Benghazi as a terrorist attack from the first moment.

Make no mistake. The President is in fact guilty. He is guilty of one of two options. Either he knew about both of these events and helped to cover it up, or he did not know and is guilty of  dereliction of duty as the commander-in-chief. The events that transpired in Benghazi left 4 Americans dead including the Ambassador and 2 former Navy Seals. The question has repeatedly come up that lack of funding kept the compound from being properly secured. I have no idea how this is possible when we have an active military of roughly 1.5 million and almost 200,000 of those are US Marines. Why is  budgeting  an issue when we already pay the military. If the two seals held off the attack for the time that they did, why are we not putting at a minimum a dozen Marines in each embassy? Problem solved. Even bigger  question  still lingers of who gave the  stand down order not once but twice. We had a plane full of special forces troops in Tripoli ready to go.  Roughly  40 troops on the plane were told to get off the plane and it left without them.

In todays briefing the President said he has “no patience” for the targeting of any group based on its  ideology. There are three main points to the IRS scandal. The first and probably the most important is the president claims he just found out about the targeting issues on Friday when it broke in the media. How is this possible? Tea party groups and conservatives have been filing complaints and screaming about this in the media for over 14 months. In March of 2012 the New York Times ran an editorial justifying the IRS  scrutiny  of Tea Party groups. Even the  commissioner Steven Miller of the IRS came out late today and admitted that he had prior knowledge of these events. The tax-exempt and government entities office informed Miller, then the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, about the “improperly identified” applications on May 3, 2012. With all of these individuals having knowledge about this how is the President to make the American public believe that his administration didn’t know what was going on? The President is on record today saying that the IRS is an “independent  organization”. The IRS, for the record, has a dot gov website and is in fact part of the Department of Revenue as anyone who has ever paid taxes or gotten a refund would know.

Late today the story is also breaking that the Department of Justice has acquired two months of phone records from the Associated Press. This was done in secret and contained the records of both editors and reports in a manner in which the AP calls “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news. What could they have been looking for. A statement by the DOJ said that it was part of a terrorist investigation. This begs to question if any other news sources were investigated. With this just being the tip of the iceberg on this story more is certain to come in the following days. “You don’t make enemies with someone who buys ink by the barrel” as  eloquently  put  by President Clinton. Until now President Obama has had the luxury of the press being on his side and getting for the most part softball questions. Now that he has made enemies with the media by first not being honest about the Benghazi talking points and now going after one of its own he may find that the questions he and his mouthpiece Jay Carney get will not be simple.

All of this boils down to a couple of simple points. Fact is that there has been terrible acts of both inappropriate behavior by people both in and close to this administration. The first question is how high up the ladder does this go. When it comes to sworn testimony will his cronies be willing to fall on their swords for him or will the truth come out much as it did during Watergate. The second part is will the media that has been greatly asleep for the must part during his Administration and campaigns wake up and go after the truth. The Chicago Way of doing business has indeed come to DC. Obama has made it his business to shut up or go after all of the people who get in this way. This is a  pivotal  week for him and his Administration as both Congress and the media turn up the heat a bit. It is indeed time to take a knife to the onion because America deserves the truth and whether it’s now or later it will come out.

 

Transparency in The White House

Posted in Benghazi, Obamacare, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 11, 2013 by indeepschmidt

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The follow is a direct quote from The White House web site about how President Obama intends to govern.

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment

We the people have to take that at its face value considering the source. There is no higher authority in these United States than its Commander in Chief. Why then do we as Americans have so many questions about so many aspects of this government and how it is governed?

There we 8 Embassy attacks during the 8 year Bush Administration and not one of those events were questioned by Congress or its citizens. President Obama has had one Embassy attack in less than 4 years of his Presidency and it may be the most widely questioned event that takes place in the entire 8 years he is in office. The lack of transparency in events surrounding Benghazi are anything but clear and concise and are far from ensuring the public trust. In my article yesterday I covered many of the questions still surrounding Benghazi and in less than one 24 hour news cycle we now have reports of 12 different drafts of the taking points issued by the State Department with half of the original draft scrubbed of all truth. Truth then replaced with outright lies regarding the validity of the non-existent  protests over a anti  Muslim  video. As a side not the maker of that video is still be held in jail on seemingly ridiculous charges. Journalists and reporters from even Liberal leaning networks are now being targeted and  harassed  to report  negatively  on the  whistle blower  testimony. Today White House Press Secretary Jay Carney held an “off the record” press briefing on the Benghazi events. Off the record is not being transparent.

The IRS, as reported by the Associated Press, has now issued a former apology for what is described as intentional targeting of Conservatives for audits. Any group that used the words “tea party” or “patriot” in the name were selected automatically for audit. This coming out after conservatives speaking out for over a year that this was happening. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in a statement today addressed the White House specifically in a call for action. “Today’s acknowledgement by the Obama administration that the IRS did in fact target conservative groups in the heat of last year’s national election is not enough,” McConnell said. “I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not under way at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views.” The IRS claims 75 conservative groups in all were targeted for review and none of them lost their tax exempt status. There are however many reports of up to 100 of such organization failing to be granted 501-c4 exempt status by the IRS. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today stated that the IRS is an independent organization. The facts are that the IRS does have a .gov website and if it is not a government entity then why on earth is it responsible for collecting revenues for the Federal Government and secondly, why is it the entity charged with the complicated task of implementing Obamacare?

Speaking of Obamacare, this may be the most non-transparent law ever written by the Congress. So confusing in fact that many of its own  architects  have come out publicly in the past weeks that this law may be too big for the government to chew. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously used the words “that they had to pass it to find out what was in it”. That by its own definition is not transparent. Now we are faced with a looming vote in the House this coming week in an attempt to repeal the law. Still even after its passage, the law represents great confusion for both citizens and businesses. The law is anything but transparent and the economic impacts of it could be far reaching.

The answer is simple. The White House and President Obama need to level with the American public. On all counts. We have questions that need answered. If todays feeding frenzy at the White House press briefing are any indication of the media outlook, both Carney and Obama better run for cover. The Administration has one last chance to retain what credibility it has left. It must tell the truth about the questions at hand. If not you can bet on one thing, whether it is now or in the future when the President is judged by history it will not be favorable.

Is it Time for a House Select Committee on Benghazi

Posted in Benghazi with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2013 by indeepschmidt

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History has made great record of the Watergate hearings that were televised nationally 40 years ago this month. Many left leaning critics of the Republican’s pursuit of the truth in regards to the events in Benghazi affair have used the term “Benghazigate” in  apparent  efforts to make light of that pursuit. Benghazi and Watergate differ in many areas but manly because as of this date, no one has claimed  publicly  any illegal activity of anyone in the White House or State Department. It is not a “witch hunt” or a concocted event by the Republicans. No Republicans ran the streets of Libya in September of 2012 mounting an attack on the US  Embassy annex and the CIA station. It was not the Republican leadership that handled the decisions, or lack thereof, as to how the situation played out that night or over the next many months after the event.

There are three major points of interest that the Republican “witch doctors” seem to be trying to get to the center of. The first is why was the stand down order issued the night of the attacks and who issued it? Second, why did Ambassador Rice make the Sunday morning news circuit round  referring  the attacks as protests that got out of hand spurred on by an anti Muslim video. Lastly, was there an attempt to down play these events in the weeks after to benefit the election hopes of the President. A good case can be made for each and we’ll examine each carefully as well as the next step.

In a statement made to Breitbart News General William G. ‘Jerry’ Boykin wrote “The men and women who I served with lived by an ethos that pledged to never leave a fallen comrade and to make every effort to respond when a fellow American was threatened. I have seen men take great risks to save a fellow warrior. I have even seen men die trying to do so.” To date there is not a clear and concise answer to who gave the order that night to not send aid to Benghazi so lets talk about what we do know. We know that Lt. Col. Gibson had Special Forces troops on a  Libyan  C-110 that night ready to go to provide combat support to any survivors or bring back the bodies of the fallen. He then at some point  received  an order to stand down and the plane was forced to take off without them. This fact came to light under  Congressional   testimony  March 8th by the House Government Oversight Committee by Gregory Hicks. Hicks was the Deputy  Chief  of Mission in Libya and to date is the only person with first hand knowledge of the events that night to offer testimony. The Obama Administration and State Department as recently as May 7th are on record as stating that there was not enough time for troops to be deployed to Benghazi that would of made any difference. I realize hindsight is 20/20 however on the night in question there was no way of knowing when the attacks would end. Or was there? The White House by their own statement had a  surveillance  drone overhead at the scene. Could this be the reason that the stand down order was  given? Because the powers that be in the Administration were watching and knew that the situation had  disintegrated  to the point that there was no changing the outcome of the events? Who made that decision and was that person watching?

On Sunday September 16th Ambassador Susan Rice went on 5 talk shows and reported that the events in Benghazi were the result of a protest over an anti Muslim youtube video. Under direct questioning from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) Gregory Hicks testified that he asked Assistant Secretary Beth Jones why Rice made the statements that she did on the 9/16/13 Sunday talk shows. “Her reaction was ‘I don’t know,’ and it was very clear from the tone that I should not proceed with any further [questions],” he told lawmakers. In  response  Rep. Gowdy read aloud from an email Jones had sent to Hicks and other State Department officials saying “I spoke to the Libyan ambassador and emphasized the importance of Libyan leaders continuing to make strong statements,” Jones wrote in the email “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” So if the State Department had this information on the 12th, why did Ambassador Rice make the statements she did on the 15th. Since challenging the statements made public about the cause of the attacks Hicks has since been demoted. Hicks told the committee, “I’ve effectively been demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer.” Hicks said Jones eventually “delivered a blistering critique of my management style, [and] even exclaimed “I don’t know why Larry Pope [the top U.S. diplomat in Libya] would want you to come back.” All of this begs to question, did Rice make the statements she did because she was told to or because she is  incompetent. Regardless of that answer the President himself continued to repeat that statement up to and after the election in November. Did he do this because if he had told the truth that  terrorists  had attacked the US Embassy and killed 4 Americans would he still be able to campaign with the statement that Al Qaeda was destroyed and Osama Bin Laden was dead. Instead he told the American public that those that did this would be found and face the full weight of justice. 9 months later, no one had been brought to justice or even detained for questioning by the US.

The answer to all of these developments is simple to me. Speaker John Boehner needs to order a House Select Committee on Benghazi to investigate. That committee would have more powers to  subpoena  witnesses and documents both in the White House and State Department. Americans and the   family members of the murdered individuals deserve answers to all of these questions. It would appear to me that Democrats would be more willing to seek the truth if for no other reason than to clear the names of President Obama and former Secretary Clinton. John Locke wrote “One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.”