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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Congress investigating Benghazi attack and Obama coverup

Last Friday we did a post on the coverup by the Obama Administration and their ineptness over the Benghazi Consulate assault and the murder of four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens. A top State Department security official in Libya told a congressional investigator that he had argued unsuccessfully for more security in the weeks before Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. The response by the Obama Administration was that they wanted to “normalize operations and reduce security resources.” Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya, also referenced a State Department document that detailed 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012 that demonstrated the ongoing danger to Americans. Nordstrom is among the witnesses to testify today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Previously the Obama State Department refused repeated requests to provide more security for U.S. diplomats in Libya. The Obama Administration initially blamed this attack on a video clip on youtube. In the official announcement, Obama alludes to this at one minute into his announcement with Clinton at his side.

86 comments:

  1. The State Department now said it never linked the you tube video to Libya attacks <cough>bullshit</cough>

    Moscow court frees one of three Pussy Riot members.



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  2. .

    State Department nows says attack was not tied to video

    For those who believe the deaths in Benghazi were the result of that cowboy, Ambassador Stevens, living and now dying by the sword,

    It was a top administration diplomatic official, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who gave a series of interviews five days after the attack that wrongly described the attack as spontaneous.

    She said that the administration believed the violence was unplanned and that extremists with heavier weapons "hijacked" the protest against the anti-Islamic video. She did qualify her remarks to say that was the best information she had at the time. Rice since has denied trying to mislead Congress.

    A concurrent CIA memo obtained by The Associated Press cited intelligence suggesting the demonstrations in Benghazi "were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" and "evolved into a direct assault" on the diplomatic posts by "extremists."

    Nordstrom, the former security official in Libya, addressed the diplomatic security issue in an Oct. 1 email to a congressional investigator. He said his requests for more security were blocked by a department policy to "normalize operations and reduce security resources."

    A memo Tuesday by the Oversight Committee's Democratic staff provided details of Nordstrom's interview with the panel's investigators. In that interview, Nordstrom said he sent two cables to State Department headquarters in March 2012 and July 2012 requesting additional diplomatic security agents for Benghazi, but he received no responses.

    He stated that Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi artificially low. He said Lamb believed the Benghazi facilities did not need any diplomatic security special agents because there was a residential safe haven to fall back to in an emergency...


    Benghazi Security

    Susan Rice, along with Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power over at NSC, is part of the troika that helped get us involved in Libya in the first place. They were the ones pushing it against objections from guys like Gates, Donilon, and Brenner.

    Like John Bolton, Rice is unyielding and hardly the diplomatic enough for a post like UN ambassador. Unlike Bolton, she doesn't seem to recognize the shortcomings and corruption of the UN. Raised in an academic environment, she is big on talk of 'freedom' and 'democracy' but a little short on actions against 'terrorists'. While she worked for Clinton, she was the one the Sudanese accused of bungling it when they offered up the location of OBL.

    She is one of the many leftist ideologues from the distaff side on the Obama team. One wonders if the pattern is driven by ideological or psychological reasons.

    .

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  3. Let's have a post on how many Marines, and Soldiers were killed/are still being killed in Bush's "Wars of Stupid."

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  4. We have had hundreds of posts, most, if not all, have been commented about by you. On that issue, there is not much space between our positions.

    That said, there is no excuse for those being killed for the last two years. They are being killed this week:

    The U.S. military says two American service members have died following an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.

    The military says the attack took place on Saturday but provided no other information about the incident.

    Earlier this month, a suicide bomber attacked a joint Afghan-NATO patrol in the region, killing at least 14 people. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

    On Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Afghanistan's president needed to show the international coalition troops who are fighting and dying in his country some gratitude instead of criticizing them.

    Panetta was responding to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's remarks a day earlier, in which he said the U.S. was failing to go after Pakistan-based militants and was instead concentrating on the insurgents in Afghanistan.

    Panetta said “I think it would be helpful if the president every once and awhile expressed his thanks for the sacrifices that have been made by those who have fought and died for Afghanistan, rather than criticizing them.”

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    1. It has been my impression that Obama has been, slowly, trying to extricate ourselves from involvement in the middle east militarily. The Iraq withdrawal, the planned Afghanistan exit and the rather limited involvement in Libya (contrasted with the Republican style of engagement i.e. Bush invasions). If you then look at the rhetoric coming out of Romney one can only conclude that Obama is firmly on the side of reducing Americas military involvement and Romney will return the US to the Bush style of involvement.

      I shake my head in wonder at your support for Romney and his 'muscular' vision for the future.

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    2. .

      Good intentions are no excuse for incompetence.

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    3. The military footprint in the ME is getting smaller. Romney says he wants to go the other way.

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    4. .

      That hardly addresses the point I made about incompetence, either on security, ROE's, or ME strategy in general.

      With regard to your point, maybe you are looking at a different ME than me.

      Sure, we have pulled out most of our personnel in Iraq but that pullout was planned during the Bush administration. However, I agree Obama should be credited for following through on the plan.

      As Deuce pointed out, after four years Afghanistan is now Obama's war. Bush should have been out of there in two years (at the most). It was his bad that we weren't. However, Obama has had four years. We should have been out of there by now especially given the ridiculous ROE set up by this administration.

      Obama also got us involved in another war of choice in Libya. And, if you haven't heard, he has just sent special forces into Jordon to 'train' the government forces there.

      As far as what Romney says, given that it is election season, I take whatever these guys say with a hefty grain of salt. Other than nitwits like McCain, Lindsay, and Lieberman I believe any talk of getting more involved in the ME is just that, election year talk. I'm sure I could easily find counterparts for the McCain/Lindsay/Lieberman troika on the Dems side also. I just posted a survey of Americans' opinion on the ME. No one is looking to get involved there.

      What does "We've got Israel's back mean" anyway? Some say we support them with direct military action. I say bull. It's all words. Even those who complain here about the US not providing Israel enough support on Iran (other than some nut in Idaho) have suggested nothing more than for the US to impose 'real' sanctions and 'not stand in Israel's way' whatever the hell that means.

      They are all dicks and little will change, other than the amount of military spending, regardless of who is elected.

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    5. Not only have special forces been sent to Jordan but the US has a treaty to fight with Turkey. The US is mired deeply in the US, no argument there. The question is whether Obama or Romney has a greater propensity to get involved militarily. Given the Romney rhetoric I think it is pretty clear he's keen on the military and using it.

      Yeppers on the incompetence part - it seems a trait endemic to the US govenment. That being said the incompetence of the POTUS makes a big difference and the second Bush has clarified the mess that can occur when the POTUS is particularly incompetent. Obama has been less incompetent than Bush II. Romney is displaying the propensity to be more incompetent than Obama. Will he be as bad as Bush II? We may find out.

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    6. ummm, the US is mired deeply in the US, that is true, but it is also mired deeply in the ME. :)

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    7. .

      I guess incompetence or the degree of it is in the eye of the beholder. It can be measured in a number of ways.

      Bush's incompetence is there for all to see. If one goes by the dictum of 'do no harm' then he is clearly in a class by himself. However, Bush hasn't been on the stage in four years, what is past can't be undone, and talking about Bush incompetence with regards to US foreign policy today is useless.

      That leaves Romney and Obama as the only two players. You take what Romney says in the middle of an election campaign as gospel and a clear indication of what he will do if elected. I don't, for numerous reasons, some of which I pointed out above. We will not know who is right unless he happens to get elected.

      With regard to Obama, the promises he made but didn't keep during his initial presidential campaign points to the fact that there is precedence for the comment I made about Romney's words/promises.

      With regard to Obama's foreign policy, you have to consider that there are sins of commission, omission, and unintended consequences. In all these areas, unlike having to surmise as in Romney's case, we have actual data.

      With regard to sins of commission, a case in point is Afghanistan. Not only, after four years, has he failed to get us out of that war, but the wisdom of the ROE he's put in place can be judged by the US troops killed there on a daily basis. Libya? Everyone has an opinion on our actions in Libya; however, there is no denying that it was a war of choice not of necessity and we have seen some of the results coming out of our actions.

      Obama's foreign policy incompetence has been manifest from early on, from his failure to work out an agreement with Iran in 2009 to his ill-advised attempt to revive the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks to the handling of the Arab Spring and the clusterfuck in Egypt with Mubarak to the latest happenings in Cairo and Benghazi.

      In terms of sins of omission, I can only ask what he has accomplished that has advanced the US position in the world. Do either our allies or our enemies like or respect us any more than when he came into office? I think not.

      In terms of unintended consequences, I won't even mention issues such as collateral damage to innocents associated with drone attacks. However, you mentioned NATO and Turkey. The US used the NATO alliance as surrogate (some would say scapegoat) in Libya. Now, we have to ask, in case of a war between Syria and our NATO ally Turkey, how does the US get out of supporting Turkey in the same way they supported the UK and France?

      As I said, competence is in the eye of the beholder.

      .

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    8. What is the problem, in your view, with trying to revive the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks?

      How would you suggest Egypt have been handled - more support for Muburak? Send in some troops to back him up perhaps?

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  5. In point of fact, Afghanistan is no longer Bush’s war. Obama doubled down in Afghanistan, shortly after he won the Peace Prize.

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  6. Explain to me again how Obama is extricating us from the ME

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    1. Withdrawing from Iraq. Obama has set up a schedule for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Obama has resisted Bibi's urges on Iran. In Libya, contrary to previous mid-east military adventures the US was not the lead.

      Where does Romney sit on all this?

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    2. .

      See my response above at 12:31.

      .

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  7. This is, obviously, some sort of trick question.

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  8. Is it relevant what any of these candidates say to get elected. Care to go through the list of Obama’s pre-election promises? You better use a fresh pen.

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    1. True that though what they say does reveal their general view and Romney wants a bigger military and a more muscular foreign policy as opposed to the 'Obama apology tour'. How close is Romney to Bibi? Care to take on Iran - vote Romney!

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    2. Is it better to leave Iran to it's own devices?

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    3. nope, but getting involved in a military confrontation with them would be a bad thing.

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    4. "How close is Romney to Bibi?"
      I'd rather he be close to Bibi, than Obama being "Flexible" with Putin.

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    5. are you happy being close enough with Bibi to fight their wars?

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    6. Has he asked the U.S. to fight for, or even with, the Israelis yet?

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    7. Yes, by asking for "red lines".

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    8. Gotta go now. I'll check back tomorrow.

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    9. "On Iran, Romney says he sees eye to eye with Netanyahu


      (CNN) – Mitt Romney on Tuesday said that he would use the same test to evaluate Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program as would Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      In a wide-ranging interview on CNN's "The Situation Room," the Republican presidential nominee also defended his proposed U.S. tax model and shed light on how he would handle the civil war in Syria.

      Romney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that there should be "no daylight between the United States and Israel," and emphasized that military action against Iran would not be imminent.

      "We share values, and we're both absolutely committed to preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon," Romney said. "My own test is that Iran should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. I think that's the same test that Benjamin Netanyahu would also apply." "

      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/on-iran-romney-says-he-sees-eye-to-eye-with-netanyahu/?hpt=po_c2

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    10. .

      Red lines?

      I could be wrong, but I firmly believe Israel is not going to attack Iran without overt physical support from the US. IMO, it is not sufficient to have the US give political support through the UN. The US would also have to provide logistical supports as well as the arms Israel does not currently have (at a minimum).

      The US would then have to sell the war to the American people especially if it turns into a regional conflict or one that affects the world economy. The majority in the US are against a direct confrontation with Iran though I suspect most wouldn't be too upset if Israel attacked Iran; that is, until the US citizen started to feel the effect of that action.

      Israel says Iran cannot even obtain the 'capability' of making the bomb. Romney agrees. Obama says we can't allow Iran to get the bomb. That it is unacceptable. Yet, the only one talking about attacking Iran is Israel. Romney stresses that military action against Iran is not imminent. All Obama says is we are leaving all options open.

      It is true Israel could unilaterally attack Iran. I could be completely mistaken, but I don't see it happening.

      It is also true that the US could provide direct support for Israel taking military action with Iran or that the US could get involved there itself, directly and overtly. Again, just my opinion, but I don't see it happening, regardless of who wins in November.

      .

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    11. "Yes, by asking for "red lines".

      Ok.
      Let me ask you, is there a red line that you have drawn?
      Will there be a point at which you would say that it's time for military action against Iran?

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    12. Not with respect to them going nuclear, no. Loads of countries have nukes, unfortunately, but that is the reality of the world today.

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    13. I'll assume you refer to nuclear power and weapons.

      So it doesn't raise an alarm with you when the Iranian regime calls for the destruction of Israel & seeks to build weapons that can accomplish that goal?


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  9. Rufi, relax baby, you’re not going to win this one.

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    1. I doubt, seriously, that many others here will, either, in the long run.

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  10. When Conservatives Loved Keynes: While researching an item from earlier this morning -- yes, I do research, I just try to avoid talking to people -- I came across a fascinating exchange about the concept of economic stimulus. In 2001, the economy was undergoing a mild slowdown. Liberals generally argued that the scale of the problem was small enough for the Federal Reserve to handle with monetary policy, and didn't require a Keynesian fiscal stimulus. Conservatives took the opposite position. Here's a great exchange at a 2001 hearing in Congress between Paul Ryan, AEI economist Kevin Hassett, and Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

    ======

    Greenstein is taking the sensible position that the 2001 recession seems mild enough that Keynesian tax cuts will not be needed -- by the time their stimulative effect kicks in, the economy should be growing again. Hassett, the conservative, replies that Keynesian fiscal policy during recessions works, and the only problem is that it's usually too small. And Ryan agrees!

    Ryan and Hassett, of course, fiercely opposed the concept of fiscal stimulus in 2009. I don't see how you can explain progressing from that position to opposing Keynesian stimulus during a severe liquidity trap, the worst economic crisis since the depression, except as a function of pure partisanship.


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  12. It's a beautiful day down here in the Delta. A little cotton left in the fields, and not much else. It's been cool the last week. But, gas is $3.69/gal, and there's too many unemployed/barely employed.

    Then I think - damn, we could put a hundred of those people to work, and be free of the Arabs, and Mullahs, and young kids getting killed, and of sending all that money over there just to buy their stinking, rotten oil.

    100 people working, and the Arabs could put their oil, and their filthy religion where the sun don't shine.

    But, it's not going to happen. We're going to elect politicians that think Jesus rode a dinosaur, and that God loved Slavery, and . . . .

    Yeah, I'm not in a good mood. So, pile on, boys; I'm not in much of a "fight back" frame of mind.

    But, be careful what you wish for . .

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  13. Obama had better drop the Big Bird/Elmo jokes, and get out a whiteboard. Time for a Ross Perot moment.

    He either manages to explain just how much Romney's lying about his Tax Cut Plan (and everything else,) or he'll be in a white suburban, himself - heading back to Chicago.

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  14. It's the Republicans who have notoriously and rather smugly failed the Adults Only test for some time, starting with the allegation that grandma's SS checks bankrupted the country, continuing into the debt ceiling farce/debate and trending downhill since. There is some depth - and darkness - to Obama's humor that points in said direction of cartoonish caricature, which did start, after all ...

    in the Bush administration.

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    1. Yes, Ms R, I agree; but deep, and dark humor doesn't win elections. He either cleans Mitt's clock on his bald-faced lies in the next two debates or he can kiss his deep, dark, snarky ass Goodbye.

      The people want to see a man (or woman) with a little bit of balls, and passion, not some snarky, egotistical, effete commentator floating overhead dropping down pearls of wisdom, and disdain.

      In other words, that boy better get a little fire in his ass.

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    2. Iow, a little bully-pulpit passion?

      Remember the fate of Churchill after the war ended? Cast aside is putting it kindly.

      Politics, and politicians, are black and white, night and day - either down in the gutter Huey Long dirty or as polished as a prince carefully tending to his paupers.

      Regardless, Obama's mis-moves seem more ideological than fire and brimstone. Romney leveraged the Right's hatred of Obama to position himself as the centrist, a place within the political spectrum hated only slightly less than Obama himself..

      It's the Senate that matters. McCaskill vs Akin and Warren vs Brown are tight but the Republicans need four.

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    3. If Obama goes down, Warren goes down. Probably a couple more.

      Winston Churchill was a representative of an era the Brits had had quite enough of, I think.

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    4. Another reason why the fist-pounding can receive a muted reception.

      Conflict resolution is a bitch.

      If I had a dime for every time a relative or male companion said don't make a scene. It's ...

      embarrassing among polite company.

      There's a time and a place. God have mercy on your wretched soul if you don't have the ready words. Stammering doesn't play well in the Big Tent.

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    5. There is, however, a difference in "fist-pounding," and strong, agressive debate. Obama was not well-prepared, he wasn't up to speed on facts, and specifics, he . . . . well, he just sucked.

      To win a debate of that type you must "know your shit," know how to "present your shit" in a completely understandable, concise manner, have the mental acuity to realize when "your shit isn't getting through," and know how to "restate your shit" in such a way that it does get through.

      And, you have to have the mental, and physical courage to stand toe to toe, and say, "that's bullshit, and this is why."

      A debate is NOT a discussion. A debate is an "Argument." And, you have to unequivicably "Win" the argument "Point by Point."

      And, yes, I was one hell of a debater. And, yes, Obama blows.

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    6. And, yes, I was one hell of a debater.

      That caught me by surprise.

      On the subject of "snark" vs gravitas, how many of the modern political set bobble uncomfortably on that tightrope as they try to "unzip" their inner fun-loving (moose chili eating?) guy/gal while establishing command of details and the authority to lead? So we get paying the saxophone in dark shades and doing The View with the girls juxtaposed against the petulant posturing that passed - without noticeable laughter - as 'debate' over the debt ceiling. Obama may we have thought that he was entering the ring against the Mormon version of Eric Cantor.

      Nevertheless, I am not as hard on Obama. He ----- ???? miscalculated. Given the complicated, serious and, what one might describe as horrific without hyperbole, set of domestic and foreign challenges that faced the first administration of a young, green, left-leaning, possibly naive young man from a "different" background, I sort of "get it." I hope he rebounds and I think he will, just as I think Biden will kick Ryan's "skinny little ass" through the goal posts of "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and retired comfortably on my experience than you very much."

      What was that you called Romney - a squirsch? He and Ryan are both lying about the numbers but such is the hatred of Obama that it almost doesn't matter to a wide swathe of the voting pubic. In such circumstances where implacable hatred is involved, there is no room for error. The "performance," as well as the substance, must be near perfect. My contention is that Washington is not yet within spitting distance of substantive "debate." Hasn't been for awhile.

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    7. That's it. I'm done on this computer. Sticky keys leading to public embarrassment. The general drift is there, if not all the etters.

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    8. Something else to remember: People groused that just because Obama could give a good speech didn't correlate with the diverse skill set required of a western leader. Same with debating. It's good TV but not the end-game in Washington. Just the beginning.

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  15. Not so fast:

    It seems that a good share of college students are assessing the debate winner based on reactions to the candidates’ performances as a whole, rather reporting a weighted average of their agreement and disagreement. Policy agreement is not a prerequisite for victory in a debate, at least for this sample.

    Interesting charts.

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  16. A Lie, Unopposed, is a fact. Obama should have been prepared to move heaven and earth to counter the lies, and distortions put forth by the stinking squirsh.

    That he didn't was confusing; and, trust me, "a Confused mind always says, NO."

    Weak, and Passive (I think, today, he called it "polite") is no way to win an election.

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  17. $200 Billion/Yr More for the Military. On top of a Military Budget that is, already, twice the size of the next 15, or so, Countries, Combined.

    $200 Billion, More

    My God, for two years of that I could replace Every Single Drop of Imported Oil That We Use. Every Motherloving Drop Of It.

    Every. Drop.

    And, put a couple of Million Americans to work in the bargain.

    TWO HUNDRED FREAKIN' BILLION

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  18. Historical federal spending during last fifty years fairly evenly distributed among "the big four:" SS, Medicare/caid, defense, education.

    As percent total federal spending

    and

    As percent GDP.



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  20. .

    What is the problem, in your view, with trying to revive the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks?

    How would you suggest Egypt have been handled - more support for Muburak? Send in some troops to back him up perhaps?




    Before I start, let me say that I personally believe there will never be a 'negotiated settlement' on the Palestinian issue except as the result of war.

    However, that being said, were one to accept the premise that a negotiated settlement were possible given the issues and the people involved, the effort initiated by Obama in 2010 would have been doomed from the beginning based on the timeing, the administration's starting premises, the way the process was organized, and Obama's rapid capitulation on the effort. In the end, the process merely pointed out Obama's inexperience, weakened the US reputation as a player in the ME, and likely was a contributing factor to the clusterfuck we saw in Egypt.

    To lay out the specifics on this from my standpoint would probably take a couple hours. Therefore, I offer up the following paper from William Quandt that mirrors my views and adds a couple points I hadn't thought of. The real difference between Quandt and I is that at the end of the article while admitting the chances of a settlement are not good at all, he still seems to hold out the possibility that a negotiated settlement might actually happen given the right leadership. I disagree that there is any possibility of a negotiated settlement given the issues and players involved.

    The Israeli-Palestinian Settlement Process

    With regard to your question on Egypt, once again you miss the point. I am not talking about where we are now in Egypt but about how we got there. The US was blindsided by the Arab Spring and what ended up happening in Egypt. They hadn't a clue as to how to react. When they did react in Egypt, they were merely blowing in the wind, reacting ad hoc to events as they happened.

    Initially, Hillary strongly supported Mubarak and indicated she was confident he was in control of the situation. Within days, as the protests grew, she suggested he start talking with the protestors. As soon as the military sided with the protesters, she immediately said Mubarak must step down as if that was our plan from the start. This was all within a week or so. It made us look weak and amateurish, neither a firm partner who will stand by our allies when times get tough nor a change agent pushing for reform, merely a mercenary willing to sell out to the winning side. Since the revolution, we have done nothing to improve our standing there. We merely come hat in hand offering baksheesh to the latest tyrant in an effort to maintain some veneer of actually being a player.

    It's pitiful.

    .

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    1. When I get some time I'll read that paper. No one thinks an Israeli/Palestian peace is easy or even probable especially when the US favors the Israeli side so much more than the other - Israel has little incentive to reach agreement when it is slowly acheiving its goals.

      With respect to Egypt, sure it was an ad hc response as most of us in the world did not see the magnitude of change occurring in Egypt but I'm sure you, Quirk, knew in advance what to expect and had responses pre-planned by professionals.

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    2. .

      A ridiculous response Ash. The old Quirkster is not being paid to establish US foreign policy. He has not been in the foreign service setting or advising on ME policy for much of his adult life. He does not have the entire resources of the US government at his beck and call to help with those decisions.

      What he does have and can comment on is experience in negotiating. He knows what showing weakness or offering up the first consession can mean to a negotiation. He knows the trend a negotiation is likely to take when one side has all the power (or is percieved to have all the power). He knows what a weak sister and paper tiger looks like.

      .

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    3. I think, like you, the foreign policy establishment was caught off guard by the depth of the Arab spring in Egypt. On top of that there was the bias toward Mubarak as he had proven to be a long allie of the US and Israel and it was only when they learned that his time in power was extremely limited that they turned on him. They, like you, and I, didn't see it coming so, yes, the policy was ad hoc with little power to negotiate a preferred settlement. The issues were driving policy as opposed to the other way around. I don't think this was a function of an amateur US foreign policy establishment (though they certainly have their institutional blinders on much of the time) but rather the force of the events. Similarly when the Berlin wall fell it happened very quick from our vantage point with few in the foreign policy world predicting its imminent occurance.

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    4. .

      Supposedly, the US has contingency plans developed and updated on an ongoing basis to cover every possible scenario with every country we interface with. This is the evident myth we are fed by the 'experts'. We are supposed to have a plan for every possible contingency. The military, and I would hope State and the intelligence services, spent numerous hours constructing war plan scenarios to cover various contingencies.

      We've seen the lie inherent in this myth on a grand scale. We were caught off guard when the Soviet Union collapsed after spending hundreds of billions to counter a threat that didn't exist. Going into Iraq, we assumed that the war had been planned out and the route determined only to find out that after the initial attack everything else was merely seat of the pants. The Arab Spring? I was surprised by how quickly it spread but not by its underlying causes especially in Egypt. However, it is painful to see that the US government was so ill-prepared for it.

      What do we actually pay those thousands of spooks and analyst and foreign policy 'professionals' for? Do they contribute anything or are they just taking up space? Did any of those thousands while 'thinking out of the box' over their two martini lunches actually ever concieve that at some point there could occur an Arab Spring? Did any of them pass the thought up the line? Did anyone right a position paper mentioning it? Was it ever part of our contingency review? Were plans developed to address it if it did happen? Evidently not.

      Or maybe we had the contingency plans and maybe the political appointees at the top seeing the 'big picture' just decided to ignore the flunkies advice.

      Again I ask, who was responsible. Whether it was the political appointee or the bureaucrat who has been sitting on his ass for a couple decades, someone needs to be fired. Perhaps a lot of people deserve to be fired.

      The force of events?

      This isn't a tsunami or an earthquake. Making up excuses for these guys doesn't help.

      .

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  21. There is no Palestinian/Israeli peace process.

    There are no credible Palestinians that can sign an agreement worth the paper it's written on.

    In fact? There are no Arab nations that can sigh a treaty that are worth a shit.

    Abbas? in his 8th year of a 4 year term.

    Hamas? Hezbollah? Lebanon? Iran (not arab but will not sign any agreement for real peace)

    Syria?

    The Israelis have offered land for peace. They have offered 98% of all disputed lands 4 times and have been refused.

    Now the Arab world is going thru a period of insanity that should last about 15-25 years.

    There is no peace to have a process on...

    Revolution is game in the Arab world.

    The only thing we can do is make them irrelevant, build strong fences and destroy any effort they make to destroy us.

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  22. I think Obama has big problems in PA, even the Subarus don’t have Obama stickers on them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wouldn't take an even money bet on Obama right now.

    In fact, I wouldn't bet more than pocket change at any odds any semi-sane person might give me. He blew his chance in the debate he needed, and now he has to go to a "Town Hall" venue, a situation not well-suited to what he needs to do. And, I'm not sure he can do it, anyway. Romney is now the favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Maybe Obama just isn't a "numbers" guy, but his lack of specificity on things like "why the romney plan gave a tax cut to the rich, and a tax increase to the middle class just killed him. The numbers are so simple a third-grader with a chalk board could have knocked him out in a half a minute, but Obama just couldn't seem to explain it.

    Then when he let him escape, alive, from that mess it was all over. The deluge was upon him.

    He let Romney stand there and completely contradict what is on his own web-site as regards "pre-existing conditions." It was just a lousy performance.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The U.S. State Department scaled back security in Libya in the months leading up to the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, former security officials told Congress on Wednesday.

    At the start of a contentious hearing on the assault, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood told lawmakers that diplomatic security teams were gradually withdrawn from the country earlier this year, despite concerns that threats to Westerners were on the rise.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Facebook was not originally created to be a company," Zuckerbeg said at the time of the stock market float. "It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

    Facebook declined to comment on estimates that it generated £175 million in the UK last year and defended their decision to locate their non-US headquarters in Dublin where they do pay corporation tax.

    A spokeswoman said: "As is normal for an organisation operating in dozens of countries around the world, we regularly file reports about local operations. The information does not necessarily present a full account of overall global financial performance so it would be a mistake to draw any conclusions from these filings."

    ReplyDelete
  27. This week, I will campaign for Gov. Mitt Romney. I believe this election will and should be about moving America back from the edge of the abyss on which we stand, where our debt and spending threaten to overwhelm and drown us.

    ...

    I do not, however, support a call for intervention in Syria. And, if such intervention were being contemplated, it is absolutely necessary that Congress give any such authority to the president.


    Defense Spending

    ReplyDelete
  28. For the first time, Gallup finds a majority of Americans, 52%, saying the government should not favor any set of values in society, while 44% believe it should promote traditional values. From 1993 through 2004, the majority of Americans consistently favored the government's promoting of traditional values, but views have since been more mixed.

    ...

    As would be expected, Republicans, who generally are more conservative on social issues, widely favor active promotion of traditional values by the government, 65% to 32%. Democrats, on the other hand, believe government should take a more neutral stance, by a slightly larger margin, 67% to 29%.

    ...

    Americans' opinions on the government's promoting traditional values have clearly softened in the last several years. This year marks the first time a majority says the government should not promote a particular value set.

    ReplyDelete
  29. On this day in 1966, the Beach Boys released "Good Vibrations." The single was the group's third number-one hit, coming after "I Get Around" and "Help Me, Rhonda."

    ReplyDelete
  30. Pajamas Goes nutz:

    YOU ARE POSTING TOO QUICKLY, SLOW DOWN!

    This is what I pasted in, hopefully my typing the above will be slow enough to pass.

    Ridiculous, but true!

    ---

    ABC News:

    Attack on Benghazi Consulate 'Unprecedented,' State Department Official Says

    Sickening Report, victims of BHO Admin.

    ---

    I'll go back and push the button and see what happens!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well, it worked, maybe the filter thinks I'm on Crack?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Missed this in post above,

    Please forgive me, I beg of you!

    3. Doug

    I made my first post on this thread, and got an error message:

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Republicans in the House Voted in both 2011, and 2012 to CUT FUNDS FOR EMBASSY/CONSULATE SECURITY over the strong objections of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. $128 Million in 2011, and $328 Million in 2012.

    That little Chaffetz shit that's running around blaming the administration in the hearing Voted Against the Funding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MORE DEMS VOTED AGAINST IT THAN PUBS!

      Delete
    2. Could we have a link, or just address, to Madam Secretary's objections?

      Delete
  34. Email Shows State Department Rejecting Request of Security Team at US Embassy in Libya

    ABC News has obtained an internal State Department email from May 3, 2012, indicating that the State Department denied a request from the security team at the Embassy of Libya to retain a DC-3 airplane in the country to better conduct their duties.

    Copied on the email was U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012, along with three other Americans. That attack has prompted questions about whether the diplomatic personnel in that country were provided with adequate security support.

    No one has yet to argue that the DC-3 would have definitively made a difference for the four Americans killed that night. The security team in question, after all, left Libya in August.

    But the question – both for the State Department, which is conducting an internal investigation, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is holding hearings next week – is whether officials in Washington, D.C., specifically at the State Department, were as aware as they should have been about the deteriorating security situation in Libya, and whether officials were doing everything they could to protect Americans in that country.

    Earlier this week, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and another member of the committee wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listing 13 incidents leading up to the attack, ranging from IED and RPG attacks to a “posting on a pro-Gaddafi Facebook page” publicizing early morning runs taken by the late Ambassador Stevens and his security detail around Tripoli.

    “Was State Department headquarters in Washington aware of all the above incidents?” they asked Secretary Clinton, requesting written responses by Oct. 8. “If not, why not? If so, what measures did the State Department take to match the level of security provided to the U.S. Mission in Libya to the level of threat?”

    The subject line of the email, from Miki Rankin, the post management officer for Libya and Saudi Arabia, reads “Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support.”

    Rankin informs Stevens and the others on the email, whose names have been redacted, that Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy “has determined that support for Embassy Tripoli using the DC-3 will be terminated immediately. Post’s request to continue use of the plane in support of the SST was considered. However, it was decided that, if needed, NEA will charter a special flight for their departure.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...The State Department official acknowledged that the plane was used to get around Libya, not just to get in and out of the country. But once commercial air service was re-established, the State Department decided that the SST didn’t need the plane anymore. The security team, it would seem, disagreed...

      Delete
  35. TSA Sinks To New Low: Humiliates Woman Dying Of Cancer

    Screeners strip surgery bandages in full public view, break open IV bag

    Steve Watson
    Infowars.com
    Oct 10, 2012

    Just one day following our report on the numerous and frequent cases of TSA screeners harassing and humiliating breast cancer survivors by forcing them to bare scars and remove prostheses, it now emerges that the TSA has gone one step further.

    Just when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower, a story emerges from Seattle where TSA agents forced a young woman who is dying from leukemia to lift her shirt to expose feeding tubes, removed bandages from her recent surgeries, and broke open an IV bag of saline solution, all in full public view.

    ---

    Dunaj added that once TSA agents were done searching her, they told her to hurry up and move because she was holding up the security line.

    The TSA’s website states that “TSA officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present.” A TSA statement issued late Tuesday, claimed that after reviewing video from the security checkpoint it was determined that “screening procedures were followed.”


    More, plus Video...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Heritage:

    An Incriminating Timeline: Obama Administration and Libya

    Dozens of incidents contrasted with multiple lies by the Admin.

    (also Video)

    ReplyDelete
  37. The Moderator for Ryan/Biden had Obama as a guest at her wedding in 1991.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The report contained new allegations about the relationship between Mr. Armstrong and Michele Ferrari, an Italian doctor whose name had surfaced in some of cycling's most notorious doping cases but who remained a fixture around Armstrong-led teams for years.

    ...

    The USADA report said Mr. Armstrong attempted to intimidate former teammates and potential witnesses in the related federal criminal investigation, which was dropped earlier this year.

    ReplyDelete
  39. There's nothing to be done. It's all up to Bert and Ernie now. And in the end, it is going to just come down to Ernie alone.

    Buck Buckett

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless all the lesbian settlers come to his aid, and the Hollywood elite.

      Buck

      Delete
    2. Lesbians on the Prarie,

      I love it.

      Would've driven the Injuns nutz, wouldn't hafta kill em.

      Delete