Benghazi

Benghazi Report Reveals Folly of Interventionism

Partisanship provides cover.

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C-SPAN

The House Benghazi select committee released its five-part 800-page report on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, with an "additional views" addendum from Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) that blamed President Obama and Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, more directly for the various intelligence, security, and communications failures that led to the attack and misinformation in the aftermath about the existence of protests against a YouTube video that sparked the violence.

Democrats, who accused Republicans of "wasting taxpayers money" on an issue that's been investigated by the executive branch, and Congress, multiple times, released their own report. Democrats insist the select committee was a political ploy to sully Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, ahead of the November elections. "There seems to be only one remaining question," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today. "It's simply this. Is the RNC going to disclose the in-kind contribution they received from House Republicans today?" They're probably even after the Democrats' kabuki sit-in against civil rights, off which they raised money directly.

The partisan argument about Clinton's culpability in an attack that led to the killing of four Americans by Libyan militants misses the broader argument about aimless interventionism. A spokesperson for the State Department responded to the report by saying the department's "priority continues to be carrying out our national security mission while mitigating the risks to our employees." Democrats insist the State Department has boosted security, so the problem is solved. Republicans argue the White House didn't do enough militarily (in one part of the report referring to Obama's "no boots on the ground" policy as having informed the immediate response to the Benghazi attack), and often believe the answer is more military spending and "boots on the ground."

The reality is the U.S. should not have participated in the Libyan civil war in the first place, and certainly the Obama administration should not have committed forces before getting approval from Congress. None of the investigative reports I've seen tackled that question. The select committee reports that Ambassador Chris Stevens, among the four killed in Benghazi, had been charged with preparing the mission there to be converted to a permanent consulate, so as to offer a "deliverable" for Clinton's planned October 2012 visit to Libya. Today Clinton insists the fault with the Libyan intervention lies in the Libyan government, for not permitting foreign security to operate in Libya, on the political fallout from the Benghazi attack itself. President Obama has expressed regret at the aftermath of the Libyan intervention multiple times, calling it the "worst mistake" of his presidency. Clinton insists it's still an opportunity for more U.S. involvement in affairs around the world.

The report also focused on the misinformation surrounding the role of a trailer for a Mohammed movie on YouTube in sparking protests that terrorists may have taken advantage of. There appear to have been no protests in Benghazi prior to the attack and at least one report was based on an article about planned protests that was published a week before the protests happened. Some officials are quoted as being in shock about national security advisor Susan Rice's infamous Sunday morning appearances about Benghazi. But the administration's lies were as plain as day to anyone bothering to follow the news during and after Benghazi. The story started unravelling pretty quickly. There was a clear campaign to deflect what happened in Benghazi as a failure of U.S. policy onto a YouTube video and the practice of free speech. There were protests around the Muslim world on September 11, 2012, some focused on the perceived slight to Mohammed, others on U.S interventionism. The ease with which Clinton appears to be able to avoid substantive criticism of unchecked interventionism ("what difference, at this point, does it make?") is as frustrating as the failure by many to see her as the foe of free speech that she has reliably been as well.

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  1. Clinton is revolting!

    1. Revolting? She’s positively disgusting!

  2. Well okay this silver bullet didn’t take Hillary down, but the next one can’t miss!

    1. Wait a sec, Clinton’s CHAOTIC Evil, not Lawful Evil!! No wonder this silver isn’t doing shit, we were supposed to be using cold iron!!

      1. LOL that makes me happy.

  3. Josh Earnest might be the most inappropriately named person I’ve ever heard of.

    1. LES MOORE

    2. Not at all.

      He is Joshing about being Earnest.

  4. The report also focused on the misinformation surrounding the role of a trailer for a Mohammed movie on YouTube in sparking protests that terrorists may have taken advantage of.

    To me, this is the thing that truly damns the administration and Ms. Clinton, in particular. They (She) knew that the clip wasn’t the cause. And yet they lied about it. Repeatedly. Even to the families of the dead. And then threw someone in jail to support their lie.

    And then, when there was no even pretending that the lie was anything other than a lie. They turned around and said that they didn’t really tell you that lie they told you. They’d always been telling what everyone always knew was the truth.

    Of course, the guy who they jailed to support their lie remained in prison.

    1. Of course, the guy who they jailed to support their lie remained in prison.

      There are a lot of things about Benghazi to feel scandalized by. “A thief was rightly returned to prison for violating the terms of his probation” is not one of them, even if the accusation that first drew attention to him was false.

      1. ERRRMIGAAADD!!! HE POSTED ON YOUTUBE!!!

        STOP HIM BEFORE HE POSTS AGAIN!!!

      2. To be honest, there’s a lot more to it than “drew attention to him”. The FBI arrested him because of the video inciting riots all over the planet… and then they held him because of parole violations.

        They were perfectly happy with a complete and utter lie being fleshed out with the FBI arresting someone for a stupid video so that they could have some appearance of being hard on the enemies of Islam.

        It was an extremely revealing and disturbing episode. One that never should happen in an American government. “Oh well, he was a douche anyway” doesn’t really change the why of it. I think it is clear that nobody in the administration gave a crap whether he was a thief or not. He was getting arrested regardless.

        1. The FBI arrested him because of the video inciting riots all over the planet

          The FBI arrested him for probation violations.

          And nobody is arguing “oh well, he was a douche anyway”. What I *am* saying is that he went to prison for crimes he was actually guilty of. He stole nearly $800,000 from other people through fraud and got a measly 21 months in jail for it. A condition of his serving that tiny amount of time was that he stay off the internet and refrain from using aliases. He did both, so he went back to jail. Fuck him. The Obama administration framed a guilty man.

          1. The first thing the Obama administration did after Benghazi was to go after the First Amendment.

    2. The report also focused on the misinformation

      It wasn’t misinformation, it was a lie. Enough with the soft-pedalling and euphemisms, already. Hillary Clinton’s State Department organized a campaign of lies to deflect from their gargantuan incompetence.

      1. Clinton is an incompetent. Her handlers and those profiting from her political position are not. Benghazi, her entire tenure as SoS and her family foundation are profit generation mechanisms. They are still covering up the fact that they started a fucking war to make money. They deliberately profited from the death they helped create.

  5. I’ll agree with the folly of the entire Libyan engagement, but it’s not a partisan “argument”. Hillary pooped all over the entire episode from beginning to end and continually lied about it, in front of the family of the victims no less. They left these poor people to rot for SEVEN FUCKING HOURS because of how bad it would make them look politically. The left has continually played “move the goalposts” as more and more of their culpability has been confirmed.

    If this was a Republican administration there would be people in jail over this. Instead it’s merely a “partisan argument” whilst the one the most culpable runs for POTUS.

    It’s deplorable. How could you expect anyone to work for the State Department or any other department overseas with Hillary as POTUS knowing that if the shit hits the fan she will abandon you if it makes her look bad?

    1. Because if the shit doesn’t hit the fan you will get a very lucrative gig at the Clinton Foundation when your tour is up.

      1. If you live to see it.

    2. Did Ollie North go to prison?

      The most offensive thing here has nothing to do with party politics. It has to do with the ease at which the Clintons have been allowed to brush this aside. People died to make them rich.

  6. “But the administration’s lies were as plain as day to anyone bothering to follow the news during and after Benghazi….There was a clear campaign to deflect what happened in Benghazi as a failure of U.S. policy onto a YouTube video and the practice of free speech….The ease with which Clinton appears to be able to avoid substantive criticism of unchecked interventionism (“what difference, at this point, does it make?”) is as frustrating as the failure by many to see her as the foe of free speech that she has reliably been as well.”

    No, no, no, no. Krayewski must be wrong. Youthful Robby says, Benghazi panel’s report vindicates Clinton.

  7. Didn’t one of our on-the-ball local commenters note that when the news broke and the youtube video was fingered as the culprit, the video only had like 200 views?

    1. Derp:

      “YouTube often lags view counts for some reason argle-bargle!”

      /Derp

  8. The ease with which Clinton appears to be able to avoid substantive criticism of unchecked interventionism (“what difference, at this point, does it make?”) is as frustrating as the failure by many to see her as the foe of free speech that she has reliably been as well.

    To get that scrutiny, it takes a somewhat hostile media.

    1. Maybe she should be criticized for both intervening and fucking it up once she did? Just a thought.

    2. To avoid that scrutiny, it takes a somewhat stupid opposition party.

      We’ll see if Judicial Watch can uncover anything. that sticks.

      1. It’s a shame that Judicial Watch has to do the uncovering. But I suppose when you have an intransigent Attorney General, you have to take executive action.

    3. This is what I was going to comment about. The only reason (drink!) that the Democrats get away with their lies is because of the liberal media. Full stop. A generation ago, the media was still overwhelmingly Democrats, but they had the ethics to hold fellow Democrats to account for lies and corruption.
      Today, the major newspapers, network news, and news agencies like routers and AP are just the propaganda arm for the Democratic Party.

  9. Intervention may be a bad idea, but just because you intervene doesn’t mean you have to be a incompetent who sends an ambassador out to an unsecure facility and then stands around and does nothing while he and other people die and then try to make up for it by blaming the whole thing on some guy who made a youtube video.

    No Ed. the current state of Libya shows he follies of interventionism. The Bengazi report shows that Hillary Clinton is a craven sociopathic moron.

    Why the fuck can’t you just say that? Does it hurt that bad to criticize Hillary? Are you that desperate to ride your anti interventionism pony?

    1. Does it hurt that bad to criticize Hillary?

      It was a very pro-Hillary piece.

      1. Written by a Hillary voter.

      2. To the extent it was written to deflect the worst criticisms of Hillary into a less damaging debate about interventionism, it was. Ed is just a smart hack who is clever enough to know that no full defense is possible. So he makes the best of it by trying to change the subject to something less damaging to Hillary.

        1. I don’t see it. I think Ed is saying that, even if Hilary hadn’t been “… a craven sociopathic moron”, the intervention in Libya would still have a colossal mistake.

          1. Isn’t that a different article than an analysis of the Benghazi report?

            It wasn’t the Libyan Intervention Report that was released. Ed is just trying to tack on anti-interventionism as a broader stroke to condemn everyone.

    2. I agree = Hillary Clinton is a craven sociopathic moron.

  10. Islamic radicals kill 28 people at an airport with guns AND bombs

    “What difference, at this point, does it make! There are moderate Muslims! Moderates!”

    1. Which airport is it? Boston? DC? Newark? Dallas-Ft Worth? LAX? Quick, close the borders to keep any more attacks from happening!

      1. Nothing like that could ever happen here. Only a paranoid nut could think a transnational terrorist organization could pull off a big terror attack in the US or even want to. Next you will be telling me tails about hijacked planes flying into buildings.

        1. Psshhh. That’s just a subplot from a Tom Clancy novel. Fiction!

        2. Even if they did, the jet fuel wouldn’t be hot enough to melt the steel superstructure, so the damage wouldn’t be that great. I know this because I once stayed at a Holiday Inn.

          /Truther nut

          1. Shoulda stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, like the other instant geniuses.

    2. This is why Turkey should ban assault weapons.

  11. Democrats, who accused Republicans of “wasting taxpayers money” on an issue that’s been investigated by the executive branch, and Congress, multiple times, released their own report

    , which they paid for out of their own pockets, right? RIGHT?!

    1. I do believe the Dem report included an incompetently redacted document that actually shows some of the money flows to Hillary cronies in Libya.

    2. How much of the taxpayers money was wasted by the Senate Dems recent filibuster stunt for useless gun control legislation and the House Dems sit in stunt for the same?

  12. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  13. The partisan argument about Clinton’s culpability in an attack that led to the killing of four Americans by Libyan militants misses the broader argument about aimless interventionism.

    Ah, the classic deflection “But what about . . . ”

    Why not concentrate on the demonstrated incompetence and venality on display right in front of us, rather than getting sucked into another pointless (and partisan!) argument about foreign policy writ large.

    And, Benghazi is only partisan because the Dems are going to line up behind their nominee, truth and decency be damned. Yeah, that makes it partisan, but not partisan in the sense that its just intra-party positioning and nothing more.

    1. Because Ed won’t get invited to all the good cocktail parties if he points out how bad Clinton actually executed her chosen policy.

      I mean it is not like she has a chance to be president.

  14. Finally! Hillary proposes bold, new ideas to take us into the future:

    DENVER ? All U.S. households would have access to high-speed Internet within Hillary Clinton’s first term in office and young entrepreneurs could defer their college loans while launching start-ups, under a broad technology agenda she released Tuesday.

    Putting off loan payments for up to three years would allow greater latitude for some of those most likely to drive the innovation economy, Clinton said after a tour of a technology hub here.

    “I do plead guilty to being a policy wonk,” Clinton said to laughter from a crowd of mostly young tech entrepreneurs. “It really matters what we do and how we do it if we’re going to build the economy of the future.”

    “She took a shot at Republican opponent Donald Trump for inviting Americans to look backward, she charged, rather than forward.

    “I am on a mission to find out what works,” Clinton said.

    Clinton’s plan would also forgive up to $17,500 in student loans for some entrepreneurs who develop businesses with measurable public benefit or launch initiatives in economically struggling or underserved areas.

    Clinton’s campaign did not estimate the cost or detail how she would pay for these goals.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/…..li=BBnb7Kz

    1. “I am on a mission to find out what works,” Clinton said.

      Suck start a wood chipper.

      1. Obama used that “what works” meme a lot too.

        Another indication that Hillary = Obama third term.

    2. Clinton’s campaign did not estimate the cost or detail how she would pay for these goals.

      The cost is irrelevant. The goals will be paid for by having the wealthy pay their fair share.

    3. “measurable public benefit”

      Currently defined as providing funds to Democratic get out the vote organizations.

    4. All U.S. households would have access to high-speed Internet

      “Access”? Is this sort of like the “Access” to healthcare which millions of people lacked before Obamacare?

      I’m pretty sure if you have enough money, you can “Access” high-speed internet even if you live on top of a mountain in a one-room shack. Its just that it costs $100 a minute via your satellite-dish.

      Poor people who live out in the rural sticks don’t get their own Fiber-Optic cable-networks because it makes no economic sense.

      I presume hillary will simply wave her hands and Repeal the laws of Supply and Demand, and force some stupid bill subsidizing internet-access for the ‘underserved’, and hand out $100million in free money to her corporate telecom donors in the process.

      1. It’s not nearly that much; it’s more that you don’t get unlimited bandwidth.

    5. “I am on a mission to find out what works pays the most graft,” Clinton said meant to say.

    6. Putting off loan payments for up to three years

      How about making college cheaper by eliminating waste in bloated administrations? No? Okay, then.

      Btw – Loan payments are already “put off” by the boatloads by young graduates.

  15. From what I’m hearing there is quite a bit more in this report than failing to boost security and the video fiasco.

    Apparently there was a 2 hour meeting while the events were occurring, 4 hours before the ambassador was killed. Hillary was the highest ranking official.

    They had local security champing at the bit and forces in Italy raring to go. The had the troops in Italy change clothes several times because they couldn’t decide whether to send in uniformed troops. They also were concerned about getting permission from the Libyan government to go in.

    I didn’t read it yet, but it doesn’t sound like they ever got around to asking. That would be interesting to know.

    In any event, there are several unconscionable actions here. I’ve always been primarily concerned with the ease with which the administration lied about the video and arrested the idiot who posted it as a sop. The fact that nobody of consequence thought this obvious and public lie and violation of the constitution was worth mentioning helped focus my attention on that aspect rather than the original attack.

    But this report makes it seem that a Clinton-led executive dithers and has a two hour meeting that declines to decide anything when lives are at stake and minutes count. I do think that is rather relevant to the election.

    Not that she was getting my vote anyway, but still….

  16. Not to sound like a conspiracy nutter, but as I browse headlines from various major sources today, I see lots of stuff like this, often right next to each other:

    Story 1: Clinton on Benghazi report: Time to ‘move on’
    Story 2: Fact check: Overstatements in Trump’s economic speech

    In Story 1, there’s this report that these guys over here at Fox News did. And here’s Clinton’s response to it.
    In Story 2, we get a line-by-line fact check of shit Donald Trump said, a story originated by the newspaper staff.

    1. I should have said, a story originated and fully researched by the newspaper staff.

      1. I first noticed that M.O. back in 1991 with the Clinton draft stories. Every single time it was reported as “Republicans are saying”, instead of what the actual reports were.

        About the same time I got CSPAN and was able to watch the press briefings myself. Then I noticed that I would hear the DNC spokesman or Stephanopolis use a particular word or phrase, like “extremist”. The next day at 6:00 I would flip channels and every single one of my most trusted anchors in News would use the exact phrase I had heard the night before. The were litterally handing out focus group tested talking points that the news was putting forth as their own ideas.

        I haven’t trusted any single news source since. So I read HuffPo and Drudge, hoping that somewhere they’ll point me to a fact or two along the way. Then I come over here to see what a bunch of idiots with Aspberger’s Syndrome have to say about it.

        1. I first noticed that M.O. back in 1991 with the Clinton draft stories.

          I was very non-political pre 1991. In fact, I grew up presuming the media was always hostile to The President. Then 1991 happened.

          Then I come over here to see what a bunch of idiots with Aspberger’s Syndrome have to say about it.

          You know I resemble that remark.

        2. what a bunch of idiots with Aspberger’s Syndrome have to say about it.

          Look, Robby may be a little shallow, but that’s unfair.

          1. He’s just mad that the name “Cytotoxic” was already taken by an idiot with Aspberger’s Syndrome.

        3. Hey! Not all of us have Aspberger’s Syndrome; some of us are just drunk.

          1. This is what I love about the libertarian crowd. We are a self-aware bunch of idiots. The proggies are way, way too full of themselves to ever go about any self-examination. And the right has the certainty that God wants them to win so that they can implement QE-III, so self-reflection really doesn’t enter into the picture.

            But not us… No, we know we’re a bunch of misfits. And it is that very self-knowledge that informs our attitude against determining the paths walked by others, or having others determine our life course.

            Maybe that’s why there aren’t any really talented politicians in our crowd. If you had the charm and charisma of a Bill Clinton, why would you ever spend a moment worrying about your own limitations when you can get whatever you want by simple salesmanship. So you’d never come to the conclusion that self-determination is the gold standard for our lives. So perhaps we are doomed to never have that great libertarian champion to bring the masses around to our way of thinking.

            Oh great…. there I took the one hopeful moment of unity and turned it all dark and foreboding. Jeez… no wonder we can’t ever get anything going…

        4. Then I come over here to see what a bunch of idiots with Aspberger’s Syndrome have to say about it.

          We have pockets of brilliance, pal.

  17. “Interventionism

    “Non-interventionism” may be a philosophy…. If not actually a coherent foreign-policy theory…. but if so, it doesn’t make its theoretical-opposite into one as well by default.

    Any more than “Veganism” makes all non-vegans into “Meatists

    1. your post reveals the folly of anti-journalism

      1. I know i’ll never convince Reason authors to stop using lazy, meaningless terms which don’t serve to convince anyone outside of libertarian circles of anything.

        at best, it prevents other readers/commenters from repeating similarly stupid-generalizations.

        I think foreign policy is a particular area where Reason…. well, gets sort of dumb. They can’t seem to make up their minds between “getting more-serious about it” and hiring an actually-sharp writer, or abandoning it altogether.

        So they stick to this simplified “interventionism vs. non-interventionism” false dichotomy and reduce every single issue to some version of that.

        its like the reduction of libertarianism to “socially liberal, fiscally conservative”. Its superficial, and often wrong in the details

        (as is the paper’s fallback idea that everything bad that happens in world affairs is “consequential blowback” from some ‘intervention’; if you took writers here at face value, you’d get the impression that the sunni-shia conflicts in the middle east never existed before GWB invaded Iraq)

        1. I think foreign policy is a particular area where Reason…. well, gets sort of dumb. They can’t seem to make up their minds between “getting more-serious about it” and hiring an actually-sharp writer, or abandoning it altogether.

          agree 100%

          I think they are like progs on this issue. They don’t need any writers with knowledge of history or international politics or the military because they have the correct viewpoint and anything bad that happens in foreign policy is because those people in charge had the wrong viewpoint. They fucking love peace.

  18. I see that during the emergency meeting during the attack, they burned some cycles arguing about whether the Marine response force should wear uniforms.

    Two thoughts:

    (a) They were seriously spending time arguing about how the Marines should dress?

    (b) I thought not wearing uniforms was a war crime.

    But, yeah, Hillary is totes vindicated by this report.

    1. They were seriously spending time arguing about how the Marines should dress?

      The facility that was attacked was secret.

      (*the thing which the media called “Consulate” for 2012-2013 gradually morphed into “Mission”, as they kept trying to find a suitable euphemism for “Safehouse” which didn’t really give away the fact that no one knew the place existed until it was attacked)

      It kind of ruins the effect when you have uniformed Marines standing in front of the place holding a flag and looking awkward.

      1. Uh, I think maybe the cat was out of the bag, on account of, you know, the attack on the “secret” facility.

        No idea how, of course. Maybe the terrorists have elite hackers or clever spies, or possibly some useless bag of shit put critical state secrets on their incompetently secured private email server so that it would be harder to prove they were pimping out the State Department to reap billions of dollars by betraying the interests of their nation. Hypothetically.

        1. They were debating what marines should wear *after* the attack?

          I assumed he was referring to the repeated requests made by Amb Stevens et al for “more security” at their facility.

          No idea how, of course. Maybe the terrorists have elite hackers or clever spies

          The “terrorists” who attacked Stevens were people who were known to him/he to them. Local militias which he’d aided during the rebellion against Gaddafi.

          I wasn’t suggesting the facility was “secret” to everyone in Benghazi. It was mostly intended to be secret to casual observers. The US government did not acknowledge the place existed prior to the attack. But there were a number of foreign intelligence agencies all operating in that area, and the safehouse was just someplace Amb Stevens could pow-wow with his contacts.

          I’ve always suspected that the attack wasn’t “terror” so much as it was an attempt by Iranians/Russians to expose the gun-smuggling operation being run out of there. To show “we can touch you” here. It doesn’t even need that foreign espionage connection really – but i think the issue was still the same = hurt/embarrass the Americans for supporting the Syrian rebels. Send a message.

    2. The part that kills me is that we’ve been hearing over and over that there was nothing that could be done.

      Mike Pompeo-

      That night when we had Americans who were under attack in Benghazi, Libya not a single aircraft moved in that direction during the attack. Not a single wheel began to turn toward Benghazi, Libya while mortars were falling. The situation in Washington D.C. was so radically different than the absolute terror that 30+ Americans were experiencing in the annex. There’s always been this question about could we have gotten an aircraft there quickly enough to have saved them. We now know the facts: they never tried.

      They expected you to believe that the same military who flew in and shot Osama under the nose of the Pakistani military couldn’t have dropped a similar Spec-Ops team in to Libya to get our people out, for seven hours.

      Unfuckingbelievable.

      And again, imagine if this was a Republican admin, people would be in jail or at the very least burned out of public office forever.

      1. And they’re justifying it as there wasn’t enough time. Except that there would have been no way to know if there was enough time or not at the time it was happening. The lack of any response (& no contingency plan for staff in a fucking civil war???) shows they were willing to let Americans die for whatever reason they had.

        1. Even worse, they were willing to let Americans die because it would have made them look bad during an election cycle.

          These people are sociopaths and shouldn’t be allowed to run a lemonade stand much less near a position of authority.

        2. Yes, Cdr, they didn’t even make the slightest attempt to help those people. They abandoned them to die. Unforgivable.

          Clinton committed treason by selling secrets to the Saudis. She deserves to swing from a tree.

  19. nSA and CIA officials refused to give information to Congress? These are the people who are supposed to represent us in keeping the administration honest. That’s why they have the power of oversight and subpoena. Won’t give information, no, then you can rot in a jail cell until you do. You have an obligation to the American people to not protect corrupt scumbag politicians.

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