Friday, May 10, 2013

State Dept lied to avoid being "beat up" by Congress

Reporting for Good Morning America this morning, Jonathan Karl (ABC News -- link is text and video) reveals that despite White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisting that the talking points Susan Rice would use on five different Sunday morning programs came from the CIA, this is not true.  The talking points were regarding the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012 which claimed the lives of Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Chris Stevens and Tyrone Woods.  Karl reports ABC has 12 different drafts of the talking points and that it appears that "edits were made with extensive input from the State Department."  These including deleting references to terrorists including past threats on Benghazi.  Why?

Karl quotes from an e-mail State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland (who's supposed to be promoted shortly to be over Europe) e-mailed the White House that if the information was left in it "could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?"

So the American people were lied to repeatedly because Victoria Nuland decided that the truth was embarrassing to the State Department.

Victoria Nuland thought nothing of deceiving the American people in order to protect her own reputation.

That's not transparency and, guess what, it's not democracy either.  Victoria Nuland should not be promoted, she should be immediately fired from the State Dept for that e-mail.

The US government's role is not to lie to the American people.

There was no YouTube video inciting anything.

The State Dept was caught not doing their job.  Not protecting their own.  Not because of budget cuts.  But for whatever reason.

What does it matter!

So thundered the ridiculous Hillary Clinton in the January Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, ending her presidential aspirations -- though she hasn't grasped that fact.

The leaks are coming.  I said a few weeks ago here on this that she could get out ahead of it.  I said that she'd probably wait.  She waited.  It's too late now to get out in front of it.  She is Benghazi.

She's the uncaring, unfeeling government worker who refused -- though the press covered for her -- to go visit the wounded in Walter Reed in the weeks and months after the attack.  The State Dept, fortunately, does not have a large number of people wounded -- their own workers or people protecting them -- each year.  This was a monumental attack that left dozens injured and they were being treated at Walter Reed.

Grasp that Hillary could travel, October 22, 2012, to Haiti but the same month and weeks before, she couldn't haul her ass over to Walter Reed to visit those injured in the attack. (That, more than anything else, would hurt her as a campaign ad if she attempted to seek the presidency.)

It was always a mistake to bring Victoria Nuland over to the US State Dept in a Democratic administration.  Nuland's married to neocon Robert Kagan, she's the sister-in-law of Kimberly and Fred Kagan.  Nuland's also Dick Cheney's former Deputy National Security Advisor.

The State Dept's previous administration (Hillary and company) thought they could keep everything quiet.  That's not holding.

All the floated promotions and all the attempts to intimidate silence aren't holding.

What does it matter!

It matters that you looked like a lunatic on that day, Hillary.

(If you missed the hearing, we covered it in  "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot" and Ava reported on it in "20 are still at risk says Hillary in an aside (Ava),"  Wally with   "Facts matter, Hillary (Wally),"   Ruth with "Like watching Richard Nixon come back to life" and Kat with "Can she not answer even one damn question?")

It reminded of a friend, actually.  She lives in New York, she's a feminist and an actress and I won't go to her penthouse anymore.  I've told her before that I'm just not interested in 'dinner' that includes watching decades old video (of her past work!) and that, most importantly, she's a total bitch to her staff.  She screams like a banshee, cursing them with the foulest language, that's upsetting just to hear several rooms over.  Then she'll breeze in smiling and be all "Ms. Star."

I told her that I didn't like screaming to begin with and that I won't be at her house when she can't treat her staff with any respect (to which she replies she pays them very well -- not well enough to keep them from quitting over and over).

Gloria Steinem and everyone else knows who I'm talking about.  It's not a secret.  It's well known.  She's a great friend to you if she considers you on her level but she's a total bitch to everyone else.  And I've mentioned it to many feminists, that this doesn't bode well for feminism and that, as feminists, we should make that clear to her.  I'm apparently the only one willing to stand up to her. (Even her own husband tolerates this behavior, she'll start screaming at him that it's none of his business.  I've asked him before, "How do you put up with that?")

My point here is, people have many faces, many shades.  I liked Hillary.  I met Hillary back when Bill was campaigning for president in 1992 (after the primaries -- I supported Jerry Brown in the primaries).  Over the years, I thought she got a very bad deal from the press.  I defended her repeatedly.  But to hear her at a hearing scream WHAT DOES IT MATTER! was to realize that either I never knew her (strong possibility) or she had decided to become her own press (a common problem with celebrities who have very weak foundations).

She erupted and she snarled and she played into every negative image of her the press had ever created.  What she should have done in the time since if she wanted to be president was start getting honest about Benghazi.  She didn't.  Now the leaks begin and Hillary's hopes go under.

She could have been real smart and inoculated herself against her own sorry public performance that day.  How?

By meeting with the Benghazi families.

But as Pat Smith (mother of Sean Smith) explained to Jake Tapper (CNN's The Lead) yesterday, no one has.  She says, "When I was there at the casket ceremony, Obama and Hillary and Biden and Panetta and several more said that they would check into it and let me know. Not one of them has called me.  None.  They don't care.  I'm not important to them."

Most interesting development?  A White House friend called me as the GMA story was airing to ask me how I'd game their walking away from Hillary?  Could Barack cut the losses, leave Hillary to deal with all on her own and take the position of "This administration deeply regrets the actions of the State Dept"?

That they're polling people (you can be sure I'm not the only one that got that call) goes to how damaging this is becoming and how ready they are to throw Hillary to the wolves.

Pat Smith told Jake Tapper,  "I want to know why there was no security there and why the security there got pulled and who is the one that told the military to stand down basically."

Oh, and my advice to the White House?  If Hillary can't burn the administration Benghazi, feed her to the wolves.  If she has anything on the administration that's not related to Benghazie, feed her now.  Any retaliation revelation would be dismissed with, "Of course she says that now that she's having to answer for Benghazi."  I have no idea what they'll do.  Or whether the White House has anything embarrassing to surface regarding Benghazi. 

But Benghazi's not going away and the efforts to dismiss it only raise more concerns among the general public.

That shouldn't be a surprise.

That's why you don't feed the news cycle.

I know we have only mentioned Iraq in the previous entry.  Sorry. This entry was supposed to be about Jake Tapper's interview with Pat Smith -- I planned to go much more into it.  Then the friend called and we got into that what-if conversation and then I went to see what ABC actually reported.  We'll have another entry after this but I'm going to get up and walk away from the computer and the cell phones for a few minutes before I even start.

Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee.  Wednesday, her office issued the following:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            CONTACT: Murray Press Office
Wednesday, May 8, 2013                                                                                      (202) 224-2834

VIDEO: Murray Marks Loss of Fairchild-Based Airmen at Senate Hearing with Air Force Officials

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) began her questions to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and Gen. Mark A Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, by marking the loss of the three airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane who were killed last week in Kyrgyzstan.

“Before I go to my questions, I just want to express the sorrow of my state in the loss of a KC-135 last weekend in -- in Kyrgyzstan.
“We had Captain Mark Voss, Captain Tori Pinckney and Technical Sergeant Tre Mackey, who were great airmen.
“And the Fairchild Air Force Base is really grieving the loss of those soldiers.
“And I think it reminds all of us how much these young men and women give to our country in defending it. And our heart goes out to them, and I know all of you feel the same.”


Sean Coit
Press Secretary
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray

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