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A Tie of Two Scandals: Benghazi and the AP Phone Records

Denials of terror threat preceded the AP's bomb plot story; said one congressman in May 2012, "This is the funny season, this time of year."

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 16, 2013 - 7:39 pm
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Theories swirled at the time that the White House orchestrated the leaks to burnish Obama’s desired tough-on-terror image.

“I don’t think you have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what’s going on here. You’ve had three leaks of intelligence that paint the president as a strong leader,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in June 2012, adding the foiled bomb plot story “was about how the Obama administration saved us all.” Senators who were furious about the leaks included Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The Benghazi theory that’s gained more traction since a recent wave of whistleblowers appeared before Congress holds that blame was quickly pinned on an anti-Muhammad YouTube video to support the claim that al-Qaeda was on the run. A cornerstone of the tough-on-terror narrative was painting a picture of an organization that had been weakened to the point that it couldn’t pull off anniversary attacks such as the underwear bomb to mark the death of bin Laden or the consulate attack to mark 9/11.

And with the AP story at issue highlighting the administration’s denials of any credible threat, it adds another reason why the White House would have been irate about the story.

The reaction showed they were eager to bury the news above bragging.

The day after the story broke, Obama headed to New York for a speech at the University of Albany in which he proposed a “to-do list” for Congress.

Carney told reporters en route that the president was “certainly pleased with the success” of the U.S. intelligence community in “foiling” the attempt, but likely wouldn’t mention it. Sure enough, Obama didn’t mention terrorism at all in the speech.

The Justice Department secretly obtained phone records for April and May 2012 for more than 20 lines used by reporters and editors of the newswire. The AP noted that prosecutors have sought reporters’ phone records before, but the scope of the DOJ’s request, “including general AP switchboards numbers and an office-wide shared fax line, is unusual.”

“Among those whose phone numbers were obtained were five reporters and an editor who were involved in the May 7, 2012, story,” the AP added of the actions that could have a chilling effect on their relationships with sources and whistleblowers in the future.

Three days after the story, the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Oversight and Government Reform committees released a report on the TSA’s wasted dollars on inefficient screening technologies.

“The CIA uncovered terrorists’ latest modified underwear bomb plot, but TSA has repeatedly failed to effectively procure and deploy screening equipment that actually detects threats, and incredible amounts of its state-of-the-art technology is gathering dust in Texas warehouses,” Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said at the time.

Much of the fallout from the AP’s story consisted of angry lawmakers wanting to plug intelligence leaks, which supports the meme of an administration with little control over its tentacles.

But a lot of the hue and cry consisted of exactly what the Obama campaign didn’t want in the news cycle.

Two days after the original AP report, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) called it “odd” that the White House was trying to hold the story yet hadn’t informed Congress about the operation as required.

“The problem is, we could have gotten more. It was clearly, I don’t know — this is the funny season, this time of year,” he said in reference to campaign time. “…You cannot use your political interest ahead of our national security interest; it’s dangerous and that’s why you have these third-party oversight provisions in the law.”

“I can tell you there are so many potential plots, and it’s not just al-Qaeda Central. When President Obama says that the war began in Afghanistan, it’s going to end in Afghanistan: He has to know better than that,” then House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) also said two days after the AP story broke.

“Now we have al-Qaeda in Yemen, in Somalia, in Iraq, in Morocco; we can go though the whole list of countries where al-Qaeda is spreading. Mali, even Libya we have to be concerned about al-Qaeda.”

Four months later, four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed in the attack on the Benghazi compound.

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Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
New bumper sticker:

Obama knew
Get a clue
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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As outrageous as Obama's tapping of the AP 'phones is, I've not heard questions about what other media 'phones were tapped.
Does anyone really believe that folks as sleazy as Obama, his Chicago staffers and Holder only tapped 'phones ONCE?
AP was on Obama's side; they should be grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate their obedience. But, what about those who were not Obama's servants? FOX or one or more of it's people were not tapped? NONSENSE!! Holder didn't want to know who was calling Rush or where Rush got that tidbit? NONSENSE!!
And never stop trying to imagine the reaction of the media scum if any of this had happened under President Bush!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As outrageous as Obama's tapping of the AP 'phones is, I've not heard questions about what other media 'phones were tapped.
Does anyone really believe that folks as sleazy as Obama, his Chicago staffers and Holder only tapped 'phones ONCE?
AP was on Obama's side; they should be grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate their obedience. But, what about those who were not Obama's servants? FOX or one or more of it's people were not tapped? NONSENSE!! Holder didn't want to know who was calling Rush or where Rush got that tidbit? NONSENSE!!
And never stop trying to imagine the reaction of the media scum if any of this had happened under President Bush!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe that the biggest tie between the two scandals was intimidation. The AP scandal was not only to intimidate the press, but to intimidate any whistle-blowers about any of the scandals, but especially Benghazi whistle-blowers. Since the alleged leak to the AP occurred more than a year ago, the timing of this document seizure had to be related to something else. That something else seems pretty obviously the Benghazi hearings.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You wrote
>>> The Justice Department secretly obtained phone records for April and May 2012 for more than 20 lines used by reporters and editors of the newswire. <<<

Since nobody at DoJ admitted approving such subpoena(s), the public is supposed to believe they obtained phone records ONLY in the specified two months period and ONLY to the 20 or so AP reporters????

Why should the public trust such information now?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All this amounts to squat, unfortunately. They honed their faux sympathetic ears to the Bill-Jeff affair, and when that was done, they unleashed their wrath on the Bush's and the American people.

Journalists. It's not that they "know so much that isn't so; It's that they truly are stupid." This becomes an issue when they try to impress upon others about how stupid the others are.

They lack the gene that lets them be objective; That allows them to see without bias. Sure, all humans see with bias but the strong-of-character acknowledge that and work to be balanced.

But, as far as I see it, the nation I once loved so much is lost. I will continue to fight for her and hope she comes back but the idiots and the selfish have figured out how to make it work to their advantage. And it is SOLELY their advantage since I don't pay any attention to national socialists in any part of my daily life.

At a store the other day, I was in the midst of purchasing something and the counter person got involved in a chat with a co-worker and praising Obama. I said, "I'm sorry, I've changed my mind, I no longer want this." The girl was reluctant to hand me back my card before she rain it through the machine. I said, "Give me my card back, please.", and she stared at me. I grabbed it from her hand and left.

Let her make of it what she wants. Call me a racist, call me whatever you will. I know the truth and I have to endeavor to seek it out and ignore those who cannot think. National socialists are a minority, but they are running things right now and it's going to suck.

I lived in Germany for awhile and the older people, generally, never supported the Nazis when they were kids, nor did their parents but they were forced to go along just to stay alive. I pray that day never comes in THIS nation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Question :- 'What do the USURPER, the Racist DOJ and Shrillary all have in common in the scandals thay are all involved in?'

Answer :- All of them know NOTHING about ANYTHING.

That makes them either INCOMPETENT or LIARS.

My money is on LIARS.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Brennan said. ”To which I would add, that is because al-Qaeda does not belong to Muslims. Al-Qaeda is the antithesis of the peace, tolerance and humanity that is at the heart of Islam.”
Brennan = Clueless and dangerous.
Al Qaeda is only a name given to many different groups of Muslims that are dedicated to exactly the same belief system - Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood and its massive presence in America, is also Al Qaeda under a different name. "War is deception" remember - well the Quran and Hadith are full of it. So is this administration; the only difference being that they credit Sun Tsu (spelling) instead of the Quran. Obama is either totally clueless regarding the massive threat of terrorism within from Muslims or he's deliberately joined forces to establish his own Caliphate of power along side them. Someone NEEDS to ask Obama before Brennan goes off on a tangent and invites disaster upon us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...before Brennan goes off on a tangent and invites disaster upon us. "

Too late.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When the dumb American electorate voted in to office, not once but twice, a candidate who was as unvetted , univestigated, Lying, Terrorist, criminal and Communist consorting, Black Muslim , Document Hiding , extreme Left wing , Unqualified USURPER they got what they DESERVED.

If the dumb American Electorate had devoted even a fraction of the time they devote online to mindless Celebrity gossip and instead looked for information on the USURPER maybe the USA would be a different place today.

50% of American dont know what Religion the USURPER is . What does that tell you? Well it tells you that 50% of American are stupid.

For Example
"Can a 20 YEAR member of a RACIST, anti White, Anti Semitic, Anti American "Black Liberation Theology" Church, which is closer to Islam than it is to Christianity, be truly considered Christian? "

I think NOT.

and -

"Why, if he indeed is no longer Muslim as it has most definitely and conclusively been proven that he was was, have Muslims not issued a FATWA against him calling for his death as an APOSTATE."
The simple answer is of course that Muslims believe he is simply practicing TAQQIYA (Islamic sanctioned LYING to Kaffirs to protect or promote Islam) and is still most definitely a MUSLIM.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Finally, during the week of 14-18th of January 2010, just on the eve of my winter tour to the US, Rachel picked up a Nile TV broadcast in which Egyptian Foreign Minister Abul Gheit said on the “Round Table Show” that he had had a one on one meeting with Obama who swore to him that he was a Moslem, the son of a Moslem father and step-son of Moslem step-father, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Moslems, and that he was loyal to the Moslem agenda. He asked that the Moslem world show patience. Obama promised that once he overcame some domestic American problems (Healthcare), that he would show the Moslem world what he would do with Israel.”
This is according to Israel Today here. Here is the passage from the May 2010 issue of “Israel Today.” It is on page 3 in an article titled “Obama, a ‘Strategic Catastrophe,’” by Aviel Schneider:
“The feeling among the Israeli public is that Obama is appeasing the Muslim world at the expense of Israel. “The American President told me in confidence that he is a Muslim,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Nile TV.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
New bumper sticker:

Obama knew
Get a clue
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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