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Belmont Club

Much Ado About Something

August 3rd, 2013 - 4:07 pm

Flash: CBS News reports on Twitter that “JUST IN: Terrorists behind the threat closing U.S. embassies Sunday have been selected and are in place, CBS News’ John Miller reports”.

When something seems odd, perhaps it is.  A crime is usually described in terms of three elements: means, motive, and opportunity. “Respectively, they refer to: the ability of the defendant to commit the crime (means), the reason the defendant felt the need to commit the crime (motive), and whether or not the defendant had the chance to commit the crime (opportunity).” Without these elements it doesn’t make much sense.

The most elusive aspect of Benghazi has been motive. Why for example, should the administration be engaged in “changing names” of the Benghazi survivors and “creating aliases” to keep them hidden from congressional investigators and the American people, as Trey Gowdy alleges to Greta van Sustern? Why did the CIA actually denying anyone had  had died that night ? Jake Tapper reported back in May that “internally at the CIA, sources tell CNN there was a big debate after the attacks to acknowledge that the two former Navy SEALs killed – Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty – were CIA employees.”

What were they hiding? Nothing of course. We know that it’s all a “phony scandal”.  Nevertheless, the oddness leaves the field is open to conspiracy theories. Without a widely accepted official version of events (apart from the notion the attack was caused by a Los Angeles video) a number of theories have been advanced. Mark Langfan, writing in Arutz Sheva claims that logically Iran must be the hidden hand behind the attack.

The reason Obama doesn’t want the truth of the Benghazi-to-Syrian Rebels gun-running operation to come out is that all of a sudden the “al Qaeda attacked Benghazi” narrative doesn’t make any sense. For, why on earth would al Qaeda attack a gun-running operation to the Syria rebels when the Syria rebels themselves are al Qaeda? Al Qaeda wouldn’t be attacking their own al Qaeda weapons pipeline.

So, Obama’s real fear is not that he ran guns to al Qaeda, but that if this were know, al Qaeda would be removed as the possible suspect in the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three Americans.

That is the real problem, because if al Qaeda is removed as a possible suspect because it was benefitting from the gun-running, who’s left as a suspect? Who would want an American weapons pipeline to the Syrian rebels shut down? Once al Qaeda is removed from contention, and that question is posed, there is only one answer: the Huzbullah/Iranian axis.

This may be why Obama is doing everything in the universe to shut the Benghazi investigation down. Because the truth of the Benghazi gun-running operation immediately leads to the likely conclusion that Iran, and only Iran, had the motive to attack our Benghazi consulate and murder Ambassador Stevens.

Often cited as circumstantial evidence for Iranian involvement was the meeting between Valerie Jarrett and Iranian negotiators shortly thereafter. The argument is that Benghazi is being hushed up to save the talks to denuclearize Iran.

In the final presidential debate, President Obama dismissed reports about an agreement to hold one-on-one talks with Iranian officials after the election, but now, two weeks later, fresh claims have emerged on the eve of Tuesday’s election, this time tying senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to alleged secret talks with representatives of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Israel’s mass-circulation Yediot Ahronot newspaper cited unidentified Israeli officials as saying the talks had been led by the Iranian-born Jarrett, were held in Bahrain, and had taken place over “several months.”

Mideast expert Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Israel, said the “story should be taken very seriously.” He noted that it was reported by the Israeli paper’s defense correspondent, Alex Fishman, “considered to be a reliable reporter with good sources in the Israeli government.”

But conspiracy theories go the other way too. Scott McConnell argues that Israel is trying to smear Iran.  Without the nefarious influence of AIPAC, Teheran bids fair to replace Israel in the affections of the American public. Hence Israel is doing its level best to cast aspersions on Teheran without which relations would doubtless be better.

There is no way the United States would be so near to war, no way even the United States would seem irrevocably hostile to Iran, so lacking real diplomatic contact with the country, without the machinations of the Israel lobby. The Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis were long ago, and there are powerful human and economic incentives, on both sides, to work our way towards some sort of detente.

But an Iran at peace with the U.S. would still be a rival to Israel for influence in the Mideast. Unlike the countries in the Arab world, Iran is a cohesive, fairly effective and fairly modern state, with considerable technical and scientific infrastructure. It considers itself worthy of being treated as a regional power. And Israel doesn’t want that. Period. It prefers, understandably, weak rivals. So Israel works overtime to scare Americans to death about Iran. Credit AIPAC for effectiveness—it has Congress eating out of its hand.

But at any rate, the arms control advocates have high hopes for Hassan Rouhani, the newly elected President of Iran. They write that now is the time to give peace a chance.

Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration today as president of Iran offers an important new opening for the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) to establish satisfactory controls over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. A regime-insider and former nuclear negotiator, Rouhani will likely have influence with Supreme Leader Khamenei that could enable him to cut a deal, if the P5+1 seizes the moment to reinvigorate negotiations.

But for diplomacy to have a chance, the United States needs to do its part not to sabotage this new opportunity before it begins. On the domestic front, Washington needs to do three things to send the right signals to Tehran: 1) set realistic expectations, 2) delay further sanctions, and 3) give the administration time to pursue negotiations.

However, to give a diplomacy a chance it is necessary to avoid antagonizing Iran. Cue Gowdy. Change your names boys. It’s all for the cause. But who knows? The public is being treated like mushrooms in a shed, kept in the dark and nourished with ordure. So even as terrorists silently gather round their intended targets with catlike tread the public tries to make make out the figures on stage, as if watching a Shadow Play.

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Top Rated Comments   
"no way even the United States would seem irrevocably hostile to Iran, ... without the machinations of the Israel lobby."

It is very hard to parody something so pure. He even notes that the embassy seizure was long ago, and therefore best forgotten. That show has been canceled and replaced by offerings on A&E and Bravo.

What do people have to do to earn forgetting past grievances? Is it important for the aggressor to be exposed punished and forced to publicly reform? Is a passage of time sufficient? Are the standards different for different parties? Germany and Japan were restored to our affections the hard way. Do the Moslems owe their victims anything? Do the Israelis owe the Moslems anything? Do the Iranians owe the US anything? Do the Americans owe the Iranians? Since the end of WW-II, with the possible exceptions of South Africa and the former DDR, there have been no accounting in the rush to bury the past and move on. The fall of the Soviet opened many files but did not lead to an open settling of accounts. That has allowed innumerable vices to fester and grow again in the dark, like Sauron nursing his wrath.

If you don't want to be treated like Charlie Brown landing flat on his back every time Lucy pulls the football away then it is important to publicly demonstrate to all the football fakes out there that there are real consequences to misconduct. We could turn out every light-bulb in Iran. Does forbearance gain us any reward? Where is the evidence?

We have to respond asymmetrically. That is a strategic and military approach. It is not the law enforcement approach. When an embassy is attacked we should send the B-Team to determine if it was Abu Whako of Squat or Whaqo Abu of Squish. The A-Team should respond by delivering an appropriate measured and disproportionate response to our enemies. That could include turning out Tehran's lights or sinking some NorK vessels or putting a new picture window in the Venezuelan presidential palace. Doing the last would get an angry denunciation pointing out that the Venezuelans didn't really attack us, much. We could either pretend it didn't happen or offer to buy them a new window. If we do that then quickly two things will happen. The bad guys will cut off any clients who attack us and they will track down any third parties who attack us to cast blame on them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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My guess for the current terrorist threat involves the manpad surface to air missiles purportedly taken from Khadafi's arsenals during the Libyan "arab spring". AQ has played around with plots involving multiple simultaneous
airliner bombings in the past (Bojinka?) and might very well have a new such plot in play. I find it curious that the first news from the administration was that embassies would be closed and that only later did this warning morph into "traveler's warnings".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everyone loves drama! Therefore, concealment and hiding the surviving agents of Benghazi incommunicado must be a desperate effort to coverup some nefarious scheme of earth-shaking importance. On the other hand, that is exactly what one would expect in a failed garden variety covert operation. That says nothing about the operation, its importance, the skill or blunders in its execution, or the effects of its failure.

However, Benghazi is one detail in a sea of facts that point to extraordinary stupidity and incompetence by the self-important leftist ideologues that are currently running the show. They are competing in a scavenger hunt using a list of phony clues. No wonder that they rush from one embarrassment to another. It would be amusing if they were not so destructive to the national interest.

Meanwhile, these morons race around DC in black SUVs with tinted windows to analyze everything in important looking "situation" rooms. They have the right accoutrements, therefore they think they are important and in charge. In Reality----the Real World----they are no-talent people with too much power who would be failures at running a fast-food joint.

There are many secrets but the biggest secret is the administration's incompetence, and it's hidden in plain view and has lethal consequences.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The MB is now unhappy with the Wan -- since their man in Washington has thrown the brotherhood under the bus.

The Egyptians released THOUSANDS of fanatic MB players with the fall of Mubarak. (They'd been locking them up for decades.)

Now these, fresh from government (ex Morsi) fellows have time and motivation on their hands.

They also have simply no end of state sponsored proper identification/ travel papers. -- Far beyond the keen of Rick Blain.

And, a serious fraction of these fanatics are dupes of Tehran.

We saw how the mullahs played the wet game in al Anbar -- with al Zarqawi -- a complete tool of the Shi'ites.

For every Shia he was murdering, five Sunni bit the dust. His crew triggered such sectarian displacement that Baghdad is 'almost' a Sunni-free zone. Entire neighborhoods were cleansed.

(Families fleeing their stomping grounds scarcely made it through the media narrative; but al Anbar ended up with a housing crisis. All of the extended clan moved back out of the big city.)

This explains why Sunni politicians, nominated to national office, don't want to attend/ show up in person.

With the passage of time, the Shia have every reason to expect the Sunnis to entirely abandon the capital.

Unless Syria coughs up its Sunnis -- to Iraq -- there is no way that the Sunni Arabs -- even added to Sunni Kurds -- have the votes to block secartian tyranny.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
@rock face I think you are onto something. The bits and pieces coming out of DC about lie detectors for survivors of Benghazi coupled with resurgence of the Assad regime and now the closing of 20 Embassies from west Africa clear across to Bangladesh it is pretty clear that there is more going on than is being talked about. Recently a very liberal podcaster said that Obama has turned out to be the most secretive of presidents. He wasn't speaking approvingly and that was a wake up call for me. It made me see Obama's discomfiture about Snowdon and the degree to which he tries to prevent leaks in a new light. I remember being a little shocked by the amount I could find out on the Internet about the Surge in Iraq . I knew the broad strategic aims and way too much operational detail about how it was proposed to liberate Baghdad from the encircling belts of hostile forces. My sense here is that far more is going on than we are aware of and that even the participants and nature of the conflict is being kept hidden to manage public opinion. Slowly, things seem to be leaking out and some of the more perceptive commentators like Wretchard are getting stuck into it. I am more than a little worried that there is also a lot of collusion by establishment Republicans keeping the lid on this. I'm still for example surprised that Romney after winning the first debate didn't really attack Obama over Benghazi. And I agree with Roger Simon that the best way to stop Hillary becoming president is to keep investigating Benghazi. I think the administration's use of the IRS to target political enemies is a Watergate class scandal, but if Benghazi is more than just policy failure like Bush suffered in Iraq, and is instead part of something, that if known, would scuttle the Administration and a lot of Republicans are protecting him - then we are in deep trouble indeed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paragraphs, sir ... paragraphs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The idea that Republican are protecting him is nonsense.

They're trying to protect themselves.

Their last run ins with Clinton informed them: they can't convict a flaming perjurer -- and they get blamed when the government gets shut down.

Period, Stop.

The IRS scandal is far, far, above Watergate.

The Gun Walker scandal is far, far, above Watergate.

We have an epic scoundrel in the Pink House.


BTW, try paragraphs. Use the Enter key.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lincoln famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Barack Obama believes you can indeed fool all of the people all of the time. All you need is a compliant and corrupt media.

Boxes within boxes
Circles within wheels
Chicken coops and foxes
Ain’t nobody squeals
All a phony scandal
Not a dog to bark
Seen by snuffed out candle
Shadows in the dark
Playing games at White House
Roulette like as not
Quiet as a church mouse
Russian rules, one shot

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What is there to say, we all know what’s reported are blatant lies, 0bama and the Demoncrats have no cares for anything outside the continental America, they really could care less if everything (and that includes our military ability) outside of the US goes belly up, 0bamas Henchmen massively suppressed the 2012 election, Demoncrats/Progressives have been in every ones dirt since 2009 and anyone of power flips when needed (SCJ Roberts proves that), RINO(s) won’t stop 0bama ether, their comfortable with the scrapes and will not stop millions of illegal’s becoming the massive Demoncrat voters, literally assuring the Demoncrat House, Senate and Presidency forever (or until it succumbs to the tribalism and breaks apart) think of Chicago… Last time anything other than Demoncrat/Progressive was? (100+ yrs) They realized that after the “Kennedy’s” once they had the Media in their pockets all they had to do was take several decades of chipping away to get us where we are, Demoncrats knew once they could put a sexual predator like Clinton in office and he could get away with lying under oath, pointing a finger at us, on TV blame us for his problem, it was time to Groom the Destroyer, 0bama was groomed for this time, from the most corrupt of Demoncrat strong holds. The “Great Experiment” is dead! The Destroyer will get his House and Senate in 2014! Then the ride will begin… You think Trayvon was bad, You don’t think they will come for your guns! I think it will get so bad for gun owners that they will willingly turn them in, most can’t even afford the ammo now, just wait as the price of living doubles and triples, wait as the Depression of the 20th century starts to look like a picnic, there will be only two class of people in America, the elite and the rest. Days of Noah are on the dawn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paragraphs, sir... paragraphs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As the latest sale of the Boston Globe reveals, the media opfor is going broke.

The Democrat-media-Hollywood-dreaming team (tm) complex is UNSOLVENT.

It, the 0bamanation, will end in a currency crisis.

Barry will not lose for lack of bullets -- just lack of bucks -- and credibility.

Try and stay out of his blast zone.

Remember, he's STILL running against whty -- even though his last race has been run.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I still like the theory that our ambassador was to be kidnapped by Morsi so that the US could trade him the Blind Sheik we hold in our prison.

Obama's a hero for doing what Carter couldn't and Morsi would have been a hero to his public to bring back a leader of the Brotherhood.

Any evidence to rule that out? I'd be glad to hear it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps "Scott McConnell" is also mad at American Soldiers and Marines who were killed and maimed by the direct action of Qods Force insurgents in Iraq during OIF. That was a lot more recent, unless the amnesia is spreading. Another ridiculous provocation by the US that Iran was reponding to in their measured way.

Frankly, the Iranians should be glad that Teheran is not a smoldering cinder. They have engaged in acts of war against the US for many years. And their pals in Syria, too.

I know more than a few soldiers who served in Iraq that have nothing good to say about Iran at all. Those Jews are more clever than anyone can imagine.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bravo, David.

I would only add a mention of Iranian attacks on US service members OIF and OEF including Khobar Towers and Beirut, as well as the attempted attack in Washington, DC.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whatever is going on, one could have much more confidence in it if it weren't for the fact that the serial incompetents of the Obama Administration are behind it. In 4 1/2 years, nothing much they've done has worked... and it is always somebody else's fault. The pattern is there, let's see if it repeats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also, who or what is Scott McConnell or the site American Conservative? This has the pungent stink of Storm Front, or their "intellectual" organ, with neo-Fascism and semi-polite slurs against Israel in every article I click on.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Pat Buchanan started outfit. Magazine now edited by Rod Dreher and shares office space with the liberal magazine The American Prospect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

The magazine was founded in 2002 by Pat Buchanan, Scott McConnell, and Taki Theodoracopulos, in response to the distinctly unconservative policies of the Bush administration (the Iraq war chief among them).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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