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What Difference Does It Make?

January 18th, 2014 - 2:13 pm

The Hill sheds light on the nagging problem of why, despite a presidential vow to bring the Benghazi consulate attackers to justice, they are still free as birds.

The U.S. military cannot hunt down and kill people responsible for the deadly 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as long as the terrorists are not officially deemed members or affiliates of al Qaeda, newly declassified transcripts from congressional hearings show.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey in testimony on Oct. 10 said the Pentagon’s hands are tied because the groups involved are not covered by the Authorization for Use of Military Force. The AUMF law allows U.S. attacks anywhere in the world only on al Qaeda and “associated forces.”

“The individuals related in the Benghazi attack, those that we believe were either participants or leadership of it, are not ‘authorized use of military force,’ ” Gen. Dempsey told the House Armed Services Committee in his classified testimony during a closed hearing.

The transcript was released on Monday.

“In other words, they don’t fall under the AUMF authorized by the Congress of the United States. So we would not have the capacity to simply find them and kill them either with a remotely-piloted aircraft or with an assault on the ground,” Dempsey said.

In other words, you have to treat the attackers as if they were motivated by a video. What a difference a labeling makes.

The militarization of U.S. domestic law enforcement spurred some Internet wag to post the rhetorical picture below. When did cops become an occupying army? But the question can be flipped. Since when did the Department of National Defense start acting like the Department of Justice?

But if you're a terrorist it's the other way around

But if you’re a terrorist it’s the other way around

Since when? Since lawfare was invented. It’s a marvelous artifice.  It came in two phases. First, war was declared on an array variable [drugs, terror, poverty …]; and second, it was  determined that all wars against that variable would henceforth become law enforcement problems. We are pushing elements into the array. We never pop them. Global Warming almost got pushed into the array. Samantha Power was advocating for multiple inserts into this array. Soon America will be at war with lots and lots of things, but not in a way that a World War 2 historian would recognize.

The people who prosecute that war will be military-like cops or a cop-like military. Dempsey’s testimony illustrates the unintended effect of “lawfare.” Not only has justice become militarized, war has now become a matter for the courts. The reversal, if not complete, is now well underway. The enemy is who?

Recently President Obama announced his policy to rein in the NSA — which is part of the Department of Defense — at a speech at the Justice Department. Presumably some NSA general has to ask the court to request a private communications company to provide information to be used in a national defense function. Got a problem with the NSA? Why, get Sunstein and Podesta to fix it. It is yet another illustration of the breakdown in the what used to be the wall between war and law enforcement. They are increasingly one and the same.

What could go wrong?

Once this principle is accepted, it makes perfect sense that the U.S. military can’t go after people who attacked sovereign American territory until the lawyers say so.  And the lawyers have to go by labels. And who prints the label?

“What difference does it make?” Hillary Clinton asked in reference to a question about who the Benghazi attackers were. It makes a lot of difference apparently. And she — a lawyer — probably knew it. There was a reason the administration insisted — and the New York Times continues to insist — that the attackers were motivated by an obscure video produced in Los Angeles. They wanted to control the label.

By refusing to label the attackers as terrorists and tagging them instead as mere criminals or perhaps justifiably outraged Muslims, the administration was really not obligated to do anything much about the attack. They could just move on to whatever deal their diplomacy anticipated. And so perhaps the Benghazi incident will end according to the law, though not in accordance with justice.

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Top Rated Comments   
If I understand correctly:

1) the armed forces of the United States can pinpoint who conducted an act of war against our embassy, assassinated our ambassador and;

A) we can't hunt them down because they have to belong to a group that we recognize as enemies...the group THEY belong to recognizes US as enemies, but didn't pinky swear it and they may be kidding

B) we CAN however spy on the Queen of England, never quite knowing when the British might try to take back Williamsburg

C) we can drop a missile in the lap of an AMERICAN we deem to be a threat...absent any ambassador's bloody fingerprints on the wall

D) we can put the armed forces on high alert for the dangers of Catholics, Orthodox Jews and Evangelicals who might strap something to their chests other than a scapular ...for the first just can never be too careful with those people

E) we can engage in an outreach program for jihadists, even giving them positions at Homeland Security

THESE are our rules of engagement. And to think, Gates wrote that Obama and this cabal weren't committed to winning.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We can only kill you if you are officially certified as part of al-Qaeda.

1. This is an inversion of traditional international law. Previously if you were engaged in hostilities and not clearly identified as part of an army subject to discipline and obeying the laws of war then you were either a spy or a pirate and subject to swift and lethal justice.

2. If this stands we shall see attacks on Americans by terrorists carrying Serutan's Dickie Dragon flag and wearing t-shirts saying "Not al-Qaeda" with a lawyer's phone number.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What difference does it make
I’ll tell you what difference it makes
Brave men were killed defending sovereign United States territory
That’ what difference it makes
Why did Hillary and Barack insist it was all about a video
I’ll tell you why Hillary and Barack insist it was all about a video
They didn’t want to get their lefty friends all upset by defending the country
That’s why Hillary and Barack insist it was all about a video
Who’s running the country
I’ll tell you who’s running the country
The left and the haters and the incompetent and the greens are running the country
That’s who’s running the country
What are we going to do about it
I’ll tell you what we’re going to do about it
We’re going to throw them out on their ass and put them all in jail
That’s what we’re going to do about it

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (51)
All Comments   (51)
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The democrats said as much on September 12 2001, treat the WTC attack as a crime problem, have the perps arrested, given a fair trial and punished with life in prison.
These clowns see an act of war as an act of crime and instead of Armed Forces they wish to send Policemen.
After the UN and France are consulted of course.
The republican's bless their l'il pea pickin' hearts are apparently too stupid to do anything about it.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Caroline Glick wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. It was embedded in the New York Times article.

What people here are missing is the part two of the equation.

Part One is " The only terrorists are certifiable Al Qaeda" and only they are our enemies.

Part Two is Those who are not certifiably Al Qaeda are not terrorists at all. That is why we cannot go after them and kill them. And in fact, those who are not Al Qaeda are some sort of freedom fighters for the Arab Spring or some such, and deserve our support.

Ergo, under this logic which has been been fully embraced by Buraq Hussein and John F'ing Kerry, and used to justify their actions, The War on Terror is only only a war on Al Qaeda, and not on other Islamists no matter how many innocents these Islamists kill or how much damage they do to American Interests. And not only that, we need to give assistance to these other non-certified Al Qaeda Islamists like in Libya or Syria or wherever- just because.

This is now policy and formulated explicitly to damage American Interests.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you're a wonk, everything's a definition.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is what they say at our local Tim Horton's about Obama not being brought to task for his lies. "Obama gets away with all his lies because Falsehood dresses in the brightest clothes and is welcomed far and wide. No-one listens to the Naked Truth because no naked person can command respect. To be welcome at every house, Naked Truth must be dressed in Fable. Then everyone will sit at Truth's feet to hear the stories of Truth."

At Timmy's these sayings come with coffee and a donut.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Save me a seat, I might even buy a round.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It would seem that a compelling presidential candidacy could be run by listing all national emergencies and declared wars on whatever and pledging to reduce and eliminate them. You could call it the peace and normalization candidacy.

It would also come with a warning to our enemies. If you force us to add a war, we will end it quickly and get out. Reconstruction will be somebody else's job. This will be a very unpleasant form of war that we hope not to have to use.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Again, you wish.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it's actually worse than many think. For a variety of reasons I think this administration knew the attack was going to take place and was complicit in it's plan. The plan went wrong and the pre-arranged cover-up was then initiated, starting with the scapegoat video, which was over-dubbed with the inflammatory language and made by a person who is actually a government informant.
Why or how would a U.S. president be unavailable at a time of crisis?
All the stand down orders were given.
The Mursi promise to get the Blind Sheikh back.
The Mursi/Abedin (Hillary's asst.) connection.
The attacker on video identifying himself as being sent by Mursi.
The attackers knowing when and where Stevens would be found.
Lying and stonewalling the investigation.
But I suspect this will wind up being like the "innocence" of O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What would those 10,000 lawyers in DoD do if not this ?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The worst enemies of this country are our so-called leaders.

we have become the Soviet Union.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not yet.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lethal recipe"
1) one pound of cynicism and corruption from the administration
2) a cup of shared hatred of American traditions between the left and the Hitlers in headscarves
3) a dash of cowardice from the eunuchs in DC
4) stupidity on steroids from the foreign policy cabal of witches (Hillary, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and the ugly troll Jarrett)
5) a disengaged president (small case letters) content to party down
The wolves are howling, the knives of the assassins are being sharpened, nobody is on guard duty...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you expect the Obama administration to turn on it's friends? Consequently various strained lies must be resorted to. Of course the obnoxious sow Hillary would ask her stupid, morally diseased question, as would the crazed Obama. It matters not to them that islamists, whom both of them have a soft spot for, murdered Americans, they're far more concerned about party politics and smearing free speech.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The U.S. military cannot hunt down and kill people responsible for the deadly 2012 attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as long as the terrorists are not officially deemed members or affiliates of al Qaeda..."

Inside the stultifying bureaucratic mind, how something is characterized affects what happens in the aftermath. Thus the blatant Islam inspired violence at Ft. Hood is called "workplace violence" because, apparently if it were "terrorism" other parameters would kick in, including (reportedly) recompense to the survivors' families.

Which families are currently fighting in court to have the incident's designation changed. Don't even start to imagine how asinine this is.

Per the Citizens United film about Hillary made during her '08 run for the WH, attempting to deny the importance of past events (Whitewater & that "vast right wing conspiracy" Monicagate ?) is a typical Hillary behavior pattern.

"What difference at this point does it make ?" fits right in.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
" the survivors' families."

Correction: to the families of those dead and maimed.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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