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America’s National Security Team

May 2nd, 2014 - 7:12 am

For some reason Tommy Vietor’s interview with Brett Baier on what happened the night of the attack on Benghazi has aroused strong reactions.  Vietor’s performance moved Smitty at Robert Stacy McCain‘s almost to the point of invective. He wrote,  ”listen, Tommy, you smarmy little creep. … His first job for Obama was as the driver of a press van … You went to some little liberal arts school in Ohio” etc, etc.

He wasn’t happy. Here’s the Vietor-Baier exchange that moved him to such high dudgeon.

This follows an explanation by Jay Carney that the emails by Ben Rhodes instructing everyone “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy” were not about Benghazi but rather an observation about the political weather in the Middle East in general.

It’s not an overstatement to say that skeptics have been creeped out by the manner of these White House responses in a way that goes beyond their factual implausibility.  It’s like they are putting you on and not even bothering to conceal it. Is that what’s so disturbing about it?

No. There’s more to it. For starters implausibility is not exactly the right word for this situation. Strangeness is nearer the mark. That odd quality was evident from the first. It probably moved CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson to request images of officials on the night of the Benghazi attacks not long after the event. The requests were denied. Attkisson wrote:

The White House Photo Office has declined CBS News requests to release images taken of US officials during the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks.

CBS News first requested the images on Oct. 31. In the past, the White House has released photos showing US officials during national security incidents. A half dozen images related to the mission that captured and killed Osama bin Laden were given to the public last year. One depicts President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team gathered in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011.

A White House official referred our request regarding the Benghazi attacks to the White House Photo Office. On Nov. 1, an official there indicated she would process our request quickly, but then did not respond further. Finally, this week, the White House Photo Office told CBS News it would not release any images without approval of Josh Earnest in the White House Press Office. Earnest did not respond to our telephone calls and emails.

Attkisson’s reporter’s instinct was probably piqued by a circumstance that Edgar Allen Poe so brilliantly captured in one of his stories when he wrote that the key to a puzzle  ”is not so much ‘what has occurred?’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before?’”  What should have occurred was typecast by the photo the White House released during the Bin Laden operation.

Not This Time

Not This Time

But as per Vietor this scenario never happened. Instead everybody was ‘monitoring’ the situation. The Rhodes emails have renewed interest in what Obama and Hillary were up to that fateful night.  Glenn Beck recently spoke to Attkisson about those non-pictures. Still no dice.

“I’ve asked for the White House photographs taken that night,” Attkisson told Beck. “The White House photo office went from telling me the very day I asked that I could have them to referring me to Josh Earnest, a press officer at the White House, saying he had to release them. And it’s been a year-and-a-half and he won’t return my calls or emails.” …

Attkisson, who was assigned by CBS News to investigate Benghazi about three weeks after the attack, said she was regularly stonewalled by the Obama administration.

“We don’t even know what the commander-in-chief did that night,” Attkisson said. “We’re not allowed to know. And I think that’s pretty shocking.”

The trademark of the Obama years has been the strange reticence to disclose information that we would not normally regard as sensitive or even private. Information on questions like ‘where were you born’, ‘what were your grades in college’ and now ‘what was the president doing on the night a US ambassador was being murdered’ has been dribbled out so reluctantly that it’s almost unnatural.

This probably explains the creep-out factor. There’s mystery where there shouldn’t be. As I pointed out in an earlier post, all this strangeness has aroused a — perhaps unwarranted — paranoia in any observer who is unwilling to give the president the absolute benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it’s a deliberate ploy by White House PR to manufacture phantoms in the minds of administration critics. To drive them crazy. Or maybe something’s really going on.

To steal a tagline from the 2014 Godzilla movie, we are like the Bryan Cranston character, who suspects something very horrible is out there in the Pacific deeps but unable to guess its true nature.

You’re not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a natural disaster. You’re lying! You’re hiding something out there! It was not an earthquake, it wasn’t a typhoon … you have no idea what’s coming … and it is going to send us back to the stone age..

Nah. Obama’s admirers will reassure everyone that’s there’s nothing to worry about, or that it was about a video. But people like Tommy Vietor and Jay Carney have not inspired much confidence of late. Isn’t that so, dude?


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Top Rated Comments   
What was so shocking to me about that Vietor interview was not the lying--that's been going on since before Obama took office; what was shocking was the sheer infantile nature of his henchmen. We are dealing with children here, and they are running our country. God help us.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only private interests have private thruths. A private truth in no way serves the greater good of the common people.

It is an authoritarian truth and no sooner is it uttered it is parroted in the press as if it was ancient history chiseled in stone. Is it creepy? You bet, frightening. Because the apparatus blunders on without regard to veracity or audacity nor the thinnest credulity. One wonders with trepidation what sort of appeals might emanate from the stern visage of big brother: “Today, we will be lopping off the heads of 5 year old boys to celibate the rights of Loki. Please show your respect and act with enthusiasm. Obey. Anybody caught not smiling will be included in the 5 minute shame and win a chance to be shamed on the Katie Couric show.”

If this administration is the most transparent regime in history then it has revealed the US government as some sort of malignant cesspit of offal.

Everything that this government has done in regards to the economy has been a dismal failure.

“Obama’s admirers will reassure everyone that’s there’s nothing to worry about “

The best they can do is continue on this disastrous path and offer higher minimum wage and longer periods of unemployment. Every promise a ruse, every statistic a lie, every move a stage managed play to fool the rubes. They do not even have to fool the press. The press has taken their oath of office to serve the regime. They have sacrificed the truth over a pyre of rotting stench.

The next administration of lies will take all of the photographs in the first 100 days and Photoshop them as necessary. The presidency has become a popularity contest.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"As everybody knows"
The Stalinist trope is a Tell.

They argue that when questioned about the murder and rape of the US ambassador they responded by talking about some general atmosphere of protest using the false story they had conveniently prepared with the help of their friends the Muslim Brotherhood. There is much more to mine in this story.

Remember Occam's Razor and consider what is the simple explanation. Doing so should protect from wandering down paranoid conspiracy trails. It is not a more complicated scenario but a simpler one to posit that the administration is allied with and deeply personally linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and that they took advice and prepared a story from them regarding events other than those in Benghazi that they may have known were coming. Perhaps the events in Benghazi were separate in the sense that the operation there was under the CIA and the attackers knowing of the events coming elsewhere took advantage of the opportunity. THe administration may have been blindsided. What we may have here is al-Qaeda stealing the ball from the MB in Libya and Syria. The administration cannot admit what was going on in Benghazi and they cannot admit their complicity with the broader Muslim Brotherhood push to seize power over the Sunni regions, and the failure of their policy.

Layer on that the policy of encouraging wild theories from their opposition in the desire to make people discredit themselves, going back to the Axelrod promoted Birther meme.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (137)
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I think it's important to note that in the May 1, 2011, photo of Obama sitting meekly in the corner in his golf attire...that is *not* the Situation Room. It's a small conference room within the NSC complex.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
People actually pay Pajama Boy Vietor for his media savvy. Can you imagine?!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
After smarmy remarks like: "Dude that was two years ago..." why or how could anyone, be it FSO, intelligence operative or civilian in a service role for this administration work for such callous people with such cavalier attitudes in high risk places? Why risk you life for people who disregard the Benghazi deaths as mere political obstacles getting in the way of an election?

These people are not true public servants. The are just leeching off the American taxpayer for career advancement and social status. Why would Vietor even mention he was in the situation room on 9/11/12 if it weren't a means to show how of "important" a person he is. This administration including Hillary and J. Kerry are all about power, ego and greed.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 1980 oil was equivalent to about 106@ barrel in current dollars. Reagan took off price controls and eliminated the excise profits tax in 1981. That knocked the price of oil down to $60@barrel in today's dollars. In 1985 he talked the Saudis into increasing their production. That knocked the price of oil in today's dollars down to roughly $30@ barrel in 1989. That falling oil price bankrupted the soviet union and gave the USA a strong eonomy during the 1980's and 90's. The price of oil bottomed in 1999 in today's dollars at 19 dollars a barrel.

The same thing is going to happen 10-15 years from now as fracking increases supply of oil and rising sales of natural gas trains trucks and buses and electric cars curb the demand for oiil

the result will be that all the gulf countries will be decapitalized because these days they need high priced oil to run their governments. There won't be money available for rogue shieks send to the likes of al qaeda. Further the Russian government won't have much walking around money any more.

But of course that's all a decade or more off.


24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
BO was probably hangin' wit his hip-hop buddies, in preparation for his campaign flight to Las Vegas the next day.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read an article about this picture. It was looked at by experts. They determined it had been PhptoShopped. An arm that seem unconnected, Obamas odd shape and size compared to those around him etc.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think it's simply a matter of distance from the camera with a little spherical distortion added in.

Using the extreme example:
Compare the size of Bob Gate's head with the woman standing back near the door!

The oddity is why should Potus be stuck in the corner near the floor!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
As Guy Bensen is heading toward the elevator, the doors start to close.
A hand reaches out to hold them open.
Guy walks in, it's Brett Baier.

Bensen says: Dude!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard, right after the Benghazi incident pointed to a killing Lebanon and suggested that the killing in Lebanon was related to Benghazi and suggested that both were somehow related to morzi and the MB in Egypt. Morzi did want to free the blind sheik early on and some suggested he was looking for an American hostage who could be swapped for the blind sheik. That maybe Benghazi incident was orchestrated by Morsi's people to capture a high level American -- like the ambassador. But the job was botched.

That's why the dead ambassador was brought to the hospital. That's why the Local AQ did not put out lots of videos claiming victory and such. that would also the silence of obama. It was a botched job--and a double cross of the Americans. Why because the americans were getting weapons from one AQ affiliate in Libya and sending them through benghazi to another AQ affiliate in Syria.

If Aymen Al Zawahiri sold out bin landen--especially if he did so with the knowledge and consent of the Muslim Brotherhood--then that would explain the MB's special relationship with Obama, and also it would explain why Ayman Al Zawahi is still alive.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the United States and al-Qaeda were in a de facto alliance, al-Qaeda's murder of Ambassador Stevens – as well as its ludicrous cover story – makes sense. Ambassador Stevens knew too much – too much for al-Qaeda's liking and quite possibly too much for the liking of key players in Washington.

Twenty months ago, I was furious that the Obama administration was actively promoting the message of al-Qaeda in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks. If promoting al-Qaeda's propaganda line didn't constitute treason, it did constitute the appearance of treason.

Why is Ayman al-Zawahiri still alive? Why does it seem that America's war against al-Qaeda ended with the death of Osama bin Laden? The war isn't over. It looks as though al-Qaeda has become more powerful than ever under Obama's watch.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Al-Qaeada's on the run... and quickly closing on us.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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