The CIA is denying. The Pentagon is denying. And now the White House is denying that anyone refused to send help to our embattled CIA and State Department personnel engaged in a seven hour running firefight with more than 150 jihadists.
It just doesn’t get any lamer than this:
The White House on Saturday flatly denied that President Barack Obama withheld requests for help from the besieged American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as it came under on attack by suspected terrorists on September 11th.
“Neither the president nor anyone in the White House denied any requests for assistance in Benghazi,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.
Why was this so hard for President Obama to say on Friday when asked a direct question about assistance to Americans under fire?
President Barack Obama said repeatedly Friday that his administration would “find out what happened” and punish those responsible, but he twice ducked questions about whether U.S. officials denied requests for help.
As Bill Kristol points out, Obama doesn’t have to “find out what happened” in the White House — he was there and presumably was kept informed.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD understands that it will take some time to “gather all the facts” about what happened on the ground in Benghazi. But presumably the White House already has all the facts about what happened that afternoon and evening in Washington—or, at least, in the White House. The president was, it appears, in the White House from the time the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began, at around 2:40 pm ET, until the end of combat at the annex, sometime after 9 p.m. ET. So it should be possible to answer these simple questions as to what the president did that afternoon and evening, and when he did it, simply by consulting White House meeting and phone records, and asking the president for his recollections.
1.) To whom did the president give the first of his “three very clear directives”—that is, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?”
2.) How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?
3.) During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?
4.) During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?
5.) Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?
6.) Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?
7.) Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?
8.) Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?
9.) Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?
10.) Did the president refuse to authorize a AC-130 or MC-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has asked the White House these questions, and awaits a response.
Those are good questions, but why bother? The narrative is in place. The media is cooperating by mostly squelching the story. The cover-up, as John Hinderaker writes, is continuing:
The administration knew that four Americans had been killed in a successful terrorist attack by an al Qaeda affiliate, but lied about the event for weeks in hopes of minimizing political fallout. Extraordinarily courageous Americans fought a seven-hour gun battle against well-armed and well-organized terrorists who vastly outnumbered them before finally succumbing, during which time the Obama administration did nothing. And when the bodies of the dead Americans were returned to the United States, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton misappropriated the occasion to deliver politically-motivated lies, both to the victims’ survivors and to the American people. All of that we now know for sure. If, in addition, there is credible evidence that American soldiers, fighting desperately for their lives against our country’s most bitter enemies, called for help but were cynically left to perish in order to protect Barack Obama’s petty re-election campaign, Obama will not only lose the election but will be turned out of office in disgust by a clear majority of voters. Reporters and editors know this. It will be interesting to see how they respond during the coming days: will they do their jobs, or will they assist their candidate with his cover-up?
How do we know that the White House is lying about denying requests for military assistance from our beleaguered diplomats? Consider: If a news story is published basically accusing the President of the United States of standing by while Americans were killed, shouldn’t the reaction from the White House be a little more indignant? A little more agitated? Perhaps a lot angrier?
All of these denials point to one of two conclusions; either Fox News is making stuff up, or the administration is lying through its teeth. There is no other possible explanation.
And I would note the extraordinary detail in the Fox article, including specific communications between the various locations in Libya and national security people in Washington. If Fox is making stuff up, someone has a pretty vivid imagination.
Hayward wonders if the cover-up will last through the election. He also says this: “So how will the media formerly known as mainstream, which have done their best to try to drag Obama’s sorry campaign across the finish line, deal with the Benghazi story?”
Answer: They will continue to drag the Obama campaign across the finish line — just as these Italian Olympic officials dragged their 1908 marathon runner Dorando Pietr across the line to an apparent victory:
Note: Pietr was eventually disqualified.
Anna, wife of Brigadier Wissam Al-Hassan, the assassinated chief of Lebanese intelligence refused to accept condolences from the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon.
Anti-Iranian and anti-Hezbollah media outlets in Lebanon published this image showing Anna Al-Hassan rejecting Ghazanfar Roknabadi, the Iranian regime’s representative to Beirut. Lebanon News quoted a member of the March 14th Coalition saying: “Even if you kiss her feet she will not forgive you. It is shameful that these characters kill people and then have the gall to show up at the funeral.”
Wissam Al-Hassan, 47, who was a strong opponent of Syria, was killed in a massive car bomb Friday. During the summer, he hunted down pro-Syria Lebanese officials and in 2005 he implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The White House announced late Saturday that President Obama will be cutting short a campaign swing in the last days before the election and returning to Washington as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.
Obama will campaign until past the last minute, though. On Sunday he stumps in Orlando, Fla., and on Monday he hits an event in Youngstown, Ohio, before coming back to the White House, meaning he’ll be flying into D.C. when commercial flights are expected to be grounded.
National Weather Service advisories for the Beltway currently begin at 2 a.m. Monday.
Mitt Romney canceled Sunday campaign events in Virginia and will head to Ohio instead to join vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) bus tour.
Obama has canceled a Monday event in Northern Virginia and a Tuesday event in Colorado. “Additional changes to Tuesday’s schedule will be announced as warranted,” said a statement from press secretary Jay Carney.
“The President is being regularly updated on the storm and ongoing preparations, and he has directed his team to continue to bring all available resources to bear as state and local partners continue to prepare for the storm. FEMA has already deployed teams and has pre-staged resources to potentially affected states and areas ahead of the storm, and FEMA remains in close contact with emergency responders in states up and down the East coast to ensure there are no unmet needs,” the statement continued. “The President will continue to receive regular briefings on these efforts, and has made clear that he expects his team to continue to lean forward as Hurricane Sandy approaches.”
Two Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today called on President Obama to “come clean” and release all communications related to the Benghazi attack.
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) want all relevant materials between the U.S. Mission to Libya and the State Department leading up to the attacks.
“As the truth about what happened in Benghazi on the night of September 11 continues to trickle out, it’s becoming more apparent that the administration’s lack of truthfulness seems to emanate from a desire to hide something from the American people,” said Corker and Isakson.
“After almost two months have passed, it’s time for the president to finally come clean and order his administration to fully disclose all communications relevant to the security situation in Benghazi. Surely the deaths of four civilian public servants warrant that action,” the senators said.
In letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sept. 25 and Oct. 3, Corker and Isakson asked the State Department to promptly provide their committee with these communications.
“We hope that in the next few days you follow through with transmitting information requested by members of Congress. In particular, we renew our request for all communications between the diplomatic mission in Libya and the State Department related to the security situation to be transmitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee without delay,” Corker and Isakson wrote in the October letter, to no avail.
Yesterday, it was Steven Crowder mocking something that begged to be mocked. Today, Julie Borowski takes her shot at the insanely ridiculous ad put out by the campaign representing a man who has two young daughters.
When something is so deserving of ridicule, why let up?
The Eid holiday Truce between the Assad regime and the rebels scheduled to last from Friday through Monday fell completely apart on Saturday less than 24 hours after it began.
Who broke it? Who didn’t.
The truce was ragged from the start considering the fractured nature of the fighting across the country, and the opposition accused the government of resuming aerial bombardments and shelling urban centers. The official news agency, SANA, meanwhile, reported what it said were numerous cease-fire violations throughout the country by the opposition, which the government calls “terrorist gangs.” Extremist brigades outside the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel umbrella group, had said from the beginning that they would not respect the truce.
Virtually every major battleground seemed to report a resumption in hostilities.
In perhaps the most serious outbreak, a warplane fired missiles into a residential building in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen, killing eight men, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the fighting from abroad.
If confirmed, it would be the first aerial attack since the ad hoc truce started on Friday morning. The account could not be independently confirmed, but pictures posted on Facebook showed a shattered residential structure and a large crater filled with rubble where a missile seems to have exploded.
In Aleppo, an activist who uses the nickname Abu Hassan said government tanks had resumed shelling, especially around the airport. Several towns around Aleppo and in an adjacent province, Idlib, were also shelled, activists said.
“There is a clear breach of the truce,” Ahmad Kadour, an Idlib activist, said.
Government forces were moving convoys full of reinforcements up the road to Wadi al-Deif, the site of a military base where there was fighting a day earlier, he said.
Rebel commanders had been worried from the outset of the truce that the Syrian military would just use it to try to resupply beleaguered northern outposts in order to retake ground it had lost to the rebel fighters in recent weeks.
Really now, did you expect anything different? The situation in Syria is far beyond the puny efforts of the UN and their Lakhdar Brahimi to deal with. Each passing day brings a hardening of positions, a more powerful incentive to keep fighting that only when one side or the other is crushed will the fighting between the regime and the rebels end.
And if, as most observers believe, the rebels are able to do away with President Assad, the fighting will have just begun. Far more than Egypt, Libya, or any other “Arab Spring” country, radical extremists have leveraged their position by participating in the fighting and will almost certainly try to claim some measure of power in the new Syria.
This is interesting from Page Fortna writing in Foreign Policy Magazine:
In such a mutually painful status quo, bargaining theory tells us that negotiation should be preferable to continued violence. But reaching a deal and committing to it credibly is no easy task. Even if both sides are serious about negotiating a peace deal, and see some prospects for overcoming the commitment problem, would a temporary four-day holiday ceasefire help move the process forward? If the current violence subsides and the main parties abide by the ceasefire, it could build trust on both sides. But if the ceasefire fails entirely and full-scale fighting resumes, the opposite holds true.
Fortna’s argument is that temporary cease fires usually make things worse because it reinforces the enmity between the two sides when the truce collapses while making it more difficult to bridge the distance between the warring parties.
Not that peace was ready to break out anyway. But the violation of the truce — no matter which side is responsible — guarantees at least several more months of bloody conflict with the subsequent suffering of civilians increasing dramatically.
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Mitt Romney should be bursting with pride.
Is this the October surprise?
The White House is weighing the idea of a tax cut that it believes would lift Americans’ take-home pay and boost a still-struggling economy, according to people familiar with the administration’s thinking, as the presidential candidates continue battling over whose tax policies would do more for the country.
Obama administration officials have concluded that the economy, while improved, is still fragile enough that it may need another bout of stimulus. The tax cut could replace the payroll tax cut championed by President Obama in 2011 and 2012, which was designed as a buffer against economic shocks such as the financial crisis in Europe and high oil prices. It expires at year’s end.
The new tax cut could provide hundreds of dollars or more a year to workers and show up in every paycheck. It may be similar to a tax cut Americans received in 2009 and 2010, which provided up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples, sources close to the administration said.
The administration’s work on the proposal comes as each presidential candidate is under intense pressure to demonstrate he has the better tax plan. During the campaign, Obama has insisted that he wants to keep taxes from rising for the middle class while increasing them on the wealthy as a way of shoring up the country’s finances. His challenger, Mitt Romney, has sharply criticized Obama’s approach, saying any new taxes would crimp economic growth, while also calling the White House’s earlier stimulus efforts a failure.
The Romney campaign and top Republican lawmakers declined Friday to provide comment specifically about the tax cut being considered by the White House.
Romney’s plan would include reform as well as rate cuts so Obama’s cheap trick isn’t so much imitation as it is desperation. And there is nothing being said by the White House about corporate taxes — the highest in the developed world.
Clearly, the Romney tax plan has the Obama campaign worried and feel that they need to counter. It is doubtful many voters would buy into the president’s deathbed conversion on taxes, but any movement toward Obama at this point would be unwelcome.
What do you think the chances are that we’ll know who won the election on November 6? November 7? By Christmas?
Enter, the lawyers:
Leading Romney’s team is Benjamin Ginsberg, chief legal counsel for George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.
Obama has turned to Robert Bauer, a past White House counsel who has spoken out against Republican-led efforts to alter voting laws in states including Ohio, a politically divided state that could determine who wins the November 6 election.
Already, Ginsberg and Bauer have been quiet players in the 2012 campaign.
For decades, Ginsberg and Bauer have given partisan legal advice for campaigns, recounts and election court battles.
“The truth is, there are very few lawyers who work in this area,” Ginsberg told The New York Times in 2004.
Bauer has shown he is willing to enter the political fray.
This summer, he crossed swords with Republican strategist Karl Rove, claiming that American Crossroads, a conservative advocacy group co-founded by the former Bush adviser, was illegally colluding with Romney’s campaign.
Under the U.S. tax code the non-profit arm of American Crossroads, known as Crossroads GPS, can raise and spend unlimited funds as a “social welfare” organization without disclosing its donors, as long as it advocates for positions on issues and does not directly support a candidate.
In June, Rove told Fox News the Crossroads group was not doing anything illegal and Bauer’s criticism was “not going to change us in one way, shape or form from doing exactly what we’re entitled to do under the law.”
With Obama and Romney in a virtual dead heat in the polls, the state-by-state race for president has a range of chaotic possibilities.
The mostly likely scenario is that there will be a clear winner on election night, or the next morning. But the closeness of the race raises the possibility of a range of less conclusive, more confusing scenarios.
Among them: a disputed result in a state because of voting delays, problems with ballots or vote counting.
A contested election would send Bauer and Ginsberg – and law firms across the nation – rushing to courtrooms to question the validity of votes or any other irregularities that might have tipped the scales in a state’s voting results.
It will also help to have a sympathetic federal judge to muck things up royally. It is likely that supposedly neutral judges will allow their partisanship to get the better of them — especially when the stakes are so high.
But the real nightmare scenario involves mandated recounts in more than one state due to the closeness of the vote. Currently, there are 5 states where the candidates are within 2 points of each other. It’s not difficult to imagine one or two of those contests triggering an automatic recount. And then you might want to pop some popcorn, sit back, and watch the legal fur fly.
Every four years it’s the same thing: dump the Electoral College and give the presidency to the candidate who wins the most votes. This may be especially relevant since Mitt Romney holds a slight lead in the popular vote but would lose to Barack Obama in the Electoral College if the election were held today
Hans Von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundaton, sees it differently. He writes on the Heritage Foundation website that the National Popular Vote effort would lead to a further marginalizing of smaller states. Campaigns would instead focus all of their attention on major media markets where the most voters could be reached for the least cost.
Relying on a popular vote instead of a state-based system, he argues, would trade swing states for a focus on large urban areas, where advertising dollars can reach more people.
The Electoral College “embodies the balance [the Founders] aimed to achieve through deference to states with smaller populations and by ensuring that the interests of these states be reflected in national decision-making,” he writes. Not to mention that in 2000, the recount in Florida caused a collective rise in the national blood pressure. Imagine a national recount.
But supporters of a popular vote system say it is more important to achieve a more democratic ideal than one in which swing states are so key.
“This problem would disappear if we had a truly national election with one electorate and votes counting the same wherever they were cast,” said Jack Rakove,” a Pulitzer Prize winning Stanford political scientist. “Then the candidates would have to think more creatively about how to mobilize a national electorate, rather than pouring money into the televised advertisements that must drive voters in the battleground states completely bonkers. The parties would have the incentive to attract voters throughout the country, which is now a matter of complete indifference to them.”
Variously referred to as “anachronistic” and even “anti-democratic,” the Electoral College was originally made a part of the Constitution because the Founders really didn’t trust ordinary people to choose a president wisely. Eventually, the college was reformed so that rather than electing “electors,” citizens vote for president in the various states with a winner-take-all award system given to the victor (except for Maine and Nebraska).
But it is what the Electoral College has become that makes it vital to the democratic process.
We are a continent-sized country made up of 50 sovereign states with an urban-rural split of about 75-25. The most common complaint against the EC is that only about a dozen states matter in the final tally while the rest of the country is largely ignored.
This is true — today. But what about tomorrow? The reason candidates only play in swing states is because of the polarization of our politics. Will California always be blue? Will Texas always be red? Over the last 224 years, states have shifted back and forth based on a variety of factors, not limited to changing demographics, changing political party philosophy, even the leadership of one or two charismatic individuals.
George Will points out that the EC gives us a stability that might disappear if we went to a direct popular vote system:
The electoral vote system shapes the character of winning majorities,” said Will. “By avoiding proportional allocation of electoral votes, America’s system — under which Ross Perot in 1992 got 19 percent of the popular votes and zero electoral votes — buttresses the dominance of two parties, and pulls them to the center, producing a temperate politics of coalitions rather than a proliferation of ideological factions with charismatic leaders.
This has been true in the past and while the last decade has seen a fracturing of the political polity, there is no reason to believe that this is a permanent alteration in the political landscape.
From a personal standpoint, watching candidates standing on a tractor in Kansas addressing farmers, or visiting a small town in West Virginia is real Americana and would almost certainly become extinct if a direct popular vote system was installed. Candidates would take up residence in the cities and suburbs of the 10 largest cities and vie for the voters’ affections. It’s basically the same argument to be made against a national primary. Watching how candidates interact with Americans of every background is important for assessing their worthiness for office.
The EC also requires a candidate to win a truly national race. He must appeal to more than coastal elites and urban snobs. Do we really want every presidential race decided by California, New York, and Texas?
Some of the arguments for doing away with the EC are compelling and shouldn’t be dismissed outright. But surely there is room in the modern world for an “anachronistic” holdover from our founding that is still relevant today.
We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night—and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades.
“[N]o one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need…” Yes, but were there requests for assistance? And if there were, what was the response? And if the CIA didn’t tell the operatives to “stand down,” who did?
Those words were carefully chosen to reveal as little as possible. Bill Kristol thinks this is CIA Director Petreaus throwing Obama under the bus.
So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.
It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why—and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations—did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?
Could Secretary Panetta have refused assistance on his own, but needed presidential authorization to give the go code for military assistance? It is not likely, but also not impossible. After all, Hillary Clinton supposedly didn’t need Obama’s consent to turn down Ambassador Stevens’ requests for additional security.
Allah has another question for the president:
“We’re going to gather all the facts,” he says, echoing Hillary’s plea to let the investigation play out until, oh, say, mid-November at the earliest. Simple question: Why does he need “all the facts” about Benghazi to find out (a) whether anyone at the consulate called for help during the attack and (b) if so, who in the chain of command denied that request? He could find that out with 10 minutes of phoning around and then spend another 10 firing the people involved — assuming, of course, that it wasn’t The One himself who delivered the thumbs down on the calls for help. Problem is, there’s only one thing he really cares about, and that thing wouldn’t be well served by an admission 10 days out from election day that his administration screwed up badly enough in Benghazi to warrant canning people. So he’s playing the “all the facts” game. Estimated arrival of all the facts: 11 days from now.
We tend to forget that this was a 7 hour firefight that played out in two different locations — the 3 hour attack on the consulate that set the building on fire and killed the ambassador and another diplomat, followed by a 4 hour off-and-on firefight at the CIA annex.
The White House says it moved some pieces on the chessboard, ordering units to stand by in Italy and actually sent a Quick Reaction Force from Tripoli. But the Pentagon also insists “there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country.”
But what about inside the country? And wouldn’t a “request” to do so have to come from the president?
Both the Pentagon and the CIA are denying responsibility for turning down requests for military assistance. That leaves one very obvious center of authority — the White House of President Obama. We are left with either believing that the Fox Report is in error and that no requests for assistance came from those CIA operatives — two of whom gave their lives defending the annex. Or someone, somewhere in government isn’t telling the American people the whole truth.
- If Reelected, Obama Should Be Impeached over Benghazi, by Roger L Simon. What did he know and when did he know it?
- Michael Barone Predicts That Romney Will Win 2012 Presidential Race, by Ed Driscoll. Video of Barone’s Friday night appearance on Hannity.
- Rape and Abortion: Dilemma or Demagoguery, by Andrew Klavan. Can you be legally exterminated because of the way you were conceived?
- Benghazi in the Eyes of Congress: ‘It’s Not Going to Go Away,’ by Bridget Johnson. “Every day I find out something more horrific”: Intelligence and Armed Services committee members talk exclusively to PJM about what’s next.
- Who Wants To Lose Their Virginity at the Ballot Box? By Leslie Loftis. The president’s campaign enlists Girls creator Lena Dunham to equate the thrill of voting for Obama with “your first time.” See also: Steven Crowder’s parody at the Tatler.
- Graham to Obama: Who’s the Bullsh***er Now? By Bridget Johnson. “Fearful that the reality on the ground in Benghazi cuts against the narrative that al-Qaeda has been dismantled…”
- Actually, Global Warming Was in Presidential Debates , by Tom Harris. Discussion of “clean” or “green” energy is climate policy by stealth.
- Sharia States: Totalitarian to the Core, by Alyssa A. Lappen. A review of Dr. Andrew G. Bostom’s seminal Sharia versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism, now available.
- ‘Sharia Killed Ambassador Chris Stevens,’ by Andrew C. McCarthy. It is long past time to lift the veil from our eyes.
- Hurricane Sandy: Follow PJ Media’s Brendan Loy for Frequent Updates, Click here for the latest from Brendan Loy, Weathernerd. Also follow @brendanloy on Twitter.
Here’s a press release we got today:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2012
Statement by Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts and ClimateSilence.org:
“If the candidates won’t listen to the voters demanding they break their climate silence, maybe they will listen to Mother Nature’s October Surprise. We know the candidates will be asked about Hurricane Sandy, and will express their sympathy with those affected. They will rightly applaud the first responders, the compassion of neighbors, and the strength and resolve of the American people. But what their role as national leaders demands that they also do is explain that Hurricane Sandy is a true Frankenstorm, a monster created by man tampering with nature with oil, coal, and gas pollution.”
It’s worth looking at Wikipedia’s list of New Jersey hurricanes for comparison. Doing a little data reduction by eye, it looks like October hurricanes come roughly every 5-10 years. The last one in that area was 1995, so we’re either a little overdue or right about average.
Looking at Roger Pielke, Jr.’s blog, we find the predicted damage along with a convenient map. Here’s an excerpt of the report:
The tool shows the storm parameters, the damage at the time of landfall, and the estimated damage if the storms were to make landfall in 2012. The 2012 damage estimations are made by “normalizing” the data by adjusting for population change, inflation, and change in wealth per capita.
The most damaging storm to make landfall within the current range of computer model forecasts was the New England hurricane of 1938, which would cause an estimated ~$47B in damage today. However, this storm was a category 3 hurricane when it made landfall, while Sandy is only expected to have category 1 force winds. Of the 7 storms selected, only two made landfall as category 1 hurricanes. Hurricane Agnes of 1972 made landfall with 85 mph sustained winds near New York City and would cause an estimated $19B in damage today. Agnes initially made landfall over the FL Panhandle, then moved NE and emerged off the NC coast. As it approached New England, the storm strengthened as it underwent extratropical transition, which is also expected to occur with Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Agnes’s impacts were felt across a very wide area of the Northeast. Hurricane Belle of 1976 also had 85 mph winds, but moved much more quickly than Agnes and was weakening as it made landfall. It is estimated that Belle would cause less than $1B in damage today.
As can be seen from the storms selected by the ICAT Damage Estimator, the sample size of category 1 hurricanes making landfall along the Northeast is not very large. While Agnes appears to be the most similar to Sandy, it made landfall near New York City, which explains why the damage estimates are so high. Hurricane Irene of 2011 officially made landfall further south, but impacted a similar area that will be affected by Hurricane Sandy. That storm caused ~$7B in damage, but was not quite as strong as Sandy is expected to be. This data can be used as a benchmark to assess the range of possibilities for Sandy’s impact.
In other words, it’s a hurricane. Unusually late but not unprecedented, and right now they think Category One — which here on the Colorado Plains we call “a little too windy for the kites kids, but yes, you have to go to school.”
In an interview with Denver’s KUSA 9News this afternoon,a reporter with no plans to ever interview President Obama again asked him a line of tough questions. Leading off with “Were requests from Benghazi denied help?” and then moving into questions about the president’s failed greendoggles, Kyle Clark asks one tough question after another. Obama dodges them all and falls back on boilerplate answers. So KUSA calls him out for it in their write-up of the story.
President Barack Obama would not directly address questions from 9NEWS on whether Americans under attack in Libya were denied requests for assistance during the September 11th terror attack.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday that the military did not send immediate help to the consulate in Benghazi because commanders lacked enough information about the ongoing attack to put troops in harm’s way.
President Obama discussed the situation in Libya during a satellite interview Friday afternoon with 9NEWS reporter Kyle Clark, who also asked if it’s fair for Americans to be told to wait until after the election to learn what truly happened in Libya.
“The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” President Obama said. “Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do.”
President Obama was directly asked twice whether pleas for help on the ground in Libya were denied during the attack. Both times, he repeated his standard call for a thorough investigation.
Local media doing reporting that the network hacks won’t do.
Steve Crowder parodies Lena Dunham’s laughable, decrepit little ad in which she compares voting for Obama to losing her virginity.
The only thing I have to quibble about with this ad is that Steve’s the wrong person to star in it. Not because he’s a guy. Because he comes off as more attractive and less crazy than Dunham, and slightly less masculine.
Yes, writing that sentence felt very, very wrong. But see for yourself if I’m wrong. Here’s the original.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lashed out at President Obama for playing politics with national security in the Benghazi attack after statements the president made on a Philly radio show today.
“On Monday WSJ reported that your daily briefings said the attack had arisen from a spontaneous protest. Is it true that your statements and those of [Ambassador Susan] Rice were simply repeating what the PDBs were telling you?” host Michael Smerconish asked.
“What’s true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up. And what is true–this is something that the American people can take to the bank: my administration plays this stuff straight. We don’t play politics when it comes to American national security,” Obama replied. “So what we consistently have done throughout my presidency and what we did in his circumstance is as information came in we gave it to the American people. And as we got new information we gave that to the American people. And that includes by the way members of Congress. One of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicize issues despite knowing that we have given them all this information.”
Paraphrasing Obama’s remarks about Mitt Romney to Rolling Stone, Graham said, “In the words of President Obama, this statement sounds like a lot of B.S.”
“In an effort to look strong, this Administration has strategically leaked classified information about numerous sensitive national security programs, ranging from the raid on bin Laden, the cyber-attacks on Iran, to disrupting the underwear bomber plot. The President has also refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate breaches of national security, while demanding it for others in past administrations,” Graham continued.
“These leaks have created distrust amongst our allies and damaged operations in the field. Fearful that the reality on the ground in Benghazi cuts against the narrative that al-Qaeda has been dismantled, the Administration has been cherry-picking intelligence and intentionally misleading the American people. There was no mob, there was no riot. This was a preplanned attack by al-Qaeda affiliated militia.”
The senator noted he’s been waiting nearly two weeks for any scrap of requested information on the attacks from top intelligence officials.
“The President promised transparency, an unveiling of details regarding the Benghazi attack, but they have done nothing but stonewall the American people and their elected representatives,” Graham said.
According to state elections officials, 688,369 Georgians, of which 33 percent were black, had already voted in the presidential contest as of Thursday.
Should the preliminary rate of participation remain steady through the close of polling on November 6, this year’s election will be recorded as the single largest black voter turn out event in state history.
The state had one of the nation’s earliest voter ID laws and the gloom and doom disenfranchisement predictions began immediately. Voter participation by African Americans hit historic highs two years after it passed (for the 2008 election) and now appears on track to outpace those numbers. This despite the fact that overall early voting numbers in Georgia are down from 2008.
Wrap your mind around this comment, which President Obama offered in a radio interview with a supporter today:
President Obama today said that he had not been aware of the requests for additional security made by security officials in Libya before the deadly attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in Benghazi.
“I was not personally aware of any request,” the president told radio host Michael Smerconish. ”We have an infrastructure set up to manage requests like that but we’re going to find out what happened. Ultimately though any time there is a death of an American overseas I want to find out what happened because my most important job as President is to keep the American people safe.”
Obama wasn’t aware of specific requests, fine. How about beefing up security at a consulate in a war zone proactively? Did that ever occur to him.
Then there’s this: “Ultimately though any time there is a death of an American overseas I want to find out what happened…”
What about Americans killed here at home? Nidal Hassan killed 13 Americans at Ft. Hood. President Obama’s government labeled that terrorist attack an incidence of “workplace violence” rather than admit that it was an act of terrorism committed on a huge military base on US soil.
And then there’s this:
The president said that his preference for the killers of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other three Americans would be to “bring them to justice” rather than to kill them. ” My efforts will be to see if we can roll up these networks who do harm to Americans anywhere in the world,” he said.
This is a welcome change of attitude from the president best known for killing terrorist suspects with drone strikes. While killing them eventually is fine, capturing them first leads to gathering information that they know or have in their possession. However, capturing them opens Obama up to having to keep them somewhere. Would he place them in Gitmo, the terrorist prison he declared he would close years ago, but which is still open? Or would he keep them in those black CIA sites that his base rails against? Or would he bring them into the United States and hold them in civilian prisons, where civilian judges have jurisdiction and can even release them?
After that, Obama said this, regarding why his administration blamed a movie when it had evidence in hand that it was a terrorist attack.
“What’s true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up,” the president replied. “And what is true, and this is something that the American people can take to the bank -is that my administration plays this stuff straight; we don’t play politics when it comes to American national security.”
He continued, saying that what “we have recently done throughout my presidency and what we did in this circumstance is as information came in we gave it to the American people and as we got new information we gave that to the American people. And that includes by the way members of American Congress, so one of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicize issues despite knowing that we have given them all this information.”
Surely he doesn’t even believe that. It’s about a million miles from what actually happened.
President Obama then went on to criticize Mitt Romney for his 9-11-12 statement (while Obama was silent), and call Romney a liar.
Really. The president who is currently holding an American citizen as a political prisoner and who has yet to tell the truth about Romney’s alleged $5 trillion tax cut, sequestration, and just about everything else, called Mitt Romney a liar.
Gallup today offers up a striking headline that makes its demographic survey story look like dooooooom for Mitt Romney.
Looks bad for Team Mitt, right?
Well, skip down to the end and you’ll find the real story.
Thus, given the relatively similar demographic composition of the 2012 and 2008 electorates, the election’s outcome may hinge more on how groups vote rather than to what extent they will vote. And most groups are currently less likely to support Obama now than they were in 2008. However, Obama’s seven-point margin of victory in the 2008 election leaves him considerable breathing room to lose electoral support yet still win the election.
At this point, though, Gallup Daily tracking of likely voter preferences suggests Obama has lost more support than he could afford to, given his current 50% to 47% deficit to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. To close that gap in the final weeks of the campaign, Obama would need to have subgroups favorable to him, such as blacks or young adults, turn out at rates that match or exceed those of groups less favorable to him, or to increase his support among key subgroups even if their turnout remains the same.
Gallup writes in a more formal style than I tend to use, so they did not finish their piece the way I would:
And that ain’t likely.
Gallup’s national poll today shows Romney with a five point lead, 51-46. That’s up a point for Romney and down a point for Obama since yesterday. A new Rasmussen has Wisconsin (!) tied. Obama is reportedly increasing his ad buys in Minnesota, either to shore himself up there (!) or blast into neighboring swing states. Or both. (!)
This election is still a close run thing, I don’t want to come off as over confident about that. But the mo is with Mitt. So it’s time for another Mortal Kombat reminder…
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he represents all of the self-described libertarians who don’t vote Libertarian.
But, he confidently predicted, that “movement” will one day win the White House.
Johnson is still bucking for the opportunity to do that this year, but didn’t make it into any of the presidential debates. He noted on CNN today that he’s on the ballot in 49 states, making him the only third-party candidate with similar ballot access to President Obama and Mitt Romney.
“I think there needs to be a truth candidate in all of this,” he said, adding that if runaway spending isn’t brought under control “we’re going to find ourselves without a country.”
The governor again brushed off assertions that he’s a potential spoiler on Election Day.
“In New Mexico, in Colorado, in Nevada I take more votes away from Obama. North Carolina, Michigan, I take more votes away from Romney,” he said. “What’s most important is that I am a voice representative of fiscal responsibility and social acceptance.”
Johnson said he believes the majority of Americans are fiscally responsible and socially accepting.
“Where are the majority of Americans being represented by either of these two? And I’ll just tell you, from my viewpoint, what I’m representing is the fastest growing segment of American politics today, the whole libertarian movement, those that would describe themselves as libertarian that historically don’t end up voting libertarian,” he said.
“We’ll see what happens on Election Day, but most important, representing — providing a voice here that isn’t being heard right now.”
The Obama campaign is so very very serious and trustworthy. This image appeared on its official tumblr site today, with the tagline “Sums it up.” Mitt Romney is seen wearing a dunce hat, on which is printed a map of the world.
The implication is obvious: Mitt Romney is a dunce when it comes to world affairs.
Meanwhile, the president whose campaign hosted the photo is embroiled in a massive scandal that involves world affairs, lies, video, a cover-up, and a body count.
If there is a photo that truly “sums it up,” it might be this one.
Or maybe it’s this one.
Or perhaps this one, in which Barack Obama bows to the Saudi king.
A tip of my non-dunce hat to Drudge.
Many readers of PJM may know me as the media watchdog who exposed French state television’s outrageous slander of the State of Israel in the Mohammad al-Dura blood-libel which triggered the second Intifada, was used by Bin Laden to incite violence against Jews prior to 9/11 and by the terrorists who beheaded Daniel Pearl to justify their heinous crime
I have toured America and the world to bring the truth about Western and Palestinian media fabrications. I have been humbled by the warm support many of you have given me.
Now I am issuing a call to action. If you care about America’s standing in the world, and if you care about Israel, I need you to support Ken Timmerman’s bid to unseat a left-wing Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives who has been beating up on Israel.
Ken Timmerman is running in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District against Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
In July 2006, Rep. Van Hollen wrote an angry letter to Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice, demanding that the United States put pressure on Israel to stop its “bombing campaign” against Lebanese civilians.
Just two days after he sent that letter, Ken Timmerman was in a bunker in Kiryat Shemona with Bibi Netanyahu, then the leader of the opposition in Israel, as Hezbollah rockets were crashing all around them. Ken knows that the only “bombing campaign” in the summer of 2006 was ordered by the Islamic Republic of Iran, carried out by Hezbollah, and its victims were Israeli civilians.
More recently, Rep. Van Hollen has taken up the cause of J Street, a left-leaning anti Zionist group funded by George Soros that seeks to put pressure on the government of Israel.
In March of this year, Israel’s deputy ambassador to Washington, Baruch Bina, pleaded with J Street not to lobby the U.S. government to put pressure on Israel. Despite that plea, J Street turned around and drafted a letter to President Obama – that Chris Van Hollen signed – demanding that the United States pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians, even though Israel still has no negotiating partner that accepts the existence of a Jewish state.
I urge you to support Ken Timmerman in every way you can. For those of you who live in Maryland’s 8th District, vote for Ken, volunteer for Ken, get involved through his website, www.TimmermanForCongress.com
For those of you who live elsewhere in the country, this letter is also a call to arms. Please consider making a financial contribution to Ken’s campaign.
Maryland’s 8th District has become competitive this year because of redistricting, so it is a swing seat. With your help, let’s send someone to Congress who has a proven track record of standing by Israel when the going gets tough. I ask you to help send Ken Timmerman to Congress.
Rep. Elijah Cummings went on the Ed Show last night and told outright lies about the Tea Party group True the Vote. (Full video here) True the Vote is dedicated to election integrity and reviews voter rolls for problems and trains poll watchers. The poll watcher training, just like training used by the federal government, teaches poll watchers how to record information about what happens in the polls. Yesterday, we learned one reason that some people don’t want them in the polls – because they will deter voter fraud.
Cummings, unfortunately, went on national television (though of course next to nobody was watching the ratings challenged Ed Show) and outright lied about private citizens.
“True the Vote will do almost anything to stop people from voting.”
“I am thoroughly convinced that this is an effort to intimidate voters.”
The True the Vote trained pollwatchers “will be very confrontational” with voters.
A third lie.
True the Vote wants people “to turn away” and leave the line and not vote.
A fourth lie.
Cummings says there “is no doubt about it” that these efforts of civic minded citizens are illegal.
A fifth lie.
Poll watchers are “harassing” people who want to vote.
A sixth lie.
And then Cummings’ big reveal: “The more people hear about all of these efforts, of trying to stop them from voting, the more they want to vote.”
Pay attention. All of the complaints about the role of the Tea Party in the polls this year is designed solely to energize a disappointed minority base. Thanks Elijah, we just suspected that was your motive.
Cummings is willing to bear false witness in order to help his political cause. This is the most shameful sort of politics, to lie about your neighbor to preserve your power. I wonder what Bishop Walter Thomas would think?
All other lies, whether from Demos, Common Cause, and all the others, are designed to do the same thing – to energize a base by lying about your neighbor.
Earlier today Charles Woods, father of former seal Ty Woods who was slain in the Benghazi assault, appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox. Mr. Woods had very strong words for the Obama administration after learning that Washington denied three requests for help from the CIA agents in the battle that night.
WOODS: “I don’t know much about weapons but it’s coming out right now that they actually had lazer focused on the mortors that were being sent to kill my son. And they refused to pull the trigger. They refused to send in those C30s(?). To me, I’m an attorney, this may not be the legal test of murder. But to me that is not only cowardice, but those people who made the decision and who knew about the decision and lied about it, are murderers of my son.“
The only reason an agent or soldier would paint a target with a laser is that they expected an aircraft to take that target out.
Mr. Woods has become the Obama administration’s worst nightmare after Benghazi. He charges that during the Sept 14 transfer of remains ceremony Secretary of State Clinton promised to prosecute the YouTube filmmaker whom the administration would blame, and has jailed, despite the fact that his film had nothing to do with the attack. Woods also says that Vice President Biden made an inappropriate and off-color reference to him about his son’s courage at the same ceremony. Clinton’s remarks point toward a conspiracy to blame the filmmaker for what was a terrorist attack. Biden’s remarks to a grieving father speak for themselves.
If you don’t get torches-and-pitchforks irate about this, you are not an American:
The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
There were two AC-130Us deployed to Libya in March as part of Operation Unified Protector.
The AC-130U is a very effective third-generation fire-support aircraft, capable of continuous and extremely accurate fire onto multiple targets. It has been used numerous times in Iraq and Afghanistan to save pinned-down allied forces, and has even been credited with the surrender of the Taliban city of Kunduz
It was purpose-built for a select number of specific mission types, including point-defense against enemy attack. It was literally built for the kind of mission it could have engaged in over Benghazi, if the administration had let it fire. As the excerpt above clearly shows, we had assets on the ground “painting” the targets with the laser.
An AC-130U flies in a counter-clockwise “pivot turn” around the target, with the weapons all aimed out the left side of the aircraft.
There are two state-of-the-art fire-control systems (FCSs) in a AC-130U, using television sensors,infrared sensors, and synthetic aperture strike radar. These fire control systems can see through the dark of night, clouds, and smoke.
The two FCSs on the AC-130U control a 25mm Gatling gun for area suppression, a precision 40mm cannon, and a 105mm cannon which can engage hard targets.
What this means is that we have the forces in the air and on the ground to have stopped the attack at any point, eliminating the terrorists and saving American lives.
See video of AC-130 engaging in a live fire exercise on next page.
That’s among the reports circulating over the past day. If it’s true, Secretary of State Clinton should resign her post and go public with what she knows.
Last night, it was revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered more security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi before it was attacked where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were murdered by Al-Qaeda but President Obama denied the request.
Klein also said that those same sources said that former President Bill Clinton has been “urging” his wife [Hillary] to release official State Department documents that prove she called for additional security at the compound in Libya, which would almost certainly result in President Obama losing the election.
I have my doubts about this. For one thing, Clinton hinted Thursday that she might not leave the administration after Obama’s term if he wins, something she has previous been consistent about. Why would she hint about staying on if an Obama decision has put her directly into this mess, possibly destroying her career? For another, Clinton was out front blaming the movie on Sept 14 during the transfer of remains ceremony. It was at that ceremony that she promised Charles Woods that the administration would go after the filmmaker, setting up the scapegoat. There’s very likely far more about Benghazi that we do not yet know, and today’s story about denied requests for assistance could result in serious legal consequences for all involved. The hint that she might stay, plus Clinton’s overrated competence lead me to doubt. But the story is out there.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has come up with her own terms for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as Democrats try to popularize the term “Romnesia” to symbolize changing positions.
On The Daily Show last night, Pelosi said she prefers the term “Mittology.”
On PBS yesterday, she went with the more tongue-twisting “Mitt-thology.”
“I call these things the Mitt-thology, the mythology that President Obama has taken money from Medicare and used it for the Obamacare, completely false,” Pelosi said.
She also questioned polls that show Romney narrowing the gender gap with women voters, adding, “It’s very hard to tell how important or how real the polling is at this time.”
“It’s a question of who has a cell phone or are Democrats more willing to be interviewed by a pollster or you know, all of those things so. I think the early voting is favoring the president,” Pelosi said. “The Election Day will tell the tale and we can use — we can speculate all we want about it but I think any assumptions based on how it used to be in elections are very stale.”
“People communicate in a different way, voting is not just one day anymore and again, the difference between if you are a large number of your interviewees are on a cell phone or on a land line it’s a — you know, we’re just going to have to wait until Election Day to find out what it is.”
She has confidently predicted, despite pollsters’ predictions, that Democrats will retake the House, but shrugged off a question about the next Democratic speaker.
“What the least important part of all of this discussion is who the next House Speaker is, but it is important,” she said.
Pelosi also panned the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward for his book in which he says it was the president, not House Republicans, who walked away from a deficit-reduction deal.
“And we said, absolutely, we have to go, $4 trillion in deficit reduction at a time when the full faith and credit of the United States of America is in question. I don’t know, I never had a conversation about Bob Woodward but I was in the room,” she said. “I don’t even — didn’t read the book, I don’t know what else is in there so I don’t know if it begins from the origin of man until the future, or if it is specific to that day.”
“Apparently he was more interested in talking to John Boehner than he was to hearing the other side,” Pelosi complained of Woodward.
During the final presidential debate, President Obama claimed that the looming and massive defense cuts that are due to come as part of the sequestration deal were not his idea. His exact words: “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”
Reporter Bob Woodward has already gently suggested that the president was incorrect. WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler comes along today to brand Obama’s statement with four full Pinocchios. It’s a bald-faced lie. Sequestration was the White House’s idea.
President Obama is currently basing his campaign on trust. That’s not a smart thing to do when your word is absolutely worthless.
Amazing! I ordered a caption contest and you all delivered some of the best ever, with extra toppings!
Seriously, all of you are winners this time.
BUT, I have selected a “best of the best” because it relates to that Foreign Policy Debate earlier in the week:
“Hey, I found out what happened to all the horses we don’t use in the military anymore.”
Submitted by Derth. Congratulations Derth!! Your entry was sick and perverted, thus accurately reflecting the future state of our nation if that Pizza Delivery Man wins a second term.
Now, if that unfortunate event does manage to occur, I would welcome you aboard the train bound for “re-education camp.” You would be in good company with me and the rest of our contest winners. (However, Chris Henderson and cfbleachers would have a special assignment pushing the train.)
So on a lighter note, here are the other winners.
Starting off with our two “train pushers” Chris Henderson and cfbleachers.
“One pepperoni, one cheese, one arugula and one dog.”
That’s what happens when you use one of those Obama Phones to order a pizza! Both by Chris Henderson
Then cfbleachers delivered and delivered and delivered….
Little Caesar at work, it’s not just a name, it’s an attitude.
I wanted Jerusalem artichoke toppings, but I can’t bring myself to utter the word Jerusalem.
Ok, let’s see…we have four pizzas here:
A) We have the microwaved cheese pizza with pinto beans, black beans, hard boiled eggs and cabbage…who ordered the Fast and Furious?
B) We have the pepper jack cheese with hot Italian sausage, jalapenos, red pepper flakes and tabasco that spontaneously bursts into flames …who ordered The Volt?
C) We have the sausage, pepperoni, ham, meatball, salami, veal, hamburger, all red meat all the time, who ordered The MSNBC?
D) And we have the uncooked dough, raw shrimp, unsifted flour, uncut tomatoes, dripping out of the unassembled box, who ordered the You Didn’t Build That?
Then later, cfbleachers threw in an extra pizza with these toppings:
Ok, we’ve got extra anchovies, herring, wild caught Chinook and flounder, this smells really fishy…who ordered The Benghazi Coverup?
Like I said — hope you enjoy pushing that train while the rest of us ride in comfort.
Continuing on now with more potential train passengers:
Don’t forget to tip, remember we have a 16,000,000,000,000.00 debt to pay for now. Submitted by Scott
“Proof that I actually delivered on one of my promises.” Submitted by Kat Von Clawswits
“These were left over from the Solyndra cafeteria. Who says we didn’t get anything for the stimulus money?” Submitted by Allan Crowson
Thanks to everyone who played along and see you all next time a photo is worthy of a Tatler Photo Caption Contest.
Fox’s Jennifer Griffin deserves a Pulitzer for the work she is doing to uncover what really happened during and after the assault at Benghazi. In her latest blockbuster, she reports on how American personnel were left without aid during the battle.
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”
Who gave those stand-down orders? Was the CIA director, Gen. David Petraeus, aware of them? Did he approve them? Who specifically took any part on this decision?
A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they too were told to stand down. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Specter gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.
According to sources on the ground, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.
“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”
“Monday morning quarterbacking”? They had a laser on the target. An F-18 could have reached the scene from Sigonella in about an hour and destroyed it.
The denial of aid is criminal. Whoever gave those multiple stand-down orders may be an accomplice to manslaughter, at least.
Just in from the White House:
Michelle and I extend our best wishes for a joyful Eid al-Adha to Muslims in the United States and around the world. We also congratulate the millions of peaceful pilgrims who are performing the Hajj, including thousands of American Muslims.
Throughout the year, Muslims join members of many faiths in serving those suffering from hunger, disease, and conflict. Muslim communities will continue this practice as they celebrate Eid by distributing food and charity to those in need. Such acts of compassion underscore the shared values of the Abrahamic religions and people of all faiths. On behalf of the American people, we extend our warmest greetings on this holiday. Eid Mubarak.
No Eid message from the State Department yet, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is celebrating her birthday today. “(DOESN’T GET MORE CLOSED PRESS THAN THIS)” the daily press schedule noted, citing her lack of availability from “12:00:00 a.m. to 11:59:59 p.m.”
Obama has a closed-door visit to the Democratic National Committee today, in addition to three interviews including with Sway Calloway for a live MTV special at the White House.
Do not miss Matt Continetti’s absolutely superb and essential analysis of what makes Obama tick. You’ll find it here. The following paragraph appears towards the end of his essay:
The Obama coalition, piece by piece, has been disassembled. All that remains is the antiwar, anti-Republican core of the Democratic Party. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans, so Obama could still squeak out a second term. But he has forsaken independents and whites, the groups that swung to him definitively and significantly in 2008. He is losing independents, in some polls by double-digits. His opponent Mitt Romney is “winning the white vote by more than any GOP candidate since Ronald Reagan,” according to the Washington Post. If the 2012 electorate resembles the 2008 one, it is possible for Obama to win reelection. But if the electorate turns out to be more like the electorate in 2004 or, God help him, like in 2010, Obama will lose.
So if you want to know a brief history of Obama, who as Continetti writes is unmasked “not as a Kenyan Marxist, but as a thoroughly typical liberal Democrat who believes there is no trouble in the world not created by George W. Bush,” read his entire article. And make sure you pass it on to your liberal and leftist friends!
The man Barack Obama placed one heartbeat away from the most powerful office on earth is a very crass and stupid man.
Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, called into “The Glenn Beck Program” on TheBlazeTV Thursday and recounted his interactions with the president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Biden at the ceremony for the Libya victims at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He told host Glenn Beck that what they told him, coupled with new reports that indicate the Obama administration knew very good and well, almost immediately, that a terrorist attack was occurring in Benghazi, make him certain that the American people are not getting the whole truth.
Vice President Biden, as he has become known to do, reportedly made a wildly inappropriate comment to the father who had just lost his hero son.
Woods said Biden came over to his family and asked in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?”
“Are these the words of someone who is sorry?” said Woods.
No. They’re the words of a malignant fool.
A few days ago, Professor Michael Mann of the University pf Pennsylvania — a climate scientist whose “hockey stick” graph was at the center of, among other things, Al Gore Jr.’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” – filed a libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mark Steyn, and (regular PJ contributor) Rand Simberg. The reason for the libel suit was that both Steyn and Simberg had questioned whether the investigation that “exonerated” Mann of misconduct related to the Climategate emails (we revealed them at PJM in 2010.)
Well, there are some interesting things to be found in the complaint, including page 2 paragraph 2, in which he claims to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, apparently because he was one of the IPCC scientists. The IPCC received the Peace Prize along with Al Gore in 2007. Mann even shows a certificate for this:
The Nobel Committee is usually pretty careful with these things, and the IPCC had more than a thousand participants — are they all Nobel Laureates? The Washington Examiner contacted the Nobel Committee, and got this answer:
Geir Lundestad, Director, Professor, or The Norwegian Nobel Institute emailed me back with the following:
1) Michael Mann has never been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
2) He did not receive any personal certificate. He has taken the diploma awarded in 2007 to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (and to Al Gore) and made his own text underneath this authentic-looking diploma.
3) The text underneath the diploma is entirely his own. We issued only the diploma to the IPCC as such. No individuals on the IPCC side received anything in 2007.
Lundestad goes on to say that, “Unfortunately we often experience that members of organizations that have indeed been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize issue various forms of personal diplomas to indicate that they personally have received the Nobel Peace Prize. They have not.”
This should be an interesting lawsuit indeed.