Former Secretary of Defense Speaks Out on Benghazi: ‘There were forces that could’ve done something.’
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ripped President Obama today for “ducking, bobbing and weaving” rather than accurately describing the Islamist terrorist threat. Rumsfeld appeared on the Andrea Tantaros Show.
When the subject turned to Benghazi, Tantaros asked Rumsfeld who could possibly have given the “stand down” order that prevented US Special Forces from going to Benghazi to relieve the Americans under seige at the hands of terrorists in the 10-hour attack.
“When you have people that are being attacked, and everyone knew that there were al Qaeda-related organizations threatening Western facilities in Benghazi, the standard procedure is to try to protect your people,” Rumsfeld said, adding that “If you can’t protect them, you pull them out.”
“When they were under attack, at that point the tradition in our country and in the military is to step forward and do what you can to try to save the lives,” Rumsfeld continued. “There were forces that could’ve done something, from everything I can tell. In Tripoli there was a unit, in Sigonella, Italy I believe there was a unit. And someone in that chain of command said ‘Don’t do it,’ and I can’t imagine it. It is the most unprofessional, unmilitary thing. Unless there’s a good reason that I don’t know.”
Rumsfeld served as President George W. Bush’s defense chief from 2001 to 2006. During that time, Democrats smeared him with the Abu Ghraib scandal, charging that both he and Bush were directly responsible for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners because it occurred on their watch. They have not applied similar logic to Benghazi or any other scandal currently swirling around the Obama White House.
Tantaros asked Rumsfeld who he believes should be held most responsible for Benghazi.
“Certainly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the principal responsibility for ensuring the security of the people who work for the Department of State,” he answered. “The idea that she could go before a congressional committee and say, ‘What at this point does it matter?’ and chastise the members of the committee for asking questions, I think was inexcusable and I must say I was not very impressed by the response by the members of Congress.”
Later in the interview, Rumsfeld said that the flight time from several US bases near Libya is “relatively short.”
Tantaros also asked Rumsfeld if comparing the current Obama scandals to Watergate is apt.
“I think the comparison is useful one in this sense,” Rumsfeld said. “Leaders lead by persuasion. And to persuasive in our country, you’ve gotta be trustworthy. To the extent that what you say turns out to be inaccurate, incrementally you lose the trust of the American people. The idea that the government would turn against the American people with with Internal Revenue Service, with all of the power that they have, and all of the legal authorities, and all of the people and all of the money…is something that’s so fundamentally against how we function as a democracy.”
Rumsfeld added that lost trust weakened Nixon’s presidency, and he sees the same thing happening in the IRS, media and Benghazi scandals.
Rumsfeld also took issue with the Obama administration’s decision not to establish a status of forces agreement with Iraq, calling that decision “inexcusable.”
Listen to the entire interview here.
The Andrea Tantaros Show is produced for Talk Radio Network by the Fox and Rice Experience.
James Rosen was not the only Fox reporter tracked by the Obama/Holder Department of Justice. Fox reporter William LaJeunesse and producer Mike Levine were reportedly also subjected to serious invasions of their privacy.
William LaJeunesse identified as other @foxnews reporter who was monitored.
— Brian Faughnan (@BrianFaughnan) May 20, 2013
Producer Mike Levine (sp?) 3rd Fox news person monitored.
— Brian Faughnan (@BrianFaughnan) May 20, 2013
In order to obtain the information that the DOJ sought, it had to accuse the media workers of engaging in criminal conspiracy. In the affidavit accusing Rosen, the FBI accuses him of using “flattery” and persuasion to obtain information from his source, and of using pseudonyms and a special communications method to meet and to pass on information.
Every reporter who has ever written an exclusive based on unnamed sources has done what Rosen is accused of doing. It is not criminal activity, it is reporting. In Rosen’s case, he was working on obtaining classified information. Again, though, many reporters who have worked on national security issues have tried to obtain classified information from sources. The government routinely classifies information that has no business being classified. The First Amendment protects reporters’ freedom to try to obtain whatever information they can in pursuit of stories. Accusing them of criminal activity is extremely rare.
Meanwhile, the DOJ that targeted the AP and Fox for leaking, also leaked documents to smear a Fast and Furious whistleblower.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General published a new report Monday that confirms former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke leaked a document intended to smear Operation Fast and Furious scandal whistleblower John Dodson.
The DOJ IG said it found “Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.”
“We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member,” the IG wrote.
Under questioning, AG Eric Holder will probably claim that he knew nothing of any of this. He’s lying. After the AP story broke, he claimed that the leak in that story was one of the most serious he had ever seen. Will that be his excuse in this case, too?
Catherine Engelbrecht founded King Street Patriots and True the Vote to monitor and stop voter fraud. She and her husband, Bryan, operate a small manufacturing business outside Houston, Texas that employs about 30 people.
After Catherine founded the two groups, she soon found herself publicly accused by Sen. Barbara Boxer and other prominent Democrats of “suppressing” Democratic voters, though her actual actions involved training citizens to monitor polls on election day. I’ve witnessed True the Vote’s training sessions myself. There is nothing suppressive about them at all.
The accusations, which even extended to publicly accusing Engelbrecht of engaging in a criminal conspiracy, were just the start.
Engelbrecht applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status for her groups in 2010. That’s when the trouble began.
- Her application was put through questioning similar to inquiries other groups have reported, including questions about her political aspirations, the groups’ Facebook posts, etc.
- She was subjected to four rounds of IRS questioning.
- Her family business was audited by the IRS, as were her family’s personal finances.
- Her business was subjected to Occupational Health and Safety Administration audits. OSHA found only minor problems, and subjected the Engelbrechts’ business to $25,000 in fines.
- Her business was subjected to an unannounced audit by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigations inquired about someone who had visited one of Engelbrecht’s meetings, and subsequently called up the Engelbrechts just to ask “how they were doing.”
All of this, over the course of about two years, and all of it came after Mrs. Engelbrecht became politically active. Engelbrecht gained national attention after Andrew Breitbart became aware of her groups and spoke at one of its meetings (I introduced Breitbart at that meeting). It’s no secret that the Obama administration viewed Breitbart as one of its chief enemies, along with Fox News and the Tea Party.
Considering the breadth and scope of the inquiries to which Engelbrecht has been subjected, she has had the entire executive branch of the United States government focused on her and targeting her.
Because she is a leading and effective public critic of Barack Obama. But perhaps just as important, because she works against voter fraud by promoting voter ID laws. The Obama administration has made no secret of its hatred for voter ID security laws.
Congress must hold hearings about Engelbrecht’s experience, subpoenaing every single government employee involved to get their testimony and evidence under oath. Who orchestrated these actions against her and her family?
Catherine Engelbrecht was subjected to harassment to the point of tyranny, and it must not stand.
The Conservative Hispanic Society is expressing outrage that the Internal Revenue Service targeted them. In a press release going out today, the Conservative Hispanic Society says that though it applied for 501(c)(4) status in 2010, its application still has not been approved.
CHS Executive Director Chris Salcedo did not mince words in his reaction to the news: “It seems the Obama political machine has infiltrated every aspect of our government. Politics now dictates our response to terrorist attacks. And now the IRS is being used as a weapon to punish people our president has referred to as his ‘enemies’.”
The “enemies” mention refers to a statement that President Obama gave in October 2010, as the IRS abuse was in full swing. Mr. Salcedo, a veteran journalist, has frequently written for this site.
CHS President Steve Navarre focused on how deeply un-American the IRS abuse is. “Through the Constitution, our nation’s founding fathers tried to guard against elected leaders using the power of government to oppress the people,” Navarre says in the press release. “The type of government overreach displayed by the IRS brings to life our founder’s deepest fears.”
The Conservative Hispanic Society is far from alone. On March 16, Fox Latino reported that several conservative groups in Texas say that along with Tea Party groups and Jewish and Christian groups, the Internal Revenue Service targeted them too. Texas Rep. Bill Flores (R) believes he was targeted after working with the Waco Tea Party, which was also targeted. Flores, a certified public accountant, was among the first in Congress to question the IRS’ actions. The San Antonio and Dallas Tea Party groups both report being targeted by the IRS. Katrina Pierson, head of the Dallas Tea Party, traveled to Washington last week as the IRS abuse blew up into a full scandal. Voces Action, a Texas-based group that teaches Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities about the Constitution, was targeted according to its founder and president, Adryana Boyne.
The breadth of IRS abuse across Texas is disturbing, given President Obama’s tense relationship with the Lone Star State and Democratic ambitions to turn it blue. Democrats have not won a statewide race in Texas in a generation, and Republicans control both houses of the state legislature with strong majorities. Republican Gov. Rick Perry has battled with the administration over everything from offshore drilling to coal power plants to border security for years. State Attorney General Greg Abbott was party to the state lawsuit against ObamaCare and has battled the administration on Second Amendment rights. President Obama’s response to a call for enhancing security on the border was to joke about putting alligators and moats in place of the Rio Grande. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney defeated Obama handily in Texas’ 2008 and 2012 presidential votes.
IRS abuse of Hispanic groups across Texas may introduce racial and demographic angles into the scandal. Democrats have long pined for Texas’ growing Hispanic population to help them flip the staunchly Republican state to Democratic control. Conservative and Republican Hispanic groups have sprung up in the last few years to bring more Hispanic voters, who in Texas tend to be socially conservative, into the GOP fold. The IRS abuse of these groups has undoubtedly curbed their ability to fund raise and spread their messages, at the same time that the president’s Battleground Texas group ramps up its operation, unfettered by any IRS interference, to turn Texas blue.
As Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer gets more and more offended that the IRS abuse scandal is dragging his bystander messiah boss down, agency employees are pushing the scandal back up the line. We don’t act without directives, they say.
“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”
This rings true with anyone who has ever spent much time within or around a government bureaucracy. The fact is, the targeting regime created more work for agents, not less. Hardly anyone in a government bureaucracy ever comes up with ways to increase their work load. Someone decided to target the president’s critics for abuse. Someone wrote up the questions. Someone ordered the street-level agents to “be on the lookout” for these groups and subject them to extra scrutiny. Someone told street-level agents to drag these groups’ application processes out for months and years.
The IRS’ street-level agents are unionized. Ever try to load up more work on union members, especially when they’re already busy and you’re not offering them raises? You have to get their union to cooperate, or you will get nowhere. You don’t start at the bottom with the employees who will carry out the work. You have to start at the top, to get the directive put in place and get the work to roll downhill.
At the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord may have found a smoking gun in the hand of a very high-level IRS union official.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.
Colleen Kelley heads the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU represents 150,000 agents in 31 different agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service. If she was not present and meeting with Obama on March 31 to launch the abuse regime that began the very next day, then why was she there? What communications between Kelley and Obama led up to that March 31, 2010 meeting?
This major revelation was not uncovered by the IG report, because the inspector general did not examine White House visitor logs or communications with the White House at all. Like the State Department’s Benghazi Accountability Review Board, its focus was too narrow by design to get at the real root of the scandal.
Bystander Obama sets the tone. In the IRS scandal, he has claimed to be outraged that the most feared civilian agency in the United States has abused the president’s critics, but his body language and his actions do not show real outrage or even surprise. No one has really been fired; the fake-fired acting commissioner was already on his way out. The officer who was in charge of the office that abused patriots has been promoted and will now oversee the implementation of ObamaCare. Obama pledged to fix the problem, but has actually done nothing to fix anything at all.
That tone that Bystander Barack Obama has set has manifested itself in his senior aide, Dan Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer appeared on Face the Nation today, and downplayed the significance of the IRS scandal.
“What would be an actual real scandal in Washington would be if the president had been involved or had interfered in an IRS investigation,” Pfeiffer said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
An actual real scandal is the IRS abusing groups similar to those that had handed him a “shellacking” in the 2010 election. That’s what happened.
Pfeiffer’s dismissal of the systemic abuse was not a one-off. It’s the White House’s new message.
Pfeiffer said the White House is remaining focused and will not going to let Republicans “drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped up hearings and false allegations.”
The IRS abused Americans for years for their political and religious beliefs and that abuse impeded the president’s critics as he sought re-election. Bystander Obama doesn’t seem to think that it’s his problem.
Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday.
Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.
The Obama regime responded to the news with a forked tongue today. The Pentagon acknowledged that the new missile shipment is a huge problem. The State Department denied that Russia was sending in any new missile shipments at all. Bystander Obama will chuckle about it all when he reads about it in the paper. And if there’s a problem, by gum, Barack’ll fix it!
The new missiles would complicate any US-UN-NATO effort to arm the rebels, should we decide to make that mistake.
“It enables the regime to deter foreign forces looking to supply the opposition from the sea, or from undertaking a more active role if a no-fly zone or shipping embargo were to be declared at some point,” said Nick Brown, editor in chief of IHS Jane’s International Defense Review. “It’s a real ship killer.”
Jeffrey White, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior American intelligence official, said Syria’s strengthened arsenal would “tend to push Western or allied naval activity further off the coast” and was also “a signal of the Russian commitment to the Syrian government.”
Russia wants Assad to stay. Assad is a nasty butcher. But given the nature of his opposition, it’s hard to say that they’re wrong. Two things are certain. Our government is run by corrupt hacks who don’t look out for the nation’s interests. Russia’s government is corrupt but at least it’s professionally corrupt and does look out for Russian interests. Another Islamist state is not in Russia’s or America’s interests.
In a memo going out from House GOP leaders to rank and file members today, the White House has been put on notice that it must cooperate with future information requests in the growing IRS scandal.
Congress has a responsibility to determine
not only who is responsible for this outrage, but also how it was allowed to continue despite repeated concerns and inquires raised by Congress. In addition, answers are needed as to why senior IRS officials did not correct the record after learning of the problem.
The House investigation enters a new phase now that the allegations of political bias, denied for two years, have been revealed to be true. On Wednesday, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller submitted his resignation at the request of the White House and the Department of the Treasury.
Whether or not the Administration is sincere in its condemnation of these actions will quickly be revealed by its willingness to cooperate with Congress, turn over requested documents, and make officials available for interviews with congressional investigators. A failure to swiftly and fully comply with congressional requests will speak louder than any words of apology or condemnation could.
The memo is address to all House members, from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, and House Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Darrell Issa.
Miller’s testimony earlier today was consistently uninformative. When asked for specific information and names of individuals involved in the abuse, Miller tended answer with variations of “I don’t know.”
Attorney General Eric Holder followed a similar pattern earlier in the week when he testified about the Department of Justice’s sweep of Associated Press phone records.
When he was asked about his knowledge of the IRS scandal at the White House Thursday, President Barack Obama likewise refused to answer directly, and instead offered a lawyerly reply that did not answer the question at all.
Today’s memo suggests that going forward, the House will expect the White House to stop claiming that it finds the IRS’ actions outrageous, and just comply with any investigations demanding information, witnesses and answers.
The memo also offers a comprehensive timeline of the major events in the IRS abuse scandal.
This was one of those Jimmy Stewart give-it-to-em moments.
There’s only one proper response to Kelly’s performance.
Having spent most of my legal career working with tax exempt entities, the IRS scrutiny on the Tea Party isn’t news to me. In my days at large law firms, I handled a portfolio of nonprofit Tea Party organizations and saw firsthand how the IRS treated them when it came to granting exemptions.
In many cases, the organizations fight tooth-and-nail to get through IRS scrutiny, often facing pages of questions from the IRS on their activities.
In some instances, the IRS went about it in a more roundabout way, calling into question the organization’s use of funds, its outside grants and operational issues.
Several of the applications were even sent up to the IRS’ National Office for elevated scrutiny.
The experiences mirror the allegations of the American Center for Law and Justice, who represented 27 organizations.
On the flip side, I’ve worked with numerous Muslim organizations as well. And every single application of a Muslim nonprofit has gone through the IRS, with less scrutiny. Of course, they still did get scrutiny– after all, Islamophobia is still pretty rampant everywhere and it’s inaccurate to say that they got a free pass. But truth be told, they never got a 10-page questionnaire on each and every one of their grantees.
What does this say about the way that the IRS is handling applications from Muslim nonprofits? For one, in the application phase, Muslim nonprofits seem to have an upper hand over Tea Party groups.
I’m sure no one in the IRS asked those Muslim groups to divulge the content of their members’ prayers.
Jim Geraghty noticed this stunning moment during today’s IRS hearing. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) read questions from one of the IRS’ questionnaires to pro-life groups. One of those questions demanded that the Coalition for Life of Iowa “Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.”
Outgoing fake-fired commissioner Steven Miller could not address that specific case or question, but allowed that he would be “surprised” if that question was asked.
There was no “if.” The IRS asked it, in writing. Steven Miller’s agency appears to have become a secularist Inquisition.
In today’s hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, outgoing not-really-fired commissioner Steven Miller admitted that a high-ranking member of the Internal Revenue Service planted the question that led to the agency’s apology for targeting conservatives.
[IRS official] Lerner disclosed the information last Friday while speaking at a tax conference organized by the American Bar Association. Asked about the incident, she said only that she answered honestly a question that was posed to her. The question, however, was posed to Lerner by Celia Roady, a Washington, D.C. tax lawyer who sits on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities.
Miller indicated today that Roady was in fact instructed by the IRS to ask the question, and the Lerner knew about the question in advance.
“Who told her to ask the question?” asked Republican representative Kenny Marchant.
“I don’t know, actually, I’m not sure, might have been Lois Lerner,” Miller responded. He went on to say that the IRS intended simultaneously to inform Congress, but admitted the agency only inquired about the congressional calendar.
Prior to the hearings, Lisa Myers reported that the IRS deliberately delayed acknowledging the abuse until after the 2012 election.
The IRS commissioner “has known for at least a year that this was going on,” said Myers, “and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What’s going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when — after these officials are briefed by the IG that this is going on, they don’t disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we — if you can — what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”
The outlines of this scandal are now, that the IRS intentionally, maliciously and systematically abused groups opposed to President Obama’s re-election and agenda. The agency delayed acknowledging that until after the election was over, and only acknowledged it after the fact, once Obama was safely in office for another four years and when its officials believed they could low-ball the news.
When he was asked point blank whether he or anyone else in the White House knew about the abuse, President Obama gave a distracting, non-responsive answer.
The president sets the tone. Both Barack Obama and Jay Carney acknowledge as much. In Benghazi, the tone that the president set had lethal consequences.
CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson has produced a comprehensive behind-the-scenes report based on her interviews with many officials who were involved in the lack of response to the Benghazi attack. About two-thirds of the way in, Attkisson addresses the role played, or not, by the Counterterrorism Security Group.
Under presidential directive, an interagency task force called the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) is to be convened when emergency terrorist events are suspected. According to a public military document, it’s part of a plan to “synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism.” But on Sept. 11, 2012, the Obama administration did not convene this body of terrorism expert advisers.
One official associated with the State Department now acknowledges that the CSG would probably have advised decision makers that FEST “was not just backup generator and radios.” Said the official: “the CSG could have made the argument, they were upset that they weren’t heard.” Another former Defense Department official says he finds no merit to using the CSG. “I’d like to hear them say what they could have done.”
Last October, National Security Council (NSC) Spokesman Tommy Vietor told CBS News that the CSG wasn’t needed because consultations were quickly underway at the highest levels. He indicated that, under the Obama administration, the function of the CSG has become a “lower level group” that “does different tasks” than under the Bush administration. “From the moment [President Obama] was briefed on the Benghazi attack, the response effort was handled by the most senior national security officials in governments. Members of the CSG were of course involved in these meetings and discussions to support their bosses,” said Vietor.
However, absent the CSG’s collective advice, there’s evidence that some high-level decision makers were unaware of all available resources. In October, on a phone call that included then-Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough (now White House Chief of Staff), Vietor initially told CBS News: “I don’t know what [FEST] is… it sounds antiquated.”
Barack Obama and many of his supporters believed that his election to the presidency would essentially end the war on terrorism. That belief rears its head here. What other tasks besides counterterrorism and security should the Counterterrorism Security Group be doing? Why was it pushed down the food chain? What are its current tasks? If they’re not counterterrorism and security, why does it still exist?
Tommy Vietor keeps turning up conspicuously in the Benghazi scandal, in part because the president sets the tone. Obama’s loyalist bus driver was heavily involved in the talking points discussion, playing the pivotal role of looping the State Department into what started as a vetting of intelligence-based talking points and quickly became a political discussion. The eventual outcome of that was a product that was useless on the facts, misleading to the public, but helpful to Obama and his tone on terrorism.
As Attkisson reports, Vietor acknowledges that under Obama the presidential Counterterrorism Security Group has been effectively demoted. This president has consistently downplayed the threat of terrorism, and his administration in fact doesn’t even acknowledge that the Ft. Hood massacre was an act of terrorism. To them, it was “workplace violence.” The Department of Homeland Security infamously tried describing terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”
Here is one consequence of a president going out of his way not to know what’s going on or why:
Vietor initially told CBS News: “I don’t know what [FEST] is… it sounds antiquated.”
Tommy Vietor was Obama’s National Security Council spokesman. His ignorance of the Foreign Emergency Support Team’s existence and capabilities is shocking. It’s his job to know. Obama put him in that position, based not on his national security credentials but on his loyalty to Obama. Vietor wasn’t doing his job and wasn’t even shy about expressing his ignorance. He had some reason to believe there would be no consequences for not knowing basic details directly relevant to his ability to do his job.
The president sets the tone, and raised his loyalist driver to become his NSC spokesman. His administration also just raised Jen Psaki to become a State Department spokesman, despite the fact that she has no foreign policy experience at all. What she is, though, is a loyal partisan who is not shy about attacking Americans who disagree with Obama.
Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller provided what may turn out to be the misleading understatement of the year today. Under questioning in the House, Miller said “We provided horrible customer service. Horrible customer service. I will admit that.”
What the IRS actually did was formulate a “be on the lookout” or BOLO list by which it targeted Tea Party, conservative and pro-life groups systematically for years. It kicked patriots in the face, for years, when they decided to become engaged in the political process.
Again under questioning, Miller admitted that this “horrible customer service” did not stop him from promoting Sarah Hall Ingram from the tax-exempt office that abused these groups, to head the implementation of ObamaCare.
If the office Ingram headed provided such “horrible customer service,” then why did Miller promote her?
“Because she is an exemplary civil servant,” Miller replied, evidently creating a new definition of the word “exemplary.”
Miller also offered up another memorable line when questioned about his previous testimony, in which he failed to acknowledge that the targeting had taken place. “It was incorrect but not untruthful,” Miller said.
According to Jay Carney, if you view the Obama administration as secretive and believe that its various scandals are real, you’re seeing things that don’t exist. Carney appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN show last night. Toward the end of the interview comes this bizarre exchange.
PIERS MORGAN: Final question, Jay Carney. Obviously the president made a big deal when he came into office of being not like previous administrations and was going to be much more transparent. The charge today after this week is that you have had that reputation for transparency pretty heavily dented. Do you accept that and just on a general picture, how are you going to move on now and restore perhaps faith that some Americans have lost this week in your openness and honesty?
JAY CARNEY: Well, I’m not sure, again, you’re concocting scandals here that don’t exist, especially with regard to the Benghazi affair that was contrived by Republicans and I think has fallen apart largely this week. The fact of the matter is that this administration has a record on transparency that outdoes any previous administration, and we are committed to that. The president is committed to that.
“You’re concocting scandals here that don’t exist…” Plural. Carney just denied that any of the massive scandals ripping around this presidency — the AP phone records sweep, the IRS systematically abusing Americans and even a congressman because of their political beliefs, Benghazi — are real. He also insisted that something is true that clearly is not, and hardly anyone believes — that the Obama administration is transparent. Obama appointed more unaccountable czars than any other previous president, and has operated an opaque and very political administration built in part on a philosophy of “punishing your enemies.”
Carney’s statement isn’t denial and it isn’t accidental. It’s gaslighting.
In the book Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis, the late forensic psychiatrist Theodore Dorpat defines gaslighting as a situation in which one individual “attempts to exert control over the feelings, thoughts or activities of another.” According to Dorpat, the gaslighting behavior itself is covert — neither “directly hostile” nor “intimidating.”
“In order to be effective, gaslighting depends on first convincing the victim that his thinking is distorted and secondly persuading him that the victimizer’s ideas are the correct and true ones,” writes Dorpat.
Carney will continue to insist, even as the facts pile up against him, that there is no scandal here and that you’re crazy to think that there is. The facts in the AP scandal suggest that DOJ went on a fishing expedition to retaliate after the news agency ran a story outside of the administration’s preferred timing. The facts of the IRS scandal suggest that it went very high up in and probably beyond that agency’s leadership, and constituted naked political abuse aimed to intimidate Americans and disengage them from the 2012 election. The facts on Benghazi suggest that the administration abandoned Americans under assault so that it could preserve its campaign narrative that al Qaeda had been more or less defeated. The movie was pushed as the reason for the attack to reach that same end.
No one has been held accountable in any of these scandals yet. The State Department’s firings connected to Benghazi turned out to be phony. The IRS resignation turned out to be a sham. Nothing has happened to anyone in connection with the AP sweep yet.
Carney, Obama et al will try to convince America that we’re all crazy to be concerned about and demand justice in these scandals. We’re being gaslit by an abusive and manipulative administration.
I don’t really have anything new, other than fresh outrage, to add to the news about IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram.
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
Ingram turns out not to be another lifelong Obama loyalist or even partisan Democrat campaigner, which is welcome news. She has been around the IRS for decades, according to an official agency bio of her. That’s less welcome news. Someone around the agency for that long had to have known how deeply wrong it was to abuse citizens as the IRS did.
Since July 2004, Ingram has been serving as Deputy Commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division (TE/GE). Ingram began her career with the IRS in the former Tax Litigation Division in 1982. She became Employee Plans Litigation Counsel in 1987, providing litigation coordination nationwide for employee benefit cases. In 1992, Ingram became Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations (EBEO), where she served until her 1994 appointment as Associate Chief Counsel, EBEO. As part of the IRS Modernization program, Ingram was appointed in 1999 to the new position of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel, TE/GE, where she was responsible for providing legal services to the TE/GE Division and its customers as well as other parts of the IRS.
So she isn’t a Tommy Vietor. Nevertheless, her office abused patriots who became engaged in the political process because they love their country. She was handed massive bonuses to the tune of over $100,000 during the abuse years. And is now on track to head IRS’ ObamaCare enforcement.
This won’t do. She needs to be testifying and may need to lawyer up. It’s not possible that a couple of rogue employees ran such a widespread and granular program of abuse. It had to have buy-in from echelons within and above the Cincinnati office, and we know that it did. IRS officials in Washington participated in it.
IRS should never have been involved in our health care. Ever. Of all the horrible ideas Democrats have come up with, putting the IRS essentially between citizen and doctor may be the absolute worst. The House repealed ObamaCare Thursday, again. If Republicans can take the Senate next year and hold it long enough to see a replacement for Obama elected, it can still be repealed in full and it should be.
But like Steven Miller, this is not a firing and therefore is not accountability.
An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency’s tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. Grant joins Steven Miller, who was forced to resign as acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday.
As part of his duties, Grant oversaw the IRS division that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
Grant joined the IRS in 2005.
Congressional investigators should keep his name handy.
Yahoo is doing a nice service re the Benghazi emails that the White House released last night. As released they were difficult to process. Many were smudged making them hard to read. Having them all in an unsearchable PDF made them difficult to cross reference.
Yahoo is digitizing all of them and creating an interactive that works like an email inbox. You can click through and see which email was sent when, and by whom. Check it out.
Only about 25% of the emails have been digitized and included so far. But just looking at the inbox at this point, two things are apparent. Tommy Vietor, the loyalist bus driver who became Obama’s national security spokesman, is the one who looped the State Department into the talking points discussion. That’s in the 9/14/2012 email sent at 6:21 PM. It’s after that that State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has a conversation with her “building’s leadership” and comes back with substantive edits to the CIA’s talking points.
h/t Drew M.
When he was asked why the Department of Justice subpoenaed the AP’s phone records, Holder responded that the leak involved was “very, very serious.” So serious, in fact, that “It put Americans at risk.” So the DOJ had to act.
Yeah, about that. It appears not to be true.
For five days, reporters at the Associated Press had been sitting on a big scoop about a foiled al-Qaeda plot at the request of CIA officials. Then, in a hastily scheduled Monday morning meeting, the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing the story for just one more day.
The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.
Get that? The administration wanted to own the story, and wanted AP to hold off publishing until Obama et al could announce it themselves.
The CIA, which would later allow the State Department to edit the Benghazi talking points, continued arguing with the AP to delay releasing the story even after all the security concerns about it went away.
The news service was prepared to publish its scoop on May 2, 2012. But in discussions with government officials, the CIA stressed to AP that publishing anything about the operation to obtain the bomb and thwart the plot would create grave national security dangers and compromise a “sensitive intelligence operation.”
Michael J. Morell, the CIA’s deputy director, gave AP reporters some additional background information to persuade them to hold off, Vietor said. The agency needed several days more to protect what it had in the works.
Then, in a meeting on Monday, May 7, CIA officials reported that the national security concerns were “no longer an issue,” according to the individuals familiar with the discussion.
When the journalists rejected a plea to hold off longer, the CIA then offered a compromise. Would they wait a day if AP could have the story exclusively for an hour, with no government officials confirming it for that time?
It’s after the AP decides to run with the story, that the DOJ goes after its phone records in a sweep so vast that it even included the AP’s phone at the US House of Representatives. Given who the AP may have been talking to on that phone, we may have a violation of the separation of powers.
Obama bus driver Tommy Vietor helpfully wraps the story up for his boss.
“We shouldn’t pretend that this leak of an unbelievably sensitive dangerous piece of information is okay because nobody died,” he said.
We shouldn’t pretend that lifelong Obama loyalists are qualified to be national security spokesmen, either.
The White House must be speed-dialing foreign leaders to ask them which one wants to be next to stand next to Barack Obama. There is a danger, though, of lightning striking with each lie he tells.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Thursday that it appeared the standard procedures for subpoenaing records from a media organization were not followed in the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records from The Associated Press.
“There is a process when you are subpoenaing documents from a media organization that apparently were not followed in this case and we need to find out why,” Goodlatte told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Now, even liberal talker Bill Press is calling for Obama to fire Attorney General Eric Holder.
“I have no confidence in Eric Holder anymore, and you shouldn’t either,” Press wrote. “This AP story from the Justice Dept is too far-reaching. Seizing these phone records is a violation of freedom of the press. FIRE Holder.”
On Thursday, Press renewed his call for Holder’s dismissal, writing, “I still haven’t heard a legit justification for the subpoenaing the AP phone records. They didn’t notify AP, they didn’t narrow search.”
“What ‘breach of national security’ are we talking about re the AP story? It’s BS and Holder should be fired,” Press tweeted.
On Fox just now, Democrat talker Julie Roginsky said that Obama’s claim that he only learned about the IRS abuse last Friday, in the press, means one of two things: Either he’s uniformed because his staff aren’t doing their jobs, or he knows more than he is saying and is not being “entirely forthcoming.” It clearly pained Roginsky to speak both of those possibilities.
It’s such a distinct pattern we have here: Obama doesn’t know anything. Holder doesn’t know anything. Hillary Clinton doesn’t know anything. About anything.
The truth, obviously, is that they all knew. They’re just lying about it now.
On its front page, the Associated Press says that it is protesting the Department of Justice’s seizure of its phone records. But in its news coverage, the AP is still associating itself with Democrat talking points.
By now, everyone who has paid any attention knows that budget cuts had nothing to do with the terrorist attack in Benghazi. The State Department’s Charlene Lamb testified to that fact, after Democrats raised the question months ago.
But take a look at how the AP reports President Obama’s remarks today regarding Benghazi and embassy security.
Headline: OBAMA: CONGRESS MUST ‘FULLY FUND’ EMBASSY SECURITY
Below that, a story that quotes the president notes how much money the State Department wants to upgrade security, and this:
Since the attack, Democrats have complained that Republicans cut $300 million from the Obama administration’s budget request of $2.6 billion for diplomatic and embassy security in 2012.
Nothing — at all — about the fact that a senior State Department official, Deputy Assistant Secretary Charlene Lamb, testified that budget cuts and finances had nothing to do with the attacks, or the denials to upgrade security in the months leading up to it.
The AP may need to spend some time in a battered media shelter, to get away from the man it still obviously loves.
As Obama’s worst week ever grinds on, he has overcome his media shyness. The president who has given fewer press conferences than his predecessor had at this point has held two press conferences in as many days, along with a statement about the IRS scandal.
But in none of them, did Barack Obama ever face the media alone.
On Tuesday, he was accompanied by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Wednesday night, he was flanked by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
Today, he had Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside.
Two things are obvious in this pattern.
One, Barack Obama is terrified of the press and refuses to face them on his own.
Two, out of fear he is using foreign leaders as props to keep the press from getting out of hand, and to force them to ask questions having nothing to do with his scandals.
Obama is disrespecting our allies, while trying to control the press. Because he is scared.
President Obama answered a press question about the IRS scandal by denying that he knew anything about the IG report until it started turning up in press reports. Spokesman Jay Carney has said the same thing.
This is not a denial that the president knew that the abuse was going on. He merely denied knowing about the IG report. But when chopped down to a soundbite for news reports and newscasts, it may come off as the president denying all knowledge of the IRS’s abuses.
He did not issue such a denial.
Update: Here is the president’s exact answer. Juliana Goldman of Bloomberg asks him:
Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS. Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your counsel’s office found out on April 22nd? And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports, as you said last Friday?
She also asked about appointing a special counsel to investigate it.
The president answered, first saying that
My main concern is fixing a problem, and we began that process yesterday by asking and accepting the resignation of the acting director there.
As we now know, that resignation was less than he made out. Miller was on his way out anyway. The president went on to say:
Let me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.
That wasn’t the question. The question was, when did he learn about the IRS abuse itself?
The safest way to bet after that answer is that Obama and/or someone in the White House did know. It’s also safer now to assume that there was some level of involvement.
Hey you anti-gun leftists, don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger here.
Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength.
Men’s upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to the research.
Take one look at Chuck Norris, if you dare, and Barack Obama and tell me you’re surprised.
Or take one look at Glenn Reynolds and Matt Yglesias and tell me you’re surprised.
Leftists may respond “Yeah, but it says we’re smarter.” No, it doesn’t. The research didn’t go there.
The tumors on New York Democrat Assemblyman Vito Lopez are on his neck. And armpit.
- “One woman was made to feel the tumors on his neck, shoulder and armpit as Lopez, who has cancer, told her he was dying and “needed” her.” (Daily News)
- “Mr. Lopez also demanded that several women write effusive and flirtatious text messages, in one case even writing a sample note for them to follow: ‘Vito, I wanted to be nice to you. Hope you like way I look,’ he wrote. He then sometimes used such letters to forestall complaints made against him.” (NY Times)
- After pressuring an employee to go to a bar, “instead of talking about legislation, however, Lopez only spoke to Employee 3 about ‘completely personal matters,’ such as her relationship with her boyfriend and her father. At the end of the evening, Lopez gave Employee 3 $50 in cash and told her to purchase a low-cut blouse to wear…. [The next day] Employee 3 gave the money back to Lopez, telling him that she was “uncomfortable” with his offer. Lopez calmly took the money. Later that evening, they attended the Brooklyn Unidos Christmas party, and Emplooyee 3 said that Lopez threw the $50 in her face, while yelling she should never “disrespect him” again and that when he gives her something, she should take it.” (JCOPE report)
- “During the car ride home, a staffer said that Mr. Lopez once again put his hand between her legs on her inner thigh. She squeezed her legs together in an effort to prevent him from touching her and was scratched by one of Mr. Lopez’s jagged fingernails.” (Politicker)
More at the link. If you’re interested. He also made them touch his pinkeye. Lopez has escaped criminal prosecution, and is running for NYC city council. Being a Democrat, his odds of waging a pervy war on women and gaining a battlefield promotion for it are pretty good.
President Obama is set to hold a news conference shortly with Turkey’s prime minister. Supposing he takes questions from the press, someone should ask him the following.
Mr. President, on Wednesday you gave a brief statement on the IRS abuse scandal, in which you said that acting commissioner Steven Miller had been asked for and had handed in his resignation. You suggested that this was the beginning of accountability in the IRS abuse scandal. But an hour later, Miller told IRS staff that he was merely ending his term a couple of weeks early, and that he expected an “orderly transition” to the next commissioner. In light of Miller’s remarks, Americans are wondering if you, Mr. President, really held Mr. Miller accountability for anything, or if you allowed him to depart on his own terms. Is Mr. Miller’s account accurate? Do you believe that he has undermined your effort to hold the agency accountable? Related to that, this morning America woke to the news that Ambassador Susan Rice is in line for a promotion to become your next National Security Adviser. Mr. President, do you think she deserves a promotion, after misleading the American people about the origins and nature of the terrorist attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead? And related to that, your spokesman, Jay Carney, has insisted that the White House only made “stylistic” changes to the Benghazi talking points. But the emails released last night show much more involvement, and that changes were made at a deputies meeting conducted inside the White House. Carney’s statements clearly were not accurate, and he speaks on your behalf. Looking at these three cases, what conclusion should Americans reach about your view of holding your subordinates accountable for their actions?
Our government is so expensive we can’t pay for it and so vast that even the lightworker himself with his jedi temperament cannot effectively run it. But our Mandarin masters soldier on despite all the sequestration damage, doing the very best that they can with what they have.
One of the White House officials involved in the talking-points debate, former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, issued a statement Wednesday defending the way the administration handled the matter.
“Some people have understandably asked how we were so wrong about there being a protest,” Mr. Vietor said in the statement. “I don’t know. When I was in government, I asked some intelligence officials how it happened. They told me that there were many different strands of information indicating there was a protest, both open source and intelligence based.”
He added, “In fact, a number of news outlets reported there were protests.”
So they read about it in the paper. I guess the problem, then, is that they’re just reading the wrong paper.
By the way, this National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor, does not hail from the military or any intel agency or even the State Department. He’s a lifelong Obama loyalist who started out as Barry’s bus driver.
We’re in the very best of hands, indeed.
h/t Denis Boyles
Democrat Sen. Harry Reid waged one of the more pernicious attacks on Mitt Romney during last year’s election. In July, Harry told the Huffington Post that he had learned from a source he never named that Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years.
Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.
“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”
Romney dismissed Reid outright and said he was wrong.
Reid never did name his “source,” though he claimed it was someone who had worked for Bain Capital. He never provided any evidence that he even knew what he was talking about. But he continued waging his war against Mitt Romney’s taxes through the election, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi eventually joined in. In both cases, the Democrats used the Huffington Post to wage this part of their campaign.
“Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact,” Pelosi told The Huffington Post in a Sunday interview. “Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes.”
Reid’s and Pelosi’s gambit was obviously part of the Obama campaign’s overall strategy to paint Romney as rich and unethical. The twosome were acting as attack dogs on the campaign’s behalf. The question is, did they actually have any real knowledge of Romney’s taxes? If they did, how did they obtain it? After this week, neither Reid nor Pelosi deserve the benefit of the doubt. Many in the Democratic Party had been putting pressure on the IRS to investigate Republicans and Tea Party groups before the IRS actually did it. Some of them still justify this abuse.
It’s common for political campaigns to question their opponents’ taxes and tax returns. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign dogged their 2010 opponent about his taxes through the entire campaign, for instance, to try to get him to release his returns (Perry has released his going back a couple of decades or more). But those attacks tend not to claim anything specific about the contents of the tax returns. They’re demands that the opponent release them to be transparent with the voters, to put the opponent on the defensive and off message.
Reid’s claim was different. He claimed to have some knowledge of Romney’s tax returns, thanks to this source he never named.
Even now, Reid is condemning the IRS for doing the very thing that he still wants it to do: Investigate “shadowy” groups opposed to the president.
According to a report from Fox19 news in Cincinnati, the story we’ve been told about the IRS and its “rogue” workers is false to the roots. The IRS has claimed that the entire anti-Tea Party regime was run by two people who, according to outgoing acting commissioner Steven Miller (whose resignation turned out to be a sham), acted on their own. Fox19 has found that the facts are a bit different.
One of FOX19′s two sources went on say that these four IRS workers claim “they simply did what their bosses ordered.” FOX19 reported on Tuesday that the report by the Office of Inspector General states that senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting Tea Party groups as early as 2011.
In fact, according to that report, Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax exempt organizations, was told on June 29, 2011 that groups with “Tea Party”, “Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional, and often burdensome, scrutiny.
Whose orders were they following? We may find out on Monday, when at least two IRS workers are supposed to testify.
Update: The Nine Lies of Lois Lerner. Kevin Williamson runs through Lerner’s many lies before reaching this conclusion.
What we have, then, is this: Under a Democratic administration, the IRS was under pressure from Democratic elected officials to investigate political enemies of the Democratic party. The agency did so. Its commissioner lied to Congress about its doing so. When the inspector general’s report was about to make these abuses public, the agency staged a classic Washington Friday news rollout at a sleepy American Bar Association tax-law conference, hoping to minimize the bad publicity. Lerner lied to the public about the nature, scope, and extent of the IRS intimidation campaign.
House Speaker John Boehner asked yesterday “Who is going to jail?” because of this scandal. Steven Miller and Lois Lerner would be a good start.
Steven Miller, the now resigned acting commissioner of the IRS, is telling staff that the abuse scandal is not the reason he’s leaving.
It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June,’ Miller wrote. “This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.”
Basically, he’s saying that he’s just leaving a couple weeks early, no big deal. Incredible.
The president’s big statement today was a big nothing as far as accountability goes. The only head that has rolled was already scheduled to roll even if the scandal had never come up. It now looks like Obama came out with that statement for two reasons: To look like he was doing something useful, and to bully Republicans not to aggressively pursue the scandal.
President Barack Obama delivered a brief statement on the IRS scandal this afternoon. He announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had requested and received the resignation of Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. He also warned Republicans not to politicize the scandal, which has government abusing Americans due to their political beliefs at its very heart.
Obama took no questions from the media.
He did manage to finally stop using “if” in connection with the IRS scandal.
Update: Miller’s resignation is a sham.
Notably, the emails only begin on September 14, 2012. By that point, the administration had already taken to blaming the attack on a YouTube video. The video is not mentioned in the entire talking points discussion chain. At all. In fact, on September 15, a draft of points sent to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) states that “We are very cautious about drawing any firm conclusions at this point with regard to the identification and motivation of the attackers.” Two brief lines on page 76 are probably the origins of the White House that it only made minor changes, but the fact is, the talking points were hashed out at a deputies meeting at the White House the following Saturday morning.
Hold the phone: The movie does come up, starting Sept 15 in the subject line of an email marked from USUN. By that point, Clinton had already stood in front of the coffins of the slain and blamed the movie. USUN appears to be a redaction.
Update: Having read through them, it’s clear that the State Department wanted the talking points watered down. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland carefully notes that her “building’s leadership” had problems with the talking points without naming anyone. In one email she claims that the talking points should be weakened so that the investigation is not “prejudiced,” but the FBI had no serious problems with the original version, which named al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia.
The move came a week after public interest in last year’s terror attack unexpectedly rebounded with testimony by three State Department employees that reopened lingering questions about the assault. The documents were being released late Wednesday afternoon.
While many of the emails have already leaked out, the release of the complete set of communications paints a fuller picture of an administration struggling with how much to disclose about an attack that eight months later remains a focus of partisan division.
The decision to release them represented a major shift that officials hope will tamp down the controversy. Administration lawyers for months had rebuffed calls to hand over the emails on the grounds the exchanges were part of internal administration deliberations.
But administration officials have complained that congressional Republicans in recent days have been leaking selective excerpts from the emails to buttress their argument that the talking points were manipulated for political purposes.
That complaint was a lie, straight from the mouth of Jay Carney.
Update: Well, the White House has just made things even worse. The released emails begin on September 14, three days after the attack. By then, both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had been blaming a movie for two days. The released emails are also heavily redacted.
According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, President Barack Obama learned about the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records when the rest of us did, from the media reports about it.
Q When did the President find out about the Department of Justice’s subpoenas for the Associated Press?
MR. CARNEY: Yesterday. Let me just be clear. We don’t have any independent knowledge of that. He found out about the news reports yesterday on the road.
Why did the DoJ subpoena those phone records? Attorney General Eric Holder says that it was done in response to a “very, very serious” leak.
“This was a very serious leak. A very, very serious leak,” Holder said Tuesday at a press conference. He added that it was possibly the most serious leak he had seen, or at least top two or three.
“It put the American people at risk,” he said. “And that is not hyperbole.”
“Trying to determine who was responsible for that, I think, required aggressive action,” he said.
But, apparently, it didn’t require the president’s input. Even though the leak put the American people at risk, according to Holder.
Does this make any sense? How are Americans supposed to process this? The Ulsterman report comes up with an either/or.
Either Barack Obama did in fact know of his DOJ’s actions against the media, and then had his administration lie about it, or he has an administration that does not even bother to inform him of a significant threat to the United States.
Just what does Barack Obama do all day?
Lois Lerner had better lawyer up.
Lois Lerner, the senior executive in charge of the IRS tax exemption department and the person at the center of the exploding scandal over the IRS targeting conservative, evangelical and pro-Israel non-profits, has been given $42,531 in bonuses since 2009.
That figure was included in data provided by the IRS in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Washington Examiner. Lerner is director of the IRS exempt organizations division, which processes and approves or denies applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Lerner’s group had “rogue” employees abusing the president’s political opponents. Those “rogues” apparently include her own self.
The director of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire for singling out conservative groups sent a 2012 letter under her name to one such group, POLITICO has learned. The March 2012 letter was sent to the Ohio-based American Patriots Against Government Excess (American PAGE) under the name of Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division…
Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
In that latter case, Obama had collected money long before he was granted his tax-exempt status. Lerner helped him out by making his status retroactive all the way to 2008, shielding him from exposure to any tax evasion nastiness.