October 27, 2012

#BENGHAZI: TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, from Bill Kristol.

UPDATE: Some parsing from Prof. Stephen Clark:

There’s been much commentary swirling around the recent CIA and NSC statements that paraphrased amount to saying: No one denied requests for assistance and, it can be argued, that assistance was given. However, there are sins of commission and sins of omission: what does deny mean in this case?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Steve Eimers writes:

I decided to take my 8 year old son Vitali and picket in front of the Democrat HQ in Loudon County and near the early voting location in Lenoir City. I held a sign that said ‘What Happened in Benghazi?’ on one side and ‘Obama Unfit for Command.’

I had 15 people honk and give a thumbs up and 5 people flicked me and my eight year old son off. One woman came out and dropped the f-bomb on me and continued to curse me out in front of my son. Definitely could have used some ubiquitous video today. Next time I will have my camera!

You always want a camera.

There is an active and a passive meaning associated with that word. It is argued that assets were present and overhead during the attack on the annex: C130 gunships, drones, for example. Either they were or they weren’tAs evidence for the affirmative it is argued that Tyrone Woods, a former Navy SEAL, illuminated a mortar position, at severe risk of comprising his own position, and would have done so only with the knowledge that those assets were overhead. He either illuminated or not. Illumination suggests a direct request for use; was the request made?

Now, use of those assets has to be authorized – no passive meaning here. At any point in time, use of those assets can be denied actively; or passively by simply not issuing an authorization for use. There is no need for an order stating: “Do not use”. In this circumstance, note that it even can be argued that a request for use was not ignored or that there was a failure to respond, since the response would be no response. Remember, you’re dealing with word parsers in a situation now demanding much CYA in the wake of a FUBAR scenario.

All questions put must assume possible active or passive meanings to words. So, was direct authorization to use specific overhead assets in relief of the compound, or annex, issued during the time of the attacks: Yes, or no? If, “No”, then was a specific order to not use such assets issued: Yes, or no? If, “No”, then you have your passive denial of use.

I think the key bit is: “Remember, you’re dealing with word parsers in a situation now demanding much CYA in the wake of a FUBAR scenario.”

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