Sorry, Mr. President, but your time is just about up.
ABC’s Jake Tapper wrote a post today in which he mentions that critics think the President is simply trying to run out the clock on Benghazi.
Via Political Punch:
As he left his Marine One helicopter Wednesday evening and walked to the residence of the White House, President Obama did not respond to a question shouted out by ABC News’s Mary Bruce about when he would begin to provide answers to the numerous questions building up about what exactly what went wrong in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
The president smiled and continued walking.
Perhaps he couldn’t hear the question over the din of the chopper’s blades, but either way the smile and wave – almost Reagan-esque in style – underline the apparent strategy the president specifically and his administration in general have seemed to adopt when it comes to the myriad inquiries about the decisions that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens: they are deferring detailed answers to the investigation and – critics say –running out the clock until Election Day.
Unfortunately, the strategy of running out the clock may not be working.
More stunning details about the attack are coming forward. A Daily Beast report by Eli Lake indicates that two separate U.S. officials claimed the State Department never made a request made for military backup that night.
Additionally, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are investigating whether the Government of Libya, the one ushered into power with the aide of the U.S., may have been involved in the plot that eventually killed four Americans.
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressing for answers after documents first disclosed by Foreign Policy indicate the possible involvement of Government of Libya personnel in what was clearly a preplanned assault. According to the letter sent by the two Congressional oversight leaders:“These documents paint a disturbing picture indicating that elements of the Libyan government might have been complicit in the September 11, 2012 attack on the compound and the murder of four Americans. It also reiterates the fact that the U.S. government may have had evidence indicating that the attack was not a spontaneous event but rather a preplanned terrorist attack that included prior surveillance of the compound as a target.“Given the location where they were found, these documents appear to be genuine and support a growing body of evidence indicating that the Obama Administration has tried to withhold pertinent facts about the 9/11 anniversary attack from Congress and the American people.”The documents are fully consistent with the Committee’s understanding of events that took place before and during the attack on the compound and include new details not previously released to the public. The letters ask the State Department whether the information included in the letters discussed above was memorialized in any cables, telegrams or e-mails prior to the attack or in any post-attack review.Click here for a copy of the Issa/Chaffetz letter to Secretary Clinton that includes the new documents obtained by Foreign Policy.
Worse yet, CBS is reporting that a key task force on counter-terrorism was not convened by the Obama administration.
CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).
“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”
Information shared with CBS News from top counterterrorism sources in the government and military reveal keen frustration over the U.S. response on Sept. 11, the night ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
The circumstances of the attack, including the intelligence and security situation there, will be the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing on Nov. 15, with additional hearings to follow.
Flashback to September 10th…
On September 10, 2012, The Associated Press Reported That “President Barack Obama Has Been Briefed By His Top National Security Aides On The Government’s Preparedness Ahead For The 11th Anniversary Of The Sept. 11 Attacks.”
“President Barack Obama has been briefed by his top national security aides on the government’s preparedness ahead of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The White House said Monday the president and his advisers discussed specific measures the administration was taking to prevent 9/11-related attacks. They also discussed steps that were being taken to protect Americans abroad and U.S. forces serving in combat zones.”
Please check out this timeline of events in Benghazi and Washington running side-by-side, as provided by Doug Ross.
The one part that stands out to me is –
9/11/2012 22:00 Hillary Clinton blames internet video for violence.
Six hours later…
9/12/2012 4:00 Doherty and Woods killed on roof of annex.
They had time to concoct the video fairy tale, but didn’t have time to take military action to possibly aide the two Navy SEALs who died 6 hours later. Unreal.
The actions of the administration – or inactions – at the very least exacerbated the success at which the terrorists carried out their attacks. The subsequent cover up was downright criminal.
And while the White House would like to run out the clock until the election, the slow drip-drip-drip of information coming out of Benghazi, provided by the few real journalists remaining in media, may cause them to bleed out.
Glenn Thrush, writer for the Politico, recently produced an e-book on the Obama campaign, that caused quite a stir. While many have focused on the many conflicts the campaign has suffered this year – an issue with which they did not contend with as much in 2008 – there is another damning aspect of the book that was vastly under-reported.
Essentially, the President was willing to place his re-election bid above the needs of our economy and our national defense.
Excerpts from the book claim that Obama rebuffed pleas from Nancy Pelosi of all people, to reconsider the sequestered defense cuts because doing so would make reelection more difficult.
Here are a couple of quotes from Thrush’s work that stand out:
“In mid-2012, the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, requested a sit-down to ask Obama to reconsider the billions of defense cuts that would kick in automatically as part of the 2011 budget deal. The cuts included in ‘the sequester,’ she argued, would hurt Democratic House members with major defense contractors in their districts. They were asking for an alternative state of cuts, or any kind of plan that would keep local employers – and, by implication, local contributors – happy.”
“Obama told the former speaker what he had been saying for months – that he wasn’t budging on the defense cuts. Doing so would surrender his only leverage in forcing House Republicans to accept the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy – the only weapon he had against their efforts ‘to delegitimize me,’ as he put it. Moreover, he bluntly called on Hill Democrats to reorient their priorities – from them to him. ‘Look, guys,’ he told Pelosi, Harry Reid, and several other congressional leaders, according to a person briefed in detail on the interaction. ‘I plan on winning this race. If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.’”
These are stunning claims that demonstrate a President willing to sacrifice the good of his own country, the good of the military men and women that he leads, for the good of his own political aspirations.
And now, Jake Tapper of ABC has another stunning followup to the story.
White House officials today acknowledged that they had not met the deadline to outline how the president would make the defense cuts required by law to be made because of the failure of the bipartisan, poorly-named Super-committee to agree on $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.
Because of the failure of the Super-committee, a self-imposed sword of Damocles will fall, requiring $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that neither Democrats nor Republicans desire, specifically $109 billion from Pentagon and domestic spending in just the next year.
In the fine Washington tradition of never giving anything a name that makes sense to anyone outside the 202 area code, these cuts are called the “sequester.”
Cuts to military and defense spending to the tune of $1.2 trillion, AND the administration broke the law? Are you outraged yet?
Tapper outlines just how devastating this series of events is:
These cuts are set to take effect on January 1, coinciding with the expiration of $4 trillion in lower tax rates enacted into law by President Bush and extended by President Obama. Combined with the expiration of a payroll tax cut, the whole shebang – assuming no compromise is reached to delay the massive tax increases and spending cuts – is referred to as the “Fiscal Cliff.”
Weren’t Democrats trying to convince us last night that this President drives the car forward, while Republicans go in reverse? That might actually be a truthful statement – the Obama administration is trying to drive the economy off a cliff, and Mitt Romney is trying to backpedal away from it.
In a statement, Sen. John Thune, R-SD, author of the bill said that “Americans of all stripes are required to play by the rules and follow the laws of the land. Unfortunately, by disregarding the sequestration reporting deadline, the Obama Administration seems to think it is above the law. The American people deserve to know the president’s plan for implementing these cuts, some of which our military leaders have said will compromise our nation’s ability to protect itself. Every day that the administration delays being transparent with the American people on the sequester moves us one day closer to going over the fiscal cliff.”
Mitt Romney added the following statement:
“A year ago, Barack Obama set in motion the sequestration process that is leading to imminent disastrous cuts in our military might. The President is required by law to tell the American people how he would implement these cuts. But he has chosen to ignore the deadline for doing so. The American people have had enough of evasion and enough of finger pointing. They just want answers. Secretary of Defense Panetta has said these cuts will be devastating to our national security and our economy. It’s time the President stops stonewalling, stops dismantling our military, and starts providing answers.”
ABC’s White House correspondent Jake Tapper has reported that the love affair between the mainstream press and the President may be over – not for a lack of effort on the media’s part.
President Obama hasn’t formally taken questions from the White House press corps in more than two months, while on the campaign trail in Iowa yesterday he made time for reporters from People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight.
His last news conference was at the G20 in June, when he answered six questions from three reporters on the European debt crisis, the conflict in Syria, and the notion of politics stopping at the water’s edge.
The White House press corps has not formally been given the opportunity to ask questions of the president on U.S. soil since his appearance in the Briefing Room on June 8 (when he said “the private sector is doing fine.“)
His last formal White House news conference was on March 6.
So why has the President avoided the very people who ushered him into the White House in 2008? Perhaps he is worried that a press conference would involve questions on the sputtering economy, or how he has raided Medicare, or the rising troop death toll in Afghanistan? And with no control, the President instead propogates his rock star image by entertaining the tabloid journalists from People or Entertainment tonight.
Or perhaps it’s just depression.
It’s depressing to know that Mitt Romney has chosen an economic and budgetary wizard in Paul Ryan, and that this pick is lifting the Republicans in key swing states.
Or maybe it’s depressing to know that you might have to defend the man who serves as the counterpunch to Ryan – Joe Biden, a man who doesn’t know what state or century he is in.
Or maybe it’s this: Your messaging is so far off course right now that Press Secretary Jay Carney had to resort to discussing the notion that the President has indeed eaten dogs…
Where is Devo on this topic? I wonder if Seamus would rather be roof racked, bro, or sauteed.
The full comment is here:
Jay Carney on President Obama cracking a joke about dogs on top of cars: “I think he made one allusion in three different speeches that was a joke. Just like the Romney campaign campaign and others have joked about the fact that in the president’s memoir he talked about, as a boy, eating dog meat in Indonesia because that is something that is done there. I think a little levity is a little different from the kind of ridiculous charges that are being made here.