Petraeus to ‘Amend’ His Testimony – Knew It Was Terrorism ‘Almost Immediately’

November 16, 2012 at 11:41 am (Ansar Al Sharia, Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, Congress, Cover Up, David Petraeus, Navy SEALs, Obama Administration, Scandal, Susan Rice, Terrorism, Testimony, White House)

CNN is reporting that a well-placed source has indicated that CIA Chief David Petraeus will ‘amend’ his previous testimony, telling Congress that he knew the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans was terrorism, and that he knew this “almost immediately”.

Via Breitbart (h/t Memeorandum):

Just a few minutes ago on CNN, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reported that a high-placed source informed her that former CIA Chief David Petraeus will use his upcoming testimony to amend his previous testimony. According to this source, Petraeus will tell the closed door congressional hearing that he knew “almost immediately” that the September 11 anniversary attack on our Libyan consulate was a terrorist attack committed by the al-Qaeda-linked militia Ansar Al Sharia.

Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security advisor to George W. Bush, who is now a CNN analyst, tweeted this out:

Of course Petraeus knew the attacks were terror related almost immediately.  The entire White House knew it as well.  On October 24th, we reported on e-mails sent to officials at the White House and the State Department, advising the administration within a couple of hours that the attacks were carried out by an Islamic militant group, Ansar Al Sharia, the same group Petraeus plans to note in his testimony.
Reuters reported:

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

By ultimately, they mean several weeks later.  This is definitive proof that Obama’s White House was not getting bad reports and bad intelligence from the State Department or the intelligence community, and simply relaying mis-information that a video had sparked the attack.

They knew.  They knew, and they lied.

Which is precisely why GOP lawmakers have a hard time considering Susan Rice competent when she subsequently went on a whirlwind media tour five days later claiming that the attacks were a spontaneous response to an anti-Mohammad video.

Petraeus, in addition to his ‘amended’ testimony, also informed CNN’s source that “he believed the CIA talking points given to Susan Rice came from within the White House or Administration.”

Politico is also reporting on these statements from Sen. Saxby Chambliss:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Friday stopped short of charging that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s explanation of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi was a lie but said it was crafted to provide White House political talking points.

“Susan Rice was sent to give a White House message,” said Chambliss, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It was not an intelligence community message, and there’s a very clear distinction in that.”

“I do think that there were some politics involved in the message that the White House wanted to send,” he added.

Upon hearing President Obama’s touchy defense of Rice a couple of days ago, Charles Karuthammer had this to say:

You called at it a show of passion, I would say it was his usual show of indignation, which is his default response whenever he feels defensive or backed into a corner. ‘How dare you attack my U.N. ambassador?’ And then he gives the strangest defense by saying she didn’t have anything to do with the Benghazi [attack]. Then why the hell are you sending her out there? Why didn’t you send out the Secretary of State, or the CIA Director, or [Secretary of Defense] Panetta or somebody, who did know? 

The question is rhetorical.  We know that the White House, the State Department, and the CIA Director were informed that this was a terror attack almost immediately.  The White House then gave Rice her talking points for the American public five days later which denied terrorism was a factor by shifting blame to a video.

Rice had one job and one job only – to lie to you, to lie to me, and to lie to the families of those that were killed that night.  All because an election was right around the corner.

This is disgraceful.

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Report: No One in CIA Ordered Operatives to Stand Down, Was a Presidential Decision

October 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm (Benghazi, CIA, General Petraus, Libya, President Obama, Presidential Decision, Scandal, Stand Down, Vegas)

The American people must force the media to cover this story.  This is a Presidential scandal of epic proportions.

Earlier today we reported on the news that the SEALs in Benghazi begged for help.  Begged for help and were told to “stand down” multiple times.

The PJ Tatler reports that help was not that far away.  The group could have been aided by the presence of an AC-130 that was actually stationed in Benghazi.

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.

Torches and pitchfork irate is an understatement.

Doug Ross writes:

Benghazi-gate is spinning out of control and the Obama administration is dying right before our eyes, thanks especially to leaks that are coming fast and furious (no pun intended; oh, and here’s a helpful hint for future Democrat Presidents in the mold of Carter and Obama: throw the intel community under the bus at your own peril).

 In recounting this sordid abdication of leadership (or worse), Glenn Beck stated this afternoon that, “Today, officially, is the day that I no longer recognize my country.”

And Karin McQuillan asks, “Did Obama watch while they fought for their lives?”

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for President Obama, there’s this.

Via the Weekly Standard:

Breaking news on Benghazi: the CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, has put out this statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ” 

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? 

The emphasis was added here, but let’s re-read that portion again.

Who in the Government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need?

It would have been a presidential decision. 

Now, watch the President do what he’s done so successfully over the last month and a half – avoid answering questions about Benghazi.

He watched them die.  He watched them die and then flew to Vegas for a fundraiser.

Where is the American media?  Running scared.

We watched Navy SEALs ignore orders to stand down, running directly into the fight.

Then the President abandoned them.  And now the media is abandoning them again.

America, we can not abandon these brave men a third time.

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E-Mails Show White House Knew Benghazi Was a Militant Attack Two Hours In

October 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm (Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, John Bolton, Libya, Obama Administration, President Obama, Saxby Chambliss, Scandal, State Department, White House, White House E-Mails)

So much for reporting on the intelligence available at the time.  My question – Do you not as Americans get angrier with each and every lie that comes out of the White House regarding the murder of four fellow patriots?

Does it bother you at all?

Via Reuters:

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

By ultimately, they mean several weeks later.  This is definitive proof that Obama’s White House was not getting bad reports and bad intelligence from the State Department or the intelligence community, and simply erroneously relaying information that a video had sparked the attack.

They knew.  They knew, and they lied.

More details from Gateway Pundit:

This email was sent to State Department officials, White House officials, Secret Service officials at 6:07 PM EST on 9-11.

This was at least the third email sent to the White House the evening of 9-11 on the Benghazi attack.

Barack Obama was meeting with his security team in the Oval Office that evening.

The email clearly blamed Al-Qaeda linked group Ansar al-Sharia for the attack on the US consulate.

This was before the lifeless body of Ambassador Stevens was dragged from the consulate ruins.

A copy of the e-mail:

Then there’s this from Fox Nation via Maggie’s Notebook:

The United States had an unmanned Predator drone over its consulate in Benghazi during the attack that slaughtered four Americans — which should have led to a quicker military response, it was revealed yesterday.

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.

The network reported that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the hours-long siege on Sept. 11 — obtaining information that should have spurred swift action.

But as Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed by terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Defense Department officials were too slow to send in the troops, Berntsen said.

“They made zero adjustments in this. You find a way to make this happen,” he fumed.

“There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments.”

The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from Central Europe to Sigonella, Italy — about an hour flight from Libya — but gave no other details.

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

The White House knew about it and did nothing.  They watched it happening in real-time and did nothing.  President Obama knew about it and went to sleep.  Literally. 

Republicans are responding.

NewsMax:

Republicans are blasting the Obama administration for failing to act on real-time information that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was under attack. Emails obtained by the news agency Reuters show that officials at the State Department were told within two hours of the attack starting that the al-Qaida-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility. Reacting to the report, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said he was not surprised by the disclosure, telling Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night that “what the emails show beyond any doubt is that the State Department was fully possessed of the information in real time.” Bolton said the “paper trail” now makes it harder for the Obama administration to “sweep away” the security failure at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans were killed. On Capitol Hill, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called for additional hearings on Libya based on the emails…
… Bolton also blamed the failure to launch an immediate military response to the attack, based on the email traffic that reportedly reached the White House situation room and the State Department, on election year politics and the administration’s reluctance to admit that al-Qaida “was resurgent in Libya.” “It undercut the [Obama campaign] storyline that the war on terror is over, al-Qaida’s on the run, the Arab spring has been a success,” Bolton said. “And that led to the denials of the request [before the attack] for security enhancement. That led to the tragedy in Benghazi. And I think that then led to this ridiculous story that it was caused by some YouTube video.” Bolton described it as “a willful blindness” to reality.

Willful blindness to reality.  Does that statement apply more so to the administration, or those voters who will ignore this massive scandal come election day?

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Scandal: ‘Obama Campaign is Clearly Soliciting Donations From Foreign Nationals’

October 8, 2012 at 8:57 am (2012 Election, Daily Caller, Foreign Nationals, Government Accountability Institute, Harry Reid, Ken Sukhia, Nancy Pelosi, Obama Campaign, Obama Donor Scandal, Scandal)

Over the last few days, the internet has been abuzz with the possibility that the Obama campaign was about to be nailed with a major foreign donor scandal, with some even speculating that the President was so distracted by the pending story, that it contributed to his horrible debate performance.

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner wrote:

President Obama’s reelection campaign, rattled by his Wednesday night debate performance, could be in for even worse news. According to knowledgeable sources, a national magazine and a national web site are preparing a blockbuster donor scandal story.

The campaign tried desperately to block the story, indicating its importance.

Now, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) has released the report that shows the campaign has been using social media portals to solicit foreigners for donations, using data mining techniques to gain information about people who may not have actually visited the campaign site, and even operating a website for internet users outside the United States.

This, to put it mildly, would be a violation of federal election laws.

The Daily Caller reports (emphasis mine):

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been soliciting foreigners for donations, an explosive report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) shows. Those foreign donors are allegedly visiting the Obama campaign’s donation solicitation Web pages through a social media website the campaign controls, and through an outside website that serves mostly Internet users from outside the United States.

About 20 percent of visitors to the “my.barackobama.com” social media website “originated from foreign locations,” the report found. That Web address is owned and controlled by the Obama re-election campaign.

“At no point during the [website’s] subscription process is a visitor asked whether he or she can legally donate to a U.S. election,” GAI notes.

The report adds that once a visitor signs up for the website, they are immediately solicited for campaign donations.   “In fact, numerous foreign nationals report receiving solicitation letters and thank you emails from the campaign for their support.”

In a report accompanying the GAI report’s release, former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia concluded that the Obama campaign is clearly soliciting donations from foreign nationals.

They also add that the campaign site employs various techniques to mine e-mail and other data from “friends and associations” of members of the site.  An example:

Neither President Obama nor his campaign owns Obama.com. Sukhia said data show that 68 percent of traffic to that website comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to Obama fundraising Web pages.

Obama.com was registered in September 2008 to Robert Roche, an Obama campaign bundler living in Shanghai, China, according to GAI.

“By October 2, 2008, Obama.com began redirecting all visitors to specific content on my.barackobama.com,” GAI wrote. “Upon arrival to my.barackobama.com, visitors were asked for their name, email, and zip code and presumably were sent solicitation letters, like every other visitor who provides that information to the campaign.”

The report then goes on to demonstrate other tactics that the websites use to gather information, such as e-mail addresses, and continues to redirect viewers to the campaign donation web page.

The donation web page seems to be the crux of the foreign donations activity.

For instance, the campaign website has disabled industry standard credit card verification methods, eliminating the necessity to provide the Card Verification Value (CVV) code on the back of a credit card.  The Mental Recession reported on this several months ago, as conservative bloggers were easily demonstrating that the Obama campaign websites were allowing very real donations from some very fake names – Nidal Hasan and Hitler as an example.

Some in the media were pointing out this tactic all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, oddly enough spurred on similarly by a record breaking fundraising overhaul reported in September.  Back in 2008, Obama had raked in $150 million.  This September, $181 million, a massive increase from the donations submitted to his campaign the previous month.  The release raised eyebrows, as it was announced quietly via Twitter on a Saturday morning, when it clearly should have been touted as a news story to energize his base.

What’s more, a vast majority of those donations – 98% – are not required to be reported, leaving the door open to the possibility that multiple millions in donations were generated from illegal foreign entities.

An excerpt from U.S. election code reads:

It shall be unlawful for – 

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make – 

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of

value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a

contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State,

or local election;

(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political

party; 

The President himself has griped about American elections being bankrolled by foreign entities.  Here is an excerpt from his 2010 State of the Union address (video below):

“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”

Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama.

The media and the voters didn’t seem to care about these illegal tactics in 2008, will it matter this election?

Update:  Other high profile Democrats not using the CVV security measure on their campaign donation pages include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

Update:  Download the full report here…

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Even Democrats Are Demanding Answers From the President

September 28, 2012 at 10:44 am (9/11, Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, Cover Up, Ed Morrisey, George Bush, John Kerry, Libya, President Obama, Scandal, Senate Democrats, Terrorist Attack, Thomas Nides)

They’re normally just so obedient.

But the Obama administration’s lies are obvious, and the cover up is becoming more scandalous on a daily basis.

Via the Washington Examiner:

Senate Democrats joined Republicans Thursday in questioning the Obama administration’s handling of the fatal Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and why the administration refused for days to acknowledge that it was a terrorist attack linked to al Qaeda.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., circulated a bipartisan letter addressed to Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, asking for an “accounting of the attacks against U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Examiner.

The lawmakers are also demanding to know whether the administration had any advance warnings of the Libyan attack and, if so, whether it had shared that information with U.S. personnel on the ground.

The letter marks the first time congressional Democrats have so directly expressed their dissatisfaction with the administration’s response to inquiries about the attacks, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others and raised questions about U.S. security throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

A Kerry aide confirmed that the committee intended to enlist the support of Republicans and Democrats and said the letter would likely be sent Friday. Another aide told The Examiner that the panel’s 10 Democrats and nine Republicans plan to sign it.

In other words, recognition of obvious bulls*** has now gone bipartisan.

Gabriel Malor in the Daily News writes:

It has been 15 days since the attack in Libya. And where are we? President Obama, who first confidently (but incorrectly) declared that the attack grew spontaneously out of a protest over a YouTube video, has finally admitted that it was an act of terrorism directed against Americans on the anniversary of 9/11. There was no protest before the attack, we now know.

We now know this because of journalists in Libya. We know this because of Libya’s own officials. But we know hardly anything from our own government about what happened in Libya because most of what we were told by the White House was a lie.

The President boldly vowed that the perpetrators — he declined to call them terrorists at the time — would be brought to justice. To that end, he called in the FBI. More than a week later, the FBI flew a team to Tripoli, but that is as far as they got. They have not traveled to Benghazi. They have not examined the scene. They have not collected evidence. They have not interviewed the people the Libyans have arrested. It has been fifteen days since the attack.

Why is this not a scandal yet?

The answer is that the President’s name is no longer George Bush. Had this obvious cover up occurred under W, it would be an epic media played scandal.  But today, the media provides cover for a President coming under attack from even his closest political friends, such as Kerry.

That said, it’s actually worse than simply not providing answers that the American people deserve.  It’s the active lying prior to, and since, the ensuing attacks.

As we reported earlier, the administration did indeed have advance warning of imminent attacks on 9/11. 

This CBN report explains:

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck called Benghazi an al Qaeda “hot spot” and agrees that there was threat there well before the film’s release.

“For the Obama administration to continue to argue that these attacks were just spontaneous flies in the face of reality,” Stakelbeck said.

“One day before the attacks, Ayman al-Zawahri — who’s al Qaeda’s global leader — specifically called for al Qaeda attacks in Libya,” he explained. “One day later we see those attacks.”

This is a cover up of the highest order.  The Obama administration knew that attacks were possible and left U.S. consulate buildings unprotected.  The administration is directly responsible for the magnitude in which those attacks became successful.

And now, they know that there is evidence that something could have been done to prevent the deaths of these four Americans.


As Ed Morrisey writes, the administration “got caught flat-footed on the anniversary of 9/11 in the one part of the world where an American diplomatic mission would be most vulnerable — and they’ve been trying to deny it ever since.”

The American people deserve the truth.

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E-Mails Reveal Justice Department Coordinating With Media to Spin Scandals

September 18, 2012 at 9:00 am (Eric Holder, Hans von Spakovsky, J. Christian Adams, Justice Department, Media Bias, Media Matters, New Black Panther Party, Scandal)

They do this over in state-run media loving China, don’t they?

Via the Daily Caller:

Internal Department of Justice emails obtained by The Daily Caller show Attorney General Eric Holder’s communications staff has collaborated with the left-wing advocacy group Media Matters for America in an attempt to quell news stories about scandals plaguing Holder and America’s top law enforcement agency.
Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 
(RELATED: Complete coverage of Media Matters for America)
Emails sent in September and November 2010 show Schmaler working with Media Matters staffer Jeremy Holden on attacking news coverage of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation scandal.
Holden attacked former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on Sept. 20, 2010 for what he called an attempt “to reignite the phony New Black Panther Party scandal.”

Read the rest here… 

This story should be a bombshell to the American people, but let’s see how the Obama-friendly media spins it.  The reason any government official coordinating with the media is big news is because this is what they do in Communist countries.  It’s propoganda.

The fact that they coordinated with Media Matters is even more troublesome, because in another Daily Caller investigation, the group had bragged about writing the ‘prime time’ news for other media outlets.

Coordinated, undeniable, media bias.

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Democrat Candidate: Sexual Harassment in NY Government ‘Routine’

September 10, 2012 at 11:14 am (Monica Arias Miranda, New York, Scandal, Sexual Harassment, Sheldon Silver, Vito Lopez, Women)

Democrat Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver’s unethical coverup of sexual harassment claims against prominent politicians and former staff, has been covered extensively here at the Mental Recession. 

Despite what would seem like a tactic that should be universally denounced – using taxpayer money to pay off victims of sexual harassment – all of New York state’s top Democrats have stood by Silver.  Deligitimizing the seriousness of women being the victims of sexual harassment – or in the case of Silver’s former staff member, J. Michael Boxley,  sexual assault - seems like a risky play for a party constantly beating the drum of Republicans being at war with women.

Now however, a Democrat Senate candidate is bucking her own party by calling for a thorough investigation of Silver, and also claiming that she too has been the victim of sexual harassment by what she called the “good ol’ boy” network in New York politics.

Via the  Village Voice: 

A former New York Assembly staffer who now is running for the state Senate says the multiple sexual harassment allegations made against shamed Assemblyman Vito Lopez — and the subsequent coverup by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — is just a “smokescreen and coverup for something much bigger.”

Democratic Senate hopeful Monica Arias Miranda claims she was sexually harassed routinely by male co-workers when she worked as a budget analyst for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. She says she never filed complaints about the abuse because she feared retaliation from the “good ‘ol boy” culture in the Legislature.

Miranda, who faces two other Democrats in Thursday’s primary, has called for an investigation into Silver — a risky move for a Democrat, but one that is sure to set her apart from her opponents in her suburban Albany district.

“Why are elected officials calling for Mr. Lopez’s resignation yet are not willing to say the same about the speaker, who is the one responsible for using $100,000 of tax-dollar money to hush the sexual harassment allegations,” she said at a press conference yesterday.

Silver approved a payoff of more than $103,000 in taxpayer money to silence two of Lopez’s alleged victims.

It should also be noted that had Silver done a proper investigation into the initial victim’s claims, the subsequent instances of harassment that led to Lopez’ eventual punishment may never have taken place.

Silver is an accomplice to the second pair of victims being groped and sexually harassed.

We continue to call on the resignation of Mr. Silver, but even more so, we are calling on other prominent Democrats in New York state to ask for the same.

It’s time New York Democrats took a stand that actually helped women, instead of using them as pawns for their own political aspirations.

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BREAKING: Legendary Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, Dies at 85

January 22, 2012 at 11:34 am (College Football, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Penn State, Pennsylvania, Scandal, Sexual Abuse)

Less than a year ago, Joe Paterno was going down in the annals of football history as an iron clad legend in the sport.  Today, Paterno passed away shrouded in a cloud of scandal.

Instead of remembering two national championships and a Division I record 409 wins over 46 seasons at Penn State, we will likely remember him as the man who oversaw a sexual abuse scandal that has resulted in 52 counts of child molestation against his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.

What will you remember? 409 wins, two titles, or 52 counts?

ESPN reports:

Joe Paterno has died at the age of 85 after experiencing serious complications from lung-cancer treatment.

The health of Paterno, who had fought the disease for two months, had grown progressively worse after he recently broke his pelvis in a fall at his home in State College, Pa.

The family announced his death Sunday shortly after 10 a.m. ET., The Associated Press reported.

Paterno died at State College’s Mount Nittany Medical Center, where he had been undergoing treatment.

Paterno remained connected to a ventilator into Sunday, individuals close to Paterno’s family told The Washington Post.

The newspaper reported the family had communicated to the hospital his wishes not to be kept alive through extreme artificial means.

UPDATE:  CNN has a great video of JoePa’s legacy up on their site.  See below…

UPDATE:  The family has issued a statement…

It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.

He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.

He has been many things in his life — a soldier, scholar, mentor, coach, friend and father. To my mother he was and is her soul mate, and the last several weeks have shown the strength of their love. To his children and grandchildren he is a shining example of how to live a good, decent and honest life, a standard to which we aspire.

When he decided to forego a career in law and make coaching his vocation, his father Angelo had but one command: Make an impact.

As the last 61 years have shown, Joe made an incredible impact. That impact has been felt and appreciated by our family in the form of thousands of letters and well wishes along with countless acts of kindness from people whose lives he touched. It is evident also in the thousands of successful student athletes who have gone on to multiply that impact as they spread out across the country.

And so he leaves us with a peaceful mind, comforted by his “living legacy” of five kids, 17 grandchildren, and hundreds of young men whose lives he changed in more ways than can begin to be counted.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON, The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.

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