The first statements from the Obama administration about what happened in Benghazi seemed plausible. There were, after all, protests throughout the Muslim world on the anniversary of 9/11 -- some incited by Islamists using an obscure video to arouse anti-American fervor in the mobs, and some, no doubt, just pelting U.S. embassies on general principles. When the administration explained that one of those protests had spun out of control and led to the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans in Libya, there seemed no reason to doubt it.
For a day. But within hours, the administration account deflated like a punctured balloon. CBS reported that there was no protest outside the consulate in Benghazi. Members of Congress who were briefed said the attack was a military-style assault. We learned that an al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack. It was reported that Ambassador Stevens had noticed increased al-Qaeda activity, had feared for his safety, and had requested additional security, only to be turned down. Yet day after day, the administration continued to distort reality by referring to the Internet video.
Most of the press was willing to let the story fade because the man in charge is their man, and he is in a tight race for reelection. But Fox News, Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, and one or two others have revealed details about the administration's handling of the crisis that are beyond embarrassing -- they verge on malfeasance.
According to Fox's Jennifer Griffin, former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was part of a small team at the CIA safe house about a mile from the consulate, heard shots fired at 9:40 p.m. He urgently requested backup from the CIA and asked permission to head to the consulate to help. The request was denied three times. He and his team were told to "stand down."
Woods and others disobeyed orders and headed over to the consulate where they rescued several people and carried away the body of Sean Smith. They did not find the ambassador. Upon returning to the safe house, they again requested military back up and were again denied. They were soon under fire. The fighting there went on for four more hours. Washington was in constant touch with personnel in Benghazi through email. In addition, Griffin reports, a special operations force was stationed only 480 miles away at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. They could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. The New York Post further reports that a military drone aircraft was over Benghazi at the time of the attacks, relaying real time information back to Washington.
President Obama told a Denver TV station, "I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we're going to investigate exactly what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice."
Investigations can stretch on for a long time -- certainly past Nov. 6. If the president gave such an order, why were urgent pleas for military support denied? Would the military defy the orders of the Commander in Chief? General David Petraeus says that the CIA never denied a request for help -- which raises the question: Who else but the White House would have made such a decision?
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta may have answered the question -- and exposed Obama's claim of directing that our personnel be secured as false. Panetta explained,"[The] basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on, without having some real-time information about what's taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
Really? Is the Secretary of Defense really saying that we can't put forces at risk when Americans are already at risk and are being shot at? Why do we have a military again? Tyrone Woods certainly didn't have any doubt about what to do when Americans were under attack. He defied orders and rushed to help, sacrificing his own life. It's what any member of the armed forces would normally do -- unless restrained by incompetent civilian authority.
The common stock of the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) plunged from $10.87 last week to a close of $8.19 on Friday after the liberal mouthpiece announced that its 3rd quarter net income dropped 85 percent.
While analysts are blaming soft advertising revenues, I think something more ominous is happening at America’s national, bleeding-heart newspaper.
For sure, advertising revenues are dropping nationally as economic conditions have deteriorated over the last two quarters.
Newspapers in general are struggling still as advertisers turn more money over to digital. Unlike newspaper display ads, which are just dead print on a page, digital ads can measured. Advertisers like that, a lot.
But still advertising revenues for the NYT are plunging in industries where we have been told by no less an authority than –gasp!- the New York Times: “Hurray! The recovery is finally on its way!”
If the economy is improving- as the publisher would have us believe- the rest of the paper’s operations didn’t get that memo.
“[T]he lack of business confidence is growing in many, many segments, financial being one of them,” said the Times’ Chief Advertising Officer Denise Warren, according to Poynter.org. “Entertainment was down due to a lack of major releases in the quarter. Department stores had weak retail sales performance, so that impacted us. And then real estate is down, mostly due to the lack of new development in the New York market.”
Retail, Finance and Real Estate are experiencing lack of “business confidence,” as are “many, many segments” say the business folks behind the Times.
You wouldn’t know it if you read the pages of the Times, however. On the editorial side- as opposed to the advertising folks who have to pay the salaries for the editorial folks- they think things are improving in our economy.
Courtesy of Jonathan Garthwaite @ Townhall.com
Have you seen this woman?
According to Dana Hughes at OTUSNews.com, “The purpose of the trip was philanthropic, but the couple left a little room for romance, reminiscing about the last time they were in the country together for their honeymoon more than 37 years ago.” The honeymoon was crowded. Actors Sean Penn, Maria Bellow, Ben Stiller and his wife, Donna Karen, super model Petra Nemocova, and Sir Richard Branson tagged along.
Hughes reported that the honeymooners and pals were there to open “a $300 million facility in the Caracol area of Haiti, located more than a 100 miles from the worst-hit areas of the 2010 quake zone.
“The hope is that the Caracol Industrial park will provide thousands of jobs to the northern part of the country, helping to transform Haiti’s fragile economy,” according to Hughes.
Mrs. Clinton has been missing from any live television appearances and hasn’t been seen standing by her other man, President Obama and the Benghazi attack is putting her “diplomatic legacy” in danger.
It seems Mrs. Clinton is shunning the stained spotlight and has chosen to only issue statements these days.
According to CBS News, she’s “warning against cherry picking one story here or one document there” as the real Benghazi story is coming out.
Mrs. Clinton says “it is critical to look at the totality of information become coming to any conclusions.”
And while she continues to urge caution to keep the public from jumping to any quick conclusions, it’s hard not to do just that.
Methinks she doth protest too much.
But I digress…
In The American Thinker today, Moshe Phillips wonders where Mrs. Clinton’s State Department was on the eve of Benghazi.
He writes “The question of what Hillary Clinton’s State Department was busy with during the days and weeks before the September 11, 2012 terrorist strike in Benghazi, Libya needs to be asked insistently and often. What was happening at Foggy Bottom as Islamic terrorists planned the murder of United States Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and other Americans?
“We now have part of the answer.
“At least some of the State Department’s attention (and funds) were being spent on organizing international music tours. Clinton’s staff was literally involved with fiddles (and guitars and drums) while Islamic terrorists were plotting to attack and burn the American consulate in Benghazi.”
Read more of Mr. Phillips’ piece at www.americanthinker.com/blog as you compile the information needed to make an informed conclusion as to what really happened.
It’s going to take a village to find out the truth. But it will come out. And it won’t be pretty for Mr. Obama’s hand-picked Secretary of State or his administration.
The highly acclaimed Mrs. Clinton, named” one of the 25 most powerful woman of the past century” by Time magazine (November 2010), anointed by Forbes’ List #2 Power Women and #16 Powerful People, recipient of numerous other awards and honors, and known worldwide, continues proclaiming she plans to move out of public life before the end of the year. She’s well on her way but not on her terms.
Yet this may be the most truthful thing she’s said in a long time.
June Smith founded this tribute website in honor of her late husband, Ron Smith, WBAL Talk Show Host, Emmy Award winner, and Baltimore Sun Columnist. Smith was a media titan in Maryland and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins. She blogs for Red Maryland www.RedMaryland.Blogspot.com; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.