Monday, May 13, 2013

The Truth Behind The Five Basic Benghazi Lies By The Conservatives Liars Who Tell Them


"The Truth About The Right's Latest Benghazi Attacks," a short article by Jeremy Holden and Jess Levin at Mediamatters.org, is a primer on the most recent of the Conservative attacks on their betters in the Obama Administration by lying through their teeth as usual, along with a rebuttal to the five lies, as Holden and Levin explain:

"In coverage of a May 8 House Oversight Committee hearing, conservatives are pushing new myths about the Obama administration's response to the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. Here is the truth about what really happened.


From the Conservative Playbook
"Exposing The Myths Behind The Right-Wing's Trumped Up Benghazi "Cover Up"

"MYTH: The White House And State Department Edited References To Terrorism Out Of Talking Points For Political Purposes

"FACT: The CIA Signed Off On The Changes For Tactical, Not Political Reasons. Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, testified in November that the intelligence community signed off on the final draft of the talking points, and that references to terrorist groups in Libya were removed in order to avoid tipping off those groups. [The New York Times, 11/16/12]

"FACT: President Obama Had Already Referred To The Attacks As An Act Of Terror. On September 12, President Obama referred to the attacks as an act of terror when he spoke from the White House Rose Garden. One day later, Obama again referred to acts of terror at a campaign event. These comments undermine the myth that edits to a document that were made on September 14, after Obama had already labeled the attack an act of terror, demonstrate that the administration was trying to downplay the role that terrorism played. [Media Matters for America, 5/10/13]

"MYTH: Benghazi Whistleblower Gregory Hicks Is Being Prohibited From Talking To Investigators And Members Of Congress

"FACT: Hicks Was Interviewed Twice As Part Of The State Department's Independent Internal Investigation. After Gregory Hicks sat down for an initial interview with the State Department's Accountability Review Board, he asked for a follow-up interview to expand on issues that he felt needed amplification. And he was granted one. [Media Matters for America, 5/9/13]

"FACT: Hicks Was Only Told He Was Not Allowed To Speak With A Member Of Congress Without A State Department Attorney Present. Following the attacks, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) traveled to Libya, seeking to interview witnesses and survivor, including Hicks. Hicks testified that the State Department had instructed him not to speak to Chaffetz without a State attorney present -- a condition Hicks says was unusual, but which the State Department says is standard procedure. Hicks ended up speaking to Chaffetz without a State Department attorney present because, according to his testimony, the lawyer lacked the proper security clearance. [Media Matters for America, 5/9/13]



"MYTH: Cheryl Mills Tried To Intimidate Hicks After His Meeting With Chaffetz

"FACT: Hicks Admitted Mills Offered No Criticism Or Reprimand, Only That She Had Asked For A Report. While being questioned by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Hicks elaborated on a phone call from Cheryl Mills, at the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's chief-of-staff. Hicks made clear that he had received no direct criticism from Mills. It was the "tone of the conversation," he testified, that led him to believe Mills was unhappy with him. But MSBNC reported that Philippe Reines confirmed to them that he witnessed the conversation and that it was supportive. [Media Matters for America, 5/11/13; MSNBC.com, 5/8/13]

"FACT: Congressional Republicans Are Falsely Framing The Phone Call As "Threatening." Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) repeatedly asked Hicks if Mills was "upset" with him during the phone call. Hicks answered in the affirmative. After Hicks finished describing his phone call with Mills, Jordan immediately characterized it as an act of retribution for not going along with the "cover-up." Rep. Ronald DeSantis (R-FL) told Hicks at one point that "we need to know who actually gave the order to stand down. I'd like to know why you've been demoted, why they -- the secretary's chief of staff called you and spoke with you the way she did." [Media Matters for America, 5/11/13]

"MYTH: Hicks Is Being Punished For Speaking Out And Has Been Demoted And Received Criticism Of His Management Style

"FACT: Hicks Testified That He Voluntarily Chose Not To Return To Libya And That The Overriding Reason Was Because Of His Family. During his testimony, Hicks said that "based on criticism that I received, I felt that if I went back, I would never be comfortable working there, and in addition, my family really didn't want me to go back. We had endured a year of separation when I was in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. That was the overriding factor. So I voluntarily curtailed." [House Oversight Committee Hearing, 5/8/13, via Nexis]

"FACT: Embassy Staff Told ThinkProgress That People Were Upset With Hicks' Management Style Before The Attacks. State Department employees, who spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity, said that the staff was upset with Hicks' performance since he was first assigned to Tripoli on July 31. Contrary to Hicks' claim that he was demoted out of retribution, the sources said that Assistant Secretary Jones' meetings with the staff prior to Oct. 2 were "entirely" focused on Hicks' performance as a manager. ["EXCLUSIVE: Embassy Staff Undercut 'Whistleblower' Testimony On Benghazi," ThinkProgress, 5/10/13]

"MYTH: The White House Refused To Send A Second Team To Benghazi Because Of Political Motivations

"FACT: The Decision Was Made By The Head Of The Military's Africa Command, Who Was Concerned About Embassy Security In Tripoli. Diplomats on the ground the night of the attacks were concerned about threats to the Tripoli embassy complex, and a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that the assessment of Special Operations Command Africa leadership at the time was that "it was more important for those guys to be in Tripoli" for embassy security. [Media Matters for America, 5/09/13]

"FACT: Additional Reinforcements Would Not Have Been Able To Get To Benghazi Before The Second Attack Was Concluded. Transcripts of an interview Hicks gave to congressional investigators show that he said that the flight these special forces were scheduled to take, but did not, was scheduled to take off after 6:00 a.m., local time -- approximately 45 minutes after the attack at the CIA annex that killed two people. [Media Matters for America, 5/7/13]"

"...'cause he's cute."

The latest attack on the White House and Hillary Clinton weren't unexpected, just a little extreme considering that "Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican who was appointed to the position by George W. Bush, told CBS News on Saturday that he would have handled the situation in Benghazi the same way that the Obama administration did last September." (http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/05/12/1998811/bushs-secretary-of-defense-mocks-gop-attacks-on-obamas-handling-of-benghazi/), that no Conservative "demanded the truth" from Bush 43:



"Where was all that concern for our men and women serving in embassies and consulates across the globe when all the other attacks and killings occurred?

"Like in 2002 when the US Consulate in the Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked and 10 were killed?

"Or in 2004 when the US embassy in Uzbekistan was attacked and two were killed and another nine injured?

"How about in 2004, when the US Consulate in Saudi Arabia was stormed and 8 lost their lives?

"There is more: In 2006, armed men attacked the US Embassy in Syria and one was murdered.

"Then in 2007 a grenade was thrown at the US Embassy in Athens.

"In 2008, the US Embassy in Serbia was set on fire.

"In 2008, bombings in the US Embassy in Yemen killed 10.


"Notice the dates, all before the Obama administration." (http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13333916-number-of-embassies-attacked-during-the-bush-years-before-benghazi-many)

"I have a list of 143 communists..."
"We already used that one back in the 50s, Congressman..."

And the elephant in the room makes us all wonder, "When is the U.S. government going to investigate the Bush administration? The biggest mistake we made was to let George W. Bush walk...(from) the war that left 4,500 American servicemen dead, countless numbers with life-altering injuries and the nation's finances in shambles. It took us almost 10 years to extricate ourselves from a war that never should have taken place. How much of the hundreds of billions of dollars that were wasted could have been used to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and countless other uses?"  (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130510/OPINION/130519951/1036/business?Title=Letter-of-the-Day-Benghazi-and-Bush)

And has anyone remembered just who started the Big Lie On Benghazi (BLOB)?  The self-styled "Extreme Conservative" who got slapped down by Candy Crowley at the Debate?  Yup, it was Ol' Mr. 47 Percent himself -- Mittens:

"Duhhh," he explained...
"White House press secretary Jay Carney on Friday continued to downplay the Obama administration’s role in editing official talking points following the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and in doing so took a swipe at former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well as former president George W. Bush.

“This ongoing effort [to compile the talking points] began hours after the attack, when Mitt Romney put out a press release to try to take political advantage out of these deaths, out of the attack in Benghazi, in a move that was maligned even by members of his own party,” Carney said. “And from that day forward there has been this effort to politicize it.” (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/347982/carney-dings-romney-bush-deflect-benghazi-questions)

Other Conservatives just bemoaned the right-wing tactics, rather than the lies themselves:

"Stupid Conservatives..."

"Discussing a new report on the aftermath of last September's terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said that criticism of the Obama administration would have been more intense if the "far right" hadn't "overplayed their hand."

"Scarborough suggested that the seriousness of the attack — which left four people dead — was undermined by 'screaming' from the right.

"'You talk about overplaying your hand,' Scarborough said. 'If a lot of people on the far right hadn't overplayed their hand on Benghazi and were screaming — and before they knew what they were screaming about — I think we would all be much harder on the administration right now.'" (http://www.businessinsider.com/benghazi-talking-points-joe-scarborough-conservatives-2013-5)

"Overplaying your hand" in this case leads the poor Conservative Sheeplets from their cries of "impeachment" to outright ridicule, as we see from Jon Stewart at the Daily Show as he "...plays a number on Congressman Darrell Issa by stating the fact that he voted against funds to support security for our foreign presence. He then presented a skit blaming Issa for the massacre given his vote." (http://egbertowillies.com/2013/05/09/jon-stewart-blows-up-fox-news-theories-hyping-benghazi-tragedy/)

"Missah Issa, you're lying again..."

The bottom line is that the Conservatives are borrowing a discredited attack by Romney and taking an early shot on the Democratic candidate for President in 2016, Hillary Clinton, even though she has yet to make any announcement...it's never too early for Conservatives to start spinning their web of lies, no matter how foolish they appear to sane people.

We must always remember that the Conservatives have to lie to seek and remain in power, since their core belief is an economic one:  Power to the elites through prolonged class warfare.  It is past the time when Conservatism should have been outlawed in terms of lives lost, money wasted, and misery manufactured by right-wing zealots.


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Oscar Wilde


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