Last week was a week for the conspiracy theories. First, we had Benghazi and the hearings which interviewed career State Department officers, most of whom probably vote for Democrats. The fact that they were ordered not to talk to Congressmen and denied any attempt at help when under attack, even from as close as Tripoli, invites speculation about motive. Peggy Noonan, a little unusually, hits this one out of the park.
Since it is behind a pay wall, I’ll quote a few bits.
What happened in Benghazi last Sept. 11 and 12 was terrible in every way. The genesis of the scandal? It looks to me like this:
The Obama White House sees every event as a political event. Really, every event, even an attack on a consulate and the killing of an ambassador.
Because of that, it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the Benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of Islamist terrorism. That would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications, and demand certain actions. And the American presidential election was only eight weeks away. They wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it.
That sounds about right to me.
Because the White House could not tolerate the idea of Benghazi as a planned and deliberate terrorist assault, it had to be made into something else. So they said it was a spontaneous street demonstration over an anti-Muhammad YouTube video made by a nutty California con man. After all, that had happened earlier in the day, in Cairo. It sounded plausible. And maybe they believed it at first. Maybe they wanted to believe it. But the message was out: Provocative video plus primitive street Arabs equals sparky explosion. Not our fault. Blame the producer! Who was promptly jailed.
If what happened in Benghazi was not a planned and prolonged terrorist assault, if it was merely a street demonstration gone bad, the administration could not take military action to protect Americans there.
Yup. That has to be it unless someone comes up with a better rationale. Maybe one of those additional whistle blowers who are asking to testify.
Why couldn’t the administration tolerate the idea that Benghazi was a planned terrorist event? Because they didn’t want this attack dominating the headline with an election coming. It would open the administration to criticism of its intervention in Libya. President Obama had supported overthrowing Moammar Gadhafi and put U.S. force behind the Libyan rebels. Now Libyans were killing our diplomats. Was our policy wrong? More importantly, the administration’s efforts against al Qaeda would suddenly come under scrutiny and questioning.
The military disgraced itself, as well. Why no plans for evacuation or reinforcement ?
Maybe those generals and admirals who were relieved in the weeks after Benghazi were too willing to do something when the orders were to do nothing.
On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.”
AFRICOM was the area command that was asked for help.
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham’s place as the head of Africom.
That sure sounds like it. However:
On Monday October 29 General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, released the following statement:
“The speculation that General Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false. General Ham’s departure is part of routine succession planning that has been on going since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence.”
Well, that tells us more about Dempsey than about Ham. In 1964, as he edged into Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson repeatedly sidelined war fighters and replaced them with politicians like JCS Chairman Earle Wheeler, who spent six years presiding over the Vietnam debacle. Wheeler had no command or combat experience in WWII. He had always been a staff officer. It makes me think of Courtney Massengale, the villain of “Once an Eagle, Anton Myrer’s wonderful novel of military life. It is still required reading for military officers of all branches. I have often wondered if Myrer chose the name of his villain from the name of a popular douche at about the time he was writing the novel.
There were multiple flag officers relieved right after Banghazi. Nothing to see here. Move along.
We will learn more about the Benghazi story and Democrats dishonor themselves by their transparent efforts to divert attention and discredit honorable officers.
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has an interview with a Congressman about a NSA tape of that 2 AM phone call between Hillary and Hicks. Hmmm.
The next scandal that erupted last week was the IRS auditing expose. Tea Party groups have been complaining about selective harassment by the IRS since 2009 when Obama joked about doing just that.
A BEDROCK principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends.
So it was appalling to learn Friday that the IRS had improperly targeted conservative groups for scrutiny. It was almost as disturbing that President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have not personally apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation.
And that was the Washington Post !
UPDATE: I was just reminded that this was not the first example of abuse of IRS records by the Obama people. Austin Goolsbee alleged that Koch Industries paid no corporate income tax. He was misrepresenting the records he had illegally accessed.
And then we have the spectacle of the HHS Secretary asking health executives to fund Obamacare with donations.
“Nice little insurance company you’ve got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”
Over the past three months, Sebelius has made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and asked that they contribute whatever they can to nonprofit groups that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law, according to an HHS official and an industry person familiar with the secretary’s activities. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk openly about private discussions.
Yes, it was all voluntary.
Young said that Sebelius did not solicit for funds directly from industries that HHS regulates, such as insurance companies and hospitals, but rather asked them to contribute in whatever way they can.
But the industry official who had knowledge of the calls but did not participate directly in them said there was a clear insinuation by the administration that the insurers should give financially to the nonprofits.
And so goes another week of Obamaworld. And I didn’t even mention “immigration reform.”
12 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theories”
Regarding the Benghazi affair, I left this comment at Neo-Neocon –
“Seriously, I wonder how this will affect recruiting and retention into the military, the State department and the CIA. Intelligent careerists and potential recruits have got to be looking at this Benghazi matter, and realizing that when and if the situation goes all pear-shaped and it’s politically inconvenient for the President and his appointees – that they are going to be left stranded, by order. Oh, the POTUS and his minions will say nice things and cry some crocodile tears over the coffins for the benefit of the news cameras and reporters … but they will lie, and lie and lie about what actually went down. And those troops, analyists and State personnel will still be dead.”
Some commander in chief we got here, don’t we?
“I wonder how this will affect recruiting and retention.”
If you haven’t read “Dereliction of Duty” before, I recommend it unless your blood pressure is too high. It is the story of how we went into Viet Nam. I wonder how many people, even today, know that Johnson and his small circle of advisors never intended to win. The Joint Chiefs recommended going in with three divisions at the start or withdrawing. To their disgrace, they did not object when they were repeatedly lied to and their advice ignored.
And now, a newsflash from the New Yorker, one Alex Koppleman: “For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.”
The writer above apparently seem isn’t aware of his tunnel vision or simply hasn’t been paying a small bit of attention. He seems to be completely unconscious of how unfit he is to report the passing scene that he is unembarrassed as a journalist by his own writing.
(I don’t recommend going there but…. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/05/benghazi-cia-talking-point-edits-white- )
Waking it occurs to me – I haven’t found in History an example of elites that decided to destroy their own country and hated their own people. This is snobbery and status seeking taken to insanity and evil.
Has anyone else?
If you need something cheerful, not all are cowards, traitors and fools.
This LTC was serving at the time as Brave Rifles XO. His COL – McMasters – now GEN ain’t exactly a slouch either.
VXXC, McMasters wrote “Dereliction of Duty” as a lieutenant.
There is Nero who reportedly burned down much of Rome to clear land for his palace complex. No word on whether Obama was fiddling while Benghazi happened though.
VXXC, Tom Ricks has a pretty good book on the history of American generals from WWII to present. I disagree with Ricks on some things but that is a good book.
Marshall had a “little black book” that he had kept through his career about other officers he met. The army was pretty small from 1920 to 1940. He ruthlessly replaced generals if they failed and so did Bradley, sometimes in error. Marshall’s worst mistake was Mark Clark who resembles Courtney Massengill. Bradley was competent to the corps level but probably was not the best choice for his role after D Day. Patton was too mercurial but probably the best we had at the tactical level. Terry Allen was hurt by his personal characteristics, possible also the fact that he flunked out of West Point. Bradley didn’t like him but his men did. Allen resembles Sam Damon. Bradley relieved Allen and Teddy Roosevelt in Sicily but they took over a new division in the states and it fought from Omaha Beach to Germany. Allen should have been where Bradley was and vice versa.
Now we should keep track of the generals Obama relieves so we can restore them if we have another war, as I expect we will.
I haven’t found in History an example of elites that decided to destroy their own country and hated their own people.
The reference to Nero is interesting, I’ve been saying for years they are animated by the Soul of Nero; Animata Animae Nero.
Who almost destroyed his Country – Suetonius.
It’s not important. What’s important is to destroy them by any means necessary.
When this is over we may offer not condolences but Congratulations to Generation Nero.
Congratulations. You’ve finally killed your parents, New Deal Government has fallen.
America is an entirely different matter. It will not be needing you.
Here is a very nice article form Townhall. It points out the old maxim about not interrupting an enemy making a mistake. It is about the Democrats’ renewed efforts at gun control.
This isn’t about dead children. If saving kids was their real motivation, liberals would have long ago allowed the police to end the daily slaughter in Democrat-owned war zones like Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. No, this campaign is driven by elitist hatred for regular Americans who refuse to bend to their will, who defiantly live life on their own terms, and who stubbornly resist accepting the moral supremacy of the urban liberals who would rule them.
They want to show us who is boss, to put us in our place, to take away the proud symbols of – and the tools that protect – our independence for one reason and one reason only. They want to show that they can. They want to demonstrate that what rights we have come not from our maker but from them, to be granted or withdrawn as they please.
“I wonder how this will affect recruiting and retention into the military,”
The obvious effect is that the only people left in important positions at DOJ, State, etc. all are Obama tools. Anyone of independent mind has been driven away or forcibly retired.
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