Catch-all Benghazi

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Did you really believe the Benghazi-Youtube-Video-Story when you heard it?

Yes.
5
56%
No.
4
44%
 
Total votes: 9

Bludgeon
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby Bludgeon » Sun May 12, 2013 1:09 pm

gargantua wrote:I don't know what the administration believed. I suspect we will never know. I do find it to be quite sad that some people apparently believe that the administration could have saved them and chose not to.

That doesn't even make sense. If they could have saved them, and succeeded, they'd all be heroes. But apparently some believe that they all got together and decided, let's let 'em die and hope no one finds out.

Offense not intended, but that is the implication: that a very Nixonian administration made a very Nixonian decision. Sigh... the Nixons of this world.

Secondly, it's not that they could have saved them with 100% certainty, its that they could have gotten there, they could have come to the defense of their countrymen, but didn't. Contrary to what you say, though, there were no political upsides to doing so. Other than a casualty-free assault, anything they did was likely to end up looking bad for the administration. Militarily, that's not the point, which is why our nearby extraction team was already on the runway when they twice received the political order to stand down.

The diplomatic compound was attacked by Ansar al-Sharia, a terrorist group; the CIA let the State Department and the administration know as much immediately. As a guy who quit the Democratic party originally out of protest to what was done to Mrs. Clinton in 2008 it pains me to say so, but ABC's the agency who exposed what should have been cooperation actually being a clash between the CIA and the state department. They basically pulled a Dick Cheney on WMD's: demanding revisions over and over until the CIA gave them the false report they were looking for, then blaming it on the CIA six months later. At the same time, ABC didn't find out anything they couldn't have found out at the time that it was relevant.

Unfortunately.

david cohen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby david cohen » Sun May 12, 2013 3:04 pm

Where the hell is John Henry on this one? Mooooo-Fassssa!

snoqueen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby snoqueen » Sun May 12, 2013 3:52 pm

it's not that they could have saved them with 100% certainty, its that they could have gotten there, they could have come to the defense of their countrymen, but didn't.


Here's another one that can be legitimately read several ways.

To me, it appears they did not send the rescue troops on what would have been a suicide mission, which would have doubled the number of US fatalities more or less so they could say "well, look, we tried."

To me that would have been highly cynical and would have showed a serious disregard for the lives of the troops (who are no more or less professionals, patriotic, and human beings than the foreign service staff).

For comparison, consider the number of special ops troops who were sent to get Bin Laden out of what was a relatively undefended location in a successful but by no means slam-dunk operation undertaken only after weeks or months of planning and rehearsal.

My own cynical part wants to add "if we'd sent the troops to Benghazi and they were lost, can you imagine the howling we'd be hearing about sending our own people on suidical missions?" However, I do not believe the stand down decision was made on primarily political considerations but rather realistic and practical ones. The more political course would have been to try and play hero to placate elements of the right to which military solutions appeal the most, alluding perhaps to the Iran hostages/Reagan inauguration of 1981.


Clashes between various agencies are nothing new. Look at 9-11, look at Boston and the Tsarnaevs. It's nothing to be pleased or proud of, but I think some of these inter-agency territorial disputes and information hoarding (particularly with regard to national security) are like a river that flows just about the same no matter who or which party is captain of the little ship Presidency floating on its surface.

david cohen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby david cohen » Sun May 12, 2013 4:16 pm

The CIA is pissed at State who is pissed at Defense who is pissed at CIA....heck this wasn't even an Embassy, it was a CIA listening post covering as a diplomatic mission. No wonder no one wanted to go there, and there was no real security per se. Unless you declassify CIA documents, the public will never really know what the US was up to there.

snoqueen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby snoqueen » Sun May 12, 2013 4:30 pm

Don't forget who blew the cover of the CIA post, either:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012 ... ity-lapses

I remember watching archived footage of the hearing at the time and thinking what the hell are they doing? It was pretty amazing to see.

I agree we the public will not in our lifetimes know what really was going on out there. What we're getting is inevitably a sanitized version, even with the hopelessly careless treatment the classified, secret CIA post received.

At the hearing,

[o]ne of the State Department security officials was forced to acknowledge that “not necessarily all of the security people” at the Benghazi compounds “fell under my direct operational control.”

And whose control might they have fallen under? Well, presumably it’s the “other government agency” or “other government entity” the lawmakers and witnesses referred to; Issa informed the public that this agency was not the FBI.


from the link directly above.
Last edited by snoqueen on Sun May 12, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bludgeon
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby Bludgeon » Sun May 12, 2013 4:31 pm

Thanks Snow,

I really don't want to get into the "gotchas", I think it will be nice to just sort of look at the situation as it is; really without even judging, though in this case the details seem rather damning.

What's to be made of those details? Another issue. Apparently Clinton was never under oath during her testimonies to congress. I don't suppose it's a crime to knowingly lie to the public and to congress, if you don't first swear to tell the truth.

I would just say that it's firstly problematic (and secondly, Nixonian) to say the least to have an administration that intentionally doctors the facts by demanding fictions be written in their place. And problematic to have a complicit press (Joe Biden affectionately refers to them as "legitimate media") that dutifully looks the other way. Access, rewards and penalties are much to do with the way administrations 'work the media'; in this case we end up with a tsunami of false propaganda that in 2012 was so overwhelming it easily swept the readily apparent truth far away.

If a person is a Democrat or Republican, if this were my party, that is not what I would want out of my administration, or the national media.

You know how in China, the Dalai Lama is branded as a terrorist and if you read about him in the news it sounds like he's the worst, most despicable person who ever lived? I would just like to think that if I were a member of China's leading party, and if pushing this narrative was deemed 'good for the party', I would still not want that kind of fraud being plied in my name.

Sandi
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby Sandi » Sun May 12, 2013 5:22 pm

This was a fight between the State dept and the CIA which no doubt overrode what military command wanted to do. I don't think Obama had much if anything to do with whether if/when military aid would be sent.

Although he could have, but lacks military experience and relies on his advisers.

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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun May 12, 2013 5:29 pm

Sandi, as someone with military experience, what would you have done?

snoqueen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby snoqueen » Sun May 12, 2013 6:14 pm

Bludgeon wrote:Thanks Snow,

I really don't want to get into the "gotchas", I think it will be nice to just sort of look at the situation as it is; really without even judging, though in this case the details seem rather damning.


I can live with that. The details don't seem damning to me, but maybe that's a point where we can agree to disagree on what qualifies as damning. I think it truly does help to try to look at a situation as it is without even judging. Maybe we're both tired of the gotcha thing, like a lot of the public who seem to have tuned the whole works out.

I would just say that it's firstly problematic (and secondly, Nixonian) to say the least to have an administration that intentionally doctors the facts by demanding fictions be written in their place.


And I think what you're referring to is professional press relations, in which I fully expect my administration to present its actions in the best possible light. I do not accept falsehoods, but I do not think it is their job to hand their opposition a list of attack points. The opposition will create those just fine on their own.

I honestly don't see the falsehoods. Again, this may be two different definitions of "lie." I don't see how we can resolve it without nitpicking and playing gotcha. Maybe we can wait for a different story to use for an example.

But here's a counter-example: I think the administration has done a piss-poor job of presenting, explaining, and defending the healthcare law. I expect better, and I am disappointed and displeased. I wish they were giving that thing half the attention the Benghazi thing is getting.

And lying about healthcare, as with anything else, will come back to bite so they better get it right.

And problematic to have a complicit press (Joe Biden affectionately refers to them as "legitimate media") that dutifully looks the other way. Access, rewards and penalties are much to do with the way administrations 'work the media'


I agree media access is a powerful incentive. I do not agree in this case the public has been misinformed or underinformed. Coverage and commentary on the Benghazi story has been so widespread, involving so many journalists and op-ed writers, that we can be quite confident nothing unclassified has been withheld from the public. There is a range of opinions in the center and left as well as on the right, and to believe the Obama administration controls it all is wildly exaggerated/overoptimistic.

Of course they have favorite reporters, but they don't control the arc of the entire narrative. They present and defend the administration viewpoint.

If a person is a Democrat or Republican, if this were my party, that [spin and manipulation, I assume] is not what I would want out of my administration, or the national media.


I expect a professional, thorough presentation and defense of the administration's actions. I do not accept lies (though we all badly need a clear definition of what a lie is, and that may be one of our sticking points in this discussion).

It is the media's job to dig up all the facts; it is the administration's job to do right, be transparent, and adhere to the laws they are sworn to uphold (among many other things).

Spin is a fact of political life and I don't like it any more than you do. But the time when the administration (any administration) was a news source on its own has passed. For an administration not to actively defend its actions is unprofessional. The electorate expects an aggressive, active, and affirmative defense of the administration's actions, and likewise expects an aggressive effort by the other party to undermine the administration. It's not ideal (you'd think both parties would work for the benefit of the people, I suppose) but it's how things are and passivity is unacceptable.

The national media are expected to get behind the spin and find (interpret) the "truth" (whatever in the world that is). I do not see their job as being the same as the administration's.

I think we have legitimate differences here, but not ones that end in a screaming session. It's more like background that makes comprehensible a viewpoint different from one's own without leaving the impression that person is a traitor/idiot/bigot/tool/whatever.

You know how in China, the Dalai Lama is branded as
a terrorist and if you read about him in the news it sounds like he's the worst, most despicable person who ever lived? I would just like to think that if I were a member of China's leading party, and if pushing this narrative was deemed 'good for the party', I would still not want that kind of fraud being plied in my name.


Having a bunch of Chinese friends, I know exactly what you mean about the Dalai Lama. To hear the story they've been taught, the guy is the devil incarnate. From our side, he's a living saint. I suppose the truth is somewhere in between and he's a regular guy.

But it's an excellent example of spin-gone-crazy, and China's having only a rudimentary free press makes it work. I'm still hoping ours is a little more developed.

Sandi
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby Sandi » Sun May 12, 2013 6:16 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Sandi, as someone with military experience, what would you have done?


I didn't have that much experience, however I think I would put more weight on the military commanders opinion.

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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby doppel » Sun May 12, 2013 6:27 pm

How does one vote in this poll? I've asked about this on another poll and never got a reply. I'm too plumb dumb to figure it out on my own. JJ? Anyone?

snoqueen
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby snoqueen » Sun May 12, 2013 8:14 pm

doppel wrote:How does one vote in this poll? I've asked about this on another poll and never got a reply. I'm too plumb dumb to figure it out on my own. JJ? Anyone?


If you are signed in, the poll presents you with a button for yes and a button for no. Then you can easily vote.

Are you sure you've refreshed the page after signing in?

If you are just seeing the pink bars showing percentage of votes for each option, that's the not-signed-in version.

DCB
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby DCB » Sun May 12, 2013 8:19 pm

I think the question is defective. Because I can barely read it ( I guess my eyes are going to shit). And because it makes no sense.

What is the 'Benghazi you-tube story'? I know there was a video that pissed off a lot of Muslims. And I know some Americans where killed in Benghazi, at roughly the same time.

I just don't know what to make of this:
I'm just going by my gut, but my hunch is that not even the president's staunchest supporters will see any value in pretending to take seriously that anyone in the administration considered the youtube claim to be valid to any extent.

What is "the youtube claim"? Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall the president saying the murders were directly caused by the stupid video, if that's what you mean.

Susan Rice suggested that extremists took advantage of the video protests to carry out their attacks. That seems pretty plausible.

Is any of this relevant to protecting Americans from extremists?

doppel
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Re: Catch-all Benghazi

Postby doppel » Mon May 13, 2013 12:48 am

Thanks Sno. With your guidance I can wear my "I voted" sticker today. I think my main problem was I usually log in clicking "hide my idenity". Any time I'm offered that option on the information super highway, I get in that lane.


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