White House Throwing State Department Under The Bus?

A round of finger pointing in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.

As I noted earlier this week, there were several requests for additional security made by Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other diplomatic personnel in Libya that went ignored by the State Department in the weeks and months prior to the September 11th Consulate attack. That made it odd last night when Vice-President Biden said that ”We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there.” We know for a fact that those requests we made, though, because Congressman Darrell Issa released unclassified cables from the Embassy in Libya that were sent in March and July [PDF’s available here and here]. Now the White House is telling Josh Rogin that when Biden spoke last night he was speaking for himself and President Obama, not the entire Administration:

Vice President Joseph Biden speaks only for himself and President Barack Obama, and neither man was aware that U.S. officials in Libya had asked the State Department for more security before the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a top White House official told The Cable.

Biden has come under fire for saying at Thursday night’s debate, “We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there.”

The Cable asked Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes whether Biden was speaking for the entire Obama administration, including the State Department, which acknowledged receiving multiple requests for more Libya security in the months before the attacks. Rhodes said that Biden speaks only for himself and the president and neither of them knew about the requests at the time.

The State Department security officials who testified before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s panel Wednesday never said they had made their requests to the president, Rhodes pointed out. That would be natural because the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House, he said. Rhodes also pointed out that the officials were requesting more security in Tripoli, not Benghazi.

“All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, testified. “In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST [Site Security Team] extension.’ I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway.”

Nordstrom was so critical of the State Department’s reluctance to respond to his calls for more security that he said, “For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.”

All of this comes just days after the State Department essentially contradicted the White House when it said that there was no protest over a movie in Benghazi on the day of the attack, and that they always believed the attack was the work or terrorists.

It does make sense that the President and Vice-President would not necessarily have direct knowledge of the security requests being made by diplomatic outposts, but it strikes me that this looks for all the world like an effort by the White House to distance itself from Foggy Bottom on the issue of why those requests for additional security were ignored. It does cause me to wonder, though, if State is being set up as the fall guy for this Libya debacle. It also makes one wonder how far up the chain of power at State that these security requests went. Was Secretary Clinton aware of them? Ambassador Rice? Or was this all left in the hands of career diplomats for some reason?

Of course, the State Department isn’t the only part of the government that the Vice-President directed blame toward last night:

Vice President Biden blamed intelligence officials for the administration’s changing account of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, during Thursday night’s debate with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The Obama administration has been under fire for initially linking the attack on the U.S. Consulate to an anti-Islam video made in the U.S. before later acknowledging that that the attack was an act of terrorism, not a protest that turned violent.

Biden said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, was repeating what intelligence sources had told her when she blamed the video as a “proximate cause” of the violence in an interview five days after the attack.

“The intelligence community told us that,” Biden said. “As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.”

So, in addition to the State Department, it looks like the White House is trying to pass off blame  on the “intelligence community.” Perhaps if their initial response to the attack had been more coherent and they hadn’t stuck to the ridiculous story that the attack on the Consulate was a spontaneous event inspired by a bad YouTube video, they wouldn’t have to be engaging in this kind of finger pointing.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    The CIA is conspicuously absent from this piece. This whole mess has their fingerprints all over it.

  2. Geek, Esq. says:

    Well, State quite frankly deserves its place under the bus wheels. This was their f@ck up from the beginning.

  3. john personna says:

    You know what you and the right are encouraging Doug?

    Next time, instead of “what we know so far,” you are asking that they stonewall you, until they give you one and only one story.

  4. SKI says:

    Doug, do you think the White House unilaterally made up the protest story?

    If not (and I’m presuming that you haven’t gone that far around the bend) isn’t stating that they were passing on what they were being told accurate and not mere “finger-pointing”?

  5. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    That’s actually what they should be doing. First make sure you know the facts, then make a statement. If what you’re getting is a preliminary assessment, STFU.

  6. @SKI:

    Except we already know that the White House knew that the attack wasn’t connected to the protests well before Ambassador Rice went on television and claimed that it was. It took the White House the better part of two weeks to abandon a narrative that was patently ridiculous on its face and contradicted by the evidence available.

  7. White House Throwing State Department Under The Bus?

    Once again, the Obama administration’s foreign policy seems to be a disapointing continuation of the Bush administration.

  8. Tano says:

    It does make sense that the President and Vice-President would not necessarily have direct knowledge of the security requests being made by diplomatic outposts,

    but it strikes me that this looks for all the world like an effort by the White House to distance itself from Foggy Bottom on the issue of why those requests for additional security were ignored.

    Huh? What exactly are you trying to say?

    Did the WH has knowledge of the requests or not? If not, then how are they “distancing themselves” from a situation in which they were always at a distance?

    It does cause me to wonder, though, if State is being set up as the fall guy for this Libya debacle.

    If the WH did not know of the requests, then isn’t it obvious that State is to blame – and if so, how is this “being set up”?

    So, in addition to the State Department, it looks like the White House is trying to pass off blame on the “intelligence community.”

    Once again – how can the WH “pass off” blame, if there seems to be no reason to be blaming them in the first place.

    It sounds like you are trying to construct a narrative when there is no evidence to support it.

  9. SKI says:

    @Doug Mataconis: If you “know”, that link doesn’t demonstrate how. It links to Eli’s story as authority which itself says that while “U.S. intelligence agencies” knew it is unknown what and when the White House knew.

  10. PD Shaw says:

    If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

  11. legion says:

    Do you people really believe that every single thing any cabinet or executive agency does goes across the President’s desk for his personal approval? That if cables are going back & forth between State and a field office, those things all get cc’d to POTUS? This is ridiculous. The idea that it might take a week or more to track down who exactly knew what when in a bureaucracy the size of State alone, not to mention getting the WH press secretary on the same page, is par for the course.

  12. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    An adult audience could handle “what we know so far.”

    The least we can hope is that an adult audience without a looming election would be treating “what we know so far” completely differently.

    One would hope there would not be this absurd insistance that thousands of people across several federal departments would be on the same page, within 24 hours, and then unchanging in their understanding.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve read several places that consulate perimeter security is normally the responsibility of the host country. I heard in one news story, and not since, that ten Libyan security personnel were killed in the attack. There were several protests attributed to the movie going on at the time. Per Dana Milbank Jason Chaffetz (R-Dumb) and Darryl Issa (R-Dumber) managed in their fishing expedition hearing to accidentally disclose the existence of a classified CIA operation at the consulate. People may be dissembling to cover that or something else. The situation on the ground was probably quite confused. There are occasional attacks on US diplomatic sites, the rate lately is historically low. There is no obvious political advantage to not calling this a “terror attack”, as Obama did the next day.

    Not a story I’ve been following. Do I have the facts essentially correct? And if so, why is this “cover-up” a story at all? Beyond the GOPs obvious desperation to find something, anything.

  14. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Adults can also handle “we’re gathering the facts, and don’t want to make any pronouncement until we’re certain.”

    Or

    “We don’t want to speculate at this time.”

    What adults won’t handle is a changing story. Those don’t smell very good.

  15. David M says:

    This whole controversy is nonsensical. Of course security requests for consulates don’t go directly to the President, this isn’t “24”. And is part of the controversy that the administration started saying it was because of the movie but now has new evidence so they now are saying something different? WTF? How is that a bad thing? Were they asleep during the Bush Administration when changing course when new information came up was forbidden?

  16. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Your crusade on this is so tendentious and one sided its become ridiculous. There is no such thing as 100 per cent perfect instant intelligence ( except maybe in Doug world). Here on Earth Prime, about all intelligence can initially say is that the raid PROBABLY is or is not connected to the protests. Neither you or I or anyone else was 100 per cent sure that the protests were unconnected to the consulate attack when Ambassador Rice spoke . You may have THOUGHT it was unconnected , but you didn’t KNOW. All you knew is that it was convenient to your narrative to conclude that the attack and protests were unconnected.
    What Rice gave is a tentative assessment, which she said was a tentative assessment .

    Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo,” Rice told me this morning on “This Week.”

    Now that turned out to be wrong, but its the nature of early assessments that they can be wrong. You are putting a hell of a lot emphasis on the fact that one intelligence report got it right early. Well, there were most likely other reports that got it wrong early, that she was also aware of and and that she may have believed.
    Just to go WW2 on you, the Germans had reports telling them that the western Allies were going to invade northern France by way of Normandy in June 1944. They also had intelligence that the Allies were going to invade at Pas de Calais, southern France, Greece, and Norway. Fortunately, and with Allied help, they were unable to sort out the good from the bad intelligence. Its what called the “fog of war”, Doug. Maybe you should talk to James about that. It exists.

    Frankly, I think its great that it only took the Administration a few days to get it right. You should be praising them for THAT, not for a mistaken early assessment Remember, the anthrax investigation after 9-11 and how screwed up that was? The Administration action here looks like a model investigation compared with THAT.

  17. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Are you seriously saying you would rather have an administration that said, in response to an attack, “we aren’t going to tell you anything for a few weeks?”

    Few people would choose that path.

    And as regards “what adults won’t handle is a changing story,” we have all these people editing out “what we know so far” and then calling everything a lie. That is basic dishonesty.

  18. Herb says:

    So, in addition to the State Department, it looks like the White House is trying to pass off blame on the “intelligence community.”

    Oh man……

    I have to say, I’m getting to the point where anything you write about Benghazi goes right into the circular bin. Why are you so eager to place the blame for the attacks at the White House front door?

    It’s like you have this idea (that the WH did something improper in its response) and have been working the shoe leather hard to prove it.

    And failing miserably.

    Now we all know that Mitt Romney’s first instinct was to go after the president on this issue. Everyone saw it for what it was: Plain-old opportunistic self-serving politics. He has since moved on to other things. I’m not sure what he’s saying now, but I suspect it’s as vague as it is bellicose. When Mitt Romney does it, I get it. He’s running for president.

    What’s your excuse?

  19. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Susan Rice was on Sunday morning talk shows stating that the attack wasn’t premeditated in the immediate aftermath.

    The claim was not credible then. I was stunned to see her saying that nonsense.

  20. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    Are you seriously saying you would rather have an administration that said, in response to an attack, “we aren’t going to tell you anything for a few weeks?”

    Word. Had the Administration done that, the Republicans and most media would be screaming “Cover Up!” and saying things like ” Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate.” I have a feeling one D. Mataconis would be pressing the Administration to release details, and most likely one Geek Esq. would be hyperventilating about Republican attacks on the Administration ‘s “lack of transparency.”

  21. Dave Schuler says:

    What puzzles me about all of this is why say anything? Other than “we offer sincere condolences to the friends and family of Amb. Christopher Stephens, etc.” The elaboration is doing more harm to the administration than keeping their mouths shut would have.

  22. Wayne says:

    Bush was responsible for what low ranking enlisted military personnel did. Obama is not responsible for what high-ranking administration personnel did. In addition, they are not responsible for their own action of repeating their narrative even long after there was no possible way that they didn’t know it was false. Is that what most of you are saying?

  23. Dwight says:

    Letting us in on a secret there you go. The reason for the mixed up story. The ‘annex’ was really a CIA base for around 7 operatives. In order to appease the Republicans this has now been broadcast on CSPAN in a non-confidential meeting. It was one thing to lose a CIA base, it’s another, I imagine, when your ambassador is killed there. So while the administration and state department are giving their people time on the ground to do whatever they might need to do, we are instead fed stuff cause the truth has to do with national security. Bravo Doug, bravo Chaffetz for making the obvious clear to everyone.

  24. Just Me says:

    I think it is clear the state department is the main offender here,, so I am not convinced holding them accountable is throwing them under the bus-since they essentially deserve to be under the bus.

    What I am not convinced of-is that the White House somehow gets to toss a “get out of jail free” card, because the White House is the head of the executive and deserves to be criticized for the actions of the state department.

  25. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    I said above:

    And as regards “what adults won’t handle is a changing story,” we have all these people editing out “what we know so far” and then calling everything a lie. That is basic dishonesty.

    And then you said:

    Susan Rice was on Sunday morning talk shows stating that the attack wasn’t premeditated in the immediate aftermath.

    You left out the qualifiers she used, right?

  26. Mikey says:

    @john personna: This is different, though, John. This wasn’t an evolving story in a fluid situation. Everyone understands how that goes, and I think the American people are really quite forgiving in those circumstances.

    But this was a story that could not have been accurate. It contradicted obvious facts. And instead of saying, “Oops, our initial estimate was not accurate,” they stuck to it and doubled down and sent the UN Ambassador on half a dozen Sunday shows nearly a week after the attack to repeat what a lot of us had correctly concluded was straight-up bullshit.

  27. grumpy realist says:

    Also, who knows what was getting told to Susan Rice? It might have been “yeah, we know that the video had nothing to do with it, but we’re trying to get our CIA contacts out of the way, so pretty please just go on the air and mention the video.”

    And Issa? Give me a break. He’ll release any information he pleases to, just as long as he can embarrass the Administration.

  28. stonetools says:

    @Just Me:

    I’m trying to understand what, if anything, was done wrong. Do you understand that there were 12 attacks on US Embassies and consulates during the Bush Administration, leading to several deaths-as many as 16 in one attack?

    These kind of things happen in that part of the world.Believe it or not, the Middle East are full of anti-American terrorists and its possible that the Administration did everything right yet still people got killed.

  29. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    It takes time for info and esp conclusions to percolate through large organizations. I can forgive just about anything that is fully caveated, as Rice’s statements were. I can very easily picture a huddle, Sunday morning, working from both data known and huddle-member biases. That’s human organization. As long as you don’t close the door and say “this is the state position” it can roll toward better understanding.

    The weird political attack here is that no, we should “lock and fault” at various points in rolling understanding.

  30. Nikki says:

    @Wayne: POTUS should share more responsibility/blame for dictating policy allowing US military to torture prisoners than the State Department’s failure to provide adequate security.

  31. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    You left out the qualifiers she used, right?

    Of course, they leave out the qualifiers. They also leave out the near certainty that there were conflicting reports, of which only one may have been true. Once you acknowledge those, then there is nothing there.

    In right wing world, there was one true undisputed intelligence report, which the Administration for some unknown reason rejected in favor of a narrative that right wingers disliked, and then went on television to wholeheartedly push the wrong narrative . I understand that it makes more sense if you wear a tinfoil hat.

  32. Mikey says:

    @john personna: I would accept your rationale and your conclusion entirely and without dispute IF Rice’s statements had been made two days after the attack, rather than five, and IF the administration had adjusted its position in response to the flood of information that was coming from both our government and that of Libya. Neither was the case.

    I don’t think Rice’s caveats help at all, because if they’re honest, it indicates a woeful level of either non-communication or plain incompetence, and if they’re not honest, well, they’re not honest.

    My issue with how they responded isn’t that their information wasn’t 100% accurate right away. I don’t expect it to be–my goodness, a diplomatic post was destroyed and an ambassador killed, I can’t even imagine the chaos the State Department must have been that night.

    But we had the administration and its mouthpieces putting out woefully inaccurate information nearly a week later, information that quite literally contradicted well-known facts about the attack. That’s not the product of a quick huddle. They had days to plan and lay out the statements Rice and others were going to give.

  33. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Everyone on the planet recognized this was a premeditated attack within 24 hours, with the exceptions of the CIA and Susan Rice apparently.

    A spontaneous coordinated assault on 9/11 involving RPGs?

    Please. She was about as credible that morning as Colin Powell was when he gave his WMD speech to the UN.

  34. mantis says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Everyone on the planet recognized this was a premeditated attack within 24 hours, with the exceptions of the CIA and Susan Rice apparently.

    Or perhaps that’s what the CIA wanted the attackers to think. I imagine connecting it to Egypt was a decision made on the fly, as they happened at about the same time.

  35. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Everyone on the planet recognized this was a premeditated attack within 24 hours, with the exceptions of the CIA and Susan Rice apparently.

    I was on the planet , and it wasn’t obvious to me , or many others. I find it hard to understand why you were so certain, in the absence of firsthand information. Sounds to me that you preferred to believe what you preferred to be true, and that later investigation revealed that it was true.

  36. CB says:

    But we had the administration and its mouthpieces putting out woefully inaccurate information nearly a week later, information that quite literally contradicted well-known facts about the attack. That’s not the product of a quick huddle. They had days to plan and lay out the statements Rice and others were going to give

    Im not exactly sure how to parse the little information coming out, but it really does seem that there was a deeper element to this whole thing. From the start, the story seemed incomplete, and i think the CIA has alot to do with that. Whether the admin was running cover for them, or just screwed the pooch, its hard to tell at this point. But i think its obvious that there was alot more going on than meets the eye, hence the disconnect.

  37. Neo says:

    Notice how in the first segment of the VP debate, Biden projected Mitt Romney’s statement on the Cairo embassy’s apology to cover Libya.

    Didn’t we hear that there was no MSM coverage of Libya because the MSM had been so busy bashing Romney for his Cairo statements ?

    But now, “Mitt jumped the gun before he knew about the deaths in Libya”, when that’s not what Romney even talked about.

    Clearly, the “misunderstanding” in certain more political parts of this Administration about Benghazi was a political stunt to use the Cairo incident, and the MSM bashing of Mitt Romney, to shield this Administration from further scrutiny by linking the Benghazi attack by al Qaeda on 9/11 to Romney’s earlier statements on Cairo.

  38. Geek, Esq. says:

    @stonetools:

    Because angry mobs don’t launch coordinated assaults with rocket propelled grenades.

  39. stonetools says:

    @CB:

    But i think its obvious that there was alot more going on than meets the eye, hence the disconnect.

    It may be even indirection. It may be that the CIA wanted the Administration to maintain the facade that it wasn’t looking for Islamic terrorists for a while in the hope that they could flush out the terrorists. We don’t know what we don’t know.

    I don’t think that five days or even two weeks was an inordinate amount of time for the Administration to disclose what really happened, especially in the light of the fact that the CIA was involved with the Benghazi consulate, and may have had to do some cleanup.

    I,mean, seriously, what’s the harm? Were important American interests harmed because there was full disclosure in week two rather than week one? I’m trying to find a theory of harm here, because otherwise, it just looks like the right wing is trying to make something out of nothing. .

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Because angry mobs don’t launch coordinated assaults with rocket propelled grenades.

    Yes, and certainly not in a place like Libya, which has just come out of a civil war and has multiplle miltias armed with assault rifles, RPGs, and similar weapons which their members keep at home.

  41. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Because angry mobs don’t launch coordinated assaults with rocket propelled grenades.

    So you are an expert on Middle Eastern mob behavior?

    There may be more things in this world, Geek Esq, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

  42. Geek, Esq. says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Libya’s government was describing it as a “premeditated” attack days before Rice went on TV and said the opposite.

    Did Rice not talk to them?

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Once again, the Obama administration’s foreign policy seems to be a disapointing continuation of the Bush administration.

    Really Stormy? Really? My head hurts just reading that. I am surprised your’s did not explode writing it. While there is more than a little of Obama’s FP that I do not like, and quite a bit that tracks W’s, there is one major difference…

    Under Obama we have yet to invade a Muslim country. In fact, we have yet to invade any country. In fact, under Obama we are striving to avoid any more invasions of other countries.

  44. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    So do you think that in future the US President should take the Libyan’s word on everything? The Pakistanis’ too? The Egyptians’?

    Or do you think they might be skeptical and have their own internal processes?

    Seriously, which is it this week, that Obama rolls over, or that he doesn’t roll over enough?

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    A spontaneous coordinated assault on 9/11 involving RPGs?

    Oh come off it… RPG’s?????? You want RPG’s??? I can get you an RPG off most street corners in STL.(snark) Benghazi??? ANY street corner. Get real Geek.

    For the record, within 48 hrs of the attack, I had doubts about the narrative being pushed by the Obama admin. That being said, I could see a hundred different reasons for them to push it in the short term, none of which were nefarious in nature.

    Really tho, Doug’s fixation with this issue borders on ODS.

  46. Rafer Janders says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    So no response to my point, then, but just a frantic “hey, look over there!”?

  47. Rafer Janders says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Libya’s government was describing it as a “premeditated” attack days before Rice went on TV and said the opposite.

    Oh well, whatever Libya’s government says, that’s good enough for me. Certainly our government officials should go on the air and repeat whatever they tell them, our own internal processes be damned.

  48. Dazedandconfused says:

    I suspect the intelligence community, as a whole, take this a bit less damaging that being responsible for launching a war based on BS.

    They know why the Republicans are doing this. So does State Dept security. Saw the Regional Security Officer and that Col who is an expert on Libya in DC talking to Issa instead of tracking down the people that did it. I’m sure they considered traveling to DC helpful.

  49. JKB says:

    Let’s see, the head of the Executive branch and all his direct staff couldn’t find out what the real story was from the subordinate parts of the Executive branch for a couple weeks.

    Nice, I wonder what it would be like to have a competent chief executive?

    So, Obama can’t get his appointed subordinates to inform him of the facts. We’ll skip over his skipping his intelligence briefings.

    And, Obama cannot work with Congress to achieve any legislative goals. We’ll skip over the book that tells of Obama pulling a last minute unacceptable change of terms.

    On the plus side, he plays golf very well.

    If they cannot do the job, we got to let them go.

  50. David M says:

    @JKB:

    We’ll skip over his skipping his intelligence briefings.

    And, Obama cannot work with Congress to achieve any legislative goals. We’ll skip over the book that tells of Obama pulling a last minute unacceptable change of terms.

    Do you get off on lying?

  51. JKB says:

    @David M:

    Perhaps you could me more specific?

    After Islamist radicals stormed our embassy in Cairo and terrorists killed our ambassador to Libya on Sept. 11, I further reported that Obama also skipped his daily intelligence meeting every day in the week leading up to the attacks. The day after the attack, he scheduled but then canceled his daily intelligence meeting, while finding time to go to Las Vegas for a campaign rally. source

    “Gaps” in President Obama’s leadership contributed to the collapse of a “grand bargain” on spending and debt last year, with the president failing to cultivate congressional relationships that may have helped him break through Republican opposition, author Bob Woodward told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. source

  52. David M says:

    @JKB:
    Marc Thiessen is not a credible source and that column does not contain useful information. It’s his opinion, not based in fact, that Obama is “skipping” his intelligence briefings by reading them. Since when is being literate a bad thing? A more honest statement would be that Obama has chosen to sometimes read his intelligence briefings rather than have them all in person.

    Obama worked with Congress to pass the stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and ending DADT. That proves your statement that “he cannot work with Congress” is false. A more accurate statement would be that the GOP in Congress do not want to work with Obama, as they feel he will benefit politically if they are able to compromise and pass legislation.

    It is uncontested that Boehner and the GOP ended negotiations with Obama over a grand bargain, so your statement there is misleading at best and more likely a lie. Regardless of whether Obama wanted more revenue, the GOP chose to end rather than continue negotiations, and no amount of dishonest spin can change that.

  53. JKB says:

    Well, it should be an interesting weekend. I’d expect some “releases” of information from the Clintons, the career State bureaucrats, and the intel community. The off-the-record briefings have already begun. Look at what they are saying in the open, then think about what they are saying in private conversations with legislators.

  54. An Interested Party says:

    Do you understand that there were 12 attacks on US Embassies and consulates during the Bush Administration, leading to several deaths-as many as 16 in one attack?

    Not to mention that 9/11 also happened while Bush was president…I mean, if we really want to place blame on presidential administrations for terrorist acts that take place on their watch…

    @JKB: I notice there is not even an attempt to refute David M’s points in your breathless little hopes for the weekend…

  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    9/11 also happened while Bush was president

    On Planet Republican, Bush’s term didn’t start until 9/12/01. This belief is vividly embodied in Giuliani’s remarkable claim: “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.”

  56. Dazedandconfused says:

    Watched the hearing. It appears Lamb will be sacrificed (ahem), but I’m not sure adults won’t step in at some point and saver her. There is at least one layer in the chain above her before Kennedy, and he was nowhere to be seen. Not a good sign. The Regional Security Officer of the site, Ubben, was also not there, and no mention made of him. Hmmmm.

    Instead they had his direct boss, Nordstrom, doing the talking, and he was incredibly good. Gave them some of what they wanted, a bit of outrage about the general state of affairs, wherein it’s hard to get anything added anywhere these days without somebody getting killed first. This served a double purpose in his department’s future funding. However, he pointed out that nothing anybody had suggested, indeed nothing they every would have put in place, would have been unlikely to have made a difference against indirect fire from mortars(!), along with a company-sized attack force armed with RPG’s, and 6 hours to work(!) without host country intervention. “Unprecedented”. He could well have used “Horrifying” as well, but restrained himself to a tone that conveyed the sentiment. Six frickin hours.

    Lamb tried to explain allocation of limited resources, but it was hopeless. These Congressmen were dragged away from their districts with just a few weeks before their elections (impressive!), and something was going to get kicked.

    I suppose it couldn’t wait. The value of witch hunting will drop significantly in just a few weeks, no matter how it goes.

  57. jan says:

    President Obama appears to be burning bridges with friends he needs.

    Klein said relations between the Clintons and President Obama have reached a new low, most recently with Obama ignoring Bill Clinton’s offer to help him and Vice President Joe Biden prepare for the debates with the Republican ticket.

    “He had very clear ideas on how they should do that,” Klein told TheDC. “He never once got a response. And it absolutely sent him into orbit. He was furious that he would be treated this way, especially after what he did, in his view, at the Democratic convention in giving that nomination speech for Obama.”

    Added Klein: “His fury turned to deep concern when the Benghazi business unfolded because he was deeply troubled by the appearance that the White House was going to throw Hillary under the bus, which in fact it appears it is doing.”

  58. john personna says:

    @jan:

    My gosh, if there was ever a thread that proved “you got nuthin'” for the 2012 election, this is it.

    Where the heck is major policy, an economic plan, a jobs plan?

    There is nothing, so quibble about how high up staffing for an Ambassador’s overnight was planned.

  59. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    President Truman: “The buck stops here.”

    President Obama: “The buck stops there.”

  60. john personna says:

    @11B40:

    So are you going to promise us this?

    If Mitt Romney is elected, will he spend his days planning every day trip of every US Ambassador around the world, as his top priority?

    (Also, a US Border Agent was killed by friendly fire this week, why aren’t we impeaching Obama over this?)

  61. wr says:

    @jan: You have no idea who Ed Klein is — or are you just hoping we don’t? He’s the man who wrote a “biography” of Hillary Clinton that was so full of scurrilous lies that the reviewer in the rightwing National Review said “No one, left, right or center, should ever stoop this low.”

    Now you’re going to pull out your standard whine that I’m attacking your little messenger. But this lying hack is claiming inside knowledge of the relationship between Obama and the Clintons — tell me, who on either side would have a conversation with this scumbag?

    What a surprise that this nonsense is presented entirely without attribution, just another pack of lies by a rabid partisan repeated as fact by you.

  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    He’s the man who wrote a “biography” of Hillary Clinton

    Yup. The reaction was priceless:

    Klein has been criticized for his biography of Hillary Clinton … Politico criticized the book for “serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes and overall themes [that] don’t gibe with any other serious accounts of Clinton’s life.” [3]. The book was attacked not only by liberals, but by conservatives as well. John Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post, “Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through another word.” In National Review James Geraghty wrote, “Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain’t it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.”

    No wonder Jan is a fan. Sewage is her thing.

  63. raul says:

    @David M: The state dept has the responsibility for security but when their ordered secretly by the wh to stand down thats what happens! I beleive that obama is still giving up Americans for the killing of satanic bin laden! obama did’nt want to kill bin laden,that is so obvious, he was pulled kicking and screaming from the golf course to make a decision! But since he did he is playing tit for tat with American lives!