Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Benghazi: Reductio Ad Absurdum


Update:  Apparently a number of folks that should be commenting on The Blaze have chosen to instead to grace me with their charming wit and razor sharp intellects.  Oh lucky, lucky me.   Because, really, reason, punctuation, and spelling are so overrated.

As such, comment moderation will be periodically turned on when I’m not able to watch the post in real-time.

This way I can get on with my life, rather than play Whack-A-Mole with a bunch of trolls.  Feel free to comment, stuff worth posting will appear eventually.  The other crap will be bundled up, put into a brown paper bag, placed on Glenn Beck’s front porch and … well, you know how this gag works. Just be prepared to run when I push the doorbell.




Let’s lay out the playing field.

Just to make sure we all understand the rules.

If the President is in the White House situation room surrounded by his staff and military advisors, and he, personally, on his authority as the Commander In Chief, authorizes the US Navy to take whatever action necessary, if he authorizes weapons-free and gets out of the way, and then US Navy SEAL snipers acting on the resulting orders from their on-scene commander execute an astounding feat of marksmanship which then instantly kills three Somali pirates via three perfectly executed head shots which then subsequently allows Navy boarding crews to successfully rescue American merchant Captain Richard Phillips off the Horn of Africa in the tradition of Preble and Decatur – the President gets no credit for that at all, he was only a bystander.

Likewise, if the President is in the White House situation room, surrounded by his staff and military advisors, and he, personally, gives the go/no-go order on his authority as the Commander in Chief, and US Navy SEALs then jump from a C-130 high above Adow, Somalia, and make a daring raid in the middle of the night on an armed pirate camp to successfully rescue Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, and kill nine pirates in the process – well, Obama gets no credit for that either. He’s just some uninvolved asshole who watched it all on TV.

And of course, if the President is in the White House situation room surrounded by his staff and military advisors, and he, in real-time, personally, gives the go/no-go order on his authority as the Commander In Chief, and US Navy SEALs then swoop into an allied country and double-tap Osama Bin Laden right in the brainpan – Obama gets no credit for that at all.  In fact, if he even mentions it in any way whatsoever, he’s grandstanding, taking credit,  dishonoring the men who actually put themselves in harm’s way to neutralize one of America’s greatest enemies.


However, should four Americans die in the middle of a riot in a warzone, by intent or by accident – well, then that, by the Angry Bearded Christian God, that, Sir, is all Barack Obama’s fault, one hundred percent.

And he should be impeached for it.

And maybe shipped back to Kenya.

He gets no credit for any success and all the blame for every failure.

Do I have that about right?

I’m not complaining, I just like to know what the rules are.


Maybe Obama should have maybe made his various announcements of success while standing on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln in a flightsuit, maybe conservatives would cut him some slack then.

But probably not.


So, Benghazi.  

What, exactly, is the point of this circus again?

I’m not asking rhetorically, I mean it precisely as stated.

What is the point?

Last week, the chief clown in this posse, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), said that he “did not know what took place, and who was where doing what and why."

King doesn’t know who, what, or why, and yet he next declared confidently, "I believe that it's a lot bigger than Watergate, and if you link Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply it times maybe ten or so, you're going to get in the zone where Benghazi is."

Bigger than Watergate?

Bigger than Iran Contra?

Conservative math, folks: ((Iran Contra + Watergate) x 10) = Joe Biden for President!


… ur, what? No, that’s not what we, wait, now just hold on a minute, what do you mean it’s in the Constitution? Well, crap! Though, you know, at least Biden’s white….

So, if it’s not to make Joe Biden president, then what exactly is the point of the current conservative “investigation” into Benghazi?

I mean let’s be honest here, these people hate the government, they hate it more and more with every day that passes.

And they hate liberals, hate them with the fiery righteous fury of a born-again Evangelical minister denying that’s his face on YouTube snorting cocaine out of Rentboy’s tanned asscrack.

Now, the four Americans killed in Benghazi were government employee. 

And the Ambassador was a liberal appointed by President Obama. 

I’m frankly surprised that the folks screaming loudest about Benghazi aren’t out in the streets next to Westboro Baptist Church, cheering the fortuitous reduction of  government and thinking up ways to make it happen again.

Oh what? Now I’m being offensive? Now I’m being insulting?

Okay, fair enough, but come on, conservatives have spent the last five years threatening to take their guns to Washington. According to a Rasmussen poll taken two weeks ago, more than fifty percent of conservatives said that they believe armed revolution is now the only way to get what they think they want – now that they’ve lost two presidential elections to a black guy it’s time to burn down democracy.  Hell, they’d celebrate if somebody gunned down the president, would they not? A number of them have said so, in exactly those terms, in public. They talk openly about it. And, really, armed revolution, right? If you’re not talking about shooting down government employees, then what’s the point of the gun in the first place?

So what exactly are conservatives pissed about with Benghazi?

That the Libyans denied them four more targets?

That Ambassador Stevens died in a Libyan civil war instead of an American one?

Seriously, what’s the problem?

Hey, don’t get all soggy and hard to light with me, this is your revolution. I know which side I’m on. I know how long I’ll live once the shooting starts. The knock on my front door will surprise me not at all, nor what comes after (though it might surprise you. Just saying).

Like I said up above, I just like to know what the rules are, that’s all.

Given all the dead and sick and maimed Americans that Congress turns a blind eye to day in and day out, all the blood they personally have on their own hands, and given the responsibility they themselves bear for all our war dead up to and including Benghazi itself, what is the purpose of this particular Republican witch burning?

What is the point in specific and concise terms? Bullet point by bullet point, so to speak.

What is the purpose of the investigation, spelled out, in detail? What is the objective? What are the expected outcomes? How do we measure them, i.e. how do we know when the investigation is complete?

Most importantly: What will we do with the information once we have it?

I’d really like to know.

Why are we spending so much time on Benghazi?

I mean, we already know the answer, don’t we?

We know who is to blame. We know who is at fault, do we not? Conservatives certainly do. They’ve already reached a conclusion and made the announcement. It’s all over but the shouting and now they’re just looking for the smoking gun, and they’re going to keep at it until they find it – and in today’s world if you can’t find a smoking gun, well you can always just print one out of thin air, can’t you? (Of course, it’s liable to blow up in your hand, but that’s not really the point, is it?).

Is Benghazi that important? In the grand scheme of things, among all the dead, among all the carnage, among all the blood we’ve shed in the Middle East, is it really that important?

It is?


But why?


No, stop for a minute and think about it carefully.


Why? Why is what happened in Benghazi important? Why does it matter?

Why does it matter to you? You personally. You as an American.

Will the answers, whatever they may be, will they make a difference? To you? Will they, whatever they may be, will they change what you think? Will they?

Will those answers, whatever they may be, make a difference in your life, personally?

Will the final analysis make a difference in the lives of people that you love or admire or are responsible for?

Will the answers make Congress fully fund embassy security and the foreign service? Will they approve funding and full military support to the eventual Damascus mission, you know, the one we’ll have to stand up once we oust Bashar al-Assad from Syria as certain members of congress are insisting the president do right now – the very same members of congress who are conducting the Benghazi investigation, as a matter of fact, and who cried Treason! when Obama sent us to Libya.

Will the answers reanimate the men who died in Benghazi?

Will the investigation return those dead men to their families, alive?

Now I, personally, don’t believe in reincarnation, reanimation, resurrection (divine or otherwise, now or previously), nor zombies, But some folks certainly do, including the ones conducting the investigation. So is that what this is about? Never mind the thorny moral or ethical questions posed by resurrection. Never mind the profound theological implications or the mind-bending metaphysics. Never mind even the practical, legal aspects of reanimating the dead or the chilling political implications of putting that god-like power into the hands of Congress. Simply answer the question, will the current investigations into Benghazi bring those men back from the grave? Yes or no?

Better yet, do you, as Americans, really expect that the investigation will return those men to life? 


No, I suppose not.

Well then, if the investigation won’t make the dead live again, will it at least give their families closure?

Will the answers, whatever they may be, give those left behind comfort and surcease. Will it ease their pain and put their hearts at peace?

Is that noble idea what this is about?

Are we doing it for the families?

Are we doing it because we owe those who fell in the service of their country at least that much?

If that’s so, are the families of these four men that much more important to us, as Americans, than the families of all the thousands of men and women who have fallen, unlamented, uninvestigated, in the service of their country over the last decade? Are the memories of these four men so much more important than all of thousands who have died on patrol in hostile territory, who died because they lacked proper body armor or reinforced vehicles or dependable equipment or reliable intelligence or air cover or even a decent map, who died carrying out impossible orders in untenable positions, who died because they were sent into battle under false pretext, who died due to any of the hundred million idiotic things that can take your life in a war zone, leaving behind bereft wives and husbands and daughters and sons and mothers and fathers? 

Is that why we’re doing it? Because we owe the families of the fallen?

If so, shouldn’t we give each death, each life lost before its due time, each and every one of those fallen thousands, equal attention, equal outrage, equal measure?

And should we not hold to account with equal diligence the men who sent them?


No, I suppose not.

Is the purpose of the investigation about the words?

Is it about Act of Terror versus Terrorism?

Is that what it has finally come down to?

Is it really about the missing “ism?”

Have all the big questions been answered to such a degree that we have nothing left to debate on the national stage but the phrasing? Has Congress really solved all the big problems, addressed all the big issues, faced all of the challenges, settled all of the big debates, that the only thing left to do is argue over grammar?

Is the Republican party so desperate, are conservatives so exhausted of substance, that the only thing they have left to argue about is the suffix?

Have they truly been reduced to that level by the mighty negro mojo of Barack Obama?

Does it really matter if the president called Benghazi terrorism or if he called it a ham sandwich? 

Do conservatives really, and I mean really, believe that “Act of Terror” and “Terrorism” actually determined the outcome of the last presidential election? 

That it really, honest and truly, came down to that?


If it’s that important, that the tense can determine elections, that it can change the very fate of nations, if it can alter the very fabric of the time/space continuum, I mean if it’s really that important, what we call it, then shouldn’t Congress draft a bill defining the exact criteria? If it really matters to the American people, then should we not, each and every one of us, demand from our elected officials a clear and unambiguous definition of the words and specific guidance on when each expression may be used – under penalty of law.

If it’s really that important, I mean.

On the subject of words, is the number of revisions important? 

CNN’s Candy Crowley suggested that the Benghazi talking points were edited to “help the president get elected.”

Leaving aside the question of why anybody would watch either Candy Crowley or the pitiful joke that CNN has become, what exactly did the rough draft say?  “The Ghost of Osama Bin Laden came to the president in a dream and said, ‘Baaaaaarack, America wiiiiiill beeeee bathed in the blood of infidels.’ But Obama ignored the warning, thinking it no more than a fitful bit of REM sleep brought on by the spicy halibut tacos he had consumed during a Press Club Dinner earlier in the night. ” er, no, let’s make that “The CIA had no credible indications of Al Qaida activity near the Libyan consulate…”

And should we, as Americans, even allow revisions to the pending release of government documents at all? If it’s that important, so important that Congress must hold hearings into the differences between a rough draft and the final copy of each White House memo, can we as citizens do no less than demand that only first drafts be used? That when penning a report to the American people, all government agencies must agree in the rough draft and that no changes shall ever be made?

Or shall we allow a certain number of revisions? One? Two? Exactly how many revisions shall constitute high crimes and treason? Come now, don’t be shy, Conservatives, step up and make your case. If an overabundance of revisions is an impeachable offense, well then shouldn’t that number be codified into the very Constitution of the United States itself via amendment (Wait, the Constitution is the ultimate government document, does the act of revising the Constitution via constitutional amendment fall into this same impeachable offense? Wouldn’t that make the Founding Fathers traitors? After all, they revised the Constitution several times. Also, will conservatives now throw out their bibles, starting with the King James Version? After all, look how many times that silly tome has been revised, it’s damned near gibberish. But I digress).   

Should we set a limit on the number of drafts?

If it’s that important, I mean.


Congress doesn’t think so. Conservatives don’t think so. They’re both deadly serious.

Is the exact location of the president that important?

Fox News’ Bill Kristol says the president was “absent the whole night the crisis.”

Absent? Like what absent exactly? Like they couldn’t find him absent? Like he was hiding behind the couch absent? Like Obama went out for a smoke without telling anybody? Like he just opened a window and shimmied down a tree, over the wall and disappeared out into the night?

Like where’s Obama? I dunno, I thought he was with you absent?

Like Great Scott, he’s absconded absent? Like that?

If that’s the case, maybe we should be having a completely different investigation.

What? I’m just asking, how’d he get past the Secret Service? 

Was it Obama’s smooth negro mojo again?

And what? He didn’t take a cell phone?

Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Penetta and General Martin Dempsey testified before Congress that the president was fully engaged with the National Military Command Center during the attack.  And really, don’t we spend a metric shitload of money to make damned sure the president is fully connected, all the time, no matter where he is – even if he sneaks out for pizza?

But here we are, with Conservatives declaring that the president, the president, wasn’t in the right place at the right time.  That the very future of the nation is at stake, isn’t that what conservatives are telling us?  The nation teeters on oblivion, the seas shall rise, the dead will walk, the Anti-Christ is come.  Because, hey, even though these are the same people who predicted with absolutely confidence that their guy would be sitting in the White House right now, we should just take them at their word on this subject. Right?  Because they’ve been so, so very correct in the past (like that time these same clairvoyant assholes told us to invest in real estate, but I digress). We can’t determine the exact nature of the treason until we pin down exactly where Barack Obama was during every second of every minute of every hour of the unfolding crisis. 

We don’t know where he was, man, but we know where he wasn’t – he wasn’t in the right place.

And where is that exactly?

Should Obama have remained in the Situation Room? The Pentagon? Deep below Cheyenne Mountain? Or perhaps he could have called Dick Cheney and asked for the undisclosed location of a convenient Cold War redoubt. 

If it’s that important, shouldn’t Congress pen a bill requiring the real-time tracking of the President via GPS collar? If it that’s important? Or maybe every member of the government, including Congress, should be belled, just in case we need to know where they are.  Hello? Is this thing on? Hello?

Are we doing this for the people? For us? For America?

Are we doing it because the people have a right to know?

Are we doing it for the truth?  Because the truth, the truth no less, actually matters to a nation steeped in conspiracy theories and make-believe creationist hoodoo and chock-a-block with science-denial and awash in unchecked rumor mongers and which routinely lends credence to hysterical talk radio and reality TV and embraces deliberate ignorance, because that nation clearly gives a good goddamn about the truth?


The Truth. That’s funniest thing I’ve heard all day. The Truth.


Of course, in reality (if that word has any meaning here), we should be investigating Benghazi in order to determine how we might better protect our people in the future.

That’s what responsible, mature, intelligent people would do.

That’s what those charged with the security of nation are enjoined to do. That’s the oath they swore and their solemn duty.

But obviously we’re not investigating what went wrong in Benghazi in order to reduce the likelihood of such an event again.

Look at the “investigators.” Look at the questions they’re asking. Look at the witnesses and those called before Congress. Look to the talking heads on the News. Look at the testimony. Nowhere is there any effort whatsoever to quantify lessons learned, to develop a better process, to update security procedures or embassy staffing or define security protocols.

Because, obviously, the investigation isn’t about that.

It’s not even about Barak Obama, except by default.

It’s about blame.

It’s about sour grapes.

It’s about bitter partisan driven revenge.

It’s about the last presidential election.

And more than anything, it’s about preemptive strikes. it’s really about the next presidential election and if these silly sons of bitches want the truth, the Truth, then they should start right there and admit it. 

But they won’t, and they won’t admit what they’re really up to because conservatives go into an election the same way they screw, scared to death and afraid somebody is going to catch them cheating.


Nothing, and I mean nothing tells you who conservatives fear in 2016 more than this idiotic charade.


  1. "Maybe Obama should have maybe made his various announcements of success while standing on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln in a flightsuit,
    maybe conservatives would cut him some slack then."

    Only if he had a really big codpiece.

    1. Are you sure he needs a codpiece? For all I know, that might be as pointless as gilding gold, or putting perfume on a lily.

    2. Dang Yogi, you beat me to it :).

      Peter Eng, at the very least Obama would need to be wearing very tight pants to show off his, err, not-needing-a-codpieceness ;).

      Not that it matters, he would be blasted as "grandstanding".

  2. Spells out the fetid motives of the Right step by logical step. The GOP have turned Congress into nothing more than a kangaroo court and They Have No Shame.

  3. I am sooooooo tired of the lack of respect and direct attacks Republicans are making on our President. I wish I had the power to fire all of them.

    1. I couldn't agree more. Maybe there weren't so many venues to vent online when Bush was President. I certainly don't remember the sheer volume of bile I see now.

    2. We do, in 2014, let's fire the whole whore's combine...who's with me????

    3. I'm with you.

    4. through the Patriot act and NDAA , Obama could fire them all... one way ticket to Gitmo, enhanced interrogations, video confessions summary execution and bill the next of kin for the bullet.

      He hasn't done so because unlike Republicans, Obama has ethics.

  4. Thanks Jim. Sense and sensibility.

  5. And it turns out that some of the oh-so-important Benghazi e-mails were, as Josh Marshall puts it, "Doctored, edited, choose your verb."

    Also, I do think there is an attempt at achieving more political advantage over the Democrats in the short term. Sen Inhofe (R-Insane) has even floated the idea of impeaching Obama.

  6. I think the real aim is to heap a steaming pile of dung onto Hillary Clintons name, so they can bring it all back up next general election cycle to try and prevent her from running for president, she still has enough cred that is scares the willies out of the current class of gop hopefulls.

    1. Well, yeah. That was sort of the entire gist of the post, specifically the dismount in that last line.

      Wait, "scares the willies out of..." The Willies? You did that on purpose, didn't you?

    2. Me, I'm afraid of Ted Cruz, the Republican Senator from Texas. He's smart, well-spoken, and probably sociopathic. I figure a future in politics and media looms

    3. Ah, well, that part got left under the scroll, oops. As to willies... I wish I could lay claim to being that witty, but I'm not. Now where is that spellcheck buttton...

    4. You're mistaken, Randolph. I'm living in Texas, and Ted Cruz makes another stupid, ignorant statement every week. Plus, he'sjust as batshit crazy as all the rest oftge tea-baggers

    5. The majority of the Texas voters obviously don't agree with you. The Dems haven't won a Statewide election In Texas for nearly 20 years. The Gov who the Liberal Dems hate with a passion still reelected what 3 times? You lost and keep losing Should be used to it.

    6. Considering who the last two Governors of Texas are, it lends real credence to what Kinky Friedman said when asked if had the qualifications to be Governor- "The last two Governors we've had are Rick Perry and George W. Bush. How hard can it be?"

    7. Let's apply alprazolam's logic on a national scale, conservatives lost the last two presidential elections to the same guy, obviously the nations doesn't agree with them, therefore maybe they should sit down and shut the fuck up with the whining. They can have Texas, we'll take everything else, everybody wins.

    8. Can we give them South Carolina too? Because after they voted for SANFORD of all people, they're obviously too goddamned stupid to be allowed to stay in the Union.

      I mena, seriously, SC, WTF?

    9. Love, love, love Ted Cruz. PLEASE, Republicans, spend your considerable billions on his presidential race. If a billion bucks has to be wasted, let it be on another lame R.

  7. Mike from FairbanksMay 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Thanks again Jim for the clarification of the times. I am always CALMER after reading you. Thanks, I needed that today. I got off today on Facebook, well,,,, went off I should say.. lol

  8. I think I love this post--been reading on the sly for a while and this post was -shit there's that TENSE and GRAMMAR thing again- I MEAN IS fantastic--thanks!

  9. Oh, please note - the President who was fully engaged with the National Military Command Center during the Benghazi attack but we now claim was absent...we just elected Mark "I'm hiking in the Appalachians, no wait-" Sanford to Congress...talk about flaming ABSENT!?!? OMG. I am so done.

    1. Oh yes mark..whom should not have been re elected in my conservative mind..but he WAS re elected.. not sppointed
      I'd like to quote the dems god " I did not have sex with that woman!" Didn't lose his job
      Meanwhile Gingrich lost his..same reason..an affair. And Rudy gulliano ruined his career as well..different standards

    2. The difference between Ds and Rs who have affairs is that the Ds aren't running on alleged "family values." GOP hypocrisy is astonishing in its depth.

    3. Listen, Anonymous, if we're not allowed to bring up Bush, you're not allowed to bring up Clinton. Let the blowjob go, Anonymous, let it go.

    4. Anatomy of Watergates:

      Nixon tried to cover up a third-rate burglary.
      Clinton tried to cover up a blow job.
      Obama is trying to cover up a hangnail.

      At least, that's what the progression of the first two implies :).

    5. The only depth the GOP has IS its hypocrisy.

  10. If Hillary does not run, who will? The Democratic Party needs to be concerned that there is not a viable alternative. Who will participate in the primaries, and provide the internal debate inside the party. For the process to work properly, the next candidate should not be selected by acclaim before the previous election.

    I see talk about how Hillary will win, as if it is a given. I remember seeing the same kind of comments concerning Hillary before Obama won the won the primaries and proceeding to be elected President.

    What is the purpose of Benghazi? It is smoke and mirrors, to divert attention from the real issues, which include the economy, the environment, and education. Also included are the trampling of the other provisions in the 'Bill of Rights', the rise of the Indian military, and the legal implications of the opening of the Northwest Passage.

    As long as we are spending the majority of our time and energy skewering the idiots that are shilling for the 'right', we are playing their game. Skewering pompous, fatuous windbags is both fun and necessary, but it is not sufficient.

    If Hillary does not run, who will? Are they strong enough to win? If Hillary does run, will she have credible opponents to debate, and to give focus to her campaign? Sarah Palin did not help McCain's campaign, but a large part of his loss was due to the primary cycle that Senator Obama had participated in.


    1. Do not panic, Danny...there is Liz Warren...

    2. Yep, I don't think Hillary will run, or perhaps she'll make a feint in that direction. But watch out Capital Hill, here some Elizabeth F'n Warren!!

    3. I am not sure she will run, If she gets elected, she will be 72 years old after her first term, while it may be nice to go down in the history books as the first lady president of the US, it would be an awefully stressfull way to conclude your retirement.
      (personally I would like to see it, I think she would make a fine president)

    4. Warren/ Grayson. Nuff said.

    5. The answer can be found in the interview in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Read it and say you're not impressed. Just sayin'

  11. Jim, Spot on! I've been saying some of the same things but you put the words together so well. The Republicans are at it again at the expense of the American people....and wasting energy that could be directed on real issues.

  12. OK, so Obama was absent, is that it? I guess I haven't been paying that much attention; I thought the crime was that he watched it all happen live...
    Wait, I'm not writing that correctly:
    He WATCHED it happen on a LIVE DRONE FEED for 7 HOURS and DID NOTHING!!!!
    And I assume he was eating popcorn the whole time.

    Now if I use both hands to tally my experience watching live drone feeds, it still comes out to zero. But I ask these questions: what did that feed actually show? What was the resolution, and how steady was the shot? Did the attackers drag the ambassador out in the open, wave at the camera, and proceed to take 7 hours to kill him? If I watched that video, would I see something that would prompt me to send US forces into another soveriegn nation uninvited?

    I assume, Jim, that you have much more experience in regard to drone feeds. I had hoped to hear your take on this.

    And if I am way behind on this conversation, I apologise. I have been giving this matter all the attention it deserves. Very little.

    Oh, and I made some changes to this comment as i wrote it, Does that make it a second draft?


  13. On my way to work, NPR reported that Issa wants Amb. Pickering to be interviewed, by his staff in private. No public hearing.
    That tells you all you need to know about Republicans and TRUTH.
    Pickering wants open hearings, Democrats want open hearings, Issa wants to slant everything away from the truth.
    I fully expect to see a peanut vendor walking between the ailses on C-SPAN soon.

  14. Didn't it take two years for the Cheney administration to begin to come clean about the death of Pat Tillman? I'm not comparing the two incidents--merely meditating on selective outrage and the GOP. Hell, at least some heads rolled in the Benghazi screw-up. McChrystal and Abizaid carried on pretty well after the Tillman affair. Up to a point.

  15. Why does it matter? Gee I don't know. Why did a president lose his job over a stupid two bit break in at s political head quarters? What's that u say? It was illegal? Yup and stupid. But in my tiny little conservative mind murder of 4 men on America soil ranks a bit higher
    As to Bushsfault yet again.. do u know he took the first real step for affirmative action, (which evil Nixon made
    law) indeed bush also made the health in afrtca a main
    priority.. did more than anyone.. ask the peanut
    farmer..he acknowledged it at bush library dedication
    As to revisions if the original is completely changed in mesning , its not a revision.

    1. "Murder of 4 men on American soil" - you do realize that this happened in Libya, right? And that 13 embassy employees were killed during the previous administration, right? So by your logic shouldn't Bush have been impeached? There were multiple attacks on embassies from 2000-2008 but I don't recall hearing any outrage over those attacks. What separates them from this one?

      If you bothered to read the drafts and originals you...oh, never mind. Judging by your grammar and punctuation, reading isn't your strong suit.

    2. I rather think 4400 dead Americans in a war based on lies forced on America by the Bush Administration--or, if you want to visit the past, the 241 Marines killed on Reagan's watch, after which he turned tail and SKEDADDLED out of Lebanon, with no investigation, no outrage--ranks a BIT higher.

    3. And as the wingnuts like to say about Benghazi, repeating what was said about Watergate and Monicagate (talk about a two-bit reason!), it's not the crime, IT'S THE---EEK! SCREAM!--COVERUP.

    4. Anonymous@4:42

      Dude, seriously. Stop. Take a deep, deep cleansing breath. Hold. Then slowly let it out. In. Out. In. Out.

      Come back when you can type a coherent paragraph.

    5. How to manufacture a Catch 22. Plop a bunch of CIA operatives in a remote "embassy" in a no count Libyan town (what, NOT Tripoli?) and when the S hits the fan (after you've reduced the security budget) then accuse those supervising said CIA contingent of some sort of cover-up. What they really want to do is to lure said supervisors (one H. Clinton) into telling them to pound sand because they know fully well "embassies" in unknown backwater towns in Libya are NOT there for "diplomacy", but are there on uh...."fact finding missions" that no one can or will talk about lest they be accused of treason. The reason this all looks so stupid and manufactured is because IT IS.

    6. I'm sure that two-bit break in at a political headquarters had nothing to do with subverting American Democracy by listening in on strategy sessions of the opposition party. Nah, I'm sure that had nothing to do with the impending articles of impeachment.

      Or, say, selling high-tech weapons to terrorists and then using the proceeds to fund Latin American death-squads both of which were in direct violation of laws that same President signed, nah, that has nothing to do with it either.

    7. How many large bore Dem Politicians Clinton Kennedy Kerry a host of others approved ( on record in Congress) of the Iraq invasion?
      Citing WMD possession by Saddam. The Benghazi mission was considered American territory

    8. Incorrect, alprazolam.

      In accordance with the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations: consulates and diplomatic missions are not considered sovereign territory of the Sending Nation. Which is why they are not allowed military protection by the Sending Nation either, i.e. the US Embassy in Tripoli is protected by Marines, consulates and missions in Benghazi are protected by Receiving Nation (host nation) security forces, or civilian contractors, in accordance with local agreement. Consulates and Missions are afforded certain legal protections by the Receiving Nation and the diplomatic staff manning them typically maintains diplomatic immunity depending on their exact status as negotiated by the Ambassador or our State Department, but consulates and missions are not sovereign territory.

      The Benghazi consulate was not American territory, it was a mission, not an embassy. Ditto the CIA annex.

      This stuff isn't a secret, the information is widely available, just saying.

    9. Jim, you rock! Just came across your site today, am loving it ;)

    10. Dammit Jim!! The Facts!! They hurt my head!!
      Nice job bucko, keep those facts coming.
      I agree with one of the other guys, after a day of reading teeth gritting nonsensical opinion (I know, I know, just stop reading that crap Duffy!) a read of your column and perspective makes it right as rain and makes me hopeful for mankind. Thanks Jim,
      Duff in NoFla

  16. Jim, you are the Master Distiller. I'm a Dem, so I love to crack up while my heart is breaking. Thanks for this one.

  17. The real issue, which both Tweedledee GOP and Tweedledum Dems refuse to discuss is what the hell the CIA was doing in Benghazi, followed by why a militarized CIA couldn't defend itself better.

    The mainstream media isn't asking this. Defenders of the two mainstream parties aren't asking this.

    1. That has been my question also. Why was the Ambassador in Benghazi at that time? Suppose it's been answered somewhere, but I must have missed it.

  18. Oh yes..we knew where bush was when he heard of 911. Reading to kids in a classroom. And hr got critized for not leaping up and run screaming through the door by all u libs.He was stuned as we all were..meanwhile plans were being made and air force one prepared to leave..bush wanted to return immediately to DC but there was no assurance the attack was over..unlike O who knew exactly how long the attack on the embassy would last..

    1. Okay, Anonymous, you've obviously gotten lost on the way to The Blaze and wandered in here by accident. That's enough. Please pull up your pants and stop shitting on my furniture.

      If you don't want liberals talking about Bush, then you should stop bringing him up. And in case I wasn't clear, and since neither grammar nor subtlety seem to be your strong suite, let me spell it out: Shut the fuck up about Bush.

      You're done now. Go away.

  19. Just for the record:

    Glen Doherty, one of the people killed in the attack in Benghazi, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (which is another NeoCon whipping boy).

    That the NeoCons are holding the man up as a Braev Amurican Marturr(tm) is rather ironic, given how they love to demonize the organization that he wholeheartedly supported.

  20. Purge them all from their goverment positions from the very top down.

    Its time to start over from scratch!

    1. Except for air traffic controllers. Mustn't inconvenience Congress. ATCs are vital.

      Errm, unless the air traffic controllers strike. They're not that vital that we need to pay them or give them benefits.

      Or to put it a different way, Anonymous, none of you right wing dirtbags needs the federal government. Until you do. I hope you never need disaster aid. Or firefighters. Or flood insurance. (Want me to go on?)

    2. At which point a former union president, now US President fires them all: the opening shot on unions and the middle class in general. And it has continued ever since.


  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This kind of shit belongs in a comment under the Yahoo! News forum. Not here.

    2. Thank you Jim...A bore is a bore is a bore...almost sounded drunk...at least my typos and misspellings are arthritic in nature....

    3. Jim, thank you for keeping the discourse out of the insanity zone.

  22. The president knew exactly how long the attack on the embassy would last? Sorta like Rumsfeld knew how long the Iraq debacle would last? "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

  23. Jim - hilarious and pointed as usual. Just one thing, I believe your analysis is lacking focus on what I see the true objectives of the Benghazi witch hunt to be.

    It's not per se a direct attack on Obama, although this is the delightful consequence of the duplicitous congressional actions it's rather:
    1) A direct attack on Hillary Clinton, a preemptive move to take her out of the running in 2016.
    2) A direct attack on Obama's healthcare and what's left of his semblance of a progressive agenda - if they tie the administration up with crap like this it's increasingly problematic for Obama and the Democratically inclined (with less than 60 you can't say controlled) Senate to lead or attempt to govern), which
    3) Creates a cassias belli for the 2014 mid-term elections to attempt to place more Rethuglicans into the the Senate and swing the balance of power.

    So there are very clear objectives in mind here with the gleeful run on Benghazi.

    Oh, and it's a witch hunt. Don't expect rules, the rules are whatever I say they are for my total convenience in the moment, and I'll change them when I damn well feel like it if it suites my needs. Don't expect it to be fair - my feet caving in your teeth is what's fair - and any means are justified in achieving my objectives, no matter the longer term consequences.

    1. 1) A direct attack on Hillary Clinton, a preemptive move to take her out of the running in 2016.

      Well, yeah, that's why I made it punch line. Was I too subtle?

    2. Guess you were for some people.

    3. Jim,

      The last several posts, you have been too subtle. You may want to circle the dates on your calendar, and point this out to your wife and offspring. I am sure they will properly amazed, and give you the proper emotional support you will need to deal with this.


  24. what absolutely cracks me up is the moronic notion that a high level representative of our government ought to go on television in the beginning of an investigation to determine what happened and who is culpable, and tell, not the American people, but the entire goddamned world (what, you morons forgot that the rest of the world can watch American television?) everything currently known about the attack and those involved. divulge and compromise all our intelligence methods and assets, and stand there on national tv and spill the beans.

    I can only imagine the outrage that would have ensued, but I bet it would look onehelluvalotta like this outrage...

  25. To me it's a whole lot of "look over there," not at the ones who gutted the security budget for embassies and are now doing all this pointing.

  26. Kinda hopeless to analyze the ululating over Benghazi with reason or anything resembling reason. Unless you go deep-end cynical. Which I don't like to do, as rule in life, but with these people... ain't nothing else for it:

    1. They made such a big noise about it when they thought it was gonna lock up the election, there ain't no way nohow they can walk it back. And for their base, not ululating about it IS walking it back. So they are stuck with it. If they don't keep ululating they are dead meat at home.

    2. It's all they got.


  27. Honestly I believe the reason they keep beating the Benghazi dead horse is to keep their own party from becoming apathetic and allowing Clinton to be the next president. They must realize they aren't fooling the rest of us, so this has to be about keeping their base on the line.

  28. The negative responses to your well written post are from "Anonymous" Such brave people believing in their own views so much......NOT

  29. Is stuned supposed to be stunned or stoned, just saying. It is obvious that this is supposed to keep their base frothed up at Hilary so they can step away from their zombie like fascination with the TV and get out the vote. I think they have overestimated their target audiences attention span. Also it is supposed to cover up the fact that the deficit is falling like a rock. Does the sequester stop if the budget balances?

  30. Jim,

    It often seems to me that you're the lone voice of reason, crying out in the wilderness of insanity. When I hear them flaunting their ignorance and hatred, the only thing that keeps me sane is looking forward to the calm precision with which you'll gut them.

  31. Gee, you mean I am not the only one having flash backs to Ken Starr and questions about a certain spot on a blue dress? And oh, all the expense while the GOP is screaming about saving government money?

  32. Thank you for this CLARIFICATION, well put!!!

  33. Jim, I've been hoping you'd weigh in on this. You said something about it a couple of months ago, if I recall, when the story first broke. Sounds to me like the biggest actual concern is -- did the President make a deliberate choice not to "rescue" the Ambassador using military assets? Looks like it's possible he did. After all, ordering airstrikes in a sovereign nation is kind of a big deal and is probably governed by something like a status of forces agreement, right? Early on there was some kind of heat about some general who was relieved for being too aggressive about wanting to send in airstrikes. And there were questions about what exactly was available. Some conservative commentator said something like "If Bush were president there would be a giant crater in the middle of Benghazi." To which my response would be: "Yes, that's exactly why no action was taken if the only thing available was a giant, crude, bomb. If that."


    Solution: let these people have their little commission while the rest of us ignore it, because, well, we are already ignoring it because NOBODY CARES EXCEPT FOR A FEW ZEALOTS ON BOTH SIDES!

  35. Why won't someone ask these conservatives where all their righteous outrage was from Jan. '02 thru Sept. '08 during Shrub's occupation of the White House? During that time period a total of 13 attacks on U.S. consulates/embassies cost the lives of 96 people and wounded 64. Plus 2 dead bystanders in Yemen when an al-Qaeda mortar missed the U.S. Embassy. This is all after the major 9/11 screwing of the pooch with much more loss of life. Funny how all of those Benghazi-type incidents managed to escape the collective (and selective) memories of GOP morons.
    Pam in PA

  36. Well, not really a riot, per se.
    A planned attack *screened* by a riot.
    On a diplomatic post that had been calling for reenforcement in plain launguage in plenty of time for said reenforcement to have been provided. Despite poor-mouthing by the State Department, additional bodies *could* have been found - Indeed, one of the dead *was* an augment.

    Now - All that said, and despite some pretty stupid statements post-facto, security in Benghazi was not on the President's job sheet. It wasn't even on *Hilary's* job-sheet. Blame for intelligence failures AND blame for security failures belong considerably below the top positions.

    *That* said, the buck DOES stop at the top. Should the President resign? No.
    Should he take the blame and DEAL with it? Arguably *yes.*

    He's allowed his and other administration official's statements to become circus fuel. A simple "We screwed up. *I* will accept blame, and *I* will find out what went wrong, and *I* will apply the necessary fixes to prevent it from happening again." would have shut these clowns up.

    The time for that simple, graceful act is long past. He blew it; the cirucs camping on his doorstep is there by his own invitation. He gets to deal with the consequences of being clumsy.

    1. Take off the mask, it's blocking reality.


    2. Incorrect conclusion. If he said he was responsible the impeachment trial would already be started by the GOP asshats.

  37. Shouldn't we be more concerned about managing our foreign policy so that we don't need to have embassies resemble fortresses? Shouldn't we manage our domestic policy so that Americans are educated at least enough to understand that real life is not like an episode of "24"? Am I expecting too much?

    I know that the only hope of the GOP keeping power is uneducated people voting against their own best interests. Why else would the red states be the worst-off in the country? What about the rest? Some days I despair for my country.

  38. Sigh. I am SO damn tired of reading the factual truth from your pen! Why don't you just go off the end of the pier like the rest of the yahoo lemmings who can't be bothered to learn a few facts for themselves.

  39. Thanks, Jim. Another cogent and readable post. I notice some of the rowdy kids have come over to play. Don't let them destroy the rumpus room.

  40. Perhaps I disagree with the conclusion of your piece (which I find very enlightening, because you bring actual military, on the ground, experience so sorely missed in this witch hunt).

    I think this - as well as Bill Clinton's "impeachment" - is all about "winning" a 40 year old battle, that started out as a simple burglary in a large office-annex-hotel building in Washington, DC.

    Note: There is a reason God left the Children of Israel wandering through the desert for forty years. Somehow, you *have* to get rid of the whiners who bring up the "good food" they enjoyed while being slaves in Egypt.

    Perhaps we are close to the point where God will let us enter the Promised Land of Rational Science, Biology and Economics.

    Now, Let Us Pray ....

  41. Jim, thank for your eloquent articulation of the question "Does it matter?" It it's much more simple to ask than the other questions, if it matters enough to one to want to ask them. It WOULD matter, if those asking were asking for ANY more noble reason other than politics and lime-lighting. If the likelihood of getting caught bare-assed again were reduced, or any other non-selfish outcome were in mind, it would. Alas, such is the nature of our nation that one half is always non-sensically yelling at the other half at any given time that no one is stopping to listen to the other, or even really think about what they are saying or doing in the first place.

  42. Jim, as always it's not about fixing the problem, it's about fixing blame.

  43. Greg - ETC(SW) USN - RetiredMay 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Having interviewed for the White House Communication Agency (and knowing a little about that outfit), I can say that the President is NEVER "absent" from being informed and connected with whatever might be going on in the world - especially emergent events such as this.

    Someone posted that the President may have made a "choice" to not intervene, but I'm sure that any kind of decision like that would have been informed by a host of military advisors. It's been well documented how long the actual attack lasted and how long (assuming best possible readiness) it would have taken to get some kind of rapid response force in to rescue the four Americans (like the cavalry - yeah, they've seen too many John Wayne westerns). Air strikes?? On what targets? Oh, maybe we'll blow our own folks up as we go. Nothing with any kind of precision could have been deployed in time to make any difference, at all. Four Americans lost, one of which was a diplomat (not your probable choice if you're going into a firefight). I'm confident that the three non-diplomats aquitted themselves admirably in their doomed position of fighting off a well armed, determined and superior force.

    The idea that this could have been prevented sort of belies the nature of the event and the nature of the determined enemy, where Whack-a-mole is the operative analogy. This is all just BS.

    Could the administration have dealt with this better? I'm not really so sure, because of the current polarized nature of politics. I don't think there's anything that would have satisfied these folks. Too much, too little, doesn't matter. They'll nitpick anything for the political hay they can make. Maybe that's cynical, but the "right" has shown that there's NO place they won't go. Any actual or perceived clumsiness is immediately blown into nefarious plots by a conspiracy happy fringe and picked up on by those who play it for extra mileage.

    Did you catch Rand Paul's idiotic commentary? "First question - where were the Marines?" REALLY?? You mean the units that would have needed to have been stood up, authorized, manned, funded, equipped, and deployed in the couple of months since toppling Quaddafi after you reduced funding for the State Department? I'd call hypocrite, but that's too much of a BFD (Blinding Flash of DUH).

    OH - and great post, as usual!!

    1. Look at the bright side, Chief, if you'd been selected for the WHCA, you'd have been stuck in a small room with a bunch of CTO's, nobody needs that (speaking as a former CTT and CTR. Just saying) ;)

      Where were the Marines? At the Embassy, in Tripoli, where they were supposed to be.

      Benghazi was a diplomatic mission. Consulates and Missions are not allowed Sending Nation active duty military guard forces, they are protected by the Receiving Nation in accordance with the Vienna Convention. Rand Paul should know that.

    2. The list of things that Rand Paul should know, but doesn't, is probably taller than the tallest building on the planet. I doubt he could even find his office in the Capitol annex if not for his helpful staffers leading him there by the hand, his ignorance is so deeply abiding. How someone so ignorant of government and governing rose to a position of such power is a prime example of the confluence of nepotism and the Peter Principle.

    3. Greg - ETC(SW) USN - RetiredMay 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      Thanks for the correction/clarification and I should have made the distinction on the "mission", not really even a consulate in Benghazi (and I know better). I made quarterly trips to the Italian Embassy in Rome to work on their secure voice system (Defense Attache Office) which had a Marine contingent while stationed in at NAVCAMS MED in Naples (which had a consulate, w/no Marine contingent), circa around the time I suspect you were in Gaeta - '83-'86 (my assumption on you in Gaeta, by the way, based on some of what you've posted previously).

      Very familiar with the CTT/CTR's as there were several of those units in "flag" ranking officer staffs where the flag officer also had their dedicated Autovon systems (my job while at NAVCAMS). Seems they all had dual (US/NATO) hats (Deputy CINC USAF Europe was also a NATO muckity-muck (don't remember his NATO title). USN Admiral who was MED NATO Chief was also CINCUSNAVEUR (physical office in Naples, but official seat in London), etc. I'm sure you'll recognize those acronyms.

      Something sort of debasing when a TS cleared ET still has to wait while the SCI area is "sanitized" before I can go work on something. I completely understood, though. I had no "need to know" anything they were dealing with. I usually found those folks (all of them) pretty professional, all in all.

    4. Autovon. Man, now there's an acronym I haven't heard in years.

      I was never stationed in Gaeta, but I passed through a number of times for various things. You have the time frame on that pretty close.

      Naples, the Detroit of Italy. Ugh. I got food poisoning there at least three times. During the same period, one of the NSGD facilities used to have an old submarine diving claxon mounted inside the main SCIF door in the high side security vestibule. Every once in a while they'd sound that sucker and throw a bucket of water against the vault door - which would naturally leak out around the edges into the unclass security area. See, the gag was that they hinted to the Marines manning the security desk that the facility was a secret NATO submarine base, the subs you see would travel inland under Naples via a subterranean passage and surface inside the building...

      Nobody could pull off a gag like that but for CTs. This was before the internet or cable, entertainment was where you found it...and it usually involved spoofing Marines in one fashion or another.

    5. Heh. On my last cruise on the FID, we got fed up with the Jarheads always intentionally getting in our way of bomb build ups on the mess decks.

      So we took a Mk 82 practice bomb, dressed and painted it up to look like the real thing, and "accidently" slipped it off the bomb skid.....right down the ladder to their berthing area which coincidently, was right underneath the mess deck. With the appropriate amount of concerned screaming and concern by us ordnancemen....it was fun watching the Marines freak out. Granted, dropping a 500 lb bomb down a ladder wasn't a great idea, someone could have gotten seriously hurt, but it was a great idea at the time.

    6. That's a fucking great story, Jeff. Beautiful.

  44. wow. i don't know how to disagree big enough with this article.

    to me, it's not about liberal/conservative. and to me, a good leader credits his people for accomplishments and takes the fall for things that didn't go as hoped for and wished for. (many leadership articles and quotes convey those characteristics, so while i can't say those ARE the defining qualities of a good leader, i'm not alone in valuing those qualities in a good leader.

    yet that aside... if our president (of any color, gender, or term) is the one who gives the go/no go order in a crisis situation, it seems like he determines what resources, if any, are made available. from there, he's not *directly* responsible for specific actions that accomplish a given goal or fail to accomplish a given goal, yet he determines if resources are even allocated to try. i don't find it unreasonable for *that* specific decision to be a "the buck stops there" concept.

    for the successes that have happened when resources have been allocated, the president isn't directly responsible for the accomplishment, but he might be directly responsible for choosing to allocate resources at all. from there, the credit for the success goes to the individuals in the field.

    i'd like to believe that we try to support our ambassadors, and i'd like to think that when they are stationed abroad in volatile situations, that our leaders take their input and needs seriously. i'd like to think that it's common sense that the anniversary of 9/11 might be significant to some terrorists, and that, combined with an ambassador's repeated warnings and requests for more security would result in *more* security, not less.

    i'd also like to think that unless it's actually secure information, our leaders wouldn't lie about what they said, what they know/knew, what they did, and would own the parts they may have fucked up. not because liberals are evil, or anyone should be impeached. but because as individuals, and especially as leaders, truth DOES matter, and especially so when others' lives are at the mercy of the resources we choose to allocate or deny. and truth DOES matter because when we own our mistakes, we have a path to do better in the future. and truth DOES matter, possibly more so, when a political position has been all about transparency ~ following through on that position reflects integrity. whether or not resources should have been allocated, there's something to be said for living our stated values.

    as individuals and as leaders, when we deny any wrongdoing, we also deny ourselves and others open paths of analyzing, and pondering about what we wish we had done, what we might have done, pros, cons, and intended and unintended consequences of different decisions, and how we might support our ambassadors more effectively in the future. why is that *not* a good thing to try to do? (rhetorical question, unless someone has an answer.)

    it doesn't bring anyone back to life. yet neither does any murder trial. and still, the truth matters. are leaders exempt from that standard? and if so, why? if the ambassador or other victims were our own children, who had asked for help and been denied, wouldn't we want to know, and wouldn't it matter to learn why that decision was made?

    (i wish for similar pondering and review of other presidential decisions ~ not just obama, and not just this situation. yet since i can't make time go backwards, i can at least support looking for truth as situations come up that warrant it, all along the way of any leader, any color, any gender.)

    1. So, Lynelle, when you didn't get a response to your clueless nonsense on facebook, after, what? Eight hours? You cut and pasted it here. And you thought what exactly? That the folks on Stonekettle Station would give you a better fight than your own facebook friends? Is that the logic?

      Given that you apparently exist in some sort of fantasy land of simplistic wishful thinking and magic fairy dust, I suppose the reasoning holds.

      I assume you missed that part where I'm a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer? And I'll also assume on the face of things that you have absolutely no idea of what that actually means or you wouldn't have come here in an attempt to school me of all people on military leadership, because, lady, I've been the guy hanging out there in the breeze in hostile territory, waiting for the cavalry. Don't ever attempt to lecture me on military leadership, Lynelle, because, really, fuck you.

      You obviously, and I mean obviously, have no idea how the military and diplomatic chains of command work up to and including constitutionally mandated legal authority and military responsibility, nor do you have the first clue as to how resources are allocated in a rapidly evolving crisis like the Benghazi attack and that includes a glaring lack of knowledge when it comes to disposition of forces required to protect multiple embassies and US interests simultaneously across several nations in the region and the location and readiness of prepositioned equipment and the complexity of mission queuing and the practical use of force given the limitations of the battlespace and the available information (and that information's reliability) for starters, nor apparently do you have even a modicum of understanding regarding military operations in such a situation up to and including the deployment of military forces into the sovereign territory of a nation that we are not at war with. For example, deployment of fighters over Libya (which would have been the only asset that could possibly have reached Benghazi in time), especially should they engage targets on the ground, would be an act of war and a criminal violation of our own laws, because see, as people like you are apt to point out, the attack on our mission was carried out by terrorists, not the sovereign nation of Libya.

      Given the staggering level of ignorance displayed in your comment, I strongly suspect that you couldn’t find Benghazi, Libya on a map, or describe the particulars of the political, demographic, and military situation on the ground, if your life depended on it. Before you open your mouth on this subject again, you might try reading up on our own laws, international convention, and the rules of war – start with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. I’d also advise you to spend a couple of years in uniform in hostile territory before you attempt to lecture somebody like me on military leadership – try spending time in the vicinity of Benghazi, like I did.

      Despite what you'd "like to think" you're wrong and ignorant of reality on every level. The world doesn't give a fuck what you, Lynelle Wilcox, would “like to think.” There's a lot of things I'd like too, including an educated population that actually understands what they're talking about, say like both US law and international agreement regarding the use of military force in foreign countries, before pasting silly bullshit and magic fairy dust onto my blog, but that doesn't mean the world actually works that way, Q.E.D.

      Now you’re done. Don’t comment here again, your ignorance gives me a headache.

    2. Jim ~ Love your reply to Lynelle & all the other nimwads (dimsters?) who post silly comments all over the Internet just because they can. Opinions in comment sections are like dandelions gone to seed on the wind. However much I might like a better-educated population, I don't like holding my breath waiting to exhale.

      PS: My only military connection was a hubby serving as fleet surgeon on a carrier as Vietnam was closing down. I didn't even live on or near the base so didn't get an "education" about military operations. Even so, I do have a basic understanding that any citizen should have acquired by adulthood: military-diplomatic-intel operations are multi-faceted & incredibly complex, beyond what is reported in news.

  45. Sigh.long time lurker first time commenter? Not sure commenter is a word but i digress. Anyway just slight background My Dad spent 25 months in a chinese POW Camp in North Korea. This bulls

    hit over Bengazi is nothing more than absurd theatre orchistrated by brain dead assholes. As a Sons of the American Legion Member I can testify that even Legion members are sick of this shit although obviously not all of them. Like you so eloquently state it's not the "scandel" it's the skin color of the President of our United States that creates another dumbass scandal and also just maybe he is a member of the wrong political party. Apparently more than a few of the estemmed media personalities have forgotten how many Embassy's were attacke and how many people in those attacks under supreme leader w, but what do I know. Wallace

    1. I'll bet your dad has some stories to tell, Wallace.

      Welcome aboard.

  46. This is about knocking Hillary out of the picture before she ever gets into it. And you know what? Only the ultra right is listening to this sooty monologue by the crazies. They think they are getting the jump on 2016 but they are too early. The public that may or may not vote - the portion that counts - will have forgotten by then, or is too otherwise distracted to pay too much attention and doesn't understand. Beautifully crafted, Jim, well narrated and outlined, easy to read and witty as hell.

    1. The non-stop hammering by the GOP is likely intended to keep their base hot and bothered for the 2014 mid-term elections. They need to keep a tight grip on the House and Senate, because they know they have no chance at the Presidency in 2016. This may also help them consolidate their grip on state legislatures, with which they can pass even worse and more regressive laws at the state and local level.

  47. Best, most coherent, sanest and most honest commentary on the subject yet. Thank you.

    Regards, Jen K (former HT1)

  48. Damn...how come you aren't a commentator on MSNBC or Current?! You are easily as good as anyone they bring on to discuss issues.

    1. He'd never make it there. He likes to verify facts and look up information ahead of time.

  49. Best, most coherent, sanest, and most honest commentary... yes.
    Commentator on MSNBC??? Wouldn't last a day.

    The only place "our Jim" would survive is on the Dailey Show or the Colbert Report where his zeitgeist wouldn't be neutered and edited beyond recognition.

  50. I see the "ism" conversation by Issa and his staff going something like this;

    Issa: "Well folks, nobody seems to be buying my bullshit. Any suggestions?"

    Staffer: "Sir, we could tell them that 'acts of terror' and 'terrorist attack' are not the same."

    Issa: "Are they really going to believe that? They already think I'm petty, a narcissistic blowhard, ignorant and full of shit."

    Staffer: "This way, sir, we'll remove any doubt."


  51. Well, this is only relevant if you're a left wing liberal. I like how in the case of Benghazi he states that the investigation will not bring the 4 murdered people back from the dead..."Ya think so!???" We don't do investigations to bring people back from the dead, and no its not about the phrase of terror or terrorism, its about 4 people being murdered and our embassies being attacked and ruined all on 9/11 after many warnings and pleadings for added protection had been denied. If 4 of your closest loved ones were murdered due to someone else's negligence wouldn't you want to investigate? Wouldn't you want justice to be served?...or would you investigate and bring justice in hopes of bringing them back from the dead. I feel your insults as to how dumb we are as conservatives, and how ignorantly we approach this. But you are a very descriptive writer which may be nice for those on your side, but you're a rambling idiot with too much time on your hands for the rest of us. By the way did you have an "Impeach Bush" bumper sticker on your car back before 08'?

    Okay lets go back a bit and conform my comparison above to your previous rant that "why would conservatives care that a Liberal was killed?" Really?... are you that obtuse? The Boston bombing probably consisted of mostly liberal, left wing, democrats that were hurt, injured, lost limbs or killed, I or any conservative would not have been glad for that in any way shape or form!...or any innocent person dying for that matter...You have said WAY too much and put your neck out on the chopping block. It would be easy to go through your entire spill above section by section and point out the errors and arrogance of your ramblings, but I have to go to bed.

    1. Well, geez too bad you've got to go to bed and all.

      Despite the fact that you don't seem to be able to comprehend sarcasm as a literary device, you're going to deconstruct my essay with your otherwise penetrating wit. Boy, too bad I missed that.

      As to people I care about being murdered due to someone's negligence, drop me your email address, you craven anonymous fuck, and I'll send you a list of all the people I served with, men that trained me, men that I trained, shipmates, comrades in arms, friends, that have died in the service of their country, the list starts in Beirut on Reagan's watch and I'm still adding to it, the most recent name is number one hundred and eleven, added last month. So, really, fuck you, Anonymous, take your sorry ass off to bed and choke on your bullshit.

    2. Yes, Idaho, I see you there, checking back every couple of minutes. Didn't go to bed after all, did you?

      So, in addition to being troll, you're a liar too.

      Don't bother to comment, just go away. Any further bullshit from you will be deleted without comment.

  52. "What is the purpose of the investigation, spelled out, in detail? What is the objective? What are the expected outcomes? How do we measure them, i.e. how do we know when the investigation is complete?"
    Substitute "invasion of Iraq" for "investigation", and you have my questions back in 2002. I have done my due dilligence about this hat trick of "scandals", because I do want to get at the truth, but I can't uncover any conduct by President Obama that even comes close to the evils perpetrated by his predecessor. Sorry, idiots, when you quit calling for these silly, expensive, wasteful inquisitions, and start working with your president to improve my country, I'll stop talking about President Bush.

  53. IRS mess leads to top people losing their jobs- how many folks lost their job over the mess in Libya (well aside from those killed)? The date, the place and not a soul thinks maybe we need to have assets available that are not 1/2 day + away? I mean what do our threat assessment people do, watch Netflix and do the NY Times crossword all day? That date, that region of the world and we have nothing available to provide assistance to those folks when they clearly needed the help? And apparently it never occurred to anyone someone might need it because of that date and that region of the world? I am just a old Marine NCO and it seems to me their were serious lapses in leadership that led to the mess in Libya and the buck stops with the commander in chief- should he be impeached? No, but he's the guy in the West Wing so he is accountable.

    1. Agree, the President is accountable. But he's accountable for reality, not some made-up hysteria.

      As a Marine, you know as well as I do how thin the assets are spread. Benghazi was a consulate, a diplomatic mission, i.e a small isolated operation wrapped around a CIA post. The Embassy is in Tripoli, 600 miles away. That's where the Marines were. That's the high value, high visibility target. That's the asset that needed to be protected first. As a Marine I assume you already know this, Rich, right? Meanwhile, the embassy in Cario was also under assault in a country coming apart at the seams. Hundreds of Americans were at risk that night.

      And there are four guys in Benghazi. Like the man said, they knew the job was dangerous when they signed up. That's why they hire former SEALs and Jarheads, isn't it?

      Now, given the limited resources available and the requirement to protect the civvies and the mission, as a Marine NCO, where to you deploy your forces? Do you defend the high value targets? Do you move to provide close support to the civilians and the non-combatants in preparation for evac? Or do you leave them to their own devices and charge off John Wayne style to rescue four guys - that you can't reach in time anyway - at least two of which are SpecOps, CIA spooks, operators.

      Nobody likes the answer especially when it's your ass hanging out there in the breeze, but Marines are supposed to be good at that kind of math, or am I wrong here? What's the call, Rich, give the order.

      As to what should be available, you made me snort beer through my nose. Wish in one hand, shit in the other, Marine, see which one fills up first.

  54. As always, I enjoyed reading this post. I was intrigued to read the comments after your newest note above the post. After doing so, I have to say what disturbs me most is that the negative posts all sound like the person writing has been taken by aliens, probed, and been programmed to give prescribed responses to stimuli. I'm sure there are better examples, but I read Dean Koontz' False Memory some years back and the telltale sign that people's memories had been fucked with was that they gave exactly the same responses regardless of the person asking the question, or if confronted with what they considered the same question.

    I have lived outside the US for almost five years. Why do I only hear "this isn't about Liberal/Conservative" followed by an exact recitation of Right-Wing talking points from people who disagree with you?

    You ask what the ground rules are because in your professional experience the President has done the same thing he did in Benghazi several times, yet he is only attacked and never lauded. You then get eighty stories about what he "said" to the victims families. You recall specific events with different outcomes. They "recall" exactly what they heard on whatever-the -fuck " unbiased" radio or TV station they listen to. When they aren't "getting their news from many different sources".

    You want to know why the people who are so upset about four dead American service people fail to acknowledge other military deaths under questionable circumstances. Did the part about lack of body armor and proper equipment not trigger the memory of families raising money so their loved ones in Iraq so they had armor for their bodies and Humvees? No. All that matters is what Obama and Hillary said and how they lied, lied , lied. Really? How is it that you actually served in the military and can recall details that I remember being corroborated by the "Lamestream" Media, and all I hear from these people are the same talking points?

    The longer I am outside the bubble, the scarier it gets.

  55. I've never been in the military. I've never served in the State Department. Hell, I've never been to any consulate, even those that exist in this country. I'm no expert on Benghazi. All I know is what I read.

    But I know what a good investigation is and I know you need the best qualified people available to do that investigation if you really want to find out what happened.

    Soooo.....why is Congress doing this "investigation"? I have a real hard time believing that people who can't even pass a budget or do the other jobs the Constitution tells them need to do to "protect the general welfare" of the people in this country are even the slightest bit capable of making judgements on what happened in Libya.

    Better yet, why the hell are we paying so much attention to this side-show?

  56. And now we hear from anonymous
    Whose ranting is so bilious
    All politicians they are treasonous
    And policemen , felonious

    In your own mind you’re perspicuous
    In reality, mendacious
    True logic is so tedious
    Results in frothing, fallacious

    To your view your are zealous
    It only shows you are jealous
    Your fear, makes you callous
    Your insecurity, of guns a phallus

    We know you find it grievous
    Not all believe in Jesus
    Rational debate you treat as specious
    You are not, I fear, Confucius

    A redeeming quality, Tenacious
    Without compassion, Hellacious
    Unfortunately it is Conspicuous
    That hate borders on Religious

    Your insecurity is Enormous
    Your thought processes Homogenous
    You claim you aren't seditious
    But penile fantasies, tremendous

    It is both sad and humorous
    With paranoia

  57. Jim,
    You know that I'm pretty ignernt when it comes to computer stuff so I'm asking you and your regulars to do me a favor, please.
    Establish a website where you can divert all of the troll posts. I live in Texas where I have to deal with Neanderthals on a daily basis and their babbling bullshit has become the norm.
    I don't read Yahoo since they started posting Malkin and The Blaze, so I miss trool talk on the web.

  58. Good post, Jim.

    However, I think people need to keep in mind who some of your starting players are.

    Steve King - Long-running contender for "The Stupidest Man in Congress."
    Candy Crowley - Three words; Presidential debate, Steubenville. (Need I say more?)

  59. Jim, you state "For example, deployment of fighters over Libya (which would have been the only asset that could possibly have reached Benghazi in time), especially should they engage targets on the ground, would be an act of war and a criminal violation of our own laws, because see, as people like you are apt to point out, the attack on our mission was carried out by terrorists, not the sovereign nation of Libya. "

    Thank you for that clarification. I've suspected that for a long time. I honestly don't understand why the White House hasn't simply said, without giving any details of force availability in the area, that a military response would have been an act of war against Libya. Period. And then not talk about it anymore.

    Thank you to to Chief Greg for his information. Nice to hear from additional voices with actual military and strategic knowledge. Someone over on strategypage actually floated the idea that the attack on the Ambassador was a SAM trap for rescue helos, maybe inspired by the Black Hawk Down scenario. Of course that assumed that the bad guys thought there were helos available.

  60. Great rant as usual, Mr Wright! Loved the line "Does it really matter if the president called Benghazi terrorism or if he called it a ham sandwich?"

    As for where the POTUS was that night? Obviously he was Hiking The Appalachian Trail...

    Annie Fitt

  61. huh...I just signed on here, but I always thought the whole benghazi incident smelled a lot like the Pueblo incident of yore, a cia deal gone wrong, where because it was what it was, nobody in the local tactical area would respond, because it was a "black-hole" that none of them could admit was there, so precious time was spent while they denied that they knew of it's existence.. when the poeblo got taken none of the command in and around japan would admit it was there, so we, sitting on a fighter-bomber base in Thailand were the only ones that could frag something for a response..which never launched, because the boat had been already taken.. and, oh, who's bright idea was it to spend the anniversary of 911 there anyway?

    1. Yeppers, Weedoni, I had that same suspicion -- why was the Ambassador there visiting a CIA installation? Something wrong was going on that the Ambassador had to troubleshoot, and then the CIA, which had about fifty personnel of their own in the station, somehow managed to send the Ambassador out with only four escorts? This was a CIA FUBAR big-time, they thought they were going to sneak a f'ing U.S. Ambassador out of that compound without being seen if they refrained from sending a sufficiently large force coordinated with the local militia (which leaks like a sieve but hey, they were still in CIA pay)? Dude. Stooooo-pid. Just sayin'.

  62. Interesting Take Warrant, you make all scenarios equivalent. I give the President credit for making the call to go in on a 50-50 ID for the Compound. I give his CIA Director (Panetta) less credit for having a pre-staged letter blaming the SOF Commander for misreading the threat should anything go wrong and the mission prove disastrous(that leak came out of Langley two days after).
    On pre-planned missions the President seems OK, no better or worse than any other President who has to give the go ahead.

    Where I have an issue with him, is his response to crisis. Perhaps you don't care two hoots about our people in Benghazi, but there are plenty of questions regarding the status forces in the region, the availability of armed drones, the availability of tankers and F-16s, and AFRICOM troops. If we had resources as simple as a hellfire missile to be hung on one of the two drones that was in fact in service, why did we not use them, and quickly to silence the mortar?
    Those questions that involve clandestine resources are the ones I have seen no answer for. Aviano is a 1000 miles away, but a division of F-16s flying one way into SIG, hot-pitted could have been overhead within four-hours. There are a lot of scenarios that could have been played out, ways to support unconventionally that we military do creatively all the time.
    You are ready to say the ex-seals knew it was dangerous, but does this justify the lack of support, and the reticence to allow support?
    Most military I know are angry that nothing more immediate was done, and the President was not more engaged rather than prepping for fundraisers.
    If it was no big deal why did he obfuscate the true nature of the attack. He did for several weeks, regardless of whatever turn of phrase he used in the Rose Garden.
    And why was Carter Ham relieved that day, on the spot? Perhaps there are some questions that need answering, but you seem ready to accept it was fubar and that it's ok, as long as it isn't your arse out there on the pointy end.
    I am retired, but I recall getting shot at, and remember guys who went into the Valley of Death like the 600, and got shot down. It's a good thing there were folks ready to go into harms way to recover them rather than writing them off and being comforted by the fact that they knew war was dangerous...

    1. Dakota, from what I understand the actual attack on the Ambassador was over in *far* less than four hours. As in, once his vehicle was isolated, it was all over within minutes. Jet aircraft four hours away aren't exactly useful in that situation, neither are Marines 400 miles away. Far more useful were the local militia (in CIA pay) and several dozen covert ops spooks who were mostly ex-Seals and such, all of which were in the local area and all of which stayed well away. Makes me wonder if this was a hit on Ambassador Stevens by the CIA (why *was* he visiting a CIA installation?), but we'll never know, of course...

    2. I'm not writing anybody off, Dakota, and you're not the only one who got shot at.

      You used all the right words, obviously you're experienced, so I don't have to speak baby talk to you: ask yourself something, why?

      Why didn't they drop ordnance? Why didn't they send the F-16's (leaving aside the fact that it would have been an act of war on a sovereign nation). Why didn't they send the Marines?

      What was the nature of the mission? I.e. why was it manned by the people it was manned by, who did they work for? What was their job? If you're who I think you are, you should be able to figure that out.

      What was the Ambassador doing there in the first place? In that particular place, at that particular time, without a heavy security detail? Note two things, Chris Stevens was a personal friend of the president and his normal duty station was in Tripoli, inside the embassy. Benghazi was damned dangerous and Steven knew it, so why was he there? There's every reason that the president would come to his aid and damned few reasons why he wouldn't. So why?

      I'm not writing anybody off, Dakota. But I'm saying there was a reason. One that can't be discussed in the open. One that's worth keeping this peep show going. Very likely one that can't be discussed openly with most members of congress, for what should be damned obvious reasons that involve getting even more of our people killed because those pompous bastards can't help but run their fat fucking mouths. Note who hasn't said anything, congress wise. Note who's calling for, well, his version of calm reason, guess who got read in and who didn't.

      Then put the pieces together, you used all the right words, you would appear to have the correct experience to do so.

      If the president, if the JCS, if the Theater Commander didn't come to the rescue, then why? We don't leave our people to die. So why did we? And the answer isn't because Obama hates the military and wants them to die and Nazis bleet bleet ook ook.

      Shit, rescuing the Ambassador would have been a fucking triumph! And public relations coup even if they crashed and burned! Hell, any campaign wonk could have sold that heroic story.

      So why didn't we?

      This isn't the first time we've left four of our own to die, you know, though you don't see republicans holding endless hearings to find out why four SEALs died on a lonely mountaintop outside of Asadabad on Bush's watch, do you?

  63. Jim, this is anonymous from Idaho again. I am really sorry for being a jerk in my comment, I checked back in to delete my post or edit it without being rude but couldn't see how to delete it. Then I read the rules and felt worse. I usually don't post comments and when I do I try to be cordial in hopes of having a decent conversation but lately I have had a string of bad comments and this one put me over the top...once again you have my sincere apologies, next time I will express my opinion nicely and constructively.

    1. Well, that's a first.

      You're welcome to comment. You're welcome to disagree. Just don't be a dick about it.

      Thanks for the apology, that took some class.

    2. Thank you Jim! To be honest I agreed a lot with many of your comments, I have been a conservative republican most most of my life until recently, I have lost hope in the two-party system and feel that both sides have wondered so far from our founding principles in the constitution that neither party can agree on their separate agendas...your article is a perfect example of this...constant, endless, pointless bickering or even worse stalemate. We are wasting time in my eyes.
      America has been such a great country, in many ways and I believe we can attribute that to the rights and protections in the constitution. In the early 20th century things really started to change especially during and after WWII. We now have a huge government that not only oversees Taxes, IRS, Medicare, Social Security, and to stretch it even farther, all of the oversees wars and occupations. I respect that freedom isn't free, but why did Europe have to beg us into WWII when recently any sign of war or contention and we are there as the watch dogs?
      Bottom line: wouldn't a lot of this be avoided if we just stayed out? Spend our time and efforts maintaining the best preventative military in the world? Instead of democrats trying to spread wealth from the bottom up and the republicans trying to spread wealth from the top down, shouldn't government just stay out of that too? Isn't that the right to freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?...without government involvement?
      I also find it strange that after the wonderful start of this country and its amazing growth and prosperity, the tables are starting to turn?...ever since we allowed government to dabble in our affairs for protection have things really gotten better? We are now a completely divided nation, with ongoing bickering about how to administer to the people of this country which is something that will never be agreed upon. Political correctness will always have two rival sides. Only strict obedience to stay out of the peoples affairs completely eliminates the bipartisan BS in Washington. Maintaining law, sovereignty, and protection should be our only focus. I, along with many Americans feel that if we followed these principles we wouldn't even be in the mess you have commented on above. Instead of more of the same why not go back to our roots? Get the government out of our lives and the lives of others? Yes we have been given much by the hand of the government but will it be worth it? Will we pay the price but not count the cost? Is the situation in Washington right now worth it? Will our near future be worth it? I have no idea how to get back to where we once were and where our constitution directs us, but I do feel like if it doesn't happen soon, things will escalate as they have over the past many decades.

    3. Thanks for returning, Scott, with what I agree is a dignified apology and clarification.

      I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you (or anybody for that matter) but your view of the country's past seems a little rosy. You state that you "find it strange that after the wonderful start of this country and its amazing growth and prosperity, the tables are starting to turn." I took the question mark out because it pretty much looks like an opinion not a question so bear with me. The government has been thoroughly involved with the economic development of the country that we have become every step of the way. But let's say government stayed completely out of our lives. Then there would have been no public commitment to railroads, ports, sewers, rural electrification, dams, locks, the interstate highway system, public hospitals, airlines, space program, not to mention public art and architecture. We could jettison the EPA and the Cuyahoga River could burn every year. We could get rid of food safety and meat packers could still be emptying garbage into the sausage machines. We could get rid of the last shreds of financial regulation and wouldn't that be fun, speaking of the "mess" we're in. As a financial manager running a portfolio of derivatives way back when the market was still regulated, nothing was more delicious than watching Christopher Cox admit that the Bush administration's system of voluntary self-regulation for big banks didn't work. Except maybe Alan Greenspan testifying that he just couldn't believe that bankers would behave as they did.

      The "let's go back to a simpler time" movement seems to me to be built on a myth. The founding fathers gave us a structure on which each generation builds. Some of it works and some of it doesn't. The idea that we go back to a simple society with no other aspirations than to be left alone is not worthy of a great nation, in my opinion. That is the cost of what you propose.

      I agree with your assessment of our foreign policy. In the words of Andrew J. Bacevich, "America doesn't need a bigger army, it needs a smaller-- that is, more modest--foreign policy."

    4. If Scott truly believes that Washington stay out of "peoples' affairs" - then I would like my uterus back.
      I don't think it is Washington that is so interested in people's private lives as it is the Republican Party. Just look at the laws passed by GOP controlled states during the height of the recession. Few if any were related to job growth, unless you think mandatory drug tests for people receiving unemployment will jump start the laboratory testing companies. But plenty of laws were passed to take control of my body, limit regulation of the food, water and air along with day care, etc. It was unbelievable watching the Georgia legislature act. The first act passed prohibited brain implants by the federal government (kid you not). Then they went on to slash every safety net for the poor and under-privileged, school and public safety.

  64. Jim, think Ambassador Pickering is not too pleased with Congress either...or the Issa version of same...


    Marilyn Ciucci

  65. I always enjoy your concise, intelligent and thoughtfully sarcastic, refreshingly direct viewpoints. I must confess, however, that my favorite part is the troll slaying. Lurv it. I know it's a pain in your ass, I'm sure it bugs you....but I do like watching it. In my line of work, and relations, I have to put up with far too many woefully prejudiced, willfully ignorant persons who should keep their mouths shut in public except to order Happy Meals. It does my bitter heart good to see someone take a stand and tell them all to STFU. Bless you.

  66. Well Jim, you've proved yet again what a bizarro world we live in. Where reasonable and sane ppl like you are only heard on the Internet, while petty and poisonous ppl like hannity and oreilly are broadcast nightly, seen by millions of ppl across the nation. Modern America is a bizarre place.

  67. Damn...how come you aren't a commentator on MSNBC or Current?!

    We've been wondering the same thing about Digby for years now...

  68. Establish a website where you can divert all of the troll posts.

    Interestingly, I was thinking almost exactly this as I read your Troll Update up top there. I was thinking more along the lines of a separate folder in the site file tree, accessible via a button. maybe labeled The Bullshitatorium, or some such.

    Or "The Freakshow! 10¢ paypal per view". hey, you might actually make money off these clowns...

  69. Jim as usual a funny, erudite and very informative post. As a non citizen of your country, your insights into the military and social mindset are always very enlightening. I look forward to everyone of your posts and spent far too much time reading your archived posts!


Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.