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Libya
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Should the U.S. participate in military actions in Libya?
(A) Only if UN Security Council authorizes.
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
(B) Only if Arab League members support.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
(C) Only if US Congress approves.
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
(D) By Presidential Executive Order.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
All of the above (A - D)
37%
 37%  [ 3 ]
No.
25%
 25%  [ 2 ]
Other; see comments below.
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 8

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bieramar



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:57 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

The interim progress report from the five Committees (see last posted article by tsiya) and outline of next planned actions is here:
http://www.speaker.gov/sites/spea...cuments/libya-progress-report.pdf

As always in reading Congressional interim and final reports of Committees' investigations, the reader must separate (a) the investigative findings of political appointees' and civil service professionals' actions prior to and during the event being investigated (the Benghazi attack in this instance) from (b) the investigation of individuals' actions after the event (coverups, corrective actions, extent and level of involvement in "damage control, etc.).  

This interim report concentrates on (b) and makes many cases for resistance, reluctance and coverups by individual politically appointed members of the Obama government administration and by career service professionals to the ongoing investigation. This political argument will continue, with gains and losses to GOP and Dem individuals and Parties yet to be seen.

But it is the apolitical reality of (a), the U.S. armed posture overseas, which is of importance to ALL of us (in contrast to the politicos among us) now and in the future.

Thus far I see two main findings in re (a);

1. "Senior State Department officials knew that the threat environment in Benghazi was high and that the Benghazi compound was vulnerable and unable to withstand an attack, yet the Department continued to systematically withdraw security personnel. Repeated requests for additional security were denied at the highest levels of the State Department."

2. "The President•••failed to•••provide the Department of Defense with the authority to launch offensive operations beyond self-defense. Defense Department assets were correctly positioned for the general threat across the region, but the assets were not authorized at an alert posture to launch offensive."
   
As to 1, above; repeated requests for additional security (N.B.: civilian security contractors, NOT U.S. military personnel) from many Dept. of State (DOS) postings were, and continue to be, denied on a regular basis by senior officials in Washington. Each and every "yea" or "nay" decision is a judgment call based upon availability of civilian contract security personnel, the terms of their contracts, the availability of dollars to pay them, and the risk assessment matrix of each request in relation to the sum total of all the requests.

Those decisions of where, when, and how many contracted security personnel are stationed are made by career GS-13/14 or Senior Executive Service (SES) professionals (all fallible human beings, BTW) and rarely, albeit occasionally, countermanded by political appointees.

The oversight investigations so far have only established that requests for additional security at the Benghazi station had been denied, it is not established that the denial was a faulty professional decision, nor a political overriding decision, nor that additional civilian contract personnel would have prevented the attack or prevented the U.S. fatalities.

As to 2, above; the Obama administration policy and actions in Libya have been based from the beginning of the regime change upon NO preemptive U.S. military  support -- NOT an Afghanistan or Iraqi policy of invasion and occupation.  

The investigative finding that "the authority to launch offensive operations beyond self-defense" was not present and that "Defense Department assets•••were not authorized at an alert posture to launch offensive•••" is an affirmation of U.S. policy as it existed, and the policy supported by me and by a majority of U.S. citizens who did not, and do not, want to see more U.S. military troops engaging in armed actions on foreign soil except in self-defense.

And in the final report (as in the "Fast and Furious" investigation) I anticipate that those found at fault will be punished.
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/t...eRightScoop-_zpscb85d2c0.mp4.html

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tsiya



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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Report: Secret timeline shows how the Obama administration doctored intelligence talking-points on Benghazi attack six weeks before the 2012 election

DAVID MARTOSKO
UPDATED: 13:23 EST, 3 May 2013

A top-secret timeline from inside the Obama administration shows how the U.S. government heavily altered talking points about the Benghazi consulate attack that left four Americans dead, despite having clear intelligence reports from Libya indicating that an al Qaeda-linked terror group 'claimed credit' for destroying the diplomatic outpost.
According to a report scheduled for publication May 13 in The Weekly Standard, Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell cut or changed four of the six paragraphs - removing 148 of the 248 words - in a classified assessment of what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
The Weekly Standard released its article online Thursday, likely to make it public before a May 8 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the terror attack.

Timeline: The Obama administration apparently altered their talking points heavily in the hours immediately after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya (pictured here on September 11, 2011)

What remains: As the investigation into the attack continues, the consulate remains damaged
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice famously told audiences of five separate cable television talk shows, just days after the military-style assault, that a YouTube video which blasphemed the Muslim prophet Muhammad, sparked a protest among Libyan civilians that spiraled out of control.

Victim: U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed during the attack
'Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present,' Rice said on ABC's This Week program, 'is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous - not a premeditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo.'
'In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.'
This turned out to be false. When the CIA drafted its talking points, they contained a statement that the U.S. government 'know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.'
It's unclear whether Rice knew that the talking points, on which she based her comments, had been sanitized of all references to Islamist terrorism. But none of the three different versions of the talking points contains any reference to the video.
Rice later withdrew herself from consideration to become Secretary of State after concerns emerged about her false statements.
The talking points themselves came in response to a request for Maryland Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger, who asked U.S. intelligence leaders for guidance on what members of Congress could reliably tell their constituents about Benghazi.

As Morrell reportedly slashed information from the resulting memo's first draft, Weekly Standard senior writer Stephen Hayes reports, 'gone were the reference to "Islamic extremists," the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to "jihadists" in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.'
Hayes' article includes the complete texts of three versions of the talking points, showing the edits made over a 24-hour period beginning three days after the attack.

Talking points: The account that then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave in televised interviews in the days following the attack are the main points of evidence against the administration
'What remained - and would be included in the final version of the talking points - was mostly boilerplate about ongoing investigations and working with the Libyan government,' Hayes writes, 'together with bland language suggesting that the "violent demonstrations" - no longer "attacks" - were spontaneous responses to protests in Egypt and may have included generic "extremists"'
According to an April 23 interim report on the Benghazi attack from five Republican-controlled House committees, U.S. intelligence knew almost immediately that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan terror group linked to al-Qaeda, 'claimed credit' for the Benghazi attack, and that the supposed YouTube-fueld demonstration never occurred.
That report cited emails among various government officials who expressed concerns about the frankness of the talking points' first draft.
The Weekly Standard reported Thursday that State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland and Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes were among them.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/a...-2012-election.html#ixzz2SGsV26TO
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Truth About Benghazi Delegitimizes the 2012 Presidential Election

The Benghazi Talking Points
And how they were changed to obscure the truth


… As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.

The exchange of emails is laid out in a 43-page report from the chairmen of five committees in the House of Representatives. Although the investigation was conducted by Republicans, leading some reporters and commentators to dismiss it, the report quotes directly from emails between top administration and intelligence officials, and it includes footnotes indicating the times the messages were sent. In some cases, the report did not provide the names of the senders, but The Weekly Standard has confirmed the identities of the authors of two critical emails—one indicating the main reason for the changes and the other announcing that the talking points would receive their final substantive rewrite at a meeting of top administration officials on Saturday, September 15.

The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public.

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes is being careful with the “if” in his final sentence. It hardly seems necessary. Republicans can read, and Democrat Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts agrees with Hayes’s assessment.

To answer Hillary Clinton’s supremely cynical, “you can’t touch me, and I dare you to try” question (“What difference at this point does it make?”):

What about “senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, including the nation’s ambassador to Libya, in order to mislead the public” don’t you understand? That rewrite, whether or not successfully obscured from an apathetic electorate by the administration and press, is part of history.

The misleading was done on purpose to protect the electoral viability of an incumbent president in a close election. If President Obama was involved in any way in this effort or was aware of it and didn’t stop it, we have an impeachable offense. It’s not arguable.

If the massive dereliction of duty and deliberate lying had been exposed and accurately reported by a lapdog press on a timely basis, how many voters in key swing states would have changed their minds about pulling the lever for Obama, and how many sideline-sitting conservatives and libertarians would have woken from their slumber? Enough to swing the election in the direction of Mitt Romney? I think so.

Therefore, the 2012 presidential election result, based as it is on voters being deliberately and deceptively kept in the dark on an obviously critical matter, is presumptively illegitimate. Period.


http://www.bizzyblog.com/2013/05/...s-the-2012-presidential-election/
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bieramar



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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone at bizzyblog.com wrote:
The Truth About Benghazi Delegitimizes the 2012 Presidential Election


ROFLMAO!  

That's like stating that the truth about the Tonkin Gulf attacks delegitimizes the Vietnam War.

Or the truth about the Pearl Harbor attack delegitimizes the U.S. entrance into WW-II.

Or the truth about the Russian shootdown of Gary Powers and his U-2 delegitimizes the Eisenhower administration and the subsequent events in the Cold War.

Does that unnamed bizzyblogger really believe that almost five million voters - 4,967,508 to be precise* - would not have voted for Obama if they were aware that bureaucrats and politicos loyal to their Commander-in-Chief, and/or concerned with their own CYA, were trying to deceive the public, as to the sequence of events prior to the al Qaeda attack in Benghazi, and as to the "talking points" after the attack?

Thinking that such SOP campaign or administration disinformation and dissembling is a "critical matter" to any but a few narrowly focused fringe obsessed radicals and/or "haters" is an insult to the intelligence of the great majority of American voters, whose "bottom line" determining their vote is the big picture of the overall real accomplishments, and the promised future actions, of the candidates.  

*Official popular vote totals of the 2012 General Election: 65,899,660 for Obama-Biden (51.1%) and 60,932,152 (47.2%) for Romney-Ryan.
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRUDEN: Payback time in the hen house as Benghazi hearings start on Wednesday

The noise in the hen house this morning is the flutter and cackle of the chickens from Benghazi, scuttling home to roost.
The House committee opening hearings Wednesday on what happened there is likely to serve up chicken surprise.


The four whistleblowing witnesses scheduled to testify to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are said to be eager to tell a story far different from the various accounts, all confused and all contradictory, peddled by the Obama administration. Someone at the White House should have remembered that old Washington chestnut, as true now as ever, that “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” Smarter men than even Barack Obama, wiser women than even Hillary Clinton, have paid dearly for lapses of convenient memory. (The crime was bad, too.)

Mark Thompson, the ex-Marine who is now the deputy co-ordinator for operations in the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau, is expected to testify that Mrs. Clinton tried to cut the bureau out of the loop when Ambassador Chris Stevens was pleading for help from Benghazi. The administration was preoccupied in the midst of a presidential re-election campaign and cries for help at a consulate surrounded by radical Islamic killers was not something the White House thought was fit to hear. The war on terror was over.

Mr. Thompson’s lawyer, the pugnacious Joe diGenova, says his client has been subjected to threats and intimidation from his superiors at the State Department, but they all deny that and insist that everything everybody else says are fibs, stretchers and “full growed lies.” That’s what superiors always say (and once in a while they’re right). Mrs. Clinton convened an internal review board to look into such allegations and several coats of whitewash were duly applied, but the facts are still showing through. “You should have seen what [Mrs. Clinton] tried to do to us that night,” a second official in the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau told his colleagues in October.

Emails and documents from the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Administration, published in the current edition of the Weekly Standard magazine, reveal that officials of those agencies tried to delete all references to the involvement of al Qaeda in the talking points, and identify Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the State Department, as complaining that the revisions did not go far enough to satisfy “my building’s leadership.” The leadership of the “building,” and no doubt the people in it, wanted all evidence of al Qaeda involvement, not only in the attack on Americans in Benghazi, but in attacks on other Western target, removed from the “talking points.”

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the Republican who will chair this week’s hearings, told “Face the Nation” interviewers Sunday that both the CIA and Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya when the ambassador and three colleagues were slain, knew at once that the Americans were under attack, not under protest.

Mr. Hicks watched the Sunday talk shows after the attacks on the consulate in September and was astonished by the claims of Susan Rice, the ambassador to the U.N., in five appearances, contradicting the emphatic assertion of the president of Libya that he had “no doubt” that the attacks were the work of terrorists, not mere community activists. “The net impact of what has transpired is that the spokeswoman of the most powerful country in the world has basically said the president of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. My jaw hit the floor as I watched this,” he told investigators for the House committee. “I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, [as I was] on that day.” He is expected to repeat that to the committee this week.

All politicians are interested most in what happens to them. It’s the bipartisan reality of how things work. But the Obama White House, perhaps unique in our times, plays partisan politics 24/7. Bubba, for all his sins, frequently interrupted politics for a roll in the White House hay and gave us a little comic relief. If Hillary isn’t paying attention to the politics of 2016 she isn’t the player we all think she is.

It was easy for her to take the long view when Chris Stevens was pleading for his life, but she may pay yet for forgetting the Bard’s warning in Hamlet (Act 2, Scene 2) that “murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.”


http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne...nghazi-hearings-st/#ixzz2SdP55kGR
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BENGHAZI WHISTLEBLOWER: I WAS ‘DEMOTED’ AFTER QUESTIONING SUSAN RICE’S TALKING POINTS


A former top U.S. diplomat in Libya said he was effectively “demoted” after questioning United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s explanation that the deadly Benghazi attack was the result of a protest over a video.

Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission under slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens, now holds the title of foreign affairs officer in the Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs — an almost catch-all designation.

“I’ve been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission,” Hicks said.

He testified to members of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that he was “stunned” and “embarrassed” upon hearing Rice blame an anti-Islam YouTube video for the assault. He said he voiced his concerns, and upon returning to the U.S. received a “blistering critique” of his management style — after having recently been praised by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“In hindsight I think it began after I asked a question about Ambassador Rice’s statement on the TV shows,” Hicks said, after being asked what the “seminal” moment had been in all of his new professional criticism.


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2...oning-susan-rices-talking-points/
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excerpt from the State Department Daily Press Briefing Q & A May 6, 2013:
                                     -

[QUESTION] ... So since we last talked in this room, the names of the so-called whistleblower witnesses on Benghazi have been revealed, the individuals who will testify this coming Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee. One of them is Greg Hicks who, as you know, is the deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of the attacks, who with the death of Ambassador Stevens became the highest ranking U.S. diplomat in Libya, one of the last people to speak to Ambassador Stevens on the night of those attacks. One of the other witnesses is Mark Thompson, for six years now a senior official in the State Department's counterterrorism bureau. First, before we get to the specifics of what they're expected to testify, I wonder if you could provide us with your assessment of the caliber of these two individuals. Are they credible? They've been working at fairly senior posts here and abroad for years and years. I wonder first what thoughts the Department has about the caliber of these two individuals.

MR. VENTRELL: I mean, it's a little bit hard for us to - given that we don't have a lot of information about how the hearing was scheduled and the various sort of formation of the majority's decision to have this hearing, it's a little bit hard to comment on the witnesses. Let me do - let me say one thing here, though, at the very top. We have always encouraged any State Department employee who wants to share their personal story, whether it be to the ARB or the Congress to tell the truth, period, full stop, end of story. That's long been our position. We've made that clear from the start. In terms of these particular individuals, the committee didn't come to us asking witnesses. We found out through the media and through the announcement the same way you all did. In terms of these potential transcripts out there, we haven't seen the transcripts. So it't -

QUESTION: Yeah, you have.

QUESTION: Oh, yes, you have. Come on, Patrick.

MR. VENTRELL: We have seen excerpts of these transcripts, but we do not have them, and they have not been provided to us.

QUESTION: Well, you've seen them - I mean, you've seen - you know the gist of what they're saying and what their arguments are. First of all, Greg Hicks makes charges that he thought that there were assets in Libya that could have been able to be sent from Tripoli to Benghazi that night, and they were rejected. I mean, there are numerous charges that he makes.

MR. VENTRELL: There have been --

QUESTION: Let the record reflect that that was CNN was asking that question and not Fox News. Please continue.

MR. VENTRELL: Right. Well, let me just say that this has been made - these statements have been made to the media. They haven't been made to us. Now, we understand this testimony is going to go forward and we want people to go and tell the truth. But in terms of the full context of these remarks or these sort of accusations, we don't have the full context so it's hard for us to respond.

QUESTION: Well, what about - okay. So - but just what do you make of the idea that more could have been done that night, sending assets from Tripoli to Benghazi, and that they weren't?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, again, it's hard for me to respond to specific allegations, not having the full context. Let me say this, though. And I said this last week. I can't remember if you were here, Elise, on Friday. But these issues have been addressed and reviewed in great detail by the Accountability Review Board. There were eight hearings, 30 briefings, 25,000 documents; the ARB interviewed over a hundred witnesses, including people on the ground. And the ARB's credible, comprehensive process was led by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen.

QUESTION: I know --

MR. VENTRELL: But let me finish because not everybody does, and it's worth saying this, that these are two of the most respected, nonpartisan leaders in Washington, each highly praised by both sides of the aisle for their long, distinguished careers. They put out a statement today saying that from the beginning of the ARB process, they had unfettered access to everyone and everything, including all the documentation they needed.

QUESTION: Except Secretary Clinton.

QUESTION: But what about (inaudible)?

QUESTION: Except Secretary Clinton, right? They did not have access to Secretary Clinton?

MR. VENTRELL: Secretary Clinton addressed this in her public testimony of some eight hours on Capitol Hill, where she --

QUESTION: It was five hours, and she did not. I checked the transcript this morning. She never discloses in there whether she talked to the ARB or Accountability Review Board. If you search it by text, it's not in there. But they did not have access to her, correct?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, she spoke to this. I'd be happy after the briefing to get you the exact transcript.

QUESTION: I'm asking you a very simple question, Patrick: Did they have access to her? Did they interview her?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, the ARB --

QUESTION: They did not, correct?

MR. VENTRELL: Mr. Rosen.

QUESTION: Correct?

MR. VENTRELL: Mr. Rosen, the ARB is an independent body. They can choose who they want to interview. We have two of the most respected people in Washington - chose who they wanted to interview and needed to interview for the information that they needed. I will get you --

QUESTION: So they decided they didn't need to talk to Secretary Clinton?

MR. VENTRELL: Let me finish. Let me finish. I will find you the quote where Secretary - former Secretary Clinton talks about this and her willingness, if the ARB needed to talk to her, to do so. They didn't, and that was their decision. And they felt that, based on the people that they were able to talk to, they had a complete picture.

QUESTION: Before my questioning was hijacked by my esteemed colleague --

QUESTION: Wait, wait. Can I just --

QUESTION: -- I wanted to ask one thing, and this is what --

QUESTION: This is not a James Rosen briefing, okay?

QUESTION: No, I understand. I was in the middle of asking him something. I understand that.

MR. VENTRELL: All right, one at a time.

QUESTION: Wait, wait, can I just ask --

MR. VENTRELL: Go ahead, Matt.

QUESTION: To the best of your knowledge, did the ARB talk to everyone that they wanted to?

MR. VENTRELL: My understanding is that they did, and they've said that publicly.

QUESTION: Are you in a position actually speak for them?

MR. VENTRELL: I am not.

QUESTION: No. So this statement - I haven't seen it - did Pickering and Mullen put out a statement?

QUESTION: Yes.

QUESTION: And does it address this?

QUESTION: This is it. It's two sentences.

QUESTION: "We had unfettered access to everyone and everything, including all the documentation" --

QUESTION: "We needed."

QUESTION: Okay.

MR. VENTRELL: And from the very beginning - let me also say this - this Department of State, when we - when the Board was convened, our message out was that everybody should cooperate with this Board, and that if anybody had anything to raise, there was an email address and a telephone number provided to get in touch with the Board.

QUESTION: Was Secretary Clinton involved in some of the early decision-making related to Benghazi?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, you're talking - you're asking me to talk about things that are --

QUESTION: No, I'm just - it's a fairly simple thing, Patrick. Was she involved in some of the early decision-making regarding Benghazi?

MR. VENTRELL: I don't know. Which part are you referring to?

QUESTION: After the attacks became known to the National Security Council? Was she involved in the decision-making?

MR. VENTRELL: I mean, again, I'd be happy after this briefing, Mr. Rosen, to get you the entire transcript of what she said over many hours on Capitol Hill, which answers many of your questions. Part of this is you're bringing up information that's out there that's been answered.

QUESTION: It seems to me as if she was involved as a member of the National Security Council in the decision-making regarding this incident that affected her employees, that she would be relevant to the ARB's --

MR. VENTRELL: James, she spoke at great length to this, and I will get you the transcript after this briefing.

QUESTION: Let me just go back to the question I started with, okay? And as I tried to put it to you, without respect to the specific charges that we expect these two individuals to be testifying to, can you just say: Are Greg Hicks and Mark Thompson credible people? Are they not longstanding career State Department employees? Are they credible?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, I'm not going to assess one individual or another. These are some folks who have said they're going to come out and tell a story to Congress, and our message --

QUESTION: Have they been fired? Are they --

MR. VENTRELL: Let me finish. Let me finish.

QUESTION: Do they still work here?

MR. VENTRELL: Our message is we have always encouraged State Department employees who want to share their personal story, whether to the ARB or Congress, to tell the truth, period. And so they have an opportunity to do that if that's what they choose to do.

QUESTION: Have they had distinguished careers? Have they had distinguished careers here?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, I'm not in a place to assess their bios and their work experience, but these are people who work inside the State Department.

QUESTION: Can I ask (inaudible)?

MR. VENTRELL: Go ahead.

QUESTION: On exactly that point --

MR. VENTRELL: Can you identify yourself?

QUESTION: Terry Jeffrey of CNS News.

MR. VENTRELL: Okay.

QUESTION: Okay. Another witness that's going to testify to the Oversight Committee on Wednesday is Eric Nordstrom, who was the regional security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli until July 26, 2012, when he left six weeks before the attack. So as you know, a different individual was the RSO in Tripoli at the time of the attack. Also, there was a temporary duty RSO in Benghazi who was actually the person, according to the ARB report, who saw the attack as it began on the security systems, their surveillance system, notified the Embassy in Tripoli, notified the annex down the road. Has the State Department made those two RSOs available to the House committees investigating Benghazi so they can speak to them, interview them, and take their stories? Has the State Department made the other diplomatic security officers on the ground in Benghazi on September 11th available to the congressional committees? Yes or no?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, Mr. Nordstrom has testified over many hours already on the Hill.

QUESTION: I'm not talking about Mr. Nordstrom. I'm talking about the RSO who was stationed in Tripoli on September 11th, 2012. I'm talking about the temporary duty RSO who was on the ground in Benghazi, and according to the ARB, is the individual who actually saw the attack begin on the surveillance system, notified the Embassy in Tripoli and notified the annex down the road. Have those two individuals been offered to Congress to give their story and their testimony (inaudible)?

MR. VENTRELL: Okay. I'm not aware of these two specific individuals, but what I said, and I think this was about a week ago, is that if people want to come forward and tell their stories, that they should come forward and tell the truth.

QUESTION: But don't you think --

MR. VENTRELL: And let me finish.

QUESTION: -- it's important for Congress --

MR. VENTRELL: Can I finish my statement, or --

QUESTION: -- to interview the two security officers who were on the ground at the time of the attack? Would they be important witnesses for people to hear from?

MR. VENTRELL: Could I finish what I'm saying? If I could finish a whole sentence then maybe I could address what you're saying. What I had said previously is in terms of people testifying on behalf of this Department, there are procedures in place, and at a certain level, people testify as government witnesses. They're not always the people who are on the ground, but it's the superiors and their chain of command. Having said that, if there are people that want to come forward and tell their story, this Department is not blocking whistleblowers and is not stopping people from telling their story. Some of these people have testified to the ARB and may not want - have done what they want to do and want to get on --

QUESTION: So you --

MR. VENTRELL: Let me finish what I'm saying. And want to get on and continue their careers and finish their - the business that they're doing. So we've been very transparent with the Congress. We have shared and had an unprecedented level of cooperation with Congress. And if there are new and outstanding issues that the Congress wants to continue to look at, we'll do so, and we have a mechanism in place through the Secretary's --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) what Secretary Clinton said on the evening of September 11th, 2012. In the 10 p.m. hour, Washington, D.C. time, the Department put out a written statement entitled Statement on the Attack in Benghazi. It was not about what was going on in Cairo or anywhere else; it was a statement on the attack in Benghazi. She said in that statement, quote, "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious belief of others," unquote. That statement was put out before former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods died in Benghazi. Who specifically told Hillary Clinton that there were some people blaming this on inflammatory response to - inflammatory material on the internet? Where did she get that idea at 10 p.m. on September 11th?

MR. VENTRELL: Look, these are issues that have been looked at in great detail, that have been answered in great detail to the Congress, to the American people, and you're asking about something that is many months prior. And we've been very clear, and the ARB has looked at all of these issues and done so in great detail.

QUESTION: Can I just pluck out a few more that are not re-litigating other things?

MR. VENTRELL: Okay.

QUESTION: The former head of the counterterrorism bureau, Daniel Benjamin, has put out a statement this morning.

MR. VENTRELL: He has.

QUESTION: In it, he mentions that the first question to arise amongst policymakers that involved the counterterrorism bureau was whether or not the Foreign Emergency Support Team, FEST, should be deployed. He said the question of deployment was posed early and the Department decided against such a deployment. The decision, he says, was, quote, "the correct one." Can you tell us anything about - I mean, if you're prepared to put out this kind of statement, it seems to me you should be prepared to answer questions about its contents.

MR. VENTRELL: And the issue of the FEST teams was something that was addressed in great detail in previous hearings. And just to remind people that these are teams that go in to help re-set up communications when there's been a terrorist attack. In the incident - in the case of Benghazi, we evacuated that post; Tripoli's communications were up and running. And so I think Ambassador Benjamin's statement is very clear about this decision-making.

QUESTION: Two final questions. You've been very kind, as have my colleagues. First, is deputy chief of mission an important job in an overseas post? Is it given to just anybody?

MR. VENTRELL: Just broadly speaking?

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR. VENTRELL: The deputy chief of mission is somebody who is the number two person at a mission, and they act as the chargé in the ambassador's absence and have a critical role in the mission, yes.

QUESTION: And that requires certain credentials and background, correct?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, there's a selection process that goes forward for some of our senior officers and experienced officers, sure.

QUESTION: And to be the coordinator for operations in the counterterrorism bureau, would that require certain high qualifications?

MR. VENTRELL: Again, James, you're trying to get me into the credibility of witnesses before we've even gotten to a hearing. There are some folks who want to come tell their stories. Let them go out, and they're going to tell their stories to the Hill and they can say what they want to say, but I'm not going to get into the back-and-forth.

QUESTION: One thing that Greg Hicks did say is he thought that the ARB let certain senior officials in this building, particularly Under Secretary Kennedy, off the hook, that security decisions were made at a much higher level than the ARB indicated, and that there was a whitewash of who was really involved.

MR. VENTRELL: Well, there was accountability for some senior officers, and you heard Ambassador --

QUESTION: Well, they said that - he said that those officers, that the actual chain meant - went much higher up.

MR. VENTRELL: Well, Elise, we're at a bit of a disadvantage here because when you have people going out to the media and making all sorts of statements, we don't have the full context of it, it's a little bit hard to respond to each and every claim. This is something that the ARB talked about. The accountability was held for senior officers. And we were clear where the State - where the ARB had very tough findings on the State Department, and where changes need to be made, and we're implementing those. So we reject that line of argument.

QUESTION: One last one. I'm sorry. I know anytime a reporter questioning someone at a briefing, at a podium, uses the word intelligence, it provides an immediate off-ramp for the question, to say that we don't discuss intelligence from the podium. That in mind, perhaps you can simply assure us that nobody - no U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya on the night of September 11th was carrying out covert operations outside the scope of what were then the existing covert operations action authorities?

MR. VENTRELL: You're right, Mr. Rosen. We don't discuss intelligence here from this podium.

QUESTION: But no one was acting unlawfully in a covert capacity for the United States at that time, were they?

MR. VENTRELL: American personnel act lawfully.
Said, go ahead.

QUESTION: Can we change topics?

MR. VENTRELL: Yeah, go ahead.
                                 - end -
Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/05/208988.htm
                                 ======

As to Hicks self-describing being "effectively demoted" to being a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs; (1) it is obvious that he could no longer be Deputy Chief of Station - the second-highest after the Ambassador - since the Benghazi Station no longer exists, thus he had to be transferred somewhere, and (2) Foreign Affairs Officer is the second-highest position at Global Intergovernmental Affairs, just below the head honcho.

Hicks has not been "actually demoted" in either rank or pay.
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bieramar



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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Briefing and Q & A with Pickering and Mullen following the release of the Accountability Review Board Report, and their scathing criticism in December, 2012:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/12/202282.htm

The last unanswered questions about the attack on the CIA station in this report are mirrored in the final questions in the last post, also unanswered.

If Issa's Committee would spend some time on investigating those issues, instead of or in addition to, the current investigation, it would be much more constructive for all.
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tsiya



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC APOLOGIZES FOR BENGHAZI COVERAGE: HILLARY IN TROUBLE, 'HEADS WILL ROLL'


by JOHN NOLTE  10 May 2013
Mark Mardell, the BBC's North American editor, issued a mea culpa of sorts today after Jonathan Karl at ABC News dropped his bombshell that proves beyond any doubt that the Obama Administration lied about its involvement in editing the CIA's talking points surrounding the September 11 attack on our consulate in Libya.

In a piece titled, "After Benghazi revelations, heads will roll," Mardell writes, "In the interests of full disclosure I have to say I have not in the past been persuaded that allegations of a cover-up were a big deal." He adds, "It seemed to me a partisan attack based on very little."

That all changed with today's revelations. Mardell now believes:
This is the first hard evidence that the state department did ask for changes to the CIA's original assessment.
Specifically, they wanted references to previous warnings deleted and this sentence removed: "We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa'ida participated in the attack."

There's little doubt in my mind that this will haunt Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president, unless she executes some pretty fancy footwork.
State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland is directly implicated, and the fingerprints of senior White House aides Ben Rhodes and Jay Carney are there as well.

If the rest of the mainstream media shows the integrity Mr. Mardell just did, the Obama Administration is about to finally be held accountable for an unforgivable coverup that started back in September and has lasted straight through to today.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Jour...-Mea-Culpa-Benghazi-Libya-Matters


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"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
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