09 May 2013

UPDATE: 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush's Watch Without a Peep from Fox News & The Truth About Attacks on Our Diplomats & FOTZE Megyn Kelly Says Media Issued 'Collective Yawn' On Benghazi, Even Though It Was Covered Extensively 9MAI13, 3OKT12&10MAI13

THANK YOU +Bob Cesca for providing more evidence for what should be obvious. This is a witch hunt created by the gop / tea-bagger right wing extremist in Congress and fox "news".  The main stream media is almost as guilty, "reporting" the story without questioning the "facts", just like they did in the months of bush-cheney-fox news propaganda leading up to the Iraq war. From +HuffPost and +Mother Jones....
 The Republican inquisition over the attacks against Americans in Benghazi has never really gone away, but it appears as though in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the House Oversight Committee's Benghazi hearings this week there are renewed psycho-histrionics over Benghazi.
Lindsey Graham and Fox News Channel in particular are each crapping their cages over new allegations from an alleged whistleblower, while they continue to deal in previously debunked falsehoods about the sequence of events during and following the attacks. Fox News is predictably helming the biggest raft of hooey on the situation -- turning its attention to Hillary Clinton in an abundantly obvious early move to stymie her presidential run before it even begins.
So I thought I'd revisit some territory I covered back in October as a bit of a refresher -- especially since it appears as if no one, including and especially the traditional press, intends to ask any of these obnoxious, opportunistic liars about why they're so obsessed by this one attack yet they entirely ignored the dozen-plus consulate/embassy attacks that occurred when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were allegedly "keeping us safe."
The Benghazi attacks (the consulate and the CIA compound) are absolutely not unprecedented even though they're being treated that way by Republicans who are deliberately ignoring anything that happened prior to Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.
January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.
June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.
October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.
February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.
May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.
July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.
December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.
March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)
September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.
January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.
March 18, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.
July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.
September 17, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.
2013-05-09-benghazi_gate_bush_era_320.jpgA few observations about this timeline. My initial list was quoted from an article on the Daily Kos which actually contained several errors and only 11 attacks (the above timeline contains all 13 attacks). Also, my list above doesn't include the numerous and fatal attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad during the Iraq war -- a war that was vocally supported by Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Fox News Channel.
Speaking of Graham, I ran a search on each attack along with the name "Lindsey Graham" in the hopes of discovering that Graham had perhaps commented about the attacks or raised some questions about why the administration didn't prevent the attacks or respond accordingly to prevent additional embassy attacks. No results. Of course. Now, this could mean the search wasn't exhaustive enough. But one thing's for sure: neither Graham nor any of his cohorts launched a crusade against the Bush administration and the State Department in any of those cases -- no one did, including the congressional Democrats, by the way.
This leads us to the ultimate point here. Not only have numerous sources previously debunked the Benghazi information being peddled by the Republicans and Fox News (for example, contrary to what the Republicans are saying, yes, reinforcements did in fact arrive before the attack on the CIA compound), but none of these people raised a single word of protest when, for example, American embassies in Yemen and Pakistan were attacked numerous times. Why didn't the Bush administration do something to secure the compounds after the first attacks? Why didn't he provide additional security?
Where was your inquest after the Karachi attacks, Mr. Graham? Where were you after the Sana'a attacks, Mr. Hannity? What about all of the embassy attacks in Iraq that I didn't even list here, Mr. McCain? Do you realize how many people died in attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates when Bush was supposedly keeping us safe, Mr. Ailes? Just once I'd like to hear David Gregory or George Stephanopoulos or Wolf Blitzer ask a Republican member of Congress about the above timeline and why they said nothing at the time of each attack. Just once.
Nearly every accusation being issued about Benghazi could've been raised about the Bush-era attacks, and yet these self-proclaimed truth-seekers refused to, in their words, undermine the commander-in-chief while troops were in harm's way (a line they repeated over and over againduring those years).
So we're only left to conclude the obvious. The investigations and accusations and conspiracy theories are entirely motivated by politics and a strategy to escalate this to an impeachment trial. In doing so, the Republicans have the opportunity not only to crush the president's second term, but also to sabotage the potential for a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Even if they never arrive at that goal, they have in their possession a cudgel formed of horseshit -- a means of flogging the current administration with the singularly effective Republican marketing/noise machine, including the conservative entertainment complex. Very seldom does this machine fail to revise history and distort the truth. Ultimately, they don't even need a full-blown impeachment proceeding when they have a population of way too many truthers and automatons who take all of these lies at face value -- not to mention dubiously sourced chunks of "truth" proffered by radio and cable news conspiracy theorists who, if nothing else, are masters at telling angry conservatives precisely what they want to hear: that the probably-Muslim president is weak on terrorism. And so they'll keep repeating "Benghazi-Gate, Benghazi-Gate, Benghazi-Gate!" without any regard for history or reality. Like always.

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The Truth About Attacks on Our Diplomats

Shocker: When terrorists attack US interests abroad, they don't distinguish between administrations that are "projecting weakness" or practicing "peace through strength."

| Wed Oct. 3, 2012 

Protesters throw rocks at the US Embassy in Cairo, September 2012. 
To hear Republicans explain it, the protests at US embassies around the world and the attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead are a result of the Obama administration "projecting weakness."
"When we project weakness abroad, our enemies are more willing to test us, they are more brazen and our allies are less willing to trust us," said vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at an event in Colorado last week. "[T]hat will not happen under a Mitt Romney administration because we believe in peace through strength." Ryan was referring to potential defense cuts, so if Al Qaeda pays enough attention to American budget politics to base its strikes on funding cuts then they probably know Ryan projected weakness by voting for them in the first place. Romney adviser Richard Williamson went so far as to suggest to the Washington Post last month that under a President Romney, no protesters would dare defile an American embassy. "In Egypt and Libya and Yemen, again demonstrations—the respect for America has gone down, there's not a sense of American resolve and we can't even protect sovereign American property," he said.

As the details behind the Benghazi attack come to light, it's becoming increasingly clear that the White House's initial assessment of the attack as spontaneous rather than preplanned was inaccurate. But behind thecomparisons to Jimmy Carter and the references to "peace through strength" is a dubious policy critique: not just that Obama is Carter and Romney is Reagan, but that somehow sufficient man-musk from an American president can dissuade any potential terrorist from laying his finger on an American diplomat.
It's true that during Carter's term, several major attacks occurred at US embassies. The most famous is the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, but rumors that the United States was involved in the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, led to attacks on embassies in Pakistan and Libya as well—in late November, after Reagan was elected president.
Wendy Chamberlin, a career foreign-service officer who was serving as the US Ambassador to Pakistan when Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center on 9/11, says being a target is part of the job for diplomats serving in risky areas.
"High-profile targets like ambassadors have always been in danger because they're the symbol of the United States," Chamberlin says. "What you don't want to represent is that you distrust the people, that you don't want to engage with the people, that you hate being there. It's an important part of your mission and get out and mix with the population." Moreover, under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations it is actually the host country that is responsible for the security of diplomatic facilities, not the Marines. The primary responsibility of the Marine Corps' Embassy Security Group states that its "primary mission" is "to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to the national security of the United States," while their "secondary mission" is to "provide protection for US citizens and US government property" during "exigent circumstances." Their first responsibility is to guard secrets, not diplomats.
“High-profile targets like ambassadors have always been in danger because they’re the symbol of the United States.”
Having Ronald Reagan in office didn't mean an end to attacks on US diplomatic targets. Despite Reagan’s refrain of "peace through strength," several high-profile attacks on US diplomatic facilities occurred on his watch, including the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by Islamic militants. Twice. According to the Global Terrorism Database compiled by the University of Maryland National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism(START), attacks on American diplomatic targets actually rose during Reagan's term—before beginning to subside in the mid-1990s.
"That follows the trend of terrorism generally," says Erin Miller, a research assistant at START who manages the Global Terrorism Database. "In the early 1990s there's a drop-off worldwide in terrorism against pretty much all target types." Miller cites the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a subsequent wane in leftist terrorism as one possible explanation for the downturn beginning in the mid-1990s.
The decline is probably not because terrorists were intimidated by Bill Clinton more than they were by George H.W. Bush. Two of the worst terrorist attacks on American diplomatic targets,Al Qaeda's bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, happened on Clinton's watch. It does however, make the Romney campaign's claim that having a Republican in office will frighten terrorists out of striking at American diplomats or staging violent protests at American embassies extremely dubious. The UMd. database lists 64 attacks on American diplomatic targets during the George W. Bush administration, including car bombs at the US embassy in Yemen and armed attackers assaulting a US consulate in Saudi Arabia.
It's currently unclear to what degree mismanagement, security lapses, or intelligence failures meant the United States failed to anticipate the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. But no matter which party is in office, no matter who is president, terrorism and violence are always going to be a potential risk for foreign-service officers serving in troubled areas. The important thing, Chamberlain says, is to stay engaged.
"Every ambassador and [foreign-service officer] understands the risks we take in being abroad," Chamberlin says. "I don't know any ambassador who hides in his embassy. Getting out with the public and speaking is our job, it's why we're there. If you don't want to do that you shouldn't go."

Adam Serwer is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter. Email tips and insights to aserwer [at] motherjones [dot] com. RSS | 

Megyn Kelly Says Media Issued 'Collective Yawn' On Benghazi, Even Though It Was Covered Extensively

Where was fox "news" during the bush administration when there were 13 attacks on American embassies and consulates from JAN 2002 to SEP 2008, one of which resulted in the death of U.S. diplomat David Foy and three other Americans in Karachi, Pakistan on 2 MAR 2006? Foy was the target of suicide bomber that struck the consulate. Where was the outrage about these attacks and the absence of Congressional investigations? 

Megyn Kelly claimed on Thursday that the mainstream media issued a "collective yawn" about the Congressional hearings — a contention that drew scrutiny from some media-watchers.
Kelly quoted headlines from outlets like the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post which she felt underplayed the drama of the hearings.
"If you look at, sort of, across the mainstream media, it was a collective yawn," she said.
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple took the claim head-on in a Thursday blog post. Wemple—who has followed the Benghazi story very closely—noted that the hearings had been given top billing on the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. These are probably the three most important and influential newspapers in the country, and they all had straightforward, non-dismissive headlines that Kelly did not cite, such as "In Riveting Account Of Benghazi Raid, Official Knocks Administration Response," and "Officials: Facts on Benghazi withheld."
In her segment, Kelly also criticized outlets for focusing on the Jodi Arias trial and the story of the three women kidnapped in Cleveland.
"When you look at what folks chose to concentrate on, they were much more interested in Jodi Arias and what happened in Cleveland," she said. "In neither case were four Americans killed in a terrorist attack on our country!"
Kelly failed to note that she was one of the anchors who turned their focus to Arias and Cleveland. On Thursday, Newsbusters rapped MSNBC's Chris Hayes over the knuckles for playing footage of Kelly updating viewers on both stories. The entire network also turned to Arias when she was declared guilty. Fox News even led the ratings with its Arias coverage.
The media's investigations into Benghazi continued on Friday morning, as ABC's Jon Karl published an exclusive story about the State Department's revisions of talking points. That would suggest that reporters are still looking into things.
Wemple wrote that Fox News was resorting to an old pattern:
Forgive Fox News for its analytical blindness. For years, the network has been shredding the mainstream media for ignoring its pet issues. It’s a mantra, a reflex response. So when contrary information pops up on street-corner newspaper boxes, on TV screens and on computer screens everywhere, we can excuse Fox News for not noticing. Give it a pass on this one.