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Author Topic: Benghazi - Just the Facts, Ma'am
Wayward Son
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quote:
Did the report mention anything else? Is there a reason you left it out?
The article did mention a criticism of the embassy security:

quote:
The report did find, however, that the State Department facility where Stevens and Smith were killed was not well-protected, and that State Department security agents knew they could not defend it from a well-armed attack. Previous reports have found that requests for security improvements were not acted upon in Washington.
Since I hold both Congress and the President responsible for embassy security (if Congress didn't adequately fund embassy security, the President certainly can be held completely responsible for it), and since no one disputes the inadequate security, I didn't think it important at the time I posted.

quote:
And what finding did the House Select Committee reach?
You actually quoted the summary from the AP article.

quote:
...the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.
Do you believe there is much more to it than AP reported?
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Seneca
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House Select Committee. What are it's findings?
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Wayward Son
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Oh, the House Select Committee, not the House Intelligence Committee! Sorry. There have been so many committees, with so many reports, I can't keep track of them. [Embarrassed]

You're referring to the next committee to review this, aren't you? Well, I expect the finding will be as startling, as earth-shaking, as enlightening as all the other committee findings we've been shown. [Smile]

You seriously believe all these other Republican-led committees have missed something significant?

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Wayward Son
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BTW, Seneca, what does Darrell Issa have to say about this latest report? [Wink]
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noel c.
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WS,

Michael Morrell is the primary source of the administration's exoneration from "wrong doing", and focuses specifically upon the misleading talking points (which Morrell was the author of).

He has been fully discredited in this thread, but I will review the associated problems if you are genuinely curious.

The report you need to watch for is the one coming from Trey Gowdy. He may be a politician, but he is a prosecutor first.

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TomDavidson
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That poor wall is getting slimy from all the stuff they've been throwing at it.
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noel c.
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"That poor wall is getting slimy from all the stuff they've been throwing at it. "...

I understand that you find facts tedious Tom, but what is the "slime", and what is the "wall", in your metaphor?

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TomDavidson
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The slime is just your usual slime, as left behind by things that Republicans have hoped were but so far have not turned out to be sticky. The wall is, well, pretty much any court of public opinion. *laugh*
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noel c.
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I can always depend on depth of thought from you Tom.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
The report you need to watch for is the one coming from Trey Gowdy. He may be a politician, but he is a prosecutor first.
Noel, *SIX* investigations by HOUSE REPUBLICANS have already concluded that there was no wrong-doing by ANYBODY [Smile] . You are affirming your credentials as a deeply devout Republican by insisting that the millions of pages of documents collected and written and thousands of hours of persecutorial investigation somehow missed the basic facts. Call it dirt or call it slime, if there was anything to find that would discredit the Administration, they would have found it by now [Smile] . Instead, they have all given up in frustration.

Keep hope alive!

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TomDavidson
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Well, to be fair, if they keep this up, they can eventually pillory the Democrats for "forcing" them to waste millions of dollars investigating nothing.
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AI Wessex
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I think the continued Benghazi! investigations are distracting them from extending their record string of attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with nothing. Why waste millions on fruitless investigations when you can waste billions in uncontrolled medical costs?
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Seneca
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The New York Times is now reporting that uncovered memos show Clinton was warned shortly after the attacks that they were not protests but coordinates terrorist assaults. Nevertheless she chose to disregard that and stayed committed to something she knew was a lie, that it was related to the video.
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TomDavidson
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Good Lord. Are we still going to try to pretend that anything related to Benghazi actually matters?
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Seneca
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Sad but amusing to see Hillary's cynical apathy and scorn is what her supporters use to try and brush this off now that there is a smoking bombshell proving she lied.
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TomDavidson
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Are you sure you know what lies and bombshells are?
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Seneca
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In true Clinton style I'm sure their defenders will start redefining basic English words again. To the indoctrinated, Billary can do no wrong.
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TomDavidson
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Who on this site believes that neither Clinton is capable of wrongdoing?
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Seneca
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Considering the many, many scandals that both Clintons have been involved in for decades and decades, I am curious if any of their defenders (or people who will pretend they have no other choice but to vote for Clinton) will admit that the Clintons are guilty of any of them.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Good Lord. Are we still going to try to pretend that anything related to Benghazi actually matters?

Anything occurring more than,say, 2 years ago is pretty irrelevant to us today. At that point, what difference does it make?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Anything occurring more than,say, 2 years ago is pretty irrelevant to us today.
Mine is not really a time-based objection. Rather, Benghazi was never relevant; it has always been a trumped-up, histrionic faux scandal.
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Wayward Son
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You have to look at how the Benghazi narrative has changed over the years. Let's use our illustrious host's essay as an example (since it is how we started this thread in the first place).

Yes, from the beginning, there was the accusation that the Administration lied about the reasons for the attack.

quote:
The White House, the State Department, the CIA, and the Defense Department all knew, very early in the fighting, that it was a well-planned, well-armed terrorist attack, and that it was probably being carried out by a group that is linked to or part of Al-Qaeda.

There was never a single moment when anyone in the administration believed that the Libya attack had any link with the video.

But is that really where the outrage lies?
As OSC continues:

quote:
Whatever the investigators are investigating, there is no need for them to ask who is responsible for the decision not to send military support to the Americans who were trying to defend themselves from an unprovoked attack by declared enemies of the United States.

Here are the only possible scenarios for that decision, in descending order of likelihood:

President Obama was kept fully informed, and issued the order for American military forces to do nothing -- including the former Navy Seals who were within minutes of the scene.

President Obama was not informed, or could not be reached for a decision, or simply did not make a decision during the hours of the attack, and therefore the orders to stand down came from underlings who dared not let any military action proceed in the absence of a decision from the President.

The Obama administration does not expect to inform him of such events, does not wait for his decision, and instead someone else made the decisions that led to the Obama administration's failure to defend Americans who were under attack, and issued those orders in Obama's name.

One of these scenarios is true, or close to the truth. In every case, complete responsibility for the decision still rests with President Barack Obama.

Now that is outrageous. The idea that an American President allowed Americans to be killed--did nothing to save them when he had the power--for political purposes is despicable. I would not want such a person as President, nor do I think anyone else would.

The problem is, each of those scenarios have been shown to be false. Because repeated investigations, even by Republicans, who have no love of Obama, have shown that there was no order to stand down and there was nothing more that we could have done to help those in the Embassy.

Sure, troops could have been deployed, bombers could have been sent, the Seventh Fleet could have been deployed, and they all would have arrived well after the survivors had been evacuated. No one in authority, who knows the sitatuion, has suggested that more could have been done.

So that leaves us with the Obama Administration lying about the cause of the attack. But if you take away reason for this lie--to cover up the Administration inaction to the attack--then you're really left with nothing.

Because the lie about the reason for the attack had no real effect. The Administration backtracked on it after about a week. They admitted it was untrue weeks before the election. Nothing changed because of it.

My guess is that they were simply trying to save face, to avoid embarassment, to pretend that it wasn't a failure in intelligence and planning but something completely out of their control. It didn't work.

A sin, yes. An embarrassment, yes. But a scandal? How many embassess have been attacked that could have been better defended with better planning and personel? How many ships have been attacked by terrorists that could have been prevented? How many Marine bases in the Middle East could have been better defended?

Presidents make mistakes. They have all done so in the past; they will do so in the future. Hopefully, they will make less mistakes in the future.

So, yes, we are wondering what is relevant about it. It is obviously not about abandoning the embassy personel, because that has been shown to have not happened. And lying to save face is not worth all this outrage and millions of dollars in tax payer money. So what is it about?

We have a theory. I think you know what it is. But perhaps you show us a different reason for all this outrage. I for one am willing to listen.

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Seriati
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I went back a read a bunch of this thread and I still think it comes down to this, and that G3 had your position pegged correctly over a year ago:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Wow guys, maybe just once, on this, you could try accepting the reality. The Admin chose to pass a story because it helped their election odds, nothing more or less. Honestly not sure why it matters admitting it if you believe the ends - relection - justified the means.

I think the reality that needs to be accepted is on your end. They don't care. That's the reality. The truth of what happened, why these people died, what the long term ramifications of it are, all irrelevant. Winning a election is the important thing, keeping in power is all that matters. There is something much bigger going on here and ignoring little details like this are just part of the means to the end.
I challenged you guys on the concepts of what you'd accept as evidence, and pretty much now, all those conditions have been met. This latest evidence of a memo even ties it into documentary evidence that they knew of the falsity essentially real time and still chose to lie.

I'm baffled, how anyone could still view Hillary as a reasonable candidate for any office of public trust. Honestly, I'm not sure we could find many people who've been as documented as being unworthy of trust outside of prison. All I can conclude is that G3 is right, you really don't care.

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Seneca
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quote:
And lying to save face is not worth all this outrage and millions of dollars in tax payer money. So what is it about?
Why are you so eager to mitigate and white-wash and defend liars in government? If they lied once and you meekly accept it, how will you know they won't lie about something worse?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why are you so eager to mitigate and white-wash and defend liars in government?
Which non-liar have you voted for, Seneca?
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Wayward Son
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Tom has nailed the essence of it.

Which politician hasn't lied in the past? Which Presidential candidate for the next election hasn't lied in the past, or may lie before the election?

And this lie was "corrected" about a week after it was made. A week. Sure, they didn't admit that they knew they were lying, but they didn't continue to lie after that. After a week.

How many millions of dollars have been spent over trying to prove that they lied for a week?

You know, the more I think about this, the more outraged I get over the Republican hacks who have been milking this for the past two years with our money for a lie that was no longer used after a week and didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. [Mad]

Why didn't they have hearings about who knew that Iraq didn't have WMD instead? At least that lie mattered.

[ May 22, 2015, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Tom has nailed the essence of it.

Which politician hasn't lied in the past? Which Presidential candidate for the next election hasn't lied in the past, or may lie before the election?

And this lie was "corrected" about a week after it was made. A week. Sure, they didn't admit that they knew they were lying, but they didn't continue to lie after that. After a week.

How many millions of dollars have been spent over trying to prove that they lied for a week?

You know, the more I think about this, the more outraged I get over the Republican hacks who have been milking this for the past two years with our money for a lie that was no longer used after a week. [Mad]

Wrong again. And even worse, you are attempting to blame the system of checks and balances for being "more wrong."

How long are you going to sit around and tolerate dishonesty and corruption with the lame excuse of past politicians have used them so we should expect it for all time? Even if it were true that every politician in the history of the country were all guilty, which it may or may not be, that itself is argument enough to punish such behavior as strongly as possible when it surfaces to ward off worse recidivism. It also serves as a reason to curtail government's power as much as possible to make sure such liars cannot inflict lots of damage since they cannot be trusted. And by power I am referring to the kind of power that Obama has taken unto himself in unprecedented fashion.

The real outrage comes with your meek acceptance of this benevolent tyrant and the implications of worse ones after him all because of this absurd notion that we should tolerate dishonesty and abuse from our leaders.

[ May 22, 2015, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Tom has nailed the essence of it.

He has NOT nailed the essences of it. The question is not about whether someone has lied, virtually everyone has, it's about why they lied and how they were held accountable.

Tom's answer is a diversion, an attempt at false equivalence, nothing more.

If you buy into it, you're just making it clear that your answer to those questions is that lieing for convenience or to gain power is legitimate and acceptable to you, and that you don't deserve a leader who doesn't lie to you if you won't hold them accountable.
quote:
And this lie was "corrected" about a week after it was made. A week. Sure, they didn't admit that they knew they were lying, but they didn't continue to lie after that. After a week.
It wasn't corrected by them. They were caught in the lie. That's like saying if I catch my six year in lie he's corrected it.
quote:
How many millions of dollars have been spent over trying to prove that they lied for a week?
None. We already no they lied. The millions have been spent trying to hold them accountable for it, cause they have no honor and won't hold themselves accountable for it.
quote:
You know, the more I think about this, the more outraged I get over the Republican hacks who have been milking this for the past two years with our money for a lie that was no longer used after a week and didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. [Mad]
You're mad because the only other choice is to realize you've internalized an acceptance that its okay to lie in naked self interest.
quote:
Why didn't they have hearings about who knew that Iraq didn't have WMD instead? At least that lie mattered.
Lol. The false meme rears its head. They didn't have hearings cause they knew it wasn't a lie, it was an error. Distinguishable specifically from this event where they knew what they said was a lie.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
How long are you going to sit around and tolerate dishonesty and corruption with the lame excuse of past politicians have used them so we should expect it for all time? Even if it were true that every politician in the history of the country were all guilty, which it may or may not be, that itself is argument enough to punish such behavior as strongly as possible when it surfaces to ward off worse recidivism.
I applaud you gentlemen's ethics and idealism. And I agree that it would great if we held our politicians to the highest standards.

But let's be practical. Do you really believe that this will be the new norm to what we hold our politicans to? Do you seriously believe that we are going to verify every utterance from our leaders in the future?

I brought up Iraq and the WMD because it is obvious that when Colin Powell uttered the immortal words, "We know they have them and we know where they are," that somebody was lying through his teeth, because we never found them and they almost certainly never had them. But how long did the hearings about the Bush Administration's lie that led us into a war go on? How many e-mails did they read?

But that's right. Bush didn't realize he was being lied to. And when it was all over, he gave the head of the CIA a medal. [Roll Eyes]

Sure, we know it wasn't a lie.

We've seen what whoppers have been given a pass in Washington before. Lies that have lead us into wars. Lies about the President and where he was born. Lies about his religion. Lies about his actions. Lies about his loyalty and his ethics and just about everything about him. It is the Republican and Conservative strategy to throw out as many lies as possible to discredit the President and his Administration, in hopes that some of the lies will be believed. Why aren't you outraged about those lies??

You're right, Seriati, what it's all about is why they lied and how they are held accountable. But not the way you think.

Why they lied is probably because they had an excuse. They had the memo from the CIA, just like Bush had his report. They figured that they could save some embarassment. So they went with it. After all, it was the #1 reason on the memo for the attack. Do you think Bush would have done anything different?

But how they are held accountable is the real point. They are held to this high standard--a standard that no other politician in Washington will be held to--because the Republicans want anything they can find to nail Obama and Clinton with. It's a witch hunt. A kangaroo court. Because in the end, they want to destroy Obama and Clinton's careers, and they hope the entire Democratic Party, over something that didn't do much harm.

Meanwhile, over things that have done enormous harm, we hear nothing.

If all politicians will be held to the same standards, then I agree that we should hold them to it. But you know that other politicians will not be. Once this is over, it will be back to normal, where lies that did little harm will be overlooked, or lies that did much harm if they are too embarassing. These high standards are only for Obama and Clinton. Once they are gone, so will the new ethical standards.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
They didn't have hearings cause they knew it wasn't a lie, it was an error.
No, we know this isn't true. We have heard this now from several people in the administration: they knew it was not true, but did not contradict the story.

Let us point out that this particular lie, unlike anything said about Benghazi after the fact, actually directly resulted in dozens of American deaths and thousands of Iraqi deaths, and destabilized an entire country.

I am curious, however: who here believes they have voted for a national-level candidate who has not lied? Hell, Russ Feingold and Dennis Kucinich have both arguably lied, and they immediately stand out as two of the most principled Congresspeople in living memory.

[ May 22, 2015, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
They didn't have hearings cause they knew it wasn't a lie, it was an error.
No, we know this isn't true. We have heard this now from several people in the administration: they knew it was not true, but did not contradict the story.

Let us point out that this particular lie, unlike anything said about Benghazi after the fact, actually directly resulted in dozens of American deaths and thousands of Iraqi deaths, and destabilized an entire country.

Damn right about this. However as has been mentioned on this site from time to time, pointing out one side's major faults shouldn't serve to diffuse or make light of faults on the other side. Even if the Republicans did things that were blatantly worse, for instance, it seems to me that the more important thing to look at isn't who wins the prize at worst lie told, but rather to examine how the party system itself is used to prevent real change. Each lie and scandal uncovered about the other side only adds fuel to the partisan fire to rally each side to their own party with more blind determination. These scandals, collectively, help both parties, rather than hurt them. I think that focusing too much on 'which side is worse' plays into their hands. The better course might be to treat both parties with utter suspicion (notwithstanding one's belief that one party really is worse than the other).
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
These high standards are only for Obama and Clinton. Once they are gone, so will the new ethical standards.
I have to disagree with you here. If Republicans can go so far as to fund sleazy attacks against a decorated veteran wounded in combat when he chooses to run as the Democratic nominee for President, I am sure that they will roll out different standards and different attacks for whoever is the Democratic nominee.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
I think that focusing too much on 'which side is worse' plays into their hands.
I don't think this is so much a case of "Republicans have done worse" as one of "appropriate response."

Lying about selling weapons to enemies to fund counterinsurgencies that have been forbidden by Congress is much more important than lying about having sex with an intern.

Lying about a nation having weapons of mass destruction to justify an attack is much more important than lying about using cocaine or grass as a college student.

What's left of the Benghazi "scandal" is how much the Administration knew about the reason for attack when they said that the attack was motivated by a video. A stance that was "corrected" a week after it was made. A purported lie that was revealed well before the election, so that those who felt that Obama and Clinton lied had time to act on that belief. And those who felt they hadn't lied, or that it simply didn't matter, had time to act on those beliefs, too. And that is about the extent of the harm.

So why is this scandal taking so much more time and resources to thoroughly "investigate" than the other aforementioned scandals??

It is way out of proportion.

It's not that Republican scandals are worse than Democrat scandals. It's not that any particular Republican scandal means we should ignore any particular Democratic scandal, or vice versa. It's that a relatively minor scandal, that had very little repercussions, is being treated like a major scandal of national importance.

So when Benghazi is compared to Iraq's WMD or Iran-Contra, it's not to excuse bad behavior. It's to point out that all this time and money is being used to investigate a relatively minor lie. One that doesn't have much import.

Which then bring up the question, exactly why is the time and money being spent? [Wink]

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
I think that focusing too much on 'which side is worse' plays into their hands.
I don't think this is so much a case of "Republicans have done worse" as one of "appropriate response."

Lying about selling weapons to enemies to fund counterinsurgencies that have been forbidden by Congress is much more important than lying about having sex with an intern.

Lying about a nation having weapons of mass destruction to justify an attack is much more important than lying about using cocaine or grass as a college student.

What's left of the Benghazi "scandal" is how much the Administration knew about the reason for attack when they said that the attack was motivated by a video. A stance that was "corrected" a week after it was made. A purported lie that was revealed well before the election, so that those who felt that Obama and Clinton lied had time to act on that belief. And those who felt they hadn't lied, or that it simply didn't matter, had time to act on those beliefs, too. And that is about the extent of the harm.

So why is this scandal taking so much more time and resources to thoroughly "investigate" than the other aforementioned scandals??

It is way out of proportion.

It's not that Republican scandals are worse than Democrat scandals. It's not that any particular Republican scandal means we should ignore any particular Democratic scandal, or vice versa. It's that a relatively minor scandal, that had very little repercussions, is being treated like a major scandal of national importance.

So when Benghazi is compared to Iraq's WMD or Iran-Contra, it's not to excuse bad behavior. It's to point out that all this time and money is being used to investigate a relatively minor lie. One that doesn't have much import.

Which then bring up the question, exactly why is the time and money being spent? [Wink]

It reeks of desperation that Obama's and Hillary's defenders are now arguing about how bad their lies are compared to previous administrations.

Lets play this game for a moment.
The Benghazi lie was dangerous and awful because it showed our enemies that our own government was willing to lie and cover up our enemies attacks because it might not be politically-expedient to acknowledge how they happened, or even if they happened at all.

Imagine if Obama and Hillary had gotten away with this lie, and because of it, none of the resources put into finding that terrorist cell would have been allocated because why would Obama waste them if it wasn't a coordinated terrorist attack. Then imagine those terrorists being emboldened to attack and kill even more Americans, this time on a larger scale.

It's easy to see that even on the "lie scale" that Wayward would have us use that this is near the top. When our President lies about enemies slaughtering Americans because he's worried about electoral defeat, it's hard to imagine much worse than that.

[ May 29, 2015, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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God, I am so incredibly tired of people bloviating endlessly about things that they pretend they believe might "embolden terrorists."
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Greg Davidson
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Let's go along with the premise that the lies political figures tell are significant. That lying itself is morally wrong, independent of the relative impact that different lies have on people's lives. For a moment I want to explore the principle that we are talking about here, not scoring one side vs. the other.

Can we define the moral code of behavior regarding truth-telling that we would find respectable? Is someone okay merely if they never speak words that are literally false? Is someone acting appropriately if they mislead through a statement that is literally true, but structured to convey a point that is false, such as:

quote:
The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud

Is someone obligated to make a correction if they learn something that they said turns out to be false?

And does our answer change if we ourselves would also be judged against the same moral code that we use for political figures?

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Seneca
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When was the last time that a previous president largely ignored a terrorist group? Right before 9-11.

If Obama had his way he'd be unwittingly setting us up for another attack, just like his predecessor. We know from different sources inside the Bush administration that they actively ignored several warnings and events prior to 9-11 because they had other policy goals they preferred to pursue instead. After Binghazi it was clear that Obama and Hillary didn't want to acknowledge that it was an organized Al Qaeda attack because that didn't fit the narrative of them being "on the run" right before Obama's reelection.

What that shows is that both Obama and Hillary are willing to lie and let Americans die if it is politically expedient to do so.

[ May 29, 2015, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When was the last time that a previous president largely ignored a terrorist group? Right before 9-11.
Which terrorist group? Because I can easily make the case that every president in living memory has "largely ignored" one to an extent far exceeding the degree to which Obama "ignored" those responsible for Benghazi.
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NobleHunter
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The funny thing is that terrorists depend on publicity as much as elected officials. The people behind Benghazi probably would have been pissed if became widely believed it was just another riot.

Also, it's absurd to believe whatever reaction there was to the attack depended on what story was being sold to the media. If the administration knew it wasn't a riot but was actively lying about it, they'd have more reasons to stuff the responsible parties in a shallow grave, not less.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Imagine if Obama and Hillary had gotten away with this lie, and because of it, none of the resources put into finding that terrorist cell would have been allocated because why would Obama waste them if it wasn't a coordinated terrorist attack. Then imagine those terrorists being emboldened to attack and kill even more Americans, this time on a larger scale.
You mean the terrorist cell that would have vanished into the woodwork if it became clear that we were onto them and reformed later once the heat was off, rather than being complacent for a few days while the administration followed the CIA's request to mislead them into thinking that they weren't already being tracked down?

SPeculative? Sure, no less than your unfounded hypothetical was. But at least it actually aligns to the known facts (that the CIA was already in the process of tracking down the cell, and the video protest talking point came directly from the talking points that the CIS requested the administration use)

I mean the entire context of this current conversation invalidates your speculation, because the detail revealed was that the CIA was already aware of and tracking the terroristic nature of the attack, proving that the resources had already been put in, even as the misleading story was being circulated.

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