Author Topic: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi  (Read 96910 times)

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2016, 01:24:59 PM »
Any chance you're looking at this with the benefit of hindsight after the dust has cleared and copious amounts of confidence that this one redacted email with an "offering [of] unspecified forces" trumps all other information to the contrary?  What would you have done if you were the SoS getting myriad conflicting reports from the CIA, FBI, other intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and purported witnesses?  Be specific and be exact so we can measure if what you say carries the authority of a clear and all-knowing intellect.

"Reasonable with hindsight" is a better fit for the limited facts I've seen than Wayward's argument, i.e. "a bold-faced lie."

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2016, 01:46:34 PM »
I was being a bit coy.  Everybody can find reasons to complain that people they don't like missed the critical piece of information that would have flipped everything around and have it come out just as they suspected all along.  How many pieces of email *didn't* make similar offers?

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2016, 01:50:32 PM »
Any chance you're looking at this with the benefit of hindsight...
Well you could go back to the old thread, "Benghazi - Just the Facts, Ma'am" thread where I raised most of the same issues real time.  You remember, the thread where members of this forum kept defending the administration's deceptions, even after they were discredited. 
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...after the dust has cleared and copious amounts of confidence that this one redacted email with an "offering [of] unspecified forces" trumps all other information to the contrary?
There's nothing else to the contrary, let alone things that justify a claim such as you're making.  There's really no evidence that we did not have forces there, and there's plenty - admittedly often not direct given troop locations and readiness has not been disclosed - that we did.  It's logically implausible that we had no air based resources that could have gotten there in time to at least dissuade a continuation of the mortar attacks.
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What would you have done if you were the SoS getting myriad conflicting reports from the CIA, FBI, other intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and purported witnesses?  Be specific and be exact so we can measure if what you say carries the authority of a clear and all-knowing intellect.
And you might also recall how often I've specifically said I don't fault the administration for its real time decisions.  That doesn't change the facts on the ground.  They chose not to mobilize forces they could have mobilized at a time when they could not have known the forces would not arrive in time (and from some accounts they would have been wrong if they had made that assessment). 

All they had to do, on this point, to quite me, would have been to state their reasons for deciding not to do so.  Claiming there were no forces is a form of moral scape-goating where they write off their responsibility for having been in the driver's seat by effectively claiming it was out of their hands, which is simply a lie.  And they bank on those who will willingly deceive themselves to make it stick.

As a simple matter, if the problem was the lack of forces, show the communications establishing your efforts to track down those forces.  When the whole disclosed record consists of offers to help without a response it just makes the  claims they are making so unbelievable it takes a partisan to be convinced otherwise.

scifibum

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2016, 01:54:10 PM »
I'm really not sure "failed to take an action that wouldn't have helped, and hasn't been able to prove that they had sufficient certainty that it wouldn't have helped, where sufficient means even your political enemies can't construe a criticism" is quite the bombshell you seem to think it is.


What we really have is: it looks like the administration might have favored interpretations of available information that might have been politically beneficial for a while.  "Four Dead Americans" is not the proper rallying cry to get people mad about that, because it has nothing to do with how many people died.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2016, 01:58:11 PM »
People are digging up bombs like that under streets in London and Berlin 70 years after the war ended, and when they check them out they're still duds.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2016, 02:05:36 PM »
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What would you have done if you were the SoS getting myriad conflicting reports from the CIA, FBI, other intelligence agencies, the Pentagon and purported witnesses?

Since you ask, I would have made sure a rescue plan was operable in case it was needed.  But then, I remember watching the last president I ever trusted turn grey over 100 days as hostages languished in Iran.  These aren't just four people.  These are the four people that represent the American people in that region.

But I'm sure there's more to the story I don't know.  That's why I ask.

I respect Jimmy Carter for trying to send a helicopter to rescue our people, even though unforeseeable calamities soured that operation.  Now THAT was a scenario where the Republicans behaved like total *censored*.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 02:11:58 PM by Pete at Home »

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2016, 02:09:56 PM »
Not sure why you think I was trying to drop a bombshell.  Just reacting to AI's vicious underselling of the issues when they don't favor his team.  I've never deviated from a position that the Administration's decisions real time could be construed as reasonable, what's unreasonable is their cover-up, lieing and obfuscation.  And Hillary Clinton is a big part of that idea.  What happened to the left's insistence that we hold government accountable, that transparency and openness are virtues and that the media should be overzealous in exposing government lies and corruption?  Hillary's practically the poster child for everything the left of 20 years ago claimed was wrong with government, and she's the front runner for their Presidential nominee.

scifibum

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2016, 02:11:47 PM »
The GOP has relentlessly hammered on Benghazi using slogans about finding the truth about dead Americans. 

But the only truths they have uncovered aren't about mistakes that led to those dead Americans, they are about politicians being political.  Which is exactly the same thing they are doing with the Benghazi investigations.  They want the righteous justification of vital matters of security to cover their relentless abuse of office for political gain, because justifying what they are doing with their actual motivations would be too nakedly hypocritical.

The Benghazi investigations have done nothing to benefit the security of embassies.  They benefit only politicians.

It's not that I don't care about whether politicians are being honest with the public.  It's disgusting to lie to the public for political purposes.  But not as disgusting as lying to the public for political purposes while wasting millions of tax dollars searching for truths you don't expect to find, and that's the Benghazi investigations in a nutshell.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2016, 02:18:50 PM »
For me, the quote from Hillary I cited on page 1, plus Obama's BS about the video's role, all plays into the general sense that the administration is obfuscating over Islamist terrorism.  E.g. denying victim benefits to the folks at Fort Hood and at the military recruiters because it's just a "workplace incident."  Not to mention keeping military personnel in the US disarmed, plucked and convenient targets.  It's all very nice to play music to keep people calm on the Titanic as it goes down, but when you extend that to actual deception, keeping the cattle serene, well I don't think that's the sort of leader we want right now. 

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It's disgusting to lie to the public for political purposes.

It's less disgusting, but still alarming and off-putting, when they lie to us "for our own good."  And that's how I read Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama.  Also Clinton, Reagan, and Bush Sr.  Bush Jr. actually drank the kool-aid, I fear.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 02:21:06 PM by Pete at Home »

NobleHunter

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2016, 02:36:20 PM »
It's worth noting that not letting military personnel go about armed on base is an old policy. One I suspect is rooted more in inventory control than safety or security.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2016, 02:37:40 PM »
What Scifibum said goes without saying, but since he said it, I'll say more

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And Hillary Clinton is a big part of that idea.  What happened to the left's insistence that we hold government accountable, that transparency and openness are virtues and that the media should be overzealous in exposing government lies and corruption?  Hillary's practically the poster child for everything the left of 20 years ago claimed was wrong with government, and she's the front runner for their Presidential nominee.
The left's "insistence that we hold government accountable" is still there, but it's drowning beneath a wave of bilge like the comment I highlighted.  Name one charge Democrats have made in the last 8 years about Republican over-politicization of Congress that you don't find lacking.

Wayward Son

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2016, 04:07:49 PM »

Well there is the redacted email released that shows the Pentagon offering unspecified forces - did I miss where this turned out to be a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack?

Actually, yes, you missed it.  The Democrats released the unredacted e-mail, and it turns out that military forces referenced were the ones that were actually sent to the Libyan compound to rescue the survivors.  I told about this on the last post of this thread on the old forum.

So, yeah, it pretty well was a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack. :)

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There's several different statements of various insiders relating to forces in the region that were action ready and could have been sent to arrive with various arrival times.  Not sure how any of that would be a bold-faced lie, unless your asserting there are no American forces (including air power) anywhere in Europe, the Mediterrean, the Middle East or Northern Africa that would be kept ready to react on a short time line?

Yes, and all of them (that I heard of) would have arrived long after the action was done, and long after the servicemen that were sent had already evacuated the survivors--thus negating any "meaningful time frame."

However, if you know of a specific one that would have arrived sooner, I would love to hear about it.

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There's absolutely no way to have known real time that any force mobilization would not have arrived in time to make some sort of difference, which means lack of beginning to mobilize forces that would take even several days to arrive is not justifiable.

Unless, of course, that those in charge in the area realized that this attack would be over well before other help could arrive.  Sure, it was a guess--but it turned out to be the right guess.  Perhaps those local decision makers were better informed, more experienced, or made better judgments than partisan politicians in Washington. ;)

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2016, 04:39:36 PM »
It's worth noting that not letting military personnel go about armed on base is an old policy. One I suspect is rooted more in inventory control than safety or security.

a policy that should have been changed after the fort Hood incident, and probably will be when a Republican takes office.  the moment Islamists shot up a domestic base the policy became dated.

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2016, 04:45:07 PM »

Well there is the redacted email released that shows the Pentagon offering unspecified forces - did I miss where this turned out to be a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack?
Actually, yes, you missed it.  The Democrats released the unredacted e-mail, and it turns out that military forces referenced were the ones that were actually sent to the Libyan compound to rescue the survivors.  I told about this on the last post of this thread on the old forum.
The Salon "article" is pretty partisan.  Other sources out there seem to indicate that the soldiers in question (and referenced in the email) could have departed directly to the site and gotten there much quicker than they did.  It seems like Panetta ordered them to arrive at a  staging area for the next day.  How does ordering a force that potentially could arrive in a timely manner on an indirect route that kept them out of the area represent proof that they couldn't have gotten there?  So again, what exactly am I missing here?

When did they get ordered to the compound in the timeline (in your view)?
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So, yeah, it pretty well was a bold-faced lie by a partisan hack. :)
It looks like your source asserted that it was, it doesn't look like they actually showed anything of the sort.
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Yes, and all of them (that I heard of) would have arrived long after the action was done, and long after the servicemen that were sent had already evacuated the survivors--thus negating any "meaningful time frame."
Your analysis can only be conducted after the fact.  There's no way to know at the time of attack if it all be over in 2 hours or 2 days, which means you're deciding - real time - on a meaningful time frame that definitely stretches out beyond the time it would have taken some of those forces to arrive.  It's entirely possible that even with immediate action they'd be too late, and its possible that even with dilly dallying they'd arrive in time.

Nothing you cited shows any action taken by the administration to get forces on site for anything other than after the fact recovery and clean up.
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However, if you know of a specific one that would have arrived sooner, I would love to hear about it.
Other estimates indicate that the forces in the Salon article could have arrived in 3 hours, which I seriously doubt, but when do you think they arrived?  You really think they got there as quickly as possible?
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Unless, of course, that those in charge in the area realized that this attack would be over well before other help could arrive.
Them let them state that.  I've got no problems with an Executive saying that they chose not to deploy a force they thought would be inadequate to the task even though it could have gotten there in a timely manner.  Why tell lies and cover it up, when you can just explain the proper exercise of your executive decision making?
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Sure, it was a guess--but it turned out to be the right guess.
Only if you accept that extremely partisan article would that be true, like I said other estimates put them in place within 3 hours and with time enough to potentially save 2 of the lives lost.

Pyrtolin

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2016, 06:01:15 PM »
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There's several different statements of various insiders relating to forces in the region that were action ready and could have been sent to arrive with various arrival times.
And those most able to respond were mobilized, in proportion to the understanding of the overall threat, and they arrived relatively quickly, with negotiation of transit permissions being the largest factor in slowing down the time it took them to get out the door. (Something that would have taken even more time for any group that had to travel longer distances through territory that we similarly would have needed to secure permission to move through.)

Heck, two of the four casualties were from security forces specifically dispatched to help with the situation.

Suggesting that, essentially, the entire US military presence should jump at every shadow and commit itself to moving toward every incident as it comes up is a bit insane and a complete logistical nightmare.

The contractile forces whose job it was to respond responded and did so in reasonable time and got the situation under control.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2016, 06:20:33 PM »
Quote from: Pyr
The contractile forces whose job it was to respond responded and did so in reasonable time and got the situation under control.
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con·trac·tile
kənˈtraktəl,-ˌtīl/
adjectiveBiologyPhysiology
adjective: contractile

    capable of or producing contraction.
    "the contractile activity of the human colon"

No wonder Pyr's last sentence caused my bowels to convulse.

What did you actually mean to say by Contractile forces?  I've learned to not speculate as to what you meant by what you say.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #66 on: February 25, 2016, 09:48:49 PM »
I share Pyrtolin's view.  They did what they thought made sense at the time given the circumstances.  I don't understand why people are still trying to parse their actions as if they might have seen it better than those involved did.  Every Congressional attempt to undermine Obama's or Clinton's handling of the situation have utterly failed, which should encourage everyone else to let it go.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #67 on: February 25, 2016, 10:49:46 PM »
I share Pyrtolin's view.  They did what they thought made sense at the time given the circumstances.  I don't understand why people are still trying to parse their actions as if they might have seen it better than those involved did.  Every Congressional attempt to undermine Obama's or Clinton's handling of the situation have utterly failed, which should encourage everyone else to let it go.

Would you let it go?  How much of "Bush lied and people died" stuff on Saddam's chemical weapons being depleted is based on information that wasn't knowable?  (And are we confident that the chems Assad just used on Syria last year weren't originally Saddam's?)

Don't get me wrong -- going back into Iraq, and going into it in the first place, was an appalling mistake that has done more damage and will do more again than say, all the evil of Pol Pot.  But that's not something we can blame on Bush's lies, but rather on his straightforward keeping of a campaign promise.

Also, do you know what Pyr meant by a "contractile force"?

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2016, 06:44:16 AM »
Contractile ~ trained, assigned, available

Why do you go the FOX meme route if you then reject it?  One reason people can't find enough dirt to satisfy their hunger about Benghazi! is because it was a remote diplomatic mission 400 miles away from Tripoli by air, 600 by not very good land routes and not much closer to anything else, not heavily involved in any DoS activities, not a hotbed of anything but sand.  Those who have done serious investigation haven't found much because there isn't much to find**. Serious *censored* happened that night.  In what possible way can it be compared to the years long preparation costing $$B and operations costing 1000's of lives and ~2T$$ that the Bush Administration spent to invade, conquer and destroy an entire country? 

The only reason to keep asking is the fading hope of smearing Obama, Clinton by association**.  Some stellar thinkers in the GOP have even called the Benghazi! attack worse than 9/11, including Dick Cheney of all people.  Please don't make those "guilt by association" comparisons, it demeans the entire discussion.

** Let's see, the 8 Congressional committee investigations is more than were held for the 1998 Embassy (embassy, not mission) bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing (home-grown terrorist killed 168), the Boston Marathon bombing (Al Qaeda inspired attack), 9/11 (yes, THAT 9/11), and the USS Cole attack (terrorist attack against a US military ship) COMBINED.  And exactly ONE hearing on lead up to and operations of the entire process of the Iraq War II.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 06:46:36 AM by AI Wessex »

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2016, 09:32:51 AM »
I share Pyrtolin's view.  They did what they thought made sense at the time given the circumstances.  I don't understand why people are still trying to parse their actions as if they might have seen it better than those involved did.
Which is the difference between a substantive critique - which I have never made - and a critique of their cover up after the fact, which I did do, still do and you hand waive away solely because they are on your team.
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Every Congressional attempt to undermine Obama's or Clinton's handling of the situation have utterly failed, which should encourage everyone else to let it go.
I think they've revealed very clearly that the administration lied, and that every reason for the lies other than their own self interest has completely fallen apart.  Did they fail to get to the truth?  Of course, in the same way you have a difficult time prosecuting the mafia if everyone keeps their silence, the Administration has done a good job of not talking about and protecting themselves.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #70 on: February 26, 2016, 11:13:45 AM »
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I think they've revealed very clearly that the administration lied, and that every reason for the lies other than their own self interest has completely fallen apart.  Did they fail to get to the truth?  Of course, in the same way you have a difficult time prosecuting the mafia if everyone keeps their silence, the Administration has done a good job of not talking about and protecting themselves.

Even that highlighted snip above betrays your conviction based on faith rather than a conclusion based on evidence.  "They" have not revealed any such thing.  You don't seem aware of the irony in your position that believing that there's more there there than there really is is even more proof that the more there really is there.  In simpler grammar, the lack of any proof after 3 years and 8 investigations is the proof you were looking for.  Guilty, I say, Guilty!  The lack of evidence proves it, your Honor!

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #71 on: February 26, 2016, 11:20:47 AM »
There's no lack of proof.  Show me what evidence you've found for a spontaneous attack that came as a result of a video?  They lied, you don't like it, show me the evidence that this occurred.

NobleHunter

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #72 on: February 26, 2016, 11:48:14 AM »
I don't really see why taking a week or two (or weekend or whatever the timeframe was) to be specific about a spontaneous versus inculcated riot is worth the level of outrage.

I just don't see the percentage in expecting politicians to flagellate themselves for the unintended consequences of low-interest policy decisions or for not trying to grab a plausible excuse in the middle of an election. I don't recall them pushing this narrative for very long, once the sequence of events became clear.

Pyrtolin

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #73 on: February 26, 2016, 12:07:20 PM »

What did you actually mean to say by Contractile forces?  I've learned to not speculate as to what you meant by what you say.
Contractor, contracted.

Pyrtolin

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #74 on: February 26, 2016, 12:25:48 PM »
Which is the difference between a substantive critique - which I have never made - and a critique of their cover up after the fact, which I did do, still do and you hand waive away solely because they are on your team.
No, it's waved away because there was no coverup. The motivation for the attack has nothing to do with the reaction to it. The reaction would have been the same regardless of the cause, and there was never any attempt made to obfuscate the measures used to reaction. The accusations of a cover up still makes no sense other than as a purely political invention to have something to accuse them of because there was absolutely nothing to cover up.

There was an alternate narrative offered, originating from the CIA that there was a relationship to other protests over the video that were occurring at the same time, which may have been put forward to protect some degree of intelligence actions that were going on in relationship to the incident, but it's not really relevant, because the reason for the attack only really matters to the CIA and the military in terms of planing going forward. They made no material difference to the general public, and any confusion motivations didn't actually cover or obscure anything that the administration had done.

It also creates a false distinction between two motivations that could have easily both been at play. The attack could have been pre planned and in their playbook waiting to be executed, while the outrage over the video could have been either what motivated them to choose that time to make the play or at least been something they were discussing when they chose to put it into action, since the explanation for presenting the video as a motivator supposedly came from intercepted messages between people involved with the attack.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #75 on: February 26, 2016, 12:28:08 PM »
There's no lack of proof.  Show me what evidence you've found for a spontaneous attack that came as a result of a video?  They lied, you don't like it, show me the evidence that this occurred.
Does backing away from an early incomplete or ultimately false explanation mean anything to you?  What if they believed it was the video and then realized that wasn't a complete or reliable explanation?  Sticks like glue, right?  No take-backs?  24/7 news cycle, can't wait for the truth to catch up?  What about the fact that there were demonstrations against the video at the same time in different places in the region?  What if, just a what if, they're not omniscient and spoke before all the facts had been ascertained and should have waited instead?  Have they ever said they wished the information had been more clear at first and that they should have double and triple and quadruple checked all of their facts before exposing themselves to people like you who would heap scorn on them for the slightest misstatement of facts?

Just like your wishful appeal that maybe some troops that may have been stationed somewhere nearby maybe could have arrived on the scene in enough time to maybe save the lives that were lost, maybe they got it wrong.

Maybe?

Seriati

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #76 on: February 26, 2016, 12:41:52 PM »
Yes, I get your responses, all versions of rationalizations.  There is no evidence that the attack was a result of a spontaneous protest based on a video, there never was.  Waiting to come up with an explanation would have been totally reasonable, that, however, is exactly what the administration DID NOT DO.  They jumped head first into an immediate lie.  So like I said, show me the evidence proving that what they said is true.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 12:55:08 PM by Seriati »

NobleHunter

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #77 on: February 26, 2016, 12:52:20 PM »
Because waiting to respond is a well-rewarded activity in the middle of an election campaign.

Not to mention there was a riot and the video was used to inflame it. It just wasn't spontaneous.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #78 on: February 26, 2016, 02:34:14 PM »
Yes, I get your responses, all versions of rationalizations.  There is no evidence that the attack was a result of a spontaneous protest based on a video, there never was.  Waiting to come up with an explanation would have been totally reasonable, that, however, is exactly what the administration DID NOT DO.  They jumped head first into an immediate lie.  So like I said, show me the evidence proving that what they said is true.
If your facts were actually facts, maybe you'd have a point, but they aren't facts, just hopeful interpretations that cast the Administration in the worst possible light.  I should say "heat" instead of light, because what you say brings no light.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #79 on: February 26, 2016, 03:35:02 PM »
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oes backing away from an early incomplete or ultimately false explanation mean anything to you?  What if they believed it was the video and then realized that wasn't a complete or reliable explanation?  Sticks like glue, right?  No take-backs?


Cite for take backs?  Where they said, hey, our bad on the.stupid video, it was just a pretext?

Take backs are great.  Failure to take them, not so great.

No rush to answer.  The fact that i havent seen it doesnt mean it's not true.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #80 on: February 26, 2016, 04:39:01 PM »
Pete, I'm tired of being your reader.  It's out there, but let me know if you can't figure out how to get it.  For that I might have sympathy.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #81 on: February 26, 2016, 08:05:24 PM »
Don't ask questions if you don't want the answer, Bubba.

My reply is yes, takebacks are allowed, and the burden's on the person taking the statement back to get it out there.

You haven't provided more information in response to my questions than I have in response to your claims; you've only spent more time moaning about it.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #82 on: February 27, 2016, 08:31:56 AM »
Those were rhetorical questions directed at Seriati, since I'm sure he won't go looking for information that would perturb his settled opinions about this faux scandal.  But, if you or anyone else who still is unclear what to think about what did or didn't happen and want to take them as direct questions, there is plenty of material out there to help.  That's not to say that anyone who thinks of themselves as a fair witness will come to the same conclusions that I have.  FWIW, I believe there is no smoking gun that proves they lied and no way to "prove the negative" that they didn't.  IMO, the preponderance of "evidence" strongly suggests the significance of misstatements and misclarifications has been overblown.  But I'm willing to listen to consider what you say about it after you've done some digging of your own.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #83 on: February 27, 2016, 09:56:15 AM »
Those were rhetorical questions directed at Seriati, since I'm sure he won't go looking for information that would perturb his settled opinions about this faux scandal.

Is that something you do, periodically?  Actively go looking for information that would perturb your settled opinions?


 
But, if you or anyone else who still is unclear what to think about what did or didn't happen and want to take them as direct questions, there is plenty of material out there to help.  That's not to say that anyone who thinks of themselves as a fair witness will come to the same conclusions that I have.  FWIW, I believe there is no smoking gun that proves they lied and no way to "prove the negative" that they didn't.  IMO, the preponderance of "evidence" strongly suggests the significance of misstatements and misclarifications has been overblown.  But I'm willing to listen to consider what you say about it after you've done some digging of your own.

I wasn't saying anything about it.  Was not demanding that you prove anything.  But you implied a fact, so I asked you if such a thing had in fact occurred, or if you were simply engaged in wishful thinking.  I do periodically go searching for facts that disturb my settled opinions, but even when I just ask for them, here, that's a few steps more open minded than asking rhetorical questions.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #84 on: February 27, 2016, 11:26:24 AM »
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Is that something you do, periodically?  Actively go looking for information that would perturb your settled opinions?
Yes, I read a lot of different things.  That doesn't mean that the truth therefore lies halfway between all of the disparate viewpoints and assessments.  For example, I read "The Federalist" and Powerline much more frequently than I read DailyKos.  The rightward skew on Federalist is absurdly high, but he speaks for a population I would otherwise never get to hear.  Powerline sometimes has good articles that I think about that appeal to a middle-minded conservative, and the NRO gives good weight to the upper economic reaches of the conservative caste; they're hopelessly biased, but I read them to be reminded of how elites tend to view the priorities and needs of the unwashed masses below. 

I'll be candid about my personal view and say that it's clear to me that liberal sites tend to be far more tied to fact-based reality, even when they lard up their reporting with a political message. 

For instance, Rachel Maddow can be credited with breaking the story about the Flint water crisis to the general media.  Can you even imagine FOX possibly considering telling that story if they had all the same resources and gathered the same information that she had?  She blamed the Republican Governor and overwhelmingly Republican legislature in Michigan for letting it happen and then doing nothing about it, but that doesn't make her wrong or unreliable in any way about what she said.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #85 on: February 27, 2016, 06:50:18 PM »
It does make her assignment of blame questionable.  Can I assume that the leadership of Flint itself is more Democratic-leaning?  Isn't that kind of like blaming the Katrina mess on Bush? 

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #86 on: February 27, 2016, 07:49:50 PM »
Flint has a predominantly poor and black population, and is a decaying relic of the car industry, an erstwhile prosperous union town.  The city was in bad financial shape due to the long term decline of local car operations, so the Governor (Snyder) appointed an "Emergency Manager" who essentially disenfranchised all elected officials in the city.  Under his aegis cost cutting measures were made without oversight, review or recourse by the population or any of the elected officials. It was he who switched the water supply to the Flint River to save money and refused to take steps to ensure that the water was safe and potable.  I've seen bottles of tap water that are brown.  This went on for about a year and a half with no positive steps taken.  GM has facilities in Flint and they stopped using city water and trucked in bottle water to their workers.  The state officials in the city did the same thing.  All that was done without ever notifying the residents that the water was unsafe to drink, despite repeated complaints about it and tests the proved that was the case.

Republicans are responsible for every bad thing that happened, though the EPA is somewhat culpable for not acting on information that it had also collected.  It all started on the current state Administration's watch and they dismissed and ignored concerns because nobody in the city had standing to challenge them.  The assignment of blame is beyond question.

If you won't believe Maddow for saying it (I can't understand why you find anything in what I said "questionable"), consider that Snyder's hopes for a future government career on the national stage has just ended.  He moved from my neighborhood to a condo in downtown Ann Arbor recently and he can't show his face without being yelled at.  From being re-elected in a landslide a little over a year ago, he's now a pariah even among his previous followers.  He's a "nice guy", but he's the head of a massively partisan state government that routinely abases cities in the state with large poor populations and denies even basic services to them.  The Detroit schools are in such bad condition that the teachers have staged numerous mass sick-outs to get his and the legislature's attention, to no avail.  There are lots of other examples, but once again, you should do some research of your own if you want to have a more informed opinion that you do at this point.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #87 on: February 27, 2016, 08:04:33 PM »
Absolutely agreed with your last sentence.  Being honest about my prejudices isn't the same thing as believing that I know everything about the story.  In any event, Maddow probably did good bringing the story to light, based on what you said. 

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She blamed the Republican Governor and overwhelmingly Republican legislature in Michigan for letting it happen and then doing nothing about it, but that doesn't make her wrong or unreliable in any way about what she said.

I responded

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It does make her assignment of blame questionable.  Can I assume that the leadership of Flint itself is more Democratic-leaning?  Isn't that kind of like blaming the Katrina mess on Bush? 

My comparison meant, in terms of her prejudice.  However, as you first said correctly, her prejudice doesn't mean that she's not dead right on the facts. 

Your last response was great and informative.  You weren't obliged to tell me that, but I'm grateful you did.

When I first saw Maddow, I was very impressed with her show, and IIRC I even wrote some glowing review here.  I later became disillusioned with a few very misleading statements she made.  But I guess that's why it's useful to have journalists from a number of different political persuasions around.  Agreed that the truth isn't "in the middle" and you can't just compromise between the reports to get at what really happened.


AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #88 on: February 28, 2016, 09:26:44 AM »
Nobody's perfect, but she's often very good and sometimes excellent.  She and John Oliver are the two best serious minded investigators in the political and social arena.  One's a comedian with no professed political leanings and the other an arch-liberal.  There are none of their caliber on the conservative side.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #89 on: February 28, 2016, 01:57:16 PM »
Oh, she's very talented and smart, but not particularly honest when the facts lean against her employer's politics.   

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #90 on: February 28, 2016, 02:41:02 PM »
Oh, she's very talented and smart, but not particularly honest when the facts lean against her employer's politics.
Cite?  If it's a matter of interpretation or a weenie half-truth, expect the expected reaction.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #91 on: February 28, 2016, 03:08:15 PM »
I haven't watched her since I became disillusioned, circa 2012.  Romney was the topic, IIRC. 

Are you saying I should give her another chance, that she doesn't go beyond half-truthes that you find acceptable?

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #92 on: February 28, 2016, 03:19:08 PM »
I haven't watched her since I became disillusioned, circa 2012.  Romney was the topic, IIRC. 

Are you saying I should give her another chance, that she doesn't go beyond half-truthes that you find acceptable?
I'm saying any opinion should have a factual basis. If you only have an impression that is 3-4 years old, you shouldn't offer it without some reservation.  And if you have reservations, you should check back in to see if you should reconsider.  Is this not obvious?  You said flat out that she's "not particularly honest".  That's a smear unless you can bring something tangible to the table.  This is exactly why I tell you to do your own research instead of throwing a comment out as if it's a simple declarative statement of truth or asking pejorative questions that are actually provocative statements surrounding a sliver of a larger statement with no surrounding context.  You can understand why that's frustrating to me and others, can't you?  You did that work on the "holocaust" threadlet, which engaged my interest enough that I went and did some reading on my own.  That's the kind of discussion I wish we could have more of instead of the drive-by buzzspeak that can always be traced back to partisan hackery in whatever source you found it.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2016, 03:25:11 PM »
Well, I gave Maddow my first shot since 2012, and saw this clip: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/nevada-mormons-set-to-vote-romney-stays-mum-628771907825

Nothing dishonest; here she really doesn't seem to get Mormons.  If she'd looked at the caucus numbers for Democrats in Nevada, she'd have seen that we were overrepresented there as well.  I'd say at least 10% of the people in the downtown vegas democratic caucus in 2008 and 2012 were actually LDS from my congregation specifically.  Wouldn't recognize LDS from other congregations.  Mormons just like caucuses.  It fits into the whole social responsibility thing.  But Romney's not going to just jump and deliver the mormon vote in a high mormon area through an endorsement.  That would be frowned on.  You don't use the church for political reasons unless some issue is at stake that's very close to the church's heart, like the same sex marriage issue was.  Such issues only crop up once in a generation at most.

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I'm saying any opinion should have a factual basis.

Sure, but I'm sure some of your opinions are based on things that you can't cite off hand.  Every *argument* should be supported by evidence, but I don't demand evidence for things you cite as your mere opinion, only for those that you assert as fact.  When I watched Maddow in 2012, I was initially elated and later became angry with some dishonest factual maneuvers regarding the Romney race.  I can't recall more specs than that.

"If you only have an impression that is 3-4 years old, you shouldn't offer it without some reservation. "

I offer it with reservation, and with willingness to give her another chance, if you so recommend.  Do you recommend?

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2016, 08:01:33 PM »
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Sure, but I'm sure some of your opinions are based on things that you can't cite off hand.
Don't we all, but you have a strong penchant for putting out opinions with a certain conviction for which no evidence exists at all.  The claim that she's "not particularly honest" needs corroboration, and not just of the kind where you think she doesn't have all the facts you think you have.  You have to prove that she engages in a willingness to deceive rather than inform with a point of view.  There are all kinds of shades of gray between outright dishonesty and pious truth, and you pegged her at one end.

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I offer it with reservation, and with willingness to give her another chance, if you so recommend.  Do you recommend?
Yes, when I think she's exploring an issue rather than making a case for her viewpoint.  The Flint reporting is one example, but she's done well with many others.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2016, 08:19:11 PM »
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Sure, but I'm sure some of your opinions are based on things that you can't cite off hand.
[snip offensive characterization where you commit exactly the same error that you've caught me in, by speaking of your unsupported impressions as my "history."]The claim that she's "not particularly honest" needs corroboration, and not just of the kind where you think she doesn't have all the facts you think you have.

On reflection, I didn't make that particular statement as I should have, and did read as a positive assertion about Rachel Maddow, rather than a summation of my recollections from 2012.

I recognize and wish you would recognize that this is the sort of error that's easier to point out in other people than to catch in oneself.

I will give Maddow another shot, even though I generally abhor consuming my news through video.  I feel that video delivery is generally more controlling and manipulative, and bypasses logical centers.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 08:21:38 PM by Pete at Home »

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #96 on: February 29, 2016, 07:59:40 AM »
Even news and topical media can't help but be manipulative.  At it's best it tries to draw you into its stories and let them transform you a little.  Maddow is clearly a liberal apolitical (these days "progressive") advocate who uses her show to expose corruption, incompetence and politicization at all levels of government wherever she finds it. 

She presented her show in a town hall setting in Flint on Jan 27 and used the interactive format to bring her TV audience to Flint with her.  That introduced everyone watching to its water problems in a way that studio programming simply can't do.  Overall she has succeeded in her mission to show how this local problem is a clear example of denial of representation leading to institutionalized neglect and human suffering on a massive scale.  Today Flint is a toxic prison where people can't get clean water even though they are paying water bills that are actually higher than they were before the city switched to the current water supply source and can't afford to move away.

The state handling of this problem didn't begin when the water supply was switched, but decades earlier when Flint started to become a nuisance to the state GOP-dominated legislature.  The city's decline and the state's neglect trace its path from a prosperous union town to one that is mostly black and poor today.  The imbalance of the underutilized infrastructure with high overhead and declining tax revenues finally led to the state imposing an Emergency Manager to undemocratically take over the city's administration.

Maddow has a history with the state and the Emergency Manager law.  She took on Michigan back in 2012 when she investigated how the law had been applied and warned about its real and potential consequences.  She worked these two stories four years apart, warning that the law gives EM's too much unrestricted power that can bring about worse problems than it is intended to solve. The Flint crisis is a direct result of the city's EM's decision to save money at the expense of its residents. 

Some people don't like her strident tone and clear liberal orientation, but advocacy at the citizen level is her real focus.  You would think that people everywhere would applaud her efforts even when they don't agree with her views.  Republicans disproportionately give her way too much material to work with, but she also takes on Obama and other Democrats from time to time with the same critical eye.

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #97 on: February 29, 2016, 11:22:46 AM »
The city was in bad financial shape due to the long term decline of local car operations, so the Governor (Snyder) appointed an "Emergency Manager" who essentially disenfranchised all elected officials in the city.
This is true.
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Under his aegis cost cutting measures were made without oversight, review or recourse by the population or any of the elected officials.
This is an overstatement, there was oversight and review, but there wasn't control or much in the way of recourse.  There was also protest and resistance to most of the cost savings measures, which means this particular protest, which should have been heard and acted on, was part of a clutter of protests that should have not.
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It was he who switched the water supply to the Flint River to save money and refused to take steps to ensure that the water was safe and potable.
This is untrue, and deceptively so.  The city of Detroit in a retaliatory measure, when Flint decided to switch its pipeline to a cheaper more direct source to the lake water, cut Flint more than a year before they were ready to switch to the new source.  That led Flint to invest in a plant to process River water, which was an expensive proposition. 
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I've seen bottles of tap water that are brown.  This went on for about a year and a half with no positive steps taken.  GM has facilities in Flint and they stopped using city water and trucked in bottle water to their workers.  The state officials in the city did the same thing.  All that was done without ever notifying the residents that the water was unsafe to drink, despite repeated complaints about it and tests the proved that was the case.
This all seems true, much to the embarrassment of the EPA and the emergency manager/state government.
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Republicans are responsible for every bad thing that happened, though the EPA is somewhat culpable for not acting on information that it had also collected.
Not true.  The Democrats in charge of Flint were responsible for completely screwing up Flint so bad that the state took over in the first place.  The Democrats in charge of Detroit were responsible for overcharging Flint for the water, which caused them to have to change their water plan in the first place, and then they were also responsible for cutting them off from the supply in retaliation way before they were prepared to switch to their new and safe source.  And of course the Democrats at the EPA were also completely negligent.  The Republicans definitely screwed up in a major way as well, and they were directly responsible because of the take over both for cost cutting (which they did) but also for the health and safety of the citizens where they completely failed at every level.
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It all started on the current state Administration's watch and they dismissed and ignored concerns because nobody in the city had standing to challenge them.  The assignment of blame is beyond question.
If you're a one side partisan the assignment is "beyond question," otherwise, its pretty clear that no elected or appointed official from either party did their job.

AI Wessex

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #98 on: February 29, 2016, 11:32:31 AM »
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This is untrue, and deceptively so.  The city of Detroit in a retaliatory measure, when Flint decided to switch its pipeline to a cheaper more direct source to the lake water, cut Flint more than a year before they were ready to switch to the new source.  That led Flint to invest in a plant to process River water, which was an expensive proposition. 
A miscalculation by the EM is the most charitable thing you could say about him?  How do you explain him not adding anti-corrosives to the water after being told they were needed?

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Not true.  The Democrats in charge of Flint were responsible for completely screwing up Flint so bad that the state took over in the first place.
They were floundering under the weight of the infrastructure and revenue problems I mentioned.  That they were not perfect administrators is also true, but blaming them for the EM who is responsible for switching the water supply is off-base.  If you want to do that, then you should also excoriate the GOP-controlled state legislature, which has done everything possible to cut taxes even when it meant not providing necessary services to Flint residents, not to mention all other residents of the state.  Nobody comes off good, but you should follow the chain of events in as straight a line as possible.

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If you're a one side partisan the assignment is "beyond question," otherwise, its pretty clear that no elected or appointed official from either party did their job.
Like I said, nobody comes off well in this fiasco, but I'll repeat that all of the events that directly caused the calamity were carried out or avoided by members of the Governor's office, the state legislature or their appointees.  The EPA could have and should have acted sooner, and the Detroit newspapers tried to raise interest in the problem, and GM took steps to protect their employees (as did the state), but nobody looked out for the safety and well-being of the city's population.

Pete at Home

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Re: A comprehensive guide to Republican abuse of Benghazi
« Reply #99 on: February 29, 2016, 11:38:42 AM »
Even news and topical media can't help but be manipulative.  At it's best it tries to draw you into its stories and let them transform you a little.  Maddow is clearly a liberal apolitical (these days "progressive") advocate who uses her show to expose corruption, incompetence and politicization at all levels of government wherever she finds it. 


That's good.

Does she ever find corruption, incompetence, and politicization on the left?

Don't get me wrong; she's valuable even if she's one-sided and unbalanced, because even a strong light on things from one angle, is better than none.

Sounds like she's saving lives in Flint.

I do like her strident tone, but would like it more if she applied it to defend the poor and downtrodden from some of its abusers on the left.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 11:41:50 AM by Pete at Home »