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The GOP's embassy security problem

Budget Cuts 2012 Inadequate Diplomatic Security Benghazi Consulate Attack Politics

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#41 BklnScott

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

Not to wade too far into this thread -- or this subject matter in general which seems so poisoned with silly season nonsense -- but this article is a good read.  

I will say this.  I agree with the author that the core idea here -- that members of the US Diplomatic Corps posted to warn-torn parts of the world must never be exposed to any risk -- is kind of a weird non-sequitur and contra the point of having diplomats in war-torn parts of the world.  

It's a dangerous job and I admire the hell out of people who have the courage to do it -- and obviously there are questions here about whether that consulate (not embassy) was adequately protected -- but there are also people (on both sides) saying, "Well, what was the ambassador even doing there if it was so dangerous?" and that really IMO misses the point.  He was there doing his job in less than ideal circumstances in a war-torn country that finally has a serious shot at a moderate, democratic future for its people.  That worthy cause has cost many lives, and now it has cost 4 more.  They won't be the last.  The best thing we can do is make sure none of them were lost in vain.  

Why is this a partisan issue?  Seriously.

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#42 Julianus

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:54 PM

http://boston.cbsloc...he-middle-east/

I thought I had posted this link earlier, but I cannot find it. It is an interview with Doctor Thomas Burke who was in a hotel in Benghazi about a mile from the US Consulate at the time the consulate was attacked. The interview was done on 9/17/2012. The doctor's assessment of the event is that there was an attack on the consulate. He doesn't speak at all about any demonstrations only of an attack that was launched at around 10 PM Libyan time and went on for several hours. Dr. Burke received a phone call from the hospital where Ambassador Stevens had been brought, and visited the hospital the next day and saw the ambassador.
This agrees with Colonel David Hunt's assessment that it had been a straight out attack not related to any public protest demonstration.
I have no idea why the Obama administration reached the apparent early conclusions they did or why they pushed that version for as long as they did before admitting that it had been a terrorist attack but it is not encouraging.

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#43 scherzo

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

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I have no idea why the Obama administration reached the apparent early conclusions they did or why they pushed that version for as long as they did before admitting that it had been a terrorist attack but it is not encouraging.
The "offensive movie" canard was designed to protect 0bama from potential political fallout in an election year. The assassination of a US ambassador, doesn't jive with his supposed foreign policy achievement of reigning in Islamic terrorism.(also...scapegoating some Western evil for Muslim violence, is kinda what the hard-left does) The irony is, if 0bama hadn't tried to cover his ass and expressed some genuine outrage at the people responsible for the attack...he might not have taken a hit over this issue at all.
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#44 Balderdash

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:02 AM

View Postscherzo, on 18 October 2012 - 09:37 PM, said:

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I have no idea why the Obama administration reached the apparent early conclusions they did or why they pushed that version for as long as they did before admitting that it had been a terrorist attack but it is not encouraging.
The "offensive movie" canard was designed to protect 0bama from potential political fallout in an election year. The assassination of a US ambassador, doesn't jive with his supposed foreign policy achievement of reigning in Islamic terrorism.(also...scapegoating some Western evil for Muslim violence, is kinda what the hard-left does) The irony is, if 0bama hadn't tried to cover his ass and expressed some genuine outrage at the people responsible for the attack...he might not have taken a hit over this issue at all.

It's amazing how you keep ignoring what the President actually said the DAY AFTER.

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#45 Tricia

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:31 AM

View Postscherzo, on 18 October 2012 - 09:37 PM, said:

The irony is, if 0bama hadn't tried to cover his ass and expressed some genuine outrage at the people responsible for the attack...he might not have taken a hit over this issue at all.


"Genuine outrage" is a matter of perception and I am quite sure that no matter what Obama said or did, some people would find fault with it so he would have still taken a 'hit' over it.


That said, I don't like that everyone---the White House and the media --jumped on the original story as the most likely narrative.  But I don't like it in any news story when they jump on a possible motive or story as if it were gospel ie the whole reason or the whole truth when the real story is more complicated than that.  Often the true story is a combination of factors and a lot more complicated than  'just a reaction to a movie' or 'just a terrorist act'

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#46 Balderdash

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:41 AM

http://en.wikipedia....atic_facilities

12 US diplomatic facilities attacked during the Bush years.  Funny, I don't recall much hullabaloo then, from Republicans or the hard-left or any left really.

So, Bush got increased funding and Obama had funding cut.  That is the real outrage not the made up stuff that Republicans are screaming about.  It
wouldn't matter what the President did the Right would find some kind of way to turn it into an OUTRAGE.  The thing is for a lot of voters it won't matter
because the Right has cried wolf so often that they are the ones people are giving the eye., I'm happy to finally see it.

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#47 scherzo

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 19 October 2012 - 06:02 AM, said:

View Postscherzo, on 18 October 2012 - 09:37 PM, said:

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I have no idea why the Obama administration reached the apparent early conclusions they did or why they pushed that version for as long as they did before admitting that it had been a terrorist attack but it is not encouraging.
The "offensive movie" canard was designed to protect 0bama from potential political fallout in an election year. The assassination of a US ambassador, doesn't jive with his supposed foreign policy achievement of reigning in Islamic terrorism.(also...scapegoating some Western evil for Muslim violence, is kinda what the hard-left does) The irony is, if 0bama hadn't tried to cover his ass and expressed some genuine outrage at the people responsible for the attack...he might not have taken a hit over this issue at all.

It's amazing how you keep ignoring what the President actually said the DAY AFTER.
You've ignored every scrap of information I've provided in this thread. I have no reason to believe anything that doesn't perform the impossible feat of making 0bama look good on Benghazi will compute. But here I go anyway...mostly for the benefit of others who might see it...

0bama's use of the word "terrorism" on Sept 12, was in reference to the anniversary of 9/11. Reading the transcript verbatim makes that abundantly clear, no matter how much 0bama's media enablers are counting on us being suckers. But let's pretend for a second he really was talking about the murders in Libya: How do you explain why Susan Rice, Jay Carney, Hillary Clinton and(wait for it)BARACK O'frickin'-BAMA very specifically downplayed the possibility of terrorist involvement? Are you going to get on their case for "ignoring what the President actually said" too?

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So, Bush got increased funding and Obama had funding cut.  That is the real outrage not the made up stuff that Republicans are screaming about.
This is so goddamned infuriating...

View PostKota, on 12 October 2012 - 08:29 PM, said:

State Dept's Charlene Lamb was asked by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher if
budget cuts had anything to do with security decisions, Ms Lamb said "No, sir."

Link
Yes...the absurd attempt to blame Republicans for the "real" outrage, was debunked days ago in this very thread. The only reason I can see for this blame shifting nonsense to appear again, is to make sure my earlier prophecy about the left was neatly fulfilled. Seriously what was that again about my "ignoring" something that was said?

Anyway as if the Democrat's blame shifting on funding wasn't embarrassing enough

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Dems accuse GOP of cutting security funding in Libya despite majority Dem support for vote

House Democrats opened Wednesday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing by attacking Republicans for cuts to embassy security funding — cuts that only happened thanks to overwhelming support from House Democrats, including House Oversight Committee Ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings. In fact, more House Democrats – 149 of them — voted for the cuts than did House Republicans, of which 147 voted for them.

Edited by scherzo, 19 October 2012 - 07:17 PM.

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#48 Balderdash

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:29 PM

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THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation.  Often, they are away from their families.  Sometimes, they brave great danger.

Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.  We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed.  And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack.  We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.  I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.  And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.  Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans.  Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save.  At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi.  With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya.  When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.  He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on.  I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.

But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers.  These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.  They should give every American great pride in the country that they served, and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity.

We grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory, and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children.

Thank you.  May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.


No amount of parsing will ever change the actual facts.  This is what the President said, you can be outraged but I can't for the life of me figure out why.

He really would have to murder a puppy in public and then I'd just stay home because there is no way I could ever vote for the Republican platform.

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#49 Dev F

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:18 AM

View Postscherzo, on 18 October 2012 - 08:24 AM, said:

OK soooooooo a group of organized Islamic terrorists, mostly have bake sales and share make-up tips, until one day, an offensive movie trailer sets them on a path of murder and mayhem.

No, a hardline Islamist militia works over time to increase its attack capabilities, until eventually, IIRC, it starts bragging that it has the strength to take down the US consulate, but it's not until the Innocence of Muslims outrage starts to spread across the Muslim world that it feels sufficiently motivated to test that purely hypothetical assumption.

Why is that remotely difficult to believe? After all, thousands upon thousands of Muslims in Cairo were motivated to attack our embassy for exactly that reason, on the exact same day -- and they weren't even an armed and organized fundamentalist sect!

Now, clearly the fact that a local militia was able to overrun the consulate and kill four Americans is a tragedy and a failure, no matter why it happened. And one hopes that a legitimate, nonpartisan investigation will be able to get to the bottom of how it happened and make sure it never happens again. But this ridiculous "cover up" allegation has nothing to do with uncovering the truth; even before we knew what had happened in Benghazi, conservatives were falling all over themselves to blame Obama for something truly scandalous -- and what that something might be changed three or four times in the first week! (I'm grateful that no one here had the indecency to mention the most despicable of the ever-shifting right-wing attacks, which managed to combine inappropriate speculation about Ambassador Stevens' personal life, creepy questions about his basic fitness for his position, and the vilest allegations imaginable against the Libyans who were trying to save him.)

But this latest allegation should soon be as dead as the previous attempts. Because that notorious left-wing rag the Wall Street Journal has confirmed that the story the administration was telling in the first days after the attack came directly from the CIA:

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The CIA has played the central role in providing the intelligence on Benghazi included in the daily brief because it had officers at the scene of the attack in Benghazi and other intelligence capabilities on the ground inside Libya.

The CIA was consistent from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21 that the attack evolved from a protest. The current intelligence assessment still notes there is conflicting evidence about whether there was a protest earlier on the day of the attack.

The daily brief repeated that same assessment about a protest on Sept. 15, one day before Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, used similar language in television interviews based on talking points that were provided to her that afternoon by the CIA.


#50 Bobby

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:39 AM

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Now, clearly the fact that a local militia was able to overrun the consulate and kill four Americans is a tragedy and a failure, no matter why it happened. And one hopes that a legitimate, nonpartisan investigation will be able to get to the bottom of how it happened and make sure it never happens again. But this ridiculous "cover up" allegation has nothing to do with uncovering the truth; even before we knew what had happened in Benghazi, conservatives were falling all over themselves to blame Obama for something truly scandalous -- and what that something might be changed three or four times in the first week! (I'm grateful that no one here had the indecency to mention the most despicable of the ever-shifting right-wing attacks, which managed to combine inappropriate speculation about Ambassador Stevens' personal life, creepy questions about his basic fitness for his position, and the vilest allegations imaginable against the Libyans who were trying to save him.)

You know, I thought Ambassador Stevens might be gay, based on two things, his picture and the fact that he wasn't married.  He set off my gaydar and I never met him.  You can't tell if someone is gay based on a picture alone and it is stereotyping but one of the first people to ever ask me if I was gay prompted me to ask her why she thought it, and she said it was the way I smiled.  Anywho, you can rake me over the coals for assmuming based on a photo.

After I read your line about dispicable and inappropriate I decided to google "Was Ambassador Chris Stevens gay" and got a flood of blogs and saw the theory.  

Basically they are saying that he shouldn't have been sent into a society that was so homophobic.  The gist is that Hillary and Obama put him in a situation that was going to get him killed.  IF he was gay, I think it makes him that much braver.

To be honest Dev F, I know you support gay rights, but to combine terms like "indecency", "most despicable",and "inappropriate speculation" in reference to wondering or talking about someone being gay is kind of offensive.  If there is nothing wrong with being gay, why would it ever be wrong to wonder whether someone is?

And no one read me the riot act for for having the indecency of bringing up the rumors about Chris Stevens being gay because Dev F did it himself in a round about way by saying how he was glad no one brought it up, when in fact he did so first by posting that cryptic reference to the rumors, which I figured it had to be about Stevens being gay or something since this is a Rightwing conspiracy theory/attack on Obama.

Edited by LiberalBob, 23 October 2012 - 07:00 AM.


#51 BklnScott

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:40 AM

View PostLiberalBob, on 23 October 2012 - 06:39 AM, said:

To be honest Dev F, I know you support gay rights, but to combine terms like "indecency", "most despicable",and "inappropriate speculation" in reference to wondering or talking about someone being gay is kind of offensive.  If there is nothing wrong with being gay, why would it ever be wrong to wonder whether someone is?

I think it's safe to assume Dev meant the theory that Stevens was gangraped and murdered by the Libyan civilians who risked their lives in an attempt to save him...  That's the despicable part and it has nothing to do with Stevens' orientation.

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#52 Dev F

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

View PostLiberalBob, on 23 October 2012 - 06:39 AM, said:

To be honest Dev F, I know you support gay rights, but to combine terms like "indecency", "most despicable",and "inappropriate speculation" in reference to wondering or talking about someone being gay is kind of offensive.  If there is nothing wrong with being gay, why would it ever be wrong to wonder whether someone is?
I'm truly sorry if that's the impression my comments gave you, LB, because that's certainly not the part of the story I thought was despicable. The nasty part of the allegation was that (based on a single unsubstantiated story in an Arabic newspaper and those photographs that later video confirmed were of Libyans trying to rescue him) the ambassador had been sexually assaulted, murdered, and then paraded through the streets because he was gay -- and the Obama administration should've known this would happen and thus was being either criminally negligent or deliberately provocative by sending a gay man into the Middle East as an ambassador. The speculation about Stevens's sexuality was inappropriate only because it was in service of this horribly offensive narrative that painted his attempted rescuers as rapists and murderers, the Islamic world at large as being incapable of responding to gay people with anything other than violence and rage, and the ambassador as inherently unfit for his position.

Ugh, I apologize again. My hope was that by referencing the story vaguely, the people who had already heard it would know what I was talking about and everyone else would be spared the gory details, but I walked that line very badly.

#53 Bobby

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:07 AM

View PostDev F, on 23 October 2012 - 07:55 AM, said:

View PostLiberalBob, on 23 October 2012 - 06:39 AM, said:

To be honest Dev F, I know you support gay rights, but to combine terms like "indecency", "most despicable",and "inappropriate speculation" in reference to wondering or talking about someone being gay is kind of offensive.  If there is nothing wrong with being gay, why would it ever be wrong to wonder whether someone is?
I'm truly sorry if that's the impression my comments gave you, LB, because that's certainly not the part of the story I thought was despicable. The nasty part of the allegation was that (based on a single unsubstantiated story in an Arabic newspaper and those photographs that later video confirmed were of Libyans trying to rescue him) the ambassador had been sexually assaulted, murdered, and then paraded through the streets because he was gay -- and the Obama administration should've known this would happen and thus was being either criminally negligent or deliberately provocative by sending a gay man into the Middle East as an ambassador. The speculation about Stevens's sexuality was inappropriate only because it was in service of this horribly offensive narrative that painted his attempted rescuers as rapists and murderers, the Islamic world at large as being incapable of responding to gay people with anything other than violence and rage, and the ambassador as inherently unfit for his position.

Ugh, I apologize again. My hope was that by referencing the story vaguely, the people who had already heard it would know what I was talking about and everyone else would be spared the gory details, but I walked that line very badly.

Thanks for explaining, I've been reading your posts for years so I know where you stand on gay issues.  We're cool.

#54 Julianus

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:45 PM

View PostDev F, on 23 October 2012 - 12:18 AM, said:

The CIA was consistent from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21 that the attack evolved from a protest. The current intelligence assessment still notes there is conflicting evidence about whether there was a protest earlier on the day of the attack.

The daily brief repeated that same assessment about a protest on Sept. 15, one day before Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, used similar language in television interviews based on talking points that were provided to her that afternoon by the CIA.

I wonder if at any time the words "slam dunk" were used in the CIA report. ;)

Julianus



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