PHONY SCANDALS DON’T PRODUCE BODY-BAGS: Democrats Walk Out on Benghazi Victims’ Families

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Benghazi-gate: Democrats couldn’t share the grief of a mom who was lied to in front of her son’s casket or a grieving father who wonders why the general who could have mounted a rescue was relieved of his post.

It was a shameful spectacle all around, starting with bizarre testimony by the authors of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) report and including real tears in a scandal branded as “phony” by the Obama administration and the repetition of lies agreed upon.

The scene was Thursday’s hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attack before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee. ARB co-chair Thomas Pickering shamelessly repeated the excuse that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not interviewed by the board because members knew where the responsibility rested — as if an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission and the murder of an ambassador, the first in three decades, was outside the scope of her interest or authority.

Yet Pickering and Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, authors of this “independent” investigation, admitted they regularly briefed Clinton and her advisers on their probe, an admission made more telling when the parents of two of the Benghazi dead said they never received the information they were promised on how and why their sons died.

Incredibly, they also explained why they didn’t swear in witnesses for the ARB: “We had no reason to believe we would not get truthful testimony.” Really? They had no reason to doubt the truthfulness of people who for weeks claimed a terrorist attack was really a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an old Internet video?

But the grim reality of this “phony” scandal really hit home with the testimony of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, which apparently threatened more revealed truth than most Democrats on the Oversight panel could handle. With the exception of ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., 12 other Democrats on the Committee shamefully left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Smith, mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the 9/11 Benghazi attack, or Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was also killed.

Phony scandals don’t produce body bags. Mrs. Smith testified how President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Clinton, among other top administration officials, approached her at the casket ceremony when her son’s body was returned to the U.S.

“Every one of them came up to me, gave me a big hug, and I asked them, ‘What happened, please tell me?’ And every one of them said it was the video. And we all know that it wasn’t the video. Even at that time they knew it wasn’t the video. So they all lied to me.”

Charles Woods, who has given similar testimony, asked a question we also have asked. Noting how he was told of a conversation by Gen. Carter Ham that assets were available to use for a rescue, but that he was not allowed to deploy those assets, Woods wondered: Why not?

As we have reported, Ham, then head of U.S. Africa Command, was relieved of his post after only a year and a half on the job. According to James S. Robbins in the Washington Times, Ham got the same emails about the terrorist attack by the al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sharia and immediately began organizing a rescue attempt.

Ham is said to have told the Pentagon he had a rapid response team ready, but was told to stand down. Ham then reportedly said he was going to send help anyway and was promptly relieved of his command.

Perhaps we can subpoena both Ham and Hillary and get them to do some explaining under oath. But as Mrs. Clinton might say, what difference does it make now? To Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, it matters a lot.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Phony Scandal Curiously Reveals Real Dead Bodies and Real Guns

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Media Bias: Rodeo clowns constitute a real crisis in media eyes, while deaths from the administration’s gun-running operation to Mexican drug cartels are ignored as three more guns show up at crime scenes in Mexico.

The media have had a field day with a single, supposedly racist rodeo clown. But somehow, with few exceptions, mainstream media ignore the far-more-dangerous clowns in the Obama administration — those whose incompetence in the Fast and Furious scandal has led to human tragedy and deaths.

One exception is the relentless Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, who reported Wednesday that three more weapons from Fast and Furious, the administration gift that keeps on killing, have turned up at violent crime scenes in Mexico. CBS News reported all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles.

Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles have been traced to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

Details of exactly where the guns were found and what the crimes were aren’t known at this point. And the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, is not about to divulge that information or any information about the recovery of Fast and Furious weapons at crime scenes.

A month ago, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Holder asking why the Department of Justice was covering up deaths and weapons linked to Operation Fast and Furious. The inquiry came shortly after a Mexican police chief and his bodyguard were killed by cartel members using Fast and Furious guns.

Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. A bodyguard also was killed. A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was also traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Co.

During the course of Operation Fast and Furious from 2009-2010, 2,500 weapons were purchased by illegal “straw” buyers under Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms surveillance, guns that were allowed to “walk” into Mexico. Testimony by ATF agents shows they were ordered not to interdict the flow. At least 1,400 of those weapons are still missing. The only weapons recovered have largely been at crime scenes.

The Grassley letter mentions not only murder of the police chief, but also a Fast and Furious weapon found at the scene of a shootout between reported Sinaloa drug cartel members and the Mexican military, in which Sinaloa beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez and four others were killed, as well as crimes mentioned in an October 2012 Univision special.

Univision found 57 Fast and Furious weapons in addition to 122 specifically mentioned in a congressional report. Three high-caliber weapons were used on the night of Jan. 30, 2010, to kill 14 and wound 12 at a birthday party in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez.

Fast and Furious weapons played a role in a 2009 massacre, where 18 young men were killed at a rehabilitation center, also in Juarez.

Of course, two weapons used in the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico on Feb. 15, 2011 also came from suspects who were under ATF watch but not arrested at the time.

And two Fast and Furious AK-47-type rifles were recovered from the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010; he’d been shot by illegal immigrants who were smuggling drugs.

“I think up to 100 Mexicans might have died (in Operation Fast and Furious) and also American agent Brian Terry,” Univision reporter Jorge Ramos said to President Obama during a recent separate interview.

These are all real deaths in a scandal President Obama still insists is “phony” — and one that much of the mainstream media have studiously ignored.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

The Benghazi “Phony Scandal”: Dead Americans, a Stonewalled Congress, and an AWOL President

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

The Libyan Lie: Dozens more CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi than previously acknowledged. Were they running guns to Syrian rebels? And why are they and their families now being intimidated?

The only thing “phony” about the Benghazi scandal has been the cacophony of falsehoods and obfuscation pouring out of the Obama administration about the night four Americans, including the personal representative of President Obama, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.

Up to 35 CIA operatives were working in Benghazi the night of the terrorist attack, dozens more than previously reported, raising questions anew of why they were really there, what they were really doing and why the administration has tried so hard to fudge the facts and hide the truth.

One big unanswered question is why there was a CIA annex near to what was supposed to be a fledgling diplomatic outpost in Benghazi — a soon-to-be, we were told, diplomatic mission envisioned as the first fruits of the now-mythical “Arab Spring.”

We may have the hint of an answer in revelations by Jake Tapper of CNN that dozens of previously undisclosed people working for the CIA were there that night, and that the agency is now going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.

CNN reports that some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly, polygraph examinations, perhaps to confirm that they have not divulged information that the CIA and the Obama administration don’t want the American people to know.

“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer. Why the greatly increased post-Benghazi frequency? The degree of fear and intimidation that currently permeates the agency is demonstrated by exclusive communications obtained by CNN in which one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

As Tapper reported earlier, the CIA had two objectives in Libya: countering the terrorist threat that emerged as extremists poured into the unstable country, and helping secure the flood of weapons after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi that could have easily been funneled to terrorists.

“One of the reasons that we and other government agencies were present in Benghazi is exactly that,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress in January. “We had a concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover as many MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) and other very dangerous weapons as possible,”

Here’s where it gets dicey. Suspicions have lingered, and not dispelled by the new revelations, that a hidden purpose of the CIA mission and its annex was to funnel such captured and recovered weapons to Syrian rebels that we had pledged to assist.

Last October, Business Insider reported a connection between Ambassador Stevens and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaida-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the since-disbanded Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. That 400-ton shipment was organized by Belhadj, by then the newly appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.

Was Stevens in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer? On the night of Sept. 11, in what would be his last known public appearance, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin and escorted him out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began. And was the attack itself an attempt to destroy the annex and/or recover stored weapons?

We have had many unanswered questions about Benghazi, and the new CIA revelations have raised more. It may just be time for that Select Committee of Congress to be convened.

Provided by Investors Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

Top 10 Signs Obama Scandals Aren’t ‘Phony’

Guest post by Joel Pollak

“But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. (Applause.) This needs to stop.”

- President Barack Obama, Speech on the Economy and ‘Phony Scandals,’ Galesburg, IL, July 24, 2013

10. Someone pleads the Fifth. Lois Lerner, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during an oversight hearing. She was also suspended (with pay).

9. Documents go missing, officials fake e-mail addresses. Records of tax inquiries into Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell are gone; the former EPA chief made emails tough to find by using an alias.

8. You announce drastic policy shifts to minimize damage. When the Department of Justice was found to be snooping on the AP and Fox’s James Rosen, Obama suddenly embraced a media shield law.

7. You make a show of “forcing” an official to resign. Obama theatrically announced the resignation of IRS chief Steven Miller; though his term was almost over, the gesture sent a clear signal of disapproval.

6. You try to arrest a low-level leaker. Though Obama himself minimizes the effort to catch Edward Snowden, the federal government is desperately trying to have him extradited for exposing NSA programs.

5. You assert dubious executive privilege to stop investigations. Obama exercised that option to protect Attorney General Eric Holder and the disastrous Operation Fast and Furious from scrutiny.

4. You intimidate whistleblowers. Hillary Clinton’s State Department intimidated officials who knew the truth of what happened in Benghazi–and others who knew about gross misconduct in the agency.

3. Your Department of Justice opens criminal investigations. Theoretically, anyway, Attorney General Holder is seeing to it that the IRS’s conduct is being scrutinized for alleged federal crimes.

2. You yourself have condemned the misconduct. Whether calling the IRS’s behavior “inexcusable,” or condemning civil liberties violations before 2008, Obama set the standard by which he is being judged.

1. Even the friendly media have run out of patience. When even journalists who made sure Obama was elected–twice–begin to feel threatened and irritated by the administration, there is no denying reality.

Via: Breitbart: Top 10 Signs Your Scandals Ain’t Phony

Doug Ross @ Journal

FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT YOU SOLYNDRA: More Laughable Lies and Phony Numbers for a Failed Economy

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Energy Policy: The president falsely claims that the jobs created by the pipeline from Canada would be but a “blip relative to the need,” ignoring his own State Department and the unions that support him.

At the rate President Obama is going, he may claim that building the Keystone XL pipeline will actually cost jobs. In an interview with the New York Times last Saturday, he argued that the best estimate is 2,000 initial construction jobs followed by no more than an additional 100 jobs, a mere “blip.”

The newspaper’s transcript of the interview showed Obama chuckling dismissively as he made his point.

Then on Tuesday, in a jobs speech in Chattanooga, the president ratcheted that number downward. “They keep on talking about this — an oil pipeline coming down from Canada that’s estimated to create about 50 permanent jobs. That’s not a jobs plan.”

No, Mr. President, it’s part of a plan to boost an economy that will create private-sector jobs, as your own State Department has told you.

After five years of review and many studies, the State Department found that “including direct, indirect and induced effects, the proposed (Keystone) project would potentially support approximately 42,100 average annual jobs across the United States over a one- to two-year construction period.”

Granted, these are not permanent jobs. But the number is a lot bigger than the 2,000 Obama claimed on Saturday.

The southern leg of the project, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf of Mexico, which didn’t need the president’s or the State Department’s approval, has already created 4,000 jobs as workers lay and align the 425-mile stretch of pipeline, according to an Associated Press report.

Yes, these too are temporary jobs, but there will be more permanent positions as well. The Canadian Energy Research Institute predicts that Keystone XL will create 117,000 new U.S. jobs over the next 15 years due to oil sands development linked to the project. Hardly a “blip.”

It’s not unreasonable to conclude that with extensive North American resources being transported, developed and refined, thousands of jobs, not only in the industries directly related but in the industries that feed, clothe and support all these new workers and a growing economy, will be created.

How many exactly, we don’t know, but the number is higher than 50 and certainly larger than the permanent jobs created at solar panel maker Solyndra, which was zero.

Where did the president’s pitiful estimates of 50 come from? In citing that number, he was likely referring to a State Department finding that — after the pipeline is built — it would take roughly 50 people to maintain it.
The figure ignores the 42,100 construction jobs over a two-year period or the hundreds of thousands created through oil sands development and what economists call the “ripple effect.”

As Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department at AFL-CIO, said at a pro-Keystone rally just down from the White House on April 24:

“The interstate highway system was a temporary job; Mount Rushmore was a temporary job. If they knew anything about the construction industry they’d understand that we work ourselves out of jobs and we go from job to job to job.”

McGarvey added: “It’s about jobs — that’s what it’s about — put Americans back to work again in an industry that has a 14.7% unemployment rate. It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our country; it’s good for our energy independence and it’s good for working men and women in the building trades.”

Keystone is about jobs, Mr. President — lots of them.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal