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The Ruin of “Hope and Change”

Obama’s hubristic promises have been followed by a total discrediting of his ideology.

by Victor Davis Hanson     •     National Review Online

Obama 102Barack Obama will end his tenure with the ruin of Hope and Change. The implosion was brought about not by the marginalization of Hope and Change, but by the power of the U.S. government to reify the slogan in a way we have not seen since the 1930s.

Survey the wreckage.

The hope-and-change therapeutic approach to foreign relations ended logically with historic cuts in defense, lectures about American culpability, pink lines and the end of Syria, farcical Iranian talks, in Libya the short trip from “leading from behind” to Benghazi, the self-induced suicide of Iraq, the empowerment of Putin, a pivot to Asia that invited ridicule, and the charade of a war against ISIS. [Read more...]

Making Harding Look Good

The Obama administration has tarnished nearly every major federal agency. 

by Victor Davis Hanson    •    National Review

Scandal NewsMany have described the Obama departure from the 70-year-old bipartisan postwar foreign policy of the United States as reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s failed 1977–81 tenure. There is certainly the same messianic sense of self, the same naïveté, and the same boasts of changing the nature of America, as each of these presidents was defining himself as against supposedly unpopular predecessors. But the proper Obama comparison is not Carter, but rather Warren G. Harding. By that I mean not that Obama’s scandals have matched Harding’s, but rather that by any fair standard they have now far exceeded them and done far more lasting damage — and without Obama’s offering achievements commensurate with those that occasionally characterized Harding’s brief, failed presidency.

The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.

The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding’s Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison. [Read more...]

Megyn Kelly’s Critique of Obama’s Presidency

Is Barack Obama’s presidency imploding? Al Qaeda is resurging. Iraq is disintegrating. And now we may look to Iran to help us stop it. Iran – a terrorist regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. What could possibly go wrong? We have drawn red lines in Syria we refuse to enforce. We stood by as Russia ceased part of Ukraine. And now we are releasing top Taliban leaders as the Afghanistan war is still going. Not to worry, they tell us Cutter’s gonna watch ‘em. For a year. We hope. Domestically, we have a president who has lost the trust of the American people by repeatedly misleading them. He bypasses Congress, the people’s representatives, on matters ranging from Obamacare to immigration law, to the point where one of the most respected liberal law professors in the country has called our president “the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid”. The American public overwhelmingly regrets Obamacare. Our veterans are dying waiting to see doctors. The IRS intimidates conservative groups. The southern border is compared to a sieve. And the president assures us not to worry – smiling, golfing, and, at this very moment, partying with fashion queen Anna Wintour. Because the fundraising never stops – not when four Americans died at Benghazi and not when Baghdad is at the brink.

Obama Tenure Marked by Foreign Policy Debacles

Obama Writing Projecting WeaknessWhen President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, he became the leader of the world’s greatest military power, and the nation that more than any other in history represented a beacon of freedom and opportunity. In June of 2009, he travelled to Cairo to proclaim “a new beginning” in America’s dealings with other nations, including especially those of the Islamic world. Barely nine months later, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize amid immense praise and adulation for his idealism. The chairman of the Nobel judges panel said of Obama’s selection that “we have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year.” [Read more...]

No, The Benghazi Questions Aren’t All Answered

Why the House continues to investigate.

Benghazi Story Chaningby Jim Geraghty

NBC News’s Chuck Todd, speaking on MSNBC Tuesday morning, contended that the newly formed House select committee investigating Benghazi was likely to rehash familiar arguments and miss broader issues worth discussing:

It certainly looks more partisan than it looks like a serious inquiry. They’ve done a ton of these inquiries already, the House has. There’s been a Senate Intelligence investigation. Forget just the State Department. I think you could argue that yes, Congress should have done what it did, which is go through some of these committees. But as for the need for the select committee — you know, I’ll hear from Republicans that say, ‘But there are unanswered questions!’ Well, no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people that don’t like the answers, that wish the answers were somehow more conspiratorial, I guess.

Their focus seems to be off. Have a conversation about the policy. Have a debate, an investigation into whether the policy is working; to whether the response to the Arab Spring, whether we did the right thing with the light footprint in Libya. But to sit here and investigate talking points seems to be totally missing the larger point here. It’s like investigating who cut down one tree in a forest that’s been burned down.”

Todd is half-right that there are broader issues worth examining. But there is good reason for Republicans to believe that full answers have been withheld, and Americans have seen little or no real accountability for a largely preventable outrage. [Read more...]

The Left Has Become Benghazi Deniers

Benghazi Attackby Rich Lowry

At last, we have a Benghazi scandal that Democrats are willing to acknowledge — House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to form a select committee to investigate the administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Libya.

This has been the occasion for outrage that Democrats haven’t been able to summon for any aspect of Benghazi to this point, including the lax security at the compound.

The Democrats and their allies are in denial. They think the Republican notion of a scandal is a complete hoax. Yes, a mistake was made here or there, but otherwise, nothing to see here. [Read more...]

Benghazi Isn’t Iran-Contra

The comparison reflects poorly on the Obama Administration and the facts show an important difference – which reflects poorly on Obama himself. 

The Benghazi investigation should go forward but with knowledge that it will face heavy partisan and media pushback.

Democrats will argue—they already are—that with the country in crisis the attention of Congress should be turned to addressing the issue that weighs most on the public mind: a bad economy with the very top flourishing while the middle is stuck, stressed and sinking. [Read more...]

White House Benghazi Explanations Are Beginning To Unravel In A Very Public Way

Benghazi Coverup2CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Nearly 20 months after the attack, the administration’s explanations about who knew what and when are beginning to unravel in a very public way.

The testimony laid bare uncomfortable facts.

BRIG. GEN. ROBERT LOVELL (RET.): This was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.

HERRIDGE: Retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell, a deputy intelligence director for the Africa Command testified that seven hours into the Benghazi assault, at their command post in Germany, they knew there was no connection to a protest or an Internet video. [Read more...]

House select committee must peel back Benghazi coverup

Stays in BenghaziSince the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration has covered up the essential facts about what happened before, during and after that terrible night. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to go forward with a select committee to investigate Benghazi is both welcome and long overdue.

Some of the relevant facts were established by the Jan. 15 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. From that report, for example, a partial timeline was constructed concerning the roles of the intelligence community and the military prior to and during the attack. It was clear that Stevens repeatedly asked for additional security forces in Benghazi, but not only were his requests denied, the mission’s defenses were reduced. In addition, it was learned that no military forces were on standby to aid the facility before it was attacked, and no request for such aid came from the State Department during the assault. [Read more...]

Benghazi: Deja View All Over Again

obama-see-no-terrorismHiding the Threat of Islamic Terrorism

by Peter Huessy

A video sharply critical of Islam and Mohammed, “Innocence of Muslims”, was first posted to the Internet in July 2012. Two months later, still a week prior to the anniversary of the attacks in America on 9-11, there had still been little reaction within the Islamic world.

But on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York, armed militants stormed a “diplomatic outpost” in Benghazi, setting the building on fire. Ambassador Stevens, computer specialist Sean Smith, and CIA security contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both former Navy SEALs, were killed over the course of two battles that night.” **

The US administration was quick to blame the July video for the rioting in such places as Cairo, Istanbul and Rome that preceded the attacks in Libya, as US facilities and embassies were set on fire and attacked across Northern Africa and in the Middle East. [Read more...]

Obama’s “Blame the Video” Fraud Started in Cairo, Not Benghazi

The e-mail revelations and the Obama administration’s lies.

Benghazi Attackby Andrew C. McCarthy

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly, the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration–crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success — and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries — indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies. [Read more...]

Benghazi Attacks: The Campaign to Deny 2+2=4

Obama Benghazi1by U-T San Diego Editorial Board

Key details about the deaths of four Americans — three with deep San Diego roots — on Sept. 11-12, 2012, in terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have been established for more than a year. Since then, much of the national media has done all it can to avoid admitting that 2+2=4.

Within hours after the second attack, the president of Libya told U.S. officials it was executed by terrorists. Given that the assaults on two U.S. facilities involved rocket-propelled grenades, this was not exactly surprising.

But for weeks afterward, the Obama administration — most notably the president himself in a Sept. 25, 2012, speech to the United Nations — suggested the attacks were a spontaneous outgrowth of protests over a crude anti-Muslim YouTube video posted by an American. This deception came at the height of a presidential campaign in which one of the incumbent’s main selling points was his record fighting terrorism. [Read more...]

More Benghazi Lies Revealed

Obama Benghazi Gate

by Stephen F. Hayes

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last summer by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration last week released 41 documents related to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. An email from the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has received most of the attention. In it, Rhodes laid out four goals for Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who would be appearing on five Sunday talk shows 36 hours later. “To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad; To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy; To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests; To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

The Judicial Watch documents also included White House talking points for Rice, with possible questions and answers she might provide to meet the goals set out by Rhodes. These new White House talking points included a broad discussion of the Arab Spring and its challenges, as well as several specific references to the attacks in Benghazi—a mention of Ambassador Chris Stevens, a question on Benghazi intelligence, and a separate section under the header “Benghazi.”

[Read more...]

Benghazi Emails Suggest White House Aide Involved in Prepping Rice for ‘Video’ Explanation

Benghazi Cover-upby Catherine Herridge

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances — where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney. [Read more...]

More Obfuscation on Benghazi

Testimony by the former acting head of the CIA makes clear that Congress’s current approach isn’t sufficient.

Stays in Benghaziby Michael B. Mukasey

Last week’s encounter between former acting CIA Director Michael Morell and the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence may have brought us a bit closer to the truth of how four Americans came to be killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and how their countrymen came to be lied to about it. But the progress toward truth was probably not made in a way that Mr. Morell intended. The encounter on Capitol Hill also made clear that the forum that will take us all the way to the truth must be something other than a congressional hearing. [Read more...]