President Obama strode to the lectern in the Rose Garden Thursday to announce a “historic” agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The preliminary deal made in Lausanne, Switzerland, the president said, “cuts off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.” I hope he’s right.
But I’m not counting on it. The president has a terrible record of initial public pronouncements on national security. He has a habit of confidently stating things that turn out not to be true. Three times in the last four years he has appeared in the Rose Garden and made assertions that were later proven to be false. He and his national security team have again and again described a world that does not correspond to reality. No reason to assume these concessions to Iran will be any different.
The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked on September 11, 2012. Four Americans were killed, including our ambassador. Obama delivered remarks on the attack in the Rose Garden the following day. “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” he said. What he didn’t say was that the killings in Benghazi specifically were a “terrorist attack” or “terrorism.” On 60 Minutes, when asked if he believed Benghazi was a “terrorist attack,” the president replied, “It’s too early to know how this came about.” On September 14, neither the president nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called what had happened a terrorist attack. On September 15, Obama referred to Benghazi as a “tragic attack.” On September 16, Susan Rice, then U.N. ambassador, called it a “spontaneous attack.”
By September 24, when Obama recorded a campaign interview with The View, he again refused to say Benghazi was an attack by terrorists. “We’re still doing an investigation,” he told Joy Behar. It was not until two days later that administration officials began referring to Benghazi as a terrorist attack—something the Libyan government had been saying since September 13.
The story originally put out by the White House, that Benghazi was the result of spontaneous anger at an Internet video offensive to Muslim extremists, fell apart in a matter of days. Yet the White House persisted in its false description of reality, declining to confirm what was widely accepted as a premeditated terrorist assault on a U.S. compound, and chose to ascribe responsibility for the events in question to anti-Islamic bias. The evidence continues to mount that Ansar al-Sharia, the Qaeda affiliate in lawless Libya, was behind the events of September 11, 2012, not the stupid video.
Stephen F. Hayes reported on Fox News that Hillary Clinton's top two aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, used personal emails while working for the secretary of state at the State Department:
"Two of Hillary Clinton's top aides used personal email while they were employed at the State Department, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. Hillary Clinton's chief of staff. The State Department has evidence of this.
Monday night, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account the entire time she served as secretary of state. Not only does conducting official business with a private account violate federal law, it raises a host of concerns ranging from whether or not her communications were secure from foreign intelligence services, to whether we'll be able to piece together an accurate historical record.
After a long day on November 13, 2013, Speaker of the House John Boehner walked down the marble hallways of the Longworth House Office Building to the personal office of Representative Devin Nunes for a drink, a cigarette, and maybe a brief reprieve.
On Friday, November 21, the Republican-majority House Intelligence Committee released a report about the CIA and the intelligence community’s conduct in the terror attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. The report uncritically accepted the CIA’s defense of its conduct, and so reporters hastened to accuse previous Republican inquiries and hearings into Benghazi of being illegitimate political theater.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called for the formation of a Benghazi select committee in the Senate. He made the comments on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, according to a partial transcript of the show provided by a producer.
"Other questions about the new Congress, senator," Hewitt said, according to the transcript, "do you imagine that there will be expansion of the House select committee on Benghazi to include senators?"
The Justice Department has released a new, superseding indictment in the government’s case against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the only suspect held by the U.S. in connection with the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
President Obama's former defense secretary and CIA chief, Leon Panetta, told MSNBC today that he knew the Benghazi attack was a "terrorist attack" right away:
"I didn't have any specific information, but the fact was: when you bring grenade launchers to a demonstration, there's something else going on," said Panetta. "And I just, from the very beginning, sensed that this was an attack -- this was a terrorist attack on our compound."
A key figure in the security failures surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya is fighting alongside members of Ansar al Sharia, which is one of the terrorist groups responsible for the assault on the U.S. mission and annex that night.