There weren't many memorable lines in President Obama's State of the Union speech. Indeed, only one leapt out at me: "As long as I’m commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad."
In a premature celebration of Chuck Hagel's nomination being voted out of committee, North Korea tested a nuclear weapon last night. At 1:48 a.m., the White House put out a "Statement by the President" denouncing the test. One understands such statements are staff-written. But presumably President Obama stayed up late or was awakened to review personally a statement put out in his name on a serious foreign policy matter.
This morning on CBS's Face the Nation, Senator Lindsey Graham said he'd place holds on President Obama's national security nominees, Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense and John Brennan for CIA director, until the White House answered questions on the Benghazi terror attack:
The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi. That is the upshot of today’s Capitol Hill hearing featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:
Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama at a 5 o'clock prescheduled gathering, the president left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under siege, "up to us."
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina pledged last night on Fox News to block President Obama's secretary of defense nominee, Chuck Hagel, until Leon Panetta testifies on the Benghazi terror attack:
At Hillary Clinton's Benghazi hearing at the House this afternoon, Democratic congressman Eliot Engel said that "Barack Obama was not responsible for the Benghazi attack any more than George W. Bush was responsible for the 9/11 attacks":
Ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony today concerning the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the New York Times has published an account that is potentially very important. The Timesreports:
Periodically, and almost from the day he became a serious presidential candidate, editorialists, pundits, academics, and reporters have described Barack Obama’s foreign policy as a return to “realism.” Essayist and self-described realist Robert Kaplan, to take just one example, argues that this is something like a natural recalibration, a return to geographic and historical inevitabilities.
The Accountability Review Board’s investigation into the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi says much about the deteriorating security situation surrounding the U.S. consulate beforehand. The report also documents the State Department’s mishandling of that increasingly perilous environment. However, the report says little about al Qaeda and affiliated groups. And what it does say is incomplete given all that we now know.