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Bill Kristol, Kelly Ayotte and the Right’s Ignorant Display on Benghazi Continues [Videos]

“The forces were moving… … There was no time or space available to be able to respond in time.” – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta [C-SPAN - See video below]

Official White House photo: Pete Souza

Official White House photo: Pete Souza

CONSERVATIVES STUBBORNLY refuse to accept and understand just how quickly the Benghazi, Libya 9/11 terrorist attack engulfed the consulate and also that the Obama administration, Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey quickly responded, but that the situation happened too quickly for the response Republicans fantasize might have made a difference. The reason conservatives are so inept in their attacks on Benghazi is because they don’t understand the mission Ambassador Chris Stevens was on and the dangers of the foreign service, because all Republicans understand is 20th century warfare and large troop movements.

“This is not 911,” Panetta reminded CNN’s Candy Crowley, who also didn’t understand the response of the DOD either, which Senator Kelly Ayotte epitomized during the testimony, which I’ll get to in a minute. Senator Ayotte is the chosen female token Benghazi critic of Senators McCain and Graham, because Republicans have to have a woman in their somewhere, even if she doesn’t have the experience and obviously doesn’t have the depth of knowledge required to ask the questions she’s asking, which became embarrassingly apparent during her questioning and you can see in the clip below.

“It was two twenty-minute battles.” – Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Dempsey

Blaming President Obama completely misses what happened on 9/11/12. But that’s what conservatives like Bill Kristol do best, take an event and politicize it and manufacture something out of whole cloth that isn’t true.

In his remarks, Panetta said the initial reports of the attack were given “almost immediately” to the U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Within 17 minutes, Panetta said, an unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft was dispatched to give U.S. officials a better idea of what was happening. It arrived at the site about 70 minutes after the attack, he said. Soon, Panetta and Dempsey met with President Barack Obama, the secretary told lawmakers. Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack with “all available DOD assets” and try to protect U.S. personnel, Panetta said.Panetta, Dempsey defend U.S. response to Benghazi attack

Instead, conservatives are truncating quotes from the C-SPAN testimony [see video below], which wrongly give the impression that President Obama and Secretary Clinton were not doing their jobs, implying specifically that Obama wasn’t engaged after the terrorist attack happened.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, during her questioning [see video below, around 3:52] couldn’t absorb what General Dempsey was saying when he answered her questions about personnel “chartering a plane to get there,” meaning Benghazi.

“We didn’t have an official DOD presence in Libya. [Ayotte interrupts, asks again about "chartering a plane"] I would just reiterate, we didn’t have an official DOD presence in Libya.”Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey

Even after this answer, Ayotte again asks about the plane, saying if we’d had aviation assets we could have gotten to Benghazi sooner.

General Dempsey tries not to be incredulous, answering if they’d had a plane, “sure they could have gotten there sooner.”

Senator Ayotte continues, questioning the quickness of the action from DOD, refusing to accept the facts on how fast the Benghazi terrorist attack spun out of control.

“The forces were moving… … There was no time or space available to be able to respond in time.” – Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Ayotte continues pressing that military was preparing, but no order to go was given, which wasn’t the case. She didn’t understand the obvious protocols. “There’s a list of prepare to deploy, prepare to deploy, prepare to deploy,” Ayotte continued, further stepping in it by adding that the forces didn’t perceive the dangers or that quick action was required.

“Yeah, if I could just help with that one. The process is you tell a unit to prepare to deploy. When they report readiness you tell them to move. That’s just a piece of the process. There is nothing that held them up.” – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey



Senator Kelly Ayotte provides a perfect example of the ignorance conservatives have in understanding operational reality, which goes also to the heart of what happened on 9/11 in Benghazi, but also the dangerous mission Ambassador Chris Stevens was on. Conservatives don’t understand this because of their general distaste and ignorance about diplomacy and the foreign service itself, jobs that are dangerous by the very nature of them.

Ayotte never absorbs the fact that Benghazi was a dangerously uncontrolled consulate and the Ambassador Stevens was attempting to continue the mission to democratize Libya after Gadhaffi’s fall. Libya itself was out of control by the nature of what happened when Gadhaffi was removed, with Benghazi an unstable area, where the Department of Defense had no presence, which meant even as the situation remained rocky and tilting towards unmanageable, the job of Stevens was to continue the mission.

Senator Lindsay Graham used his questioning, bringing up AC-130 gunships and their proximity to Benghazi, ignoring what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey had continually said, which was they did absolutely everything that could be done in the time they had to do it, but also that DOD had no presence in Libya.

If you want to fault anything, it’s the policy of bombing Libya in the first place. But that’s not the Republican position, which is represented by Sen. John McCain who wanted a U.S. military presence and boots on the ground in yet another country in the greater Middle East region. Because that has worked out so well for United States interests so far.

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3 Responses to Bill Kristol, Kelly Ayotte and the Right’s Ignorant Display on Benghazi Continues [Videos]

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter February 8, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    “CONSERVATIVES STUBBORNLY refuse to accept and understand just how quickly the Benghazi, Libya 9/11 terrorist attack engulfed the consulate and also that the Obama administration, Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey quickly responded,”

    That simply isn’t true. They know very well the facts but they think they can score political points with their base….and it is very telling they must do this…..by continuing to flog this dead horse on their propaganda organs on radio and faux not news along with the print organs that without major money infusions from the Koch brothers and other right wing sources would have gone bankrupt through lack of subscriptions years ago. They are cynically using this to raise money and try to keep the crazies worked up.

  2. newdealdem1 February 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Well-written and insightful commentary, Taylor!

    I’ve noticed over the past few weeks, how certain GOP members are pushing themselves forward in sensational ways to make themselves “known” by the American public to get self-promoting publicity and, of course, they are playing to the lowest common denominator in their base base. I wonder why? If it got anymore obvious it would slap you in the face.

    Rand, Rubio (that TIME desperate magazine cover – “GOP Savior” (LOL) – and story are ludicrous in light of his naive, jejune and lackluster performance on those Senate Committees), Cruz, Johnson and Ayotte and Deb Fischer are just those who come to mind who are newcomers or relative newcomers to the Senate. And, all have gotten plumb committee assignments. Each of these characters are either on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Rand, Rubio, and Johnson), the Senate Armed Services Committee (Ayotte and Fischer – the lone woman in the Senate to vote NO last week to restart discussion of VAWA) or the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (Rubio).

    And, all of them grandstanded and made fools of themselves in the last few weeks in their ignorance and zany behavior/antics and except for Ayotte, they’re Tea Party zealots (although some suggest Cruz and perhaps Rubio are not “true believers” but right now they each walk and “talk” like a duck).

    If Ayotte wants to run for higher office and it’s obvious she does (IIRC, she was vetted by Romney as VP running mate), and since Hillary Clinton, the work horse not the show horse set the bar to a high standard in the Senate (and not just for women), Ayotte needs to at least meet the lower end of the Clinton standard (and it looks like that’s not going to happen any time soon), she needs to do her homework before she tires to make a name for herself unless the names she seeks are unprepared, show-boating, hack partisan, opportunistic publicity seeker (which is just how I – and I’m not alone- see her right now). But, so far she has not done that and has only appeared as unprepared and foolish and grandstander (since the Susan Rice nonsense). And, that’s unfortunate, because she doesn’t appear to me as a wingnut but who knows.

    Ayotte has latched her fortunes (which imo is a big mistake: it will get her recognized sooner but the long term effect of that connection seems shaky at best) onto Moe and Curley as the third stooge in that ceaseless, triple-buffoonery of show horses. She seems to have rejected the work horse example that Clinton exemplified and as a woman that cannot hold her in good stead; or, it will with the GOP wingnut base who don’t believe in education, evolution, intelligence, dislikes and lives in fear of women (to the point of wanting to control every function of their bodies), racial minorities, gays, foreigners, immigrants, the non-religious, and call the majority of Americans moochers or takers to name but a few of their retro beliefs. But, if that’s the case, show-horse Ayotte may get as far as a GOP primary but chances are she will never win a general election.

    None of these people want answers to their questions. All they are doing is grandstanding to make a name for themselves I don’t even think most of them are even listening to the responses. They foolishly carry on asking the same questions, ignore the intelligent and informative answers (Chuck Hagel notwithstanding and McCrank’s loathsome behavior was in service to his fierce personal grudge against him), and continue to press on with combative ignorance to impress those who brought them there, mostly the Tea Party zealots.

    It’s unlikely Ayotte made a good impression on General Dempesy (or other top brass who were most definitely watching those hearings) as Clinton did with top military men when she too served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the overwhelming majority of whom supported her for POTUS during the primary. First (and now second for Ayotte) impressions are almost always unforgiving. If and when Ayotte does run for POTUS, she will need to work that much harder on that committee (be as hard working and diligent as Clinton was to learn about the military) to reverse that negative first and second impression.

    • Taylor Marsh February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      …latched her fortunes onto … Moe and Curley as the third stooge in that ceaseless, triple-buffoonery of show horses…

      Hilarious and so true in its depiction of McCain and Graham, but also Senator Ayotte, unfortunately.

      This is what Republican women have to do in order to enter the inner sancta of the GOP boys club, latch on to rogues who live and breathe on factoids and hyperbole.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
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