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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:59 AM

...pssst...Benghazi tinfoilers...when The Economist calls you a total blithering idiot...

...you might be a total blithering idiot.

===

Benghazi-gate gets even more ludicrous

REPUBLICAN senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham devoted an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday to vowing to filibuster if Susan Rice, the current UN ambassador, is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. They're apparently ticked off over her statements on talk shows on September 15th about the Benghazi attacks. Barack Obama got pretty incensed about this at his press conference later in the day, and Kevin Drum argues he was right to be incensed. As Mr Drum says, everything Ms Rice said on September 15th was in fact the judgment at that moment of American intelligence agencies, and she relayed that judgment accurately. The only thing that was even arguably wrong in those intelligence assessments was the claim that there had been a copycat protest over those anti-Muslim YouTube videos in Benghazi; intelligence agencies didn't start calling this into question until some time later. "Berating Rice, who had nothing to do with Benghazi aside from representing the administration on these talk shows, is nuts," Mr Drum writes. "The intelligence community was wrong about one relatively unimportant fact, and Rice passed along that mistake. That's it. There's no coverup, no conspiracy, no incompetence, no scandal."

This is absolutely right as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a "cover-up" over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal. Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging. Had Susan Rice gone on the talk shows on September 15th and inaccurately stated that the attackers had been wearing green pants, when in fact their pants had been red, there would be no reason to suspect this to be part of a political "cover-up", because no American voters could conceivably have cared either way.

(snip)

Obviously there's a huge temptation to turn any incident that could reflect badly on the opposition's government, such as the killing of an ambassador in a terrorist attack, into some kind of scandal. But this attempt is just absurd. The strategy here has been to shout "Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi!" until the public begins to think there's something fishy going on with Benghazi, and then move on to targeting administration figures because...Benghazi! If this actually works, we are all still in kindergarten.

Full article: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/11/susan-rice?fsrc=scn%2Fob

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply ...pssst...Benghazi tinfoilers...when The Economist calls you a total blithering idiot... (Original post)
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 OP
starroute Nov 2012 #1
kentuck Nov 2012 #3
AnnieK401 Nov 2012 #11
SleeplessinSoCal Nov 2012 #16
xtraxritical Nov 2012 #18
John2 Nov 2012 #15
starroute Nov 2012 #21
Martin Eden Nov 2012 #22
randome Nov 2012 #2
Waiting For Everyman Nov 2012 #4
JackHughes Nov 2012 #5
Patiod Nov 2012 #12
Roland99 Nov 2012 #6
amuse bouche Nov 2012 #8
2naSalit Nov 2012 #10
kentuck Nov 2012 #7
Auntie Bush Nov 2012 #9
kentuck Nov 2012 #13
Patiod Nov 2012 #14
ciking724 Nov 2012 #17
DireStrike Nov 2012 #19
LiberalLovinLug Nov 2012 #20

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:00 AM

1. In all fairness, the GOP strategy isn't *quite* as silly as it seems

What they're trying to argue is that Obama ran on his reputation as the man who killed bin Laden and largely shut down the al Qaeda networks -- and if the American people found out there were still actual terrorists around with the ability to kill Americans, it would have undercut that image.

Yeah, it's pretty tenuous, especially since Rice's speech was on September 15 and the true facts of the matter came out long before the election and with no discernible impact on the outcome. But the difference between terrorists and angry rioters isn't quite as meaningless as the article makes it out to be.

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Response to starroute (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:09 AM

3. Right on!

It's like a dog chasing its tail...It can see something moving everytime it looks back but can't seem to catch it...

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Response to starroute (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:53 PM

11. OK, but the election is over

they need to let it go. Instead they want some kind of special Congressional Committee.

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Response to AnnieK401 (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:05 PM

16. This is what they do. They go after the head.

They never stopped investigating Bill Clinton. They have meetings and decide who's going to be the lucky person/s in Congress to go after the head of the Democratic Party. Now we've got our four henchmen McCain, Graham, Issa and Rohrabacher.

Having seen "Lincoln" this weekend, I can see why Obama opted to study "Team of Rivals" by DKG. As a "super power" our real wars are in the political arena and with each other.

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Response to SleeplessinSoCal (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:16 PM

18. I'm pretty sure the Republican's will offer up some kind of Constitutional amendment for this.

 

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Response to starroute (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:04 PM

15. Do

 

you really believe that logic? Petraeus claims it was Al Qaeda. I'm not privy to classified information but how does Petraeus know it was Al Qaeda connected or is it just a guess? The only group they have identified publicly was Ansar Al - Sharia. Is there a connection between Ansar Al-Sharia and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Algeria? There are also more terror organizations than Al Qaeda. Nobody said every Terror group was eliminated in the Middle East. Hamas wants the samething Ansar Al-Sharia does and that is Sharia Law. That includes the same objectives of the Taliban. President Obama never said the Taliban was destroyed either.

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Response to John2 (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:38 PM

21. It's not a matter of believing it -- it's what the GOP is trying to prove

All I was saying is that the story in the OP suggested that arguing about whether it was terrorists or rioters is as meaningless as arguing about whether they were wearing red or green pants. And I pointed out that the Republicans do think there's a difference because they're trying to argue that the Obama administration deliberately covered up the fact that it was terrorists to make Obama look better.

It doesn't make the GOP argument true -- but it does mean that in their own minds they've got a point they're trying to make and aren't just running around in circles yelling "Benghazi! Benghazi!"

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Response to starroute (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:05 AM

22. *quite* silly, nevertheless

It's a logical fallacy (for any thinking person) to believe that killing bin Laden equated to the complete destruction of al Qaeda affiliates everywhere, or that the Obama administration was making such a claim.

Sure, it fits in with Republican electoral strategy to exploit the Benghazi tragedy (or anything else) in their efforts to persuade gullible voters, but as has already been pointed out -- the election is over.

What we're seeing here is a bitter old man trying to hold onto the national spotlight and his national security creds, and a petulant political party unwilling to gracefully accept defeat. They are still eager to fabricate a scandal because inflicting political damage on this president remains a higher priority than working with him to address our nation's problems.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:03 AM

2. Green versus red pants is an excellent analogy.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:26 AM

4. This Benghazi broo-ha-ha is a diversion from Mittens blowing his premature reaction to it.

From minute one, that's all it was. And it's never going to grow into anything more than that -- because nothing's there. It's purely and simply a mountain out of a molehill. I think most people who follow events at all know that, and couldn't care less about it.

Meanwhile, the zealots outted the CIA operation there, and were responsible for cutting State Dept. security funding. That's the story, if any. The rest of this is 100% nonsense and a waste of time.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:20 PM

5. This is Obama's "Whitewater"

Sure, there's no "there" there. But Republicans are desperate for an Obama scandal -- and will manufacture one out of thin air if forced to. Since they can't quite articulate what the "high crime or misdemeanor" is supposed to be, they will attempt to launch fishing expeditions -- like Ken Starr's.

Meanwhile, the brainwashed fools watching Fox News will keep mindlessly repeating "Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.." until the Right-wing propaganda machine introduces their next manufactured outrage.

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Response to JackHughes (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:59 PM

12. Did you copy this word for word from one of my posts last week?


I said the same thing, right down to comparing it to Whitewater and there being no "there" there!

They know they're not going to get Obama on sex or graft, and they are desperate to nullify the election.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:20 PM

6. Didn't Petraeus testify they intentionally went with the spontaneous version in order to...

keep the real culprits in the dark (sorta) that they were being pursued as it was thought to be an organized attack instead and we didn't want to tip them off??

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:37 PM

8. That's my

understanding

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:49 PM

10. Yeha but

those might be considered facts and we all know that facts aren't going to dissuade these brainless twits from making a big noise about their faux issues. They laid so many rotten eggs during the election, especially during the last eight weeks, that they are semi-obligated to try and scream really loudly so that they distract everyone (they hope) from examining their high crimes and misdemeanors relative to stealing an election and trying to tar and feather the legitimately elected president whom the despise because he's not on their bandwagon of oppression for all but the .01%.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:33 PM

7. "If this actually works, we are all still in kindergarten."

How very true.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:44 PM

9. Reminds me of when Joe scum kept

yelling, "Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi!" waited a few minutes and yelled again and again Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi!" What a fool!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:00 PM

13. Do we even know today that it was an attack by "al Qaeda"?

Or is every violent act considered al Qaeda related? Couldn't it have been done by some leftover Khadafy supporters?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:01 PM

14. They are desperate to nullify the election.

If they can't win, they cheat. If they can't cheat, they'll try to impeach.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:10 PM

17. If they are so hot to convene a special Watergate-style committee about CIA intelligence,

they should start with the with the Bush/Cheney WMD intelligence; who came up with that and why; and what can be done about the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives that were lost because of it?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:22 PM

19. The capitalists overlords do not like losers -nt-

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:27 PM

20. Its a stand-in scandal

I think they know deep down that it won't go anywhere, but their goal, like it was with Clinton, is to have a non-stop train of innuendo, accusations, rumours, and manufactured scandals plaguing Obama until 2016. It will play into the plan in 2016 when Fox n Rush can claim that the Democrats are the party of non stop scandal.

This one ain't much but I'm sure they are hoping for a juicier one to overlap and take over.

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