Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Benghazi Irrationality

The rational mind of man is a shallow thing, a shore upon a continent of the irrational, wherein thin colonies of reason have settled amid a savage world ~ Wilford O. Cross, a quote from Prologue to Ethics.

The following statement is from the self-proclaimed "Moderate" Mr. Willis V. Hart (whom I have covered on this blog previously) via the Libertarian rAtional nAtion website...

Willis Hart: This was all about the administration protecting Mr. Obama's narrative (right before the election, no less) that Al-Qaeda was on the run and all that crap... We were lied to... and I don't particularly like being lied to whether it's Dick Cheney or Obama. This was a bald-faced lie of a story line that they didn't pawn on us once or twice but dozens of times and for over 2 solid weeks. And it was absurd, a spontaneous eruption... (condensed from two of Mr. Hart's comments).

But it wasn't Obama who lied (or authored the talking points that contained the lie, at least), not according to the NYT's David Brooks, who, on the 5/12/2013 airing of "Meet the Press" shared his assessment of how the talking points were formulated (and by whom) in the aftermath of Benghazi...

David Brooks: My reading of the evidence is a very terrible event happened at a CIA facility, they went into intense blame-shifting mode, trying to shift responsibility onto the State department, onto anywhere else, and the state department pushed back. ... Out of that bureaucratic struggle, all the talking points were reduced to mush and then politics was inserted into it.

So, was it the Obama Administration who wanted to "protect their narrative" of "Al-Qaeda on the run" and therefore lied to us, or is David Brooks right about this "narrative" being constructed by the CIA in an attempt to cover their ass? And why did former Dick Cheney aid at State Victoria Nuland ask for the removal of references to Al-Qaeda and the CIA's warnings about the dangers to US diplomats in Libya? (more on that later).

Brook's take on Benghazi is interesting because Mr. Hart is a huge fan. On 8/29/2012 Willis composed a commentary titled "On David Brooks", in which he said...

Willis Hart: Liberals think that he's a conservative. Conservatives think that he's a liberal. Yeah, you better believe that I can identify with him.

Willis identifies with him because he thinks Brooks is a "Moderate" like him. Willis' "Moderate" position on Benghazi is that he does not like being lied to "whether it's Dick Cheney or Obama". But Willis' hero David Brooks doesn't think President Obama lied. So where does this leave Mr. Hart, I wonder? "Respectfully" disagreeing, I'd guess. Or (more likely) he'd argue what Brooks said does not indicate President Obama didn't lie.

Also, in regards to Brooks and Hart being fellow Moderates... Mr. Brooks, prior to his NYT gig, "worked as reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal [and] as senior editor at The Weekly Standard from its inception". The Weekly Standard "is an American neoConservative opinion magazine [whose] founding publisher [is] News Corporation [Rupert Murdoch/Fox Nooz]".

OK, got it. Willis identifies with David Brooks because he perceives him to be a Moderate like (he perceives) himself to be a Moderate. But David Brooks isn't a Moderate. Would a "Moderate" work at the neoConservative Weekly Standard? What's odd here is that the Hartster does not identify as neoConservative (he has spoken against the neoCons). While he was gung-ho in his support for bush's Afghanistan invasion, he says he did not support the occupation and nation-building in Afghanistan, or the invasion of Iraq.

But David Brooks is a neoCon (or leaned in that direction while employed by the Weekly Standard, and, since leaving that publication, soured on neoConservatism. I'm not sure.)...

Wikipedia: ...before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Brooks argued forcefully for American military intervention, echoing the belief of commentators and political figures that American and British forces would be welcomed as liberators. [However] In the spring of 2004, some of his opinion pieces suggested he had tempered his earlier optimism about the war. [Also] Brooks' public writing about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is similar to those by neoConservatives, according to a Salon article by Glenn Greenwald, that labels Brooks as a neoConservative.

My conclusions are that [1] The Obama Administration may have been aware that the CIA/State talking points were not entirely accurate, but for political reasons decided to go with them until the investigation revealed otherwise. [2] It's Mr. Hart's "Moderation" that causes him to go with the Conservative talking points on this and label this "lying", and [3] Mr. Hart is not that Moderate. In fact, I think it is quite appropriate that he is a contributor over at the Libertarian rAtional nAtion blog.

Now, back to the former Dick Cheney aide who worked at State and asked "for the removal of references to Al-Qaeda and the CIA's warnings about the dangers to US diplomats in Libya". The State department spokesperson being referred to is Victoria Nuland, and regarding her "Republican party pedigree" Salon says...

Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald: Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoConservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain's presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol...

So she's a former Cheney aid with a Republican pedigree AND there is also a neoCon connection? Could this possibly be sabotage, in that Nuland purposefully corrupted the talking points so the Republicans could later claim a cover-up? I'm thinking probably no... but this is a rather odd coincidence, to say the least.

The Washington Post (the same paper Nuland's husband works for) says Nuland is the one who, "after reading the first draft of the State Department talking points that stated the incident was a coordinated terrorist attack", pushed for the revisions because she worried members of Congress [might] "beat the State Department for not paying attention to agency warnings". She asked, "why would we want to seed the Hill?".

Does this revelation take at least some of the wind out of the sails of those (like Hart) who are absolutely convinced this was an Obama administration conspiracy to lie to the American people in order to sustain their "narrative"? Or do the irrationals on Mr. Nation's blog have their own agenda? I think the following exchange suggests they do...

Jersey McJones: If there was some misinformation intentionally trotted out to the public... then there should be reasonable consequences. But this issue is not worth a snotty rag compared to the horror the last administration perpetrated while the cons sat silent. (5/13/2013 AT 01:42:00 AM EDT).

rAtional nAtion: GWB was a poor President overall IMNHO and did more damage to conservatism than perhaps any prior conservative President. Having said this [Jersey McJones] seems to be stuck in time. But I suppose it is understandable. (5/13/2013 AT 09:20:00 PM EDT).

Yea, I understand why Irrational wants to sweep bush's war crimes and lies about WMD that were not found under the rug. If bush had been prosecuted (as he should have been) it would have been extremely damaging for the Republican brand. Not that Mr. Nation is ever going to get the Libertarian government he wants, but he surely does not want to see things swing in the other direction (toward the Democrats). He doesn't want Hillary (or some other Democrat) to win the presidency in 2016. Which is why he's on board with Willis in using Benghazi to damage Obama and Hillary.

Dictionary.com defines irrational as, [1] without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason; [2] without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment; [3] not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical", and that is how I view Mr. Hart's outrage over the president's supposed Benghazi "lies". It is very irrational to expect politicians to not act to protect themselves politically. Yet he has no outrage at all when it comes to the Republicans who are using this to ATTACK the Obama administration for political reasons.

It is the Republican lies for which there is FAR greater reason to be outraged, IMO. The truth came out in short order (the Benghazi attack was not a result of a spontaneous attack sparked by the "Innocence of Muslims" video). Obama still would have won the election. Also, nobody died because "the talking points were reduced to mush" (as David Brooks put it)... unlike when bush lied about WMD in Iraq. Mr. Hart isn't outraged about that at all. Quite the contrary, he has authored multiple posts defending bush lying about WMDs, which Willis says there is no evidence of!

When I said, "bush lied when he said we needed to invade Iraq to disarm it... even though all the evidence said Iraq was already disarmed", the Hartster's response was complete denial...

Willis Hart: You gave me no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public... No testimony. No paper trail. Zero (7/10/2012).

There is "no evidence" bush lied about WMD? Sure. The Downing Street Memo isn't evidence. The Senate Intelligence Committee report that found the bush administration "deliberately misled the American public about Saddam's relationship with al Qaeda and led the nation to war on false premises"... that isn't evidence either.

NO outrage over bush's NARRATIVE that Iraq had WMD and needed to be disarmed, just willful ignorance... but plenty of outrage over Obama's "bald-faced lie"? Willis did mention Dick Cheney lying, but about what I don't know. I tried to comment on the Irrational blog but it appears as though the Irrational fellow won't be publishing my comment. Not that it would matter, because ever since Willis banned me from his blog he refuses to acknowledge any words from me on any site we may both happen to comment on.

SWTD #150, wDel #24.

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