Shorter Question Everything
Romney has been looking to exploit the situation in Libya since it first happened. I don’t believe it’s gone the way he would like. Getting Issa and his committee in on the action is just going to make him look worse, considering that the right wing is responsible for cutting the funding that would have gone toward more security. But what really takes the cake is using the death of one of the SEALS. It was bad enough when Romney sought to exploit the death of the ambassador, but this? Then again, the right wing used 911 to get its way for how long?
Remember – Biden and Ryan will debate tonight!
But first, a little about the most recent debates:
• President Barack Obama engaged in some post-debate self-analysis Wednesday morning, saying on a radio show that he thought he was “too polite” during last week’s debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite,” the president said when asked about his first debate performance during an interview on the Tom Joyner radio show. “The good news is, is that’s just the first one.” Obama assured Joyner: “I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next [debate],” without getting any more specific about what kind of activity he meant. Towards the end of the interview, Obama sought to assure listeners that he was still confident, alluding to an internet meme that features him: “As some of these emails that go around with my picture on them say, I can’t quote the entire thing, but ‘I got this.’”
• The mother of Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attack in Libya, told a Boston TV station that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldn’t politicize her son’s death. Mitt Romney’s campaign later told ABC News it would stop citing the meeting with Glen Doherty.
Citing a CNN report that Doherty had been killed while trying to help others at the consulate, Romney expressed his admiration—and likened it to the leadership he says the country needs now in Washington. “When he and his colleagues there heard that the consulate was under attack … they went there. They didn’t hunker down where they were in safety. They rushed there to go help,” Romney said. “This is the American way: We go where there’s trouble. We go where we’re needed. And right now we’re needed. Right now the American people need us.”
• A Romney aide said that Romney would stop using this story, but he has already re-told it a couple of times today, so Mrs. Doherty was correct to not trust him. She is also correct that it’s wrong to use such stories to advance a political campaign. Romney may think that he’s showing a softer side of himself but, in fact, he’s showing how insensitive and exploitative he can be.
• These are the risks you run when you enlist a dead soldier into your campaign for posthumous service.
• Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said today that he voted to cut funding for U.S. embassy security amid political attacks from Republicans that the Obama administration did not do enough to secure the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that was attacked last month. Republicans and their allies have been trying to politicize the attack — which killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya — suggesting, without evidence, the Obama administration may have ignored intelligence that the attack was imminent, didn’t properly secure the Benghazi compound and is now trying to cover it up. But hidden beneath the GOP campaign is the fact that House Republicans voted to cut nearly $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budget. When asked if he voted to cut the funds this morning on CNN, Chaffetz said, “Absolutely“.
When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA’s cover.
…The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why “congressional intelligence” is an oxymoron.
…In their questioning and in the public testimony they invited, the lawmakers managed to disclose, without ever mentioning Langley directly, that there was a seven-member “rapid response force” in the compound the State Department was calling an annex.
…That the Benghazi compound had included a large CIA presence had been reported but not confirmed. The New York Times, for example, had reported that among those evacuated were “about a dozen CIA operatives and contractors.” The paper, like The Washington Post, withheld locations and details of the facilities at the administration’s request.
But on Wednesday, the withholding was on hold.
The Republican lawmakers, in their outbursts, alternated between scolding the State Department officials for hiding behind classified material and blaming them for disclosing information that should have been classified. But the lawmakers created the situation by ordering a public hearing on a matter that belonged behind closed doors.
Republicans were aiming to embarrass the Obama administration over State Department security lapses. But they inadvertently caused a different picture to emerge than the one that has been publicly known: that the victims may have been let down not by the State Department but by the CIA. If the CIA was playing such a major role in these events, which was the unmistakable impression left by Wednesday’s hearing, having a televised probe of the matter was absurd.
The chairman, attempting to close his can of worms, finally suggested that “the entire committee have a classified briefing as to any and all other assets that were not drawn upon but could have been drawn upon” in Benghazi.
Good idea. Too bad he didn’t think of that before putting the CIA on C-SPAN.
…[O]ne of Glen Doherty’s best friends remembered Doherty’s impression of this meeting much differently.
Elf Ellefsen met Glen Doherty skiing in Utah when he was 19, and the two men remained friends for more than 20 years.
…Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.
According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.
“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”
Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.
“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”
[Libby Denkmann ]
• It’s one thing to try to exploit a deadly attack for partisan gain, but note the specific argument Romney is making here — Doherty and his team went where they were needed, and as far as the candidate is concerned, Romney and his team are just like Doherty. Romney’s done this before. During his last presidential campaign, he was asked whether any of his five sons chose served in the U.S. military. “My sons are adults,” he responded at the time. “They’ve chosen not to serve in the military in active duty and I respect their decision in that regard…. And one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.” In other words, Romney believed wearing a uniform, serving in the military, and putting one’s life on the line for your country is pretty much the same thing as helping a presidential campaign.
…The security situation did not happen overnight because of a decision made by someone at the State Department. We could talk about hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for funding for embassy security over the last two years as a result of a blind pursuit for fiscal austerity. We could talk about whether it is prudent to rely so heavily on security contractors rather than our own military or State Department personnel. We could do a, “He said, She said,” about whether the State Department should have beefed up security at the embassy in Benghazi. We owe it to the diplomatic corp, who serves our nation, to start at the beginning and that’s what I shall do.
…We want to stop attacks on our embassies? Let’s stop trying to overthrow governments. This should not be a partisan issue. Let’s avoid the hype. Let’s look at the real situation here. Interventions do not make us safer. They do not protect our nation. They are themselves a threat to America.
[Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D - Ohio) before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee]