Friday, May 2, 2014

Benghazi Again? Investigate the Damned NSA!


Speaker of the House John Boehner on Friday announced that the Republicans will soon be setting up a special investigative tribunal to once again flog that long dead horse that is the Benghazi scandal. Now that the corporate scam that is the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obamacare is pretty much dead as a campaign issue the GOP is going to count on once again going back to the future in rolling out the blatant election year scam of yet another investigation into what it is that happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. You have to give it to the sleazy Republicans, they are predictable to a fault and whether it be hundreds of symbolic votes wasting taxpayer money to nullify Obamacare or exhuming the rotting corpse of Ronald Reagan to drag around as a prop like a Weekend at Bernie's sequel they never change which is why they keep losing presidential elections. This is by no means to excuse the equally rotten (although smarter and less overtly fascist) Democrats because when it comes to systemic corruption it is a bipartisan con that is run down on the American people.
In the  latest conjuring of Benghazi from the grave it is only more evidence at the party's complete bankruptcy and thorough selling out because there has NEVER to this day been any effort made by that party to mount a serious and concerted attempt to hold hearings - including special investigative committee ones - over the ongoing travesty of the unconstitutional surveillance and data-mining programs of the NSA Stasi. The cover-up continues over what the hell exactly has been going on for years at Ft. Meade, the secret courts and the bowels of both the Obama and the Bush-Cheney White House regimes and the inevitable and the worst is yet to be revealed if you believe journalist Glenn Greenwald and former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. You would think that this gross violation of the civil liberties of Americans at least deserves SOME attention from Boehner and the oily Darrell "Congressman Grand-Theft Auto" Issa but nothing doing there. It is always best to just set up their smoke and mirror machines and whip out shovelfuls of bloody red meat to the Fox News lobotomized party base to get them to the polls in November. Total horseshit but that is standard for the GOP in their desperation to gain more control in the House and retake the Senate before the Hillary Clinton tidal wave washes it all away for good with the massive female voter turnout in 2016. What a pack of fucking idiots.
I do not however completely discredit that there was something seriously wrong going on in Benghazi the day that the embassy was attacked and Ambassador Christopher Stephens and others killed. It just isn't what Boehner, Issa and their fellow liars and swine will be focused on. I would love to see an investigation based on what Seymour Hersh wrote about in his banned from the US media article "The Red Line and the Rat Line" from which I excerpt:
The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)
In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdo─čan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)
The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.
The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’
Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.
If Hersh is in any way correct what we may really have here is Iran-Contra II and it could bring down the entire Obama administration - which the Republicans really don't want because they have gotten immense political mileage out of demonizing the "Kenyan" in the WHITE House to the knuckle-dragging dregs of society that is their base. If they really want Obama's head on a stick then investigate based on Hersh's story - or even better on the NSA and the ongoing abuse of power that Obama is deeply involved in. Don't hold your breath though because Jesus will return and $100 bills will rain from the sky before anything like that ever happens.
Only in America circa 2014 can you continue to serve up crazy and have people begging for seconds.. or as far as the Republican Benghazi farce goes hundredths.