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thepoliticalfreakshow:

In a stunning rebuke to its base, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify on Thursday the results of its nearly two-year, $3.3 million taxpayer-paid investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, finding no intentional wrongdoing by President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or by the Obama administration. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat, “said the report ‘confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.’”

Among the Intelligence Committee’s findings, according to Thompson:

— Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the attacks.

The Tea Party, Republicans, and conservatives have spent nearly two years claiming the Obama administration committed treason, were at the center of a massive cover-up, and have propagated many other falsehoods and conspiracy theories that have been officially rebuked by this report and several other official government investigations, most led, ironically, by Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans will start yet another series of hearings, led by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, trying g once again to prove that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the deaths of four Americans.

For a look at Tea Party memes of Benghazi, including Obama hang nooses, see our compilation on Storify.

Sean Hannity is lashing out at President Bill Clinton for not moving forward with a 1998 missile strike aimed at Osama Bin Laden that the military thought was likely to fail. But that same year, Hannity actually attacked Clinton for approving a different mission to kill bin Laden, claiming he was trying to distract from Monica Lewinsky.

SkyNews Australia recently aired audio of President Clinton stating in a speech shortly before the September 11, 2001 attacks that he “nearly got” bin Laden with a proposed December 1998 cruise missile strike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but decided not to approve the attack because it would have killed hundreds of innocent Afghans.

Clinton’s comments were no revelation — the 9-11 Commission Report detailed how intelligence and military leaders recommended against the strike, citing significant flaws that included up to 300 civilian casualties, the possible destruction of a nearby mosque, and low likelihood of killing bin Laden.

But on the July 31 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity responded to the audio by lashing out at Clinton, saying that the former president “didn’t do it and look what happened to this country as a result just one day later. America changed forever on 9/11/2001. What Bill Clinton didn’t seem to understand on September 10, 2001, he had a chance to prevent that day of infamy from ever happening.”

Hannity’s comments stand in stark contrast to his reaction in August 1998, when the Clinton administration responded to al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by launching cruise missiles at the terrorist group’s camps in Afghanistan, “probably” missing Bin Laden himself “by a few hours.” Hannity responded at the time by criticizing Clinton, suggesting that the attack may have been an effort to distract the American people from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hannity repeatedly referenced “Wag The Dog,” a 1997 film in which presidential advisers fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal.

On his August 20, 1998 program — just hours after the strikes — Hannity repeatedly asked his guests if they “see a ‘Wag the Dog’ scenario here.” He went on to explain, “I do a radio show here in New York, and this story broke about 2:00, and I was on the air at 3:00, and every line was jammed and every person was saying the same thing, that in their minds, they’re thinking the scenario is ‘Wag the Dog,’ divert attention away from the crisis that is going on in Washington.”

Hannity went on to explicitly state that the timing of the attacks was due to “political motivation” (via Nexis):

HANNITY: Congressman, FOX News has learned that the president was presented with the military option going back to August the 12th. The president did not take that option at that time. As a matter of fact, it been done for political motivation.

And I only raise the question because, in part, look at what the president put the nation through for seven and a half months. Look at the president that let his wife and all his supporters lie for him. Look at a president who looked the American people in the eye — and who could imagine a scenario like this — wagging their finger at them and said, “I want you to listen to me. I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”

There is no moral authority any longer, Mr. Congressman.

According to the 9-11 Commission, the eight-day delay between when Clinton was first briefed on the Pentagon plans for strikes on August 12 and their execution was due to "considerable debate" over which targets would be hit and the need to inform congressional and international leaders. Ironically, the report also concluded that “the ‘wag the dog’ slur” was one of several factors that “likely had a cumulative effect on future decisions about the use of force against” bin Laden.

This would not be the last time that Hannity would criticize efforts to stop bin Laden. He was one of many conservatives who criticized then-Sen. Barack Obama by mischaracterizing Obama’s campaign trail statement that he would act unilaterally if he received “actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets.” As president, with the strong support of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama approved just such a mission, which resulted in bin Laden’s death. 

h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA

Right-wing media selectively edited comments made by Hillary Clinton to falsely accuse her of endorsing Hamas’ extremist tactics. But Clinton made clear that Israel has a right to defend itself and credited its measures to decrease civilian casualties.

In an interview with Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton renewed her support for a cease-fire to end the current Israeli/Hamas conflict.

Right-wing media outlets co-opted Clinton’s interview to dishonestly claim that Clinton was justifying Hamas’ tactics and endorsing the extremist group.

On July 29, the Washington Free Beacon distorted Clinton’s comments, portraying them as justification of Hamas’ tactics in an article headlined “Hillary: Hamas Uses Human Shields Because ‘Gaza is Pretty Small.’”

On Fox News’ The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros accused Clinton of “trying to make an excuse for Hamas” and defending Hamas “for hiding rockets in places like schools.”

But the full context of the interview shows that Clinton credited Israel’s attempts to prevent civilian casualties by sending warnings before airstrikes and said that “obviously Israel has a right to self-defense.” Clinton noted that “any kind of conflict” has civilian casualties, but Gaza’s small size and Hamas’ tactics make them more acute (emphasis added):

CLINTON: I’m not a military planner, but Hamas puts its missiles — its rockets in civilian areas. Part of it is that Gaza’s pretty small and it’s very densely populated. They put their command and control of Hamas military leaders in those civilian areas. Israel, I know, has sent warnings and tried to get people to move, but in any kind of conflict there are going to be civilian casualties, and we need to try to get to a cease-fire as soon as possible. 

h/t: Thomas Bishop at MMFA 

mediamattersforamerica

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progres Elections

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

May he rot in Hell!!

h/t: Vicki Needham at The Hell

Country music singer Larry Gatlin ranted about his “half-breed Cherokee Indian” grandmother and the Washington “Redskins” football team on Sunday in an attempt to show that that liberals were not proud Americans.

A Pew poll released last week found that 60 percent of liberals did not “often feel proud to be American.”

Without pointing out that the question had included the word “often,” Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt invited Gatlin explain why liberals “are not proud to be an American.”

According to Gatlin, “limousine Lear jet liberals” formed a coalition with “low-information voters” to elect a “doofus” named Barack Obama.

“He told us that he hated America,” the country music star insisted. “In defense of low-information voters, I knew one. Little half-breed Cherokee Indian — yes, that’s Cherokee Indian for you Florida State Seminoles and Washington Redskins.”

At that point, Gatlin paused to demonstrate Florida State’s tomahawk chop “war chant.”

“She was very wise, though,” he said. “She said if a child acts badly, if a child is naughty, slap the grandmother. Because, see, that means the grandmother didn’t teach mother, and the mother didn’t teach the child. By the way, that was my grandmother.”

“Here’s what we have, we have old hippies from the ’60s, Bill and Hillary [Clinton], ruling our country, not governing our country,” Gatlin continued, arguing that liberals were upset when the country took military action because “they don’t believe there is a right or wrong.”

“They blame America, they blame Bush, they wrap their robes of self-righteousness around them, get in their Lear jets, and take off, and they’re still mad at me,” he quipped. “Love it or get out of my face!”

“The liberals, they’ll sing ‘Kumbaya’ but they won’t stand up and sing the Marine Corps Hymn!” Gatlin exclaimed, adding that President Obama did not know how to pronounce “Marine Corps.”

“Who elected this doofus anyway?” he asked. “The liberals and the low-information voters.”

From the 06.29.2014 edition of FNC’s Fox and Friends Sunday:

h/t: David Edwards at The Raw Story

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

I’ve just lost any respect I had left for Terry Bradshaw. 
=

It’s come to this: Fox News brings on NFL’s Terry Bradshaw for Benghazi analysis (via Raw Story )

Fox News on Wednesday continued its multi-year obsession with the terrorist attack in Benghazi by inviting NFL football analyst and former quarterback Terry Bradshaw to weigh in. Out Numbered host Andrea Tantaros began the segment by highlighting a…



 

crooksandliars:

Fox News Analyst: Benghazi Arrest Is A Plot To Save Hillary's Book Tour

Fox News analyst Pete Hegseth suggested on Tuesday that the arrest of a suspect in connection with 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi may have been a conspiracy to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just hours before she was scheduled to talk to the conservative network.

After Fox News broke the news on Tuesday that U.S. forces had detained Ansar al-Sharia commander Ahmed Abu Khattala, Hegseth said that he was pleased, but “we all have questions about the timing.”

"You have the former secretary of state, who is in the middle of a really high-profile book tour, and I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points," Fox News guest host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery noted.

"Something clearly changed in the calculus of the United States, and I think a lot of it does have to do with the State Department," Hegseth agreed. "I think this thing needs to be tied in a bow for certain individuals to have a clean break from an incident that has become, and will continue to be a scandal — an anchor around a certain individual’s neck, who may want to run for president."

"She’s having an interview today on Fox News," co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle pointed out.

read more

crooksandliars:

Failed Candidate Romney Blames Obama For Bush Failures

To listen to Mitt Romney, George W. Bush never existed or led the country into two horrible and entirely avoidable wars with his pal Dick Cheney. Next he’ll claim the economic crisis was Obama’s fault too.

On Meet the Press this morning, failed candidate Romney had plenty of blame to spread on President Obama and Hillary Clinton about the situation in Iraq. Evidently his memory has gotten more flawed since he failed to win the Presidency in 2012.

First, the history lesson. The status of forces agreement failed candidate Romney claims is an Obama/Clinton failure was actually a George W. Bush failure. Bush negotiated and signed the status of forces agreement. Obama was hoping to get a framework in place after that agreement to allow a small residual force, but the Iraqis refused. It’s their country. What was Obama supposed to do? Recommit to invading and knocking out the government the United States installed?

When it comes to underestimating the threat, no one did that better than failed candidate Mitt Romney. Here’s a guy who completely missed the fact that he was going to lose his bid for the White House in 2012. It came as a complete shock to him. Why anyone thinks he’s credible on matters of strategic importance is beyond me.

Mitt Romney is a political failure and a joke. The idea that he merits any consideration in a serious discussion of a serious problem is laughable. If this is the best Republicans can put up to display their political and national security acumen to the nation, they’re all failures.

Brent Bozell

The Media Research Center (MRC) produced a video attacking Hillary Clinton for evolving on marriage equality, but that organization has no credibility on the issue, having promoted anti-LGBT messages for over two decades.

MRC released a video hosted by Dan Joseph in which he asked people on the campus of George Mason University to identify quotes out of context from someone opposed to marriage equality. When most of the people identified the unnamed speaker as a conservative or Republican, Joseph revealed that the quotes came from Hillary Clinton. The video portrayed Clinton’s evolution on the issue - she announced support for marriage equality in a 2013 video produced by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group - as politically cynical.

The video was recently revived  after a discussion of Clinton’s position came up during the promotional tour for her book, Hard Choices.

But MRC has no room to criticize Clinton. The conservative group, which was founded in 1987, has been staunchly opposed to LGBT rights for over two decades, and has taken multiple opportunities to attack any outlet that portray LGBT people as anything other than freaks and outcasts.

MRC figures have complained about Hollywood’s “agenda” to “advance the cause of homosexuality,” attacked comic books with gay characters, and bemoaned the failure of television networks to tell their viewers “that homosexuality is morally wrong.”

Recent headlines on Newsbusters, the MRC blog devoted to “combating liberal media bias,” include: ”WashPost Promotes Gay Marriage in Virginia With ‘Aggressively Normal’ Lesbian Tableau; Opponents Ignored”; ”Media Go Ga-Ga for Gay Christians”; and “Twice in 24 Hours, ABC Touts Pro-Gay Cracker Ad; Network Assailed Mozilla Exec.”

MRC has done this for decades, without bringing its position into the modern era, while Clinton has noted she “constantly reevaluated” where she stood on the issue, eventually arriving at her current pro-equality position.

Here are some of the lowlights from MRC’s decades-long drumbeat against LGBT equality:

MRC’s Tim Graham: Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony At Grammys Was “Musical Agitprop To Mock … Traditional Values.” MRC’s Tim Graham said that a ceremony during the 2014 Grammys where 34 same-sex and opposite sex couples were married was “a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others.” 

They can say this is not a stunt, but that’s exactly what it is, a piece of musical agitprop to mock the traditional values of conservative American Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others. Entertainers never want to have a debate, just a series of arrogant “statements” with no opportunity for a conversation as they flush the Bible on national TV. [Media Research Center, 1/26/14]

Gainor Complained: “We Live In A PC Era” Where Anti-LGBT Discrimination Is Shunned. During the same appearance on the Janet Mefferd Show, Gainor complained that “we live in a PC era where people are bombarded 24/7 with media preaching what the left defines as tolerance, which is intolerance.” He added, “If you think that I should have some sort of special right that’s never existed in our country’s history, but we’re gonna create it out of whole cloth, then you’re tolerant. If you think that we’re should continue to do what we’ve done for hundreds of years. Oh, you’re intolerant. You’re a bigot. You’re an ‘ist’ of some sort.”  [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show11/6/13]

MRC’s Dan Gainor Warned Of Satanic Gay Orgies In Church Halls. Appearing on the Janet Mefferd Show, MRC’s Dan Gainor warned that churches could be forced to rent out church halls to gay groups, who “could have a satantic orgy in your church hall.” He also worried that, “if you’re a photographer, and you’re a Christian, you could be forced to photograph it, or you will go to jail or be fined.” [Salem Radio Network, The Janet Mefferd Show11/6/13]

Bozell: Gay Characters On Children’s Television Are “Propaganda.” In his October 25, 2013 column, Bozell protested that the existence of gay characters on channels like “Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel” was “propaganda” and said that LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s push for more inclusive television was proof “they want children indoctrinated as well”:

They want children indoctrinated as well. GLAAD is also not shy when it comes to Teen Nick, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel. Apparently, children also desperately need the propaganda of gay characters in 42 percent of programming hours. They’re extremely happy with the liberalism of “ABC Family” and have relayed that Disney Channel executives promised GLAAD they will “introduce LGBT characters in an episode of its original series ‘Good Luck Charlie’ set to air in 2014, a first for the network.” The first of many, they expect. [Townhall.com,10/25/13]

MRC’s Graham Asked If Bullying Claims By Gay Teen Were “Overwrought.” In 2011, MRC’s Tim Graham complained that the media was being too sympathetic to a 14-year-old whose YouTube video about bullying had gone viral. After the child appeared on Good Morning America, Graham wrote, “No one wondered if perhaps Mowry’s accusation of constant daily bullying since first grade was overwrought. But the networks can’t even show any skepticism or neutrality or nuance. ” [Media Research Center, 12/15/11, via Equality Matters]

MRC Report Attacked CNN For “Supporting Homosexual Causes.” A 2011 report released by MRC criticized CNN for failing to “represent both sides” in the debate over same sex marriage and accused the network of showing “clear advocacy for homosexual causes” in its coverage. Among their examples, MRC cited CNN reporting on Atlanta being named the “Nation’s Gayest City” and challenging the effectiveness of “ex-gay” therapy. [Media Research Center, 7/28/11, via Equality Matters]

Bozell: “Why Can’t A Single Primetime Show Say - With No Strings Attached - That Homosexuality Is Morally Wrong?” In a 1992 article in The Hollywood Reporter, Bozell was quoted saying Hollywood demonstrates “liberal bias” by failing to portray gay people as “morally wrong.” He asked, “Why can’t a single primetime show say — with no strings attached — that homosexuality is morally wrong?” [Media Matters, 6/23/10]

Bozell: “The Only Characters On [Glee] Disapproving Of Homosexuality Are Vicious School Bullies.” In a 2010 column, Bozell attacked the Fox TV drama Glee. He argued that “The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies,” and that “Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle.”

The only characters on the show disapproving of homosexuality are vicious school bullies. In the May 25 episode, two brutish football players threatened to pummel the openly gay and riotously effeminate character Kurt for dressing up like a girl. Everyone else in this series approves, endorses or participates in the homosexual lifestyle. [Townhall.com, 6/4/10]

Bozell: Comic Books With Gay Characters Are “A Red Light Neighborhood” With “Sexually Perverted Superheroes.” In a 2006 column, Bozell complained about gay characters in comic books and asked, “Who would have predicted, ten years ago, that the comics would become a red-light neighborhood where sexually perverted superheroes would be packaged to elicit from children fascination and sympathy?” [Media Research Center, 6/9/06

h/t:Oliver Willis at MMFA

MRC’s Brent Bozell: Hollywood Has An “Agenda” To “Advance The Cause Of Homosexuality As Normal Behavior.” In a 1999 New York Daily News article about a character on the show Dawson’s Creek coming out, MRC founder Brent Bozell is quoted lamenting the ”agenda in Hollywood to advance the cause of homosexuality as normal behavior by making those who think otherwise the deviants. A character can put forward an argument, but you can be sure it’s a character who moonlights as a troglodyte.” [New York Daily News2/24/99

Bozell: “If You Are Trying To Teach [Children] That The Homosexual Lifestyle Is Decadent And Immoral, Understand That Television Is Telling Them Just The Opposite.” In a 1996 column Bozell wrote that “during its 1995-‘96 season, prime time television tried as never before to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle” and “If you are trying to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is decadent and immoral, understand that television is telling them just the opposite.” [Media Research Center, 9/25/96]

MRC On Philadelphia: “Anybody Who Was Morally Opposed To The Gay Lifestyle Was Presented As A Total Bigot.” In 1996, MRC’s Sandy Crawford criticized Philadelphia, the Oscar-winning film about a gay man who sued a law firm for discriminating against him for having AIDS: ”Philadelphia’ was a good film — beautifully acted and very compelling. But anybody who was morally opposed to the gay lifestyle was presented as a total bigot. You either were 100 percent for Tom Hanks or you were a villain.” [Kansas City Star3/96, via Media Matters]

H/T: Oliver Willis at MMFA

h/t: Tim Murphy at Mother Jones

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

crooksandliars:

Reince Priebus: Benghazi 'Disqualified' Hillary From Running For President

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday argued that Hillary was not even qualified to run for president because Americans had died during a terrorist attack in Benghazi while she was secretary of state.

In leaked chapter of her upcoming book, Hard Choices, Clinton said that Republicans who “exploit this tragedy over and over as a political tool minimize the sacrifice of those who served our country.”

“I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans,” she wrote. “It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.”

Speaking to Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday, Priebus accused Clinton of “playing politics with this from the very beginning.”

"She, the secretary of state, should have known that this was al Qaeda the entire time," he insisted. "She played a part in the White House’s cover-up of what this is all about in Benghazi… Hillary Clinton is politics 24/7, and this is no different."

The RNC chair asserted that if Clinton was too exhausted to “report for duty” for interviews on Fox News and other Sunday television shows, then he didn’t “know how she can be president of the United States.”