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May 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Benghazi certainly is a real scandal

Another view?

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In the letter “Benghazi scandal is manufactured,” James Witherspoon claims that he knows no real Americans who are interested in the “Benghazi mess.” He wrote: “Either the Republican talking heads are totally out of touch with the American people, or they’re out of touch with reality.”

Well, I know lots of real Americans who are very interested in Benghazi, myself included.

Four Americans were killed, and it is becoming quite clear that this administration was woefully negligent in protecting them. And not only that, they lied about it. Why is that not a real scandal?

I am not a “Republican talking head,” but it seems to me that if someone can just look at all of the facts that are still coming out about this, along with the IRS story, and still cover their eyes and ears and say, “Move along, nothing to see here,” then they must be the ones who have lost touch with reality.

It is wishful thinking to believe that this is all just going to go away.

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  1. The letter writer, is in fact, a "Republican talking head", trotting out the same used up GOP talking points one can find on FAUX news (not so much lately), and couching them in letter form. Move along, nothing to see here. Here is one "real American" who couldn't care less about Benghazi. The issue should be put to rest. There are far more important things for Congress to address than this "Look at the Monkey" politically manufactured "scandal". Even the media has put it in the rear view mirror, where it belongs.

  2. Benghazi, Libya transcends a scandal. It's risen to the level of anger and distrust by many Americans for the President and his administration. That's worst.

    Carmine D

  3. Carmine: Meanwhile, the President's approval rating remains at 53%, which shows that a majority of Americans are more concerned with jobs, the economy and getting on with their lives, than a trumped up "scandal". The GOP will manipulate anything they can to make the administration look bad. These clowns can't run on their "record" for this Congress, so lets generate fake "scandals". The American people are more focused on reality, not fairy tales and innuendo.

  4. What's the mystery here? President Obama clearly characterized it as a terrorist act in the days immediately after 9/11/12, . That should have settled the "What". The "Why" and "Who" was initially the mystery. Connecting the dots at Benghazi with the contemporaneous protests of an anti-Islamic movie in Cairo wasn't that far from the realm of possibility and some minor looting of the consulate after the gunmen had left may have fueled that impression. The CIA apparently wanted to keep their suspicions about "Who" to themselves so as not to telegraph any possible retaliatory action.

    We should save our outrage for the terrorists. They nust be watching us turning on ourselves with great satisfaction and amusement.

  5. Hi Jim,
    The mystery is why the Sun is acting as ignorantly as the RJ.

  6. I don't like to say it Linda, but Benghazi is going to just go away. The administration has done a good job of providing just enough information to make it seem plausible that there were good reasons that security there was not what it could and should have been and that the situation in the region regarding where US forces were made it imprudent to launch a rescue attempt.

    I don't think that narrative will satisfy the relatives and friends of the murdered, and it doesn't satisfy me, but I suspect it will satisfy enough Americans that this issue will go away over time.

    It's sad but what happened here happens in most administrations when poor decisions are made and people are hurt or die. Administrations stonewall. This one isn't the first and it won't be the last.


  7. Gary:

    Americans are concerned about both: The integrity of their President and all the problems facing the U.S. The poll you quote is May 19 or thereabouts. Americans are slow on the get go. Takes them time to gather and assimilate the news. There are devout Obama supporters who will be unfazed by all the news of the scandals swirling around Washington DC and the Administration. But the months and even years remaining for his second term do not bode ill for the President's legacy. I can name at least 3 major pieces of Obama legislation, or potential legislation, that are jeopardized as a direct result of the scandals.

    Carmine D

  8. Correction: I should have posted "do not bode well" above.


  9. I totally agree with this letter.

    Michael. There is no way to tell yet whether you might be right or wrong in giving up the ghost on whether those responsible in the Obama administration --that disorganized and undirected bunch of lying incompetents and cowards --will ultimately be identified and brought to justice. I hope you are wrong.

    The following sums up the incompetent, egregious and unaccountable attitude of liberals and the Obama administration toward the Benghazi murders on September 11,2012:

    Look the other way America .Benghazi happened a long time ago.

    Forget that this administration failed to give its fellows the security at the outpost at the moment it became clear that American lives were in danger in Benghazi.

    Forget that notwithstanding the terrorist threat known to exist at the Benghazi outpost that this administration failed to station military assets close enough to Benghazi to strike in case of a terrorist attack on the compound.

    Forget that when confronted with the fact that the Benghazi outpost was under attack that this administration mislead the American people by trying for days to convince them that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti Muslim video, when in fact the administration knew full well that it was a terrorist attack that had long been threatened,but nonetheless decided to cover up the truth for solely political reasons.

    Forget the fact that when the compound was under attack and the lives of Americans were in imminent danger that this administration,including its Commander in Chief, declined to do anything--not even lift a finger to protect the lives of its American fellows

    This entire episode is a prime example of outrageous conduct of our goverment involving gross incompetence and intentional malfeasance by its top leaders . We must not forget the real truth about what actually happened in Benghazi and bring to justice those who were to blame.

    The House oversight committees investigating the government's role in the Benghazi massacre, in addition to a responsible U.S. media,must continue to uncover the truth though rigorous and persistent investigations These investigations must continue until all the facts come out, and those responsible are exposed and brought to justice.

  10. "Let's not forget they cut diplomatic security by a billion dollars. That too has flown under the radar."

    Wrong. Security dollars for State Dept. embassies and outposts increased year over year from 2009-2013 [even with sequestration]. Just not as much as State Dept. budgeteers wanted. This is the Federal budget drill. Ask for more, knowing you get less, and when any problems arise they blame the budget cuts. Welcome to politics 101.

    Recall under oath, Ms. Lamb of the State Dept. said to the House Intel Committee in October 2012 that the security $ and budget was not to blame in Benghazi, Libya.
    Carmine D

  11. The Republicans are still looking to have something to drag along as close to the midterm election as possible and Benghazi seems to fill their needs at the moment.

    The sad part about the whole Benghazi thing is the Republicans could care less about the four people who were killed.They are more interested in the political benefits and mileage that the can get out of this attack for their own use.

    American voter's will see through this when they vote in the midterm elections in 2014. What ever happened to the Republican Party that once produced great Presidents?

  12. Jeff,

    Comments like 'Michael Casler, the progressive who lives in republican potty pants tosses firecrackers instead of grenades now, but needs to come out of the closet all the way.' make me ask: What has happened to us? Why is there no place on either side for a 'middle' ground? A place for people who do not neatly fit into a form fitting glove.

    I don't believe in the death penalty. I support the right for women to have an abortion, although I abhor abortions and think it is a stain on society that so many choose not to control sexual impulses or even take precautions and then terminate unwanted pregnancies. I don't consider waterboarding torture and think we should use the practice on terrorists. I believe we should exit the middle east, explain to nations that if we are attacked, we will retaliate against the perpetrators and those that supported them and we will not provide aid to rebuild what we destroy and we will do it... again and again if necessary. I would only provide aid to nations that like us and none to nations that don't. I support fracking in the development of oil and gas and would use it, along with clean energy research and development to make us energy independent. I'm undecided as to whether climate change is man made or cyclical or a combination of both. I think all government aid (to companies and individuals) should be means tested and we should really go after all the fraud in both areas. I don't believe in 'gigantic', whether it be government or companies and would advocate have smaller and a higher number of entities in the private and public sector. I don't believe unions belong in the public sector but am fine with them in the private sector. I do not support card check. If it can be done at a reasonable cost and provide good service I support nationalized health care.

    I could name a thousand more things that I have opinions on. I am not a Progressive, nor am I a Conservative. I have views that fit quite neatly into one or the other and many other views that don't. I am someone who has lived long enough that I am no longer willing to follow the herd... either herd.

    You and others think it really matters that you support the Democrats and want me to support them too because I am willing to criticize Republicans and have some Progressive views.

    Understand this: I believe that whether the Republicans or Democrats control the government, our legislative branch will still be controlled by powerful interests with lobbyists. Until that is no longer true, wealth transfer will continue, the middle class and the poor will suffer and decline, and because the middle class is the engine of America, the country will continue in decline.

    Believe otherwise if you wish... and I know you do...but do it at your own peril.


  13. Ms. Caterine wrote, "I am not a "Republican talking head," but it seems to me that if someone can just look at all of the facts that are still coming out about this, along with the IRS story, and still cover their eyes and ears and say, "Move along, nothing to see here," then they must be the ones who have lost touch with reality."

    Senator minority leader Mitch McConnell recently said, "I don't think we know what the facts are."

    Whose facts Ms. Caterine? You may not be a talking head but I have little doubt you are biased. Let my take a wild guess, Fox News?

    We know the Republican controlled House (fiscal conservatives?) voted against funding for more security for our embassies and consulates when they were asked.

    We know Ambassador Stevens twice said no to military offers of more security.

    We know just about all of our embassies are protected by the local government.

    We know special forces couldn't get to Benghazi in time.

    We know at least five other embassies or consulates were attacked in the same time frame, and there were riots in over 20 countries due to an anti Muslim video.

    We know Ambassador Stevens died of smoke inhalation not from gunfire. Was the intent to kill him or did they attack what they knew was a CIA base?

    We know the CIA under General Petraeus rewrote the talking points to cover the intelligence community and their operations. The same talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice.

    We know Ambassador Pickering and retired Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen released a State Department Accountability Review Board report. Ambassador Pickering asked Darrell Issa to testify about Benghazi in open hearings (for the public) but Issa refused.

    Those are just a few facts Ms. Caterine, like them or not!

  14. Lind contends 53% of Americans are more concerned with the economy then are about Benghazi. I say, 53% of Americans are now part of the "parasitic" class and care only about what they can scrounge from the other 43%. The USA is turning into a toilet with sewer rats abounding. The country is rife with the "entitlement" society and "what's-in-it-for-me" low lives. Honesty, hard work and success are scorned and derided by the fascists on the left and their fellow travelers and they have cheerleaders in the White House, "Justice" Department, EPA, Homeland "Security" and State Department. The one bright light I see in the Osama Obama administration is an unlikely one and one I had little respect for until lately and that's John Kerry. I am surprised at his actions and grateful for them. He is not what I expected and I am more than happy to admit it.

  15. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  16. "According to the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Congressional Budget Justification Department of State Operations (p. 11), overall funding for those programs has increased sharply over the past decade. Indeed, Worldwide Security Protection is more than double what it was a decade ago. Despite reductions from budget peaks in FY 2009 and FY 2010, both budget lines are higher than in FY 2008. (continues below chart)"

    Carmine D

  17. I see our faux news reporters are at it again. I never watch Faux, all I need to know about faux reporting is here in this forum. The R's have nothing to run on in 2014, so they have to trump up something to keep America from looking at their true record of mismanagement and obstruction. Oh yes, we mustn't forget the pandering to their Donor's.

  18. Jeff,

    Yes, if fracking was shown to contaminate our water supply and that could not be mitigated, I would not support fracking. So far, that case has not been proven that I am aware of. It also might have to be approved on a case by case basis.

    For the most part, the Democrat party, both locally and nationally, favors more and larger government, and higher taxes. The party generally favors higher taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals and more government assistance to everyone, except the wealthy. Some supporters of the Democrat party actually said it was acceptable that government be used as a tool to go after the Tea Party because they are racists. The party, as does its opposite number, shows virtually no interest in going after all the fraud and waste in government programs, pension reform of any kind whether County, State, or Federal, and advocates for ever more government spending. I could jump on board and be a part of all of that and more, except I don't believe in most of that.

    As you can see by what I write and just wrote, a do not and cannot find a 'real' home with the Democrats or Republicans. In large measure, on financial issues, I just disagree with the Democrat party. I agree with them on many social issues. I agree with some of what the Republican party 'says' on financial issues, but they often 'do' the opposite of what they say. On social issues, I'm closer to the Democrat party.

    Which issues are more important to me? That's easy. The financial issues, because if you are not healthy financially, the social issues don't really matter that much.

    I'd love to see a viable 3rd party emerge, to put pressure on the Democrat party to move more to the middle on financial issues and on the Republican party to move into the 21st century on social issues.

    I understand why you and others support the Democrat party and why Carmine and others support the Republican party. What puzzles me is how unwilling most of the people writing to the Sun are to admit mistakes and overreaches by members of their party and give credit where credit is due to members of the opposite party. There are a slew of things wrong with each party but neither is inherently evil or completely wrong, although listening to most people that comment, you'd never know that.


  19. Future - "Obama is all about lies, death, and videos and all the Democrats can think about is the next election"

    I think you are confused, are you sure you have the right president? I distinctly remember the Bush administration using false data, charts, terror alert color codes, and talking points. Remember the chart Colin Powell held up? It showed how the hollowed out mountains of Afghanistan contained air conditioning, computer banks, food and water storage silos, military weapons, vents, basically an entire city build into the mounatain.

  20. Vidi,

    Both David Brooks and Thomas Friedman make me cringe once in awhile, but I consider them both highly intelligent, very credible and highly informed. They are just the type of Americans we need more of, both in the media and indeed generally.

    I loved it when they used to appear regularly on Meet the Press with Tim Russert. You don't see them as often now with David Gregory and that is too bad.

    MSNBC, CNN and much of the mainstream media is simply an echo chamber for Progressives. Fox and all the right wing radio is an echo chamber for Conservatives. We are all actually lucky to have people like Brooks and Friedman who are not locked in to one side or the other. We need more of them, not fewer of them.


  21. MarcJeric32: An odd rant you posted at 9:16 this a.m. I'm sure you consider the final determination that Ambassador Stephens actually died of smoke inhalation as just one more "cover-up" of ... something.

  22. The right wing-nuts have managed to be highly successful at ONE thing regarding Benghazi- They've managed to stretch the traditional silly season from a couple of late summer months into a full EIGHT MONTHS and counting... Looks like they may actually convert it from a "silly season" to a "silly year" or even more!

  23. Future - "Lois Lerner has announced that she has to take the 5th in her congressional hearing tomorrow"

    What has that got to do with the White House? Taking the 5th means a person isn't compelled to be a witness against themselves.

  24. Vernos,

    You really should not try to be obtuse. Your writing shows you to be more intelligent than that. Clearly, taking the fifth would at least suggest that if she testifies, she believes she will incriminate herself and perhaps others. It 'may' have nothing to do with the White House and it 'may' have something to do with the White House. In any case, it does not look great. You should at least be able to admit that.


  25. Hey, Benghazi Breath...

    It's bad enough that the Republican party is, as a whole, suffering severe psychopathy & unbridled imprudence; but it is inexcusable for the Right Wing Claptrap Machine to take a large chunk of the country along for the ride.


    Airweare/Joe Lamy...

    Right frackin' on, brother!
    Half of North Dakota is being drilled like swiss cheese and douched with a chemical cocktail the likes of which future generations will rue like the Plague. Just another example of EXTREME GREED & short-sighted stupidity.

    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  26. Jeff,

    If you really want to see a long list of the accomplishments and failures of the Bush Administration (which I suspect is what you really intended to say) go here and read:

    There are quite a few gigantic failures on that list, so many and so big that I think the GW Bush administration will be somewhere on most lists of poor Presidencies. However, when someone like you asks someone to name any accomplishments since 2000, actually believing that there are not quite a few to name, but believing that there are zero in eight years... it just helps make my point that too many Americans lack the ability to find a middle ground.... about anything.


  27. hombre - "They all know Obamacare was contrived by a bunch of spend happy Dems that have no responsibility."

    Exposing your ignorance again. Obamacare is a clone of Romneycare, designed by the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation to mandate purchasing health care insurance.

    As far as being way left, there was a time I voted Republican. New York had many great Republican leaders such as Jacob Javits, Nelson Rockefeller, John Linsay, Alfonse D'Amato. That was until the GOP went completely off the deep end attacking Bill Clinton. The GOP is even further into deep water with the election of Obama. They go beyond the "party of stupid" as noted by several of their own members. I liken them to the party of eternal conspiracies from Planet Bizarro.

  28. CreatedEQL,

    I've already said I'm not with many of the social positions of the Republicans. I'm also not for many of the government and financial issues of the Democrats, such as large government, heavily taxing the wealthy because they can afford it, setting taxes at zero for people who make a small amount of money, making it too easy to get government benefits for people who do not deserve them, placing high taxes on businesses, wanting to make illegals already here legal, but being much less interested in border security and E-Verify, being so afraid of upsetting followers of Islam that Madrassas that teach hate of the west are allowed to operate here and being so unable to call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack that we call it workplace violence that prevents Americans hurt in the attack from getting benefits.

    I hardly love the Republicans and cannot understand why so many do. I feel exactly the same about Democrats.

    In a financially destroyed country, you will find zero social justice.


  29. CreatedEQL,

    I believe the country is in trouble and I believe that both parties are responsible, not because either is 'evil' but because they are locked into a system where to retain power, they must do what powerful interests with money want them to do. That runs counter to what's best for most of us. It is that simple.

    I don't care that you vote D and you really should not care if I vote R. My point is that while there are differences between what happens under an, R controlled government and a D controlled government, the important things, the things that threaten the continued well being of this country are NOT affected by which party runs the country.

    If you'll NOTE, I NEVER encourage anyone to vote R or D. People should vote 'party' according to their basic philosophy. They should also understand that unless they recognize and admit that just voting party has zero chance of changing the things that must be changed so that our government represents the people, instead of powerful interests with money, none of what really matters will change.

    That's my basic point. It is not to advocate that you or anyone else vote for a particular party.