Monday, October 22, 2012

What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know it - Part 2

From today's WSJ - in its entirety... with interjections:

President Barack Obama was told in his daily intelligence briefing for more than a week after the consulate siege in Benghazi that the assault grew out of a spontaneous protest, despite conflicting reports from witnesses and other sources that began to cast doubt on the accuracy of that assessment almost from the start.

Hmm... here's the problem: The foreign press - from the beginning - was reporting a far different story. It took a couple days, but within 48-72 hours our own American media were beginning the mirror what the reputable foreign press (the UK Independent for example) had been reporting all along. 

Then there's the Libyan government. Folk... who do you suppose the foreign press - and then our own - was relying upon for the truth? (Are we to believe neither President Obama, nor SecState Clinton, nor SecDef Panetta, took the time to confer with a Libyan political leadership that had been eagerly giving the facts of what they knew to the press?

Finally... you're the president... you're sitting in "the big chair" in the Oval Office... you don't call the Israelis and ask what Mossad knew...? Really...? 

In any case, folks... even if we accept that the President's Daily Intelligence Briefing was so flawed for so long... how in God's name did that happen when we know that we had plenty of hard intelligence going back months - not to mention requests for more security because of the deteriorating security situation from the Ambassador himself - which was on the record?  

New details about the contents of the President's Daily Brief show the extent to which top intelligence officials made the wrong call in their initial analysis of what happened on Sept. 11 at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.

And has anyone been fired...?

Again... for the sake of argument let's assume that everything now being "newly" reported - today - is true. Why haven't heads rolled?

New details about the contents of the President's Daily Brief, which haven't been reported previously, show that the Central Intelligence Agency didn't adjust the classified assessment until Sept. 22, fueling tensions between the administration and the agency.

Funny how the timing works, huh...

"New" details... 

More time passed before the administration divulged details about the intelligence reassessment in early October, when the State Department acknowledged the mistaken conclusion. Administration officials said intelligence officials make decisions on what may be divulged, but intelligence officials said it is up to the administration to decide what information to release.


At the same time, questions have been raised about why the White House relied so heavily on the daily intelligence report and wasn't more proactive about seeking corrections once conflicting accounts about the protests began to emerge in news accounts and elsewhere.


Administration officials' response is that the White House relied on the intelligence community to provide its best assessment.

In that case we have a huge friggin' problem, my friends! In that case I say let's gut the CIA budget and instead buy a subscription to the UK Independent for the President!

Folks... seriously... again... it's not as if the true intelligence wasn't already there for the writers of the Presidential Daily Intelligence Briefing to rely up!

All this passing the buck seems like a game of three card monte to me - only instead of just costing the "suckers" money... the incompetents running the "game" cost four Americans their lives. 

The problems were aggravated by infighting among U.S. agencies that appears to have slowed the continuing work to understand what happened. And the new disclosures about the President's Daily Brief are likely to raise new questions about intelligence surrounding the Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Folks... Obama has been President for nearly four years. This is his staff... not George W. Bush's. The buck stops on Obama's desk and yet... apparently... Obama is the only one not at fault!


The daily intelligence brief, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and based to a large extent on information from the CIA, is the most authoritative intelligence report prepared by the intelligence agencies and is read by the president and his top-level advisers.

God... help... this... once... great... nation...

The CIA has played the central role in providing the intelligence on Benghazi included in the daily brief because it had officers at the scene of the attack in Benghazi and other intelligence capabilities on the ground inside Libya.

And, yet... they weren't in place to protect the Ambassador or the consulate. Strange...

I mean, folks... these are field officers... trained spies... trained paramilitary operatives with advanced weapons and hand-to-hand combat training and at least rudimentary tactical training - or so one would assume! 

The CIA was consistent from Sept. 13 to Sept. 21 that the attack evolved from a protest. 

Who has been fired... who will be fired...?

The current intelligence assessment still notes there is conflicting evidence about whether there was a protest earlier on the day of the attack.


The daily brief repeated that same assessment about a protest on Sept. 15, one day before Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, used similar language in television interviews based on talking points that were provided to her that afternoon by the CIA.

Isn't this "new" information... er... "convenient?" (For Ms. Rice that is!)

That weekend, officials at the office of the Director of National Intelligence began to seriously question the accuracy of the assessment after receiving new information Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 from sources that suggested the consulate attack wasn't preceded by a protest.

Folks... ya can't make this shit up!

Intelligence officials didn't tell Ms. Rice about the conflicting reports before she went on air because they weren't sure the information was conclusive, officials said.

Ya know what, folks... I don't necessarily believe this. But even if it's true... in order for this to make a difference one would have to assume Ms. Rice had no access to the information that... oh... say yours truly... had at his - my - fingertips!

Folks... the State Department has their own intelligence and analysis. Clearly Rice would have access to that... and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, her immediate boss!

The Libyans at the UN didn't say anything to her - and she didn't ask?!

The Israelis at the UN didn't say anything to her - and she didn't ask?!

How... dumb... do... these... people... think... we... are...?!?!   

Despite the building doubts at the office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA stuck by its assessment during a deputies-level meeting at the White House on Sept. 17.

So... it's the Director's fault...? (Sounds like they may be about to throw him out of the bus!)

According to officials, a CIA representative at the Sept. 17 meeting assured participants the agency had reviewed all available intelligence and wasn't backing off its determination that there were protests.

And no one questioned... er... why the world's media - and the Libyan authorities - were singing a far different tune...?

By around Sept. 18, according to officials, the national intelligence office privately concluded the preponderance of evidence shows there hadn't been a pre-attack protest.

The... "office...?" (Let's have a name! Are we talking the Director? If so... when did he tell the President? When did Hillary Rodham Clinton get the memo? Rice? Panetta?

Folks... com'on...


 But that new assessment wasn't made public.


Based on "new" information, the CIA developed on Sept. 20 its "new" assessment that there wasn't a protest directly preceding the attack and provided that information to top national security officials at the White House. It took until Saturday, Sept. 22, for the CIA to update the daily intelligence brief to refute the previous assessment. 

Two... days...?!?!

The new one concluded there was no protest.


...two days later. 

A spokesman for the national intelligence office, Shawn Turner, declined to say why the revised daily brief wasn't presented before Sept. 22.


"We generally don't discuss details," Mr. Turner said. "That includes what's contained in the brief, when it's updated and when it's delivered."


The balls on these friggin' people... 

CIA analysis was focused more on whether there was forewarning of the attack and who was behind it, a senior U.S. official said, adding that the question of a protest preceding the attack is the least important component of the analysis.

But that wasn't the position of Obama or his administration! Com'on! Enough revisionist history! Obama and his people came out of the box charging - falsely - that (to paraphrase) "The video was responsible."

Com'on, folks... lies upon lies upon lies... 

Have some self-respect and say "Enough is enough!"  

"What's getting lost is how small this change actually was… It doesn't matter whether there were protests ongoing at the time," the senior U.S. official said, adding that the analysis reflected from the beginning that "the attack was conducted by terrorists and most likely inspired by events in Cairo."

Oh... my... friggin'... God...!!!

Give these people piss tests! They've gotta all be stoned!

Many intelligence officials are concerned by signs that the White House is placing blame on CIA, officials said.

Comments during the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate by Vice President Joe Biden, who said that the White House presented information as provided by the intelligence community, were seen as criticism of the CIA.

"Biden threw it at the agency in the debate," said a former CIA official. "We're the whipping boy again."

The White House dismissed the concern. 

Yeah... I'll bet!

Since the Sept. 11 assault, the intelligence community has "continually pursued all leads and provided in a timely way the best possible intelligence to support policy makers throughout the U.S. government," said Tommy Vietor, the White House National Security Council spokesman.

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