Posts Tagged ‘Darryl Issa’

While many of us hit by Superstorm Sandy were still struggling to recover, Saturday Night Live opened with a dueling press conference by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, each accompanied by his personal ASL translator. You can also check out translator in Brisbane for more info.  At one point, Fred Armesen, broke into some very Bloombergesque español and asked New York’s Hispanic population to please be patient with white people who, with no electricity, internet, or cable have been missing Homeland, and missing Homeland is the worst thing that ever happened to them.

Some people are simply so impatient for the new season of Homeland that they have launched a spin-off.  A huge hit during season one beginning last fall,  Benghazi returned to the Fox News Channel in prime time last week, and its fans cannot get enough.

During season one, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the Carrie Mathison figure, returning from an extensive trip to the South Pacific and Asia immediately had to respond to an attack on a US installation in northern Libya.

Her State Department had lost four good men.  Hillary took full responsibility for everything and assigned two top people, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen to assemble an Accountability Review Board to investigate what had happened and what had gone wrong.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee clamored for her to appear before them.  She assured them that she would cooperate after the ARB had completed its investigation and submitted its report, but meanwhile assured them that she would gladly send State Department personnel to testify as requested and well as provide documents as requested, which she did.  In the course of the live telecast of the testimony, Rep. Jason Chaffetz,  ever petulant and dramatic, exposed the Benghazi installation not really to be a State Department operation at all but rather a CIA site under DOS cover, but never mind!

Meanwhile, Hillary attended to her myriad other duties as Secretary of State as well as President Obama’s duties at the U.N. General Assembly through the end of September.

She traveled extensively in October and November Peru, Algeria, the Balkans, Australia, and one last swing through Asia with a sudden assignment to the Middle East.  In December,  finishing her last trip to the Czech Republic, NATO in Belgium, Ireland, and Northern Ireland she fell ill with a serious virus, fainted, and sustained a concussion.  Later a blood clot was found.

All of this time the HFAC clamored for her appearance, however, the ARB report had not as yet been completed, and Hillary was not going to testify until she had that report to read and submit.  Hillary as villainess in the Fox News series Benghazi was now being accused of faking her illness and injuries to avoid testifying.

Recovering at home, she received the completed report and sent it to Congress with a cover letter (see the sidebar for the links), but she was still under doctors’ orders to remain at home, rest, and heal. December and Christmas passed, the New Year came in, and Hillary’s people were all very worried about her condition while the Benghazi show on Fox insisted she was faking.

Season one of Behghazi ended when Hillary spent January 23 on Capitol Hill and testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee (videos of full testimony have been added to these links).    Like her confirmation hearing,  these testimonies together amounted to the equivalent of multiple dissertation defenses.

In the interim, the Republican Conference launched an investigation of the ARB investigation and issued a report in late April.  Missing from the committee assigned to the investigation was the House Appropriations Committee which, for the two years in a row since the election of Tea Party candidates to the Republican majority Congress,  had cut Hillary’s budget for Embassy security by hundreds of millions of dollars. But never mind!

We have a basis for a new season of … Benghazi!  Let’s do it!

Season two opened last week to much fanfare regarding State Department “whistleblowers” testifying – now to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.   Covered exclusively by Fox, since they own Benghazi,  the season debut featured questions from Republican members, often delivered with great melodramatic flair (Jason Chaffetz, Trey Gowdy).   In this episode a great fuss was made regarding the ARB, the depth,  breadth, and nature of the investigation as well as personnel interviewed.

In a review of  season two/episode one last week, ARB co-chair Ambassador Thomas Pickering told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that both he and his co-chair Admiral Mullen had offered their testimony to HOGR chair, Darryl Issa, prior to last week’s hearing but they were declined.

Drama built as Pickering sat beside Issa on Meet the Press on Sunday. I will let you read the deliciousness here.

Darrell Issa (R-CA) made a fool of himself on “Meet the Press” Sunday as he tried to defend his Benghazi conspiracy. David Gregory (R-TV) pushed back hard, even bringing up the GOP’s defunding of security.

Issa even accused General David Petraeus of lying for the administration. As soon as Gregory would call Issa on one thing, he’d say he was investigating something else. Issa accused Tom Pickering of refusing to testify when in fact, Issa had not invited him to speak and Pickering was told that the Republican majority did not want him there. Issa ended up backtracking on that one, too, and it was super awkward when it came out that Issa never asked for him to appear.

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It was even better than any of the Fox coverage.  So in this week’s episode, the previews show this coming.

Benghazi Depositions To Examine Hillary Clinton’s Role In Response To Attacks

By DONNA CASSATA 05/13/13 05:02 PM ET EDT AP

WASHINGTON — House Republicans pushed ahead Monday with their investigation of the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year as President Barack Obama asserted that GOP charges of a cover-up are baseless.

The latest Republican focus is the independent review that slammed the State Department for inadequate security at the installation before the twin nighttime attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked the two authors of the investigation – veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – to meet privately with committee staff to answer questions about their review. Democrats countered that if Congress wants to talk to them, Issa should hold a full open hearing.

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I have a feeling this season will not go well for Benghazi,  Issa or for Fox.

I can understand being frustrated between seasons of Homeland.  I am a fan myself.  Going to this extent seems an exaggeration, however.  There are alternatives.  While it is entirely based in fantasy, Game of Thrones, for example, could be very instructive viewing for Issa and his army.

They should become acquainted with Daenerys Targaryen .  I believe her character is based on Hillary Clinton.  Like Hillary, she is blonde, beautiful, smart, kind, and a gifted leader.  Princess of the Targaryen dynasty and widow of  Dothraki warlord,  Khal Drogo, she is the Khaleesi of the Dothraki people.   When faced with enemies, she buys their slaves to be her army and buys their female slaves,  befriends them and makes them her close staff and guards.  She is very powerful. Everyone adores her, and she has dragons.   Fierce dragons. Protective ones.

Speaking of dragons, Hillary also has fierce dragons.  We are legion.  We are everywhere, and even if they try to keep this Benghazi series going,  our Khaleesi will win in the end.

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Hillary Clinton will be in Beverly Hills this evening to receive another in a long string of awards and honors.

Chairman’s Gala


U.S. Secretary of State (2009-2013)
May 8, 2013

Gala to honor Hillary Clinton May 2013 | Los Angeles
At a gala event on May 8, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver one of her first addresses on the west coast since stepping down as U.S. Secretary of State earlier this year. Secretary Clinton will accept the inaugural Warren Christopher Public Service Award from the Pacific Council on International Policy, conferred in recognition of her distinguished service to the country

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC is planning a rally to greet her, as they have at previous events.

All of this pro-Hillary excitement unfolds against the backdrop of a flurry of anti-Hillary activity in the House of Representatives where today the Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard the testimony of three State Department employees called by Darryl Issa who is itching to pin a bogus cover-up or something else – whatever he can find – on the retired Secretary of State.

Largely ignored by cable outlets today (except Fox News, of course),  at least some of the testimony concerned issues that had been adequately addressed in the Accountability Review Board (ARB) report provided to the all interested Congress persons well prior to Secretary Clinton’s January 23 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

State  Department officials have repeatedly and consistently stated that under Secretary Clinton’s leadership all 29 recommendations by the board had been implemented.  Hillary Clinton unequivocally took responsibility for failures on the part of her department.

Andrea Mitchell today had Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the board with Admiral Mike Mullen,  on her show.  Pickering stated that Gregory Hicks, who was second in command to slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and remained in Tripoli the night of the attack, had done a fine job and had spent many hours being interviewed by the ARB.  He pointed out that the requests from Hicks for four special forces to be sent to Benghazi after the first attack and for a fly over in Benghazi were deemed impractical both by State and by the Department of Defense.

Pickering also stated that he offered to testify before the committee and Issa declined his offer.

Sending the only four special forces out of Tripoli where classified documents are kept would have left the embassy vulnerable when embassies across the region were under siege.   There were no classified documents in Benghazi.  The primary responsibility of the special forces is protection of classified materials – not personnel.  No one could have predicted a second attack in Benghazi.  The planes requested for the flyover could not have refueled since there was no tanker in the Mediterranean that night. (See p. 37 of the report)

So, while Issa and company continue to aim at her and miss,  Hillary will be receiving a public service award and her fervent supporters will greet her with pleas for her to run in 2016.  Meanwhile, husband Bill says she is having a fine time doing what she wants and talk of 2016 is a waste of time.  Hillary does not have to do anything at all to get her name in the headers or on her husband’s lips, but she has already done so much that regularly she is given awards and honors.

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Resoundingly missing from the cover of the Interim Progress Report  on the Benghazi, Libya consulate attack published yesterday by the House Republican Conference is the name Harold Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations committee that twice slashed the State Department’s diplomatic security budget.   That committee was apparently excused from reporting to the conference in the zealous crusade being waged by Tea Party Republicans,  led by Darryl Issa and Jason Chaffetz, to pin blame on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Issa’s name is listed as a co-author of the report while Media Matters reports that Chaffetz appeared with Megyn Kelly to discuss the report released to great hullabaloo in right-wing circles.

Fox’s Kelly Interviews Rep. Chaffetz And Ignores His Hypocrisy Over Embassy Security


During the interview there was no mention of Rep. Chaffetz’s own vote to cut funding to embassy security or reports that have undermined right-wing attacks on Clinton.


Kelly provided Chaffetz with numerous opportunities to bash Clinton – asking if Clinton “blatantly lied” over requests being made for more security at the embassy, allowing Chaffetz to make claims that Clinton personally denied more security for the embassy, and speculating that there are documents being hidden from lawmakers that prove Clinton had direct knowledge regarding the lack of security at the embassy.

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Oh!  So he is speculating!  Never mind that she accepted full responsibility for failures, provided State Department personnel to testify and documents for examination as requested, submitted the Accountability Review Board report in a timely fashion from home while recovering from a concussion and blood clot,  and went on to testify in person before committees in both the Senate  and the House as requested before she had fully recovered from her serious (and scary) health issues – never mind all of that.  Chaffetz and his Tea Partiers think documents are being hidden.   According to an article yesterday inThe Hill,  the former secretary was not interviewed by the audit committee.


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Let me catch my breath.  What the “hey” is going on?  I cannot figure out whether people are stupid, crazy, or just uninformed.

First, the interwebs are inundated with a picture I will not post here from Wednesday’s event when Hillary Ciinton,  a laureate herself in October 2010,  celebrated this year’s winners of the McGovern Award, David Novak and Christina Aguilera (who apparently did not consult with Reese Witherspoon about wardrobe recommendations when participating in State Department events).   The  picture and stories misrepresent what actually happened at that moment in that crowded little space behind the table bearing the (huge) awards and beside the podium.  In the video from  Wednesday, it is clear that Hillary is merely trying to move and was oogling no one and nothing, spectacularly exhibited cleavage notwithstanding.

Second, as if there were nothing else going on in the world, someone makes a meme of Hillary and Big Bird with a reference to a safe house (also not shared here since it would be counter-productive to the purpose of this post).  Yes, we all enjoy the Hillary memes, Hillary included, and everyone loves Big Bird.  We do want him and the Sesame Street residents, whom Mme. Secretary loves,  to be safe from Mitt Romney and his big budget cleaver, but the buzz word here should set off bells and whistles.  Perhaps this is not the most appropriate time to posit jokes about safe houses.  Think of the implications.

On October 10, next Wednesday,  Mme. Secretary is due on Capitol Hill to testify before Darryl Issa’s House Oversight Committee on security in Libya in general and in Benghazi in particular in the months and weeks prior to the attack on our consulate there culminating with the murders of  Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others at a safe house in Benghazi.

Get it? 

(I am sure Mme. Secretary saw the humor in both of these items, but in her videos today she appeared less bubbly than usual.  Prepping for Issa is taxing and the strain shows.   He and his Tea Party cronies are going after her.  We should keep that in mind going forward.  That “vast right-wing conspiracy”  exists, and they are going after our girl.)

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