Alea capta est, the die is cast, The Council has spoken, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.
This week, the coming election and the debacle of Benghazi and the subsequent coverup were very much on everyone's minds.
The Greeks had a word we still use, 'hubris' ( ὕβρις) that translates as overwhelming pride and arrogance that leads into a disconnect with reality and ultimately, folly.
This week's winner, Joshuapundit's Obama Agonistes: The Fiction Cracks On Benghazi is my look at this modern example of hubris, and the arrogance and shame behind it.Here's a slice:
"The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good." - Psalms, 36:3
More and more of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton farcically referred to as ' the fog of war' over the Benghazi debacle has dispersed...and what it reveals is sheer ugliness.
Even some of President Obama's loyal media lackeys aren't quite able to swallow what he's doling out, as this video clip from an MSNBC interview shows.
Here's a transcript, that mercifully leaves out the president's stammers, er-ahs and stutters:
MB: Why has it been so easy for critics to say the administration does not have its story straight on Benghazi?
BO: Well look, the fact of the matter is that this is a tragedy. There’s all kinds of legitimate questions to ask, because any time a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans who are serving our country get killed, you know, we’ve got to figure out what happened and fix it. And most importantly, we’ve got to bring those folks who carried that out to justice. That’s exactly what we’re going to do. But I do take offense, as I’ve said during one of the debates, with some suggestion that you know, in any way we haven’t tried to make sure that the American people knew as information was coming in what we believed happened. And…
JS: Was it the intel community giving you bad information early on, because that’s…the stories keep changing.
BO: Well, that’s what we’re going to find out from the investigation. But the truth is that you know, across the board, when this happened, my number one priority was secure Americans, figure out what happened, bring those folks to justice. We are in the process of doing that right now Congress has been getting the flow of information continuously from day one, and what my attitude on this is, is if we find out that there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job, they’ll be held accountable. Ultimately, as commander-in-chief, I’m responsible, and I don’t shy away from that responsibility. My number one responsibility is to go after folks who did this, and we’re going to make sure that we get them. I’ve got a pretty good track record in doing that.
Meanwhile, a number of members of Congress have been quite vocal over the fact that the administration hasn't told them anything or complied with even the most basic requests for information.
As Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed today in an interview, not only are the recordings from the surveillance cameras that were all over the Benghazi compound now classified top secret so no one can view them, but repeated requests for information to James Clapper, the director of the National Intelligence, General Petraeus, the head of the CIA, or John Brennan, who is the White House head of counterterrorism.
I'll add to that by telling you that according to my sources, the videos sent from the drones overhead directly to the White House situation room in real time and the phone recordings of calls from the Benghazi consulate and the Benghazi CIA annex have suffered the same fate as the surveillance camera tapes. They're classified top secret so no one can get to them.A number of the e-mails that have been leaked were as well,but this president's wholesale blaming of the intelligence community for his own malfeasance has not gone without some blowback.
As for the information given to the American people, what we heard for days from this president, the Secretary of State, the White House spokesperson and our UN ambassador for days were outright lies about a video and a 'spontaneous protest' that got out of control. Because of the leaked e-mails, we know know that the State Department and the White House knew within hours that this was a planned terrorist attack by an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The other, unmistakeable fact that's leaked out is that there was no attempt made to save the trapped Americans in the consulate. When the men in the CIA annex in Benghazi, including two ex-Navy SEALS repeatedly asked for permission to put together an ad-hoc force to rescue the Ambassador and the other men trapped in the consulate, they were told to stand down three times.
There were helicopter gunships within easy range of the consulate, and F-18 fighters less than an hour away. One of those ex-Seals in the annex had a laser range finder and was actually radioing in coordinates of enemy targets. No U.S. aircraft were sent to attack.
There was even a Special OPs unit already deployed and ready to go at our airbase in Sigonella, Sicily, a little over a two-hour plane ride away from Benghazi.
This force, known as the Commander's In-extremis Force (CIF) is specifically designated and trained for exactly these kinds of missions, where Americans are endangered and quick, decisive action is called for. The CIF forces are designed to go in with a minimum of information and hit the ground running, and every military theater commander has access to one.
They never got the orders to move.
In our non-Council category, Between Andrew McCarthy with The Real Foreign Policy Failure submitted by Joshuapundit, a remarkably well written examination of the actual threat to our freedom we face from Islamism that shows that it's a much larger and more prevalent problem than many people suppose and outlines the dangers of ignoring it, and The Arabist.with an interesting look at the clash between secular Arab nationalism in the form of Egypt's Nasser and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.
As Watcher, I get to break the tie on these things and in this particular case, interesting as The Arabist's post was ( an as amusing as it was to see the Rais in his full, ranting glory), I decided to go with Andrew McCarthy's piece because I felt it had more depth and dealt with some bigger issues. Do read both of them.
OK, here are this week’s full result,. Only the Independent Sentinel, still coping with the effects of Sandy was unable to vote this week. Our hearts and good wishes go out to her and her family.
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! Joshuapundit –Obama Agonistes: The Fiction Cracks On Benghazi
- Second place with 1 2/3 votes – The Razor - Ending Radio Silence
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room-Presidential Depraved Indifference
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 vote – The Right Planet-Torches And Pitchforks
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Bookworm Room-Found it on Facebook: Jon Stewart and the problem with modern political discourse
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The Mellow Jihadi-Malala Yousufzai, the Martin Luther King Jr of Pakistan
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – The Independent Sentinel-What Four More Years of Obamacracy Will Look Like Pt. I
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – VA Right! – The (Political) Storm of the Century
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews –Speculating on Iran-Israel nuclear conflict: this way insanity waits
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD –Little Satan"s Sudan Raid
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Delusion
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Gay Patriot – The real problem with Obama’s 2008 race speech
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Political Commentator – A must read psychological analysis of Barack Obama!
- First place with 3 votes! – Andrew McCarthy-The Real Foreign Policy Failure submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 votes – The Arabist – Nasser, the Muslim Brothers, and the Veil submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Mark Steyn –Benghazi bungle requires act of urgent political hygiene submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Works And Days – Why Liberals Think What They Do submitted by Gay Patriot
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -Via Meadia -Nature and Nature's God submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 vote The American Civil Rights Union -Benghazi: Obama's Actions Amount to a Shameful Dereliction of Duty submitted by The Political Commentator
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes - Yourish –Rocket fire from Gaza, bias from AP submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place with 1 vote - Michelle Malkin –What about the Camp Bastion attack? submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Anchoress –Benghazigate: What is being lied about, going unasked? submitted by Bookworm Room
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote -American Thinker –Stand Down Obama and Biden, Stand Down submitted by The Right Planet
- Seventh place with 1/3 vote -Doug Ross –The Science Is Settled: Global Warming Responsible for Worst-Ever Storm to Hit New York submitted by Rhymes With Right
See you next week! Remember to tune in for the Watcher's Council's Forum Question this Monday..the Council and their invited guest's election predictions! You won't want to miss it.And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!