About That 2 a.m. (i.e. 8 p.m.) Hillary-Hicks Call . . .Before the 10 p.m. Hillary-Obama Call By Andrew C. McCarthy

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/347981/about-2am-hillary-hicks-call-10pm-hillary-obama-call

Andrew rightly points out that, among the very interesting news that came out of the Benghazi hearing was the revelation that the State Department’s Gregory Hicks, then the No. 2 American official in Libya, spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 2 a.m. on the night of the attack. Just to flesh that out a bit, Hicks said he briefed Clinton and her senior staff on what was happening on the ground at the time. As Andrew notes, no one mentioned the Internet video — which Hicks testified was a “non-event” in Libya. More significant, Hicks and the other American officials in Tripoli knew that the government facility in Benghazi was under terrorist attack. Minutes after the siege started, Hicks spoke with Ambassador Stevens himself, who told him, “We are under attack.” From then on, Hicks and other State officials in Tripoli were furiously working their contacts in Benghazi to learn what was happening on the ground there, and Hicks was reporting these details, in real time, to the State Department in Washington.

Even more important, at the time that Hicks spoke directly with Clinton, the most urgent problem was that Ambassador Stevens was missing and, worse, Hicks was hearing that Stevens had fallen into the hands of Ansar al-Sharia — the local al-Qaeda affiliate which orchestrated the attack (and which Hicks referred to in his testimony as “the enemy”). When Hicks was directly briefing Clinton, the specific concern was the Stevens might be at a hospital in Benghazi that was under the terrorists’ control. In fact, at the time, Hicks was thinking that the reinforcements that were trying to get to Benghazi from Tripoli might have to function as a “hostage-rescue team” — i.e., go to the jihadists’ hospital and try to rescue the ambassador. It was not until an hour later, at 3 a.m., that Hicks learned Stevens had been killed (in a call from the Libyan prime minister).

To sum up: State’s main guy on the ground in Libya tells Clinton in Washington that State’s people in Benghazi are under attack by the local al-Qaeda franchise, Ansar al-Sharia, which might have captured the U.S. ambassador. Yet, over the next few days, with what we now know to be monumental input from the State Department, the Obama administration purges references to Ansar al-Sharia from the talking points that it uses to explain the attack to the American people. Instead, it concocts a story claiming the anti-Islamic Internet video was the culprit.

Our friend Hugh Hewitt and the Daily Beast’s superb reporter Eli Lake have opined that it is likely a recording of the 2 a.m. phone call exists in the archives of the NSA or the State Department. Assuming this is so, if Secretary of State John Kerry, Clinton’s successor, does not think there was any real news in what we learned at Wednesday’s hearing, then surely he should have no objection to disclosing any recording to Darrell Issa’s committee and to the public, right? And if there is not a recording, it should be no problem to disclose any notes taken by Clinton or her senior staffers, right?

MORE BENGHAZI BUZZ FROM ANDREW McCARTHY

White House Lies About the Benghazi Talking Points http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/347943/white-house-lies-about-benghazi-talking-points

Brother Geraghty leads the Morning Jolt today with the breaking news from ABC that President Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, lied on behalf of his principal when he told the public that the fraudulent Benghazi talking-points were essentially an intelligence community product that represented the IC’s best analysis of what had happened on September 11.

Steve Hayes broke the essence of this news in the Weekly Standard a week ago, so maybe it’s better to describe ABC’s report “breaking elaboration.” Recall, though, that the fraudulent talking-points were the basis for the fraudulent appearance on the Sunday talk shows by President Obama’s ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice. She pretended on behalf of her principal that the jihadist massacre in Benghazi resulted from a spontaneous “protest” provoked by the purported scourge of Islamophobia (here, an anti-Islamic Internet video). As the administration well knew – indeed, knew from on-scene intel supplied throughout the siege – the State Department compound was actually subjected to a coordinated attack by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists.

ABC News reports that the talking-points went through at least 12 different edits, gradually deleting, among other key things, references to Ansar al-Sharia. That’s the local al Qaeda franchise that orchestrated the Benghazi operation, in which four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, were murdered and many others were wounded, some quite seriously. The rewrites to which the talking-points were subjected blatantly contradict Carney’s whoppers, which maintained that the talking points were the substantially unvarnished assessment of intelligence professionals as to which only a “single adjustment” was made by the White House and State Department (changing “consulate” to “diplomatic facility”), and any other changes were “stylistic and not substantive.”

Two thoughts occur.

First, does the White House press corps have any self-respect? Sometime during the administration of that other Clinton, these journalists went from seeing their job as watchdog keeping democratic government honest to admiring raconteurs of how artfully the were lied to. Compared to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama is a crude liar – more brass-knuckles, Chicago-style “What are you gonna do about it?” than Yale Law School meets Bubba glib – and Benghazi cannot be sloughed off as “lies about sex.” Are these reporters going to keep functioning as the adjunct to Carney’s office, or will a few of them actually start treating a travesty involving four murdered Americans as if it were nearly as serious as a kerfuffle involving sixteen words?

Raymond Maxwell: Former Deputy Asst Secretary Removed Over Benghazi Pens a Poem ****

http://diplopundit.net/2013/05/08/raymond-maxwell-former-deputy-asst-secretary-removed-over-benghazi-pens-a-poem/

thanks to my e-pal m.t. for this poetry….

In December 2012, the NYT reported that four State Department officials were removed from their posts after an independent panel criticized the “grossly inadequate” security at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that was attacked on Sept. 11, leading to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. According to the report, the four officials “have been placed on administrative leave pending further action” citing the State Department’s spokeswoman as source.

The same report included a quote from Thomas R. Pickering, a former ambassador (and former #3 at the State Department) who led the independent review who said this: “We fixed it at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.”

One of those four officials is Raymond Maxwell; he is also one of the three Deputy Assistant Secretaries who were thrown under the bus in the Benghazi fallout. He was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Maghreb (North Africa) Affairs at the Bureau of Near East Affairs from 2011-2012. He advised the Assistant Secretary on the Maghreb and oversaw development, coordination and implementation of USG policy in the region. Previous to that, he was the Director of the Office of Regional and Multilateral Affairs (RMA) also at the Bureau of Near East Affairs from 2009-2011. More here.

Mr. Maxwell is also a poet with hopes of becoming “a music and poetry librarian in his next life.” This past April, we became aware that he participated in the National Poetry Writing Month, an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the entire month (see his blog). We think one of his poems, “Invitation“is particularly striking. How can we not appreciate the dark humor of BYOB … “because of the continuing resolution?” Certainly, the poem is blunt and aims to shock but it also makes us think that as as long as one is the boss of words, one is not totally helpless. We received permission from Mr. Maxwell to republish the poem in this blog.
Invitation

– Posted on April 1, 2013

© Raymond Maxwell

The Queen’s Henchmen
request the pleasure of your company
at a Lynching – to be held
at 23rd and C Streets NW
on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
just past sunset.

Dress: Formal, Masks and Hoods –
the four being lynched
must never know the identities
of their executioners, or what/
whose sin required their sacrifice.

A blood sacrifice –
to divert the hounds –
to appease the gods –
to cleanse our filth and
satisfy our guilty consciences.

Arrive promptly at sunset –
injustice will be swift.
there will be no trial,
no review of evidence,
no due process, and no
accountability.

Dress warmly –
a chilling effect will instantly
envelop Foggy Bottom.
Extrajudicial.
Total impunity.
A kangaroo court in
a banana republic.

B.Y.O.B.
Refreshments will not be served
because of the continuing resolution.

And the ones being lynched?
Who cares? They are pawns in a game.
Our game. All suckers, all fools,
all knaves who volunteered to serve –
Us. And the truth? The truth?
What difference at this point does it make?

In the event of inclement weather,
or the Queen’s incapacitation,
her Henchmen will carry out this lynching –
as ordered, as planned.

* * *

Thanks to Raymond Maxwell for allowing us to republish Invitation in this blog.

BREAKING: Jay Carney Lied About the Benghazi Talking Points

BREAKING: Jay Carney Lied About the Benghazi Talking Points

To read more, visit www.nationalreview.com

Breaking this morning, from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl:

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

Here’s the kicker: “In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either? Concerned . . .”

Hey, why would they want to accurately inform the public if it might result in criticism from Congress, right?

Cockroach Curses and Jew Hunting in California Colleges: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

The players include several perfect archetypes, and the situation is a classic one: Anti-Israel students engage in “street theater,” mimicking brutal, oppressive Israel Defense Forces soldiers. The victims, pro-Israel students, are traumatized and believe themselves unable to stand up for themselves.

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/cockroach-curses-and-jew-hunting-in-california-colleges/2013/05/10/

Hyper-politicized college student programs dealing with the Middle East these days often end up as actual or virtual shoving matches between two ideological camps: those that support Israel and those that denounce her. Questions about ideology — is Israel defending itself from terrorists or murdering innocent children — morph into questions about whether the Israel’s campus advocates, or Israel’s campus enemies, were the ones to curse, hit, shove, or obstruct, or the ones to lie about some or all of the above.

We saw this recently at Brooklyn College, where four Jewish pro-Israel students were booted from a speech sponsored by a public university on the demand of a single twenty-something advocate for economic and political warfare against Israel. That (non) Student for Justice in Palestine organizer had been given control of the event, the room where it took place, and the university’s entire security apparatus.

Alone among a raft of public security and university faculty and administration, this one man claimed the Jewish students had been disruptive and had to be, and were, removed. The claims of allegedly aggressive Jews attempting to stifle debate and bar academic freedom become merged with claims of aggressive Israeli soldiers impeding innocents at Middle East checkpoints.

That story only fell apart, and the university was only forced to abandon its initial blame of the pro-Israel students — and to agree that they’d done nothing wrong — after a tape of the event surfaced that made it impossible to believe the version put out by the anti-Israel partisans. Only then did a university “investigation” follow, which concluded the Jewish students had been wrongfully ejected from the public event, which was a publicly funded call for the boycott of Israeli products. Your tax dollars at work.

Another story is now unfolding in California, where another public attack on Israel precipitated contradictory accounts of improper conduct by Israel’s advocates and enemies.

Tell Me Again Why US Used Jihadists to Guard Benghazi?Diana West

http://townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/2013/05/10/tell-me-again-why-the-us-used-jihadists-to-guard-benghazi-n1592113 “I want to ask a couple of questions about the February 17 Martyrs Brigade,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold. The Texas Republican was addressing the three State Department “whistleblowers” who testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The three witnesses […]

AN APOLOGY FROM THE IRS…TOO LITTLE TOO LATE FOR AN OUTRAGEOUS BIAS

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/irs-apology_n_3253001.html?utm_hp_ref=politics IRS Apologizes For Inappropriately Targeting Conservative Political Groups In 2012 Election WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday. Organizations were singled out because they included the words “tea […]

MY SAY: WHISTLEBLOWING IN THE WIND?

Don’t get me wrong. I love every word of the Benghazi hearings testimony. My earnest hope is that this will permanently derail the Presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton and permanently stain the Obama administration.But, there remains something unsaid and unexamined and uninvestigated, namely, the failure of our entire policy with respect to Islam and the Arab world.

When will we confront the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan whose mission has always been blurred, the Sharia tolerant rules of engagement that derailed our missions, the airbrushing of the malignant role of Islamic tenets and Jihad, the folly of democracy and nation building among barbarians, and the “desperately seeking Arab moderates” that obsesses even our more astute commentators?

A case in question is the “moderate” Libyan Mohammed Magariaf . Read this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/17/libya-arrests-suspected-foreign-missionaries
Libya arrests foreign ‘missionaries’

Four foreign nationals accused of distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty

On Sunday, Libya’s de facto head of state, speaker of congress Mohammed Magariaf, pledged that Libya would incorporate sharia law into its future constitution, during a speech in Benghazi to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution.

JAMIE GLAZOV INTERVIEWS RAYMOND IBRAHIM AUTHOR OF “CRUCIFIED AGAIN”

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/jamie-glazov/crucified-again-the-islamic-jihad-on-christians-exposed/print/

To order Raymond Ibrahim’s new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, click here.

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a widely published author on Islam, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of the new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute).

FP: Raymond Ibrahim, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Congratulations on your new book, Crucified Again. It was just released last week and is available on Amazon.com and bookstores across America. It certainly is an eye-opener. You even include several color photos which speak for themselves. Can you tell us a little about the book and why you wrote it?

Ibrahim: Thanks, Jamie. Christian persecution under Islam is probably the absolute worse human rights crisis going on in the world today, and yet it is virtually unknown in the West. Thus I wrote the book to fill the vacuum, since the mainstream media and others—such as the Obama administration—have, to varying degrees, decided to ignore or whitewash this otherwise growing epidemic of human pain and suffering.

If any other group but Christians were being attacked, their plight would make international headlines. But because from childhood on up in America—from high schools to universities, from the media to Hollywood—Americans are conditioned to view Christians and their history as hypocritical, fanatical, intolerant, the source of the world’s woes, it is difficult to acknowledge that, in fact, Christians are by far the most persecuted religious group around the word, especially the Islamic world.

A January 2013 Reuters report estimates some 100 million Christians around the world are being persecuted for their faith. Thus I wrote this book to give

FP: Tell us how bad it is for Christians in Muslim majority countries. We definitely are not gonna hear about this from our mainstream media.

Ibrahim: The situation has gone from bad to worse, particularly in light of the so-called “Arab Spring” and the Obama administration’s enthusiastic support for it, despite the fact that it continually exposes its true face as an Islamic takeover.

P. DAVID HORNIK:THE TALIBANIZATION OF GAZA****

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/davidhornik/the-talibanization-of-gaza/

What a relief that Israel withdrew from Gaza, liberating the Palestinians there.

Well, not exactly. As summed up on Israel National News, this week the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat reported that

Hamas is lobbying for a stricter enforcement of Islamic law in Gaza—including provisions to cut off the hands of thieves, and execution of individuals who cheat on their spouses…. Hamas expects the new regulations to take effect in the coming months, after introduction of the legislation in the PA parliament.

The report notes that “Existing laws mete out the death penalty to individuals convicted of murder, spying, homosexuality, or selling land to Jews” and that the new legislation will also include “lashes for a large number of ‘crimes,’ including drinking alcoholic beverages and gambling.”

And furthermore, “Hamas has a large majority in the PA parliament, with 74 of the 134 parliamentarians belonging to the Islamist party,” and the new legislation