My take on Benghazi developments can be found here, but there are any number of other pieces an informed person should take a gander at. I’d like to suggest reading the ABC News story and Steve Hayes’ Weekly Standard piece on the State-scrubbed talking-points in conjunction with Andy McCarthy’s column on the Libyan president Mohammed Magarief. Victoria Nuland and the State Department vacuumed any real “intelligence” out of the CIA talking-points like Dr Kermit Gosnell suctioning the brains out of Philadelphia babies. Why would they do this? The nearest thing to any genuine rationale that was offered was this:

The CIA version went on to say, “That being said, we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” The draft went on to specifically name the al Qaeda-affiliated group named Ansar al-Sharia.

Once again, Nuland objected to naming the terrorist groups because “we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.”

In response, an NSC staffer coordinating the review of the talking points wrote back to Nuland, “The FBI did not have major concerns with the points and offered only a couple minor suggestions…”

In an email dated 9/14/12 at 9:34 p.m. — three days after the attack and two days before Ambassador Rice appeared on the Sunday shows – Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote an email saying the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.

“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.”


A failure of character of this magnitude corrodes the integrity of the state.

Shortly before last November’s election I took part in a Fox News documentary on Benghazi, whose other participants included the former governor of New Hampshire John Sununu. Making chit-chat while the camera crew were setting up, Governor Sununu said to me that in his view Benghazi mattered because it was “a question of character.” That’s correct. On a question of foreign policy or counterterrorism strategy, men of good faith can make the wrong decisions. But a failure of character corrodes the integrity of the state.

That’s why career diplomat Gregory Hicks’s testimony was so damning — not so much for the new facts as for what those facts revealed about the leaders of this republic. In this space in January, I noted that Hillary Clinton had denied ever seeing Ambassador Stevens’s warnings about deteriorating security in Libya on the grounds that “1.43 million cables come to my office” — and she can’t be expected to see all of them, or any. Once Ambassador Stevens was in his flag-draped coffin listening to her eulogy for him at Andrews Air Force Base, he was her bestest friend in the world — it was all “Chris this” and “Chris that,” as if they’d known each other since third grade. But up till that point he was just one of 1.43 million close personal friends of Hillary trying in vain to get her ear.


My name is Nicholas Buford. I’m a 19-year-old black Republican from Georgia. I currently attend Valdosta State University, where I have just wrapped up my freshman year, attempting to major in political science. I serve as the senator of the freshman class of Valdosta.

I am the first black Republican in my family of very religious, conservative Democrats. No one in my family had ever been politically active before, but I have loved politics since I was 13 years old. After the election in 2008, I decided to find out the values of the two political parties. I came to realize that the values I believe in are within the GOP party platform. At the age of 16, I made the decision to stand up for my values, even though it would be tough. Since then, I have never been afraid to talk about why I am a Republican and why I am a conservative. I try to educate others on the platform of the GOP as well.

I want the Republican Party elected officials and GOP leaders to work harder to promote the GOP platform to all Americans.

I’m tired of watching people vote for a party and they don’t even know what the party stands for. There are so many African Americans, Hispanics, and young people who stand with the GOP. Yet these people vote Democrat because the GOP does not do a good job of explaining and spreading its message.

I joined my university’s College Republican club in September 2012. In November, I participated in a debate against the College Democrats at my school. The audience was over 300 people, and 80% of the crowd was African-American. During that two-hour debate, many students were getting their first glimpse at a black Republican. We discussed the social, fiscal, and national defense platforms of America’s two major political parties. I stood up for the values of my party and presented the party platform; I spoke passionately about the Republican Party platform and put it in clear and simple language.

What Maisie Knew — A Review By Marion DS Dreyfus–_a_review.html

Here is a contemporary adaptation of Henry James’ respected eponymous 1897 novel directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel. Maisie is the kindergartner offspring of a self-involved rock singer, Susanna (a blistering Julianne Moore), and an equally unreflective international art dealer, Beale (a distant, philandering, unlovable Steve Coogan, abjuring his uproarious comic side for this fad-sad-trad dad). The convolutions and setbacks, wrangles and self-righteousness of an acrid divorce and custody battle are displayed here, all from the point of view of the child in question, sweet 5- or 6-year-old Maisie.

The casting is particularly daring, because both Moore and Coogan are well-loved for their frequent, winning simulacra of beloved characters. But we give them the leeway they earn as frivolous and heedless bits of parental flotsam. We willingly cede our ingrained habit of instant affection for these limbic, obliviously self-concerned parents of a most adorable, deserving child, the Maisie pictured here — done to a perfectly steady sadness by Onata Aprile, who is heartbreakingly trusting, painfully aware of much more than her selfish parents realize. Like most children, she may not articulate all she senses, but she sees and knows considerably more than the adults give her credit for. The casting ignores Mancunian Coogan’s hyphenates as comedian-actor-producer-writer, and all his awards as a popular TV impressionist; his usual personae of warped and wussy humor are here not hinted at.

Instead, these accomplished artistes are petty, vindictive, hysterical, and mindless, unaware of all the theoretical constructs we have been doused with since the Spockian psycho-inspirational deluge of the mid-’50s, ’60s and onward. Some psychoanalytic critics over the years have argued the Jamesian story is a parallel between James’ narrative voice and the jargon-rich common problem of psychological transference. Whatever, it is a gripping, even tension-filled, unmerry-go-round.

What Maisie Knew is no museum piece from a fustian prior era. Given a spit-gloss of trendy elements, it is a Baedeker of a damaged, decayed and careless society. James has given us a rough and prescient microcosm of a culture that has failed its prime responsibility: lovingly ferrying its children into adulthood.

DEAR DERSH: READ THIS BY MARTIN SHERMAN: “Rebut or retract: A public challenge to Dershowitz “

“I challenge Dershowitz to respond to the queries I raise and to rebut my critiques of his proposal.
If he cannot, he should retract both the proposal and his pejorative portrayal of its critics. That would be no more than his moral and public duty.”
Alan Dershowitz’s response to his derisive reception at ‘Post’ conference in New York late underscores bankruptcy of “The Case for Two States”.

I have now joined this distinguished company of people who get booed for advocating territorial compromise in the interest of peace. That’s why I will no longer lend my support to ‘far-right pep’ rallies of the kind I spoke at last week.
– Alan Dershowitz, Jerusalem Post, May 5

In many ways, Alan Dershowitz’s somewhat puerile and petulant response to the derisive reception he was given by the audience at The Jerusalem Post Second Annual Conference in New York late last month vividly underscores just how bankrupt “The Case for Two States” has become.

Sulk, sulk; pout pout

True, Dershowitz has been a stout defender of Israel against its more vehement critics. For this he should be – and often is – commended.

But this does not give him a carte blanche to promote preposterous and perilous policy proposals – or immunize himself from censure when he does.

His intemperate reaction to the irreverent giggles that the plan he presented for restarting talks with the Palestinians – or at least, certain elements of the plan – elicited from the audience were hardly becoming of a figure of his stature.

Although a case could perhaps be made for greater courtesy from the crowd, Dershowitz’s disparaging dismissal of his critics as “foolish” and “part of the problem, not the solution”; and his rather juvenile jibe that he reserved the right “to tell you what I think of you, and it’s not much,” hardly added to the force of his arguments.

His conference exchange apparently stung him sufficiently to prompt him into penning a riposte last Sunday, in The Jerusalem Post, titled “Jews who boo efforts to make peace.”

In a display of pouting pique he, in essence, declared that henceforth he would confine the presentation of his blueprint for peace to more compliant and consensual crowds, sulking: “… I will no longer lend my support to ‘far-right pep’ rallies of the kind I spoke at last week.”

When an ardent and articulate two-state advocate, such as Dershowitz, finds himself resorting to insults, rather than intellect, and vows to eschew endeavors to persuade dissenting audiences of the merits of his case, the arguments for it must be becoming terribly threadbare.


The Jerusalem Post | Tuesday, January 07, 2003

On April 6, 2002, 123 university academics and researchers (their number -would later rise to 250) from across Europe signed an open letter, published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, calling for a moratorium on all cultural and research links with Israel until the Israeli government abided by (unspecified) UN resolutions and returned yet again to negotiations with Yasser Arafat to be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the latest Saudi peace plan. The petition was organized and published at the very time Israelis were being butchered on a daily basis, mainly by brainwashed teenage suicide bombers, Arab versions of the Hitler Youth. It declared, in high Pecksniffian style, that since the Israeli government was “impervious to moral appeals from world leaders” Israel’s cultural and research institutions should be denied further funding from the European Union and the European Science Foundation. It neglected to recommend that the European Union suspend its very generous financing of Yasser Arafat or that Chinese scholars be boycotted until China withdraws from Tibet. The petition was the brainchild of Steven Rose, director of the Brain and Behavior Research Group at Gresham College, London, and the great majority of its signatories were British. But it included academics from a host of European countries, a number sufficient to give it the appearance of a pan-European campaign against the Jews. It even had the obligatory display Israeli, one Eva Jablonka of Tel Aviv University. (Nine other Israeli leftists added their names as soon as they found out about this opportunity for international renown.)

In June, Mona Baker, director of the Center for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) decided to practice what the all-European petitioners had preached: She dismissed from the boards of the two journals she owns and edits two Israelis, Miriam Shlesinger of Bar-Ilan University and Gideon Toury of Tel Aviv University. She also added that she would no longer accept articles from Israeli researchers and it was later revealed that she would not “allow” books originating from her private publishing house (St. Jerome) to be purchased by Israeli institutions. One paradox of the firing, which would be repeated often in later stages of the boycott, was that Shlesinger was a member in good standing of the Israeli Left, former chairman of Amnesty International’s Israeli chapter, and ever at the ready with “criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank…”

Toury, for his part, opposed taking any retaliatory action against Baker – this had been proposed by an American teaching fellow at Leeds named Michael Weingrad – because “a boycott is a boycott is a boycott.” A small contingent of Toury’s (mostly British) friends in linguistics issued a statement objecting to his dismissal because: “We agree with Noam Chomsky’s view that one does not boycott people or their cultural institutions as an expression of political protest.” It was hard to say whether this document was more notable for its lack of Jewish self-respect or for sheer ignorance (of the fact that Chomsky was leading the American campaign for disinvestment in Israel, the economic phalanx of the professorial campaign to demonize and isolate Israel). A few (non-British) members of Baker’s boards resigned because they objected to the dismissal of people solely “on the basis of [their] passport,” especially by a journal entitled The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication. BUT, FOR the most part, the dismissals raised no public opposition from within the British university system, just as almost none had been raised back in April when the racist hoodlum Tom Paulin, stalwart of the IRA school of poetics and a professor at Oxford, had urged that American Jews living in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria “should be shot dead.”

The situation changed only when an American scholar, Professor Stephen Greenblatt of Harvard, intervened. After arriving in England in early July 2002 to receive an honorary degree from London University, Greenblatt called Baker’s actions “repellent,” “dangerous” and “intellectually and morally bankrupt.” “Excluding scholars because of the passports that they carry or because of their skin color, religion or political party, corrupts the integrity of intellectual work,” he said. Greenblatt’s statement forced the British public to pay attention to Baker’s boycott. Even a writer for the venomously anti-Israel Guardian was emboldened to criticize the way in which the European boycotters’ petition was being carried to extreme and radical form in Britain: A British lecturer working at Tel Aviv University applied for a post back home in the United Kingdom and was told by the head of the first department to which he applied: “No, we don’t accept any applicants from a Nazi state.”

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

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?


White House Lies About the 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 ****

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.

– 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

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

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

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?