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Posts tagged ‘Benghazi’

GOP’s Blakeman: Hillary Could Have Prevented Russian Attack.


Hillary Clinton failed to anticipate Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine territory and should have taken steps to deter Russian aggression, former Bush-era presidential assistant Bradley A. Blakeman charged Wednesday.

Blakeman noted that Clinton, the former secretary of state and leading Democratic contender for the nomination in 2016, played a high-profile role in hitting the “reset button” on U.S.-Russian relations.

“Maybe she could have prevented this if she had done her job correctly,” he said, “and had [used] the power of persuasion with our allies and others to call attention to Russia’s intentions.”

Blakeman, speaking in an exclusive Newsmax interview, said that while Hillary was pressing the reset button with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “the Russians were pressing the reject button.”

He added: “They saw America as being weak. They saw Obama as being weak, and somebody that could be exploited.”

Clinton has come under increasing attack from Republicans in recent weeks on issues ranging from Benghazi to her advocacy of the individual mandate that became the linchpin of Obamacare. She appeared to try to get out in front of the Ukraine issue Tuesday while speaking to the media in Long Beach, Calif.

She likened Russia’s pretext for the invasion to Nazi Germany’s push for Lebensraum in the 1930s.  Said Clinton: “The ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right, I must go and protect my people. And that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Any resolution of the conflict, Clinton said, must not sanction a de facto annexation by Russia of the Crimea.

During the 2012 campaign, Clinton criticized GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney for his view that Russia was America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. “I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN that April in response to Romney’s statement.

But now it appears Romney had a point, Blakeman said.

“She was so out of touch with foreign policy and relationships,” said Blakeman, “that she couldn’t see the forest for the trees that Romney was right, that Putin was no friend of the United States, and had every inclination in causing us problems whether it was in Syria or Iran, and using his power of division to conquer. And that’s exactly what he did.”

He added that Clinton should have discerned Russia’s interest in seizing Ukrainian territory and taken steps to deter it.

Blakeman is a GOP strategist and former assistant to then-President George W. Bush. Now a faculty member at Georgetown University, he is among a growing number of Republicans taking a second look at Clinton’s record in light of Putin’s unchecked militarism in central Europe.

The full geopolitical ramifications of the Russian occupation of Crimea are only now emerging.

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, in an appearance Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, noted that Ukraine gave up a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for Russian guarantees to honor its territorial sovereignty. Kristol said the West’s apparent tolerance for the Russian invasion sends a strong message that encourages nuclear proliferation.

“The signal it sends is not only don’t give up your nuclear weapons, [but] build nuclear weapons!” he remarked. “That will guarantee your safety. Everything else is just talk. It’s a horrible, horrible message to let get out in Europe itself, in Eastern Europe especially.”

Kristol added that the Obama administration’s view that it could induce Putin’s Russia into becoming a cooperative member of the world community — the objective of its much-maligned “reset” strategy — should be fair game for criticism.

“That was a centerpiece of Obama administration policy,” Kristol said. “…I think some of us who have been critical of that for a few years are entitled to say, ‘Can we now acknowledge that was a mistake and has failed?'”

According to Blakeman, Clinton’s role in the administration’s attempt to woo the Russians could become a major issue in the 2016 campaign — particularly if Putin continues to provoke Western powers.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By David A. Patten

Bolton: Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Regret’ Remark Just Canned Politics.


Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton says Hillary Clinton’s remark that the Benghazi attack was her “biggest regret” as secretary of state was a “focus-group-tested, polled response.”

“The fact here is that those deaths could have been avoided,” Bolton told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“The Obama-Clinton administration was . . . unwilling or unable to acknowledge that, in fact, the terrorist threat had grown under Obama worldwide.

“Their campaign claim [was] that al-Qaida was on the run, General Motors is alive, and Osama bin Laden’s dead. The fact is – and Benghazi demonstrates it – the terrorist threat was real and was growing,” Bolton said Monday.

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Bolton said Obama and Clinton’s unwillingness to acknowledge what was actually happening in Libya “for well over a year” before the Sept. 11, 2012, attack led to that tragedy.

He said Clinton’s “biggest regret” comment was “a tried-and-true, focus-group-tested, polled response . . . They may get away with it, but they shouldn’t.”

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former U.N. ambassador, said he is alarmed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s remark that it is a matter of national security to give people who are in the country illegally a pathway to citizenship.

“There is no way that you can say that anybody has earned the right to be a citizen unless they have followed our laws and lived here the prescribed amount of time, done what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

“If you just happened to get here and that earns you the right to be a citizen, then we don’t have citizenship anymore,” Bolton said.

“We might as well just forget about the borders entirely, and honestly, that is what motivates some people in the Obama administration and some of their supporters.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Hillary Clinton: ‘My Biggest Regret Is What Happened in Benghazi’.


Hillary Clinton has clearly done her share of soul-searching after the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which happened under her watch as secretary of state, she indicated in comments Monday.

“My biggest … regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said in an interview while giving the keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans. 

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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“It was a terrible tragedy, losing four Americans, two diplomats — and now it’s public, so I can say two CIA operatives — losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens, who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.”

Clinton, eyed as the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, was speaking about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were slain.

“You know, you make these choices based on imperfect information. And you make them to — as we say, the best of your ability. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns,” she said. 

Clinton has come under fire for her handling of the investigation into the Benghazi tragedy, amid accusations of lax security and a cover-up.

In her speech to the NADA, Clinton lauded the recent growth of the auto industry after government bailouts, and credited the nation’s dealers with helping to fuel a stagnant economy.  She defended the bailout in a Q&A session after her speech, Automotive News reports. 

And as with all her interviews, Clinton was asked about a possible presidential run. She gingerly sidestepped the question.

“I have to say I don’t know. I know that’s not a very satisfactory answer,” she said, adding there are more important issues to address globally.

“Whether Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal, I want them to see we’re all on the same team,” she said. “We’re on the American team. We can worry about the next election later. We spend too much time looking over the horizon.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cynthia Fagen

McCain: Jimmy Carter’s Failure ‘Pales in Comparison’ to Obama’s.


The Obama administration’s dearth of leadership has surpassed the failure of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and is helping al-Qaida gain footholds around the globe, laying the foundation for extremist Muslim terror groups to take up residence on U.S. soil, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Tuesday on a Phoenix radio show.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict,” he said while a guest on The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Story continues below video.

McCain fielded listeners’ questions and offered his take on everything from the Super Bowl to Syria. He slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to take responsibility for the deaths of a United States ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people.

McCain railed against Obama, Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, who he criticized for negotiating with Russia while that nation supports Syria with arms during the civil war there.

“Eleven thousand people have been tortured to death and killed and beaten and murdered in the custody of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, referring to Assad as “a monster” who instructs his soldiers to “rape, torture and murder.”

McCain directed most of his ire at Obama and Clinton. McCain vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the Benghazi incident if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections this fall.

“I will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and we will not quit until we get the testimony of those survivors, those brave Americans that fought,” he promised.

The senator lauded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for swiftly acting on the bridge-closing scandal and immediately firing top level aides involved. Hillary Clinton, McCain chided, should learn something from Christie’s accountability.

“What the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans?” he railed. “There’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible for what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility even though the intelligence committee, Republican Party report, mentioned her specifically.”

Obama’s leadership is so deficient that Jimmy Carter’s epic failure as president “pales in comparison,” McCain says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

McCain said it’s unfathomable that Obama complains about not being able to accomplish anything because of the gridlock in Washington.

“He’s the president and he’s talking like he’s a bystander, an observer.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama.


Image: Priebus: Christie More Transparent Than Obama

By Audrey Hudson

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday said Gov. Chris Christie showed more transparency and openness about the temporary lane closure on the George Washington Bridge than Barack Obama has about numerous scandals that have engulfed his presidency.

“Americans are a forgiving people, but they’re forgiving when you take ownership, when you admit mistakes you take corrective action, and that’s what Chris Christie showed,” Priebus said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He stood there for 111 minutes in an open dialogue with the press,” Priebus said of the New Jersey Republican’s press conference after the revelation this week that an aide had participated in the decision to shut down numerous bridge lanes for several days last year.

“Now if only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi the IRS — I mean Chris Christie has been open here,” Priebus said.

NBC Host David Gregory argued that if Obama set the tone for the IRS scandal, as his critics have maintained, then the same should hold true for Christie.

The difference is that “Chris Christie gave us almost two hours of open dialogue and really, cross examination with the press (wherein) you can judge a person’s character, and we had an opportunity to do that,” Priebus said.

“The president never offered that open dialogue so the people could determine the character with the president,” Priebus said.

Gregory also questioned whether Christie had set the tone for petty political retribution within the governor’s office. Emails revealed that the lane closures were for political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, for refusing to endorse Christie’s reelection last year.

The lanes were closed without notice, slowing emergency vehicles and school buses, and were blamed for the death of a 91-year-old woman whose transportation to a hospital was delayed in the traffic.

“He trusted people that lied to him, and he fired those people. The president doubles down on Eric Holder, he doubles down on Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner and Susan Rice, it’s the opposite,” Priebus said.

The Republican chairman also addressed the new tell-all book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called “Duty,” and an assertion that Clinton’s opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq was purely political because she was facing Obama in the primary.

“I think she’s a political person,” Priebus said.

“And I think what this country is starving for, are real authentic people who want to serve this country with a pure heart. And when they read these things about Hillary Clinton, when they examine her life, they question it … is she real, is she authentic, is she genuine, does she want to serve this country with a pure heart?” Priebus said.

“I think she’s political and I think Robert Gates’ book shows that once again.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Chaffetz: Hardly Anyone Believes Video Prompted Benghazi.


Rep. Jason Chaffetz says only a small minority believe the Benghazi attack was fueled by an anti-Muslim video: former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and a New York Times reporter.

“The only ones that believe that are evidently Susan Rice and the author of this article, for a grand total of two people in this country,” Chaffetz said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

Rice was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, and appeared on all five Sunday-morning talk shows days later saying the attack was the result of a spontaneous street protest, much like protests that had happened in Egypt.

The Sept. 11, 2012, attack left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

The debate over who was behind the Benghazi attack and why the United States was unprepared for it was rekindled over the weekend when The New York Times published a story by reporter David Kirkpatrick saying the video was indeed the impetus.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee, including Democrat David Schiff, have said the attack was planned and was linked to al-Qaida. Kirkpatrick told CNN on Monday that the truth is in the middle. The video did prompt the attack, but the attack was planned by local people.

Chaffetz told “Hannity” guest host Katie Pavlich that he went to Libya about three weeks after the attack and that no one he talked to about it brought up the video.

Neither has anyone else he has talked to, he said, including former AFRICON leader Gen. Carter Ham and the Accountability Review Board.

Chaffetz said the administration is not pursuing the Benghazi attackers with the same tenacity it used in hunting the Boston Marathon bombers earlier this year.

“These people are still out there,” Chaffetz said of the Benghazi attackers. “Are they going to do it again? I worry that they might.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Greg Richter

NY Times Reporter: No Attempt to Clear Hillary on Benghazi.


Image: NY Times Reporter: No Attempt to Clear Hillary on BenghaziSecretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on Jan. 23, 2013 before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

By Greg Richter

New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick called accusations “preposterous” that his controversial story on Benghazi was written to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes.

The story does not reflect well on the administration of President Barack Obama, Kirkpatrick said Monday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” 

Though Kirkpatrick concludes that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was caused by an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States, he says he doesn’t think the attack started spontaneously from a street protest, as then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice asserted on all five Sunday morning news shows days after the incident.

“Her statements clearly were misleading,” Kirkpatrick told CNN. A lot of the confusion and misinformation that have proliferated since were a result of Rice’s initial misstatements, he said.

“It was not a street protest. It was clearly an attack that began very deliberately and very suddenly. There was certainly some planning,” Kirkpatrick said. “There is evidence there was surveillance earlier that morning, he said.

But Rice’s initial misstatements set up a “false dichotomy” that either it was a spontaneous street protest or it was a planned al-Qaida attack, he said. Neither of those extremes is true, he says.

“In fact, it was an attack, in response to this movie, by local militants,” he said.

It’s pretty easy to find out who was involved, Kirkpatrick said. “This is not like someone secretly planted a car bomb under a car.” It was a “mob attack” that happened “in broad daylight” with a large crowd of people watching.

It also isn’t difficult to find out that Ahmed Abu Khattala, a local militia leader for the group Ansar al-Sharia, was a significant and central player, as was his group, Kirkpatrick said.

“They’re well known. They’re local people with friends and neighbors and histories,” he said.

But Abu Khattala isn’t a member of al-Qaida, he said. “He’s an anti-Western, anti-democratic, Islamic militant.”

One could stretch the term and call Abu Khattala part of al-Qaida, but he’s not part of the al-Qaida organization founded by Osama bin Laden, Kirkpatrick said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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