Libertarian Hawk


So Now Liberals Want to Talk About Benghazi

November 13, 2013 By: Scott Spiegel Category: War on Terror

Lara-Logan-60-Minutes-Benghazi-618x400Now that CBS reporter Lara Logan has frittered away her credibility by conducting a sloppy background check on a fraudulent eyewitness to the terrorist attack on our consulate in Libya, suddenly liberals are salivating to talk about Benghazi.

Last fall, investigations by the U.S. State Department and the House committees on Armed Services, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, the Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform all concluded that the administration’s claims that the attack had been precipitated by spontaneous protests over an inflammatory YouTube video were false, and that the premeditated attack had been the product of growing Islamic radicalism in the region.  Liberals just yawned.

When Anderson Cooper reported that murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens’ diary had documented his fears of growing instability in the region and of being on an al-Qaeda hit list, liberals sniped that CNN was invading Stevens’s family’s privacy.

When multiple news sources produced evidence that al-Qaeda-linked groups were involved with the attacks, liberals sneered, “What difference does it make?”

Nine days before the 2012 election, every major Sunday news show except Fox News declined to cover the Benghazi story.  Liberals preemptively declared the attack a “sideshow” and a “phony scandal.”

Hundreds of heavily armed attackers had carried out the assault on the anniversary of September 11, but liberals couldn’t see the connection.  Libya’s president attributed the attack to al-Qaeda and was infuriated by the U.S. claiming it was caused by a video, but liberals told us to get a life.  A group of SEALs reported that the administration had denied their request for backup during the attack, but Facebook suspended their account.

But now that a feverish reporter has foolishly trusted a witness one year after the 2012 Presidential election, when it can’t possibly benefit Republicans electorally, liberals have suddenly decided it’s time to jabber about Benghazi.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes opened his show Monday night with a segment on Dan Rather’s pre-2004 election presentation of forged National Guard documents showing that President George W. Bush hadn’t fulfilled his military service.  Hayes segued to Logan interviewing now-discredited eyewitness Dylan Davies and then a clip of her apologizing.  He gasped, “We all remember the last time 60 Minutes made a blunder this big…  That time around, CBS News then embarked on a mission to do everything possible to prove to the public it was worthy of their trust…  Given the obvious similarities with this Benghazi story, many were expecting a similar level of self-examination and explanation…  There are still a lot of questions about how this happened, [including] why CBS News doesn’t think we deserve an answer to how that happened.”

I still have a lot of questions about how Benghazi happened, including why the Obama administration doesn’t think we deserve an answer to how it happened, but I’m not holding my breath for answers.

Logan, you may recall, is the reporter who flounced around in Tahrir Square during Egypt’s “democratic” uprising interviewing supposedly moderate young male protestors, and subsequently found herself being groped and assaulted by these idealistic reformers.  So Logan’s blind acceptance of a fraudulent witness’s testimony isn’t exactly evidence of a blinkered right-wing Benghazi conspiracy movement.

The major difference between the Rather and Logan stories is that Rather trotted out the former just weeks before a Presidential election, in a calculated attempt to impugn Bush’s character and sway the results.  In contrast, the latter involved a center-left news outlet agreeing to talk to a witness who had approached them a year after an election.

Showcasing the forged National Guard memos fifty days before the 2004 election was the equivalent of detonating a block of C4 in a powder keg.  Interviewing nobody Dylan Davies a year after the 2012 election is the equivalent of tossing a wet cigarette butt in a flowerpot.

Hayes then made the hilarious point that Republicans kept “shifting their story” as to why Benghazi was a scandal.  He cited the following reasons offered by Republicans: Obama didn’t appreciate the growing threat of Islamic radicalism in the region; the administration failed to increase security in the face of increasing violence; Obama didn’t put enough troops in Libya and depended on unreliable local militias; Obama failed to react quickly enough to the situation; Obama didn’t want to admit that al-Qaeda’s influence was on the rise; Obama rebuffed Republican Congressmen’s attempts to gather information about the attack; and the administration delayed its investigation into the attack until after the election.

In fact, Benghazi was a scandal because of all of the above reasons, which conservatives highlighted one by one as investigators uncovered the facts behind them.  That doesn’t mean conservatives were shifting their story; it means Democrats were stonewalling and covering up.  If the administration had been a bit more forthcoming from the start, Republicans might have been able to weave a more consistent storyline from Day 1.

But give liberals credit for their impeccable timing: just when Americans are getting tired of talking about Benghazi, the left drags out the whole affair again as though the past twelve months of Republican evidentiary hearings never happened.

Remember those old Olympics scandals when the U.S. would accuse some Communist Eastern European country of cheating?  The accused country would lob counteraccusations at us but still be found guilty—because only guilty parties make accusations requiring investigation when their misdeeds have been exposed and they have nothing to lose.

Similarly, Democrats are fighting back on Benghazi, only because they know they lost on this issue a long time ago, and they might as well lob grenades at Republicans in the hope that some of them hit their targets.

Previously published in modified form at Red Alert Politics

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Liberals Outlaw Crime-Stopping While Redneck

March 28, 2012 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Crime/Ethics

Apparently “the system worked” in exonerating Casey Anthony, but we don’t need the system in order to be certain Trayvon Martin’s shooter is a racist, cold-blooded murderer.

Several weeks ago, 28-year-old George Zimmerman spotted 17-year-old Martin ambling around the Retreat at Twins Lake gated community in Sanford, Florida and called 911 to report suspicious behavior on Martin’s part.  Zimmerman followed Martin throughout the complex by vehicle and on foot, against the 911 operator’s recommendation.  At some point, Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, and Zimmerman shot Martin.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee told reporters there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest the shooter: “In this case, Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense.  Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”

Never mind—the left wants him arrested, charged, and prosecuted anyway.  They’ve jumped to the conclusion that the attack was unprovoked and racially motivated.  Civil rights groups insist the Sanford Police Department and Seminole County State Attorney’s Office are racist.

Zimmerman had served as captain of the neighborhood watch patrol and had been instrumental in eradicating a recent rash of crime.  The Retreat had endured dozens of burglaries and a shooting in the past year, with residents having called the police hundreds of times to report suspicious activity.

Homeowner association secretary Cynthia Wibker testified on Zimmerman’s behalf: “He once caught a thief and an arrest was made.  He helped solve a lot of crimes.”  Resident Frank Taaffe believes Zimmerman’s motives were benevolent: “I just know he’s a good person and really cares for the neighborhood.”

Police records support Zimmerman’s account of the shooting.  Their report notes that officers “found Zimmerman bleeding from the nose and back of his head.  The back of his shirt was wet and had grass clippings on it, as if he’d been on his back on the ground.”  Zimmerman’s bloody nose and the testimony of one resident who witnessed the scuffle suggest that the 6-foot, 3-inch Trayvon Martin was punching Zimmerman.

The witness told reporters, “The guy on the bottom [Zimmerman], who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help!  Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911.  When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top [Martin] beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”

Early reports suggested that two gunshots bracketed a male’s cries for help.  Later reports clarified that there was only one gunshot. The number of shots and their timing is critical.  The earlier, disconfirmed view suggested that Zimmerman shot Martin, Martin cried for help, and Zimmerman shot Martin to shut him up.  The newer view suggests Martin was pummeling Zimmerman, Zimmerman screamed for help, and Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense.  Supporting this interpretation, Martin’s father, upon hearing the 911 call, confirmed that the cries were not those of his son.

Two female witnesses, roommates Mary Cutcher and Selma Mora Lamilla, initially buttressed Zimmerman’s account, but Cutcher went to police days later and changed her story, claiming officers on the scene hadn’t been interested in everything she had to say.

Sergeant Dave Morgenstern disputes Cutcher’s account of the investigation, calling it “inconsistent with [Cutcher’s] sworn testimony to police.  Actually, officers who were canvassing the neighborhood looking for potential witnesses the evening of the shooting contacted her, and she said she did not want to get involved.”

The latest version of Cutcher’s story is that “there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling.”  Cutcher conceded that whatever fighting took place was over before Zimmerman and Martin had reached her backyard.  She admits it was possible that Martin had subdued and was attacking Zimmerman.

Cutcher hasn’t provided any evidence that what she told police the night of the incident was incorrect.  She merely claims she may have read too much into what she saw.  Her admission doesn’t invalidate other witnesses’ reports or Zimmerman’s grass stains and wounds.

Additional testimony from Cutcher and Lamilla revealed that Zimmerman’s behavior after the shooting was not that of a man who knew he’d committed an unprovoked murder against an innocent bystander, let alone a vicious hate crime.

On Tuesday, Anderson Cooper interviewed Cutcher and Lamilla, the latter of whom stated, “By that time [of witnessing the scene], you hear like a shot—like some other noise.  I run away from my backyard and I look at the person [Zimmerman] on his knees on top of a body [Martin].”

Cutcher added that Zimmerman was “straddling him.  One [leg] on each side, on his knees, with his hands on his back.  I immediately thought, Okay, obviously if it’s the shooter, he would have ran.  I thought, He’s holding the wound, helping the guy, taking a pulse, making sure he’s okay.”

So Cutcher implied that if Zimmerman had killed Martin unjustifiably, he would have run away.  Instead, he stayed at the scene, tenderly holding Martin’s wound, taking his pulse, and remaining with him until police arrived.

The national rush to judgment, the left’s abandonment of presumption of innocence, and the death threats that have forced Zimmerman to leave his home, abandon his job, and flee to an undisclosed location are all belied by the flimsiness of the case against him as a hate crime felon.

Once again, as with their smears against the Tea Party as racist, their campaign against Sergeant James Crowley in the Henry Louis Gates phony racial profiling case, and their uncritical acceptance of a black stripper’s disproven claims she was raped by white Duke fraternity brothers, liberals’ interest is never in justice.  Their interest is in using tragic cases like Trayvon Martin’s to perpetuate a society tormented by specious racial grievances and a permanently victimized minority underclass.

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