McCain: Benghazi worse than Watergate

posted at 1:21 pm on October 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When I looked at the slate of guests on the Sunday talk shows yesterday morning, there seemed to be an effort to keep the focus on the election, rather than Benghazi and the shocking lack of action from the US during the seven-hour firefight at our consulate.  Only Chris Wallace broached the subject on his own, but on CBS’ Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer had to know that by inviting John McCain to discuss the election and Hurricane Sandy on a segment all to himself, McCain would surely find a way to work the subject into the conversation — and McCain did not disappoint:

Slate notes that McCain used the “W” word — Watergate — in describing “the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life.”  The Weekly Standard has a longer quote, sharply criticizing Barack Obama for his lack of candor and seriousness in this scandal, and McCain asks the classic Watergate question:

You know, this administration is very good at touting and giving all the details like when they got Bin Laden. But now, we know that there were tapes, recordings inside the consulate during this fight, and they’ve gotten—they came—the F.B.I. finally got in and took those, and now they’re classified as “top secret.” Why would they be top secret? So the president went on various shows, despite what he said he said in the Rose Garden, about terrorist acts, he went on several programs, including “The View” including “Letterman” including before the U.N., where he continued to refer, days later, many days later, to this as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video. We know that is patently false. What did the president know? When did he know it? And what did he do about it?

Now was McCain alone, as the Weekly Standard reports at more length.  While the other talk shows tried to shift focus away from Benghazi, their guests had other ideas.  Even Carly Fiorina joined the effort, forcing the issue to the forefront on NBC’s Meet the Press when challenged on the subject of trust:

On the issue of trust, what is going on with regard to Libya? I mean here we have an extraordinary thing where the President comes out on Friday and says I directed that everything possible should be done to aid our embassy under attack. That attack went on for seven hours, we now know that Secretary Of Defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours. Where is the leadership? But it’s a trust issue, it’s a trust issue.

It’s a trust issue, all right — and not just for Obama, but for the media that seems to be running interference for him.  Kudos, by the way, to Bob Schieffer, who didn’t attempt to change the subject at all once McCain changed it for him, and I suspect didn’t want to change the subject back.


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farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

If Romney wins, expect the leaks to flood out from the military, CIA, State, whoever, to blame the WH. The leakers will have nothing to fear then. They know the paper/email/phone trails are there. And so will all the new GOP committee chairs.

Wethal on October 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Benghazi is far more important than this election or nailing Obama.

It proves that something is horribly wrong with the chain of command and procedures for dealing with this sort of an emergency, and worse, that something is wrong with the chain of command if a cover up of this magnitude could even be orchestrated.

A president, even as Commander-In-Chief, should not be able to pack the joint chiefs with people who are sympathetic to him, his party, or his ideology.

Earned rank, over the course of a lifetime of service, and meritorious service, should determine who becomes one of the Joint Chiefs. Their loyalty should be to the nation and the Constitution and they should operate under military law, regulation, and protocols.

There should be protocols in place that would immediately and automatically launch appropriate rescue response in a situation like Benghazi. No member of the Joint Chiefs should have to consult the president about whether or not to launch appropriate rescue operations. The consultation should be about how to proceed in terms of diplomatic issues and whether the attack should be responded to as a blatant act of war or not, not whether to rescue our personnel. The American people are paying dearly, in blood and treasure, to see that these very protocols and procedures exist and are implemented and executed effectively and efficiently.

Benghazi should also be about finding out HOW a coverup could be orchestrated and WHY a coverup would be orchestrated and WHO is responsible for the cover up, both up and down the chain of command. Measures need to be taken, and fixes instituted, post haste to see that such an egregious breech never again occurs.

Those who serve this nation, both military and civilian, should be able to do so with the confidence that this nation will not simply abandon them should they come under fire in the execution of their service.

thatsafactjack on October 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

accusing people of pedophilia, is not an accepted practice here.

At either rate, I’m through engaging you. You want to continue making a fool of yourself, that’s your business.

SWalker on October 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Yeah, we don’t want you to be “butt hurt” anymore…like I said, and you agree…move on…and you are welcome.

right2bright on October 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Who issued the Stand Down order??

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

McCain spit in the eye of the drivebye watercarrying media with the Watergate reference

workingclass artist on October 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The announcement of the replacement for General Ham was a week or ten days after his meeting with Congressman Jason Chaffetz on his trip to Libya…may or may not be related…but surprising.

d1carter on October 29, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Who issued the Stand Down order??

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Obama can’t shake that off…nope

workingclass artist on October 29, 2012 at 2:34 PM

If Romney wins, expect the leaks to flood out from the military, CIA, State, whoever, to blame the WH. The leakers will have nothing to fear then. They know the paper/email/phone trails are there. And so will all the new GOP committee chairs.

Wethal on October 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM

That’s the point…right now we win the election, after words, with Mitt as the elected, the facts will come out, in fact I think (as I think you do) they will flood out…the rats will abandon the sinking ship.

right2bright on October 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

In the press conference, Leon Panetta said that he and General Dempsey and General Ham agreed not to insert military force without better real time intel….General Ham told Congressman Jason Chaffetz in Libya sometime around Oct 9, 2012, forces were available but he never received the order to send them..?

d1carter on October 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Barack Obama’s handling of the terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic installations in Benghazi on 9/11 may be giving many voters serious pause this election….

“It may be that voters think both candidates have stretched the truth, but credibility is the coin of a presidency. The political cost of devaluing that coin is higher for an incumbent seeking a second term and higher still for this one. Two weeks from Election Day, Barack Obama has been shown in Benghazi to be a president with feet of clay. It may well take him down…”

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/10/29/how-is-benghazi-attack-shaping-the-2012-election/

workingclass artist on October 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

… and McCain did not disappoint:

Haven’t read those words for a while. He actually is a disappointment on this issue, yet again. If he’s so certain that Benghazi is worse than Watergate then what is he going to do about it? What exactly does McCain do in the Senate other than bloviate on Sunday talk shows?

happytobehere on October 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Knock it off with your McCain bashing. How long would it take to get a hearing going in the Senate? Especially under Harry Reid. There is only a few days left before the election. If you go by coverage in the MSM, Benghazi never happened. What you so dismissively call “bloviating on the Sunday Show” is McCain and other GOP trying to raise the issue of Benghazi and keep the fire under Barry’s feet.

bayview on October 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

who…

..issued…..

……..the………….

……………………STAND…….

…………………………. DOWn…………..

…………order?……………………

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

In the press conference, Leon Panetta said that he and General Dempsey and General Ham agreed not to insert military force without better real time intel….General Ham told Congressman Jason Chaffetz in Libya sometime around Oct 9, 2012, forces were available but he never received the order to send them..?

d1carter on October 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Yes, this is exactly why General Ham needs to be brought before congress and ordered to testify under oath exactly what took place.

SWalker on October 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM

who…

..issued…..

……..the………….

……………………STAND…….

…………………………. DOWn…………..

…………order?……………………

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Indeed, and to whom exactly was that order issued.

SWalker on October 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Who issued the Stand Down order??

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

They are actively seeking someone who will cop to doing that for the right inducements.

The search for qualified and willing candidates, and/or negotiations over the inducements, and/or synthesis of the narrative are in progress. It’s complicated.

As soon as they find this person and everyone has the story straight Obama will tell the American people, but not before Nov. 6.

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

In the press conference, Leon Panetta said that he and General Dempsey and General Ham agreed not to insert military force without better real time intel

How good was the real time intelligence when the SEALs went after binLaden, Leon? (Were you the one who actually gave the order when Jarrett was out of the room?)

Wethal on October 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

They are actively seeking someone who will cop to doing that for the right inducements.

The search for qualified and willing candidates, and/or negotiations over the inducements, and/or synthesis of the narrative are in progress. It’s complicated.

As soon as they find this person and everyone has the story straight Obama will tell the American people, but not before Nov. 6.

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The problem is that the person has to have the authority to issue such an order, and there is a very small group of candidates for this, all of whom appear to be in the administration, not hte military.

Who is willing to take the fall, and have blood on their hands? Janet Reno is not in this administration (and shs didn’t get canned, anyway).

Wethal on October 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Every surprise attack is, by definition, an unplanned event for which real-time intelligence is not 100% clear. If what Secretary Panetta says is true, US doctrine is now to never rush reinforcements to any unit hit by a surprise attack ever.

Which is, of course, total BS. Secretary Panetta is lying straight to our faces and hoping to God we’re too stupid to notice. Not all of us, Mr. Secretary!

Chuckg on October 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Indeed, and to whom exactly was that order issued.

SWalker on October 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

This information can’t be hidden long. Last week they were trying to hide behind that “fog of war” meme by draggingion the CIA, State Department, Panetta, etc. and AoS nailed it. Only two people COULD give that order and one takes instruction from the other.

Since then Petraeus, Hillary and Panetta have all pretty much said “Not me!” haven’t they?

DanMan on October 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

In the press conference, Leon Panetta said that he and General Dempsey and General Ham agreed not to insert military force without better real time intel.

Overheard in the situation room…

Americans are fighting and dying in a spontaneous protest terrorist attack. They are desperately calling for help. Look right there at that video feed and watch it in real time. It has been going on for at least a couple of hours now.

What was your question?

No, we are not going to try to rescue them. We don’t know enough about what is happening. We are not even going to move forces into the immediate area and keep them on standby just in case we learn more. Other people might get hurt or killed or something. Best to just let them fight and die on their own. It’s the American Way.

Let’s just hope for the best. Maybe they can fight off the protesters terrorists on their own. Someone wish them luck and tell them we’re all pulling for them.

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM

FuzzyLogic on October 29, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Sorry, when he’s supposed to act Senatorial, he doesn’t get to drag out his POW status as a shield from being Senatorial.

When McCain shows up at a VFW and mingles with the guys, he’s got a great story. When he stands in the US Capitol and talks as a Senator, he better friggin’ be a Senator.

And as far military service goes, I’ve got my DD-214. It doesn’t show any combat or POW time. I apologize for not having any credibility.

BobMbx on October 29, 2012 at 3:03 PM

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Oh my God – dude. Thank you – that is sooo spot-on!

HomeoftheBrave on October 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Our men fought for their lives for over 5 hours, saving countless others, but fighting and holding off the surrender of American soil…and the president can’t make a 30 minute press conference.

Our men, 5 hours…the president 30 minutes? Naw, can’t hold out that long…

right2bright on October 29, 2012 at 3:06 PM

In the press conference, Leon Panetta said that he and General Dempsey and General Ham agreed not to insert military force without better real time intel.

Do they all have some French DNA in their genes?

How else can you explain top level American military men watching their comrades fighting for their lives on a real time video feed and deciding to do nothing, because it might be dangerous or something?

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

When Obama called on the SEALs, they got Osama.
When the SEALs called on Obama, they got killed.

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Powerful,ted c, very powerful.

susietwo on October 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Custer made better decisions at the Little Big Horn than this bunch safeguarding the US today.

Kissmygrits on October 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

So who is going to run an ad along the lines “2013: the year Biden became President”?

Watergate holds meaning to the populace because it brought down a sitting President. Someone needs to remind folks that the Dem ticket’s #2 guy is . . .well, exactly what he showed himself to be in the VP debate.

Biden’s ascendancy to the Oval Office via succession is no longer just a theoretical possibility. . .

johnny alpha on October 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

When Obama called on the SEALs, they got Osama.
When the SEALs called on Obama, they got killed.

ted c on October 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

A PAC should pick that up and run ads with it.

farsighted on October 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Was Africom’s Gen. Ham Relieved of Duty for Preparing to send help to Benghazi?

Read all the way through down to and including the comments:

http://www.redstate.com/jamesmpratt/2012/10/27/breaking-africom-general-carter-ham-relieved-of-command-minutes-before-ordering-benghazi-rescue/

mountainaires on October 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Those who serve this nation, both military and civilian, should be able to do so with the confidence that this nation will not simply abandon them should they come under fire in the execution of their service.

thatsafactjack on October 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Jackie, your posts are always good but this one is outstanding. I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with far too many of our so called “leaders”—both political and military who refuse to do the right thing.

Politicians are generally not worthy of much respect but I have always thought highly of most military leadership. Where is Petraeus on this? General Ham?

arnold ziffel on October 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

mountainaires on October 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Interesting comments…especially about the “swing into action”, and all that is needed is permission to fly into foreign territory…it makes sense.

Units on standby, as soon as an attack, prepare, launch, brief during transport, and arrive and wait to cross…that never came.

right2bright on October 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Really Mr. Secretary?

Well that sure didn’t take long. Seems I recall predicting to someone just Friday that we would get a “new” Benghazigate story by today. Right on cue, and early in fact, we get one Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta projectilely vomiting the latest batch of lies and misdirection in a crude attempt to cover up for the previous batch of lies and misdirection.

Misdirection #1. “There is a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on by people who don’t know what’s going on.” Really Mr. Secretary? Are you implying that the DoD does know what’s going on or are you saying that if the DoD doesn’t know what’s going on nobody else possible could either?

Lie #2. When asked why fighter aircraft had not been sent to the scene to at least do “low and loud” passes over the consulate or to lay down suppressing fire the Secretary said that they “were concerned about creating civilian casualties that might further inflame the situation.” Really Mr. Secretary? The Consulate was already in flames, how much more inflamed could it get? Anybody who has ever been in combat will tell you that once a firefight breaks out that civilians flee the area as quickly as possible or crawl into the deepest hole they can find to keep from getting their heads blown off. What did the Secretary think these “civilians” he’s so concerned about were doing? Sitting out in their lawn chairs watching the show and roasting shish-ka-bobs of the flames of burning vehicles?

Lie #3. “We weren’t going to deploy assets into a situation we hadn’t fully assessed.” Really Mr. Secretary? Just how much more information did you need? You had both Flash Traffic and emails coming from inside the Consulate as the attack was taking place. You had CIA assets at the annex requesting permission to led assistance to the Consulate that could have both provided support and on a further on the ground situation report. You had Predator drones circling overhead providing you live video feeds in both visible and infrared light. What else were you waiting for Mr. Secretary? Did you think al Qaida was going to post their Order of Battle to help you make a decision?

This was followed by the most monstrous, shameful and shameless lie of all.

Lie #4. With a shrug of his shoulders Mr. Panetta concluded, “This was all over before we could do anything about it.” Really Mr. Secretary? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the designator for US Army Delta Force units is QRT (Quick Response Team). Do you need “quick” defined for you? Why did they remain on the ground in Sicily two hours away? Why were they not embarked on their KC-130 aircraft to at the very least circle off shore where they could then either go into action or return to base as the situation developed? Do not such QRTs also have AC-130 gunships attached? Aren’t these aircraft designed for and known for being able to lay down pinpoint accurate suppressing fire? Is there not a US Navy CVN and LHA stationed full time in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea? Just what are those QRT teams, aircraft and that full Battalion of Marines there for if not for just such situations?

I’m sorry Mr. Secretary no one but the gullible, naïve or stupid is buying any of this retched street pizza your laying out. The real shame is not that hack politicians lie to us; we’ve come to expect it. No the real shame is that no one in the so-called mainstream media is asking anything close to these kinds of follow up questions when presented with such blatant and obvious lies.

LCT688 on October 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I remember that Bill Clinton was welcomed by our media with the cry: Character doesn’t matter. I don’t recall any response from the GOP which prefers to speak about economic issue only–and refuses to tackle the social issues that the devious left has used so wisely as the very route to taking us down.

This stuff is really about character and the people up there doing it as well as the millions of folks who vote for them, no longer care.

We have much more of a problem than just restoring the economy and the job market.

Don L on October 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

http://barnhardt.biz/

BENGHAZI
POSTED BY ANN BARNHARDT – OCTOBER 26, AD 2012 7:23 PM MST

Let’s quit the chickenshit dancing around here.

The Obama regime has been running guns and BIGTIME armaments and munitions, including MANPADS, which are shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down commercial jetliners, to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is just Fast-and-Furious except that the people being armed are musloids tasked with reforming the Islamic Caliphate instead of the drug cartels. But it is exactly the same thing. Ghadaffi was overthrown because the Obama regime wanted to use a chaotic, destabilized “wild west” Libya as the doorway to the Caliphate to get the arms in for distribution to Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and eventually Saudi Arabia. Egypt would have been too risky.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the CIA were somehow, some way running or heavily involved this armament pipeline.

The Obama regime wanted and “needed” Chris Stevens dead, probably to cover the gun and armament running, so they killed him. Word was sent to the Muslim Brotherhood to attack the Benghazi facility. The Obama regime promised that there would be no retaliation and that a cover story about “slandering the prophet” would be provided. The Muslim Brotherhood wins all around. They get to keep all of the arms and MANPADS supplied by Obama with no whistleblowers AND they get their bullshit sharia law agenda advanced and explicitly ratified by the government of the United States.

Get used to this business of the Oligarch class using the Muslim Brotherhood to do their dirty work for them. This has been the plan all along, and it will only escalate from here.

READ THE REST…..

redguy on October 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

could we get a better messenger that McCain?

guess the media talk shows only invite him on because he turns enough people off to help their cause

do what Kennedy should have done, retreat to the background

audiotom on October 29, 2012 at 5:15 PM

.General Ham told Congressman Jason Chaffetz in Libya sometime around Oct 9, 2012, forces were available but he never received the order to send them..?

d1carter on October 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Gen.Ham did not need orders to send help. His CIF (commander’s in-extremis force) is his ‘personal’ quick-reaction force…under his direct command and orders. They are prepped, packed and ready to deploy anywhere in their theater of operations (AFRICOM, in this case) – and have been on numerous occasions.
One CIF member said that they had gone into places with far less intel available than what they had on the Benghazi action – even deploying on at least one occasion with no more target intel than hand-drawn maps.
And, Gen.Ham’s CIF had deployed from Germany to NAS Sigonella on 11 Sept. 12

Someone above Gen.Ham, however, can order the deployment of his CIF stopped…which seems to have happened.

And, Gen.Ham’s tour of duty as CO AFRICOM was not slated to end until May 2013. Why is he announcing his immediate ‘retirement’ now?

Solaratov on October 29, 2012 at 5:32 PM

McCain: Benghazi worse than Watergate

What happened to John McCain? Almost invariably he shows only the utmost respect for any Democrat and only launches his attacks on Conservatives and Republicans.

RJL on October 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM

The stuff that will come out after he is sent back to Chicago will validate what most of us already knew about him. It will involve the worst and lowest points in American history.

Bleed_thelizard on October 29, 2012 at 9:09 PM

0 will go down in history as the worst mistake the citizens of the U.S. ever made.

Bmore on October 30, 2012 at 2:12 AM

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