Chuck Todd: Hey, all the Benghazi questions have been answered … on the talking points

posted at 12:01 pm on May 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Via Guy Benson, who must have leapt out of his skin when he first saw this clip on Morning Joe yesterday.  Asked about allegations that the select committee on Benghazi is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt, Chuck Todd argued that it looks that way because all of the questions about Benghazi have been answered. However, listen to which questions Todd refers, and what he says afterward:

I’m going to dissent, but only in part. Here’s the case against Todd from Guy, paragraph breaks my own:

Yes, there have been a number of investigations into the deadly raid, including revelatory House hearings, a Senate report, and a State Department-mandated review. The House proceedings answered some questions, but raised others. The Senate Intelligence panel’s report concluded that the attacks were preventable, and rebuked the Obama administration for “unnecessarily hamper[ing] the committee’s review.” The State Department’s “Accountability Review Board”declined to interview key players, including Secretary Clinton. None of the Benghazi survivors have testified publicly.

Furthermore, new information and perspectives have come to light within the last few weeks. A court-ordered document release turned up a relevant, previously-withheld email that further undermines the White House’s official version of events regarding their post-attack talking points, and an Air Force General who was on duty at AFRICOM that night said the military never received a request for help from the State Department during the eight-hour ordeal. He went on to suggest that the US government should have attempted a rescue mission, which other military officers have testified wouldn’t have been logistically feasible. A majority of the House of Representatives — including a handful of Democrats — clearly believes that unanswered questions remain. A large majority of the American public is skeptical of the White House’s veracity and supports keeping the investigation open and ongoing. Two former top CIA officials have endorsed the proceedings.

Most Beltway Democrats, and apparently Chuck Todd, dissent. Todd is a journalist. It’s therefore a bit jarring to hear him declare that “all” questions pertaining to a controversial matter have been answered, thus intimating that the issue is settled — particularly after previously-unseen evidence has just recently emerged.

Be sure to read Guy’s post to see at least ten questions about Benghazi that have gone unanswered. However, the list itself tends to validate Todd’s larger point that the select committee has to focus on more than just the talking points. Only two of Guy’s questions deal with the false narrative used by the White House in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.  The rest of it has to do with the larger policy and competency issues that Todd explicitly says are legitimate areas of inquiry — and he’s right.

In fact, I made the same argument last week in my column for The Week:

The bigger question about Benghazi is not about the cover-up, but the incompetence that led to the attack on the anniversary of 9/11 and the lack of response during it. That starts with the decision to decapitate the dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi without planning for the predictable power vacuum that resulted, in a region already known for its Islamist terror activities.

Last week, retired Air Force Gen. Robert Lovell testified before Congress that the U.S. military should have responded immediately to the attack. As the commander of intelligence services for the U.S. Africa Command at the time of the attack, Lovell testified that no one seriously thought that it was anything other than a deliberate, planned offensive on the diplomatic post left vulnerable despite ever-increasing warnings about terrorist activity in and around Benghazi, especially with al Qaeda affiliates. The testimony raises the question — again — as to why the U.S. military was not prepared to respond to a terrorist attack in the AFRICOM area of responsibility on the anniversary of 9/11, especially in an area known to have rapidly escalating enemy activity.

That question becomes more acute as the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate. Daily Beastnational security correspondent Eli Lake reports that the region has now been flooded with radical Islamist terrorists from around the world, eager to operate within the failed state of Libya that the NATO intervention created. One counterterrorism contractor calls it “Scumbag Woodstock,” while another intelligence official calls eastern Libya “a jihadist melting pot.” The situation presents a threat to the region and to the U.S. far beyond what existed three years ago, before Obama intervened on behalf of the rebels.

The select committee should focus on that larger context of Benghazi, the editorial board of The Washington Posturged this week, asking Republicans to eschew the cover-up for the “actual failings in Libya” from Obama and his administration.

“The Obama administration and its NATO allies bear responsibility for this mess because, having intervened to help rebels overthrow Gadhafi, they then swiftly exited without making a serious effort to help Libyans establish security and build a new political order,” they wrote. “Congress might usefully probe why the administration allowed a country in which it initiated military operations to slide into chaos.”

We haven’t actually heard all of the answers about what happened during the attack or in the hours afterward that produced a deceptive narrative that oh-so-coincidentally provided cover on these larger questions.  But even Todd knows that these are the larger questions, and focusing exclusively on the talking points — which Gowdy pledges not to do, by the way — ends up serving the same White House purposes.


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Where was our Commander-in-Chief?

Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Sure, the incompetence before the attack is classic Hillary. The lies and cover up afterward are classic Slick Willy.

John the Libertarian on May 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Typical libturd shill

txdoc on May 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Todd is an a**…

sandee on May 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Todd’s wife works for a DC marketing company whose base consists entirely of liberal Democratic causes and candidates. He is a joke without a punch line and illustrates why NBC has the lowest credibility of any network.

bw222 on May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Chuckie, check this out.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Idiot!

rplat on May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM

So, let’s ignore the fact that the POTUS and SOS lied to the American people and to the families of dead Americans for political reasons…? Well, Dear Leader did get re-elected, so there’s that.

d1carter on May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Chuckie, what you consume…duhhhhh…it ain’t Beluga caviar, you fool.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Why are we concerned with MSNBC? A network that employs Ed Schultz has no importance. Let’s worry about the Weekly World News instead.

rbj on May 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?
 
Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

 
It was Michelle’s night to keep the girls.

rogerb on May 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Someone play Gowdy’s youtube video from earlier this week for F*ckTodd and ask him to answer every f*cking one of those questions – or shut the everloving f*ck up.

Midas on May 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM

My question – If this tragedy happened under your watch, would you still have jetted off to a fundraiser in Vegas the next morning or would you have stayed in DC to monitor events and at least look like you gave a rat’s azz.?

VegasRick on May 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?

Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Not sure we have one.

Midas on May 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Todd is a journalist. It’s therefore a bit jarring to hear him declare that “all” questions pertaining to a controversial matter have been answered, thus intimating that the issue is settled — particularly after previously-unseen evidence has just recently emerged.

Says it all, right there.

Well, we could argue about the “Todd is a journalist” part. Or perhaps Todd is the Very Model of Modern Major Journalist and we should clarify the term for accuracy to… partisan hack.

de rigueur on May 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM

My question – If this tragedy happened under your watch, would you still have jetted off to a fundraiser in Vegas the next morning or would you have stayed in DC to monitor events and at least look like you gave a rat’s azz.?

VegasRick on May 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I like ‘President Bill Whittle’s take on this, personally.

Midas on May 15, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?

Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Good question. Why should the President’s whereabouts be a secret? Maybe if we ask Reggie Love ….

bw222 on May 15, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi?

Never answered because never asked (except one press conference I saw given by Trey Gowdy) …

ShainS on May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

We have a criminally corrupt state run media…

d1carter on May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?

Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

No idea where Valerie Jarrett is.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

When putting our diplomats into war zones and areas of active hostility, there are escape plans put in place in case things go into the pot.

Where those even CREATED for Amb. Stevens going to Benghazi?

Why was Amb. Stevens in Benghazi?

Why weren’t any escape and evacuation plans for ALL our national security personnel put in place in Benghazi?

Why wasn’t there a clear chain of command for rescuing personnel in case things went into the pot in Benghazi?

All of the contingency planning is SOP. What happened to it? Why wasn’t it executed? Did something like this truly need the CinC to authorize? Why? Why wasn’t someone lower in the chain of command given that authority?

Why?

Why did four good men put into harms way not get any assistance?

Where were the air assets necessary to oversee events in Benghazi which still had active terror operations happening in it?

Where were the sea based assets necessary to stage evacuation of US personnel and deliver assistance via UAV and SSMs against hostile forces?

Why were these assets not available or not utilized?

Why wasn’t the site they were at sanitized in case there were national security related documents there, which would be documents Stevens and others would have to do business in the region? Why were those documents left to be discovered? Why was national security put at risk by not sanitizing the site?

All of this stuff goes under the oversight of the Head of State, Head of Government and CinC. All of those are bundled into one man, the President.

Not doing these things is either by design and intent or by lack of capability to execute the duties of President.

Both are impeachable.

The former is treason.

ajacksonian on May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The Select Committee should investigate the Accountability Review Board…

d1carter on May 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi?

Never answered because never asked (except one press conference I saw given by Trey Gowdy) …

ShainS on May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

“We couldn’t have gotten there in time” – who knows how long a battle will last just as it is getting srarted?

VegasRick on May 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM

good lapdog

cmsinaz on May 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Goebbels loves Chuck Todd.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Chuck Toad eats obama brand beluga caviar with a scoop shovel.

HumpBot Salvation on May 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Chuckie, just for you.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Chuck Toad eats obama brand beluga caviar with a scoop shovel.

HumpBot Salvation on May 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM

:) May he choke on it, and all who think like him too.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Chuck Todd love the US Constitution as much as the Obamanation Administration… Yea… Be afraid, be very afraid…

oscarwilde on May 15, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?
 
Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

 
Let me channel our resident (D)s:
 
You’re problem is you ASSume the presidece either wasn’t involved or did something wrong that night, and you reach that ASSumption without any proof.
If you want to blame Obama for not acting presidetially, proof it. Prove his actions that night wasn’t appropriate.
Something something Bush something.

rogerb on May 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Ben Carson, Ben Ghazi…… Whatever.

At this point, what difference does it make?

But leave it to Trey to summarize the lingering questions that a reprehensible partisan hack like Chuck Todd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i4tuuy1jsw

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM

…does Chuckie have a medical marijuana card…he is actively using?

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Let me channel our resident (D)s:

You’re problem is you ASSume the presidece either wasn’t involved or did something wrong that night, and you reach that ASSumption without any proof.
If you want to blame Obama for not acting presidetially, proof it. Prove his actions that night wasn’t appropriate.
Something something Bush something.

rogerb on May 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM

“Right, Reggie?” — obama, the tiniest eunuch in all of history

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Chuck Todd – confirming yet again he is completely and utterly devoid of any journalistic ethics and integrity. He’s little more than a modern day Duranty, shilling for progressive fascism.

Athos on May 15, 2014 at 12:27 PM

“Congress might usefully probe why the administration allowed a country in which it initiated military operations to slide into chaos.”

How many countries is this now that Obama has allowed to descend into chaos or worse? Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine…any more?

kcewa on May 15, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Yo Chuckie…..

When the message came that the consulate was under attack, why were all immediate resources not allocated?

Where was President Obama the evening of the attack? We were treated to all the White House situation room pictures of the raid on Osama bin Laden — but where are the photos from that night?

According to the president, he ordered Secretary of Defense Panetta and CJCS General Dempsey to get the Americans in Benghazi the support they needed. If true, then who disobeyed the president’s order, and why did Obama never follow up with Panetta and Dempsey?

Who came up with the video scapegoat excuse, and why was the U.N. ambassador called out for the Sunday shows and not the person responsible, the secretary of state?

Ambassador Stevens had met with a Turkish representative in Benghazi, but why were his requests for additional security denied, and by whom?

There were military assets that could have responded to the attacks. The 130-man Marine Force Recon Team at Sigonella, Italy, was within an hour’s flight time of Benghazi. The F-16s at Aviano that were on “awareness alert” were already loaded with 20-millimeter ammunition should have been able to be airborne within one hour, according to a former vice commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe. Why weren’t they deployed?

Normal procedures for dealing with a threat to the U.S. compound in Benghazi were not followed. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was to be taken to the “safe room.” The bars on the safe-room window were to be unlocked from the inside, then the ambassador and his people were to exit through the window and get into a car that was always parked outside the window and speed to a nearby CIA annex. The plan failed the night of the attack because there was no parked car outside the window. We need to know who moved the car and on whose orders.

Three of the four agents with Stevens left their weapons, helmets and body armor in another area under orders from the secretary of state, which was confirmed by the Accountability Review Board report. It’s shocking, since in that environment, weapons must be kept at the ready all the time.

We could go on….

roflmmfao

donabernathy on May 15, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Notice how NBC has ignored the latest release of IRS/Carl Levin emails….or the release of 36,000 criminal illegal aliens…?

d1carter on May 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Chuck, There were some 30 survivors of the attack, why haven’t we heard from them, your going to tell me none of them want a book deal? Almost any other trsdgedy of this type victims come out of the wooodwork to tell their story.

Sven on May 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Our troops are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, while they have moved on to North Africa.

Techster64 on May 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM

“We couldn’t have gotten there in time” – who knows how long a battle will last just as it is getting srarted?

VegasRick on May 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Probably the same way Hillary knew and announced that it was all the video’s fault (at 10 pm EDST, 9/11), possibly while the 8-hour attack was still underway, and definitely after the CIA, State Department and DOD already knew it was a terrorist attack. Benson’s all over this: “Petraeus: We Knew Benghazi Was Terrorism ‘Almost Immediately.’”

de rigueur on May 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Hmmm, I wonder if Chuck Todd is a Democrat operative propagandist who is merely posing as a journalist. If so, I wonder what happened with MSNBC’s vetting process at the time of his hiring.

Buddahpundit on May 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Focus on this, Chuckie

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Where was our Commander-in-Chief?

Electrongod on May 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

He was threatening the PM of Israel with sanctions if they got in the way of the nuclear deal he was planning to offer Iran at the UN.

kcewa on May 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Chuck Todd and David Gregory should have a competition to finally settle the nagging question of which is the bigger dbag.

Texas Zombie on May 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Notice how NBC has ignored the latest release of IRS/Carl Levin emails….or the release of 36,000 criminal illegal aliens…?

d1carter on May 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I’ve been doing news searches of combinations of “IRS” “Washington” “Levin” and I still haven’t found a single story from an MSM outlet. There is a complete blackout on that story in spite of what is clearly new and important information.

“Washington” directed the IRS abuse of political enemies and “Washington” is directing the media boycott of the story.

forest on May 15, 2014 at 12:37 PM

“I’ll hear from Republicans who will say, ‘but there are unanswered questions.’ Well no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people who don’t like the answers — that wishes [sic] the answers were somehow more conspiratorial.”

I noticed Todd’s leg irons don’t have no legs in ‘em.

cbenoistd on May 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I don’t get this guy. Is he as dense as he seems, or just plays an idiot on TV?

pat on May 15, 2014 at 12:42 PM

what does this guy do all day? He certainly isn’t reporting. Reading white house press releases isn’t reporting, a monkey could do that.

warmairfan on May 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

No UpChuck they haven’t

neyney on May 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Chuck Todd and David Gregory should have a competition to finally settle the nagging question of which is the bigger dbag.

Texas Zombie on May 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM

It would look a lot like this….

Athos on May 15, 2014 at 12:53 PM

But even Todd knows that these are the larger questions, and focusing exclusively on the talking points — which Gowdy pledges not to do, by the way — ends up serving the same White House purposes.

How does it serve this Lying Administration to make it perfectly clear that the demonstration lie was made from whole cloth to cover their policy failure and negligence. There was no demonstration.

Basilsbest on May 15, 2014 at 12:57 PM

“I’ll hear from Republicans who will say, ‘but there are unanswered questions.’ Well no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people who don’t like the answers — that wishes [sic] the answers were somehow more conspiratorial.”

After Toad’s show where everyone poo poo’d the Benghazi investigation that it was a waste of time, the following MSLSD hour spent half of it on the “importance” of bridgegate and Chris Christie! Imagine that!

truthserum on May 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Why is Todd, a reliable shill for the Obama Administration, trying so hard to end the inquiry on the talking points?

Because anyone who claims Ray Rhodes was the source of the video narrative lies is full of sh!t; an idiot or a tool. Todd, along with all the rest of the media tools, understand that if these lies are traced back to Obama or Clinton, their dreams of Democrats ruling a progressive Utopia are over. And the evidence increasingly points to the phone call between Obama and Clinton the night they abandoned Americans fighting for their lives to their fates.

They are still doing everything in their power to protect their idols. They will never stop. Never.

Unfortunately for them, they are no longer in a position to enforce an embargo on the truth. Thus, the evident desperation.

novaculus on May 15, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Well said Sir. A beautiful oration of whats to come. But, I seriously doubt the water carriers will listen.

DDay on May 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM

If the Youtube lie, was put in place, to maintain the false narrative, that ‘Al-Qeada was on the run, and, hey look, we Democrats (Obama) are awesome at killing terrorists, and we solved this whole terrorist problem so elect us as seems to be the prime motive.

That election was corrupted and there needs to be (strong) consequences for everyone involved in spreading that lie and using it to achieve political ends.

It would also explain why no attempt was permitted to be made at a rescue. As it would have disproved the notion, Obama was mister destroyer of all terrorists.

Though, in the long run, the narrative is collapsing anyway — Even CNN figured out, Al-Qeada is on the rise. But hey, it let Obama get over the finish line.

Sharr on May 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Too hilarious

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Also. Since it was a terrorist attack, as Obama and Hillary, now kind of sort of admit. I really want someone to ask one, or both. Why have they at various times, told various members of the victims families, they were going after the video maker?

Mmm?

Hillary did this, the very day Ambs. Stevens body arrived home. She did not promise to get the terrorists, no, she promised to get that evil insult-er of Islam and his Youtube art.

Why? The video was irrelevant. Why say it?

Sharr on May 15, 2014 at 1:55 PM

This is what happens when you ‘lead from behind’. Especially when that “leader” is a political hack from Chicago.

GarandFan on May 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM

The bigger question about Benghazi is not about the cover-up, but the incompetence that led to the attack on the anniversary of 9/11 and the lack of response during it.

Well why in the heck can’t they do both? They are incompetent and covered up their criminal negligence because of the election. In my opinion, they are also resposible for the death of four citizens of the United States of America!

Vince on May 15, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Chuck Todd: It’s like investigating who cut down one tree in a forest that’s been burned down.

Good analogy considering it was the administration who burnt down the entire forest after the fact, in order to cover up for whoever cut down that one tree.

Oxymoron on May 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Chuckie the talking WH puppet!

dk0sntrukt on May 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM

The press is largely totally made up of Democrat (Gimmedat) operatives with bylines.

Missilengr on May 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM

US government should have attempted a rescue mission, which other military officers have testified wouldn’t have been logistically feasible.

This assertion is total bull. At a minimum they could have flown one of the two drones into the mortars that were firing on the compound.

There’s more, but every time I hear or read that excrement, I get incensed.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Lets pretend this us about Nixon,Reagan,Bush or Bush and they are CIC and see where FChuck Todd would be on this.

jaywemm on May 15, 2014 at 8:50 PM