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Tuesday, June 28

The Taliban is inside the White House, CIA and State Department

 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
“What may appear at first blush to be a lack of competence on behalf of the State Department now appears fully intentional and coordinated,” according to an exclusive copy of a part of the report that alleges the administration stonewalled Gowdy’s probe.
[...]
The panel also found that former senior officials in the defunct Qadhafi regime helped evacuate Americans to safety, a surprising finding given that the U.S. was backing the rebels fighting against the regime. The GOP committee staffer noted that the rebel forces State had worked to befriend did not come to the Americans’ aid.
The quotes are from Politico's report today, Final Benghazi report details administration failures: The Clinton campaign dismissed the report as a partisan conspiracy theory.

The final report runs 800 pages so it's unlikely that it will be read by many Americans; it's the same for a 51 page summary (pdf) including "additional views" of the report's conclusions by House Republicans Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo. For Americans who can't be bothered with reading the summary either, here's The Federalist's 5 big takeaways from the summary. 

The majority of Americans are psychologically incapable of facing what their government has become; this is particularly so for Americans who voted Barack Obama into the White House on the belief he would stop their government's strategy of using unrestricted warfare to achieve foreign policy goals.  

All Obama did was find ways to conduct unrestricted warfare without using large numbers of American troops; that this included using thousands of U.S. mercenaries and foreign proxy fighters drawn from the most committed radicals and even terrorist groups -- this is something Americans who voted him into the White House a second time can't acknowledge because to do so means acknowledging the blood of innocents is on their hands. 

How many innocents? Does it matter?  And would a President Romney have done things differently? It's something like the effect of crack cocaine, the ability to wield vast power over the lives of people without facing personal consequences when there are major screw-ups. It's highly addictive.  From Salon, June 10:
The FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information for months.

An explosive new report reveals just what it is that the FBI is looking to: emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan with her cellphone.
From 2011 on, the State Department had a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it a degree of say over whether or not a drone killing would take place.
The U.S. drone program has killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan and other countries.
Under Sec. Clinton, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. They only objected to one or two attacks. [...]
As to how the CIA and State Department came to supplant the U.S. military in Obama's method of unrestricted warfare, does it matter?

From Jake Tapper's report for ABC News, October 10, 2012
In a heated and dramatic congressional hearing today, witnesses who served with the U.S. diplomatic corps in Libya and pushed for a stronger security presence repeatedly faulted the State Department for standing in their way - one even referring to the State Department officials he described as obstructionist as if they were Taliban terrorists.

The former regional security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, recalled talking to a regional director and asking for twelve security agents.
"His response to that was, 'You are asking for the sun, moon and the stars.' And my response to him - his name was Jim - 'Jim, you know what makes most frustrating about this assignment? It is not the hardships, it is not the gunfire, it is not the threats. It is dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me.
And I added [to] it by saying, 'For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.'"
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August - against his wishes and, he says, the wishes of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens - said "we were fighting a losing battle. We couldn't even keep what [security] we had."
Nordstrom agreed, saying, "it was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is again, 'How thin does the ice need to get until someone falls through?'"

As an example, earlier Nordstrom had said he was "specifically told, 'You can't request an SST extension.' How I interpreted that was there was going to be too much political cost." [...]
Photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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