10/12/12 Weekly Update: Benghazi-Gate
A scandal. There’s really no other way to put it – especially after reviewing congressional testimony this week regarding the murders of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other individuals in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.
As you might recall, when news broke of the attack in Libya, the Obama administration went into immediate damage control, grasping desperately at a narrative that we now know to be blatantly false – “The video made them do it.”
By “the video,” I am referring of course to a rudimentary Internet video that reportedly casts Muslims in an unfavorable light. In the hours and days after the attacks, Obama administration repeatedly blamed this video, which had been circulating for months, for sparking protests in Cairo and the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.
But rather than relying on my characterization of these remarks, let’s look at the precise statements by administration officials following the murder of Ambassador Stevens:
- First up, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One day after the attack, on September 12, 2012 Clinton said the following: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response toinflammatory material posted on the Internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear — there is no justification for this, none.”
- Obama White House Spokesman Jay Carney stayed on this message in a presser on September 13: “The protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.”
- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice followed suit a few days later during an interview with ABC’s “This Week” program, saying that the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three others in Libya was “a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo.” (Click over to The Daily Caller for more false statements from Susan Rice.)
- Now here’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again four days after Rice’s ABC News appearance: “We have condemned in the strongest possible terms the violence that has erupted from these protests. And as I have said, the video that sparked these protests is disgusting and reprehensible, and the United States Government, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Well, we know that Libyan officials stated immediately after the attack firmly they believed it was premeditated and orchestrated. (This analysis was based both on the complexity of the operation and the nature of the weapons used to execute it.)
We also know that shortly after the attacks, news leaked that within 24 hours, U.S. officials knew this was a terrorist attack likely planned and executed by al Qaeda.
According to The Daily Beast:
And now, there is no doubt. “The lethality and number of armed people is unprecedented,” a federal official said during testimony this week. “There was no attack anywhere in Libya — Tripoli or Benghazi — like this. So it is unprecedented and would be very, very hard to find a precedent like that in recent diplomatic history.”
In sum, it appears from the evidence that the Obama administration knowingly lied to the American people regarding the true nature of the attacks in Libya. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this was done to protect President Obama who is locked in a tight re-election battle.
A major push of the Obama campaign has been that, under President Obama’s policies, al Qaeda is in decline (“GM is alive and bin Laden is dead” is an Obama campaign slogan.). This is a fair, however debatable, talking point for Obama. But what is not appropriate is lying to the American people about a terrorist attack because it might conflict with this president’s reelection campaign narrative. (Nor, while we are on this point, is it appropriate to leak classified information on the bin Laden killing to help an Obama-friendly film.)
Adding to the post-attack disinformation by the Obama administration, intelligence officials also failed to secure the scene of the attack. So it was left to a CNN reporter to obtain Ambassador Stevens’ journal, which was lying on the floor of the unsecured consulate. In the journal’s seven pages, Ambassador Stevens expresses his concerns over security in Libya and “rising Islamic extremism.”
Which brings me to my next point.
According to congressional testimony this week, the Obama administration ignored repeated requests by security officials to boost security in Libya.
Per ABC News:
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 [it] 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 (sic) it by saying, ‘For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.'”
I’ll repeat that. “For me,” the security officer said, “the Taliban is on the inside of the building.” I do not believe Mr. Nordstrom could have used any stronger words than that to describe his frustrations with the State Department bureaucracy. (To be fair to the Obama administration, bureaucracies tend to stay the same in terms of inefficiency and incompetence no matter who is president.)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is making some effort to get answers via hearings held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But, as we’ve seen in the past, these investigations are too often tainted by politics – especially in a highly charged campaign season. So JW, which is non-partisan and has been successful in securing records denied to Congress, is on the job once again.
JW filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the State Department seeking security survey and assessments for the U.S. Consulate in Libya. We also want access to Ambassador Stevens’ notes, as well as correspondence between the State Department and various media and government organizations on this scandal.
The State Department has acknowledged receipt of these requests, but we do not have records as of yet. I expect, per usual, we will have to file a lawsuit.
Stay tuned. Details continue to emerge in a scandal that is now approaching the magnitude of Fast and Furious.
Obama Campaign Suspected of Pocketing Illegal Foreign Donations
Is the Obama campaign using the Internet to launder tens of millions of dollars in foreign campaign contributions in violation of federal election law? A new report issued by our friend Peter Schweizer’s Government Accountability Institute certainly raises suspicions. (You can read it in full here.)
As explained by Schweizer and Peter Boyer in their article in The Daily Beast:
There has been no shortage of media attention paid to the role of money in the current presidential contest. Super PACs, bundlers, 527s, and mega-donors have attracted abundant notice. But there has been surprisingly little focus on perhaps the most secretive and influential financial force in politics today: the wide-open coffers of the Internet.
With millions of online campaign donations ricocheting through cyberspace, one might think the Federal Election Commission would have erected serious walls to guard federal elections from foreign or fraudulent Internet contributions. But that’s far from true. In fact, campaigns are largely expected to police these matters themselves.
The prospect of illegal foreign donations is an especially thorny problem for the Obama campaign. And here’s why. The Internet site Obama.com isn’t owned by the Obama campaign. It’s owned by Chinese-based American businessman Robert Roche, CEO of Acorn International, a large media company. As Schweizer and Boyer note, 68% of the some 2,000 visitors each day on Obama.com are foreign in origin.
And the fact is many of these non-citizens could very easily make an illegal contribution to the Obama campaign. In fact, visitors to Obama.com are redirected on the site to a donation page on the campaign’s official website, BarackObama.com, and reportedly receive campaign solicitations as well.
So the mixing and mingling between the Obama.com website’s large foreign following, and the Obama campaign website is problem number 1.
Here’s problem number 2.
Internet donations continue to flood into the Obama campaign creating a rich environment for illegal donations, writes Dick Morris in an opinion column written for The Hill:
So not only is there a lack of strict separation between Obama.com and Obama’s official campaign website, but the issue is magnified by amount of funds raised by the Obama campaign over the Internet.
More from Morris: “…questions arise because the Obama campaign, unlike Romney’s or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton’s in 2008, refuses to ask donors for their CVV number (the number on your credit card that one is often asked for after giving one’s name and expiration date). The CVV is designed to assure that the donor is actually physically holding the card.”
And why would the Obama campaign officials oppose any effort to ensure the legitimacy of a campaign contribution? It’s the same reason they oppose voter ID laws. Election fraud and campaign fraud are no barriers to retaining power.
I should point out these illegal donations are not theoretical.
Breitbart.com has captured some disturbing screen shots from Obama.com, including an email written from a Canadian woman admitting to an illegal donation in 2008: “Just last week, a Canadian woman writing on President Obama’s official campaign website claims she made a campaign donation to the Obama campaign during the last election and that she intends to do so this time as well-a clear violation of U.S. election laws,” writes Breitbart.com’s Wynton Hall, who included the text of this woman’s message: “I had donated to the original campaign and will again,” she writes. “I would also give my vote but alas I am a Canadian… but am a staunch supporter of the Obama-Biden Team.”
How many other “staunch” foreign Obama supporters are opting to flout the law?
Kudos to Peter Schweizer (and Peter Boyer) for their outstanding work on this critical issue. As I referenced last week, Peter Schweizer is just one of the notable experts interviewed in our upcoming film, District of Corruption, where we delve deep into Obama corruption, including the massive voter fraud initiative being operated within the Obama administration. Find out more about that here. And speaking of voter fraud…
A Court Victory in South Carolina Voter ID Lawsuit
Last week, I told you that a Pennsylvania Court appears inclined to move forward with that state’s new Voter ID law. Unfortunately, it will not be in effect in time to protect the integrity of the 2012 elections. Well, this week we had a similar court ruling for South Carolina.
As you might recall, the Obama Justice Department took the extraordinary step of seeking to stop the State of South Carolina from strengthening its voter ID law.
On Wednesday, a federal court delayed the implementation of the voter ID law until next year. That’s the bad news. But in so doing, the court also shot down the Justice Department’s main argument that the law was inherently discriminatory. This, of course, is the good news.
A new South Carolina law that generally requires voters to show photo identification does not discriminate against racial minorities but cannot go into effect until the start of next year, a federal court ruled on Wednesday.
The U.S. District Court three-judge panel said too little time remains before the November 6 general election for state officials to implement the law this year. The decision was unanimous.
The U.S. Justice Department opposed the South Carolina law, arguing it runs afoul of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark of the U.S. civil rights movement.
This is a battle that has been ongoing for more than a year. In May 2011, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed R54, the voter ID measure, into law. But the law could not go into immediate effect without the Obama administration’s blessing.
This is because under the Voting Rights Act (Section 5), some states, including South Carolina, must have changes to voting laws “pre-cleared” by the DOJ. On December 23, 2011, the Obama Justice Department notified South Carolina that it was denying “pre-clearance” for Section 5 of the state’s election integrity law, claiming the provision would suppress minority voting. This was the first law of its type in 20 years to be denied “pre-clearance” by the DOJ. (The Election Law Center’s J. Christian Adams, a JW partner in our 2012 Election Integrity Project, reported that career officials at DOJ recommended that the South Carolina voter ID requirements be pre-cleared, but they were overruled by leftist Obama political appointees who run the Justice Department.)
On February 7, 2012, the State of South Carolina sued Attorney General Eric Holder to have a three-judge panel to declare R54 consistent with federal law. And it looks like this effort will ultimately be successful, but just not quickly enough, thanks to the Obama administration’s meritless lawsuit, to ensure the integrity of this year’s election in the state.
I encourage you to read the opinion of the court yourself. It shoots down the race mongering of Eric Holder and his leftist allies about voter ID and re-emphasizes the law of the land that allows states to institute voter ID laws not only to stop actual voter fraud, but to increase confidence generally in the integrity of our election processes.
For all the noise from Obama partisans, leftist groups, and their media echo chamber – the fact is, in addition to being widely supported in the polls, voter ID laws have repeatedly been found to be constitutional by the courts.
The Obama administration took the lead in attacking the voter ID election integrity law in South Carolina, but it did get help from its radical friends. This type of one-two punch has been used repeatedly by the Obama Justice Department. Sure enough, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of South Carolina later intervened in the lawsuit.
We saw inappropriate coordination with the NAACP and the Justice Department over the Black Panther Case, which was dismissed by the Obama Justice Department over the objections of the agency’s attorneys. We saw it with the ACLU and the battle against Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law. We’re seeing it again with ACORN/Project Vote on the issue of voter registrations. These leftist groups, notorious for voter registration law violations are coordinating with the Obama administration to register, without regard for sensible provisions to protect against fraud, a “Food Stamp Army” to re-elect the president while opposing any attempt by states to clean up voter registration rolls consistent with the National Voter Registration Act. This anti-election integrity coalition also opposes virtually any notable effort by states to ensure the legitimacy of each vote cast.
I can honestly say I have never seen a more corrupt Justice Department, so willing to do the bidding of some of the most radical and lawless organizations in the country. (Not even the Reno Justice Department was this bad, and that’s saying something.)
As you know, Judicial Watch has been leading an investigation into the corrupt ties between the Obama administration and its leftist special interest allies. In fact, Judicial Watch sued the Obama Justice Department for records related to its legal bullying campaign against the State of South Carolina. We want to know the intricacies of the partnerships. And we’re still pushing for answers.
As with Pennsylvania, the prospects of a voter ID law going into effect in South Carolina are very good, but unfortunately not in time to address the serious voter fraud concerns that exist right now, with just weeks to go until Election Day.
To find out more about JW’s comprehensive 2012 Election Integrity Project, click here.
Please also check out the dynamite panel we hosted yesterday, providing the latest on our 2012 Election Integrity Campaign. (The event was live-streamed on the Internet.) Featured Panelists included: J. Christian Adams, Founder of the Election Law Center Virginia, Author of: Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department; Catherine Engelbrecht, President of True the Vote; Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalf, author of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law; and Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow and Manager of the Civil Justice Reform Initiative in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Heritage Foundation, Co-Author of Who’s Counting?
If you haven’t already, please also pick up a copy of JW’s New York Times best-selling book, The Corruption Chronicles, by clicking here. Election fraud is a virulent threat to our system of government. I hope you’ll take some time to familiarize yourself with how and why it takes place. And what you can do to help stop it.
Until next week…