Obama to Heckler: ‘Part of Free Speech Is … You Listening’ | The Weekly Standard

Free speech is about speaking. There is nothing in the Constitution about listening!

 

“Ma’am, let me finish. Let me finish ma’am,” said Obama. “This is part of free speech is you being able to speak but also you listening. And me being able to speak. All right?”

via Obama to Heckler: ‘Part of Free Speech Is … You Listening’ | The Weekly Standard.

There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda

Wikileaks releases more Global Intelligence Files; some highlights

Submitted by sosadmin on Thu, 11/15/2012 – 15:15

Wikileaks has released another batch of emails from the private intelligence company Stratfor. Among them are some interesting bits of information, including:

  • Allegations that the White House and CIA ordered the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to cease investigating Afghanistan president Ahmed Karzai’s brother for drug trafficking that funded terrorism. The email reads in part: “For political reasons, DEA has been told to backoff [sic] by the White House and CIA. DEA is seeing a direct nexus between terrorism and narcotics in Afghanistan with narcotics sales being used to fund jihadist operations.”
  • References to the Obama war on whistleblowers. One email, dated September 2010, reads in full: “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources. Note — There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”
  • A breakdown of the FBI’s major “Going Dark” concerns, as laid out by the Albany field office. The FBI has been publicly hinting at what it says are major impediments to its “legal electronic surveillance” operations. (For an interrogation of the supposed “legality” of the FBI’s surveillance, read this.) In a document prepared for law enforcement, the Albany field office of the FBI listed the Tor network, encryption and anonymous remailers as technologies that impede total information awareness. Take a look at the document here.
  • Possible Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) attacks on Mexican drug cartel leaders. A May 2011 email reads: “Have been told by a very good contact that JSOC is looking at unilateral actions in MX targeting cartel HVT’s.”
  • An assessment that DHS fusion centers amount to “freaking amature [sic] hour.”
  • Problems with the TSA and its reliance on contractors. One email claims a “senior agent at DHS” said: “Another issue is that DHS in general has too many contractors whose first interest is furthering their company’s interests, and many of these folks couldn’t find their bottoms with both hands and a mirror. Unfortunately, the few direct hire staff end up overwhelmed by their contractor majority staffs….Contractor footnote: have observed that the contractors are extremely adept at showing up at meetings in large numbers, eating the donuts and drinking the beverages without contributing anything more than body count.”
  • DHS’ assessment of the Occupy Wall Street movements. One Stratfor email contains a link to a DHS bulletin for law enforcement and the intelligence community on OWS. The last sentence of that bulletin reads: “Due to the location of the protests in major metropolitan areas, heightened and continuous situational awareness for security personnel across all CI sectors is encouraged.”

Krauthammer: White House ‘Held Affair Over Petraeus’s Head’ For Favorable Testimony On Benghazi | NewsBusters.org

Another Hmmmm

The Piratearian

I said this weeks ago. https://piratearian.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/was-general-petraeus-being-blackmailed/

 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.

And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on September 13. That’s the thing that connects the two scandals…

View original post 117 more words

Benghazi truth coming out. Not good for Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper.

Hmmmm, Preview of things to come?

The Piratearian

TEL AVIV – Has the White House been misleading the public by repeatedly denying it was coordinating arms shipments to the rebels in Syria, insurgents known to consist in large part of al-Qaida and other jihadist groups?

Other top U.S. officials and former officials, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have implied in congressional testimony that they didn’t know about any U.S. involvement in procuring weapons for the rebels.

Now, a starkly different picture is emerging, one that threatens the longstanding White House narrative that claims the Obama administration has only supplied nonlethal aid to the rebels.

Confirming WND’s exclusive reporting for over a year, the New York Times two days ago reported that since early 2012, the CIA has been aiding Arab governments and Turkey in obtaining and shipping weapons to the Syrian rebels.

While the Times report claims most of the weapons shipments facilitated by the…

View original post 1,135 more words

Aug 2012 Official: State-DoD team preparing to contain shoulder-fired missiles in Syria – The Hill’s Global Affairs

Benghazi History

The Piratearian

During the Libyan conflict, a “State Department MANPADS expert” was working on the ground in Benghazi while fighting had not yet subsided, Shapiro added. The department also deployed a “quick reaction force” to advise the Transitional National Council in preventing the proliferation of the weapons.

via Official: State-DoD team preparing to contain shoulder-fired missiles in Syria – The Hill’s Global Affairs.

View original post

Hillary picked the wrong Scapegoat for #Benghazi Will she #VinceFoster him?

GOV’T OFFICIAL (AND POET) PUT ON LEAVE AFTER BENGHAZI FINALLY BREAKS HIS SILENCE — AND HE’S MAKING SOME BIG CHARGES AGAINST HILLARY AND HER TEAM

May. 21, 2013 10:26am 

  • Raymond Maxwell Accuses Hillary Clintons Team of Making Him Scapegoat

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)

Raymond Maxwell, one of four State Department employees recently disciplined by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, made headlines this month for penning slightly cryptic verses critical of the agency’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

And now Maxwell, who was placed on forced “administrative leave” despite his claim had no role in consulate-related security issues, is back in the news for ditching the poetry and outright accusing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of making him the Benghazi scapegoat.

“The overall goal is to restore my honor,” Maxwell said in an interview with The Daily Beast.

The former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, who is currently stuck in a sort of legal limbo, has filed grievances regarding his treatment by the State Department’s human resources bureau and the American Foreign Service Association, the report notes.

Maxwell is the only official in the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (i.e. the group responsible for Libya) to lose his job over the September 11 attacks.

“I had no involvement to any degree with decisions on security and the funding of security at our diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” he said.

Maxwell was placed on forced “administrative leave” on December 18, the day after the Accountability Review Board released its report on the Benghazi attack. The department placed him on leave so that it could decide whether he should be permanently “let go.” However, here we are five months out and no decision has been made.

The disciplined State Department official sits at home and waits.

A department spokeswoman declined to comment on why Maxwell and three other State officials were disciplined, saying only that the ARB suggested someone be disciplined over the death of four Americans.

“As a matter of policy, we don’t speak to specific personnel matters,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told The Daily Beast.

Maxwell said the reason for him being put on leave has never been explained to him, he has never seen the classified portions of the ARBreport that detail personnel failures leading up to the attack, and because his “administrative leave” is not a formal disciplinary action, he has no legal means to appeal his status.

And although he planned on retiring in September 2012, Maxwell remained at his post voluntarily so that he could assist the department in responding to the disastrous attacks. Now, after being singled out for the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Maxwell refuses to let it go until his name has been cleared.

“They just wanted me to go away but I wouldn’t just go away,” he said. “I knew Chris [Stevens]. Chris was a friend of mine.”

“He is seeking a restoration of his previous position, a public statement of apology from State, reimbursement for his legal fees, and an extension of his time in service to equal the time he has spent at home on administrative leave,” the Daily Beast reports.

Raymond Maxwell Accuses Hillary Clintons Team of Making Him Scapegoat

“For any FSO being at work is the essence of everything and being deprived of that and being cast out was devastating,” he said.

Maxwell said that soon after he was removed from his post, a State Department official visited him at his home one night and asked him to sign a letter acknowledging his removal and “forfeiting” his right to enter the State Department building.

He refused. He said that the letter amounted to an admission of guilt.

So who placed him on leave?

“The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was made by Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, according to three State Department officials with direct knowledge of the events,” the report notes.

“On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately,” it adds.

Raymond Maxwell Accuses Hillary Clintons Team of Making Him Scapegoat

But there may be a reason why Maxwell, of all people, was removed from his office the day after the release of the ARB report.

“One person who reviewed the classified portion of the ARB report told The Daily Beast that it called out Maxwell for the specific infraction of not reading his daily classified briefings, something that person said Maxwell admitted to the ARB panel during his interview,” the report claims.

“The crime that he is being punished for is not reading his intel,” this person said.

When asked about this specific claim, Maxwell said he has not been “officially counseled” on any wrongdoing and has not been allowed to read the ARB’s classified report.

But here’s his bombshell claim: Maxwell believes Hillary Clinton’s staff headed the review of the disastrous Benghazi attack – not an independent review board.

“The flaws in the process were perpetrated by the political leadership at State with the complicity of the senior career leadership,” he said. “They should be called to account.”

Click here to read the full report

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image Getty Images.

The Uncomfortable Questions Not Raised by Benghazi

State of Play · 4 min read

The Uncomfortable Questions Not Raised by Benghazi

The press and Congress are asking the wrong questions

The eight-month controversy over the attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi reintensified last week, as the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli testified before a panel at the House of Representatives. The hearing, however, seemed to focus not on the attack itself, but rather on what happened afterward: the content of the talking points handed to UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and whether President Obama referred to it as terrorism quickly enough.Indeed, the entire scandal, as it exists in the public, is a bizarre redirection from the serious failures for which no one has yet answered.

The talking points scandal is arguably the least important failure of the Benghazi attack.A recent document dump of the emails by the White House that pertains to how they were drafted shows that, rather than the malicious lying of which they’re accused, what really happened wasbureaucratic infighting of the highest order: The State Department and CIA could not agree on whom should be blamed, and their disputes lead to a poorly coordinated messaging campaign by the administration.

But the Benghazi attack is worrying for so many other reasons.Two of the American fatalities, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were not just embassy security guards but CIA contractors. The Benghazi outpost was not a U.S. consulate, but rather a CIA station operating under the cover of the State Department. Only seven of the 30 personnelevacuated from the station after the attack worked for the State Department; the rest were CIA. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died during the assault, was visiting the station to evaluate whether the State Department could secure and expand the station so it could be an official consulate in addition to carrying out its intelligence functions.

The mystery deepens, however. The two CIA contractors who died defending the outpost were part of a rapid response team, which was inadequate. Both the CIA and Ambassador Stevens had placed their lives in the hands of an inadequate American response team and a local militia that simply melted away during the assault.

Perhaps out of deference to the dead, there are few who have raised the question of why Ambassador Stevens had such faith in this unreliable militia. In the months leading up the assault, despite growing violence in Benghazi, Stevens repeatedly refused offers by the U.S. military to place more American security forces nearby.

It might have been misplaced trust. Ambassador Stevens was theprimary liaison between the U.S. and the Libyan resistance, which largely began and was headquartered in Benghazi. It’s possible he thought that, given his strong ties to the Benghazi militias and the role he played in Gaddafi’s downfall, he would be untouched by the low-level violence roiling the city.

But we don’t know. No one is asking the question.

The CIA, too, has many things to answer for in Benghazi, which are much more germane to the current debate over talking points. In all twelve versions, the CIA placed references to protests spurred by an anti-Islam video circulating the Internet at the time. Moreover, it was CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell, not the State Department, whoremoved a reference to terror group Ansar al-Sharia by saying such information was classified.If anyone is to blame for the enormous screw-up of the Obama administration’s response to the attack, that person is probably in Langley.

To take things a step further, the CIA’s heavy presence in Benghazi is probably also why security was so light. Stereotypes to the contrary, in many places CIA facilities have surprisingly light building security; they rely more on obscurity than imposing defenses to stay safely hidden. When that obscurity is blown, so, too is their best line of defense. So why was the CIA station’s location so well known in Benghazi? Was tradecraft there so lax that everyone nearby knew what it was? And if so, who thought that was a good idea?

Again, none of these issues are being raised in Congressional hearings or the media, or by the public.The CIA created the facility in Benghazi but barely defended it. They did not have local forces capable of rallying to their defense when they needed it and could not protect two diplomats on whom their cover relied. Then, when the news broke, they manipulated talking points to sell out the State Department and Ambassador Rice, who was told to represent the administration in the media. They have ducked questions in Congress about their conduct, too. Apart from a closed November testimony by ex-CIA director David Petraeus,no one from the agency has had to publicly answer questions the way the State Department has.

The CIA’s conduct during and after Benghazi should be the real scandal here, not the order in which certain keywords make their way into press conferences. It is a tragedy that two diplomats died, including the first ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. Sadly, they are part of a growing number of American diplomats hurt or killed in the line of duty. Embassies and diplomatic facilities were attacked 13 times under President Bush, resulting in dozens of dead but little action. If future Benghazis are to be avoided, we need to grapple with why the attack and our inadequate response unfolded the way it did.

Many of those issues were raised in the Accountability Review Boardreport that the State Department released last December. But to this day, the complicated nature of CIA operations and, more importantly, how they put at risk the other American personnel serving alongside them have gone largely unremarked upon. It’s past time to demand answers from Langley.

Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Scapegoat’ Speaks Out

Exclusive: Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Scapegoat’ Speaks Out

by  May 20, 2013 2:53 PM EDT

Raymond Maxwell, the only official at the State Department’s bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to lose his job after the attacks, tells Josh Rogin that he’s been scapegoated by Hillary Clinton’s team.

  • 1.8k
  • Following the attack in Benghazi, senior State Department officials close to Hillary Clinton ordered the removal of a mid-level official who had no role in security decisions and has never been told the charges against him. He is now accusing Clinton’s team of scapegoating him for the failures that led to the death of four Americans last year.

160074996CS001_CLINTON_TEST
Hillary Clinton laughs as she testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in January. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Raymond Maxwell was placed on forced “administrative leave” after the State Department’s own internal investigation, conducted by an Administrative Review Board (ARB) led by former State Department official Tom Pickering. Five months after he was told to clean out his desk and leave the building, Maxwell remains in professional and legal limbo, having been associated publicly with the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American for reasons that remain unclear.

Maxwell, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2011 until his removal last December, following tours in Iraq and Syria, spoke publicly for the first time in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast.

“The overall goal is to restore my honor,” said Maxwell, who has now filed grievances regarding his treatment with the State Department’s human resources bureau and the American Foreign Service Association, which represents the interests of foreign-service officers. The other three officials placed on leave were in the diplomatic security bureau, leaving Maxwell as the only official in the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which had responsibility for Libya, to lose his job.

“I had no involvement to any degree with decisions on security and the funding of security at our diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” he said.

Maxwell was removed from his job on Dec. 18, the day after the ARB report was released, and subsequently placed on administrative leave, which is meant to give the State Department time to investigate whether Maxwell should be fired or return to work. Five months later, that investigation seems stalled and Maxwell sits at home, where he continues to be paid but is not allowed to return to his job.

The State Department declined to comment on the reasons that Maxwell and the other officials were placed on administrative leave, or on what the four were told about the reasons for the decision. It did confirm that the ARB did not recommend direct disciplinary action because it didn’t find misconduct or a direct breach of duty by the officials. “As a matter of policy, we don’t speak to specific personnel matters,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Since the leave is not considered a formal disciplinary action, Maxwell has no means to appeal the status, as he would if he had been outright fired. To this day, he says, nobody from the State Department has ever told him why he was singled out for discipline. He has never had access to the classified portion of the ARB report, where all of the details regarding personnel failures leading up to Benghazi are confined. He also says he has never been shown any evidence or witness testimony linking him to the Benghazi incident.

Maxwell says he had planned to retire last September, but extended his time voluntarily after the Sept. 11 attack to help the bureau in its time of need. Now, he is refusing to retire until his situation is clarified. He is seeking a restoration of his previous position, a public statement of apology from State, reimbursement for his legal fees, and an extension of his time in service to equal the time he has spent at home on administrative leave.

“For any FSO being at work is the essence of everything and being deprived of that and being cast out was devastating,” he said.

Soon after being removed from his job, Maxwell was visited at his home late one evening and directed to sign a letter acknowledging his administrative leave and forfeiting his right to enter the State Department. He refused to sign, responding in writing that it amounted to an admission he had done something wrong.

“They just wanted me to go away but I wouldn’t just go away,” he said. “I knew Chris [Stevens]. Chris was a friend of mine.”

“Behind Beth’s back, Maxwell ended up being put on administrative leave.”

The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was made by Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, according to three State Department officials with direct knowledge of the events. On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately.

“Cheryl Mills directed me to remove you immediately from the [deputy assistant secretary] position,” Jones told Maxwell, according to Maxwell.

The decision to remove Maxwell and not Jones seems to conflict with the finding of the ARB that responsibility for the security failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi should fall on more senior officials.

“We fixed [the responsibility] at the assistant secretary level, which is in our view the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road,” Pickering said when releasing the ARB report.

The report found “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department,” namely the Diplomatic Security (DS) and Near East bureaus. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns testified in December that requests for more security in Libya, denied by the State Department, did reach the assistant secretaries and “it may be that some of my colleagues on the 7th floor saw them as well.”

But Jones was not disciplined in any way following the release of the report, nor was the principal deputy assistant secretary of State at NEA, Liz Dibble, who is slated to receive a plush post as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London this summer. In the DS bureau, the assistant secretary, principal deputy, and deputy assistant all lost their jobs. In the NEA bureau, only Maxwell was asked to leave.

Jones and Dibble were responsible for security in Libya, Maxwell and three State Department officials said. What’s more, when Maxwell was promoted to his DAS position in August 2011, most responsibility for Libya was carved out of his portfolio, which also included Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Although Maxwell did some work on Libya, all security related decisions were handled by Dibble and Jones, according to the three officials.

One State Department official close to the issue told The Daily Beast that Clinton’s people told the leadership of the NEA bureau that Maxwell would be given another job at State when the Benghazi scandal blew over. Maxwell said Jones assured him he would eventually be brought back to NEA as a “senior advisor,” but that Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, reneged.

“The deal that NEA made with Cheryl Mills and the 7th floor was to keep Ray within NEA and just give him another portfolio. For whatever reason, it didn’t go down like that and that was a complete shock to Beth [Jones], because that was the deal that Beth made with Cheryl,” the official said. “Behind Beth’s back, Maxwell ended up being put on administrative leave.”

Jones and Mills both declined to comment for this article, but a source close to Mills denied that any kind of deal was made or reneged on regarding Maxwell’s future employment. The decision to place Maxwell on administrative leave was based on the classified portion of the ARB’s report, which named Maxwell specifically, the source said, but since the ARB didn’t say that Maxwell had committed a “breach of duty,” he couldn’t be outright fired.

“Administrative leave was the best option available within the very narrow authority that anyone had. That was the harshest discipline the department could mete out,” a State Department official involved in the decision making process said. “There really weren’t any other options available. If they could have been fired they would have been.”

One person who reviewed the classified portion of the ARB report told The Daily Beast that it called out Maxwell for the specific infraction of not reading his daily classified briefings, something that person said Maxwell admitted to the ARB panel during his interview.

“The crime that he is being punished for is not reading his intel. That explains why Jones and Dibble were not disciplined,” this person said.

Maxwell had no response to this allegation other than to say he has not been officially counseled on what he did wrong and has not been allowed to read the classified report. Also, he believes that Clinton’s staff, not the ARB, was in charge of the review of the attack that took place during her watch.

“The flaws in the process were perpetrated by the political leadership at State with the complicity of the senior career leadership,” he said. “They should be called to account.”

“There are people who seem to have responsibility who have yet to be held accountable.”

Eight months after the attack, Congressional investigators and outside groups are still pressing the State Department to explain how the ARB came to the conclusion that four mid-level officials were the only ones with responsibility for the failures that led up to the attack.

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), has announced that he will subpoena Pickering in order to compel him to submit to a deposition. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the subcommittee on national security, told The Daily Beast in an interview that he wants to know exactly why Maxwell and the three other officials were placed on administrative leave, and have not been granted due process to defend themselves.

“I certainly would like to hear their side of the story. It seems fair that they should be given that opportunity. If they can’t get it within the administration, I think Congress would love to hear their story,” he said. “Secretary Clinton says she takes responsibility, but that seems like lip service rather than the reality because there are people who seem to have responsibility who have yet to be held accountable and I don’t understand that.”

Chaffetz and Issa sent a letter in January to State asking why Clinton, Deputy Secretary Tom Nides, and Deputy Secretary Bill Burns were not interviewed by the ARB. Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy admitted in Oct. 10 congressional testimony that he was in the loop on decisions regarding security requests in Libya before the attack. He was interviewed by the ARB but not identified as having done anything wrong.

“The ARB tried to blame everyone but hold no one responsible, except for some of the lower level people who were not in control of the situation,” said Chaffetz. “You have a report that seems incomplete at best.”

Susan Johnson, the president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), told The Daily Beast that administrative leave does damage to a foreign service officer’s reputation and career if it goes on for more than a couple of weeks, much less several months. The treatment amounts to a de facto disciplinary action, she said.

“There’s a feeling that foreign service officers often end up as scapegoats when scandals rise to congressional or public attention,” she said. “Our broader concern is to ensure some measure of fairness and transparency, ensure some reasonable process that meets some kind of minimal standard here.”

AFSA sent a letter to Burns in January asking a number of questions about the review process and the criteria senior department leaders used in choosing to discipline the four individuals removed from their jobs in relation to the Benghazi attack.

“The State Department began an administrative process to review the status of the four individuals placed on administrative leave. That review process continues and Secretary Kerry will be briefed with an update, and decisions will be made about the status of these employees,” Psaki told the Beast. “This internal administrative process can take some time.”

She added: “It is also important to remember that the four people discussed are all long-serving government officials who over the years have provided dedicated service to the U.S. Government in challenging assignments.”

Maxwell just wants his day in court. He wrote a poem on his personal blog in April which referred to the State Department’s treatment of the four officials removed from their jobs after Benghazi as a “lynching.”

Last week, he posted another poem about the growing Benghazi scandal.

“The web of lies they weave gets tighter and tighter in its deceit until it bottoms out -at a very low frequency – and implodes,” he wrote. “Yet all the while, the more they talk, the more they lie, and the deeper down the hole they go.”

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