October 15, 2012

The NYT kept the Libya hearing off the front page because "It’s three weeks before the election and it’s a politicized thing..."

Why, yes, it is a politicized thing, isn't it? Oh... you didn't mean your coverage of the news, did you? The NYT managing editor Dean Baquet was explaining to the NYT public editor why the decision was made to go with the 6 stories they did put on the front page...
... one on affirmative action at universities, one on Lance Armstrong’s drug allegations, two related to the presidential election, one on taped phone calls at JPMorgan Chase, and one on a Tennessee woman who died of meningitis.
Baquet said: “I didn’t think there was anything significantly new in it.” And: “There were six better stories."

They put the story on page 3.

To be fair: The NYT put the original news of the Watergate break-in on an inside page. Was it page 18? Sorry, I'm not finding that fact as easily as I think I should. I did come up with the information that when Deep Throat/Mark Felt wanted to communicate with the Washington Post, Bob "Woodward’s home-delivered New York Times would arrive with an inked circle on Page 20."

So the myth of the inside pages of the New York Times looms large in the annals of presidential scandal.

Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate? The substance of it may be much worse than Watergate, and the Obama administration seems not to have heeded the old Watergate lesson that it's the cover-up that gets you, but if Obama loses the election, that will limit the dimension of the scandal. If he wins the election — especially if it's very close or contested in some way — Republicans may work themselves into a frenzy going after Obama. Remember that Richard Nixon was reelected after the Watergate scandal broke. The break-in was 5 months before the election, and the first stories had come out. The next 2 years were hell for Nixon, and he was drummed out of office. And Nixon had won by a landslide.

126 comments:

chrisnavin.com said...

Well, it's the NY Times. Where else am I going to get all the news that's fit to print?

AllenS said...

one on Lance Armstrong’s drug allegations

That's because it's a big fucking deal to the Times, which nobody else gives a shit about. Four dead Americans? No big fucking deal.

AllenS said...

It's talk like a Vice President's Day, right?

tiger said...

I stopped reading the NYTimes 10 years ago exactly for nonsense like this and yet they wonder why their paper is going bankrupt.

gerry said...

11/7/2012: Let the rioting begin. In Madison.

Tibore said...

Wait... since when has politicization stopped them?

AprilApple said...

How can they blame Romney for Obama's failures? If the NYT can find a way -that will make it to the front page.

Pathetic.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate?"

-- Watergate didn't have a body count.

YoungHegelian said...

When the Watergate burglars were first apprehended, no one knew at the time where the crime would lead. A bunch of Cuban-American burglars at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate. Uhhmmm, what? There was good reason for such a 'news of the weird" article to be buried in the NYT.

How can the murder of an ambassador by terrorists be in any way similar. No matter where it goes or doesn't go, the first murder of a US ambassador in ~30 years is a big deal.

The NYT are scumbags for burying this story, and besmirching the names of the courageous men who died in the service of their country by ignoring their story. I hope they burn in hell for it.

Irene said...

"Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate?"

When Nixon lied, no one died.

Matthew Sablan said...

To the public editor's credit, they say the article should have been front paged: "I believe that the Libya hearing story belonged on The Times’s front page. It had significant news value, regardless of the political maneuvering that is inevitable with less than four weeks to go until the election. And more broadly, there is a great deal of substance on this subject that warrants further scrutiny."

Bryan C said...

"Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape."

They have more important things to tell us about.

Lawyer Mom said...

It will be a much bigger deal than Watergate. And its dimensions will grow, no matter who wins the election. Watergate left no dead bodies. Watergate did not imperil U.S. national security.

Even CBS's Lara Logan said forthrightly that this Administration is lying to the American people. Al Quaeda is not on its heels; America is not safer; we are not more "loved." To the contrary, things are much worse.

Andrew McCarthy wrote an excellent piece explaining the need for the cover-up as he drew the straight line from Obama's Middle East foreign policy to the massacre in Libya. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/330318/denying-libya-scandal-andrew-c-mccarthy

In other news, the NYT is going broke. Go figure.

AprilApple said...

Please ignore this corruption and waste of tax payer money and vote for Obama/Biden anyway.

Remember, Obama's buddies are doing just fine. So, pretend you are too!

chrisnavin.com said...

I think they are grooming the resident cook, Mark Bittman, for an expanded role as a political commentator.

Social justice + scrambled eggs with creme fraiche

MoDo's going out to pasture soon and Paul Krugman's still leading us beyond pump priming into a worker's paradise.

Patience people. There's a plan.

Roger J. said...

IIRC correctly the NYT motto was "all the news that's fit to print." I now appears, and for a few decades, it should read "all the news that fits with our biases we print. Oh well--since not that many people read the NYT who gives a shit.

Paul said...

"It will be a much bigger deal than Watergate."

Hah hah. In your dreams. These are Democrats.

Tim said...

"Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate? The substance of it may be much worse than Watergate, and the Obama administration seems not to have heeded the old Watergate lesson that it's the cover-up that gets you, but if Obama loses the election, that will limit the dimension of the scandal."

This, like "Fast and Furious," is another Obama scandal to which Obama voters are completely impervious.

Unlike Watergate, where it was Congressional Republicans who refused to defend Nixon and told him it was time to go, Democrats and their enabling institutions like the NY Times will serve no function but to ignore or, if forced by events, defend, defend, defend.

Will any of this change the votes of any Obama voters?

Most very likely not?

Does Althouse know of any Obama voters for whom this will change their votes?

Most very likely not.

AJ Lynch said...

I would pay big money to attend just one of their idiotorial meetings where they discuss which stories get front page treatment. I think it would be hilarious to hear those pretentious libs just making shit up to justify their biases.

Roger J. said...

Lawyer Mom--I only hope you are right--but I have my doubts. Fast and Furious got no major coverage in the newworks or major print media. I dont see the major media coving the Benghazi clusterfuck. Hope I am wrong--but I doubt it.

Nonapod said...

From what I understand public trust in traditional media outlets has dropped to the congressional approval ranges. And I'm sure their sales have reflected that. Perhaps the NYT will be gone in a few years.

EMD said...

Young H nails it.

Hagar said...

Newspapers are not to print political news?

When did this change?

I thought the newspaper industry was founded by political partisans wishing to give voice to their factions?

And when you kill a big news story because it also has political ramifications, and the ramifications are not to your liking, is not that a political action?

Curious George said...

Stupid comparison. Watergate started as a burglary.

chrisnavin.com said...

The other day while perusing the NY Times, I was asked to take a survey.

During that survey, I was asked to check a box:

-Male
-Female
-Transgender

So, there's that. That's fit to print.

AF said...

Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate?

No! It's much bigger, since nobody died in Watergate! It's the biggest scandal since 9/11, which was much bigger because more people died. There are so many unanswered questions. Althouse wants the TRUTH!

furious_a said...

The Times devoted more Page 1 column inches to Martha Burke's one-woman show at Augusta National than then they have to the hearings on the Administration's Libya epic fail.

"News judgment" = "All hands on deck for Obama".

William T. Sherman said...

This is the same fish wrap that during the 2008 election had no qualms about putting a rumor of McCain cheating on his wife on the front page. If Obama turned out to be an alien from outerspace who's only here "to serve man" they'd find a reason to bury the story. After all, they're Democrats before they're journalists, and Americans last and least.

ricpic said...

Oh well--since not that many people read the NYT who gives a shit.

It's all about leverage. The editors at ABCCBSNBCCNN still have tremendous leverage and all spin the "news" in lockstep with each morning's liberal directive as laid out in the Times.

MikeDC said...

I'm no fan of Obama, at all, but I think the Watergate comparison actually missed the important point.

The Libya attack might well be worse than Watergate in the sense that it needlessly cost lives and demonstrated the reckless incompetence of the administration, but as far as I know, no one has suggested they were committing crimes and covering up the commission of crimes.

We shouldn't lose site of that difference. We absolutely should get rid of a President whose administration is incompetent at its basic duties and seeks to cover up the truth from the American people.

But a President can be stupid and incompetent without being a criminal, just like the rest of us, and we shouldn't make stupidity and incompetence a crime.

As a footnote, it's interesting to consider that Nixon appears to actually have been a brilliant and generally competent man, but was surely a criminal, while Obama, at least in this respect, is not criminal but also not competent or very smart.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It's the biggest scandal since 9/11, which was much bigger because more people died. There are so many unanswered questions."

-- There was no "scandal" for 9/11. We know this because Bush was forthright, honest and investigated our intelligence failings.

Or are you convinced fire can't melt steel?

Hagar said...

Not only Althouse.

I, for one, would very much like to know how it was that we were making nice with Ghadafi for 23 years and then suddenly remembered that he was the filthy no-good responsible for Lockerbie and should be removed fortwith or sooner!

A lot more has happened here than "4 dead Americans," and I do not think we have satisfactory explanations for any of it.

What, when, why, who, how, etc. - that "newspapers are supposed to be interested in finding out about and printing for all to see.

Beta Rube said...

Does anyone here know which page the Romney "gaffe" regarding prematurely commenting on Benghazi was in the NYT?

Lem said...

Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate?

Nobody died as a result of the breaking. It was the cover up.

4 Americans died in Libya and something is being covered up all over again.

campy said...

Media bias is just a fairy tale wingnuts trot out for solace when they're losing.

Jason said...

The same paper that published the missing uranium story from al Qaqa'a, on October 27, 2004?

The same paper that published the rumor of John McCain's mistress?

Fuck them.

Jason said...

The same paper that published the missing uranium story from al Qaqa'a, on October 27, 2004?

The same paper that published the rumor of John McCain's mistress?

Fuck them.

Original Mike said...

"The NYT kept the Libya hearing off the front page because "It’s three weeks before the election and it’s a politicized thing..."

Well, that's the truth, isn't it?

Matthew Sablan said...

"The same paper that published the rumor of John McCain's mistress?"

-- Wasn't that front-paged?

exiledonmainst said...

Come now, people. We know that it's far more important for the public to know about Mitt's method of transporting his dog.

The NY Times reporter on the Fox News Sunday panel lamely said that the media had been slow to cover the Libya scandal because "nobody was talking about it 3 weeks ago." Well, gee, that settles it then. Let's go back to talking about the 47%.

Laura Ingraham quite rightly called him out on that one, noting that if Obama had an R after his name, reporters would be camped out on Rice's front lawn.

AF said...

4 Americans died in Libya and something is being covered up all over again.

To be clear, the cover-up in this case consisted of the administration's initial assessment, and the expose consisted of the administration's revised assessments two weeks later?

Matthew Sablan said...

"To be clear, the cover-up in this case consisted of the administration's initial assessment, and the expose consisted of the administration's revised assessments two weeks later?"

-- Their initial assessment was a statement that was completely at odds with what State tells us they told them and what documents we've been released tell us. The initial document that mentioned the movie ALSO mentioned AQ planning to attack no matter what.

Please, please, please get up to speed before commenting on this further.

cubanbob said...

While its true no one died directly from Watergate, millions did die in SE Asia because of the silent coup against Nixon.
Had Watergate not happened it is most likely that the 75 tank offensive against South Vietnam would not have happens and neither would the killing fields in Cambodia or Laos. And Fidel's African Expirience would not have happened either.

Larry J said...

Roger J. said...
Lawyer Mom--I only hope you are right--but I have my doubts. Fast and Furious got no major coverage in the newworks or major print media. I dont see the major media coving the Benghazi clusterfuck. Hope I am wrong--but I doubt it.


I would love for Romney to bring up Fast & Furious in his closing statement after the third debate (the one on foreign policy). He could say that due to the troubling information about dozens of Mexican fatalities, there should be a special prosecutor appointed to get to the bottom of it. By doing so, Romney would get this out to tens of millions of Americans who have heard very little about F&F. It would be hard for the press to bury it then.

SMGalbraith said...

"The substance of it may be much worse than Watergate..."

Oy, even assuming the worst about the Obama Administration, this is much less serious compared to the break in.

Unless you're limiting it solely to the break in and not the coverup and abuse of powers by Nixon.

But when we talk about Watergate we're usually referring to the entire scandal - the break in and the coverup and the attempts by Nixon to use his powers to obstruct the investigation.

Sorry, even assuming the worst about this it doesn't compare to Watergate.

That doesn't mean it's not serious; just that it doesn't reach that level.

Ann Althouse said...

"When Nixon lied, no one died."

Depends on how strict you are about proximate cause. I can think of a calculation that says 1.4 to 2.2 million died.

Ann Althouse said...

Also, the Obama administration lies post-dated the 4 deaths, so the deaths weren't caused by the lies. The lies were caused by the deaths.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Lawyer Mom,
It SHOULD be a much bigger deal than Watergate. But it won't be. Limited integrity on the left and in the media.

Jay said...

Is the Libya scandal as big as Watergate?

In terms of leftist journalists whipping themselves into a frenzy where they pretend to care that a President "lied to the American people"?

Surely you jest.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Sorry, even assuming the worst about this it doesn't compare to Watergate."

-- So you don't think the government is stonewalling efforts for the public to know who knew what/when about Libya?

Irene said...

"The lies were caused by the deaths."

Not if ignoring the real situation and the pleas for security count as part of the bigger lie.

Ann Althouse said...

"Unless you're limiting it solely to the break in and not the coverup and abuse of powers by Nixon. But when we talk about Watergate we're usually referring to the entire scandal - the break in and the coverup and the attempts by Nixon to use his powers to obstruct the investigation."

Think really specifically about the lies that we already know about surrounding the events in Libya, including a coordinated story about the YouTube video and rousting a filmmaker out of his house at midnight and making him a scapegoat, with repeated assertions by the President in speech at the U.N.

I am influenced by what I heard from Woodward, Graham, and Issa on "Face the Nation" yesterday (see my post about that). Assuming the truth of the template these 3 men imposed: the Obama administration wanted to look like a success in the war on terror and so refrained from securing our people in Libya and, after the attack, lied about the attack, blaming the video, inventing nonexistent protests, to further the narrative of victory over terrorism.

I think that's much worse that the incredibly stupid spying on the Democrats' campaign and the subsequent efforts to cut off any connection between that stupidity and the President who was trying to get reelected when the President did pay some attention to it (after the fact).

Rob Crawford said...

Both Libya and Fast and Furious have corpses -- which Watergate lacked.

Can someone remind me why the NYT isn't treated as an over-priced version of the Weekly World News?

virgil xenophon said...

Late, here. Agree w. others who say Young H nails it, but ricpic & W.T. Sherman are dead on also. MikeDC makes a good distinction that is basically very valid, save I would quibble/disagree w. him about Nixon being a "criminal" in the traditionally accepted sense.

Rather, I would argue he got drawn into what at first appeared to be putting political spin on the relatively minor crime (in a technical legal sense) of a rouge operation which by association evolved into an ultimate criminal coverup...doesn't excuse his actions or judgement, but while he participated in what were judged to be "criminal acts" such activities (which were inextricably intertwined with the politics of the Vietnam war) hardly made him a "criminal" type..

All of which proves that that their is no God. Terrorist Bill Ayers who committed REAL crimes involving loss of life and crimes FAR more serious than those Nixon was charged with becomes elevated to respected and honored academic, while the man who fought Ayers' political terrorism against this nation is reviled by history. (And equally galling the elevation of impeached W. J. Clinton to rock-star status with much of America post retirement--which makes my point; that much of the case made against Nixon for impeachment was purely partisan politics and bad PR engendered by an MSM bitterly opposed to everything he stood for..)

Rob Crawford said...

To be clear, the cover-up in this case consisted of the administration's initial assessment, and the expose consisted of the administration's revised assessments two weeks later?

Does your back ache from carrying so much water for the Obama administration?

AF said...

Also, the Obama administration lies post-dated the 4 deaths, so the deaths weren't caused by the lies. The lies were caused by the deaths.

Professor Althouse, you're being credulous and naive. Do you think it's a coincidence that the Obama administration let this happen six weeks before the election? Of course not! Obama foresaw that the Greatness of Mitt Romney would be revealed at the first debate, and calculated that the only way for him to win was to concoct another foreign policy crisis that would take voters' minds off the economy. The inadequate security wasn't a lapse by a mid-level State Department official. It was part of a Obama's secret plan B to steal the election. Of course, it all backfired when the truth came out, despite Obama's best efforts to suppress it.

The question is why did he think he could get away with it? It's not just the premeditated, intentional lies and vigorous attempts at a cover-up that bother me -- they are depraved, yes, but leaving that aside -- what bothers me is the incompetent failure to foresee the political consequences of this diabolical conspiracy. It shows poor judgment.

virgil xenophon said...

**"rogue" viz "rouge" lol

ElPresidenteCastro said...

By the time we hear all of the facts, the prefered scandal suffix will be -ghazi rather than -gate.

Unknowable said...

Althouse: "Also, the Obama administration lies post-dated the 4 deaths, so the deaths weren't caused by the lies. The lies were caused by the deaths."

The correct meme: "Americans died, Obama lied."

virgil xenophon said...

While I was typing furiously away I failed to note Ann A's pst just prior to mine. I must say I am in full agreement with Ann's conclusions in her last para..

gk1 said...

I'd like to think ABC will actually allow some interesting questions from the townhall people about this debacle. But incredibly I think most of them will be about the proper way of transporting a dog or Mitt's tax returns. This story is just too damaging for obama so I expect it to be put on the back burner till he's safely re-elected.

BrianE said...

From what I know at this point, this was a political calculation, leaving government officials in jeopardy to feed the illusion that Libya was a success and hadn't given the terrorists a new training ground.

It would be appropriate in that context for the media to present as much information as possible about what happened. The American people could make an informed judgement whether to trust the judgement of the present administration.

The voters would then have the tools to decide whether that was the foreign policy we want to see more of.

But that would only happen in a perfect world, where reporter's curiosity to learn facts would trump ideology and where the best and the brightest weren't so incurious.

AF said...

AF: "To be clear, the cover-up in this case consisted of the administration's initial assessment, and the expose consisted of the administration's revised assessments two weeks later?"

Random Althouse commenter: "Does your back ache from carrying so much water for the Obama administration?"

I'll take that as a yes.

furious_a said...

While the NYT decides what news is is fit to print on A1, its Administration clients are fumbling the narrative it's supposed to backstop.

One thing that is clear is that Obama is going to need a bigger bus.

paul a'barge said...

Evil Monsters - UGLY

Matthew Sablan said...

""To be clear, the cover-up in this case consisted of the administration's initial assessment, and the expose consisted of the administration's revised assessments two weeks later?""

-- Oh, it ate my post. The initial assessment was a lie; the document they relied on to lie to us about the video? It also mentioned that an AQ attack was planned no matter what.

The initial assessment was based on reaching any conclusion other than: We screwed up.

exiledonmainst said...

gk1 wrote:
"But incredibly I think most of them will be about the proper way of transporting a dog or Mitt's tax returns."

I suspect you're right. Romney's task will be to steer the debate away from "look, a squirrel!" fluff back to substantive issues. After the first debate, I have some faith in his ability to do so.

kcom said...

"Does anyone here know which page the Romney "gaffe" regarding prematurely commenting on Benghazi was in the NYT?"

Of course, the truth is that what Romney was commenting on was Cairo, and not Benghazi. The news from Benghazi hadn't even broken yet when he made his comment. Romney was commenting on a situation where no one died but where the US Embassy in Cairo was throwing the First Amendment under the bus. He was standing up for the First Amendment. The news on Benghazi came out hours after that. Not before.

John Henry said...

Many of up here in the Great White North sit in awe of the stupidity and corruption we are watching in the USA at this time in it's history.

Obama is a total freak of nature whose policies and antics are Barnum and Bailey class. He is an enigma of the highest order and his destruction of America as obvious, yet ... that bastard may just win his second term.

God help us all.

AF said...

"The initial assessment was based on reaching any conclusion other than: We screwed up."

Right, because the Obama administration looks so much better if their security was breached by a spontaneous attack.

And by the way, if the initial assessment was an intentional cover-up to help Obama's election, where's the effort to maintain the cover-up until after the election?

Althouse's initial question on this point answers itself. Why did the Obama administration lie in its initial assessments, knowing that the truth would come out before the election? Answer: They didn't lie.



Bruce Hayden said...

By now, I am quite cynical about the NYT and its liberal brethren. Fast and Furious, by all rights, should have been front page news, from the time it broke, all the way through Holder's stonewalling. It had all the characteristics of a good scandal - government malfeasance, dead bodies (including federal agents), and a robust cover up. Today, almost two years later, it has rarely been mentioned in the NYT, and much of the electorate says "Huh?" when asked about it.

Of course the paper is covering up this new scandal. Why should we expect anything else? It gave up all pretense of unvarnished truth telling decades ago, and has long been essentially a propaganda arm of the DNC.

It shouldn't matter, because so much of the country distrusts the paper, but it still does, and that is because while much of the country wouldn't be caught dead using the paper even to line bird cages, it is still read by editors, reporters, and other "news" people around the country, and to some extent still determines for these other "news" organizations whether a story is worth reporting on.

Scott M said...

The next 2 years were hell for Nixon, and he was drummed out of office.

Imagine if this were to happen to a re-elected Obama. You can almost smell the burning Korean groceries.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse's initial question on this point answers itself. Why did the Obama administration lie in its initial assessments, knowing that the truth would come out before the election? Answer: They didn't lie.

What a bonehead statement.

The Obama admin invented "demonstrations" out of whole cloth and blamed them on a video.

They've been lying non-stop for a month.

Darcy said...

What is this?

Per garage (and Inga), all questions have been answered. Except for how many deaths were caused by that filmmaker, who is rightly in jail.

Move along (to the gleeful prosecution of the filmmaker, please).

Also, as Joe Biden asked "Who do you trust??"

Steven said...

I vote for MikeDC @ 9:33 - the incident being covered up here is worse than the Watergate burglary, but here they are covering up negligence rather than a crime.

On the other hand, in this case they're covering up their own negligence, while Nixon got pushed out for helping to cover up a crime that (I may be misremembering) he wasn't involved in until after it happened.

But I'm still inclined to think that the criminality is the key distinction between the two.

mbabbitt said...

However, forget Nixon, if it was Bush who was up for re-election, it would be front page news. Any doubters?

kcom said...

"The same paper that published the missing uranium story from al Qaqa'a, on October 27, 2004?"

That was exactly the story that came to my mind. Was that on the front page? A few days before the election? Or was that an inside job?

Because the NYT certainly didn't shy away from pushing a highly political story just a few days before the election when they thought it could save their man.

How do I know it was highly political and not real reporting? Because, despite being bombarded with Al Qa'qaa stories around the clock in the days just prior to the election, once the vote total came in and it was clear that Bush had won, there wasn't another Al Qa'qaa story published for three full weeks. And reporting on it after that was basically perfunctory. How many even remember it? But after Rathergate failed it seems it was the only straw available to grasp for the Democrats and the MSM.

BTW, it wasn't uranium that disappeared from Al Qa'qaa, it was high explosives.

AReasonableMan said...

This is such a bullshit 'scandal'. Clearly we are going to get at least one post per day on this nonsense from Althouse until the election, at which point the whole matter will be dropped. But, she is 'undecided'.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Right, because the Obama administration looks so much better if their security was breached by a spontaneous attack."

-- If it was an attack no one could have seen coming that was sparked off by an event no one could have expected, that sure looks a lot better than an attack everyone knew was coming at a location that was known to be a giant, gaping security risk. Are you up to speed on what we know about what happened in Libya? Honest question.

"Althouse's initial question on this point answers itself. Why did the Obama administration lie in its initial assessments, knowing that the truth would come out before the election? Answer: They didn't lie. "

-- But, they did.

Bruce Hayden said...

Right, because the Obama administration looks so much better if their security was breached by a spontaneous attack.

I think that part of it is that ignoring actionable intelligence and intentionally underprotecting our diplomatic personnel and facilities is more egregious than being caught flatfooted.

If they had merely been caught flatfooted by completely unforseeable events, and had nothing to do with creating the environment in which they happened, they could claim the attack to be just bad luck.

Remember Bush and the original 9/11 attacks? While there was some suggestions of a danger of attack, it wasn't actionable intelligence, and the reasons for both the environment in which the attacks occurred and the reasons that more notice wasn't received in time rest squarely in the Clinton Administration, which had gutted intel capabilities, built a wall between FBI and CIA, while failing to adequately respond to previous attacks on us. Bush had under 9 months to rebuild these capabilities and change U.S. policy. Obama had 3 1/2 years.

Still it was a more credible defense, if it had been accurate. But, of course, it wasn't. I think that they really thought that they could run out the clock, like Nixon did with Watergate, and Holder has been able to do with F&F.

And by the way, if the initial assessment was an intentional cover-up to help Obama's election, where's the effort to maintain the cover-up until after the election?

Probably would have worked in an earlier day, but there are now other avenues for news to get out, and it is hard to ignore when a Presidential candidate mentions the scandal in a debate.

Besides, the Administration tried to push some other people and organizations under the bus, and they weren't ready to be run over, including the State Department (and its Secretary, Hillary! Clinton), intelligence agencies, etc. And, they were going to leak to protect themselves.

exhelodrvr1 said...

They lied because they thought they could get away with it, which is a reasonable expectation on their part, considering all the lies they have gotten away with to this point. That seems pretty obvious.

SMGalbraith said...

Althouse, lies about incompetence are far different than lies about criminal actions.

The Obama Administration screwed up. And they're covering - or trying to - for those screwups.

The Nixon Administration was lying to cover up criminal activity.

Using your powers to cover for failed policies - I'm pretty certain this isn't the first WH to do that - is less serious than using your power to cover for crimes.

It's a serious matter but even at it's worst I just don't see any parallels to Watergate in terms of seriousness.

Neo said...

Any time you try to shift the blame for a terrorist attack to a political opponent, it becomes political.

AReasonableMan said...

To get an idea of the ‘scandal’ here let’s compare Iraq and Libya.

In both countries regime change was achieved.

In Iraq we have an unstable situation with a basically hostile government that is closely allied to our greatest enemy in the region, Iran. The war greatly strengthen Iran’s position by neutering its biggest regional rival. In Iraq, 4,486 US personnel were killed and the cost was more than 800 billion dollars.

In Libya we have an unstable situation with a government that is clearly very anxious to strengthen its alliance with the west. Libya is now an ally, albeit an unstable one. In Libya, 4 US personnel were killed and the cost was little more than a rounding error in the US military budget.

Now, let’s think. Which one of these is a scandal?

furious_a said...

Do you think it's a coincidence that the Obama administration let this happen six weeks before the election?

Not "coincidence" but "confluence"...of incompetence at State, of political priorities trumping embassy security, of Obama's fantasy that he's raised America's standing in the Muslim world, of the now-discredited assertion that aQ is on its heels, of credible threat assessments and add'l security requests ignored, of neither the President nor the Sec'y of State being ready for their respective 3AM calls...

...leading to a complacent, distracted and reactive Administration being blindsided by a terrible event for which there was ample warning...and then backing, filling and blowing smoke (and lying) to distract from its manifest incompetence.



...

AF said...

But, she is 'undecided'.

No, she's not. She has stated, in typical oblique fashion, that she made up her mind after Mitt displayed his Greatness at the first debate. Since then, she's been making up for lost time, as evidenced by her amazing argument that the Libya "scandal" is worse than Watergate.

I Callahan said...

It's a serious matter but even at it's worst I just don't see any parallels to Watergate in terms of seriousness.

Really? Who was killed in Watergate? I would think that that fact alone would tilt it in the other direction, but I guess for some, that's not that big of a deal.

karrde said...

@Matthew Sablan,

Watergate didn't have a body count.

The Fast and Furious scandal has a body count also, and people have said the same thing about that scandal.

Speaking of incompetence/criminal behavior, lying about incompetence might cover the Benghazi-embassy attack.

But lying about Fast and Furious would mostly likely be lying about criminal actions.

Unless the DoJ was so incompetent to let field agents pull off an operation (involving supplying known members of drug-gangs with weapons via purchases approved by the ATF) without approval or oversight from the DC offices of the agencies, or from the DoJ.

I Callahan said...

In Iraq we have an unstable situation with a basically hostile government that is closely allied to our greatest enemy in the region, Iran.

Where on God's green earth are you getting this? The idea that Iraq is aligned with Iran in any way shape or form, is laughable.

Darcy said...

I consider the people who denied the requests for additional security for Benghazi as responsible for the 4 deaths. I want to know who knew about the requests and who agreed not to provide additional security. I want to know when Hillary and Obama knew that the requests had been denied.

Given the fact that we had warnings of the terrorists targeting this consulate and this ambassador and the subsequent refusal to provide additional security happened on this administration's watch, I do think that the outrageous attempt to cover this up is indeed as scandalous and contemptible as Watergate.

I think the American people will largely decide the same.


SMGalbraith said...

The terrorists killed our people here, not the Obama Administration.

And they were probably killed because of incompetence by the State Department.

Although who knows? Even if all of the security requests were met the terrorists still may have succeeded.

Nonfeasance or misfeasance is serious but malfeasance is far more damaging.

AReasonableMan said...

I Callahan said...
The idea that Iraq is aligned with Iran in any way shape or form, is laughable.


For those incapable of using Google.

"The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 led to the normalization of relations between the two countries. As of January 2010, the two countries have signed over 100 economic and cooperation agreements. Since 2003, Iraq has allowed Shia Muslims from Iran to make pilgrimage to holy Shia sites in Iraq. In March 2008, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian president to visit Iraq since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has made several state visits to Iran since 2006 and expressed sympathy with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Iran is today Iraq's largest trading partner."

"Iran–Iraq relations have flourished since 2005 by the exchange of high level visits: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki makes frequent visits, along with Jalal Talabani visiting numerous times, to help boost bilateral cooperation in all fields."

"Iran plays an important role in the Iraqi reconstruction. Iran’s non-oil exports to Iraq were valued at $1.8 billion in 2007 and $2.3 billion in 2008. Each month, more than 40,000 Iranians visit Shiite holy sites such as Najaf and Karbala, buying religious souvenirs and supporting the economy through tourism. Iraq imports the following goods from Iran: cars, construction materials, medicine, fruits and spices, fish, air conditioners, office furniture, carpets and apparel. Basra alone imports $45 million of goods from Iran each year, including carpets, construction materials, fish and spices. Each day, 100 to 150 commercial trucks transport goods from Iran to Iraq through the nearby Shalamcheh border crossing (2008). The volume of trade between Iran and Iraq is expected to double from $4 billion in 2009 to $8 billion in 2010. The main areas of trade between the two countries are the construction, food and industrial sectors."

Darcy said...

@SMGalbraith

Yes. I should have said "partly responsible". I wouldn't think that that notion would be controversial.

DADvocate said...

Someone's alleging Lance Armstrong used drugs or doped? That's significantly new news!!!

furious_a said...

It's a serious matter but even at it's worst I just don't see any parallels to Watergate in terms of seriousness.

A case of misfeasance vs. malfeasance, except that in the current case the misfeasance led to the murders of American diplomatic personnel. Maybe not "serious" in terms of prison sentences, but "serious" enough to end a career or two, at least.

furious_a said...

Nonfeasance or misfeasance is serious but malfeasance is far more damaging.

Two words -- "Pearl Harbor".

Cedarford said...

As a footnote, it's interesting to consider that Nixon appears to actually have been a brilliant and generally competent man, but was surely a criminal, while Obama, at least in this respect, is not criminal but also not competent or very smart.

============
Define criminal.

I don't think of Bill Clinton, Reagan, or Nixon as criminal because they didn't fall on their knees in supplication to lawyers investigating them for a blowjob, Iran-Contra, or a 2nd rate burglary. Or LBJ or FDR lying to courts and Congress on a range of matters. Or JFK and RFK conspiring with known members of organized crime to kill a man in violation of law (Castro)

To me a criminal is someone that flouts law for personal gain, wishing to harm others.

To me, that puts the corruption of Diane Feinstein, Chris Dodd, Tom Delay and Billy Tauzin into the criminal.
By all definitions - a man that used illegal drugs, embezzled SNCC funds, beat hired prostitutes and other women "arrangers" brought to service him - Saint Martin Luther King Himself!! Was a criminal.

NIxon was no worse than many other Presidents the liberal and progressive Jewish media concealed information on. Nixon lost out because he was considered their enemy. The same media was covering up for criminal actions of liberals they liked well past 2008. (Chris Dodd, John Edwards)
None of the 3 meet that criteria.

SMGalbraith said...

"Maybe not "serious" in terms of prison sentences, but "serious" enough to end a career or two, at least."

Well put and I agree completely.

Question is whether that career includes Barack Obama's.

Jason said...

Iraq and Iran are "closely aligned?"

You're an imbicile.

And yes. I read your pathetic Google results. Your problem is that you're in a forum arguing against people whose grasp of the topic is more than Google-deep.

Moron.

Jason said...

Iraq and Iran are "closely aligned?"

You're an imbicile.

And yes. I read your pathetic Google results. Your problem is that you're in a forum arguing against people whose grasp of the topic is more than Google-deep.

Moron.

dandean said...

The NYT - desperately trying to keep a lid on things in an effort to drag their guy over the finish line.

Pathetic.

Cedarford said...

AllenS said...
one on Lance Armstrong’s drug allegations

That's because it's a big fucking deal to the Times, which nobody else gives a shit about. Four dead Americans? No big fucking deal.

===========
You need to get past a few dead people as instantly elevating a few deaths to national significance just because people died.

Circumstances and context matter far more.

What is significant about 4 DEAD PEOPLE!!! in Libya when 2.4 million people die each year in America is not their deaths - but the fact that the enemy attacked our sovereign soil in several nations and an Ambassador, symbol of America, was assassinated.

Right after that in importance was 11 other embassies were assaulted by Islamoids over the Prophet video, including 3 directly attacked, two of which were overrun.

3rd after that is 3 other Americans died in Islamoid attacks in Benghazi.

(We have lost more in Jihadi attacks on a single day in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. But the other 3 dead are noteworthy because they went down with the Ambassador. )

SMGalbraith said...

Nixon approved of the illegal laundering of illegal campaign contributions to buyoff the burglars.

Even worse, he ordered - or tried to - the CIA to tell the FBI not to investigate the breakin on national security grounds.

Obstruction of justice, conspiracy, illegal use of campaign funds, subborning perjury, abuse of presidential powers, et cetera, et cetera....

If that's not criminal behavior then I am Maimonides.

Yeah, one of them wily Jews there Cedarford.

In any case, the "Jew" media didn't get Nixon, the FBI did.

AllenS said...

Generally speaking, being an accessory to any crime, including murder, means you knew it was happening and did nothing to try to stop it.

edutcher said...

It's politicized, all right. But only because Zero and the Hildabeast not only didn't tell the truth, but showed off once again their colossal incompetence in the first place.

The difference this time is the Establishment media is going down with them.

Say buh-bye to your credibility., guys.

deborah said...

"Of course the paper is covering up this new scandal. Why should we expect anything else? It gave up all pretense of unvarnished truth telling decades ago, and has long been essentially a propaganda arm of the DNC."


Fair is fair. They printed the info leaked to Judith Miller that contributed to entering the second Iraq war.

AReasonableMan said...

Jason said...
Iraq and Iran are "closely aligned?"

You're an imbicile.


As a general rule, when you call someone an imbecile it is probably best to use the correct spelling.

You did not address the issue in question, which was the close and ever growing ties between Iraq and Iran.

ken in sc said...

When Watergate is talked about, I almost never hear anyone mention that one of the things the burglars were looking for was proof that the Democrats were getting money from the Soviet Union. They didn't find any; however, after the Soviet Union fell, KGB and GRU files showed that the Soviets were funneling funds and in-kind support to the Democrats through several front groups. Too bad they did not find this at Watergate.

Teri said...

Let's assume, for a minute, total absolute innocence on the part of the White House. Let's assume they just repeated what they were told. Why is it that Axelrod can't even tell us when Obama talked to the National Security Council? Why would there be any reason to lie about that unless Obama didn't bother to talk to them. We are already to the point of lies layered on lies. We have a president that doesn't care about the job, doesn't care about the people dead as a result of his policies and can't seem to stop lying about it all. I'm in one of the bluest of blue states but even here, people are concerned when they hear about Fast and Furious and now this. They will not be able to bury this story.

Lovernios said...

And yet, there still could be some criminality in the unknown unknowns.

The Muslim Brotherhood owes Obama for taking out Mubarak and ensuring their rise to power in Egypt.

A deal could have been worked out to help Obama by staging a kidnapping of the US Ambassador by "Al Qaeda" (Do we really know who were behind the attack?)

Then the Brotherhood steps in and negotiates a "release" in time for the election.

Unfortunately, those two former SEAL operatives happened to be in Benghazi and thwarted the operation (even though they died in the firefight).

Far-fetched? Probably.
Improbable? Not likely.

Carnifex said...

Of the 2(yes only 2) Zero voters I know personally, 1 has stated she will not vote at all. The other is a reporter and as such, a democrat flack who would vote for a yellow dog. Surprisingly, they are married to each other. Truly surprising is that they are family!(you can't choose fambly)(uhh...unless you marry into one...which I did...so it's not MY fault)looking at my wife

Carnifex said...

Yes the Iran/Iraq connection is sooo deep. Just because Sunni vs. Shia has been happening since the founding of Islam doesn't mean that they get together at night to warm their hearts over a little koran reading. Why the term frenemies could be applied. Well, except for all those child soldier suicide charges, and mustard gassings, it's like a big ol' family re-union!

And don't worry Galbraith, we'll tell your widow at your funereal that death isn't that big a deal, so get over it already.

Oh...And hundreds of dead mexicans want to talk to you.

Carnifex said...

Yes the Iran/Iraq connection is sooo deep. Just because Sunni vs. Shia has been happening since the founding of Islam doesn't mean that they get together at night to warm their hearts over a little koran reading. Why the term frenemies could be applied. Well, except for all those child soldier suicide charges, and mustard gassings, it's like a big ol' family re-union!

And don't worry Galbraith, we'll tell your widow at your funereal that death isn't that big a deal, so get over it already.

Oh...And hundreds of dead mexicans want to talk to you.

AReasonableMan said...

Carnifex said...
Yes the Iran/Iraq connection is sooo deep. Just because Sunni vs. Shia has been happening since the founding of Islam doesn't mean that they get together at night to warm their hearts over a little koran reading


I am assuming that you understand that Iraq is a majority Shia state, like Iran. Yes they did fight a war but that was driven by the Sunni, Saddam Hussein. Sunni's are a relatively small fraction of the Iraq population although they controlled the state prior to the fall of Saddam Hussein. The current Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spent time during Saddam Hussein’s tenure exiled in Iran.

Even the most primitive projection of likely outcomes following the Iraq war would have predicted a marked improvement in relations between Iraq and Iran. Apparently the Bush administration were incapable of rising even to the level of primitive in their analysis of the advisability of invading Iraq. But, hey, maybe they did it in the interests of world peace. They have certainly helped create a strong new alliance between two former enemies.

Nathan Alexander said...

Has anyone else noticed how similar the arguments of our lefties are to those of a spouse caught cheating or in a lie?

"C'mon, honey, why would I tell you I was out with friends when that would be so easy for you to find out if I was lying? So you can trust me I'm telling the truth, because trust is so important, I'd never risk your trust by lying about something as easy to get caut on as a terrorist attack in the Middle East! C'mon baby, you know I love you...you look so nice in that shirt, how about if we recreate our wedding night...?"

Anything to distract from the actual situation. Anything to undermine the strength of the anger at the POTUS. Anything to create ambiguity that can be exploited to disarm an effective line of inquiry.

Chip S. said...

Darcy said...
I consider the people who denied the requests for additional security for Benghazi as responsible for the 4 deaths....

Guess who the NYT blames.

AReasonableMan said...

Nathan Alexander said...
Has anyone else noticed how similar the arguments of our lefties are to those of a spouse caught cheating or in a lie?


I'm sorry that you had to find out about us this way.

deborah said...

ARM, I double-checked, because I thought it was a Shia majority, but this link says differently. Either way there is a large sympathy between the Shia in Iran and Iraq. In addition to what you said about al-Maliki, al-Sadr post(?) war, did religious studies in Qom.

Currently, Iraq is allowing Iran overflights to deliver weapons to the Syrian government.

deborah said...

http://www.lewrockwell.
com/orig7/ziada1.html

AReasonableMan said...

deborah said...
ARM, I double-checked, because I thought it was a Shia majority, but this link says differently.


I am sure there is a Shia majority.


Currently, Iraq is allowing Iran overflights to deliver weapons to the Syrian government.


Yes it's incredible what a screw up that war was. The ongoing problem is that exactly the same people responsible for this screw up are now advising Romney and Ryan.

Alex said...

Per garage (and Inga), all questions have been answered. Except for how many deaths were caused by that filmmaker, who is rightly in jail.

Naturally and if you say otherwise you're a right-wing crackpot.

Jason said...

"It isn't what liberals don't know. It's what they think they know that just ain't so."

--Ronald Reagan.

The gipper had shitheads like Reasonable Man nailed.

AReasonableMan said...

Jason said...
The gipper had shitheads like Reasonable Man nailed


This is a little harsh. How about some peace, love and understanding. I'm not calling anybody names.

Nathan Alexander said...

re: Iraq
The ongoing problem is that exactly the same people responsible for this screw up are now advising Romney and Ryan.

Obama's team is advising Romney and Ryan?

Really?

eddie willers said...

I remember watching the Watergate hearings and scratching my head about how a nebbish like John Dean could get such a hottie as Maureen "Mo" Dean for a wife.


Years later I heard G. Gordon Liddy's theory that Dean organized the 1972 burglary to retrieve photos of his future wife from a package of call-girl photos used to set up liaisons in nearby apartments for visitors to the Democratic National Committee.

There was a quickie marriage so the wife, Mo, couldn't testify against her husband, John.

I give this theory some credence since not a person in the country thought McGovern could beat Nixon....so why such a foolish risk?

Trying to protect a hot woman as a Knight in Shining Armor, and having the power to do so, makes more sense.

Dante said...

Also, the Obama administration lies post-dated the 4 deaths, so the deaths weren't caused by the lies. The lies were caused by the deaths.

And

Assuming the truth of the template these 3 men imposed: the Obama administration wanted to look like a success in the war on terror and so refrained from securing our people in Libya

The feminine mind. Do you believe that Obama Administration wanted the war on terror to look like a success (when it isn't)? If so, isn't that deception, aka lying?

Or perhaps you do not believe Obama administration refrained from beefing up security (the thing I would think is they wanted their foreign policy on Arab Spring to look good, not necessarily war on terror).

But in any event, these two things seem to be close to conflicting.