Archive for Barack Pinocchio Obama

What Do You Mean “We”, Doofus?

Aggie told you yesterday how Obama blamed his intelligence community for “underestimating” ISIS.

It would seem, rather, that the intelligence community just couldn’t get the very substantial ear of the president. Maybe they should take up golf.

“How did the U.S. intelligence community get it so wrong on ISIS?” MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart asked.

“I don’t think they did,” Sestak replied bluntly, prompting Diaz-Balart’s eyebrows to nearly rocket off of his face in shock.

“If you remember back in January and February, the head — the general, the Defense Intelligence Agency, actually testified before the House and Senate that in 2014, ISIS would take over large swaths of territory,” the Navy veteran asserted. “In fact, at the time he testified, they had already seized Ramadi and Fallujah — 35 miles from Baghdad.”

Sestak noted that even DNI Clapper, who today still bears the tire marks from the bus under which he was thrown by the president, testified that ISIS maintained the capability to expand out from Syria into a wide swath of territory in Iraq.

“I think it was slow on the part of the entire administration to assess that they — what they had to do in order address the threat,” Sestak concluded.

Isn’t “slow” one of those racist dog whistle words?

Anyhow, this is the testimony to which Sestak refers:

Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL):
AQI/ISIL probably will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria. However, its ability to hold territory will depend on the group’s resources, local support, as well as the responses of ISF and other opposition groups in Syria. While most Sunnis probably remain opposed to AQI’s ideology and presence in Iraq and Syria, some Sunni tribes and insurgent groups appear willing to work tactically with AQI as they share common anti-government goals. Baghdad’s refusal to address long-standing Sunni grievances, and continued heavy-handed approach to counter-terror operations have led some Sunni tribes in Anbar to be more permissive of AQI’s presence. Since the departure of U.S. forces at the end of 2011, AQI/ISIL has exploited the permissive security environment to increase its operations and presence in many locations and also has expanded into Syria and Lebanon to inflame tensions throughout the region. For example, AQI/ISIL claimed credit for the 2 January 2014 car bombing in Beirut, in a Hezbollah stronghold, furthering sectarian conflict and demonstrating its strength throughout the region. And, the likelihood of more attacks in Lebanon is high. Concurrently, AQI remains in control of numerous Syrian cites such as Raqqah, Al-Bab, and Jarablus.

So, not only did Obama know plenty about the JV team, he picked the JV team.

Put another way:

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

Again the dilemma: is Obama truly evil or just monstrously stupid?

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Do Numbers Lie?

Do voters? Do pollsters?

We’ll see:

If this week’s polling is any evidence, Democrats are facing an even tougher road come November. With President Obama’s approval sinking below former president George W. Bush’s, the latest Fox News poll finds Republicans hold the advantage as they seek to reclaim the Senate. In states with active U.S. Senate races, likely voters say they would back the Republican a 9-point margin. And when looking at the results in just the 14 Fox News battleground states the GOP edge widens to 18-point margin. Fox News: “The president recently claimed that ‘by almost every measure’ the nation’s economy and American workers are better off now than when he took office. Voters dismiss his boast as ‘mostly false’ by a 58-36 percent margin. That includes 37 percent of Democrats who think it doesn’t ring true.”

[The battleground list: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, South Dakota and West Virginia]

The better question would be: does Obama lie? A 22-point margin says he does. Which might explain this troubling (to Democrats) stat:

Women surveyed [in the WaPo/ABC News poll] said they disapprove of [President Obama ] by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin — nearing an all-time low in the poll. It’s almost the reverse of the 55 percent to 44 percent breakdown for Obama among female voters in 2012, according to exit polls…His approval rating among women has slipped four percentage points from a year ago and 16 points since his second inaugural in January 2013, when his approval was 60 percent among the group.

Dames don’t dig Obama the way they used to. Again, I have to wonder if some of these stories aren’t connected:

The White House this week assured anxious Hispanic lawmakers on Capitol Hill that President Obama will use executive action before the holiday season closes to reform U.S. immigration law, after breaking his pledge to make changes by the end of summer.

Roughly 11 million people are now living in the U.S. illegally.

Voters have been warned, and if the numbers are close to accurate, voters are taking the warning seriously. Here’s hoping Republican legislators are.

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I Cannot Tell a Lie—Martha Chopped Down the Cherry Tree

Obama finally comes clean (and articulate!) and admits what everyone else in America has long known: if we wanted our first African American president to be a great golfer, we would have elected Calvin Peete.

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama chose to go directly from making a statement about the beheading of American journalist James Foley to the golf course, and drew criticism from across the political spectrum for appearing insensitive.

Asked if he wished now he could go back and reverse his decision to hit the links then, Obama said that, in retrospect, appearances might have mattered that day.

“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from … the press,” he said.

But against stiff competition, our first African American president is also our most shameless (step aside Presidents Kennedy, Clinton, and Nixon):

[A]fter finishing, the president quickly headed to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for an afternoon of golf in 90-degree-plus heat.

May we recommend a nap instead, sir?

“There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate,” he said. “You know, when you’re, when you’re president of the United States, you’re not just dealing with the United States” but also leading the international response to crises around the world, as his administration is in responding to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as the outbreak of Ebola in Africa. “You know, our inbox gets pretty high.”

I’ve noted before that Barack Obama behaves like a kid who never had a dad—or at least a father figure. Someone who tells him to cut the crap, don’t bull[bleep] a bull[bleeper]. Obama can tell us he understands how bad it looked to go golfing while James Foley’s blood was still pooling on the desert hardpan—and then go golfing. He can tell us how much sleep he’s lost, how incredibly busy he is—and then go golfing.

And he’s worried about the press? If we thought America’s Fourth Estate would hold Barack Jr. to account the way Barack Sr. never did, we were fooling ourselves more than he thinks he’s fooling us.

This was the New York Times lead reporter after the first hundred days, need I remind you:

At least Monica Lewinsky dry cleaned her dress. Zeleny has never cleaned or worn that suit again.


El Presidente

As usual, it’s not Obama’s hypocrisy and dishonesty that galls so much, but the media’s justification of same:

President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday.

The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation.

“Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections,” a White House official said. “Because he wants to do this in a way that’s sustainable, the president will take action on immigration before the end of the year.”

The “Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue”??? How did they even bring themselves to print those words? Obama has been the biggest demagogue on amnesty north of the Rio Grande. For him now to lose what cojones he has for the basest of political stunts would be comic if… well, it’s just comic.

Tragicomic, maybe:

A lawless amnesty decree is bad enough, but openly saying you’re going to issue such a decree only after the people have had a chance to vote is much worse. Every Republican candidate in the House and Senate needs to make clear that, whatever your views on the substance of immigration policy, a vote for any Democrat is a vote for caesarism, for presidential rule by decree. There’s actually a good deal of support for that on the hard left, but most people, of all descriptions, recoil from Obama’s promised power grab.

Note that it’s a “promised” power grab; the AP report notes “the officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.” So this isn’t some teabagger conspiracy fantasy, but a promise to decree sweeping extra-constitutional changes to the law, but just to do it around Thanksgiving or Christmas to avoid electoral fallout.

I thought the Democrats would lose big in November, but because of ObamaCare. They still might, but this cynical power-grab is such a lavish gift, it makes ObamaCare look like a necktie or a pair of socks under the tree. Scott Brown, et al: you know what to do, or ought to.

PS: With the possible added benefit of so angering pro-amnesty voters that they will stay home. Nice work, O.


Who Said It?

Oprah or Hillary?

Let’s play!

The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f***ing tiller.

Obama has turned into a joke.

You can’t trust the motherf***er.

His word isn’t worth sh*t.

[E]ven when the Obamas think they are being charming, they hold you at arm’s length.

It slowly dawned on [her] that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence. [... She] was hurt and angry and will never make up with the Obamas. [...] She knows how to hold a grudge.

Does it really matter? Either one said them all, according to Edward Klein’s new book.

Except for this. Bill said this:

I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.

A rare moment of truth from 42.

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Philosophical Inquiry

Is it still a lie if you say something false under the following conditions?

a) It was obviously and irrefutably false to anyone and everyone who thought about it.
b) It was claimed during a campaign for passage, so veracity was irrelevant.
c) The liar in question meant well (or claimed to, another lie).
d) He lied to everyone, equally and without prejudice:

Across the political spectrum, analysts now say that 80 to 90 percent of employer-provided insurance, the mainstay of American health coverage for decades, will disappear as ObamaCare takes hold.

The research firm S&P IQ predicts less than 10 percent of those who get insurance at work will still get it there ten years from now.

“The companies will really be hard pressed to justify why they would continue to have to spend the kind of money they spend by offering insurance through corporate plans when there’s an alternative that’s subsidized by the government” said Michael Thompson, head of S&P IQ.

Even a former adviser to President Obama, Zeke Emanuel, predicted less than 20 percent who now get employer-provided insurance will still get it ten years from now. He wrote in his book “Reinventing American Health Care” that “By 2025 few private-sector employers will still be providing health insurance.”

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing health insurance separated from employment. The linkage distorts both health insurance and employment. But I believe in the marketplace (with reservations). Pay me more in salary, and let me pick the best health insurance plan (including “bad apple” plans, from many competitors) for me.

Emanuel and Obama want to free insurance from employment—only to bind it irrevocably to government. Not the same thing. And I wouldn’t lie to you to.


Premiums would increase 13 percent next year for Ohioans who buy health coverage through the federally run insurance exchange, the Ohio Department of Insurance said yesterday.

Ohio voted for Obama in ’08 and ’12. Ohioans get what they deserve.


Other Broken Promises You May Not Remember

But no less reprehensible.

Remember this gem?

“The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,” a White House official said at the time.

That was then (April ’13), this is now:

The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.

At least he wasn’t so stupid as to pose with a morose look on his face, holding a sign that said:


He’s not that dumb. But he is this dumb:

[A]t the time of Obama’s promise, the White House official said Obama would “write a check to the government” each month, according to the New York Times, beginning last April.

The official also promised that the president would take the cut for the entire year, amounting to roughly $20,000.

The White House would not respond to numerous requests submitted by the Washington Free Beacon to the White House press office to confirm that Obama did, in fact, write checks to the Treasury.

When reached by phone, a White House spokesperson said, “I don’t have that information.”

Got your checkbook handy, Mr. President? Bank statements? Maybe you can borrow a line from your former Secretary of State, one which applies to so many of your policy eff-ups: what difference, at this point, does it make?

Next person who asks gets locked in a maintenance shed.


Portrait of Obama Voters

Bait, meet switch:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period,” Obama promised in 2009 in front of the American Medical Association. “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away.”

“We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has,” Marcus Merz, CEO of Minnesota insurer PreferredOne, told The New York Times Tuesday. “We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks.”

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the furrowed brows and quivering lower lips of all the Obama voters betrayed by the man and his ephemeral promises. You’re all so fixated on keeping your doctors, all so addicted to choice. What do you think this is, America?


Look, I don’t expect any honest confessions here. We’d just laugh in your face. But I was wondering about something else: is there some sort of hierarchy among bumper stickers? I don’t see any I [HEART] OBAMACARE bumper stickers anymore—and I sure used to. Do those of you with ELIZABETH (“for Massachusetts”) WARREN bumper stickers look down on the I’M WITH HILLARY know-nothings? Is a Warren sticker on a Prius the ultimate in liberal smugness? Is it just me, or is a Hillary on a sticker on a Ford F-150 truck the butchest thing on wheels? That thing could change it’s own flat tire!

I’m actually curious. Think of me as Dian Fossey among the apes, or Jacques Cousteau probing into the habits of the giant squid. I wish our liberal reader, Robert, was still here to let us peek into the tiny crevices of what we shall generously call a mind. He had his progressive bona fides down so perfectly, he once actually congratulated black women in New York City for the “courage” of aborting their unborn babies in genocidal numbers.

Who better to ask about the abnormal psychology of liberals than a psychopath?


Sequester Fester

Wasn’t the sequester supposed to be the greatest threat to humankind not called climate change?

I hope you’re sitting down:

Despite doomsday warnings from the White House and lawmakers on both sides that hundreds of thousands would lose their jobs as a result of the sequester, it turns out the budget cuts have only led to one job being lost among 23 federal agencies.

Now Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is demanding answers as to why the Obama administration repeatedly warned taxpayers that the $85.3 billion in spending cuts, which went into effect in March 2013, would threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs. The findings were revealed in a government watchdog report.

The report is a stark contrast from the dire predictions from the Obama administration and Democratic leadership, who blamed Republicans for the cuts.

In a memo released before the sequester cuts went into effect, the White House claimed they “threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs.” In a speech at the White House that February, President Obama repeated those claims.

“These cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy, they will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls,” he said. “This is not an abstraction. People will lose their jobs.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid upped the doomsday rhetoric in July, according to the Washington Post, saying on the Senate floor over a million jobs were already lost.

“We have learned that the sequestration already has cut 1.6 million jobs. So we need job creation. We need to help the middle class by creating jobs,” he said.

Team Obama knows what to do when caught in a lie: double down.

In response, OMB spokesman Steve Posner said in a statement to there is “no question” the sequestration has had an negative impact on Americans, pointing out the report also states that employees had their hours reduced and agencies were forced to curtail hiring as a result of the cuts, among other examples.

“GAO itself notes that many of the flexibilities used to mitigate the effects of sequestration in 2013 may not be available in future years, suggesting that the impacts would be even worse if sequestration is allowed to occur in future years,” he said.

In other words, you got off easy, America. This time.

PS: Harry Reid actually said that—1.6 million people had been canned? More proof that no one listens to that wizened little turd.


Cindy Sheehan, Meet Charles Woods

Back in 2005, NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd endowed Cindy Sheehan with “absolute moral authority” for losing her son, Casey, in war.

Got another certificate of absolute moral authority on you, Mo?

[SEAN] HANNITY: All right, here with reaction to this unbelievable insensitivity is someone who definitely does care about what happened two years ago. That’s the father of Ty Woods. He was a hero that day on September 11, 2012. He saved a lot of people’s lives, and he was killed for his efforts. Charles Woods, the father of Ty, thanks for being back on the program.

What is your reaction to, “Dude, that’s, like, two years ago,” and Nancy Pelosi’s comments? What’s your reaction to that?

CHARLES WOODS, FATHER OF TY WOODS: Well, first of all, Sean, I want to thank you for not allowing the Benghazi betrayal to be swept under the rug. The good news is what we heard this morning, and that is that there is going to be a select committee. And that is an answer to prayer. The people of the United States, as well as the families, need to know what actually happened.

[T]he smoking gun of this document was where they said emphasize that the protests were rooted in the Internet video and that it was not a broader failure of foreign policy.

This was about the same time that I met Hillary Clinton when the bodies came in to Andrews Air Force Base. And I think I mentioned this to you before. Hillary Clinton came up to me, and I gave her a handshake and a hug. And when I shook her hand, she said to me, We are going to have the filmmaker arrested.

Even at that time, she was trying to place a spin on what happened. It wasn’t a result of a video. They had two drones above the battle in Benghazi feeding real-time video to the Situation Room in the White House. They could see as it was happening on September 11 and September 12th. For seven or eight hours, they watched this battle happen. They didn’t watch a video protest. They watched a battle with militants that were associated with al Qaeda.

HANNITY: Yes. Now, earlier this week, we had testimony — Brigadier General — retired brigadier general Robert Lovell testified the military should have tried to intervene. Now, we’ve talked to you about your son, and he was told to stand down, was he not?

WOODS: I have actually talked to the reporter on the ground that talked to Ty’s friend, who was there, who said, Yes, Ty was told on more than one occasion to stand down and not to go rescue.

HANNITY: And as far as you know, he disobeyed orders and went to fight, and as a result, lost his life trying to save other people’s lives — as a matter of fact, successfully saving other people’s lives. That was your son, right?

WOODS: That was the type of hero Ty was. He was going to jeopardize his life, as well as his military career…

HANNITY: What would you like to ask the president if you had a chance?

WOODS: Well, I did ask this question of the president last September. I sent a letter to him. And I said, If this had been a member of your family, Mr. President, would your rescue attempts have been more aggressive? And his response to me lacked credibility. He said, If it had been a member of my family, I would have basically done nothing different.

They did ask the president’s spokesman:

KARL: Is the White House going to cooperate with this investigation, yes or no?

JAY CARNEY: First of all, I haven’t seen an investigation. I’ve seen a lot of rhetoric, a lot of talk. I’ve seen some of he usual partisan assertions, and heard them. What I will say is we have a long history of cooperating with legitimate oversight from Congress. And that cooperation will continue. What I am not going to peculate about is what the Republicans are up to. It’s blatantly apparent based on what they’ve said, and what even other Republicans have said that it’s a highly partisan exercise.

Absolute moral authority don’t buy you what it used to.

Cindy Sheehan’s parlayed her AMA into a shot at the Governor’s chair in Cali!

Cheer up, Cindy. I’d vote for you if I lived in California!


Obama’s Original Lie*

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In the words of Joe Wilson, “You lie!”

The legal left and media are always last to know, but there are the makings of a correction in how the courts police conflicts between the political branches. President Obama’s serial executive power abuses—on health care, immigration, marijuana and much else—may be inspiring a heathy rejoinder.

Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to create and amend laws and the President to faithfully execute them, but Mr. Obama has grabbed inherent Article I powers by suspending or rewriting statutes he opposes. The President has usurped Congress with impunity because he assumes no one has the legal standing to challenge him.

But all that is about to change:

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is suing the White House over the ObamaCare regulatory carve-out that conjured up special subsidies for Members and staffers who were supposed to give up federal employee health benefits to join the insurance exchanges.

Mr. Johnson argues that because Members must designate which staffers do and don’t participate, the rule imposes a nontrivial administrative burden—i.e., he has standing to sue because the rule harms his office, not because he is a U.S. Senator. More to the point, Mr. Johnson claims that the rule forces him to become personally complicit in law breaking and thus damages his political reputation.

That’s a rather fine point.

George Will sees bigger legal problems for ObamaCare:

“All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.”

The ACA passed the Senate on a party-line vote, and without a Democratic vote to spare, after a series of unsavory transactions that purchased the assent of several shrewdly extortionate Democrats. What will be argued on Thursday is that what was voted on — the ACA — was indisputably a revenue measure and unquestionably did not originate in the House, which later passed the ACA on another party-line vote.

In June 2012, a Supreme Court majority accepted a, shall we say, creative reading of the ACA by Chief Justice John Roberts. The court held that the penalty, which the ACA repeatedly calls a penalty, is really just a tax on the activity — actually, the nonactivity — of not purchasing insurance. The individual mandate is not, the court held, a command but merely the definition of a condition that can be taxed. The tax is mild enough to be semi-voluntary; individuals are free to choose whether or not to commit the inactivity that triggers the tax.

The “exaction” — Roberts’s word — “looks,” he laconically said, “like a tax in many respects.” It is collected by the IRS, and the proceeds go to the Treasury for the general operations of the federal government, not to fund a particular program. This surely makes the ACA a revenue measure.

Did it, however, originate in the House? Of course not.

If Obama can ignore his sworn promise to “faithfully execute” his office, or “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, why should he give a flying fish about the Origination Clause? He doesn’t. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don’t. But courts do, or ought to—even courts packed with Democrat appointees.

As Will makes clear, this is not a small point. This law (of the land) was passed in a manner that would have made Hugo Chavez blush with shame. It’s anything but Constitutional (bitches).

* Technically, not his original lie. Certainly, Dreams of My Father predates it.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Benghazi

They lied.

That clear it up for you? Sigh. Very well…

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

Let’s stop here for a minute. So far, all Hillary—or, fairly or unfairly, the buck stops at State. Chris Stevens had been asking for increased security, but the State Department needed new china, so he had to make do with Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes and Carlton the doorman from Rhoda. If State knew there was trouble for 9/11, where the [bleep] was the Secretary of State in anticipation of trouble?

Speaking of where the [bleep] she was, where the [bleep] was she on that Sunday morning Susan Rice danced like Janet Jackson (minus the nipple-slip) on the morning talkers? Was the deputy assistant undersecretary in Commerce unavailable?

Who sends a UN Ambassador to answer for four dead Americans? That’s un-[bleeping]-believable!

Speaking of cabinet secretaries, we wrote this post almost 15 months ago:

There was a fiery exchange between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Republican Sen. John McCain on Thursday during Panetta’s testimony about a deadly attack last September in Libya.

Panetta said the response to the attack was “timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time given the speed of the attacks for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference.”

McCain, who has constantly lambasted the Obama administration’s response to the attack, forcefully challenged Panetta’s assertion that the Defense Department did everything it could.

McCain asked why the Defense Department did not send forces based at Souda Bay, Crete, to Benghazi. He said the flight is an hour and a half and that it was “simply false” for Panetta to testify that all resources couldn’t reach Libya in time.

“I stand by my testimony,” Panetta replied.

McCain testily countered, “Perhaps you can give me some facts.”

Panetta then said that a contingent was not sent because the State Department didn’t request it.

“So it’s the State Department’s fault,” McCain challenged.

In opening remarks, Panetta said he received no imminent threats in the hours leading up to the attack.

He explained that the first reports that an attack was happening were given “almost immediately” to the U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Within 17 minutes, Panetta said, unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft were dispatched for a better idea of what was happening on the ground.

“Was any airplane launched in the world before the attack was concluded,” Graham asked.

No, Panetta and Dempsey answered.

“Was there any soldier en route before the attack was concluded,” Graham asked.

It seemed to me then as now that Panetta would have been a convenient fall guy. He was the liaison to the president. If there was anything to be done for Stevens, Woods, Smith, or Doherty, Panetta, Secretary of Defense, would have been at the top of the decision tree. If we exclude Obama.

Why should we do that?

Within 17 minutes, Panetta said, unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft were dispatched for a better idea of what was happening on the ground.

Soon, Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey met with President Obama, the secretary explained to lawmakers.

Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack and try to protect U.S. personnel.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked how many times President Obama talked with Panetta and Dempsey after he knew about the attack.

Once, they answered. That conversation lasted for 30 minutes and Obama did not personally get back in touch with them to ask how the mission to help personnel in Benghazi was going.

What would have trumped American personnel under fire? What possibly could have monopolized the president’s attention?

Regular readers know my delight in posing this answer:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, September 12, 2012
by KEITH KOFFLER on SEPTEMBER 11, 2012, 10:09 PM

10:45 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:15 pm || Departs White House
3:00 pm PT || Arrives Las Vegas, Nevada
5:25 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a campaign event; Cashman Center, Las Vegas
6:40 pm PT || Departs Las Vegas, Nevada
9:10 pm MT || Arrives Aurora, Colorado

Prepare for a huge fundraise-a-palooza. That’s what he had to do instead.

Look, I gave this to you in two words at the top. They lied. Why? Because they had to. Wouldn’t you lie if you effed up this badly? And the best way to cover up a lie is to tell more lies. We barely know where to start sorting them out.

A useful summary: they knew there was trouble coming, and they did nothing; on the night in question—9/11, remember—they were in full visual and audio contact throughout, and did nothing; they reported to he president once, who did nothing (but prepare to play Vegas); afterwards (as the new emails tell us), they coordinated a cover-up to lay the blame on a YouTube video that had fewer hits than a demo on steamed brussels sprouts.

Or: they lied.

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