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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gail Collins, "Michele, Here’s the Bell": Red Herring

A definition of "red herring" from Merriam-Webster:

2. [from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs]: something that distracts attention from the real issue.

What the heck is wrong with Minnesota? In ancient times, I used to like Walter Mondale, and going back to the stone age, I also cared for Hubert Humphrey. But that was then. Today, Minnesota has brought us the likes of Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum (who once compared Hamas rockets fired at Israel with "drive by shootings," see: and Michele Bachmann to Congress.

Michele Bachmann of Tea Party fame will not be running for reelection in 2014. Do I care? No.

But Gail Collins cares, and so does Charles Blow.

Today, Collins, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Michele, Here’s the Bell" (, and Charles Blow, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Bachmann Bows Out" (, both get their knickers into a knot over Bachmann.

Sorry, but grumpy old man that I've become, I just don't give a damn. Why? Simple: There's still the Benghazi scandal, something which still demands answers, and whereas Obama is busy playing "What I don't know can't hurt me," and Hillary is in hiding deep underground until it all blows over, it just doesn't want to go away.

Yes, I know that I should not also be reading nefarious right-wing journals, but as Peter Wehner writes in The Weekly Standard (

"Take the New York Times. On May 17, in a story about how President Obama is trying to move beyond his current problems, the Times declared, 'In the last few days, the administration appears to have stopped the bleeding. The release of internal e-mails on Benghazi largely confirmed the White House’s account.'

Except it did no such thing. The White House’s account was that neither it nor the State Department made any substantive changes to the talking points related to the Benghazi attacks. We have irrefutable evidence—actual documents—that they did. The White House’s account was that a YouTube video critical of Muhammad sparked a spontaneous assault on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. Except this is a fabrication. The White House’s account was that the administration had no idea Islamic terrorists were responsible for the attack until many days later. Except we have emails that prove high-ranking State Department officials knew Ansar al Sharia was involved within 24 hours of the attacks. The White House has not come clean on any of these matters."

And Colonel David Hunt writes in Breitbart (

"When the American mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked on September 11th, 2012, only one person had the positional authority, legal mandate, and communications apparatus to give the order to defend our personnel on the ground: the President of the United States.

The President did not give that order, and four Americans died in Benghazi that day. All the rest of the nonsense to which we have been treated–from prepared talking points, congressional hearings, and finally to the outright lies–matter not when compared to the ignominious moments in which the President of the United States refused to do his job.

That same day, two other American embassies in the Middle East were also under attack in Sana, Yemen and Cairo, Egypt. As a result, our intelligence systems were on high alert. When the calls, satellite and drone feeds, faxes, and reports began bombarding every command center from Germany to the United States, our nation, already at war for eleven years, was again under siege. Staffs from Africa Command, European Command, the National Military Command Center, the CIA Operations Center, the State Department Operations Center, and the White House Situation Room were fully operational.

. . . .

The road to that indecision is littered with policy and leadership failures that culminated in an American mission and clandestine CIA base being attacked and the murder of our Ambassador and three dedicated Americans doing their jobs. However, the one person responsible for it all is the one man who could have, but refused to, even try to stop the carnage... the President of the United States.

All the President had to say within the first two hours while being briefed by the Secretary of Defense was, 'Send in a response force.' This command, followed by his signature on a paper called Cross Border Authority, would have ordered the Department of Defense to do everything and anything to save lives in Benghazi, Libya."

Interesting. Hunt is saying more or less what that nasty neocon, Maureen Dowd, also concluded in The New York Times (see:

Yup, I'm waiting to learn hear what Obama and Hillary discussed that evening at 10 p.m. when those men were being butchered (see: Will we ever know? Not if Obama and friends, who once were committed to transparency in government, can help it.

The IRS and AP/Rosen scandals? Also frightening, but let's start with answers regarding Benghazi, where brave Americans were needlessly sacrificed so that Obama could be reelected without us ever knowing about the resurgence of al-Qaeda.

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