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Internal Benghazi Review Ignored Clinton, Obama

The internal State Department Accountability Review Board report being touted by the White House as an “unsparing” investigation into the Benghazi response actually completely spared the two individuals whose actions Republicans want to know about most: President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

There is no mention in the report of the what Clinton or Obama did related to Benghazi. In fact, Obama isn’t mentioned at all in the document, and Clinton only once – in the context of her appointing the Review Board. There is no suggestion that Clinton or Obama were interviewed or even examined by the investigation.

What’s more, Accountability Review Boards are part of statutory State Department process that is not legally permitted to investigate the president.

It’s not even clear that an Accountability Review Board is permitted to probe the Secretary of State. The purview of a Review Board covers “employees” of the State Department who could be subject to discipline by the Secretary of State, who presumably would not be tasked to discipline herself.

Despite all this, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Wednesday suggested the Review Board report exculpates Clinton.

From the briefing:

Q    So the White House is confident that Hillary Clinton acted appropriately throughout this process?

MR. CARNEY:  We are.  And I think I would point you to the Accountability Review Board and what —

Q    Which didn’t —

MR. CARNEY:  I think I would point you to the report the put out.  I would point you to what the two heads of that board, Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen — each highly praised by both sides of the aisle for their long, distinguished careers — put out in a statement this week:  “From the beginning of the ARB process, we had unfettered access to everyone and everything, including all of the documentation we needed.  Our marching orders were to get to the bottom of what happened, and that is what we did.”

Again, this is an unsparing report done by two career professionals, nonpartisan career professionals, that contain within it very serious recommendations, found shortcomings that needed to be corrected, and the State Department acted immediately on that.

But there is no evidence Pickering and Mullin ever talked to Clinton, or that they even sought to.

Carney dodged a question about whether Obama was interviewed by the Review Board.

Q    On the question of the Accountability Review Board, you keep saying it was unsparing and you said they had unfettered access.  Did Admiral Mullen and Mr. Pickering interview the President about what he did on the night of September 11th?

MR. CARNEY:  Again, I will point you to what Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering said and what the report said, beginning with the fact that — this is useful here.  The Accountability Review Board investigation, headed by, as I said, two of the most respected, non-partisan leaders in Washington, found that the interagency response was timely and appropriate and “helped save the lives of two severely wounded Americans.”

Here’s a video of the exchange, in which Carney appears a little flustered.

Note that this is a classic case of press secretary spin, in which the answer contains a litany of facts wholly unrelated to the question and designed to draw attention away from the fact that the press secretary is not addressing the issue that was raised.

In this case, Carney was successful. There was no follow up.

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106 thoughts on “Internal Benghazi Review Ignored Clinton, Obama”

  1. “marching orders” Isn’t marching being ordered to walk in a specific direction and style?

    I’m not implying anything, of course…………

    1. Seriously? Stop it, urrm same as stand down. STFU same as stand down…you think not much, eh? Just working off the far left talking points over the word IS…next you will be told to repeat, “it is complex”.

  2. This is starting to feel bad in a way that that nothing else that has happened to this administration has felt. Could the truth be even darker than I imagined? Could it be that rather than just not care the President actually gave orders to do nothing? That’s the only thing I can think that would cause this level of spin from a lame-duck administration.

    If it was merely incompetence, I would think that a simple, “Look, we messed up,” would sufficient and forthcoming. That was what Bill Clinton finally came to with the Monica Lewinsky issue and he was given a pass as a result.

    1. Interesting points, W. I think the single biggest difference is, while both are egomaniacs, Slick Willy is smart enough to see through himself. Dear Leader’s narcissism prevents a similar recognition.

    2. I think it’s solely due to incompetence. That and not giving a ratz azz about America or Americans. If there were any doubt before the cover up and excuses – the cover up proves it. barry, hillary and those who serve under them, for the most part, are interested only in power and control..and having a good time. barry and hillary are both pompous asses who’s self importance shows itself in their total arrogance, self serving ostentatious manner. I pray for people who want to serve. I’m sick to death of people who want to be served like the clintons and obamas.

    3. ….which brings us back to Fast&Furious and the coverup that ended with “executive privilege” being invoked by the President to prevent any further investigation.
      Just as we don’t know who did or said what that night in Washington, we don’t know the real purpose of the illegal gun trafficking to Mexican drug cartels.

      You are probably correct, William, that if it was a screw-up, a jumble of confusing information, or even a too-cautious response, a simple “we should have (whatever), and are taking positive steps to prevent things like this again” would have put the whole incident to rest.
      By not admitting a mistake, but lying to make it about something else, only made things worse. He/she lied, then he/she backed up the lie, then the MSM covered up the lie, and so on until none of it makes sense or is believeable.

      1. I am always wondering how the Press can escape Scott Free on these things. If they are controlling the news, isn’t that part of the Coverup, if one is found? Shouldn’t there be some accountability on their part aside from professional journalism?

        1. The only way to hold the press accountable is if u don’t like what they are doing quit buying/watching their product. Look what is happening to the printed press. Many of the newspapers are going out of business. I for one don’t subscribe to any newpaper, and I don’t subscribe to internet news sources either. In fact I barely read anything in a US newspaper. I have started reading UK newspapers and get better coverage, better reporting, and far less spin on things.

    4. Excellent comment and entirely within possibility though I do think someone had to give the order to stand down.

    5. I woke up feeling bad about Benghazi today for different reasons. In the matter of ratings I’m sure it lost out in interest compared to a murder verdict story and a kidnapping story. I also read that the night before the hearings Susan Rice was granted a ‘Great American’ award and yesterday while the hearing was going on, Hillary was being praised for her public service by basically one of her pacs. Wasn’t that clever–and cynical to the nth? We were brought up to believe that truth will in the end prevail, but right now I sense that it won’t against the juggernaut of distractions, unlucky distractions and planned distractions.

      1. It’s the dirty little secret dance by those who control the media. Seed favorable stories to your partners, give endless awards regardless of accomplishments (Nobel, Pulitzer, Grammy, “Rice Bowl”), form fancy sounding institutes run by political hacks, then take positive spins from any and all, making sure to cite them as unimpeachable authorities, then repeat. You put your left good in, you take the right good out, add some well-orchestrated spin, and there’s your dirty little dance: the circle twerk.

      2. Alfred -King of Wessex

        Here is what frosts me: Why must crimal activity by our government only be acted on if the public is incensed about it. We all know that the majority of the media is controlled by the liberals… stories that would inform the public are scrubbed or killed. Justice should not be dependent on the media …since the media are tools of Obama and his minions.

    6. Excellent points, William. I don’t think it was just incompetence. On the afternoon of 9/11/12 it may have started off as incompetence, but when someone gave the stand down order it turned into something a whole lot darker and a whole lot worse.

      Yesterday, Gregory Hicks testified that LTC Gibson (Special Ops commander in Tripoli) was given the stand down order. No doubt Issa’s team is already seeking out LTC Gibson to get his testimony.

      1. Yesterday a former Ambassador, Rep. Ann Wagner said that only the President can give a stand down order. I wonder if this applies to the Obama WH though as they’ve certainly the rules for everything else.

        Panetta testified he met with Obama at their prescheduled 5:30pm meeting and discussed Benghazi for about 20 minutes. He said Obama told him and Dempsey it was up to them to take care of things. Obama walked off and they didn’t hear from him for the rest of the night. Neither did they hear from Hillary.

        I find it hard to believe anyone with an iota of compassion could have just sashayed off into the night, not keeping in contact with anyone, not caring about Americans being killed and survivors fighting for their lives expecting help Obama refused to send. May all the rest of his and Hillary’s nights be haunted with nightmares because I don’t think any other form of justice is going to be served.

    7. In respect to fairness, I think the committee needs to purse the loose ends exposed by the whistle blowers. I could very will be the fog of war but they made some serious statements that needs to be resolved.

      What pisses me off is that Benghazi was a number 1 hot spot on their risk assessment, the security specialist noted it to upper management, Kennedy, and they got downsized?????????????????

      Does not pass the smell test on that one.

  3. Keith,
    As a journalist, what should have been the followup question?

    Why does it seem that journalists don’t want to ask the right questions or even word the question in a way to get a direct answer.

    Is there something deficient in journalists that they are unable to perform what I would think is basic journalistic abilities?

    am i wrong?

    1. And why don’t any of them ever say “I’m sorry, that is not what I asked. Please answer my question. Here, let me repeat it for you”?

      1. Because there are few journalists in that pack. JO died when colleges became infected by the left. They have replaced “search for truth” with “ends justify means” as the curriculum driver.

    1. That’s not correct. The ARB did interview Mr. Hicks, but he was not allow to review the report prior to its release. He stated he has never seen the classified version. The ARB did not interview Mr. Thompson, who had requested deployment of the FEST team.

      Following Ambassador Stevens death, Mr. Hicks was the senior official in charge on the ground. He testified that to this day, FBI investigators have never spoke with him about the events of that evening. Perhaps someone can ask the President about that the next time he assures us that everything is being done to bring those responsible to justice.

  4. Doublespeak! The next question should have dealt with Beyonce’s latest WH visit. There is no journalism; just chronicles of pop culture.

  5. We might as well be living in Mexico. Does anyone truly believe ANYTHING this administration? This won’t doom Hillary or Obama. The end is near folks. God help us.

  6. Until the media gets on board this Benghazi BIG FAT LIE we are pretty
    much screwed. You have to wonder is there nothing the media won’t
    cover up because Obama lies as easily as he takes a breath.

  7. Pingback: After Months of Dishonest Spinning on Benghazi, Jay Carney Clings to ARB Report (Video) | Nice Deb

  8. Does the Carney Barker even have a conscience? He has lied from the beginning and we all know it. He’s reminding me more and more of Baghdad Bob. The American tanks were rolling in the streets behind him, yet ol’ Baghdad Bob denied their existence right up to the bitter end.

    These scurrying little roaches are in full coverup mode. The two authors of the ARB whitewash report refused to testify before Issa’s committee. It is clear state-run media is participating in the coverup, so it’s time for a select committee. Rather than pandering to the left, maybe Cantor can find the bar Boehner is hiding out in, get his rear into gear, and appoint a special investigative panel with subpoena power to get to the bottom of Benghazi.

  9. Is this surprising? This is coming from the same administration that has repeated “interviewed and reviewed” itself and has always found itself free from any wrong doing or mismanagement in many other things.

  10. Whats even more disturbing to me is that members of the military were and still are willing to go along with this charade. I still believe that the whole Petreaus deal was something to do with the Benghazi situation,but why after the big secret came out,didn’t Petreaus spill the beans?
    Where is General Hamm? Why did he retire shortly after this?
    Boehner needs to get appoint a special committee!!

  11. If I were you Keith, I’d start digging, and digging hard into all the past Obama stories that get buried. For example, this morning on CBS, one of the Secret Service agents embroiled in the Colombia prostitute scandal says he has never received due process and can’t even access files that pertain to his suspension.
    CBS reports:
    Of the 11 Secret Service agents caught up in the Cartagena scandal, six of them, a year later, find themselves still on indefinite suspension, without pay and without a hearing.

    Look at Benghazi, the whistleblowers (and maybe others) were demoted without any due process, without any ability to look into their files.

    To me, this all goes to say that the Obama administration is all about dirty little secret of hiding. I think it’s a huge story, Pulitzer huge, but it takes someone on the inside to start digging. Are you up for the task Keith?

  12. Pingback: Media in full spin... | Latestwire

  13. Jay Carney has become Baghdad Bob. How can anyone believe anything that comes out of this Obama mouthpiece? The White House press corps sit like lap dogs waiting for any bone to be tossed in their direction and the truth has become a foreign concept.

  14. Till the committee gets the info that the whistle blowers exposed I’ll remain open to factual input. Some of the items could be the fog of war thang but when people say they sent up reports, talked on the phone, were told this and that, you have to nail it down with more information to make a righteous decision. You can’t let loose ends go without further investigation, the families and the US need to know.

    What pisses me off is, Benghazi was a number 1 hot spot on their risk assessment, the security specialist allegedly noted it to upper management, Kennedy, and they got downsized?????????????????

  15. For such things to “matter,” they must be pushed by the MSM……now does anyone think that they are going to accuse Him (or His heir apparent) of anything?

  16. One sentence says it all: “There was no follow up.” Why was that the case? Because the liberal reporters don’t want the truth – they just want to look like they are searching for the truth. I find it incomprehensible that Carney can claim the report is comprehensive and then the reporters let him get away with dodging questions about just how comprehensive it truly was. The media has abrogated its duties to the public. There was a time when journalism was a noble profession. That time has passed. Journalism is now a profession of issue advocacy and propaganda.

  17. I hope America demands answers to these indigent “people in charge”. Horrible to think that Democrats wouldn’t want the truth as well. Time for America to rise up and DEMAND an independent investigation…DEMAND IT!

  18. Alex Jones and guests of his show including ex-military and Syrian-girl claim America was also financing and handing over heat seeking missiles just prior to the Benghazi attacks. What if the head of the embassy knew to much and was being shut down by Obama and Hillary. We’re they and are they staging a coup using Al Qaeda forces? What the hell Iis going on over their?

  19. Of course the review ignored Obama and Clinton. Why would the review board include the people who are supposed to be accountable for the conduct and safety of the country and our embassy’s around the world? Especially when those two particular people are the ones who got our people killed.

  20. Again, we the people and this nation are being screwed on this whole deal. High up officials and elected people are given a pass as always and nothing done when they commit crimes which perhaps may even include treason. What has happened to our nation and its rule of law? What has happened to the minds and hearts ot those in office who will not abide by the rule of law and will not seek to do what is right for the good of the nation? Something is terribly wrong in all three branches of Government, including even it appears our more “so-called Conservatives” who aren’t doing much either!

  21. Dr. Alan G. Phillips, Sr

    Failing to support dying defenders of freedom and diplomats in Benghazi is a definite disqualifier for an ambitious former Secretary of State. She refused to protect American diplomats in harm’s way serving their country. Military resources we have learned were available and could have made a difference if allowed to deploy. Hiding these truths is a damning attribute of one seeking the highest office of this land. Her reassertion of Ambassador Steven’s death as a matter of fact only is a further breach of her resolve.
    The President is not without blame as well. The attempted cover up is now exposing openly an extreme lack of honesty with families of those involved in these unnecessary deaths. Protection of your own diplomatic personnel is a priority for any Secretary of State who would seek to be the nation’s top leader. In spite of the campaign team being assembled, the finances being raised, senatorial experience gained, and general hoopla, this woman has failed one of the greatest tests in American history mainly the protection of great diplomatic public servants. In my humble opinion this woman is not qualified to be President of the United States of America.
    The truth will ultimately be disclosed by Congress that these folks and their lives were ignored and killed on Hillary’s watch. Remember, the behavior we voters confirm is the behavior we will perpetuate. Mrs. Clinton failed the demands of the critical situation, lives were decimated, policy enforcement deadened and America itself weakened as a result of her obviation of military resolve and oversight.
    Apparently the Secretary of State had pre-positioned assets off the coast of Libya during her October 2010 visit to the country to rescue her from harm should something life endangering have been instigated. Where was Ambassador Steven’s pre- positioned protection in 2011. This is the individual having her presidential ambitions touted. What has she done to merit the office? She is not qualified.
    I cannot support her candidacy she is apparently incompetent and dishonest.
    Alan G. Phillips, Sr.

  22. Jay Carney,

    Let me try to make this simple. The fact that the president Obama and Hilary Clinton were not active participants in the crisis is, by far, the most damning fact against them. The fact that they were not there in the situation room making the hard decision demonstrates poor leadership. In fact “poor leadership” doesn’t express how bad it was. They showed not comprehension of what leadership is.

  23. Are you smarter than a fifth grader?
    Topic: Foreign Policy
    Contestants: bottom of the class 5th grader vs.
    Politically Arranged Hillary Clinton
    Winner: 5th grader
    Most difficult question: What happened on. 9/11?
    Answer: “What difference does it make?”

  24. Yet another white wash. None of these people will be held accountable and the Hildabeast will be on the Dem ticket in 2016. You know what, the American people have shown time and time again that they don’t care and will vote with their pocketbook. However says the prettiest things on TV and has the best smile will win. Substance and integrity mean ZERO any more. The US is morally, fiscally and intellectually bankrupt. Som Nam Na.

  25. After reviewing the highly edited “talking points” presented to the uniformed public…….I curiously still don’t see any ADDITION of the lie about a YouTube video and the sole reason for these attacks….err, DEMONSTRATIONS.

    So, we are tossed a crumb…..but I want the entire loaf. The Dept of State (Hillary, Nuland, Jones, Rhodes) controlled the removal of facts of the terrorist attacks and Hillary, Rice, Obama and Carney ALL Lied for 2 weeks about the cause of the attack………WHO added the Video?? WHO ordered to Stand Down?

  26. At this point who can believe anything that Carney spouts -it’s all framing the words so as not to tell the truth while appearing to do so. Garbage from this administration day in and day out. They will all go down in history as traitors to the United States.

  27. If this was an (R) Administration, the MSM would have stayed on this 24/7. And if someone had said: THAT WAS A LONG TIME…the liberals and the MSM would have gone THERMONUCLEAR!

  28. Thomas Pickering and Ret General Mullen both lost any and all credibility over this investigation and report. Of course, Mullen had little to begin with. Jay Carney lost what little credibility he had left, which wasn’t much. Its time to hold people accountable for lying and deceiving.

  29. It’s got to where I don’t believe a damned thing this president says.

    If Obama said the sky is blue I’d have to go outside to check that it is true.

  30. Yesterday Kerry said, in effect, IF anyone was at fault, they would be dealt with…the fact that he even phrased it that way said it would be buried even deeper than it was. I can tell you, he made me feel justice would be done. ABC now has a report on how badly the CIA talking points were edited, and an internal email from Victoria Nuland, that basically says “nothing will satisfy some Republicans so why give them ammunition”. Does that like people who are torn up about the four murdered Americans, or bureaucrats covering their butts? They are despicable, and are still lying. The three men who testified recently deserve our thanks…hopefully they aren’t the only ones who will come forward.

  31. Yeah, and now John Kerry has assured all of us that the State Dept will leave “no stone unturned” in their investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack, so I guess that settles it…
    Do you imagine that we are all as stupid as you are, Mr Kerry? I’m thinking one of the reasons we have 3 branches of the federal govt is so that the executive branch DOES NOT get to INVESTIGATE ITSELF !!

    1. Mr. Hicks testified that despite being the most senior official on the scene, the FBI investigators have never spoken to him about the events of that night.

      Heckuva job turning over stones Lurch!

  32. 4 people died and a lot of people lied!
    Will the American people ever search their souls? Have they become so materialistic that backing such a worthless pile of human debris is worth their freedom and liberty. Have they not learned that a government that gives you everything can and will take it away? It is just a matter of time before the free stuff runs out, that those that produce that free stuff will eventually lash back and say ” what’s the use, time to jump aboard the gravy train” then what will they do for free stuff, the thing that all useless parasites do, they start feeding off each other, till only the strong or the well armed survive.
    If you don’t think this is not coming and soon, take a look at the gun sales in America. the straw that will break the camels back, the one thing that obama and his cronies are praying to satan for is the immediate implementation of obamacare, that is when 20 million illegals will be given free health care paid for by you the American taxpayer, the producers. Stop and think about the clear issue that has worried the politicians on both sides of the aisle, it is ” how do we get so many signed up for welfare right away? “. This should scare the hell out of you, the only way they can pay for these parasites free ride will be to raise taxes on everything, voila” VAT tax here we come. Not to mention algore’s global warming tax.

  33. In the touchy feely PC world of the libs it is understandable that Obama failed to act and did not want to upset the momentum to the election. This is a leader?

    The empowering of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle east is a Ploy to try and keep the Arab nations Loyal to the USA and western nations and sustain the Dollar as the Pricing currency in OPEC and International Trade . This is why we see the treasonous acts being allowed in Washingtons highest Levels of the Bureaucracy .
    Read these links to see the Way this is playing out , its a attempt to keep a Alliance from forming between the BRICS nations that have said they would reject the dollar as Trade currency along with OPEC calling for a replacement as well .
    This is why we see the kinds of Federal Reserve policies too , they are all trying to buy with print money alliances and Loyalty by Flooding the currency markets . But the leverage is not on the side of the paper markets but on the side of the durable markets , paper is not the sustaining factor in Life !!!!!

  35. The worst part about the liberal press is its damnable hypocrisy. If something even half as bad as Benghazi happened on a Republican watch, the liberal hypocrite press would be all over it with liberal politicians like Obama and Hillary leading the charge. The press isn’t supposed to be liberal or conservative, it is supposed to be devoted to truth, to be the conscience that keeps the politicians honest. Shame shame shame.

  36. L.K.Weber, CDR USN Ret.

    What we don’t know about Bengazi. There is still no mention of the aircraft carrier on station in the Med. Where was it? Was a launch in retaliation prepared and then stood down? Why was an Admiral fired?
    Lots of talke about USAF not able, no discussion of the carrier and its potential to respond?
    What is the truth, saId Pontius PIlate!

  37. As we get all fired up to go to battle for this atrocity why do we not adress jewish terrorism. The jewish denigrating media keeps any islamic atrocity in the news and jewish nuclear terrorism is hidden behind antisemitism.
    Where is the call for the men of the Liberty to speak on their attack by the murderers of Israel? Israel snubbed their nose at us.
    In project pinto and lakam they stole and sold our nuclear secrets to russia and china.Jewish traitors Netanyahu, Ben-ami Kadish, Benjamin Bloomberg, Ariel Sharon , Efi Rytan and dozens more in ISrael sold you out.
    This is all designed to get you to send your son to die as the american jew does not send his. This whole investigation is jewish hate and demonizing of Islam. Meanwhile Israel sells us out at every opportunity.


  38. Pingback: Open Thread: Internal Government Report of Benghazi Ignored Obama, Clinton | Tea Party Town | Conservative New | Tea Party

  39. How can White House reporters respect anything Jay Carney says about any controversial issue after the bald faced lie he repeated about the talking points for the Benghazi affair? A thrown tomato would be the more appropriate greeting when he ascends the podium.

  40. It’s starting to feel bad because the feeling I’m getting is that those people at the consulate were left defenseless to die! That way there would be no eyewitness on the ground to explain what happened. This was a turkey shoot – those people were left defenseless without any reinforcement coming to their aid – like shooting fish in a barrel. AND THE PRESIDENT SLEPT!

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