Emerging liberal media spin re: Benghazi: Chaffetz voted to cut embassy funding
Administration text/subtext: It’s terribly “unfortunate” that the Republicans have chosen to politicize the embassy attacks and to turn the death of several Americans, including an ambassador, into political footballs — first of all, how tacky, first of all; and secondly, we did it first when we stood over flag-draped coffins and blamed the entire fiasco on an American citizen ferreted away into federal custody, so it’s like the Republicans aren’t even being original — because, as the President has long held, national security issues should not be used for political ends.
— Oh, and by the way? Obama killed Osama! Though just to be clear, his constant mentions of such — including his Administration’s decision to provided unprecedented access to filmmakers who will release just before the election a major Hollywood film detailing the raid and the President’s resolute bravery in giving the kill order (against the wishes of Joe Biden, incidentally, who was all for a drone strike, instead, which he believed would minimize political risk) — weren’t at all political, and there is no way in hell his reminders of how he almost single-handedly killed bin Laden, or the film depicting bin Laden’s death he consulted for, could have set off riots in the Middle East and Africa the way some YouTube trailer from an unknown private citizen most assuredly did.
Until we found out that it didn’t. Which we couldn’t have known. Because, well, unprecedented. Plus, the President didn’t even attend most of his security briefings, leaving him completely ignorant and blameless! So. Gotcha!
Progressive media spin / cover: Chaffetz voted to cut embassy funding, noted Soledad O’Brien in one of her typically balanced interviews:
Rep. Chaffetz says, “I think what we’re going to hear is that we didn’t meet the basic, minimum standards required for a facility such as the one we had in Benghazi. And the request for more security personnel went unheeded, unanswered, and consequently, you know, you have the death of four Americans. We [have to] make sure that that doesn’t happen again in Libya. But we also [have to] make sure it doesn’t happen in other places around the world…. We [have to] get at the truth, but thus far it’s been a slippery attempt to try to get the truth because the White House and the Obama administration’s been very slow in giving us the facts.”
Later in the interview, CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien asks, “Is it true that you voted to cut the funding for embassy security?”
Chaffetz answers, “Absolutely. Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have… 15,0000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in touch economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”
O’Brien responds, “Okay, so you’re prioritizing. So, when there are complaints that, in fact, that there was not enough security, you just said, ‘absolutely,’ that you cut, you were the one to vote against to increase security for the State Department, which would lead directly to Benghazi. That seems like you’re saying you have a hand in the responsibility to this. The funding of the security? How am I wrong?”
Rep. Chaffetz says, “When you’re in Libya, after a revolution… you [have to] prioritize things. And what clearly didn’t happen is Libya was not a priority. I believe what I heard is that it’s because they wanted the appearance of normalization. That’s what they wanted. And that fit with Obama narrative moving forward.”
First, let’s just point out O’Brien’s priorities: she is more concerned with deflecting blame away from the President and State and engaging in tu quoque to even really care much about the scope of the failure of foreign policy here. Second, by O’Brien’s logic — which is typical of “progressives”, particularly the sneering gotcha kind — all of our schools, for instance, are performing admirable where there is the most per capita spending. Because throwing money at anything — however that money is used, whether it is largely wasted or not — shows a commitment to that thing that isn’t at all evident in attempts to streamline operations or make them more efficient.
Chaffetz tries several times to explain that, though he voted to cut funding, that doesn’t mean there was no funding available for embassies; rather, the State Department, after a revolution in Libya, and having been contacted by the embassy in Benghazi, decided not to allocate some its resources to that particular embassy.
O’Brien’s suggestion that because Chaffetz voted to cut funding overall — what perks do embassy and staff get that may be worth excising from the budget, for instance — he had a hand in the ambassador’s death, is both reprehensible and evident of a kind of political bias that has turned from a Democratic fever into a full-blown case of Obamaphilia.
Me, I’d have probably told her that more than anything, her consistent fluffing of the Democrats, along with her consistent attempts to twist the words of Republicans and conservatives to provide cover for Obama and his Administration, set the conditions for wide spread domestic and foreign policy failures that, in the long term, are going to lead to more death and more misery for more people, both home and abroad.
Which, thanks for that, you activist news whore.
Explains why I’m not in politics, I guess.
(h/t Joseph H)