M. Cloutier: Looking for the facts

The Sun Journal recently ran two front-page headlines, both of which I find troubling. On May 12 appeared “ GOP ready to rehash Benghazi for years to come,” and on  May 13 was, “Benghazi report defense fails to satisfy GOP.”

Most people have heard many spokespeople in the Obama administration speak the "truth" about the tragedy that took place there; however, now that all the news organizations are investigating that terrorist attack, the truth becomes more elusive.

I take issue with those headlines which, to me, are very polarizing. They indicate that only the GOP is interested in that tragedy, or that it is worthy of further investigation.

I am an American first, party affiliation second, and I am tired of hearing the "truth"; I want to hear the facts.

Patriotic Americans died that day and I would like to get to the bottom of the story — no matter who is calling for the investigation.

Shouldn’t all Americans be calling for the facts?

Mike Cloutier, Auburn

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 's picture

“Benghazi Hearing Reveals

“Benghazi Hearing Reveals Incompetence, But No Cover-Up.”

Quoting a distinguished acquaintance: We’ve got to stay focused on important government business and not get distracted by questions about incompetence, mismanagement, corruption, and sheer stupidity.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Well, the facts have to be

Well, the facts have to be pried from of the liars. What you are seeing is the process.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

It takes a lot..........

It takes a lot to get me upset, but this Benghazi incident is edging that way. I have heard every possible angle on this, It's been repeated daily for months and will most likely be featured on Fox for many years to come. Evidently getting the facts, getting the truth isn't meant to help prevent a future attack from happening. In the past, when an incident occurred, the questions were asked for a reason, the same as when a plane crashes, to prevent this from happening again.
Now the Tea Party Right, has taken rehashing old information to a new level, and it has nothing to do with National Security, it has everything to do with "Trashing" the President. That's fine, but don't insult my intelligence with this stupid trash talk. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that due to losing the election it's open season for president bashing.
The Right, needs to grow up, and start focusing on real issues, the issues you were elected into office to address in the first place. I can pretty much say with confidence, that a lot of people are sick of hearing the same thing day in and day out. I know I am................

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hopefully, Bengahzigate will

Hopefully, Bengahzigate will be awarded the same relentless scrutiny that Watergate warranted.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If this is not a real issue,

If this is not a real issue, then what is? Perhaps the tyrannical IRS, or wiretapping - are those real issue?

This is a real issue, and if you don’t like the publicity, get a tissue.

I for one American want to see one or more officials get fired over Benghazi, over IRS, and over wiretapping.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Why waste the energy........

Yes this is an issue, there are lots of issues, The Republican Right is doing nothing constructive with their pursuit of the same answers over and over again. What is the outcome you expect. Not the outcome you want, the outcome you expect. At the present rate, I expect what little credibility the Right has left to diminish very soon.
Look what LePage has done for the Right's credibility here in Maine. It has absolutely nothing to do with his ideas, he has some good ones. It's his methodology, scripted from the Tea Party play book. A couple of classes in diplomacy would go a long way to enabling progress from everyone. I spent half my adult life as a Large Venue Security Person, ( high priced concert bouncer). I like a good fight as much as the next guy, but if I can't see a possible victory I move on to one with better odds. All this president bashing to me is nothing but treading water, you keep treading water, you'll never get to shore. I don't see any outcome anywhere close to accounting for all this wasted time, just think of what all this energy could have accomplished, if used properly...........

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The behavior of the IRS is

The behavior of the IRS is criminal. This administration and or congress needs to find the highest IRS official who knew about IRS behavior and thought it was okay. This person needs to go to jail.

The IRS exhibited behaviors of a tyrannical government. An example must be set to illustrate that this behavior will not go unpunished.

Dealing with the IRS is certainly not a waste of time.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

The head of the IRS.....

The head of the IRS is gone, fired. What the IRS Is accused of is a flagrant misuse of power. They used their authority to unfairly target certain groups, based on name, and other target words, to flag potential misuse of the "Tax Exempt" status.
Someone in the organization over stepped their authority in using certain politically sensitive words to flag potential targets. Not unlike many people in positions of power who use that power for personal or political reasons every day. It is a violation of the power invested in that person, it can potentially infuriate someone. If you are obeying the law, there really isn't any reason to even be concerned. Law enforcement uses similar tactics, insurance companies do it, the medical community wrote the book on it, a lot of companies use "Flags" to locate certain targets.
It's irritating, but hardly an arrestable offense. Try writing an angry letter to your Federal Government, be careful of the language you use, there are a few words or phrases that may trigger a visit from some very intimidating individuals. The IRS isn't the first and won't be the last to use this tactic, They are however in the unfortunate position of having their indiscretion used as a Right Wing Conspiracy Theory, thus elevating it to a capital offense in the eyes of some................

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No one was fired. “Acting IRS

No one was fired. “Acting IRS Directing”, Steven Miller, is just that, an acting or temporary director due to be replaced in June of this year anyway.

From 2008 and 2012, the number of groups applying for tax-exempt status as so-called social welfare groups more than doubled. Along with that was an increase in complaints that such groups were largely engaging in electoral politics, which is not supposed to be their primary activity.

IRS complaints span acting director Steven Miller’s tenure, so he is not the architect of this behavior. Who is?
It is in fact against the law to use the IRS as a political tool against your opponents. See Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment, Article 2, section 1.

This issue still has legs, and the architect of this behavior is still at large, need to be located, and need to be prosecuted.
All Americans should not stand for this behavior. You may give this administration a pass because today’s IRS target is conservative groups, but just remember, what comes around goes around; tomorrow it may be liberal groups. This behave cannot stand.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Have you ever been audited???????

First of all, no one used the IRS as a tool, they are like that all the time. Someone may have thought it was cool to go after the Tea Party, but what the hell, if they aren't doing anything wrong, it's not the end of the world. The IRS goes after who ever, when ever they feel the need. I got nailed for an audit twenty something years ago. I spent weeks ranting and raving, accusing them of this and that. I was convinced they singled me out due to my fighting the State in court. I was what the IRS would most likely refer to as an "idiot". Turns out my accountant screwed up my mortgage interest information, I ended getting more returned after all. Funny thing is, when they came after me, I didn't make a Federal case out of it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Oh, I guess Nixon was falsely

Oh, I guess Nixon was falsely impeached under article 2 then. That is nice to know.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Amen to that, Brother.

Amen to that, Brother.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Let's revisit Benghazi

Mike, this is what I have on the issue.

Let's revisit Benghazi

On Wed. Jan.23, 2013, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Since the successful attack on Susan Rice, it was predictable that the questioning of Clinton would be similar. Republican Senators Corker, Menendez, Johnson, and Rand Paul desperately tried to incriminate Clinton to cover up the fact that the GOP cut the security budget leaving the embassy unprotected. It was Rep. Darrel Issa ( R-Cal ) who on Friday Oct. 19, 2012, publicly unveiled CIA operational bases in Libya on CSPAN TV, and subsequently released 166 pages of sensitive information to the media leaving little doubt that one of the two compounds at which the Americans were killed, described by the administration as a “consulate” and a nearby “annex,” was a CIA base. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to unmask the spooks. “Point of order!” he called out “We’re getting into classified issues that deal with sources and methods that would be totally inappropriate in an open forum such as this.” Now that Chaffetz had alerted the enemy that something valuable was in the photo, chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), jumped into damage-control mode. “I would direct that that chart be taken down,” he said, although it already had been displayed on C-SPAN. “In this hearing room, we’re not going to point out details of what may still in fact be a facility of the United States government or more facilities.” Then and Chaffetz gave more hints. “I believe that the markings on that map were terribly inappropriate,” he said, adding that “the activities there could cost lives.”
You should note that the end of the CNN interview with Chaffetz, (see link below) that he details the limited protection of the Embassy and the Annex, along with the knowledge that the embassy wanted to appear “normal”. This would seem reasonable with the extent of CIA , and other operatives in the area gathering intelligence. A very risky effort indeed.
House Republicans who held the majority in the house voted in 2012 to cut $2.15 billion from State Dept. operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Ryan’s budget also made $400 million in cuts to embassy security. The GOP cut $1.13 billion from the 2013 Security Protection program. Then cut embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. The Senate restored $88 million to the program. On October 5th, 2012 Both Issa and Chaffetz announced that Benghazi had requested more security, but that they had voted to cut security budget costs.
Last year, (2012) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security.” A charge Republicans rejected.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R ) Utah was asked on CNN if he voted to cut embassy security funding : Chaffetz: “Absolutely. We have to priorities and choices in this country. Think about this, we have 15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than a 6,000 contractor private army 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 tough economic times, you have to prioritize.” Watch the video here
Subsequent to the attack, there was rampant speculation the that the protest was spurred by the YOU-TUBE video “Innocence of Muslims” which ignited protests throughout the Muslim world. Thousands angered by an anti-Muslim film ignored pleas for peaceful rallies and rampaged in several Pakistani cities. Police fired tear gas and live ammunition to push back the tens of thousands of protesters they faced in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, and the major cities of Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. The deadliest violence occurred in the southern port city of Karachi, where 14 people were killed, and more than 80 people were injured. At least three of the dead were policemen, one who died when hundreds of protesters attacked a police station. Five people were killed and 60 wounded in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Police were successful in preventing the protesters from reaching U.S. diplomatic offices in the cities. Pakistan has seen the most sustained violence with 49 people-including Ambassador Stevens having died in violence attributed to to the video around the world. So who is to say what effects this video may have had on the events in Benghazi. Had these Pakistani protestors reached U.S. Diplomatic offices in these cities, would there have been protests or attacks? Embassy During the eight years George W. Bush was President 11 US Embassies were Attacked:
June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. 12 dead 51 injured.
February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Truck bomb kills 17.
February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. 2 consulate guards killed.
July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Two dead.
December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Five killed, 10 wounded
March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. 4 dead including a U.S. Diplomat
September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria. One killed and 13 wounded.
January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece. No one was injured.
July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Three policemen killed.
March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls’ school instead.
September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured. (Quoted from Daily Kos)

The true facts regarding that night in Benghazi will likely be never fully known. The effects of the House cutting funds for embassy security will never be assessed, and the extent of violence attributed to the “Innocence of Muslims” has been ignored.
Only one thing is certain now. The events of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, and the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three US soldiers have sadly become pawns in the run-up to the 2016 elections, because, in the long run, party unity and protectionism trump truth and responsibility.
Bruce K. Hixon

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Bruce, the argument over

Bruce, the argument over Benghazi is no longer about what you present.

It is all about why your administration lied to the public over the fact it was really a terrorist attack.

Lying to the public has shifted the spotlight there; are you not concerned why you were lied to?

Benghazi has 90% to do with lying to the American people.

 's picture

Yes Mark,

and they were lying for political gain. The war on terror was declared over by this so called want to be President. The same President that hasn't spent one day governing this country. Continually blaming the other guy for his failures. The same so called president who thought it was more important to get his rest so he could continue to campaign in Nevada, rather than perform his duties like a true Commander and Chief and deal with Benghazi like he should have. As the President, he and only he could send in troops or call for their stand down. There were calls for 2 stand downs during those 9 hours of the attack? Doesn't sound to me like he really cared about those four people in Benghazi, November 7th was at his doorstep and that's all he cared about.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Another observation that I’ve

Another observation that I’ve made is that this administrations claims to know nothing about:
1. Fast and Furious
2. AirForce 1 NY fly-over
3. Benghazi
4. IRS
5. Wiretapping

I can only conclude that this administration is either lying to the public, they have no control over their administration, or both.

Anyhow, all are unacceptable.

P.S.
Message to any reader how feels compelled to respond with “Bush...” just keep the crap in your pants. We are talking about current events, not historical events.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Mark, I respecfully diagree

As stated, the embassy annex in Benghazi housed CIA operatives assessing terrorist activities in the region. This information was well shielded (until Issa and Chaffetz divulged the information on public television) to protect both CIA and Libyan assets in country gathering intelligence on potential terrorist activities. Republicans acknowledge that neither the embassy nor the annex had been updated to provide adequate security for the embassy or its staff. I won't link the cause for that to this comment as I don't think it is particularly germane to my issue, other than if the facilities there had recently been upgraded and better secured, they would have been under a lot more scrutiny from terrorist organizations. All of those working there were fully aware of the potential dangers including the spooks. There were a lot more people involved in Benghazi other than the 4 who perished that needed to be evacuated, and that did not happen overnight. They couldn't just buy a ticket and fly home. I, myself, believe that it was necessary to be cautious about everything said to allow for the evacuation of those still living. Also, nobody can prove or disapprove the impact of the video, yet as stated in my original post, one helluva lot of people were killed and injured in the resulting protests in the Muslim world, particularly in Pakistan. I think it particularly sad that four Americans died doing exactly what they volunteered to do. I am, however incensed that the two who provided intelligence the world publicly regarding the facilities and secret operations, are the Chair and Co-chair of the oversight committee investigating the event. A perfect opportunity to scrub words to achieve a political victory. I think in time, the truth will become more clear. I will not succumb to the political rhetoric. or bash anyone on perceived or unproven facts until then. I will do my own bashing at that time friend.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Simple question:

Did or did not the administration lie to the American people about the cause behind the Benghazi attack?

This is a simple yes or no question.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'll take the lack of a

I'll take the lack of a response to mean YES...

Bruce Hixon's picture

"MAYBE"

I don't think the facts are solid enough for a Y/N answer yet. If you do end up being right. I will certainly acknowledge that fact. At this point, it's just political and I never trust what a politician says. I'm not saying you're wrong. I just want better facts before I decide.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

We know the reason behind the

We know the reason behind the attack. The reason is different than what the administration told the American people.
The original press release was edited 12 times to get the response we heard from the administration.
What more do you need to wait for, god to touch you on the shoulder?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You can ignore the facts, but

You can ignore the facts, but it is very clear that this administration lied to the American people, wanting to know why is not politicizing the issue.

Typing volumes will not obscure that fact for many Americans want transparency and the truth behind the need to lie.
Since you are not concerned with being lied to, I can only assume that you are defending that behavior, which is politicization in of itself.

Like I said, lying makes the cover-up and makes Benghazi a scandal.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Ignoring facts

Mark, What we have regarding Benghazi is an ongoing cherry picking party on "Who said what when" At this time there is only implied evidence. I don't acknowledge cherry picked allegations evidence. I will wait until the facts are proven. If this never happens, at least I won't have hung the wrong man. This isn't about politics to me, it's about the facts. Can you prove you already have all of the absolute facts? If you do I would like to see them. I won't let my hatred of one man get in the way of fact. Nobody in this thread possesses all the facts, and that includes me. I don't need to lie....I'm not a politician.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“I won't let my hatred of one

“I won't let my hatred of one man get in the way of fact.”

You are injecting your political biases into the discussion.

I did not identify any one man as you are implying and that man being Obama.

I want to know why my government, the current administration (a plurality of individuals by word definition), has to lie to me and other Americans. Period. The facts about not telling the truth is not in dispute anymore even from this administration. We should be on step to, who and why.

Words have meaning and outcomes matter.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Mark, I appologize

As you never did mentioned Obama, I "Assumed" incorrectly about your current administration" statement. I guess that makes an "Ass" out of me. Sorry Bud!

Bruce Hixon's picture

but regardless

It's apparent that you are unwilling to wait for all the facts to come out before damning the accused. Kinda like Bush invading Iraq over falsified claims of WMD's just to vindicate dear ole dad.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Here we go, back to the Bush

Here we go, back to the Bush era. Let’s speak current events.

Bruce Hixon's picture

Ive had a belly full

of listening to those impervious to reality. Do and say what you want to. I look out for your kids, and you cover your ass for the dumb S**T you've said. You defend your own kids.......Why should I? This is really sad unless you don't have any progeny. Good night. Scotch 1,,,,,you Zero. I usually ain't this way, but some are obviously impervious to reality. Your family is your responsibility. You screw them.........I'm on their side

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Yea, you tell yourself that

Yea, you tell yourself that while your kids are serving my kids. Would you like to supersize that order sir?

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