Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thoughts on Bengazi and the evolution of future political scandal

I don't think I've ever chimed in on Bengazi.  I carefully watched the news, or lack thereof, as the 2012 Obama/Romney election unfolded.  I knew the same thing back then.  It has become more apparent these days.  There was so much more to this than meets the eye. 

Fox News did its best to bring Bengazi to the forefront.  But I think they focused on the wrong aspect of the "intentional cover-up."  How Ambassador Susan Rice purposely obscured the facts and blamed the attacks on cartoon depictions of Allah.  They kept churning away about how it was certainly an act of terrorism, but the Obama administration is afraid to use the words "Muslim" and "terrorist" in the same sentence.  They wish to treat everything as a criminal matter.  At the time, the Fox narrative was atrociously limited (to its eventual detriment).  They kept blathering about the Trump's birther nonsense and Obama's secret socialist plan to bankrupt the country (despite the rising stock market and an increasing gap between CEO /worker compensation).  In many ways, they were still hooked on the 2008 vision.

Bengazi fascinates me.  Not from a terrorism perspective.  After all, shit happens.  But to accuse Hillary of incompetence and lack of oversight... that's a specious stretch.  Seriously, is Hillary Clinton ultimately responsible for the financial security and physical safety of each ambassador outpost in every country on the planet.  I don't think that's reasonable.  Any Secretary of State has enough on their plate. Whenever your opponents volley the accusation, "He/she isn't doing the job" or "Look how much money that's costing the taxpayers" - it's almost always baseless non sequitur shit.

What I think is fascinating about Bengazi is not the "Obama administration vs. the terrorists" narrative, it's the power of the Secretary of State's office vs. our own CIA.  At the time, I'm pretty sure the CIA had no director.  John Brennan didn't take over until recently.  Hillary is a keen observer to DC administration infighting.  She knew the bigger story line and how it all might unfold.

I think that's the real story.  The executive branch is upset about the loss of their ambassador.  The CIA is pissed because they're ultimately being blamed for a lack of timely intelligence.  As a result, naturally our military response OODA loop would be compromised.  Everybody is blaming everybody within the monster bureaucracy.  But it all must be kept hush hush.  It's all maintained internally until Obama can scrape through a tight election. 

This is where the REAL scandal was.  Fox News and to a lesser extent, Mitt Romney, missed the boat.  They could have sowed the seeds of contention if they cornered Hillary.  But she went on sabbatical with a well-timed blood clot.  And Obama was just too strong, too confident.  Repubs could have ripped apart factions in the administration and it might have imploded internally.  Never forget Sun Tzu's "Art of War" - avoid confrontation at all costs IF you can get the enemy to destroy itself.  Always divide and conquer from WITHIN.  Then again, I doubt they read much about military theory at Fox News headquarters.

Romney should have torn into Obama and raised all these questions, but he's just not politically sharp enough.  Not his fault though... other than Gingrich, who really tested him in the primaries?  Tim Pawlenty (MN - douchebag) ?  Michele Bachmann (Minnesota douchebaguette) ??  Rick Perry ???  Oh yeah, he did challenge Perry.  A $10,000 bet waged by an upstanding  Mormon.  For the love of Joseph Smith!!!  Even when Romney did pounce, Obama was masterful.  I remember that exact debate moment when Obama menacingly waved his finger at Romney - "that's not what we do."

MS. CROWLEY: Because we're closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly. Your secretary of state, as I'm sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I'm the president. And I'm always responsible. And that's why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I did (sic).
The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president. That's not what I do as commander in chief

I doubt Romney's advisers really cared too much.  They knew they'd get paid regardless.  Just the mere notion of Mitt Romney having a separate political team devoted to out-of-the-box thinking or asymmetric strategies is borderline ludicrous.  Well, except the Foundation for a Better Life - mainstream normalization of the ideal Mormon.  I covered that in a previous blog.

Bengazi must have driven the Fox News people to the brink of insanity.  They have this golden ticket perfectly coinciding election.  It's pure AU, but they don't know how to use it.  And the higher-ups won't budge from the previously established "Obama's soft on terror" narratives.  Even though the general consensus is that Obama has been a hawk on foreign policy (doubling down in Afghanistan and infinitely expanding drones, wiretapping, etc.).  Obama played the national security card quite well.  But seriously, where could the liberals have gone?  Ted Kucinich?  Ralph Nader?  

Bengazi makes me better understand the "identity" of future political scandal.  From the left wing or the right.  It really doesn't matter.  Although the right wing uses it ad nauseum thanks to Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Hannity, etc.  The future of scandal is... endless refrain.  Use the same word tirelessly.  The facts don't matter.  Low information voters associate unique words with scandal.  Just hammer it home endlessly.  Again, again, again.  Barrack HUSSEIN Obama, Palin is an IDIOT, add the word "gate" to just about anything.  The key is repetition at all costs.  The facts don't matter anymore.  A greater number of Americans are heading down the low-info road.  Rather than observe and analyze, they're far more likely to align themselves with a specific politician, obnoxious newscaster or adhere to a particular media organization's brand.  Just because it's so much easier.  It's a dangerous precedent when things get confusing or controversial.  During a prolonged economic crisis, you could end up with multiple Hitlers.

Rather than explore the facts (which are always confusing and usually lie somewhere in the middle of an irresolvable grey zone), just repeat the same words incessantly.  It helps if the word itself sounds unusual (Bengazi, Solyndra, etc.) because that gives it a mysterious flare/negative connotation.

It's sad.  Because it's in keeping with the idiocracy of the United States.  I rarely promote movies, but this one wasn't that bad.  Very forward thinking.


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