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State Dept. spokesman won’t answer questions about Libya Fiasco

I spent the better part of Monday driving across the Golden State, from my apartment in West Hollywood to my sister’s place in the San Francisco suburbs.  I saw a total of two Obama bumper stickers, both in the LA area and one Romney/Ryan sticker on a (very) small car with New Mexico plates in the Central Valley.  And in the East Bay, did see a Tea Party banner, offering Mr. Obama a pink slip.

Striking that in the midst of a presidential campaign, I’d see so little evidence of that campaign.

I missed the big story of the day — or what would be the big story (as in super-duper big) had it happened in a Republican administration — where “the Secretary of State’s spokesman–the diplomat’s diplomat” (to borrow John Hinderaker’s expression) used some very undiplomatic language in response to a BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hasting’s request for information about (among other things) the State Department’s failure to secure/search the American consulate in Benghazi after the terrorist attacks on the facility earlier this month.

Spokesman Phillippe Reines, “couldn’t or wouldn’t answer“, as Ann Althouse put it, Hastings’s “excellent set of questions”.  And although many have focused on Reines’s, well, intemperate response, Althouse believes

Those nasty comebacks shouldn’t be the story. They should direct us to the set of questions. Those are great questions, and the State Department will not answer them. Without answers, they feel like questions that answer themselves.

Can you imagine the coverage this story would garner had the spokesman to a Republican official responded in such a manner?  (Text of his responses in first link above.)  Within hours of the story breaking, he would have submitted his resignation.

There is a huge story in this failure to answer these questions, a story of a department in disarray.  We need to learn more about this story.  Heads should roll.  And more reporters should be asking questions.

RELATED:  John Nolte reminds us of the media overreaction when a Romney spokesman told reporters to kiss his “ass, after they started heckling Romney at the sacred site where Poland buries its war dead“.

(John also believes the administration is focusing on the film used as a pretext for the protests “to draw attention and blame away from U.S. security failures“.)

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16 Comments

  1. It’s true. I live in Los Angeles, and I have seen maybe 2 Obama bumperstickers. And one huge Romney/Ryan banner on a house. That’s about it. Everyone here afraid to put a Romney sticker on their car for fear it will get keyed. Others too embarrassed to put an Obama sticker on their car for fear of being laughed at.

    Regarding disarray. I think it’s just panic…they got caught with their pants down, their policy is failing and they now have blood on their hands.

    Comment by Rachel — September 25, 2012 @ 4:37 am - September 25, 2012

  2. There seems to be a lack of discipline throughout Obama’s entire administration. It’s been exactly 2 weeks since the night Ambassador Stevens and 3 fellow Americans were brutally killed in Libya, the State Department’s handling of this crisis has been atrocious. We witnessed 13 days of LIES, denials, ‘do not ask questions about Benghazi’ tantrums and now a slew of undignified profanity from a person holding a position that demands a ‘cool head’ in extraordinary times like these. This administration is making a laughing stock of America and what’s worse, they are making a Mockery of those 4 great American men who died defending our freedoms.

    Comment by Mella — September 25, 2012 @ 6:56 am - September 25, 2012

  3. No one can convince me that this wasn’t a pre-planned attacked by al Qaeda or al-Qaeda wannabbes. The Obama regime does not want to acknowledge that during their watch al Qaeda has struck another blow to the US – storming one of our embassies and killing a US ambassador. The largest attack against US “soil” since 9-11!

    If this news were reported this way then Obama would be so far down in the polls there would be calls for him to resign so that Romney could now take the reigns of government (remember when the left called for Bush to step down so Obama could take over?)

    Yea, “hope and change” cannot happen fast enough come November.

    Comment by Charles — September 25, 2012 @ 9:07 am - September 25, 2012

  4. Think about this…

    You have the administration scapegoating a man for using his right of free speech. (Note to trolls, he’s not being condemned for possibly breaking his parole, he’s specifically being condemned for making the film.)

    At the same time, you have the adminstration specifically not condemning speech that is offensive to Christians (the return of P-ss Christ) and attends and cheers a play that is meant to offend Mormons. (Sec Clinton attending The Book of Mormon).

    You also have local officials threatening to use their authority to block Christian owned businesses from getting permits because of their beliefs.

    Clearly what this administration is teaching is, free speech isn’t something worth defending, and the heckler’s veto is alive and well.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 25, 2012 @ 11:40 am - September 25, 2012

  5. Can you imagine the coverage this story would garner had the spokesman to a Republican official responded in such a manner?

    I think this is pretty much the mantra for this campaign season and the Obama presidency.

    Everytime Obama or his admin do something dumb or say something dumb the msm yawns and those of us watching simply shake our heads and think “If this had been a republican the media would be exploding with criticism.”

    Note to trolls, he’s not being condemned for possibly breaking his parole, he’s specifically being condemned for making the film.

    Exactly. The Obama admin isn’t condemning him for a possible parole violation-they are condeming his use of free speech.

    No I am fine with criticism focused on content, but the apology and condemnation from the government don’t sit well with me. If Obama simply said “I don’t like the content, but in the US we value free speech and this man was exercising that right” I would be okay.

    The sad thing is the media is falling in line with the Obama admin condemnation-when they should value and defend the right to free speech more than any other group.

    Comment by Just Me — September 25, 2012 @ 12:31 pm - September 25, 2012

  6. We’re now hearing reports that State knew within 24 hours that it wasn’t about the film.

    So again we have the slandering and harassment of a man so State can look better.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 26, 2012 @ 11:01 am - September 26, 2012

  7. [...] and contrast: State Dept. spokesman won’t answer questions about Libya Fiasco, yet the US knew Stevens assassination was work of terrorists within 24 hours of [...]

    Pingback by Libya, you asked? | Fausta's Blog — September 26, 2012 @ 6:42 pm - September 26, 2012

  8. It’s come to this: America has an administration that covers up terrorist attacks (or tries to).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 27, 2012 @ 9:55 am - September 27, 2012

  9. If our resident truther had any integrity, he’d be outraged.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 27, 2012 @ 10:59 am - September 27, 2012

  10. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/09/27/breaking-fox-news-confirms-obama-admin-designated-benghazi-sacking-a-terror-attack-within-first-24-hours/

    So… Where are all those “BUSHITLER(tm) LIED!!!1!” shrieking harpies?

    To be clear: Bush never did lie, about Iraq or much else. But, from the harpies’ viewpoint, I guess lies are perfectly OK, when Democrats do them.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 27, 2012 @ 12:20 pm - September 27, 2012

  11. This is just another example of how putrid the Obama administration is, whether it is Eric Holder and the DOJ or Susan Rice, and the State Department. The stench should be so sickening to the voters that the Republicans should win the Senate in a landslide. While reforming the tax code, and creating an atmosphere for the private sector to create jobs again, they investigate all of the scandals that the Obama administration is hiding from the public, why AG Holder never brought to justice those Black Panthers in Philadelphia for intimidating white voters in 2008, Fast and Furious, and the State Department for an apparent coverup of events of Arab Autumn. What other dirty little secrets will be uncovered by Senate and Congressional investigations of this corrupt administration?

    Comment by Roberto — September 27, 2012 @ 1:54 pm - September 27, 2012

  12. “The Obama admin isn’t condemning him for a possible parole violation-they are condeming his use of free speech.”

    No. They are condemning the manner/tone/accuracy in which he exercised his right to free speech.

    I might have missed it but I have not seen Obama say he did not have the right say what he said. If I am wrong, please provide the link.

    Comment by mike — September 27, 2012 @ 11:21 pm - September 27, 2012

  13. I might have missed it but I have not seen Obama say he did not have the right say what he said. If I am wrong, please provide the link.

    Comment by mike — September 27, 2012 @ 11:21 pm – September 27, 2012

    Followed by this:

    No. They are condemning the manner/tone/accuracy in which he exercised his right to free speech.

    When the President and the Secretary of State “condemn” a citizen for “exercising his right to free speech” it is not a benign aside made in passing. It is, in fact, a very high placed and high powered attack on the citizen’s free speech.

    The Phelps characters and the KKK and Al Sharpton and Joie Beyhar and Bill Maher and Jon Stewart and Calypso Louie, et. al. say vile and gutter level things with impunity and escape loud blame and condemnation by the President of the United States and the Secretary of State.

    Demagogues and dictators “condemn” free speech. And political clowns ry to cover up their inadequacies and ham fisted malfeasance by pointing fingers and placing blame to shift the spotlight away from themselves.

    Radical Islamists are getting a full dose of “free speech” in return for their blackmail by terrorism when their sensibilities are annoyed.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 28, 2012 @ 12:11 pm - September 28, 2012

  14. How interesting. Remember the Coptic miscreant film maker that was “taken into protective custody by a gang of police sensitive to his safety? He is in jail. Yep. They have locked him up for a violation of subsection 9a under clause 27 of his parole.

    Certainly, the jails are jammed up full with other similar violators.

    But wait. Maybe the kind authorities are keeping him safe by cooperating with him by selectively enforcing a loophole at the miscreant’s request.

    Maybe they will give him an Obamaphone.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 28, 2012 @ 12:28 pm - September 28, 2012

  15. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu:

    “Look, one of the key responsibilities of a president is to keep up with the intelligence data that’s coming in and what’s going on around the world. This president has skipped about 60 percent of his personal contact Presidential Daily briefings, the PDB. That document that he skims on his iPad is a summary.”

    “This president thinks he’s so smart, he doesn’t have to go through that! (meeting face-to-face with experts and following up on the summary information) He thinks he doesn’t need to put the extra work in for going through that process. That’s why I say he’s lazy and detached. And unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens suffered the consequences of us not providing adequate security there.”

    “An administration as a whole is responsible for what happens on its watch, unless he wants to tell us that the buck doesn’t stop there.”

    “This president has, in my opinion, failed to maintain respect for the United States in that part of the world. And respect is one of the great assets you have in trying to protect your diplomats around the world.”

    “I think it’s all three. (incompetence, lying, and cover-up) I think it’s incompetence. I think it is a fact that they have policies there that don’t work. I think it’s lying. He goes to the U.N. and says video, video, video, video after his own people, before he went to the U.N., had begun to acknowledge that it was a terrorist attacks. That to me is just disingenuous.”

    “And frankly what is puzzling is what they could possibly have thought they would gain by going through this. I think that just reinforces the incompetent component.”

    Naw, it was all about a YouTube video nobody has seen.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 28, 2012 @ 12:40 pm - September 28, 2012

  16. So is mike still cheering the government ‘helping’ the family of the filmmaker moving, because of a threat the government manufactured?

    What about it mikey? Still supporting a government that is kind enough to ‘help’ someone move after destroying their lives?

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 29, 2012 @ 5:00 pm - September 29, 2012

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