Who in history compares to Hillary and Donald?

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned …” — George Santayana

There were a couple of pieces written back in May comparing the then-presumptive major party presidential candidates to personages from history.

The one in The American Spectator comparing Hillary Clinton to Eva Peron is, I suspect, a bit tongue in cheek, because it quotes liberally from the lyrics from the musical “Evita” about the Argentine first lady.

After noting that both Hillary and Evita had foundations from which to draw funds, writer Gerald Skoning quotes:

And the money kept rolling out in all directions,
To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions.
Now, cynics claim a little of the cash has gone astray.
But that’s not the point my friends.
When the money keeps rolling out you don’t keep books.
You can tell you’ve done well by the happy grateful looks.
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way.
Never been a lady loved as much as Eva Peron!

The writer makes other comparisons, but you get the gist.

In a more serious vein, Robert Kagan writes in The Washington Post under the headline: “This is how fascism comes to America,” suggesting Donald Trump has fascist tendencies and leanings.

“We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does,” Kagan writes. “But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he offers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger.”

Sounds vaguely familiar to those who’ve read about certain figures in history who were democratically elected after campaigning on fear and anger against the “others.”

Kagan doesn’t leave anything to the imagination, noting Americans’ shock at the violence of the French Revolution and comparing Trump’s rhetoric to that of Hitler and Mussolini. (Yes, that will send Trumpsters into fits of apoplexy and shouting that any such comparison is jumping the shark, if we may mix our metaphors.)

But the comparison has its points:

“National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how.

Has Trump said how he will fix anything? He merely claims he can and will. Perhaps he will wave of his magic purge?

Kagan says this is how fascism will come to America, not wearing jackboots, but by lining up behind a “television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac,” who is playing on the nation’s “resentments and insecurities.”

I suspect Kagan may be underplaying one aspect of Trump that makes visions of him wielding power with an iron fist less likely than those historic figures: Trump is first and foremost an unrequited narcissist, a potted plant that turns in the direction of sun, seeking shining adulation and attention, not power. He will let others get their hands dirty doing real work. Who those others are is the real potential problem.

Peron and Hitler

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60 comments on “Who in history compares to Hillary and Donald?

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Mr. Mitchell, could you more blatantly promote the proven corrupted Hillary Clinton. Trump is selling himself to the public, that’s what a candidate does, while Clinton has sold herself to the highest bidder, did she, in any manner, make her tenure as Secretary of State about ordinary people, the economy, public safety, national defense, or anything else she screeches about now?? If anyone would rule with an iron fist it will be the demanding and greedy Clinton, she has no office right now and there are few in public office or the news that dare cross her.

  2. Washington Post writer Charles Lane has a piece comparing the popularity of the Trump campaign to that of the Ghost Dance popularized by Nevada Paiute shaman Wovoka. Wovoka promised the Ghost Dance would make all their problems disappear. It too was futile.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/working-class-hero/2016/07/20/345280ca-4e84-11e6-a7d8-13d06b37f256_story.html

    https://4thst8.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/wovoka-is-a-most-apropos-moniker-for-a-wilderness-area/

  3. Bill says:

    Tom…I rather liked your commentary.

    I had not previously been aware of Hillary being compared to Evita and it is a great comparison. Like Evita, Hillary knows what is best for the little people and never mind anything else such as lying or personal wealth aggrandizement.

    I have previously seen the comparison of Trump to Mussolini. Never to Hitler as that could be offensive to some. Mussolini is safer.. I have heard him described as Il Duce with a bad comb over.

    I have spoken to some people who know Trump and they assure me that he is a much kinder and gentler person than comes across in the media and is much more akin to what his family portrayed him to be on TV.

    If so, he makes it hard for many to believe that.

    However, given the choices that we are faced with this November, my decision as to which one I will vote for is easy and do so with some trepidation but an easy conscience.

  4. Easy conscience? Are you sure?

  5. Bill says:

    I said I had trepidations. I can assuage my conscience by knowing that what I will do may not be right but to do nothing or vote for the other candidate is wrong.

    If you want to extend historical comparisons on out in an extreme fashion you could compare the divisions within the two major parties and all of the different factions and organizations pushing different agendas, you could be reminded of 1917 Russia.

    As you might have suspected, my reference to my conscience was with a slight nod in Ted Cruz’s direction. Can there be such a thing as a philosophical purist who is pragmatic?.

  6. Purist and pragmatist are contradictory terms, on which I think we agree.

  7. Winston Smith says:

    Yes, there are multiple problems with Trump, but will he get the trains to run on time? 🙂

  8. Or Southwest Airlines? 🙂

  9. Barbara says:

    Who in history compares to Hillary and Donald?

    Very thought provoking.

    Am I wrong or did your mind begin checking off every malevolent and reviled character from history?

  10. Barbara says:

    “to do nothing …is wrong”.

    Explain this to me. Why is withholding one’s vote wrong? The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is dead.

    Ample make this Bed —
    Make this Bed with Awe —
    In it wait till Judgment break
    Excellent and Fair.

    Be its Mattress straight —
    Be its Pillow round —
    Let no Sunrise’ yellow noise
    Interrupt this Ground —

  11. Bill says:

    Why is it “wrong” to withhold one’s vote? It is not “wrong” but it may not be wise.

    The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is not dead. The party of Lincoln and the Party of Reagan were two different entities at two different periods of history although they both bore the name Republican.

    The Republican Party of today has changed just as the world and our country have changed. So too has the expectations of the public changed about government.

    That is reality.

    I am mindful of history. In other times, in other countries, people stood by as persons and groups rose to power. They didn’t approve but they didn’t do anything either. When they began to be concerned it was too late. That which they had disapproved was the reality of what they must live under.

    In the last presidential election, many “conservatives” stayed home because the didn’t believe Mitt Romney was conservative enough. In their view he was a RINO. Others stayed home because his Christian values were suspect After all he was LDS.

    And, on election morning we had OBAMA. Stay home this election year and we get Hillary.

    If that is what you want. Then do nothing. Your decision. There is really nothing noble about losing.

  12. Steve says:

    This isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about hiring the next administration and Commander In Chief of the USA.
    And if it IS about winning or losing, then what do I “Win” for placing my check next to the eventual candidate who is selected?
    Is it a lottery? Is it bingo?

    This is about who the electorate feels most represents their ideal and beliefs, what has been happening is the major parties have decided they can’t sell us their own candidate so they are only trying to make us choose their candidate by selling us on their negatives. There is nothing positive coming from either campaign.

    I have said it before and I say again, Trump is in this so Clinton gets the job.

    I have also said I am voting for someone this time, not against an other.

    Without going negative, it is clear the sane choice is neither of the two major party offerings. If either of them were sane, they would be going positive in a big way. So far, neither of them are doing anything other than pointing fingers at the other. Neither of them have any positivity at all.

    So, vote. But vote FOR something, not against an “other”.

  13. Vernon Clayson says:

    Wovoka’s ghost dance???? That was a movement spread by word of mouth through people inclined toward superstition, there’s no comparison. That’s unless your point is that Wovoka wanted to be rid of white men, which is similar to the various groups aimed now at domimating the white race, e.g., Black Lives Matter, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Islamic Jidhadists. The latter movements have spawned racial and religious divisions Wovoka could never have imagined.

  14. Barbara says:

    There are bedrock principles which lead to liberty, prosperity, and happiness that do not change. The Republican Party used to champion these principles, but they were not in evidence at this years convention. If we do not get off this treadmill of always voting for the lessor of two evils, we are doing nothing but advancing the liberal, leftist agenda.

    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/more-than-a-speech-how-cruz-destroyed-the-lesser-of-two-evils-narrative

  15. Ridiculous piece in my humble opinion. Hillary is much worse than Eva Peron…and could wreak far greater havoc and damage than some third world dictator’s wife. To try to compare Trump to Adolph Hitler…is something I would expect from the likes of MSNBC, CNN, the NY Times and the Washington post, et al, otherwise known as the front line blockers and tacklers for the Democrat Party. Me? I’m celebrating…Debbie “Blabbermouth” Schultz is the first casualty of Operation Chaos in Philadelphia.

  16. Steve says:

    Clintons in power….heads rolling to keep things from scratching them….Déjà vu!

  17. Patrick says:

    As a democratic voter, this discussion warms my heart. “The Party of Lincoln?” Is this the same group that supports the secession of Texas from the US, and the “right of any state to exit the union? Cause if so, I think you better go back and read your US history.

    If instead, this is the “Party of Reagan”, you know, the guy who traded arms with Iran, and sent the illegally gotten gains down to terrorists in Central America. The guy who actually had the gall to raise taxes more than any other president, who increased the budget deficit more than any prior president, the guy who ensured that the terrorists that attacked this country on 911 had the money and weapons they needed. The same guy who lied, under oath, every year, that Pakistan was complying with nuclear non-proliferation treaties, even though he knew that AQ Khan was sending nuclear technology to Syria, Libya, Iraq, N. Korea, and yes, Iran.

    Hard to believe that anyone sees these actions as consistent with our Constitution, but it does make this Democratic Party supporter very happy to see this lunacy tear at the “heart” of the party of Nixon.

  18. Patrick says:

    Every month for the last 6 months, has been the hottest on record.

    Probably just a coincidence though.

    “Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The six-month period from January to June was also the planet’s warmest half-year on record, with an average temperature 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the late nineteenth century.”

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2465/2016-climate-trends-continue-to-break-records/

  19. nyp says:

    today’s Second Amendment Moment: two killed, twenty injured in shooting at Florida teen nightclub

  20. Rincon says:

    Since this seems to be the space to post things off topic, I just ran across something that makes me wonder about Benghazi. According to Joe Klein of Time Magazine, matters of consular security almost never reach the level of Secretary of State. True or no? In addition, he claims that the significant operation in Benghazi was being run by the CIA, which should have been responsible for its security. If true, then these two details change the entire dynamic. Is this from the Liberal propaganda machine or is the information presented here taken from the Conservative propaganda machine? Sure is hard to find the truth.

  21. Daily Caller:

    A House report released Tuesday shows in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, Department of State officials mulled over asking Marines, who were being considered for deployment, to take off their uniforms, as officials were concerned American flags on the uniforms would damage diplomatic relations in the region.

    According to the 800-page report, as the situation in Benghazi was unfolding, State Department officials held a teleconference call to ostensibly decide the best response to the attacks. For a large part of the discussion, officials decided to talk about the origins of the attack, instead of weighing different rescue options.

    White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was in charge of the call. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was also on the call. …

    In reality, Marines don’t actually have American flags on their uniforms, but that didn’t stop State Department officials from debating the question.

    During the investigation following the Benghazi debacle, one Marine commander told staff they continuously had to put on their uniforms, take them off and put them back on again, during the period of time when officials were considering deploying them to the area.

    The report states that none of the forces available to potentially land in Benghazi met their deployment deadlines, as the “Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times.”

    In the end, the military did not deploy to Benghazi.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/28/state-dept-made-marines-wait-around-change-uniforms-4-times-during-benghazi-attack/#ixzz4FRxAmJvP

  22. nyp says:

    From Polifact:
    “There was no order to give up on the rescue effort altogether; rather, security personnel held their position about a mile away for 23 minutes as they gathered equipment and attempted to make contact with personnel on the ground. Separately, several hours later and in Spain, Marines did get in and out of uniform over a period of three hours as officials debated how they should respond. The delay occurred after the surviving Americans and those who had been killed already had been evacuated to Tripoli.”

    http://tinyurl.com/js74ndl

  23. Rincon says:

    So who’s lying here, the Liberal propaganda machine or the Conservative propaganda machine?

    If you lie to someone in order to induce them to buy or invest with you, it’s called fraud. When you lie to millions in order to gain and preserve power, it’s called freedom of speech.

  24. Barbara says:

    I never saw Benghazi as a right or left issue. Both Dems and Reps bear responsibility for destabilizing Lybia and getting rid of Muammar Gaddafi. Both knew the US had given arms to the rebel forces who overthrew Gaddafi. Both knew the US was in Lybia attempting to recover these arms and were sending arms through Lybia into Syria. Neither party wanted the truth to come out, but for different reasons.

    Americans died needlessly because Obama did not pull out our ambassador and end this operation when it became clear that Lybia was lost to Islamic terrorists and for not having sufficient security at the consulate. Great Britain had pulled their people out, but we stayed. The Obama administration bears direct responsibility, but so does the Republican leadership in Washington for the coverup.

  25. Bill says:

    Out of curiosity Barbara, who are the members of this “Republican leadership” in Washington responsible for the “coverup”? And precisely what “coverup” are you talking about? Is this a specific charge against specific individuals for specific events or just a blanket indictment? Just asking. And, Nyp, I don’t find Polifact as being terribly reliable. If hey told me it was monday, I would check the calendar.

  26. Steve says:

    I think Politifact has managed to stay pretty objective and carefully sources a large percentage of their fact checks.

    Maybe they haven’t been as supportive of my own political opinions but, once I fact check their fact checks, I find them to be very good. The national, original operation. I find many of the local Politifact outlets to be lacking in objectivity and diluting the original intent of Politifact.
    Today, when reading and searching their database, I look for the national results and tend to stay away from the local affiliates.

  27. Barbara says:

    http://www.aim.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/AIM-Citizens-Commission-on-Benghazi-FINAL-REPORT-June-2016.pdf

    From the above report:

    Much speculation has been directed at the strong likelihood that top members of Congress—
    specifically the Gang of Eight—were briefed on activities at the Benghazi mission, from 2011
    through the September 2012 attack. During that period, John Boehner (R-OH) was Speaker of
    the House while Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the Minority Leader. The House Permanent Select
    Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Chairman was Mike Rogers (R-MI) and his Democrat
    counterpart was Charles ‘Dutch’ Ruppersberger (D-MD). On the Senate side, the Majority
    Leader was Harry Reid (D-NV) with Mitch McConnell (R-KY) serving as the Senate Minority
    Leader. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)
    and her Republican counterpart on the SSCI was Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). A plethora of
    Congressional Committees established to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi
    expended vast amounts of time and taxpayer money without coming close to what this CCB
    report, and its predecessor Interim Report in April 2014, have revealed with far less of either. A
    Select Committee on Benghazi was finally established under the leadership of Chairman Trey
    Gowdy (R-SC) on May 8, 2014 after revelations by Judicial Watch made Speaker Boehner’s
    long reluctance to agree to it impossible to maintain any longer.

    One senior Senator who made a very public show of his backing for the Libyan al-Qa’eda rebels
    was Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain (R-AZ). He was in
    personal contact with the rebels from mid-March 2011, and visited Benghazi twice with Special
    Envoy Christopher Stevens: once on 22 April 2011 and again in July 2012. Perhaps clueless
    about whom they were, he posed for photo ops with the al-Qa’eda fighters, gushing, “These are
    my heroes” and, “I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the
    contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do
    it.”
    56 He then used his Senate Armed Services Chairmanship position to do just that. No doubt
    introduced by Special Envoy Stevens, one of the Libyan militia leaders he met with was career
    jihadist Abdelhakim Belhadj, pictured here with McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

    One of the murkiest areas of the entire Benghazi debacle relates to the security guard
    arrangements at the SMC. It is of concern not just because of the failure of the local hire 17
    February Martyrs Brigade members to defend the mission the night of the attack, but because of
    possible connections to a British-based security contractor, Aegis Group, whose U.S. subsidiary, Aegis Defense Services, LLC, was headed by Kristi Rogers, wife of Representative Mike Rogers
    (R-MI). Mike Rogers became Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on
    Intelligence (HPSCI) in January 2011.

  28. nyp says:

    Ah, so perhaps Trump was right about John McCain after all ….

  29. Barbara says:

    Typical Nyp. No comment about your girl?

  30. nyp says:

    Your post doesn’t say anything about “my girl.” But it does say a lot about some kind of nefarious grand conspiracy involving John Boehner, Lindsey Graham, Congressman Mike Roger (and his wife!) and Nancy Pelosi.)

    I think we need to start yet another congressional Benghazi committee to look into this.

  31. Barbara says:

    I admit the attachments are long, but you should read the last one. The final report written by The Citizens Commission on Benghazi is quite damning. Most of the authors are distinguished military personnel.

    It is very clear that Obama, Clinton, State, the DOD, CIA, military command staff, and senior members of Congress betrayed American principles, armed terrorists, covered up illegal arm sales, refused to defend American personnel when they were attacked in Benghazi, and then colluded to stall the investigation into these events.. Their dereliction of duty is stunning.

  32. nyp says:

    There you go. A betrayal by the President, the Secretary of State, the CIA, senior members of the armed services and the joint Congressional leadership.

    None dare call it treason.

  33. Bill says:

    Thanks for all the links. Gives me a lot of reading to do. But, “knowing” and being able to object, stop or even disclose might be another subject. I’ll try to do my homework with the materials you provided.

  34. Rincon says:

    I thank you as well. Seems like I keep peeling back the layers of this onion.

  35. Rincon says:

    Looks like I’ll have to temper my remark until I check a little further. These links are all from conservative organizations, w2hich are often dedicated to trashing liberals. Because of my experience with these groups and their counterparts on the left, I must reserve judgement for now.

  36. Steve says:

    Rincon, you can’t say that about me. When I place links, they are usually from sources opposite my own political lean.

    Such as the NPR source that had you breathing heavy and over the top verklempt the other day.

    I grew up in Massachusetts, forgive my sarcasm!

  37. Barbara says:

    Rincon – It has been reported by several media sources, NY Times, Rueters, etc. It is the so called “conservative” sources that have made the link that top Congressional officials, including Republicans, were briefed on the gun running. Since this was a violation of law and an impeachable offense, the gang of 8 must have signed off on the operation as well. Otherwise, this would have been the smoking gun that would have finished both Hillary and Obama. Instead Republicans have done nothing but stall and delay the so-called Benghazi hearings. Gowdy’s final report, I don’t believe, mentioned anything about the gun running operation. (I could be wrong as I have not read the report in it’s entirety. It is 800 pages after all.)

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/62568/CIA-Gun-running-Qatar-Libya-Syria

    A New York Times report from 30th March 2011 reveals that the CIA had been active in Libya “for weeks”, to “gather information for [NATO] airstrikes, and to contact and ‘vet’ the rebels battling “Gaddafi’s forces”. The New York Times report also states that Obama had signed a presidential finding in the weeks previous, which gave authority to the CIA to arm and fund the rebels. Furthermore, the Independent revealed in March 2011 that Obama had requested Saudi Arabia supply arms to the Libyan militants. Obama had also given his blessing for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to ship arms into Benghazi, urging them to supply non-US manufactured arms to avert suspicion – in violation of the No-Fly Zone and arms embargo he helped to enforce, and all in total violation of the US Constitution and International Law.

  38. Rincon says:

    From the Washington Post:

    “Members of the Republican Party have made the Benghazi disaster even more difficult to comprehend by advancing a series of bizarre conspiracy theories intended to besmirch the Obama administration. At first, they charged the White House with whitewashing a terrorist attack, then moved on to even more outlandish claims of a stand-down of military aid to the besieged facility or claims that the CIA was using Benghazi for running guns to Syria.

    Now, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by outgoing Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and with Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) as ranking minority member, has published a sober report after a two-year investigation. The report looks primarily at the performance of the intelligence community, but it also concludes that many of the Republican accusations are simply not true.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/benghazi-debunked/2014/11/29/876ff67e-751f-11e4-bd1b-03009bd3e984_story.html

    Of course, this was a House committee, so it could conceivably be part of a coverup. Do we have any information as to whose word we’re taking regarding the alleged gun running? So far, all I’ve found is quotes from some Libyan whose name is unfamiliar Is there an Oliver North here? Even with him testifying, no one could convict Reagan. How is this different?

    I also wonder how many accusations with gossamer thin evidence have to be made before we all conclude the boy is crying wolf.

  39. Barbara says:

    Of course, this was a House committee, so it could conceivably be part of a coverup…

    Let’s see. This House committee was chaired by Mike Rogers whose wife Kristi Rogers was Vice
    Chairman of the Board of Aegis Defense Services, who secured a 10 Billion contract from the Department of State/Bureau of Diplomatic Security Worldwide Protective Services.

    “Aegis has been operating in Libya since February 2011,” noted an Aegis Advisory intelligence report aimed at corporate clients. The report, marked “Confidential,” notes the company’s ability to provide “proprietary information [and] expert knowledge from our country team based in Tripoli.” Security was part of the Aegis package, too. “Aegis has extensive links in Libya which can be leveraged quickly to ensure safe passage,” the report noted. In 2012, Al Jazeera reported that Aegis was hunting bigger game in the country, “seeking a $5 billion contract to guard Libya’s vast and porous borders.”

    For a more complete vetting of this conflict of interest (at the least) see…

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/17/unraveling-benghazi-is-mike-rogers-part-of-the-problem/?print=1

  40. Rincon says:

    While I agree that even the appearance of dishonesty or a conflict of interest is wrong, that is a far cry from claiming there was a gun running conspiracy a la Ronald Reagan. There are 22 members of this committee. Does anyone have any dirt on the other 21? A lack of hard evidence doesn’t make something untrue, but there are about as many conspiracy theories in this country as there are people. I am hesitant to leap at this one without more evidence.

    According to Wikipedia, “The Daily Caller is a politically conservative American news and opinion website” In general, I consider conservative or liberal publications to be suspect. Would you accept without question an article by Greenpeace about global warming?

  41. Barbara says:

    Rincon, what do you accept as fact about the US involvement in Lybia?

  42. Rincon says:

    What I’ve read in the Economist, the New York Times, Time Magazine, etc. I also have a tendency to believe generally reputable sources such as NASA, NOAA, Wikipedia, nonpartisan think tanks (slightly less trustworthy) and peer reviewed journals. I even tend to believe the CBS news, NPR and the BBC. Even Fox News can usually be trusted not to lie outright, but they can be depended on, as can MSNBC and the networks to a lesser extent, to conveniently leave out critical information or to devote more time to stories that fit their views. I don’t believe blatantly partisan or sources with a commercial interest in a story. I find too many lies and obfuscations on a regular basis from these.

  43. Barbara says:

    That’s fine, but my question was not who you consider credible, but what opinion have you formed (from whatever sources) as to the US involvement in Lybia? Events do not happen in a vacuum. What transpired in Lybia prior to the attack on our consulate, why were the CIA and Amb. Stevens in Bengahzi?

  44. Rincon says:

    I have only a best guess. I suspect the CIA was being used in an attempt to accurately assess the situation in Libya. Eyes and ears are still a lot better than drones for gathering information. The consulate was attacked as were 15 or so others in the past 20 or so years. The attacking force was large and was able to overwhelm the security. Something in there about the man in charge of the team a mile or two away not accepting repeated phone calls, which delayed their response. Some of the group of Americans were unable to reach the so called safe area in time. I don’t know why that was the case. Hillary termed the attack a response to the movie. I call that part of the fog of war until proven otherwise since I can think of no logical reason why that explanation would have benefited her had it been accepted by all.

  45. Barbara says:

    There are many source documents now available that were obtained as the result of court orders that the government sought to hide. Additionally, even your previously referenced liberal sources have published articles detailing the Obama’s administration’s actions in the Middle East and African countries to facilitate regime change to elements of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    March 17, 2011: The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1973 authorizing an international response to the Libyan civil war. The resolution creates a no-fly zone over Libya, strengthens an arms embargo and allows forcible inspection of suspected weapons trafficking ships and planes traveling to the country.

    In violation of this UN Resolution, Obama issued a Presidential Finding that authorized U.S. support to the Libyan rebels. “It’s fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons
    into Libya, we probably could. We’re looking at all our options at this point,” President Obama
    told ABC News at the time.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/africa/weapons-sent-to-libyan-rebels-with-us-approval-fell-into-islamist-hands.html?_r=1

    Obama and the Clinton State Department were complicit in arming jihadis in Lybia in violation of our Constitution and International law.

  46. Bill says:

    With all due respect was that really a best guess? It looked a bit like spin. You “suspect” the CIA was being used to “assess”? Huh? Eyes and ears?

    We knew what the situation was in Libya. Other countries had already left. We stayed. Why? We continued to do so although our Ambassador issued plea after plea for reinforcement stressing the dangers.

    What are you referring to when you say “…the consulate was attacked as were 15 or so others in the past 20 or so years.” What point are you trying to make? That there was danger? That we should have left? That we should have anticipated an attack? That we should have beefed up security?

    The record is absolutely clear that the there had been repeated messages to the State Department citing the danger to the Consulate and the personnel. Repeated pleas for additional security were made to the State Department.

    There has never been a coherent explanation by the U.S. Government why those pleas were ignored. The only “explanation” I heard was Hillary saying that those messages “never reached” her desk.’

    You said that you would attribute Hillary’s calling the attack a response to the “movie”. You attributed her doing so “…part of the fog of war…”. In your words, “…since I can think of no logical reason why that explanation would have benefited her…”. That is a curious way to describe what should have been an honest assessment and honest characterization by a government official of a hostile attack on U. S. Soil and U. S. government employees.

    It wasn’t honest but it was the “official line” of the Obama Administration. Remember? The Arab Spring was good. The U. S. Libyan policy was a mode. There was no such thing as radical Muslims because that description was stricken from the Executive branch of government’s lexicon.

    There had been a movie made that was deemed offensive. That movie was not done by or with the cooperation and consent of the U. S. Government. It id however, serve as a cover for the failures of the Administration.

    It was a false narrative repeated up and down the administration line. So when the Ambassador to the U. N. Susan Rice was called upon, she announced to the world that the attack on Benghazi was in response to a movie, Obama, Hillary and Susan all knew it was a lie designed to cover ineptitude.

    \”The consulate was attacked AS WERE 15 OR SO OTHERS IN THE PAST___

  47. Rincon says:

    I do not condone the President’s actions. He has, as has every commander in chief in recent years, been micromanaging world trouble spots instead of doing what is best. Stay out of it and stop funding terrorism by not buying foreign oil. I am saying that Benghazi was not dissimilar to many other attacks we’ve experienced over the decades and that it’s certainly possible that Clinton acted with reasonable judgement. Conservatives are constantly assaulting any liberal position with innuendo and faux facts. They cry wolf so often that I don’t believe them anymore.

    Barbara’s link is worthwhile and shows the Obama administration doing what administrations have been doing since I was a boy: Monkeying around in other countries’ business in an effort to micromanage the world. The Shah of Iran is a good, although aged example. What I don’t see is solid evidence of the alleged gun running.

    I don’t really see where my “best guess” can be proven wrong. You certainly haven’t explained how Hillary would have benefited from the movie explanation taken at face value and, with the information Conservatives claim she had at the time, how she or anyone else would have dreamed that it would be accepted as the final explanation. I also find it interesting that all have ignored Trump’s 15 scandals that I presented, but are obsessed with Benghazi. But hey, he may be a black sheep, but he’s on your team. Can’t fault a teammate.

    I mentioned a columnist for Time who said that security decisions for State Department offices in foreign country are rarely dealt with by the Secretary of State personally. True or false? The buck stops with Hillary, well maybe Obama, but I can’t see nailing her to a cross because some flunky didn’t set up the security arrangements the way that Conservatives, with the gift of 20:20 hindsight, think it should have been.

    While you have the Conservative talking points pretty well nailed down, I don’t see much confirmation of the Conservative story.

    Oh yeah, what was I trying to say, “…the consulate was attacked as were 15 or so others in the past 20 or so years.”? The point was that this was hardly the first time a U’S. facility has been attacked overseas. Deaths of U.S. personnel do not equal malfeasance. If it did, Reagan would have been impeached for the deaths of 63 people, including 17 Americans when the U.S. embassy was bombed in 1983. Back then, things were far less partisan.

  48. Barbara says:

    See the following links concerning gun running in Lybia:

    Risen, James, Mark Mazzetti, and Michael S. Schmidt, “U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands,” The New York Times, December 5, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/africa/weapons-sentto-
    libyan-rebels-with-us-approval-fell-into-islamist-hands.html?_r=0

    “Security Council imposes sanctions on Libyan authorities in bid to stem violent repression,” UN News Centre, 26 February 2011. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37633

    Solomon, John and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, “Clinton State Department approved U.S. weapons shipment to Libya despite ban,” The Washington Times, October 20, 2015. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/20/hillaryclinton-
    state-department-approved-us-weapo/?page=all

  49. Rincon says:

    Sorry to create a problem, but two of the three links are not active. The middle one describes the UN sanctions on the Libyan government. Seems to me that the U.S. sent arms to Libyan rebels, which would not have violated the sanctions so far as I know. I also believe the primary bone of contention about gun running was the assertion that the arms were routed to Syria through Libya.

  50. Rincon says:

    Thanks, Steve. From your link:
    “The Qatari assistance to fighters viewed as hostile by the United States demonstrates the Obama administration’s continuing struggles in dealing with the Arab Spring uprisings, as it tries to support popular protest movements while avoiding American military entanglements. Relying on surrogates allows the United States to keep its fingerprints off operations, but also means they may play out in ways that conflict with American interests.

    “To do this right, you have to have on-the-ground intelligence and you have to have experience,” said Vali Nasr,…”

    We agree that meddling in other countries’ affairs, which the Obama administration is doing in this case, is generally not a good policy. The problem is fear, which is perpetuated by Conservatives. If you had been in control, what would you have done? 1) Nothing, 2) What Obama attempted, or 3) Bring in our troops. In any of these cases, Conservatives would have roundly criticized Obama unless there was an admirable result. But when Bush made one of the greatest sets of mistakes in modern military history and conservatives gave him a pass. With Obama, they demand nothing less than perfection and complain endlessly when that standard is not attained. The double standard is blatant.

    This article does however, answer the question as to why the CIA was needed in Libya, negating one of the criticisms of Benghazi.

  51. Steve says:

    Gonna say it again.

    I never supported the invasion of Iraq. Never gave the GW admin a break on it.

    Stop with the false “conservatives bad” arguments. It only weakens your arguments.

  52. Rincon says:

    Congratulations for having the brains at the time to see that the invading Iraq was a very poor choice. I certainly realize that not all Conservatives are the same, but I generalize in the interest of expediency. Unfortunately, most of those with views similar to yours supported the invasion. I still remember Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin railing on incessantly about the unpatriotic liberals that dared to question the wisdom of their Commander in Chief. I believe Fox News did the same, but I can no longer remember enough to be sure. It is true though, that many conservatives with a libertarian frame of mind were against the invasion..

  53. Steve says:

    Funny, I don’t listen to Limbaugh. Don’t subscribe to cable TV (no FOX “news”) or Hannity. I had to look up the name “Levin” nope, don’t do AM radio either.
    My thoughts are mine based on main stream media and main stream news outlets.
    I choose this blog because Tom was the editor of the RJ during the best run in it’s history. That deserves respect, he had a great team and ran a tight ship. It was obvious in the product. Just as it’s obvious in the current product, quality leadership is missing.

    As for Iraq, it never made sense to invade since our target was in the mountains of Afghanistan at the time. I could see it them even though many politicians (on both sides) voted for the invasion….including one current former Secretary of State running for President now.

  54. Bill says:

    Good move. When in doubt, reach for the partisan label. Blame the other party/candidate of past acts if misfeasance/malfeasance as a defense to your side/candidate errors of commission or omission.

    Doesn’t matter if as a citizen you should be outraged. Instead make an accusation against some other group or person as a rationale/defense/excuse for the act or omission of your party/candidate or cause even though you are defending gross ineptitude or dishonesty.

    I am sure that the wordsmith’s have a name for this tactic or perhaps psychologists can explain it more fully.

    As for me, I always thought the world’s oldest and lamest explanation is that the present course of conduct should be accepted because others did it or permitted it to be done. I never accepted that explanation from my children when they were trying to justify something by explaining that Tommy did it too or Tommy’s parents let him do something. If I wouldn’t accept it from kids whom I love but were still immature in their thought processes I sure as hell won’t accept it from public servants who are supposed to be honest and competent public servants.

    By the way, on a topic of current interest, are you buying the latest stories about how the payment of $400 million to Iran had nothing to do with releasing our hostages? Or how about what Hillary said Comey said?

  55. Bill says:

    What criticism of Benghazi does this negate? It seems that if anything, it makes the criticism more valid.

  56. Rincon says:

    In answer to your last sentence, it does not negate any criticism of Benghazi. Read carefully. I specifically said I do not condone Obama’s actions in Libya. Instead, I needled those of you who did and still do condone the stupidity of the Bush administration. Pointing out your severe bias is all. In my opinion, you hang Clinton on a cross on a highly questionable basis, but give Bush a free pass when Bush’s action was more egregious and had far more devastating consequences. Pointing out this inconsistency is valid.

    It sounds like according to you though, inconsistent behavior by the people writing here is fine so long as there is a short time separation. How short or long is acceptable, you haven’t said. Two years? Five?

  57. Bill says:

    The trouble of generalizing, for expediency or any other reason is that it is basically profiling, If not profiling then it is labeling. To do so is wrong. At least that is the indignant roar of the media. We are told constantly that that is why we have to body search 80 year old ladies and infants at airports to show that we are fair and impartial in identifying potential terrorists. We are told that police have no business questioning or stopping citizens in high crime areas because they suspect gang involvement, drugs or weapons. And when those citizens run or resist, we assume that the police were wrong.

    Since our leaders and the media have told us that it is wrong, at least as to certain categories of individuals or certain groups, I am shocked that you would nevertheless engage in such conduct.

    Be careful. That can lead to believing all Scots are frugal, all Jews are avaricious, all Latinos like spicy food, all Muslims are terrorists. all Blacks have rhythm and all Conservatives are racist warmongers. I guess prejudice and bias can have many faces.

  58. Rincon says:

    I think you and I are on the same side of the political correctness issue.

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