Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.Clearly, the news here is that the House report concluded that no one in the Obama Administration, the CIA, or the military did anything wrong. Bear in mind that Republicans have been screaming "BENGHAZEEEEEE!!!!" for years, in particular aiming their attacks at Hillary Clinton. The AP article noted that Republicans accused then-Secretary of State Clinton of everything from ordering a military response team that could have prevented American deaths in Benghazi to "stand down," to a coverup after the fact, and much more. So this report's finding of no wrongdoing is a pretty big deal.
Please read below the fold to see how Fox News covered this story.
It also said that no order was given by the military to "stand down" in responding to try to save the four Americans killed in the attacks, a claim that Republicans have made based on the account of a member of the security team in Benghazi that day.
Coming six months after Speaker John A. Boehner created a separate special committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks, the report raised questions about what that panel might uncover that the Intelligence Committee?whose chairman, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, is leaving Congress?and the other investigations missed.Does this mean they're finally going to let it go? Of course not! Because the Benghazi committee to (maybe) end all Benghazi committees is still at work. That would be the $3.3 million special committee created by Boehner and headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Gowdy says, in essence, thanks but no thanks to Intelligence Chairman Hal Rogers. "It will aid the select committee's comprehensive investigation to determine the full facts of what happened in Benghazi, Libya, before, during and after the attack and contribute toward our final, definitive accounting of the attack on behalf of Congress," he said in a statement after the report was released.
In other words, yeah, we're still going to keep spending money on this because that's what we do. There's no other way they can keep talking about Benghazi and keep the conspiracy theory going through 2016. That's what matters the most.
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But now "the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus," one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave. [?]
Even before the announcement of Mr. Hagel?s removal, Obama officials were speculating on his possible replacement. At the top of the list are Michèle Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a former officer with the Army?s 82nd Airborne; and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense.Hagel and the White House haven't been on the same page on ISIS since this summer, when Obama had likened the terrorist group to a junior varsity basketball team and Hagel called it an "'imminent threat to every interest we have,' adding, 'This is beyond anything that we?ve seen.'" His other issues articulating administration policy to the press have been ongoing problems for the White House, the Times reports.
As a replacement Reed might be among the easiest to confirm under a Republican Senate, as senators generally extend more courtesy toward colleagues. However, that tradition was broken by Senate Republicans when they filibustered Hagel, the first time a president's pick for defense secretary was blocked.
? House: It's no secret that the DCCC is trying to convince several unseated incumbents and other unsuccessful candidates to run again in 2016. As those would-be contenders mull their plans, here's a statistic from Nathan Gonzales at Roll Call that should give them some hope: More than 40 percent of this year's House freshman class lost at least one race sometime in their careers.
There's a lot of interesting information in Gonzales' piece. For instance, Democratic Rep.-elect Brad Ashford ran for Nebraska's 2nd District all the way back in 1994 but lost the Republican primary. Republican Mike Bishop of MI-08 also lost his 2010 primary for attorney general and 2012 race for Oakland County prosecutor, but in 2014 he won the GOP primary and general without much trouble.
NY-01's incoming Republican representative Lee Zeldin is another one-time loser, unsuccessfully challenging Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop for this seat back in 2008. Back then Zeldin was pretty much a Some Dude and he predictably lost to Bishop 58-42 in the Democratic wave. However, Zeldin was elected to the state Senate two years later and emerged as a much more formidable contender in 2014. The district didn't change much in the intervening six years but a stronger campaign from Zeldin, the Republican wave, and Bishop's ethics problems led to a 10-point GOP victory this time.
Gonzales also takes a look at this year's crop of new governors and finds that four lost a race in the past. The most interesting is Republican Larry Hogan of Maryland, who lost the primary for a House race all the way back in 1981. The whole article is a good reminder that while a political loss can be embarrassing and demoralizing, good candidates can bounce back.
But zOMG, teh GunFAIL! What a weekend.
Well, at least there's still Benghazi!
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We broadcast the show from the underground bunker, safe from the Chaos in the Streets! Sen. Tom Coburn was the first to offer a wink at the idea of violence, but KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach wasn't going to be out-crazied. Greg Dworkin brought us a few immigration news selections, segued to a polling roundup, a legal analysis of the president's plan, and a fascinating series of Tweets on the historical reality of (at least one example of) Anglo immigration. Speaking of which, TPM's Ben Railton had more factual background on that topic. Finally: Armando joins us for an extended discussion of the collapse of the Republican defunding strategy.
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Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point