10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
AP Wire
May 12, 2014

1. PRO-RUSSIAN INSURGENTS SAY EASTERN UKRAINE APPROVES SOVEREIGNTY

But with no international election monitors in place during voting, it was all but impossible to verify the insurgents' claims about the referendum results.

2. 'TOO TERRIFYING FOR WORDS'

That's how Sarah Lawan, 19, characterizes her abduction by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. Lawan escaped, but 276 other girls remain captive amid international outrage.

3. HOW FIGHTING IN ANBAR HAS HURT IRAQ'S ECONOMY

Five months of battles between government forces and Islamic militants in the western crossroads province has forced businesses to close, disrupted shipping and stopped oil exports to Jordan.

4. REPORT: US GOV'T FAILED TO INSPECT OIL, GAS WELLS

Congressional investigators say thousands of the wells across the country are potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental damage.

5. WHY NFL'S RAMS MIGHT BE A GOOD FIT FOR MICHAEL SAM

As the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team, Sam will practice with three former Missouri teammates, and will have fans who rooted for him when he was in college.

6. HOT AIR BALLOON ACCIDENT VICTIMS MOURNED

Richmond women's basketball associate head coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis were killed in a fiery hot-air balloon crash along with the pilot, Daniel T. Kirk.

7. WHO INTENDS TO APPEAL SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RULING

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will ask the state's Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to overturn a 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

8. WHAT POLICE ARE ADDING TO THEIR TO CRISIS NEGOTIATION ARSENAL

Law enforcement officers are increasingly called upon to defuse violent, unpredictable situations with the help of texting.

9. FEDS PROSECUTE RURAL WASHINGTON POT GROWERS

While Washington state has legalized marijuana use, an upcoming federal trial for five people in Spokane suggests not all is OK with weed in the state.

10. STERLING'S WIFE WANTS TO KEEP STAKE IN CLIPPERS

Shelley Sterling says she will fight to retain her share of the team, even as LeBron James wants everyone in the family out.

Comments

Lanivan

#11. Let's compare Obama's Benghazi to Reagan's Benghazi.

Horrific events unfolded in Beirut in 1983 and 1984 that killed hundreds of military and embassy personnel due to lapses in security and delays in implementation of more stringent controls.

"Around dawn on October 23, 1983, I was in Beirut, Lebanon, when a suicide bomber drove a truck laden with the equivalent of twenty-one thousand pounds of TNT into the heart of a U.S. Marine compound, killing two hundred and forty-one servicemen.

Six months earlier, militants had bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, too, killing sixty-three more people, including seventeen Americans. Among the dead were seven C.I.A. officers, including the agency’s top analyst in the Middle East, an immensely valuable intelligence asset, and the Beirut station chief.

In March of 1984, three months after Congress issued its report, militants struck American officials in Beirut again, this time kidnapping the C.I.A.’s station chief, Bill Buckley.

In September of 1984, for the third time in eighteen months, jihadists bombed a U.S. government outpost in Beirut yet again."

These terrorist attacks amounted to an epic fail on the part of Reagan and his State Dept over the course of almost a year. Was there an investigation?

Yes. One bipartisan investigation. But the comparison also highlights one very important epic fail of the current multiple investigations. "If you compare the costs of the Reagan Administration’s serial security lapses in Beirut to the costs of Benghazi, it’s clear what has really deteriorated in the intervening three decades. It’s not the security of American government personnel working abroad. It’s the behavior of American congressmen at home."

http://www.newyorker.com/online/...

Benghazi Investigations ordered by the special House Committee led by Darryl Issa:

FBI
Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight House committee special, separate investigations
FOIA special requests
State Dept Accountability investigations
Homeland Security investigations
Intensive investigative reporting

And now, in May 2014, 20 months after the actual event and 20 months full of investigations, House Republicans call for yet another special investigation.

Am I bad for thinking this is about as bogus waste of time, energy, and taxpayer money of a sickening witch hunt as we've seen in this current toxic political environment?

Vladtheimp

Am I bad for thinking this is about as bogus waste of time, energy, and taxpayer money of a sickening witch hunt as we've seen in this current toxic political environment?

Of course not - you are simply doing what you always do - gloss over every inconvenient truth in order to ensure that the complicity of President Obama (and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) in the cover-up they engineered of what happened in Benghazi is kept in the dark.

In the Beruit tragedy (and both Beruit and Benghazi were tragedies), President Reagan quickly assumed full responsibility for the security failures that led to the attack; a bipartisan House Committee set out to find the causes of the tragedy, and the Republican members of the Committee made no effort to obstruct the Committee's investigation nor to protect President Reagan.

President Reagan directed the military to conduct a thorough review and all employees of the Executive Branch cooperated with the investigations both of the Congressional Committee or the Military. There was no effort to deflect blame from the military officers involved, all the way up the chain of command, and useful recommendations and changes resulted from these investigations.

Fast forward to the politics of President Obama and members of his Administration: Even though it was clear immediately to the people actually at Benghazi during the attacks, including the top State Department official there and the CIA, that this was a terrorist attack, that conclusion would have exposed the Obama lie that Al Qaeda was decimated and on the run just before Obama's election for a second term, so it had to be discredited. They sent Susan Rice, who had no connection with Benghazi on 5 Sunday TV news shows to claim the attack was really a spontaneous demonstration against an unknown YouTube video. This was repeated by President Obama and Secretary Clinton on numerous occasions, the latter unforgivably when meeting families of the slain men at the airport awaiting return of their remains. The White House denied it had any input in Susan Rice's talking points.

The State Department slow-walked the Congressional requests for documents, failed to turn over some documents while claiming otherwise, redacted documents until they were meaningless, and, we now know, played games with the security classifications of the documents.

Then BOOM! A lawsuit by Judicial Watch caused the State Department to release un-redacted documents to them and the conspiracy started to unravel.

"They include a newly declassified email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”  Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt."

"The documents were released Friday as result of a June 21, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Department of State (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00951)) to gain access to documents about the controversial talking points used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for a series of appearances on television Sunday news programs on September 16, 2012.  Judicial Watch had been seeking these documents since October 18, 2012."

The Rhodes email was sent on sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, at 8:09 p.m. with the subject line:  “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”  The documents show that the “prep” was for Amb. Rice’s Sunday news show appearances to discuss the Benghazi attack.
The document lists as a “Goal”: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”
Rhodes returns to the “Internet video” scenario later in the email, the first point in a section labeled “Top-lines”:
[W]e’ve made our views on this video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence. And we are working to make sure that people around the globe hear that message.
Among the top administration PR personnel who received the Rhodes memo were White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.
The Rhodes communications strategy email also instructs recipients to portray Obama as “steady and statesmanlike” throughout the crisis. Another of the “Goals” of the PR offensive, Rhodes says, is “[T]o reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.” He later includes as a PR “Top-line” talking point:" http://www.judicialwatch.org/pre...

I'm pleased you brought up the latest liberal attempt to smear the investigations of Benghazi - it was the perfect opportunity to set the record straight on the massive Obama cover-up of the Benghazi situation, and, has been noted before, it's all about the cover-up, just like Watergate. It also demonstrates the difference between how a real president takes responsibility versus Obama, who blames everything and everybody but himself.

And the costs of the investigations? The Obama Family vacations cost the taxpayers far more than the salaries of government employees involved in the investigations, Thank You.

Wingmaster

Whammo!

Brilliant and accurate rebuttal.

Lanivan

This is brilliant - another Tom Tomorrow masterpiece:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.p...

Lanivan

So let's review:

Under Reagan, within 17 months, there were 3 attacks, 2 on the same US embassy, in which 260 Americans were killed. The first one was a surprise, the others could and should have been prevented. There was just 1 bipartisan investigation which found a serious breach of security protocol from the top on down. No calls for impeachment or any other punishment to Reagan.

Fast forward to Obama/Benghazi. 20 months later, Repubs have now accomplished the ultimate embarrassment of continuous "special investigations" that have found NO evidence of White House wrong-doing or cover-up, with calls for impeachment and other insanely irrational gibberish. Talk about glossing over!

Wingmaster

Reread Vlad's post. You obviously have reading comprehension issues. You can clearly see the difference in how these two presidents conducted themselves during crisis situations.

The truth of what happened in Benghazi will come out. No matter how much the left and this White House tries to cover it up. It is just plain sick that they would try to mislead the citizens while four Americans were in a fire fight for their lives....and they stood by and did nothing. Obama/Hillary's made a calculation on their political future which overrode their duty to protect the lives of their countrymen! Sick!

Lanivan

"The truth of what happened in Benghazi will come out."

The Department of Defense has spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to fulfill requests from Congress’s six investigations into Benghazi, according to a letter from the Pentagon to a top-ranking Democrat.

“The Department has devoted thousands of man-hours to responding to the numerous and often repetitive congressional requests regarding Benghazi,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King said in a letter to Congress dated earlier this month. That estimate includes “time devoted to approximately 50 congressional hearings, briefings, and interviews which the Department has led or participated in.” While no total calculation has been completed yet, King estimated that total cost of compliance with Congress’ requests to the Pentagon and other agencies runs “into the millions of dollars.”

And that's just the Pentagon. At what point is it determined that there is sufficient information, and who makes that determination? At what point is this a colossal waste? What is just pain sick is the obsession with......Beng$zi!!!!

Wingmaster

The administration and the left (and one progressive centrist)are like a bunch of spoiled brats. Pi$$ and moan when they have to answer questions after question because they are spinning, deflecting and shading the truth.

The game now is to insert into the public arena that this is costing millions and man hours and, and and...what a bunch of BS. (Shiny object alert)

If they are that concern quit hiding and stonewalling information.

Time to own up. The election is over...why are we not getting the whole truth? There is some culpability here for the death of Americans and Obama and Hillary are scared to death if it comes out. The Dem party is in the same boat as it will damage their brand for years.

This house of cards will fall Lanny. You might want to go back to your "political roots" before you get seriously embarrassed when the truth comes out....lol

Lanivan

This Benghazi thing brings to mind a story. When I was a young girl, I convinced myself, because I wanted one so badly, that I was going to get a pony for Christmas. Christmas came, the fam opened gifts - no mention of a pony. I slipped off and started walking out to the barn. I was sure Santa had left the pony there. I still remember the shock and disbelief when my family hollered out, asking me why I was out in the snow and cold, and when I said I was going to find my pony, they laughed and said - there was no pony in the barn, get back in the house.

I never left my political roots. It left me - guess I'm just too old-school for you neo-right-wingers.

Tri-cities realist

When the POTUS has a genuine goal of determining the cause and what can be done to prevent it in the future by fully cooperating with the investigation and instructing his administration to do the same by not obstructing, redacting, etc., Congress doesn't need umpteen investigations. That was the case with Reagan. Your real beef should be with Obama and his administration. If they wanted the investigations to end, they should have been transparent from the beginning. Remember the "most transparent administration in history" what a crock!

Lanivan

Senate report: Attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi could have been prevented

The Senate Intelligence Committee says the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was preventable, but the State Department says there was "no specific threat."

A long-delayed Senate Intelligence Committee report released Wednesday faulted both the State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in 2012.

The bipartisan report laid out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on a diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the city. It said the State Department failed to increase security at its mission despite warnings, and blamed intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military.

The committee determined that the U.S. military command in Africa didn’t know about the CIA annex and that the Pentagon didn’t have the resources in place to defend the State Department compound in an emergency.

“The attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya — to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets — and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission,” the panel said in a statement.

The report found no evidence of the kind of political coverup that Republicans have long alleged. Much of it recounted now-familiar facts about deteriorating security conditions in Benghazi in 2012, a year after the fall of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi. It filled in new details about the relationship between the State Department compound and the CIA annex about a mile away, and described the concern among many intelligence specialists about the growing potency of Islamist militants in the city." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wo...

Pretty much reads like the report on the three Reagan Beirut embassy and military outpost attacks, within 17 months, that killed 260 Americans.

Tri-cities realist

"The Senate Intelligence Committee says the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was preventable, but the State Department says there was "no specific threat." "

This attack occurred on Sept 11, and yet the State Department saw no need for increased security, because there was "no specific threat."

I didn't notice any outrage on your part for this rediculous explanation from the State Department. The buck stops with Madam Secretary, or her boss. But what difference does it make?

Wingmaster

Truthfully answers take time with this latest bunch of self serving politicians.

The families that lost love ones deserve answers and the country needs to have the truth.

CYA of ones political future is not a becoming attribute in our leaders and it is extremely dangerous to ALL of our futures

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