Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Benghazi Accountability Review Board

UNCLASSIFIED - I have to wonder if there is a classified document the public won't see for another ten to twenty years.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -- George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense (1905) 

Pursuant to Title III of the Omnibus Diplomatic and Antiterrorism Act of 1986, 22 U.S.C. § 4831 et seq., (the “Act”),

Below is the law that dictates the responsibility for the assessment conducted in regard to the deaths of Americans at Benghazi, Libya. I am not covering it here.

22 U.S.C. (click here)
United States Code, 2010 Edition

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened an Accountability Review Board (ARB) for Benghazi to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11-12, 2012, killings of four U.S. government personnel, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya.  A series of attacks on September 11-12, 2012 involving arson, small-arms and machine-gun fire, and use of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), grenades and mortars, focused on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, as well as U.S. personnel en route between the two facilities.  In addition, the attacks severely wounded two U.S. personnel, injured three Libyan contract guards and resulted in the destruction and abandonment of both facilities – the U.S. Special Mission compound (SMC) and Annex....
All five of the candidates did a really great job. They distinguished themselves from each other, but, they also made comments to say they were all Democrats. I look forward to the next debate and I'll be commenting about these candidates and their policies.

The policies and personalities span from very liberal or progressive to conservative. It is impressive Democrats have that range. There are of course no minorities on the stage and that is disappointing. But, that is not to say every candidate does not have our minorities in their spectrum of issues. 

There was mention of Native Americans. That rarely if ever comes up. I have never heard a question about the condition of our Native Americans and policies that could help. We have native Americans in Alaska that have lost their lands because of the climate crisis.

I appreciate all the focus on the financial sector and the needs of young families and young people and their education. Each issue is important. But, the climate crisis is still not where is should be. It is a very serious issue. South Carolina is devastated. It can't be put off as a serious issue to match the end of wars. Senator Sanders made a very interesting observation in that the billionaire fossil fuel industry is in denial of the plight we face with our common home, Earth. The industry is able to ignore the issue because of Citizen's United.

I am proud of every one of the candidates. I look forward to the next one and I hope my perspective will focus the issues based on the positions the candidates have brought forward. Decisions about the Democratic nominee is important and we can fine tune the differences in the candidates for the primary.
Each candidate has definitive policy positions. They know what they would do. They are a very good field of candidates and there is a sixth candidate we are not hearing from. I realize CNN has their standards, but, compared to the GOP circus we can put one more candidate on that stage.

Lawrence Lessig is already announced.
Democratic candidates smile. 

They make for great notes. I've got topics for Sunday Night until the next debate. I think they are great.

Hillary Clinton has put a lot of policy out on her website and that was a lot of work. Everyone should review that and that is me as well. 

Democratic candidates don't wrestle with their podiums like some other candidates. 
Former Senator Jim Webb is not getting a fair amount of time. We don't hear enough from former Senator Chafee either. He is a very honest man. These men need to be heard from. They have valuable things to say.
Wow. They are all exceptional people.

I cannot believe Senator Sanders was the only one that stated climate change was a threat to our country.

They are all great people. We have a good party. They know policy and now it is applied. Former Senator Webb does not mess around with American military power. He doesn't view it's brevity and it's soldiers frivilously. 

Guns is a tough issue. I think there is a consensus among them how to move forward and bring safety to Americans. 

I like it. It clearly spells Middle Class. He's always been there for us.

The Benghazi Accountability Review Board. (click here)

The only way these things get settled is for me to read stuff.  So, I'm going to read stuff.

A year after the review board findings a complaint was entered by Republicans about the incompetency of the review board.

Well. If there isn't anything to find because the Ambassador died of smoke inhalation, the review will seek to understand IF there was something more to find. It is an opportunity to examine the entire dynamics and we had a dead Ambassador. The country was upset.

September 19, 2015
By Sharyl Attkisson

...According to the official House Oversight Committee report, (click here) the ARB downplayed security decisions made by senior officials at the State Department, especially that of Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy, and instead blamed four subordinates who, in some cases, "had little to no" responsibility for the key events. In some cases, "the ARB correctly identified poor individual decisions while apparently failing to take into account decisions made by more senior [State] Department officials," reads a draft of the report obtained by CBS News. "Such senior-level decisions played an equal if not greater role in the vulnerability of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi."...

Admiral Mullens was on this committee. A man that only retired about a year or so before asked to participate in the investigation. A man that was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is incompetent. Amazing.

So, after the debate tonight I'll start reading stuff.

These were the demonstrators in Turkey regarding the park. They had every right to demonstrate.

The crowd of demonstrators became enormous and Ankara decided to use a water cannon to disperse the demonstrators. It is difficult to point a gun or anything else for that matter if hit with a water cannon.

The USA doesn't employ water canons so it would be odd to consider such a measure to handle angry demonstrators in any country, including Egypt. The country itself is suppose to protect the embassies.

The USA should consider spending monies for established city governments where the embassies are located to have a water canon for the September 11ths that are yet to come. In the case of Benghazi, a water canon would have been effective, but, it has to be in the compound where the soldiers are located in order to carry out disbursement of a crowd.

The power of a water canon is not very different than fire trucks in the USA equipped with such capacity.

Here are the words that no one hears about the four American deaths in Benghazi.

The deaths in Benghazi were an accident of being in a consulate without a fire brigade. That is the truth of the situation. Those that caused the fires are sought by the USA because they did cause the deaths of Americans. But, the four Americans didn't die because SECURITY FAILED. They died because there was no fire personnel or state of the art fire equipment.

THAT IS THE TRUTH. The right wing continues to USE the Benghazi deaths for their political ambitions and that has been since Romney.

Sean Smith was valued by the USA. His safety was important. The intelligence within Libya was blind sided by the anarchy emerging from the removal of Gaddafi.

October 16, 2012
By Josh Rogin

..."First, let me thank everyone (click here) for the outpouring of support and love my family has received in the wake of this tragedy. As the country mourns the death of four great patriots, my family is grieving for a husband and father lost. The amazing tributes to him have given the entire world a glimpse of the man we loved and we are thankful for every kind word," she said. 

"During this time, the official and unofficial support and communications I have experienced with the Department of State and FBI have been free flowing, and I have been satisfied with the level of information I have received. I have no doubt that I will also be made aware of any new facts as they are uncovered throughout the investigations."

"Sean was a wonderful man. He supported the mission of diplomacy and served his country with pride and optimism," said Smith. "We miss him every day."

Heather Smith’s statement can be seen as a reaction to the interview Sean’s mother Pat Smith gave to CNN last week complaining that the Obama administration has not been helpful in keeping her in the loop about what happened to her son.... 

Sean's wife is his next of kin. 

...Woods’s mother Cheryl Croft Bennett is also unhappy with the investigation. She took to her Facebook page last month to criticize the FBI for not getting to Benghazi until almost three weeks after the attack....

...Stevens’s father Jan Stevens told Bloomberg this week that he is more upset with the Romney campaign and that politicizing the tragedy would be "abhorrent." Barbara Doherty, Glen’s mother, also asked the Republican nominee to stop repeating an anecdote about how he met her son once, saying "I don’t trust Mitt Romney."... 

The family that went to Libya to decide for themselves what occurred to their loved ones put themselves directly in the path of danger. There was no way they could ever get to Benghazi and live through it. 

The reason The West got involved with Libya at all was because the people in Benghazi and eastern Libya were under attack by their dictator. The West saved lives. That was suppose to mean something and it did to people like the late Ambassador Stevens. 

The deterioration into militias occurred because the people were afraid of an American backed central government. After the death of the four Americans in Benghazi, there were many assassinations of the country's new leadership. The deaths in Benghazi was the beginning of internal violence. It basically was hatred of Gaddafi that was bubbling up around the country. It was fear that drove the attack. It has been only the past year and even the past 6 months the country seems to be ending the violence internally. 

It happened. The deaths were due to the smoke from the fires. No one was killed specifically. No one expected it. The best of the best didn't expect it. Smoke inhalation. The other were successfully moved to a safe area. It was a tragedy and it is very well spelled out in the original investigation.

My sympathies to the families. 

Is there a South Carolina left?

2 feet of water in about 60 hours is not survivable for any USA infrastructure. This was not a thousand year flood, it was a storm who's physics were never anticipated. This was not a hurricane. It defies any such definition.

Joaquin is a climate crisis storm. No different than twin tornadoes or mountains melting in Colorado or red clay gone with rain where it never was before. Joaquin is a very different kind of storm. It can and will happen again.

October 12, 2015
By Colleen Jenkins

...South Carolina (click here) is reeling from a widespread storm that dumped as many as 2 feet (61 cm) or more of rain in parts of the state this month, killing 19 people in drownings or weather-related traffic crashes and inundating hundreds of homes.
"We are going from a massive response situation to a massive recovery situation," Governor Nikki Haley told a news conference. "This is not going to take us years to come out of this."
About 350,000 people remain under boiled-water notices, Haley said. The flooding caused 27 dam breaches, she said, as well as other problems for local water systems.
More than 300 state-maintained roads and bridges remained shuttered on Monday, according to the state's transportation agency....
CNN is doing a really good job with the content of what is important to Democrats. Richard Trumpka was on and spoke about what the American people face today in pursuing the American Dream. Those views are extremely important and are rarely heard.

The crash investigation of MH-17 is not political. If the USA had a part the investigators are obligated to report the truth and accuracy.

Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, presents the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. The Dutch Safety Board, issuing long-awaited findings on Tuesday of its investigation into the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, is expected to say it was downed by a Russian-made Buk missile but not say who was responsible for firing it. Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey scheduled a separate press conference on Tuesday at which it may attempt to discredit the Safety Board findings. (REUTERS/Michael Kooren) 

A BUK missile brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (click here) last year over eastern Ukraine killing all 298 people on board, the official inquiry into the air disaster concluded on Tuesday (Oct 13).

This crash is a human rights issue, not a war issue. It has nothing to do with the standing of the hard achieved movement to peace in Ukraine.

Gilze-Rijen, Netherlands: Air crash investigators concluded on Tuesday (Oct 13) that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile fired from rebel-held eastern Ukraine last year, killing all 298 people on board.
Even before the highly-anticipated release of the official report on the disaster by a Dutch-led investigation, Russian officials were disputing the findings which are sure to further degrade strained ties between Moscow and the West.
"Flight MH17 crashed as a result of the detonation of a warhead outside the airplane against the left-hand side of the cockpit," the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, Tjibbe Joustra, told a press conference.
"This warhead fits the kind of missile that is installed in the BUK surface-to-air missile system."
While he insisted investigators had not pinned down the exact location of the missile's launch site, maps shown to reporters clearly showed the area near Donetsk held by pro-Russian separatists.
The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile.

The soldiers in eastern Ukraine were helpful. They helped the people of the Netherlands reclaim their loved ones.

The ability to move about for investigators and reclaim as much of the airliner was not inhibited. The people that came to bring home the wreckage and passengers were allowed to do so. That is all appreciated. 

I am sure all involved wish they could turn time back to erase this tragedy out of history. We don't have that luxury.

CNN is excited about this evening and the first Democratic debate.

Everyone went out of their way to get dressed up for today. That is so nice. New hairdos and all sorts of nice touches.

Thank you. It feels good to be regarded as special.

This is Joaquin. I hope NASA determined the 'loft' on that storm.

The top of this storm seems incredibly high and the eye huge.

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly (click here) captured this photo on Oct. 2, 2015, from the International Space Station and wrote on Twitter, "Early morning shot of Hurricane #‎Joaquin‬ from @space_station before reaching ‪#‎Bahamas‬. Hope all is safe. #‎YearInSpace‬."
In addition to the crew Earth observations from the space station, NASA and NOAA satellites are tracking the progress of this powerful storm.
Image Credit: NASA

Last Updated: Oct. 2, 2015

Editor: Sarah Loff

The vertical slice (click here) through Joaquin (bottom image), was acquired on September 29, 2015, with the cloud-profiling radar on the Cloudsat satellite. The instrument sends pulses of energy toward Earth and records the strength of the signals that bounce off ice and water particles.
Dark blues represent areas where clouds and raindrops reflected the strongest signal back to the satellite radar. These areas had the heaviest precipitation and the largest water droplets. The blue line in the center of the image is the freezing line; ice particles formed above it, raindrops below it.
For reference, the top image shows a natural-color view of the storm acquired on the same day with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The red line is the south-to-north track that CloudSat took over the storm.
Joaquin is the third hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic season—on track with what forecasters had said would be a quiet season. The outlook delivered in May 2015 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called for a 70 percent chance of a below-average season in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is where Joaguin stalled and leaned into the Gulf. This storm haunts me. It haunts me more than Katrina. I knew what I was looking at, but, Joaquin is different. Its' oscillation and the break out into a Von Karmen vortex is very worrisome. 

Immediately after Joaquin another Von Karman came in from the west coast. The cyclones are many. 

The so called El Nino is bad news and if the dynamics of Joaquin is a result of it; Earth is under severe stresses. This is an El Nino on a hot planet. And the loft of Joaquin in that photo by Scott Kelly is incredible. How high is a storm going to go? The higher the loft the more room there is to expand it's energy. What is that doing to the tropopause and the stratosphere for that matter? Is that where the heat and water vapor is going? 


The reason Preppers are convinced they need to have an underground shelter and armed to fight the zombie apocalypse is due to the fact they consider sun spots an enemy.

The only reason the "Prepper Economy" exists is the reason of wealth. The people that teach Preppers how to survive all odds make a lot of money.

Below is an entry of a picture of an incredible aurora borealis in Finland. It is an incredible display of Earth's gases. Spectacular. That is from a large electromagnetic storm from the sun that happened to come directly at Earth.

Tromso, Norway, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Norway's proximity (click here) to the arctic and clean, fish-filled water make it one of the few places in the world where the Northern Lights and whale sightings occasionally happen at the same time.

And apparently, there's no better place to catch the double feature than the Norwegian island Kvaloya, which translates to "whale island." That's where Harald Albrigtsen was last week when he recorded amazing footage of a group of humpback whales swimming beneath a electric green sky....

Guess what? The lights are still on in Finland. 

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (click here) (@StationCDRKelly) captured this photograph of the green lights of the aurora from the International Space Station on Oct. 7, 2015. Sharing with his social media followers, Kelly wrote, "The daily morning dose of #aurora to help wake you up. #GoodMorning from @Space_Station! #YearInSpace"
Image Credit: NASA

Last Updated: Oct. 9, 2015

Editor: Sarah Loff
I don't know what happened to Republicans to cause them to live in fear for their lives everyday, but, it is really oversold.

I have a problem with the right wing comparison of the Warsaw Ghetto to modern America.

According to Bill O'Reilly "...the Warsaw Ghetto is a great example of armed resistance..."

The war that accomplished The Holocaust began after WWI. The continent of Europe was redistricted with new boundary lines, including Poland and Warsaw. The first indication of the burgeoning regime in Germany became obvious very soon after Hitler took leadership of the country. 

The dialogue at the "United States Holocaust Memorial Museum" can tell the story better than I. I find it offensive the slaughter of students in the classrooms of the USA is explained away by thinking some kind of indoctrination of aggression to take on gunmen is even reasonable for Americans.

But, the idea the Warsaw Ghetto is an example of armed resistance is hideous. The resistance would not be possible without a larger world that was actively moving against the Third Reich. The people of the Warsaw Ghetto were receiving assistance in their arming and their fight. It is easy to say armed resistance was what saved lives, but, wasn't achieved  alone and not without enormous losses. This example has to be abandoned by the Republican Political Machine. It is taken out of context and without reverence to the dead.

...On August 1, 1944, (click here) the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa; AK), a non-Communist underground resistance army with units stationed throughout German-occupied Poland, rose against the German occupation authorities in an effort to liberate Warsaw. The impetus for the uprising was the appearance of Soviet forces along the east bank of the Vistula River. The Soviets failed to intervene; the Germans eventually crushed the revolt and razed the center of the city to the ground in October 1944. Though they treated captured Home Army combatants as prisoners of war, the Germans sent thousands of captured Polish civilians to concentration camps in the Reich. 166,000 people lost their lives in the uprising, including perhaps as many as 17,000 Polish Jews who had either fought with the AK or had been discovered in hiding. 

When Soviet troops resumed their offensive on January 17, 1945, they liberated a devastated Warsaw. According to Polish data, only about 174,000 people were left in the city, less than six per cent of the prewar population. Approximately 11,500 of the survivors were Jews. 

This is what American schools are up against:

October 19, 2015 Issue
By Malcolm Gladwell

...LaDue: “O.K. (click here) Sometime before the end of the school year, my plan was to steal a recycling bin from the school and take one of the pressure cookers I made and put it in the hallway and blow it up during passing period time. . . . I would detonate when people were fleeing, just like the Boston bombings, and blow them up too. Then my plans were to enter and throw Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs and destroy everyone and then when the SWAT comes I would destroy myself.”

In his bedroom, he had an SKS assault rifle with sixty rounds of ammunition, a Beretta 9-mm. handgun, a gun safe with an additional firearm, and three ready-made explosive devices. On the day of the attack, he would start with a .22-calibre rifle and move on to a shotgun, in order to prove that high-capacity assault-style rifles were unnecessary for an effective school attack....

Where do some young people find the reason for mass murder? Where does that come from? There are sincere problems in the USA and it is based in anger and the ability to arm an individual to cause many deaths in one act of violence. There is no way a school can deal with this type of preparation. At the very best a police officer has an office somewhere near the principal"s office. 

This particular incident above was due to the fact a 17 year old was able to rent a storage locker and then he began to accumulate the INGREDIENTS of making weapons. It is astounding the level of lethal potential ONE person can bring to a school's grounds. This is one person. 

There is a lot wrong in the USA and the federal government has to do something. We know where states control guns there are less killings. I realize gun control creates a shaking in the boots of Republicans and their gun organization cronies, but, the USA is a big country. The kind of military operation that would needed to take every person hostage to the federal government is ridiculous. It is a completely ridiculous and irrational thought AND FEAR. People that see this happening are full of fear for their own lives.

Less guns, less deaths and it is a good thing. BUT, as frequently pointed out by the Republican elite media, Chicago in the face of gun control has high death rates. There is reason for that, and while FOX doesn't laugh at the statistics, it may as well. Because the reason Chicago is still having the deaths is because other cities and states don't care at all about the fact their guns are killing people and children in Chicago. There is something really wrong with this picture. 

More guns in Chicago? Really? Well, it would be good if a few of their students made it home EVERYDAY. 

The answer is NOT arming Chicago, it is finally having responsible legislators in other cities and states that have THEIR guns migrate into Chicago. Where these legislators that allow their guns to be part of crime and don't care; there needs to be federal legislation. It is justified by interstate laws. 

FOX never surprises me and are definitely part of the problem and not the solution. 

I can't believe conservatives have to stoop this low in order to gain percentage points in a primary season. That is one disturbed party.