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UPDATE II: GOP House Intel Committee Report – No Obama Benghazi Wrongdoing

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The House Intelligence Committee just concluded an investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and finds no wrongdoing by the Obama Administration — destroying all claims by Tea Party and conservative activists.

In a stunning rebuke to its base, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify on Thursday the results of its nearly two-year, $3.3 million taxpayer-paid investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, finding no intentional wrongdoing by President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or by the Obama administration. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat, “said the report ‘confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.'”

Among the Intelligence Committee’s findings, according to Thompson:

— Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the attacks.

The Tea Party, Republicans, and conservatives have spent nearly two years claiming the Obama administration committed treason, were at the center of a massive cover-up, and have propagated many other falsehoods and conspiracy theories that have been officially rebuked by this report and several other official government investigations, most led, ironically, by Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans will start yet another series of hearings, led by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, trying once again to prove that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the deaths of four Americans.

For a look at Tea Party memes of Benghazi, including Obama hang nooses, see our compilation on Storify.

UPDATE I: Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in a statement said, “I took part in the extensive, exhaustive investigation that led to this report. I believe its conclusions should lay to rest all the baseless charges surrounding this tragedy that resulted in killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans.”

The bipartisan report is definitive – there was no intelligence failure surrounding the attacks, no cover up, no illegal activity, and no evidence that the Intelligence Community’s assessments were politically motivated in any way.”

UPDATE II:

“Just so we’re clear, this is a Republican-led committee, with GOP members outnumbering Democrats, 12 to 9,” Steve Benen at MSNBC writes Monday.

Taken together, the deadly violence in Benghazi two years ago has now been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the independent State Department Accountability Review Board, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 
How many of them uncovered evidence of a cover-up? None.
 
It’s against this backdrop that House Republicans have decided what’s really needed is …another committee. It will cost taxpayers several million dollars, and according to the committee’s leadership, the goal is to ask questions that have already been answered.
 

 

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‘Vice Superspreader’ Pence Accused of ‘Criminal Disregard’ for Campaigning After 5 Advisors Test Positive

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Vice President Mike Pence is under fire for continuing to campaign for re-election despite five of his close advisors, including his Chief of Staff, Marc Short, have tested positive for coronavirus over the past few days.

ABC News reports “at least 5 individuals in the Vice President’s orbit have tested positive as of last night.” The New York Times has reported “up to five” have tested positive. Fox News reports “5 close to Pence test positive for coronavirus.”

The latest COVID-19 outbreak in the White House was exposed once again by Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs, who first reported Hope Hicks was positive. That report led to President Donald Trump having to admit he and the First lady had also tested positive in an outbreak that infected at least 34 people who had attended the White House Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

But unlike Senator Kamala Harris, who was exposed to an individual who tested positive and immediately self-quarantined, Vice President Pence will not. He is back on the campaign trail, with the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, saying doctors have cleared him to campaign.

On Sunday, Meadows claimed the Vice President is an “essential worker” and therefore must continue to campaign, which is false – campaigning is not part of his job as vice president.

Meadows admitted on Sunday the Trump administration has no intention of even attempting to control the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” he told CNN. “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Meadows also tried to hide that Pence’s Chief of Staff had tested positive. The White House claimed he first tested positive on Saturday, but Meadows on Sunday slipped, admitting “he’s been quarantining these last few days.”

Americans are furious that Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, is ignoring CDC
guidelines – and basic common sense – after coming into contact with five of his close advisors who are positive.

Here’s what many are saying:

 

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‘We Are Not Going to Control the Pandemic’: Trump Top Aide Meadows Makes Damning Confession During CNN Interview

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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows waved the white flag on Sunday morning, admitting the administration has all but given up on trying to “contain” the coronavirus pandemic, saying they are directing their efforts to “vaccines and therapeutics.”

With “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper pointing cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, Meadows attempted to attack CNN over their coverage of the pandemic, to which Tapper replied, “It’s coming from all sorts of places because the pandemic is out of control.”

“So here’s what we have to do,” Meadows attempted. “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation.”

“Why aren’t we going to get control of the pandemic?” Tapper pressed.

“Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Meadows shot back with Tapper insisting, “But why not make efforts to contain it?”

“We are making efforts to contain it,” said Meadows at which point the CNN host interrupted with, “By running all over the country and not wearing masks? That’s what the vice president is doing.”

Saying the administration needs to focus on “therapies or vaccines or treatments,” Meadows then changed the subject to attacking presidential frontrunner Joe Biden.

Watch below:

 

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'CAN'T WE END THIS ALREADY?'

Court Slaps Down Trump’s Attempt to Intimidate Pennsylvania Voters

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At a Friday night rally, Republican President Donald Trump talked about his attempts to have “poll watchers” in the swing state of Pennsylvania, an attempt that a local court recently ruled as illegal.

“I think we’re leading everywhere,” Trump said at the rally. “We think in Pennsylvania doing great. We got to be very careful Philadelphia. They play games in Philadelphia, and they won’t let us watch the count in Philadelphia… So we’re watching Philadelphia.”

Trump then told his White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to “please watch Philadelphia … because I don’t like what I’m hearing about Philadelphia…. I don’t like what I see going on in terms of what’s gone on over the past, and probably what’s going on. Think of it. They fought like hell that we can’t watch them. Count the vote, what’s wrong with watching? why can’t we have poll watchers? And so we’re in court right now poll watches in Philadelphia. But we’re doing great in Pennsylvania, gotta watch Philadelphia.”

First off, the so-called poll watchers are needless seeing as there’s zero evidence of voter fraud at polling places, so Trump’s “watchers” are little more than intimidators meant to make Democratic voters nervous.

Second off, it’s not Meadows’ job to handle poll monitoring, election monitors or lawsuits. The White House Chief of staff serves as a “liaison among members of the President’s cabinet and the White House [and is] is responsible for directing, managing and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, and staff activities for the President.”

Third off, on Friday, local Judge Gary Glazer ruled that the Trump campaign’s attempt to have poll-watchers at the state polls isn’t allowed under state law. The Trump campaign had sent unauthorized poll watchers into satellite poll offices where local election officials register voters and help people fill out their mail-in ballots, but the officials kicked the watchers out.

Trump said his watcher should be allowed to monitor such offices, but a bipartisan Philadelphia City Commission said that the satellite locations don’t qualify as official polling stations and therefore don’t qualify as a place allowed by state law to have poll watchers. Judge Glazer agreed.

On September 27, Politico wrote that Trump had hired dozens of lawyers from three major law firms and recruited thousands of volunteer attorneys to contest election results in 17 key states considered vital to his re-election.

In response, Biden campaign spokesperson Michael Gwin told the publication, “The Biden campaign has assembled the biggest voter protection program in history to ensure the election runs smoothly and to combat any attempt by Donald Trump to create fear and confusion with our voting system, or interfere in the democratic process.”

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