Blaise Pascal, Penseé 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Monday, May 13, 2013

Clinton: I never had sexual relations with that woman.

Just to get a sense of context, and how convincing politicians can make their lies, check out this famous clip of Bill Clinton's denial about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. He makes you feel darn guilty that the reporter ever asked the question, poor guy, time being wasted, America suffering:

Clinton Lies About Lewinsky

Today's Press Conference About Benghazi

Before the election:

Obama on Letterman Characterizing the Benghazi Attack

Obama on "The View"

Obama, months after the attack, is still characterizing it as mob action that went violent, still fingering the video, etc. He mentions terrorism, but it virtually sinks into a few terrorists inside a mob. The fog of war is emphasized. He puts terrorism into a context where it is still linked to a spontaneous demonstration about a video that no one could have expected. So he's smart, he covers himself on terrorism but downplays it as much as he can

But given Gregory Hicks testimony, it is very hard to believe that Obama did not know exactly what had happened by the day after the attack, that it was a flat out Ansar al Sharia operation. This, I believe, he judged was too strong to acknowledge during an election campaign. Hillary Clinton must have known all of this as well. Also, they absolutely wanted to put off the lack of response to requests for more security, and the stand-down order only became known last week. Had that come out, it would not have played well in November. Now, it appears, they also pressured people like Hicks, Nordstrom, and others to keep quiet, and even demoted Hicks.

Today, after last week's hearings, Obama gave a press conference: He said that at the time, nobody understood "exactly" what had happened in Benghazi, and apparently he still didn't know "exactly" months later on Letterman. That we didn't know "exactly" what was going on is something I could truthfully say about cooking dinner last night--even though it turned out well. "Exactly" is an impossible standard in application to anything, as Obama well knows. The question is whether State and Obama had any reasonable cause to believe there was a mob involved or that the attack was in response to a video. They did not, and they knew it. Obama is not exactly lying in this press conference. He's just refusing to engage the issues while making it look like he is.

May 13, 2013 Obama Press Conference