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View Diary: What's Happenin'? 5.21.13 (81 comments)

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  •  Good Morning! (16+ / 0-)

    We need to continue to keep on top of the AP scandal which is the one that most profoundly affects every one of us.  The others are simply manufactured diversions, but the AP scandal is real.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:05:42 AM PDT

    •  The AP scandal (12+ / 0-)

      and the Rosen situation are really serious. Those who blow off these scandals are whistling past the graveyard.  I disagree that the other two situations are inconsequential but I agree that they are being hyped by the Republicans.  The problem with the Benghazi situation is that they are missing the most dangerous aspects of it while they focus on the stupid talking points and emails.  Meanwhile there's a monstrous situation under the hood of it that has not even come to the surface. It will though.  And if our foreign policy continues the way it's going now Benghazi won't be the last disaster caused by it.

      As for the IRS, well, that's not inconsequential either but it's part of a much bigger problem.  Look at the way that Occupy was tagged by Homeland Security as low level terrorism.  Look at how Quakers and fracking activists were spied on and tracked.  The use of federal resources against political enemies is always a problem, whether the Republicans are hyping it for political reasons or not.  I'm pretty floored by the way people are blowing all of these things off, including the AP and Rosen scandal.

      In the meantime, they are all things that get added to the pile and while poll numbers don't show it yet, they will have an impact, IMHO, especially these media scandals.  Things don't always happen immediately. It takes awhile to sink in sometimes.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:22:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Benghazi and the IRS (5+ / 0-)

        scandals as they have been framed by the GOP are not real scandals IMO.  Our foreign policy has been a case of "asking for it" for decades.  I agree that Benghazi was a result of a deep seated hatred for US foreign policy in the Mid East.  Obama has simply continued the same foreign policy that this country has been pursuing.  But that is not what the GOP is claiming to be a scandal.

        The IRS issue as presented by the GOP still is a non-scandal to me.  There has been no evidence that the IRS was connected to any higher level orders.  That said, DHS and the whole national security complex has been used to quash legitimate First Amendment rights of various groups, particularly the Occupy Movement.  I have noted this on multiple occasions in posts here.  But I have not seen a definitive link between the IRS targeting Tea Party and other groups for further scrutiny as being tax exempt organizations under the tax code and what DHS has done to Occupy, anti fracking groups etc. by defining them as low level terrorist groups.  Right now, these two issues seem to be unlinked.  However, we may see such a link in the future.

        I always appreciate your daily posts here and the time you take to read and comment on the comments.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:05:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's true (5+ / 0-)

          that I'm making some assumptions about the IRS situation.  So many times in the past the higher ups claimed to have nothing to do with a problem, and they blamed it on a few bad apples, and inevitably we'd find out later that the problem went up the chain of command.  Maybe that's not the case this time, I don't know, but it seems odd that someone would take it upon themselves to investigate political groups and not have that direction come from political operatives in the govt.  But in this case, I mean, it is the IRS, lol, so it might be different.  Auditing and investigating is their job and maybe they do take it upon themselves to do such things at lower levels.  

          I just think of things like the two low level military people who went to jail for torture and nobody else was held accountable at all.  And the policy went literally all the way to the top.  But yes, it's not proven in this case, so it remains an assumption.

          With Benghazi there's a lot more to it than just blowback for our general foreign policy.  I'm going by a book that I read, written by two guys whose friend was killed in the attack, a special ops guy, and according to them there were operations running out of the chain of command, ordered by someone in the national security council, they believe it was Brennan, without the knowledge of the State Dept or the usual line of command in the Pentagon, and they were doing raids and assassinations on some of the Libyan militia. Then you have Petraeus' mistress revealing that the CIA had detained some other militia members in the annex and they were released by their fellow militia members that night, and that one or both of these things caused the militias who were allies of Stevens not to protect him that night, even though they were allies from the beginning of their revolution and I believe they were also paid/contracted to protect the consulate.  So their actions interfered with Stevens' actions or worked at cross purposes putting him in great danger.

          This is what I am talking about when I say that there are things under the hood, specific things, that deserve investigation and have not been.  There are some other aspects too that should be investigated too, too long to get into right at this minute.  There's a recent interview with Sestak that I saw though and I was glad to see him bring it up, related to the response to the attack. Repubs have gotten into that aspect of it, I think, but there were a couple of hearings that I did not watch or read the transcript for so I can't speak to the facts of how far they got into that part.


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  awesome comment (3+ / 0-)

            I often learn more from the comments than the original posts.  I know some people never read the comments, but to me, the real value in this site is often found in the comments.  Thank you for enlightening me.

            "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

            by gulfgal98 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:37:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is a very short ebook (4+ / 0-)

              http://www.amazon.com/...

              written by Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy, admins of a blog/news site called SOFREP and all or most of the writers there and many of the commenters are special forces veterans.  They wanted to know what happened to their friend so they did some investigative journalism.  It got little attention except from the right-wing sites and some from Fox News.  I think they were also on CNN.  Jeremy Scahill did not officially endorse the book, but when it came out, he tweeted something about how this was going to stir things up. However, it's clear that he and Brandon Webb are good friends. You can find many entries there from Jeremy where he and Brandon are together.  In his recent trip to California on his book tour, he said that Webb was with him, joking that he was his body guard.  Then there were several other tweets and photos of him with Brandon who took him for a spin in his small plane.  In fact, Scahill's current profile photo is from that outing.  

              So for me, that gives Webb a lot of credibility. I've also read some of their posts about the book and other posts and neither he nor Murphy are right-wing nutjobs.  They are special forces vets, so their philosophy in life does not line up with mine, that's for sure, but to me they seem like very honorable and credible guys.  

              emptywheel thinks that their book might be too favorable to the CIA because their friend was working on security detail as a contractor, I think (I might be forgetting some details as the book was chock full of details, acronyms, etc and all of the different units and relationships are complicated).  It's a short book, only published as an ebook, but very revealing.  She also is suspicious of the timing of when it was published, near Brennan's confirmation, and it's clear that they blame Brennan.  Nonetheless, it's well worth reading to get a sense of what happened and to see just how much stuff has still not come to the surface.

              I've learned a lot from that book and a lot of other things I've read recently, some of them being documentaries and writings that cover our Iran Contra era, etc. and I'm currently reading Scahill's Dirty Wars book.  It's such an eye opener.  It's taken me years to begin to understand how things work, and what we've done, and what's really happening does not even resemble what we're told.

              I like the comment sections too and learn more there or at least I used to. dkos comment sections used to be the treasure trove of the site.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:33:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, freedom of the press outweighs them all (7+ / 0-)

      without it how would we learn about the other two scandals.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:07:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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