Category Archives: 9/11

Never Forget

Thirteen years ago everything changed. May we never forget about those who lost their lives. May we never forget those who helped people get to safety. May we never forget our service men and women who fight every day to protect our freedoms. May we never forget everyone affected by the terrorist attacks that happened that fateful day. May we never forget that we are Americans.

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May we never forget the four Americans who lost their lives on this day in 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

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I leave you with this poem that was published on September 23, 2001.

When Needed, Old Glory is Still There by Mitch Albom

That our flag was still there through the gloom and despair hanging on porches, flapping in schoolyards painted on cheeks of young mothers whose husbands are leaving to face the rockets’ red glare, bombs bursting in air and our flag is still there.

Through weeks of despair that flag was still there. When death came on silver wings towers in ruins, bodies in flames, when up from the ashes a dark smoke arose and lingering there, like a child unaware, waiting till mother or father came home but they are never coming home. Hearts everywhere, offered a prayer, and in the midst of that gray rubble square a flag was still there.

Did you even know two weeks ago where your stars were buried? Where your stripes were stowed? Behind boxes and crates? Behind mowers and rakes? So taken for granted this symbol of freedom, tucked behind charcoal and snow boots and rusty old bicycles, but . . . when the call came to show that we care we all did the same our flags were right there.

It has not always been the most respected cloth: Burned in protest mocked and ignored. But when, as a nation the time comes to mourn at half-staff it flies from morning till dawn. And when we are stirred as a people of might it soars high on ships. It says “We are right in this fight, we are right.” It pulls out of port It augurs “Beware” The flag that’s still there.

Those broad stripes and bright stars are now hanging in bars and diners and Kmarts and windows of cars. We’ve even heard stories of seeing Old Glory tattooed on arms, or stitched through the night then purchased on sight. When this war began the first thing we ran out of, in fact, the only thing that this great nation ran short of was flags. Flags everywhere. And the flag is still there.

Oceans of banners now, armies of flags, sea to shining sea’s worth of flags. We wave them at baseball games, during the “stretch,” we wave them at cameras, at airports, at friends. Never before have we seen such array the country bedecked in a single display. It’s like one shirt, one blouse, one pair of shoes red, white and blues. It’s all that you wear the flag, that’s still there.

I never did feel the strength of those words that Mr. Key wrote often sung but not heard “Gave proof through the night” that she was still there what a wonderful, comforting image we share. We cherish it now, it shows that we care that our hearts will repair. And through this despair this much we can swear we bend but don’t break we are united, these states, Look outside — a new dawn’s early light And our flag is still there.

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God bless America.

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Benghazi is Not a Phony Scandal

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The September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya has raised a lot of important questions. This attack occurred on the eve of the 2012 Presidential elections, making those questions particularly interesting. The administration has tried to dismiss Republican concerns over what happened that fateful night by calling the attack a “phony scandal.” As an American citizen, I find such a description of an attack that left 4 Americans to fend for themselves and die offensive.

New evidence has come to light via White House emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Judicial Watch, in which it is clear that the administration has been engaging in a cover up from day 1 over what happened in Benghazi. The administration blamed the attack on a spontaneous demonstration in response to a You Tube video, even though they knew that this was not the reason for the attack.  In addition, the administration removed reliable security detail from the Benghazi compound and replaced it with Libyan security personnel, who Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens deemed unreliable. The cause of the attack in Benghazi did not fit the administration’s narrative that Al Qaeda was on the run.

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer stated that the newly released White House email on the Benghazi talking points is the “equivalent of what was discovered with the Nixon tapes.” Krauthammer is correct. At least President Nixon had the decency to resign once the truth about Watergate came to light. In contrast, this administration keeps covering up each lie with more lies rather than take responsibility for what happened. The reason that Benghazi is so important is that, by covering up what happened, the Obama administration is demonstrating its willingness to use the military and intelligence agencies to lie in order to win an election. Lying to the American people seems to be a pattern of this administration. Remember this?

In lying about what really caused the attack in Benghazi, this administration is in essence telling us that they would rather put politics above the security of the American people. This is not only true of President Obama, this is also true of former Secretary of State and possible 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Secretary Clinton deliberately repeated the lie to the families of the Benghazi victims and to the American people about a You Tube video being the cause of the Benghazi attack. She also lied to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, claiming that she had no knowledge of the security situation in Benghazi. However, House Republicans released a report stating that Clinton signed off on denying additional security to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. So which is it? Was she unaware of the security situation in Benghazi, or was she aware, but did not want to admit her knowledge of the situation?

Even if Clinton was not directly responsible for responding to cables from the Benghazi consulate requesting additional security, the buck stops with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for organizing and supervising all employees in the State Department and is responsible for the supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. government overseas.

Clinton has a pattern of lying. In fact, she was fired from her job with the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation for lying and for unethical behavior.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has said that Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State leading up to the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi, including Ambassador Stevens, are “inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty, and it should preclude [Clinton] from holding higher office.” Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) has stated that, in regard to Clinton, “anyone who would just throw away 200 years of military ethos and leave our men behind to be murdered” should “never be considered as a commander in chief.”

While Clinton certainly deserves blame for denying security requests that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty, what about President Obama? Where was he that fateful night? Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor admitted that President Obama was not in the White House Situation Room the night of September 11, 2012.

The White House was careful to release this photograph of President Obama and his national security team monitoring the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011.

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Why was no such photograph taken during the Benghazi attack released?

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced this week that the House will finally form a Select Committee on Benghazi. Here are some questions to which the Select Committee should get answers:

If there is no cover up with regard to the Benghazi attack, then why did there have to be a lawsuit to obtain relevant White House documents? Why was additional security to the Benghazi consulate denied? Did President Obama sign a Cross Border Authority as only he could do as Commander in Chief so that the military could get to Benghazi? Many people talk about a stand down order, but what if no order to go into Benghazi was ever given? Who was in charge that night? Where was Secretary Clinton that night? Why was the military not prepared to come to Americans’ aid in an unstable country on September 11 of all dates?

What questions do you think the Select Committee needs to answer? Who do you think the Select Committee should subpoena to obtain such answers?

The day after the attack on Benghazi, President Obama allegedly skipped that day’s intelligence briefing so that he could attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his reelection campaign.  This timeline illustrates the events leading up to the attack in Benghazi:

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The actions of President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the administration show a lack of integrity and a callous disregard for American security. If this attack was covered up just to save face so that President Obama could win reelection, then we should all be disgusted and outraged. The families of Stevens, Woods, Smith and Doherty deserve to know the truth about why no one saved their children that fateful night. All Americans deserve nothing less than the truth about what happened in Benghazi. To call Benghazi a “phony scandal” is despicable. The truth, Mr. President, is anything but phony.