Tag Archive: Darrell Issa


Jonathan Gruber Testifies Before An Unimpressed Congressional Oversight Committee

 

 

 

 

 

” Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, voluntarily testified before the House Oversight Committee today. Made famous when his comments about Obamacare were unearthed in all their truthful glory, Gruber took great pains to sidestep any question that touched upon the veracity of his remarks.

  Gruber’s defense amounted to, “I’m not a politician, and I was using inexcusable language to make myself sound smarter than I really am.” For not being a politician, Gruber was coached masterfully avoided answering questions.

  Despite getting paid almost six million bucks from the federal government and advising the Obama Administration on the construction of the Affordable Care Act, Gruber claimed repeatedly that he was not a political advisor.

“ The pervasiveness of your quotes is so much that it has to be more than that. It has to be more than an episodic mistake that you made,” Gowdy grilled. Gowdy went on, “What did you mean when you said you wish that you had been able to be transparent, but you’d rather have the law than not?” “

 

Many thanks to Kemberlee Kaye at Legal Insurrection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Election Eve Dump:’ Eric Holder Releases Fast and Furious Documents That Got Him Cited for Contempt

 

 

 

 

 

” Justice Department officials provided House investigators with thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that President Obama had previously claimed were exempt from congressional review.

  In an “election eve dump,” as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) put it, DOJ handed over 64,280 pages of documents, a release that is still only a partial fulfillment of the committee’s request.

“ This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check Executive Branch power,” Issa said of the release.

  DOJ handed over the documents pursuant to a court order. “When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” Issa said.  “Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue.” “

 

NRO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost or Destroyed’ E-mails After House Launched Probes

 

 

 

” The revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails.

“ It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal record keeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails,” he continued. “Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s e-mail history. Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.” “

 

 

Nixon was a rank amateur compared to this “most open , honest and transparent” administration …

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Issa: Lerner ‘Broke Some Laws;’ Emails Show Her Attorney ‘Outright Lied A Number of Times’

 

 

Issa Crowley

 

 

 

” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had a testy interview with Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday, where he asserted that Lois Lerner “broke some laws” and “sent 1.1 million tax records” with illegal confidential information “on conservative groups” to the Department of Justice.

  Issa also claimed that Lerner’s attorney has “said things and been not correct, or disingenuous, or outright lied a number of times, and it’s been shown by e-mails.” 

  After pointing out that although Lois Lerner’s emails are missing due to her hard drive crash, 20,000 emails have been retrieved through other means, Candy Crowley asked: “Did Lois Lerner crash her own computer?”

” We will probably never know that – the drive is physically gone,” Issa replied. “

 

CNSNews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Was Making Up Benghazi Cover Up During The Attack

 

 

 

” Now new evidenced has surfaced that might just be the nail in the coffin for the Obama administration.

  According to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, an explosive new email reveals that the White House was contacting YouTube owner Google to try and come up with a false narrative for the events that were in progress in Benghazi.

via Tea Party News Network:

  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said on Thursday that the Obama White House was contacting YouTube owner Google during the Benghazi terrorist attacks, working on the false narrative even before Americans were out of harm’s way and before the intelligence community examined available evidence. 

  The still classified Obama State Department email, according to Issa, shows that the Obama White House rushed to settle on the false narrative of the anti-Islamic YouTube video instigating the attacks, which was completely at odds with the conclusions reached by reports from the ground. 

“ The e-mail shows the White House had hurried to settle on a false narrative — one at odds with the conclusions reached by those on the ground — before Americans were even out of harm’s way or the intelligence community had made an impartial examination of available evidence,” Issa said.

  Issa has called for the Obama White House to declassify the email. 

  According to Issa, one of the items noted in the email stated, “White House is reaching out to U-Tube [sic] to advise ramifications of the posting of the Pastor Jon video.” 

  Issa scolded current Secretary of State, Democrat John Kerry, for just now turning over a classified version of the email, some 20 months after the attack, while calling on the regime to release a unclassified copy. 

  Without a question, the White House attempted to cover up this attack to prevent the president from looking foolish during his reelection campaign. This is all the proof that should be needed at this point to solidify the call for impeaching President Obama.”

 

 

Conservative Tribune has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lerner Likely Waived The Fifth And Can Be Held In Contempt

 

 

 

” While Lois Lerner’s reassertion of the Fifth Amendment, as well as the confrontation between Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R–Calif.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–Md.), soaked up all of the media coverage of the  IRS scandal last week, one interesting news item did not get much attention: the revelation by Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor III, that Lerner had given “a lengthy interview to Justice Department prosecutors within the last six months.” Even more surprising was Taylor’s admission that Lerner gave DOJ her testimony without getting any immunity from prosecutors.

  If that is true, the former IRS official’s reassertion of the privilege against self-incrimination at the March 5 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is problematic. While the prevailing rule in most federal courts is that a waiver of the Fifth Amendment privilege at one proceeding does not carry through to another proceeding, that is not the rule in the District of Columbia.

  In Ellis v. U.S. (1969), the D.C. Court of Appeals specifically refused to adopt that rule, saying it was “unsound.” As the court held, “once a witness has voluntarily spoken out, we do not see how his protected interest is jeopardized by testifying in a subsequent proceeding, provided he is not required to disclose matters of substance which are unknown to the Government.” Under those circumstances, the court held, a person can reassert the privilege only if there is a “real danger of further criminalization.”

  Ellis involved a defendant who voluntarily testified before a grand jury but then refused to testify at trial, asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Similarly, if Lerner—without receiving a grant of immunity—voluntarily spoke to Justice Department prosecutors and/or FBI agents involved in investigating IRS targeting of conservative groups, she cannot now invoke the privilege to avoid answering congressional questions that would require her to give the same information she has already provided to criminal investigators.”

 

    This sounds like very good news for those of us that want to know the truth . Read more from  Hans von Spakovsky at Heritage

 Illustration by Gary Varvel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cummings Goes Ballistic At Lerner Hearing

 

 

“ Seeking the truth is the obligation of this committee,” Issa said before announcing that he had no expectation that Lerner would answer his questions and adjourning the hearing.

  Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment on each question Issa asked about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups. The hearing lasted approximately fifteen minutes before Issa released Lerner.

  Issa did not choose to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress on the floor of the hearing. It is unclear at this time if he will choose to pursue contempt charges.”

Issa On IRS Probe: Emails Prove Lerner Will Waive Immunity, Talk

 

 

 

” Emails reportedly have “set the record straight,” backing up Rep. Darrell Issa’s assertion that beleaguered former IRS official Lois Lerner will finally answer questions before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the agency’s targeting of conservative political groups. 

  The Hill reported that emails between committee staff and an attorney for the retired head of the agency’s tax-exempt division were released Monday to prove Issa’s statements were correct about her planned testimony — without immunity. 

  The California Republican lawmaker is yanking Lerner back before his committee because she previously refused to talk about the IRS’ controversial targeting, invoking her Fifth Amendment rights.

  Issa told “Fox New Sunday” that Lerner, through her attorney, had agreed to waive the Fifth and talk. She originally had sought immunity in exchange for the testimony. “

Perhaps we will finally hear the truth . Read more .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Continued Lack Of Accountability At ATF Is Disturbing”

 

 

https://youviewedblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/80531-keystone_copsfearlessdistributing.jpg

 

 

 

” In January 2013, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dropped a bombshell report showing ATF Agents who attempted to set up a storefront in the city, ended up damaging the building, owing the landlord money and lost a machine gun on the streets after it was stolen out of a government vehicle.

  But the effort to date has not snared any major dealers or taken down a gang. Instead, it resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

 

 

 

 

 ” When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.

   And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building’s owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.”

 

 

      This episode ties in with the widespread attempts by ATF to use mentally challenged individuals across the country in efforts to entrap alleged drug dealers and arms traffickers .

 

 

” Despite ATF’s claims these were isolated incidents, they weren’t and now, Senator Grassley and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa have sent a letter to ATF Director Todd Jones demanding answers about how many times these tactics were used around the country.”

 

Senators Grassley and Issa are demanding answers from Todd Jones , head of ATF .

 

 

” According to the letter, ATF has failed to be forthcoming with information about the cases.

The continued lack of accountability at ATF is disturbing,” the letter states, adding that many of the agents managing these cases have been promoted. “Around the conclusion of Operation Fearless in the fall of 2012, ATF management promoted Bernard Zapor, the Special Agent in Charge during the pendency of Operation Fearless, to ATF headquarters as Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Field Operations — Central Region.” 

 

More obfuscation and prevarication on the part of the “most open , honest and transparent” administration ever .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Report Says Obamacare Navigator Program Marred By Mismanagement, Confusion

 

 

Navigator Report

 

 

 

” A new report produced by Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals that Obamacare’s controversial “Navigator and Assister” program has suffered from chronic poor management, resulting in widespread disarray, since the law’s October 1 launch date. An advanced copy of the document obtained by Townhall raises a number of competency and security concerns. Below is a brief summary of its revelations and conclusions:”

 

 

More here 

 

 

 

DARRELL ISSA VOWS FAST & FURIOUS JUSTICE ON BRIAN TERRY MURDER ANNIVERSARY

 

 

 

 

” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is remembering the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with a continued promise to seek justice in his investigation of the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious.

  Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that his committee and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will never give up the fight for Operation Fast and Furious documents that Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama are withholding from the American people. 

  Issa’s interview with Breitbart News comes on the third anniversary of Terry’s murder, which is Sunday. On Dec. 15, 2010, Terry was murdered in Peck Canyon in Arizona about 17 miles inside the U.S. border with Mexico by drug cartel operatives using weapons that the Obama administration had walked into Mexico via Operation Fast and Furious. Issa said that Terry’s family should know that, despite “setbacks” over the past few years, he will never stop his fight for the truth.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast and Furious Grenades – Another Obama ATF Smuggling Operation

 

 

 

 

” Last month in a shootout between Mexican police and drug cartel members, threeofficers were killed, but following the shootout it appears that another US weapons smuggling operation was uncovered, one that includes “Kingery”

The resemblance to Operation Fast and Furious was laid out by William La Jeunesse.

La Jeunesse reports that a Justice Department document indicates that during the shootout that cartel members used “Kingery” grenades. The document, according to La Jeunesse, reads in part:

“…State Police received fire from a .50 caliber rifle and at least 10 hand grenades, the evidence of one being reported as a ‘Kingery’ grenade.”

Jean Baptiste Kingery, is a bomb maker in the United States that the Justice Department failed to prosecute. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms knew he had been making bombs since 2009. As a matter of fact, not only did they not prosecute Kingery, but like Fast and Furious, they simply allowed him to continue making bombs, claiming that they could “track” his explosives to find out where they were going.”

Coincidentally, Kingery was also converting AK-47s into automatic weapons.”

 

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” When Kingery was arrested at the border with hundreds of empty grenade homes the following year, the US attorney failed to prosecute him. Instead, the US attorney referred to the homes as “harmless toys” and saying that the case lacked “jury appeal.” “

 

Read the whole sordid thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats Demand Issa Withdraw Subpoena

 

 

 

” The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee on Monday demanded that Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) withdraw a “misguided” subpoena of an official who is working to fix the federal ObamaCare website.

In a blistering letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) accused Issa of hurling “unfounded accusations” against Todd Park, the administration’s chief technology officer (CTO).

Cummings said Issa’s subpoena was “diverting Mr. Park’s energies” from his work and could “seriously impair” the race to repair HealthCare.gov.

Issa subpoenaed Park last week, ordering him to testify Wednesday before the Oversight Committee.

The committee chairman said he offered a handful of opportunities for Park to speak in front of his committee but was continuously rebuffed by the White House, which said Park was too busy to appear.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worse And Worse: New Documents Detail First Week Of HealthCare.Gov

” The Obama administration really has to reconsider its strategy of trying to hide how bad the Obamacare website has been. The debacle just drags out as details leak out slowly, as with the remarkable reports that Darrell Issa received from the website contractors and released today.

Among the damning revelations:

  • On the first day of the website roll-out, 90% of Medicaid applicants were mistakenly rejected.
  • On the second day, 40,000 people are estimated to have been stuck in the HealthCare.gov waiting room – only 100 had enrolled.
  • By the third day. it was confirmed that insurers were not getting the data for people who had signed up for healthcare.

But wait, there’s more! ” Lots more …

The reality is so much worse than the rumors .

IRS Fraudulently Awarded $500 Million In Contracts To Friend Of Top Agency Official

 

 

 

” House investigators say the largest contract issued by the Internal Revenue Service in the last 15 years has been award fraudulently, but the agency has no plans to revoke it.


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the IRS handed a $266 million purchasing agreement to Strong Castle, an information technology company based in Leesburg, Va., based on the company owner’s “longstanding relationship,” with an IRS deputy director Gregory Roseman, who is in charge of the agency’s Enterprise Networks and Tier Systems Support.
The company was recently named “small business contractor of the year,” by the Treasury department. According to Issa, the company earned a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business designation based on the owner’s injuries sustained during military prep school and not during active duty or in combat for the U.S. armed forces.
Issa issued a report on the fraud investigation Tuesday and plans to hold a hearing on the matter Wednesday that will feature, among other witnesses, both Roseman and Strong Castle Inc. president and CEO Braulio Castillo.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS Cases Were Referred To ‘Group 7822’

 

 

” The Internal Revenue Service diverted applications for tax-exempt status from tea party and like-minded organizations to a special track known as Group 7822 for special scrutiny, according to transcripts of an interview by congressional interrogators with a key IRS official.

The lengthy interview with John Shafer, a senior manager in the screening department of the IRS division in charge of tax-exempt designations, was shared with reporters by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Staffs from several congressional committees have been interviewing employees in the Cincinnati-based IRS office that handles applications for exempt organization status.

Cummings’ aim was to refute assertions by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., that the special scrutiny was part of a Washington-based conspiracy. Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, said the transcript of five hours of interviews on June 9 “debunks conspiracy theories about how the IRS first started reviewing these cases.”

The IRS has acknowledged using inappropriate criteria to ensure that new political players were in fact educational groups performing a social welfare purpose as required by law. Republicans charge the groups were targeted and their applications delayed until after the 2012 elections.”

 

 

Illustration by Chris Weyant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah Cummings Claims One Republican Mastermind Behind IRS Scandal

 

Elijah_Cummings_Repub_Did_It

 

 

” The Democrat Rep. from Maryland let loose on what was sure to be the final piece of the Orwellian puzzle that made everything ‘suddenly make sense’ at Media Matters. From the Daily Caller:

Rep. Elijah Cummings has yet to reveal the name of the “conservative Republican” IRS agent he claims started the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups, despite evidence that the targeting was overseen by a registered Democrat working out of Washington, D.C.

Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland and the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, claimed this week that an unnamed Republican manager in the IRS’s Cincinnati office started the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, and that “the case is solved” with no evidence of White House wrongdoing.

Cummings claimed in a letter to Republican Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, dated June 9, that his staff had interviewed a “conservative Republican” manager from the IRS’ Cincinnati office who took the blame for the improper targeting.

After finishing his letter to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House’s Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Cummings apparently slapped his hands together, rubbed them back and forth a bit, and said to himself, “well, that’s that.” Because on CNN, he effectively told extremely credible guy Al Sharpton that the case is “solved” and there’s no there ‘there’:”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS Employee In Bombshell Congressional Interviews About Tea Party Targeting: ‘Washington, DC Wanted Some Cases … I Sent Seven’

 

 

 

 

” Interviews with IRS employees have established that the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service was engaged in targeting tea party groups and other conservative organizations for unfair levels of scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Rep. Darrel lssa, chairman of powerful House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, made that startling announcement on CNN Sunday morning.  

‘As late as last week,’ he said, ‘the [Obama] administration was still trying to say the [IRS targeting scandal] was from a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is that they were directly being ordered from Washington.’ 

‘[The] allegation has been made, I think as you have seen in lots of press reports, that there were two rogue agents in Cincinnati that are sort of responsible for all of the issues that we have been talking about today.,’ the investigator noted. ‘What do you think about those allegations?’

‘It’s impossible.,’ the employee replied. ‘As an agent we are controlled by many, many people.  We have to submit many, many reports.  So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.’

Asked whether the problem ‘was originated in and contained in the Cincinnati office,’ as some Obama administration officials in Washington have claimed, the agent replied that ‘I still hear people saying we were low level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is.’

‘They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.’ “

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GOP Says Report Will Expose Lavish Spending At 2010 IRS Conference

 

” The House Oversight Committee is holding another hearing on the IRS — but not one dealing with the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The panel, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), will hear on Thursday from Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration about “excessive spending” at IRS conferences.

“The IRS is an agency in crisis,” Issa said in a statement. “The American people expect that their tax-dollars will be used responsibly and not for financing lavish hotel suites and entertainment for government employees. The Oversight Committee will examine these egregious abuses of the public trust and an IRS culture that shuns accountability.” “

 

 

 

The entire federal government is one giant culture of corruption the time for “reform” is well overdue .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issa Looks To Call Back IRS Official Who Refused To Testify, Says She Voided 5th Amendment Right

 

 

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” Republican Rep. Darrell Issa declared Thursday that the embattled IRS official who refused to testify Wednesday had no right to do so, and is now looking to haul her back before his committee. 

The chairman of the House oversight committee made the call after consulting with attorneys about IRS official Lois Lerner’s bizarre appearance before the panel on Wednesday. Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division which oversaw the controversial targeting of conservative groups, caused confusion Wednesday morning when she pleaded the Fifth and refused to answer questions — but also delivered an opening statement in which she asserted her innocence. 

“After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner’s 5th amendment assertion is no longer valid,” spokesman Ali Ahmad said. “She remains under subpoena, the Committee is looking at recalling her for testimony.” 

 

See also : IRS Official Who Refused To Testify Facing More Scrutiny Over Scandal, Past

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS Official Lois Lerner To Plead The 5th – Update: Statement From Issa’s Office

 

 

 

” According to the LA Times, which obtained the letter Tuesday, Lerner’s attorney, William W. Taylor 3rd, wrote to committee chairman Darrell Issa to request that Lerner be excused from appearing before the committee.  Taylor explained that with the criminal investigation launched by the Department of Justice, Lerner’s appearance would have no purpose other than to “embarrass or burden her.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UH-OH: HILLARY’S BENGHAZI SCAPEGOAT SPEAKS OUT

 

 

 

” Raymond Maxwell was put on indefinite leave by the State Department after its Administrative Review Board (ARB) investigation of Benghazi for reasons that are still unknown to him. The person he claims made the decision to cast him out was Cheryl Mills–Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff and counsel at the State Department. 

It is the second time Mills’ name has turned up during scrutiny of the State Department’s response to the attack.

According to a new report by Josh Rogin: “On the day after the unclassified version of the ARB’s report was released in December, Mills called Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones and directed her to have Maxwell leave his job immediately.” 

Regardless, Maxwell’s decision to challenge Clinton suggests that there may indeed be much more to the Benghazi scandal than is yet known.”

 

 

 

 

 

ISSA PLANS DEPOSITIONS FOR MULLEN, PICKERING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, planned on Monday to seek depositions from retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen. Issa, who is leading Republicans’ investigations into the attacks on a State Department consulate last September, said he wants to know with whom the pair spoke to reach their conclusion that then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton did not direct the response to the pair of nighttime attacks in Libya.

“This is a failure, it needs to be investigated. Our committee can investigate. Now, Ambassador Pickering, his people and he refused to come before our committee,” Issa said Sunday.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Out For Petraeus In Benghazi Scandal

 

 

 

” By their second term “inside the bubble,” presidents have completely lost touch with reality: Aides and confidants conspire to keep the chief executive insulated from the real world — the bad news, the worse press coverage. They think it’s their job, and lounging on the Oval Office couches, they nod along with the president’s every musing.

But this presidency has taken OOCS to new heights. Mr. Obama has only a few trusted aides, and occasional leaks from the West Wing show a paranoid president suspicious of nearly everyone around him. Supremely confident, convinced by the fawning minions at his feet that he is untouchable, the president dismisses all controversy as partisan attacks by an overzealous opposition. A pliant press corps of stenographers follows in lockstep.

Not surprisingly, every president in the past 60 years has had a major scandal in Term 2: Dwight Eisenhower had the U-2 “incident”; Richard Nixon had Watergate; Ronald Reagan had Iran-Contra; Bill Clinton had Monica (literally); George W. Bush had Katrina (and let’s not forget those WMDs that never turned up); and now, this president has Benghazi.

Make no mistake: Benghazi is a major scandal. Benghazi is a scandal before, during and after the terrorist attack that left four Americas dead, including an ambassador.”