Popular and widely read Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd published the above picture today portraying U.S. President Barrack Hussein Obama as Satan himself. The unflattering picture has been making the rounds on Facebook in the Middle East and, according to Al Wafd, is representative of the hatred growing numbers of people in the region have for the American president, thanks to his staunch and unwavering support for Islamists and jihadiis — whether in Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, or Syria — even as they terrorize, murder, rape, and burn down Christian churches, that is, even as they engage in diabolical activities.
Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that the four State Department officials placed on administrative leave by Hillary Clinton after the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi do not deserve any formal disciplinary action and has asked them to come back to work at the State Department starting Tuesday.
Last December, Clinton’s staff told four mid-level officials to clean out their desks and hand in their badges after the release of the report of its own internal investigation into the Benghazi attack, compiled by the Administrative Review Board led by former State Department official Tom Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Ret. Adm. Mike Mullen. Those four officials have been in legal and professional limbo, not fired but unable to return to their jobs, for eight months… until today.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell, the only official from the State Department’s Near Eastern Affairs bureau to lose his job over the Benghazi attack, told The Daily Beast Monday he received a memo from the State Department’s human resources department informing him his administrative leave status has been lifted and he should report for duty Tuesday morning.
“No explanation, no briefing, just come back to work. So I will go in tomorrow,” Maxwell said.
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JUST ONE ANOTHER REASON TO STOP BOTH OF THESE INDIVIDUALS IN 2016
Jeb Bush will present Hillary Clinton with the 2013 Liberty Medal this fall in Philadelphia.
It could be an awkward encounter for the two, both of whom are mentioned as 2016 presidential nominees for their respective parties.
Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida, is chairman of the National Constitution Center, which is giving Clinton the award in honor of her career in public service and her advocacy efforts on behalf of women.
The former secretary of State is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the next presidential election, but has made no political moves since leaving the Obama administration. Instead, she has focused on charity work through The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
IT’S DONE! NO SENATE CONFIRMATION NEEDED!
In a big shake-up of the President’s inner circle (and a big thumb in the eye to Senate Republicans) National Security Adviser Tom Donilon is resigning his post … and it’s going to Susan Rice.
The New York Times reports that Barack Obama will announce the change to his foreign policy team on Wednesday afternoon, just two days before he meets with the president of China in California.
Rice, the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, had the been the president’s pick to be Secretary of State, but her nomination was scuttled by Republican opposition after she became embroiled in the controversy over the attack on Benghazi. (She withdrew from consideration when it became clear that the Senate would block her nomination and the post went to John Kerry.)
However, her new job puts her in position arguably more influential, giving her the President’s ear on almost daily basis and advising him on issues that go beyond mere diplomacy. What make the appointment even more satisfying for (and galling to her critics) is that the National Security Adviser does not require Senate approval.
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the 2016 presidential candidate to beat, but her handling of the Benghazi, Libya assassination of the U.S. ambassador, panned by the public, has significantly knocked her approval ratings down from an all-time high of just three months ago, according to a new poll.
While her favorability rating in February was 61 percent, a new Quinnipiac University poll out Friday had it cobbled down to 52 percent and her once double-digit lead over potential GOP presidential challengers Jeb Bush and Sen. Rand Paul has been cut to less than 10 percent.
“Her score is down substantially from her all-time high score in February. The drop in her favorability is substantial among men, Republicans and independent voters. One reason for her drop may be that 48 percent of voters blame her either a little or a lot for the death of the American ambassador in Benghazi,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University polling Institute.
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U.S. officials gave instructions for Benghazi Medical Center to use a “John Doe” pseudonym on the death certificate of Ambassador Christopher Stevens after he died of asphyxiation in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. That’s according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The reason for the pseudonym, says the official, was to avoid drawing undue attention to the importance of the victim as Americans rushed to figure out how to recover Stevens’ body and return it to the U.S.
The official provided the most complete accounting yet of Stevens’ whereabouts and passing in the eight and a half months since his death.
According to the official, U.S. officials aren’t certain to this day whether Stevens was still alive when local Libyans made cell phone video recordings of his body being carried or dragged from the U.S. mission, possibly by looters. And they still don’t know exactly who transported him to the Benghazi Medical Center where they say medical personnel attempted resuscitation, unsuccessfully, for about 40 minutes (90 minutes, according to published accounts from a Libyan doctor). When pieced together with previously provided information, this is how the search for Stevens is said to have unfolded, according to the official:
The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 survey on Thursday. The section on the Middle East and North Africa includes a report on terror attacks in Libya. All told, there were eleven terrorism-related attacks last year in Libya prior to the 9/11 attack in Benghazi that took the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Six of those eleven attacks took place in Benghazi:
• On May 22, assailants launched a rocket-propelled grenade at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s building in Benghazi. The violent Islamist extremist group Brigades of Captive Omar Abdul Rahman claimed responsibility for the attack. The ICRC evacuated Benghazi in mid-July.
• On June 6, violent extremists attacked the U.S. facilities in Benghazi with an improvised explosive device (IED). The group claimed that the attack was in retaliation for the assassination of Abu-Yahya al-Libi, the second highest ranking leader of al-Qa’ida.
• On June 11, a convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Libya was attacked in Benghazi.
• In August, there was a series of attacks against security personnel and facilities, including the bombing of the Benghazi military intelligence offices on August 1…
• On August 10, Army General Hadiya al-Feitouri was assassinated in Benghazi.
• On August 20, a car belonging to an Egyptian diplomat was blown up near his home in Benghazi.
In a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry that was first obtained by The Hill., Issa claimed that the department’s official release of 100 emails to the committee earlier this month was “incomplete” while noting that the press had copies of the documents five days prior.
Pointing out the GOP-controlled committee’s numerous attempts to secure the documents from the administration, Issa stated that he was “left with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce relevant documents through a subpoena.”
Issa wrote that the subpoena “covers documents and the communications related to talking points prepared for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and used by Ambassador Susan Rice during her September 16th, 2012, appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and CNN.”