EMANATIONS FROM SALEM VILLAGE: We'll always have (Betty) Parris!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2015

Part 4—No journalism need apply:
Life was challenging in Salem Village, not least for the village's dogs.

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue! In Monday's New York Times, Alexandra Alter reported what happened two hundred years later:

"It started with a prickling sensation on their skin. Then Abigail Williams, 11, and her cousin Betty Parris, 9, complained of feeling pinches and bites. They howled, writhed, went rigid and spoke gibberish. Friends and neighbors gathered in their house to pray and sing psalms.

"Weeks later, a well-meaning neighbor hit on a solution. She ordered a household servant to make a witch cake, mixing the girls’ urine into rye flour that was baked in embers, then fed to a dog, in an attempt to reveal who had bewitched them. Within days, Abigail and Betty named three local women as their tormentors."

How fair was that? A couple of kids had a few bad weeks. So the Villagers took it out on the dogs, feeding them some urine cakes as part of a fact-finding mission!

After eating their "cakes," the dogs conveyed a trio of names to the howling girls. Alter doesn't explain how the dogs could have done this.

Whatever! The girls repeated the names. A famous panic was on!

Alter was profiling Stacy Schiff, who has written a book about this famous breakdown. According to Alter, Schiff doesn't "try to explain the outbreak by attributing it to mundane outside forces." Instead, Schiff told Alter that "she felt she had to take the Puritans’ belief in witchcraft, and their deep fears and constant anxiety, seriously."

Fair enough! That said, we moderns are full of anxiety too, as a person can see from our own modern panics. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was the panic about preschools, in which 4-year-olds said they saw their teachers riding on brooms.

The 4-year-olds were believed. Instead of feeding urine to dogs, we moderns put photographs on milk cartons. Then too, there was the panic which started in 1992, a panic which largely persists.

This panic involved a highly suspicious pair of outliers from Arkansas. When the first high-profile accuser appeared, Jonathan Alter shot her down with a report in Newsweek, a report which detailed the embarrassing factual howlers in the public report for which the accuser had been richly rewarded.

The accuser had made a lot of claims. As Alter quickly showed, some of her basic claims were embarrassingly impossible.

No one fed cakes to dogs. Instead, Alter—he's Alexandra Alter's father—performed some journalism, a vanishing instinct and practice.

At first, this "journalism cure" seemed to take effect. But as the 1990s continued, this modern "replacement behavior" began to be abandoned.

The accusers kept coming forward. Sometimes, they seemed to behave in Salem-flavored ways.

A high-profile Republican congressman shot a watermelon in his back yard, hoping to prove that the witches had murdered a long-time friend. A ballyhooed accuser fell apart before a Senate pseudo-scandal committee. Gene Lyons handled the play-by-play in his 1995 book, Fools for Scandal:

"No sooner had [Senator Paul] Sarbanes begun to question Lewis about a negative Justice Department appraisal of her work when an amazing things happened. Lewis shook visibly, tears welled in her eyes, and she collapsed at the witness table. Although she managed to leave the Senate chamber on her feet, Lewis had to be hospitalized overnight and treated for high blood pressure."

"She never returned," Lyons writes, "Her Whitewater adventure was over, and not a moment too soon. By any rational standard, her appearance had been an absolute disaster."

On that same page, Lyons describes an earlier incident involving part of that same day's Senate hearing:
LYONS (page 122): Senator Barbara Boxer produced a November 1993 letter from Lewis to an attorney in which Lewis had floated a proposal to market "Presidential BITCH" T-shirts and coffee mugs mocking Hillary Clinton. She had listed the RTC office as her business phone. "Being a woman of basically the same ilk and same type," Lewis countered, "I mean that not as disrespect...I have tremendous admiration for the fact that she is a strong woman." She added that she personally had absolutely no objection to being called a bitch.
Later that day, Lewis broke down and had to be helped from the room. Needless to say, none of this stopped the era's Whitewater panic.

For moderns who are willing to see, events like these may seem to be drawn from our modern inner Salems, as was the preschool panic. That said, we moderns are inclined to think that Salem is a thing of the past. For this reasons, we take three different approaches to different panics.

It's easy to discuss the Salem panic. It happened long ago. Its participants don't seem like us.

The preschool panic is harder to dismiss and hard to explain. For that reason, we've largely disappeared the embarrassing episode, which went on for years.

The Clinton panic is still in effect. For this reason, it can't be seen as a panic at all. Our modern Village elites still are feeding urine cakes to the dogs, although they've done a bit of shape-shifting in this current panic.

In the current panic, no one literally says that the Presidential BITCH has been observed turning herself into a cat. That claim would be treated as strange by the liberal press.

As the current panic developed, the ancient claim that a witch had been spotted began to take a modern shape. The Clintons, along with their warlock Gore, became known for their "problem with the truth." This week, this has produced the revitalized claim that Candidate Clinton lied in September 2012 about the Benghazi attack.

Due to our stifling political correctness, we no longer dunk the accused into local ponds. But That said, here's something else we don't do—we don't make the slightest attempt at fashioning the "journalism cure."

It doesn't even occur to our "journalists" to examine the accuracy of these claims. Consider just the past week:

Starting last Thursday, Candidate Clinton was being widely accused, again, of lying about Benghazi, even to the families of those who died. She is said to have lied about who staged the killing attack. She is said to have lied about their motives, and about the amount of "preplanning" which went into the attack.

Question:

In the past week, have you seen a single news org present a report about that attack? A report which would describe the current state of intelligence about that killing attack?

Fellow villagers! Who did stage that killing attack? Have you seen a single news org report on that question this week? Have you seen any attempt to describe the current state of our actual knowledge?

More specifically:

Was that insulting YouTube videotape some part of the motive for the attack? Was it the sole motivation? What is the current state of intelligence? Have you seen even one news org ask?

There's one other question about the attack which has disappeared into the realm of indistinct but frightening accusation. That involves the amount of "preplanning" which went into the attack.

In real time, Republicans quickly said and suggested that months of preplanning had occurred. According to this theory, the attack had been planned to coincide with the anniversary of September 11. The appearance of the YouTube video had played no role at all.

In the past week—in the past year!—have you seen any news org attempt to report the state of the intelligence concerning these claims? For ourselves, we have not.

As we've long told you, basic facts play almost no role in our discourse as it now exists. Our discourse is basically accusation. Cake is then fed to us dogs.

Let's note one important exception:

In December 2013, the New York Times broke from the pack. Committing an act of journalism, it published an exhaustive, 7300-word report on the Benghazi attack.

This report seemed to say that the YouTube video was part of the motivation for the attack. But so what? In a time of mass paranoia, such claims must be shoved to the side.

Everyone else will understand a basic fact about panic culture. They will know that this impulse—the impulse to perform journalism—must be denied at this time.

In nineteen hundred and ninety-two, Jonathan Alter performed journalism concerning Gennifer Flowers. In his Newsweek report, he wrote about the embarrassing errors which littered her exciting report about her torrid, twelve-year affair with Bill Clinton—a torrid affair which didn't seem to have actually taken place.

Flowers was paid very large sums for her exciting reports. Performing journalism, Alter noted that Flowers had made impossible factual claims, not unlike the 4-year-olds in the preschool panic.

He also noted that Flowers had made some crazy claims about her own past. In the short run, Alter's act of journalism helped stall the new political panic.

Six years later, Flowers was back, being hailed as the world's most truthful human. In 1999, she went on Hardball, then on Hannity, to tell us about the Clintons' various murders.

No one said boo about her disgraceful, ludicrous claims. On Hannity, where she got the full hour, she used the time to tell the world that Hillary Clinton is the world's most gigantic lesbo.

By now, our village had gone Full Salem. We emailed Alter, a very nice person, asking him why Flowers was now being hailed for her truthfulness, given his own reporting about her past, crazy claims.

Her sent us a rather fuzzy email explaining, or seeming to explain, why the corps had evolved in this way. The actual truth is fairly simple:

A panic had taken hold. It now controlled the Village.

Alter's daughter wrote an interesting report about Salem Village for the New York Times this week. It's easy to see a panic for what it is when the panic occurred in 1692.

It's harder to spot the kinds of panic which have controlled our modern discourse. Awkwardly, those panics deeply involve institutions like the New York Times. Journalist families have a large stake in failing to notice such facts.

Given the way our human minds work, we'll always have Betty Parris! She was just a 9-year-old kid who believed what she had heard from a dog. The problem began when Village elders began to believe what she said.

In Salem, the panic lasted just nine months. Our panic has lasted for 23 years, and it continues apace.

Such panics spread in mysterious ways. The accusations can worm their way inside everyone's heads.

Clear vision can be hard to attain when a panic makes its way through a frightened, irrational village. We even thought we heard ripples of this panic on you-know-who's cable program last week.

Tomorrow: Cable host remembers Bill Clinton

54 comments:

  1. The better word for this panic is "hysteria." It spreads when the claims are consistent with other motives. The Salem people accused were disliked or envied for worldly reasons. The Clintons are being singled out because of their political success, their skill and intelligence, because they are politically threatening. These accusations wouldn't take hold unless people were ready to believe them.

    In most cases, the hysteria stops when an accusation is made against someone too powerful, someone ready to fight back and capable of stopping the accusers. When that happens, the gullible public will turn on the accusers. I hope that is happening now.

    Somerby seems to suggest these panics can be stopped at the beginning through common sense. Maybe, if these were a spontaneous public response. However, I see this as an orchestrated political campaign against real opponents and I don't think that is the same situation as what occurred in Salem or with the McMartins (who did not have any organized political entity or organization against them). Mob hysteria is not the same as concerted political opposition well-funded by corporate interests attempting to inflame public opinion. If anything, the mob likes Hillary and Bill (judging by their favorability ratings and electability) so the attempts to accuse have fallen short. They didn't like Gore, perhaps because he abandoned Bill Clinton to run a moralistic campaign, so conservative propaganda gained a foothold (though he still won the popular vote).

    Hopefully, this conceit is just a Halloween themed literary device and not serious analysis.

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    1. HRC's own concerted political opposition well-funded by corporate interests attempting to inflame public opinion, David Brock's Correct The Record Super PAC.

      As far as the "the mob likes HRC based on favorability ratings," check out :

      NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R). Oct. 15-18, 2015. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.1.
      .
      "Based on what you have seen, read, or heard from Hillary Clinton regarding the terrorist attack a few years ago on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, are you basically satisfied or not satisfied with her response? If you do not know enough about this issue to have an opinion, please just say so and we'll move on."

      10/15-18/15

      Satisfied 27%
      Not Satisfied 44%
      Don't know enough 28%
      Unsure 1%

      .

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    2. No one cares about this.

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    3. @1:00

      More accurately, no Clintonistas care. Obviously the poll suggests the majority of those polled do indeed care.

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    4. No, they don't care. These poll questions are entirely unrelated to how people state they are likely to vote. The more hearings, the bigger Clinton's lead gets. Keep it up!

      The more you comment here in your crude way, the less you are likely to be influencing anyone's opinion. You are wasting your time and ironically, probably strengthening people's resistance to your ideas.

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    5. @ 1:16

      Clintonistas are strengthening their resistance to being confronted with HRC lies? Really? When have libs ever wavered from their devoutness in HRC? Oh....There was that moment in 08 when candidate Obama came on the scene.

      HRC's lead against her weak Dem competition was never in doubt. Check out her general election numbers. Carson beats HRC in every poll.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_presidential_race.html

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    6. Sadly, cicero, while otherwise quite useless, has a point here: There IS a significant public opinion holding that Clinton's "response" to "the terrorist attack a few years ago on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya" is unsatisfactory.

      But what is not addressed by such a poll question is: Why?

      Somerby thinks that the failure of popular media to perform journalism regarding the basic issues surrounding " the terrorist attack a few years ago on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya" may have contributed to the formation of that pubic opinion.

      Somerby's right about that.

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    7. Have to agree with your last. When Bob first attempted this correlation, I thought it was strained, and said so. I also decided if he kept using this device, I would have something again. It’s still a strained analogy.

      But hell, sometimes the Muse pulls you in strange directions. Bob’s a very good writer, and maybe he needed to inject some imagination into what seems to have become his life cause (i.e. media criticism), which I imagine might sometimes become burdensome, especially when you’ve been doing it for as long as he has. Maybe you gotta experiment sometimes, try to keep it fresh. I don’t know. He might have even piqued interest in his readers about Salem.

      At times, it seems he wants to write about something else, but just can’t betray his cause. I can dig that. Not many can make media criticism so interesting. Even the trolls love it.

      Anyway, not to worry, Halloween’s right around the corner!

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    8. Writing this blog perhaps takes an hour per day. I imagine he spends the rest of his doing other worthwhile things that might better qualify as a "life cause."

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    9. Indeed... I imagine he does.

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  2. The McMartin's had the Attorney General, the DAs office, and gullible social workers asking children leading questions.

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    1. The bigger impetus was the recovered memory movement consisting of supposed survivors of childhood sexual abuse abetted by incompetent therapists who believed their fabricated stories. These included "memories" of satanic rituals. That led to accusations against child care providers who supposedly conducted such rituals, like the McMartins. The public officials who investigated could not have refused to investigate once there was a significant public concern raised.

      You can thank experimental psychologists like Elizabeth Loftus and Stephen Ceci for supplying the evidence that such memories can be fabricated, that children can and do concoct fanciful stories under misleading questioning, and that even the most emotionally upsetting and vivid memories may not be true. Therapists now have guidelines for how to identify (and more importantly, how not to abet the creation of) false memories of abuse. Guidelines for questioning both children and adults have been implemented to prevent this.

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    2. @Horace

      McMartin was the quintessential "witch hunt" perpetrated by hysterical liberals.

      "ABC news local reporter Wayne Satz started the media hysteria on the case and continued reporting the “facts” even after he was sleeping with social worker Kee McFarlane. For seven years the trial dragged out costing taxpayers $15 million. In this case there were no convictions. Meanwhile agencies created to discover abuse saw their budgets increase ten-fold almost instantly."

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    3. The psychologists for debunked the hysteria were also liberals. I don't think this divided along partisan lines.

      Cicero, please stop spamming this blog with your ignorant noise.

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    4. @1:14

      It began with a liberal reporter. I'm sure you prefer this blog to be a lib echo chamber after the fashion of Media Matters, dailykos, etc.

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    5. @ 1:58 - Brent wants his money and his 1099 back.

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  3. How can one equate women being horribly killed as witches to Hillary Clinton experiencing (allegedly) unfair criticism? All politicians today have bad things said about them. E.g., I see on Facebook allegations about Trump, Carson, and Cruz that make them sound sub-human.

    Furthermore, there many people are physically attacked right now because of who they are. These victims arn't called "witches", but they're treated that way. E.g., there are so many attacks against Jews in the streets of France that Jews are afraid to wear any garment or item that would indicate their religion. And, thousands of Jews are leaving France.

    E.g., see Does a gritty ex-cop’s move to Israel symbolize the end for France’s Jews?

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    1. It is grotesque to me that HRC's personal email became fodder for the public. They are saying she lied because something she wrote to her daughter, like that's anyone's business. This is just harassment. She did nothing to deserve that.
      This is not about HRC alone. If our top diplomat is shown that type of disrespect and distrust, then what protections do normal people have. It's an ugly precedent that she had to turn over all her emails. It is uncivilized and dangerous for a government committee to treat our Secretary of State this way.

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    2. I know you have trouble with reading comprehension, David in Cal. I will try to help you. Being that you are a hopeless case, I will fail, but I will try anyway.

      The issue is not, as you suggest, that "Clinton experiences allegedly unfair criticism."

      That's (generously) your mistake, or (realistically) your hopeful pretense.

      The issue is the failure of popular media to subject the claims of various parties to journalistic scrutiny.

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    3. @mark

      Unfortunately for Clintonistas like yourself, HRC emailed the same message to the Egyptian Prime Minister and President of Libya. Those would be business emails.

      She was compelled to turn over her private server and thumbs drives to the FBI. You know the FBI. They work under Obama's DOJ.

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    4. Cicer-ass - get ready to be saying 'Madame President' because she will win and be president for 8 years despite all her high crimes that bother you so much. No prob dude just get ready for her to be president no question it will happen mark my words stupid fool.

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    5. mark -- HRC's personal email became fodder for the public because of her bizarre decision to use her personal e-mail account for government business. This practice violated specific instructions from the White House. No other cabinet Secretary made this mistake.

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    6. Horseshit David. Colin Powell absolutely did. Why do you insist on lying.

      The fact that you are reading an email from Secretary Clinton to her daughter just proves how open she has been. Anything that had Benghazi in the email was given to the SD, even though she had a perfect right to without one's to her family.

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    7. Does current Secretary of State John Kerry count, David? Can we read all his personal emails now too?

      WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry occasionally uses a private e-mail account to conduct State Department business, a department official acknowledged Wednesday, a disclosure that comes amid heightened scrutiny over how government officials secure potentially sensitive information.

      https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/09/30/john-kerry-sometimes-uses-private-mail-account-for-state-department-business-official-says/DmZz3PBxGgoUtOlREsuLhL/story.html

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    8. @mm

      You keep us advised when JFK installs a private server in his Nantucket, Boston’s Beacon Hill, Pittsburgh countryside, Idaho mountains or D.C. homes.

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    9. Sorry mm, I meant to say none of Obama's other cabinet Secretary's disobeyed the Obama White House instructions and used their personal e-mail accounts rather than the government e-mail accounts.

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    10. The whole deal with her private server is a red herring. The security of her emails should have been handled by the security professionals. It's the last thing we need our diplomats worrying about. The fact that people are going after her over this is stupid, but normal.
      Also, to parse what a diplomat says after the fact is kind of silly actually. Diplomats are by nature nuanced and multi-faced depending on who they are talking to and when. Calling a diplomat a liar is naive to begin with.

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    11. John Kerry is one of Obama's other cabinet Secretarys. He has admitted using private email. Why would you type your comment when the one immediately above it contradicts it?

      I think Trump, Rubio, Fiorina, Christie, Bush, and the rest have all shown themselves to be liars in far worse ways than Clinton, more recently, on TV. They are all big fat liars -- LIARS!!! They lied, lied, lied. Carson is one of the worst liars. He lies to parents about vaccines, which can actually hurt their kids, unlike Clinton's supposed lie about Benghazi. All these Republicans lie through their Republican teeth. They LIE all the time and they brazenly repeat their lies. I have never seen people who lie as much as they do, unless it is Cicero and David in CA.

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    12. think about how many times cicero has accused Clinton of lying on a website where the author and most of the readers view Clinton somewhat favorably. it must be a hundred or more at this point. that has to be sociopathic to some extent. imagine someone repeatedly entering a room of people holding a conversation about, say, a tv show they all like and repeatedly calling them names ("clintonistas") and telling them over and over and over and over -- not just a handful of times, but a hundred or more -- how much the show sucks. and no matter how many times they tell him to go away, he just keeps it up. who does that other than a sociopath?

      and just in case there's someone who might be misled by his claim that Clinton lied about Benghazi, cicero has yet to demonstrate how he knows this. even if he could show with certainty that Clinton contradicted herself (which as far as i know, he hasn't done), that in no way would prove she was lying. this is merely one possible explanation for any such contradiction. another perfectly plausible explanation that he refuses to even acknowledge is that her views changed as conflicting information came in from various sources about the attack. but of course cicero desperately wants to catch the evil Hillary Clinton in a lie (and irritate her supporters), so he won't consider any other possible explanation. also, if you read his comments very carefully, you'll begin to see some problems with his ability to reason soundly. an example from the other day is when he said the claim by one of the Benghazi ringleaders that the video was the reason for the attack had been debunked. cicero's "proof" was the following: "The indictment itself claims the defendant "did knowingly and intentionally conspire and agree with other conspirators ... to provide material support and resources to terrorists," knowing they'd be used "in preparation for and in carrying out" the attack." That's it. That's cicero's proof that the ringleader's claim about the video has been "debunked." He apparently can't see that a planned attack can be inspired by a video. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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    13. @ mark

      Does HRC speak to Chelsea privately in an email in her professional capacity as a diplomat? She told Chelsea the truth. I guess Americans should expect to be told the truth like a mother does to her offspring.

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    14. @Loudmilk

      "think about how many times cicero has accused Clinton of lying on a website where the author and most of the readers view Clinton somewhat favorably"

      In other words, Clintonistas really do not care whether HRC lies about anything as they will vote for her regardless.

      You keep insisting HRC never says the YouTube video is to blame for the attack. That must mean she lied under oath when she said during her testimony to the Benghazi committee that she believes to this day the video was responsible for the attack.

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    15. again, cicero shows his inability to reason clearly. he apparently believes his 1st sentence above establishes the truth of his 2nd sentence. wrong again . . . i need to start a list.

      I can add this to the list: "You keep insisting that HRC never says the YouTube video is to blame for the attack." Nope, I've never said that she "never says" this. read more carefully.

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    16. @Loudmilk

      Are you voting for HRC in dog & pony show Democratic primary and the general election?

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  4. The "same message," cicero? Is that a statement with high precision like "al qaeda-like"?

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    1. @ urban

      Negative. That would be HRC's definitive message where the word "like" is no where to be found.

      "We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." HRC September 12, 2012

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    2. What a shock! cicero is a liar.

      http://www.whatthefolly.com/2012/09/13/transcript-remarks-by-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-on-the-deadly-attacks-against-the-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi-libya/

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    3. @12:48

      How about the actual transcript and video instead of some moonbat website.

      Rep. Jim Jordan shows HRC's emails to Chelsea, President of Libya, Egyptian PM

      http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4556244/representative-jim-jordan-questions-hillary-clinton

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  5. "It's easy to see a panic for what it is when the panic occurred in 1692. It's harder to spot the kinds of panic which have controlled our modern discourse."

    That's true. That's very, very, very true. Damn these deceptive minds!

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  6. I personally don't intend to get into the specific comments made by Hillary and whether they were true, sort-of true, spin, or whatever. For those who care, you can watch Rubio make the case the Hillary lied at http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/10/rubio-explains-hillarys-lie.php

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    1. It isn't any more true when Rubio says it.

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    3. What a joke. David feigns to be above getting "into the specific comments." Right, instead he'll just irresponsibly quote and link to others who make the unsubstantiated claim that Clinton's (alleged) contradiction could only be a lie (Rubio), or who are utterly dishonest about what Hillary said:

      David in Cal October 23, 2015 at 4:09 PM
      "According to the Daily Caller (presumably quoting Clinton's testiimony)

      'Within hours of the attack on the U.S. facility, Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister “we know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest.”

      'But two days later, while standing before the flag-draped coffins of the four Americans killed in the attack, grieving members of their families and millions of Americans watching on TV, Clinton attributed the tragedy to protests of “an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”'"

      Here is what Clinton actually said: "This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with." So Clinton begins by saying it's been a difficult week. She then explains why. Firstly, because of the attack in Benghazi. Secondly, because of the "rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video." She is careful to separate out the Benghazi attack from the other events, and it is these other events that she attributes to the video. There's little difference between lying and repeating someone else's lie without first doing the most cursory double checking to see if it's accurate.

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    4. Some jackass complained that accusing poor David of being an intentionally dishonest, partisan jackass was unfair because he seems sincere and simply in need of "outreach."

      My ass: like cicero, he's the same poison in a different bottle.

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    5. @Loudmilk

      Why do you always omit HRC's most recent comment during her testimony to the committee that she gave while being under oath. Is it that you are too lazy to do the most cursory double checking before you post on the daily howler?

      6:05 PM: HRC: “I believe to this day the video played a role in the Benghazi attacks."

      Then there is this exchange between PBS Judy Woodruff and Yochi Dreazen. Are they in the "right wing Conspiracy"?

      JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Yochi Dreazen, did we learn anything more about how she made — how those decisions were made and her role in what finally happened?

      YOCHI DREAZEN: I think the most interesting moment by far was when Congressman Jim Jordan was saying to her, in some detail, that you, Secretary Clinton, told your family in one e-mail that this was an attack linked by al-Qaida, that you said in a phone call with an Egyptian leader that this was not something tied to an anti-Muslim video, and then saying, but the talking points coming out of the White House at the time were, this wasn’t al-Qaida and this was linked to this video. I thought that was the most effective and sort of new moment in the entire line of questioning. And her answer back wasn’t terribly strong. Her answer back was, they were still sifting intelligence. We were trying to sort our way through it. But she couldn’t quite give the direct answer why she was saying in an e-mail something very different than what was being said publicly.

      WOODRUFF: But, for the audience, why does it matter? Why did that — why does it matter whether she was saying one thing? Because she tried to say, well, I was trying to warn other countries. We didn’t want to see this thing happening anyplace else.


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    7. why do i always omit what her current views are about the video? because that's not what we're debating. we're debating whether she lied in the days following the attack. what is the exchange from PBS supposed to prove? it provides no new information, and you still haven't shown a) what Benghazi-related statement of Clinton's is known to be false and b) how we know she knew it was false when she said it.

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    8. @Loudmilk

      HRC "believes to this day." She didn't say she now believes it. Her blurted out comment is confirming that she believed in the YouTube scenario dating back to September 11/12 2012. She didn't believe in the YouTube story when speaking to Chelsea, VP Egypt, POTUS Libya, but she did and still does believe it in it when her words are for public consumption. It's that simple. Why are you trying to sell a "Mark Fuhrman planted the bloody glove at Rockingham" convoluted alibi for HRC?

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    10. dude, you're stretching soooo hard. separate your premises from your conclusions, then ask yourself whether the premises really prove the conclusions or whether there is any other alternative conclusion that could be drawn from the same premises. for example: here's your premise: HRC said she "believes to this day" that the video inspired the attack. and here's the conclusion you're drawing from that premise: "she believed in the YouTube scenario dating back to September 11/12/2012." nope. that conclusion is nowhere to be found in that premise. you could just as easily draw a different conclusion: she might have believed in the YouTube scenario starting on 11/13/2012 instead . . . or 11/14/2012 . . . or 11/20/2012 . . . or any other date around that time. "She didn't believe in the YouTube story when speaking to Chelsea, VP Egypt, POTUS Libya." the only statement i know of where she explicitly says the attack had nothing to do w/the video is her statement to the dude in Egypt. but as i've said a million times, just because someone says one thing at one point in time and then contradicts him/herself at another point in time, doesn't mean they're lying. and this is especially true in the situation under discussion in which there was a flood of contradictory, incomplete bits of information constantly flowing in -- and it's still not entirely clear even now what the facts about the video are. and by the way, you are sooooo hung up on this one unsubstantiated "lie" of Clinton's that happened over 3 years ago, while there has been (and continues to be) a flood a apparent lies from the Republicans about all sorts of things that you apparently don't give two shits about. don't you see how inconsistent and hypocritical that is?

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    11. @ Loudmilk

      This latest State Department release of HRC emails further invalidates your "Mark Fuhrman planted the bloody glove at Rockingham" convoluted alibi for HRC and dissolves your alternate conclusions. Actually, it has ben painfully clear since September 11,12,13,14, 2012 the YouTube video had no bearing on Benghazi. Nothing has been produced by the Obama Administration to invalidate this. When you can admit that HRC had two stories (one for private consumption - the truth - and one for public consumption - the lie, you will begin to establish a modicum of credibility. Repeating HRC excuses isn't persuasive to anyone other than your fellow Clintonistas.

      There is absolutely no reason to mention the YouTube video by HRC/Obama/Susan Rice/Carney in connection to the Benghazi attack other than purposely promote a political agenda. Carney kept insisting the matter was under investigation so why was the administration adamant in keeping the YouTube scenario front and center in their talking points? Carney never had problems with giving non-committal answers to a variety of questions regarding his boss until this foreign policy blunder exploded in their face.

      "Officials in Hillary Clinton's State Department were warned against saying that an anti-Muslim video contributed to the the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a new email released on Friday reveals."

      http://benghazi.house.gov/sites/republicans.benghazi.house.gov/files/documents/Tab%2055.pdf

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    12. Wrong again. Here's the email. Notice it was sent on the morning of the 14th (the attack occurred on the 11th).
      From: [redacted]
      To: [redacted]
      Subject: messaging on the attacks in Libya
      Date: Friday, September 14, 2012 6:43:39 AM
      Colleagues, I mentioned to [redacted] this morning, and want to share with all of you, our view at Embassy Tripoli that we must be cautious in our local messaging with regard to the inflammatory film trailer, adapting it to Libyan conditions. Our monitoring of the Libyan media and conversations with Libyans suggest that the films not as explosive of an issue here as it appears to be in other countries in the region. The overwhelming majority of the FB comments and tweets we’ve received from Libyans since the Ambassador’s death have expressed deep sympathy, sorrow, and regret. They have expressed anger at the attackers, and emphasized that this attack does not represent Libyans or Islam. Relatively few have even mentioned the inflammatory video. So if we post messaging about the video specifically, we may draw unwanted attention to it. And it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence. It is our opinion that in our messaging, we want to distinguish, not conflate, the events in other countries with this well-planned attack by militant extremists. I have discussed this with [redacted] and he shares PAS’s view.

      And here is what Clinton said the very same day that email was sent: "This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with." So Clinton begins by saying it's been a difficult week. She then explains why. Firstly, because of the attack in Benghazi. Secondly, because of the "rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video." She is careful to separate out the Benghazi attack from the other events, and it is these other events that she attributes to the video. This follows the suggestion of the above email very closely -- "we want to distinguish, not conflate" the two events. And the email is only one source of information anyway. Clinton, as Secretary of State, would have had many different sources of information. Just because a single source says something doesn't mean that's the gospel truth. We still don't know whether the video had anything to do with the attack. Clinton "to this day" seems to think it did. So does one of the attack's ringleaders. In fact, The New Yorker describes what the ringleader said about the video this way: "[Abu Khattala] also maintained that the violence in Benghazi that night grew out of a protest against a movie produced in the United States that lampooned Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, rather than being a planned action by militants." http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-conversation-with-abu-khattala It just goes to show, you know nothing for certain about what role the video might have played or whether Clinton lied. And you likely never will. And for anyone else who might stumble across this discussion, courtesy of the Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, following are some important things to keep in mind when judging cicero's incessant accusations that Clinton lied (continued below):

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    13. "...a review of Clinton’s public statements indicates that she was generally careful to separate remarks about the attack and the protests. However, there may have been a different story concerning her private remarks to the families of the victims, according to recent interviews. [Notice, this is the exact opposite of what cicero says above.] In her testimony, Clinton attributed any shifting emphasis on to what might be called the “fog of war”— information was fragmentary and disjointed, changing hour by hour.The House Intelligence Committee, in its 2014 report on the incident, said “there was a stream of contradictory and conflicting intelligence that came in after the attacks.”The CIA’s deputy director, Michael Morell, testified that the first time he learned there had not been a protest at the diplomatic facility was after receiving an e-mail from the Libya station chief on Sept. 15, three days after the attack. (An intelligence report from the Tripoli station making a similar observation arrived on Sept. 14.) Morell said the assessment “jumped out” at him because it contradicted the views of CIA analysts in Washington that the attacks were inspired by the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (which had been spurred by the video).
      (Morell’s testimony contradicts [senator Marco] Rubio’s claim on CNN on Oct. 29, the morning after the debate, that “there was never a shred of evidence presented to anyone that this was spontaneous. And the CIA understood that.” On CBS, Rubio also claimed that it was “not accurate” that the CIA changed its assessment, which is also wrong.) Ironically, the CIA’s initial Sept. 12 executive update stated that “this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest.” But because the report had no intelligence to support it, that language was dropped as analysts developed a theory about a protest, the House panel report said. In all, CIA analysts received 21 reports that a protest occurred in Benghazi, both from the media and inside the intelligence community. The Washington Post even had a front-page story on Sept. 12 about a protest preceding the attack, quoting among others, the Libyan deputy interior minister. Amazingly, the CIA analysts did not gain access to eyewitness accounts until Sept. 22, when the FBI first published an intelligence report on its interviews. The intelligence community “only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke), and after the FBI began publishing its interviews with U.S. officials on the ground on September 22, 2012,” the House report said. A similar conclusion was reached by the Senate Intelligence Committee (of which Rubio is a member) in its report on Benghazi: “Intelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the Mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion. The IC took too long to correct these erroneous reports, which caused confusion and influenced the public statements.” In an article published in Politico in 2015, Morell wrote: “We believe that in Benghazi—over six hundred miles away—extremists heard about the successful assault on our embassy in Egypt and decided to make some trouble of their own, although we still do not know their motivations with certainty. Most likely they were inspired by the prospect of doing in Benghazi what their ‘brothers’ had done in Cairo. . . . Still others might have been motivated by the video—although I should note that our analysts never said the video was a factor in the Benghazi attacks. Abu Khattala, a terrorist leader and possibly one of the ring leaders of the attacks, said that he was in fact motivated by the video.” Looking at Clinton’s public statements, it is clear she was very careful to keep the attacks separate from the video (continued below)

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    14. Speaking before the Benghazi committee, Clinton explained that her private remarks reflected the fragmentary information that was available at the time. “We were not making up the intelligence,” she said. “We were trying to get it, make sense of it, and then to share it.” She added: “When I was speaking to the Egyptian prime minister or in the other two examples you showed, we had been told by Ansar al-Sharia that they took credit for it. It wasn’t until about 24 or more hours later, that they retracted taking credit for it.” Clinton also said she was reacting to the continuing turmoil in the region over the video, which resulted in 40 protests around the globe. “I needed to be talking about the video, because I needed to put other governments and other people on notice that we were not going to let them get away with attacking us, as they did in Tunis, as they did in Khartoum,” she said. Focusing just on the public statements made by Clinton — as opposed to the rest of the administration — one finds little support for [the] claim that Clinton told the American people that the attacks were because of a video. She certainly spoke about the video, but always in the context of the protests that were occurring across the Middle East. As the nation’s chief diplomat, Clinton had a responsibility to be precise and careful in her public statements. One could imagine she would be less guarded in private, referring to claims by an al-Qaeda group even before an official CIA assessment. Rubio is wrong when he says the CIA assessment did not change, given that a Senate report he signed documented that the CIA assessment changed several times and was not set in stone until more than 10 days after the attacks. Yet family members say that Clinton, when meeting with them in private, emphasized the role of the video when they met her at the transfer of remains ceremony. This was on Sept. 14, after Ansar al-Sharia retracted taking credit for the attack and before the officials at CIA headquarters had analyzed the report from the Tripoli mission chief that there was no protest at the diplomatic compound. Can Rubio really attribute this to a “lie” rather than the fog of war? A “lie” suggests a deliberate effort to deceive, while the documentary evidence suggests there were few hard answers available then to policymakers. Even the Senate report signed by Rubio says the reports from the intelligence community “caused confusion and influenced the public statements” of policymakers. Rubio is certainly within his rights to point out Clinton’s contradictory statements — and the remarks of the family members give us pause — but he does not have enough evidence to label Clinton a liar." https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/10/30/is-hillary-clinton-a-liar-on-benghazi/

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