The High Stake Strategies in Tonight’s Final Presidential Debate?

   Bookmark and Share   Tonight’s debate may be President Obama’s last chance to put a stop to the momentum behind Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.  Putting more pressure on the President is the reality that the President must not only stop Romney’s forward momentum, he must reverse it.  That need has been made quite evident since the first presidential debate when Mitt Romney mopped the floor with President Obama and a seemingly large number of Americans got what was essentially their first real impression of Romney… an impression that swayed undecided, independent, and women  voters Romney’s way and has apparently become a lasting impression.

Given those circumstances, it is hard to say exactly what we can expect from Mitt Romney tonight.  Romney could easily use this opportunity to try knock-out the President with a series of shots dealing with Benghazi.  Romney could try to go for broke on Benghazi by pressing the President on what seems to be a cover-up of the facts with weeks of contradictory and misleading answers to legitimate questions and also on what is an obvious intelligence failure of catastrophic proportions which allowed the President to know nothing about the fact that al Qaeda was establishing itself in Eastern Libya.  But if Romney takes this route, he must be extraordinarily careful.  If he is too aggressive, it will backfire.  An over aggressive approach to this will turn off many of the voters Romney needs to win in key battleground states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire, which are too close for comfort.

Beating the President over the head with Benghazi will also risk the creation of a new narrative that will suggest that Romney took legitimate questions about the events surrounding Benghazi and exploited them by over-politicizing them in a desperate attempt to win the presidential election.  Such a narrative just two weeks before Election Day would produce irreversibly damaging results for the Romney-Ryan ticket and future headlines in the biased liberal media will deal more with their accusing Romney of attempting to exploit Benghazi than the facts that make Mitt Romney right to make Benghazi an issue.

So while the temptation to confront President Obama with the evidence and questions surrounding the obvious foreign policy and national security blunders behind Benghazi, Romney would probably be best advised to allude to these legitimate concerns in broader terms.

In the days to come, Romney surrogates will surely continue to raise the tough questions that the President continues to avoid giving accurate answers to.  And that is how it should be given the fact that much of this election is still being decided on the economy and the President’s failed record on the economy.

If Romney wants to ask President Obama one tough question on Benghazi though, it should be this.

“Mr. President, of all the questions that you must answer to regarding Benghazi, I have one which does not require any major and in-depth investigations, or congressional hearings.  It is this.  Aside from the questions as to why you did not know anything about Ambassador Steven’s warnings of a growing presence of al Qaeda, as far back as two months prior to his assassination, what I can’t help but wonder is why you, not anyone else…just you..  Why you could not figure out that September 11th followed September 10th?  You did not need the NSA, FBI, CIA, or DHS to tell you on September 10th that the following day would be September 11th and that September 11th is a tragic date that for the past 11 years has warranted heightened security at our consulates and embassies.  It seems to me that that is a basic fact that no President should have to be schooled on.  So aside from all the other questions, I think that the answer to that most basic question about that most basic fact provides the backdrop for a level of incompetence that stops nowhere else other than smack-dab in the middle of your desk.”

The President may or may not have a fairly reasonable response, but either way, by asking that question, Romney will have raised doubt about the President’s national security, intelligence, and foreign policies.

Another point that Romney must make clear is that if the President had not avoided approximately 62% of his daily intelligence meetings since the beginning of 2012, the security issues in Libya and the broader national security concern about a resurgence of al Qaeda in Libya, may have been raised or at the very least, the in depth discussions conducted in those meetings might have at least triggered in President Obama, a concern that could have helped him eventually learn about the facts in Libya that he and the Vice President claim they knew nothing about.

Aside from those questionable approaches for Romney on Benghazi, Mitt Romney should focus on using this foreign policy debate to subtly appeal to voting blocs that could help him win key battleground states.

To win favor with the swing voters in Ohio, Romney must nail the President on the issue of Chinese trade.  Our trade troubles with China may not seem like a major issue in this election but Romney’s campaign has polling that shows the issue of trade with China is of great importance to struggling Ohioans who feel President Obama has not done enough to even the playing field between China and the U.S. China.  They believe it is an imbalance that continues to prevent them from getting necessary job opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

Then there is Florida.

In Florida, while Romney currently holds a lead that is too close for comfort.  One way to expand that lead is by appealing to the Sunshine State’s larger than average Jewish vote.

The Jewish vote is traditionally a strong part of the Democrat’s base but in 2012 there is ample evidence that President Obama is getting a smaller share of Jewish support than he has in the past.  To take advantage of this trend, Mitt Romney needs to create doubt about the President’s handling of Iran regarding their attempts to enrich uranium, and also on the President’s shaky relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A succesful but subtle exploitation by Romney of Israel and China during tonight’s debate can achieve two critical keys to Romney’s victory on Election Day.  It can give him the edge he needs in Ohio and Florida, two states which together, can be the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College.

As for President Obama, tonight he needs convince voters that while he is ending the wars we are in, Mitt Romney will get us into new wars.

President Obama must try to derail Romney by making voters believe Romney is too out os step with the desires of Americans.  He must paint Romney as a dangerously inexperienced neo-con who wants to re-wage the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and wants to take us to war in Iran.

If Mitt Romney can’t offer his own legitimate approach to how he intends to handle these nations as well as others such as Libya and Syria, Obama will have the ability to leave lasting marks on Romney among the undecided voters that both men need to swing in their direction on Election Day.  But that will be a tall order for President Obama.  Not only has Romney shown himself quite adept at turning around such charges, thanks to recent events, when it comes to foreign policy, it President Obama who now finds himself on the defense, not Mitt Romney.Bookmark and Share

“Death And Deceit In Benghazi”: The Timeline Behind the Obama Coverup (Full Video)

  Bookmark and Share   While most journalists continue to fail to ask the President and his Administration the hard questions about the circumstances leading up to and following the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Bret Baier of Fox News has put together an excellent report that proves the  President and his Administration have a lot to explain to the American people (see the special report in the video below).

The timeline established in this report raises several questions including some which deal with  the broader concerns of national security within an Administration that apparently went without ever knowing or acknowledging the fact that al Qaeda was establishing itself in Eastern, Libya, even though the Administration was being warned about it for more than two months.

The final presidential debate will be devoted to foreign policy, an issue which until recently has largely taken a backseat to the economic crisis that is confronting our nation.  But over the course of the past six weeks, events beyond our borders have reminded many Americans that what happens abroad creates ripples that eventually and inevitably impact on our own shores and citizens.  Pleas from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene in  Iran’s march towards nuclear capability have reached a fevered pitch.  Continued fallout from the lead-from-behind Obama strategy in regards to the so-called Arab Spring has turned into an Arab Winter that has led to an ongoing civil war in Syria that continues to destabilize an already unstable region of the world and threatens to turn in to a war between Syria and Turkey.   And in Libya the promise once seen in the final fall and demise of Moammar  Gaddafi  has turned in to an opportunity for al Qaeda related cells to kill our Ambassador and three members of his security detail and in to an opportunity for al Qaeda to establish another beachhead to launch future terrorist attacks from.

The ramifications of the events leading up to, and following the terrorist attack in Benghazi are turning in to two scandals.  The fist being the scandal of the obvious intelligence failures which made it possible for the killing of our 4 Americans in Libya on September 11, 2012.  How could the President never have been told about the activity level of al Qaeda in Libya that Ambassador Chris Stevens warned us about in cables to the Administration which he told us about two months prior to the attack that took his life?  Or is this something that President Obama might have known had he not avoided approximately 62% of his daily intelligence briefings since the beginning of the year?

Brett Baier’s timeline also raises questions about the Administration’s reaction to the terrorist attack… a reaction that is turning into the second scandal.

Given the clear contradictions between the facts outlined in this report and the statements made by the President and the Administration, this timeline shows evidence of  an Administration that is at best less than forthcoming with the truth and at its worst, trying to cover-up both the fact that there was such an extraordinarily severe intelligence failure and the reasons for that intelligence failure.

Could it be that President Obama knew nothing about Benghazi because since just the beginning of 2012 alone, he skipped out on  approximately 62% of his daily intelligence briefings?  While this is not a question asked in Brett Baier’s reports, it is a logical question when one consider all the facts and adds them in to the timeline laid out in this special report.

Whether or not Mitt Romney has the opportunity or desire to make these points in tonight’s presidential debate on foreign policy is anyone’s guess.  But what there is no need to second guess is the fact that since the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the president and his Administration have acted in ways that are raising more questions than answers.  In fact while they have not provided any answers , all their actions have raised nothing but questions.  If you take the time to watch this special report by Brett Baier entitled “Death and Deceit in Libya”, you too will begin to understand the true meaning of the phrase… “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.

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“The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya” and the Unravelling of the Obama Presidency

    Bookmark and Share   The initial crime that was Watergate might never have brought down Richard Nixon.  Were it not for the conspiracy to cover up Watergate that Nixon was proven to have orchestrated, he might have completed his second term and gone down as of one the best contemporary presidents in history.  In the case of Barack Obama while impeachment is not a consideration, at least not yet, evidence that his Administration is covering up the events leading up to, and following the tragic events in Benghazi, Libya, may now prove to be the tipping point that prevents President Barack Obama from ever getting a second presidential term.

Such is the result of 166 pages of declassified internal State Department documents that were released today by Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government  Reform Committee, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz.  The information in these documents reveal that the Obama Administration received multiple cables from Ambassador Chris Stevens which warned of security threats in Libya.   On the very day that Stevens was killed in the September 11, 2012 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, he signed a three-page cable, labeled “sensitive,” in which he noted “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” on the part of local residents with Libyan police and security forces who  Ambassador Stevens characterized as “too weak to keep the country secure.” 

While the warning in that cable could easily be seen as coming too late to act upon in the relatively short time available between the time it was received and the time of the attack which occurred hours later, the declassified documents released today show a history of  warnings about the deteriorating security condition in Libya that went as far back as 44 days prior to those pleas for security that were expressed in that September 12th cable.   According to these documents, Ambassador  Stevens and the security officers assigned to protect him repeatedly warned their superiors in Washington about the intensifying lawlessness and violence in Eastern Libya.

The documents even  reveal that Stevens went so far as to let is superiors in Washington know that in meetings with local militia commanders,  the militia commanders bragged to him about their exercising  “control” over the Libyan Armed Forces, and even threatened that if the U.S.-backed  candidate for prime minister were to prevail in Libya’s internal political  jockeying, “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi.”  

A  month prior to that, Stevens signed a two-page cable that he entitled, “The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya.” 

That document noted that in just a few months’ time,  “Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back as a series of violent  incidents has dominated the political landscape.” Steven then went even further and wrote, “The individual  incidents have been organized,” and are a function of “the security vacuum that a  diverse group of independent actors are exploiting for their own purposes.” 

He added

“Islamist extremists are able to attack the Red Cross with relative  impunity” .

Stevens continued;

 “What we have seen are not random crimes of  opportunity, but rather targeted and discriminate attacks.”

His final comment on  that two-page document was;

“Attackers are unlikely to be deterred until  authorities are at least as capable.”

In other cables from Stevens notified the  Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and other agencies  about a “recent increase in violent incidents,” including “attacks against  western interests.”  He even went so far as to write;

“Until the GOL (Government of Libya) is able to effectively  deal with these key issues,” and added “the violence is likely  to continue and worsen.”

All of this is contradicting a narrative about Benghazi that the President and his Administration has been offering since the terrorist attack took place more than a month ago.

Just last night, on a comedy show hosted by Jon Stewart, President Obama told listeners that “every piece of information that we get, as we got it, we laid it out to the American people. The picture eventually gets fully filled in.”

However in the context of the newly released documents, that statement does not ring true and between that statement by the President and the evidence showing that were at least two months worth of warnings about an organized terrorist attack on American interests in Libya, there is a growing gap of doubt about exactly what went wrong and exactly how honest the President and the Administration are being with the American people about this tragedy.

According to both the President and the Vice President, neither of them knew about the need for added security in Libya.  That may very well be true.  But if it is, mounting evidence clearly shows that they most certainly should have known.  So assuming they didn’t know, what we have here is a major national security problem.  A problem that shows an inexcusable level of incompetence within the Obama Administration.  A level of incompetence which opens up an entirely devastating line of legitimate attacks on the President.  For instance, it is well known that President has consistently avoided attending his daily intelligence briefings.  The President claims that he always reviewed the multi-paged summaries that were used as the structural foundation for the agenda in those daily briefings.  But he has never quite addressed the fact that by not actually attending those briefings, he was never afforded the opportunity to ask security and intelligence experts normally in attendance,  questions and obtain detailed answers and information that might have helped the President to conclude that measures he had not before thought about, might required.

This legitimate concern points to a level of irresponsibility on the part of the President that is inexcusable and it lies at the heart of the angle to the Benghazi tragedy that could be the nail the Obama-Biden reelection coffin.   It is the motive behind what is increasingly looking like a cover-up.

To avoid being exposed to the his irresponsible practices and policies, we are seeing evidence that the President should have known about the deteriorating situation in Libya.  A situation that was pointing to not only the increasing dangers to our representatives in in Benghazi but an even more dire circumstances involving wider national security concerns … a resurgence of al Qaeda in Libya.

In an attempt to avoid undermining one of the few but still arguable strong points of the Obama Administration, the President wanted to avoid there being any impression other the one that after killing Osama bin Laden, President Obama also successfully decimated al Qaeda.  But that is a false impression and if it was revealed that al Qaeda connected elements killed our Ambassador, the President’s inflated high marks regarding the broader war on terror would have been undermined.    This is why the President and his Administration spent more than a month trying to deny the tragedy in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

In the final analysis, Benghazi is becoming Barack Obama’s Watergate.  Not simply because there is an obvious scandal behind the incompetence  behind the lack of proper coordination of intelligence, but mainly because there is an obvious coverup here involving who knew what and when. And it also involves  questions about how big a part the President’s reelection strategy has played and continues to play in preventing  the truth surrounding Benghazi from coming out.

It’s time for the President to have a prerss conference on Benghazi and it is time for him to come clean.  Continued attempts to be less than forthcoming will only result in a continued drop of his support in the polls.  Unless of course the President knows that the facts that are being hidden are even more damning than his apparent attempts to coverup those facts up.  Either way though, the President is in trouble.

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