Friday, April 01, 2016


The Senate isn't going to give a hearing anytime soon to Merrick Garland, President Obama's Supreme Court pick -- certainly not before the November election. Some people think he'll be considered in a lame-duck session of Hillary Clinton wins the election. Or perhaps Clinton will renominate him, and he'll get a hearing then.

If he does, he's going to be linked to Benghazi.

Here's the story, from the Daily Caller (via Fox Nation):
Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice to fill Antonin Scalia’s position on the Supreme Court, falsely blamed the YouRube video “Innocence of Muslims” for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi attacks, court transcripts show.

Judicial Watch flagged Garland’s comments, which came during a Jan. 10, 2013 hearing as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group for 52 photos of the body of Osama bin Laden.
Judicial Watch wanted the photos of the dead bin Laden released. But Garland accepted the government's argument that the release of the photos could inspire violence. He cited the reaction to the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims:
Garland asserted that he was more concerned that the release could spark direct attacks on Americans.

“But so the question really is isn’t this worse?” Garland asked. “They’re telling us this could result in death, not just release of secret information, but death.”

“And we do know of examples where in this country we would think that the release of certain things would not have lead to this, and yet there were, not very long ago a video was released that did lead to death of an American ambassador, of other people, of riots in other cities, when the Government tells us that this is likely to lead to death isn’t that even more, something we should defer to even more than when they say well, this is going to lead to, you know, the release of some secret information?”
If Garland gets a hearing, I fully expect this line of attack to be used against him. The only question is whether the attack will spill over from the right-wing media to the Senate itself. (And yes, I think hr'e'll be attacked on this even if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election in a blowout. As long as she's in politics, the right will never let Benghazi go.)

But it can't seriously be disputed that Innocence of Muslims inspired violence. Here's a Guardian story from September 14, 2012, titled "Controversial Film Sparks Protests and Violence Across the Muslim World":
By Friday morning what had begun as a small protest outside the US embassy in Cairo on Tuesday had set off protests across the Muslim world....

The Tunis demonstration began in quiet good spirits but ended in violence, as demonstrators breached the US embassy compound walls, lit fires and tore down the US flag, replacing it with a black Salafist banner. Elsewhere in the city, the American school was attacked....

By the end of the day, the back of the Tunis embassy compound was billowing flames and black smoke, while Tunisian riot police, visible inside the compound, appeared to have succeeded in protecting the main embassy building. Later, however, two protesters were reportedly killed and 40 injured during the attempt to storm it....

In Khartoum -- where some of the worst violence took place -- there were suggestions of direct involvement by the government in encouraging the protests....

In Cairo there was violence throughout the day around Tahrir Square and one protester died after clashes with police near the US embassy.
And CNN reported this on September 21:
Demonstrations in parts of Pakistan ostensibly about an anti-Islam film spiraled into chaos Friday, as mobs ransacked banks, cinemas and government offices and engaged in clashes with authorities that left at least 15 dead.

The protests were not confined to Pakistan, as Muslims also hit the streets of Lebanon, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

Nor was the target of their ire new: Muslim-led demonstrations have occurred daily since September 11 over an obscure, 14-minute trailer for a film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer.

... Pakistani authorities effectively gave their blessing to protests -- even as others, including the Tunisian government, banned them on Friday fearing unrest -- "by declaring a national holiday in protest of the film," noted Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

And, indeed, tens of thousands answered the call.

Most of them protested peacefully....

Yet there were significant exceptions, with authorities reporting 78 injured in addition to 15 killed in Peshawar and Karachi alone.
Wikipedia has an extensive entry titled "Reactions to Innocence of Muslims." You might want to jump straight to the section titled "Riots, Chaos and Damage."

And I don't care what you think of David Kirkpatrick's assertions in The New York Times that, yes, the video was one of the motivating factors for some of the Benghazi attackers and that a captured attack ringleader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, confirmed this. It's simply a fact that violence happened in reaction to the video. But the right will use this against Garland if GOP senators ever deign to consider him.


Joey Blau said...

It always pisses me off that people can't understand that just because the Benghazi attack was carried out by an Islamist cell, and had at least some planning, that it still could have been touched off by the reaction to the video.

And certainly, there were protests that provided good cover for the attack.

Feud Turgidson said...

There's nothing in the Constitution about Congress critters having coffee with any presidential nominee - not just for the SCOTUS, but any role with the administration that Congress says, Hey you - we get to advise and consent or not on that job.

There's not one one word more in the Constitution requring the U.S. Senate to give a presidential nominee any vote - not an upper/downer type vote, not a cloture vote (The word "cloture" isn't in the Constitution, or the Declaration, or the Bible, either book - it MIGHT be in the Koran, or something written in French between Bastille Day and when Bonaparte took over, I can't be sure since I have checked - "cloture" IS a pretty French-sounding word, tho, isn't it?).

The Constitution says nothing about 'recording' votes,show of hands, "the Ayes have it", total length of genital stimulative tissue flaccid or on being stimulated, "Survey says...", or Wyoming - or, for that matter, Texas, California, most of Dixie, Utah and a whole bunch of other funny-sounding native- or Mexkin-sounding place names for lands stolen from natives or Mexico or ripped off France, Great Britain or Russia.

The Constitution, God bless it's little pea-pickin' punctuation, doesn't even require anyone in Congress, leave aside the Heritage Institute, to approve a presidential nomination before the a Daddy nominee just walks right in, sits right down, and lets his opinions roll on. The nominee could just waltz in, don the robe, take a set, and get to it:

(Note the list of other legal beagles the author had read over his draft manuscript or at least bounced this off before publishing - it includes Jack Goldsmith, head of the GW Bush Office of Legal Counsel, the folks whose job it is to advise presidents on what the Constitution says and allows and disallows, quite apart from weaseling around giving up audiotapes and emails -oh, and BTW: nothing in the Constitution about emails, auddiotapesm recording equipment - even electricity wasn't important enough to garner the Founders' attention, they had bigger fish to microwave in those days. Dubya's own constitutional dude agrees!).

I myself have an annotated version of the Constitution that has written on it, in clear handwitting, the words "Fuck you, McConnell, and that goes double for you, too, Grassley - you blithering moron".

Ten Bears said...

Of course. So much the better to cover up Willard and the Retards failed attempt to stage a Reaganesque October Surprise.