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The AWOL Commander-in-Chief
National Review ^ | 5/3/2014 | Andrew C. McCarthy

Posted on 05/03/2014 6:50:00 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross

What was Obama doing while terrorists attacked Americans in Benghazi?

You couldn’t help but feel for Robert Lovell. The retired brigadier general is haunted by the failure of AFRICOM, the U.S. military’s Africa Command, to respond when Americans were under siege in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. His congressional testimony this week was somber — no faux “What difference, at this point, does it make?” indignation, no “Dude, this was two years ago” juvenilia for him.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the State Department’s Sean Smith were killed in the early stage of the jihadist attack. By then, the actions that would surely have saved their lives — e.g., an adult recognition that Benghazi was no place for an American diplomatic facility, or at least the responsible provision of adequate security — had already been callously forsaken. It seems unlikely AFRICOM could have gotten there in time for them on that fateful night, though that does not come close to excusing the failure to try.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are a different story. They fought valiantly for many hours after our military learned, very early on, that the battle was raging. Unlike AFRICOM, the SEALs did not stand pat. They ran to the sound of the guns. After saving over 30 of their countrymen, they paid with their lives. The armed forces, General Lovell recalled, knew that terrorists were attacking them. Yet no one came to their aid.

Lovell bears the burden of their abandonment with a heavy heart. His moving testimony made that clear. Still, his version of events is deeply unsatisfying. Why did AFRICOM fail to respond? “Basically,” he stammered, “there was a lot of looking to the State Department.” Unfortunately, we’re told Secretary Hillary Clinton and her minions were unclear “in terms of what they would like to have.” Come again? “They didn’t come forward with stronger requests for action.”

This Foggy Bottom focus had me groping for my pocket Constitution. Sure enough, Article II was as I remembered it. Much as Hillary Clinton may desire to be the commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces, that job does not belong to the secretary of state.

It was the solemn duty of the president to come forward with not requests but commands for action. Why was AFRICOM hanging on the State Department’s preferences? Why were our troops hamstrung by what Lovell described as “deference to the Libyan people?” On the night of September 11, 2012, AFRICOM was not beholden to Mrs. Clinton or Tripoli. They answered to Barack Obama.

Of course, no one can answer to a commander-in-chief who abdicates his command, a commander-in-chief who is AWOL. A commander-in-chief does not get to vote “present.”

Over 19 months have elapsed since terrorists savagely attacked the United States in Benghazi. Yet we are still waiting, ever waiting, for an account of where the president was, what he was doing, and what if any directives he gave during the hours and hours during which Americans were being tormented and killed.

If the president’s name were Bush or Reagan, we would long ago have had a minute-by-minute accounting of his every move. And if the incident involved some faraway American warrior’s slaying of a jihadist emir, we would long ago have had a Situation Room photo depicting Obama as maestro . . . with an accompanying soundtrack of classified leaks portraying his courage while others were under fire.

Benghazi, however, is a catastrophe wrought by Obama’s pro-Islamist policies, one that puts the lie to his oft-repeated claim to have “decimated” al-Qaeda. So with Benghazi we get the stonewall, a barricade his praetorian media have been only too happy to fortify.

We know that less than a day after Ty Woods and Glen Doherty were martyred protecting Americans out of a sense of duty, the commander-in-chief in whom that duty is actually reposed was at a Las Vegas fundraiser, insouciantly repeating his campaign line: “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”

Only hours before in Cairo, al-Qaeda operatives empowered by the president’s pro-Islamist policies had rioted outside our embassy, replacing the Stars and Stripes with their jihadist black flag and chanting, “Obama, Obama, there are still a million Osamas!” Even fewer hours before, in Benghazi, the United States was dealt a humiliating defeat by the very jihadists Obama was still risibly claiming to have quelled. Yet for those hours, we to this day have no accounting of Barack Obama’s whereabouts and activities.

Well, next to no accounting. We do know that the president was informed about the Benghazi siege only minutes after it began — because military officials, who have felt obliged to account for their actions, have reported telling him about it. We know, as The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol notes, that “while Americans were under assault in Benghazi, the president found time for a non-urgent, politically useful, hour-long call to [Israeli] Prime Minister Netanyahu” — a call made because Obama was wooing Jewish voters unsettled by his notorious disdain for Netanyahu, and thus a call it was in his interest to publicize. We have been told, moreover, that about five hours after learning that Americans were under attack, Obama had a phone call with Secretary Clinton — immediately after which, even as Woods and Doherty were still fighting for their lives, Clinton put out a statement spinning the Benghazi violence as the product of an obscure anti-Muslim Internet video . . . the same fraudulent claim Clinton subordinates had already made about the earlier Cairo violence.

Interestingly, the White House had initially — and apparently falsely — insisted that the president had not spoken on the phone with Secretary Clinton or other senior cabinet and military officials. Obama’s sparse version of events changed only after Clinton felt obliged to account for her activities in congressional testimony. Obviously, the president of the United States perceives no similar obligation.

I’ve written a book about presidential lawlessness and dereliction of duty, called Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, which will be released in a few weeks. It is not a call for the president’s impeachment. It is an acknowledgment that impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one; thus the executive’s provable commission of serial impeachable offenses counts for little unless and until there is broad public consensus that a president should be removed from power. Impeachment is a political case that must be carefully built; partisan hackery is no substitute.

The foundation of any such political case is simply this: The executive branch is designed to make the president singularly accountable. That is why he is the sole official in whom the Constitution vests all executive power — AFRICOM moves, or doesn’t move, based on his orders because it is his authority that the armed forces exercise. The chief executive, James Madison asserted, would be wholly “responsible for [the] conduct” of his subordinate officials. Therefore, it would “subject [the president] to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses.” When AFRICOM abstains from battle, or Lois Lerner obstructs an investigation, or Eric Holder misleads Congress, or Michael Morell doctors talking points, or Susan Rice serially lies on national television, Barack Obama is responsible. It is his bidding that they do, and by failing to fire or discipline them he implicitly endorses their malfeasance.

Outnumbered and fighting off wave after jihadist wave, Americans were left to die in Benghazi while administration officials huddled, not to devise a rescue strategy, but to spin the election-year politics. The most powerful and capable armed forces in the history of the world idled, looking not to their commander-in-chief but to a State Department that busied itself writing press releases about phantom Islamophobia. The president of the United States, the only constitutional official responsible for responding, was nowhere to be found.

We are left with four dead Americans, an emerging paper trail of dereliction stretching from Benghazi to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Benghazi is not about what Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta or Susan Rice or Ben Rhodes or Jay Carney or Robert Lovell did or didn’t do. The only question is: What was President Barack Obama doing, and not doing, during the critical hours when his sworn duty required decisive action? Mr. Obama owes Americans a detailed answer. Now.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: andrewcmccarthy; andrewmccarthy; awol; benghazi; benrhodes; demagogicparty; elections; fraud; jaycarney; libya; mediabias; memebuilding; nationalreview; nationalsecurityfail; obama; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; scandals; susanrice; teaparty; tyranny; wherewasobama; wherewasreggie
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Andy McCarthy asks the question that FReepers have asked since 9/12/2012. I do hope Trey Gowdy will ask this too.
1 posted on 05/03/2014 6:50:00 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross
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To: Travis McGee
Can you say .... CROSS BORDER AUTHORITY?
2 posted on 05/03/2014 6:50:42 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross

He was sleeping!!


3 posted on 05/03/2014 6:55:22 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Servant of the Cross

He was being put into his big boy jammies and given a nice cup of cocoa by Valerie Jarrett.


4 posted on 05/03/2014 7:00:24 AM PDT by Blackirish
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To: Servant of the Cross

“It was the solemn duty of the president to come forward with not requests but commands for action”

That’s false, and that’s also why this hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Sending light forces into urban combat is completely discretionary. It’s never a “duty”. The Commander-in-Chief has complete authority to do it or not to do it.

There are problems with the Benghazi story, and they may be great big ones. But the decision not to send troops isn’t one of them.


5 posted on 05/03/2014 7:01:09 AM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: Servant of the Cross
I feel so secure that when a US ambassador was being assassinated by a terrorist attack that the POTUS was AWOL from the crisis and nitwits like “Dude” Tommy Vietor were running things in the situation room.
6 posted on 05/03/2014 7:01:16 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: Dr. Ursus

“SLEEPING” a term used in homes with alcoholics or drug users to denote the individual has passed out!


7 posted on 05/03/2014 7:02:56 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: Servant of the Cross
Mr. Obama owes Americans a detailed answer

Apparently, he and his fellow communists in Congress and the Press don't agree.

And there isn't much the right can do about it, unless they start playing for keeps.

8 posted on 05/03/2014 7:09:31 AM PDT by Rome2000
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To: Servant of the Cross
A General called Obama for what he is, a “coward”.
9 posted on 05/03/2014 7:11:35 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Servant of the Cross

Sleeping and Chooming.


10 posted on 05/03/2014 7:11:37 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: Dr. Ursus
Four dead in Benghazi

Where was our CIC??

It's plain for all to see.

He slept when the clock struck 3:00!

11 posted on 05/03/2014 7:13:36 AM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement!)
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To: milagro
Or, better yet,:

AWOL when the clock struck 3:00!

12 posted on 05/03/2014 7:16:01 AM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement!)
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To: Rome2000

At least McCarthy really nails the real issue in all this: AWOL leadership!


13 posted on 05/03/2014 7:17:35 AM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement!)
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To: Servant of the Cross
No one's asking...isn't the VP supposed to be available when the President isn't? And so on down the chain of command. Why didn't that happen if someone in the military couldn't get ahold of the president for a command?

Besides that, aren't there standing orders of what do do if there's something as serious as an attack on an embassy staff?

14 posted on 05/03/2014 7:23:07 AM PDT by grania
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To: grania; Travis McGee
No one's asking...isn't the VP supposed to be available when the President isn't? And so on down the chain of command.

Former SEAL: Obama Never Gave 'Cross-Border Authority' Orders

Matt Bracken, the former SEAL, writes "only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission."

15 posted on 05/03/2014 7:30:13 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: hoosiermama; VRWC For Truth


16 posted on 05/03/2014 7:37:15 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Malaysia Flight MH370 Black Box signals reported in Bermuda Triangle)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Obama didn’t need to be in the Situation Room. He would only need to be there if there was something else he needed to do. He had already agreed to the demands of the enemy and had surrendered in Benghazi. Sitting in the Situation Room would have been a waste of time and he needed his rest for that fundraiser in Las Vegas. Does anyone think that Al Qaeda would just let the Ambassador’s body go without something in trade? Does anyone think Al Qaeda would just let those 31 CIA employees go without something in trade? Obama agreed to our enemy’s terms and went to bed. He surrendered.


17 posted on 05/03/2014 7:41:44 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: All

Does anyone here actually think the POS president and any of his cohorts give a damn about the 4 Americans who gave their lives at Benghazi???


18 posted on 05/03/2014 7:44:46 AM PDT by JW1949
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To: Servant of the Cross
McCarthy asks the right questions. Let's hope the proposed Select Congressional Committee on Benghazi does as well.

For political reasons (Obama is part black, and therefore a politically protected species) they may not be able to impeach this criminally negligent and uncaring little turd, but at least they can expose the little Commie cockroach and his handlers to the light.

19 posted on 05/03/2014 7:49:59 AM PDT by Gritty (Gun controllers aren't afraid of guns but a country where the individual has power-Dan Greenfield)
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To: milagro

FOUR DEAD IN BENGHAZI

Obama and Jihadis coming,
We're really on our own.
All we get is government lying,
Four dead in Benghazi.

It's time to admit it,
Our government is cutting us down.
Should have been said long ago.
What if you knew them,
And found them dead on the ground?
Obama just let them all go.

Jihadis and Obama coming,
We're really on our own.
All we get is government lying,
Four dead in Benghazi.

Four dead in Benghazi.
Four dead in Benghazi.
Four dead in Benghazi.


20 posted on 05/03/2014 7:57:25 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Malaysia Flight MH370 Black Box signals reported in Bermuda Triangle)
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To: Gritty

Great incapsulation. Pat Smith should be allowed to read this at the invocation of the special committee.


21 posted on 05/03/2014 8:05:12 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: Dr. Ursus

I have always thought kenyan probably popped some pills and hit the sack.


22 posted on 05/03/2014 8:08:06 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: Servant of the Cross

Obammy may give a speech on the matter of his where abouts during this but like so many other incidents it will be mostly LIES.


23 posted on 05/03/2014 8:09:03 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: txhurl

It troubled me greatly that the General said he was waiting on State Department.

DOESN’T HE UNDERSTAND THE CHAIN OF COMMAND???

Shouldn’t he have said he was waiting for the CBA from the President???

He is still protecting the President!!!


24 posted on 05/03/2014 8:12:24 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: Gadsden1st

ALSO, did anyone ask him why he was waiting on State and not seeking CBA from the CIC?? This is not rocket science.

One almost has to believe these hearings are run by idiots.

I say to myself, “They can’t be this stupid”, and every day, something comes out that proves they are....or they are intentionally NOT asking the right questions.


25 posted on 05/03/2014 8:22:24 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: Gadsden1st

He’s NOT protecting POSHITUS! He’s pointing out that the CINC was derelict! And Gowdy will be on that like a duck on a junebug.


26 posted on 05/03/2014 8:26:11 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: txhurl

Any bets that Gowdy will be in charge? I see it reported that it MAY be him, but he told Greta to let him know if she hears anything.


27 posted on 05/03/2014 8:43:52 AM PDT by Gadsden1st
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To: Servant of the Cross

While I think the General was trying to do the right thing he full well knows that State is not in his chain of command. I wish congressman knew that.


28 posted on 05/03/2014 8:55:50 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Gadsden1st

Went and looked up that interview. Lets see if this works from Gretawire?

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/video-congressman-trey-gowdy-on-the-record-on-the-select-committee-for-benghazi/


29 posted on 05/03/2014 8:59:19 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: hoosiermama

The only reason Gowdy wouldn’t chair it is he REALLY wants Lerner behind bars. Maybe procedurally he could chair both.


30 posted on 05/03/2014 9:03:12 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

I Think You Can”Go To The Bank”On IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


31 posted on 05/03/2014 9:13:19 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: txhurl

He needs to be the lead interrogator with good investigators behind him. He mentions two with passion and there are more who are very competent at doing the detail investigation work. The also need a contact line. One can’t send Issa information unless you live in his district.
I have no problem sending material to Todd Young my representative but others are not as lucky
There is a lot more than the email in the recently released FoI material Also included is a tweet to Rice from a CNN reporter during the attack naming names and explaining who was attacking. That alone should convict Rice. And if she notified the WH as she should it would be the nail in the coffin of another

It has been speculated that 0 didn’t go to the situation room so he could claim he knew nothing. A real POS!


32 posted on 05/03/2014 9:15:46 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: Servant of the Cross

**Of course, no one can answer to a commander-in-chief who abdicates his command, a commander-in-chief who is AWOL. A commander-in-chief does not get to vote “present.”**

When is Obortion O ever at the White House?


33 posted on 05/03/2014 9:18:50 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: hoosiermama

The one thing I haven’t seen anybody in any hearing mention the 40 CIA employees who were sequestered having been forced to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements. They must be saving this for the last.

Well, and the missing MANPADS, although that one PHD guy did bring up the chopper in Egypt being brought down with them.

And Mrs. Morsi promised she could bury thighness with all the stuff she has on her.


34 posted on 05/03/2014 9:21:23 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: hoosiermama

weet to Rice from a CNN reporter during the attack naming names and explaining who was attacking.


Think this was the guy who happened along the diary shown on the consulate floor? Seems like CNN was completely prepared to own this story until something went ‘wrong’.


35 posted on 05/03/2014 9:23:59 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: Iron Munro

Now a soon-to-be published biography by David Maraniss entitled “Barack Obama: The Story” gives more detail on Obama’s pot-smoking days, complete with testimonials from young Barry Obama’s high school buddies, a group that went by the name “the Choom Gang.” Choom was slang for smoking marijuana.

Maraniss portrays the teenage Obama as not just a pot smoker, but a pot-smoking innovator.

“As a member of the Choom Gang,” Maraniss writes, “Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends.”

The first Obama-inspired trend: “Total Absorption” or “TA”.

“TA was the opposite of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled,” explains Maraniss. Here’s how it worked: If you exhaled prematurely when you were with the Choom Gang, “you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around.”


36 posted on 05/03/2014 9:24:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: txhurl

Seems like CNN was completely prepared to own this story until something went ‘wrong’.


Went ‘wrong’ as situation changed from planned kidnap to unexpected massacre, with our heroic Seals running to the sound of gunfire.


37 posted on 05/03/2014 9:33:57 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: Servant of the Cross
If the private of the guard deserts his post
during an attack; he is court-marshalled.

This CiC deserts his post when American
soil was under attack by terrorists,
he needs to be impeached.


38 posted on 05/03/2014 9:40:53 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: UriÂ’el-2012

AND court-martialed.


39 posted on 05/03/2014 9:57:29 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: txhurl

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2014/04/benghazi-91112-617-pm-susan-rice-given-tweet-from-freelancer-jomanacnn-in-libya-ansar-al-sharia-attacking-benghazi-compound/


40 posted on 05/03/2014 10:13:16 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: Servant of the Cross

AWOL POTUS? I wish. He’ll show up tonight at the correspondents dinner to have his ass firmly kissed by his adoring presstitutes.


41 posted on 05/03/2014 10:16:16 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Dr. Ursus

He was stoned.


42 posted on 05/03/2014 10:21:49 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: hoosiermama

Thanks, that’s a great page!


43 posted on 05/03/2014 10:22:12 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: txhurl

Note this is one of the other documents received in the FoI. WH doesn’t know which documents were released. Expect a drip drip drip summer till he second shoes are thrown closer to election time. Let the RATS claim a position before yanking the carpet !
At this point its political payback time!

Sheriff Joe piles on when the time is right!


44 posted on 05/03/2014 10:25:21 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: hoosiermama

Then Gowdy takes the gavel in January!


45 posted on 05/03/2014 10:48:43 AM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: txhurl

thx


46 posted on 05/03/2014 11:08:13 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: txhurl
If the private of the guard deserts his post
during an attack; he is court-martialed.

This CiC deserts his post when American
soil was under attack by terrorists,

He needs to be impeached.


47 posted on 05/03/2014 11:12:55 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: txhurl

Ideal!


48 posted on 05/03/2014 11:16:04 AM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: Salvation
Barack Obama:

"Of course I inhaled - that was the point."

(Isn't it odd that no mainstream media "journalist" sought out Obama's former pals in the Choom Gang
for interviews when Obama was running for the senate in 2003 or the presidency in 2008 and 2012?)


49 posted on 05/03/2014 11:49:06 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Malaysia Flight MH370 Black Box signals reported in Bermuda Triangle)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Why isn’t the pink mafia up in arms over the rape and murder of one of their own, I wonder?


50 posted on 05/03/2014 6:02:20 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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