By Doug Porter
The House Intelligence Committee has absolved the Obama administration of deliberate wrongdoing in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and other news sources.
The attack has been a favored topic of conversation/outrage on the right. Congressman Darrel Issa’s on-camera buffoonery combined with gotta-find-a-smoking gun conservative media coverage resulted in more than 13 hearings, 25,000 pages of documents and 50 briefings.
Four American deaths at the hands of terrorists have been exploited beyond belief. UT-San Diego named the San Diego victims as its ‘persons of the year.’ Operational data on the CIA station in Libya became common knowledge. And millions of dollars have been wasted as GOP opportunists sought to make a scandal out of a tragedy in the hope that both the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions would be tarnished.
Here’s the Chronicle report, which has garnered virtually no attention here in Rep. Darrell Issa’s backyard:
The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.
The panel voted Thursday to declassify the report, the result of two years of investigation by the committee. U.S. intelligence agencies will have to approve making the report public.
Thompson said the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”
That conflicts with accusations of administration wrongdoing voiced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), whose House Government Oversight and Reform Committee has held hearings on the Benghazi attack.
No-Name Convention Center Going Nowhere
It was a bad weekend for the downtown civic booster crowd.
The half billion dollar expansion of the Convention Center, is on hold following an appellate court ruling rejecting the legal basis for the it’s-not-a-tax fee scheme set up to pay the costs. Things are about to get real interesting as we get to watch competing interests maneuver to make lemonade out of these lemons.
From Scott Lewis at Voice of San Diego:
Friday night, we could practically hear the U-T editorial board pounding out an updated vision. They want to blow up the blue-collar harbor and install a sports resort, including, crucially, a new football stadium.
The Chargers themselves are a little more restrained. Sanders, the port and all the Convention Center boosters had rebuffed their vision of an East Village stadium that had a retractable roof and that connected to the Convention Center.
You can bet that they will roll that out again as the city decides whether to appeal the ruling.
And Lewis was right, with a UT-San Diego editorial calling for “Plan B”–posted at 6:03pm–to save the convention center expansion AND give the Chargers a new home.
…On the other side of Harbor Drive from the existing convention center, near Petco Park, is property owned by JMI Realty, the development company controlled by former Padres owner John Moores. He has plans for a hotel project on the property and has also been quietly pushing for the parcel to be used for expansion of the convention center as well.
The site was rejected by convention center planners several years ago because it is not contiguous to the existing center — a factor the planners consider highly important.
But the reality is that the walking distance from one end of the existing center to the other is actually greater than the distance from the center to the JMI property.
And perhaps even more significant, a convention center expansion on that parcel could be tied to a project to build a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers on adjacent property owned by the Metropolitan Transit System. Mark Fabiani, the Chargers special counsel spearheading the effort to build a new stadium, has long been supportive of a combined stadium and convention center project.
I’m sure this story/press release in the San Diego Business Journal was issued prior to the court ruling:
San Diego Convention Center officials have hired Cleveland-based The Superlative Group to provide consulting work in relation to potential naming-rights and sponsorship programs at the center.
Officials of San Diego Convention Center Corp., which oversees operations at the downtown facility, said Superlative Group is the nation’s “foremost expert” on naming-rights and sponsorships at ballparks, stadiums, arenas and municipally owned buildings…
…Superlative Group was started in 1994. According to its website, the company has represented convention centers in Phoenix and Miami Beach, and professional stadium venues including the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field and the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park.
Briggs is Feelin’ Fiesty
Attorney Cory Briggs who–at the invitation of the city–filed the lawsuit that has resulted in overturning the Convention Center funding plan, has made the City of San Diego an offer in another pending lawsuit. The city likely won’t accept the offer, as the City Attorney’s pride is on the line.
From Dorian Hargrove at the Reader:
Last Tuesday, July 29, San Diego City Council members retroactively approved city attorney Jan Goldsmith’s decision to hire outside attorneys to represent him in a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after he refused to turn over emails he sent to reporters and lobbyists from one of three private email accounts. Councilmembers agreed to spend up to $150,000 for the legal defense, in addition to the hundreds of staff hours already spent on the case.
On Saturday, August 2, the attorney who filed the suit, Cory Briggs, offered Goldsmith, council president Todd Gloria (currently defending a similar lawsuit), and the city a way out. He will drop the lawsuits in exchange for four things: Goldsmith and Gloria must admit they were wrong to withhold those private emails about city business, make changes to the municipal code requiring that all private emails on city devices are public record, and $100,000 in legal costs.
The last one, order city attorney Goldsmith to retract statements he made to the U-T, which, according to Briggs, misrepresented his demands.
SDPD’s Video Network Not So Hot
As Comic-Con rolled into San Diego this year we published a story by Dave Maass (“Going to San Diego Comic-Con? Put On Your Mask for the Surveillance Camera Network”) based on information publicly available, much of it through the SDPD’s web site.
It turns out our local gendarmes might have been boasting, just a little bit.
Oh, okay, they were completely full of it, as Andrew Keatts at Voice of San Diego found out when he went looking for more details on “Operation Secure San Diego.”
The SDPD supposedly has 41 locations around town where officers could access video cameras, most of which appear to be privately operated. BUT…only 20 of these location are accessible compatibility issues between the cameras and the department’s software, according to Keatts…AND exactly 0% of the SDPD’s 500 cars cannot access the feeds due to a lack of bandwidth in their in-car computers.
As anyone who tried to watch a YouTube video on an out-of-date iPhone can attest, you need a 4G connection to get anything useful. All 500 of the department’s black-and-white cruisers have a 3G connection.
So, even for those 20 sites where SDPD can access a security feed, they’re essentially useless to any responding officer.
Maybe that’s why Jeff Jordon, vice president of the SDPD’s union and an active patrol officer in Mid-City, said he’d never even heard of the program until last weekend
Better Living Through Chemistry?
Since Lays is now featuring Cappuccino flavored potato chips (really!) in local stores anything is possible, I guess.
How about a new “bang in your mouth eggnog” for the holidays?
Authorities are investigating an explosion that originated in a vat of eggnog, damaged a pharmaceutical plant and caused minor injuries to two workers in New Jersey, local media said on Sunday.
Two employees were mixing artificial eggnog flavorings in a laboratory at Pharmachem Laboratories in Totowo, New Jersey on Saturday night when the explosion occurred, Totowa Fire Marshal Allen Del Vecchio told WABC-TV Eyewitness News.
They were trying out a new eggnog recipe, the station said, adding that the cause of the blast was undetermined.
Is that with or without booze? Do you think Obamacare will cover eggnog?
No, You Are Not Imagining It
For those still counting at home, San Diego has now been warmer than normal for 85 days straight. #sandiegoweather
— Robert Krier (@sdutKrier) August 4, 2014
On This Day: 1735 – Freedom of the press was established with an acquittal of John Peter Zenger. The writer of the New York Weekly Journal had been charged with seditious libel by the royal governor of New York. The jury said that “the truth is not libelous.” 1949 – Thirteen firefighters, including 12 smokejumpers who parachuted in to help their coworkers, died while battling a forest fire at Gates of the Mountain, Montana 1966 – A ban of the broadcast of any and all Beatles records on many US radio stations went into effect. The ban was in response to John Lennon stating that the band was now more popular than Jesus Christ
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@
Rosette Garcia says
Wish we could kick Darrel Issa’s sorry ass out of Congress this November, but local Democrats don’t think that’s possible.