There Is No There There – Literal Legerdemain

Originally dealing with the failed land deal years earlier known as Whitewater, Kenneth Starr, with the approval of U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, conducted a wide-ranging investigation of alleged abuses including the firing of White House travel agents, the alleged misuse of FBI files, and Bill Clinton’s conduct during the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former Arkansas government employee, Paula Jones.

In the course of the investigation, Linda Tripp provided Starr with taped phone conversations in which Monica Lewinsky, a former White House Intern, discussed having oral sex with Clinton.  At the deposition, the judge ordered a precise legal definition of the term “sexual relations” that Clinton claims to have construed to mean only vaginal intercourse. A much-quoted statement from Clinton’s grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word “is.” Contending that his statement that “there’s nothing going on between us” had been truthful because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned.  Clinton said, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.  If the—if he—if ‘is’ means ‘is and never has been,’ that is not—that is one thing.  If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.”  

Starr obtained further evidence of inappropriate behavior by seizing the computer hard drive and email records of Monica Lewinsky. Based on his conflicting testimony, Starr concluded that Clinton had committed perjury. Starr submitted his findings to Congress in a lengthy document (the Starr Report), and simultaneously posted the report on the internet, replete with lurid descriptions of encounters between Clinton and Lewinsky.  Starr was criticized by Democrats for spending $70 million on an investigation that substantiated only perjury and obstruction of justice.  Critics of Starr also contend that his investigation was highly politicized because it regularly leaked tidbits of information to the press, in violation of legal ethics, and because his report included lengthy descriptions which were humiliating yet irrelevant to the legal case.

At a press conference regarded the redaction of talking points about Benghazi in September 2012, Obama charged that the current storyline is politically motivated. “The whole issue of talking points, frankly throughout this process, has been a sideshow,” said the president. “Suddenly three days ago this gets spun up as if there’s something new to the story. There’s no ‘there’ there,” said the president.

Whatever clever legal legerdemain Bill Clinton was trying to use, Obama is less original in his address.  “There is no there there,” is a quote from modernist author, art collector and lesbian, Gertrude Stein.  She was talking about her childhood home in Oakland, Calif.  She was often given to uttering such non-sequiturs on the premise that she was simply so intelligent that her interlocutors simply didn’t possess equal intelligence to understand her.

Clinton was ultimately impeached for lying, when evidence was produced from Monica Lewinsky’s computer.  Democrat critics criticized Starr for spending so much of the taxpayers’ money on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice (the very charges brought against Pres. Richard Nixon).

Now we have Benghazi.  We have witnesses testifying that a stand-down order was given, preventing anyone in the military from rescuing Ambassador Stevens.  Liberals claim that the Pentagon says it never issued such an order.  But the order wouldn’t have come from the Pentagon but from the Commander-in-Chief, thereby alleviating the Pentagon from charges that they “issued” the order.

Obama can’t understand all the fuss over Benghazi.  Suddenly – three days ago – Benghazi gets spun up as if new information had appeared.  New information was revealed in the House investigation by way of witnesses.  Other witnesses have told news sources that their jobs and livelihoods will be imperiled if they speak.

Stein’s “There is no there there” is a mantra for the modernist and post-modernist school of philosophy.  In her book, “The Feel-Good Curriculum:  The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem,” Dr. Maureen Stout, a professor of Education at the University of British Columbia, wrote in 1993, “Cynicism is the principal characteristic of the post-modern condition because ideals are seen as nothing more than the myths we use to deceive ourselves about the possibility of progress.  The true post-modernist insists that there is nothing to believe in and no point in believing… He is, by definition, a cynic and, having made his ideological bed, he must now lie in it.

“But we do we really want to accept the post-modernist’s very gloomy picture of the human condition; accept, as Gertrude Stein once said, ‘there’s no there there?’  It does make one wonder why, for example, the nation got so caught up in the space program in the 1960’s…”

It’s the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy there’s nothing to see here; go away.  Move on.  Don’t believe the witnesses.  Don’t believe the facts the Republicans have uncovered; the Republicans are partisan – this is just a politically-motivated witch hunt.  There’s nothing to it.  Nothing more to see than on the day it happened.

There’s nothing to redacting talking points – twelve times (you should have seen what one V.P. did to the speech my boss wrote for her).  That’s what people like Obama do.  When he went to bed, he thought all the fuss was about demonstration in Cairo.  Stevens was scared so we put him in the safehouse.  How was Obama supposed to know Stevens wouldn’t be safe there? 

The police chief of Benghazi told State that it was about the video.  Of course, your average protestor is more like to carry sticks and stones, and burn flags rather than rocket launchers that burn down a building.  It wasn’t even an official building, but a private house next door to the consulate (can’t you guys even get the building right?  It was a consulate.  We only have one embassy in any country, usually in the capital city.  Other government buildings are called “consulates”).  And this was an annex to that consulate.  And it isn’t “there” anymore.  Get it?

So what’s the big deal?  Obama got it wrong.  Or one of his minions did.  He doesn’t remember any serious cries for help from Benghazi.  This stuff about arms to Syria?  Completely off the wall, the stuff of conspiracy theories. 

Obama thinks he can say and do anything and that Benghazi will just evaporate like the stories about his relationship with Bill Ayers, the national debt crisis, and Porkulus.  His minions have even invented a new scandal about eavesdropping on the Associated Press to distract us from Benghazi.  What could the AP possibly have to say that would be dangerous to this administration?  They’re his head cheerleaders, for gosh sakes.  George McGovern had more to hide in Watergate, allegedly accepting campaign funds from foreign donors, than the AP has to hide from Obama.

Such a charge lends credibility to the Associated Press and the rest of the Obaminions.  It protects them from charges of collusion and excuses them from having to investigate Benghazi.  ‘We would never do anything to hurt you, Mr. President!  We won’t say another word about Benghazi!’

No, there’s nothing “new” to the Benghazi story that wasn’t true back in September.  The only thing “new” about is that it has made the news, thanks to the perseverance of Glenn Beck, the Conservative Republicans, the brave witnesses, and some damning video, about which there is nothing cartoonish.

There is a “there” there and the definition of “is” is that it is not over.  There is also a “truth” there or whistleblowing witnesses wouldn’t be under threat and ordered to keep silent.  What the government is doing is called “dissembling,” which means to hide under or put on a false appearance; to conceal facts, intentions or feelings under some pretense.  They’re being clever in the way they keep changing their language.  An embassy becomes a consulate becomes an annex becomes a diplomatic facility.  Soon, no one knows what’s going on anymore.  There is no longer there.

When the government dissembles, it’s time for the people to assemble.



Published in: on May 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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