New twists on the politics of the Benghazi attack

Yesterday in Lima, Peru, Elise Labott of CNN had this exchange with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

QUESTION: You say you don’t want to play the blame game, but certainly there’s a blame game going on in Washington. In fact, during the presidential debate, Vice President Biden said, “We didn’t know.” White House officials calling around saying, “Hey, this is a State Department function.” Are they throwing you under the bus?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, of course not. Look, I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The President and the Vice President certainly wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.

via Interview With Elise Labott of CNN.

That quickly led to stories like this one from Reuters’ Andrew Quinn: Continue reading New twists on the politics of the Benghazi attack

Putin calls Harper a "Trotskyite" and other post-Arab Spring reflections

Picture of Prime Minister Stephen Harper at APEC 2012
RUSSKY ISLAND, Russia – Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to reporters on Sept. 9, 2012 after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC 2102 summit. (David Akin)

Last weekend in Vladivostok, Russia, at the annual summit of the Pacific nation leaders who are part of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met Russian President Vladimir Putin for 50 minutes. The two men, flanked by half a dozen officials on either side, met for about 50 minutes. They talked about a range of issues. Harper questioned free speech rights in Putin’s Russia. In defending free speech rights, Putin used the phrase “gang bang”. I found that odd enough that I wrote about it here. 

The two men also talked about the situation in Syria. Continue reading Putin calls Harper a "Trotskyite" and other post-Arab Spring reflections