Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Benghazi vs. Iraq: When do GOP Senators Get Riled Up?

That the consulate in Benghazi could have been breached and four Americans, including the Ambassador killed, shows that there were mistakes made. The Obama Administration should investigate, report its results, and then perhaps it might make sense for the Senate to evaluate that report and decide if it should investigate, all on its own.

Instead, Republican Senators have apparently decided that they can make a gigantic mountain of what is likely a molehill: Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice's comments on TV soon after the attack took place.

A mountain they have made, and so Rice asked for a meeting with senators to tell her story, answer their questions, and (she hoped) move on. Yeah right.

She met, she answered questions by the increasingly repulsive John McCain and the usually disgraceful Lindsey Graham - and they came away from the meeting with "more concerned than I was before."

From the article (link above):

“We explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi,” Ms. Rice said.

“While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved,” she added. “We stressed that neither I, nor anyone else in the administration, intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process, and the administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved.” 

That did not mollify the senators. Mr. Graham said that as the ambassador to the United Nations, Ms. Rice had access to classified intelligence about the attack, and had an obligation to question intelligence agencies before presenting an account that later proved inaccurate. 

That last paragraph caught my attention. So Graham doesn't accept that Rice used the talking points handed to her by the CIA. She should have challenged them, demand to see all the proof that they were accurate, before she ever thought to actually use them in public.

My gosh, just imagine if she had taken her inaccurate talking points to the United Nations, served them up as a Powerpoint, and convinced nations that this inaccurate information justified going to war!

Remember Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell? Remember how they selectively chose "intelligence" (the most critical part of which was extracted under torture from a prisoner of Gaddafi, delivered to that strange creature by the Bush Administration through its secret rendition program.), cobbled together a narrative (discredited widely at the time, even by members of the U.S. diplomatic corps), and on that basis steamrolled Congress and the Security Council to authorize an invasion?

I remember, and I imagine Graham and McCain do, too. But I sure don't remember them ever raising a hue and cry that Cheney, Powell and and the others "had access to classified intelligence about the attack, and had an obligation to question intelligence agencies before presenting an account that later proved inaccurate."

Breathtaking hypocrisy.

And those criminals, those liars, those killers of tens of thousands of innocent Iraquis, go about their daily affairs, wealthy, secure and arrogant.

Ah, what a democracy we live in!

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