The Benghazi-gate Thing

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

It's not that I haven't been paying attention.  I really have.  But I still don't get what the hell Susan Rice did wrong.

As UN Ambassador, she went on television to answer questions about Benghazi.  Of course, being UN Ambassador, she wasn't exactly at the forefront of the intelligence gathering apparatus, so she relied on information told to her by the CIA, i.e., that the attack on our embassy was the result of Muslims angry about a shitty low-budget movie, rather than the pre-planned work of al Qaeda.

So she went on a Sunday talk show, and said something that turned out to be wrong, even though she specifically said that the intelligence we had at the time might be wrong.

How is this a controversy?  And why the hell does it make Susan Rice unqualified to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State?

I recall another black woman also named Rice, who mislead the entire country into believing that Iraq had WMDs.  She said it over and over again.  And when she was appointed to be Secretary of State, did the Senate confirm her?  Yes.  Even though what she said turned out to be untrue.  

In fact, Condaleeza's mistatement was far worse than Susan's.  Condaleeza, unlike Susan, was INSIDE the intelligence community.  She had all the information (or lack of it) at her fingertips.  Susan, on the other hand, was just passing on the information that she received in a briefing.

If McCain, Ayotte, and Graham want to pile on Susan Rice, I think there will be serious repercussions.  

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid obviously has had enough of this carnival. He released this statement today:

The personal attacks against Ambassador Rice by certain Republican senators have been outrageous and utterly unmoored from facts and reality. I am shocked that senators would continue these attacks even when the evidence—including disclosures from the intelligence community about the information she presented—have made it clear that the allegations against Ambassador Rice are baseless, and that she has done absolutely nothing wrong.  

Ambassador Rice’s service as United States Ambassador to the United Nations has been impeccable. She has answered all questions raised in relation to the Benghazi attacks completely and repeatedly. The Senate committees of jurisdiction are in the midst of examining the events leading up to the Benghazi attacks, and I agree with those— including the ranking Republican members of both the Intelligence and Homeland Security committees—who have said we should let the committees do their work. There should be no place for such blatant partisanship in oversight of our nation’s intelligence community.

The election is over. It is time to drop these partisan political games, and focus our attention on the real challenges facing us as a nation.