This is some of the best journalism I've seen on TV since...well...probably since the last time Soledad showed her stuff.
In this segment, aired Thursday morning on CNN's Starting Point, Ms O'Brien is interviewing Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) on the closed door Bengazi hearings and the what the Intelligence Committee hopes to accomplish with the appearance of General Petreus.
It all starts out normal enough:
"We're trying to get all the information on the attacks in Benghazi, and a clear time line," Rep. Heck replied. "There's still a lot of conflict between what the administration and intelligence community are saying on how this attack evolved. We need to have full accountability of the administration, intelligence community. We need to have answers and transparency for the American people, and certainly for the families of those who were lost."The conversation quickly turns to Susan Rice and the potential scuttling of her nomination by Republicans, to which Heck replies:
"You can't put somebody out as the face of the issue on all the Sunday morning talk shows, and turn around weeks later and say she knew nothing about the incident, had nothing to do with it. That is just plainly wrong. You don't put somebody out who doesn't know about the issue and have them go out to feed us the information that the administration wants put out. So we have to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and certainly the Senate will hold confirmation hearings, if she's nominated."THEN she goes there:
"Isn't that exactly analagous of what happened to Condoleezza Rice, who John McCain supported, and who Lindsey Graham supported?"Then it gets REALLY good...
As the poster of the video puts it:
Heck then proceeded to explain that they're not the same, because "Condi Rice was in the position to be able to be the face. The information was wrong," whereas with Susan Rice, "we had wrong information, and weeks later the administration was coming back saying this person had nothing to do with the situation."Soledad, looking quite puzzled, wants the Congressman to clarify the difference a little better:
So, it's different because what Condoleezza Rice did was worse? That sounds like what he was saying. The difference is that Condoleezza Rice helped lead the U.S. into the Iraq War by disseminating bad intelligence about which she was in a position to know better, whereas Susan Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi, save delivering exactly what intelligence sources were telling the administration at the time. But that can't be right.
"Let's walk through that more slowly — let me walk through that more slowly so you don't lose me," O'Brien replied. "You're saying the issue in both cases, weapons of mass destruction and information intelligence coming to the U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, both cases the information was wrong. What you take exception with is what the White House did later?"Her panelist Charles Blow then interjects:
"What I'm trying to figure out," Blow said, "is, are you saying that Condoleezza Rice actually should have known, because she had more intimacy with the information and then still said something that she knew was wrong and then, in fact, Susan Rice is a sacrificial lamb because she was put out as the face of the administration but didn't know anything? Matter of fact, it's more of a defense of Susan Rice than it is a condemnation of Susan Rice."It's a true thing of beauty. Enjoy...
"That's how it sounds to me." O'Brien said.