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With each passing day, it is becoming more and more difficult to understand what exactly the President and UN Ambassador Susan Rice should have done in the eyes of their critics in the aftermath of the tragic murders at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Should they both have jumped out immediately and said “this was a terrorist attack planned and perpetrated by Al Qaeda”?? Should they have said such a thing regardless of what they were told by the intelligence apparatus? Should they have ignored any sensitivities they may have been requested to bear in mind by the same intelligence community as they disclosed information?

After following this “debate” for two months now, I have come to one incontrovertible conclusion: to the critics of the Administration, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THEY SAID in the aftermath of the incident or why they said it. (more below)

Regardless of the reaction, if it came from the lips of President Obama or one of his appointees, especially that unqualified black woman, then it must have been an EVIL LIE. It is classic Obama derangement.  (I should say the one Obama appointee who seems to escape the wrath of the conservative misinformation industry is the one who really should be receiving the lion’s share of the scorn from critics – General Petraeus)

The current anti-Obama narrative seems to be that he and his political advisors looked at the intelligence in the immediate aftermath of the incident which, so the story goes, very clearly indicated that it was an Al Qaeda attack, but they decided that this disrupted the President’s stump speech claim that under his leadership Al Qaeda was decimated and is on the run (because of course “decimated and on the run” = “completely eliminated from the face of the earth never to return”… or something). As such the President made a political calculation to purposefully remove any mention of Al Qaeda terrorists from the CIA talking points for public release, and simply concocted a falsehood about the attack being related to a spontaneous protest of a YouTube video. That way the President would get to keep saying Al Qaeda was on the run (something that in reality, he actually stopped saying after the incident anyway) and would avoid an embarrassing counter to one of his key points of self-promotion.

Let’s just pretend for a moment that we are in an alternate reality – one in which the President, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice went to the news media right after the attack and said “this was a planned terrorist attack against the United States by Al Qaeda, and we will hunt down those who did this.” It seems like maybe this is what the critics wanted to hear, right? So in this alternate reality where this is exactly what was said, there would be no controversy over the Administration’s handling of information release on the incident, right?... WRONG.

I do not have even a sliver of doubt in my mind that if the President or Ambassador Rice had said this, the reaction would be thus:

“The President is shamelessly wagging the dog right before the election. The unskewed polling indicates he’s behind and in trouble, so what does he do? He takes advantage of a tragic incident in Libya by claiming that it was an Al Qaeda attack before allowing our intelligence community time to really get to the bottom of it, which could take weeks or even months. He and his political team are well aware that when Americans feel that they’re struggling against a common enemy and have been attacked by that enemy, they tend to rally behind the President. Americans certainly believe in the war on Al Qaeda – even more so if they are still attacking us. Things have been quiet on the Al Qaeda front lately so when this incident in Benghazi presented him the opportunity, President Obama took advantage of it to bring Al Qaeda back into the conversation and remind everyone that he’s still leading our struggle against them and that we need to support him. This is a politically motivated move and we need to get to the bottom of who instructed who to say what and when. It’s clear that the intelligence community sought the removal of any mention of Al Qaeda from the talking points they issued, so then why was Al Qaeda still mentioned? Did the Obama Administration defy the CIA’s wishes and compromise the safety of our intelligence sources for political gain? Everyone knows that there were protests sweeping across the region that day on account of an anti-Islam YouTube video. Eyewitness interviews on the scene in Benghazi clearly indicate that people involved in this attack were upset about the video. Does the President expect us to ignore this and just trust his story that this was an attack planned by Al Qaeda? There needs to be a thorough investigation here and maybe public hearings on why the President pushed this politically motivated ‘Al Qaeda’ narrative instead of giving the intelligence community time to investigate all the possibilities. Until that happens, there is no way any of us can in good conscience accept the nomination of Susan Rice for Secretary of State.”
Of course we don't live in the alternate universe where this sequence of events took place, so I can't prove that this would have been the reaction of the anti-Obama crowd, but I can certainly deduce it from their confused, conflicting, and outright mangled reactions to what did take place.

Meanwhile, the incident itself remains no less tragic, and to my knowledge anyway, we have yet to apprehend the perpetrators. One would think that this would be the focus of our indispensable opposition.

Originally posted to MistaBling on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:18 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What "Should" one say on national TV about CIA... (11+ / 0-)

    mission? There's A Reason Why All Of The Reports About Benghazi Are So Confusing.  

    Apparently the CIA and attention-whoring republican senators have different views on that, since News Outlets Held Back Detail Of Benghazi Attack At CIA's Request

    As some details leak out, it is apparent to even the most dimwitted that there were some covert aspects to the Benghazi mission:  

    "The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation..."

    the State Department presence in Benghazi "provided diplomatic cover" (...—only seven of more than 30 Americans evacuated from Benghazi worked for the State Department...)) for the previously hidden CIA mission, which involved finding and repurchasing heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals...

    ...of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles, the bulk of which were SA-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles...

    ...and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi "to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists..."

    Given that most of the weapons going to hard-line jihadists in Syria are U.S.-made and are being handed out by the CIA, it's not a stretch to wonder if the CIA is indirectly arming Syrian rebels with heavy weapons as well.

    If President Obama's position is to refrain from arming rebels with heavy weapons, but regime change in Syria is advantageous, then a covert CIA operation with plausible deniability seems to be the only answer. It's a dicey dance, especially if it's exposed.

    "Especially if it's exposed..."

     I get it.  So, what's wrong with Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain--don't they "get it"?  Why do they want to expose all the details of a US covert mission for the world to see?

    Are they just plain stupid?  Or are they so totally partisan--and unpatriotic--that they would deliberately sabotage at least two complex covert missions--risking US national security and covert operatives--just to try to score some political points?  

    Apparently Susan Rice has more discretion, integrity, intelligence and patriotism than those two Senators, and their GOPer colleagues, since she didn't immediately go on national TV and start spilling all the details of a covert mission before anyone could even begin to sort out all the complex and intertwining details, or deciding what could be publicized, or what should be kept secret.  

    •  I read the newspapers from France and they were (8+ / 0-)

      reporting that the American compound in Benghazi wasn't an official diplomatic mission in the days after the attack.  European diplomats and military officials who had been there pointed out that the location wasn't even listed with the US State Dept or anywhere else as a consulate or mission.  They also pointed out that few countries have a diplomatic presence in Benghazi apart from a few neighboring countries.  Whatever was happening there, it wasn't a secret that there were Americans there because they had used the compound as a headquarters since the days of the rebel conflict and Qaddafi's overthrow.  In June a bomb exploded outside the compound.  The actual US Embassy in Tripoli had only announced it was fully up and running late in August.  

      Even though American officials eventually confirmed that there were CIA agents at the location during the attack, no one asked why they were there.  The members of Congress who began insisting that the Obama administration used lies and a cover up to downplay the role of terrorists in the incident didn't do anyone any favors, except maybe the perpetrators.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:47:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You last paragraph was an excellent point... (0+ / 0-)

        ....the republicans of this century have shown they care not at all for intelligence (taken in a couple ways) protocol, or protecting those who serve our country overseas.

        Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. Plus, I get a small royalty, and Jeff Bezos and his employees get the rest. Not a bad deal, as he is not that much of a dick, relatively speaking. @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:17:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And their behavior is unforgivable in my opinion. (0+ / 0-)

          It sounds harsh but the Republicans are the ones who started the War on Terror and now they make a mockery of the protocols that they established.  

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:12:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Are they just plain stupid? (9+ / 0-)
      Or are they so totally partisan--and unpatriotic--that they would deliberately sabotage at least two complex covert missions--risking US national security and covert operatives--just to try to score some political points?
      Par for the course!  From Dana Milbank:
      When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA’s cover.

      The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why “congressional intelligence” is an oxymoron.
      ..........
      Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to unmask the spooks. “Point of order! Point of order!” he called out as a State Department security official, seated in front of an aerial photo of the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, described the chaotic night of the attack. “We’re getting into classified issues that deal with sources and methods that would be totally inappropriate in an open forum such as this.”
      ...........
      Now that Chaffetz had alerted potential bad guys that something valuable was in the photo, the chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), attempted to lock the barn door through which the horse had just bolted. “I would direct that that chart be taken down,” he said, although it already had been on C-SPAN.
      ...........
      The Republican lawmakers, in their outbursts, alternated between scolding the State Department officials for hiding behind classified material and blaming them for disclosing information that should have been classified. But the lawmakers created the situation by ordering a public hearing on a matter that belonged behind closed doors.

      Republicans were aiming to embarrass the Obama administration over State Department security lapses. But they inadvertently caused a different picture to emerge than the one that has been publicly known: that the victims may have been let down not by the State Department but by the CIA. If the CIA was playing such a major role in these events, which was the unmistakable impression left by Wednesday’s hearing, having a televised probe of the matter was absurd.

      Republicans -  shooting themselves in the foot in an aim to embarrass Obama since 2008.

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:23:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's interesting. In contrast to Bush, who made (0+ / 0-)

        EVERYTHING classified.  Perhaps the problem here isn't that Obama, Clinton, and Rice are concealing too much. They're not concealing enough?

        "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

        by New Jersey Boy on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:04:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  McCain, Graham, Ayotte - Partisanship First eom (0+ / 0-)
      •  yup... I saw this coming... I predicted by Tues. (0+ / 0-)

        of this coming week, the "who is responsible for outing this covert CIA operation" topic will be a wonderful display of Republican backpedaling and double downing AT THE SAME TIME! .... Makes no sense, and sounds completely irrational, but yea... I'm betting that's what the good news for John McCain and his trio of stooges will be doing.  Any takers?

        Goodbye American Dream.... http://youtu.be/ZkTIEeGX6q0

        by Fireshadow on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:09:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Huma Aberdin (6+ / 0-)

    I think the Rice opposition is BS, and of course Obama must have a reason for considering her nomination.

    Still while I don't know if she's even interested in the job, just had a baby but I can't help but think that Huma Aberdin would be a great SOS.

    With the Israel Palestine standoff and the India Pakistan  tensions she's a muslim girl married to a jewish guy and her dad was from India and mom from Pakistan right??

    She's been Hillary's close adviser so she would be familiar with all the issues more than hardly anyone else, plus she speaks arabic.

    Then the same cadre of republicans (Mc Cain, Graham et al) that are attacking Rice are on record praising Aberdin and it would be funny watching them trying to walk that back.

  •  If we only had a real media (8+ / 0-)

    that would ask Larry, Moe and Curly Joe what the hell they are talking about, would be great.  Instead, they let these three and now Collins is at it too, speak like they know something is wrong.  

    Here is what is wrong, the media working with these guys to get John Kerry into the State Department.  That opens the door for a special election in Massachusetts and guess who is the bride in waiting?  None other that Squatty Brown.

    •  And Chris Matthews (5+ / 0-)

      Tonight on Hardball allowed Bob Corker to spew his idiotic talking points.

      What really irritated me, and I told this to Tweety in an email, was that he kept nodding on screen and telling Corker, "right."

      And now he is allowing some Republican idiot to spew more. And he keeps saying I'm with you on this.

      What the hell is up with him?

      •  yorkiedoglover, my husband got so sick of chris (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elginblt, Fireshadow

        matthews sucking up to corker he yelled at the tv & he never does that!  :)  then he changed the channel b/c he said he "couldn't listen to that shit anymore."

        good for you that you emailed your disgust to him.  he has said in the past that he doesn't "go after" his guests b/c they won't come on his show anymore.  scheeeeze.  he must really be desperate for guests.

      •  He does that alot. Many, like you get upset over (0+ / 0-)

        Matthews and people like him who are too afraid to play HARDBALL with certain guests.  It's as if he picks people to play with while dodging others.  Your concerns on kissing up to propagand are valid.  

    •  jasan, i just posted a similar comment (upthread) (0+ / 0-)

      before i read yours :)

  •  imagine the Repub and MSM reaction (8+ / 0-)

    if this happened during a Repub administration and the Dems jumped in a criticized like this.  Just imagine.

  •  Rice can easily turn this around (6+ / 0-)

    All she has to do is say that Iran has WMD, including chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, is poised to attack Israel and the U.S., and that she does not want to wait for warning signs in the form of a mushroom cloud.

  •  Is this not the same John McCain who thought that (8+ / 0-)

    Sarah Palin was well-qualified to be Vice-President of the United States?

    Why would anyone pay attention or listen to such a fool?

  •  Wasn't it (7+ / 0-)

    just 12 short weeks before Benghazi that McCain was crying about too much information being released to the public?

       McCain, in a statement, accused the White House of leaking information about its role in Stuxnet to improve the president’s reelection bid. He called for the appointment of special counsel to investigate and prosecute whoever was behind the leaks.

        “The only conceivable motive for such damaging and compromising leaks of classified information is that it makes the president look good,” McCain said on Tuesday. “They are merely gratuitous and utterly self-serving.”

    I know that we've all become somewhat immune to any sort of surprise at Republican hypocrisy, due to its prevalence, call it outrage fatigue, but these are his words, from this year.  Would it be asking too much to have "journalists" at least mention it if they're not going to laugh him out of the room altogether?

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

    by Bcre8ve on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:07:03 PM PST

  •  Are people starting to believe the critics? (0+ / 0-)

    I saw a story (in Politico so suspect) that the GOP might be starting to gain traction on this. Say a lie enough times and people believe it and the GOP really really wants an Obama scandal. I didn't have the heart to read the story.

    Anyone heard anything?

    •  politico is a notorious water-carrier for the r's. (0+ / 0-)

      the r's want john kerry at state so snotty brown can run for his seat, which they feel pretty sure he'll win, & he can get back in the senate.

      naturally, politico wants this, too, so they're trying to keep the drumbeat going against rice.

      •  bluezen I had happened upon a site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluezen

        pre-election, that claimed politico was a left leaning site with some polls saying PBO was leading. That was my first clue it was a RW site I was reading.

        •  :D politico is like chris matthews: all over the (0+ / 0-)

          map, blowing whichever way the wind does.

          i'm always suspicious of anything coming from politico b/c i remember back when it first started up & gwbush wished mike allen (the head honcho at the time) best of luck -- !!

          you know that's not a good sign.

  •  The election is over; Obama is still POTUS... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, elginblt, cherish0708, Fireshadow

    ...repubs are p.o.'d and frustrated especially with the fiscal cliff fast approaching and they know that everyone knows that they have to do something that they don't want to do but if they don't do that something they will be blamed for possibly causing American economy to stall and tail spin out of control and "over the cliff" and their possiblilities in the 2014 midterm elections could be more like impossibilities...so they are mad as hell and looking for any which way they can cause Mr Obama to look bad or worse but they have become 'velcro' and Mr Obama is apparently 'teflon'. What's even better about this situation is it's because imho the American public in general is catching on fast that Mr Obama is working with true-facts and reality while the republican leadership and other notables in their "bunch" can't deal with it because they are leader-less and in approaching chaos!....unfortunately that could be a bad thing for "all of us".

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:40:46 PM PST

    •  rec'd for your last phrase. i think this whole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalihikane

      fuss about susan rice is much simpler than what you propose, tho.  

      the r's would like to see john kerry as sos, which would open up his seat & they want scott brown to run to fill it.  they think brown would win it b/c the d's bench in mass isn't very deep talent-wise, & if he did win, that would decrease the d's majority in the senate, & increase the r's.

      •  Possibly so...but Rice's "nomination" as SoS is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluezen

        ...a side-show that Rs are using to weaken POTUS Obama's strong job approval rating with public...in hopes to force him to gravel at their feet and meet their budget demands.  

        Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

        by kalihikane on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:57:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wouldn't it be great and hilarious if neither (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluezen, kalihikane

          Rice or  Kerry were who Obama was REALLY considering for the job?.... He's just letting Repubs flounder and make themselves look stupid...as in: "Please, continue Congressmen."

          Goodbye American Dream.... http://youtu.be/ZkTIEeGX6q0

          by Fireshadow on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 09:16:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  fireshadow, yes it would. and i hope that's what (0+ / 0-)

            the prez ultimately does :)

            if he has to raid the senate, tho, i hope it's in a blue state with a democratic gov who can appoint a democratic replacement, so we're not faced with the same problem that exists in mass.

          •  I think Rice is (was) his choice for SoS... (0+ / 0-)

            ...but sure he had more then one very good candidates...as some on this site have suggested...Al Gore, John Kerry, and Big Dog, sorry couldn't resist but Bill Clinton...imho for these times he is by far the best candidate for SoS.  Has instant credibility on global basis and would put repubs on defensive during hearings.  They might choose not to hold hearings so as to avoid the humiliation.  This move would also leave John Kerry in Senate or not if he's really ready to move on to cabinet or whatever else he wants.  

            Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

            by kalihikane on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:57:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  agree. that's true. any chance the mutherfuckers (0+ / 0-)

          get to humiliate him, they're going to exploit.  they love to see him beg & grovel as much as possible -- tho graveling at their feet sounds exactly like what they'd do, too :)

  •  I'm really tired of them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elginblt, wasatch, Nowhere Man

    I'm tired of debunking Fox's deliberate, half-assed reporting, I'm tired of having to explain common sense to people who have none, and I'm really tired of the Black Helicopter, anti-everything crowd holding America back from ever having the things every other first world nation has long had.

  •  Thank you a million times for this > (4+ / 0-)
    "Everyone knows that there were protests sweeping across the region that day on account of an anti-Islam YouTube video. Eyewitness interviews on the scene in Benghazi clearly indicate that people involved in this attack were upset about the video."
    The sane people on Earth do know this is a fact!  Thank you for saying it your way.  It must be repeated over and over again.  MSNBC, all political talk shows) is not helping the issue with th constant talk about this without providing what you just did.  
  •  Obama's approval rating on foreign policy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man, Fireshadow

    has been high since he took and Republicans haven't really had an opportunity to attack on much. They tried on Libya, Syria and Israel and Pakistan with limited success so it's no surprise that they're milking this for all it's worth.

    They went after Clinton the same way over Mogadishu, the Balkans and the U.S.S. Cole.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:43:16 AM PST

  •  Not to mention that ability to dissimulate (0+ / 0-)

    when expedient for US interests, is basically part of an SoS's job description.   Helpless inability to spill the unvarnished, non-evasive truth and nothing but, would be quite a handicap in diplomacy don't you think?

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:50:07 AM PST

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