And by the way, as I said at the time — I just happened to be on one of those talk shows — people don’t bring RPGs and mortars to spontaneous demonstrations.Yeah, he "just happened to be on one those talk shows" just like I turned on the water faucet this morning and water "just happened" to come out. I mean, c'mon, McCain is always on those Sunday talk shows. If it's Sunday, John McCain is on Meet the Press.
As Dave Weigel put it, John McCain might not have any formal jurisdiction over Benghazi, but he is president of Meet the Pressistan. And that's why, as we'll see below the fold, that John McCain thinks the key questions about Benghazi aren't about what happened there but are instead about what happened five days later on a Sunday talk show.
As McCain helpfully reminded us, he was indeed on a Sunday talk show—Face the Nation, to be precise—on the very same day that Susan Rice made her appearances. He said:
Most people don't bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts. Now, how long it was planned and who was involved, but there is no doubt there was extremists and there's no doubt they were using heavy weapons and they used pretty good tactics--indirect fire, direct fire, and obviously they were successfulOoomph. Brilliant smackdown, right? But ... let's not forget what Susan Rice had said moments earlier:
After that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that-- in that effort with heavy weapons [...] It's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine.So, they both said extremists leading the violence, they both said the extremists were using heavy weapons, and neither one knew exactly who the extremists were nor how long they had planned the attack. In other words, to those of us observing the situation from Planet Earth, the thing that's striking about the Rice and McCain statements isn't how different they were—it's how much they had in common.
But that's not the perspective that John McCain is coming from. He's coming from the spin-driven world of Meet the Pressistan. And in that world, there's never been a bigger story than the diametrically opposed statements from John McCain and Susan Rice ... at least there's never been a bigger story until the next one comes along.