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The Jehoshua Novels


Rice Burners

It strikes me that the Republicans are being a little disingenuous in their efforts to derail the not-even-announced nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Secretary of State, replacing the resigning Hillary Clinton.

Her CV, for one, suggests an intelligent and gifted person who would be adept at managing foreign affairs for the Obama administration, perfect for the job. In this, she would outshine the presumptive second choice, Senator John Kerry, which is no easy feat.

The controversy, as you know doubt know ad nauseam, is Rice’s comments in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the Benghazi compound of the American ambassador there.

The facts are pretty clear: an organized attack occured on the compound on September 11. Either coincidentally or in a coordinated misdirection, there was also a protest in Egypt over some bloody idiot’s idea of a prank on the same day. It doesn’t really matter how Egypt played into this, except it also made a convenient excuse to buy a little time if needed.

Rice went on the Sunday talk shows, and implied that the Egypt attack may have been a part of the Libyan massacre, even if tangentially. This was the talking point the CIA had handed up to the administration, which greenlighted it as an interim explanation, even thoough it was clear fro mthe get-go this was a terrorist attack.

Why the deception? The CIA had assets on the ground in Libya that would have been exposed if their information had been made public.

Republicans, in the grand tradition of the type of treasonous behavior they always seem to engage in, outted the information as blithely as they outted Valarie Plame.

But the disingenuousness does not stop there, no sir. Let’s assume that the worst-case scenario they have been desperately trying to smear Rice with were true: this was a political cover-up to let the re-election campaign succeed in putting Barack Obama back into the White House and that Susan Rice was complicit in this.

These are the same asshats who confirmed, nay lauded, the murdering of 3,000 Americans on American soil by confirming Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State, despite the fact that the administration for which she was National Security Director (right there, terrorism falls in her domain) botched the intel at the very least and possibly deliberately ignored it in order to pick a fight with Iraq in a time when the administration was falling apart under its own weight.

So really, gang, pack up your tents and shut up about the long walk home. While there may be legitimate reasons to feel unease at a Rice tenure at State, this is not the issue to pick the fight on. Cabinet nominations are almost always rubber stamped, and if the message of the November election is anything, it is that obstructionism will no longer be tolerated on your part.

3 comments to Rice Burners

  • This whole dust up over who said what after the Benghazi affair strikes me as a new low in party bashing and petty slandering in Washington. It would make some sense, but only a little, if it was about who allowed the event to happen, but it is far less dignified than that. It is petty squabbling over who did or did not recognoze the implications of the event first.

    Rice did say in her remarks that it was not actually known “who done it,” but as politicians are wont to do she turned a ten-word answer into a five minute speech and created a big mess. In an effort to make it sound like she knew more than she really did, that she is more intelligent than she actually is, that she is “inside the loop,” and to keep the camera focused on her longer, she babbled meaningless nonsense and a series of “talking points” at length and opened the door to all sorts of accusation. She didn’t say anything wrong, she merely said too much of it.

    That’s where Republicans so often wind up stepping on their yangs. They start their mouths running without making sure their brains are engaged, because they mistake the value of quantity of words over the quality thereof. Not limited to Republicans, though.

  • matttbastard

    Fred Kaplan:

    Was this an intelligence foul-up, worthy of a congressional hearing or two? Possibly. Was there a scandalous cover-up? Doubtful. Whatever an investigation turns up, is all this a valid excuse for denying higher office to the ambassador who went on TV and recited the intelligence community’s talking points? Of course not. More than that, the five senators must know it’s absurd, so trumped-up are their rationales for thinking otherwise.

    Here’s what McCain said on Fox News, after the meeting with Rice and Morrel:

    We knew in hours of all the details when we got bin Laden, they’re making a movie out of it, and [yet] here we are, ten weeks later [i.e., after the Benghazi attack] finally our ambassador to the United Nations, who appeared on every national Sunday show, is now saying that she gave false information concerning how this tragedy happened.

    I don’t know if this is, as Talking Points Memo Editor Josh Marshall put it, the “stupidest thing McCain ever said,” but it’s probably one of the three or four most desperate. First, we knew everything about the raid on Bin Laden’s compound so quickly because (this should be really obvious, senator) the commandos who did it, our own Navy SEALs, were there. They streamed it live. By contrast, the details of a firefight at a remote outpost in Libya are more likely than not to be shrouded in confusion and ambiguity, for a while. Second, giving “false information,” which is legal parlance for “lying,” is an over-the-top characterization of what Rice did. Third (and this really should shut the door on the whole business), when McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election, he forever disqualified himself from commenting on any nominee for any high office—and the media should treat any such comments accordingly.

    • Not to mention “suspending his campaign” to go to Washington and rescue the nation’s economy. (But staying in New York long enough to do an evening talk show first.)

      And everything he has said and done since then has pretty much verified why he should be ignored. I am forever baffled why any attention whatever is paid to him since the 2008 campaign.

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