President Obama Defends Susan Rice Over Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham Attacks on Benghazi

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN.

President Obama Dismisses Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s Attacks on Susan Rice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama dismissed Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s attacks on UN Ambassador Susan Rice regarding her statements about the September 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. President Obama said: “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham want to go after someone, they should go after me.”

President Obama praised Susan Rice’s exemplary service to her country in her role as ambassador. His response was to their threats of a Watergate-style hearing if she was nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

He also said:  “I don’t think there’s any debate in this country that when you have our Americans killed that’s a problem. They won’t get any debate from me on that. But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.”

John McCain is accusing the Obama administration of having zero credibility in this tragedy, but was quiet as a little mouse when there was actionable intelligence that the Bush Administration dropped the ball before the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Lindsey Graham, who doesn’t deserve to be called Senator, went on CNN after President Obama’s press conference saying, “Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi.  I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack. ” That’s like George W. Bush had such a stellar record before, during and after 9/11.

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

  

Author: JANET SHAN

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26 Comments

  1. I also defend Rice. I think was she thought she was imparting accurate information on Libya. I do blame those that sent her out in a five TV show full court press to spread information that was, to be kind, based on few real facts.
    She was a good soldier and followed orders to charge the hill.
    If O wants Graham to blame him, then so be it although it would be nice to know who gave her the marching orders.
    It strains incredulity that she decided and arranged for that Sunday TV fest.

  2. Have we forgotten General Colin Powell being sent out by Bush explicitly to tell lies about Iraq’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction”before the whole world at the United Nations?

    “Based on solid evidence…..” My ass!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2437033n

  3. That was wrong too. So, do we give either president a pass?

  4. I am still at a loss as to what exactly the GOP and FOX news are implying is the huge dread thing at the bottom of their alleged conspiracy to cover things up. I start with the idea that this was a terrorist attack. And that terrorists are pretty much always hitting someone somewhere, American’s preferably, but anyone they disagree with in a pinch.

    They sometimes are successful. This was one of those times. But the mission to Libya is not a full blown deployment, its pretty barebones. They released a timeline as to the actual response as opposed to the FOX news version where nothing was done for days, as if we just let our ambassadors get slaughtered and shrug our shoulders. There was no order to stand down. But its not like they had Seal Team Six stationed down the road for rapid response either so it wasn’t immediate. In addition to the sparse resources in the area, there were in fact quite a few actual riots going on because of the video that the Benghazi attack was supposed to be about. Given the lack of information, and Romney’s gaffe related to this, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to hold off a bit before making definitive claims.

    Worse case scenario, they did know it was terrorists, and purposely mislead us about it. If that’s the case, um.. what would the endgame and bennies be for that? It’s not exactly Watergate, the facts were made known in a pretty short time, and I’m not sure who benefits from there being some form of cover up. I have yet to hear what the big deal is. Maybe I’m just jaded from misleading info from previous administrations, but it doesn’t seem to be all that important in the end.

  5. “That was wrong too. So, do we give either president a pass?”

    Well I’m not sure if either one gets a pass for what happened, but when the Bush admin produced facts that weren’t true, it was a prelude to the greatest single foreign policy blunder so far this century, resulting in the loss of over 100,000 lives, millions displaced, trillions wasted, Iraq in a state of chaos, etc…

    When the Benghazi issue was covered up, briefly, the resulting catastrophe was…..? Not all actions have equal consequences, and I doubt history will be talking about Benghazi decades from now.

  6. I listened to Smerconish today. He brought up the silence from Fox and friends when the Pentagon used Pat Tillman death as PR pawn. No one called for Rummy’s head on that BS…

  7. @Slamfu,

    Thanks for expressing my thoughts — and doing it so well.

  8. Slamfu, you’re missing the biggest issue: if there was intel, as has been suggested (with evidence although not proof) that there was a threat to missions in Libya, why was the site so poorly defended?

    That’s what I want answered. To date, it has not been. IMO.

  9. Because Barky, we have a crappy embassy policy passed on from administration to administration. We shouldn’t have even BEEN in Libya with a semi-permanent or permanent presence. The country is too unstable. THAT is what we need to fix instead of having a male genitalia waving contest between the Prez and two Senators. :(

  10. Obama defending Rice is absolutely fantastic. Real leadership from our president. By comparison Bush threw everyone under the bus when someone went after them. Can anyone name one time when Bush defended his people the same way?

    Hmmmm… Bush said “Bring it on” in an irresponsible way to provoke our enemies. This is Obama saying “bring it on” to those who would bully the people who serve our country in his administration.

  11. Bush, Bush, Bush. Can we learn from his mistakes and stay slightly in the present. I notice that O is very good at saying that the FBI is looking into various things, so why didn’t they do that with Rice. I think she was thrown under the bus. And, just because an event was “bigger” in the past doesn’t excuse handing out “under investigated” opinions on five TV shows and having your press secretary also tow that line.
    Again, I don’t blame Rice and indeed feel sympathy for her being used in that way.
    P.S. T is correct, the Benghazi outpost was not properly set up security wise and we still don’t understand the CIA “annex”. And, guys please add CNN to your list of trouble makers.

  12. As i listened to President Obama today was glad he is the president, but when he talked about Susan Rice…really liked him as a human being… When one is leading the pack there is always going to be a couple of heel biters like McCain and Graham .. it was good to see Obama’s response… he needed to growl back…

  13. OK, dduck. I retract my first reference to Bush. In order to bring it up to date, I’ll replace it with “current Republican elected officials”. So the question becomes, “Can anyone name one time when any current Republican elected official defended his people the same way?”

    While we’re are it… in a similar vein about taking responsibility and not leaving others to take the heat… What about the election results? How about all the finger pointing the Republicans are doing? Has anyone stood up and taken ANY responsibility for the Republicans’ defeat? They all seem to talk in generalities about how mistakes were done, or they point their fingers at Romney, or others. What galls me is that they have even gone so far as to BLAME the Americans who did NOT vote for Romney for his defeat… with the undertone that the Americans who voted for Obama aren’t real Americans.

  14. I think of the tempest over the woman on life support[I'm sorry I'm not going to spell it right I'm afraid, Teri Shiavo], where repub ‘life at all cost’ congress had intruded beyond belief, esp hay-making repubs grandstaning in something that was not their business, that was in fact settled legally about who had the right to take Teri off life support. Reps knew they couldnt overturn the law of the land, and went ahead posturing incessantly instead.

    I read about the quietude of the Ambassador’s family, their need for privacy and peace about his death, and I think again, of arms deals by degenerate generals, and no weapons of mass destruction and other acts by GOP being dead wrong, and I just wonder how some blindly think others of us dont see what they’re up to again, which at the least and the most, creates NO more jobs, lessens NO debt, helps NOT the millions and millions of the living in need…

  15. StockboyLA says,

    I retract my first reference to Bush. In order to bring it up to date, I’ll replace it with “current Republican elected officials”.

    No need to even do that, SBLA, because it is exactly the “current Republican elected officials”, assholes hypocrites such as McCain and Graham who are demanding investigations into the Benghazi tragedy that killed four Americans and who are trying to pin it all on Rice and the President from whom you never heard a peep when thousands of our soldiers and tens or thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed because of the lies they themselves abetted and because of a war based on lies that one of them wanted to go on for “a hundred years.”

    By God, the hypocrisy and the cojones are just incredible.

  16. Those that continue to live in the past don’t get past me, but the present offers new opportunities to make a present of correct actions, especially if we have learned from the past.

    Santayana :”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, and “[O]nly the dead have seen the end of war.”

    Oh yes. The Reps screwed up big time every part of there effort was poorly done, top to bottom, no exceptions.

  17. Stock, “Has anyone stood up and taken ANY responsibility for the Republicans’ defeat?” Like who? What do you want, you won. Many Reps have said we lost.

  18. Apparently McCain and Graham had exactly the same information as Ms. Rice the Sunday she went on 5 TV shows. But now that they all have different information they still want to crucify Ms. Rice for what she said then – because they are too cowardly to attack her boss Ms. Clinton and Clinton’s boss Obama except by innuendo.

    No one would object were they concentrating on security lapses instead of foolish coverup accusations. What I would like to know is the reasoning that leads them to concentrate on one rather than the other more important question. It seems irrational, but I’m sure they have a plausible reason. My impression is still that it is a ploy to damage Ms. Clinton before 2016.

  19. Dduck, how would you or anyone possibly know what was being done by the agencies of the President to investigate this matter? This is secret spy stuff happening on the other side of the planet in a nation that barely has its own govt in place. Don’t expect to be fully informed all the time. I think its incredibly naive to think there is no one responding to this or looking into it, just because they aren’t coming out with daily briefings for our media doesn’t mean nothing is happening. I would like to say to so many people, “The FBI/CIA/NSA or whoever don’t report to you, don’t give a crap if you feel informed and up to date, in fact they probably prefer you and me aren’t, and are definitely not sitting idle in the face of this.”

    And Barky, on any given day, I’m sure at least 100 locations are considered possible targets of terrorism attacks, if not way more, especially in places like Libya at the moment. I don’t even want to know what that number climbs to on 9/11. There is a LOT going on in the world and somehow we expect our guys to be prepared if a mosquito farts in SE Burma, WHY DIDN’T WE SEE THAT COMING?!?! Its absurd.

  20. ThinkProgress:

    Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is demanding a special select committee to investigate the events leading up to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and has held around-the-clock television appearances pressing for a complete review of the incident.

    But all of the senator’s media interviews and press availabilities may be interfering with his ability to gather information about the event. On Thursday morning, CNN’s Dana Bash reported that McCain chose to hold a joint press conference with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) rather than attend a closed-door briefing about the attacks:

  21. Slam, we all know we are either not informed or ill informed on national security matters. For the umpteenth time, I am not blaming Rice for anything, and I think most Reps are also viewing her as merely a conduit for the “story”.

    If “they” didn’t know the facts of the Benghazi attack, why not just say so or else say it is being investigated and we will report later. Now, you or I would NOT have anyone go out with a non verified story, would we? I wouldn’t, cause it could blow up in my face if the subsequent facts changed the story.
    So, same question, who sent her out and why that story when there were only premature, or no, investigations?

  22. dd

    The first US Ambassador killed since 1979 and they should go on national TV and say “We don’t know nuttin’ from nuttin’”? Or should not have given any information or interviews at all until the investigation was complete? I doubt that would have kept FOX and the GOP from having a hissy fit. If Hillary Clinton had done the deed, she would be in their cross-hairs. And they wouldn’t have to destroy Rice to get to her.

  23. “The Mind-blowing Hypocrisy of John McCain: WMD Lie is Good, Repeating Intelligence is Bad”

    Hypocrisy alert: John McCain supported Condoleeza Rice who misled the public on WMD, causing thousands to die, but now attacks Susan Rice.

    Remember when Condoleezza Rice misled the public about Iraq’s WMDs and over 4,000 Americans died? John McCain doesn’t seem to. McCain is trying to sell the idea that Susan Rice appearing on TV to tell the American people what the intelligence community had ascertained about Libya on September 18 was wrong. She should have chosen not to speak on the subject without more certainty, he and Lindsay Graham claim.

    Read more here

  24. Dorian

    What goes around comes around. Always!

  25. Yes, by all means emulate CR and CP. I thought O was better than Bush, or so many claim. So why not wait a little, cause Olsen spilled the beans to congress, face the wrath of FOX/CNN and tell us they think it was a terrorist attack. Since when are they so afraid of FOX that they would be afraid to wait?
    BTW: they don’t say nuttin from nuttin, they say “the FBI is investigating”.

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