Breaking Update: McCain’s Call for a Benghazi Select Committee

UPDATE IV:

Read “McCain Backs Away From Benghazi Conspiracies” here.

But is the bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran-man really backing away?

Of course not. He’ll find some other angle to continue to spout his bitterness and sour grapes.

UPDATE III:

CBS News Reports:

CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes.

There has been considerable discussion about who made the changes to the talking points that Rice stuck to in her television appearances on Sept. 16 (video), five days after the attack that killed American Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, and three other U.S. nationals.

Republicans have accused her of making misleading statements by referring to the assault as a “spontaneous” demonstration by extremists. Some have suggested she used the terminology she did for political reasons.

Read full story here

UPDATE II:

Digging in more obstinately, McCain is now going even further in expressing his distaste towards U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and his displeasure at the Obama administration.

According to ThinkProgress, McCain answered a question on future Secretary of State nominations as follows:

Under the present circumstances, until we find out all the information as to what happened, I don’t think you would want to support any nominee right now. Because this is very very serious and it has even larger implications than the deaths of 4 Americans. It really goes to the heart of this whole light foot print policy that this administration is pursuing.

ThinkProgress adds:

McCain’s scapegoating of Rice has been soundly debunked, as the ambassador was simply given talking points provided by the intelligence community. Even other Republican senators have backed away from his plan to block her nomination. Despite the lack of support behind him, McCain appears willing to take his politicization of the Libya attack to new heights in the nomination process.

UPDATE I:

Even one of the former “tres amigos” has now separated from the two angry Senators who want Rice’s scalp and a select Senate committee to investigate and make political hay over the Benghazi tragedy.

On “Fox News Sunday,” replying to a question by Wallace on whether he thought that we need a special committee to investigate Benghazi, Joe Lieberman said:

Yeah I respectfully separate from my two amigos on this one and I agree with Saxby. This was a tragedy but it doesn’t rise to the level of 9/11/01. Our committees can handle this and come up with answers.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) had previously answered in a similar manner:

Well first of all these two guys are two of my best friends and two of Joe’s best friends. We travel a lot together to some very dangerous places but the committees within the United States Senate are very capable of investigating this in the right way and this is one time I have a slight disagreement with my good friends.

Earlier in the segment, according to Politico.com:

Lieberman undermined the central case McCain, Graham and Ayotte made in arguing for the special committee, namely the suggestion that Rice willfully inaccurately described the events of the Libya attack. “As I look at what we now know the intelligence community was saying that week and I look at Ambassador Rice’s statements on television on the following Sunday morning, I don’t find anything inconsistent between those two,”

Well, it looks that the bomb-bomb Iran-Iraq trio has now been reduced to the dos Benghazi desperados.

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Original Post:

Senator John McCain, the same Senator from whom you did not hear a peep when Condoleezza Rice misled the public on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction — even nuclear weapons (remember the “mushroom cloud”?) — and who cavalierly promoted, pushed and even wanted to prolong (it “would be fine with” him if the U.S. military stayed in Iraq for “a hundred years”) an unnecessary war based on, at best, faulty intelligence and a war where over 4,000 Americans died, now wants to crucify United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice for appearing on TV to tell the American people what the intelligence community had passed on to her.

Also, the same Senator who was recently holding a press conference to complain that he was being kept in the dark about Benghazi and to condemn Susan Rice and the administration over the Benghazi tragedy while a closed-door briefing was being held on the very same issue, is demanding that a special select committee with extensive authority to investigate the Benghazi events be established — even though several other Congressional and Intelligence investigations are already being conducted.

Today, the Huffington Post perhaps sheds some light on the urgency and the passion on the part of the Senator to form such a Committee and to start such an additional “Watergate-style” investigation:

Just four years ago, John McCain was the leader of the GOP. Today, he’s the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a perch from which the former fighter pilot is deeply engaged in the national conversation over war, terrorism and intelligence gathering.

But in January, the Arizona senator will lose his top-ranking committee seat due to term limits. The only ranking Republican spot available to him next session will be on the Indian Affairs Committee.

Unless, that is, the Senate creates a brand-new select committee. On Wednesday, McCain, flanked by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), proposed just that: a select committee with extensive authority to investigate the Benghazi, Libya, attack and the U.S. government’s response.

The Republican most likely to hold the ranking spot on such a panel would be, of course, John McCain, giving the Arizona senator a new burst of relevance.

Read more here

  

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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