‘Taking Note’ of John McCain’s Benghazi Machinations (Updated)

UPDATE:

On CNN Wednesday morning, host Soledad O’Brien challenged Rep. Michael Burgess’ (R-TX) opposition to Susan Rice…

…noting that Republicans had supported Condoleezza Rice’s nomination as Secretary of State in 2005, despite the Bush administration’s role in the massive intelligence failures that led to the Iraq war. Burgess struggled to explain the contradiction. He initially claimed that the media was far more critical of Bush’s intelligence failures than Obama, but when O’Brien laughed away that claim, he told her to take up the question with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), both of whom supported Condoleezza but now oppose Susan Rice.

Read more here.

Also on Wednesday, Susan Rice defended her Benghazi remarks, saying that her early account of the Benghazi attack was based on the initial intelligence community assessments and was always subject to review and updates.

According to Politico.com, “she said she respects Republican Sen. John McCain, who has been critical of her, but says ‘some of the statements he’s made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him.’”

Read more here

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Original Post:

Because of John McCain’s heroic military past and honorable and productive service to his country as an elected official for several years, it has been almost painful to see his recent machinations using the Benghazi tragedy to not only viciously attack the administration but also to specifically scapegoat and demean our United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.

It has taken a full column and four “updates” for this writer to document the outrageous attacks made by the Senator.

Apparently, McCain has finally “officially” admitted that “He Was Wrong on Benghazi Without Admitting It.”

Andrew Rosenthal at the New York Times, “takes note” of all of this in an excellent column.

Rosenthal notes that:

Republicans have the same basic attitude toward conspiracy theories as the Plains Indians had toward the buffalo – they are the basis of life, even religion, and no part, no matter how minor, should go unexploited. Hence Senator John McCain’s milking of the Benghazi attack. Or, rather, not the attack itself but the Obama administration’s response to it.

He and other Republicans seem to think that the White House, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, played down the possibility that Al Qaeda operatives were behind the attack, so that President Obama could boast on the campaign trail that his policies had decimated the terrorist organization. In other words he lied to the American public so that he could win re-election.

After noting that President Obama has “been ordering people killed right and left in the war on terrorism, including Osama bin Laden and two American citizens,” Rosenthal further notes that even after CBS and CNN reported that, “actually, the Director of National Intelligence was behind the change, and the White House made no substantial edits,” Senator McCain, is “loath to give up the remaining buffalo scraps”:

[McCain]found something to complain about. He said he was “somewhat surprised and frustrated” by the news, since in the “hours of hearings,” senior officials said they did not know who made the change. “This latest episode,” he said, “is another reason why many of us are so frustrated with, and suspicious of, the actions of this Administration when it comes to the Benghazi attack.”

He also said, “There are many other questions that remain unanswered.” That’s true. But I fail to see how the Republican focus on a side show— talking points after the fact—instead of the actual attack, will hasten resolution.

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Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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