Monday, November 19, 2012

Pulling the Pin


For John, BLUFMembers of the House of Representatives have condemned two Senators in the strongest possible terms.  Now what are they going to do?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A Dozen Ladies of the House have pulled the pin on the nuclear hand grenade.  This is over the fact that Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called into question the qualification of US UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be Secretary of State, based upon her performance after the Benghazi Incident.  Frankly, I think the two Senators are flat out wrong to say that she "lied".  She failed to give us the truth, but her performance was based on the "talking points" she was handed by the Administration.  But, maybe the two Senators think she should have been smart enough to know that it wasn't the "video" and the mob by the time she went on television.

That said, there are reasons aside from the Benghazi Imbroglio for why one might not wish to have Ms Rice as the Secretary of State.  One of them is that we are doing a pivot to Asia and she is not an Asia expert.

But, back to the Ladies of the House, if they are going to accuse the two Senators of Sexism and Racism they are pushing the limits on their ability to condemn the two.  They now have no reserve, no backup condemnation.  They have shot their wad.

The problem with having a nuclear weapon is that eventually the other side gets their own.  The US had the nuclear monopoly in 1945.  But, on 29 August 1949 the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test, FIRST LIGHTNING.  I am sure that the Dozen Ladies of the House see no way that the Republicans could find a moral equivalent to their charges of sexism and racism, their nuclear weapon, but history suggests that something will happen to even things out.

The Republicans could back off, but then the Dozen would be stuck with an Administration that lied to the American people over Benghazi for no discernible reason.  And trampled free speech in the process.  The Republicans are demanding that Amb Rice appear before the Senate.  I agree with that.  I also hope she does well.  That doesn't mean that I prefer her to Senator John Kerry for the SecState job.  On the other hand, I am not keen on the Senator either.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And the thing about the "video" is that the most "vile" accusation contained therein is that of genocide.  The Egyptian Muslims are trying to wipe out the Egyptian Copts, per the video.  After the Copts, who?  First they came for the….  Hasn't anyone seen the video?
  One sometimes senses that the Democrats are not good at history.

6 comments:

Renee said...

From Maureen Dowd of the NYT

"An Africa expert, Rice should have realized that when a gang showed up with R.P.G.’s and mortars in a place known as a hotbed of Qaeda sympathizers and Islamic extremist training camps, it was not anger over a movie. She should have been savvy enough to wonder why the wily Hillary was avoiding the talk shows.

The president’s fierce defense of Rice had virile flare. But he might have been better off leaving it to aides, so he did not end up going mano a mano with his nemesis John McCain on an appointment he hasn’t even made (though now Obama might feel compelled to, just to prove that he can’t be pushed around), and so he could focus on fiscal cliff bipartisanship.

His argument that Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” raises the question: Then why was she the point person? "


Why get upset with McCain and others, it was whoever modified the talking points that mistreated Rice?

It is horrible for Rice, and do I have a bit of sympathy for her. Cabinet members must follow orders, even though their expertise is crucial for the President to make decisions.


Rice took one for the Obama Presidency, unknowingly or not. The intelligence was right, what was the government interest in not tell us something else.

If you're going to lie to the public, which sometimes they might have to, then it should be a for a good reason.

Still wondering on that.




C R Krieger said...

How does that go?  When you've lost Maureen Dowd….

Regards  —  Cliff

kad barma said...

Trying to hang Rice for the message she was instructed to deliver is stupid. For one thing, it would leave a bad precedent for members of future administrations, any intelligent candidate for which would better decline employment knowing the likely consequences. (We need better people to continue to want to serve). For another, it rewards scapegoating and the very behavior that caused the obfuscation in the first place.

I also don't buy the "she should have known better" canard. That gets us back to yellow cake uranium and a whole litany of obvious lies that have been told in the interest of "national security" since the birth of our great nation. The caveats were in all the communications. "We need to investigate before conclusions are drawn". Yeah, the "we don't think it's terrorism right now" thing was a lie, but I'm guessing that the CIA pursuit of the attackers (at least one of which I've read has been assassinated) would have been deemed easier if they didn't know right away what we knew about them.

Either way, Rice's candidacy for State shouldn't be judged based on this silly little he-said-she-said exercise.

Renee said...

NYT knew the story and reported on 9/13, two days prior to Rice speaking on the Sunday news shows.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/us-envoy-to-libya-is-reported-killed.xml

" American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning.  But the officials cautioned that it was too soon to tell whether the attack was related to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks."

For only 9/13 the whole NYT story gives great detail how the video protests played into ' a cover' for the attackers. Also the story gives great testimony how wonderful Mr. Stevens was in the Benghazi community.

C R Krieger said...

There is a lot we don't know about this whole thing and as I have said on these pages before, again and again, Ms Rice is not guilty of lying, but of being the mouthpiece of the Administration.  The interesting question in that regard is who changed the talking points.

But, as Renee notes, there was the blame the video story being played out and given our Bill of Rights I still find that troubling.  There is more to learn about this and I am not sure the US Congress can do the job (I give Senator Diane Feinstein credit for trying, along with Senators McCain and Graham), but then I am not convinced an Independent Commission will do the job either.

And when Reporter Bob Schieffer is still suggesting on 18 November that it might have been the video and not the planned terrorist attack, we don't have a national consensus.

Regards  —  Cliff

C R Krieger said...

There is a lot we don't know about this whole thing and as I have said on these pages before, again and again, Ms Rice is not guilty of lying, but of being the mouthpiece of the Administration.  The interesting question in that regard is who changed the talking points.

But, as Renee notes, there was the blame the video story being played out and given our Bill of Rights I still find that troubling.  There is more to learn about this and I am not sure the US Congress can do the job (I give Senator Diane Feinstein credit for trying, along with Senators McCain and Graham), but then I am not convinced an Independent Commission will do the job either.

And when Reporter Bob Schieffer is still suggesting on 18 November that it might have been the video and not the planned terrorist attack, we don't have a national consensus.

Regards  —  Cliff