Thursday, November 15, 2012

John McCain Doesn’t Make Sense

Listening to John McCain and that little, whiny twerp, Lindsey Graham, drives me right up the wall. McCain doesn’t make any sense at all. Both of them are acting like junior-high-schoolers rather than U.S. Senators.
by Charlie Leck

I suppose the last thing in the world I should be worried about right now – what with the devastating war breaking out between Israel and the rest of the Middle East – is John McCain’s very petty criticism of our UN Secretary, Susan Rice. Yet, I hate bullies and McCain is acting like a petty and deranged bully right now.

“They should come after me,” the President challenged them in his news conference yesterday.

No, that would be too tough a target. McCain and Graham will stick to challenging the nice lady – as bullies often do. The two Senators – who are both too big for their britches and too light in the brain department – are complaining that Susan Rice’s statement at the United Nations after the tragic attack on our embassy in Benghazi was untruthful and misleading. In point of fact (something McCain cares little about), Ambassador Rice was restating information that had been provided to her by the State Department. Ms. Rice, like many other government officials, said that the attack was in response to an amateur film about the Prophet Muhammad that had gone quite viral. That was the standard response from the government for nearly the first 24 hours after the attack. It was at about that 24 hour point that more reasonable explanations began to emerge – specifically that the attack was a direct and planned attack by terrorists on the Embassy proper and its personnel. The terror plot used an upheaval about the film as protective cover.

McCain’s charge is that Ms. Rice purposefully misled the American people!

Oh, my! How short do McCain and Graham think our memory is, anyway? If you’ll remember, it was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, who argued in 2005 that we had to advance a war again Iraq because of that nation’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. There were never any found. The claim was bogus. Senator Lindsay Graham was one of Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s biggest supporters and defenders. In fact, Secretary Rice was merely reporting on intelligence information provided her much as Ambassador Rice was in the case of the Benghazi violence.

In fact,
if you carefully read the transcript of the announcement that McCain and Graham are talking about – on Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation show – you’ll find just how straightforward and honest Ambassador Susan Rice really was. At one point, she said this…

SUSAN RICE: Well, Bob, let me tell you what we understand to be the assessment at present. First of all, very importantly, as you discussed with the president, there is an investigation that the United States government will launch, led by the FBI that has begun.
SCHIEFFER: But they are not there yet.
RICE: They are not on the ground yet but they have already begun looking at all sorts of evidence of various sorts already available to them and to us. And they will get on the ground and continue the investigation.
So we'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what — it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.
But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post- revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
RICE: We do not — we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.

Now, if you want to waste money on a special congressional investigation based on that clear statement, you are truly out of your frigging mind – as per Senator McCain.

UPDATE (16 November 2012, 5:41 PM CST): Rachel Maddow’s blog of 16 November, Spontaneously Inspired, does a great job of explaining the time sequence here; and, after this extraordinary outline of the events, it leaves John McCain with egg on his face, a rather frequent happening, and I imagine he is now going to keep his big trap closed (but, of course, he is awfully like Rush Limbaugh and probably won’t learn a thing from this). Read this short blog by Rachel and you’ll get a very clear picture of what Ms. Rice said what she did when she did!
I can't imagine that McCain will keep up his demands to have Ms. Rice testify before Congress.
Just for the record,
Susan Rice is a brilliant and highly regarded graduate of Stanford University, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1986. She attended New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar and received both a Masters Degree and doctorate in philosophy. In the early 90s she worked for McKinsey & Company, a global management firm, in their Toronto office. She served in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997. Rice has been closely mentored by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She joined the Brookings Institute in 2000 and worked there until she went to work in the Obama administration in 2008. She was nominated as U.N. Secretary on December 1, 2008. Obama upgraded the position to a cabinet level. She serves on many distinguished boards and among them is a directorship with the Bureau of National Affairs (Bloomberg BNA) a wonderful company for which I once toiled.

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