The mainstream media keeps wondering about UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and the fact that post-Benghazi she went on five Sunday Mornings shows, five days after the event, to say — over and over again — that the attack on our Libyan consulate and the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens was all due to a video no one had ever heard of, is just odd.
I mean, hey guys, almost ten days days after Rice’s appearances (and five days after his administration was finally admitting that the attack was terrorism, President Obama went to the United Nations and blamed…the video.
Why not ask about that?
I mean, here, let me spell out the timeline for you, because I like being helpful to the press:
September 11, 2012: on anniversary of worst terror attack ever perpetrated on American soil, Benghazi consulate breached, Ambassador Stevens and three others are killed — apparently while people in the White House Situation Room watched. Among the dead are two Navy SEALS who were apparently disobeying orders in rescuing 30 State employees from the compound.
September 14 (just three days later!): State Department says stop asking us about Benghazi; we’re not talking about it, The press, well-trained in leaving Hillary alone when she wants to lay low through a storm, appears to say, “alrighty, then.”
September 16: Susan Rice does the Sunday morning talk shows to reiterate, again and again, that the Benghazi story was just a spontaneous uprising about a video; nothing to see here, folks, no terrorism.
September 19: Obama administration official Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, admits to congress that yes, it was a terror attack, with possibly an Al Qaeda connection.
September 25: President Barack Obama goes to the UN and blames Benghazi on the video:
“. . . a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well . . . I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.
Hey, now, that’s pretty interesting! Five days after his own administration acknowledges terrorism, the president tells the whole world, “it was the video!”
And no one in the press seems to notice it.
The press’ constant focus on Susan Rice seems oddly disjointed to me. They get very excited when her name comes up, but it’s yappy little dog excitement; its noisy but dares not bite. When President Obama swaggered through his mucho-macho, don’t-pick-on-the-little-lady-come-after-me presser the other day, he said Rice had “nothing to do with Benghazi” they had no follow-up question: As Kirsten Powers notes:
As the president expressed outrage over the atrocity of members of Congress holding administration officials accountable, he said, “I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi?”
Feast on those words for a second: The U.N. Ambassador had “nothing to do with Benghazi.” At this point, the White House press corps should have flown into a frenzy, demanding to know why a person who had nothing to do with Benghazi was put on five Sunday talk shows as…the face of Benghazi!
Yes, that should have been the follow-up, and the question after that should have been, “Mr. President, when your own administration admitted on the 19th of September, that the Benghazi event was terrorism, and possibly Al Qaeda, why did you tell the UN on the 25th that it was about a video?
Re Rice, it’s almost like the Obama team is building a preferred narrative of mean investigators picking on a defenseless little woman — the “war on women” narrative** has proven effective, after all — as a means of diverting attention from what is a miserable clusterflark of incompetence, paralysis and failure on September 11, 2012. And the press is, as usual, being helpful in supplying the bricks and mortar. And the yapping noise that does not bite.
A few timeline incidentals:
September 27: The evil filmmaker behind the video is arrested on a “probation violation
October 18: During debate with Romney, Obama insists he always called the Benghazi attack terrorism. Hilarity ensues.
November 6: Obama wins re-election.
November 7: Evil filmmaker sentenced to year in prison for “parole violation.
November 9: Petreaus, set to testify on Benghazi, resigns.
November 13: Benghazi story devolves into sex farce. Media finally interested, but only in the salacious parts.
And right now, Hillary is in Australia, where she was joined by SecDef Leon Panetta. Both of them have urgent business on the other side of the world, as Petraeus finally gets ready to testify behind closed doors.
All of which seems, to me, to be a lot more interesting than asking why Rice was sent out — apparently by the White House, because Hillary wasn’t going — to spin the video yarn, way back on September 16.
**Wow, I no sooner posted this than these congressional women play the sexism card. Don’t ask Susan Rice questions. That’s sexist. Don’t ask Obama questions. That’s racist. I had someone tell me on Facebook that I wasn’t to ask these questions at all. “That’s partisan.”**
Glenn Reynolds has some reaction to that!
UPDATE I: Someone wants to know why I am bothering with this since “the election is over”. I’m bothering b/c the administration is throwing anything it can up to divert attention from their failures in Benghazi. The inadequate security. The constantly changing stories, the shuffling of blame. You watch this happen from the Situation Room, do nothing and then refuse to answer who gave the order to do nothing? Obama says he gave an order to do something, well to do what? Who gave the order to “save them” or “stand down” — this isn’t about “who knew what, when” this is about who FAILED, how did they fail and do we vote “present” when our embassies are attacked? Because we did that through the 1990′s, when AlQ was attacking us on average once every 18 months. And then we got 9/11. But the fact that anyone thinks the questions are immaterial suggests that the diversionary tactics are working.
Rep. King; CIA Talking points removed AlQaeda element. Administration deliberately played down terrorism angle. Who redacted crucial line, and why?
The President’s Benghazi Problem