Double Down: Rice Continues to Defend Benghazi Comments
Nearly three months to the day since her Sunday morning talk-show comments sealed her political doom, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice has yet to recant for blaming the Benghazi attacks on a YouTube video at a time when we already knew it was terrorism.
Moreover, even in withdrawing her name from consideration for Sec. of State on Dec. 13, Rice actually took the opportunity (again) to defend her comments.
During the short speech she gave while withdrawing her name, Rice was unapologetic:
When speaking on Benghazi I relied on fully on cleared, unclassified points provided by the intelligence community, which encapsulated their best current assessment. These unclassified points were consistent with the classified assessments I received as a senior foreign policymaker. It would have been irresponsible for me to substitute my personal judgment for our government's and wrong for me to reveal classified information.
That last line is pretty telling -- "it would have been irresponsible for me to substitute my personal judgement for our government's and wrong for me to reveal classified information."
Would it have been wrong for her to attribute to common sense that which common sense was already driving home in each of our minds? Namely, that the Benghazi attacks were far too well orchestrated to have been spontaneous attacks caused by a YouTube video on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
While continuing to defend her comments, Rice appeared to smugly and indirectly blame the intelligence community for any problems with what she about Benghazi on Sept. 16.
She did this by speaking in a way that made it look like she wasn't just explaining her own actions, but was actually providing cover for the intelligence community: "I have tremendous appreciation for our intelligence professionals [and] the intelligence community did its job in good faith."
Rice is beating a dead horse here -- there is no blame being placed at the feet of the intelligence community. On Sept. 13 the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center both said the Benghazi attacks had been premeditated terrorist attacks. And when testifying in early Nov., former CIA Director David Petraeus said intelligence knew "almost immediately" that Al Qaeda was linked to the attacks.
The bottom line -- Rice could have withdrawn her name with a simple, five word speech: "I'm sorry I misled you."