What kind of a question is “do you have any regrets?” A cop-out–that’s what. And it’s the question put by NBC’s David Gregory to National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Meet the Press on Sunday, rather than “you weren’t telling us the truth, were you?” Rice told Gregory she was acting on the “the best information that we had at the time.” But we know that is a lie, because the military knew immediately that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.
Gregory does not bother to put the facts to Rice, and show how they contradict her story. Instead, he makes the question a personal one, and follows up by asking if the scandal cost her a shot at Secretary of State. Of course it did–and we don’t need Rice to confirm that. All such questions do is give the interviewee the opportunity to look heroic, sacrificing career advancement for a greater cause. And of course, Rice is more powerful than ever.
Much attention has focused on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s dismissal of Rice’s answer, when it was played for him later on Sunday on CBS News’ Face the Nation (“I’m almost speechless,” he said, which really means something, coming from the voluble McCain). But the real story was identified by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, who noted that Rice had chosen to talk to NBC over Fox News, knowing that she would not face “tough questions.”
And that is absolutely correct. Of course Rice has “no regrets.” She is a habitual liar, dating back to the 2008 campaign, when she claimed that then-Sen. Obama had not promised to meet the world’s tyrants “without preconditions.” Of course he had, and of course he did. But “no regrets,” because he won–just as he would in 2012, after covering up Benghazi, with help from Rice and the media. It’s clear Gregory has “no regrets,” either.