36 thoughts on “The Washington Post

  1. wodun

    Someone could tell the Democrats that the election is over and they can drop the racist stereotyping except that we can see from Obama’s continued campaigning that the midterms have already started.

  2. Jim

    So what does explain the focus on Rice? She didn’t have anything to do with Benghazi security precautions, or the immediate response. All she did was faithfully deliver administration talking points. If Benghazi is a scandal, it isn’t Rice’s scandal, it’s Clinton’s and/or Petraeus’s and Obama’s. Why did the GOP decide to go after Rice? It’s just bizarre.

    1. Karl Hallowell

      Jim, you wrote:

      All she did was faithfully deliver administration talking points.

      Talking points which were lies. That lack of credibility is sufficient reason in my book.

      Later on, you wrote:

      The talking points reflected the CIA and State’s best information at the time, modulo the routine redacting to protect sensitive information.

      No, it doesn’t. Nobody here buys your claims.

      Also you are implying that people are racist because they are opposing nomination of Rice. And you do so on the basis that Rice has black skin. When will you stop your blatant racism, Jim?

      1. Jim

        Petraeus testified under oath that the talking points were approved by the CIA as the current best information. They were reviewed by the DNI. If you have a problem with the talking points, you have a problem with the CIA and DNI, not with Rice.

        1. Karl Hallowell

          I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, Jim. What we know of these events indicates that no, that would not have been the current best information, no matter what Petraeus claimed.

          If you have a problem with the talking points, you have a problem with the CIA and DNI, not with Rice.

          As for Rice, I just don’t see someone who parrots “talking points” as being qualified for the position of Secretary of State. I also think a solid rejection of Rice due to the stench of this particular incident would be a good message to send to the White House.

        2. Leland

          Actually, quote: Petraeus testified that he developed unclassified talking points in the days after the attack but he had no direct involvement in developing the ones used by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

          More: No one knows, yet, exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points, other than to say the original talking points prepared by the CIA were different from the ones that were finally put out

          So let’s drop this nonsense that Rice was using the CIA talking points. She wasn’t. And as Karl and others note, even if she was, parroting incorrect and inaccurate talking points is not rationale for promotion to Sec State.

    2. DaveP.

      “All she did was faithfully deliver administration talking points.”

      Which were lies. Gee, Jim: Lying to the public was a great sin and crime when your ilk were accusing GWB of doing it; where’s the outrage now?

      1. Jim

        Which were lies

        Lies are statements that are known to be false at the time they are made. That isn’t at all the case here — the DNI and DCIA had signed off on these talking points, and Rice had no reason to question them.

        Lying to the public was a great sin and crime when your ilk were accusing GWB of doing it; where’s the outrage now?

        Lying to the public, particularly in service of starting a disastrous war, is outrageous. So it’s interesting to compare what Susan Rice did to what National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice did when she told the public that Iraq’s aluminum tubes “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs”. She said despite knowing that, in her words, the nuclear enrichment experts from the Department of Energy “believed that they might be for something else”.

        That is a baldfaced lie, a lie that helped pave the way to the worst US foreign policy mistake since Vietnam. And the people who are so outraged at Susan Rice today, like John McCain, defended Condoleezza Rice and supported her promotion to Secretary of State.

        Or look at what happened to Stephen Hadley after he put the African yellowcake reference in the actual State of the Union Address, after the CIA had refused to sign off on it. He was promoted to National Security Advisor. Where was your outrage then?

        1. Leland

          That isn’t at all the case here — the DNI and DCIA had signed off on these talking points, and Rice had no reason to question them.

          According to the President, he claimed the attacks were acts of terrorism on day 1. Terrorism has been defined by Congress prior to the Obama Presidency as being a planned act. Why wasn’t Rice questioning DNI and DCIA providing her talking points that contradicted the President of the US and Libya?

          1. Jim

            Terrorism has been defined by Congress prior to the Obama Presidency as being a planned act

            You’re splitting hairs. If a terrorist group gathers weapons, hopes to attack targets of opportunity, and then does so, isn’t that terrorism? Even if there was no plan to hit that specific target at that specific time? That’s the sort of scenario described in the talking points.

          2. Leland

            I’m not splitting hairs, I’m giving the definition of terrorism. You are trying to spin it. Because the scenario you described isn’t what happened in Benghazi. It may be what the talking points described, but its not what happened. So we go back to the question, where did this false scenario come from? What was its basis? Why did Rice repeat this scenario?

          3. Jim

            Because the scenario you described isn’t what happened in Benghazi

            We know that now. We (i.e. the CIA) didn’t know that then.

            where did this false scenario come from?

            The CIA.

            What was its basis?

            CIA intelligence gathering.

            Why did Rice repeat this scenario?

            Because it was the CIA’s theory at the time.

            This isn’t that mysterious.

          4. Leland

            We know that now. We (i.e. the CIA) didn’t know that then.

            Utter BS, Petraeus testified to Congress that the CIA believed from the beginning it was a terrorist attack. The CIA report left the CIA with the report that it was terrorism. This is Congressional record. And why would they claim anything else? Again I ask, where is the evidence that the video had anything to do with the attack. Where’s the evidence that a protest ever occurred. Did Rice not even ask to see any of the actual intelligence? Did she not check with anyone in the diplomatic corps (corpse if your Obama) on the veracity of the intelligence reports?

            Either Rice is completely uncritical about the information she’s asked to present or is the source of the erroneous information. Neither situation is qualification for a position of Secretary of State.

        2. DaveP.

          Real brave of you, to continue to refuse to apply the Bush standard to Obama.
          I guess it’s because you hold Bush to a higher standard…
          I wonder what that says about you?

    3. Jim

      On reflection, maybe the focus on Rice isn’t bizarre, maybe it’s just politics. The GOP has been convinced all along that Obama is conducting a weak, even unpatriotic, foreign policy. So they keep trying, with little success, to score political points by convincing the public that Obama’s weakness has caused some foreign policy failure. They blamed him for not supporting Arab Spring uprisings, then blamed him for supporting them, but the public hasn’t seemed interested. So they jumped on Benghazi: with four dead Americans the GOP finally had a hook for their “Obama’s weakness hurts America” narrative.

      Going after Obama directly didn’t work very well; Romney overplayed the “Obama didn’t call it terrorism for two weeks” charge in the second debate, and looked foolish. Then Obama won the election, and it’s hard to attack a president basking in post-reelection glow. So how do you attack him indirectly?

      You could go after Hillary Clinton: she’s in charge of consular security, and the most visible foreign policy official. But she’s very popular, and on her way out.

      You could go after Petraeus: he was responsible for the “not a pre-planned attack” talking points. But Petraeus is a GOP hero, in the middle of an unrelated personal scandal, and also on his way out. You can’t hurt Obama by attacking Petreaus, even if it is his screwup.

      You could go after the DNI for signing off on the talking points, but most people (myself included) have no idea who the DNI is. Ditto the National Security Advisor.

      So you go after Rice. She’s got personal ties to Obama going way back, and an attack on her is more clearly an attack on Obama. She’s expected to become Secretary of State. If you can block her you give Obama a bloody nose, if you fail she starts the job under a cloud, and you’ve got a head start attacking Obama’s second term foreign policy decisions.

      Never mind that she didn’t do anything wrong; it’s just politics.

      1. Leland

        You go after Rice because she’s apparently the only one besides Hillary who claimed it was a spontaneous attack. And Hillary has already been invited to testify to Congress, so your argument is moot at best. As for DNI and NSA, your ignorance is not sufficient justification in ignoring their role. The problem isn’t your ignorance, but the fact it was Rice who went out to the American people peddling a story that never had evidence to support it.

  3. McGehee

    All she did was faithfully deliver administration talking points.

    It goes to her credibility. Either she knew the talking points were false, or she’s a dunderhead — and that would be true of a white male as well. In neither case is she a fit candidate for Secretary of State.

    1. Jim

      The talking points reflected the CIA and State’s best information at the time, modulo the routine redacting to protect sensitive information.

      Was the UN ambassador supposed to have a better take on what happened than CIA or State? Why would anyone expect that? If your issue is with the quality of the information, take it up with Petraeus or Clinton, not Rice.

      And what, exactly, was the harm? She disseminated the information they had at the time. Since then, the administration has gotten more information, and has released that. She was on talk shows — it isn’t as if she used known-bad information as justification to start a war.

      1. Leland

        And what, exactly, was the harm? She disseminated the information they had at the time.

        She contradicted the Libyan President moments after receiving information from that President. That’s not a very diplomatic thing to do. But that harm isn’t nearly as bad as carrying a narrative that resulted in a man being jailed for blasphemy. And Jim, did you forget that the UN passed an anti-blaspemy resolution in 2010? Who was the US UN Ambassador when that occurred?

        1. Jim

          She contradicted the Libyan President moments after receiving information from that President. That’s not a very diplomatic thing to do.

          So US diplomats are supposed to ignore the position of the US government for fear of contradicting foreign leaders? You must have loved having John Bolton at the UN.

          But that harm isn’t nearly as bad as carrying a narrative

          “Carrying a narrative”? Really? That’s the best you have? If you don’t like the narrative, go after its authors at the CIA, not Susan Rice.

          that resulted in a man being jailed for blasphemy

          No one was jailed for blasphemy.

          1. Leland

            So US diplomats are supposed to ignore the position of the US government for fear of contradicting foreign leaders?

            It’s a position that President Obama claimed in a televised debate that he also held. Why didn’t Rice fear contradicting the US President?

            That’s the best you have?

            A guy is in jail because of that story. Do you think stories are not a big deal? You’re the same guy that just wrote this above:
            That is a baldfaced lie, a lie that helped pave the way to the worst US foreign policy mistake since Vietnam.

            You’re comment is an opinion. It’s a fact that the video maker is in jail, and the Administration wanted him punished for making the video. We know they wanted him punished because of the stories that Rice gave to the morning talkshows. Stories that have no evidence supporting them.

            No one was jailed for blasphemy.

            Really, then why was the movie maker ever implicated by Rice?

      2. wodun

        Obama claimed in the debate that he immediately called it terrorism (the transcript showed he didn’t) so why was Rice out there a week later blaming it on a youtube video? There was no fog of war or whatever bs excuse these many days after the event.

        Sure she was just doing what Obama told her to do by lying but that doesn’t mean either should not take responsibility for their actions.

        1. Dave

          “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation…” Really, you’re saying that isn’t calling it terrorism?

          1. wodun

            Go read the transcript. He was refering to a different event. And if he did call it terrorism then why did he deny that it was a terrorist attack in his 60 minutes interview and blame it on a protest over a youtube video gone bad for weeks?

            If Obama said it was a terrorist attack why did he send Rice out a week later to blame it on a protest about a video? Any scenario you want to go with looks bad for Obama and shows he lied.

            Why did Hillary tell the father of one of those killed that they would arrest the man responsible for making the video? That man was sentenced to jail for a year because Obama blamed him for what happened.

          2. Leland

            As wodun says, and many others have noted often enough; if Obama called it terrorism from day 1, then why was the Ambassador out claiming something different? This thread is about Rice’s competency to be Secretary of State. Jim asks what has she done wrong? Well, if she contradicted the US President, whom she works for, and the Libyan President, who the US put in power, then she is a liability to be kept far away from critical jobs.

          3. Jim

            Go read the transcript. He was refering to a different event.

            Where do you get this stuff? He was referring to the attack on the consulate. Here’s the Rose Garden transcript:

            Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.

            If Obama said it was a terrorist attack why did he send Rice out a week later to blame it on a protest

            Because, according to the best information they had at the time, it was a terrorist attack prompted by the video protest.

            Why did Hillary tell the father of one of those killed that they would arrest the man responsible for making the video?

            Because she knew he was going to be arrested for violating his probation?

            That man was sentenced to jail for a year because Obama blamed him for what happened.

            So Obama gets to send people to jail whenever he blames them for something? I wasn’t aware of that presidential power.

            The filmmaker was sentenced to jail for a year because he violated the terms of his probation. A protip for criminals on probation who want to stay out of prison: don’t violate the terms of your probation in a way that brings world-wide media attention.

            then why was the Ambassador out claiming something different

            She never said it wasn’t terrorism. She said — because it was the CIA’s assessment at the time — that it didn’t appear to be pre-planned. That turned out to be incorrect. So blame the CIA for not figuring that out more quickly (if the delay did any real harm, which seems doubtful), don’t blame Rice for being the messenger.

          4. Leland

            Because, according to the best information they had at the time, it was a terrorist attack prompted by the video protest.

            What information? Who did they get this information from? There’s been no data to date to suggest the video ever had anything to do with the attack.

            You keep insisting this was what they knew, so here’s a question Jim, how did they ever draw such a conclusion? The CIA didn’t provide them that information. The CIA said it was a planned attack. Libya claimed from the beginning it was a planned attack. Video obtained during the attack and available to the President at the time also showed it wasn’t a protest.

            With all this evidence that it clearly was a planned attack, why did Rice ever go out and say it was a spontaneous riot caused by a youtube video?

            Come on Jim, provide the evidence that Benghazi ever had anything to do with the youtube video! That’s what Rice claimed, where’s her evidence to support this claim. Don’t tell me she just did what she was told and deserves promotion; why isn’t she demanding answers for being made a fool? Why are you Jim acting a fool now?

          5. Josh Reiter

            “A protip for criminals on probation who want to stay out of prison: don’t violate the terms of your probation in a way that brings world-wide media attention.”

            World wide attention that was brought about by the President, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice. Chicken, meet egg.

          6. Jim

            The CIA said it was a planned attack.

            That’s what they say now, it isn’t what they said in the talking points they prepared for Rice.

            With all this evidence that it clearly was a planned attack, why did Rice ever go out and say it was a spontaneous riot caused by a youtube video?

            Here’s what she told Meet the Press:

            What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode. Obviously, that’s– that’s our best judgment now. We’ll await the results of the investigation.

            She said it was their best judgement, because it was their best judgement, as Petreaus has confirmed. Now that there’s better information, she’s amended that preliminary conclusion.

            If, as you say, there was obvious evidence that it was a planned attack, why was the CIA fooled? Why did the DNI sign off on the talking points? What possible gain would there be for them to lie about something that was so obvious that everyone would immediately know they were lying?

          7. Jim

            World wide attention that was brought about by the President, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice.

            You can’t be serious. The video was front-page news before any of them had publicly mentioned it.

          8. Josh Reiter

            But but but I thought their wasn’t enough information at that time to make a distinction one way or the other as to was caused the attack. Why is it okay to jump to one conclusion about it being a video and promising that the producer of said video would be thrown in jail before you had all the facts. The video had been posted for months, it’s didn’t seem like California was posed to nab this guy for probation violations until after Clinton’s bluster. What makes jumping to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack so above reproach but instantly demonizing some video okay? I mean, if this excuse of, “there wasn’t enough evidence”, is going to fly then a more appropriate reaction by Obama would have been to not make a move one way or the other until, uh, all the facts are indeed known. Why is taking the information coming out of your own intelligence agencies not okay but instantly adopting the narrative created from a twitter message from a foreign source is just okie dokie? Nope were not jumping to conclusions around here, no siree….

          9. Leland

            She said it was their best judgement, because it was their best judgement, as Petreaus has confirmed.

            Try again, Petraeus said the CIA thought from the beginning it was a terrorist attack and so stated. This is Congressional Record. So you can keep saying “The CIA”, but that’s not true. Just like it’s not true that the video had anything to do with Benghazi (something even Rice is willing to admit now). Just like it is not true that a protest ever occurred in Benghazi prior to the attack.

            Jim, we now have timelines of the information that was coming in. None of the information that came in claimed a protest was occuring, ever. So why would anyone claim a protest and link it to a video when not one piece of evidence from Benghazi coming out before or during the attack made any claim?

          10. wodun

            “Where do you get this stuff? He was referring to the attack on the consulate. Here’s the Rose Garden transcript:”

            Actually, that is selective quoting of the transcript and of course you don’t provide a link because every time you do, someone provides quotes for your link that contradict your point.

            “Because, according to the best information they had at the time, it was a terrorist attack prompted by the video protest.”

            Is that really the best information they had or was it a coverup for failure to provide the security that was asked for and the failure to send aid when the consulate was under attack? Was it really the best information or was it just a coverup for Obama’s lies about AQ being reduced to just 5-10 people. Was it really the best information or was it a coverup for Obama’s foreign policy that did more to aid the expansion of Islamism than AQ ever did?

            “So Obama gets to send people to jail whenever he blames them for something? I wasn’t aware of that presidential power.”

            Ya, neither was I but Obama is always complaining that he doesn’t have dictatorial powers, it isn’t surprising when he uses them. And don’t give us any crap about how the guy violated his probation. The DNC trotted out numerous law breakers at their convention and none of them were arrested and deported. If Obama and the Democrats use political considerations not to arrest someone then they can certainly use political considerations to arrest someone.

            “So blame the CIA for not figuring that out more quickly…”

            I blame Obama. It was his foreign policy that led to the Islamist Spring. It was his administrations refusal to provide security. It was his worldview that did not match the reality when it came to AQ or the situation on the ground in Libya. It was Obama that did not give the order to send help. He created the web of lies. He sent out Rice.

            It is too bad that Rice, who had nothing to to with Libya, went out on national tv to speak about an issue that she knew nothing about. Why didn’t Obama send out Hillary or someone who did know something? Rice was a deliberate choice by Obama.

            I don’t think Obama should be rewarded for this by elevating Rice to SoS.

    1. Karl Hallowell

      Every time I read through this thread, your post at the very end keeps getting more and more true.

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