The Republicans won't let go of Benghazi. Fair enough. The whole narrative does need to be definitively replayed and carefully vetted. There are at this moment 4 Congressional committees investigating the incident. On Friday, General Petraeus--- who headed the CIA until his resignation over a randy escapade--- will testify on Friday before one of them, the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence.
I don't wish to run down what we know of the embassy attack at this juncture or when we knew it. I'd rather like to focus on the recent inflammatory comments made by Senator John McCain and Senatory Lindsey Graham about UN Ambassador Susan Rice. It seems McCain and Graham are quick to vilify Rice by suggesting she may be implicated in a grand conspiracy and cover-up . They claim that the attack from its outset had the finger prints of A-Qaida all over it. That Rice deliberately misled the public when she first addressed the nature of the attack on national TV.
Objectivity evidently is not the strong suit of either senator.
McCain and Graham and other Republicans are pushing for still another committee to investigate the matter: along the lines of Watergate.
The fact is that when Ambassador Rice first informed the nation about Benghazi, she was merely acting as the government's spokesperson and reporting what the CIA told her in its briefing. A fair-minded person might say that she was a model of circumspection in her statements, prudently hedging on the details until further evidence could be produced
In her interviews Ms. Rice propounded the following CIA talking points: (1) The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protest at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subseuqently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. (2) The asssessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated. (3) The investigation is on-going and the U.S. government is working with Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsiblee for the deaths of US citizens.
Rice's words were diplomatic, restrained, and eminently discreet.
In direct contrast to the partisan rhetoric of Senators McCain and Graham. McCain pledging to block the appointment of Rice to head the Department of State because of alleged misconduct and/or incompetence; and Graham blaring out, "I don't trust her!" So much for a dispassionate search for the truth As Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar: "[But] men may construe things after their fashion/ Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
I find McCain's and Graham's harangues against Ambassador Rice to be grossly irresponsible, intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible.
Benghazi should be investigated on a number of levels. But until it thoroughly and painstakingly is, judgment should be withheld, especially by those conducting the investigations.
I'll let someone whose business was" to know what other people don't know" have the last word: Sherlock Holmes. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."
And when it's a 'Capitol' mistake it's a Senatorial disgrace.
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