Skip to comments.Wall Street Journal: Hillary’s on the hot seat, not Susan Rice
Posted on 11/17/2012 11:50:19 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Actually, both Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice have a lot of questions to answer, but the Wall Street Journal is correct — the buck on the failures that led to Benghazi stop at Clinton's desk, if not Barack Obama's. Rice has to be held accountable for fronting a false narrative and explaining who told her to do so, but that's less important than getting answers as to why and how the US could have left the Benghazi consulate and diplomatic personnel in Libya at such risk, especially after a string of attacks and overwhelming intelligence pointed to the dangers in the region to American interests. Clinton finally and publicly accepted responsibility more than a month after the attack, but as the WSJ's editors point out, that has been nothing so far but lip service to accountability:
Last month in interviews from deepest Peru, the Secretary of State said “I take responsibility” for Benghazi. Except she hasn’t. She was conveniently out of the country for this week’s House Foreign Affairs hearing, and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry refuses to hold any hearings on Benghazi. His loyalty may get him a cabinet job, while Carl Levin’s Armed Services Committee also pretends nothing much happened in Libya.
The targets of the attacks and its first victims were diplomats. Chris Stevens died of smoke inhalation in the blaze, becoming the first American ambassador killed in the line of duty in over 30 years. A junior colleague also died. These men were Mrs. Clinton’s “responsibility.” Several hours after the assault on the consulate, members of the jihadist militia Ansar al-Shariah turned on the CIA compound about a mile away, killing two of Mr. Petraeus’s men.
In Congressional hearings last month, career State officials admitted that threat warnings from Benghazi were overlooked and requests for better security turned down. They said Foggy Bottom misjudged the ability of a weak Libyan state to protect them. It’s not clear how high up the chain these concerns went, but over to you, Mrs. Clinton.
For over a week after the attacks, the Administration blamed the YouTube video. Mrs. Clinton didn’t push this misleading narrative in public as enthusiastically as Ms. Rice. Still, she bought into it. The father of Tyrone Woods, a CIA contractor who was killed in Benghazi, told media outlets last month that Mrs. Clinton tried to comfort him by promising that the U.S.-based maker of the video would be “prosecuted and arrested”though terrorists killed his son.
But it’s not just Hillary, either. The WSJ goes on to excoriate Obama for pursuing a flabby, oddly passive interventionist policy in Libya with no follow-up — and no apparent regard for the consequences of leaving a power vacuum in a region where terrorist networks already had a toehold. Not only did Obama initiate the decapitation strategy against the Qaddafi regime, Obama bailed out of it early, was late to recognize a government in Triploi, and then refused to use American resources to help secure the country against the militias. All of this is the prologue for what transpired in 2012, as Western interests came under repeated attack while State, under Hillary Clinton, refused to provide adequate security even as other Western nations fled Benghazi.
So the questions don’t just end at Hillary Clinton’s desk, either, nor does the “buck.” And her absence during these hearings certainly makes her declaration of leadership last month look like cheap talk rather than strength and confidence.
On the other hand, Dana Milbank argued yesterday, don’t be so quick to take the spotlight off of Susan Rice, either. While Milbank thinks that Rice has been made a scapegoat for Benghazi, her actions in this incident as well as a long history of undiplomatic behavior not only led Rice into her current predicament, they also show just how wrong she would be to replace Hillary at State — including a history of taking unnecessary shots at Hillary herself:
Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. Particularly in comparison with the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely arent enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her.
Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses. Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults.
Among those she has insulted is the woman she would replace at State. Rice was one of the first former Clinton administration officials to defect to Obamas primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. Rice condemned Clintons Iraq and Iran positions, asking for an explanation of how and why she got those critical judgments wrong.
And Milbank allows that Rice’s contribution to the Benghazi narrative has been revealing of her lack of depth:
Compared with this, the flap over Libya is relatively minor but revealing. Its true that, in her much-criticized TV performance, she was reciting talking points given to her by the intelligence agencies. But thats the trouble. Rice stuck with her points even though they had been contradicted by the president of the Libyan National Assembly, who, on CBSs Face the Nation just before Rice, said there was no doubt that the attack on Americans in Benghazi was preplanned. Rice rebutted the Libyan official, arguing falsely, it turned out that there was no evidence of such planning.
True, Rice was following orders from the White House, which she does well. But the nations top diplomat needs to show more sensitivity and independence traits Clinton has demonstrated in abundance. Obama can do better at State than Susan Rice.
In any normal political environment after these kinds of failures, the careers of both Clinton and Rice would be limited to the speaking circuit and book tours of memoirs. The fact that Hillary still looks like a viable presidential candidate and Rice a potential top diplomat is rather stunning, in context.
Who decided to work on arming al Qaeda?
Damn straight! She owns this. Get her back in this country and on the stand. Not next week, not after breakfast, NOW!
Might there be a cat fight brewing between Princesses Clinton and Rice?
There has been a Republican Secretary of State with the surname Rice. If Obama thinks there needs to be a Democratic Secretary of State with the surname Rice, maybe he can tap Kathleen Brown Rice, the sister of Jerry Brown, if she is available. Probably unqualified for the job but that isn't a deal-killer with this administration.
I don’t think so. Rice is a dim bulb who has been an affirmative action hire all of her life, based either on her race or her gender. She did what she was told to do.
Clinton, on the other hand, is smarter but you also have to realize that, as much as the “feminist” crowd loves her, she has made her entire living in the traditional role as the clean-up person for a powerful man. Bill got ahead by relying on her, and Obama is also relying on her to clean up his messes.
The problem in this case, I think, is that she realizes that Obama’s lies are much worse than those of her husband, and he has gotten her in such deep you-know-what that her cover-up could result in jail time for her if she tries to cling to it. On the other hand, if she gives him up, she probably won’t live to see another year, and Bill will be taken down too.
But she can’t stay out of the country forever...
Me thinks that there is more to this and it involves GUN RUNNING! Its one of the few scenarios that makes any sense.
Your right and that is where this Investigation should start,not the security, but the Gun Running,then it would make perfect sense.As usual the Government by design going at it Ass Backwards. Expose the Gun Running and all the rest becomes easily explainable
This story title I have been howling since September, to the roof tops, since Hillary first took the microphone, first, to come up with the move-along-people-nothing-to-see-here mime on the video false flag.
Susan Rice is a side issue for distraction and deflection that is running the clock out, while the guilt, the specifics, the actions and inactions belong lock, stock and barrel with Hillary.
This was her man, her department, her smart power, her security responsibility, her ear for all the numerous requests for increased security, her rejection of those requests, altogether her first priority, according to State Department mission statements.
Whatever coordination was required of other departments, Hillary Clinton was authorized to get it done, or else fail the clear security mission of the State Department.
Whatever reasons for the colossal failures and dereliction to duty, Hillary is required to resign, if justice and protocol means anything anymore.
Let's be fair now, put the three of them in the same cell.
You and me both! She owns this fiasco. That State Department woman that was in front of Congress hearings a few weeks back was as dumb as a stone. Hillary stepped in front of a microphone in front of those murdered and blamed the video. Bull effing crap. Get her back here and on that stand. And I would bet money it was Valerie Jarrett that scrubbed the talking points for Rice. Get her on the stand, too.
Heard Warren Buffet urge for higher taxes and Hillary for president. What a dumbo.
So, Obama & cohorts played down the after-action report by CIA that this was an organized AQ associate attack on our Mission at Benghazi. The cover story was a demonstration incited by a video. Ooooookay.
How did anyone from Obama to Susan Rice to Hillary plan to play down this central, unchanged, decisive fact, known by Obama on down within 24 hours of the attack:
Two Americans were KIA by mortar fire at 0400.
Why isn’t the media, McCain, and everyone hammering that fact home at every opportunity?
Yesiree. Agree also on Jarrett to the max. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Obama truely didn’t know nuttin’ about nuttin’ on 9-11-12, but what little she may have determined to pass to him. It may have been damn little what the boy president actually saw. Afterall, at the moment nothing was more important than his re-election (and funding the mob activity to get it done). She is the one with the secret service is maxed out covering in an unprecedented fashion.
Someone tell me just why that is?
———why that is?——
My wife, a semifreeper at best, also blames valerie and she is a neophyte political observer.
That means that Valerie is on the black list of many American Women (no racial pun intended)
I follow Ulsterman Report with the White House “insider” reports. The suspicion of Jarrett is just to well founded. Israel reports that it is she who has made three uncovered trips to the Middle East, once a few days before the election. Now I believe that says it all.
You're giving Rice more credit than she deserves.
In the first place, while the Ambassador to the UN is a State Dept employee, they report directly to the President and take no orders from State. Rice is the President's girl.
Second, in her position, Rice had no access to intelligence on Benghazi. She didn't know squat until the President (or Jarrett) told her what to say. True, she might've held a contrary opinion based on the news reports -- but she's too dumb to form one.
"Hack" would be a generous word. "Affirmative action Hack" would be more descriptive.