Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I was really looking forward to the tiresome act of the Neocon war monger Three Stooges -- John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman -- finally coming to an end now that Lieberman is retiring and leaving the Senate. Frick! I forgot about Shemp! Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has replaced Lieberman in the "new" Three Stooges.
The "new" Three Stooges have been advancing the FAUX News Fraudcasting conspiracy theory du jour on Benghazi, Libya ever since Willard "Mittens" Romney exited stage right.
It has not gone well for McCain. Michael Tomasky on How John McCain Humiliated Himself on Susan Rice:
We don’t yet really know as a society what a person has to do to completely and utterly cancel out a record of war heroism, but we may be about to find out. If this CBS News report is even close to accurate, John McCain’s arguments of the last few weeks about Susan Rice are thrashingly demolished. He has, or should have, zero credibility now on this issue. It will be fascinating to see if he emerges from the holiday weekend subtly chastened, attempting to shift gears a bit, or whether he keeps the pedal to the paranoid metal.
The CBS report found the following. It was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that took the words “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” out of Rice’s talking points for those Sept. 16 talk shows. It found also that both the CIA and the FBI approved of these edits, following standard operating procedure. The report states emphatically: “The White House or State Department did not make those changes.” One source told the network’s Margaret Brennan that the controversy over the word choice employed by Rice has come to the intel world as “a bit of a surprise.” Another source said that there were “legitimate intelligence and legal issues to consider, as is almost always the case when explaining classified assessments publicly.”
There’s one bit of irony introduced to the saga by all these details, which is that this report crystallizes the fact that Rice did indeed hide some information from the public on Sept. 16—but it’s the kind of information that has always been concealed from public consumption, for the kinds of national-security-related reasons that the Washington establishment has always agreed upon. . . The right always defended this practice, on the grounds that making possibly sensitive information public too soon without the proper running of all the intelligence traps could only provide aid and comfort to the commies or the terrorists, as the case may be.
[O]ne has no trouble at all picturing, if Benghazi had happened in the heat of a presidential campaign in which a Republican president was seeking reelection, an unctuous McCain standing before the cameras and lambasting Democrats in highly moralistic language for politicizing such a sensitive tragedy.
The "new" Three Stooges held a meeting with U.N. Ambasador Susan Rice today and, rather than apologize to her and to the American people for engaging in unfounded character assasination based upon wild-ass conspiracy theories promoted by FAUX News, the "new" Three Stooges are keeping "the pedal to the paranoid metal," as Tomasky speculated. New GOP Attack On Susan Rice: She Should Have Manipulated The Intelligence Or Stayed Silent On Benghazi:
Emerging from talks with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, Senate Republicans have a new line of attack on Libya: if it was unclear what happened in Benghazi, why say anything at all in the aftermath?
The newest salvo comes from Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) after a very short-lived detente with the Obama administration on the response to the Sept. 11 assault in Libya.
The three met with Rice behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today and emerged with a new attack campaign, declaring that they only had “more questions” about what the administration knew and when.
“The American people got bad information on Sept. 16,” Graham said during a press conference today, referring to Rice’s Sept. 16 appearances on the Sunday talk shows. “And the question is ‘Should they have been giving information at all?’ If you can give nothing but bad information, isn’t it better to give no information?”
OK, this is just mind-blowing in its hypocrisy and arrogance. The "original" Three Stooges, in particular McCain, provided a steady stream of misleading and outright false information to the American people on Sunday talk shows about the Iraq war for years. Who the hell are these guys to criticize? They have zero credibility.
Wait, it gets worse:
Rather than acknowledging that the intelligence community had vetted and aided in the drafting of Rice’s unclassified talking points that day, the senators in the post-meeting press conference instead chose to fault Rice for not only failing to be more critical of the assessment she was given but for not potentially revealing classified information:
AYOTTE: What troubles me also, the changes made to the unclassified talking points were misleading. But just to be clear, when you have a position where you’re Ambassador to the United Nations, you go well beyond unclassified talking points in your daily preparation and responsibilities for that job. And that’s troubling to me as well, why she wouldn’t have asked “I’m the person that doesn’t know about this, I’m going on every single show?” But in addition, it’s not just the talking points that were unclassified, but clearly it was part of her responsibility as Ambassador to the United Nations to review much more than that.
Ayotte’s determination echoes a growing belief among the right-wing that Rice should have “known better” than to take the talking points provided by the intelligence community at face value or that she should have divulged material that was classified at the time to the American people.
But this brand-new determination that Rice should have strayed from the talking points given to her on Sept. 16 has already spread among the GOP. Senate Minority Whip John Kyl (R-AZ) called Rice a “puppet” of the administration in an interview with National Review Online:
“Is she such a puppet that she had no questions about the information she was given?” Kyl asks, in an interview at Newseum, where he is participating in the Foreign Policy Initiative’s annual forum. “What she said was deceptive, misleading, and wrong.”
However, during the five interviews she gave on Sept. 16, Rice consistently made clear that what was being presented were only initial conclusions and could still change. While the facts continue to exonerate Rice and the Obama administration on this issue, in the face of continual shouting by conservatives that a conspiracy of some sort took place surrounding Benghazi, the majority of Americans believe that’s not the case.
You got that? The right-wing noise machine talking points today are that Ambassador Rice should not take at face value the information she receives from the intelligence agencies, and she should disclose classified information if necessary, information that could jeopardize ongoing investigations into Ambassador Christopher Stevens death or to put the lives of U.S. assets in Libya at risk (as Rep. Darrel Issa did by releasing classified documents). These partisan hacks are reckless and irresponsible. Have they no shame?
UPDATE: Joe Klein from Time further confirms previous reporting by the New York Times and the Washington Post that I have previously posted, which undermines the FAUX News Fraudcasting conspiracy theories. The Benghazi Circus:
There were two attacks in Benghazi that night. The first was a spontaneous response to the anti-Islamic film that had caused similar protests in Cairo and elsewhere. That is important: there would have been no terrorist attack if the film hadn't provided the opportunity for mayhem. Most of the protesters were members of local salafist militias, who quickly realized that the security at the consulate was nearly nonexistent. They organized a second attack with heavier weapons, including mortars. And so we have four essential facts that do not contradict one another:
1. the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the film
2. it was followed by an organized attack.
3. both attacks were populated and organized by terrorist militias, with loose ties to Al-Qaeda.
4. security at the consulate was inadequate
In other words, the talking points the CIA provided to Ambassador Rice and other officials four days after the attack were accurate. This whole "Benghazi Circus" is being manufactured by the right-wing noise machine and aided and abetted by "Stooges" in Congress.