Benghazi must never die: Plainly, Republicans political figures—and Fox—continue to think that Benghazi is a political winner which may put Romney over the top.
Over the weekend, Fox ran an hour-long special on the subject that included the most cherry-picked rendition of Susan Rice’s presentation we have seen to date. We can’t find a transcript or tape of the program, but videotape of Rice was clipped within an inch of its life.
Plainly, the dissembling on this topic will continue right through November 6.
That said, you didn’t have to be watching Fox to see the onslaught continue. Yesterday morning, John McCain appeared on Face the Nation.
Need we say much more?
Bob Schieffer did the enabling as McCain continued to misrepresent what Ambassador Rice and President Obama said about Benghazi. It was the Same Old Bogus Story, pimped with Schieffer’s permission:
MCCAIN (10/28/12): Probably the worst of all of this, of course, is the gross, gross, outrageous statements that [Obama] made and his— I was on your program when Susan Rice came on. And I was slack-jawed when she went through that routine of the, that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a video. We now know there was no demonstration. There was no mob. So how could intelligence community ever reach a conclusion that there was a spontaneous demonstration when there wasn’t?Watergate references to the side, let’s get clear about this latest dissembling:
So the president went on various shows, despite what he said he said in the Rose Garden about terrorist acts, he went on several programs, including The View, including Letterman, including before the UN, where he continued to refer, days later, many days later, to this as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video. We know that is patently false.
What did the president know? When did he know it? And what did he do about it?
On the September 16 Face the Nation, Ambassador Rice did not “say that that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a video.”
When he spoke to the United Nations, President Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attacks as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video.
McCain continues to thunder about, making statements which are, at best, grossly misleading. And what does a major network anchor say in response to such misrepresentations?
A major network anchor says nothing! Schieffer gave McCain free rein, then finally dropped the topic. His new question, asked on a bit of a first-name basis, was this:
SCHIEFFER: What do you think Mitt Romney needs to do? If he called and you said, “What do I need to do now, John, to close this?” what would you tell him?Scheiffer seemed to be asking what Romney must do to close out a winning campaign. He made no attempt to challenge “John’s” account of what Rice and Obama said.
Schieffer’s next guest was Rahm Emmanuel. Incredibly, he quickly asked this:
SCHIEFFER: Now you weren’t there, obviously you don’t have access to this information, but you were White House chief of staff. How is it that so many of, versions of events could come out of this thing? I mean, you know, yes, yes, he— Yes, [Obama] said in the Rose Garden, he referred to a terrorist attack. But five days later, Susan Rice was right here on this broadcast and on other Sunday broadcasts saying that no, it wasn’t. And I mean, how is it that that could happen?Gack!
On the September 16 Face the Nation, Susan Rice did not say that no, it wasn’t a terrorist attack. She said the violence began when “extremist elements” arrived at the consulate “with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.”
That’s what Rice actually said to Schieffer right there on his own freaking program. Surely Schieffer has access to transcripts and tapes! But this has all been disappeared as people like McCain—and Schieffer himself—keep pushing a thoroughly scripted and grossly misleading line.
These scripted misstatements aren’t going to stop. More on this topic tomorrow.
What the fearless Emmanuel said: In response to Schieffer’s question, the best Emmanuel could manage was this: “When Susan went out there, she was working off the intelligence provided at that point.”
No one is ever allowed to say that Schieffer may be misstating a point—that he may be misstating what was said to his own face, right there on his own program.
People! In accordance with Hard Pundit Law, things like that simply aren’t done!