When even Maureen Friggin' Dowd sees the disconnects...
Anyway... here's (most of) what Dowd writes:
Are the Republican senators unreasonable? Or is the secretary of state-manqué undiplomatic?
Did the senators sandbag Susan Rice? Or did Rice further inflame a tense situation?
Is it a case of shooting the messenger and playing politics? Or is national security dangerously infected with politics?
Obviously it's the latter...
It seems as if it would have been simple enough for Rice to quickly admit that the administration talking points she used on the Sept. 16 Sunday shows about the slaughter in Benghazi were misleading. But she went silent.
When Rice asked to come to the Hill to meet with some of her Republican critics, it seemed détente was nigh. But somehow the hour-and-a-half powwow caused an escalation, with McCain, Graham and Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire emerging to say they had more reservations than before.
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who’s scheduled to meet with Rice on Wednesday, suggested that she would be better suited to run the Democratic National Committee than State. (If Rice can’t soothe the egos of some cranky G.O.P. pols, how would she negotiate with China?)
Very... good... points...
Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the soft-spoken ranking member on the homeland security committee, hasn’t been part of this shrill debate. Though they had met only once or twice, Collins agreed to introduce Rice to the Foreign Relations Committee in 2009 when Rice was nominated as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. (Rice’s grandparents immigrated from Jamaica to Portland, Maine.)
“I don’t bear any animus to her at all,” the senator said. “In fact, to the contrary.” But she said she is “troubled” by Rice’s role. “If I wanted to be secretary of state,” Collins observed, “I would not go on television and perform what was essentially a political role.”
One would think...
Collins drew up a list of questions to ask Rice at their one-on-one hour-long meeting slated for Wednesday.
Hey! That's today! (Whatchya wanna bet that ol' Susan comes away "satisfied" with whatever bull Rice throws out... throws out in their November 28th meeting to discuss the events of 9/11/12... and pre-9/11/12... and post-9/11/12.)
Collins wants Rice to explain how she could promote a story “with such certitude” about a spontaneous demonstration over the anti-Muslim video that was so at odds with the classified information to which the ambassador had access.
Again, folks... it was also "at odds" with what William R. Barker was posting on Usually Right based upon news reports (mainly the foreign press - at least over the first few days) and other publicly available information.
It was also at odds with common sense, given that there were Al Qaeda sympathizers among the rebel army members that overthrew Muammar el-Qaddafi with help from the U.S. — an intervention advocated by Rice — and Islamic extremist training camps in the Benghazi area.
Thanks for noticing, Maureen! Funny... I've been pointing to this all along!
The F.B.I. interviewed survivors of the attack in Germany and, according to some senators, had done most of the interviews of those on site by Sept. 15, the day before Rice went on TV, and established that there was no protest. Collins wants to learn if the F.B.I. had failed to communicate that, or if they had communicated it and Rice went ahead anyway?
Listen... folks... "who said what to whom when" is in a sense besides the point. Again... we're still dealing with what info the CIA sent to Rice and what Rice actually saw! (Remember... supposedly "someone" - on "someone's" authority - redacted all the... er... accurate information from Rice's talking points before she actually sat down for her five sequentially given public interviews - you know... the ones where she was speaking for the administration... for the United States Government...)
When Rice heard the president of the Libyan National Congress tell Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation,” right before her appearance, that 50 people had been arrested who were either foreign or affiliated with or sympathized with Al Qaeda, why did she push back with the video story? “Why wouldn’t she think what the Libyan president said mattered?” Collins wondered.
Why did Rice say on ABC News’s This Week that “two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security”?
What Dowd actually means is "Why did Rice lie?"
Rice was referring to the two ex-Navy SEAL team members who were C.I.A. security officers working on a base about a mile away. “They weren’t there to protect Ambassador Stevens,” Collins said. “That wasn’t their job.”
Recall, folks... the Obama administration had time and again pre-9/11/12 denied Ambassador Stevens' official requests for heightened security.
Recall, folks... Stevens' own personal diary... you know, the one a member of the media found rather than one of our crack U.S. Government Investigators... noted Stevens' fears and frustrations at great length and basically made it clear that Stevens' feared that something like what actually occurred would occur.
Rice also said that “we had a substantial security presence with our personnel” — which was clearly not the case.
Again... this is called a lie. (Here... let me spell it out: L*I*E.)
Collins wants to know Rice’s basis for saying on ABC that the attacks were “a direct result of a heinous and offensive video.”
And why did she say “a small number of people” came to the consulate to protest, when that phrase is not in her talking points?
Ah... that wild and crazy ol' Susan Rice... just "wingin' it."
Collins is curious why Rice is not angrier, if, as she insists, she was repeating what she was told. “I’d be furious at the White House and F.B.I. and intelligence community for destroying my credibility,” the senator said.
Oh, Senator Collins... how droll. As if "credibility" matters to someone like Susan Rice... or Barack Obama. (Does anyone actually believe that if Obama does nominate Rice as his next Secretary of State that the Democrats who control the Senate will vote "no" based upon "credibility" or lack thereof...???
Collins said that before she would support Rice for secretary of state, she needs to ascertain what was really going on. “Did they think admitting that it was an Al Qaeda attack would destroy the narrative of Libya being a big success story?” Collins asked.
In a word... "YES!"
As one of the administration champions of intervening in Libya, Rice was surely rooting for that success story herself.