Last night, Jon Stewart went to the video in calling out the sheer hypocrisy of Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) attacking Susan Rice over what she said on the Sunday talk shows a few weeks ago.
But we begin tonight with the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was a tragic situation, where American lives were lost. And in the three months since the attack, legitimate questions of adequate embassy security, America's overall efficacy in fighting the war on terror, and the intricate dance twixt national security confidentiality and the public's right to know, have all been distilled down, thrown out, and replaced with this one urgent conclusion concerning current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.Video below the fold.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (11/14/2012): I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State. ... She's not qualified.That's Senator John McCain, continuing his seven-year quest to negate every good thing he'd ever done prior to that. This time, leading the charge to preempt an as of now hypothetical Obama nomination for Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton. Why?
Because five days after the Benghazi attacks, Susan Rice wen ton the Sunday talk shows and said this.SUSAN RICE (11/16/2012): The best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a pre-planned premeditated attack, that was happened initially was that there was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.(whispers) We know that that's wrong now.
And we now know many in the Obama administration knew immediately that that statement was wrong, that the attackers were not angry film critics, but al-Qaeda. Or one of al-Qaeda's Double AA teams, the Ansar al-Sharia Mudhens.
Susan Rice met yesterday with Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte to clear the air. How'd that go?SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (11/27/2012): Ambassador Rice, I think does not do justice to the reality at the time, and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong.Here's the deal. They may be right. Though on the scale of public misstatements...
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (11/27/2012): We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got, and some that we wouldn't get concerning evidence that was overwhelming, leading up tot eh attack on our consulate.
Rice's comments seemed to fall more towards the "embarrassing evidence of institutional disorganization" end of the scale. But here's the thing. These two don't get to be the ones deciding to self-righteously get angry about this. They're upset she may have passed bad intel, wittingly or un-, to the American people. Remember these two from a decade ago?SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (10/9/2002): Saddam Hussein continues to acquire, amass, and improve on his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. He continues to attempt to acquire a nuclear weapon. These are all well-known facts.I remember all that from their hit blog Shit Old Guys Who Unnecessarily Get Us Into Wars Say. (audience cheering and applause)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (12/19/2001): Let's act now to get rid of a tyrant who's abused and killed his own people, who's procuring weapons of mass destruction, substantial evidence to that effect.
Unfortunately, that's not really fair, it's not a 1-to-1 comparison. Because while Susan Rice admitted to the error within weeks, these two still refuse to acknowledge that invading a country based on information from a source named "Curveball" was actually considered a pretty shitty idea by many at the time.
If only we had a more direct comparison to make here, sort of a 1-to-1, like another high-ranking government official passing what they knew at the time was misleading intelligence to the American public. On a Sunday news show. Also in line to become Secretary of State. And was African-American. And a woman. And let's say her name was also Rice. That'd be something!CONDOLEEZZA RICE (9/8/2002): We do know that there have been shipments goingShe knew that was bullshit at the time. What would a John McCain or a Lindsey Graham say about a woman like that's qualifications for Secretary of State?
into Iran, for instance,into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to — high-quality aluminum tubes — that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (1/27/2005): To attack her personally is way over the line because she is our face and voice to the world, and you're not doing any American any good ... by sending her off with such labels.Oh, I'm sure it will. I mean, what kind of crotchety, Gran Torino-ish old fuck would be completely unable to get over a simple campaign loss? It's unimaginable.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-AZ (1/27/2005): But I think it is very clear that Condoleezza Rice is a person of integrity. And yes, I see some lingering bitterness over a very tough campaign. I hope it dissipates soon.