The dominant narrative in the Ambassador Rice/Benghazi assault narrative goes something like this:
Ambassador Rice was only following established, CIA-approved talking points when she said the attack on the embassy was a spontaneous response to the anti-Islam video. She was wrong, but that shouldn't be held against her because she was just adhering to the script put in front of her.
Liberals are saying this. Our favorite journalists and pundits are saying it too. It has become the established narrative, even though all you have to do is go to the source to see it is just not true.
Ambassador Rice never said the assault was spontaneous, or unplanned, or unrelated to 9/11, or not an act of terrorism. She just didn't say that.
I'll put her quotes below the fold but what she said on the Sunday morning shows was: a spontaneous protest against the videos was hijacked by heavily armed extremists who then attacked the consulate. When Bob Schieffer asked if the attack was pre-planned, or if al Qaeda was involved (as Libya's President claimed earlier on his show), she said that has yet to be decided. The facts weren't all in.
Why is this important? Because the Republicans and others who are determined to politicize the deaths of four Americans will get off scott free if not only the "liberal" mainstream media, but also the progressive community buy into this false narrative. Should Susan Rice be our next Secretary of State? I don't know. But she should not be brought down by this ridiculous story.
Here's what she said on ABC This Week:
RICE: Well, Jake, first of all, it's important to know that there's an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired.And here she is on Face the Nation:
But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to -- or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in -- in the wake of the revolution in Libya are -- are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.
We'll wait to see exactly what the investigation finally confirms, but that's the best information we have at present.
But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that-- in that effort 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.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
SUSAN RICE: We do not-- we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you agree or disagree with him that al Qaeda had some part in this?
SUSAN RICE: Well, we'll have to find out that out. I mean I think it's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine.