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And yet another GOP attack line on Benghazi and Susan Rice bites the dust. After the closed door meeting she and other GOP senators had with Rice on Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins opened a new line of attack on Rice by questioning what role she had to play in the Al-Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Somalia in 1998, when Rice was serving as assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Clinton administration:

She said, "What troubles me so much is the Benghazi attack in many ways echoes the attacks on our embassies in 1998, when Susan Rice was head of the African region for our State Department. In both cases the ambassadors begged for additional security" but she said, as with the Sept. 11 attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, those requests were turned down by the State Department.

Collins said that Rice told her "she would have to refresh her memory of the 1998 events and that she was not directly involved in turning down the request for embassy ssecurity in 1998.

But Collins seemed dissatisfied with Rice's response, saying, "Surely given her position as the assistant secretary for African affairs, she had to be aware of the general threat assessment and of the ambassadors' repeated requests for more security."

It was a very disappointing move by Collins, who had previously been hesitant to criticize Rice, but I guess the peer pressure from John McCain and his fellow stooges got to her. And true to form, her theories turn to be a big pile of nothing. As the Huffington Post reports:

Members of an outside review board that investigated the 1998 terrorist bombings at two U.S. embassies in Africa told The Huffington Post on Thursday that they didn't recall any direct role that Susan Rice, then a State Department official focused on Africa, had played in the failure to prevent the attacks.

"I don't remember any inference or allegation that Susan Rice had been negligent," said Philip Wilcox, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a member of the review board created by the State Department.

Whoops.

A little back story. The Accountability Review Board, which was formed by the State Department in late 1998 to investigate the bombing, concluded that despite heightened security concerns, there were "no intelligence reports immediately before the bombing" that could have warned of an attack. As for Rice's role:

Rice was interviewed for the review board investigation, although her name never appeared in its final report. Instead, the report focuses on officals in diplomatic security and State Department management, who were respeonsible for responding to [U.S ambassador to Kenya Prudence] Bushell's requests.

Bonnie Cohen, the undersecretary of satte for management at the time, told HuffPost on Thursday that she didn't recall any specific role played by Rice, whose job was focused more on politics and policy.

"I think if you look at the organizational chart, it makes it pretty clear where the responsibility lies," Cohen said.

Ultimately, the review board faulted what it called "systemic and institutional failures in Washington" and concluded that "no employee of the U.S. government" has "breached his or her responsiblity."

So I guess the new GOP conspiracy theory of Rice being a Al-Qaeda sleeper agent working for decades to destroy our embassies one by one from within the State Department is a no-go.  And Collins is already backpedling:
Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for Sen. Collins, said Thursday that the senator had no specific reason for believing Rice had failed in her duties in the late 1990s, but simply wanted to hear more from Rice about the role she had played.

"Given Ambassador Rice's position in the State Department at the time, she had to be aware of the requests for increased security at the embassies and that those requests had been turned down," Kelley said.

That's it? That's what you're complaining about now? This doesn't even qualify as "petty."

The GOP bitching about Benghazi and Rice just gets more and more ridiculous by the day. And God knows what's still to come. What'll happen when she finally gets nominated?

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Party of George W. Bush and 9/11/2001... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, kurious, raincrow, AreDeutz, grrr

    ...is absurdly ironically batshit insane.

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:41:39 PM PST

  •  Minimal? Reagan's effectiveness against terrorists (5+ / 0-)

    during his entire Administration is what was "minimal".

    During the Reagan Administration; US Embassies were bombed; a Marine Barracks was bombed; a CIA station chief was kidnapped (and later died in captivity); Airliners, and a cruise ship, were hijacked and hostages, including Americans were killed; and Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky.  

    Hundreds of Americans, and civilians from other nations were killed by terrorists throughout the Reagan Administration.  

    All these multiple deadly terrorist attacks occurred throughout Reagan's administration, with his minimal responses being minimally effective.

    The republicans didn't/ don't seem to be a bit concerned about the multiple failures of the Reagan Administration, or about that shameful Iran-Contra scandal -- apparently because the POTUS at that time was a republican.  

    They only are "concerned" about national security when a Democratic POTUS is doing a good job.  The republicans are so "concerned" about national security that in their haste to attempt to discredit the (Democratic) POTUS and his Ambassador to the UN, the GOPers "Tipped Off the World to Covert CIA Role in Libya"

    The republican's "concern" is duly noted, and their immense hypocrisy is more than evident.  IMHO, it's time for the Democrats to go to the media--and the American people--with their own "concern" about how the republicans are jeopardizing national security and endangering covert missions as well as covert operatives with their petty political maneuvering and personal vendettas.
     

  •  Susan Collins Voted For Condoleeza Rice.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, raincrow, yella dawg, grrr

    for SOS without a second thought.  This was after Condy went on Sunday talk shows all over the place & lied thru her teeth about WMDs & "mushroom clouds."

    Still.....Susan Collins voted for Condy.  No problem.  No problem at all.  

    Now....all of a sudden,  Susan Collins is against Sunday talk shows & politicians appearing on them.  Someone should tell Collins, John Kerry is a politician, & he's appeared on tons of Sunday talk shows.  

  •  I do some Admin Assistant (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, raincrow, yella dawg

    work for a former State Dep't employee who was blinded in the Nairobi bombing.  She is also HIV positive, most likely from blood on the floor she laid in for 8 hours waiting for rescue, with an AC compressor on top of her and metal, glass and concrete shrapnel in every part of her body.  When I read about the Republicans using these attacks for political gain I become really irrational.

    I may be accompanying her to DC in early 2013 to lobby Congress for release of the money awarded to victims and their survivors.  I'll be sure to let mr. McCain and ms Collins know what I think of their fucking grandstanding if I get the chance.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:24:34 PM PST

  •  Wow, Collins spinning this batshit??? (0+ / 0-)

    How disappointing.

    If she can be arm-twisted into degrading herself this way, WHAT is really at stake here? Is all of this really directed toward the off-chance that a Republican would once again have a shot at a Senate seat?? I'm just not seeing it, but I can't see anything else that makes any sense.

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:43:56 PM PST

    •  We'd still have 52 seats so what's the point? (0+ / 0-)

      YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

      by raincrow on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:47:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, don't you mean 54? (0+ / 0-)

        We did gain two seats this November, leaving the Dems with a 55-45 majority.

        If this is aimed at getting Brown a shot back at the Senate, I think it's because the GOP still has high hopes for Brown. Although in Collins' case, it might be because she gets lonely being the sole "moderate" in the GOP ranks. She needs a new buddy with Snow leaving her amongst the wolves.

        •  I thought only 53, my mistake. (0+ / 0-)

          I thought we had a couple of independents caucusing with us.

          Especially at 55, -1 (while undesirable; wonder if we'd have a good candidate to field?) wouldn't seem to change things all that much, to my iggerant eye, so I'm still not sure what I'm seeing from Collins here, unless she's been promised lots of "gifts".

          YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

          by raincrow on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:27:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We do, but I count them as Democrats (0+ / 0-)

            Sanders and King are Democrats as far as organization purposes go, so they qualify.

            •  Their caucusing choice determines which (0+ / 0-)

              party is the majority? If the Senate has 48 Dems, 49 GOPs, and 3 Inds, and the Inds choose to caucus with the Dems, we get the gavel and committee chairs?

              YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

              by raincrow on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:09:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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