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Tuesday
Nov272012

Project 21’s Martin on Lingering Libya Questions for Susan Rice

Obama Administration ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, the President’s likely choice to replace departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, today tried to blunt criticism of her performance as the White House’s post-Benghazi scold in a much-hyped meeting with senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

It was a failure for Susan Rice and the Obama Administration, whose clear post-election arrogance extends to possible bungling of one of the highest profile terrorist assaults on American since Obama took office.

The senatorial trio’s concerns over Susan Rice emanate from the misstatements she repeatedly made on five Sunday interview shows on September 16.  On these shows, she blamed a YouTube video as the catalyst for the attack rather than the coordinated terrorist action that it is now widely accepted to have been.  Former CIA director David Petraeus said an early version of talking points compiled about the consulate attack identified it as a terrorist act, but the removal of this important finding — which Rice and her supporters use to vindicate her misleading performances — still lacks a known perpetrator of the omission.

Despite high hopes that the Tuesday meeting would allay the senators concerns, public comments made after the meeting show that Rice is still under intense scrutiny.  Ayotte, for instance, plainly said: “I have many more questions that have to be answered.”  Graham added: “The bottom line is that I’m more disturbed than I was before… about how four Americans dies in Benghazi, Libya.”

Referring to the audacity previously exhibited by Susan Rice and her defenders that he implied was apparent again today, McCain angrily noted no real change in attitude: “We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn’t get.”

Rice released a statement of her own that she did not intend to mislead anyone.

Project 21 member Kevin Martin, a Navy veteran who served some of his tour in the Mediterranean region and understands the politics of the region from firsthand experience, is skeptical of Susan Rice’s insistence of innocence.  Pointing to past subterfuge during the Clinton era, Kevin also has about as many questions for her as the senators — especially about how Rice’s supporters seem willing to ignore past concerns to come to the defense of the Obama Administration.

Kevin said:

It seems that Susan Rice’s meeting with some senators who are still unsure about her exact role in the Obama Administration’s storytelling regarding what went on in Benghazi on September 11 left more questions than answers.

While Susan Rice’s supporters want to convince the public that the senators’ quest for the truth is just a post-election witch hunt motivated by racism and sexism, these same supporters seem to be muffling the contempt they had for her past mistakes and apparent willful silence to protect her superiors in the Clinton Administration during the Rwanda genocide.

By all accounts, Susan Rice’s commitment would appear to begin and end with the whims and the defense of the reputations of her superiors.  It does not seem to lie with what is right and wrong.

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