It's been eight days since I posted "Susan Rice vindicated about her Benghazi comments." Now, reports have surfaced that make her even more vindicated, and her ridiculous Republican attackers even more wrong.
I'm following this issue because it provides a fascinating look into the reality-denying right-wing brain. It's been obvious for quite a while that Ambassador Rice was simply conveying talking points prepared by United States intelligence agencies.
Driving around today, I heard GOP Senator Lindsey Graham interviewed by George Stephanopoulus. Graham was asked exactly that: isn't it true that Rice was conveying talking points approved by intelligence officials?
He didn't answer.
Graham blathered on about some other aspect of the Benghazi attack. Graham refused to admit that his accusations about Rice were wrong. Reality had won, yet Senator Graham couldn't bring himself to admit it.
Here's some news and opinion articles I've been collecting that show how wrong the Republicans have been.
US National Intelligence authorities, in consultation with the CIA, decided to remove the terms "attack", "al-Qaeda" and "terrorism" from unclassified guidance provided to the Obama administration several days after militants attacked the US mission in Benghazi, a senior official says.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, relied on the so-called talking points when she appeared on several Sunday TV talk shows five days after the September 11 attacks in eastern Libya.
Regardless, this theory gained steam when David Petraeus said at a closed hearing last week that although the C.I.A. thought right away that Al Qaeda was responsible, specific references to terrorism were removed from public talking points after an interagency review.
Zounds! thought the conspiracists. The White House must have ordered this heinous deletion!
The theory lost steam when CBS and CNN reported that, actually, the Director of National Intelligence was behind the change, and the White House made no substantial edits.
“When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community,” Rice told reporters yesterday in New York. “I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers.”
Though investigations are not complete, what has emerged so far suggests that the attack was staged by local jihadists, not ordered by the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan. Officials believe that it was inspired in part by demonstrations that took place that day in Cairo. That is not so far from Ms. Rice’s explanation that “this began as a spontaneous . . . response to what transpired in Cairo.”
Republicans claim that Ms. Rice “propagated a falsehood” that the attacks were connected to an anti-Islam YouTube video. How then to explain the contemporaneous reports from Western news organizations quoting people at the burning consulate saying that they were angry about the video?