Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SlantRight Thoughts on ‘McCain, Graham, Rice Will Meet - An Apology Is Owed’

Benghazi Liars
By John R. Houk
© November 27, 2012

Burr Deming is my Liberal friend (no I did not choke those words – Burr is a Christian man) in which obvious reigns true; i.e. we rarely agree on a point of view.

Burr is taking the view that Susan Rice can be excused for lying to the Senate oversight committees and the American Public about what the cause actually was for the Benghazigate murder and atrocities to a diplomatically protected Ambassador and three other Americans.

The liberal logic runs that Republicans are to blame because they voted to decrease Embassy security. Let’s never mind that Obama is slashing the military budget to unconscionable lows for the security of America. Never mind that regardless of Embassy security cuts it was probably a compromise to not cut the military budget even further. Never mind that a budget cut does not mean the Obama Administration through the State Department leaves an American Ambassador unprotected in a volatile nation that had glaring evidence of al Qaeda activity. Never mind that was security that was told to hold on help for Ambassador Stevens and a couple of ex-Navy SEALs dispatched themselves to aid Stevens after hearing no help was forth coming. Never mind that took the State Department spin about an insignificant anti-Muslim movie that was made on the scale of garage home videos and that only a trailer was posted on Youtube.

Yes, my fellow Conservatives it is smoke and mirrors to deflect the truth that Susan Rice was the mouthpiece for Obama/Clinton lies to Americans to exonerate their hind quarters for a dishonorable travesty that could have been prevented.

That is my two cents. Here is Burr Deming’s nickel that he sent by email that is published by now on the blog Fair and UNbalanced.

JRH 11/27/12

McCain, Graham, Rice Will Meet - An Apology Is Owed

By Burr Deming
Sent: 11/26/2012 11:31 PM

The surprise news last night was that UN Ambassador Susan Rice will be visiting select Senators including her most vocal critics, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Both Senators have been explicit in their criticisms of Ambassador Rice. Her public statements about the Benghazi attack that resulted in four deaths, including that of a US Ambassador, have been riddled with omissions.

As Senator McCain put it:

"My judgment at this time is that four Americans were killed, and the information that our U.N. ambassador conveyed was clearly false."

It is now an established fact that Susan Rice failed to mention important facts about the lack of protection afforded to the facility in Benghazi, and what that suggests about security for the rest of the foreign service.

What Ms. Rice knew at the time of her public statements, but failed to tell the American people was that the Obama administration had begged for a minimum of $1.654 billion for the Worldwide Security Protection program of the Department of State for this year. Republicans slashed that amount to $1.557 billion. When the Senate balked at the lower amount, Congressional Republicans reluctantly put back .034 billion.

This goes beyond scandal. Senator McCain spoke the truth when he said this:

"You know, somebody the other day said to me this is as bad as Watergate. Well, nobody died in Watergate."

Someone should be held accountable. Senator Lindsey Graham was right in pointing to Ambassador Rice as that very someone.

"I am going to hold her accountable. She volunteered for this assignment"

Ms. Rice certainly was aware of who was responsible for the lack of security. Nobody could entirely blame it on the cuts in security levels imposed by the Republican Congress for 2012. In point of fact, she could have addressed a problem that goes back further and is more serious than funding for a single security program.

The Department of State had made an urgent request for over $1.8 billion for security, construction and maintenance for this year. Republicans in Congress slashed that down to just over $1.4 billion. After the Senate balked at the increased danger to US diplomats, Republicans finally agreed to restore a little over a billion.

Ambassador Rice was aware of Republican efforts to slash diplomatic security for this year, but said nothing in her television appearances.

Senator Lindsey Graham was blunt about the consequences of this lack of candor.

"I don't trust her. She doesn't deserve to be promoted."

It's easy to see why. In appearance after appearance, Ambassador Rice failed to point out that a single year's cuts to diplomatic security was not the entire picture. In 2010, Democrats provided over 1.8 billion for basic security, the entire amount asked for by the State Department. After Republicans took over, they knock it down for 2011 to about $1.6 billion.

She could have revealed how much Republicans had reduced security for diplomats as soon as they got a majority in Congress. For some reason, she chose not to say a word about it. Could she have been covering up for the administration's failure?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on record about the cuts. Early last year she practically pounded the podium:

"The scope of the proposed House cuts is massive. The truth is that cuts of that level will be detrimental to America's national security."

If the administration was serious, why didn't they force Congress to act? Susan Rice was notably silent about that failure of the Obama administration to convince Republicans to protect our embassies.

Senator McCain accurately outlined the seriousness of the situation:

Four Americans died! Is that picking on anybody when you want to place responsibility and find out what happened so that we can make sure it doesn't happen again?

Quite so. At very least, Ambassador Rice should have told the American people what steps had already been taken to keep future danger to a minimum.

She could have talked about the increase to $2.15 billion that the Obama administration had said was needed for next year's security. But if she did that, she would have had to discuss President Obama's failures.

He has already demonstrated his lack of leadership. He has been unable to convince Congress to improve diplomatic security for the coming year. Republicans have already prepared slashes to that 2.15 billion, slamming it down to $1.9 billion.

She could have mentioned the Republican cuts to next year's security. She didn't say a word about it.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) wasn't afraid to speak up early last year, slapping down administration efforts to increase diplomatic security. At the time of the Clinton statement, he bravely articulated the Republican position:

"Right now, we need to stop the Washington spending spree so the economy can grow and the private sector can create more jobs. We have confidence that the soldiers and diplomats serving in harm's way will have the resources they need to protect America."

That confidence that members of America's foreign service were as safe as they needed to be was supported by other Republicans. Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) added his voice:

"My position, as far as that funding is concerned, we asked the appropriators to go about trying to identify cuts that we could withstand to bring spending back to '08 levels without jeopardizing our national security."

Senator McCain has paid a heavy price for his forthright quest for the truth. He has been relentlessly badgered by the press. When members of the news media hounded him about missing intelligence briefings while complaining about the lack of intelligence information, he would not yield:

"I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media."

Senator McCain is not one to meekly accept abuse or shrink from his responsibilities. As reporters demanded to know why he would not comment, he responded:

"Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?"

CNN even attempted to suggest that McCain was missing meetings about the very information he was upset about not having. The Senator quick set the record straight:

"I’m upset that you keep badgering me."

The badgering, the bullying, the attacks that Senators Graham and McCain have been forced to endure for simply doing their jobs, the pressure to vary from their established talking points has been intense.

But they have stayed on target, letting the American people know what information they had been provided just as soon as it was provided to them. They have been unwavering in their attack on the way Ambassador Rice blindly repeated information she had been provided just as soon as it was provided to her.

Withholding information is simply another way of lying. It is lying by omission. The consistent pattern of security slashes should have been at least mentioned. Not stating the facts was itself misleading. Senator McCain nailed the issue:

"It was overwhelming evidence that it was completely false and she should have known what the information, what the circumstances were and not tell the world on all the Sunday morning talk shows."


Well Ambassador Susan Rice will be meeting with her critics today. It is clear that somebody owes somebody an apology.
SlantRight Thoughts on ‘McCain, Graham, Rice Will Meet - An Apology Is Owed’
By John R. Houk
© November 27, 2012
McCain, Graham, Rice Will Meet - An Apology Is Owed

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