Thursday, November 15, 2012

Her Best Understanding of the Intelligence

President Obama gave a spirited defense of his U.N. Ambassador yesterday:
"But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous."
I'm not sure if I were Susan Rice I would like being thrown under the "her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her" and the "simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received" bus.

I will say this about Susan Rice and that Sunday she made the rounds with the spontaneous demonstration to an anti-muslim YouTube video story. The four dead Americans, including fellow Ambassador Christopher Stephens, were the least of her, and our, problems.

The U.S. faced demonstrations against our embassies in Egypt and some 23 countries all told, with the Palestinians waiting in the wings to press their statehood demands at the U.N. session that was about to begin. The demonstrations were pretextually about the YouTube video, her statements essentially accused the demonstrators in those other countries of complicity in the Benghazi deaths, and her work helped defuse the crisis.

Susan Rice's problem is she can't be praised for that directly, as doing so would undermine her exemplary work. Was there coordination between the 9/11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the 9/11 demonstrations at the U.S. embassy in Cairo? Think about it. A planned attack is made against a U.S. diplomatic facility and spontaneous demonstrations erupt against other U.S. diplomatic facilities.

Yes, the YouTube video was a pretext, as was the "spontaneity" of the demonstrations, but it was their pretext not our pretext. I see what Ambassador Rice did as blunting the enemy attack. Essentially, she was parroting back the enemy's dishonest cover story, and in the process made their purported cause look ridiculous. Her fault is that she did that a little too well.

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