By Brigitte L. Nacos
You would think that the very politicians who hype the “fiscal cliff” and claim to do the business of the people would have more pressing problems to concentrate on than the non-issue of UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s role in what Senator McCain and his cabal try to elevate to a Watergate-like scandal.
To be sure, the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11th of this year raised legitimate questions about the protection of American facilities in Libya and other volatile areas in the region.
Those questions are rightfully asked and must be answered as result of an ongoing State Department investigation. UN ambassadors are not at all charged with the security of US missions abroad.
Yet, McCain and his allies single out Ms. Rice for her role as chosen administration spokesperson who explained the Benghazi attack afterwards according to information provided by the CIA.
If President Obama nominates Rice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Senators threaten, they will not confirm her.
Perhaps there are better candidates for State than Ms. Rice. But to oppose her on account of her bit part in the post-Benghazi explanations is utter nonsense.
Explaining the Benghazi strike as spontaneous uprising or a planned act of terrorism after the event did not change the outcome: the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The death of any American caused by senseless violence is regrettable. In her column today, Maureen Dowd piles on when she characterizes the events in Libya as “slaughter in Benghazi” in a piece critical of Rice.
Senators McCain and his side-kick Lindsay Graham are staging nothing more than a farce that is contrary to their behavior in the face of real deceit of Congress, the public, and the international community: the role of then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the Bush administration’s selling cooked intelligence about alleged weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein as reason for the Iraq War.
Senator McCain and his colleagues did not hesitate a moment to confirm the much adored Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State in spite of her compliance in the big Iraq lie.
Here is the death toll for the Iraq War: A total of 4,804 coalition troops were killed, 4,486 Americans. Many, many more were injured—physically and/or emotionally. And then there are tens of thousands of Iraqi victims.
Mind you, Ambassador Rice had absolutely nothing to do with the death of four Americans in Benghazi. The same cannot be said of her namesake with respect to the high cost of the Iraq war in human and financial terms.