McCain: The White House spin on the Benghazi attack had “political overtones”

posted at 2:01 pm on October 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Senator John McCain had already begun accusing the Obama administration of attempting to protect Barack Obama’s re-election chances by attempting to build a false narrative on the sacking of our Benghazi consulate on the anniversary of 9/11 during the week, with a contentious appearance on CBS’ This Morning. Yesterday, McCain went a little further, declaring that the spin coming from UN Ambassador Susan Rice either “willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence,” and said that the effort had clear “political overtones“:

“STATE OF THE UNION” HOST CANDY CROWLEY: Let me turn your attention to overseas, because I know there are some things that concern you, but let me first ask you about Libya, the deaths of those four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya, on September 11. Friday we got the administration’s sort of definitive statement that this now looks as though it was a pre-planned attack by a terrorist group, and some of whom were at least sympathetic to al-Qaida. Why do you think and are you bothered that it has taken them this long — from September 11 to now — to get to this conclusion?

MCCAIN: I think it interferes with the depiction that the administration is trying to convey that al-Qaida is on the wane, that everything is fine in the Middle East. And the fact —

CROWLEY: You think it’s political?

MCCAIN: I think there are certain political overtones. How else could you trot out our U.N. ambassador to say this was a spontaneous demonstration?

CROWLEY: Maybe they thought that at the time.

MCCAIN: Five days later? That doesn’t pass the smell test. It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars, and the attack goes on for hours.

How obvious was that conclusion?  The New York Times account of the attack makes clear that there never was a demonstration outside of the Benghazi consulate, in a piece that focuses more on misplaced American trust in Libyan security:

There were a total of seven Libyan guards at the edge of compound. Four were unarmed guards who worked for the British security firm Blue Mountain inside the gates, checking visitors’ identification, operating a metal detector and running their bags through an X-ray machine. Three others were armed members of a major local militia that fought in the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi, the February 17 Brigade. The brigade had been responsible for securing the mission from its inception, and in interviews the guards said that they had received additional training for the job of guarding the mission.

There were no more than seven Americans in the compound, including three civilians and four who carried guns, three of the Libyan guards later recalled, speaking on condition of anonymity for their safety. In addition to Mr. Stevens, the Libyans said, the civilians included a familiar figure they identified as “the bald maintenance guy” — Sean Smith, a computer technology specialist, as well as another official visiting from Tripoli whom the Libyans referred to as a “delegate.” The Libyan guards said they believed that Mr. Stevens was alone in the residence at the time of the attack, and the locations of Mr. Smith and the visitor at the time were unclear.

Just before 9:30, the Libyan guards began hearing shouts of “God is great” from outside the walls. They said that they had initially assumed the shouts were from a funeral procession.

An unarmed Blue Mountain guard said he tried to call his superior on his two-way radio and could not reach him. Then he heard American voices through the radio: “Attack, attack!”

Moments later the guards heard gunfire, the blasts of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and other grenades falling inside the compound. The attackers moved on all three entrances at once in an apparently coordinated assault, backed by truck-mounted artillery.

Five days later, Susan Rice and the Obama administration kept insisting that this was a demonstration that “spun out of control.”  The only thing out of control was the spin itself by that time.


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Bishop … Here Bishop!

PolAgnostic on October 1, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Understatement of the year. He lost with silk gloves and never put on real tough ones since. To hell with McCain. Too bad the good people of AZ voted this incontinent of the brain/pants back in.

Schadenfreude on October 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Hmmm, maybe there is going to be hell to pay for Obama at the debate. I think the media is not going to go as far with the cover-up as Obama wants them to.

nitzsche on October 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

They’re not inept, we’re told.

Thus, they covered up, to delay, to fool, for political gain.

Obama is an economic disaster for the land.

He is a disaster for the land and the world on foreign affairs.

It can’t be hidden, except by the blind and here’s hoping there aren’t that many obtuse voters.

Schadenfreude on October 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

McCain: The White House spin on the Benghazi attack had “political overtones”

The GhaziGate Coverup has a political overtone and a certain smell too.

SparkPlug on October 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

So, this McCain guy.

He the one who was th CO-Chair of the MIA/POW cover up committe in the U.S. Senate?

Seems like his Co-Chair was the commie loving traitor John F. Kerry.

McCain needs to retire and sit on his wife’s patio and drink her Coors beer.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Thank God McCain is still in the Senate. We might be lost with this one without his help.

Oil Can on October 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

It’s pretty simple.

I personally killed Bin Hidin. Therefore, I personally destroyed all of al qaeda. Therefore, al qaeda wasn’t involved in the attack.

It’s all pure logic.

- The Commie

OhEssYouCowboys on October 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

owe’bama lied, people died!

Dr. Demento on October 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

McCain: The White House spin on the Benghazi attack had “political overtones”

.
Grass is green
Sky is blue
Water is wet
Elvis is DEAD

listens2glenn on October 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM

NYT in the Clinton camp – lobbing press mortars “spontaneously” at White House version of Benghazi events.

Washington Post in the SCOAMF camp – “spontaneously” refuting any suggestion the spin out of the White House has any spin on it.

I am thinking the NYT has the advantage in this fight. They have insiders willing to leak out the “truth” so the NYT can keep lobbing it over the White House fence.

The Wahington Post has volunteered to clean out the Aegean Stables formerly known as the White House … somehow forgetting the manure is only going to keep coming.

PolAgnostic on October 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

McCain is struggling to stay relevant.

rplat on October 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Americans Died — Barack Hussein Obama Lied

FlatFoot on October 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

“He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States. If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”….

.
.
.
…………John McCain, October 10,2008

JPeterman on October 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Obama “doesn’t know” the current national debt. If you say it, it’s real. If you don’t say it, it’s not.

attempting to build a false narrative on the sacking of our Benghazi consulate on the anniversary of 9/11

It’s all about the narrative. Saying it makes it so.

Paul-Cincy on October 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

McCain is a joke… “political overtones?” Seriously??

Go lay down Gramps.

deedtrader on October 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Political overtones? Overtones?

Mr. Milquetoast.

petefrt on October 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

“He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States. If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”….

.
.
.
…………John McCain, October 10,2008

JPeterman on October 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Sickening.

the_nile on October 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Well of course! Is there anything that comes out of this White House that doesn’t have political overtones?

Just look at them trying to get defense contractors to break federal laws by not sending out notices of impending layoffs until after the election. To the point where taxpayers will pay any legal expenses.

It’s stunning to me how many of my fellow citizens are so clueless.

Mitoch55 on October 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

accusing the Obama administration of attempting to protect Barack Obama’s re-election chances by attempting to build a false narrative on the sacking of our Benghazi consulate on the anniversary of 9/11

False narrative is a fancy way of saying they were lying. I’m not buying the “our views on the incident were evolving as the fog of war lifted” crap from these guys either. They knew it was an attack, they didn’t want us to know it was a terror attack because they’d look bad—so they lied about it, plain and simple.

ted c on October 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Despicable

cmsinaz on October 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

political overtones? How about the undertones and the midtones? FFS, call it what it was, a calculated political move to keep his nuts out of the wringer. How’s that working out for you champ??? Ms. Rice? How about you? Care to revise your bullsh!t statements?

ted c on October 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Sickening.

the_nile on October 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Older Woman: “I have read about him. He’s an Arab”.

“No, ma’am. No, ma’am. He’s a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about”
.
.
.
.
…………..John McCain, October 10, 2008

JPeterman on October 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

So did your traitorous behavior with the VietCong when you were their guest during the war.

This is one of our finest ‘Foreign Policy Experts’ in Congress you know.

CorporatePiggy on October 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM

How many Americans must Hussein get killed before he is called the killing Lie Candy ?

burrata on October 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM

They denied they knew anything about fast and furious—well, they did know. They denied that the Benghazi Consulate was a terrorist attack, ——well, it was a terrorist attack. Avoid the truth, deny the truth, but the truth always wins, Barack.

ted c on October 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Plus, NYT report shows that this was no demonstration that spun out of control.

This means the NYT’s is a racist paper….don’t cha know.

Rovin on October 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Americans died, Obama lied.

Ambassador Stevens is dead, AlQaeda is alive.

The trouble is the press will tell the lies enough times that most Americans will believe them to be true.

albill on October 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Chip on October 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Obama bungles the Benghazi security, then he bungles the coverup.

Can’t he do anything right?

faraway on October 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Why does Hot Air insist on foisting more John McCain threads upon us than Mitt Romney threads?

McCain is an old, irrelevant self-promoter with not one interesting thing to say. Please, spare us. He is not running for President, but Hot Air would rather link to a McCain sound byte from one of his dime-a-dozen, ad nauseum talking-head appearances than blog on what Mitt–who actually is, you know, running for Presiden–is saying on the stump.

Right Mover on October 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Americans died.
Obama lied.

Ambassador Stevens is dead.
AlQaeda is alive.

ted c on October 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

McCain: The White House spin on the Benghazi attack had “political overtones”

…duh…well gee John?…smart smiling slow motion senile Senator!…

KOOLAID2 on October 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Marshmallows won’t stop The Obama Liar Juggernaut, Johnny Mac.

Nor softballs.

profitsbeard on October 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM

A (liberal) buddy of mine agrees that the White House knew very early that it was a terrorist attack. When I asked him about the way they discussed it with the public he also agreed they lied, but it was for political reasons so it was ok.

/dispicable

LtGenRob on October 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I don’t get you guys. You’ve been whining for over 2 weeks that the media isn’t covering this story, yet when they do and someone speaks the truth, you attack the messenger.

Yes McCain lost us the election in 2008. And yes, he should have lost his senate seat in 2010. And yes, he loves the face time he gets on the Sunday shows.

But at least he’s getting face time. And he’s saying what all us already knew to others who may not have already known it.

But I guess that’s not important to you.

Flora Duh on October 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Remember: it’s not just that McCain is a psycho (his nickname among Senate staff), it’s that he’s not very bright.

“Academic performance” can often be irrelevant as an indicator of actual intellectual ability, but in McCain’s case I think his USNA standing may have been indicative.

In a dumbed-down America – and this degradation encompasses many “on the right” as well as essentially everyone on the “other side” – McCain speaking some basic common sense on foreign policy now and then may be mistaken for actual understanding. It’s just not being as aggressively, actively stupid as an NPR listener, NYT reader, or Beltway drone when it comes to national security (a bar so low you couldnt’ even call it a “speed bump”).

IceCold on October 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

But I guess that’s not important to you.

Flora Duh on October 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The message is blunted by the fact that it’s coming from John McCain. His proclamations are white noise. The left and the right both tune out what he has to say. His words have no impact. Maybe they would if he weren’t on Sunday talking-head shows every week and a regular member of Greta’s cast on Fox each night.

Right Mover on October 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM

It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars,

I know I bring my mortar and machine gun to every Tea Party rally.

rbj on October 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

But I guess that’s not important to you.

Flora Duh on October 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Unless Mega McCain tells us, we don’t know even know what to think ;-)

burrata on October 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Americans died.
Obama lied.

Ambassador Stevens is dead.
AlQaeda is alive.

ted c on October 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Preach it bro. This GhaziGate debacle is another Obama Debacle. The Clintons refuse to confront isalm o fascism.

They scrocthed it 1993, 2001 and 2012.

SparkPlug on October 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The left and the right both tune out what he has to say. His words have no impact.

Right Mover on October 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Ok, I’ll tell that to my (D) mother-in-law, who being in the process of buying a new house and moving across state, didn’t have television for the past 2 weeks and knew very little about the terrorist attack, until she saw it on CNN yesterday, and then called me to get the details of what the man she voted for had been witholding.

She wasn’t pleased.

Flora Duh on October 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Look, there are really only two choices here.

You can believe that the White House saw that their myth of destabilizing and/or taking sides in Egypt and Libya was the foundation of a much more democratic Middle East. It was the way Obama was going to attempt to trump Romney on foreign affairs along the lines of “I brought peace to the Middle East, what have you done?” Ryan was more right than McCain when he said that our foreign affairs are a mess which is only underscored by the Benghazi attack.

Alternatively, you can believe that the White House was so incompetent that they truly thought that there was a protest that got out of hand. And BTW, Susan Rice sure keeps a low profile after utterly destroying her public credibility, no?

So baldface partisan ploy or gross incompetence. What a great set of choices.

Happy Nomad on October 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM

To everyone dissing McCain: I feel your pain, I really do. But, in this instance, he’s correct. If everyone wants to kill the messenger over other issues, whatever. Just remember that, regarding the Benghazi attack, he’s right.

joejm65 on October 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Gee thanks John. You can go back to sleep now.

Thomas More on October 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I know I bring my mortar and machine gun to every Tea Party rally.

rbj on October 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Hey, is it really a Tea Party rally if somebody isn’t shooting off RPGs? ;0

I recognize that first reports are not always right but Susan Rice should have had a better grasp of the facts before she lied her ass off on virtually every Sunday talk show. Tomorrow marks three weeks since the attacks and it is clear that the administration is still trying to keep the facts hidden from public scrutiny this close to the election. They haven’t even been to Benghazi to do any sort of investigation!

Happy Nomad on October 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

McCain, bought the lie, that got bin Qumu, out of Gitmo, then argued for the intervention that gave Bel Hadj, the kingmaking role afterwards, now Jibril and Magarief, and Al Shaghour won the first round, but seriously,

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/01/the-intel-behind-obama-s-libya-line.html

narciso on October 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

To everyone dissing McCain: I feel your pain, I really do. But, in this instance, he’s correct. If everyone wants to kill the messenger over other issues, whatever. Just remember that, regarding the Benghazi attack, he’s right.

joejm65 on October 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

McCain’s problem is the same as Susan Rice’s- lack of credibility. McCain has been as wrong about what to do in that region as many times as he has been right.

Happy Nomad on October 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Hmmm, maybe there is going to be hell to pay for Obama at the debate. I think the media is not going to go as far with the cover-up as Obama wants them to.

nitzsche on October 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Ha! Thanks for the chuckle. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’ll say the only questions posed to Obama will be: (1) What’s the wittiest thing you’ve said at a state dinner? (2) Have you always been so handsome, or did you have a nose job? and,(3) When did you first realize that Bush had so devastated the economy that it would take two terms to fix the mess?

Notice all the questions about Fast & Furious, Libyan murders, debt as a percentage of GDP, the lies embedded in Obamacare? Yeah, me neither.

2ndMAW68 on October 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

To everyone dissing McCain: I feel your pain, I really do. But, in this instance, he’s correct. If everyone wants to kill the messenger over other issues, whatever. Just remember that, regarding the Benghazi attack, he’s right.

joejm65 on October 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

McCain’s problem is the same as Susan Rice’s- lack of credibility. McCain has been as wrong about what to do in that region as many times as he has been right.

Happy Nomad on October 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Fine. But, in this instance, he’s right.

joejm65 on October 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Obummer doesnt brush his teeth without first pondering the political implications.

Philly on October 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

In other news, John McCain discovered that water is wet.

GarandFan on October 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Evidence is growing stronger and stronger that the Banghazi incident was a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous demonstration.

With every new bit of information surfacing about the “Innocence of Muslims” movie trailer and its shady producer, it is looking more and more like the movie was part of an Islamist provocation, in which the film was produced to provide a pretext for widespread attacks against our embassies throughout the Middle East. It comes complete with cover story and perfect dupes. Let’s review.

And straight from the horse’s mouth:

When it comes to the film Innocence of Muslims, our government and the media uses a narrative mired in contradictions and false statements provided by the filmmaker, who himself is an untrustworthy source.
If we stick to what can be proven we might obtain the possibility that terror supporters produced the film. Muhammad Al Dura and Pallywood are two cases in point showing the type of stunts used by Palestinian terrorists.


The coverup is only a necessary byproduct forced by the PutzOTUS’s failed foreign (and defense and economic) policy.

rocksandbroncs on October 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Just retire and go away…

PatriotRider on October 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Good to see McCain is still a putty.

Call it what it is – a LIE. A COVER-UP. Don’t THINK it. KNOW it, SHOW it, state it as the fact it is. Look to deniers and disbelievers as slow, children or deliberate accomplices. Do not hedge on this.

Saltyron on October 1, 2012 at 3:22 PM

This is Mccain’s usual play. Complain about the Libs and then somehow bash the GOP. MY FRIENDS, we need to get rid of this power-drunken sailor!!

rik on October 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

owe’bama lied, people died!

Dr. Demento on October 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

(People died, ∅bama lied)^2.

Dusty on October 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

McCain is such a wimp. It didn’t have political overtones and Rice’s statements weren’t either “willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence”.

It was all politics and Rice was lying like a b!tch in heat.

Dusty on October 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

How’s that darn fence coming, John…?

Seven Percent Solution on October 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Americans are dying
because
Obama is lying

burrata on October 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM

And yet McCain is still trying to give cover to the Regime for their failed policy of allowing Terrorist Organizations into the U.S. Government, in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Sr. U.S. Attache, Huma Wiener Abedin! I swear, the eSTAB-lishment Republicans look more ridiculous, by the day and it’s all at their own hands!

For those following,How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM

They haven’t even been to Benghazi to do any sort of investigation!

Happy Nomad on October 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

..yeah, but they’re getting close: 400 miles! That’s kinda like the SFPD homicide squad investigating a murder in the Hollywood Hills, innit?

The War Planner on October 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Maybe the there needs to be some change made in the way the intelligence agencies get their intel. I don’t pretend to know where they get their information, but I do know that I knew before Susan Rice did (if she wasn’t flat out lying) that it wasn’t a “spontaneous demonstration”.

My source for this incredible intel? The Drudge Report and the Daily Mail both of which evidentally have access to senior Libyan officals who said it was planned for 9/11, as did the Libyan president.

Maybe the CIA and FBI should look into hiring some British reporters or American bloggers to do their investigations.

Then again, Obama could have asked the Libyan president himself at their meeting….oh, wait.

Lily on October 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

He doesn`t have the balls to call it a lie like it is. He got so political when running for President he didn`t have a chance as the Democrats cut him up like mince meat

HAGGS99 on October 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM