When Rock Center Goes Mushy Left On Susan Rice
posted at 7:23 am on December 14, 2012 by Duane Patterson
Brian Williams had an exclusive with former non-nominated frontrunner for secretary of state, Susan Rice last night, and could have asked, if he had an ounce of intellectual curiosity, to ask the question that really would have explained it all. Instead, this is what we got.
As I understand it, the reason her nomination was doomed, notwithstanding personal financial ties with the Keystone Pipeline and other potential conflicts of interest, was because it has been reported that in her role as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as part of President Obama’s national security team, she had access for up to five days to the classified daily intelligence briefings that told her there was no “spontaneous protest” that turned violent at our consulate in Benghazi. There was no outrage to the YouTube video that caused this. Yet Dr. Rice chose to follow the carefully excised unclassified documents, and attempted to hide behind the blissful ignorance defense. Williams could have cleared this up once and for all. One question is all it would have taken. Dr. Rice, did you have access to, and did you read the classified intelligence that gave a different version to the events in Benghazi than what you told Americans?
If she says yes, her nomination should have been toast. She would never say yes on camera, and would dodge the question, which would still be a yes.
If she says no, then someone else from the intelligence community lied to Congress about who knew what and when. Either way, Williams makes news.
Instead, he throws softballs, and leaves the implicit imagery with viewers that those two awful angry white guy Senators, McCain and Graham, are to blame for making her the scapegoat. Nowhere in Williams’ report was the fact that New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte was the leading critic of Dr. Rice’s non-nomination, and is the one who announced were there to be a Rice nomination, she’d put a hold on it. So there’s not a men versus woman aspect to the story at all. But then again, journalism and reporting stories isn’t what Brian Williams, Rock Center and NBC are about.
The bottom line is four Americans are still dead, and the rest of the country doesn’t know who screwed up and why. That investigation needs to continue in Congressional hearings. But one of two scenarios about Dr. Rice’s testimony still have to remain true. Either She had intelligence to the contrary and she intentionally misled the nation about the terrorist attack on 9/11/12, or she didn’t read or believe the classified intelligence she had access to was more accurate than the unclassified version. That doesn’t speak well for her competence.