This was probably the highlight of today’s press conference. And “outrageous” barely begins to describe the witch hunt over Benghazi.
There a lot of bitter, angry Republicans on the Hill who would like nothing more than to cripple the second Obama term with an ongoing Lewinsky/Watergate/Iran-Contra style investigation-meets-impeachment fiasco.
And once again, no one asked these questions of the Bush administration following 9/11 when there were 2,977 casualties — 2,973 more casualties than in Benghazi, and yet both Graham and McCain voted for Condoleezza Rice’s confirmation as Secretary of State.
Adding… Zirgar in the comments reminded me of this list of embassy attacks during the Bush administration:
June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51.
February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Truck bomb kills 17.
February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards.
July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan
Suicide bomber kills two.
December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.
March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomate directly targeted by the assailants.
September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria
Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13 wounded.
January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece
A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.
July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.
March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen
Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls’ school instead.
September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen
Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured.
Not a word from McCain or Graham on any of those attacks. I wonder why.
Update… transcription of the president’s remarks (via Ashby)
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 she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.
We’re after an election now. I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi and I’m happy to cooperate in any ways that congress wants. We’ve provided every bit of information we have. And we will continue to provide information. And we’ve got a full blown investigation. And all that information will be disgorged to congress.
I don’t think there’s any debate in this country than when you have four Americans killed, that’s a problem. And we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. And there needs to be accountability. We’ve got to bring those who carried out it out to justice. They won’t get any debate from me on that. But when they go after the U.N. Ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.
And should I chose.. if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity of the State Department then I will nominate her. That’s not a determination that I’ve made yet.