Top Menu

Follow Taylor on Twitter

President Obama’s Offense on Behalf of Susan Rice is What a Boss Should Do

IT’S NOT surprising that Kirsten Powers’ op-ed on Benghazi is posted on the Fox News site, because the network has led on hyperbolic charges against the Administration, while simultaneously mixing hard news on the terrorist attack with partisan analysis and segments that aren’t about finding the truth. Powers is not in that category, but she goes out of her way to find sexism where none exists, which makes more trouble at a time when people are forgetting the few facts we have, because John McCain keeps misstating them.

From Powers’ op-ed:

Don’t pick on the little lady.

Wednesday, President Obama bizarrely cast the U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, as some delicate flower the boys should stop picking on for her dissembling claims on five Sunday talk shows following the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi. But, there is no damsel in distress and Obama’s paternalistic bravado in defense of a top administration official is going to come back to haunt him.

This is hyper-feminism over a boss doing the right thing.

The White House sent U.N. Ambassador Rice out on the Sunday shows to do damage control on Benghazi with talking points provided by the CIA. She’s not in the C.I.A., nor is she a member of the State Department, but is a diplomatic emissary for the Administration that badly needed one after President Obama and his entire team got behind on explaining the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Fast forward to hear Republican senators, including the tag team performance of Senators McCain and Graham, using Rice for target practice, because she utilized information that the Administration handed her as her guide.

The problem with Rice’s performance is that not only did she have an explanation that sounded behind the curve, but it compounded the problem through it’s complexity, while providing everyone with a face to go with the disastrous Administration response to the attack.

But John McCain’s accusations that Rice talked about a “flash mob” are rubbish, as Glen Kessler already proved. Not only that, but Kessler additionally emphasizes in his timeline of the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks that it wasn’t until four days after Rice’s appearance on the Sunday shows that it was confirmed there was no anti-American protest.

So, McCain’s not only got his facts wrong, but the timeline, too, as well as the target of his ire, which was Obama’s point in his presser.

McCain’s got another problem, because David Ignatius backed up what Rice said on October 19th, reporting the following:

“The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”

Additionally, and too bad for McCain, the Wall Street Journal reported after Ignatius that President Obama “was told in his daily intelligence briefing for more than a week after the consulate siege in Benghazi that the assault grew out of a spontaneous protest” and, as Kessler adds in one of his articles on the subject, “that the CIA did not adjust its assessment until Sept. 22.”

So, what is President Obama supposed to do as Rice is made the target of everyone’s frustrations after a horrific event that remains totally confusing, especially to Rice’s number one critic John McCain, who hasn’t gotten much about the sequence of events, let alone what Rice actually said, correct?

To top that off, when given a chance to attend a classified briefing on the Benghazi terrorist attack, Senator McCain didn’t show up.

It’s absolutely true Obama’s statement was gallant in the way it was delivered. But it’s also what any employee would expect her boss to do when she’s being misquoted, her reputation sullied, and called incompetent for something over which she had absolutely no authority, control or power.

Included in Obama’s statement was the adamant praise of Rice’s competence. It’s not about “don’t pick on the little lady,” quite the opposite, in fact. It’s about the President saying I’m the guy who sent her out there and she does her job every day and did it on the day in question too. Add with emphasis that Rice also used information the Administration believed to be true at the time, which came in the aftermath of a massively confusing event.

It’s preposterous to posit that it’s sexist for a President to back up one of his people in the line of fire. It’s what any good boss would do, should do.

This event may cost Rice her nomination to the State Department, but it shouldn’t. Nor should McCain, Fox News, or anyone else aiding and abetting the swiftboating of Rice on Benghazi.

The charge of sexism and Obama being accused of “paternalistic bravado” reveals a double standard that because Rice is a woman she should stand in the public square and get her reputation and livelihood stripped from her after a lifetime’s worth of work to get where she is, because to stand up for her is judged to be treating her like a “delicate flower.”

President Obama respects Susan Rice and has seen her deliver for him and this country, so he’s simply not going to allow Senator McCain, who is not only wrong on the facts, but is using overexercised accusations to ruin the woman’s career, to ruin her reputation by trashing her.

It’s no less than a professional deserves from the man who let the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attack unravel without getting ahead of it from the start.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

43 Responses to President Obama’s Offense on Behalf of Susan Rice is What a Boss Should Do

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    “Additionally, and too bad for McCain, the Wall Street Journal reported after Ignatius that President Obama “was told in his daily intelligence briefing for more than a week after the consulate siege in Benghazi that the assault grew out of a spontaneous protest” and, as Kessler adds in one of his articles on the subject, “that the CIA did not adjust its assessment until Sept. 22.”

    Naaaaaaah!! The repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristians along with some of the commenters here know the REAL story…they got it at faux not news and from beck and limpwithnoballs!!!! I am surprised that someone as astute as yourself woul;d be taken in by reality once again…for shame Ms. marsh…for shame!!

    ” Don’t pick on the little lady.

    Wednesday, President Obama bizarrely cast the U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, as some delicate flower the boys should stop picking on for her dissembling claims on five Sunday talk shows following the killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi. But, there is no damsel in distress and Obama’s paternalistic bravado in defense of a top administration official is going to come back to haunt him.”

    Yeah!! Can you IMAGINE the screams of faux outrage if he HADN’T defended those who communicated the message the CIA had erroniously given the Administration? I can here the usual suspects now….Barry throws Rice under the Bus!!!!!

  2. TPAZ November 16, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I agree that Obama did the right thing, but, for what it’s worth, had the POTUS been this tenacious defending Elizabeth Warren in 2012, you have to ask the question would the right wing be going so fearlessly after Ambassador Rice today? Is the POTUS willing to get bloody on this challenge?

  3. ladywalker68 November 16, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Good point about Warren. That said, after reading the way the Democrats fought back against Republican attacks on President Obama (calling him a liar) at the Benghazi hearing yesterday, it appears as if President Clinton has given the Democrats some boxing lessons. I hope the Democrats keep it up because the Republicans in Congress are nothing more than a bunch of thugs and bullies.

  4. mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Petraeus testifies he always believed terrorists behind Libya attack: Rep. King
    From ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Last Updated: 11:04 AM, November 16, 2012
    Posted: 12:49 AM, November 16, 2012
    WASHINGTON – “Ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers during private hearings Friday that he believed all along that the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Libya was a terrorist strike, even though that wasn’t how the Obama administration initially described it publicly.

    “Lawmakers said Petraeus testified that the CIA’s talking points written in response to the assault on the diplomat post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus told the lawmakers it was removed by other federal agencies who made changes to the CIA’s draft.”

    http://tinyurl.com/b3h529u

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Right…a CLOSED session and you have direct quotes.

      Would these be from the screed peter King gave faux not news? Yeah, that Peter King…Mayor of Bullshitville at the foot of Bullshit Mountain.

      My GAWD what ain’t even THERE mjsmith…do you never tire of making a complete fool out of yourself?

  5. Jane Austen November 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    and in the NY Post of all papers. Give me a break.

  6. mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Jane Austen the story is “From ASSOCIATED PRESS” Helloooo!!! Yes it was on the NY Post site and the credit is clearly given to the AP. It is in the NY Post and probably all papers.

    seconderhummiliatedevenmorer – You get an “F” today.

    • DaGoat November 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      It’s being reported in several reputable sources but most of the info is coming from King. The Democrats are claiming the problem is a difference between the classified and unclassified CIA reports (which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me) but I would take a wait-and-see attitude at this point.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      Sorry dimbuld….Psycho King and faux not news….pathetic is really to kind a word.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Well at least you answered my question…NO you don’t.

  7. Lake Lady November 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Taylor I agree with your point on the president defending Susan Rice and thank you for making it. Hyperfeminism in this situation is not helpful in fact it seems counter productive. I agree with ladywalker about Warren but that is a whole different thing. She represents a big threat to Dem coziness with Wall Street thank Budda.

    McCain…I have said this before…he is just pathetic. I think even his hero worshipers in the press are starting to have trouble defending him. I am not really of the opinion that his charter has changed all that much, more it has been revealed. I know he was brave and endured alot during Vietman but to me he has always had impluse control issues…an irresponsible flyboy without the ability for introspection.he has a great daughter and wife, too bad he does not value their opinions.

  8. Jane Austen November 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    And if you had looked at the bottom of the 2nd page you would have seen it said “with AP and Fox News.”

    • Taylor Marsh November 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      Yep, and not a minor point.

  9. Lake Lady November 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    character

  10. newdealdem1 November 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    The Associated Press (AP) is not that much above the NY Post as they’ve been cited numerous times for inaccurate reporting. So, I wouldn’t celebrate them as a pristine reliable source either.

    Kristen Powers is about as wrong as anyone can be about Obama and his support of Rice. I don’t see anything in what he said or how he said it sexist or paternalistic at all. His words and demeanor would have been the same had Rice been a man, imo. And, he did the right thing in speaking out about that unexploded bomb and very bitter man, McCain, and his pecan pie, sock puppet, Graham. Their act has really gotten long in the tooth. Where is that vaudeville stick when you need it most?

  11. newdealdem1 November 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    http://tinyurl.com/ch7dw8k McCain IS Major Kong (from the film “Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”)

    He’s never gotten over that the US lost the Vietnam war and has had a chip on his shoulder ever since and it’s only gotten bigger since he lost to Bush in 2000 but that chip grew to gargantuan size when he lost to Obama in 2008. Unexploded bomb indeed.

    P.S. I will always abhor what was done to him when he was a POW in Vietnam. I have enormous respect and sympathy for anyone who went through such horrors when serving their country as McCain did. And, he does have his honorable moments such as when he rejected that woman’s comment that Obama is a muslim during the 2008 campaign or when he recently strongly admonished those GOPpers in the House who accused Huma Abedin, SOS Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, of possible ties to Islamic extremist groups. But, all of that good will is expunged by the unresolved issues he has had with Bush but most especially with Obama and his obnoxious, childish and bitter behavior has trumped all of that.

  12. mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    “Rice told NBC’s David Gregory on Meet the Press Sept. 16 that “putting together the best information that we have available to us today — our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo — almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.”

    She added that in Benghazi “opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which, unfortunately, are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and that escalated into a much more violent episode.” ”

    http://tinyurl.com/b9f9vcm

    • mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Forgot to mention source: By Tom Curry, NBC News national affairs writer

  13. secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/11/16/1203921/peter-king-cia-approved-rice-libya-statements/?mobile=nc

    For anyone stupid enough to buy into the swill being pushed by repugnantklan/teabaggers and the posters who love them….here’s the head wackadoodle being forced to admit WHAT RICE AND PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID WAS TRUE!

  14. angels81 November 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    What a stupid side show this has become. For me the more important question would be… Why did the the house republicans put politics ahead of security, when the State Department asked for funds to beef up the security around their embassies? These are the same assholes who are now trying to make this into Obamas watergate, when they are the ones who may have the blood of four Americans on their hands. They did what they have done for the last four years, and that is put politics ahead of country, and now we are supposed to think they care about what happened. What bullshit.

  15. secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/16/1162311/-Petraeus-exonerates-the-White-House-on-Benghazi

    GOSH!!! Here’s another kick to the wingnut conspiracy spewing repugnantklan/teabagger fluffers gonads.
    JEEBUS CRISPIES I hope these imbecilic ass monkeys stay as clueless and in their own lil counter universe…in fact even MORE so.

    • mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Oh ok secularwhatever – based on the source you present it was a secret that al quadea attacked us on September, 11. The American public were misled and told it was a “film review” and not a terrorist attack so nobody would think it was a terror attack. At the same time Obama said it WAS a terror attack right away. I even remember the partisan debate moderator verifying that Obama said it was a “terror attack” during the 2cnd Presidential candidate debate. Final grade for you today “F-”. Secular… you had better days I must admit

      • angels81 November 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

        Jesus, you are kidding right? Anybody who shoots rockets and automatic weapons at our embassy people is a terrorist, and it doesn’t really matter what the reason was for them to do it. All this bullshit is stupid. I suggest you take a look at how many of our embassies were attacked under Bush since 9/11, and how many people have been killed and wounded. This is nothing new since 9/11, but I didn’t hear anything or anybody running Bush threw the ringer for any of those embassy bombings and attacks. This is nothing more then political attacks by republicans, and really has nothing to do with finding out who did this, and bringing them to justice.

        • mjsmith November 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

          angels81- So you are saying we should just blame Bush? The only blame I put on the attacks are on the people who did the attacking.

          • angels81 November 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

            I just knew you would come back with the blame Bush shit. I’m not blaming Bush, I’m making the point that we have a group of people who are at war with us, and when you are in a war, you are sometimes going to be on the loosing end of any action. Nobody blamed Bush for those attacks. If these republicans like McCain and King really cared about this country, they would be asking if we were doing everything possible to catch the terrorists who killed our people, not playing some stupid game of who said what when.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 17, 2012 at 10:42 am #

            Now angels…you are asking for a level of logical thinking utterly lacking…as well as a sense of irony….in those screaming for “Watergate style hearings” and investigations that are show trials trying to prove the completely manufactured fake scandal pushed by the repugs and faux not news.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

        Dear dimbulb…even your repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian wetdreams are finally having to admit reality….but not you!!! OOOOOH NO! You just know better doncha!!!
        As far as better days…this is about your best…or worst depending on what side of the sanity line you stand on.

        http://www.politicususa.com/benghazi-gate-deflates-republicans-finally-grasp-reality.html

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        I will grant you…you are a sterling example of the high caliber of intellect on the repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian side!!!!

        • Taylor Marsh November 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

          secularhumanizinevoluter – Let’s get beyond the “dim bulb” stuff, please.

          Take on the argument without insulting people. It doesn’t convince anyone of your point.

          Thanks.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 17, 2012 at 10:39 am #

            Sorry, just trying to be accurate when someone continually repeats fact void, continually shown to be bull pucky talking points delivered up by that mouthpiece for the repug party faux not news.
            Unfortunately facts and reality just don’t seem to have any impact on some when they run counter to their predetermined, fact-less pronouncements, judgements and “opinions”.

  16. T-Steel November 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    So basically there was all kinds of conflicting information coming from the CIA and federal agencies. And Dr. Susan Rice was inundated with this information and just SAID IT. Game over. There’s nothing to see here on the Susan Rice front. All the issues are upstream from Dr. Rice. So basically McCain/Graham going after the easiest target which will yield them nothing more than sweaty brows and Oscar winning performances in being indignant. I don’t need to talk more about Dr. Susan Rice at all.

    Now let’s talk about the CIA, these 7, 8, 9 federal agencies giving the information…

  17. DaGoat November 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I don’t think Rice did anything intentionally wrong or malicious, or meant to fool anybody. She seemed to function essentially as a ventriloquist’s dummy though. Despite a great deal of conflicting information both in and out of her government, she just spouted the party line at the time. That doesn’t reflect a great deal of competence or integrity.

    Is that enough to block her nomination – no. Obama should be able to fill his own positions and Rice’s actions do not rise to a level to block her. I’m not getting all the Rice love though, I just don’t see what she’s done to warrant it. To me it looks like Democrats reflexively defending her because Republicans are attacking her.

    • jinbaltimore November 17, 2012 at 5:13 am #

      Ding Ding! Spot on.

      “The tribe has spoken.”

  18. secularhumanizinevoluter November 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    ” Despite a great deal of conflicting information both in and out of her government, she just spouted the party line at the time. That doesn’t reflect a great deal of competence or integrity.”

    Pure and utter male bovine fecal matter. She repeated what was told to the President in the PDB paper from the CIA. That is HARDLY “spouted the party line” in fact it is so not “spouted the party line” as to render such spewings(as opposed to spoutings) buffoonery at it’s lowest worthy of faux not news.

  19. StrideHyde November 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    I think we should find out why the talking points were changed before piling on.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/world/africa/benghazi-not-petraeus-affair-is-focus-at-hearings.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
    If it was done in an attempt to not tip off terrorists, can’t we all get behind that?

  20. mjsmith November 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    NY TImes –
    Petraeus Says U.S. Tried to Avoid Tipping Off Terrorists After Libya Attack

    WASHINGTON – David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers on Friday that classified intelligence reports revealed that the deadly assault on the American diplomatic mission in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration refrained from saying it suspected that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups. http://tinyurl.com/czmesrk

    CNN CONFIRMING THAT OBAMA DID INDEED SAY IT WAS A TERROR ATTACK

    (CNN) — Conservative critics have launched an attack on CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, who moderated Tuesday’s second presidential debate, after she corrected former Gov. Mitt Romney’s claim that President Barack Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an “act of terror.”
    CNN Fact Check: A day after Libya attack, Obama described it as ‘acts of terror’
    Obama said in the debate that on September 12, he called the attack in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, an “act of terror.” Romney, however, disputed the claim, and said the president had not called it an “act of terror” for 14 days. Crowley correctly stated that Obama had used the term “act of terror” during remarks at The White House the day after the attack. Romney was mistaken.

    http://tinyurl.com/8uqexat

    You can argue with me, call me names, refute my sources, and question my intelligence. I can back up everything I say. Can you? I know how this was handled and part of that reason is because of this website. This entire tragedy was not handled well. Is this the fault of Susan Rice? I don’t think so. It is great that President Obama is defending her. It would be better of President Obama took responsibility for everything she said and came to terms with the reality of how this crisis was managed.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 18, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      1.”You can argue with me, call me names, refute my sources, and question my intelligence.”

      Thanks for the permission…

      2.” I can back up everything I say. ”

      Gee, that must be why even the winguts in Congress have had to admit that the information supplied to the President and Ms. Rice and was then disseminated to the public at the time was correct? By being wrong you “back up everything you say”?!!!!!!

      3.”Can you?”

      Please see any of the links to republicans admitting that the Ambassador was correct in so far as the information she was privy to.

      4.”I know how this was handled and part of that reason is because of this website.”

      You would appear to know what repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian propaganda mouthpieces told you.

      5.” This entire tragedy was not handled well.”

      I know…the repugnantklan/teabaggers have behaved disgracefully.

      6.” Is this the fault of Susan Rice? I don’t think so.”

      OMGAWD what ain’t even there!!!! You are correct on that one…but for the wrong reasons.

      7.” It is great that President Obama is defending her.”

      Yes it is isn’t it.

      8.” It would be better of President Obama took responsibility for everything she said ”

      There you go with that counter Ubiverse repugnantklan/teabagger/UBERChristian non-reality thingy again. He in point of fact(I know you daon’t care much for those troublesome fact thingies….but they are stubborn) HAS.

      9.”and came to terms with the reality of how this crisis was managed.”

      See answer to #8

      • mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

        secular… – Are you hateful exclusively to Christians or do you also hate Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other people of faith as well?

    • StrideHyde November 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      mj: I am not calling you names or questioning your intelligence or even your sources. I do think it is an exaggeration to say you “know how it was handled.” I don’t think any of us knows, although I do think we can all agreed it was not handled well. I am for waiting until the picture clears. Right now, we are getting an awful lot of spin and jumping to conclusions from both sides. Right now, it is looking as though the dispute is coming down to a matter of semantics. I am certainly willing to entertain the notion of misconduct. But I think calling this a deliberate attempt to obfuscate what happened is premature and I think the NY Times article shows us that it is.

  21. mjsmith November 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    StrideHyde – ” I do think it is an exaggeration to say you “know how it was handled.” I don’t think any of us knows, although I do think we can all agreed it was not handled well. ”

    I agree with that.

    The point I am making is that President/Candidate Obama made a strong point especially in the second debate that he called the event a terror attack and did not call it a film review.

    Now the story is that the it was not called a terror attack for “National Security reason.”

    What was the reason the film was used? I do not want to say that democrats are the “America First” party. Going out publicly and telling lies, knowingly or unknowingly, that the events were a result of a movie, does feed into the “Blame America FIrst” narrative.

    Al quadea knows that we know they attacked us, to say that it was being kept a secret is 100% ridiculous. Yes, it is good that President Obama is going to bat for Susan Rice. Hilary Clinton came out and took responsibility for the attack. WHo is going to come out and take responsibility for how it was handled?

    • StrideHyde November 19, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      mj: To Obama’s “strong point,” he was answering an implication by the Romney campaign that the White House deliberately obfuscated the facts. I don’t think we know why the video was used, but I do know that in the absence of facts, things often get asserted to fill in the gaps. I think it is not a good practice to do this, but every administration does it.

      I am not a Democrat and I don’t say their party is the “America First” party either. Not sure what you mean by that, but there it is. I also don’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that “blaming America first” is the reason the video was used in the talking points. We just don’t know. It is presumptuous to think we can know what was on the minds of the individuals who propagated this narrative.

      • mjsmith November 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

        Now that the election is over, we should be able to know what happened. National Security and political embarrassment are two different things. The only way to clear Rice is to tell what happened. Allowing everyone to fill in the blanks, is not a good idea.

        • StrideHyde November 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

          I completely agree. It sounds as though you and I differ on our assumptions. I am making none.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong