On Wednesday, President Obama gave his first press conference in eight months. In between hard-hitting questions about global warming and whether or not the president has spoken to Mitt Romney since election night, one member of the White House press corps actually managed to squeeze in a question about the administration’s public response to the Benghazi terrorist attack. Specifically, the question was in regard to the multiple interviews U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, gave to news networks five days after the attack.
As many of you will recall (unless you don’t watch FOX News and are hearing this for the first time), Rice repeatedly stated that the government’s best intelligence indicated that the attack was spawned by a spontaneous mob that was upset over an anti-Muslim YouTube video created by some guy in California.
We know now, of course, that at the time Rice made those remarks, our federal government was well aware that what happened at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya was a coordinated terrorist attack. The described ‘spontaneous mob’ didn’t even exist. Thus, the information that Rice gave to the public was purposely dishonest. Many suspect (and by ‘many’, I mean anyone who’s not in the tank for the administration) that the public was mislead so as not to hurt President Obama’s re-election campaign. Regardless of the motivations, the timeline clearly reveals that there was a cover-up.
The reporter asked the president to respond to comments from U.S. senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham that they planned on blocking Susan Rice’s possible nomination as the next Secretary of State, based on her Benghazi statements.
After singing the praises of Susan Rice, the president confirmed (for the first time) that the White House had given her the information that she relayed to the news organizations. He then scolded McCain and Graham for vowing to deny Rice the nomination.
He said, “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 that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
Outrageous? Really? Let’s take a look at that comment, because it’s important on a couple of fronts… First of all, the obvious question is that if Rice “had nothing do with Benghazi”, why was she sent out by the White House to talk about it to the press? Secondly, if the White House sent her out with information they knew to be false, aren’t THEY the ones who besmirched her reputation?
The president continued: “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.”
How terribly chivalrous the president sounded there (well, except for that part about her being an “easy target”, which was pretty darned condescending if you ask me). Anyway, the president was at least trying to show us once again exactly what his campaign told us for the last six months: That he’s the great protector of women.
But let’s take a step back. Who put Rice in this position? John McCain and Lindsey Graham didn’t send her onto national television with false information. President Obama did. She was merely a pawn to the administration – someone they clearly felt was so inconsequential to them that they put her career aspirations in jeopardy by asking her to fall on the sword for them. Maybe that’s why the president categorized her as “an easy target.” Obama just forgot to mention that he’s the one who painted the bulls-eye on her.
To top things off, for those who watched the press conference, it was obvious by the president’s demeanor that he was suggesting something chauvinistic in the way McCain and Graham were holding Rice accountable for her words. As if, somehow, a woman can’t be criticized by two men (forget the fact that female senators are supporting McCain and Graham) without it having something to do with her gender.
Half of me expected Obama to identify McCain and Graham as “acting generals in the War On Women“, and accuse them of trying to steal Rice’s birth control pills. It certainly wouldn’t have been any more ridiculous than some of the things that went on during the presidential campaign.
Isn’t the reality pretty obvious, though? To cover his own butt, President Obama hid behind Susan Rice’s skirt and sent her onto national television to spread false information. It was the president who put her career on the line in doing so. Yet McCain and Graham are supposed to be villains for holding her accountable? There’s your protector of women, folks!
Equally nauseating has been the media’s glowing reaction to Obama’s so-called gallant defense of Rice.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos hailed the president for being “very forceful in defending Ambassador Rice.” His colleague, Martha Raddatz, deemed it a “very strong defense.”
ABC News’ Diane Sawyer described the president as coming out swinging, in defense of Rice.
Most all of the mainstream media has found a way to admire the president’s response, but the most embarrassing fawning came from NBC News…
Brian Williams said, “The president today, almost conjuring the wording of Aaron Sorkin from the movie American President, as will be pointed out all day, really deciding to throw down.”
Andrea Mitchell concurred with Williams, saying, “This was President Andrew Shepherd really coming through in the East Room of the White House. Because this was President Obama saying, ‘If you want to pick a fight with my U.N. ambassador, and blame her for something that was not her responsibility on Benghazi, then you come after me’….It was dramatic. He is angry.”
If only the national media could get as emotionally invested in the cover-up of the deaths of four American patriots, as they do over the president’s phony, Hollywood chivalry, the public and the families of the victims might actually get some answers.