All Articles Tagged "Benghazi"
The Republicans have been up in arms about Benghazi and a “cover up” that they keep insisting on in the wake of the terrible September 11, 2012 event that cost the lives of four Americans, including US. Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens. For some background and the latest on the situation, click here.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings last week and Republicans continue to harp on the changes to talking points that were used in discussions of the incident with the media and Congress. Squarely in their cross hairs is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not only is this situation being used to attempt to damage President Obama, it’s being preemptively used to hurt Hillary Clinton’s possible 2016 presidential run. Note the use of the word “possible” because Hillary Clinton hasn’t said that she’s even running. So this is what we’re spending precious government time and resources on. Sigh.
Already, the National Republican National Committee has made a video and used the situation as part of its fundraising efforts. According to The Washington Post, the ”Clinton/Benghazi fundraising page made Friday the most trafficked day in the history of its Web site.”
Certainly, when a tragedy of this magnitude happens, it’s worthwhile to investigate, find deficiencies, and solve them, which it looks like Clinton tried to do. The article goes on to say that there are some legitimate questions being asked about what happened before and after the incident. But, as WaPo writes, “the moment Republicans get a little too ambitious in tying Clinton to the issue is the moment that Democrats can credibly say that this is a political operation — as President Obama argued in his press conference Monday.” Seeing the money roll in, and out of persistent fears of their diminishing power, the Republicans can (and probably will, if they haven’t already) go too far.
“The fact is that while Republicans may truly believe Clinton bears some responsibility for what happened on Sept. 11, 2012, and for the administration’s poor public response to it, they still have plenty to prove to the American people in that regard,” The Washington Post says. And before you can prove anything, you have to make people care. A poll from the Pew Research Center finds that only 44 percent are paying attention to the hearings and any of the other activity surrounding the Benghazi investigation. About 40 percent say they believe the Obama administration has been honest; the same amount think they’ve been dishonest.
Moreover, Public Policy Polling research finds that voters trust Hillary Clinton more than they do congressional Republicans. And she has a 52 percent approval rating. Congressional Republicans have a 36 percent approval rating. More than half, 57 percent, view Congressional Republicans unfavorably.
Getting to the truth is one thing, but using this situation for fundraising or political purposes is another. To use David Brock’s words (writing for USA Today), this is looking very much like a “witch hunt.” After the jump, the American Crossroads super PAC attack ad.
After months of slander from the Republican party about her response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Susan Rice, the current United States Ambassador to the United Nations, has decided to withdraw her name from the consideration of the Secretary of State.
In a letter to President Obama, Rice said that she decided to remove her name from the running because her confirmation process would be a distraction from the real issues. “If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.”
The president accepted her decision.
Rice, who graduated from Stanford University with honors, is a Rhodes scholar and earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Oxford University has been described as “not bright” by Republican senator John McCain.
On December 10, it was announced that McCain joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is charge of screening the Secretary of State nominee.
It seems that Rice felt McCain’s presence on this committee would make the whole confirmation proceeding messy. In her letter to the president, she said: “The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized.”
After hearing the news that Rice withdrew her name, Senator McCain thanked her for her service but said he would continue to seek the facts.
It’s rumored that aside from Rice, senator and former presidential hopeful, John Kerry, was President Obama’s second choice.
What do you think about Rice’s decision to withdraw her name? Do you think it was the right move to make?
While the GOP is working hard to keep Susan Rice, currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, from becoming the next Secretary of State, other groups are working even harder to get her approved.
A diverse group of African-American women leaders joined together today to show their support for Rice. The group teamed up with the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), an intergenerational civic engagement network of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, to launch a campaign to “express their unequivocal support of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and to encourage Senate and congressional leaders to treat the esteemed public servant with respect,” announced a press release.
“It is important that women from all walks of life come together to push back when we see someone being treated unfairly not because of her work, but due to politics. Ambassador Rice has had a stellar career and has served this country with great dignity. We can not sit back and allow those who long for the days when white male privilege persisted in America to ruin the Ambassador´s reputation,” Melanie L. Campbell, president of the National Coalition and convener of BWR, tells us via email. “It’s a new day and Black, White, Caribbean, Asian and Latino women have come together to say, not on our watch! We are demanding that Ambassador Rice be given the proper respect appropriate for any other Cabinet-level member of a sitting Administration.”
The group of high-profile women signed an open letter to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Among those who signed are: Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women; former Essence editor Susan L. Taylor, CEO and founder, National CARES Mentoring Movement; actress Vivica A. Fox, president, Foxy Brown Productions; and Dr. Natalia A. Francisco, founder and executive director, Women of Worth & Worship, LLC.
According to the press release, the letter sent to Senate intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that Ambassador Rice “has excelled throughout her career both in the public and private sector. Her commitment to international peace and the equality of all people should be heralded, not summarily dismissed for political gain and expedience.”
The letter even addressed the Benghazi incident as it pointed out, “While some members of the Senate have pushed back on their rush to judgment in the press regarding Ambassador Rice’s prepared remarks on the attack in Benghazi, we feel that the public integrity and reputation of this brilliant woman, who serves our country with great dignity, has been unfairly and unnecessarily attacked.”
Rice also got a major show of support from the incoming Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. Marcia Fudge, who at a recent press conference vigorously defended Rice’s qualification and accused the GOP of being both racist and sexist. She stated, “women and minorities tend to be the target of Republican attacks when they lose to Democrats,” reports The Loop 21.
In addition to the letter there is an online petition in support of Ambassador Rice. The twitter hashtag is #SupportAmbassadorRice.
What do you think of the Susan Rice backlash?
Barely a week after we wrote our commentary about women in power in Washington, we have the ongoing hysteria from Republicans over Susan Rice and her as-yet-undeclared nomination for Secretary of State.
Rice made the rounds in September after the attack in Benghazi, reporting what she said the intelligence indicated — that a protest in that Libyan city that resulted in the death of UN Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others was a response to an anti-Muslim film. That was later found to be false. Republicans believe she was purposefully misleading and politically motivated, trying to help President Obama during the final weeks of the election.
For two days, Rice, who now serves as the US’ UN ambassador, has been meeting with Republican Congress members in an attempt to explain how things went down. And for two days, these Congress members have expressed heightened dissatisfaction with Rice’s responses.
Sens. John McCain (AZ), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Lindsay Graham (SC) are among the Republicans who have vocally stated their opposition to Rice.
“The concerns I have today are greater than they were before,” the LA Times quotes Sen. Graham.
Today, even more members of the GOP piled on, including moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who said that the handling of this situation “echoes” Rice’s handling of a 1998 attack on two American embassies in Africa. Some Senators have promised to block any nomination of Rice to the Secretary of State position.
For his part, President Obama once again came to Ambassador Rice’s defense, calling her “extraordinary” and adding that he “[c]ouldn’t be prouder of the job that she’s done.” Current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton led a round of applause for her.
Sen. Ayotte has responded to charges that the harsh criticism of Rice is rooted in racism and/or sexism. “I think it’s absolutely false,” she said on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly (h/t Politico). The site already says that Rice’s chances of being Secretary of State are “fading.”
Just as an African-American woman was on the cusp of a nomination for one of the most powerful and visible positions in government, it looks like it may not happen.