Susan Rice has come under attack for repeating approved talking points that suggested the attack at an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was the spontaneous outgrowth of a spate of anti-US protests across the Middle East.
But as it turns out, that assessment -- incorrect as it later proved to be -- was a widely held one at the time, including by some of the very people who have recently used it to lambaste Rice as a possible nominee for secretary of state.
On Sept. 14, three days after the attacks, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of Rice's primary antagonists in the Senate, told reporters at a press conference that there had been “demonstrations” at the mission in Benghazi, ThinkProgress reported Friday, and that extremists had “seized this opportunity to attack our consulate.”
Rice's infamous Sunday shows appearance came two days later. By that point it was growing clear that the attack in Libya had not grown out of a peaceful protest, but had likely been the result of a carefully planned assault.
Republicans have assailed Rice for incorrectly talking about a protest outside the Benghazi mission, and citing an anti-Islam video as a motivating factor. They have argued that by the time Rice appeared on the shows, it should have been obvious that the Benghazi attack had been planned and was not related to a protest.
But a week later, on Sept. 22, the entire senate -- including McCain -- cosponsored a resolution that used similar language in describing the incidents in Benghazi and elsewhere in region. That resolution described the violence in Benghazi "coincided with an attack on the United States embassy in Cairo, which was also swarmed by an angry mob of protesters on September 11, 2012."
Also on HuffPost:
U.S. President Barack Obama
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. ... Make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
British Prime Minister David Cameron
"This senseless attack ended the lives of people who had worked selflessly alongside Libyans during their darkest days. ... We look to the new Libyan authorities to do all in their power, as they have pledged to do, to bring the killers to justice. Britain stands ready to assist Libya and the United States in that task. Above all, we will honor the memory of these dedicated people by continuing their work to help Libyans build a secure and free country." (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, Pool)
"The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemns this inhuman and insulting action (the film) and shows its strong hatred against this action. Insulting the messenger of Islam is to insult the values of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. This insulting action will cause enmity and contrast between religions and cultures in the world and will be a strong punch to peace and harmony between humans."(AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud / Xinhua, Pool)
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry
"Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths. The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world." (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
The movie is an "immoral act that represents the highest levels of aggression against human rights that is represented by the respect of people's beliefs. ... The United Nations should issue laws that criminalize such acts similar to laws that criminalize anti-Semites." (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
"It is important that the new Libya continues to move toward a peaceful, secure and democratic future."(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, Pool)
Libyan interim President Mohammed el-Megarif
"We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world." (AP Photo)