One does not have to listen too carefully to understand what happened with the administration's reports on the Benghazi tragedy, and how Republicans, as they did in the outing of Valerie Plame, prioritized political gain over national security.
In addition, we can now understand why the UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, as opposed to someone on the national security team, delivered the assessment on the Sunday morning yapping shows. That too, is clear.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) serves on the House Intelligence Committee. After being briefed in a closed-door session, Schiff reported that Rice delivered the same 'talking points' as had been provided to Congress at that time, and that it was as accurate as could be conveyed without compromising national security.
Allow me to translate. To protect national security (most likely, its sources in Libya, and the existence of CIA personnel on the ground), the security agencies provided a version of events that was sufficiently murky so as to obscure what they might have learned from these sources, and why this attack occurred in the first place.
And, why was the UN Ambassador, who had nothing whatsoever to do with Benghazi, chosen to deliver the message? Because anyone in the national security wing of the administration would have been in an impossible position, and so Ambassador Rice was deployed because she was outside that inner circle so she could deliver the publicly approved story as all that was known at the time.
Proper, patriotic behavior would have been to mourn the deaths, rally behind the president and seek a closed-hearing to determine what remedial actions were required.
Instead, the same Republicans who never held a single hearing about 9/11, to this date have never said that President Bush, Vice-President Cheney or then-National Security Adviser Condi Rice were accountable for 9/11, decided to try to make political hay from the tragedy. (And, to stop it, and further breaches of national security, the administration -- brilliantly -- provided Romney a national security briefing, conveying to him information that tied his tongue from further pursuing the matter publicly.)
For his refusal to take a preferential release from prison in Hanoi, the torture he suffered, and the five years he spent there, John McCain earned -- from me, at least -- a nearly inexhaustible supply of honor and credit.
So, my reaction to his failings and flailings is more one of pity and sorrow rather than anger.
From someone who cannot shed his respect for you, John, a small suggestion: take the opportunity in your last years in the Senate to be a true statesman.
Let the country remember you as a hero in war, and a statesman in the Senate.
Not this nonsense. Not compromising U.S. national security interests to try to score a cheap political point. Leave that to the Dick Cheneys and his fellow chickenhawks, and the disgraced Darrell Issa.
Not you, John.
Why not insist, instead, on an investigation of Darrell Issa (R-CA) for revealing national security secrets?
That would be a lot more like the John McCain who braved torture in Hanoi to uphold a Navy tradition.
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