CNN deals the dope on what Rice "maintains!"


The least capable people on earth: Around 5:45 this morning, we heard the formulation on CNN’s Early Start.

Via Nexis, we see that Deborah Feyerick did the reporting. Sadly, remarkably, this is what Feyerick said:
FEYERICK (11/27/12): Ambassador Susan Rice heads to Capitol Hill this morning to mend fences with three Republican senators. She angered John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte with her initial comments made on several TV networks that appeared to play down the role of al Qaeda terrorists in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

That attack killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Rice maintains that she made it very clear the intelligence information she had at the time was preliminary. Senators are threatening to block her nomination if President Obama chooses her to be his next Secretary of State.
According to Feyerick, Rice maintains that she said the intelligence was preliminary!

By now, CNN has had well over two months to examine what Rice really said. They don’t have to rely on what Rice "maintains."

Transcripts and tapes are easy to find. They can see what she said.

CNN doesn’t have to rely on what Ambassador Rice maintains. They can see her making repeated disclaimers that day—on Meet the Press, for example:
RICE (9/16/12): Well, let me tell you the best information we have at present. First of all, there is an FBI investigation, which is ongoing, and we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But 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.

What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that 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.

Obviously, that's our best judgment now. We'll await the results of the investigation, and the president has been very clear—we'll work with the Libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice.
Ambassador Rice's entire statement involved 170 words. By our count, Rice told Gregory seven times that her account was preliminary.

Like the western world's greatest bard, let us count the ways:

Right at the start, Rice told Gregory that she was providing “the best information we have at present.”

She then told him the administration was “looking to” an FBI investigation “to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.” She then said she was providing “the best information that we have available to us today.”

In her very next breath, she restated the point, saying that her account was “our current assessment.”

Ambassador Rice tossed in a “we think” midway through her short account. As she closed, she restated her initial point, telling Gregory that her account was “our best judgment now.”

In her next breath, she restated her word of caution. “We'll await the results of the investigation,” she once again advised.

Over and over, again and again, Rice told Gregory that her account was preliminary. Ten weeks later, CNN is only able to say that Rice maintains that she did this!

We’ve asked these questions many times:

Who are these people? Where do they come from? Are they truly flesh of the earth?

Could humans really behave this way? Is it possible that we’re dealing with some alternate life-form?

Over the weekend, Ta-Nehisi Coates advised us to look at Rice’s “original statements.” He then quoted Andrea Mitchell’s cherry-picked account of Rice's statements.

This morning, Feyerick plays this non-human game with Rice’s repeated disclaimers.

Do we know why these life-forms keep doing these things? Are they flesh of the earth?

Final point: Reading Feyerick’s text, one would assume that the Benghazi attack was conducted by “al Qaeda terrorists.”

To this day, have intelligence services stated that conclusion?

As far as we know, they have not. The Washington Post seemed to report a different conclusion just about ten days ago.

But Feyerick is part of a guild which has purchased a John McCain line. In accord with Hard Pundit law, she’s working hard to advance that Official Press Line.

Feyerick is misleading you in the process, and she's making a joke of your world. This was common during the Clinton-Gore years.

The whole liberal world sat and stared.


  1. Well, yours is an interesting question Bob....a general review of the stories that come up in a google search indicate that Petraus concluded, or at least is ALLEGED to have testified that, the attacks were "committed by al Qaeda-linked militants" according to Rep Peter King, who attended the briefing. Now, can we trust King? I don't. But would he lie outright on something like this? Sure, maybe. Did he lie? Who knows? But that is what he said in public. I have not heard the White House deny what King said.

    Now, getting back to Bob's question...if Petraus did testify that affiliates of AQ did it would that qualify as an "intelligence service" stating that conclusion? Further, would affiliates of AQ satisfy Bob's question? I have no idea the answers to those questions. And I don't know how much they is all a tempest in a tea pot. On one level...anyway.

  2. Feyerick is at the bottom rung of CNN's all-purpose "general assignment" reporters and knows very little about anything. I can only assume they had her "report" this story because nobody else was available to stand up in front of a camera and speak.

    Your beef in this case, though, is not with Feyerick who doesn't do her own reporting on things that are this far beyond her bailiwick (which runs more to tabloid crime stories, on the scene disaster reporting, etc.), your beef is with her producer, who wrote a script for her from info he/she got from an actual Capitol Hill producer, who may or may not have gotten the story reasonably accurately to begin with.

    I'm more irritated with this falsehood "appeared to play down the role of al Qaeda terrorists" than I am with the stupid stuff about Rice's "preliminary" remarks. There were no "al Qaeda terrorists" involved in this. There weren't even "al Qaeda-linked terrorists." Ansar al Sharia is not "linked" to al Qaeda in any meaningful way, nor is even al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, despite the name.

    The utter dumb ignorance of U.S. reporters, not to mention blog commenters as above, of Islamic terrorism is just mind-boggling.

    1. Ok, so you assert Ansar al Sharia not linked with AQ. Or "affiliated". I tend to agree with you, but most likely for different reasons. So, and I am not asking this in a sarcastic or challenging manner--at the moment. Do you dismiss the reports that Petraus complied a report that allegedly introduced the 'AQ affiliated"? Is your argument that that language is all made up by the press? (always a possibility given our press). Or are you saying, 'well even if Petraus testified to that...he was wrong because A al Sharia is not "afflicted", or "linked" with AQ. (lets leave aside, for the moment, what you mean by the qualifying term "meaningful".

    2. Well, if there were another country with "AQ-linked terrorists", Petraeus would get to go in and screw up another "counter-insurgency campaign" and get praised for doing it. You know, "they stand up while we stand down" and "winning hearts and minds".
      They eat this Petraeus shit up on the Hill.

    3. One would be hard pressed to not see the pigs on the Hill eating his nonsense up like it was spoon fed. But that was not my point. Not that you are under any obligation to respond to my open questions.

      I was after Grfalcon's dismissal of the reports...and trying to understand who and where he thought the spin was cooked up.

  3. BOOM. As they say on the internet.

    “We explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi,” Ms. Rice said.

    1. "the intelligence" was wrong about something?

      So "BOOM?"

      More like, ho hum.

    2. This does seem to be a reversal, and fly in the face of the supposedly reliable reporting on the incident; or maybe Rice was just trying to throw them a bone. Let's see what the Howler says today......

  4. Don't know that Bob Schieffer qualifies as 'flesh of this earth', either. No one likes to go to McCain as much as Schieffer.....unless, just possibly, the senator's wife Cindy.

  5. I think the whole Benghazi brouhaha is nonsense, but Rice brought on a lot of the heat herself, not by what she said but simply by the sheer quantity of her worde. Like all politicians, she used as many words as possible in an effort to sound more intelligent than she actually is, make it seem that she knows more than she really does, and to keep the camera on herself longer than is justified by the question.

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