Schieffer allows McCain to dissemble again!


Benghazi must never die: Plainly, Republicans political figures—and Fox—continue to think that Benghazi is a political winner which may put Romney over the top.

Over the weekend, Fox ran an hour-long special on the subject that included the most cherry-picked rendition of Susan Rice’s presentation we have seen to date. We can’t find a transcript or tape of the program, but videotape of Rice was clipped within an inch of its life.

Plainly, the dissembling on this topic will continue right through November 6.

That said, you didn’t have to be watching Fox to see the onslaught continue. Yesterday morning, John McCain appeared on Face the Nation.

Need we say much more?

Bob Schieffer did the enabling as McCain continued to misrepresent what Ambassador Rice and President Obama said about Benghazi. It was the Same Old Bogus Story, pimped with Schieffer’s permission:
MCCAIN (10/28/12): Probably the worst of all of this, of course, is the gross, gross, outrageous statements that [Obama] made and his— I was on your program when Susan Rice came on. And I was slack-jawed when she went through that routine of the, that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a video. We now know there was no demonstration. There was no mob. So how could intelligence community ever reach a conclusion that there was a spontaneous demonstration when there wasn’t?


So the president went on various shows, despite what he said he said in the Rose Garden about terrorist acts, he went on several programs, including The View, including Letterman, including before the UN, where he continued to refer, days later, many days later, to this as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video. We know that is patently false.

What did the president know? When did he know it? And what did he do about it?
Watergate references to the side, let’s get clear about this latest dissembling:

On the September 16 Face the Nation, Ambassador Rice did not “say that that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a video.”

When he spoke to the United Nations, President Obama did not refer to the Benghazi attacks as a spontaneous demonstration because of a hateful video.

McCain continues to thunder about, making statements which are, at best, grossly misleading. And what does a major network anchor say in response to such misrepresentations?

A major network anchor says nothing! Schieffer gave McCain free rein, then finally dropped the topic. His new question, asked on a bit of a first-name basis, was this:
SCHIEFFER: What do you think Mitt Romney needs to do? If he called and you said, “What do I need to do now, John, to close this?” what would you tell him?
Scheiffer seemed to be asking what Romney must do to close out a winning campaign. He made no attempt to challenge “John’s” account of what Rice and Obama said.

Schieffer’s next guest was Rahm Emmanuel. Incredibly, he quickly asked this:
SCHIEFFER: Now you weren’t there, obviously you don’t have access to this information, but you were White House chief of staff. How is it that so many of, versions of events could come out of this thing? I mean, you know, yes, yes, he— Yes, [Obama] said in the Rose Garden, he referred to a terrorist attack. But five days later, Susan Rice was right here on this broadcast and on other Sunday broadcasts saying that no, it wasn’t. And I mean, how is it that that could happen?

On the September 16 Face the Nation, Susan Rice did not say that no, it wasn’t a terrorist attack. She said the violence began when “extremist elements” arrived at the consulate “with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.”

That’s what Rice actually said to Schieffer right there on his own freaking program. Surely Schieffer has access to transcripts and tapes! But this has all been disappeared as people like McCain—and Schieffer himself—keep pushing a thoroughly scripted and grossly misleading line.

These scripted misstatements aren’t going to stop. More on this topic tomorrow.

What the fearless Emmanuel said: In response to Schieffer’s question, the best Emmanuel could manage was this: “When Susan went out there, she was working off the intelligence provided at that point.”

No one is ever allowed to say that Schieffer may be misstating a point—that he may be misstating what was said to his own face, right there on his own program.

People! In accordance with Hard Pundit Law, things like that simply aren’t done!


  1. "Plainly, Republicans [sic] political figures - and Fox -continue to think that Benghazi is a political winner which may put Romney over the top."

    You left out CNN.

  2. Obama knew what the video would do and he had the CIA release it anyway, while the Republicans cut the budget. So in a way it was a planned terror attack and a spontaneous one at the same time. The administration is lying to us, and so is the other side.

    The fucked-up part is that FBI stings work in much the same way, with a phony crisis and then character assassination. Apparently though, in intelligence matters, nobody is above the president to tell him this crisis is a bad idea beforehand. Covert organizations always work through chain-of-command, which evidently makes oversight impossible.

  3. The way for Benghazi to "die" is for our President to hold a press conference and tell us just what happened. He should answer questions about why we kept the embassy open, how we chose to have such limited security, how requests for help during the battle were dealt with, what we know about the attackers, etc. And, he should answer reporters' questions fully and frankly. After all, Benghazi wasn't an Obama disaster; it was an American disaster. We have a right to know.

    Obama's failure to hold such a press conference supports those who guess the worst. These guesses will continue to make news until our President steps forward and clears things up.

    1. He already did what the elites require -- stood up and pretended to be upset, then had Clinton "take responsibility" in the truly Orwellian sense. Look up Reagan on Iran/Contra, he did that.

    2. I'm glad you can mind read the president and tell he "pretended" his concern. What I find particularly outrageous is your comparing Benghazi to the Iran/Contra scandal. The Iran/Contra scandal involved top government officials knowingly undermining the constitution by breaking laws congess had established in order to sell weapons to a dictatorship. No one disagrees with that.

      In contrast, Benghazi involves an attack on an embassy, an attack which the president had no fore-knowledge of, and handled in a compltely routine way.

      Comparing Benghazi to Iran/Contra is like comparing on the one hand, getting 100 dollars stollen from your house, and on the other, master minding a bank robbery.

    3. Obama is a very detached cold fish type of technocrat.

      There were no gunships deployed. Basically this looks like the group of Americans was deliberately abandoned to avoid, well, avoid saving them.

      Obama is a pretty callous president.

    4. @David in Cal It wasn't an embassy, 'arschloch' ! I stopped reading you at that point, as I suspect 'cognoscenti' soon do with most of what you write - and that's giving you some.

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  4. Given the large pile of corpses Bush created it does seem a tad unfair to single out one incident and have it affect the Presidential race.

    However, how should we treat Arabs?

  5. One of the wilder theories floating around is the supposed possibility that a major CIA gun-running operation aimed at arming anti-Assad Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces was in danger of being exposed. Supposedly

    General Carter Ham put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”

    I don't particularly credit this theory. What I do find noteworthy is that it's being spread by blogger Ann Althouse. Althouse is smart law Professor, a moderate, who supported Obama in 2008. I don't think Ms. Althouse would be spreading rumors like this if Obama had provided a clear explanation of what happened.

    1. Althouse is a complete foof who knows less about security and intelligence matters than my dog. She's just following some wingnut's lead.

      By the way, in your initial comment, Benghazi was not an embassy it was a consulate.

    2. She's just following some wingnut's lead.

      Exactly my point. She's a top law Professor. I think she's a Democrat. I know she supported Obama in 2008. Yet, she now gives greater credibility to a wingnut site than to the President. How many others now doubt the President's credibility on Benghazi?

    3. The man assassinated was however an ambassador.

  6. It is plausible that the Arabs went nuts over a video though. They kill at the drop of a hat. Not quite like us culturally. It's quite obvious. Soooo... What general attitude and posture should we take on when dealing with them?

    It's not a trick question.

    1. The answer might be, though. Do you have one?

  7. If I was given a word association test and the word "Benghazi" was said my response would be "swift boat".

    1. That's true in this context. Dancing on the graves of dead American is a sorry act.

  8. As the victim of a vicious smear - the looney "wet-start" story - John McCain should be particularly ashamed to be peddling this garbage.

    The reason he's "slack-jawed" is because he's past it - and so's the odious Schieffer.

  9. I just got off an e-mail to 'Face The Nation' on Schieffer. Described him as either witless or gutless for Sunday 's work -- though it's probably some combination thereof. Recommended his retirement as host.

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