Susan Rice is an easy mark!


Thanks to our massive past silence:
Inevitably, Susan Rice is being targeted.

Check that. Susan Rice is being targeted again.

Yesterday, murky claims about Rice's conduct became the sudden rage. Became the rage again.

Might we state the obvious? At this point, no one has the slightest idea what Susan Rice did or didn't do in the latest distraction-based episode. For that reason, there is no evidence, or reason to believe, that she did anything wrong.

No one has the slightest idea what Rice did or didn't do. But on this morning's Morning Joe, all the hacks were offering their "takes."

Rice, of course, is an easy target. In this morning's New York Times, Balker and Rosenberg reported what one soothsayer said:
BAKER AND ROSENBERG (4/4/17): Republicans pointed to the reports about Ms. Rice on Monday. “Smoking gun found!” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wrote on Twitter. “Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.”
"Noted dissembler Susan Rice?" That description takes us back to the fall of 2012, when all our favorite multimillionaires ran off and hid in the woods as Susan Rice was being thrown under a very large bus.

Quick review:

Five days after the Benghazi attack, Rice appeared on all five Sunday morning programs. She was asked about Benghazi on four of the shows, including Face the Nation.

Her comments were measured and perfectly sane. Instantly, John McCain and Bob Schieffer began reinventing what she had said.

In the blink of an eye, Rice's sensible remarks were mercilessly reinvented. Not since the twenty months of Campaign 2000 had so much phony paraphrase been let loose across the land.

This bullshit continued for months.

As in 1999 and 2000, so too in 2012. In the face of this assault on Rice, all our favorite liberal pundits ran off and hid in the woods. As Susan Rice was being slandered—as the Benghazi story-line was being invented—her name went completely unmentioned by Rachel Maddow.

Maddow offered no clarification, analysis or defense. On his weekend show, Chris Hayes actually affirmed the McCain/Schieffer line, before retracting his remarks one week later.

All our favorite liberal heroes ran off and hid in the woods. Rice's reputation was badly damaged. A set of claims about Benghazi hardened, then turned to stone.

(Maddow behaved the same way last summer and fall. When James B. Comey launched his irregular attack on Candidate Clinton in July, guest host Steve Kornacki actually affirmed his claims over the course of several nights. Upon her return from vacance, Maddow didn't mention Comey's name until the end of October. She took a powder again!)

It happened in 1999 and 2000. It happened in 2012, then again last year. When you consider the past conduct of Maddow and her predecessors, it's stunning to see the way our leaders still focus on kicking down at The Others, at the highly objectionable low-income folk Over There.

It's the hillbillies who did it, we liberals are told. Also the Okies.

Like everyone else, we liberals are dumb. Our leaders? They're just lousy people.

One common element: In 2012, the Obama Admin didn't speak up in defense of Rice until the election was over. For whatever reason, they took a similar hands-off stance to various issues and claims which were floating around last fall.

Obama didn't speak up in 2012. Presumably for that reason, neither did our fearless multimillionaires.

They kept still until Obama spoke; for a major cable pundit, it's the safe way to play it. Once he spoke up, they spoke up too. By then, it was much too late.

By then, Obama had been re-elected. Rice's name had been badly harmed; the Benghazi tale had been born.

On the brighter side, Rachel Maddow had played it safe. She did the same thing all through Campaign 2016.

Rachel ducked every dangerous issue last year. We viewers are too dumb to notice this. Her embellishments have been on the rise of late. Her ratings have gone through the roof.

Final question: Did you ever see Kevin Drum offer a word about all these examples of silence? Kevin knows the Okies are bad, while Rachel and all the rest of our major exalteds are good.

This code of silence has been in place for decades. It's how Trump got you-know-where.


  1. No one could have predicted the fake Russia story would turn into a real Obama corruption story.

    "One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn't believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks.

    The aforementioned Mensch, a noted loon who thinks Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart but has somehow been put front and center by The Times and HBO's Real Time, has denounced an extraordinary list of Kremlin plants.

    She's tabbed everyone from Jeff Sessions ("a Russian partisan") to Rudy Giuliani and former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom ("agents of influence") to Glenn Greenwald ("Russian shill") to ProPublica and Democracy Now! (also "Russian shills"), to the 15-year-old girl with whom Anthony Weiner sexted (really, she says, a Russian hacker group called "Crackas With Attitudes") to an unnamed number of FBI agents in the New York field office ("moles"). And that's just for starters.

    Others are doing the same. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, upon seeing the strange behavior of Republican Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes, asked "what kind of dossier" the Kremlin has on Nunes.

    Dem-friendly pollster Matt McDermott wondered why reporters Michael Tracey and Zaid Jilani aren't on board with the conspiracy stories (they might be "unwitting" agents!) and noted, without irony, that Russian bots mysteriously appear every time he tweets negatively about them.

    Think about that last one. Does McDermott think Tracey and Jilani call their handlers at the sight of a scary Matt McDermott tweet and have the FSB send waves of Russian bots at him on command? Or does he think it's an automated process? What goes through the heads of such people?

    I've written a few articles on the Russia subject that have been very tame, basically arguing that it might be a good idea to wait for evidence of collusion before those of us in the media jump in the story with both feet. But even I've gotten the treatment.

    I've been "outed" as a possible paid Putin plant by the infamous "PropOrNot" group, which is supposedly dedicated to rooting out Russian "agents of influence." You might remember PropOrNot as the illustrious research team the Washington Post once relied on for a report that accused 200 alternative websites of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season."

    1. What a scum bucket thing to do. Without citation for what follows you attach your own groundless claim that there is some sort of Obama scandal under discussion to paragraph after paragraph of a Matt Taibbi article [LINK].

    2. I agree, its amazing how far someone will go to put party above their country. But anonymous seems to have met that standard. Wonder if he/she is kin to Baghdad Bob?

    3. Beyond there being no Obama corruption (although there is an Obama corruption STORY propagated by the White House and spread by right wing media and some msm - see CNN former husband and wife hacks Dana and John) beyond Taibbi's odd article that reads like the ranting of a loon itself, there are several government investigations into the Trump campaign's connections with Russia causing panic and chaos within Trump's administration.

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  2. Wait, who threw Rice under the bus? Sounds like it was Pres Obama...except then he gave her a huge, plum job.

    How was this the fault of liberal pundits? Did they somehow intimidate the Pres into silence for months? If not, then TDH continues to be fantastically wrong on this topic for 5 solid years! Way to go, Bobbie!

    1. "[W]ho threw Rice under the bus?"
      It would seem that you have been asleep in the woods.

    2. If only their was some crap Dylan quote to memorialize this throwing of Rice under the bus. (Which, by the way, never happened--she got to be National Security Advisor, not roadkill)

    3. Regardless of what job she got as consolation prize, they all let her reputation be trashed, with Hillary's also suffering by association, by refusing to attack the outright lies about what Rice said that Graham and McCain started.

    4. anon 6:44, you are quite wrong. No one in the msm contradicted, the false and cynical line that Rice lied on the Sunday morning shows. They paraphrased her statements, made just a few days after the events, when obviously all the facts weren't in (they probably still aren't) and distorted the substance "possibly happened, we're not sure" into "this is what happened." Instead of correcting the propaganda, the msm simply adopted the distorted paraphrase - over and over. You apparently never read TDH's posts on the subject while this was going on.

    5. AC/MA, I am familiar with TDH's posts on the topic. Two points: 1) there is a big difference between a huge promotion and being thrown under the bus, and 2) Pres Obama, presumably well informed on the events and the leader of his party, could have stepped in at any time to defend Rice, but chose not to do so--until after the election.

      If the working assumption is that liberal pundits should be 100% tribal, then they should have supported anything Rice said. But if liberal pundits should actually be reasonable, thinking analysts, then the lack of support from her boss was rightly taken as troubling.

    6. It's not a matter of them being tribal - it's a matter of them not distorting things, going with scripts and narratives etc. Another aspect was that Obama and his staff may have been too passive on this, which is another subject.

  3. Bob seems to be saying that the current accusation against Rice is false because a past accusation against her proved to be false. That's weak reasoning.

    It looks very likely that she gathered information from spy agencies and used it for political purposes against a political opponent.

    The government has enormous powers to use against our country's enemies. These powers shouldn't be used against private American citizens for political purposes.

    1. David, there is no evidence "that she gathered information from spy agencies and used it for political purposes against a political opponent". Without evidence (and it's already been discussed how the Bloomberg article is not evidence of any wrongdoing) an accusation such as yours can only come from a severe lack of integrity.

      Additionally, Bob is not saying what you claim he is saying. Bob is saying that since she was not defended when she was previously falsely accused, it makes it easier to falsely accuse her now.

      David you speak of abuse of power, here is a disgusting example of one:

    2. BTW it's now definite that Rice lied, because she publicly made two contradictory statements. On March 22, on PBS, Rice was asked about House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes statement that there was unmasking done by Obama administration officials. Rice replied: "I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today. I really don't know to what Chairman Nunes was referring."

      But, on MSNBC on April 4, she admitted to doing some unmasking: She said, "There occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to. Name not provided. Just U.S. person. And sometimes in that context in order to understand the importance of the report and assess its significance it was necessary to find out or request the information as to who that U.S. official was."

      See the actual videos of her flip flop at

      BTW Silly Boy I don't agree that for a President to criticize someone is a disgusting abuse of power. It may well be disgusting, but it's not an abuse of power. If the President ordered the IRS to audit this woman's taxes, that would be an abuse of power.

      Also, Trump was a private citizen when he made this critical tweet. At that point, he had no power to abuse.

    3. Susan Rice? The lady Republicans tried to blame for the deaths at Benghazi, even though they were way more to blame?

    4. DinC:

      Lied? Lied? How fucking dare you use that word?

      You dumbfuck. No lies, you just were taking her "literally" you jackass.

    5. Poor DinC. Nice and polite to a fault, but still gets mercilessly shit on by the libs in the comments section.

      See David, you will never get any brownie points from the left by being respectful. They interpret your good faith as weakness and will just call you a Nazi anyway.

      Notice that none of them could refute the substance of your argument either, but they aren't self aware enough to be bothered by that.

    6. "Poor DinC"
      Yup. He's a Conservative, the poor confused simpleton. If not for the grace of dog, ...

    7. Did DinC in real time admit that what was said about Rice in connection with Benghazi had "proved to be false"? I doubt it. Now he slinks in sneakily admitting five years later that they were false.

    8. Maj, there is no substance to what Comrade DinC wrote. He comes here to vomit the latest bullshit he swallowed in wingnut land.

      First thing he does is slander a good woman who served this country with grace and dignity and competence. A woman who was slandered previously by DinC's party with false accusations about Benghazi, as documented here on TDH.

      It looks very likely that she gathered information from spy agencies and used it for political purposes against a political opponent.

      Comrade DinC pulled that straight out of his wingnut ass. Absolutely pure slander with no basis in fact.

      Then, Comrade DinC has the colossal nerve to complain about abuse of power. Holy shit, I am surprised his head didn't explode. Abuse of power, comrade, is taking a national tragedy where four brave Americans died into a fucking political football. Eight fucking investigations into the Benghazi tragedy. That is fucking abuse of power, comrade.

    9. Again, I come here to exonerate Congressional Republicans for the 4 deaths at Benghazi. Sure, they refused requests for additional security funding--which may have saved the lives of the four Americans--, but they did that to tie the hands of the President so he couldn't assist the citizenry during the deepest recession the nation had seen in 7 decades (Party before country umber alles), not to put the lives of those 4 Americans at risk.

    10. D in C always knows his facts and argues effectively and substantively. Reactions to his comments are usually unhinged.

    11. 1:14,
      That first sentence, proves your second.

    12. David, it's not definite that Susan Rice lied. It's hard to prove a lie from a few seconds of video. She said she didn't know what Devin Nunes was talking about. Enough both interviews should be replayed to give the context. She should be shown the intercept transcript Nunes was referring to.

      Then she should be asked to reconcile her apparently contradictory statements.

  4. Rice was asked about Nunes statement, which contained 4 chargesNunes, March 22.,2017
    “First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
    Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.
    Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
    Fourth and finally, I want to be clear. None of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

  5. Rice replies on PBS:

    March 22, 2017 PBS
    JUDY WOODRUFF: In this morning’s Washington Post, some tough words for President Trump and his administration led the opinion pages.
    We spoke earlier this evening with former Obama White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, the author of that piece. It was her first interview since leaving the White House.
    I began by asking about the allegations leveled today by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that Trump transition officials, including the president, may have been swept up in surveillance of foreigners at the end of the Obama administration.
    SUSAN RICE, Former U.S. National Security Adviser: I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.

  6. Rice is asked if she leaked information:
    April 4,2017
    When asked whether she leaked information from the intelligence reports to the public, Rice categorically denied the charge.
    "There's no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking," she said. "The effort to ask for the identity of the American citizen is necessary to understand the importance of an intelligence report in some instances."
    "I leaked nothing to nobody—and never would," said Rice.

  7. Seymour Hersh seems to have a thing about Susan Rice.
    I haven't had a chance to look that up.

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