If that is so, why was she the designated spokesman for the administration? Isn't it just possible that she became a lightning rod because the president made her one? If, as Henry Wotton put it, an ambassador is a man "who is sent abroad to lie for his country," an Obama administration diplomat is a person who is sent to the Sunday shows to lie to his own country.
Nearly everything Ambassador Rice said during that Sunday farrago has been shown to be false. We know that there was no protest -- and that the administration knew this, too. Rice has since admitted that she saw classified documents linking the attacks to Al-Qaeda before doing the shows.
Secretary Clinton should be under a cloud for failing to prevent the deaths of these Americans and for misleading the nation afterwards. Instead, she is lofted skyward with talk of 2016. A just-released Senate report slams the State Department for ignoring "flashing red" reports of increasing Al-Qaida activity in that part of Libya. Oh well, she failed at a key aspect of her job -- nothing to see here.
The most opprobrium, though, belongs to the president. As the new Senate report makes absolutely clear, the White House knew within hours of the Benghazi attack that it was a terror attack and not a protest that became violent. "There was never any doubt among key officials ... that the attack in Benghazi was an act of terrorism. For example, two emails from the State Department Diplomatic Security Operations Center on the day of the attack, Sept. 11, and the day after, Sept. 12, 2012, characterized the
attack as an initial terrorism incident and as a terrorist event." Yet, when the president appeared on "60 Minutes," he said it was "too early" to know whether it was terror attack. On Sept. 18, he said "extremists and terrorists used this (the video) as an excuse to
attack a variety of our embassies, including the consulate in Libya."
The president persisted in this lie personally and through his surrogates for weeks, even as the contrary evidence became a tsunami. The lies were Nixonian in audacity, Johnsonian in scope. The president is right about one thing -- it isn't Susan Rice who should take the fall.
To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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