Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited On The Record last night to comment on “the State Department’s response” to the attacks in Libya. Although she did not absolve the Obama administration of any failures, she left no doubt that she sees no current evidence of wrongdoing and that the proper way to answer the questions left in the aftermath is through a real investigation. She also diplomatically shot down the overheated speculation that has run rampant on Fox lately.
Although Fox has been rabidly attentive to uncovering evidence of some kind of Obama administration failure in the attacks, I have yet to see any concern on the "fair nd balanced" network for Bush administration failures in both preventing the 9/11 attacks and/or the invasion of Iraq over the faulty premise that it had weapons of mass destruction. Rice, herself, famously said that nobody “could have predicted” that an airplane would be hijacked and used “as a missile” - even though there had been warnings long before. Kurt Eichenwald presents a devastating assessment of the Bush administration’s negligence over intelligence warnings shortly before 9/11 in a New York Times editorial on September 10, 2012, one day before the Benghazi attacks. But as fixated as Fox has been on Obama administration failures in Benghazi, even before any official investigation, that’s just how disinterested they have been in documented Bush administration failures regarding 9/11.
Despite Rice’s own role in those Bush administration failings, she still has at least some credibility on the issue of attacks on an American consulate. She certainly has more cred than Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr., e.g.
Here’s what Rice told Van Susteren:
The Accountability Review Board… will indeed take a look at whether or not the preparations were adequate, given what was known about the intelligence picture. I myself have received reports from Accountability Review Boards.
…There’s then the issue about what people on the ground did or did not know about what was going on. There, I know that Chairman Mike Rogers wants the Intelligence Committees to look at questions of what the …intelligence community knew, how they communicated that to policy makers and that’s the appropriate venue for that discussion.
…When things are unfolding very, very quickly, it’s not always easy to know what is going on on the ground.
…There’s a big picture to be examined here but we don’t have all of the pieces and I think it’s easy to try and jump to conclusions about what might have happened here. It’s probably better to let the relevant bodies do their work.
…When there is a fog of war like this, there are a lot of competing stories coming in, there’s a lot of competing information coming in and it takes a little while to know precisely what has happened.
…There are protocols in place. I have no reason to believe that they weren’t followed. But it is not very easy in circumstances like this to know precisely what’s going on as it’s unfolding.
That’s a far cry from Van Susteren’s sensational suggestions the night before of some kind of cover up or bungling or both. But don’t hold your breath that the tenor of the coverage on her show or any other will change any time soon.
In fact, I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of the General since that interview. He’s apparently been replaced by a certain Mike Baker who was a CIA field operative (perhaps under the General).
Now, why would the foxies prefer to air the opinions of an indian instead of the chief? Could it be because the chief didn’t give them what they wanted which was to hurl foaming at the mouth accusations at the present administration?
Even Mike Roger, who was borderline reasonable at the start, has come back “on message” for the campaign.
“â¦Thereâs a big picture to be examined here but we donât have all of the pieces and I think itâs easy to try and jump to conclusions about what might have happened here. Itâs probably better to let the relevant bodies do their work.”
“â¦When there is a fog of war like this, there are a lot of competing stories coming in, thereâs a lot of competing information coming in and it takes a little while to know precisely what has happened.”
Y’know, it just hit me . . .
All you have to do is change today’s date from October 25th to September 12th, and the year from 2012 to 2001, and Condi’s above statements would be appropriate — largely because that’s almost a duplicate of what was said then:
“I donât think anybody could have predicted that these peopleâ¦would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile,â Rice said.
In any case, the next time Condi appears on Fox, expect her to be punished for her failure to aggressively blame Obama with the reward of a “(D)” behind her name . . .