Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-The Taliban) is very, VERY concerned about all the lies that the Obama Administration has been telling about Benghazi, and so to even things up, he has some lies of his own to tell! On Fox News, Rohrabacher told Greta Van Susteren that he was convinced that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied like crazy about the attacks when discussing them on Sunday talk shows five days later:
“They knew within a matter of hours, if not right away, that this was an organized, armed hit job by al-Qaida, probably, but an organized, commanded effort to murder our people,” Rohrabacher charged, dismissing Rice’s assertion that “movie rage,” as the congressman put it, was the catalyst behind the attack.
“That was a lie. They knew it was lie when they said it,” the California Republican said. “When they sent out Ambassador Rice to all the talk shows, they knew that was not the truth. When you tell something that’s not the truth to the American people, especially in the middle of a crisis, they shouldn’t expect to get away with it and be forgiven.”
Oh, except that’s kind of not really what Rice said? That’s probably all right, though, since it’s on Fox, so getting something only half right is a step up for them?
As Slate’s David Weigel notes, Rice did repeat the now-disproven claim that there was a demonstration against the anti-Muslim video in Benghazi, but she didn’t say that the attack with heavy weapons was solely related to the video. Much of the argument boils down to parsing Rice’s remarks on ABC:
But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to — or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in — in the wake of the revolution in Libya are — are quite common and accessible. And it then evolved from there.
As Weigel points out,
The question really hangs on the issue of spontaneity — and Rice, in a lawyerly way, differentiated between the “Innocence of Muslims” protest and the attack, saying that there was an “an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed.”
Further, Rice, like pretty much everyone else at the time, was dealing with the assumption that the attack in Benghazi and the protests in Cairo were both motivated by the same thing — the video — which seemed, at the moment, to be the case. Even Mitt Romney thought so, as indicated by his statesmanlike statesment stating that the President of the United States “sympathized” with the people who attacked U.S. embassies. What a hero!
As to the notion that Rice denied that the attack was a pre-planned act of terrorism, she said no such thing. Speaking to Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, Rice actually gave a fairly routine “non-denial denial,” which is not really all that surprising in a situation where information is still uncertain:
SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with [the Libyan president] that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
RICE: We do not — we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
SCHIEFFER: Do you agree or disagree with him that al-Qaeda had some part in this?
RICE: Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean, I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al-Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al-Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.
Glenn Kessler has much more detail on all of this, comparing what Rice said with what Rice’s critics, particularly John McCain, have said that she said (or so we say).
It would appear that the huge scandal here is that the Administration may have known more about events in Benghazi than they immediately announced, although they were saying some of it right away, which is horrible because they either were confused and said they needed to find out more, or they were less confused than they let on, but misled the public by saying they were still finding out what happened. Such horrible lies. In any case, it is becoming increasingly clear that Barack Obama failed to be omniscient on Benghazi, and should therefore stop claiming to be the Messiah. INPEACH!