Friday, November 16, 2012

McCain's Benghazi Fail-- Was A Vainglorious Old U.S. Senator Responsible For The Tragedy In Benghazi?


-by Juan Adams

A few weeks back, I was lounging around catching up with the Sunday morning talk shows and happened upon Face The Nation where Senator John McCain was furiously spinning a conspiracy theory about the attack on the Benghazi consulate. His takeaway message was that there had either been gross incompetence or worse, a cover up. McCain's accusatory tone struck me as rather nasty conduct for a senator but I allowed that there might have been an element of grief. I too had questioned the rather lax security given the location and timing of the attack. McCain shook his head and seemed truly angry about the "repeated warnings." I was sympathetic to the anger that a former prisoner of war might feel at having lost a friend in a hostile attack. McCain has always been a huge advocate for protecting those who serve abroad. This was his issue and Stevens was his friend.

I went online to McCain's website and read the statement he issued upon hearing about the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens. But what I read neither reflected nor logically prefaced the vitriol I had just witnessed on TV. Suddenly, McCain's "outrage" began to take on a very foul aroma. McCain was practically calling out the president on covering up for these savages! But his memories of his time in Libya with Stevens painted a picture of a country on the fast track to being one of our greatest allies. McCain did not speak of terrorism but of first-time voters and of having been moved by the Libyan people's gratitude for America's support. Had McCain actually gone on TV to politicized the death of his friend?
"The last time I saw Chris was shortly after he had taken up his post, during my most recent visit to Tripoli. I especially remember the lighter moments we spent together, including when Chris insisted on personally making me a cappuccino, a task that he carried out with as much pride and proficiency as his diplomatic mission.

"That was on the morning of July 7-- the day Libyans voted in their first election in half a century. Chris and I spent the day together again, traveling around Tripoli, visiting polling places, and speaking with Libyan voters. We met a man whose father had been murdered by Qaddafi's henchmen. We met a woman whose brothers had recently given their lives fighting for their country's liberation. We met countless others, including many older Libyans, who were voting for the first time in their lives. And everywhere we went, we were greeted by crowds of cheering Libyans, bursting with pride and eager to shake our hands and express their gratitude for America's support. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life, and it was only made better by the fact that I got to share it with Chris.

"What we saw together on that day was the real Libya-- the peaceful desire of millions of people to live in freedom and democracy, the immense gratitude they felt for America's support for them, and their strong desire to build a new partnership between our nations. That is why I am not surprised that senior Libyan leaders were among the first to condemn the horrific attack that killed Chris and his colleagues. And that is why I was not surprised to learn from our Secretary of State that many Libyans fought to defend our people and our consulate in Benghazi when they came under attack, that some were wounded while doing so, and that it was Libyans who sought to get Chris and his colleagues to the hospital. This is the spirit of the Libyan people that I have come to know and admire. And that is why we cannot afford to view the despicable acts of violence perpetrated yesterday by a small group of fanatics as in any way representative of the country and the people of Libya. They are not the real Libya-- the Libya that Chris Stevens knew so well."

-From John McCain's Sept 12, 2012 statement on Chris Steven's death.
This "morning after" statement just did not square up with McCain's Face The Nation appearance six weeks later. "Terrorist attack" was not immediately on McCain's lips. Though he had suggested some kind of masterfully concealed coordinated attack when being interviewed by Bob Schieffer in late October, clearly on September 12, McCain believed the attack to have been carried out by "a small group of fanatics."

McCain's grotesque attempt to exploit the death of our Ambassador was not the only thing that troubled me. It was not his press release nor was it the fact that he himself had failed initially to characterized the attack as an act of terrorism. But I could not put my finger on it. I re-watched the segment and just got caught up in how a once honorable war hero had become a nasty little troll. Eventually, I just let it go but something would not let go of me.

That was two weeks ago. But this afternoon I watched as McCain sought to pin the whole of Benghazi on the back of Susan Rice. Calling her "not very bright." Again, it was that nasty tone of a man who could just not accept having lost his bid for the White House in 2008. But it rang a bell. Guilt? I went online trying to find the clip but the transcript was even better.
SCHIEFFER: What about-- what about what you just said about Libya? Are you saying now that this was a deliberate cover-up coming out of the Libya, that in fact this was not what the administration said it was, but something else entirely. And that, I guess, if it was a cover-up, are you saying they did it for political reasons?

MCCAIN: I don't know if it's either cover-up or gross-- the worst kind of incompetence, which doesn't allow-- doesn't qualify the president as commander in chief. You've got to-- the buildup to it. We knew of two attacks on our consulate. The British ambassador assassination attempt. Repeated warnings. Repeated warnings. The last message our beloved ambassador sent to us concerns about security in Benghazi. He had even voiced them to me when I was in Tripoli. Nothing was done.


I do not know how this got lost in the news cycle but on October 28th, John McCain clearly stated-- on national television-- that Ambassador Chris Stevens had directly voiced security concerns and McCain chose to do nothing. To this day, McCain has never been asked to explain what he did with the direct information from Stevens about these concerns but in light of the tragedy, perhaps we now have the perfect point from which to launch a Watergate-like investigation. After all, what was McCain's stated recollection the day after Stevens was brutally murdered? Proficiently crafted cappuccino. Gross incompetence, indeed...

Yesterday McCain was on the Today Show and McCain suggested he knew immediately that the Bengahzi attack was a pre-planned event. He also has removed his direct conversations with Stevens from his list of ignored warnings. It's a cover-up alright!

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At 6:10 AM, Anonymous grmce said...

What I have seen of John McCain over the years has shown him to be a cranky old narcissist. From what I have read of him he was always that way.

Like most narcissists he is capable of immense charm when it suits his purpose but the nastiness is always there.


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