In the years I’ve been watching politics and foreign affairs I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any story come unglued as fast as the Obama administration’s version of events on what happened to our diplomatic presence in Egypt and Libya on September 11, 2012. And I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a senior government official so completely repudiated in a mere week as was UN Ambassador Susan Rice.
When Ambassador Rice took to the Sunday shows last week, the implausible, even at the time, story she spun was one of the Arab street inflamed by a YouTube trailer to a video that may or may not exist. Since then we’ve learned that there was advanced warning of the attack, the staff at Benghazi was afraid an attack was in the offing, the attack was planned, it was led by a a graduate cum laude from Gitmo, and that the administration had decided not to provide US security forces for the embassy in Tripoli or the Benghazi consulate. To paraphrase Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman, “every word she says is a lie including “and” and “the””.
It is hard to paint Rice’s actions in any but the harshest light. Either the administration did not have access to the same facts as the rest of us, like the statement from the Libyan government, and made a conscious decision to try to bluff their way through events relying on the inactivity of a supine press or they did have the information and chose to lie about the events to put themselves in the best possible light. In either case, Rice should resign. But she won’t because she needs the job more than she needs integrity.