by Darryl, 11/20/2012, 6:39 PM

Uh-oh. It looks like the looney-tune Wingnut brigade is going to have to find some other “thing” to call a White House “scandal” (source):

CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes.

As Paul Waldman pointed out last week, the Republicans have a serious problem—Obama has nearly completed his first term, and their isn’t a real White House scandal anywhere in sight. Oh, sure, we had “beer summit-gate,” and then the moral fabric of our society was nearly put through the shredder by Biden’s “Big Fucking Deal!” But somehow the public responded with an amused or bemused smile and a vote for Obama—Biden.

This leaves the Republicans with a chronic case of scandal envy. (Oh…the humanity!) I mean, the Benghazi thing is, obviously, entirely vacuous. Suppose the White House had changed Ms. Rice’s qualified (and, in retrospect, partially wrong) assessment of the situation. Who gives a shit? What difference does it make? Waldman sums it up thusly:

If you’re looking at the Republican harumphing over Benghazi and asking yourself, “Why are we supposed to be so mad about this again?” you’re not alone. Let’s review: There was an attack on our consulate that killed four Americans, including our ambassador. Amid confusing and contradictory reports from the ground, President Obama waited too long to utter the magic incantation, “Terrorism, terrorists, terror!” that would have … well, it would have done something, but it turns out that he did say “terror,” so never mind that. But that’s not the real scandal! The real scandal is that Susan Rice went on television soon after and amid all kinds of “based on the best information we have”s and “we’ll have to see”s, said one thing that turned out not to be the case: that after the protests in Cairo, there was some kind of copycat protest in Benghazi, which was then “hijacked” by extremist elements using heavy weapons to stage an attack.

A sane person might say, OK, she was obviously given some incorrect information at that time, but it’s not a particularly meaningful deception. As people have been pointing out for weeks now, it’s not as though not using the word “terror” or saying there was a protest before the attack gave the White House some enormous political advantage. If you’re going to have a cover-up, there has to be something you’re covering up.

But the White House didn’t make the changes. It was at a number of stops through the intelligence screening process where the edits happened—on the road from a classified intelligence assessment to a public statement about something that was still under active investigation. The edits are even more comprehensible (well…to folks living in the reality based community, anyway) considering that the attack ended up at a CIA annex about a mile from the consulate. The existence of that CIA facility was a secret prior to the attacks.

So, our friends in the right-wing-nut-o-sphere are left without much of anything in the way of White House scandals, so far. But I’m thinkin’ that one of these days, some reporter is going to catch President Obama in an undisclosed smoke-free location with a coffin nail hangin’ from his lips.


13 Responses to “The incredible shrinking scandally thing”

1. Alki Area spews:

If the Republican’s don’t get the “crazy” out of their party (and their party’s spokespeople…I’m looking at your Fox News) they’re at risk of becoming a national joke. The Republicans, that party that doesn’t believe in evolution, that thinks rape pregnancies are gods gift, whines about the deficit but NEVER ever pays for anything they want (Iraq War, Homeland Security, Drug Plan expansion, etc). Somewhere in that party there is still a core of sane folks, I swear, some ACTUAL real fiscal conservatives who aren’t paranoid about gays, concerned about your vagina, or generally want to be the moral guardians of the country (via the power of the U.S. government).

2. YLB gloats "Paul Ryan is Shocked.. Shocked.." spews:

What?? No scandal? No impeachment vote?

Now we return to the impending fiscal cliff..

The right wing dings will cook up something eventually. As sure as Seattle rain in November.

3. Rael spews:

Hey all – been traveling overseas … watching a total solar eclipse. Sorry for the lack of dialogue.

The whole right wing Benghazi reaction has clearly been an attempt to politicize the hell out of something/anything before the election. To some extent that is understandable, as in it is part of the game of politics. To try to extend it beyond that would be inexcusable, IMO.

When it comes to classified info involving foreign governments it is standard diplomatic practice NOT to share everything immediately with the American people & the world. The right wing claim that the American people were not told the whole truth “soon enough” is ridiculous on its face.

The election is over. All parties should accept the results and get on to the business of governing responsibly. Let’s hope they do.

4. expatchad spews:

How was the Aussie ‘clipse? Did you miss the Republican eclipse?

No matter, you can hear echoes still…

5. Rael spews:

Still enjoying the Republican eclipse …

The total eclipse in Australia was amazing.

6. expatchad spews:

Experienced totality many years ago in the Yakima valley. Watching the shadow sweep down the valley was only surpassed by the roosters crowing.

A group of modern day Druid wannabes was gathering at the Stonehenge monument at Goldendale :->

Is this off-topic?

I thought mentioning shadows and Druids would qualify it.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

Wow. The intelligence people edited Ms. Rice’s statement to make sure she didn’t tip off the terrorists that our government was looking for them. Big fucking wow.

8. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:


It’s a window into the absolute desperation on the Republican side that this is what they’re running with.

That, and McCain’s profound sense of entitlement and frustration over “that one” beating him for the Presidency.

I notice puddl hasn’t posted on this thread – inconvenient facts are like garlic to a vampire with ‘that one’.

9. ArtFart spews:

To top it off, it appears Israel and Hamas have declared a cease-fire. It seems the prophets of doom will have to find something else to screech about–or better yet shut up, take a few days off and enjoy Thanksgiving along with the rest of us.

10. MikeBoyScout spews:

and somewhere in the right wing echo chamber of bitter wingnut tears Uncle Puddles cries.

11. Serial conservative spews:

But the White House didn’t make the changes.

Well, no, apparently not. But they were made at the office of an Obama appointee and they were parroted by another Obama appointee.

Suppose the White House had changed Ms. Rice’s qualified (and, in retrospect, partially wrong) assessment of the situation. Who gives a shit?

Indeed, who gives a shit about some third-rate burglary of a hotel room in DC?

12. doggril spews:

@1 “…they’re at risk of becoming a national joke.”
Heh, that horse is not only out of the barn, but way down the road.

13. doggril spews:

@11 – OMDFG! There are Obama appointees in government???? Call all the newspapers!!! We’ve got a scandal on our hands!!!