November 21, 2012

After milking the "What did Susan Rice know about Benghazi and when did she know it?" non-troversy for enough time to render himself ridiculous for missing a critical closed door Senate briefing to get that oh-so-important airtime on cable news and triggering a Twitter hashtag meme, John McCain is back-pedaling....slightly:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today issued a statement essentially conceding that he was wrong in accusing the White House of changing U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points on Benghazi for political purposes. [..]

Intelligence officials told CNN yesterday that the intelligence community was responsible for the changes made to Rice’s talking points. The Director of National Intelligence spokesperson said that the White House did not make any “substantive changes.”

McCain responded today and instead of taking issue with the substance of the report, the Arizona Republican wondered why administration and intelligence officials didn’t offer this information in closed door sessions:

“I participated in hours of hearings in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week regarding the events in Benghazi, where senior intelligence officials were asked this very question, and all of them – including the Director of National Intelligence himself – told us that they did not know who made the changes. Now we have to read the answers to our questions in the media. There are many other questions that remain unanswered. But this latest episode is another reason why many of us are so frustrated with, and suspicious of, the actions of this Administration when it comes to the Benghazi attack.”

Wait, does that mean that John McCain changed his public stance after receiving new and more specific intelligence? Imagine that.

But that doesn't mean that Grampy McSame likes Ambassador Rice any more than he did last week. Despite being armed with information that exculpates Rice of his major criticism, McCain has not yet retracted his vow to block Rice's presumptive nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Of course, it may be that the same man who thought Sarah Palin was imminently qualified to be one heartbeat away from the presidency still thinks that Harvard alum Rice is not 'qualified' to be Secretary of State.

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