Was someone trying to cover up the details of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi on September 11? Senator John McCain in particular has been very critical of UN Ambassador Susan Rice because of what she said on the Sunday talk shows after the attack.
"What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful, very offensive video."
She blamed the attack on that nasty anti-Muslim video. Now, General Petraeus has told members of Congress that yes, the attack on the consulate seemed to grow spontaneously out of a protest, but within 24 hours the CIA had determined that the attack was indeed a planned terrorist attack.
Democratic Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger spoke after the briefing:
"There were extremists in the group and they were al-Qaeda affiliates, somewhere al-Qaeda affiliates."
Which would make the question 'who gave Susan Rice bad information and why.' But I don't think that's what's behind this debate. What's behind it is the frustration among some members of Congress that we don't control the Middle East the way we used to.
Libya's beyond our control even though we helped liberate the place, Egypt is no longer in our pocket, Iran ignores us. And some in Congress seem to be pining for the days when the Middle East was controlled by dictators, but at least they were our dictators.
Well, too late. Nine years ago, we sent a message loud and clear:
"The Democratic revolution that has reached across the globe will finally take root in the Middle East." -President Bush, Nov. 3, 2003
Wishes never seem to be granted in quite the way you expect.