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Bridget Johnson


September 26, 2012 - 3:17 pm

A group of GOP senators are pressing U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice over her statements that the Benghazi attack was the result of a “spontaneous reaction.”

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote Rice, telling her that she made “several troubling statements that are inconsistent with the facts and require explanation.”

On Meet the Press on Sept. 16, Rice said, “What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.” Speaking on Fox News Sunday, she said, “We are of the view that this is not an expression of hostility in the broader sense toward the United States or U.S. policy. It’s approximately a reaction to this video…”

On Sept. 14, Libyan President Mohamed Yousef el Magariaf said the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was “preplanned.”  When she followed the Libyan leader two days later on Face the Nation, Rice again described the attacks as “spontaneous” and said the attacks were not “preplanned.”

“You repeatedly asserted the implausible explanation that the attack in Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to the video despite growing evidence to the contrary,” the senators wrote.

“You were surely aware of these facts on September 16 when you made your remarks. Yet, these facts, including the unlikely coincidence that the attack was conducted on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, did not prevent you from making confident and counterintuitive assertions to the contrary.”

The Republicans demanded a response from Rice explaining “how the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations could characterize an attack on a U.S. consulate so inaccurately five days after a terrorist attack that killed four Americans.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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