The PJ Tatler

White House to Send Susan Rice (!) To Lobby Congress on Syria


On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough had no answer to a very obvious question from Fox’s Chris Wallace:

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough failed to answer repeated questions on Sunday about why the U.S. after one year has failed to arrest Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has been charged in connection with the Benghazi attacks.

“Why is it that reporters seems to be able to find this guy, who the government is charging with involvement in Benghazi, but law enforcement can’t find him?” Fox News host Chris Wallace asked, adding “it’s been a year, sir.”

“You know what the United States does?” McDonough replied. “We track every lead until we find and can accomplish what we do.”

Wallace asked again, but McDonough’s answer didn’t get any better. The obvious takeaway from that interview is that the Obama White House just doesn’t want to nab anyone responsible for killing for Americans in Benghazi. They didn’t even bother to come up with a half decent talking point. With American credibility on the line in the form of terrorists who killed Americans with impunity, the Obama White House just doesn’t care.

Now, it turns out that the White House has no answer for another obvious question: Who on earth thinks it’s a good idea to send Susan Rice to lobby Congress to bomb Syria?

In an astonishing display of either ignorance or brazenness, the White House will mark the first anniversary of the Benghazi terrorist attack this Wednesday by sending National Security Adviser Susan Rice to Capitol Hill to argue the administration’s case for military force in Syria. Rice infamously delivered false talking points on national television, blaming the Benghazi attacks on a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Islam YouTube video. Sending Rice to Congress to brief members on Syria is like sending Typhoid Mary to lecture on public health. Her credibility is, to use a diplomatic term, limited.

Indeed. On the first anniversary of the assault on Benghazi, Susan Rice is the absolute worst person for this job. Yet here we are. Maybe she’ll blame the Assad regime’s decades of enmity with the US on Ishtar.

Sending Susan “It was a movie!” Rice to lobby Congress has to be either John Kerry’s or Barack Obama’s call.

This administration simply is not serious. Take it, Norm Podhoretz:

It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama’s way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as “incompetent,” “bungling,” “feckless,” “amateurish” and “in over his head” coming from his political opponents on the right.

For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days—and then goes off to play golf before embarking on a trip to another part of the world? As if this were not enough, he also assures the perpetrator of that great evil that the military action he will eventually take will last a very short time and will do hardly any damage. Unless, that is, he fails to get the unnecessary permission he has sought from Congress, in which case (according to an indiscreet member of his own staff) he might not take any military action after all.

Podhoretz comes to the conclusion that Obama is wrecking American foreign policy on purpose to achieve the “fundamental transformation” he threatened to unleash a few days before his election in 2008. Podhoretz makes a good case, and Obama’s choices and behaviors seal it.

I mean, really, Susan Rice on the anniversary of Benghazi to lobby Congress to authorize another misguided foreign military adventure?

No one is that stupid.