Benghazi bureaucratic blame game escalates
Now that the Big Lie about the Mohammed Video that helped re-elect Barack Obama has been exposed, the people involved are worried about becoming the fall guy. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post thinks Victoria Nuland, of the State Department is being pushed into the role of the patsy:
A summary of e-mail exchanges involving her has circulated to news outlets, and it places her, falsely, in the thick of the controversy about the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice eventually used on the Sunday shows. (snip)
It is noteworthy that those involved in Friday night's e-mail exchange were all communications people; no political figures and no policy makers. It is not the communications people who bear any responsibility for the scrubbing that went on over the weekend. In my own reporting, I have previously noted that Nuland studiously refused to confirm the "video made them do it" story line or the spontaneous demonstration cover story coming out of the White House. The difference between what she was saying (it's under investigation, we don't know, ask the White House) was noticeably different from what we heard coming from the White House, which perpetuated the video narrative again and again.
It's inviting to blame the State Department spokeswoman. But whatever Hillary Clinton did or didn't do (including dispatching chief of staff Cheryl Mills) happened after that Friday night. Isn't it time to get those deputies, Petraeus and Clinton herself back to testify? If nothing else, it is time to stop blaming the little people.
Yes, let's hear from Petraeus. Joseph Curl of the Washington Times can hardly wait:
With the White House putting all blame on the agency, expect push back this week - nuclear push back. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former director forced to resign after a sex scandal, is a dangerous man to the Obama administration. Mad and intent on getting even, he's already talking, telling one reporter the talking points were "useless" and that he preferred not to use them at all. The floodgates will open this week, and by the end of business Friday, the scandal will be full blown.
This does promise to be an interesting week. Like scorpions in a bottle, the various parties are circling each other. The real battle here is between Hillary Clinton and President Obama, but letting the smaller scorpions battle first is a necessary step.
One of my favorite scenes in all th emovies I have seen is in The Maltese Falcon, as Humphrey Bogart playing Sam Spade discusses choosing a fall guy. We're about to see something a bit similar play out on our TV screens.