President Calls McCain/Graham Attacks ‘Outrageous’

This was probably the highlight of today's press conference. And "outrageous" barely begins to describe the witch hunt over Benghazi.

There a lot of bitter, angry Republicans on the Hill who would like nothing more than to cripple the second Obama term with an ongoing Lewinsky/Watergate/Iran-Contra style investigation-meets-impeachment fiasco.

And once again, no one asked these questions of the Bush administration following 9/11 when there were 2,977 casualties -- 2,973 more casualties than in Benghazi, and yet both Graham and McCain voted for Condoleezza Rice's confirmation as Secretary of State.

Adding... Zirgar in the comments reminded me of this list of embassy attacks during the Bush administration:

June 14, 2002, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide bomber kills 12 and injures 51.

February 20, 2003, international diplomatic compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Truck bomb kills 17.

February 28, 2003, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Gunmen on motorcycles killed two consulate guards.

July 30, 2004, U.S. embassy in Taskkent, Uzbekistan
Suicide bomber kills two.

December 6, 2004, U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Militants stormed and occupied perimeter wall. Five killed, 10 wounded.

March 2, 2006, U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan
Suicide car bomber killed four, including a U.S. diplomate directly targeted by the assailants.

September 12, 2006, U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria
Gunmen attacked embassy with grenades, automatic weapons, and a car bomb (though second truck bomb failed to detonate). One killed and 13 wounded.

January 12, 2007, U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece
A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the embassy building. No one was injured.

July 9, 2008, U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
Armed men attacked consulate with pistols and shotguns. Three policemen killed.

March 18, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack misses embassy, hits nearby girls' school instead.

September 17, 2008, U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen
Militants dressed as policemen attacked the embassy with RPGs, rifles, grenades and car bombs. Six Yemeni soldiers and seven civilians were killed. Sixteen more were injured.

Not a word from McCain or Graham on any of those attacks. I wonder why.

Update... transcription of the president's remarks (via Ashby)

But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace.

As I've said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.

If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. Ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.

We're after an election now. I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi and I'm happy to cooperate in any ways that congress wants. We've provided every bit of information we have. And we will continue to provide information. And we've got a full blown investigation. And all that information will be disgorged to congress.

I don't think there's any debate in this country than when you have four Americans killed, that's a problem. And we've got to get to the bottom of it. And there needs to be accountability. We've got to bring those who carried out it out to justice. They won't get any debate from me on that. But when they go after the U.N. Ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me.

And should I chose.. if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity of the State Department then I will nominate her. That's not a determination that I've made yet.

  • bphoon

    Lawrence O’Donnell just eviscerated both McCain and Graham over this, a rant I wholeheartedly agree with.

    McCain–or any Republican–saying things like, “…we’re all responsible for what we say and what we do…” and “…she ignores evidence on the face of it…” would be just comical if it wasn’t also so pathetic.

  • bphoon

    But when they go after the U.N. Ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.

    Excellent. Just excellent.

    Keep up the fire.

  • muselet

    In response to Barack Obama’s defense of Susan Rice, Lindsey Graham realeased the following statement:

    Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi.  I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.

    We owe it to the American people and the victims of this attack to have full, fair hearings and accountability be assigned where appropriate. Given what I know now, I have no intention of promoting anyone who is up to their eyeballs in the Benghazi debacle.

    What a sad, childish little man is Lindsey Graham.


    • D_C_Wilson

      And of course, the fact that other than one appearance on a Sunday morning talk show, Ambassador Rice was never “up to her eyeballs” in Benghazi is completely irrelevant to this little turd.

      Gawd. And to think there was once a time when this shit was considered one of the “reasonable” republicans.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      You mean, what a foul, despiciable excuse of an American is Lindsey Graham.

  • Zen Diesel

    It looks like John “Abe Simpson” McCain missed his naptime.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Old Man Yells at Cloud.

      • Zen Diesel

        is unreal that the man who unleashed “Caribou Barbie aka The Palin” on us 4 yrs ago, has the balls to open his mouth about Susan Rice. The party of Grumpy Old Men really need to fuckin come back to reality.

    • Zen Diesel

      It is unreal that the man who unleashed “Caribou Barbie aka The Palin” on us 4 yrs ago, has the balls to open his mouth about Susan Rice. The party of Grumpy Old Men really need to fuckin come back to reality.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I have to admit I’m surprised at how quickly the impeachment seeds were planted after the election. I expect hearings to begin around the beginning of July.

    I’ve been thinking, too, that President Obama will probably do a lot better in the face of impeachment than President Clinton did, because the latter knew he had done something wrong. Obama knows he hasn’t. Conversely, Republicans knew they had something on Clinton; they just miscalculated how much the public would care (they thought it was still 1988; see: Gary Hart). They know they’ve got nothing on Obama.

    I’m not looking forward to the impeachment, as it will seriously befoul the business of governing, as it did in 1998-99. But it’s going to be entertaining.

    • JWheels

      I can understand that many of the Republicans badly want to impeach the President. One problem though is what would the charges be? My understanding is there has to be some kind of legitimate criminal violation that could be found against anyone in a regular court in order to carry out an impeachment against a federal official. I have trouble believing they would even be able to come up with a plausible charge to level against him, other than possibly abuse of power which was tried against Clinton and didn’t pass the house, and it would be a very difficult charge to prove.

      The next problem is once articles of impeachment are actually approved by the House, the trial is still held in the Senate. When Clinton was impeached in 1998, Republicans held a five seat majority in the U.S. Senate. But it actually takes a two thirds majority to convict in an impeachment trial. With a Democratic majority for at least the next two years, unless Republicans waited until 2014 (with no guarantee they can hold on to the house after that) it’s very unlikely a vote to convict would even come close to passing.

      I would be very happy to see the Republicans try this because I’m pretty sure it would be political suicide. Unless the President snaps and shoots Mitch McConnell in the head, I don’t see the Republicans being able to come up with charges that could stick.

      • D_C_Wilson

        “High crimes and misdemeanors” means whatever a majority in the House decides it means. That’s the sad truth.

        I seriously doubt the GOP expects to remove Pres. Obama from office by impeachment. And I doubt they want to deal with a Pres. Biden either. If and when they do impeach Obama, it’ll be because they a) want to keep his administration tied up defending him and b) they’ve made the calculation that another impeachment debacle will do the democrats more damage in 2016 than the backlash will do to them.

      • bphoon

        With a Democratic majority for at least the next two years, unless Republicans waited until 2014 (with no guarantee they can hold on to the house after that) it’s very unlikely a vote to convict would even come close to passing.

        That didn’t seem to bother them in ’98. That’s why I’m a Democrat today.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      If these Republican asswipes dare to try and impeach Obama, they’re going to be in for a big surprise. As last week’s election results proved, Americans have shown zero tolerance to the shenanigans the party of no have pulled. They’re already in a downward spiral and this act will just speed up the process.

  • JWheels

    His tone when he said “… then they’ve got a problem with me” tells me President Obama might take a more badass approach in his second term, and I mean he’s not going to take shit. I could be wrong, but it would be great to see him more directly confronting the assholes out there.

    • gescove

      The President seems willing to take the gloves off and that is excellent!

    • MrDHalen

      I think we’re going to be blown away at how the President plays his chess vs. checkers politics with the Republicans this term. Pay attention, because we may be witnessing one of the greatest politicians of our lifetimes in action.

      All people have a skill or art, the President’s skill is driving Republicans insane. This term, he’s going to paint his master piece.
      (Lifted from Man on Fire.) :-)

    • D_C_Wilson

      From his tone, it’s clear the president’s patience with these republican douchebags is at an end. He’s tried negotiating and reaching across the aisle. He’s tried reaching a “grand bargain” with them. He’s watched as republicans voted against bills they helped write simply to deny him any positive press.

      It’s on.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      We should all break out the popcorn. It’ll be fun to watch.

  • Brutlyhonest

    In his follow-up to Karl’s question, that asshat from faux news, in addition to failing to show any respect for the President when called upon, actually referred to the Benghazi attack as “nine eleven”.

    The President is a much better man than I. I couldn’t be pleasant to these people.

  • paleotectonics

    How dare you libtards!?!11!
    The fact is, Sept. 11 was done by animals who hate our freedom!
    Benghazi was done by teh socialistical Obamasama junta, along with Solyndra, for the purpose of forcing out the wonderful David Petraeus and take away our guns!
    (Hmmm. Not bad. I can haz thinkertank nao?)

  • zirgar

    Yeah, and all those new ones you added, too!

  • zirgar

    Hmmm, I wonder if McCain ever raised a stink in 1983 when the US embassy was bombed in Beirut, during Reagan’s presidency, where 63 people were killed, or when the Marine barracks, later that same year, again under Reagan, and again in Beirut, were bombed and almost 300 people died, or when the US embassy in Kuwait was bombed, again, under Reagan, in 1984, and 6 people were killed, or when the US embassy annex, northeast of *gasp* Beirut was bombed and 24 people died, again, under Reagan, in 1984…

    Where was the outrage over all that, when it looks like a total catastrophic failure to keep anyone safe in or around Beirut?

    • Brutlyhonest

      Also remember how they howled about cutting & running when, after the Marines and Sailors were killed in the barracks attack, St Ronnie the Raygun ordered us to pack up and leave?

    • Victor_the_Crab

      But… it’s Ronald Reagan, the greatest American since Jesus Christ! HOW DARE YOU DRAG THIS GREAT MAN’S NAME THROUGH THE SHITPILE, BLASPHEMERE!

  • Razor

    McCain is so bitter. And Graham is the Harley Quinn to his Joker.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Makes sense, since Romney is Two-Face.

      • Razor

        And Cheney’s The Penguin.