It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail was brought to you by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. (Is there a pool yet on how long it’ll be before she turns in her resignation? I’m giving it two weeks.) There are probably a lot more people to blame for what was revealed about the department’s revisions to government talking points during and after the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya. Here’s why I’m singling her out:
One of the emails obtained by ABC shows . . . Nuland objecting to a paragraph in the talking points that referenced specific terrorist threats in the region because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings.”
So, uh . . . how’s that going? Anyway, the story gets even more confusing:
A source . . . [says] Nuland was raising two concerns about the CIA’s first version of talking points, which were going to be sent to Congress: 1) The talking points went further than what she was allowed to say about the attack during her state department briefings; and, 2) she believed the CIA was attempting to exonerate itself at the State Department’s expense by suggesting CIA warnings about the security situation were ignored.
Whatever her true motivation, we know this: Despite the insistence of the administration, they did have a hand in crafting the talking points and they weren’t purely the work of intelligence agencies. Initial reports that the attack was sparked by protests against a stupid anti-Muslim video were flat-out wrong. The CIA knew there were terror threats in the region. And requests for bulked-up security went unanswered.
Until someone produces a document showing that President Obama and/or then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were also directly involved with the talking points, lower-level officials will be the only ones who belong in the firing line. I hate to disappoint Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who is already talking impeachment despite there being no evidence of an impeachable offense on Obama’s part, not even what would qualify as perjury. (Just kidding. I love to disappoint Inhofe.) But, so far, his and Clinton’s only mistakes were to trust their subordinates not to screw things up.
If you don’t want Congress to “beat up” your department for ignoring warnings, there’s a simple way to avoid that: Don’t ignore warnings. And don’t ignore requests for security that relate to said warnings. If you can’t do that, tell the truth before people see you piling misstep on top of misstep.