Nearly 100 House Republicans sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him not to name Susan Rice as Hillary Clinton’s successor at the State Department. Its tortured reasoning exposes the flimsiness of the GOP’s crusade to make Rice a scapegoat for the Benghazi tragedy.
The letter’s signatories, led by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, are among the many Republicans angry and suspicious over the the way Rice characterized the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in multiple television appearances five days after it occurred. To be sure, some important unanswered questions linger here, including why security was so inadequate and why the White House was slow to acknowledge that a premeditated terrorist attack had occurred.
(MORE: The Pros and Cons of Picking Susan Rice for State)
But Rice’s role isn’t an especially interesting or important one. In her Sept. 16 television appearances Rice contended that the attacks seemed related to worldwide protests against an infamous anti-Islamic video, protests that we now know never occurred in Benghazi. Judging by the outrage of some Republicans, you would think Rice had left the consulate’s front gate unlocked. Far from arguing that Rice knowingly did anything wrong, the letter’s Republican signatories complain that she has been perceived, by non-specified actors, as having lost “credibility” in the affair…