NSA Spying: The diplomat who blamed four American deaths in Benghazi on a video claims the denials by the director of national intelligence of blanket surveillance of Americans were inadvertent false representations.
For viewers, it was deja vu all over again.
Rice went on five Sunday talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012, five days after an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack killed four Americans — including the first U.S. ambassador to die on duty in three decades — to parrot the administration lie that it was a spontaneous demonstration provoked by a video. This time, she claimed she had no time to revisit a "false controversy" about talking points, or, as President Obama has described Benghazi, just one of many "phony scandals."
Rice did have time, though, to repeat the line that she subbed for Secretary Hillary Clinton that Sunday because Clinton "had just gone through an incredibly painful and stressful week" and "had to reach out to the families, had to greet the bodies upon their arrival at Andrews Air Force Base."
Part of that stressful week in September 2012 included Clinton repeating the video lie to Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, one of the four killed in Benghazi, in front of his son's casket.
"Her countenance was not good, and she made this statement to me . .. she said we will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted," he told radio host Glenn Beck.
On a more recent controversy, the National Security Agency's blanket surveillance program, which U.S. District Judge Richard Leon recently said was in violation of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure, Rice defended Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his defense of the program.
Seven GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday called for a perjury investigation of Clapper for his false testimony to Congress in March about the NSA. Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, if the NSA collected "any type of data at all on millions of Americans." Clapper responded with a "No, sir."
"There are cases," Clapper added, "where they could inadvertently perhaps collect (intelligence on Americans), but not wittingly."
When that was exposed as a lie, Clapper denied lying, telling NBC news afterward:
"I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying 'no.'"
Asked about this by CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes," Rice said this and other statements about the NSA program were merely "inadvertently made false representations."
Still, Rice insisted, NSA surveillance has been worth the shredding of the Constitution. She also argued "the fact that we have not had a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11 should not be diminished." She apparently forgot the Boston marathon bombing.
In that case, the NSA's blanket surveillance did not detect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's reported interest in building the pressure-cooker bombs that would be used to devastating effect. Nor did it catch his visit to the al-Qaida online magazine Inspire for its "Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" recipe.
Neither did the massive databases uncover the online communications that Tsarnaev had with a known Muslim extremist in Dagestan.
This is the most opaque administration in history, and trotting out Rice to whitewash hers and other people's lies doesn't help, even if her statements might have been the least untruthful she's capable of making. As Clinton et al might put it, what difference does it make now anyway?Read more at Investor's Business Daily