Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Politics Can't Cast Fog over Racism, Sexism

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Politics Can't Cast Fog over Racism, Sexism

Article excerpt

There are many things still uncertain about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the Obama administration's role in the tragic matter.

But one thing is certain: If a black official's job performance cannot be criticized without his or her fellow partisans accusing the critics of racism -- reflexively, and in highly personal terms - - then we are still nowhere near living in a post-racial society.

Left-wing partisans didn't stop there, though: They claimed that criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was motivated by sexism too. Perhaps they do protest too much -- which raises the question, why?

Last Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded very soberly to seven minutes of questions from CBS staff. He declined, when asked, to pass judgment on Gen. David Petraeus's bizarre sex scandal, asserting, "I'm much more concerned about the loss of four American lives in Benghazi, the president not telling the truth about what happened there, and what he knew and when he knew it."

"You think the president misled us?" Charlie Rose asked.

"I know he did." Mr. McCain then laid out the case that both President Barack Obama and Ms. Rice continued to assert that "a spontaneous flash mob" was responsible for the 9/11 massacre long after they knew it to be false.

Asked to defend his announcement that he would oppose Ms. Rice's potential nomination as secretary of state, Mr. McCain calmly said, "She's not qualified. Anyone who goes on national television in defiance of the facts five days [after the attack] ... [R]ight after, the president of the Libyan National Assembly said, 'It was al-Qaida,' and yet she never changed her story."

Pressed on his account, Mr. McCain said, "The casual observer [of video from the scene] knew that there was no demonstration. ... If you're going to tell the American people something, you better make damn sure it's true."

But the Obama administration officials who watched that video in real time, as the crisis unfolded, were far from "casual observers." And Mr. McCain is far from alone in asserting that these officials knew from the start this was a well-planned terrorist plot and not a spontaneous response to a lone American's anti-Islamic video.

On Thursday, members of congressional intelligence committees got to see that classified video. The same day, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., echoed Mr. …

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