Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid obviously has had enough of this carnival. Tuesday afternoon he released statement:
The personal attacks against Ambassador Rice by certain Republican senators have been outrageous and utterly unmoored from facts and reality. I am shocked that senators would continue these attacks even when the evidence—including disclosures from the intelligence community about the information she presented—have made it clear that the allegations against Ambassador Rice are baseless, and that she has done absolutely nothing wrong.If only the Sunday talk shows would get the message and let some other senators get a chance to sit in what increasingly seems to be chairs with McCain's name engraved on them. But don't count on it since this isn't the first time Reid has said the three amigos should stop politicizing national security and let FBI and Senate investigators handle Benghazi.
Ambassador Rice’s service as United States Ambassador to the United Nations has been impeccable. She has answered all questions raised in relation to the Benghazi attacks completely and repeatedly. The Senate committees of jurisdiction are in the midst of examining the events leading up to the Benghazi attacks, and I agree with those— including the ranking Republican members of both the Intelligence and Homeland Security committees—who have said we should let the committees do their work. There should be no place for such blatant partisanship in oversight of our nation’s intelligence community.
The election is over. It is time to drop these partisan political games, and focus our attention on the real challenges facing us as a nation.
There is plenty for Americans, progressives in particular, to be concerned about when it comes to the workings of the national security state. Oversight in these matters by the Senate has, to say the least, not always been of the highest quality. But it certainly beats what the three amigos have been doing with their campaign of smears and bullshit. Exactly who is hurting national security with this scurrilous behavior?
As Steve Benen at the Rachel Maddow Blog says, McCain's "descent into incoherence reached new depths" Tuesday with his appearance on Foxaganda where he asked questions that have been answered: here, here, here and here.
Perhaps it is true, as some observers have suggested, that behind this continuing hoopla is the simple desire to get John Kerry out of his Massachusetts Senate seat into the secretary of state's post so Scott Brown can have another shot at it. But, in the case of McCain in particular, it mostly seems like petty grandstanding. His bringing into the discussion that facts of the killing of Osama bin Laden were known soon after it happened but not the facts of what happened in Benghazi is especially wacko. The U.S. planned the assault on bin Laden's hideout, Senator, remember?
Hopefully, Ambassador Rice and the White House will have learned a lesson from her peace-making mission to the three senators Tuesday. Never, ever apologize when you didn't do something wrong. It has the same noxious effect as feeding trolls in online forums.