Soledad O’Brien destroys GOP over Benghazi, Susan Rice (video)

I am seriously loving CNN’s Soledad O’Brien of late. Have always enjoyed her work, but lately the woman has been on fire when it comes to dealing with political types who are clearly playing games with the truth.  (As part of my homage to Soledad, see this post detailing her feat of “Sol-splaining” the truth to political hacks.)

Today it was GOP Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada, who was on Soledad’s show to talk about John McCain and Lindsay Graham trying to kill UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s expected nomination to be Secretary of State. McCain and Graham are upset with Rice because they thinks he lied, or didn’t know enough, about the situation in Libya immediately following the attack on our consulate and CIA outpost there.


Soledad is not impressed.

During their talk, Soledad pointed out – as I do in my post this morning – that McCain and Graham seem to be taking a hypocritical stance on Susan Rice’s nomination since they didn’t seem to have any problem with Condi Rice’s nomination to the same job, even though she did something far worse than Susan Rice. Condi aided the Bush administration in lying its way in to a war, Iraq, that has cost us trillions of dollars and countless American, and Iraqi, lives. That’s a lot bigger than 4 casualties at a US consulate in Libya.

In response, GOP Rep. Heck , who’s on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the administration over the Libya attack, appears to exonerate Susan Rice, and instead prove that Condi Rice should have been the one blocked from becoming Secretary of State. The video is below, but here’s NYT columnist Charles Blow’s take on what Heck just said:

CHARLES BLOW: What I’m trying to figure out, are you saying that Condoleeza Rice actually should have known, because she had more intimacy with the information [WMD in Iraq] and then still said something that she knew was wrong, and that in fact Susan Rice is a sacrificial lamb because she was put out as the face of the administration for something that she didn’t know anything [about], so in fact that’s more of a defense of Susan Rice than it is a condemnation of Susan Rice. That’s how it sounds to me.

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: That’s what it sounds like to me, so, forgive me sir, will you walk us through this one more time. You think it’s different because Condoleeza Rice actually had first-hand knowledge?

And Heck just continues reiterating that Susan Rice’s situation is far worse than Condis’ because Condi was heavily involved in Iraq war planning and Susan Rice was not heavily involved in what happened in Benghazi. Which only goes to prove that Susan Rice shouldn’t be the Republican party’s scapegoat.

Then again, far be it for the Republicans to turn down the chance to beat up on a woman, and a black woman at that. Rice should be consider herself fortunate that she wasn’t a Latina too.

Here’s the video – great television, and a great job by Soledad and Charles Blow.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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57 Responses to “Soledad O’Brien destroys GOP over Benghazi, Susan Rice (video)”

  1. Alan Beasley-Legacy of Success says:

    6 months later – and now who is racist?

    Susan Rice lied – not one of the 12 versions of Talking Points EVER EVER EVER mention a video or a protest. Complete lie to protect Obama’s failed Mid-East and North Africa policies.

    Cry wolf on racism – shame on Soledad!
    (Soledad always knew it wasn’t about race- now her career is over. Maybe she should take a class on Racism with her spare time…)

  2. RollingwiththeBenz says:

    Susan Rice knew her talking points were wrong and she still went on the air blaming the youtube video. Condi Rice was using the same intelligence that most of the countries had. Remember, other countries also believed that Iraq had WMDs. Even Bill Clinton believed there were WMDs. Soledad is useless.

  3. Arthur says:

    The above is further proof of the “War on Women”. Sara was obviously educated at institutions that do not see the value of teaching women the art of critical thinking.

  4. Ryan says:

    I thought the secretary of state should have been the one to handle this. But what do I know

  5. samizdat says:


  6. Stone Cold says:

    Heck showed up empty handed to a fight with the sharp Soledad.

  7. Sara says:

    Soledad Obrian did nothing but embarrass herself, over-dramatizing her ‘blond’ moment. Heck answered her question directly, in a manner that anyone with half a brain could understand…except her of course. Her need to dramatize his answer and her reactions were just plain partisan and quite boring.She looked and acted ridiculous. Oh, and tto the ‘writer’ of above, your comment about beating up women, and taking the race road…as a women, that “war on women” bull offended and insulted me greatly. The only war on women was via Obama, and his never-ending quest to scam people. Arrogant asshole. It never ceases to amaze me just how unintelligent people below. It’s easy to insult from the cheap seats when you don’t have the balls to play the game.

  8. condew says:

    Republicans really need to talk about Susan Rice so we don’t talk about the cuts to embassy security that the Republican congress made. Republican budget cutters are far more culpable than Ms. Rice.

  9. javaman8263 says:

    Heck the hack.

  10. rmthunter says:

    I’m reminded of another former Secretary of State who addressed the UN on the subject of Iraq’s possession of WMDs, based on information he was given by administration. It was all bogus of course, and he wound up so disgusted with his boss that he resigned. Anyone remember Colin Powell?

  11. Booya Bible says:

    And if you look over here, children, you’ll see how one talks out of one’s ass.

  12. IMPR says:

    Her arguments were very logical and displayed critical thinking. She was obviously way above your level of comprehension. That Rep. clearly hadn’t thought through his statements, and run them to their ultimate conclusions, and she laid it out for him beautifully. Charles Blow was very clear and succinct with his observations, too. I haven’t seen such a fine example of journalism in a long time.

  13. equinoxranch says:

    Liberal lies, lies and more damnable lies.

  14. ben chen says:

    Geez, Lying has become the plague of the GOP!!! Thank you for tongue lashing him Soledad!
    They’ve been hanging around the Teabaggers too long, and look what’s happened…brain mush…

  15. FunMe says:

    I think Soledad was brilliant on how she handled the interview with the GOP liar. He let him have enough rope so that people can see how ridiculous he is. She was very slick. Love her!

  16. Richard S says:

    Yea, my brain tripped over that sentence also. But upon re-reading I determined that the ‘space’ was put in the wrong location. It should have read “… because they think she lied…”. A mistake that spell check won’t detect.

  17. CSStrowbridge says:

    The Dunning–Kruger effect in full force.

  18. markg8 says:

    I have to disagree. Thisis worthless obfuscation of the issue to try to trap the GOP congressman in a gotcha moment with false equivalency, a favorite trick of Tim Russert wannabes. In fact Susan Rice did nothing wrong when she talked to the media in the days after Benghazi. She simply presented the consensus info we had from the intelligence community that as far as we knew it was a spontaneous attack by bad actors inspired by the reports of the angry demonstration at our Cairo embassy. That is still the consensus no matter how much Republicans try to pretend it was some premeditated attack with months of planning sprung on 9/11 on an unsuspecting Obama Administration. You’d think from watching this clip that what Susan Rice did was sell false propaganda as Condi Rice did in the run up to the Iraq War and therefore it’s somehow excusable because Republicans did it too. That’s not what she did, Susan Rice was right and Condi Rice lied. My guess is most viewers watching this won’t learn that, what they’ll hear is “the Bushies did it so Obama’s people can too.”

  19. “McCain and Graham are upset with Rice because they thinks he lied. . .” Good Gawd. Do some editing. Rice is not a he and “they thinks”??? I couldn’t read any further after that.

  20. Read “500 days” by Kirk Eichenwald, it tells the same thing you did.

  21. mirror says:

    “I don’t understand” is what I say to my teenager when I mean that “You’re lying” but want to avoid implying that he is fundamentally “a liar”, especially when my wife is around. I generally like to suggest I’m leaving room for improvement.

  22. cole3244 says:

    who would have thought that soledad would turn into such a tough interviewer, pretty soon the gopers will be afraid to go on her show for fear of the being put on the spot, i’m not a fan of cnn but soledad is making me rethink my boycott because of their weak knee-ed reporting, thanks soledad for being so professional.

  23. maryp1217 says:

    So it’s okay to give false information if you know it’s false, but don’t dare give a preliminary report which later turns out to be incorrect. Gotcha……Thank God I’m not a republican.

  24. hollywoodstein says:

    Luv me Soledad. With Jim Walton leaving it seems to have given the producers and on air talent some room to abandon the false equivalency of some say this, some say that, and call a spade a spade. Moar please.

  25. hauksdottir says:

    Bush, Rice, Chertoff, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Jensen, Bybee, and the entire crew of WAR CRIMINALS can only pay for their crimes if they are dragged before The Hague and the full extent of their criminality revealed before the guilty are executed.

    Not a one of them has suffered. One of the good Mormon guys who developed and administered our torture program has been appointed Bishop of Seattle. Rice and Yoo are well-paid university professors (so much for liberal academia). Several of them are profiting from their crimes by speaking or authoring books, selling porno scanners to our government, or wallowing in think-tank welfare.

    Millions of people dead and wounded. Trillions of dollars borrowed from China and squandered on destruction of ancient cultures on the other side of the world. For what?

    So that these war-mongering bastards can live in comfortable wealth?

    Bush is most assuredly NOT gone and forgotten!


  26. A reader in Colorado says:

    Obama thought it more important to “move forward” rather than having any accountability whatsoever for Bush, Condi and Cheney. They didn’t pay, except in the disgrace they caused themselves, and they together with Barack Obama, who refused to deal with them, will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

    Every time Bush, Cheney or Condi rice appear, we will be reminded that they should be wearing prison jumpsuits, and would have been, but for the lack of accountability for the powerful.

  27. BeccaM says:

    Last I checked, Bush, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and the rest weren’t brought up on war crimes charges, so no — they didn’t pay for their mistake at all. In fact, they were rewarded with continued terms in high elected and appointed offices, and subsequently with wingnut welfare book deals, speaking tours, and cushy lobbying jobs.

    Bush and his gang of war criminals might be mostly gone (many of them still appear regularly on Fox and Sunday morning news programs), but they are far from forgotten.

  28. BeccaM says:

    Whatever the required quantity of stupid might be, clearly Rep. Joe Heck has achieved it.

  29. karmanot says:

    McCain ,loser and bitter old man, is a disaster whose genuine heroism ended the moment he left the Hanoi Hilton. From that moment on he sold himself to the highest bidder and exercised that lack of moral character which characterized his early life. McCain is a phony and Graham, a disgrace as a faux military wannabe.

  30. Joe Heck an idiot on the House “Intelligence Committee” as well as Michelle Bachmann on the same committee. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? And we wonder what is wrong with our government? Bohener needs to have his head examined.

  31. karmanot says:

    Bush and Condi did not pay for their lying incompetence. The nexus of the problem is that Bush and Condi are forgotten.

  32. karmanot says:

    Whinny troll WAAAAAAAA

  33. karmanot says:

    Condi Rice is a war criminal and a star representative of Stanford University.

  34. grandpamike says:

    Well, for one thing, they could have [possibly prevented the 9/11 attack when 3,000+ Americans died. False equivalency as usual for Republican revisionists.

  35. grandpamike says:

    See my statement above, it covers you as well.

  36. grandpamike says:

    How stupid do you have to be to not understand how stupid you sound ?

  37. countryrose says:

    thousands of Americans were killed because of that lie and not only that but thousands of pple from other countries, England, Canada, France Also died because of that lie. That is murder.

  38. countryrose says:

    The fact that she an Bush and the GOP knew about the LIE that there was weapons of mass destruction. WOW, THAT’S VALIDATION. They should be in JAIL.

  39. Vegas Dave says:

    Wow! What an amazing amount of bullshit from Joe Heck. The circle he is trying to square just gets worse the more he tries. Regrettably, Heck won re-election last week due to a weak Democratic opponent. Obviously, St. Joe is going to be the up and coming water carrier for the GOP.

    He is referred to as St. Joe here in Clark County due to his being a Doctor and a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve was has done tours of duty in combat. All patriotism aside, Dr. Heck’s anti-women, anti-Gay, anti-anything not right-wing GOP has earned him the title St. Joe. Heck was elected to CD-3 in the 2010 wave defeating first time congresswoman Dina Titus who was re-elected last week to redistricted CD-1.

  40. David Friedman says:

    I LOVE Soledad!
    Her stones are twice those of Mittens (I think that’s a complement…..)
    She is a model Journalist!
    Keep it up Soledad!!!!

  41. FLL says:

    Susan Rice was speaking based on the intelligence that the CIA provided, which is her job. If the Republicans want to grill people in the CIA to find out if they could have been more thorough or faster in getting intelligence, fine. However, to blame Susan Rice is a flat-out lie. She was simply doing her job using the information that was available to her. Condoleeza Rice, in contrast, had intelligence information available to her which indicated that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. This is not only a case of Republicans lying about Susan Rice’s character and job performance, but also an obvious example of hypocrisy, which has nothing to do with blaming Bush for anything. I’m not blaming Bush for the lies that come out of John McCain’s mouth and Lindsey Graham’s mouth; I’m blaming John McCain and Lindsey Graham for that. I think that’s being fair to everyone concerned.

  42. mirror says:

    Darn. I missed the trial of George Bush II and Condoleeza Rice? I can’t believe we turned them over – so was the trial here or did they get caught by Interpol at the Madrid airport or something, disguised as Mormons? How long did they get? Consecutive life terms?

  43. Anon777777 says:

    Condi Rice was the National Security Advisor who received briefing after briefing about the danger from al queda, specifically in Afghanistan, specifically from Osama Bin Laden, for months and months.
    Despite this, Rice, the “Sovietologist” was focussed on UNSIGNING arms control agreements and another round of Star Wars funding.
    After 9/11, she dutifully deceived the country about WMDs to help neocon liars create a war-racketeering golden age.
    Bush promoted her to Secretary of State.

  44. Naja pallida says:

    Journalist or not, it is about damn time someone actually made Republican crazies spell out their conspiracy theories step by step for everyone to try to grasp, instead of just accepting their delusions as a valid counterpoint to reality and moving on like they have for the last five or six years.

  45. nicho says:

    Bush and Condi are in jail for their war crimes? How did I miss that? Do you have a link?

  46. nicho says:

    even a stupid person would realise

    And yet, you didn’t.

  47. nicho says:

    self delete

  48. Smitty PA says:

    Bush and Condi “paid for their mistake” by being re-elected president and appointed Secretary of State? Alrighty.

  49. Naja pallida says:

    I’m also trying to figure out how they have paid for their mistakes crimes. Bush now makes millions doing speaking engagements around the world, and Condi went back to a professorship at Stanford. There was absolutely zero accountability for their lies. Lies that are still costing us dearly.

  50. Bush has not been forgotten, convenient as it would be for the Republicans.

  51. bennie brown says:

    Thanks Soledad

  52. HolyMoly says:

    No one is blaming Bush. What she was doing was pointing out Joe Heck’s (and McCain’s, and Graham’s, et al) hypocrisy. If you ask me, she was being too nice by saying she didn’t understand. She should simply have called him out on it.

    The overarching point here is this: Condi Rice KNEW what she was saying was wrong. By the time of her confirmation, it was known by foreign intelligence agencies and the CIA that there was no nuclear program in Iraq. Yet she came out with WMD and “mushroom cloud” lies, statements which contributed ultimately to fleecing the American public into an illegal war based on false pretenses. McCain was well aware of the information out there debunking the Niger document as a crude forgery, he was aware that the aluminum tubes were not for use in a nuclear program, etc. Yet he played along. And when the truth finally came out to the rest of us, he wasn’t spitting nails trying to call a special hearing to investigate.

    Susan Rice DIDN’T know anything about what she was saying, which is not a condemnation of her. And yet McCain and Graham are ready to hang her from the yardarm. Soledad was right to point out this partisan witch hunt. They’re looking for another non-troversy so they can try to do to Obama what they did to Clinton. Simple as that.

    Where were the investigations for the dozen embassy attacks that occurred under the Bush administration? Not a peep.

    No, McCain is just a bitter old man who’s still trying to get at “That Man” for trouncing him in 2008. Stroking McCain’s ego is NOT a national security issue, and it’s time he realizes that.

  53. Operafan1 says:

    We are all trying to understand what happened on 9.11.2012 in Benghazi. Bush and Condi have paid for their mistake. Why do it all over again? His statement is, Let’s get to the bottom of this and not start saying “Bush made me do it” again. Bush is gone and forgotten.

  54. RodnOH says:

    Soledad has been mopping the floor with these asshats…bravo!

  55. aravir says:

    Actually, There were 2 casualties at the consulate. The other 2 casualties were at the CIA base. Not that it makes them any less dead. And the 2 SEALS were actually ex-SEALS working for the CIA. And 25-30 personnel were evacuated safely. This was a tragedy. But it could have much worse. And, given the conditions on the ground, an attempt by special forces to intervene would likely have resulted in another “Blackhawk Down”.

  56. quax says:

    Operafan1, maybe you could then kindly get to the bottom of the statement for us? I am all ears trying to learn how exactly Condi’s conduct was so much better.

  57. Operafan1 says:

    You are kidding me, aren’t you? Soledad O’Brien is a joke, not a journalist. Heck could not lose her because she was already lost. Her arguments are so
    pointless and ridiculous that even a stupid person would realise that
    she is not trying to get to the bottom of his statements, but she is
    trying to lead him in another direction. What awful “blame it on Bush”

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