McCain, Graham defend Obama State. Dept. nominee linked to Benghazi

mccain_graham-1From TheHill.com, By Julian Pecquet –   05/24/13 – Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday offered a  preemptive defense of President Obama’s nominee to head European affairs at the  State Department amid concerns about her role in the Benghazi talking  points.

Obama nominated former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland for the post on Thursday,  just as news broke that House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had  asked that she be deposed by his committee.

In a joint statement praising  Nuland, the two longtime critics of the administration’s handling of Benghazi  highlighted Nuland’s experience serving as principal deputy foreign policy  adviser to then-Vice President Cheney and U.S. ambassador to NATO under  President George W. Bush.

“Ambassador Victoria Nuland has a long and distinguished record of service to  our nation in both Republican and Democrat Administrations,” they wrote. “She is  knowledgeable and well-versed on the major foreign policy issues as well as  respected by foreign policy experts in both parties. We look forward to her  upcoming confirmation hearings in the United States Senate.”

The statement comes as Nuland’s role in  crafting the talking points that cost U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice a shot at  becoming secretary of State has only recently come to light. Other vocal critics  of the administration’s response to last year’s terrorist attack – notably Sens.  Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) – may yet decide to  block her long-expected nomination.

According to internal documents released by the White House last week, Nuland  raised concerns about blaming the attack on al Qaeda linked militants, saying  she had “serious concerns” about lawmakers “making assertions to the media that  we ourselves are not making because we don’t want to prejudice the  investigation.”

She also urged the talking points’ drafters to remove references to warnings  of past attacks on the mission, saying those references could be used by  lawmakers to attack the State Department.

“The penultimate point,” she wrote, “could be abused by Members to beat the  State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want  to feed that either? Concerned…”

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One response

  1. Ambassadors seldom reflect the true will or belief systems of the American People and it is time to open this dirty laundry and air it out for all to see!

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