Welcome to the post honoring the first inductee into the Loyal Opposition’s Hall of Shame or, as we like to call it, The Marketing Dept. of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.1
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was one of the “gang of three” senators, along with John McCain and Kelly Ayote, who led a vicious smear campaign against UN Ambassador Susan Rice2 when media speculation named the ambassador as one of the leading candidates to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Their beef: in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, Rice went on some Sunday morning political talks and relayed the best declassified information that our intelligence agencies could compile at that time. Such preliminary information was, unsurprisingly, incomplete and inconsistent with later revelations, but it was the best information available to anyone (including Senators McCain, Ayote, and Graham) at the time. For sin of reporting only what we knew at the time and not what didn’t know until later, Rice was accused of lying to the American people as part of an Obama campaign to cover-up the truth about the attack.
The attack on Ambassador Rice (and the Republican obsession with a possible cover-up of the Benghazi incident) was part of a pre-election meme that totally failed to gain traction with the voters, but attack dogs McCain, Ayote, and Graham were seemingly unwilling to let go of it after the election, and a well-qualified candidate was torpedoed before she was even nominated. Fortunately, she was probably only second in line behind the unimpeachable John Kerry.
But Graham wasn’t through on Benghazi. Speaking to Fox News on Monday, January 28, he said that Secretary Clinton “got away with murder” with regards to the attack.3 Now, I will give the Senator the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was speaking metaphorically, only meaning to suggest that the Secretary escaped unscathed from any blame for whatever security lapses led to the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three others. Still, using an inflammatory word like “murder” in relation to the deaths of four Americans, even if not speaking of an outgoing Secretary of State, a former Senator, and a former First Lady, is crossing a rhetorical line. I also give Graham enough to credit to believe that he did not cross that line carelessly or accidentally.
So, for conduct unbecoming a Senator, a statesman, and a human being possessing adult levels of self-respect, we confer upon Senator Graham the status of our first dishonoree in The Marketing Dept. of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.
- Many of you may ask why we call it that. Rest assured, there is a good reason, but such knowledge should come to those who actively seek it out. [↩]
- “McCain v. Rice: The Unceremonious Quashing of a Candidate,” Huffington Post, Ray Errol Fox, December 22, 2012 [↩]
- “Lindsey Graham: Hillary Clinton ‘Got Away With Murder’ In Benghazi,” Huffington Post, Luke Johnson, January 29, 2013 [↩]