Politics

              FILE - This April 14, 2012 file photo shows U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaking at U.N. headquarters. With congressional opposition softening, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could find her name in contention as early as this week to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Her nomination to the top Cabinet job could signal the  potential for a more robust intervention in world crises in President Barack Obama’s second term.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Obama throws Rice at media, distracts reporters from White House silence on Egypt

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Partly because of Rice’s misdirection, most pre-election media coverage of Benghazi became a tangled dispute over who knew what and said what on TV, in the Rose Garden and in the White House’s back rooms. The dispute also protected Obama from an aggressive question by Gov. Mitt Romney during a presidential debate.

Even the New York Times, ordinarily a reliable Obama cheerleader, acknowledged the resulting shift in the media’s focus.

“The most important questions about Benghazi … have largely gotten lost: Were requests for greater security for diplomats in Libya ignored? Even if Al Qaeda’s core in Pakistan has been decimated, what threat is posed by its affiliates and imitators in other countries where they have taken refuge? How can crucial diplomacy be conducted amid the dangerous chaos that has followed the toppling of dictators across the Arab world?” read a Nov. 28 Times “news analysis” article.

Yet Rice and her tale of the video are back in the news as pro-democracy demonstrators rush into Cairo’s streets to protest the Nov. 22 coup by Egypt’s narrowly elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, who declared his decisions to be immune from judicial review.

Roughly 200,000 Egyptian protesters hit the streets Nov. 28.

In turn, Morsi’s Islamist allies are calling for massive protests on Friday, and may persuade 500,000 supporters to swarm Cairo’s streets. They’re also rushing to draft a new Islamist constitution whose completion would sidestep potential objections by the judiciary.

Islamists want to impose an Islamic theocracy similar to Iran’s.

Under an Islamic constitution, Shariah Muslim law would create an apartheid-like society where trained clerics and observant men would rule over Muslim women and roughly 8 million Christians. They would also control entrepreneurs, professionals and anyone who does not comply with Islam’ myriad social strictures.