Senate Republicans’ shameful silence about Victoria Nuland’s role in Benghazi cover-up
Last Thursday, the United States Senate confirmed President Obama’s choice Victoria Nuland as chief envoy to Europe. This was done by a voice vote with no debate, one day after the one year anniversary of last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Victoria Nuland served as the State Department spokeswoman during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure, which included the Benghazi attack in which Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were all killed.
Ms. Nuland is known for helping craft the Benghazi talking points that were part of interviews given to all the major networks by former U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice on the weekend after the September 11, 2012 attack. Ambassador Rice consistently blamed an anti-Islamic video as being the catalyst for the rebels’ anger.
Part of the process of creating the Rice talking points involved heavy editing of CIA e-mails to remove references to Al Qaeda. Ms. Nuland expressed concern for any mention of prior warnings of imminent attacks or Al Qaeda involvement in the attacks on Benghazi. The talking points that were utilized by Ambassador Rice underwent 12 revisions so all terrorist references were removed.
Ms. Nuland had a direct hand in the changing of these talking points and has yet to effectively answer who gave her the direct order to do so.
Several Republican senators had planned to ask direct questions during the confirmation process about Nuland’s involvement in the cover-up in the aftermath of Benghazi. They remained silent and Ms. Nuland sailed thru the confirmation process with no debate.
As a family member of a Benghazi murder victim I find the actual date of the confirmation hearing to be, at best, in poor taste. The Senators’ silence is also troubling, and insulting to the memories of these four brave Americans. Where was their outrage on September 12? It is almost like someone whispered in the dead of night, “She’s confirmed.” But this was not a covert activity. The confirmation process happened in the bright sunshine of Washington D.C. with little to no coverage by the American media. Can we conclude that if those directly involved in the Benghazi scandal shut up and cover up, they will move up?