Petraeus, Allen, Benghazi potpourri

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potpourri /pəʊˈpʊəri, -ˈriː, pɒtˈpʊəri/

▶noun (pl. potpourris)
1 a mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl to perfume a room.
2 a mixture of things; a medley.
– origin C17 (denoting a stew made of different kinds of meat): from Fr., lit. ‘rotten pot’.

–Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press, quoted at

(1) See Adèle Smith, “Jill Kelley, l’ensorceleuse de généraux,” Le Figaro, 14 Novembre 2012.

(2) See Keli Goff (“The Root”/Washington Post Blogs), “Obama Frees His Inner Angry Black Man: The president’s ire shows as he defends Ambassador Susan Rice from GOP attacks over Benghazi, Libya, Washington Post, November 15, 2012.

Exerpts from Goff:

Well, it looks as if now that he has been comfortably re-elected to his second, final term, the president doesn’t fear being feared for being angry anymore. During his first press conference since being re-elected, the president was tough, forceful and angry at times, most notably when defending the woman whom many believe will become his next secretary of state, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. The headlines that ran immediately. after the press conference say it all: “Obama Angrily Rebukes GOP Senators Over Susan Rice,” “President Obama Got Angry Today” and “Visibly Angry Obama Defends Susan Rice.”

Speaking of Rice’s statements on the Benghazi affair, Graham said, “This is about the role she played around four dead Americans when it seems to be that the story coming out of the administration — and she’s the point person — is so disconnected to reality, I don’t trust her. And the reason I don’t trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn’t know better, she shouldn’t be the voice of America.”

To which President Obama replied in his press conference:

“If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham, and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”

(3) Comment on Goff excerpts:

If President Obama wants to see Susan Rice confirmed as Secretary of State, he needs to control his anger now, and work hard to win the cooperation of Senators McCain and Graham not only to support his nomination for Secretary of State, but also to support his foreign policy.

Moreover, he might usefully recall that his appointments to the federal bench have lagged. When he gets around to filling these judgeships, he will need the votes of Senators like McCain and Graham for their confirmation.

The public display of anger, however useful in a campaign, is generally not a useful tool for a statesman or a president who hopes to heal the partisan rift, or to simply to govern effectively, both at home and abroad, during his second term.

(4) The latest excuse relating to Susan Rice’s talking points is almost ludicrous:

See Kimberly Dozier, “CIA deputy: Rice got initial assessment on Libya,” Associated Press, November 15, 2012 (8:13 p.m. EST).

(5) Hillary will testify before Congress on Benghazi, when and how she wishes:

Hillary Clinton has indicated she will testify before Congress, but not before her internal investigation is completed sometime in December. She needs to testify about what she knew and when she knew it, and the instructions given to Susan Rice before her appearance on the Sunday talk shows on September 16. She can give that testimony now, when it is needed. See Kimberly Dozier, above.

(6) Eric Holder has offered the explanation that a very important interview on November 2 (with Paula Broadwell, according to another official) was the reason the Justice Department became satisfied it had the whole story, and the FBI notified James Clapper on Tuesday, November 6, of the Petraeus affair with Broadwell.

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