Susan Rice: Haven't Got Time for 'False' Benghazi Controversy

Image: Susan Rice: Haven't Got Time for 'False' Benghazi Controversy

Monday, 23 Dec 2013 05:50 PM

By Amy Woods

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Although television interviews that National Security Adviser Susan Rice gave after the deadly terrorist attacks in Libya exploded in backlash over their credibility, the former U.S. diplomat expressed no regrets during an appearance on CBS' "60 Minutes."

"I don't have time to think about a false controversy," Rice said on the Sunday-night show. "In the midst of all of the swirl about things like talking points, the administration's been working very, very hard across the globe to review our security of our embassies and our facilities. That's what we ought to be focused on."

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Rice suffered consequences that cost her the secretary of state post after she described the attacks as spontaneous when they were, in fact, acts of terrorism. The White House, in defending Rice, said she was revealing the intelligence that had been gathered up until that point.

When "60 Minutes'" Lesley Stahl asked Rice why the White House didn't dispatch then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to handle the political talk shows, Rice answered:

"She had just gone through an incredibly painful and stressful week. Secretary Clinton, as our chief diplomat, had to reach out to the families, had to greet the bodies upon their arrival at Andrews Air Force Base. If I were her, the last thing I would have wanted to do is five Sunday-morning talk shows. So, I think it's perfectly understandable."

On the topic of government surveillance and having to contend with that controversy, Rice said she supports the cellphone monitoring program, The Hill reported.

"It's been worth what we've done to protect the United States," she said. "And the fact that we have not had a successful attack on our homeland since 9-11 should not be diminished. But that does not mean that everything we're doing as of the present ought to be done the same way in the future."

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