Statement Analysis®

Susan Rice Defends Her Bergdahl and Benghazi Comments.

On June 6, 2014, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said that her praise of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was appropriate given his willingness to go to war for his country. Many Republicans believe that over the years Rice has been loose with the facts when appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows. Her critics point to her appearance on several programs in September 2012 following the attack on the American diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Rice asserted the attack was an unprompted protest against an anti-Muslim video made in the United States.

In talking about her television appearances, Rice said, "I'm upfront with the American people and I always do my best on behalf of my country and I do my best to tell the facts as I know them."

In the case of Benghazi, Rice said she provided the best information the U.S. government had at the time; "Parts of it turned out to be wrong. I regret that the information I was provided was wrong, that I delivered to the American people. That doesn't make me a liar. That makes me a public servant trying to say what we knew at the time."

In talking about being a public servant, Rice used the word "trying." Ask yourself, "What does the word trying mean?" It means "to make an effort or attempt." In other words, the word "trying" means a person failed to do something. An attempt was made but the person did not do it. Rice said that she was "trying to say what we knew at the time." Her language tells us that she did not tell the American people everything they knew at the time. She was only "trying." What she should have said is, "That makes me a public servant saying what we knew at the time." That is a good honest statement. Her use of the word "trying" indicates she had additional information, perhaps that it was a terrorist attack, but chose not to share that information on the talk shows. The Obama administration eventually acknowledged the attack was a terrorist assault on the U.S. compound.

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