And she did. She blamed a YouTube video.
On ABC’s This Week, Jake Tapper asked Rice:
Rice’s answer was astounding:
Look at this map, if you would. There have been protests around the world over the last several days. And President Obama pledged to repair America's relationships with the Muslim world. Why does the U.S. seem so impotent? And why is the U.S. even less popular today in some of these Muslim and Arab countries than it was four years ago?
Well, Ambassador, it might be the al Qaeda flag flying over the US embassy in Tunisia. Or maybe it’s the dead American ambassador in Libya. Or perhaps it’s the burning of the American flag at the Cairo embassy, or outside our embassy in London. Or it could be the 29 other countries that experienced anti-US violence last week. But Rice continued:
Jake, we’re not impotent. We’re not even less popular, to challenge that assessment. I don’t know on what basis you make that judgment.
This is where the rubber meets the road for the Obama administration. They’ve spent the entirety of the last week playing movie critic to a YouTube video that presents an offensive take on Islam. Now, it’s not the job of the White House to play Siskel & Ebert; it’s the White House’s job to defend American freedoms around the world. Imagine if these Islamist assaults had been about Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger going at it in Brokeback Mountain. Would the White House have been so quick to offer its movie review? “Well, Jake, while I found the cinematography stunning and the portrayal of the same-sex relationship groundbreaking, I did quibble a bit with Michelle Williams’ performance … and the film was offensive to Muslims.”
It’s actually the opposite. First of all, let’s be clear what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region, was a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the US government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting.
Surely not. Some free speech rights are more equal than others, apparently. And the Obama administration won't stand up for free speech rights. In fact, Rice refused to do so this morning when questioned by David Gregory on Meet the Press -- she simply wouldn't answer why the Cairo embassy didn't say anything about free speech rights as Muslims rioted. Instead, she continued to blame the YouTube movie.
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And there is this...
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