Sen. John McCain’s new memoir, “The Restless Wave,” isn’t due out until next month. However, it’s already garnered a flurry of headlines over the Arizona senator’s treatment of President Donald Trump and McCain’s former running mate, Sarah Palin.
McCain has acknowledged that the book will be his last and it’s as close to a final statement from the controversial lawmaker as we’ll probably get. As it turns out, he’s going out swinging on everyone, and not just his fellow Republicans.
Fox News reported on Monday that in one section of the book he hit back at the Obama administration for “bureaucratic incompetence” and “a– covering” in its response to the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks.
In a chapter on the “Arab Spring,” McCain talks about his experiences visiting Libya. During the chapter, he praised U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, arguing that the fallen envoy was “a talented diplomat, and an exceptional human being.”
“He believed in what he was doing, supporting the Libyan people’s rights to freedom and justice, and helping them build an open society, and he was effective,” McCain wrote. “I miss him very much.”
McCain said that he “wasn’t angry with the administration” over the attack at first, even though it “terribly saddened” him.
That would quickly change.
“I started to get angry when it appeared administration officials were knowingly misleading us about the attack, attributing it to a video that some idiot had made mocking Islam that incited a spontaneous mob that turned violent,” he wrote.
“It took more than a week for the White House to acknowledge it had been a planned terrorist attack. The uproar that ensued became a lasting political controversy that’s still debated.”
McCain concluded that the administration’s response was either “willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence” and “a massive cover-up or incompetence.”
“In the end, all it established is what could have been presumed at the beginning, bureaucratic incompetence and a– covering, two common conditions in Washington,” McCain wrote. “Anger subsides, politics moves on, but sadness remains. Chris Stevens deserved better from all of us.”
It’s worth noting that if there’s a whole lot of lasting anger over Benghazi, it certainly isn’t in evidence either in the book or McCain’s real life.
Throughout “The Restless Wave,” Fox News reported, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is referred to positively as McCain’s “friend” and Barack Obama is apparently scheduled to give one of the eulogies at McCain’s future funeral.
That all being said, McCain is spot-on with his criticism of how Benghazi was handled, although the covering of one’s posterior was more than just a “common condition” in Obama-era Washington.
“The Restless Wave” should be an interesting, if occasionally infuriating read. Not because it’s going to be particularly good, although McCain is occasionally capable of insights such as this on Benghazi, and I’m sure he’s also capable of insights on other issues where I may agree or disagree with him on.
It will be interesting to see, however, just how many bridges the cantankerous lawmaker will set aflame, and how many he’ll leave standing because they give testimony to his “maverick” decision to cosign the Democrats’ agenda on all things pertaining to Obamacare, immigration and Donald Trump.
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