Republicans are looking for a smoking gun in an arsenal. Raw intelligence is like numbers, it does not lie, but liars use raw intelligence. Until it is evaluated, synthesized and correlated with other intelligence, raw intelligence is gauzy and shapeless. In the midst of protests sweeping the Muslim world over an anti-Muslim video, it was reasonable to assume a connection to the Benghazi attack. Given the heavy arms used, it was also reasonable to assume terrorist involvement. The two were not mutually exclusive.
After an armed uprising of various groups and militias overthrew Gaddafi, Libya resembles a scene from BoardWalk Empire: "Is that a gun?" gangster Rosetti asks, pulling his piece. "I got a gun... He got a gun ... he got a gun ... EVERYBODY GOT GUNS!" Not surprisingly, Obama has been cautious about arming Syrian rebels for fear of arming extremists.
Condemning Ambassador Rice for relying on intelligence community approved talking points, is a cheap shot. Senator McCain had his high noon moment in 2008, and he lost. Perhaps, given his recent outbursts, it is time for him to ride off into the sunset.