Foreign and Defense Policy, Terrorism

Rice puts politics over principle, victory over morality

Image Credit: USDA Gov (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: USDA Gov (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Today’s announcement of the appointment of Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as national security adviser comes as no surprise. The current UN ambassador has long been rumored to be Obama’s pick – a consolation prize after she was forced to withdraw as secretary of state nominee (under consideration) because of the Benghazi scandal.

Is she qualified? On paper, certainly. Does she meet the president’s high standards of political loyalty? You bet. She pulled out of the secretary of state job that she has coveted for many years with nary a whimper, little leaking to the press, and a graciousness that isn’t often seen in Washington.

But her record is stained, horribly, by two decisions that she has made in her career, both of which reflect her willingness to put politics over principle, victory over morality.

I’ll let Samantha Power, slated to be the nominee for Rice’s seat as UN ambassador, tell you about the first decision:

At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the NSC who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?” Lieutenant Colonel Tony Marley remembers the incredulity of his colleagues at the State Department. “We could believe that people would wonder that,” he says, “but not that they would actually voice it.” Rice does not recall the incident but concedes, “If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant.”

The second incident is better known to the American people. Here are the lies Ambassador Rice told on CBS’s Face the Nation five days after the Benghazi attack:

Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent…. We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.

That is Susan Rice: a woman who considers elections before genocide and who would lie to the American people for her president. Every president has the right to his own national security adviser. This choice tells us a lot about Obama the president, and Obama the man.

As for Rice herself, here’s what she said about her reaction to the Rwandan genocide: “If I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action.”

We shall see, Ambassador Rice. We shall see.

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