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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Real Susan Rice

"I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.” — Susan Rice, Aftermath of the slaughter of 800,000 Tutsi by the Hutu government of Rwanda in 1994.

In a 2001 article titled Bystanders to Genocide by Samantha Power published in Atlantic Magazine on the incompetence and lack of reaction the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where in the course of a hundred days in 1994 the Hutu government of Rwanda and its extremist allies very nearly succeeded in exterminating the country's Tutsi minority. Using firearms, machetes, and a variety of garden implements, Hutu militiamen, soldiers, and ordinary citizens murdered some 800,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu. It was the fastest, most efficient killing spree of the twentieth century.

Ms. Powers now a close White House advisor to Barack Obama and the hawkish architect of Obama’s intervention into Libya had this to say about Susan Rice, who at the time of the Rwanda genocide was serving in the Clinton administration on the National Security Council as Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping from in the Clinton administration:

“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."

Susan Rice, Clarke's co-worker on peacekeeping at the NSC, also feels that she has a debt to repay. "There was such a huge disconnect between the logic of each of the decisions we took along the way during the genocide and the moral consequences of the decisions taken collectively," Rice says. "I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required." Rice was subsequently appointed NSC Africa director and, later, assistant secretary of state for African affairs; she visited Rwanda several times and helped to launch a small program geared to train selected African armies so that they might be available to respond to the continent's next genocide. The American appetite for troop deployments in Africa had not improved.”

Rice served in the Clinton administration in various capacities: at the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997; as Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping from 1993 to 1995; and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs from 1995 to 1997.

At the time of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Rice reportedly said, "If we use theSusan_Rice,_official_State_Dept_photo_portrait,_2009 word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?" Rice subsequently acknowledged the mistakes made at the time and felt that a debt needed repaying.[19] The inability or failure of the Clinton administration to do anything about the genocide would inform her later views on possible military interventions. She would later say of the experience: "I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required. It seems she forgot her promise as she made the rounds of the five Sunday talk shows after the attack on our Benghazi consulate and CIA annex.

Rice supported the multinational force that invaded Zaire from Rwanda in 1996 and overthrew dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, saying privately that "Anything's better than Mobutu." Others criticized the U.S. complicity in the violation of the Congo's borders as destabilizing and dangerous.

In a 2002 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, former Ambassador to Sudan Timothy M. Carney and news contributor Mansoor Ijaz implicated Rice and counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke in missing an opportunity to neutralize Osama bin Laden while he was still in Sudan in 1996. They write that Sudan and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were ready to cooperate on intelligence potentially leading to Bin Laden, but that Rice and Clarke persuaded National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to overrule Albright. Similar allegations were made by Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose and Richard Miniter, author of Losing Bin Laden, in a November 2003 interview with World.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been a longtime mentor and family friend to Rice. Albright urged Clinton to appoint Rice as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1997. Rice was not the first choice of Congressional Black Caucus leaders, who considered Rice a member of "Washington's assimilationist black elite". At a confirmation hearing chaired by Senator Jesse Helms, Rice, who attended the hearing along with her infant son, whom she was then nursing, made a great impression on Senators from both parties and "sailed through the confirmation process". Does this seem as racism when Jesse Helms allowed her nomination to go through?

Rice continued to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs until the end of Clinton's term in January 2001.

Rice was managing director and principal at Intellibridge from 2001 to 2002. In 2002, she joined the Brookings Institution as senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program. At Brookings, she focused on U.S. foreign policy, weak and failing states, the implications of global poverty, and transnational threats to security.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Rice served as a foreign policy adviser to John Kerry.

Rice went on leave from the Brookings Institution to serve as a senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. Rice took a disparaging view of Obama's Republican opponent in the campaign, John McCain, calling his policies "reckless" and dismissing the Arizona Senator's trip to Iraq as "strolling around the market in a flak jacket." In a recent interview she praised Senator McCain for his service to the nation and looked forward to explaining why she lied to the American public. According to a Fox News report Rice stated:

“When discussing the attack against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community," Rice said Wednesday evening to reporters outside the U.N. Security Council.

“Rice said she respects McCain, but says "some of the statements he's made about me have been unfounded, but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him."

Her duplicity as a Washington insider is unbelievable.

According to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, at one point Rice gave the "Rockefeller Gesture" to Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff. This is just another example of Ms. Rice’s decorum and her elitist personality.

Rice continued to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs until the end of Clinton's term in January 2001.

On November 5, 2008, Rice was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats have gone to great lengths to defend embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s role in the aftermath of the 9-11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Ms. Rice’s defenders claim that her initial public assessment that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous protest in reaction to a supposed Anti-Islam film on YouTube was based on bad intelligence.

Congressional hearings have revealed that the CIA, under its former director David Petraeus, knew through intelligence on the ground and from assets overhead that this planned attack was carried out by Al-Qaeda. It would appear that Ms. Rice was part of a coordinated effort by unknown elements within the White House to downplay the terrorist aspect of Benghazi attack, which happened on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks and with less than eight weeks to go before a Presidential election. Her reluctance to using the word “terrorism” is very reminiscent of her reluctance to use the genocide during the Rwandan massacres.

Many people on both sides of the political spectrum are well aware of Ms. Rice’s history of political cronyism and her tactic of twisting truth to protect the political fortunes of the administrations in which she has served. While Congressional Democrats have sought to portray the investigation into Ms. Rice’s role in the Benghazi cover-up as a witch hunt based on racism and sexism, some of these same Democrats have had their own concerns about Ms. Rice’s cronyism in the past.

In a quote for a 2002 book written by Samantha Power, Ms. Rice stated, in her attempted defense of the Clinton Administration’s inaction in response to the genocide that was taking place in the tiny African Nation of Rwanda in 1994, “If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November congressional election?" It was later revealed that President Clinton, along with Madeline Albright, Anthony Lake, Warren Christopher, and Ms. Rice were all part of a coordinated effort not only to block U.N. action to stop the genocide, but to work behind the scenes to craft public opinion on the issue by removing words such as "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" from official State Department and CIA memos.

In 1997, when President Clinton sought to promote Ms. Rice to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, members of the Congressional Black Caucus objected to the appointment based on her history of being part of the Washington Elite Class. This is the same Congressional Black Caucus who is now in 2012 attempting to defend her with trumped up charges of racism and sexism. Even as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, many inside and outside of Washington questioned Ms. Rice’s tenure, as she worked with certain African dictators with questionable records, reaping praise on herself for doing so.

As President Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ms. Rice has come under fire several times in the past. She has missed key votes, and she has not opposed nations with questionable human rights records heading key U.N. committees. Rice seems to have taken "a go along to get along attitude" at events like the U.N.'s weak response to the Iranian Election Protest of 2009, the ongoing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, as well as China’s muscle flexing in the East China Sea. Now it would seem that, with President Obama’s reelection behind him, he is preparing to reward Ms. Rice with the position of Secretary of State (as Ms. Clinton said she is not interested in serving a second term) as she helped shape early public opinion on the Benghazi Attack.

If Ms. Rice does receive the appointment of Secretary of State, it will be with even more blood on her resume, as President Clinton rewarded her after misleading the public on the issues of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Africa. This time, her record of shameful political cronyism is now covered in the blood of four Americans, and that is why her defenders are trying to make this about her race and gender — because loyalty to the public is trumped by loyalty to a President and his party.

Susan Rice was a bystander to genocide during the Clinton Administration, and currently in the Obama Administration, she is a cheerleader to genocide. If Obama is elected for another term and she becomes a secretary of state, who knows what she will become.

If one believes that the United Nations is a hopelessly ineffective institution and wants to make sure it stays that way, then perhaps Obama has chosen an appropriate emissary: a woman who prefers to ponder the political implications of inaction — they're going to love her at Foggy Bottom.

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