Susan Rice Will Not Be the Next Secretary of State
This is a good thing. Let’s discuss why:
- Susan Rice falsely claimed that the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was not premeditated—this despite the fact that when one brings RPGs to a gunfight—as the terrorists in Benghazi did—premeditation usually figures into it.
- Susan Rice engaged in outrageous misstatements of fact when discussing the attacks in Benghazi.
- Susan Rice’s discussion of the events surrounding the battle in Benghazi was designed more to provide political cover to Team Obama during a presidential election than it was to provide the American people with facts concerning the attack on our consulate.
- Even if we assume that Susan Rice was led astray by flawed talking points given to her by the intelligence community, we still have to face the fact that Rice appears to have done none of the things a responsible principal would do in order to get access to better information.
- When Susan Rice met with Senate Republicans to explain her actions, she ended up raising more questions than she answered. Many more.
- Thanks to Susan Rice’s investments, she would bring massive conflicts of interests to the table if she were named secretary of state. And incidentally, how is it that Rice was able to go through four years as America’s ambassador to the United Nations without someone calling her on those conflicts of interest?
- For that matter, how is it that Susan Rice was able to go through four years as America’s ambassador to the United Nations without someone calling her on her closeness to African despots and dictators?
ON Sept. 2, Ambassador Susan E. Rice delivered a eulogy for a man she called “a true friend to me.” Before thousands of mourners and more than 20 African heads of state in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ms. Rice, the United States’ representative to the United Nations, lauded the country’s late prime minister, Meles Zenawi. She called him “brilliant” — “a son of Ethiopia and a father to its rebirth.”
Few eulogies give a nuanced account of the decedent’s life, but the speech was part of a disturbing pattern for an official who could become President Obama’s next secretary of state. During her career, she has shown a surprising and unsettling sympathy for Africa’s despots.
This record dates from Ms. Rice’s service as assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President Bill Clinton, who in 1998 celebrated a “new generation” of African leaders, many of whom were ex-rebel commanders; among these leaders were Mr. Meles, Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jerry J. Rawlings of Ghana, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Yoweri K. Museveni of Uganda.
“One hundred years from now your grandchildren and mine will look back and say this was the beginning of an African renaissance,” Mr. Clinton said in Accra, Ghana, in March 1998.
In remarks to a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that year, Ms. Rice was equally breathless about the continent’s future. “There is a new interest in individual freedom and a movement away from repressive, one-party systems,” she said. “It is with this new generation of Africans that we seek a dynamic, long-term partnership for the 21st century.”
Her optimism was misplaced. In the 14 years since, many of these leaders have tried on the strongman’s cloak and found that it fit nicely. Mr. Meles dismantled the rule of law, silenced political opponents and forged a single-party state. Mr. Isaias, Mr. Kagame and Mr. Museveni cling to their autocratic power. Only Mr. Rawlings and Mr. Mbeki left office willingly.
So, all things considered, it is good that Susan Rice will not be the next secretary of state. The bad news is that this opens the way for John Kerry to be secretary of state, and apparently, the strongest case for John Kerry at the State Department is that he is tall, he is not much of a thinker, and he can follow orders really well.
And there are some who wonder why it is that we cannot have nice things.