The Susan Rice Nomination... another failing grade for Washington...
Finally a grownup has emerged in Washington. Too bad she isn’t part of Congress and as such, is unable to help us avoid the fast approaching fiscal cliff. No, the person I am talking about is not some powerful Senator or Congressman.
The person I am talking about is UN Ambassador Susan Rice.
Susan Rice for those of you who don’t live for politics as a hobby, was President Obama’s first choice to become Secretary of State when Hillary Clinton steps down in a few weeks.
I say was because yesterday Susan Rice stepped up and did what a diplomat should do. She analyzed the situation before her and made a decision that was based on what she thought was in the best interests of the United States.
She took her name out of the running for the position, saying her nomination would lead to a battle royale in the politics of the Senate, where she must be confirmed, and in so doing, proved that she is clearly a better person than either President Barack Obama or the John McCain cabal that was clearly out to get her.
Here’s the back-story.
On Tuesday, September 11, one of our diplomatic outposts, in Libya, was attacked by what we now know to be terrorists. In the attack and the aftermath, 4 Americans were tragically killed.
On the following Sunday, five days later, UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on national television and told the American people what the intelligence community believed was correct about the attack at that time.
It turns out, the information she was given, and that she repeated, was wrong.
And because of this, because she said on national television something that was later found to be incorrect, she was deemed unqualified by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
What was Susan Rice’s response to this? She has said that she was sharing the assessment of the intelligence community, which included the CIA and the Director of National Security. In effect, she was stating on all of those Sunday political talk shows what the intelligence community believed to be true.
And for that, the political right has vilified her.
But let’s not leave President Barack Obama out of this. If he believed she was being treated unfairly, and judging from his post election presser that he did, he should have defended her. Instead, without a formal nomination, and the administration behind her, Rice was hung out to dry by her friend, President Obama and left to twist in the wind.
Ambassador Rice saw the writing on the wall. She correctly ascertained that President Obama was not going to wage a fight for her, and that Sens. McCain and Graham were prepared to block her nomination. She was in a no win position and she knew it.
Despite the fact that Susan Rice has been one of our best leaders in the State Department, serving two administrations, despite her having served on the National Security Council, and despite a sterling education that includes a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, Susan Rice had been deemed unqualified to be Secretary of State.
It was only a few years back that Secretary Powell, Secretary Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told us that we had to attack Iraq and Saddam Hussein because that country had amassed a cache of WMD’s that made America vulnerable.
We soon learned, after thousands of Americans died in that war that in fact the intelligence was wrong. We believed it to be right, as did many others around the world, but as a point of fact, it was wrong as Director Rice has since admitted.
Yet we heard no howls of protest and no questions about the intelligence of Secretary’s Powell, Rumsfeld, or Condoleezza Rice back then from anyone on the political right. No one felt Director Rice was unqualified to become Secretary of State back then because she had gone on television numerous times and wrongly assured us that Iraq had WMD.
Senators McCain and Graham, you should be ashamed for the way you have attacked this immensely qualified woman and torpedoed her nomination to be Secretary of State.
President Obama, if this is how you treat your close friends, it is no wonder we hear so many stories about how hard it is to connect to you.
All of you would at best receive a mark of needs to improve on a first grade report card for playing well with others.
Ambassador Rice, thank you. You have proved that in the growing cesspool that is our nations capital, there are still honorable people doing their best in trying circumstances to serve our countries interests, rather than their own.