Why to Say No to Susan Rice

Exclusive: Key Republicans object to Susan Rice getting a promotion from UN ambassador to Secretary of State, citing her flawed account of the Benghazi assault. But a more legitimate concern is her lack of judgment on the Iraq War and other foreign policy decisions, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

President Barack Obama should ditch the idea of nominating U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State on substantive grounds, not because she may have knowingly or not fudged the truth about the attack on the poorly guarded CIA installation in Benghazi, Libya.

Rice’s biggest disqualification is the fact that she has shown little willingness to challenge the frequently wrongheaded conventional wisdom of Official Washington, including on the critical question of invading Iraq in 2003. At that pivotal moment, Rice essentially went with the flow, rather than standing up for the principles of international law or exposing the pro-war deceptions.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaking to the General Assembly. (U.S. State Department photo)

In fall 2002, as President George W. Bush and his administration were pounding the drums for war, Rice wasn’t exactly a profile in courage. A senior fellow at the centrist Brookings Institution, she echoed the neoconservative demands for “regime change” in Iraq and doubted the “need [for] a further [U.N. Security] Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions” on Iraq, according a compilation of her Iraq War comments by the Institute for Public Accuracy.

In an NPR interview on Dec. 20, 2002, Rice joined the bellicose chorus, declaring: “It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It’s clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side.”

Rice also was wowed by Secretary of State Colin Powell’s deceptive speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003. The next day, again on NPR, Rice said, “I think he has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.”

After the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, Rice foresaw an open-ended U.S. occupation of Iraq. In a Washington Post online forum, she declared, ““To maximize our likelihood of success, the US is going to have to remain committed to and focused on reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq for many years to come. This administration and future ones will need to demonstrate a longer attention span than we have in Afghanistan, and we will have to embrace rather than evade the essential tasks of peacekeeping and nation building.”

Only later, when the Iraq War began going badly and especially after she became an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, did Rice take a less hawkish position. She opposed President Bush’s troop “surge” in 2007, a stance in line with Obama’s anti-Iraq War posture. During Campaign 2008, she also mocked one of Sen. John McCain’s trips to Baghdad as “strolling around the market in a flak jacket.”

The Ambitious Staffer

In other words, Rice fits the mold more of an ambitious staffer ever mindful of the safe boundaries for permissible thought in Official Washington and eager to serve one’s political patron than of a courageous foreign policy thinker who can see around the corners to spot the actual threats looming for the United States and the world.

Though Rice’s defenders might say there is nothing unusual in an aspiring foreign policy operative following the consensus or the instructions of a superior, there are plenty of troubling examples of innocent people getting killed when careerism overwhelmed wisdom and judgment. For instance, in 2003, CIA Director George Tenet, a malleable former congressional staffer, helped pave the way for the disastrous Iraq War.

Ironically, Rice’s eagerness to play the Washington game also landed her in the middle of the current “scandal” over her statements regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi which left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

On Sept. 16, Rice appeared on five (count them) Sunday TV shows, adhering closely to the CIA-provided “talking points,” which cited the likelihood of a spontaneous protest preceding the violent assault but which alluded to the tenuousness of the evidence available at the time.

Blinded by the limelight, Rice seems to have blundered into the controversy, giving little thought to the possibility that she was being put out front by then-CIA Director David Petraeus and Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, who is the usual administration spokesman regarding terrorist attacks.  Brennan immediately flew off to Libya on a fact-finding trip, leaving Rice in the unaccustomed role of ‘splaining the attack in Benghazi.

Rice also wasn’t overly curious as to why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begged off on grounds she was “not going to offer any hypothetical explanations.”

Was Ambassador Rice too ambitious and/or too naive?  For her it is a cruel irony that by letting her vision be blurred by the allure of five sets of klieg lights in one day, and the opportunity to embellish her persona for the top job at State, she has imperiled her own candidacy.

Loyal functionaries like Rice, with a penchant for doing whatever they are told do not expect to be mouse-trapped by their colleagues. But, if you can’t see that kind of thing coming particularly when folks like Brennan and Petraeus are involved you should not expect to become Secretary of State.

Understanding Benghazi

It also might have been smart for Rice to have taken the trouble to learn what U.S. officials were doing in Benghazi.  Did she know that, as House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has revealed, that the word “consulate” in the draft “talking points” was carefully changed to “mission”?

A prospective Secretary of State should know the difference. A “mission” is a group of officials abroad normally headed by a diplomat while a consulate is headed by a consul who normally handles commercial interests, serves the needs of citizens abroad and issues visas.

The difference between consulate and mission is more than semantic. Consulates, understandably, perform consular duties. Missions can do whatever. As my former CIA analyst colleague, Melvin A. Goodman pointed out in “The Why Behind the Benghazi Attack,” the hidden reality in Benghazi was not the alleged deception by Rice or the inadequate security measures.

The key secret was that the U.S. government had transformed the Benghazi “mission” into an operational CIA base spying on and seeking to neutralize extremist militias operating in eastern Libya. Thus, the “mission” was an inviting target for attack. In a limited sense, one could say the primary security failure was in not adequately anticipating this risk.

The more significant point is that, because of the anger resulting from U.S. policy in the area and the CIA role in implementing it, there is great doubt that “missions” like the one in Benghazi can ever be protected from the kind of organized assault launched on Sept. 11, 2012. And that probably includes gigantic, fortified installations like the U.S. embassies in Baghdad and Kabul.

A month before the U.S. presidential election, House Government Affairs Committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, conducted a public hearing, in an attempt to prove that with adequate security measures the attack on the Benghazi “mission” could have been thwarted and American lives saved.

Issa’s star witness, State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, joined others in bemoaning State’s refusal to provide additional security (partly due to congressional refusal to appropriate all the requested funds).

But Nordstrom shot a wide hole in the notion that more security could have saved the day. A 14-year veteran of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Nordstrom said the kind of attack mounted in Benghazi could not have been prevented.

“Having an extra foot of wall, or an extra half-dozen guards or agents would not have enabled us to respond to that kind of assault,” Nordstrom said. “The ferocity and intensity of the attack was nothing that we had seen in Libya, or that I had seen in my time in the Diplomatic Security Service.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Real Blame for Deaths in Libya.”]

Whether media pundits are conscious of this or not, the interminable focus on what Susan Rice said and when she said it, as well as the inadequate security, divert attention from what the CIA was doing in Benghazi. No Establishment figure or media pundit wants to focus on that. And, as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, recently conceded, no politician wants to risk appearing reluctant to support covert action against “terrorism.”

But a source with excellent access, so to speak, to former CIA Director David Petraeus, his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell, said publicly on Oct. 26 that CIA was interrogating prisoners in Benghazi and that this may have been the reason the CIA base was so brutally attacked. More bizarre still, her comments were corroborated by Fox News!

If Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham were genuinely interested in what happened in Benghazi and why, would they not wish to look into that?

A C-Minus on Substance

President Obama has defended Rice against those who would “besmirch” her reputation, saying she “has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, professionalism, and toughness, and grace.”

Obama also said she had “nothing to do with Benghazi.” However, this does not appear to be entirely accurate. It is an open secret that Susan Rice, together with Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power, now ensconced at Obama’s National Security Council, were big promoters of the so-called “responsibility to protect” and thus acted as prime movers behind the U.S. excellent adventure in Libya.

The charitable explanation is that last year, with a thoroughly naive “Gaddafi-bad-guys-vs.-maybe-good-guys” approach, blissfully unaware of which elements they might be “protecting” or “liberating” in Benghazi, and with little planning regarding who might replace Gaddafi, they made their mark on Libya.

Are we to believe that they gave not a thought to the imperative felt by key NATO partners to exploit the fledgling “Libyan Arab spring” to ensure the continuing flow of high-grade crude? And did none of them take any lessons from the excellent adventure of going into Iraq with no serious plan for what might come next?

As for Ambassador Rice, as some have suggested, her judgment may be compromised by well-deserved guilt at having done nothing to stop the killing of 800,000 Rwandans in 1994 when she was White House referent for African affairs at the NSC under President Bill Clinton and acquiesced in his reluctance to call genocide “genocide.”

This presumably was why, when President Bill Clinton nominated Susan Rice to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1997, the Congressional Black Caucus objected to the nomination, citing her membership in “Washington’s assimilationist black elite.”

The caucus got that right. Susan Rice has moved up the ladder by demonstrating an uncanny ability to ignore the interests of the oppressed black or brown whether in Rwanda or in Gaza. Her selective judgment on when to intervene in a foreign crisis normally follows the conventional wisdom of Official Washington, such as with Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

Ignoring Palestine’s Plight

Thus, her empathy for the “good guys” (whoever they may be) in Libya does not extend to the Palestinians. Like other myopic policymakers and spokespersons, Rice ignores the misery in Gaza and the West Bank because to do otherwise would cast her outside Official Washington’s perceived wisdom, which holds that no smart politician or pundit confronts Israel too directly or too frequently.

However, the fact that last Thursday the United States could muster only eight votes (beside its own), from the 193 member states of the General Assembly, to oppose giving Palestine the status of non-member observer state is surely a harbinger of defeats to come on this key issue.

Rice’s one-sided defense of Israel as it pummeled the defenseless Gazans last month was not only unconscionable, but in the long run counterproductive not only for the U.S. but for Israel. Granted, Rice was speaking for the Obama administration but there are no indications that she has used her influence with the President to reshape U.S. policy significantly.

Her failure to dissent, which would surely undo her careful construction of a Washington career, continues even as Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yashai has acknowledged that Israel’s goal was to “send Gaza back to the Middle Ages” and other Israeli officials casually liken their periodic bloodletting in Gaza to “mowing the grass.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass.”]

Washington’s public support for the carnage no doubt has left Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a sense of invulnerability even in the face of the stinging vote in the U.N. Thus, he retaliated for the U.N.’s affront by authoring 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers and plans for thousands more in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On Friday, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor replied lamely, “We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction and announcements.”

As the Biblical advice states: By their fruits shall you know them. So look at the fruits of Rice’s policymaking, including her one-sided defense of Israel before a world audience increasingly aware of U.S. hypocrisy, particularly on the key issue of Palestine.

It can surely be assumed that Susan Rice is intelligent enough to understand the moral depravity of U.S. policy on Palestine. Then why does she fall so easily in with extreme pro-Israel hawks and neocons on such issues? Presumably, she understands that such positioning is how to get ahead.

In playing for support from her fellow hawks, Rice remains the ambitious staffer more than the wise diplomat. And like an ambitious staffer, she senses that hawkishness is usually a safer career path than thoughtful diplomacy. This is not the kind of person anyone should want as Secretary of State.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He served as an Army officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

43 comments for “Why to Say No to Susan Rice

  1. dorigillz
    December 12, 2012 at 15:10

    AZcowBoy, what is your problem with women’s butts? I would listen to what you say, except, you constantly preface your remarks by commenting on the woman’s bottom. Therefore, any credibility that you may have re: the topic is removed by your personal prejudice against women’s large buttocks.

    I am quite sure that you are not a “10.” but even if you are in perfect physical shape, a Fat Butt has nothing to do with being a Fat Head; which is what you seem to be.

    Please try to stick to the topic of the conversation. Vulgar references regarding a woman’s physical characteristics points more to your shortcomings.

  2. Frances in California
    December 6, 2012 at 16:04

    It’s time Dennis Kucinich was made Secretary of State. We’ve been too long having Defense CEOs and Financial Industry CEOs posing as states(wo)men.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 14, 2012 at 22:36

      Hear, hear Frances! you hit the proverbial nail on the head!

  3. John Graham
    December 5, 2012 at 11:08

    If Susan Rice is removed from consideration, that leaves John Kerry. Mr. McGovern may prefer to do first things first, but given that John Kerry is the alternative and given his ability to potentially give President Obama wiser(?) counsel due to his experience and relative independence as compared to Susan Rice, a detailed section on how John Kerry might not help start wars that Susan Rice would and how, given his record, John Kerry would work (?) for peace in Palestine while Susan Rice would only do Obama’s bidding, would have been good to read here.

    But far more importantly, I believe it would have been wise to have included several sections exposing the extent of the Israel Lobby’s control over this approval process, how no one can be nominated without absolute approval by the Israel Lobby. Then, this control should have been attacked as it must be because it must be reduced dramatically so that America will stop fighting Israel’s wars in the Middle East and stop being seen as Israel’s Western fiefdom.

    We must show the devastating effects of the Israel Lobby’s control: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/11/17/218262-aipac-in-america-american-and-israeli-plans-and-objectives-in-palestinethe-middle-east-and-iran/

  4. rexw
    December 5, 2012 at 01:41


    Hanan Ashrawi’s articulate interview, which nicely sums up the Israel-Palestine 60 years negotiations charade…
    : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gioPomv1AeY#t=0s

    It is really worth a listen. It is just the truth, pure and simple.

    This, from a proud moderate Palestinian, admirable qualities, admirable person. Even Israel agrees with that statement. No hysterics, just quiet facts.

    If I could respectfully say one thing only. For someone who quotes Articles frequently from the UN Charter, supporting a state that has ignored more UN Resolutions than any other country in the history of this august body, it does seem somewhat incongruous.

    There will be a solution to all this, Borat. I think you know that and so does your government. The alternative is too unpleasant to consider from which Israel, as an entity, could never receive regard or respect from any country, and it strives for both, but mainly, peace, as do we all.

    Finally, from one thing to another. In my youth at one stage, I had so many more friends who were Jewish who I could beat at football but seldom at chess. They were proficient at thinking ahead a few moves and faster than I could. They anticipated all the problems that now exist. Still the same, but very optimistic. I personally am delighted that those people, very much older now, are still friends but they are also still Jews, that is the religion as they always were, not Zionists, which they never were and never could be, a word we had never heard of in those halcyon days.

    I guess that I, along with these constant friends, much older now, have learnt to hate injustice, anywhere. It is a common bond.

    Football , however, these days is out of the question.


    • paschn
      December 9, 2012 at 12:05

      In addition to exposing AmeriKa’s sovereignty and people to additional false flag attacks, I’m having chronic problems with nausea caused by seeing waaaay too many tattoos of the Israeli flag on congress’ bank books and asses.

      McCain comes to mind more often than others. this “war hero” no one remembers seeing…..along with his “patriotic” daddy who threatened USS Liberty survivors with “court martial or worse” if they open their mouths about our “friend” in the middle east.

      On a lighter note, great news travels fast…


      Could this mean an eventual end to the terrorist/nuclear rogue state of New Khazaria? One can only hope…

  5. Debbie Menon
    December 5, 2012 at 00:59

    Now that Palestine has its birth certificate… The game is up for Israel’s pimps and hirelings…

    PLO executive member Hanan Ashrawi thanked the 138 UN General Assembly members that voted for Palestine’s upgrade to a non-member state, telling them: “You have rescued the chances of peace by supporting the forces of reason and responsibility rather than the irrational and irresponsible exercise of force and violence. You have given us hope, and we pledge to work with you to make this shared world of ours more peaceful and humane.”

    She said the nations that voted for Palestine had “demonstrated courage and integrity by acting in accordance with the dictates of your conscience and integrity rather than the diktat of power and intimidation”.


    and she nicely sums up the 60 yeas “negotiations” charade here :


    • Debbie Menon
      December 5, 2012 at 01:08

      My apologies the LINK to her summation of the 60 years “negotiations” charade is :


      Enjoy! It’s a great pity she has been hidden from Western view. She is credible, very articulate with excellent English, magnetic, has a nice manner and, I suspect, is almost impossible to trip up. What’s more she knows backwards, from her comprehensive experience, which facts are the most compelling.

      • rhys
        December 5, 2012 at 06:24

        She certainly an imprssive lady and one who you feel you can trust.
        I hope the Israelis feel the same. But do they have any equivalent the Palestinians can trust?

        She oozes credibility and a desire to get a result.
        Hope she does. Hope she is given the opportunity first.

  6. rexw
    December 4, 2012 at 23:42

    “This is not the kind of person anyone should want as Secretary of State”

    How right you are. The article by Mr. McGovern leaves no doubt in my mind that the Susan Rice as described is one person who ‘hunts with the hounds and runs with the foxes’, or vice versa. As the Israeli wind blows so one would see Ms Rice also bend. How dislike of Palestine makes her the wrong person. After all, 138 other nations do. One assumes she can count.

    She is obviosly career-minded but couldn’t be as bad as Ms Clinton, an Israel fellow traveller if ever there was one and therefor of little value to most of the world just based on credibility alone. She has none.

    I am sure that for the new holder of this position, the republicans have yet to add their weight to some candidate of their choosing. Can they dredge up a fully paid up Jewish candidate to keep their influence higher than it should be. Time will tell.

    In the meantime, if I was Ms Rice, I would be redecorating her UN office for another season. Obama, who has made more senior appointment mistakes than anyone for a very long time, with Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Petraeus and others of less significance, lost an opportunity with Chas Freeman the last time around, which lost him a great deal of respect as a President and also as a person. He has not recovered either.
    So one can hardly ecpect hime to get it right this time.

    Four more years of playing ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’ will be a painful experience for those informed people who care how America is viewed and the job it could be doing, without the sef-centred influences of Israel.

    • Debbie Menon
      December 4, 2012 at 23:57

      BINGO! Rex. I couldn’t have said it better!

  7. Sagarian
    December 4, 2012 at 14:21

    International diplomacy, as it is practiced and utilized, by today’s standards and American flag bearers, like the Rices, both Condoleeza and Susan, is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. It is interesting to me how extremely strong-willed females have successfully demonstrated that they can be just as diplomatically Machiavellian as any of their male counterparts. Not leaving out Madeline Albright who also served on the world stage. She was my favorite world stage negotiator having met her briefly once. I found her to be quite charming and likable. But I also got the sense that I wouldn’t want to have faced her across any table as a negotiator either. The world stage can be difficult to maneuver and it has its share of ‘bad faith actors’ too. I try to do my little part in making the world a safer and more sustainable place to live by following this quote: “Think globally, act locally.” Maybe I need to think harder? Maybe we all should think harder too?

  8. Paul G.
    December 4, 2012 at 03:25

    Great article, she boils down to just a continuation of Hillary; but maybe more of a sychophant ( misspelled on purpose, combination of psychopath and ass kisser). Can’t expect any more, the Republicans sometimes do the right thing for all the wrong reasons in opposing her.

  9. Robert Locke
    December 3, 2012 at 19:49

    I am so sorry for my typo in Condoleezza Rice’s name. I was concentrating so much on how many ees and zzs that I mistyped.

  10. Robert Locke
    December 3, 2012 at 19:47

    Thanks, Mr. McGovern, for your usual clarity. I’m afraid that I was hornswoggled into being pro-Rice (Susan, I mean, not that dreadful Congoleezza) by the fact that McCain, Graham et alii dreadful Republicans were so anti, but everything you say here makes perfect sense. Since Obama himself has been so articulately anti on pre-Iraq-Invasion-disaster, I’m surprised he has been instrumental in promoting Susan Rice.

    So then who for Secretary of State? Al Gore makes a lot of sense (if he would do it) where he could bring his Global Warming message all around the planet at the same time as he works for peace. Russ Feingold, would he ever be considered. Jon Huntsman (he did great for Obama in China, didn’t he?)

    But yes, Ray McGovern, you have certainly convinced me NOT Susan Rice.

  11. Brian F. Wood
    December 3, 2012 at 17:02

    She’s a war criminal like the others and should hang right along with the administrations of Bush and Obama at Nuremberg alongside their spiritual brethren.

  12. Coleen Rowley
    December 3, 2012 at 16:53

    Unfortunately those in the “most powerful women club”–those who have risen the highest thus far in US government-corporatocracy–have actually proven to be as corrupt and possibly even worse warhawks than their male counterparts: https://consortiumnews.com/2012/05/14/reflecting-on-mothers-day-and-war/. The oil interests parallels between Condi Rice and Susan Rice are downright uncanny: “Secretary of State Candidate Has Major Financial Stakes in Canadian Tar Sands” (http://ecowatch.org/2012/stakes-in-canadian-tar-sands/).

    This may not totally dash the hopes of those liberals who think there will be changes for the better once the kinder and gentler sex gets power as it might all be due to a form of Napoleonic Complex suffered by women trying to project false toughness to fit and excel in a man’s world. It’s hard to predict but in this case, as the comment above says, the new Rice is the same as the old Rice.

    • nora king
      December 3, 2012 at 19:17

      Not just in the US. Maggie Thatcher,for starters.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 12, 2012 at 12:26

      Excellent observations Coleen. My eyes just glaze over when a commentator or correspondent writes articles criticizing political appointees or should I say mannequins like Susan Rice. She “bought into” a one of the most rigid pyramid organizations in the world, the US government! tow the line or else! The appointees sometimes rise in prestige based on the amount of blood on their hands, either through direct association with someone or as an accessory after the fact,it almost guarantees promotion. My eyes shut completely after her resume said Stanford. That University has come to signify the Eastern Establishment and elitism. Her credentials left no room for the voice of anyone outside the beltway. She may have been a foreign policy aide to Michael Dukakis but that’s where the similarities to him end.

  13. Mason
    December 3, 2012 at 16:26

    i don’t have a problem with any of that, but I do have a problem if she is invested in the KL pipeline. I’m so tired of elected representatives getting elected and enriching themselves. TIRED!

    • Susan
      December 3, 2012 at 16:40

      – see Lendman’s article at


      “She and her husband own at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s eight leading oil producers. She has up to $600,000 equity in TransCanada Corp. It’s building the environmentally destructive Keystone XL pipeline.”

      • Ezra83
        December 9, 2012 at 00:47

        One Rice tied to Chevron and the other to keystone XL. Looks like 2 peas in a pod.

  14. rosemerry
    December 3, 2012 at 15:59

    Ray, you have not gone deeply enough. Susan Rice has constantly gone against the rights of Africans. Her support of Rwanda and Uganda in the present conflict where their militias and weapons are going against the Congolese Army follow her refusal to publish a report the UN had commissioned on the illegal behaviour of these two US puppets.
    See the latest Real News Network interview on the Congo,and also the Black Agenda Report website.
    Susan Rice and her husband have large holdings in Canadian tar sands; enough to put her in a confkict of interest as SoS.
    In general, how such a rude, undiplomatic person can even be considered (her shouting at Russia and China for their vetoes, for example) shows that the USA, like Israel, cares not at all about world opinion.

    • charles sereno
      December 3, 2012 at 21:24

      Borat-Bunny: Keep operating. We’re all watching with interest. (It can’t be forever, can it?)

  15. Mike Springmann
    December 3, 2012 at 15:55

    After the Vietnam War, another exercise in fighting an imaginary enemy, a study was done, comparing the careers of those who supported Washington “policy” & those who opposed it, spoke out against it, & resigned over it. Those who backed murder, war crimes, & human rights violations had excellent careers. Those who opposed them had no careers.

    Obviously,in the case of Not So Nice Rice, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  16. jo6pac
    December 3, 2012 at 15:48

    Thanks Ray, the new rice is the same as the old rice.

  17. nora king
    December 3, 2012 at 15:20

    Thanks, Ray. Anyone who goes along with CIA assassments time after time will not be a new world Sec. of State. This generation of young prople are post-anonymous and question the CIA drone diplomacy. Of the candidates mentioned so far, only John Kerry has taken an independent stand questioning flawed and disengenuous intel. Why not broaden the pack and throw in another critical elder statesmanlike Ron Dellums?

  18. incontinent reader
    December 3, 2012 at 15:17

    Ray, what a fine analysis. However, I fear that the flaws you have articulated are the very ones that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can or will examine and cite to oppose her confirmation. Why? Because they are, in one form or other, all in accord with those same underlying flawed policies.

  19. Bill Dekking
    December 3, 2012 at 15:04

    Seems like “going with the flow” , pro-war deceptions, runs in the Rice world, case in point the other Rice and the “Mushroom Cloud” speech and ultimately the Iraq war. This Rice has a few too many questionable decisions to be considered for the post of Secretary of State the biggest being the XL pipeline approval and her ties to oil interests. and not John Mccain and company fantasies.

    • charles sereno
      December 3, 2012 at 21:13


      • charles sereno
        December 3, 2012 at 21:16

        I meant “Ditto” to all those in appreciation of Ray’s fine analysis.

  20. John Puma
    December 3, 2012 at 14:50

    Ms Rice is alleged to have tens of millions of dollars of investments in the companies who stand to profit from approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will be hers to make.

    The pipeline reapplication that Obama invited in February of this year has been noted received at the Dept State website and he has promised the decision in early 2013.

  21. F. G. Sanford
    December 3, 2012 at 14:50

    Thanks Ray, for digging deeper, when nobody else has the guts. I’m re-posting my comment from the other day, as I think it still applies:

    Gee whiz, after Susan Rice campaigned for the “humanitarian bombing” under the guise of R2P, did she have any stake in the attempt to put a benign face on the disastrous outcome in Libya? Calling it a protest that got out of control wouldn’t take the onus off her failed policy, now, would it? I don’t know what other motive that hissing viper could possibly have contemplated. The Q&A session Paula Broadwell conducted,thinking she was in the presence of fawning admirers, also seems to have been buried by the press. The self-admitted status seeker, coveting her future role as a potential director of the NSA, claimed that Benghazi was being used as a black prison site, and that the whole affair was a ruse to free clandestine detainees. She bragged, “You probably haven’t heard, because the story hasn’t been vetted yet…” etc. There are a dozen good reasons to can Susan Rice, but her bogus press conference comments aren’t among them.

    • TheAZCowBoy
      December 4, 2012 at 02:05

      I prefer to call the Banghazi attack ‘poetic justice.’ ‘We came’, ‘we saw’ – ‘He died, as (((thunder thighs))) Hillary said sarcastically at the time an unarmed ‘old man’ Gaddafi was sodomized with a gun (daggar?) and then unceremoniously murdered in cold blood by the UNITED SNAKES’ (US/Israel/UN) ‘rebel’s’

    • sappho
      December 4, 2012 at 09:28

      Who are you guys that want to dictate to this president who he should nominate as his Secretary of State? This is the most politically charged attack on Ms. Rice that I’ve ever seen. Where were these folk when Condi Rice was nominated? She had far more baggage than Susan is alleged to have. This tactic of smear and misinformation was tried during the campaign. It didn’t work then and it will not work this time. If the president chooses to nominate Ms. Rice I predict she will win confirmation by the same landslide the president won the election.

      • Nelson Wight
        December 4, 2012 at 10:57

        You appear to be very ignorant of Ms. Rice, or very biased, or politically involved. You offer no substantive opposing view.

      • Nelson Wight
        December 4, 2012 at 11:05

        very hip on BC Hellenic poetry, but I’ve visited Mitlini and understand the language of Ellas, so I’m convinced your user name is of other origin where the ‘h’ is silent and the masculine word suffix ‘o’ might suitably be a ‘y’!

      • F. G. Sanford
        December 4, 2012 at 11:23

        Did you miss the boat somewhere? Who are we to dictate to the president? In other words, he should dictate to us, and forget that “Of the people, by the people and for the people” stuff? Lindsay Graham and John McCain are two pasty, repulsive old white guys. They happen to be right this time, but for all the wrong reasons. Even that AIPAC shill Joe Lieberman has abandoned them on this issue. That in itself should be scary stuff.

      • Debbie Menon
        December 4, 2012 at 20:03

        First, ANY successful candidate for senior administration positions in either party is going to have the backing of major Jewish groups, or the Senate simply won’t confirm that person. Second, it is not the place for a UN Ambassador of either party “to challenge the frequently wrongheaded conventional wisdom of Official Washington,” put to serve internationally as a White House spokesperson – any UN ambassador (or ambassador to any country or IGO, for that matter) who departed one sentence from Administration dogma would have the longevity in office of a moth in front of a blowtorch – they are there to echo policy, not make it or challenge it. And third, I think Ray is confusing Susan Rice and Condoleezza Rice – both black, both female, same last name – in his Iraq War criticism, because in 2003 Condoleezza Rice headed the NSC while Susan Rice was essentially unknown, and her views would have been irrelevant then.
        And yes, Susan Rice’s Brookings slot in 2003, but in Washington Senior Fellows (and Fellas) are a dime a dozen or less – hell, I have friends who were at CSIS for a while!

        • F. G. Sanford
          December 4, 2012 at 21:01

          If your opinion were true, we could send a cardboard cutout of Thomas Jefferson and a tape recorder to the U.N. A warm-blooded diplomat wouldn’t be necessary. The job of any cabinet is to provide wise counsel to the Chief Executive, not to serve as a parrot. Your description of government is well documented by political scientists: it represents a “court”, like King George’s, Oliver Cromwell’s, Napoleon’s or Adolph Hitler’s. The dictator surrounds himself with sycophants, boot lickers, yes men, feckless careerists and ass-kissers. You know, people like Susan Rice, Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Donald Rumsfeld, and a host of others. My apologies to the deserving toadies I left out.

          • Debbie Menon
            December 4, 2012 at 23:16

            True. They come a dime a dozen, skilled, roped in, schooled,qualified, competent, disciplined, coached, cultivated, honed, hardened, to serve and do the master’s bidding. So what is new ? Hell, Brzezinski had his chance to speak out when he was in power, but he chose ambition. So what is new ?

            In a speech to the National Iranian American Council
            recently, he said:

            “I don’t think there is an implicit obligation for the United States to follow like a stupid mule whatever the Israelis do. If they decide to start a war, simply on the assumption that we’ll automatically be drawn into it, I think it is the obligation of friendship to say, ‘you’re not going to be making national decisions for us.’ I think that the United States has the right to have its own national security policy.”


        • incontinent reader
          December 5, 2012 at 07:46

          Ray is correct, Susan Rice was in accord with the Iraq War policy. See, for example, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/28/1165415/-Susan-Rice-Vocally-Supported-the-Iraq-War-and-Every-MidEast-War-Since

          Also, she was by no means an unknown at that time, having served as Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997-2001. Prior to that she had sat on the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997; was Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping from 1993 to 1995 and was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs from 1995 to 1997.

          Apparently, she was also a senior foreign policy advisor to John Kerry during his 2004 campaign.
          So, it appears that there has been a relationship between the two for more than a few years, and the selection of Rice for Secretary of State and Kerry as Secretary of Defense was a more than likely a calculated one for the “team”. This makes me question whether Kerry himself would be a good choice for either Defense or State after all.

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