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- 12-13-2012, 04:13 PM #1
Susan Rice withdraws name from consideration for secretary of state
Susan Rice withdraws name from consideration for secretary of state
Posted by Rachel Weiner on December 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm
United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has pulled her name out of consideration for nomination as the next secretary of state.
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote in a letter to President Obama obtained by NBC News. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country…Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”
Rice has come under sustained criticism from Republicans both for her handling of questions about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
President Obama responded in a statement of his own, saying that he is “grateful” that Rice will continue to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and as a “key member” of his national security team.
“While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first,” Obama said. “The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”
Rice’s decision will mean renewed focus on Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), whom President Obama has also been considering for the post.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to serve only one term.
DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS
BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP
- 12-13-2012, 06:12 PM #2“While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first,” Obama said. “The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”
Susan Rice - Absentee Ambassador
But instead of taking the lead as the United Nations tried to force Khadafy to end his war on his own people, America's top UN official was essentially AWOL.
Which is every bit as shameful as it sounds.
But it's hardly a surprise, given the Obama administration's utter cluelessness in the Middle East of late.
O & Co. have been out to lunch since protests swept dictators out of power in Tunisia and Egypt -- just as they've been slow to act against Khadafy now.
Though maybe it's for the greater good that Rice is an ocean away -- when she shows up for work she seems to do even more damage.
Case in point: Just a week ago, she vetoed an anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council, but immediately unleashed a loathsome attack on Israel, damaging US ties with the Jewish state.
Her disappearance now sends an odd message to a close ally:
When it's time to bash Israel, Rice stays put. When it's time to get to work on Libya, her deputy can pick up the pieces.
Again, back in the real world, Libya's dictator has turned warplanes and helicopter gunships on his own people.
America's ambassador has been off in Susan Rice-land. Maybe it would be better if she stayed there for good.
(HuffPo) — . . . Missing the only Security Council meeting on the Middle East revolution was not Rice’s first absence from high profile UN business. Rice was absent when the UN held an emergency Security Council meeting on Israel’s raid of a ship headed to Gaza and when Iran was elected to the UN Women’s Commission. Rice also failed to speak out when Libya was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in May 2010.
She sure had plenty of time to devote to that anti-Jewish statement several weeks ago, didnt she? Regrettably, indeed.
It’s time for Susan Rice to resign
By Richard Grenell
Published February 08, 2012
One of the reasons the American public holds unelected government officials in such low esteem is that they are never held accountable for their failures.
Presidents and cabinet officials could send a strong message of accountability if they held senior appointees responsible for their performance.
President Obama should use this weekend’s UN failure to show Americans and Arabs alike that it is unacceptable to stand idly by while some 6,500 Syrians are killed by their government. Obama should ask for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s resignation and replace her with someone tougher and more effective. If she won’t voluntarily resign then she should be fired.
The case against Susan Rice has been building over the last few years.
This weekend’s embarrassing failure on a Syria resolution was the latest and last straw. Her diplomatic failures and silence have given the United States a weak representation at the United Nations.
Next month marks the anniversary of the Syrian uprising. But Rice, as she has on many issues, has ignored Syria’s growing problems for too long.
Rather than speaking out immediately when the violence started, she stayed silent.
Rather than calling for action, she did nothing.
Russia and China saw Rice’s passivity as a sign that Syrian President Assad’s removal wasn’t a priority.
By the time Rice started pressuring Security Council members to confront the growing violence and death, it was too late.
Once a draft resolution condemning Syria was introduced, Rice was too quick to negotiate changes that weakened it without insisting on a date for the Security Council to vote. Her constant agreement to changes seemed desperate. The frantic and late maneuvering left the United States at the mercy of Russia and China, who vetoed even the watered down measure.
On her post-veto media tour, however, Rice sought to blame Russia for not listening to the United States or other western governments rather than acknowledge her failed diplomatic skills – an ironic spin given that Rice and team Obama created this same new Russian resolve when they naively and dramatically called for a "re-set" to our relationship with Russia.
The "reset" Rice championed and spoke affectionately about has not only failed to deliver support for US national security policies but it has also exposed the dangers of an inexperienced team’s strategy of personal diplomacy.
This continues Rice’s pattern of failing at her own stated goals.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Susan Rice talked very openly about restoring America’s leadership at the United Nations and often derided President George W. Bush for acting without U.N. backing.
Rice cheerfully exclaimed that, unlike Bush, Barack Obama would engage in active diplomacy even with countries considered our enemies.
She was very critical of the US’s reputation at the UN and vowed to build better relationships with every country.
In her current stump speech Rice claims that her goal has been accomplished, “We’ve repaired frayed relations with countries around the world. We’ve ended needless American isolation on a wide range of issues. And as a consequence, we've gotten strong cooperation on things that matter most to our national security interest.”
This past weekend shows just how disastrous Rice’s strategy has been.
Rice has been silent on important issues and ineffective when she does engage. She skipped Security Council meetings when Israel needed defending and even failed to show up for the emergency session on the Gaza Flotilla incident.
Rice didn’t even show up for the first two emergency Security Council meetings on the unfolding Arab revolution last year.
Rice stayed silent when Iran was elected to the UN women’s committee, she didn’t call out Libya when it was elected to the Human Rights Council, she was absent from the Haiti crisis meeting and was a no-show for the last open meeting scheduled before the planned U.N. vote to recognize Palestinian statehood. When she actually shows up, she is a miserable failure.
Take the crucial issue of Iran. Rice spent the last several years undermining and grumbling about the Bush administration’s increasingly tough measures but has only been able to pass one resolution of her own – compared with the Bush team’s five.
Rice’s one and only Iran resolution was 22 months ago. And it passed with just 12 votes of support – the least support we have ever seen for a Security Council sanctions resolution on Iran. In fact, Susan Rice lost more support with her one resolution than the previous five Iran resolutions combined.
In another example, Rice secretly negotiated with the Arabs on acceptable language for a possible U.N. resolution to condemn Israel’s settlement activity.
Rice’s engagement sent a strong message that making a new policy, rather than encouraging the two sides to negotiate directly, may not garner an automatic U.S. veto.
In February of 2011, the US abruptly changed tactics on the Arabs and vetoed a UN resolution on Israeli settlements.
The Palestinians were justifiably furious with Rice. After all, they had just spent weeks going back and forth with her on acceptable language to make Israeli settlement activity a violation of international law -- something previous U.S. administrations had bluntly and immediately threatened a veto over. Rice’s negotiations suggested the U.S. was open to change, when in fact it was not.
Whether the issue is Sudan, Egypt, North Korea or Rwanda, Rice has been either missing in action or unable to deliver a quick and effective resolution.
Firing Rice may serve Secretary of State Hillary Clinton too. Clinton’s team has always viewed Susan Rice with suspicion dating back to the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, when Rice went on MSNBC to slam Clinton’s ad claiming she was best equipped to take the national security emergency call at 3 a.m.
"Clinton hasn't had to answer the phone at three o'clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They're both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call," Rice said. Secretary Clinton, one State Department diplomat told me, has tried to distance herself from Rice and her lackluster UN performance.
President Obama could show the Arab street that it is unacceptable for the United States government to sit idly by while the United Nations Security Council does nothing. What better way to show that things at the U.N. have to change than to fire the woman spearheading the failed U.S. efforts there.
Rice’s last diplomatic initiative should be putting the United States’ reputation above her own.
Read more:Fox News
- 12-13-2012, 07:48 PM #3
Why Obama blinked on Susan Rice nomination
By Christian Whiton
Published December 13, 2012
On Thursday, President Obama took the unusual step of issuing a statement saying Susan Rice, the embattled US ambassador to the UN, had withdrawn herself from consideration to be secretary of state.
This was highly odd conduct for a White House because Rice was never nominated. In instances like this, presidents usually just nominate someone else and decline to discuss discarded possibilities for appointments.
This tells us that the White House remains deeply worried about the Libya scandal.
That Rice deliberately used her position to mislead the American people is no longer disputed by serious journalists. She went on every major Sunday news show after the 9/11 murder of US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and incorrectly attributed the cause to an obscure video and supposedly spontaneous protests.
In fact, as Rice almost certainly knew from her intelligence briefings, the Libyan government, and even unclassified emails that the killing was a deliberate attack by an Islamist group.
Rice presumably did this to advance the president’s reelection campaign. A successful terrorist attack did not fit Obama’s contention that “the tide of war is receding” in part because “al Qaeda is on its heels.” Presumably other administration officials, like Secretary of State Clinton or Pentagon boss Panetta, declined to do the dirty work out of wise concern for their reputations.
That left Rice, the politico with a history of misleading the American public on national security matters for electoral reasons. As an NSC staffer dealing with Africa in the Clinton administration, Rice in 1994 reportedly urged against calling mass-killing in Rwanda the “genocide” it so obviously was. In a call with other national security officials, Rice specifically cited looming congressional elections as a reason to pull punches, especially since the administration was doing nothing.
Despite her role in the Libya cover-up, Rice likely would have been confirmed as secretary of state. Moderate Democrats are long gone from Washington; the partisan liberals who remain never break party lines on matters like this. Moreover, the country club Republicans who run the GOP caucus in the Senate were in no mood fight. The last thing they wanted was a confirmation hearing that inevitably would be construed by the media as unfair treatment of a black woman, even a demonstrably mendacious one.
So why did Obama blink? The reason can only be fear. Next week, Hillary Clinton is supposed to testify before Congress about Libya. There are some indications Clinton may now back out, or resort to insisting on a closed session hidden from the public. Whatever the result, President Obama clearly does not want to give Congress any more high-profile chances to ask someone under oath what happened in the hours and days after Stevens was killed. Rice was at ground zero of the real scandal: not in Benghazi, where the attack occurred; but in Washington, where the cover-up was planned and executed.
Furthermore, Obama probably thought that sacrificing Rice, who still keeps her job as UN ambassador, would assuage some congressional critics and distract from a pending report on what happened in Benghazi. Most importantly, it eliminates the troubling possibility of a Rice confirmation hearing. That likely still would have led to a confirmation victory for Obama—but a pyrrhic one given the ability of most Americans to sniff out a liar.
Christian Whiton was a State Department senior adviser from 2003-09 during the administration George W. Bush administration. He is principal at DC International Advisory. Follow him on Twitter@ChristianWhiton
Read more: Why Obama blinked on Susan Rice nomination | Fox News