Susan Rice – Judgment and Defense

With some interesting timing, moving into the holiday weekend, Susan Rice called a press conference to defend herself. Probably her main point is outlined below. I have provided a link to a very down-the-middle recount from Politico below. Trust me when I say there are some articles out there that get a little more friendly and a lot more unfriendly.

When discussing the attacks against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. . . I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers.

— United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice

Susan Rice Defends Benghazi Remarks [Politico.com]

Briefly, the quote above is at odds with testimony on the hill from former CIA Director Patraeus. Most likely, she means to say that she was relying on the public position that the administration had put out, because the intelligence community’s report did not reference a protest as the genesis of this attack and it said Al Qaeda or its affiliates.

Its pretty uncommon for a UN ambassador having to come out to defend things that they have said. No doubt she is feeling some heat from some criticism from congress, some of which is pretty poorly or indelicately stated.

The most important point here is that if she is up for the nomination to Secretary of State, we need to know that we have a person who is qualified and very sharp. There is little doubt that Susan Rice has the job experience to assume the role, but having the boxes checked is a little less important than having done a good job. There are a lot of people out there that we work with that may not have our best interests in mind, and some of them are very clever, themselves. Secretary of State Clinton’s visit to Egypt this week is a good example of that. The President, himself, has said they are not our ally.

Almost anyone can look at the basic facts of this–an attack on September 11th against a US embassy in a not-so-friendly part of the world with heavy weapons, the kind of stuff you wouldn’t  be carrying around with you even in dangerous parts of the world–and tell you instantly this isn’t a handful of civilians picketing. Is that where the investigation starts and stops? No, absolutely not. Is it reasonable to call into question Ambassador Rice’s judgment or world view based on this, particularly since she had access to more information?

The answer to that is pretty obvious, too.

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