With Rice, Benghazi Is Only the Start of the Problem
As we awaken to the spectacle of yesterday's Palestinian coup in the General Assembly -- symptomatic of a colossal failure of American leadership -- it is worth underscoring the important op-ed authored by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Touro Institute's Anne Bayefsky in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.
The piece recounts Susan Rice's unsavory record as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Ms. Rice, of course, has recently gained notoriety -- infamy, really -- for her appalling performance as megaphone for the Obama administration's effort to mislead the country into believing that a protest over an obscure video about Islam's prophet Mohammed somehow led to the September 11 Benghazi massacre of four Americans, including Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
In reality -- as the administration well knew when Rice was dispatched to misinform Americans five days after the slaughter -- there was no protest. The atrocity was a coordinated terrorist attack, a siege of seven-plus hours during which the commander-in-chief failed to deploy readily available military assets to protect Americans.
It was politically expedient to lie because Obama's Libya policy created the conditions for a jihadist assault on our personnel. It was also expedient to lie because the attack, by al-Qaeda-connected terrorists, contradicted the Obama campaign theme that the president's order to kill Osama bin Laden had decimated al-Qaeda.
The ambitious Amb. Rice agreed to do the campaign's dirty work.
The incident in and of itself should be disqualifying for Rice's quest to become secretary of State -- imagine telling your boss right after the worst malfeasance of a checkered career that you deserved a big promotion. Judge Mukasey and Ms. Bayefsky, however, do the yeoman's work of marshaling for us, and for the senators who could be asked to confirm Ms. Rice, the facts of that checkered career.
There is her remarkable propensity not to show up at work, including in crucial moments like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the General Assembly on Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons -- a powerful signal of Obama's distancing of our government from a beleaguered ally, a signal communicating the emptiness of the administration's occasional lip service about "having Israel's back."
When she is not absenting herself, there is what the authors aptly call her "inconsequential presence" -- of which yesterday's lopsided U.S. defeat, with several European nations joining the Islamic bloc in granting the Palestinians UN observer status, is only the latest indicator. Under Rice's stewardship, the U.S. has joined the atrocious UN Human Rights Council and abided its doubling down on its obsessive condemnations of Israel. Even Rice's grudging votes in favor of Israel on the Security Council have been laced with demagogic Islamist talking points about Israel's alleged international law violations. And she has been ineffective, at best, in mounting international support for sanctions against Iran.
Moreover, to get back to Benghazi, Mukasey and Bayefsky point out that Rice is on the Security Council's "Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee." That body has expressly acknowledged the jihadist terror network's operations in eastern Libya. Yet, knowing what she knows, she still energetically mouthed the administration's "Mohammed movie" line on the massacre.
To be sure, Rice is not her own person. She is doing at the UN exactly what President Obama wants done -- as are Eric Holder at the Justice Department, Hillary Clinton at State, Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security, and so on.
That, though, is not an excuse to confirm her if she is nominated. It is an additional powerful reason to oppose her. She deserves to be defeated on her own demerits, but more significantly she deserves to be defeated as an admonition that the world should not confuse Barack Obama's reelection with popular support for Barack Obama's foreign policy.