Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on Thursday said Susan Rice’s inaccurate description of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, should not disqualify her from becoming secretary of State.
A number of Senate Republicans have suggested that Rice’s statements in September following the assault might disqualify her for the job as the nation’s top diplomat, should President Obama choose to nominate her….
“She’s not a typical diplomat,” says Ed Luck, a former special adviser to the U.N. secretary-general. “She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and I don’t see why she should.”
Luck said he had his doubts when Rice was named U.N. ambassador four years ago. He wondered whether her style would chafe, but he was pleasantly surprised and, at times, moved, particularly when Rice gave stirring remarks commemorating the Rwandan genocide and acknowledging that the United States did not do enough to stop the killing. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite such a personal and emotional account given by a diplomat at the U.N.,” Luck said.
Rice viewed the Rwanda tragedy close up as a young National Security Council staffer and it plays a complex role in her public identity. She often cites her trip to Rwanda, where she saw evidence of unspeakable tragedies, as a major influence on her attitudes toward humanitarian intervention. But in a 2001 Atlantic Monthly article, the journalist Samantha Power — now an Obama administration adviser — seemed to portray Rice as favoring political concerns over humanitarian issues.
“If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?” Power quoted Rice saying. In the same article, Rice said she didn’t recall the remark and said it would have been “inappropriate.”Share on Facebook