Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
When Hillary Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State to prep for a presidential run, her boss had an obvious replacement in mind. His close political ally, Susan Rice. But while Obama had won nearly all of his appointment battles, moving Rice into the top position on foreign policy was too much.
Senate Republicans would always associate Rice with Benghazi. But even Senate Democrats had second thoughts about the woman who is at the center of Obamagate and a potential Biden Veep pick.
When Rice ended her bid to replace Hillary, it was a bitter and shocking defeat for Barack Obama who responded with an angry tantrum, accusing Republican senators of efforts to “besmirch her reputation”.
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly,” Rice wrote in an open letter to Obama. “I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”
While Obama publicly directed his anger at Senate Republicans, there was little enthusiasm for defending Rice even among Senate Democrats. Beyond Benghazi, Rice’s years in the foreign policy establishment had left behind scandal, dishonesty, and even genocide in her political wake.
Rice’s involvement in genocide had been linked to the same quality that had entangled her in Benghazi.
“If we use the word genocide and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?” Samantha Power, who would later become Obama’s UN Ambassador, quoted Rice as saying during the Rwandan Genocide. Rice has claimed that she does not remember ever saying that.
The genocide of black people mattered less to Rice than her southern white boss winning an election.
Rice’s calculus, whether it was the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans or four Americans in Libya, was how it would affect the upcoming elections for Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.
A New York Times column by Maureen Dowd resurrected Rice’s genocide quote, an Atlantic article by Armin Rosen summoned up an even grimmer moment from her tenure as she was campaigning for Hillary’s job. “When Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice came back from her first trip to the Great Lakes region, a member of her staff said, ‘Museveni and Kagame agree that the basic problem in the Great Lakes is the danger of a resurgence of genocide and they know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.'”
Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, and, the former commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, had overseen a lesser known chapter of the broken country’s history, following up the Rwandan Genocide of the Tutsi by the Hutu, with attacks on Hutu refugee camps that involved the rape and torture of women and children, and led to the deaths of between thousands to hundreds of thousands of people.
After Rice had turned her back on one genocide, she followed that up by turning her back on another.
To understand Rice’s actions in Obamagate and Benghazi, we have to go back to Rwanda and to Rice’s primary foreign policy orientation, which is that of a non-ideological political operative who is solely concerned with what impact any foreign event will have on the political fortunes of her boss.
A woman who is willing to turn her back on the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people would hardly blink at the abandonment of Americans to die in Benghazi or at spying on Republican opponents.
That was why Obama wanted Susan Rice as his Secretary of State and, when that failed, as his National Security Adviser. The Chicago community organizer knew that Rice would do anything for him.
And as the revelations about Obamagate continue to unfold, it would appear that she did.
Rice’s degree of loyalty to Obama, putting any duty or belief above his political interests, troubled even Democrats, leading to private warnings by Senate Democrats to the administration, and a rising media campaign, that scuttled her nomination. After Hillary Clinton’s disastrous tenure, no one wanted another Secretary of State to whom the job would be just a series of political calculations.
John Kerry, a fellow Senate Democrat, was their pick because he had deep and passionate foreign policy views, which were destructive and treasonous, but, as Walter Sobchek said, “Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” Rice’s only ethos was covering for her boss. And not even Senate Democrats wanted a political nihilist in charge of foreign policy.
A woman capable of seeing the murder of hundreds of thousands of people only in terms of an election campaign was a bridge too far even for a party of traitors and appeasers who still believed in something.
But Rice, an abrasive political operative and intellectual lightweight, understood that her only career path was a willingness to find a boss and do anything for him. No questions asked. That’s why Rice ended up as the point woman on Obamagate and why she went out to lie about Benghazi.
As Dowd wrote damningly, Rice had rented her soul, “on the talk shows one Sunday in September.” The New York Times columnist was referring to Rice’s tour of talk shows where she falsely claimed that the Benghazi attack had really been a protest in response to a YouTube video, and that it was spontaneous, rather than a planned attack, all of which contradicted the intelligence and local information.
“My jaw hit the floor as I watched this,” Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, said of Rice’s lies. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote, “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.” The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: “Off the reservation on five networks!”
Rice was on the Obama reservation. The future National Security Advisor had been briefed by Ben Rhodes, the close Obama adviser who would later boast of manipulating an ignorant media. And she described her actions later as those of a “team player”. Her team was not America, it was Obama.
The Benghazi lies led to Rice being reviled by the media and fellow Democrats, but convinced Obama that she could be trusted to do his dirty work as his National Security Adviser. Rice got the job in 2013. A few years later, the NSA was caught spying on members of Congress at the White House’s direction.
Would Obama have been able to get away with spying on Congress and on Trump allies without Rice?
Obamagate happened because Obama was confident that he had “team players” in the right places who would do his dirty work. Rice had proven she was a team player during the Clinton administration by putting her white boss’ reelection ahead of the murders of hundreds of thousands of African people.
She proved that she had Obama’s back when she lied about the Benghazi attack to protect him and to protect Hillary. When Obama made her his National Security Adviser, he knew she would do anything.
Now Joe Biden is considering Rice for his replacement should he die or grow too senile to hold office.
“I’m humbled and honored to be among the extremely accomplished women who are reportedly being considered in that regard,” Susan Rice said.
Why pick Rice, an unknown outside political circles, who hasn’t won elections or cultivated a political base? Like Obama, Biden knows that Rice is loyal and will do anything for the job. Anything at all.
Rice, who has been involved in everything from genocide to eavesdropping on the political opposition, could now be a heartbeat away from becoming the President of the United States.
How many millions of people will pay the price this time?