By Morgan Norval l December 21, 2012
The “Holy Trinity” embracing their adopted UN policy of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the Obama Administration consists of Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice.
The assassination of our ambassador, and three other Americans, in Libya, in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a gruesome rebuke to the policy promoted by the troika of humanitarian vulcans. Their policy was unraveled by the incident on the anniversary of September 11. Being proud, and possibly vain, people, they wouldn’t take kindly to their stinging rebuke in Benghazi and would attempt a deliberate cover up by way of deception in order to justify a failed policy, while doing Riyadh’s bidding. UN Ambassador Susan Rice became the Obama Administration’s vanguard in advancing this cover up and would grasp at any straw to justify their failed policy. That straw became the “spontaneous” assemblage of a mob protesting a six-month old YouTube video deemed by Muslims and the Obama Administration, well after its release, as “offensive.” This “offensive” video quickly was promoted as the cause of the Benghazi attack.
At the State Department’s Daily Briefing for Thursday, September 13 spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, whose boss is Hillary Clinton, took the same line regarding the video offensive to Muslims, as did Clinton herself.
On September 16, Rice appeared on five Sunday talk programs repeating the administration’s mantra of “a spontaneous – not a premeditated” response to the offensive video. The span of coverage was wide ranging and included Meet the Press (NBC), Face the Nation (CBS), This Week (ABC), Fox News Sunday (Fox) and State of the Union (CNN).
On This Week with Jake Tapper, Rice responded, “But our current best assessment on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.”
However, this alleged “spontaneous” mob was well organized and armed with weapons not normally associated with individuals making up a “spontaneous” outpouring into the streets of Benghazi: RPG-7 grenade launchers, and mortars, which are crew-served weapons (need more than one person to operate). The assault on the consulate was conducted in a two-pronged military style attack—a process not normally associated with a “spontaneous” enraged mob.
The Obama Administration grasped this straw in spite of the CIA having identified the incident as a terrorist attack in their talking points to the White House, not to mention a jihadist group claiming credit for the attack a couple of hours after the incident. This certainly would fly in the face of the “spontaneous” mob scenario being advanced by the Obama Administration. Instead, they ignored and eliminated the CIA’s terrorist ID talking point.
There were prior attacks that should have warned any rational person, including those in the Obama Administration, the real possibility the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi would become a likely target. The Tunisian Consulate was attacked and the British Ambassador’s convoy came under fire by RPG-wielding terrorists in a planned ambush—the jihadist expression of liberty and freedom subscribed to by the R2P crowd. Libyan officials claim they gave a three day warning to the U.S. of possible violent unrest in Benghazi, which has long been a center of fundamentalist jihadist activity even under the rule of Gaddafi. The Libyans were right and the Obama Administration ignored these red warning flags.
In fact, U.S. intelligence had known for years that the Benghazi region was a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and the jihadists had left there in droves for foreign insurgencies to help install their hoped-for world caliphate. They travelled to Afghanistan in 1979 in support of the mujahedeen in their decade long war against the Soviet invasion. The jihadists were prominent in Iraq after the U.S. invasion of 2003. Our R2P action in Libya to oust Gaddafi started in the Benghazi region and was well staffed by these veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Many are now exporting their violent talents to Syria to aid in the effort to oust the Syrian regime. Yet the Obama Administration turned its back on this and other intelligence grasping at the straw of the “spontaneous mob” to cover up their disastrous policy and do Riyadh’s bidding by playing up the insult to Islam allegedly caused by the anti-Muhammad video.
Rice was sent out to tell a story that would cover up the real details of Benghazi three weeks before the November 6 presidential election and dutifully made the prescribed TV appearances. Rice smiled and glowed as she mentioned the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia on the ABC program This Week. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is considered the most influential Sunni Muslim religious leader and authority on Sharia law appointed by the Saudi king, to whom President Obama bowed at the 2009 London G-20 Summit. “By bending over to show greater respect to Islam, the U.S. president belittled the power and independence of the United States,” read The Washington Times editorial. “Such an act is a traditional obeisance befitting a king’s subjects.”
Early in the first Obama term, according to Edward Klein in his best-selling book: The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, Samantha Power urged him to “. . . overhaul U.S. foreign policy. . .” by blaming world ills on the U.S. “Instituting a doctrine of mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors. . .” Power wanted the president to get “down on one knee” and seek absolution for alleged American foreign policy sins. Obama took her advice and kowtowed to the Muslim world and became increasing hostility to Israel, once America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East.
The hint by the Obama Administration that Rice would replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State touched off a storm of criticism by some Republican Senators. Rice made damage control visits to these, and other Senators, to dampen their threats to oppose her confirmation if nominated by President Obama. One of those other Senators she visited was Republican Susan Collins of Maine. Collins apparently wasn’t impressed. On November 28, Collins told CNN: “What troubles me is the Benghazi attack in many ways echoes the attacks on those embassies in 1998 when Susan Rice was head of the African region of our State Department.
“In both cases, the ambassadors begged for additional security. The ambassador to Kenya sent repeated messages to the State Department requesting a stronger facility because of the increased threat and those requests—as in the case of Benghazi—were turned down by the State Department,” said Collins. Together, there were 223 deaths and over 4,000 injured as a result of the U.S. embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.
It would also undercut their basic proposition that removing a tyrant in Libya, or any other country that they would focus on, would lead to liberty and freedom. Killing an ambassador is not an aspect of liberty or freedom. The shifting sands under the troika’s R2P threatened to sink their cherished article of faith. The enraged mob thus became their tool to shore up their suddenly tarnished ideal, and Rice took to zealously defending it when she made the rounds of the Sunday TV circuit.
The propaganda campaign launched by the Obama Administration and Susan Rice’s leading role in it demonstrates clearly that supporting the interests of the United States—protecting our diplomatic personnel – takes a back seat to protecting at all costs the troika’s and its main supporter, President Barack Hussein Obama’s policies from domestic criticism, especially on the eve of a national election.
Is this the type of individual that should be our nation’s top diplomat? One should ponder deeply before embarking down that path. Susan Rice did and decided that she faced a nearly insurmountable task winning Senate confirmation and, in a December 13 letter to President Obama, asked that he remove her from consideration to become the next Secretary of State. Obama bowed to her wishes.
Morgan Norval is the founder and Executive Director of the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.