Throwing Rice: GOP Benghazi Beef Tasteless
6 months ago
Attack on Obama UN ambassador highlights rancor not shown an earlier Rice
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not necessarily reflect those of Loop 21.
Two black women with the last name Rice walk into a bar… Okay, maybe that sounds like the beginnings of a really bad joke.
What’s not the least bit funny is the clear hypocrisy on the part of Republicans – still bitter and lying to themselves about the reasons President Barack Obama won reelection – in their criticism of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and her early and misleading intelligence on the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks at a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The aggressive critiques of Rice, which Obama rightly rapped in a White House press conference last week, are the polar opposite of the gentle handling afforded former Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who disseminated flawed intelligence related to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and which led the U.S. into 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and eventually cost more than 6,000 U.S. lives at last count.
Susan Rice and Condi Rice are without doubt distinguished African American women and honorable public servants. Both disseminated the flawed information authorized by their respective White House administrations. But it seems Republicans view these two women’s mistakes through different lenses -- one serves under a beloved and maligned Democratic president and the other served under a tolerated and disgraced Republican president. With Susan Rice seemingly poised to assume the other Rice's old job -- if Obama chooses to nominate her to replace the exiting Hillary Clinton -- Susan Rice will have joined the “I’m a black woman being used as a scapegoat by white men for doing my job” club.
[ALSO READ: Obama Takes On Rice Critics]
GOP standard bearers like U.S. senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say they found Susan Rice’s behavior unbecoming of a potential secretary of state. They’ve alleged Susan Rice knowingly disseminated incomplete information on the attacks so as to cover up what they say was the Obama administration’s inept response to security concerns at its foreign diplomatic mission in Libya. That reasoning reeks of hypocrisy, given their party’s record on intelligence failures in the Bush administration. On Thursday, McCain said Susan Rice was “not being very bright,” in spreading the anti-Islam video story to the American public. The day before, McCain questioned Susan Rice’s integrity and vowed to block her confirmation to head the State Department in the Senate, a nomination that has yet to even have been put forward. Graham said he would do the same because he “can’t trust her.”