As Part of his unveiling of the National Security Staff, President-Elect Obama is expected to announce Susan Rice as his UN Ambassador and that the position will be elevated to a Cabinet Level job. For those of you who don’t remember Ms. Rice, she was John Kerry’s chief foreign policy adviser when he ran for President. One of the major steps Kerry suggested for dealing with the Middle East was to appoint James ” F**K The Jews” Baker and Jimmy “Israel is an Apartheid State” Carter as negotiators. When furor erupted at the prospect of two of the most ardent foes of Israel being suggested to basically beat up Israel, Kerry backtracked and blamed his staff for the idea. That staff was Susan Rice.
Another ex-Clinton official who played a leading role in bungling efforts to capture and/or neutralize Osama bin Laden has turned up in a key advisory position with the Kerry campaign.Susan Rice, who served as President Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, had earlier been tapped by Gov. Howard Dean’s anti-war campaign.This week, however, Rice emerged as a foreign policy advisor to the Kerry Edwards campaign, which is still reeling from revelations that another key advisor, former Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger, had stolen national security secrets.Rice is also acting as the campaign’s designated apologist for former ambassador Joe Wilson, the Kerry advisor whose claims that “Bush lied” about Iraq uranium were exposed as bogus by the Senate Intelligence Committee two weeks ago.“As far as I know, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Wilson’s words and deeds were not as he spoke them,” Rice told reporters this week. “I have great respect for his integrity.”The same can’t be said of Rice, however, at least according to several of her former colleagues, who say she deserves a hefty portion of blame for the fact that Osama bin Laden wasn’t neutralized during the 1990s.“The FBI, in 1996 and 1997, had their efforts to look at terrorism data and deal with the bin Laden issue overruled every single time by the State Department, by Susan Rice and her cronies, who were hell-bent on destroying the Sudan,” one-time Clinton diplomatic troubleshooter Mansoor Ijaz told radio host Sean Hannity in 2002.Richard Miniter, author of the book “Losing bin Laden,” concurred, saying Rice played a key role in scuttling the deal that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.In November 2003, Miniter told World Magazine that while Sudan was anxious to turn bin Laden over to the U.S., Rice – then a member of Clinton’s National Security Council – questioned Khartoum’s credibility.“Rice [cited] the suffering of Christians [in Sudan] as one reason that she doubted the integrity of the Sudanese offers,” said Miniter. “But her analysis largely overlooked the view of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Tim Carney, who argued for calling Khartoum’s bluff.”According to Miniter, Carney argued that the Clinton White House should “accept their offer of Mr. bin Laden and see if the National Islamic Front actually hands him over.”If Sudan complied, “we would have taken a major terrorist off the streets,” he said. If they didn’t, “the civilized world will see that, once again, Sudan’s critics are proven right.”In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed piece co-authored with Ijaz, former ambassador Carney described Sen. Kerry’s new adviser as a major obstacle to accepting offers from Sudan to share intelligence on bin Laden’s terrorist network.In April 1997, they said, Sudan dropped its demand that Washington lift sanctions in exchange for terrorism cooperation.“Sudan’s policy shift sparked a debate at the State Department, where foreign service officers believed the United States should reengage Khartoum. By the end of summer 1997, [those officers] persuaded incoming Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to let at least some diplomatic staff return to Sudan to press for a resolution of the civil war and pursue offers to cooperate on terrorism.“Two individuals, however, disagreed. NSC terrorism specialist Richard Clarke and NSC Africa specialist Susan Rice, who was about to become assistant secretary of State for African affairs.”Rice and Clarke persuaded Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to overrule Albright on the Sudanese terrorism overtures, said Ijaz and Carney.Still, Sudan made yet another attempt to share intelligence on bin Laden and al-Qaida with the White House, repeating the unconditional offer to hand over terrorism data to the FBI in a February 1998 letter addressed directly to Middle East and North Africa special agent-in-charge David Williams.“But the White House and Susan Rice objected,” wrote Ijaz and Carney. “On June 24, 1998, Williams wrote to Mahdi, saying he was ‘not in a position to accept your kind offer.'”U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were destroyed by bin Laden six weeks later, in a suicide bombing attack that killed 253.