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The Susan Rice file: Affront to statecraft

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

It appears that Susan Rice's complicity in the Benghazi scandal could be the least of her confirmation worries should she be nominated by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State.

Ms. Rice, this nation's ambassador to the United Nations, has proven to be a serial prevaricator in her role as the keeper of the cover-up of the September tragedy that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others dead in a terrorist attack.

But as The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens notes, citing published accounts, Rice has a long and sordid history of failure in foreign fiascoes.

One of Mr. Obama's acolytes, Samantha Power, documented a 1994 incident in which Rice, as a member of President Bill Clinton's National Security Council team, voiced concerns about the political ramifications of using the word “genocide” in describing the genocide then unfolding in Rwanda.

In 1997, Rice became an assistant secretary for Africa policy. And Columbia University's Peter Rosenblum recounts how Rice, in 1998, botched a peace plan between warring Ethiopia and Eritrea. Her actions directly led to an escalation of the war, prompted Rice's recall to Washington and resulted in a “probation” ordered by a furious Madeleine Albright, then secretary of State.

Then, upon the death of Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi three months ago, Mr. Stephens notes how Rice “praised” him as “wise” and” “visionary.” He's the same henchman the State Department last year said was responsible for “torture,” among other unpleasantries.

The bill of particulars against Susan Rice is long. Her documented failures are legion. Nominating her as secretary of State would be an affront to not only statecraft but decency itself.

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