I am not the only person who is scratching his head, wondering what earthly reason President Barack Obama could have for squandering his hard-won political capital in order to get current U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be Secretary of State.
Ambassador Rice has been in for some real bad press since the 9/11 attack this year on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But whatever she is being criticized for, it's not her fault. And, as the saying goes in the street: "Don't hate the Playa,' Hate the Game." She said, and it's true, she told the Sunday talk shows what the CIA told her to say after the attack, which left the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
Countless U.N. ambassadors have fallen prey to the dictates of the nameless, faceless drones who really fabricate U.S. policy in the shadows of the CIA, the U.S. defense intelligence agency, and countless other clandestine agency headquarters.
Why, even after falsely testifying before the United Nations in 2003 that this country had irrefutable evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed the precursors (if not the real deal) to nuclear "weapons of mass destruction," requiring U.N. authorization of an immediate invasion, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell is rumored to have said following his speech: "You won't believe what I took out" of those blatantly false remarks which had been prepared for him by the CIA.
Well, I know for a fact, because I used to frequently attend the daily press briefings at the State Department that the people standing up in front of the cameras – spokespersons, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries – aren't the ones who draft and decide on what those policies actually are.
The person conducting the briefing comes out with a binder. If asked a question that was not rehearsed before hand, they look in the binder to find the country involved, and then they read the U.S. position on it for that day. If a question is asked about a subject not on one of the many pages in the binder, the briefer tells the reporters "I'll take that question," meaning that person will get a considered answer from the real policy makers who are behind closed doors in secret, then give the answer the next day.
John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA official ever to leave the agency and go public. He ran a CIA intelligence gathering post in Vietnam, was the task-force commander of the CIA's secret war in Angola in 1975 and 1976, and was awarded the Medal of Merit before he resigned. He penned a book, "In Search of Enemies."
"Our ambassador to the United Nations, Patrick Moynihan, read continuous statements of our position to the Security Council, the general assembly, and the press conferences, saying the Russians and Cubans were responsible for the conflict (in Angola), and that we were staying out, and that we deplored the militarization of the conflict. And every statement he made was false. And every statement he made was originated in the sub-committee of the NSC (National Security Council) that I sat on as we managed this thing," Stockwell said in a lecture in June 1986.
"We would write papers for him. Four paragraphs. We would call him on the phone and say, 'call us 10 minutes before you go on, the situation could change overnight, we'll tell you which paragraph to read.' And all four paragraphs would be false. Nothing to do with the truth. Designed to play on events, to create this impression of Soviet and Cuban aggression in Angola. When they were in fact responding to our initiatives," Stockwell said.
So, if anyone thinks that process is any different now that Rice is U.N. Ambassador than it was when former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the ambassador, then I've got some beautiful beachfront property in Arizona for you to buy.
So, I'll sum this all up by paraphrasing a statement by the late comedian Groucho Marx: "Who are you going to believe, the CIA or your lying eyes?"
But even aside from the CIA engineered missteps by Ambassador Rice, she and the U.S. foreign policy she willingly advocates are both wrong. The U.S. was wrong on Southern Africa (that's her area of expertise for which she earned a Ph.D.). It was wrong on Somalia; wrong on Libya. It is wrong on Palestine.
So don't hate her. Rice is just an unwitting pawn, a minor player, with a whopping net worth of more than $23 million for her role in a crooked, crooked game.