Do You Still Believe the Story Susan Rice Told?
William Reed | 5/22/2013, 8:36 p.m.
Do you still believe what U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was saying during her infamous five Sunday show appearances? By now, we all know that these Sunday show appearances contained "inaccurate information." Clearly, President Obama and Congressional Democrats went to great lengths to defend Rice's role in the aftermath of the 9-11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Over the past months, Rice's defenders claimed that her initial public assessment regarding the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi was a "spontaneous protest" in reaction to an anti-Islamic film that had aired on YouTube.
The question now is about Blacks and their ethics. Is it acceptable that Black officials leave concepts of truth and honesty at the office door? Some say that the statements that Rice made were "just her following orders." In the latest iteration, about what happened in Benghazi, Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified in Congressional hearings that "I was stunned, my jaw dropped and I was embarrassed" in response to Rice's series of television appearances on Sept. 16, 2012.
Do you view it as "just partisan politics" when Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said the talking points Rice used were "absolutely" altered and incorrect? At the heart of what is being labeled "a cover-up," is Rice, an African American, who in September 2012 conveyed what has been proven to be "false and inaccurate information" about why the four Americans were killed in Benghazi. Are you one of many who think that Republicans who signed a letter telling President Obama: "Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either wilfully or incompetently misled the American public" as being racist?
"Racism and sexism" have been alleged toward those who oppose Rice. Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) said, "It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities." Does that equate to racism if you criticize Rice for promulgating false information?
Be you a Black Democrat or Republican, it must be something in the water at the State Department that causes Blacks associated with the position to become conveyors of deceit and subterfuge. The lure of holding the office of secretary of state has caused Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice to willingly step to the microphone, and subsequently be caught reciting and reading inaccurate information to go along with the wishes of their boss.
Is it possible that we have engaged in another political farce with high-ranking Blacks at the core of the conflict? It would appear that Rice was part of a coordinated White House effort to downplay the terrorist aspect of the Benghazi attack, which happened on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. While Congressional Democrats have sought to portray the investigation into Rice's role in the Benghazi cover-up as a "witch hunt" based on racism and sexism, some of these same Democrats harbor their own concerns about Rice.
In 1997, when President Clinton sought to promote Rice to the position of assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, members of the CBC objected to the appointment based on her history of being part of Washington's elite. This is the same CBC who in 2012 defended her failings with charges of racism and sexism.
It's much more than just following orders. Rice's shameful political cronyism is now covered in the blood of four Americans, so how can her loyal defenders continue to make this about her race and gender – disregarding falsehoods that have fueled the controversy? Let's not follow Obama off on a "racial and sexual discrimination" tangent to support the party in which Rice and politics that have gone astray. Surely, there are Blacks who would not let the title "secretary of state" lure them into accepting the tales such as Susan Rice, Condoleezza Rice and Powell justified as "the price you have to pay" in that position.
William Reed is publisher of "Who's Who in Black Corporate America" and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org