Susan Rice's Worst 5 Moments

Susan Rice / AP

President Obama will replace the outgoing National Security Adviser Tom Donilon with embattled U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. The position is an appointment and does not require Senate confirmation—the prospect of which played a role in Rice's withdrawal of her own name from contention for secretary of state. Rice's missteps go beyond the Benghazi aftermath, though, so the Washington Free Beacon put together these five moments from her career:

1. Rice Claimed the Attack in Benghazi Was a Spontaneous Protest of a YouTube Video

Just days after the terrorist attack in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans, Rice went on the Sunday shows and claimed that the situation in Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration against an offensive YouTube video. The CIA and the State Department were aware of prior terrorist attacks in Benghazi and the involvement of Islamic extremists in the attack.

2. Rice Played Politics with the Rwanda Genocide

Susan Rice / AP
Susan Rice / AP

As a member of Clinton’s National Security Council, Rice pushed back against labeling the mass slaughter of an ethnic minority. She questioned what type of political fallout would result from using the term genocide:

"If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?" 

Things might get awkward between the new national security adviser and Obama’s pick for U.N. Ambassador, Samantha Power. Power exposed Rice’s Rwandan Genocide political calculation in a long 2001 article in the Atlantic. Power faulted Rice for delaying international action that could have stopped the mass killings.

3. Rice Attacked Israel for Its Settlement Policy as Threatening ‘the Prospects for Peace’

Israel Palestinians Protest

After vetoing a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements, Rice attacked Israel for its settlement policy. She claimed Israel was undermining its own security and regional stability. According to Rice, settlements threaten the prospect for peace and violate Israel’s own international commitments. She said at the U.N.:

"Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace."

4. Rice Delayed a U.N. Report that Blamed Rwandan President Paul Kagame for Supplying the M23 Movement in Eastern Congo

Paul Kagame / AP
Paul Kagame / AP

Rice delayed the publication of a U.N. report that detailed ongoing violence in eastern Congo and blamed the M23 rebel group on Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Rice and Kagame have a "long and close relationship." Bosco Ntaganda, the leader of the M23 rebel group, is accused of multiple atrocities and is wanted by the International Criminal Court. When confronted by the French ambassador about doing more to combat M23, Rice said:

"It’s the eastern DRC. If it’s not M23, it’s going to be some other group."

5. Rice Gave a Eulogy to Stalin-Inspired Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 12.30.42 PM

Meles Zenawi was a hardline communist inspired by Stalin who won a guerrilla campaign to overthrow the ruling military government in Ethiopia in 1991. He was known for his dictatorial style and the dominance of state and party controlled companies. Delivering her eulogy, Rice described Meles Zenawi as "brilliant" and said:

"[He was] uncommonly wise, able to see the big picture and the long game."

Published under: Obama Administration