The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 29, 2012

Our View: Questions about Rice’s role


The Joplin Globe

— Politics must be set aside when it comes to matters of national security. When American lives are at stake, politics should have no role in public explanations for events that take place or actions taken by those who are responsible for protecting America.

There is little doubt that politics played a major role in the administration’s attempts to explain what happened in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. Now those explanations have blown up in the faces of many in the administration, particularly U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. She has even apologized for some of her remarks made publicly five days after our Benghazi consulate was burned to the ground and four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack.

No doubt Rice’s statements, implying that the attack was caused by a video, were simply wrong. She now blames those erroneous statements on inaccurate intelligence assessments made available to her just before her public appearances.  How quickly we forget. Remember that about 10 years ago we invaded Iraq based, at least in part, on erroneous intelligence assessments about weapons of mass destruction. The public has never forgiven President George W. Bush or Secretary of State Colin Powell for such mistakes.

Yet it is a probability that President Barack Obama wants to appoint Rice as our next secretary of state.

Should those erroneous statements be cause for questioning Rice’s ability to act as our secretary of state for the next four years?  

The truth about Benghazi must be known before Rice should even be considered as a nominee.