By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
In a recent opinion column for The Washington Post, former United Nations ambassador and national security advisor to Barack Obama, Susan Rice, had the temerity to lecture President Donald Trump about telling the truth. She writes that “our friends must be able to trust the word of the U.S. president.”
This extends far beyond hypocrisy coming from a person who visited five Sunday talk shows to peddle administration falsehoods about the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya. In addition, she served in those positions during a period of other disastrous foreign policy decisions—deceptively sold to the American people—such as the Iran nuclear deal and the entire Libyan debacle.
Regarding her appearance on five Sunday shows the weekend following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Rice said that “Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present, is in fact it began spontaneously in Benghazi, as a reaction to what had transpired hours earlier in Cairo, where of course as you know there was a violent protest outside of our embassy, sparked by this hateful video.”
In other words, Rice lied and said that the origin of the Benghazi attacks was a protest sparked by the “Innocence of Muslims” video. In reality, the attacks were premeditated and organized by jihadists who attacked the U.S. Special Mission compound without warning. “Again, sir,” said former head of AFRICOM General Carter Ham, “I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack.” That discussion took place between Ham and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey the night of the attack.
As we have pointed out, Rice was preceded on CBS’s “Face the Nation” by Mohamed El-Magariaf, then Libyan National Congress president, who characterized the attacks as “preplanned” and perpetrated by extremists. In her comments immediately following Magariaf’s, Rice stuck to the false story that this was really about the YouTube video.
But where did Rice get these ideas in the first place? The Washington Examiner reported that the House Select Committee on Benghazi found that “before going on TV, Rice was briefed only by Obama’s political team, not anyone from the FBI, CIA or the Defense Department.” In other words, Rice was peddling an official administration narrative.
Yet Rice has the gall to lecture President Trump about truthfulness when she and Obama were caught telling numerous lies. It also shows the lengths that The Washington Post will go to in its constant campaign to discredit and undermine the Trump presidency. Rice writes, “To lead effectively, the United States must maintain respect and trust. So, when a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America’s global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike.”
If the left-wing, mainstream media had any say about how the Benghazi scandal was covered, both Rice and Obama would emerge unscathed from their deceptions. NBC News, in its reporting on her column, left mention of Rice’s deceit to the last paragraph and then characterized the controversy as one manufactured by Republicans. “Rice had been lined up to replace Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state,” Alastair Jamieson reports, “but dropped out of the running after she was criticized by Republicans for initially characterizing the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as opportunistic when evidence later emerged that it was a premeditated attack.” While Jamieson claims that “evidence later emerged,” we have noted that there was evidence that this was a premeditated, terrorist attack on the very night of the attack. Hillary’s emails proved that she knew it was al-Qaeda related, based on her emails to her daughter, as well as communications with the president of Libya and the prime minister of Egypt. President Obama and his administration simply chose to lie about its nature.
This wouldn’t be the first, or the last, of Obama’s falsehoods. The intervention in Libya was based upon the false assertion that Muammar Qaddafi was about to massacre tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Benghazi. Yet later in his term Obama stood by while hundreds of thousands died due to the conflict in Syria. While the initial intervention into Libya was based upon a limited mission of establishing a no fly zone, this was quickly turned into a vendetta to help the rebels remove Qaddafi. As the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has revealed, Qaddafi was prepared to negotiate his abdication under a white flag of truce; the administration scuttled that offer.
Obama was not honest about the unsigned Iran deal, either. While he claimed that this political arrangement would prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, the agreement is, in fact, designed to legitimize the Iranian nuclear program. The mainstream media have been dishonest about the deal, as well, referring to it as signed when it is little more than a collection of political commitments. Obama has referred to it as signed as well, when he obviously knows it is not.
In her article, Rice boasts that “Obama built broad coalitions to combat the Islamic State.” The truth is that this phony coalition stood by as ISIS grew from being the “JV,” as Obama described it, to having committed 140 terrorist attacks in 31 countries, as reported by CNN last month. That doesn’t even count the beheadings, endless slaughter and misery caused by these Islamic jihadists.
Obama as president also lied about the state of the economy by focusing on the unemployment rate while ignoring the abysmal labor participation rate. And he lied about whether Americans could keep their doctors if they wanted to under Obamacare. He lied about his administration’s IRS scandal, and about his knowledge of his administration’s national security scandal tied to his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton’s, use of a private, unsecured email server for classified material, including Top Secret documents.
“When the American people question the commander in chief’s statements, his ability to harness public support to confront a national crisis is undermined,” writes Rice for the Post. Rice is certainly holding Trump to a higher standard than she did her own boss, Barack Obama. But she isn’t alone. The same media were in constant protect-and-defend mode for their favorite president. Now that Trump is President, they have rediscovered their inner-journalist.
Rice herself refuses to admit that she lied to the public. In 2013 she told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that she didn’t have time for a “false controversy.” And in 2014 she told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she had “commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues, and indeed, to Congress, by the intelligence community. And that’s been well validated in many different ways since.”
While Rice claims that it is Trump who is on “vacation from veracity,” she clearly has problems with accepting and telling the truth herself. Her empty justifications and refusal to atone for, or even admit to, her dissembling means that she is uniquely unqualified to lecture our current president about honesty. So while Trump is fair game, and should certainly be held accountable for the accuracy of his statements as well, surely the Post could find a better source to make that case.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.