- Foreign-policy aide to Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988
- Served on the National Security Council for the Clinton administration
- Former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
- Foreign-policy advisor to Democratic candidate John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign
- Was nominated in 2008 by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- Infamously claimed, falsely, that the deadly 9/11/12 terrorist attack against an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi was not a premeditated assault,
but rather a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video
that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world”
- Was appointed as President Obama's top national security adviser in 2013
Brookings Institution John Kerry Barack Obama
Born in November 1964 in Washington, DC, Susan Elizabeth Rice graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1986. That same year, she wrote an 86-page book titled A History Deferred, which claimed that because most U.S. students were "taught American history, literature, art, drama, and music largely from a white, western European perspective," "their grasp of the truth, of reality, is tainted by a myopia of sorts." "The greatest evil in omitting or misrepresenting Black history, literature, and culture in elementary or secondary education is the unmistakable message it sends to the black child," Rice elaborated. "The message is ‘your history, your culture, your language and your literature are insignificant. And so are you.’" Published by the Black Student Fund -- an advocacy group for which Rice interned -- A History Deferred served as a guide for elementary- and secondary-school teachers who aspired to teach “Black Studies” from an Afrocentric perspective.
Rice was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and subsequently attended New College, Oxford, where she earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1988 and a Ph.D. in the same discipline two years later.
During the 1988 presidential campaign, Rice served as a foreign-policy aide to Democrat candidate Michael Dukakis.
While at Oxford in 1990, Rice wrote a 426-page dissertation praising, as “a model and a masterpiece in the evolution of international peacekeeping,” the 1979-80 British peacekeeping operation that had led to the political ascendancy of Zimbabwe's Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe. In her dissertation, Rice lauded Mugabe as a “pragmatic, intelligent, sensible, gentle, balanced man” who possessed considerable “patience and restraint.”
In the early 1990s Rice was a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.
From 1993-97, Rice served on the National Security Council for the Bill Clinton administration. From 1993-95 she was also the administration’s director for international organizations and peacekeeping, and from 1995-97 she was both special assistant to the President and senior director for African affairs. Rice’s political mentor during these years was Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
According to an American Spectator analysis of Rice career in government:
"[Rice] epitomized the quietism of 1990s foreign policy. There is no record of her viewing with alarm the signs of things to come: neither the civil war in Algeria pitting jihadists against a military regime, nor the forebodings of jihadi-linked terrorism in Sudan, Kenya, or Somalia, nor the encroaching disaster in ex-Southern Rhodesia, which, renamed Zimbabwe and ruled by the despot Robert Mugabe, was well on its way to the catatonic dictatorship into which it has fully evolved, or rather descended."
During the Rwandan genocide of mid-1994 -- in which some 800,000 people were massacred in a 100-day period -- Rice was a key player in the Clinton administration's decision not to intervene in a peacekeeping role, so as to avoid becoming embroiled in a politically risky endeavor where no strategic U.S. interests were in play. (Classified documents prove conclusively that Rice and her fellow Clinton administration officials were -- contrary to claims they made soon after the period of mass slaughter in Rwanda -- fully aware of how extensive the Rwandan carnage was.)
In a related measure, Rice persuaded the administration to purge the State Department's and CIA's Rwanda-related memos of such terms as "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing." “If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November congressional election?" she wondered aloud. Then-lieutenant colonel Tony Marley recalls that he and his colleagues at the State Department "could believe that people would wonder that, but not that they would actually voice it." Rice today claims not to remember having posed the question, but concedes that "if I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant."
In 1996 Rice helped persuade President Clinton to rebuff Sudan’s offer to turn Osama bin Laden, who was then living there, over to U.S. authorities. Rice reasoned that because Sudan had a poor human-rights record, the U.S. should have no dealings with that nation's government -- not even to obtain custody of the al Qaeda leader or to receive intelligence information on terrorists from Sudanese authorities. She viewed such intelligence as inherently untrustworthy. Bin Laden subsequently moved his terrorist operations to Afghanistan, from where he would mastermind the 9/11 attacks.
Rice's actions in the wake of two terrorist attacks against American interests in 1998 are highly noteworthy. In the spring of that year, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, sent an urgent letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright begging for additional security at the embassy, in light of growing terrorist threats and a warning that she (Bushnell) herself was the target of an assassination plot. The State Department denied this request, as well as a number of previous ones, on grounds that beefed-up security measures would be too costly. A few months later, on August 7, 1998, Islamic terrorists simultaneously blew up the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania with car bombs, killing more than 200 people. Within 24 hours, Rice appeared on PBS as a Clinton administration spokesperson and falsely claimed that the administration had "maintain[ed] a high degree of security at all of our embassies at all times." In addition, she stated that there had been "no telephone warning or call of any sort like that, that might have alerted either embassy just prior to the blast."
In 2002 Rice became a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy and Global Economy & Development programs.
In a 2003 speech, Rice acknowledged that America's war on terror had gotten “underway well before 9/11,” by which time the U.S. had already been “attacked many times in many places -- New York in 1993, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Yemen to name just a few.” Nonetheless, she maintained that President Clinton's tepid responses to those attacks were sufficient.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, Rice was a foreign-policy advisor to Democratic candidate John Kerry. According to Ed Lasky in the American Thinker:
"One of the major steps Kerry suggested for dealing with the Middle East was to appoint James Baker and Jimmy Carter as negotiators. When furor erupted at the prospect of two of the most ardent foes of Israel being suggested to basically ride 'roughshod' over Israel, Kerry backtracked and blamed his staff for the idea. His staff was Susan Rice."
In 2005 Rice co-authored an academic article which postulated that terrorism was “a threat borne of both oppression and deprivation.”
In 2008, Rice served as a senior foreign-policy advisor to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Immediately after Obama and running mate Joe Biden won the White House in the November election, Rice was named to the Obama-Biden Transition Project’s advisory board.
On December 1, 2008, President-elect Obama nominated Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, making her the first African American woman ever to hold that post. Moreover, Obama upgraded the position to cabinet level.
Reasoning (contrary to much strong evidence) from the premise that poverty breeds terrorism, Rice joined the Obama administration with a firm belief that U.S. taxpayers should fund nearly $100 billion per year of new-development-aid programs under the auspices of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Project -- a massive wealth-redistribution initiative designed to transfer money from the world's developed states to its poor states, many of them in Africa.
Rice also called for the use of American military power to intervene -- as part of a large, well-funded United Nations peacekeeping force -- directly in African conflicts such as the one in the Darfur region of Sudan. Advocating the imposition of a no-fly zone and the bombing of Sudanese aircraft, airfields, and military and intelligence assets, Rice said: “[I]f the United States fails to gain UN support [for these measures], we should act without it.”
Early in his administration, President Obama announced, against Rice's counsel, that the U.S. would not participate in a scheduled 2009 “World Conference Against Racism” in Durban, South Africa, because that Conference’s official documents contained too many passages critical of Israel, too many restrictions on freedom of expression, and too much language calling for reparations to compensate contemporary nonwhites for the evils of Western slavery centuries ago. Rice, by contrast, held that U.S. participation in UN efforts such as the Durban Conference would serve the positive function of showing the world that Americans are willing to denounce the remnants of slavery and colonialism from a global platform.
On June 11, 2010, it was reported that Rice had played an important role in pushing the Obama administration to support a United Nations investigation into a deadly May 31 altercation between Israeli commandos and a number of passengers aboard a Gaza-bound, Free Gaza Movement ship whose crew had refused to comply with Israeli requirements that its cargo be submitted for inspection. For details of the incident, click here.
In February 2011, Rice stated: “For more than four decades, [Israeli settlement activity] has undermined security … corroded hopes for peace … [and] violate[d] international commitments.” During testimony she gave two months later, Rice reiterated that sentiment, asserting that “Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate.”
Rice's assessment of the deadly September 11, 2012 terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya
On September 11, 2012, Islamist protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where they destroyed the American flag and replaced it with a black Islamist flag that read, "There is one God, Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet." The protesters said they were angry over an obscure YouTube film -- known alternately as Innocence of Muslims or Muhammad, Prophet of the Muslims -- that was critical of the Prophet Muhammad and had been produced recently in the U.S.
Later on September 11, 2012, a large group of heavily armed Islamic terrorists attacked a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya with much greater violence. In the process, they killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, 52-year-old Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. For nearly two weeks, Rice and the rest of the Obama administration consistently characterized what had occurred in Benghazi not as an act of terrorism, but as a spontaneous, unplanned uprising that evolved unexpectedly from what had begun as a low-level protest against the aforementioned YouTube video. In reality, however, within mere hours after the incident, U.S. intelligence agencies had already gained more than enough evidence to conclude unequivocally that the attack on the mission was a planned terrorist incident, and that the video had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Rice made big headlines on September 16, 2012, when she appeared on five separate Sunday television news programs where she claimed, falsely, that according to the “best information at present,” the deadly attack in Benghazi was not a premeditated assault but rather a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.” For example, she told Bob Schieffer on CBS's Face the Nation:
For comprehensive details about the key events that occurred before, during, and after the attack in Benghazi -- as well the false statements Rice made in the aftermath of the attack -- click here.
“We'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy ... sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that—in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.... We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”
More on Susan Rice:
On December 13, 2012, Rice -- having sparked much public controversy with her false statements regarding Benghazi -- withdrew herself from consideration for the post of Secretary of State (to replace the outgoing Hillary Clinton). In a letter to President Obama, Rice said that her nomination process (before the U.S. Senate) “would be lengthy, disruptive and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” and that “the tradeoff is simply not worth it to our country.” Later in the letter, she aimed a transparent jab at Republicans who opposed her nomination: “The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized.”
In June 2013 President Obama appointed Rice as his top national security adviser -- a post that did not require Senate confirmation. Rice replaced the outgoing Tom Donilon, who had announced his resignation. As author and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters wrote at the time: "Bringing Rice into the Executive Branch’s innermost circle rewards her for being a good soldier in taking the fall on Benghazi, and it makes it virtually impossible for Congress to subpoena her for a grilling, thanks to our government’s separation of powers. Sharp move, Mr. President."
For additional information on Susan Rice, click here.