U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, reportedly the leading contender to be President Barack Obama’s next national security adviser, failed during the 1990s to prevent unnecessary deaths in Rwanda, provide adequate security prior to the bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, or deal effectively with the Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship in Zimbabwe.
A former State Department military adviser to Africa thought Rice’s “inexperience” caused President Bill Clinton’s feckless response to the Rwandan genocide when she served as National Security Council director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping. And documents sent to The Daily Caller from the National Legal and Policy Center show Rice failed to take seriously repeated Islamist threats against the U.S. embassies in the prelude to deadly bomb attacks.
More recently, Rice has come under fire for her role in promoting the now-discredited talking points on the deadly September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice’s promotion to head the NSC is “definitely happening” according to an unnamed source quoted by John Hudson of Foreign Policy’s The Cable. The Washington Post’s Colum Lynch, quoting an unnamed administration official, says Rice is “far and away the front-runner to succeed Thomas E. Donilon as President Obama’s national security adviser.”
But Anthony Marley, a former military advisor in the bureau of African Affairs at the State Department, questioned Rice’s handling of the genocide in Rwanda when she served in the Clinton administration. Rice was “definitely more interested in the political outcome than doing the right thing,” he said.
According to Marley, Rice declined to declare the mass murder in Rwanda a genocide and worried that such a declaration would compel sending U.S. troops, something the Clinton White House didn’t want to do after the deaths of American soldiers in Somalia.
“[Rice] was obviously bright,” recalls Lt. Col. Anthony Marley (retired) told TheDC by phone. “But she was a political appointee who lacked on-the-ground experience and was trying to carry out the administration’s desires.”
Marley, who worked with the UNICEF World Food program and retired from the U.S. Army in 1995 after handling peace negotiations in Mozambique, Ethiopia and Liberia, continued. “She asked political questions like, ‘What might be the impact?’ ‘What was the reaction to it?’” he said.
Rwanda “obviously fit the legal definition of genocide,” Marley noted. “Several of the lawyers from State had argued that it was a genocide. There has been press and a state department spokesman mentioned ‘acts of genocide.’ The administration was very reluctant to get engaged in Rwanda or do anything that might involve U.S. troops.”
Marley also discussed a teleconference with State Department lawyers, officials from the Pentagon, and the CIA where Rice worried about the effect of intervening in Rwanda on the 1994 midterm elections.