By Michael Goodwin, ,
Published May 07, 2015
When it comes to metaphors for the Obama administration, it is hard to top the rise and fall of Susan Rice. Her ascension to the inner circle was born of her loyalty to candidate Obama, and she failed to become secretary of state because she was loyal to President Obama instead of the truth.
Her demise offers a clinic about the dangers of ambitious amateurs playing politics, but that amounts to a hill of beans to the White House. The sacrifice of Rice is just another bump in the road to shielding Obama from accountability for the Benghazi debacle.
He treated her withdrawal as a Joan of Arc moment and, from his perspective, it was. Her loss is his gain. He wanted her to have the job, but not at his expense, so she fell on his sword.
Even better, he could blame Republicans. It’s another convenient lie, with even liberal human-rights groups accusing Rice of coddling African warlords and genocidal maniacs. False, too, was the bid to paint her critics as racists and sexists. The shock is that so many yahoos still swallow such boob bait.
In truth, Rice’s confirmation hearing would have been the opening act of a public probe into what the White House knew about the terror attack in Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Having ducked the question during the campaign, the president’s Praetorian Guard isn’t eager to come clean now, either.
Long-delayed congressional testimony by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was up in the air even before she fell and suffered a concussion. Having run out the election clock, this could mean the clock will run out on public interest.
They might get away with it because there is a media double standard on everything about Barack Obama. High unemployment and rising debt, even though they happen on his watch, aren’t his fault.
Ambassador Chris Stevens is assassinated by terrorists, the first envoy killed in 33 years, and the president isn’t to blame, even though his team denied Stevens’ request for better security. With this president, the buck always stops on somebody else’s desk.
This time, Rice was the fall girl. Obama defended her by saying she “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” but sent her out to parrot the line that the attack was spontaneous during a protest of an anti-Muslim video. She did as she was told with a conviction that might have been persuasive had the story itself not been preposterous.
Mistakes can be honest, but this one wasn’t. Too many people knew the line was false before Rice repeated it in five TV interviews. Some also knew there never was a video protest in Benghazi, meaning the Obama narrative was fiction from start to finish.
The lies had a purpose. Admitting that al Qaeda affiliates were active in Libya would have undercut Obama’s foreign-policy claims. His repeated boasts that the terror group was decimated would have been revealed as blood-soaked distortions.
Oddly, we’re now getting part of the truth inadvertently. Since the election, officials acknowledged that al Qaeda offshoots are operating in Libya and as many as 18 other African countries. A military commander called the groups “a national security threat,” a shocking assertion given that their existence was not mentioned during the campaign. Back then we heard only that “the tide of war is receding.”
Now that the president has four more years, the truth is free to dribble out. Thus, American troops are headed to Turkey’s border with Syria, Obama is giving Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government 20 fighter jets free of charge and military action is expanding throughout Africa. The White House also admits that the leading rebel group in Syria is controlled by al Qaeda.
Seen against that massive list of concealed truths and outright lies, Rice’s sin seems almost trivial. But somebody has to pay for it and, under Obama Rules, it can never be him.
To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post on additional topics, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, click here.