Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Susan Rice? Why that narrative?

by Joseph Sternberg

Why was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice sent around to the Sunday talk shows to tell a (false) story?

Susan Rice has no responsibility for the protection of embassies, nor for U.S. policy towards Libya. She was not directly involved in the development of intelligence of events in Libya. But how did the events in Libya affect what she was responsible for at the UN? Why would the White House think that she was the right person to promote the story they were trying to sell?

President Obama has had two foreign affairs priorities. One was to defeat Al Qaeda. The second was to improve relations with the Muslim world, which has taken the form of developing close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Susan Rice is directly involved in the second of these objectives in her role as UN Ambassador.

The U.S. is working as a member of the UN Human Rights Council as its Muslim members seek to produce a statement that restricts speech critical of Islam. The U.S. should not be party to such activities as any such statement would be in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But it is an active participant.
An unstated conclusion following from Rice’s story was that if the video could have been repressed, there wouldn't have been any demonstrations. So sending her out to the Sunday shows would makes sense for Obama as an attempt to advance this second objective, which was a logical outcome of his 2009 speech in Cairo. The offensive video story would also serve to divert attention from the fact that, contrary to what was claimed exhaustively at the Democratic Convention (Al Qaeda has been smashed), Al Qaeda is still a serious problem in the Middle East and North Africa.

Omar Abdel-Rahman (the “Blind Sheikh” serving a life sentence for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing) also played a part in the Cairo Demonstration on Sept. 11. The first demand of President Morsi, upon taking office, was that the U.S. release the Sheikh from prison. I don't know whether they are claiming he was unfairly convicted (in a NY trial—Attorney General Eric Holder, please note). At a minimum they are seeking his release on "humanitarian" grounds. It has been reported that a member of an Egyptian Jihadist group banned from entering the United Sates had been admitted to the White House on this issue. If Obama is reelected, who would like to take bets on whether the Sheikh would be released in furtherance of Obama's second objective?

We don't know what Susan Rice knew about the events in Libya. Since the State Department knew, you would think she would have given them a call before telling her story. So she was either lying or negligent. But we do know that her appearances were authorized by the White House.
Dr. Joseph Sternberg was Scientific Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1971-1974

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