Rice’s explanation on Libya attacks fails to satisfy GOP senators

Rice’s explanation on Libya attacks fails to satisfy GOP senators

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM PST
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UN Ambassador, Susan Rice failed to appease congressional leaders over her initial response to Benghazi attacks. After a closed door meeting at Capitol Hill on Tuesday, GOP senators were even more critical of Rice’s nomination for the position of Secretary of State, than before.

Rice was joined by CIA director, Michelle Morell as she tried to mollify the concerns of Senate Republicans, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte. "The talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: There was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi," Rice said in a statement after the meeting. "While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case the intelligence assessment has evolved."

However, the meeting that was supposed to reduce the tensions between the White House and the GOP leaders turned things even more contentious between both sides. "We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get concerning evidence that was leading up to the attack on the consulate," McCain told reporters after emerging from the hour-long session that he described as open and straight forward.

It’s not common for ambassadors to visit the Capitol Hill and hold private talks with senators. However, Rice’s meeting is indicative of how serious Obama administration is on replacing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton with Rice. While the White House is still defending Rice’s position arguing that the Ambassador was not responsible for compiling the information on the attacks, GOP senators’ criticisms have turned even harsher than before.

"When I hear Susan talk she seems to me like she'd be a great chairman of the Democratic National Committee," said top Republican on Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker. "There is nobody who is more staff supportive of what the administration does. That concerns me in a secretary of state."

Republicans are calling Rice’s nomination doomed. Senators who turned to a softer tone recently stating that they are willing to give her a chance to explain her position have again turned against her. House Democrats have accused the Republicans of being sexist and racist calling it unfair to hold Rice responsible for something the intelligence community has specifically stood by.

Rice was also seeking nomination in 2009, but lacking that star power and experience of Hillary Clinton, she was passed over.

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Susan Rice
Image: AFP
Wendy Zachary is based in Texas, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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