Susan Rice is best known to casual observers for her part in the Obama Administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in which she did the talk show circuit to promote the idea that the attacks were an unplanned response to an anti-Islam video. That ‘suggestion’ turned out to come straight from the CIA and didn’t turn out to be exactly true. Since then, Susan Rice has been the subject of considerable scrutiny from Republicans and others on the right who have suggested that she and the Obama Administration may have misled the American people.
There was a time that Susan Rice was considered a shoe-in to be Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Her role in trying to explain the alleged reasons for the Benghazi attack ensured that wouldn’t happen as Republicans vowed to block her nomination. Rice backed out, Kerry was in. That didn’t stop her from getting an important role in the Obama Administration – it only stopped her from getting a role in the Obama administration that required Senate approval. President Obama appointed Susan Rice to the position of national security advisor.
As national security advisor, she has told us that Edward Snowden was not, in fact, a CIA or NSA spy. Susan Rice also invited Snowden to come on home to face the U.S. justice system. According to a Washington Times report, she put it this way:
“Edward Snowden was a contractor working for the NSA and other elements of the intelligence community. Obviously he’s accused of sharing and disclosing, illegally, some of the most sensitive information of the United States government, allegedly. Our strong view is that rather than give television interviews, he ought to come home and have his day in court, where he will be treated with all of the protections and fairness that our judicial system allows.”
So far, Edward Snowden has not chosen to take Susan Rice and the Obama administration up on that offer.
So, while she waits to hear from Snowden, Susan Rice is busy, in her own words, “trying to put points on the board” for the Obama administration. Specifically, she is trying to ensure that his legacy is in good shape and that his foreign policy objectives are carried out. An AP report lists three main objectives of the Obama Administration that Susan Rice is focusing on: a trade agreement with Asia-Pacific nations, development projects in Africa and protecting gay rights overseas. No explanation was given for how any of those three things relates to national security or why – if they don’t – Susan Rice, as national security advisor, has those particular items on her agenda.