Tag Archives: Susan Rice

Obama didn’t ‘allow’ annexation of Crimea

This won’t surprise regular readers of this blog, but I agree with former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice’s assertion that Donald Trump has taken an outrageous position with regard to Russia and its former membership in the Group of Eight nations.

Trump wants the now G-7 nations to bring Russia back into its fold. Susan Rice said the following, according to The Hill: Rice said Trump made “a disgraceful statement” when he said Obama “allowed Russia to take Crimea.”

“Rather than understand Russia is our adversary, Russia had taken on behavior that is absolutely reprehensible… for the president of the United States to suggest all that is forgotten, that we are together, that we are fine with one country annexing another country’s sovereign territory is outrageous,” Rice said.

Russia took another nation’s territory by force. It has done not a damn thing to rectify its aggression against Ukraine. It has continued to prop up a dictatorial regime in Syria. Oh, and it meddled in our 2016 election.

Rice is suggesting that Trump is divorced from any semblance of reality by asking for Russia’s re-inclusion into the G-7 nations comprising the world’s greatest economic powers.

The president’s desire to bring Russia back after the nations kicked it out after annexing Crimea has been met with almost unanimous scorn by the rest of the G-7; only Italy has backed the president’s request.

Moreover, Trump’s continual harping on actions taken by his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, seem to suggest some sort of sick fixation with the 44th president. He keeps singling him out specifically, making preposterous assertions that he “allowed” Russia to take Crimea. It begs the question: What would Donald Trump had done if he had been in the Oval Office, making the tough call? Does anyone actually believe he would have put “boots on the ground” to prevent a Russian takeover? Give me a break, man!

I have stayed away from asserting in this blog that Russia might have the goods on Trump, that it might be holding some deep, dark secrets about the president’s business dealings in Russia.

These continuing assertions from Trump that all is forgiven with regard to Russia are making me wonder about those reports about Russia and possible business connections with the Trump Organization.

Disgraceful.

Nunes surveillance claim shot down in flames

Here it is, yet again.

Members of Congress appear to have disproved Rep. Devin Nunes’s contention that someone spied on Donald Trump’s campaign. At the very least they have cast serious doubt on the things Nunes said about in response to Trump’s ridiculous/slanderous assertion that Barack Obama “ordered” the wire tap on Trump’s campaign.

Nunes has removed himself as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to investigate whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian government officials to influence the 2016 presidential election.

That’s the good news, in my humble view.

The bad news is that the controversy surrounding so-called surveillance will continue to swirl around the Trump administration. It will swirl until we know with absolute certainty whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian government hackers.

The president can bring this controversy to a close as well by disclosing what he knew about his campaign’s activity and when he knew it.

This story will not go away

There’s also the angle about Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. Trump suggested Rice might have broken the law by revealing the names of individuals who might have been tracked by U.S. intelligence agencies. The lawmakers who have slammed the lid on Nunes’s assertion about the surveillance also seem to have debunked any notion that Rice did anything wrong.

The murkiness of this story only is worsening.

We need clarity. Now.

CNN vs. Fox over this O’Reilly matter

There’s little doubt I will tire of this story quickly, but for now I’m kind of chuckling at a media war that’s flaring up over the controversy surrounding a cable news star.

You’ve heard of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News Channel’s main man who’s been accused by several women of behaving a boorishly, of committing acts of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, CNN talking heads and commentators have been blazing away rhetorically over the troubles at Fox.

Fox is firing back, accusing CNN of ignoring a story regarding whether former national security adviser Susan Rice outed some Trump campaign officials who might have been monitored by, oh, someone. CNN denies ignoring the story. Fox, meanwhile, is sticking with O’Reilly.

The two main-event combatants appear to be O’Reilly and CNN’s Don Lemon.

I plan to watch this tempest play itself out from the peanut gallery.

Fox is ignoring the O’Reilly matter

CNN has been covering the Rice story. It’s pretty clear, though, that Fox is giving short shrift to the O’Reilly story. I get that the stories aren’t parallel; Rice is a former government official while O’Reilly is employed by one of the feuding cable news networks.

Fight on, cable news guys.

Mr. Innuendo is at it again

Donald Trump, who is unafraid to toss out any innuendo imaginable, is at it again.

This time, the president says former national security adviser Susan Rice “may have” committed a crime.

His evidence? His substantiation? Oh, what the hell. He doesn’t have anything to offer. He just said it.

Rice’s so-called “crime” apparently occurred when he allegedly sought the identities of Trump campaign officials who were mentioned as possible targets of U.S. surveillance.

She served as national security adviser for President Obama. Rice has denied any involvement in this matter and has said she did not break any law.

The hits just keep coming

That won’t stop Trump, who continues to exhibit recklessness as it regards others’ reputation. All he had to say when the subject came up would have been, “I won’t comment any further on that matter until we get to the bottom of what happened. But, no-o-o-o. He had to pop off yet again.

However, he did say: “I think it’s going to be the biggest story.  It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

Kind of like the wiretapping ordered by Barack Obama, yes?

Rift in U.S. foreign policy team?

John Kerry says Benjamin Netanyahu is “welcome to speak” in the United States.

Susan Rice calls an upcoming speech by Netanyahu “destructive.”

Who is correct, the secretary of state or the Obama administration’s national security adviser?

I’ll put my money on Secretary Kerry.

http://thehill.com/policy/international/234242-kerry-netanyahu-is-welcome-to-speak

Netanyahu is going to speak Tuesday to a joint congressional session about Iran. President Obama wishes he wouldn’t make the speech; Obama has no plans to meet with Netanyahu while the Israeli prime minister is in this country — at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner.

Bibi’s talk will center on Iran’s desire to develop a nuclear program, which critics say — correctly, in my view — is a precursor to the Islamic Republic seeking a nuclear weapon. Israel doesn’t want the Iranians to have a nuke. Neither does the United States.

However, let’s stipulate something. The United States prides itself on freedom of expression. It extends that freedom to friendly foreign dignitaries. Set aside reports of serious tension between Netanyahu and Obama over this upcoming speech and consider that the two nations remain ironclad allies.

Kerry said the relationship, “in terms of security,” has never been stronger.

Let’s hear what the prime minister has to say.

Rice has it right on Benghazi hearings

Susan Rice said a lot of wrong things in the hours and days right after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

At the time she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and was thrust into the Sunday news talk-show limelight without knowing all the facts that led to the uprising that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

She blew it, got it wrong — and helped ignite a firestorm that still raging to this day.

Rice is now the national security adviser to President Obama and she said something quite correct about the upcoming congressional hearings on the Benghazi tragedy.

“You know, House and Senate committees have pronounced on this repeatedly. So it’s hard to imagine what further will come of yet another committee,” she said.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/susan-rice-benghazi-panel-106710.html?hp=l7

House Speaker John Boehner recently named a select House committee chaired by tea party back bencher Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to examine the Benghazi matter.

We’ve already had hearings. We’ve heard testimony from key players, such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Members of Congress have had their say; Republican critics have been loud in their condemnation of Clinton, as have Democratic supporters of the administration.

What is to be gained from what well could shape up as another partisan circus?

Rice’s answer? “Dang if I know.”

She’s not alone in wondering what a select committee is going to learn that other congressional panels haven’t already uncovered.

Benghazi is back

Benghazi is the story with no end.

It’s back in the news, thanks to some emails uncovered by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group. The emails purport to buttress the idea that the Obama administration lied about what happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.

They contend the administration engaged in a willful cover-up of the “truth,” whatever it is, about the violence that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/benghazi_white_house_emails_did_the_obama_administration_engage_in_a_cover.html

I’ve never believed in a cover-up. I do believe the administration made some big mistakes in trying to report what happened in that chaotic fire fight. They trotted out the U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, to say things about which she wasn’t briefed sufficiently. Rice had a set of talking points that turned out to be incomplete and wrong.

That constitutes a cover-up? Is it a deliberate deception?

No. It was a bungling attempt to get ahead of a still-developing story.

Still, the right-wing mainstream media has sought to keep this story alive and kicking — particularly if the then-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, decides to run for president in 2016. It’s looking as though she’s going to run and that, all by itself, is reason enough — in the eyes of her critics — to keep hammering away at Benghazi.

Never mind that independent analyses have concluded there was no deliberate lying; they conclude that the U.S. embassy security network failed, but only because officials misjudged the intensity of the fight that was ensuing at the consulate; Clinton herself has taken responsibility for the failure to protect our personnel, but that’s not good enough to satisfy her critics on the far right.

The story will continue to boil and bubble. Were it not for Hillary Clinton’s still-budding presidential candidacy, it would have faded away long ago.