Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N., appears on CBS's "Face The Nation" on Sept. 16.(Photo: Getty Images)
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is meeting Tuesday with lawmakers on
Capitol Hill on misleading statements she made about the attack on the
U.S. Consulate in Libya that left the ambassador and three other
The meeting comes as the White House has signaled
it may nominate Rice to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of
state. Some GOP senators, such as John McCain, R-Ariz., have said they
may oppose her nomination because she should have known her statements
on the Sept. 11 attack were false.
President Obama has defended
Rice, who rose up through Democratic circles to advise presidential
candidates on international issues. Under President Clinton, she weighed
in on key foreign policy decisions, some of which remain controversial.
House spokesman Jay Carney wouldn't say Monday whether the president
will nominate Rice, but that if he did, she would be a good candidate.
Rice has done an excellent job at the United Nations and is highly
qualified for any number of positions," Carney said.
Rice, 48, was
born in Washington, D.C., to scholar parents who were themselves
involved in policy circles. Her father, Emmett Rice, was the second
black governor of the Federal Reserve System; her mother, Lois Dickson
Fitt, is an education expert at the Brookings Institution.
received a degree in history at Stanford University in 1986 and attended
Oxford before becoming a foreign policy aide to former Democratic
Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis during his 1988 presidential run
against George H.W. Bush.
After his unsuccessful campaign, Rice became a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm.
1993 she joined the administration of President Clinton, serving at the
National Security Council. She held various positions, including
director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping, special
assistant to the president and senior director for African Affairs.
was a policy adviser during the genocide in Rwanda and also at a time
when the Clinton administration was determining how to handle the
emergence of al-Qaeda as a terror threat.
Clinton and his foreign
policy staff were criticized for failing to intervene in a serious way
to stop the 1994 genocide in which more than 500,000 people were killed,
a decision that Clinton would say was the worst mistake of his
Clinton's foreign policy staff had to fend off
criticism it failed to do more to nab al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden
prior to Sept. 11, 2001. According to former ambassador to Sudan,Timothy
Carney, when the Sudan offered to help the United States capture bin
Laden, Rice and counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke advised against
it. Later, the 9-11 Commission said no credible evidence existed that
Sudan would have made good on its offer.
Following the election of
Republican George W. Bush, Rice joined Brookings in 2002 as a senior
fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development program,
where she offered analyses on failing states and global hunger.
2004 she served as an adviser to the presidential campaign of John
Kerry. In 2008 she was asked to advise then Sen. Barack Obama on foreign
In January 2009, Rice was confirmed President Obama's permanent representative to the United Nations.
Rice is married to ABC News producer Ian Cameron. They have two children.
made headlines in September when she was dispatched by the White House
to discuss the administration's response to the attack on the U.S.
Consulate in Benghazi in which Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed.
Rice insisted the attack emerged from a protest outside the consulate in response to an anti-Islam video produced in the USA.
was later learned there was no protest, and the attack was a
well-organized terror plot likely timed for the anniversary of Sept. 11.
Former CIA director David Petraeus testified on Capitol Hill
that his agency informed the White House from the beginning that the
attack in Benghazi was determined to be an organized assault by
However, Rice appeared on several
Sunday talk shows and insisted the attack was prompted by the video. She
recently said she was only relating the intelligence information she
was handed by the White House, and Obama defended Rice, saying it was
not her fault.
Petraeus testified that the CIA report he approved was apparently altered to downplay the terrorist angle.
Marc Gerecht, a former CIA operations officer and now an analyst at the
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, says Rice's performance
after the Benghazi attack raises a red flag.
"These officials are
supposed to assess these things for themselves," Gerecht said. "If you
see a situation where a consulate safe house is being attacked by
mortars and organized teams, that should tell you this was planned
before that video came out."
Rice knew the narrative that would
satisfy the White House, Gerecht said. Included in that narrative is
that al-Qaeda is losing ground, public sentiments toward the United
States are improving in the Middle East, and the attack was not
connected to U.S. foreign policy. But she still would have had access
numerous news reports that contradicted that narrative, he said.
"If you want to take the president's approach, then Susan Rice is shockingly guilty of being dumb," Gerecht said.
Rice was to appear Tuesday with acting CIA Director Michael Morell, said the White House.
an interview Monday, McCain said he would ask Rice "the same questions
I've been talking about on every talk show in America." Asked whether he
thinks she's still unfit for secretary of State and what he was hoping
for, McCain interrupted and said, "I'm not hoping for anything. She
asked to see me and I agreed to see her."