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In his latest effort to refill the swamp with Obama administration lackeys, President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former National Security Adviser Susan Rice to lead his White House Domestic Policy Council.
Rice, who was on Biden’s short list for the vice-presidential nomination this year, is a veritable poster child of Obama-era corruption. Her fingerprints are all over at least two of the most significant scandals of that supposedly spotless administration: the debacle surrounding the 2012 attack on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and the outrageous “unmasking” of Gen. Michael Flynn.
Rice played a central role in the Benghazi fiasco. She was, after all, the public face of a blatant Team Obama lie about the cause of the deadly terror assault.
She would tell the American people that the attack — which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens — was a “spontaneous” reaction to a YouTube video posted by an American. Michael Morell, the deputy CIA director at the time (and a vociferous President Trump critic today), was baffled by Rice’s insistence on this line. “Why she said this, I don’t know. It is a question only she can answer.”
Is it though? Isn’t it, in fact, rather obvious that this lie was told for two basic reasons? One, to deflect from the Obama administration’s intelligence whoopsies, namely, failing to detect and protect against the attack? And second, to blame America foremost for jihadist violence against us? If only we didn’t make irresponsible YouTube videos, the world would be a safer place.
Is this the kind of thinking Rice will bring to domestic policy?
But as bad as the Benghazi scandal was — and it was terrible — it pales in comparison to Rice’s involvement in spying on the Trump transition team and lying about it.
In April 2017, Rice was asked by PBS’s Judy Woodruff if she was aware of members of the Trump team being surveilled in connection with foreign investigations. Her answer: “I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see the reports.” But we now know that Rice was very much aware of, and a leader in, the spying efforts, including the unmasking of Flynn.
Perhaps Biden is comfortable with Rice’s prevarications, because he himself has a record of dishonesty regarding the effort made against the Trump transition team by the Obama administration, which he now admits to having had knowledge of. In the event, with the Justice Department’s probe into Team Obama’s 2016 transition shenanigans still underway, Rice will join Biden as a top White House player.
The common denominator of these two scandals, either one of which should be enough to keep anyone out of a position of public trust, is the lying.
For four years, we have heard nothing but wailing from Democrats and their media allies about Trump’s vulgar rhetoric destroying norms. But here is Rice, who has blatantly lied about the deaths of Americans and the attempt to undermine an incoming administration of a different party — and the media are unlikely to raise a peep about her returning to the highest circles of power.
A stale smell is beginning to waft over Team Biden as it slowly assembles, like a dusty attic door being opened after years of being locked. Rice epitomized an Obama administration that thought so highly of itself and its lofty goals that being honest with the American people was of little concern to its principals. There is no reason to think that even to this day, Rice believes she did anything wrong with her dishonesty.
The selection of Rice, finally, signals two things. First, for all the talk of unity, the Biden administration is looking to have a political dogfight with Republicans; Rice is no peacemaker.
Maybe more important, it shows that this Obama administration version 2.0, with Uncle Joe smiling and waving, has absolutely no regrets about its past corruption. For the American people, that is a very dangerous combination.
David Marcus is The Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Twitter: @BlueBoxDave