Well-respected U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice announced that she is stepping down from her run for secretary of state, according to NBC News.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Rice voiced concern over an unnecessary and prolonged vetting due to the incessant criticism she experienced over the Benghazi, Libya, incident:
â€śIf nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly â€“ to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.
â€śThat trade-off is simply not worth it to our countryâ€¦. Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.â€ť
On September 11th, an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi caused the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Initially, Rice said in an interview with â€śMeet the Pressâ€ť that the attacks were linked to an American anti-Muslim video that had gone viral:
â€śWhat happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.
â€śOpportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and it escalated into a much more violent episode.â€ť
While Rice was just reporting on the intelligence she was provided at the time, Republicans â€” eager to gain an edge during the 2012 presidential election against President Obama â€” upbraided Rice for misrepresenting the Benghazi incident as a backlash to the video as opposed to a full-on premeditated terrorist attack.
On November 21, Rice would maintain at the United Nations that the information she shared with the public was indeed the intelligence she was provided at the time, â€śI relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers.â€ť
Still, Republicans used the attack to drive their point home that President Obama and his administration were weak in foreign policy, with Rice morphing into the whipping boy.
Read more at www.newsone.com.