The Black Women of Political Action (BWOPA) is seeking public support for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., who has come under fire in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the nation’s consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Ambassador Susan Rice has been criticized by Republicans for providing incorrect information in the wake of the attack, which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Rice appeared on several major talk shows on Sept. 16 and, according to The New York Times, used information provided by the CIA to say that the attacks were a “spontaneous reaction” to an anti-Muslim video which had surfaced on the Internet. Subsequent analysis of the attack found that the assault appeared to have been premeditated, putting Rice at the center of what critics said was an attempt by the White House to mislead the public.
“Once again, we find ourselves in the position to stand boldly against the forces in our government that would challenge the impeccable credentials of one of the most outstanding, qualified leaders in foreign policy in our land,” Dezie Woods-Jones, California state president of the BWOPA said in a statement. “Ambassador Rice—who has demonstrated throughout her career in both the public and private sector her commitment to international peace and the equality of all people—should be honored for her dedication and service and not summarily dismissed by those that seek political gain.”
The group has launched an online petition expressing support for Rice: https://www.change.org/petitions/women-across-the-country-called-to-support-ambassador-susan-rice?utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=35565423)
Rice is a possible candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State when Clinton steps down next year. A group of nearly 100 House Republicans on Nov. 19 sent a letter to President Obama opposing Rice, and Senate Republicans have likewise questioned her suitability for the Cabinet position.
“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter,” the House Republicans wrote in their letter. “Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad a reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed.”