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Rep. Rogers: Rice 'Curious Choice' for NSA Post

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 08:37 PM

Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan on Wednesday described President Barack Obama’s promotion of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to White House national security adviser as “a curious choice.”

“She’s a political lightening rod right now,” the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “That’s an odd choice for the one position that’s supposed to be as nonpolitical as you can get.

“I hope that all that attention and all that effort isn’t distracting to her mission, because it is a critically important one,” Rogers added. “It works with Congress, the national security committees to try to solve big problems — Syria, North Korea, Iran.

“All of that has to happen, and that’s the one job that you just don’t want politics to creep into. I hope that doesn’t happen. I look forward to working with her.”

Rice, who is succeeding Tom Donilon, does not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

She was attacked heavily by Republicans last September after going on five Sunday morning talk shows to explain that the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya resulted from a “spontaneous" outgrowth of protests over an anti-Muslim video.

Rice was working from "talking points" that had been heavily edited at the request of the State Department.

The Obama White House was later forced to admit that terrorists linked to al-Qaida were responsible for the assaults, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In November, Obama nominated Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but she later withdrew her name from consideration amid strong opposition by many Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

“The president has the right to appoint somebody he wants to be his adviser on national security issues, but I think it’s curious given all the other distractions of the administration to pick somebody who was all in the middle of that political infighting,” Rogers told CNN. “I just hope it’s not distracting from her mission.”

Turning to Syria, Rogers reiterated his longstanding position that he had “a high degree of confidence” that President Bashar al-Assad’s military had used chemical weapons against the rebel forces. “We’ve crossed that line a long time ago.

“This is deteriorating out of control. You have Iran now using proxy fighters in the country. You have every flavor of terrorist in Syria now that we can imagine. That’s dangerous.”
He called on the Obama administration to provide leadership in helping to end the civil war that has lasted more than two years and claimed more than 70,000 lives.

“We have to have a solution that regains the confidence of the opposition in the United States and the Arab League,” Rogers added. “If we don’t get that credibility back, we’re toast. This thing is going to just spiral out of control — and we will be passive observers to one of the greatest humanitarian disasters in recent times.”


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Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan on Wednesday described President Barack Obama s promotion of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to White House national security adviser as a curious choice. She s a political lightening rod right now, the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence...
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Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 08:37 PM
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