Even after meeting privately with her most vocal public critics, the attacks against Rice continue. Now at an even more fevered pitch, the accusations and innuendos surrounding Rice’s appearance on the Sunday morning news circuit a mere five days after the deadly attack and at a time when the full-scale investigation into the incident was in its infancy, quite simply don’t live up to the charge of intentional distortions, particularly given the facts that were available at the time and presented to the Ambassador.
When Ambassador Rice embarked upon her Sunday morning media appearances, she did so armed with declassified information provided to her by the intelligence community. To now, with the benefit of hindsight expect her to know then all we know today and make the conscious decision to divulge classified information to anyone, much less millions of people around the world, is patently ridiculous.
Understanding the fluid nature of the investigation, Ambassador Rice was careful to state repeatedly that an investigation was ongoing, that the investigation must be completed before drawing “any definitive conclusions.” And when asked about al-Qaeda involvement specifically, she notes, “We’ll have to find that out… whether they were al-Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al-Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.”
Clearly, these are the statements of a responsible and measured individual, carefully characterizing an on-going investigation with potentially volatile international repercussions, all while respecting the boundaries of classified vs. declassified intelligence information.
In short, she did her job.
As the drumbeat against the ambassador continues, it is time to say, quite simply— enough.
We will not stand idly by and watch another black woman publicly assailed, devalued and disrespected in the same vein as Prof. Lani Guinier and Former Surgeon General, Dr. Joceyln Elders. Bold sisters, led by Melanie Campbell of the Black Women’s Roundtable, and supported by a wide range of women’s organizations and other organizations, celebrities, and everyday individuals who deeply care about justice have crafted and signed a petition to be shared with Congress displaying reams of support for Ambassador Rice.
You can sign the petition too.
Let this be the day we all say,
Not on our watch!
Follow Dr. Jones-DeWeever on twitter: @sistahscholar