UN Ambassador Won't Answer Questions on Lack of Marines, Free Speech

Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, refused to answer on Sunday questions about the lack of Marines at the U.S. consulate in Libya prior to eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. She also punted when asked why the Obama administration initially, in its response to the unrest at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, did not stand up for free speech or make any mention that the Internet video that mocked Muhammed was protected under the Constitution of the United States.  

On ABC’s “This Week,” host Jake Tapper asked Rice, “Why were there not U.S. Marines at the embassy in Tripoli?"

Rice did not answer the question; when pressed again why the United States would not have Marines at the U.S. consulate in Libya, a “region where U.S. interests have been attacked in the previous months,” Rice became defensive.

Rice said there were “Marines in some places around the world” and “there are not Marines in every facility.”

“That depends on the circumstances, that depends on the requirements," Rice said. "Our presence in Tripoli, as in Benghazi, is relatively new as you will recall. We've been back post-Revolution only for a matter of months.”

Rice noted she has “visited there myself, both to Tripoli and Benghazi, I was very grateful to have strong security presence with me as part of our embassy detachment there.”

Even though she received security when she visited Libya and noted “we certainly are aware that Libya is a place where there have been increasingly some violent incidents,” Rice continued to punt on the question about why there were no Marines at the embassy, responding, “the security personnel that the State Department thought were required were in place."

Tapper later said Rice “didn’t answer” his question about the lack of Marines. 

On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” host David Gregory asked Rice why U.S. Embassy in Egypt “did not stand up for speech” in their initial response to the Islamist violence. Gregory noted that this was an example Republicans cited in charging the Obama administration of  “weakness” that “invites this kind of chaos.” 

Rice punted on the question, and responded by praising the U.S. diplomats the Obama administration failed and whose lives they put in danger with foreign policy failures. She also said charges that the Obama administration was weak on foreign policy were “vacuous” and tried to spin for the Obama administration, claiming America is viewed better around the world since Obama came into office because Obama “restored relationships around the world.”  

“I spend every day up at the United Nations where I have to interact with 192 other countries,” Rice said. “I know how well the United States is viewed.”

Remarkably, the Obama administration asked Google and YouTube to censor the Internet video mocking Muhammed (Google stood up for freedom of expression and denied the Obama administration's request) and federal authorities are now investigating the film's producer as the Obama administration continues to try to blame the Middle East violence on the film instead of its foreign policy failures. 


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