.@HeleneCooper plays Judy Miller to @JasonKStearns’ Scooter Libby on @AmbassadorRice smear-job #DRC #Rwanda2
December 10, 2012 by soniauwimana
Less than 24-hours after the hypersensitive Jason Stearns agreed with negationist web-activist RwandaNkunda that my recent very gentle dissection of his modus operandi was “perhaps” a smear on his good name, he is complicit in this front-page hatchet-job on prospective US SecState nominee, UN Ambassador Susan Rice.
There are too many things wrong with this incredibly lazy “news analysis” piece by Helene Cooper of the NY Times to address in a single post; indeed, it would take a masters’ dissertation at a minimum to cover its many howling inadequacies.
Instead, I want to hone in on one aspect of the story: the claim, presented as indisputable fact by Cooper, that Ambassador Rice intervened at the UN Security Council to prevent the release of the Group of Experts’ addendum that accused Rwanda of support for M23.
This anecdote is at the heart of the case against Rice that this article wants to make: Rice’s closeness to Rwanda and its leadership is a blindspot that brings her judgment into question (as well as her suitability to replace Hillary Clinton at State). How better illustrate this than with a story about how Rice personally stepped in to hold up the release of vitally important information about the conflict in the eastern DRC to save her Rwandan friends from the consequences contained therein? KFC itself couldn’t produce a more delectable nugget.
Of course, this is not new to people who have been following the story; Human Rights Watch were contemporaneously bleating about this alleged Rice-backed hold-up at the time Hege and/or Stearns first leaked the addendum to the BBC back in April. This is very old hat.
It is also very untrue. Ambassador Rice did not try to prevent, nor did she delay, the release of the GoE addendum at all, let alone “for weeks” as Cooper states as fact. The timeline of the events as they played out at the time — the date on the draft, the UN Sanctions Committee meeting schedule, etc. — attest to the fact that there was no delay in the release of the addendum. In fact, if anything, members of the Sanctions Committee felt the process had been rushed because of these exact same baseless allegations of improper delay from HRW.
Helene Cooper can shoot me down in flames quite easily by identifying the “weeks” to which she refers. As you can see below, I have asked that she do exactly that. Wanna bet she can’t?
The Rice delay story was one Jason Stearns has bandied about since its origin. No surprises to find his fingerprints here, along with some Ken Roth stand-in. Less predictable was the decision by the New York Times to brand Rwanda a “rapist” by way of a Facebook comment in the final paragraph of Cooper’s addled little story.