.@HeleneCooper plays Judy Miller to @JasonKStearns’ Scooter Libby on @AmbassadorRice smear-job #DRC #Rwanda


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.

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2 thoughts on “.@HeleneCooper plays Judy Miller to @JasonKStearns’ Scooter Libby on @AmbassadorRice smear-job #DRC #Rwanda

  1. Richard Kalinda says:

    Sonia, that is how the independent journalism works! Think hard my dear: before you brandish Jason & Helen’s ignorance, ask yourself how much you really know of RDF activities on everyday basis? Are you by any chance a member of High Command? No. You’re just assumming the GoE report is biaised, that those journalists hate beautiful Rwanda. In other words, the onus is on you. Show you evidence that they are not talking the truth! Sentiments, yes. Sentimentality, no. You are losing it.

  2. Mwene Kalinda says:

    Dear Richard,
    Are you Helen Cooper’s and Jason Stearns’ spokesperson? Sonia has asked perfectly reasonable questions that a quiet conscience would have no reasonable grounds to refuse to answer. You may be mesmerized by those who call themselves journalists or experts, but some of us have a healthy dose of skepticism regarding those who give themselves those titles. Through her reporting – often quoting the same anonymous and nebulous sources as Ms Cooper is doing in the present case – Judith Miller of the same New York Times is credited with providing a basis for the Iraq invasion through her claims of Saddam Hussein’s WMDs. Most of those claims were provided by “leaks” from administration officials who demanded anonymity. The same claims in the New York Times would then be used by administration officials who were the original source in the first place to bolster their case for an invasion of Iraq, supposedly to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction that never were.

    So please, stop taking us for uninformed clods. If you want to give a pass to the Coopers and Stearns of this world, that is your right, but stop asking those who want to get explanations and clarifications for their claims to shut up. Unless of course you are in their pay or are otherwise associated with them in any other way. I can also see HRW talking points in an alleged report when I see them; Soros’ US$ 100 million is certainly buying a lot of so-called journalists.

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