Stewart Stogel is a veteran print/broadcast journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, the Miami Herald, Washington Times, ABC News and NBC News. Major stories broken include the death of legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq (Operation Desert Storm, 1991), and the failure of the U.S./UK military to find WMD in Iraq (March 2003).More ↓Less ↑
UNITED NATIONS – More than a month after her now universally discredited comments pertaining to the reason behind the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice still refuses to express any remorse or credible explanation for her actions.
On Wednesday, the veteran U.S. diplomat raised the stonewalling to a new level.
She has now enlisted her State Department security detail to hamstring the media.
Attending a U.N. Day concert hosted by pop legend Stevie Wonder, Rice waved off requests for comments on her Benghazi statements made to numerous TV networks on Sept. 16.
Rice erroneously had insisted that the attacks in Libya were “instigated” by a video on YouTube insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The Rice comments were later admitted to be false by several State Department officials.
Rice not only refused to address her controversial television interviews, but since her initial appearances, has steadfastly opted not to offer any sort of an apology to the families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 attacks that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Rice has now escalated that stonewalling.
On Wednesday evening, she bsignaled her State Department security detail to intervene to block any questioning from the media as she left U.N. headquarters.
To this reporter, a stonefaced U.S. ambassador would only say, “I have nothing to say sir,” at which time she had an armed State Department security detail move in.
The detail then formed a line around the ambassador to allow her to hurriedly leave the building.
The apparent attempt to politicize a security detail had several former U.S. diplomats scratching their heads.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told WND: “I have never heard of anything like this happening.”
Former U.S. mission spokesman Richard Grenell also had serious reservations about Rice’s latest strategy in dealing with the Libyan controversy.
“When I was John Bolton’s spokesman we always stopped and spoke with the media,” he said. “Rice seems to be hiding (something). While the media didn’t always like what we had to say, its very important not to hide from them.”
Wednesday’s incident marks the fourth time in two weeks that Rice has been asked why she has yet to apologize to the families who lost loved ones in the Libyan attacks.
To date, silence.
The U.S. mission also refused any comment or explanation for Ambassador Rice’s latest attempt to corral the media.
Repeated phone calls to Rice spokeswoman Erin Pelton went unanswered.
The U.S. diplomat is rumored to be on a short list to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in a second Obama administration.
Congressman Peter King, R-N.Y., a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, has publicly called for Rice to resign over the Libyan incident and her false statements.