On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins trotted out the latest Republican excuse for questioning Susan Rice’s fitness to be secretary of state: The 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, which occurred while Rice was the State Department’s Africa point person*. “She had to be aware of the general threat assessment and of the ambassadors’ request for more security,” Collins said of Rice.
As we noted, Collins was much less troubled by Condoleezza Rice’s apparent failure to respond to a warnings that al-Qaida was looking to attack the United States—a failure that led to a far more devastating terrorist attack on 9/11.
But it turns out the hypocrisy goes even further. Back in 2009, when Susan Rice was being confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Collins put out a press release highlighting Rice’s ties to Maine, the senator’s own state. Collins praised her as a “remarkable woman,” adding: “I first met her when we both participated in seminars sponsored by the Aspen Strategy Group. I was so impressed with her brilliance and nuanced insights as we discussed foreign policy challenges.”
If Collins was concerned about Rice’s role in failing to stop the East Africa bombings, she certainly didn’t mention it at the time.
*This sentence has been corrected from an earlier version.