Sidney Blumenthal, in today’s Guardian, examines her contributions:
… Like his other female enablers - Karen Hughes, his political image-maker and undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, and Harriet Miers, his legal counsel - Rice is ferociously protective. She shields him from
worst-case scenarios, telling him to ignore criticism, and showers him with flattery that he is a world-historical colossus.
As national security adviser, before 9/11, Rice protected Bush from
warnings by the counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, about al-Qaida attacks
- and demoted Clarke. Before the invasion of Iraq, she lent her imprimatur to
the disinformation about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and
peddled it to the media. She did not demand an Iraq postwar stabilisation plan.
Nor did she object to the Pentagon's seizure of Iraq's civil governance
responsibilities from the state department. Before Israel's attack on Lebanon,
she did not caution against the possibility of Israeli failure against
Hizbullah. She was party to the decision to lend full war materiel and
intelligence support to the effort if Israel would undertake it.
This May, as the situation in Iraq drastically worsened, Rice told
senior staff that she wants no more reporting from the embassies. She announced
in a meeting that people write memos only for each other, and that no one else
reads them. She said she wouldn't read them. Instead of writing reports, the
diplomats should "sell America", she insisted. "We are salesmen for America!"
On Tuesday, kicking off the mid-term elections campaign, Bush
delivered a speech that cited Bin Laden's screeds, Lenin's What Is To Be Done?
and Hitler's Mein Kampf, and promised "complete victory". Rice contributed her
own comparison of the "war on terror" to the American civil war. "I'm sure there
are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the civil war to its end and to
insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold," she said.
But the more delirious the rhetoric, the more hollow the policy.
"There is no plan for Iraq," a senior national security official with the
highest intelligence clearance and access to the relevant memos told me. "There
is no plan."