Susan Rice began her fourth year as United Nations ambassador sparring with familiar diplomatic adversaries—she condemned China and Russia in January for vetoing U.N. efforts to call on Syrian strongman Bashar Assad to step down—and ended it with an unexpected political battle at home. Five days after a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including the Ambassador to Libya, Rice told CBS’s Face the Nation there was no evidence the assault was“premeditated.” Although that statement matched CIA talking points distributed at the time, later intelligence reports suggested Islamic militants planned the attack. Republicans critical of the Obama Administration’s response to the incident publicly attacked Rice for peddling what they claimed was misleading information. Speculation that she was a top candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State further fanned the controversy. After Republicans like John McCain and Lindsay Graham promised a tough confirmation fight, Rice withdrew her name from consideration for that post on Dec. 13.
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