Advice and Consent: A tale of four nominations
Looking back at the historical records of Secretaries of State: Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, one wonders if those Senators who voted to confirm the nominations of those four with the "Advice and Consent of the Senate," would do so again?
For example: Nominated by President George W. Bush, General Colin Powell was confirmed by unanimous voice vote on January 20, 2001. In 2003, Special Counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, tried to prove that Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief-of-staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the person who "outed" Ms. Valerie Plame as a CIA employee. Powell and his Under Secretary, Richard Armitage, knew from the outset that Armitage, not Libby, "outed" Ms. Plame to journalist, Robert Novak. Had Powell and Armitage informed President Bush, the investigation could have ended right then.
Instead, the three-year investigation and trial cost American taxpayers millions of dollars. The trial destroyed the career of Libby and the finances of the Libby family. See: Judith Miller’s The Story: A Reporter’s Journey (2015). The Pulitzer Prize winning Miller claims the real target of Fitzgerald’s investigation was Vice President Cheney, and that Powell and Armitage kept quiet in the hope the investigation would sabotage Cheney, their administration rival.
In 2005, when nominated by President Bush to replace Colin Powell, President Bush’s National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, won confirmation on an 85 to 13 vote. Thirteen Democrat Senators voted against her. But would the 85 Senators have voted for her confirmation had they known that in 2008 Secretary Rice would try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to side with the U.N’s World Court as to the fate of Jose Ernesto Medellin -- a monster who confessed to raping, torturing, and murdering two teen-age Texas girls.
Had Texas lost Medellin vs. Texas, our entire justice system and U.S. sovereignty would have been surrendered to the World Court. Then, Texas Solicitor General, Ted Cruz, won a 6-3 decision for Texas. Medellin was executed on August 5, 2008. See: A Time for Truth by Senator Ted Cruz (2015).
On December 1, 2008, when Mrs. Bill Clinton was nominated by President Obama to be Secretary of State, Senate colleagues raised concerns that she might use her high office to bring in foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. But Mrs. Clinton convinced her colleagues that she would be open and honest. Consequently, Mrs. Bill Clinton was confirmed by the full Senate by a vote of 94-2.
In light of recent revelations about Benghazi, her private e-mail server, her mishandling of sensitive security information, and allegations of using her office to obtain donations the Clinton Foundation, would any of those 94 Senators like to reconsider their votes? See: Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer (2015). Republican Senators David Vitter and Jim DeMint voted against Mrs. Clinton’s confirmation.
When Senator John Kerry was nominated to be Secretary of State by President Obama, his Senate colleagues confirmed his nomination, 94-3. Given Kerry’s recent handling of the negotiations that handed Iran a clear path to developing nulear weapons, would any of those 94 Senators like to reconsider their votes? See: The Boston Herald, September 27, 2015: "Iran Nuke Deal Could Blow Up on Kerry." Republican Senators Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and Jim Inhofe voted against Kerry’s confirmation.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2015. William Hamilton.
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