Where in the World is Samantha Power?

Rick Moran
She's been on the job 19 days and has already taken a "personal trip" while Syrian civilians suffer a probable chemical attack?

The UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the attack on Thursday and Samantha Power, who excoriated the UN in her confirmation hearing for not acting on Syria, was nowhere to be found.

She was apparently on a "pre-arranged personal trip" according to Fox News who quoted a spokesman.

But have no fear, our fearless ambassador is still on the job:

A U.S. mission official told Fox News that Power was on a pre-arranged personal trip that left her unable to get back to the U.N. in time, but maintained that she was focusing closely on the Syria attack. 

"Ambassador Power has secure communications and has been in constant contact with her staff and the White House," the official said. "She is monitoring events, participated in the National Security Council meeting on Egypt convened by the president, and is providing instructions to her staff." 

One of the Obama administration's most vocal critics of its U.N. operation, though, blasted Power for her absence. 

"Samantha Power has been on the job exactly 19 days. In that time, she's already traveled from New York to Los Angeles to deliver a speech. Her absence from the UN on Wednesday sends a terrible message at a time when U.S. credibility in the region is suffering," Richard Grenell, a former U.N. spokesman under the George W. Bush administration, wrote in an online column

Grenell also told Fox News that her absence at this meeting could "scar her career." 

The White House is digging deeper into the alleged attacks, confirming that President Obama ordered the U.S. intelligence community to probe the latest attacks and gather evidence to find out what happened. 

Separately, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. at this point is "unable to conclusively determine" that chemical weapons were used. 

Psaki also declined, twice, to say where Power was during Wednesday's meeting. 

Asked by Fox News if she was on vacation, Psaki said: "I don't have any more details for you." 

Asked again, Psaki said: "She had a previously scheduled trip. I don't think I need to go into more detail from here." 

Yes, you do need to go into more detail. Where was she? What was she doing? Was it a romantic get away? A sightseeing adventure? Family reunion?

No information will be forthcoming because the administration doesn't care what you think about Power being gone for an important meeting. They don't care what you think about Obama's multi million dollar vacations either. Would her presence have made a difference? Who knows?

In her absence, the Security Council stopped short of calling for a probe on the latest alleged chemical attack amid pushback from the Russians and the Chinese, despite the fact a U.N. team is already in the country to investigate prior attacks. 

The White House spoke out on the slaughter in a written statement on Wednesday. Spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. is "deeply concerned" by the reports, and urged the U.N. to investigate. 

But the Obama administration continues to face criticism from lawmakers that it has remained "on the sidelines" despite warning a year ago that using chemical weapons would constitute crossing a "red line." 

That's pathetic, but typical. Not even the slaughter of innocents by chemcial weapons will alter Russia's iron clad support for President Assad.

Perhaps Power's absence has something to do with the fact that she is the most identifiable supporter of the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine that was used to justify overthrowing Libya's Gaddafi. No one wants a repeat of that adventure - especially since Syria's military is far more powerful than Gaddafi's.

Ed Morrissey points out that sending a lower ranking diplomat in Powers' place "was a clear message of apathy." Given the result of the meeting, it's hard to argue with that.

Thomas Lifson adds:

President Obama's foreign policy disasters have yielded at least one moment of comedy: the spectacle of his brand new (19 days in office) disappearing just as the UN Security Council called an e,mergency meeting on the apparent gassing of civilians in Syria. Power, remember, is the self-styled "genocide chick" who has made a career out of self-righteous posturing about the "responsibility to protect" purportedly borne by advanced countries, in particular the United States.

But now that Obama's threatened "red line" has been crossed and the world sees hideous suffering of gassed children, Power's enthusiasm for intervention to prevent slaughter is a deep embarrassment to Obama, who wants to avoid military entanglement in Syria. So she has disappeared, and yesterday, when James Rosen of Fox News questioned State Department spokesman Jen Psaki about her whereabouts he got a comic stonewall:

Psaki also declined, twice, to say where Power was during Wednesday's meeting.

Asked by Fox News if she was on vacation, Psaki said: "I don't have any more details for you."

Asked again, Psaki said: "She had a previously scheduled trip. I don't think I need to go into more detail from here."

The State Department is claiming to be in touch with her via telecomm, so at least we know she isn't chained in a basement in Cleveland. Perhaps she was so humiliated by the obvious mockery of the position that is her main claim to fame that she voluntarily took some vacation time (19 days into the job?) and absented herself. Or maybe she has been dispatched to Patagonia on a study mission. Who knows?

 But really, should her whereabouts remain unknown at a time when the world's attention is focused on the UN? Okay, I realize that nothing actually will be accomplished at the UN. Not only does Russia have a veto at the Security Council, this is the UN after all, so nothing ever gets accomplished.

"Samantha Power has been on the job exactly 19 days. In that time, she's already traveled from New York to Los Angeles to deliver a speech. Her absence from the UN on Wednesday sends a terrible message at a time when U.S. credibility in the region is suffering," Richard Grenell, a former U.N. spokesman under the George W. Bush administration, wrote in an online column

Ed Lasky pointed out to me that Power has a tradition of non-performance: "She also presided over the virtual Atrocities Prevention Board that apparently never met or did anything.  Just another Obama pal/flak to receive a title or honor. Too bad he can't dub them with a sword -- yet."

I guarantee you that if this were a Republican administration, this story would be blanketing the public with the image of an evasive, hypocritical, and spectacularly inept administration. Keep in mind that Obama appointed Power to the highly visible UN post as Syria was in the midst of civil war, a country where mass slaughter has been employed by the regime before. Remember Hama Rules?

This means that Obama set himself up through multiple stages. Not only did he pronounce a red line he was unwilling to enforce, he then appointed a UN ambassador known for calling on people like him to take military action when his bluff was called.


She's been on the job 19 days and has already taken a "personal trip" while Syrian civilians suffer a probable chemical attack?

The UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the attack on Thursday and Samantha Power, who excoriated the UN in her confirmation hearing for not acting on Syria, was nowhere to be found.

She was apparently on a "pre-arranged personal trip" according to Fox News who quoted a spokesman.

But have no fear, our fearless ambassador is still on the job:

A U.S. mission official told Fox News that Power was on a pre-arranged personal trip that left her unable to get back to the U.N. in time, but maintained that she was focusing closely on the Syria attack. 

"Ambassador Power has secure communications and has been in constant contact with her staff and the White House," the official said. "She is monitoring events, participated in the National Security Council meeting on Egypt convened by the president, and is providing instructions to her staff." 

One of the Obama administration's most vocal critics of its U.N. operation, though, blasted Power for her absence. 

"Samantha Power has been on the job exactly 19 days. In that time, she's already traveled from New York to Los Angeles to deliver a speech. Her absence from the UN on Wednesday sends a terrible message at a time when U.S. credibility in the region is suffering," Richard Grenell, a former U.N. spokesman under the George W. Bush administration, wrote in an online column

Grenell also told Fox News that her absence at this meeting could "scar her career." 

The White House is digging deeper into the alleged attacks, confirming that President Obama ordered the U.S. intelligence community to probe the latest attacks and gather evidence to find out what happened. 

Separately, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. at this point is "unable to conclusively determine" that chemical weapons were used. 

Psaki also declined, twice, to say where Power was during Wednesday's meeting. 

Asked by Fox News if she was on vacation, Psaki said: "I don't have any more details for you." 

Asked again, Psaki said: "She had a previously scheduled trip. I don't think I need to go into more detail from here." 

Yes, you do need to go into more detail. Where was she? What was she doing? Was it a romantic get away? A sightseeing adventure? Family reunion?

No information will be forthcoming because the administration doesn't care what you think about Power being gone for an important meeting. They don't care what you think about Obama's multi million dollar vacations either. Would her presence have made a difference? Who knows?

In her absence, the Security Council stopped short of calling for a probe on the latest alleged chemical attack amid pushback from the Russians and the Chinese, despite the fact a U.N. team is already in the country to investigate prior attacks. 

The White House spoke out on the slaughter in a written statement on Wednesday. Spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. is "deeply concerned" by the reports, and urged the U.N. to investigate. 

But the Obama administration continues to face criticism from lawmakers that it has remained "on the sidelines" despite warning a year ago that using chemical weapons would constitute crossing a "red line." 

That's pathetic, but typical. Not even the slaughter of innocents by chemcial weapons will alter Russia's iron clad support for President Assad.

Perhaps Power's absence has something to do with the fact that she is the most identifiable supporter of the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine that was used to justify overthrowing Libya's Gaddafi. No one wants a repeat of that adventure - especially since Syria's military is far more powerful than Gaddafi's.

Ed Morrissey points out that sending a lower ranking diplomat in Powers' place "was a clear message of apathy." Given the result of the meeting, it's hard to argue with that.

Thomas Lifson adds:

President Obama's foreign policy disasters have yielded at least one moment of comedy: the spectacle of his brand new (19 days in office) disappearing just as the UN Security Council called an e,mergency meeting on the apparent gassing of civilians in Syria. Power, remember, is the self-styled "genocide chick" who has made a career out of self-righteous posturing about the "responsibility to protect" purportedly borne by advanced countries, in particular the United States.

But now that Obama's threatened "red line" has been crossed and the world sees hideous suffering of gassed children, Power's enthusiasm for intervention to prevent slaughter is a deep embarrassment to Obama, who wants to avoid military entanglement in Syria. So she has disappeared, and yesterday, when James Rosen of Fox News questioned State Department spokesman Jen Psaki about her whereabouts he got a comic stonewall:

Psaki also declined, twice, to say where Power was during Wednesday's meeting.

Asked by Fox News if she was on vacation, Psaki said: "I don't have any more details for you."

Asked again, Psaki said: "She had a previously scheduled trip. I don't think I need to go into more detail from here."

The State Department is claiming to be in touch with her via telecomm, so at least we know she isn't chained in a basement in Cleveland. Perhaps she was so humiliated by the obvious mockery of the position that is her main claim to fame that she voluntarily took some vacation time (19 days into the job?) and absented herself. Or maybe she has been dispatched to Patagonia on a study mission. Who knows?

 But really, should her whereabouts remain unknown at a time when the world's attention is focused on the UN? Okay, I realize that nothing actually will be accomplished at the UN. Not only does Russia have a veto at the Security Council, this is the UN after all, so nothing ever gets accomplished.

"Samantha Power has been on the job exactly 19 days. In that time, she's already traveled from New York to Los Angeles to deliver a speech. Her absence from the UN on Wednesday sends a terrible message at a time when U.S. credibility in the region is suffering," Richard Grenell, a former U.N. spokesman under the George W. Bush administration, wrote in an online column

Ed Lasky pointed out to me that Power has a tradition of non-performance: "She also presided over the virtual Atrocities Prevention Board that apparently never met or did anything.  Just another Obama pal/flak to receive a title or honor. Too bad he can't dub them with a sword -- yet."

I guarantee you that if this were a Republican administration, this story would be blanketing the public with the image of an evasive, hypocritical, and spectacularly inept administration. Keep in mind that Obama appointed Power to the highly visible UN post as Syria was in the midst of civil war, a country where mass slaughter has been employed by the regime before. Remember Hama Rules?

This means that Obama set himself up through multiple stages. Not only did he pronounce a red line he was unwilling to enforce, he then appointed a UN ambassador known for calling on people like him to take military action when his bluff was called.