The Cable

Anne-Marie Slaughter accuses Obama of prioritizing oil over values

Former senior State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, who has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration's response to the crisis in Libya, today accused the U.S. government of prioritizing oil over human rights.

"U.S. is defining ‘vital strategic interest' in terms of oil and geography, not universal values. Wrong call that will come back to haunt us," she wrote on Wednesday on her Twitter page.

She didn't specifically mention Libya, but her criticism echoes what she sees as the failure of the international community to support popular revolutions in the Arab world.

The G8 foreign ministers met in Paris on Monday to discuss the crisis in Libya, but failed to agree to move forward on a no-fly zone. France and Britain pushed hard for more forceful action, Germany and Russia pushed hard against intervention, while the United States declined to take either side, according to a European official who was briefed on the meeting.

Afterward, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Arab sentiment was,  "if you don't show your support for the Libyan people and for democracy at this time, you are saying you will intervene only when it's about your security, but you won't help when it's about our democracy".

Slaughter, who had kept her personal opinions private during her approximately two years inside the Obama administration, has been increasingly vocal about her concerns regarding the U.S. government's approach to Libya ever since she left her post as the State Department's director of policy planning in January. She used one of her first tweets to call for international intervention in Libya back on Feb. 24, going further than the U.S. position on a no fly zone at the time.a

"The international community cannot stand by and watch the massacre of Libyan protesters. In Rwanda we watched. In Kosovo we acted. #Libya," she wrote.

By invoking Rwanda, Slaughter compared the situation in Libya to the 1994 bloodshed that saw 800,000 Rwandans murdered in about 100 days -- a clear case of genocide. Likewise in 1999, NATO bombed the Serbian capital of Belgrade following that government's actions in Kosovo, although a U.N. court in 2001 decided the situation did not technically constitute genocide.

Then on March 13, she penned an op-ed in the New York Times titled "Fiddling While Libya Burns," which sought to rebut various arguments against imposing a no fly zone over Libya. "President Obama says the noose is tightening around Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. In fact, it is tightening around the Libyan rebels, as Colonel Qaddafi makes the most of the world's dithering and steadily retakes rebel-held towns," Slaughter wrote. "Any use of force must be carefully and fully debated, but that debate has now been had. It's been raging for a week, during which almost every Arab country has come on board calling for a no-flight zone and Colonel Qaddafi continues to gain ground. It is time to act."

The Cable

Names: Sheba Crocker is the new #2 at State’s Policy Planning shop

Sheba Crocker has begun her new role as principal deputy director of the State Department's Office of Policy Planning, the number two slot behind new Policy Planning Director Jake Sullivan.

The State Department didn't announce that Crocker had been promoted to the influential post, but the nameplate outside her new office revealed her new title, and two State Department officials confirmed to The Cable that she has begun her new job. Crocker was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and previously worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as a senior associate with the CSIS Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project.

Crocker has also previously worked as the deputy chief of staff to the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for tsunami recovery, former President Bill Clinton, and on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration, where she also worked for Steinberg. This is a major promotion for one of Steinberg's key protégés.

Crocker is set to have more responsibility and more influence than her predecessor Derek Chollet, who nevertheless was very influential at State before he moved over to the National Security Staff as its new senior director for strategic planning. Sullivan is now dual-hatted as director of policy planning and as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff, and maintains active involvement in working directly for Clinton as her voice inside the State Department on a host of issues.

The thinking inside State is that Sullivan will be so busy doing both jobs that Crocker will naturally take on more of the day to day management responsibilities at policy planning. Sullivan even kept his desk in Clinton's personal office, meaning that Crocker is now the highest ranking official who actually sits in the policy planning shop each day.

Her experience on civilian security issues and post conflict reconstruction will come in handy as she helps lead State's effort to drastically increase its presence and role in Iraq as U.S. military forces withdraw.

Crocker is also the daughter of is the daughter of U.S. diplomat Chester Crocker.