Susan Rice, who served as President Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, had earlier been tapped by Gov. Howard Dean's anti-war campaign.
Rice emerged as a foreign policy advisor to the Kerry Edwards campaign, which is still reeling from revelations that another key advisor, former Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger, had stolen national security secrets.
Rice is also acting as the campaign's designated apologist for former ambassador Joe Wilson, the Kerry advisor whose claims that "Bush lied" about Iraq uranium were exposed as bogus by the Senate Intelligence Committee two weeks ago.
"As far as I know, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Wilson's words and deeds were not as he spoke them," Rice told reporters this week. "I have great respect for his integrity."
The same can't be said of Rice, however, at least according to several of her former colleagues, who say she deserves a hefty portion of blame for the fact that Osama bin Laden wasn't neutralized during the 1990s.
"The FBI, in 1996 and 1997, had their efforts to look at terrorism data and deal with the bin Laden issue overruled every single time by the State Department, by Susan Rice and her cronies, who were hell-bent on destroying the Sudan," one-time Clinton diplomatic troubleshooter Mansoor Ijaz told radio host Sean Hannity in 2002.
Richard Miniter, author of the book "Losing bin Laden," concurred, saying Rice played a key role in scuttling the deal that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
In November 2003, Miniter told World Magazine that while Sudan was anxious to turn bin Laden over to the U.S., Rice - then a member of Clinton's National Security Council - questioned Khartoum's credibility.
In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed piece co-authored with Ijaz, former ambassador Carney described Sen. Kerry's new adviser as a major obstacle to accepting offers from Sudan to share intelligence on bin Laden's terrorist network.
NSC terrorism specialist Richard Clarke and NSC Africa specialist Susan Rice, who was about to become assistant secretary of State for African affairs."
Rice and Clarke persuaded Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to overrule Albright on the Sudanese terrorism overtures, said Ijaz and Carney.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Four years after September 11, 2001, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid joined together today with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, former National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Director Rand Beers, former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice and former Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to call on President Bush to finally release a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy after months of delay over bureaucratic infighting. The leaders argued that together, America can do better and they unveiled a letter to the President outlining his failure to outline a counterterrorism strategy, and analysis that the Administration is not fully prepared to protect Americans from a terrorist strike here at home. Along with the letter, they released a new report from national security experts, led by Albright and Podesta, outlining the effects of Bush's failed strategy and new proposals to help guide the Administration in formulating their strategy.