President Barack Obama's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the U.N. Security Council's response "to the slaughter in Syria" is a "disgrace that history will judge harshly."
During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Samantha Power called Syria one of the worst "cases of mass brutality'' she has ever seen.
The former White House national security staffer and genocide expert was picked to succeed Susan Rice, who was criticized for her role in the administration's explanation of the deadly attack on a U.S. mission that left four Americans dead last September in Benghazi, Libya.
Power also told the Senate panel she sees "unacceptable bias and attacks against the State of Israel,'' at the United Nations and recognizes "the absurdity'' of Iran serving as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.
Power is seen to have bipartisan support and is expected to easily win Senate approval to the U.N. post.
Power, 42, is a former journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for her study of U.S. failures to prevent genocide. She is seen as an advocate of an activist foreign policy.
She has been criticized by some conservatives for appearing to suggest in a 2002 interview that the U.S. army might be needed to police the Middle East conflict if either Israel or the Palestinians move toward genocide.
Power's discretion and diplomatic skills were called into question in 2008 when she labeled Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, then running against Obama for the Democratic nomination, a "monster.''