Kudos to Stephen McInerney for exposing the failure of the Obama administration to challenge Bahrain’s election to the U.N. Human Rights Council [“Silence on Bahrain,” op-ed, Nov. 5]. 

Even so, he unwittingly gave U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice undeserved credit by quoting her recent statement that Washington had kept Syria and other human rights abusers from winning election to the council.

Although the United States sponsored a strongly worded resolution against Syria, it could not win enough support to sustain a paragraph that “stresses that the current Syrian government’s announced candidacy for the Human Rights Council in 2014 fails to meet the standards for Council membership.” The United States was compelled to delete this to ensure passage of the overarching resolution on July 6, the council’s final day of that session.

Although I retired from the Foreign Service just before the Obama administration settled into office, my last assignment in the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs brought me into sufficient contact with the U.N. Human Rights Council to have been troubled by the administration’s decision to join a council that proved to be no better than its discredited predecessor. 

Like others, however, I gave the administration the benefit of the doubt to establish that active engagement in the council could yield better results than staying out.

Three years on, however, for Ms. Rice to claim that this engagement is working, when evidence suggests quite the contrary, is as disingenuous as it is stubbornly wrongheaded.

George Dragnich, Arlington