Monday, May 25, 2015

The Clinton Goo, The Smoking E-Mails and Assorted Blumenthals

Only a few days after ABC News celebrity George Stephanopoulos got himself stuck in the ubiquitous Clinton goo, apparently an occupational hazard for friends of Bill and Hillary, Sidney Blumenthal – not to be confused with U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, also a dear friend of the Clintons – found himself stretched on the journalistic rack.

Mr. Blumenthal was first outed by a hacker known as “Guccifer,” who posted on-line four memos Mr. Blumenthal had written to Mrs. Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee for president. The e-mails were hacked from Mrs. Clintons’s private, unauthorized server. “Guccifer” apparently has done what all the Republican horses and all the Republican men thus far have been incapable of doing – prying from Mrs. Clinton’s clenched fist some e-mails touching on Benghazi she thought to keep private by operating from a private, and possibly illegal, server.

A little background on Mr. Blumenthal is in order. Mr. Blumenthal is characterized by Jim Geraghty of National Review as “a lifelong political hatchet-man considered too nasty and dishonest to work in the State Department by President Obama’s staff.”
The New York Times is kinder but more deadly:

“While advising Mrs. Clinton on Libya, Mr. Blumenthal, who had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama, was also employed by her family’s philanthropy, the Clinton Foundation, to help with research, ‘message guidance’ and the planning of commemorative events, according to foundation officials. During the same period, he also worked on and off as a paid consultant to Media Matters and American Bridge, organizations that helped lay the groundwork for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign... Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government. The venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy....”

In one of her rare, intermittent press availabilities, Mrs. Clinton characterized the 25 lengthy memos she had received from Mr. Blumenthal as “talking to my old friends.” As the smoldering stench of the burning embassy and compound in Benghazi was dissipating, Mr. Blumenthal was offering his old friend some friendly assessments, one of which Mrs. Clinton found politically useful.

Last year, Mrs. Clinton surrendered to the State Department 55,000 pages of emails she said were related to her work as Secretary of State. Of these, about 850 pages relate to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. According to the New York Times, the paper has obtained more than a third of those documents and printed a useful “guide to some of the key findings related to the Benghazi attacks.”

Mr. Blumenthal sent at least 25 memos to Mrs. Clinton, who often forwarded the memos to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, requesting that Mr. Sullivan circulate the memos to other state department officials, including Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, murdered by Ansar al-Sharia, a well-organized al Qaida connected group. Some of Mr. Blumenthal’s memos bear notes from Mrs. Clinton: “Useful insight” or “We should get this around asap.”

The Blumenthal memos to Mrs. Clinton bypassed an elaborate federal government vetting process that would have provided to Mrs. Clinton relevant available intelligence on points raised by Mr. Blumenthal in his memos, most of which were written in the style of official cables.

One memo in particular may be of interest to those who have questioned what had become, immediately following the al Qaida connected assault on the embassy compound in Benghazi, the official line on the attack, repeated several times by President Barack Obama, the Office of  the Secretary of State and, most glaringly, by current United States National Security Advisor to the President Susan Rice, who peddled the settled upon version of events to media outlets; namely that the murderous assault in Benghazi was little more than a protest gone wrong , which had been ignited by a short film originating in the United States that had held up to ridicule the prophet Mohammed. The unrepentant Ms. Rice was Mr. Obama’s first choice to replace Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State. But she slipped on blood, and so the position was offered to Vietnam War vet and protester John Kerry.

The Blumenthal memo disclosed that the new interim President of Libya Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf spoke in private with senior advisors on the day of the attack. Shaken by the attacks, Mr. Magariaf gave permission to commanders on the ground for security forces to open fire over the heads of the crowds in an effort to break up the mobs attacking the missions. “During this session, a senior security officer told Magariaf that the attacks on that day were inspired by what many devout Libyan [sic] viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America They [sic] Libyan attacks were also inspired by and linked to an attack on the U.S. mission the same day. [emphasis added]”

Five days after the attack, on September 16, Mr. Margariaf unambiguously fragged the Blumenthal account.  “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control,” he said, “is completely unfounded and preposterous. We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate.”

By that time, the false version of events had been effectively circulated, and both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama rode the Big Lie – smirking, one might say -- back into office, thus giving weigh to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels’ maxim on the plausibility of major lies, rarely quoted in full: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

The lies are there; the truth is there; interest has been aroused. Slowly, the shields are being lowered. And, God willing, the truth may yet get a hearing.

At that point, assuming Connecticut’s media has not fallen asleep at the wheel, the other Blumenthal’s phone may begin ringing incessantly, persistently.

So then Dick: Knowing what you know NOW about the murder of the personal representative of the President of the United States, Chris Stevens, along with three other heroes in Benghazi – are you still supporting the candidacy of Mrs. Clinton for president?

Well, are you, Dick?
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