A sober scrutiny of Clinton’s testimony: no, it wasn’t a victory for her.

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clinton agonizes

 

After reviewing Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Benghazi committee I have come to the conclusion that the left wing media was not watching the same event as was I. The NY Times, the official arm of the democrat party, wished Clinton a happy birthday:

Monday is Hillary Clinton’s birthday. Don’t bother sending a gift. This week has given her all the presents she needs. What a time she’s been having — the debate, Joe Biden’s non-candidacy announcement and then the total meltdown of the Benghazi Committee. It’s not often these days that a special House investigatory committee makes Democrats sing, but there you are. In a speech on the House floor, Representative Steve Israel claimed Thursday’s marathon inquisition had been like an “I Love Lucy” episode — “same plot, same characters, same script and nothing new.” This seems totally unfair to Lucy. Remember the one with the candy conveyor belt? Vitameatavegamin? How many of you think that 63 years from now, anyone will be saying: “Remember the question about Sidney Blumenthal’s email?”

“GOP lands no clear punches” proclaimed WaPo, the other official democrat news agency. It’s as though Clinton triumphed over the hearings. The Hill called it a “bust.” Not so fast. It’s far from over. Hillary Clinton proved herself to be a as dishonest as many of us believe her to be. Megyn Kelly ripped into the media for claiming that Hillary Clinton breezed through the Benghazi hearings and triumphed over the GOP:

https://youtu.be/sU9D-9TVdPY

As you can clearly at 2:10 of the video, Clinton absolutely blamed the video for the deaths of the four Americans. The video narrative began with Clinton. I don’t care how old this is. She lied to the American people. She went along with the lie. She did not try to separate herself from it. The salient points: Chris Stevens did not have Clinton’s phone number.

I would have let you know that I was in danger, and that the situation had deteriorated to a point, I needed you to do something. Did he have your personal e-mail? CLINTON: Congressman, I — I do not believe that he had my personal e-mail. He had the e-mail and he had the direct line to everybody that he’d worked with for years.

Since when are Ambassadors sent to do intel gathering?

What were Chris Stevens’s orders from you about Libya and about Benghazi specifically? CLINTON: Chris Stevens was asked to go to Benghazi to do reconnaissance, to try to figure out who were the leaders of the insurgency who were based in Benghazi, what their goals were, what they understood would happen if they were successful. It was, as I had, the hard-nosed 21st century diplomacy that is rooted in the old- fashioned necessary work of building relationships and gathering information.

That is in conflict with prior testimony:

“Mr. Hicks, why was ambassador Stevens headed to Benghazi? There were a lot of concerns about him,” asked Rep. James Lankford (R.-Okla.). “There were a lot of security issues that Mr. Nordstrom had listed in numerous reports leading up to his trip there. Why was the ambassador headed there?” “According to [Amb.] Chris [Stevens], Secretary Clinton wanted Benghazi converted into a permanent constituent post,” said Hicks. “Timing for this decision was important. Chris needed to report before September 30th, the end of the fiscal year, on the physical—the political and security environment in Benghazi to support an action memo to convert Benghazi from a temporary facility to a permanent facility.

And in conflict with Clinton’s prior 2013 testimony:

“Chris Stevens did not ask anyone [at the State Department] for permission to go to Benghazi; I don’t think it would have crossed his mind,” Ms. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Jan. 23, 2013.

The State Department probe stated Stevens was sent to Benghazi to “establish a U.S. presence in Libya.” The ARB says something else again:

The State Department Accountability Review Board reported that Mr. Stevens went to Benghazi on Sept. 10, with plans to stay until Sept. 14, to “reconnect with local contacts,” as well as “fill the staffing gaps,” because a principal officer there had left, and “to open an American Corners [a library for U.S. books and other materials] at a local school.”

The bottom line is that we still don’t know the truth about what Stevens was doing in Benghazi. What we do know is that he did not have Clinton’s personal phone number or personal email:

CLINTON: Congressman, I — I do not believe that he had my personal e-mail. He had the e-mail and he had the direct line to everybody that he’d worked with for years. He had been posted…

Clinton’s personal email was for important people like Sid Blumenthal, Joe Wilson, Ben Affleck and Lady Gaga.

Blumenthal sent 150 emails to Clinton:

CLINTON: Well, Congressman, as you’re aware, he’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest. Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. The professionals and experts who reviewed it found some of it useful, some of it not.

All 150 emails sent to Clinton by Blumenthal reached her, but Clinton alleges that none of the 600 requests for more security did. And there was no way for Stevens to contact Clinton directly to discuss those unfulfilled requests. 150 emails were sent to Clinton by Blumenthal with Clinton soliciting more of them.

GOWDY: I’m not challenging that, Madam Secretary. I am not challenging that.

All I’m telling you is that documents show he was your most prolific e-mailer on Libya and Benghazi. And my question to you is, did the president — the same White House that said you can’t handle him, and can’t hire him — did he know that he was advising you?

CLINTON: He was not advising me, and I have no reason to have ever mentioned that or know that the president knew that.

It turns out that Blumenthal was also “not advising” Clinton on Syria and Israel as well and sent Clinton emails about “setting up secret channels between insurgents and governments.”

Did you catch Clinton’s rationale for regime change in Libya?

CLINTON: … Gadhafi threatened them with genocide, with hunting them down like cockroaches. And we were then approached by, with great intensity, our closest allies in Europe, people who felt very strongly — the French and the British, but others as well — that they could not stand idly by and permit that to happen so close to their shores, with the unintended consequences that they worried about.

Sound familiar? It ought to. And what did she suggest her job was?

CLINTON: Well, congressman, I was the secretary of state. My job was to conduct the diplomacy. And the diplomacy consisted of a long series of meetings and phone calls both here in our country and abroad to take the measure of what people were saying and whether they meant it.

And…

CLINTON: Well, congressman, I was the secretary of state. My job was to conduct the diplomacy. And the diplomacy consisted of a long series of meetings and phone calls both here in our country and abroad to take the measure of what people were saying and whether they meant it.

Which doesn’t jibe with her famous boast:

“We came, we saw, he died”

Clinton stated that she took responsibility for what happened in Benghazi, except when she doesn’t:

Now, as I said in my opening statement, I take responsibility for what happened in Benghazi. I felt a responsibility for all 70,000 people working at the State Department in USAID. I take that very seriously. As I said with respect to security requests in Benghazi back when I testified in January 2013, those requests and issues related to security were rightly handled by the security professionals in the department.

I did not see them. I did not approve them. I did not deny them. Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen make this case very clearly in their testimony before your committee and in their public comments. These issues would not ordinarily come before the secretary of state. And they did not in this case.

Then there’s issue of Sid Blumenthal. Clinton testified that Blumenthal was just a “friend” who knew nothing about Libya. Clinton also asserted that she never solicited advice from Blumenthal. Problem is, she did.

We will ignore for a second whether or not Sidney Blumenthal is outside the bubble, but I do want to ask you about a couple of those other comments, because what you left out was that he was an old friend who knew absolutely nothing about Libya, was critical of President Obama and others that you work with, loved to send you political and image advice, had business interests in Libya, which he not only alerted you to, but solicited your help for.

CLINTON: He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya. He was a friend who sent me information that he thought might be in some way helpful.

No kidding. Blumenthal was banned from working with the Obama administration.

Clinton said:

CLINTON: Well, Congresswoman, I learned about the attacks from a State Department official rushing into my office shortly after or around 4 o’clock, to tell me that our compound in Benghazi had been attacked. We immediately summoned all of the top officials in the State Department for them to begin reaching out. The most important, quick call was to try to reach Chris himself. That was not possible. Then to have the diplomatic security people try to reach their agents. That was not possible. They were obviously defending themselves, along with the ambassador and Sean Smith.

Trey Gowdy:

We will ignore for a second whether or not Sidney Blumenthal is outside the bubble, but I do want to ask you about a couple of those other comments, because what you left out was that he was an old friend who knew absolutely nothing about Libya, was critical of President Obama and others that you work with, loved to send you political and image advice, had business interests in Libya, which he not only alerted you to, but solicited your help for.

Gowdy on Blumenthal:

Blumenthal could not get hired by our government, didn’t pass any background check at all, had no role with our government, had never been to Libya, had no expertise in Libya, was critical of the president and others that you worked with, shared polling data with you on the intervention in Libya, gave you political advice on how to take credit for Libya, all the while working for The Clinton Foundation and some pseudo news entities.

And Madam Secretary, he had unfettered access to you. And he used that access, at least on one occasion, to ask you to intervene on behalf of a business venture.

Blumenthal was hired by the Clinton Foundation to highlight “the legacy of Clinton’s presidency” while coincidentally providing oodles of “unsolicited advice” that Clinton encouraged him to “keep coming.” And, BTW, Blumenthal was simultaneously working as a paid consultant to American Bridge and Media Matters.

Blumenthal had unfettered access to Clinton. Stevens did not. Clinton created a circle of “close advisors” which was clearly designed be a buffer – to keep her out of reach of accountability:

CLINTON: As I testified earlier, he was in regular e-mail contact with some of my closest advisers.

ROSKAM: So hit resend, is that it?

CLINTON: He was in regular e-mail contact and cable contact with a…

ROSKAM: Cables didn’t get through. You created an environment, Madam Secretary, where the cables couldn’t get through, now —

CLINTON: Well, that is inaccurate, cables as we have testified — ROSKAM: They didn’t get through to you. They didn’t break into your inner circle. That was your testimony earlier. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t say all this information came in to me, and I was able to process it. And yet, it all — it all stops at the security professionals…

CLINTON: Well, that’s not what I — Congressman, that’s not that’s not what I was saying. I think we’ve tried to clarify that, you know, millions of cables come in, they’re — they’re processed and sent to the appropriate offices and personnel with respect to specific…

Despite the dangerous events taking place in Benghazi,

I’d like you to refer to tab six. It is a 51-page document prepared by your head security guy in Libya, for security incidents — serious security incidents between June 2011 and July 2012; 51 pages long, 235 significant security incidents; 235 attacks in one year. In Benghazi, there were 77 serious attacks in one year; 64 in 2012.

Clinton did not meet with Obama the night of the attacks.

ROBY: Did you meet with the president that night?

CLINTON: I talked with the president. I did not meet with him.

One wonders what has to transpire for the SoS to call for a meeting with the President. Perhaps a cancelled tee time. Clinton could not remember speaking to Stevens after swearing him in as Ambassador in May of 2012. Yet Stevens was able to reach Greg Hicks:

“Greg, we’re under attack.”

OK, so what do we have?

– Hillary Clinton took responsibility for Benghazi. The words are a palliative for liberals but they mean nothing.

– Clinton lied about the video and it was to deflect accusations of failure away from Obama and Clinton.

– Clinton had a working relationship with Sid Blumenthal despite being told not to engage him.

– Clinton did not inform Obama that she was working with Blumenthal.

– Blumenthal was getting paid $10,000 per month for “not advising” Clinton.

– Blumenthal was advising Clinton and seeking favors for his business partners.

– Clinton erected an apparatus around her to prevent her from knowing the security deficits and thus from culpability.

– Chris Stevens had no way to contact Clinton directly.  All his cables were stopped at State and prevented from reaching her.

– Joe Wilson, Sid Blumenthal, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck had Clinton’s personal emails. Chris Stevens did not.

Hillary Clinton has exhibited a pattern of self-interested avaricious behavior. She disobeyed the order not to do business with Blumenthal, she failed to inform her boss that she was doing so. She made certain that no embassy security matters reached her and she intentionally avoided showing any curiosity about the topic. Her testimony was no victory but to know it you had to pay attention and not be hopelessly biased.

 

 

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

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