Andrew C. McCarthy:
As has been widely reported this week, Hillary Clinton has accused the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar of “providing financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups.” She made this explosive claim in a memorandum outlining what is portrayed as her nine-point plan to defeat the Islamic State (the jihadist network also known as “ISIL” and “ISIS”) in Iraq and Syria.
The allegation against these two regimes is far from the only bombshell in the memo, which Mrs. Clinton sent to the White House in August 2014, a year and a half after she had stepped down as secretary of state. She sent it to John Podesta, who was then a top adviser to President Obama and is now the chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign. The memo is included in the trove of e-mails hacked from Podesta’s accounts and published by WikiLeaks in recent days.
Another passage that has thus far received little attention is this one (the italics are mine):
We should return to plans to provide the FSA [i.e., the Free Syrian Army], or some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.
There has been no small amount of controversy regarding Obama-administration plans to arm so-called rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria — including questions about Mrs. Clinton’s knowledge of those plans. In particular, Congress has inquired about the administration’s participation in the shipment of weapons from Libyan Islamists to the Syrian rebels, including in 2012, while Clinton was still secretary of state.
As I noted in a recent column, one major weapons shipment from Benghazi to Turkey for eventual transit to Syria occurred just days before jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda murdered four American officials in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. One of the officials killed was J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Benghazi who reported directly to Clinton — both in that capacity and in his earlier capacity as Obama-administration liaison to Islamist groups the Obama administration was supporting in Libya’s civil war. Siding with Islamists against the regime of Moammar Qaddafi, which was previously touted by the State Department as a key counterterrorism ally, was a policy spearheaded by Secretary Clinton.
The September 2012 weapons shipment was coordinated by Abdelhakim Belhadj, an al-Qaeda–affiliated jihadist with whom Stevens had consulted during the uprising against Qaddafi. Belhadj, one of the Islamists empowered by the Obama-Clinton Libya policy, took control of the Libyan Military Council after Qaddafi was overthrown. The 400 tons of weapons he dispatched from Benghazi arrived in Turkey the week before Stevens was killed. The ambassador’s last meeting in Benghazi, just before the September 11 siege, was with Turkey’s consul general.
While under oath in early-2013 Senate testimony, Clinton denied any personal knowledge of weapons shipments from Benghazi to other countries.
In the 2014 memo to Podesta, Clinton refers to the administration’s past “plans” to equip Syrian fighters, specifically either the Free Syrian Army or other “moderate forces.” Those plans undoubtedly included coordination with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to steer weapons to Syria, ostensibly to fight both Assad and ISIS. Nevertheless, Clinton’s memo asserts the Saudi and Qatari governments both support ISIS and other “radical Sunni groups.”
These “radical” groups include jihadists tied to al-Qaeda, who thread the “moderate forces,” the arming of which Clinton’s memo urges the administration to “return” to. Moreover, as I explained in an August column, the Free Syrian Army has long been coopted by the Muslim Brotherhood — an anti-American sharia-supremacist, pro-jihadist organization that the Obama administration (very much including the State Department under Secretary Clinton) portrays as “moderate.”
It must be noted that critics, including yours truly, have opposed working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to arm Syrian fighters because these countries aid and abet jihadists. Whether our government has colluded with these countries to steer weapons to Syrian groups, or has directly provided weapons to groups backed by these countries, many of the weapons so provided have ended up in the hands of anti-American jihadists, including ISIS and al-Qaeda.
The allegation in Mrs. Clinton’s memo that the Saudi and Qatari governments support ISIS and “other radical Sunni groups” (a reference that obviously includes al-Qaeda-affiliated groups) is extremely controversial. It has long been the U.S. government’s position — including that of the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was running it — that while jihadists are supported by some individual people and entities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, including some with government ties, the regimes themselves are strong counterterrorism allies of the U.S. For example, the State Department’s most recent international-terrorism report outlines extensive efforts to combat terrorism undertaken by those two governments, even as it concedes that “some individuals and entities in Saudi Arabia continued to serve as sources of financial support for Sunni-based extremist groups, particularly regional al-Qa’ida affiliates such as the Nusrah Front.”
Critics (including yours truly) have long contended that, for all their ostensible opposition to “extremism,” the Saudis and Qataris endorse and enforce the ideology that leads inexorably to jihadism. The Saudi regime in particular turns a knowing blind eye to influential Saudis and Saudi institutions that support jihadists. The U.S. government’s portrayal of them as reliable counterterrorism allies is based on the wayward notion that “violent extremism” can be separated from the ideology that catalyzes it; thus, the administration’s theory goes, as long as the Saudis and Qataris oppose “violent extremism,” they are allies — regardless of how much the regimes’ sharia-supremacist policies promote worldwide jihadist terror.
In stark contrast, Mrs. Clinton’s memo to Podesta, which she clearly expected to be for the White House’s eyes only, adopts the view of the Saudi and Qatari governments that Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration publicly reject. This underscores an overarching theme Mrs. Clinton made explicit in private speeches to financial institutions that she adamantly refused to disclose during the Democratic nomination contest against Senator Bernie Sanders: She holds private positions that often differ sharply from her public positions.
There are other eye-popping assertions in the memo.
The same terrorists cells aided by our own goverment Obama the Useless Nations and the Demacrat party as well as the CFR?
I wonder how HRCs unprotected emails (that were hacked) concerning intelligence we have on Saudi Arabia and Qatar affects our national security? It should have been classified since it likely revealed intel sources and provided thought processes of the State Department that can affect foreign relations.
Yeah, as the leaked memo suggested, Hillary Clinton was not a huge fan of Saudi Arabia. A Clinton State Department or a Clinton administration might have acted on an intelligence intercept such as this one:
From Fox News, October 10, 2018 — US intercepted Saudi plans to capture missing journalist, report says
By the way, it’s highly likely that Saudi Arabia and Qatar do support terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia is Wahhabism’s point of origin.
Jamal Khashoggi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Content advisory: Some of the reported details in the above article don’t make for pleasant reading.
Khashoggi was murdered, Saudis did it, leading Republican says
Trump Rejects Lawmakers’ Calls to Halt Saudi Arms Sales
Watch how quickly the Presidential Weather Vane reverses directions on this one, once the public gets wind of what happened:
Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi tortured, dismembered in Saudi consulate, report says
And then, according to Turkish reports, dismembered and removed from the embassy in pieces to avoid detection. Too bad about the embassy being bugged.
Just last month: Trump Abandons Canada in Saudi Human Rights Fight — The kingdom appears emboldened by Washington’s willingness under Donald Trump to de-emphasize rights issues when it comes to its allies
Yeah. Emboldened. So it would appear.
No fan of the Saudis we know of Clappers approval of visas to let 911 terrorists into the USA, Jr. never fired him, Obama felt he should lead the CIA. We need to get as many republicans in congress as we can so they can pressure the executive branch as we apply pressure to them, as we did with Justice Kavanaugh. VOTE!
We have 15 new Judges!
We need to vigorously apply a size 12 Army combat boot to Donald Trump’s backside to see how far he bounces when he’s kicked out the White House door.
Look at the title of this thread. Clinton was being raked over the coals for calling the Saudis terrorism sponsors. That’s the sort of bullshit the Trump campaign was built on, and they’re still cranking it out non-stop.
October 12, 2018 — Turkey has ‘shocking’ audio and visual evidence of Saudi journalist’s killing
@Greg: You will always be a dumb ass! Clinton leaking emails is sedition. She and Kerry are trying to direct foreign affairs with out any authority. That is a felony. So you agree that it is OK for democrats to commit felonies? Since you agree and this appears to be a conspiracy, maybe you should be investigated for the same felony for supporting sedition. Try something new sometime. Try thinking before you make your ignorant responses.
You haven’t got a clue that you haven’t got a clue. That would be a description of Trump followers in a nutshell.
@Greg: So you do agree that the leaked emails are sedition. It is a felony. Maybe you should have done more then peel potatoes during your brief military service.
Funny Podesta would have such sensitive government intelligence. What was his position in the Intelligence agencies in 2014, we now know how insecure the email was how many of Americas Sons were killed because of HRC openly sharing classified intelligence with every John , Dick and Barry?
Turkey’s Erdogan drops bombshell twist in the Khashoggi case as Trump appears to side with Saudis
And the bloodstains and spatters were painted over by rogue painters, probably unionized.
@James D: Plenty of investigative journalists get murdered when they find information, this one reporter isnt worth losing contracts that keep people working at top wages. There is plenty of reason to think the the Saudi royal could be getting framed they dont much like their women folk driving cars what next uncover their hair, be able to go shopping with no male escort? Shocking!
Trump has only said it is under investigation and we will wait to see how it shakes out.
Either way its none of the USAs business.
Back to the thread…
Does this not show she was sharing secret information with people that did not have clearance, over an insecure server?
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated more than $10 million. Through a foundation, so did the son-in-law of a former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists. A Lebanese-Nigerian developer with vast business interests contributed as much as $5 million. And this only comes out 4 years after….how embarrassing for Madam Shakedown.
@James D: A reporter forfeits his immunity when he takes sides with terrorists. He was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who terrorizes the Saudis and are aligned with Erdrogan.
You forfeit your moral values and integrity when you take sides with Donald Trump. The argument seems to be that the money is worth it.
@Greg: Look at the date of the memo, geeze that was during Obamas, bow to the king of Saudi, time.
Date: 2014-09-27 15:15 wow sept of 2014 before the “bad Orange man” even declared he was running for President. Why didnt he do anything about that? why did he allow Russia to meddle in the election on his watch?
Why is Mueller waiting til AFTER the midterms for his big reveal?
You are correct Hillary thought the donation money was worth it to let it slide.
1 dead Saudi isnt worth the livelihood of hundreds of American workers.
Mohammed bin Salman is a liar and a violent thug. He’s also heir apparent to the Saudi throne. Either we break with them now, and hold back the weapon sales, or we continue to enable their spread of Wahhabism throughout the Muslim world, which will ultimately cost us far more in the long run than the jobs of a few hundred American workers.
That’s beside the fact that America simply can’t condone such immorality and barbarism without damaging its own soul. Adding a fraction of a percentage point to the GDP isn’t worth selling your soul to the devil.
@Greg: How about one Muslin Brotherhood Terrorist who hobnobbed with Ben Laden? Was he worth 3,000 World Trade workers? It is alright for Obama to kill Americans with rockets fired from a drone, but not alright for the Saudis to kill an enemy terrorist?
@Greg: Now now now, that didnt answer my questions. Did millions into the Clinton Slush fund make it ok to deal with them in 2014, and illegally release billions to those known to fund terrorism for a non treaty?
Now what business is this of ours, did we get all involved when Clinton and O were all cozy with former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists, after 10 million was donated? Oh thats right the Podesta Company was lobbying for them then, and is a contributor for WAPO like this dead guy.
I was listening to AM radio late last night and ran across several good examples of where much of the craziness that has infected America is coming from. The internet has put the right wing nut cases on steroids.
President Obama would have reacted to an American resident and Washington Post employee being lured into a Saudi embassy, and then set upon by a team of 15 trained thugs who beat him to a pulp, severed his fingers one by one, and then cut his body into pieces for removal rather differently. He wouldn’t be trying to cover for the Saudi prince who ordered it. But then Obama wouldn’t have gone on record bragging about the millions of dollars he’s personally made conducting business with the Saudi’s, either—because he never did such a thing.
Business Insider, October 16, 2018 — Trump says he has ‘no financial interests in Saudi Arabia.’ But his businesses have made millions from the Saudi government, and the crown prince gave his New York City hotel a huge boost.
Fortune, October 18, 2018 — Senators Demand Trump Disclose Business Ties to Saudi Arabia
Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump
Because that’s just the way they roll…
@Greg: Actually Dumb AS_. There is not a whisper campaign if Rush Limbaugh is blasting it out on his radio program and in his conversation with his appearance on Fox News. It is only a whisper because the MSN will not cover any aspect of this incident except that put out by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Washing Post. If the MSM bothered to do any investigative reporting, it would be front page. They are the only people whispering!!
@Greg: Sounds like reporting truth hardly a whisper campaign. Levin and others stating facts and WaPo doesnt like it they hired Podesta for goodness sakes. Left wing rag.
His murder was horrible, none of our business. The USA doesnt need to get involved with every horrific murder in the world.
For anyone who might have comprehension problems, it’s a whisper campaign among elected officials on capitol hill. They’re only quietly whispering among themselves what the fat man in Palm Springs is yelling out through his bullhorn, because it could easily come back on them if they were to say it in public.
@Greg: Sure sure whatever whisper bs. Whats up with Hillary sharing intelligence with the Podestas, on unsecure channels?
October 19, 2018 — Saudi Arabia admits Jamal Khashoggi killed in Istanbul consulate — Kingdom sacks intelligence official, arrests 18 Saudis saying missing journalist was killed in a ‘fist fight’.
Killed in a fist fight. Yeah, right. Please try again. Maybe he was accidentally dismembered while shaving?
@Greg: Are you going to comment on Hillary? No? then read this…. Trump to campaign for Cruz in Texas, 77K sign up for venue that fits 18K they could have filled the NRG stadium.
Line to get into Mesa rally 2 miles long
Sure. I’ll comment with a quote:
What a mean thing for her to have said about our good buddies and weapons customers.