One of the reporters who exposed what appears to have been former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s clandestine and rogue intelligence service said that there are more questions than answers regarding the operation, which was exposed in the hacked emails of Clinton’s longtime confidante Sidney Blumenthal.
Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125, Jeff Gerth, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that he still wanted to know “who authorized or tasked this network to do what they did” and “who was paying for this?”
Gerth, the former New York Times reporter who now works for ProPublica, co-authored the report on Clinton’s rogue intelligence operation with Gawker’s Sam Biddle. He said the intelligence operation revealed in the Blumenthal emails reminds him of the Ed Wilson scandal in Libya and the Iran-Contra scandal. He noted that in both cases people were sent to jail or convicted of various crimes.
“You don’t just pick this stuff up from the Internet,” he said, noting “there were human intelligence sources inside of Libya that were gathering this information” and relaying it to Blumenthal, who then forwarded the accounts to Clinton’s private email account.
Gerth emphasized that the Blumenthal emails are “just a minor tiny percentage of what was going on here.” He said “we got a few pieces but don’t have anywhere near the full puzzle” because journalists have to work “with what the hacker chose to download” and take screenshots of two years ago.
According to the Gawker/ProPublica report, “starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer.” Blumenthal’s emails “include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations” and they came to light when a Hacker called Guccifer posted them in 2013.
On August 23, 2012, less than three weeks before the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, an email, according to the report, cites “‘an extremely sensitive source’ who highlighted a string of bombings and kidnappings of foreign diplomats and aid workers in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, suggesting they were the work of people loyal to late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.”
As the report points out, Hillary Clinton claimed “that U.S. intelligence officials didn’t have advance knowledge” of security threats in Benghazi, but Blumenthal’s email “portrays a deteriorating security climate” even if the memo, according to Gawker, “doesn’t rise to the level of a warning about the safety of U.S. diplomats.” On the day after the Benghazi attacks, Blumenthal reportedly sent an email sent an email saying a “sensitive source” said that interim Libyan president Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf “was told by a senior security officer” that the Benghazi attacks were “inspired by an anti-Muslim video made in the U.S,” which was the Obama administration’s preferred spin. The next day, though, Blumenthal reportedly sent an email that “said Libyan security officials believed an Islamist radical group called the Ansa al Sharia brigade had prepared the attack a month in advance and ‘took advantage of the cover’ provided by the demonstrations against the video.” Another email in October of 2012 notes “that Magariaf and the Libyan army chief of staff agree that the ‘situation in the country is becoming increasingly dangerous and unmanageable’ and ‘far worse’ than Western leaders realize.”
The report notes that though the intelligence notes were sent under Blumenthal’s name, they “appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005.” He has since reportedly established a consulting firm–Tyler Drumheller, LLC. The emails also show that “Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton family operative,” was also in “close contact with Blumenthal.”
Blumenthal’s hacked emails also show that “he and his associates worked to help the Libyan opposition, and even plotted to insert operatives on the ground using a private contractor.” The emails reveal that Blumenthal and Shearer were negotiating with former Army General David Grange “to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and ‘to the border and back.'” Grange, “a major general in the Army who ran a secret Pentagon special operations unit before retiring in 1999,” according to the report, “subsequently founded Osprey Global Solutions, a consulting firm and government contractor that offers logistics, intelligence, security training, armament sales, and other services.”
The Libyan National Transition Council and Grange’s Osprey Global Solutions, according to documents, agreed that Osprey would “‘assist in the resumption of access to its assets and operations in country’ and train Libyan forces in intelligence, weaponry, and ‘rule-of-land warfare.'” Another email reportedly shows that Drumheller appealed to “then-Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan offering the services of Tyler Drumheller LLC, ‘to develop a program that will provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.'”
In addition to intelligence information from Libya, the Blumenthal memos, according to the report, “cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande–marked ‘THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE’—to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president’s transition team.”
A Clinton spokesman reportedly told the outlets that the Blumenthal emails were part of the nearly 33,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department.
As the report notes, “Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family.” Hillary Clinton even reportedly “tried to hire him when she joined President Obama’s cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea” because of Blumenthal’s attacks on Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary. On Breitbart News Sunday, Gerth also reminded listeners how close Blumenthal is to the Clintons–he was the last person, for instance, Hillary Clinton spoke to before she went on the Today show during the Monica Lewinsky affair to allege a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against the Clintons.
The emails raise more questions about whether all of the more than 30,000 emails that Clinton deemed to be “personal” were really not “work-related.” Clinton refused to turn her email server over to a third party and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chairs the House Select Benghazi Committee, revealed on Friday that Clinton had wiped her email server “clean.” Gowdy, citing “huge gaps” in the emails that his committee has received, has indicated that there may be many relevant emails regarding Libya that Clinton may not have turned over, which is why he has indicated that the House may take legal action to get access to Clinton’s email server.
“There are gaps of months and months and months. And if you think to that iconic picture of her on a C-17 flying to Libya, she has sunglasses on and she has her handheld device in her hand, we have no e-mails from that day. In fact, we have no e-mails from that trip, Gowdy said on a recent appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “So, it’s strange credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there’s not a single document that has been turned over to Congress. So, there are huge gaps. And with respect to the president, it’s not up to Secretary Clinton to decide what is a public record and what’s not.”
Gerth pointed out that “these things these usually have layers to them” and there is a lot more that needs to be unearthed.