Yesterday’s testimony by Clinton capo Sidney Blumenthal before the House Select Committee on Benghazi was so exciting, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was forced to turn people away from the door at the sold-out event.
Among other things, we learned a bit more about the provenance of the phony “spontaneous video protest” story Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the rest of the Administration foisted on the American people for a few crucial news cycles after the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a massive, planned terrorist attack on September 11, 2012.
We previously learned Blumenthal was the source of this fantasy, which no one with the slightest knowledge of events on the ground ever believed. Blumenthal now admits he got it from someone else — someone with business interests in Libya — and passed it along to the Secretary of State without doing any diligence on the information whatsoever.
According to what sources from inside the closed-door meeting told Politico, “Blumenthal was copying and pasting memos from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative who was looking into a Libya-related business venture, and sending them to Clinton.”
“One of the folks providing her the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who … may have had business interest in Libya,” said panel Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) at the end of a nearly nine-hour interview. “We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever.”
Blumenthal, meanwhile, maintained that his practice of forwarding such memos was unsolicited and that he was not being compensated for gathering or passing along the information, according to sources who were in the room.
Of course, because this is a story about the Clinton syndicate, there was a ton of money involved. Blumenthal was kept on hatchet-man retainer by Hillary’s phony “charity” for $10,000 a month – think about how many starving orphans that money could have fed! – in order to get around the strict White House edict against Clinton employing him directly at the State Department. He also just happened to be working on a deal in Libya:
While he was corresponding with Clinton, Blumenthal was also engaged in talks about a new Libyan business venture. He also downplayed those links Tuesday, saying it was a “humanitarian-assistance idea for medical care in which I had little involvement, [that] [n]ever got off the ground, in which no money was ever exchanged, no favor sought and which had nothing to do with my sending these emails.”
It is noted that most of the unvetted garbage Blumenthal emailed to Clinton – comprising fully 35 percent of her non-shredded correspondence on Libya, according to congressional investigators – at least mentioned the true source, but not the “spontaneous video protest” email.
“I don’t have reason not to believe him, but it just sounds awfully strange that somebody would be sending you these emails unsolicited and then you — not knowing anything about where the information was coming from, if it was accurate — that you would forward it to the secretary of state with no commentary of, ‘I don’t know if this is accurate,” ventured Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) after hearing Blumenthal’s testimony.
Well, yes, that is a mite strange, especially for a Secretary of State who alternates between pretending to be the hippest, tech-savviest Cabinet official who ever slung a Blackberry with one hand and an iPad with the other, and a hapless grandma who doesn’t really “get” the Internet and preferred to use email primarily for exchanging yoga tips with her friends.
While Blumenthal fumes and belches out the standard Democrat line that asking questions about the death of four Americans in the hell-hole Clinton and Obama created is rank “partisanship,” the truth is that this isn’t about him – it’s about Hillary Clinton. Within the framework of the rules governing communication with high government officials, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Sid telling his old pal Hillary about some crazy story he heard about a movie review gone bad. The fault lies with Clinton for doing anything other than dismissing it out of hand. We all get dubious emailed stories from our friends now and then. Most of us don’t have ready access to the intelligence apparatus of the United States government to check them out.
Rep. Gowdy went on Fox News to discuss Blumenthal’s testimony with Megyn Kelly on Tuesday night to make that point, additionally observing that Hillary’s description of Blumenthal’s input as “unsolicited” doesn’t jibe with her frequent encouragements to keep loads of unvetted intel coming:
Gowdy said that Blumenthal has never been to Libya, is not an expert on the country and therefore “has no idea” as to the validity of the information he was sending to Clinton.
“Not only was [Blumenthal] providing unvetted, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated intelligence to our top diplomat, he was just simply forwarding on intelligence that somebody by the name of Tyler Drumheller was sending him,” Gowdy said.
“He didn’t know if the sources were legitimate, he didn’t know whether or not the information had been corroborated. He was merely a conduit between somebody who may have had a financial interest in Libya and our nation’s top diplomat,” Gowdy said.
When Megyn Kelly posed Clinton’s claim that she has many friends emailing her, Gowdy responded: “Her other friends are not emailing her about Libya. He is.”
Gowdy also took issue with Clinton’s claim that the information from Blumenthal was unsolicited.
“Secondarily, she used the word unsolicited,” Gowdy said. ”Megyn, when these emails are released, I want you to count the number of times she says “keep ‘em coming” “this is great, ‘useful information.’ I don’t know what her definition of unsolicited is, but it is very strikingly different from my own.”
We’re not going to get into another argument with the Clintons about the meaning of words, are we? The last time that happened, we ended up debating the meaning of the word “is” with Bill.
It’s not hard to imagine how Team Obama, desperate for anything they could say to distract American voters from their astounding incompetence in Libya, would seize on Blumenthal’s second-hand fairy tale about a video protest to make the Benghazi attack look like a stroke of fate no one could have anticipated – a disaster that was not a natural extension of the bloody chaos they had sown in Libya, but rather caused by those dratted “Islamophobes” and their insistence on driving adherents of the Religion of Peace around the bend by uploading provocative videos to YouTube. That infamous “future must not belong to those who insult the prophet of Islam” speech Obama gave to the United Nations is something he wanted to say – and, as his version of Sid Blumenthal, Rahm Emanuel, unforgettably observed, he is not one to let a crisis go to waste.
Blumenthal’s email gave Clinton and Obama a way to escape from a story that could have been devastating to the latter’s re-election campaign, as it not only put them on the hook for getting Americans killed in Benghazi, but detonated the entire Obama campaign narrative about the Middle East. And if only American voters had known the truth in 2012, how much of the chaos currently raging across the world could have been avoided? We can’t go back and re-do a bad decision from the past, so the question of the day is: Why would anyone in their right minds vote to put the person who received those emails from Sidney Blumenthal into the Oval Office?