Hillary Clinton is coming under scrutiny for serial fiascoes that occurred while she was Secretary of State. It’s about time.
These are among the decisions that Hillary made, or at least presided over, that are emerging as real liabilities – for the country, as well as for her future presidential prospects:
- Mrs. Clinton refused to designate Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a terrorist group when various other government agencies urged to do so, long before it grabbed international headlines by kidnapping hundreds of schoolgirls.
- She personally engineered the opening of formal relations with the Muslim Brotherhood before it came to power in Egypt. The latter was a strategic setback of the first order for U.S. interests, one that was facilitated by the Obama administration’s recognition and empowering of this jihadist group and by its undermining of our ally, Hosni Mubarak.
- The Clinton State Department insisted that nothing be done to challenge the narrative that everything was going swimmingly in Libya after its “liberation” by jihadists backed by U.S.-enabled NATO air strikes. This folly, in turn, led to State’s refusal at the highest levels to authorize requested security upgrades for our special mission compound and CIA facility in Benghazi.
- Hillary Clinton co-founded the so-called “Istanbul Process,” a multi-meeting “dialogue” with the European Union and the Islamists’ international front, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This initiative has been used to advance the OIC’s agenda of curbing free speech in America and elsewhere in the West that might “offend” Muslims – something Mrs. Clinton said she would use “old-fashioned techniques of peer-pressure and shaming” to ensure.
- Such techniques, and worse, were evident in September 2012 when then-Secretary of State Clinton lied that a video that gave such offense was responsible for the attacks on U.S. missions and personnel in Egypt and Benghazi. She actually achieved her stated goal to have the person who made the almost-entirely-unseen internet film, “Innocence of Muslims,” arrested and prosecuted. In fact, to this day, that filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is the only individual punished in connection with the Benghazi attacks.
Such policy malpractice – or outright malfeasance – has already cost four Americans their lives and may lead to the loss of many more.
For that reason, the new House Select Committee on Benghazi must focus on the nature and consequences of Hillary Clinton’s conduct with respect to the policies that led up to the attacks of September 11, 2012; what transpired that evening; and the cover-up that followed. To really get to the bottom of these matters, however, Chairman Trey Gowdy and his colleagues must also examine with care the role played by a top Clinton lieutenant who has, to date, been almost completely unmentioned in the reporting, leaking, and congressional inquiries about Benghazigate: Huma Abedin.
This is all the more curious since Ms. Abedin (pictured, above) has extensive family and personal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. (See Andy McCarthy’s rigorous analysis of those ties here.)
The question is this: How many of the dubious decisions involving U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially the aforementioned ones – pursuant to which the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists were consistently advanced – were influenced by a woman long associated with the world’s preeminent jihadist organization sworn to our destruction?
A similar question was formally posed nearly two years ago by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) (a member of the Gowdy select committee), and Tom Rooney (R-FL) in a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of State. They requested that the IG conduct “a formal investigation or evaluation of the extent to which Muslim Brotherhood-tied individuals and entities have helped achieved the adoption of [several enumerated] State Department actions and policies, or are involved in their execution.”
Rep. Bachmann was personally savaged by Senator John McCain and others for having raised such perfectly legitimate questions. Ever since there has been little evident appetite – on Capitol Hill, in the media, or elsewhere – to pursue them and where they lead.
But now, the select committee has a mandate to get to the bottom of the Benghazigate scandal. If Rep. Gowdy and Company are to do so, they must examine with care the decisions about “State Department actions and policies” that led inexorably to that murderous attack – and that have the potential to threaten many more of us unless corrected. And doing that will require the select committee to establish precisely who the decision makers were and ensure that they are held accountable at last.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.