Hillary Clinton’s one-time consigliere Sidney Blumenthal passed on bad intelligence to the then-Secretary of State, emails provided to Congress now show.
According to Josh Rogin at Bloomberg View, a previously undisclosed email from October 2011 shows that a man who was not supposed to have any role whatsoever at the State Department told Hillary that deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi was hiding out in Chad and about to give an exclusive interview to highly inventive journalist Seymour Hersh:
The e-mail, marked “CONFIDENTIAL,” had the subject “Qaddafi’s location,” and was addressed, “For: Hillary, From: Sid.” It alleges that Hersh was approached by a former financial beneficiary of the Qaddafi regime about an exclusive interview with the fugitive Qaddafi.
“Hersh was told that Qaddafi is in Chad,” Blumenthal wrote. “He was also told that Qaddafi intends to wage endless war from his new location.”
Blumenthal noted that Qaddafi had helped install the president of Chad. He attributed the information to “a close friend of Hersh.”
Hersh told Rogin he had no idea what Blumenthal was talking about. For his part, Muammar Qaddafi was discovered hiding in a drainpipe in Libya, by a group of former subjects who proceeded to express extreme displeasure with his rule.
Blumenthal’s correspondence to Clinton was full of untruths about Libya; Clinton, in return, “shared sensitive information” with Blumenthal in her replies. As Rogin notes, “it’s unclear what Clinton or the State Department did with that email at the time.” One of the major reasons it is unclear is that Hillary Clinton violated both the law and department policy to establish a stealth email server for herself and her top aides, withheld the material on that server from the State Department until they badgered her into coughing it up, and proceeded to delete half of it, even though all of the documents were under subpoena.
Joel Gehrke at National Review notes that these emails paint a picture very different from Clinton’s assertion that Blumenthal was just an old pal who liked to shoot off a couple of emails now and then. Gehrke, like Rogin, gained access to some correspondence that has not been officially released to the public, in this case advice on how to spin the fall of Qaddafi:
Blumenthal e-mailed a list of talking points to Clinton the day after rebel forces captured Tripoli, prefaced by a congratulatory statement exhorting the former presidential candidate to make sure she received credit for the U.S. intervention in Libya. The message was only recently provided by Blumenthal to the congressional panel investigating the Benghazi terrorist attacks, despite Clinton’s previous assurance that she had turned over “all” her correspondence pertaining to Libya.
“First, brava! This is a historic moment and you will be credited for realizing it,” he wrote in the August 22, 2011 memo to Clinton. “When Qaddafi himself is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation house. You must go on camera. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment. The most important phrase is ‘successful strategy.’”
Well, at least there’s one thing Sid Blumenthal was unquestionably correct about: Hillary Clinton deserves full credit for what happened in Libya, and if she gets it, she will never come anywhere near the Democratic nomination for president, or any other public office, ever.
Gehrke judges Blumenthal’s email “provides a window into how Clinton’s brain-trust plotted her movements in the days leading up to the fall of Qaddafi’s regime.” It also “makes explicit the degree to which her advisers misjudged the situation on the ground in Libya and the Middle East, and shows that her team wasn’t above making foreign-policy statements with an eye on President Obama’s looming reelection bid — and her own political future.”
The degree to which Clinton and Obama bungled Libya really is astounding. How much of that was due to Obama’s general disconnected incompetence, and how much was because decent sources of intelligence were ignored in favor of the nonsense Hillary Clinton was getting from people like Blumenthal?
Another part of the Blumenthal story that seems to not add up is his insistence that he provided all of this information and political advice free of charge, in his spare time, adamantly insisting that the White House command to keep him away from the State Department was scrupulously obeyed. As even the lowest of Low Information Voters knows by now, the Clinton syndicate has ways to pump large amounts of deniable cash to anyone they want to keep in their orbit, most definitely including groin-punching political street fighters who come in handy during presidential campaigns.
Some of that money was harvested by milking contributors for “charity” donations to the Clinton Foundation, which spent about six cents of every dollar on actual charitable endeavors, while blowing huge wads of cash to keep reliable Clinton henchpeople on retainer. It turns out, as Fox News reports, that Blumenthal was also being paid handsomely by David Brock’s far-left Clinton-allied media operation, in addition to taking $10,000 a month from the Clinton “charity.”
In fact, although he was initially shy about admitting how much he got paid, Blumenthal eventually admitted he was collecting a whopping $200,000 per year from Brock’s groups, which makes a total of $320,000 the Clinton syndicate was slipping him every year.
Blumenthal’s vaguely-defined work for Brock’s Media Matters is said to have included “high-level strategy and messaging guidance.” At least one of his emails to Clinton linked to Media Matters product defending her on Benghazi.
Every hard-charging capitalists can salute Blumenthal’s ingenuity in squeezing all that money out of left-wing zillionaires for passing along unverified rumors and links to left-wing drivel by email, and doing something-or-other to help with “high-level strategy,” which sounds like it might involve a lot of conference calls, of the sort where many of the bored participants end up quietly playing Candy Crush on their cell phones. It is distasteful that so much of this money came from a “charity” foundation, but few of those handing bags of cash to the Clinton Foundation were under any illusions about what they were really paying for.
The story here is not the process, but the outcome: the window into Hillary Clinton’s astoundingly bad judgment, which led her to make an unholy disaster out of everything she touched as Secretary of State, and her predilection for using secret communications and convoluted financing to preserve her image. The last thing America needs in 2016 is an avatar of the political corruption that has been sapping both our economic and moral strength, someone guaranteed to invest more energy in controlling the media perception of her failures than doing her job.