By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Hillary Clinton’s approval rating has fallen 12 points in the wake of the Benghazi scandal, especially since some Americans still hold her responsible for the inadequate security in Libya during the September 11, 2012 attack. Now, additional scandals, which may have been covered up by the State Department under Hillary’s watch, could further threaten her approval rating. These scandals, if given enough traction by the media, could possibly jeopardize Hillary’s chances to run for president. It is therefore in the media’s best interest to keep their beloved political candidate away from controversy, and distance the department’s cover-up from her leadership.
“CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off,” reports CBS news. “The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples” (emphasis added).
So, the State Department, under Hillary Clinton, may have covered up eight different investigations—if not more. These investigations include allegations of prostitution, pedophilia by an ambassador, sexual assault, and drug purchases.
CBS’s reporting is based on a State Department memo issued in October of last year. A draft report for the Inspector General’s office was issued on December 4, 2012. The final report, issued in March 2013, omitted references to the cover-ups, according to the New York Post. The Post aimed its article, “Hillary’s sorry state of affairs,” straight at Secretary Clinton’s leadership.
“The draft report, marked ‘Sensitive But Unclassified,’ cites several examples of undue influence ‘from the top floor of the department, raising serious concerns about the quality and integrity’ of investigations,” reports the Post. “That statement was removed from the final report issued March 15.”
Bloomberg reports that Hillary’s approval rating was at an all-time high in December, at 70 percent. Would it have remained as high had the Inspector General’s report come out with the eight cited cases? It is unlikely.
“Since leaving the state department, Clinton has mostly kept a low profile, other than delivering a few public speeches and releasing a video in March in which for the first time she announced support for same-sex marriage,” reported John McCormick for Bloomberg News. “Even so, she’s done just enough in the political arena to keep potential donors and supporters intrigued by the historic potential of backing a candidate who could become the first woman president.”
According to the recent Bloomberg poll, “47 percent said they disapprove of how Clinton handled the situation in Benghazi, while roughly a third—34 percent—said they approve.” Bloomberg credits Benghazi as the reason Clinton’s favorability dropped 12 percentage points since last December.
It could have been more, as the recent leak by former State Department investigator Aurelia Fedenisn demonstrates.
The scandal reaches up to Hillary’s right-hand man Patrick Kennedy, at the very least, and involves her own guards.
NBC News opted not to identify the ambassador who has been accused of soliciting minors and prostitutes. “Top State Department officials directed investigators to ‘cease the investigation’ into the ambassador’s conduct, according to the memo,” reports NBC News. However, the New York Post identifies the ambassador as Howard Gutman, ambassador to Belgium.
Gutman is a long-time Barack Obama supporter who raised $500,000 for Obama and helped fund the inauguration, according to The Weekly Standard.
While the NBC story didn’t identify the ambassador, it did quote his denial of any wrongdoing: “‘I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press,’ the ambassador said, adding that to see his time in the country where he served ‘smeared is devastating.’”
It is no surprise, then, that Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy interceded on the ambassador’s behalf. “Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation ceased, and the ambassador remains in place, according to the memo,” reported the Post.
In addition, “At least seven agents in Clinton’s security detail hired prostitutes while traveling with her in various countries, including Russia and Colombia.
“Investigators called the use of prostitutes by Clinton’s security agents ‘endemic.’
“The liaisons with prostitutes allegedly occurred in the same hotel where Clinton slept, according to sources familiar with the incident.”
Also, the Special Investigations Division was unable to interview Brett McGurk, President Obama’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Iraq, because long-time Clinton loyalist Cheryl Mills “interceded,” according to the memo. Mills has been working for the Clintons “on and off” since 1992 and was the general counsel and chief of staff to Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi attack, reported The Washington Free Beacon, which called Mills “The Whistleblower Blocker.”
It is not surprising that these allegations did not make it into the Inspector General’s March 15 report. After all, the State Department influenced the CIA into doing 12 different revisions of its talking points before it was satisfied with the outcome, according to ABC News. During these revisions the talking points were scrubbed of terror references, a vital clue as to the origin of the attacks.
Since these allegations of terror might have hurt the State Department’s reputation, they were deliberately hidden from the public view. Instead, the attack was blamed on an anti-Islam video. Similarly, the current scandal’s true aspects were hidden from public view to save the department’s reputation.
Internal notes demonstrate that this may have been the case. “At a December 2012 meeting to prepare the report, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell said he was ‘stunned’ by the findings, and requested that the cases should be omitted,” reports the NY Post, using notes from the meeting supplied by Fedenisn.
“Fedenisn, the whistleblower, did not take the notes but was charged with keeping them, according to her lawyer.”
“Boswell said putting the subject in the report would ‘generally damage [Department of State],’ would ‘probably damage the Department,’ and would be used by ‘every defense lawyer around,’” according to notes from the meeting.
In other words, as was true for Benghazi, politics trumps the truth at the State Department. What else can we really expect from Hillary’s Department of State?
The media, such as NBC and CBS, should be more responsible and demand accountability from Hillary for her leadership of the State Department. Instead, they act like she wasn’t in charge and shouldn’t be held accountable.
After all, we have Hillary’s guards soliciting prostitutes, her right-hand man overlooking alleged pedophilia, and a long-time Clinton loyalist intervening in Iraq. Shouldn’t this put the nail in the coffin for a Clinton presidency, or will the media cover for her as it has the Obama Administration?
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].