Hillary Clinton’s Lies Are Starting to Catch Up with Her

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media appear eager to distract from the substantive issues raised by the email scandals continuing to plague Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One example is the media’s focus on the timeline surrounding a Select Committee on Benghazi subpoena for her emails, and when those emails were deleted. As I recently argued, the media wish that these stories about Mrs. Clinton were not true. Most reporters cannot fathom, or will not acknowledge, that she routinely lies to the public about her activities—and those of the Clinton Foundation—while stonewalling both the press and the public.

The repeated revelations that Mrs. Clinton has been lying are apparently affecting her standing in the polls. Politico is now reporting that in the past couple of months she has dropped from having the support of 60% of Democrats, to now having just 51%. And that is before Vice President Joe Biden enters the race, which many signs indicate may happen in the not-too-distant future.

Ron Fournier of The National Journal captured the sentiment of many journalists in his recent letter to Mrs. Clinton, which, he writes, is based on interviews with those who are close to her. “Which brings us to the matter of trust,” he writes in their voice. “Hillary, this makes us want to cry. We can’t figure out why you would compromise the most important commodity of leadership over such banalities.” Fournier continues on to discuss the Clinton Foundation’s inexcusable conflicts of interest and the email scandal.

But while, according to Fournier, some of Clinton’s supporters may have decided that Mrs. Clinton is her own main obstacle to gaining the presidency, the media continue to attempt to salvage her campaign by whatever means possible. Andy McCarthy, writing for National Review, said that “when Benghazi came up in a one-on-one media interview setting, CNN couldn’t bring itself to call Mrs. Clinton on an obvious lie.”

“Plus, it was [Brianna] Keilar who brought up the subject of the subpoena, so one has to assume she did a modicum of research—which is all it would have taken to be ready to challenge Clinton’s false assertion,” writes McCarthy. “Yet, in the context of being asked about her destruction of emails from her private server, Clinton was permitted to tell the public she had not been subpoenaed. …she was able to frame suspicions that she has willfully obstructed probes of the Benghazi Massacre as outlandish.”

The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler awarded Mrs. Clinton three Pinocchios for stating on CNN that “Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.” However, like so many in the media, Kessler focused on minutiae, the technical details of whether government regulations permitted Mrs. Clinton to use private email exclusively.

The real implications of Clinton’s email scandal are not whether government regulations allowed her to use her own private email account, exclusively or otherwise. Rather, Mrs. Clinton’s actions demonstrate that she unilaterally flouted a transparency process designed to provide the public with the ability to hold her accountable for her work as Secretary of State. In the process, she jeopardized national security and may have hidden pay-for-play schemes involving the Clinton Foundation. Plus, in light of the recent revelations about the cyber-hacking of the government’s Office of Personnel Management, it is very likely that the Chinese or the Russians, or both, have possession of every one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

The UK Guardian writes that Cherie Blair’s emails to Mrs. Clinton show that Mrs. Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, “appears to be acting directly as a fixer for the Qatari ruling dynasty.”

“Three years after the successful lobbying effort a Qatari-government backed telecommunications [firm] donated an undisclosed amount to Mrs. Blair’s own charity for women,” reports Raf Sanchez for The UK Telegraph.

“Meanwhile, the Qatari government was also giving millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton’s global charity,” writes Sanchez. “Charity records show that Qatar gave between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation while the controversial committee behind Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid donated up to $500,000 further.”

Jennifer Rubin, writing for the Post, says that her emails expose Mrs. Clinton as “immersed in a web of cronies and hacks.”

“She solicits Sid Blumenthal for advice, and not just on Libya,” continued Rubin. An August 9, 2009 email from Blumenthal appears to pass along a suggestion for a Clinton Global Initiative forum by Shaun Woodward, UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Blumenthal writes that he has already gotten Bill Clinton’s approval, and asks Hillary to “let me know how to move this forward.”

Blumenthal received $10,000 a month from the Clinton Foundation starting that year.

A couple of months earlier Blumenthal writes regarding Woodward that “he told me things you would in my judgment want and need to hear because they will likely involve your personal role.”

“I think you should step in and ask him to tell you directly,” Blumenthal continues.

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” Mrs. Clinton told the press this spring.

To the contrary, at least 25 of the emails that Mrs. Clinton did not delete have been upgraded to classified status by the State Department.

While technically that may not constitute having sent or received classified information through the personal email server located at her home in Chappaqua, New York, it does reveal that she certainly trafficked in sensitive information. We also learned recently that she had edited some of the emails that were handed over to the State Department, long past due. And she hadn’t handed over other emails that were clearly State Department-related business, though she had claimed that she had. That was discovered through the additional emails Blumenthal provided to the Select Committee on Benghazi when he testified before the Committee last month.

In addition, Mrs. Clinton has publicly acknowledged having self-selected and deleted approximately 30,000 emails that she deemed personal, and had the server wiped clean so that it could not be independently verified that they all were, in fact, personal. Who wouldn’t trust Hillary?

It’s impossible to know what information has been withheld by the State Department. However, here are just a couple of topics discussed in those emails containing now-classified information:

  • Background for a call to America’s international allies discussing the May 24, 2009 North Korean nuclear test;
  • Discussions with family members of journalists detained in North Korea; and
  • A readout from a call with Tony Blair while he was still representing the Quartet, which mediates the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Mrs. Clinton’s ongoing efforts at deception have become so commonplace that perhaps reporters don’t believe that her lies and conflicts of interest deserve regular front-page treatment. Instead they write articles about how the GOP is trying to “vilify” her using her own falsehoods. The drive-by media may be disappointed in their attempts to save Hillary because the slow drip, drip release of her emails will repeatedly force them to confront these real issues, like it or not.


AIM Editor Talks About Latest Clinton Email Dump

Accuracy in Media

AIM Editor Roger Aronoff appeared on July 7 on the Philadelphia, PA Conservative Commandos radio show with Rick Trader and Anna C. Little to talk about Aronoff’s recent column “Email Dumps Continue to Undermine Clinton Candidacy.”

Hillary Clinton’s excuses regarding her private email server were immediately exposed as lies when Sidney Blumenthal provided additional emails to the Select Committee on Benghazi, ones that she herself had not provided to the State Department.

Blumenthal “was faced with a dilemma when he went to the Committee,” said Aronoff on the show. He added that if Blumenthal had withheld the emails that made clear that Mrs. Clinton hadn’t turned over all of her work-related emails to the Committee, he would have been risking being held in contempt by the Committee.

“So what we know is that she provided edited material, she didn’t provide all the material—and so she’s caught in these lies,” said Aronoff. He also noted that some of her messages are now classified.

“Yet you don’t hear the media talking about it at all,” he continued. “It’s basically, ‘What did [Donald] Trump say?’ and ‘Ask Chris Christie what Trump said,’ and ask everybody what Trump said, and let’s spend three hours talking about that.”

“But none of this with the apparent nominee for the Democrats,” said Aronoff. “There’s no—very little interest [from] the media in digging into this and talking about this.”

This scandal has a twin counterpart in the conflicts of interest posed by the Clinton Foundation, another story the mainstream media have either not pursued or attacked. “So what they ended up doing was through the Clinton Foundation…that when Hillary was Secretary of State they would take millions of dollars from countries who were doing business with the U.S. government,” he said. “And, again, everyone just wants to act like she’s just above all that, that there’s no way she would do anything. But yet she gets caught in lie, after lie, after lie…”

Aronoff argued that since there is no controlling legal authority willing to hold Clinton accountable at this time, the consequences for her may be more political than legal, especially if Vice President Joe Biden were to jump into the Democratic presidential primary. “I think the Clintons believe it’s their time and their entitlement to have that position,” he said, “and if they see the Obama administration all of a sudden line up behind Biden, whether openly and overtly or kind of behind the scenes, I think it’s going to be a real battle in the party.”

While the Select Committee is currently focused on accessing Clinton’s and her staff’s emails, no further information is necessary to expose the ongoing Benghazi cover-up by the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton. “We put out a report a year ago April, and people can go look at this,” said Aronoff. “It’s at aim.org/Benghazi, and see what the real story is.”

The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s interim report details how the initial intervention in Libya was unnecessary, that Muammar Qaddafi offered truce talks that the U.S. did not pursue, and that the U.S. government was facilitating the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in that nation.

CCB Member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez recently explained to WorldNetDaily that when Ambassador Chris “Stevens was facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya, he was living in the facility in Benghazi that was later designated the Special Mission Compound.”

You can listen to the complete interview here.


Email Dumps Continue to Undermine Clinton Candidacy

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Hillary Clinton’s reputation is taking repeated blows as the drip, drip, drip of email productions from her private email server draw attention to her many lies. The Obama administration has admitted that she did not, in fact, turn over all the necessary emails from her private mail server to the government. It also has released nearly 3,000 pages of emails implicating members of the Obama administration in their own lies.

As Vice President Joe Biden appears to be preparing to jump in the race for the Democratic nomination later this summer, questions are also emerging as to whether or not the Obama administration is throwing Hillary under the bus through these emails.

Each new batch of these emails expose additional lies made by the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton, despite MSNBC, Newsweek, and other news organizations maintaining that there is little to be found. This is the same treatment that the Benghazi scandal has regularly received.

“…I hear it all the time from your previous guest and others, is that seven or eight previous congressional committees looked into Benghazi,” said chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on CBS’ Face the Nation on June 28. “Well, none of those other committees looked at a single one of her e-mails… So our committee has done things that none of those seven other committees were able to do.”

The Committee has also gained access to the documents from the Accountability Review Board investigation which failed to interview Secretary of State Clinton—documents which were not turned over to other members of Congress. It also recently received information related to Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills, as well as former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.

As Accuracy in Media (AIM) asked when the Clinton email scandal initially broke, the key question is what did President Obama and Secretary Clinton “know, and when did they know it?” A recent set of emails obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that the White House coordinated with the State Department on the night of the attack to make Mrs. Clinton’s statement blaming it on a YouTube video the official U.S. government line.

But for the media, it’s old news and hardly worth a mention. Their tactic is, whenever possible, to repeat assertions by various administration supporters that the Benghazi investigation is a partisan witch hunt.

When the first set of emails was produced, the media dismissed those emails as revealing no relationship between Mrs. Clinton and the security situation in Libya or an order to stand down. That’s not surprising, since reporters made similar claims before they actually saw the emails.

The excuses offered by the media are further attempts to throw sand in the eyes of the public. These emails were first stored on a private email server under Mrs. Clinton’s control, then vetted by her advisors, and then partially redacted by a State Department with a vested interest in ensuring that Mrs. Clinton’s reputation, and its own, are preserved.

In other words, the State Department emails were Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama administration’s attempt at self-exoneration.

The media now complain that the mission of the Select Committee on Benghazi has become overbroad, wasteful, and doesn’t focus on the attack. Yet many in the media focused on the cost of this investigation, and Democrat accusations that it is wasteful and duplicative, even when the Committee was narrowly focusing on the attack.

“She said that the public record was complete,” noted Rep. Gowdy on CBS. “You will remember in her single press conference she said that she had turned over everything related to work to the Department of State. We know that that is false.”

As for the emails from Sidney Blumenthal being unsolicited, “We know that that was false,” he said. “So, so far, she also said that she had a single device for convenience,” he continued.

“So every explanation she’s offered so far is demonstrably false.”

It’s even worse than that. As Kimberly Strassel reported for The Wall Street Journal, we now “know that the State Department has now upgraded at least 25 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails to ‘classified’ status. State is suggesting this is no big deal, noting that it is ‘routine’ to upgrade material during the public-disclosure process. But that’s beside the point. This isn’t about after-the-fact disclosure. It’s about security at the time—whether Mrs. Clinton was sending and storing sensitive government information on a hackable private email system. Turns out, she was. For the record, it is a federal crime to ‘knowingly’ house classified information at an ‘unauthorized location.’”

In addition, Strassel stated that “The real bombshell news was the State Department’s admission that, in at least six instances, the Clinton team altered the emails before handing them over. Sentences or entire paragraphs—which, by the way, were work-related—were removed. State was able to confirm this because it could double-check against Mr. Blumenthal’s documents.” Strassel wonders, “But how many more of the 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton provided have also been edited?”

Apparently Blumenthal, long time hatchet man for the Clintons, was not prepared to withhold documents from the Select Committee, and risk a contempt citation. Instead he chose, in effect, to throw Mrs. Clinton under the bus.

The Obama administration has now asserted executive privilege to withhold a “small number” of documents from the Select Committee, reports Byron York. The plot thickens.

“He sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on in some instances, and I see that that’s just part of the give-and-take,” Mrs. Clinton told the press in May.

“I’m going to Paris tomorrow night and will meet w TNC [Transitional National Council] leaders so this additional info useful,” wrote Clinton to Blumenthal on August 30, 2011. “Let me know if you receive this,” she writes.

“This strains credulity based on what I know,” writes Clinton in another email. “Any other info about it?”

That particular April 2012 email exchange, in which Blumenthal says he will “seek more intel,” does not appear in the State Department’s documents. But an exchange between close Clinton aide Jacob Sullivan and Christopher Stevens using that same Blumenthal information does. Sullivan forwarded Stevens’ response to Hillary Clinton within 15 minutes.

Stevens was appointed Ambassador to Libya in late May of 2012. On July 6, 2012 the State Department’s Charlene Lamb told Regional Security Officer at Embassy Tripoli  Eric Nordstrom “NO, I do not [I repeat] not want them to ask for the MSD [security] team to stay!”

That same day, Blumenthal sent Clinton another memo regarding the Libyan election. “Greetings from Kabul! And thanks for keeping this stuff coming!” she replied the next morning, on July 7. Within a couple of hours her aide, Sullivan, had again sent the memo to Ambassador Stevens, and Stevens provided his impressions of Blumenthal’s information promptly. Sullivan again sent Stevens’ communication on to Mrs. Clinton in under 20 minutes.

If these lines of communication were open through her aides, how much did Mrs. Clinton actually know about the security situation in Libya, and when did she know it?

Blumenthal received $10,000 a month from the Clinton Foundation at the same time that he provided his assistance to the Secretary of State, also serving as “an on-and-off paid consultant for Media Matters.”

One of his 2011 emails released by the State Department warns that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb might be inspired by the death of Osama bin Laden to conduct attacks on American and western targets using weapons they had diverted from the Libyan rebels.

Clinton forwarded the May 2, 2011 email from Blumenthal regarding al Qaeda to Sullivan with the words, “disturbing, if true.”

AQIM participated in the Benghazi attacks, according to the Senate. A Defense Intelligence Agency message dated September 12, 2012 indicates that the Benghazi attacks were planned ten or more days in advance by al Qaeda elements partially in revenge for a U.S. killing in Pakistan. As Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton received that message, yet continued to blame the YouTube video, as did others in the Obama administration.

As we have repeatedly argued, America already knows enough to demonstrate that there is, and continues to be, a widespread cover-up of the many aspects of the Benghazi scandal.

“The public record has already established that President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, AFRICOM’s Carter Ham, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey were all told that the assault in Benghazi was a terrorist attack almost immediately after they began,” we reported in May. “Yet the President and his administration still continued to blame a YouTube video titled ‘The Innocence of Muslims.’”

Also, we reported, “the former Secretary of State’s aides became aware that this was a terrorist attack about a half an hour after the initial attack began on the Special Mission Compound…”

Any additional information the Select Committee finds on Benghazi, Blumenthal, or Clinton’s role in the scandal can only confirm the breadth and depth of the dereliction of duty that took place. Yet the media argue that this has somehow become a political circus because the Committee is exploring the background of someone informing Clinton’s Libya policy.

AIM’s articles, along with the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, have exposed how the administration blindly pushed for an intervention in Libya, switched sides in the War on Terror, and passed over an opportunity for a truce with Muammar Qaddafi. It defies reason to continue to report that broader administration actions had little to no influence on creating the climate and circumstances which led to the death of four Americans in Benghazi.


The Clinton Record on Libya

By: Kenneth Timmerman
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media
The emails show more than you might think

On August 21, 2011, a top aide to Hillary Clinton penned a memo lauding his boss for steering U.S. policy in Libya, aimed at convincing the media of her accomplishments as Secretary of State.

“HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings—as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” Clinton aide Jake Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan’s memo to Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle is, of course, embarrassing today, which is one reason you are not reading about it on the front pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post.

But that’s not the only reason.

The memo, as well as other critical State Department correspondence, was withheld from multiple committees in Congress that have been investigating the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy Seals then working on contract to the CIA, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

It finally surfaced on May 22, 2015, in response to a subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy. That was six months after Gowdy’s initial request to the State Department for all documents relating to Benghazi, and more than two-and-a-half years after a similar request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which initiated its investigation into Benghazi just days after the attacks.

In Sullivan’s memo, Mrs. Clinton was the driving force in getting the Russians to drop opposition to a UN-imposed no fly zone on Qadhafi’s Libya. She alone got Turkey, Qatar and Jordan to join the coalition military operations and to provide critical support to the anti-Qadhafi forces.

To convince skeptical allies to embrace her policies, Sullivan noted that Mrs. Clinton had traveled to Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa and Istanbul. She visited with “House Democrats and Senate Republicans to persuade them not to de-fund the Libya operation.”

Sullivan’s memo provided background for media appearances by Secretary Clinton in the ensuing months, including a famous encounter with a TV news reporter in Afghanistan, just three days after Mrs. Clinton’s October 2011 visit to Libya to proclaim victory against the then-still-missing Libyan dictator.

In video outtakes, Clinton aide Huma Abedin hands the Secretary a Blackberry, with information that Colonel Qadhafi has been killed, apparently just hours after Mrs. Clinton’s brief visit to the country.

“We came, we saw, he died,” Mrs. Clinton joked.

In short, without Mrs. Clinton’s vigorous intervention, Qadhafi would still be in power, Libya would still be a country, and the jihadis who now own the place would be toast. And, of course, Chris Stevens, Smith, Doherty and Woods would still be alive.

After the attacks, Mrs. Clinton quickly forgot her leading role on Libya, sending a clueless Susan Rice to the Sunday talk shows to be the “public face” of the Obama administration’s Libya policy.

In her only public appearances to address what happened in Benghazi, she portrayed herself as a disengaged onlooker, called upon to pick up the pieces when the hired help failed to get things right. “[It] was very disappointing to me that the [Accountability Review Board (ARB)] concluded there were inadequacies and problems in the responsiveness of our team here in Washington to the security requests that were made by our team in Libya. And I was not aware of that going on. It was not brought to my attention,” she told the House Foreign Affairs committee in January 2013.

She reminded House and Senate panels in January 2013 that the State Department’s ARB, which she appointed, had determined that the failures in Benghazi were entirely the responsibility of lower level officials, even though Libya was among the top ten most dangerous postings in the world at the time of the attacks. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler busily helped to reinforce that fiction in a “fact-checking” blog aimed to show that there were simply too many cables going in and out of the State Department for a busy Secretary to see all of them.

Interestingly, in the approximately 300 Clinton emails the State Department has released so far, there is no record of Mrs. Clinton’s original request to her staff to draft a memo lauding her achievements in Libya. Did Sullivan simply dream up the idea and forward it up the chain of command to see if it would please his boss? Or was Mrs. Clinton’s request for these talking points one of the 30,000 “personal” emails the former Secretary of State deleted as irrelevant to her official duties?

Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwarded Sullivan’s August 2011 memo to a second private Hillary email address. Remember how she insisted that she had just one private email account? The memo included a note that said, “Here’s the memo.” That sounds an awful lot like, “Here’s the memo you requested.”

Hillary sent it on to her personal assistant with the instruction, “Pls print for me.”

This type of exchange gets repeated many times in the Clinton emails released so far, suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was not given to making substantive comments via email, or that she deleted material that is relevant to the House Select Committee on Benghazi and is therefore guilty of obstructing justice. The other possibility is that the State Department Freedom of Information office is inexplicably dragging its feet in clearing Mrs. Clinton’s correspondence, even though the delay casts Mrs. Clinton in an embarrassing light.

Judicial Watch and other watchdog organizations—including this author—had been trying to get Mrs. Clinton’s emails and other U.S. government documents relevant to the Benghazi attacks for the past two-and-a-half years without success until the subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi compelled a response.

Now, thanks to a federal court order in Washington, DC, compelling the State Department to produce additional documents it previously had said did not exist or were properly categorized as classified, we can now put Mrs. Clinton’s emails into a broader context.

As the first reports of the attacks on Benghazi were whizzing through the State Department Operations Center, bouncing off the computers of lower level employees, one is impressed by their professionalism.

For example, the British security firm that had the contract to guard the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi sent several ungrammatical missives through a State Department contact to update him on what was happening during the attacks.

Dylan Davies, one of the contractors working for the security firm, was apparently holed up in his hotel room (not at the scene of the Compound leading a daring rescue attempt, as he told CBS’ 60 Minutes), with no information at 11:55 p.m. local time—by which time, Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith were dead, the CIA contractors led by Ty Woods had driven the attackers away from the burning diplomatic compound, and evacuated back to the CIA Annex.

A half hour later, Davies sent a second report, claiming there had been “no casualties,” and relaying a hearsay report from his “Benghazi facilitator,” who claimed that sources on the street were telling him the attack was either a September 11th anniversary attack, or caused by an Internet movie “disrespecting Mohammed.”

In relaying those reports, the State Department’s Command Center cautioned that they should be “taken with a grain of salt as the Employee may not be aware of the extent of the situation.”

And yet, less than four hours later—with no other independent reporting that had been released—Hillary Clinton issued her statement blaming the attacks on an Internet video.

What happened in the meantime? Who pushed the idea of the Internet video?

The short answer is that:we still don’t know. Either Mrs. Clinton destroyed the emails and other documents showing how she latched onto a report her own specialists had rejected as hearsay, or perhaps the Archangel Gabriel whispered in her ear while she had her head in a closet in her 7th floor office suite.

Several emails released to Judicial Watch show the intense involvement of the Bureau of Public Affairs in scouring the Internet for information on the attacks, but nothing to suggest the Secretary of State was asking the intelligence community what they knew.

At 9:30 p.m,—just 40 minutes before Mrs. Clinton issued her official statement blaming the attacks on a YouTube video—Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Dana Shell Smith sent out a request to her reporting officers to find information “in the aftermath of today’s demonstrations at Embassy Cairo.” For whatever reason, her request failed to mention Benghazi.

Rebecca Brown Thompson, head of a State Department media office called the “Rapid Response Unit” (reminiscent of the Clinton campaign “war room”), responded by sending snippets from Facebook postings gleaned by Arabic language media analysts.

“I see a variety of responses spanning from conspiracy theories (that is what the Americans and Israelis are doing on purpose to hurt Arabs and Muslims, they financed the offensive movie), to those who condemn the attacks as ‘UnIslamic and barbaric,’” one analyst reported.

Two hours after Mrs. Clinton issued the statement blaming the attacks on the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a second Arabic media analyst tasked with justifying that statement found a lone tweet about the film, but also reported that “some Twitter users in Libya and Egypt are spreading reports that the attacks in Libya may not be related to the infamous film but to the killing of Al Qaeda’s second in command, who is Libyan.”

The “infamous” film, which was much less well known in Libya than in Egypt, became the subject of a scurrilous account appearing the very next morning that was penned by Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal who was advising Mrs. Clinton. It was picked up and amplified in a second attack blog posted at 6:56 a.m. the same morning, suggesting that the real blame for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi fell on Mitt Romney and his “extremist” backers who produced this YouTube video in the first place.

Once information from the professionals rose to the level of Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills in Clinton’s office, it just seemed to disappear, replaced with a weird concoction of politics, public relations and outright fantasy, such as the YouTube video concoction or the Sid Blumenthal “intelligence” reports. (When Mrs. Clinton sent those around to the professional diplomats, the comments she received in response were rarely complimentary.)

The 300 recently released Clinton emails give the impression that the 7th floor of the State Department was inhabited by a bunch of grad students, pretending to be government officials.

The most tragic example of the apparent ignorance of how the State Department and the federal government actually worked appeared in Mrs. Clinton’s order to not engage the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), an interagency team on 24/7 stand-by alert, that had been created to respond to just such an emergency as the Benghazi attacks.

Counterterrorism Bureau official Mark Thompson, who helped to establish the FEST after the 1998 Africa embassy attacks, testified at length before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about this on May 8, 2013.

The Judicial Watch emails include a frustrated note he sent to the State Department Operations Center at 9:01 p.m. on the night of the attacks, complaining that Secretary Clinton was trying to get the FBI to send an evidence response team to Libya, when “the State (CT) led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) would include those folks, along with experts from other agencies. We should avoid multiple requests for assistance and rely on the comprehensive FEST approach.”

In his Congressional testimony, Thompson said he had tried to get Mrs. Clinton’s office and the White House to approve activating the FEST as soon as he first learned about the attacks from the State Operations Center, but was told “it was not the right time and it was not the team that needed to go right then.”

The redacted portions of Thompson’s email undoubtedly included a reference to the heavily-armed special operations component of the FEST whose job would be to secure the facility under attack. Had Secretary Clinton not told the FEST to stand down early on, there’s a chance they might have arrived in Benghazi before Woods and Doherty were killed in the 5 a.m. mortar attack the next morning.

At the very least, they would have been able to secure the compounds and gather evidence on the spot, instead of waiting three weeks as the FBI was ultimately forced to do.

Mrs. Clinton’s aversion to any overt U.S. military presence in Libya was well-known at U.S. Africa Command, which had been supplying the ambassador’s security detail up until just weeks before the attacks. “We were not allowed to wear uniforms outside the embassy compound, not even our boots,” the head of Stevens’ U.S. Special Forces security detail told me. “People high up at State resented like Hell us being there and doing what we did.”

And in the end, those same people ordered the Ambassador’s Special Forces security detail to leave Libya—with disastrous consequences.


Hillary’s Emailgate Explained

By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media.

Clinton’s 2016 presidential chances undoubtedly have been harmed by the revelation that she exclusively used a private email address while serving as Secretary of State. But while the media remain mired in calculations about whether Mrs. Clinton can survive this latest crisis, and who the villains are in this unfolding story, additional questions call out for answers.

Mrs. Clinton made many claims at her press conference on Tuesday. The media shouldn’t simply regurgitate them wholesale, as the AP has done, but rather they should approach them with due skepticism.

“Well, the system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office, and it had numerous safeguards,” said Mrs. Clinton. “It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.”

In contrast, Philip Bump reports for The Washington Post that the domain, clintonemail.com, was established “the same day that Clinton’s confirmation hearings began before the Senate.” That is suspicious timing for a system allegedly set up to support her husband’s office.

The professional assessment by security experts quoted in the media seems to be that Mrs. Clinton’s private email was vulnerable to hacking. “The system could have previously been hardened against attack, and left to get weedy and vulnerable after she left government,” writes Sam Biddle for Gawker. “We don’t know. … With Clinton’s off-the-books scheme, there are only questions.”

“We can only go by what Clinton says,” reports USA Today.

Mrs. Clinton told the press that she had set up the account for both private and work-related emails to avoid the inconvenience of having to set up two phones and two separate accounts, but that, in retrospect, she should have thought better about it. She offered few answers about the actual details of her server, and avoided questions about whether she would subject it to independent analysis, asserting that she had done her full duty by turning over 30,490 vetted emails to the State Department.

There were about 60,000 emails in total, she said—but after the private vetting process, controlled by her and her advisors, she has since deleted the private ones. “At the end I chose not to keep my private personal emails—emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding, or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations—the other things you typically find in inboxes,” she said. Yet the Select Committee on Benghazi’s Chair Trey Gowdy indicated that no emails have been turned over to Congress covering the duration of her 2011 trip to Libya.

Mrs. Clinton apparently expects the media to swallow whole the argument that all her emails on that trip regarded personal affairs.

What can be established at this juncture is depressingly disturbing for national security.

“…security experts consulted by Gawker have laid out a litany of potential threats that may have exposed [Mrs. Clinton’s] email conversations to potential interception by hackers and foreign intelligence agencies,” writes Biddle. This, despite Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that there were no breaches.

Problems identified by Biddle’s sources include that the URL log-in was accessible by anyone in the world, and could have been linked to an “administrative console interface to the Windows machine or a backup,” allowing the possibility that Mrs. Clinton’s emails could have been copied in their entirety by hackers. And, as of March, reports Biddle, “the server at sslvpn has an invalid SSL certificate.” Without a valid SSL certificate there is no third-party indicating that the key is still good, and not hacked.

“An exact physical address could not be determined” for the server, but Internet records indicate that it’s in Chappaqua, New York, reported Bloomberg News.

The server, as of March 4, was on “factory default for the security appliance” when it could have been “replaced by a unique certificate purchased for a few hundred dollars,” making it vulnerable to hacking, it reports.

But, the paper hedges, “While Clinton didn’t have a classified e-mail system, she had multiple ways of communicating in a classified manner, including assistants printing documents for her, secure phone calls and secure video conferences.”

Similarly, Mrs. Clinton asserted at the press conference that she never sent classified information through her private email.

It is not necessary to reveal classified information directly to jeopardize national security or the international diplomatic process. As Thomas Patrick Carroll, formerly of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations, explained in 2001 for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, “classification usually has relatively little to do with the information itself, but a lot to do with the protection of sources and methods.” His given example was how a foreign minister’s personal assistant might have a private conversation with that minister and obtain “the minister’s private observations on the matter,” later relaying this to U.S. intelligence for their exploitation. These types of inside observations prove invaluable for all foreign intelligence services.

If Mrs. Clinton’s email was hacked, then foreign governments such as Iran, China, Russia, and others, might have gained access to her private internal musings about diplomatic talks as she worked out the details with her staff—an intelligence treasure trove.

One must also ask, if Mrs. Clinton refused to set up a government email, how high was that refusal relayed? If it wasn’t relayed to the very top by security specialists, then why not?

Mrs. Clinton was sworn in on January 21, 2009. A couple months after she took office, in March of 2009, the University of Toronto and TheSecDevGroup issued their report on Ghostnet, a cyberespionage network established by an unknown party to mine data from the Tibetans. They found “real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems” which was connected to a large network of 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries—almost 30 percent of which were high-value targets such as ministries of foreign affairs.

The authors of the report found “that GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras,” and was sent through “contextually relevant emails” that look like real emails.

Granted, the mechanism of action for Ghostnet would not have been the same as that which could have compromised the server that Mrs. Clinton was using. But few can claim ignorance about the degree of threat posed by the use of insecure systems at the time.

The Ghostnet network compromised computers at the “ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan; embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan.”

Even if the Obama administration’s appointees lacked the know-how to anticipate cyber threats when they took office, they were undoubtedly immediately educated about the dangers by the government’s more knowledgeable members. Bob Gates, the former Director of Central Intelligence, and later Defense Secretary under Obama, commented in his 2014 book, Duty, that “A number of the new appointees, both senior and junior, seemed to lack an awareness of the world they had just entered.” He noticed that “fully half” of those in the Situation Room had their “cell phones turned on during the meeting, potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers” and he ensured that such behavior stopped.

The Ghostnet story made page A1 of the New York Times in March 2009. Can this administration really claim innocence about the security threats posed by an insecure, private email server when Clinton served as Secretary of State? How much did President Obama know, and when?

It now appears that the Obama administration received questions from Gawker’s John Cook about the ramifications of Clinton’s private email use back in 2013. The Obama administration has likely spent at least those two years—if not much longer—covering for Mrs. Clinton. Her press conference to explain her exclusive use of private email fails to satisfy, and the press should continue demanding answers until this presidential hopeful provides some real ones.


Warring Factions Threaten Clinton White House Bid

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Ongoing rivalries and dissension among Clinton loyalists have percolated up through the mainstream media, even The New York Times—whose own investigative reporting may have set off the latest salvo. It seems despite the president-in-waiting status often accorded to Mrs. Clinton, there might not be enough money to go around, evoking harsh internal criticisms.

David Brock, founder of the far-left Media Matters, “is a cancer,” argued John Morgan, a Florida lawyer connected to both President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, according to recent reporting by Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick at the Times. Brock made headlines earlier this week, when in response to their reporting, he sent out a letter that alleged “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations” and “resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action,” according to Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.

Brock is considering a return to Priorities USA, The Washington Post noted shortly thereafter. “People are starting to worry that Priorities could be a weak link,” one strategist told Vogel for his February 10 story about how this super PAC is “struggling in its early efforts to line up cash toward a fundraising goal of as much as $500 million.”

But one wonders whether the criticisms expressed in the media will sabotage Brock’s and other loyalists’ peacemaking. “If you care about your party and our country, you just do what you are asked,” said Morgan, according to Confessore and Chozick. “If you care about yourself, you take your toys and go home.” Morgan is apparently “close” to the co-chair of Priorities USA Action, Jim Messina. Messina served as President Obama’s campaign manager in 2012.

Confessore, a liberal writer/editor transplanted from Washington Monthly to The New York Times, seems to have access to a considerable circle of influential Democrats connected to the Clintons. After all, he sat down with John Podesta in 2003 and 2005. And his August 2013 exposé on mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation, co-authored with Chozick, included interviews with “more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family”—most unwilling to speak on the record.

Like the 2013 piece, Confessore and Chozick report for the Times on February 10 that “most people interviewed for this article declined to speak on the record for fear of angering either the president or the woman who hopes to replace him.” But these persons are willing to speak to the Times about their frustrations.

“The Hillary people were more in it for themselves,” said Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst, when he appeared on the February 10 Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. Alter was referring to the 2008 Democratic primary campaign against Obama. “If we get a repeat of that this time, she won`t have the passion and a genuine commitment that she needs to go the distance.”

“…what this is about is that is that there was a fundraiser who raised millions of dollars for these different groups including David Brock`s, but she was taking a 12.5 percent commission,” Alter said. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum described Mary Pat Bonner’s reported 12.5% commission as “way over the top.”

Confessore and Chozick cast this Democrat infighting differently. They describe the latest meltdown among Clinton movers and shakers as a conflict between two worlds: former Obama staffers who have been imported as strategists for Clinton, and long-time Clinton loyalists. But these writers aren’t the only ones with conflicted interests. The reality appears to be that many in the liberal media, including some reporters at The Washington Post and New York Times, want to tear Hillary and the Clintons down for being too close to Wall Street. But on the other hand, they realize that Mrs. Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to get the Democratic nomination, meaning they will undoubtedly support her when it comes down to her vying against any Republican candidate.

As I’ve reported in the past, The Washington Post—even amidst Mrs. Clinton’s “worst week in Washington” and her tone-deaf comments about being “dead broke” after leaving the White House—still gave her favorable coverage in order to ensure that a Democrat would retain the presidency. “The Post has issued wall-to-wall coverage of this subject, but most of it is about ensuring Hillary’s chances,” I wrote last July.

But when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) launched her populist offensive in the Senate, hope sprang anew among die-hard liberals and some in the media that Mrs. Clinton, with all her baggage, might not be a shoo-in. The Post’s Paul Kane practically salivated over Sen. Warren’s presidential chances back during the December revolt. Sen. Warren has said she’s not running, but the Post continues to run articles like this: “Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren.” Chozick recently described Sen. Warren as “an effective tool in moving Mrs. Clinton off message” whom Republicans favor as a candidate to create dissension within the Democratic primary.

Accuracy in Media has argued in the past that the Times’ David Kirkpatrick piece on Benghazi was a way of inoculating Mrs. Clinton while trying to make the definitive case supporting the Obama administration’s actions and justifications for Benghazi. But that obviously didn’t work, and revelations confirming the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s conclusions continue to break, implicating Mrs. Clinton not only for poor security preceding the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but her blind push to intervene in Libya in the first place. When Mrs. Clinton most likely appears before the Select Committee on Benghazi, an even greater spotlight will shine on her role in these attacks.

It looks like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is very tempted to run against Mrs. Clinton from the left, and former Virginia Senator James Webb might run more or less from her right. The sharks are circling this establishment candidate; will Mrs. Clinton successfully fend them off?

And clearly others at the Times aren’t so interested in inoculating her. But in the meantime, the left is having a catfight, and it may be that some reporters are interested in stirring the pot for dramatic effect—and to cause some angst for Mrs. Clinton from their end.

Confessore’s bio from the Times states that he covers the “intersection of money, power and influence.” A visit to his Twitter page reveals that he, like many liberals, doesn’t like the Citizens United ruling very much.  His twitter feed recently stated, “Thanks to Citizens United, we can now have campaign infighting without the campaign.” He also has tweeted about the Clinton Foundation’s $81 million received from “clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.”

He also wrote an article with Chozick in July of last year which stated, “Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the ClintonsAnd the Clintons often interact with the titans of finance on the Manhattan charity circuit and during their vacations in the Hamptons.”

Could it be that at least one New York Times staffer doesn’t favor Mrs. Clinton for her entrenched, big-money establishment ties much, either? Or perhaps it’s just that Confessore, Chozick, and the Times itself want to go around poking sleeping tigers before an election to see what they can stir up.

These aren’t Mrs. Clinton’s only problems. She also has what might become known as a “Brian Williams problem,” meaning she “misremembered” coming under sniper fire on a runway in Bosnia, and she repeated the story on more than one occasion, yet there were plenty of eyewitnesses who knew it was a complete fabrication. It cost Williams his esteemed position, and a lot of money. Will Hillary pay a similar price?

Plus, former President Bill Clinton is becoming a problem again based on his being linked in the media to a sex scandal involving a good friend of his who is a convicted pedophile. It’s certainly never dull when the Clintons are involved.


Benghazi Hearings Provide a Glimmer of Hope

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Last week, the Democrat Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi virtually declared war on the majority members, criticizing their pace, rules, and committee scope.

Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that the Select Committee was on a wild goose chase for a nonexistent “unicorn” and “nefarious conspiracy,” and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) falsely called the stand down order a “myth.”

But in what may be a turning point for the Select Committee, Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy emphasized at the January 27th hearing that “we’re gonna pick up the pace…. I have no interest in prolonging” the investigation into Benghazi.

“Letters haven’t worked. Southern politeness hasn’t worked. We’re going to ratchet it up,” he said at what members of the mainstream media, such as U.S. News and World Report, characterized as a “partisan grudge match.”

The next day Chairman Gowdy issued a statement that defied Democrats outright, arguing he “will continue to move the investigation forward in a fair and impartial manner, but…will not allow the minority’s political games and unreasonable demands to interfere with the investigation.” Rep. Gowdy said he will continue operating under the scope originally set by the House of Representatives.

This, the media preferred to coin as political failure or “out of control” politics. “The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which began with dignity last year, spun out of control Tuesday as Democrats complained that Republicans were abusing their authority and Republicans threatened to spray the Obama administration with subpoenas,” wrote Dana Milbank for The Washington Post. Milbank specializes in snarky columns criticizing and marginalizing conservatives, and even took aim at the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi for a conference held on Benghazi in 2013.

Regarding the hearing last week, the Associated Press in turn, remarked, “The partisan tone marked a sharp turnaround for a panel that had won praise for a bipartisan approach through its first two public hearings.”

The subject of the first two slow-rolling hearings was the current state of embassy security, a topic suggested by the committee’s Democratic members which had little to do with the administration’s response to the attack—and which conveniently glosses over the security failures of 2012 to emphasize present solutions instead of accountability.

MSNBC focused largely on political angles instead of substance. For Alex Seitz-Wald, it was all about Hillary Clinton. “Gowdy and Republicans had been hoping to preserve and grow the credibility of their inquiry, which is part of the reason for their assiduous avoidance of taking pot shots at Clinton Tuesday,” wrote Seitz-Wald. “But Democrats are seeking to undermine the credibility of the panel, in the hopes that it will be viewed as a partisan witch hunt if it ever demands testimony from Clinton.”

New bombshell reporting by The Washington Times shows that Clinton was the strong voice pushing to intervene in Libya in 2011 in the first place, which set the stage for the attacks. Ultimately, however, President Obama was the “Decider-in-Chief” and bears at least equal culpability.

Chairman Gowdy told Megyn Kelly of Fox News last May that he plans to subpoena Mrs. Clinton, and repeated that in December.  We now learn that the Select Committee has requested Clinton and other top State Department officials’ emails, and that Rep. Gowdy is willing to bring Clinton before the Committee just 30 days after receiving “all the [State Department] documents,” according to CNN.

Select Committee Members would also like to interview 22 persons with firsthand knowledge of Benghazi whom Congress has never spoken to before. The Associated Press reported on January 28, the day after the hearing, that State Department officials said they were ready to “commit” to interview dates for these persons.

But the press doesn’t seem interested in holding the administration accountable for the fact that the State Department waited from the December 4 request until January 28 to issue such a guarantee.

The State Department representative, Joel Rubin, said at the January hearing that a part of the committee’s relationship with the department is indicating priorities for requests—as if more resources could not be allocated to provide such information to the committee more swiftly.

Rubin, formerly of the Ploughshares Fund, also said at the hearing that he was a friend of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in 2012 at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Rubin wrote the following for ThinkProgress that year:

“Instead of getting that support, their deaths are being used as a partisan attack on President Obama, part of a false narrative that the president failed them. What has failed them is our political system. Rather than supporting a serious, nonpartisan investigation into what took place and what went wrong, waiting to get all the facts out, conservatives are trying to affix blame for their deaths for political advantage. This is how some conservatives use terrorist attacks against America.”

Now Rubin helps guard the gates for that same President who would like this simply dismissed as a phony scandal.

Although the media, along with the Democrats, may accuse Chairman Gowdy of partisan politics as he attempts to more aggressively investigate the Benghazi attacks and the resulting cover-up, I am cautiously optimistic about his new tone.

“The letter exchanges between Gowdy and Cummings [prior to the hearing], as well as Tuesday’s hearings, should put to rest forever the fiction that this type of investigation can be conducted in some Nirvana-zone of bipartisan comity,” Kenneth Timmerman astutely wrote for Front Page Magazine.

With this new focus on government stonewalling the Committee brought the possibility of embarrassing the administration to the fore, and the backlash was palpable.

Accuracy in Media and the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi have long been critical of the Mike Rogers’ House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, which contains a number of factual errors and glosses over the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. Apparently the Select Committee asked to examine the HPSCI’s research in October—and had been asking the Central Intelligence Agency for these files ever since. These files were only produced by the agency after learning that a hearing on them was scheduled.

Similarly, the State Department has produced 40,000 pages related to Benghazi, but Rubin wouldn’t answer as to whether the information provided to the Accountability Review Board was provided fully within those documents.

He also refused to say whether he thought the Select Committee was frivolous.

“If Gowdy is proceeding as a good prosecutor should, he is lining up all his ducks before he goes public with anything,” CCB member, and former CIA officer, Clare Lopez told WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi last week as part of a series of articles about the CCB’s own investigations. “I think it’s premature to jump to a condemnation of the process or the committee leadership when the truth is that we don’t know,” she said.

“Delays by Gowdy are unnecessary at this time,” CCB Member and Retired General Paul Valley told Corsi after the Times’ bombshell dropped. “Gowdy can press forward now as he does have sufficient intelligence and documents to call all witnesses and issue subpoenas as necessary.”

“Additional delays will only give the obstructionists in the Obama White House, the State Department and the Democrats in Congress time to thwart the efforts of the select committee,” Vallely said.

While the administration continues to stonewall the Select Committee whenever possible, and Democrats continue to complain that the investigation isn’t bipartisan enough, the CCB will continue to search for the truth in its own citizen-led investigation.

We have already dug up some disturbing facts in our 2014 interim report, such as:

  • the administration decision to dismiss the possibility of truce talks with Moammar Qaddafi;
  • helping arm al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya; and
  • the inadequate military response that night.

“I don’t know if the decision came from the White House or from Hillary Clinton at the State Department,” Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic told Corsi about those failed truce talks. However, Admiral Kubic said, “…the advice for me from AFRICOM was to basically just leave everything alone, to simply stand down.” Who, exactly, at the White House decided it was unnecessary to pursue truce talks with Qaddafi?

The CCB and Accuracy in Media are continuing the search for the truth with our own Freedom of Information Act initiative. Currently, the Department of Defense is withholding 12 pages of maps from us regarding the position of military forces during the attacks.

As we await our day in court, we will not stop digging for the truth through whatever means are available to us. I am encouraged by the possibility that the Select Committee might likewise now use all the powers at its disposal to force the administration to reveal what happened that night and in the aftermath, not only to its Congressional investigators, but to the public as well. America deserves answers, not more stonewalling.