05/21/15

What Does Blumenthal Know About Obama?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

It appears that Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal has a network of military and intelligence connections that made him anathema to the Obama White House. Blumenthal must know something about Obama that kept him from getting a State Department job under Hillary.

Congress has the power to compel Blumenthal to testify in public about how he collected intelligence information on Obama and other matters for the use of Mrs. Clinton, before and during the time she was Secretary of State.

The New York Times reports that when Clinton was Secretary of State, she used Blumenthal as an unofficial adviser and sent his memos to “senior diplomatic officials” about such topics as Libya. Blumenthal’s contacts included Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former CIA spy, among others, the paper said. It appears some of them were trying to do business in Libya.

The CIA spy was identified as Tyler Drumheller, described by the paper as “a colorful former Central Intelligence Agency official.”

In the course of reporting this information, the Times said that Blumenthal “had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama…” But why? This question goes unanswered.

It might have something to do with how Blumenthal gained access to information and who else might have gotten access to the same information.

As the Times notes, it appears that the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” breached Blumenthal’s email account and discovered correspondence he sent to Mrs. Clinton. Some of this material had to do with business in Libya. A story about this correspondence ran in Gawker and Pro Publica under the headline, “Leaked Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network.” The story said that some of the memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources inside the Libyan opposition, in addition to Western intelligence and security services.

The publication Slate has a series of questions that need to be asked of Hillary about Blumenthal, his relationship with Hillary, and his controversial connections.

One of the proposed questions: “Did you ever consider hiring Sidney Blumenthal as an employee in your State Department? And, if so, did the Obama administration block such a move, as has been reported? Did the White House know that he provided you with unofficial advice nonetheless?”

Again, the question is why the Obama White House reportedly blocked Blumenthal from working in the State Department.

I think we know the answer, and it has nothing to do with business in Libya or anywhere else: Blumenthal had the goods on Obama’s mysterious past and controversial communist connections that made him susceptible to blackmail by foreign agents and interests.

When Hillary Clinton was running against Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Blumenthal was acting as a Hillary adviser and circulated a memorandum about Obama’s communist connections. The political left was shocked.

In a May 9, 2008 column in The Huffington Post, Peter Dreier, the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College in California, complained that Blumenthal had “circulated an article taken from the fervently hard-right AIM website” that was entitled, “Obama’s Communist Mentor.” I was the author.

This was, of course, the column about Obama’s relationship with Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis.

The column was completely accurate, but Dreier tried his best to play down the revelations. He wrote:

“The Kincaid article that Blumenthal circulated sought to discredit Obama by linking him to an African-American poet and writer whom Obama knew while he was in high school in Hawaii. That writer, Frank Marshall Davis, was, Kincaid wrote, a member of the Communist Party. Supported by no tangible evidence, Kincaid claimed that Obama considered his relationship to Davis to be ‘almost like a son.’ In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote about meeting, during his teenage years, a writer named ‘Frank’ who ‘had some modest notoriety once’ and with whom he occasionally discussed poetry and politics. From this snippet, Kincaid weaves an incredulous tale that turns Davis into Obama’s ‘mentor.’”

It appears that Dreier was only one among many on the left who received this information, but he was the only person who went public and attempted to discredit it.

Notice how Dreier attempts to play down the substantial evidence of the relationship by using terms like “no tangible evidence” and an “incredulous tale.” At the same time, Dreier was astonished that “a self-professed liberal operative like Blumenthal” had been circulating “anti-Obama attacks” from “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources.”

It must not have occurred to Dreier that the information being distributed by Blumenthal was accurate and had been verified by Hillary’s associates. It would appear that Blumenthal had the connections necessary to verify that kind of information—and perhaps to add some more important details to it.

Blumenthal’s contacts included that “colorful” former CIA spy, Tyler Drumheller, who “served as the CIA’s top spy—the division chief for the Directorate of Operations (DO)—in Europe until he retired in 2005.” It’s safe to say that Drumheller was well-positioned to have knowledge of intelligence operations throughout the world, then and now.

Considering that we now know that Blumenthal had military and intelligence connections, it is likely that Blumenthal had the information about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii and Chicago checked out and verified. He would have concluded that the Davis connection to Obama was enough to disqualify the then-senator from Illinois from the White House.

Dreier used the terms “fervently hard-right” and “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources,” in order to discredit the information. But the original revelation about Davis came from a left-wing source, Marxist historian Gerald Horne. He had spilled the beans about Obama’s mentor “Frank” being Frank Marshall Davis, a notorious communist with a 600-page FBI file.

The Davis material circulated by Blumenthal was just one tidbit of negative material that Dreier says had been circulating against Obama almost every day over a six-month period during the 2008 campaign, This material, he complained, “attacks Obama’s character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations.”

It looks like Blumenthal recognized that the Frank Marshall Davis relationship to Obama was real political dynamite and something that could sink the candidate. If Blumenthal had confirmed all of this—and he might have even had more damaging information—we have to wonder whether the information was obtained by others for possible use as blackmail material against Obama. After all, if a Romanian hacker got access to some of the more sensitive material, it seems at least possible that it was made available to others.

The additional question is why Hillary never used the damaging information against Obama. The answer to that, quite clearly, is that Obama made a deal with Hillary so she could become his Secretary of State. That part of the deal went forward, but when Hillary said she wanted to bring Blumenthal into the State Department as her trusted adviser, somebody in the Obama White House rejected that outright. Hillary may have been told that her job at State was for the taking if she would keep Blumenthal under control. She had to have known that Blumenthal was involved in circulating information about the Obama-Davis connection, since The Huffington Post had publicized it.

Hillary continued to use Blumenthal in an unofficial capacity, collecting information and intelligence on Libya and perhaps many other sensitive topics. Did she use this secret spy network to gather intelligence on Obama himself? That question is far more important than whether Blumenthal had friends who did business in Libya.

The New York Times reported that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, planned to subpoena Blumenthal, “for a private transcribed interview.” Reuters now reports that the subpoena has been served, demanding that Blumenthal appear before the House committee on June 3 to give a deposition.

Under no circumstances, however, should this be conducted in private and behind closed doors. The American people are entitled to hear the truth in an open and public setting.

What did Blumenthal know about Obama? And when did he know it?

03/11/15

Why was Sid Blumenthal advising Hillary Clinton on Libya?

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media

Until Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) revealed last week that his Benghazi Select Committee was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for her official State Department communications, no one had a good explanation for why none of the Congressional committees that had previously investigated Benghazi had ever cited a single Hillary Clinton email in their reports.

Congressional Democrats had been pooh-poohing Gowdy’s investigation, claiming that all the important questions about Benghazi had been “asked and answered” by previous committees.

Now the best that Gowdy’s counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), can do is object to subpoenas (especially when they are issued to Hillary Clinton in person, through Counsel), and to huff and puff about the investigation becoming a “surrogate” for the “Republican National Committee.”

What a change a single revelation can bring.

We now learn that Hillary Clinton not only used a private server, maintained at her Chappaqua, New York home for official communications, but that she never used a government email at all. Not once.

No [email protected], or [email protected] or anything of the kind. Just multiple accounts on her family server, clintonemail.com, including [email protected]email.com, the same address used by former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to communicate with her on Benghazi and related matters.

Federal prosecutors recently finished up their case against former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was conveniently forced to resign just three days after the November 2012 elections, before he could clarify what he knew about Benghazi. (Given that Petraeus had just returned from a September 2, 2012 trip to Ankara, Turkey, where he had been trying to tamp down publicity due to an arms shipment from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels, he certainly knew a lot.)

In a widely criticized decision, they forced him to plea bargain one count of a misdemeanor in exchange for dropping more serious charges. The full extent of the FBI’s case against Petraeus involved him sharing personal, hand-written notebooks with his biographer.

Prosecutors noted that the CIA had installed a SCIF—a specialized high-security area—in his Arlington, Virginia home where he could safely store classified materials brought home from the CIA. That facility was dismantled by the CIA without incident two months after Petraeus resigned from the Agency.

The prosecutors never accused Petraeus of improperly storing U.S. government classified materials either in the SCIF or elsewhere. Nor did they accuse him of sending classified materials over an unsecure server.

If they could prosecute Petraeus on one count of improperly handling classified material (he kept those personal notebooks in a rucksack in his attic), one can only speculate how many thousand counts of mishandling classified information could be brought against Mrs. Clinton. Of course, she denies having sent classified information over her personal server, but in that case how did she communicate on classified matters with her envoys and subordinates?

Was the private server at her residence designed, installed, and maintained by a U.S. government security agency? Was it connected to the government’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and physically separated from the open Internet?

The Sid Blumenthal memos, sent from his AOL account to Hillary’s private email server, suggest that this was not the case. If so, the former Secretary of State was breaking the law—big time.

When the memos first surfaced in 2013—posted to the Internet by a Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” —neither the State Department nor their purported author acknowledged their authenticity. Given that they initially surfaced on the website of Russia Today, Vladimir Putin’s reliably anti-American TV network, that was enough to consign them to oblivion as yet another Internet hoax.

Now we learn that former CIA official Tyler Drumheller apparently helped to gather the “intel” that Blumenthal sent to Hillary on the Benghazi attacks and other political developments inside Libya.

This is extremely significant because the initial memo sent by Blumenthal, dated September 12, 2012, cites “a sensitive source,” who purportedly met with Libyan President Magarief shortly after the attacks began and claimed that a YouTube video sparked the “protest” against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Magarief himself never said such a thing, although the memo is worded to suggest that he did. He blew up when he heard Susan Rice make that claim on the Sunday talk shows after the attack, as I write on pages 347 and 348 of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.

Drumheller became infamous for several earlier pieces of disinformation. As European Division chief at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in 2001 and 2002, he was the one who planted the phony evidence about the Niger uranium contract that was later used by the media during the Valerie Plame affair to claim that George W. Bush had “lied” about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs. On three separate occasions, he passed the Niger information up the food chain as validated intelligence, when the CIA had been warned that it was not (see page 63 of my book Shadow Warriors).

Then-CIA Director George Tenet was so fed up with Drumheller that he spent seven full pages in his memoir debunking claims by Drumheller regarding the defector known as CURVEBALL that Tenet said were simply untrue.

Drumheller and Sid Blumenthal have a history together. In 2007, Blumenthal used Drumheller as a source to “prove” that Bush had “lied” about pre-war intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Drumheller and Blumenthal went on to work in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008.

So was the Guccifer/Blumenthal memo intended as disinformation, written after Hillary Clinton put out her statement on the night of the attacks blaming them on a YouTube video? Or was it actually the source of Hillary’s false claim about the video, written and sent by someone on the ground in Libya who was attempting to plant the story?

Many reporters, myself included, have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, asking for all documents and communications that would show how Mrs. Clinton’s statement came to be worded as it was finally released. Where are all the drafts? Who commented on them? What did it say initially? How was it changed? By whom?

We have much of that information for the Susan Rice talking points, but nothing at all for Hillary Clinton’s statement on the evening of the attacks.

Given that there is not a single mention of a protest or the YouTube video in all the documents released to Congress, which included real-time communications from Tripoli and Benghazi from the State Department and CIA that night, exactly how Mrs. Clinton came up with that idea could provide key insight into what actually happened in Benghazi, and why.