Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

Benghazi: Hillary didn’t exactly throw herself on her sword UPDATED

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Hillary, speaking from Lima, Peru,

Clinton: I’m responsible for diplomats’ security

“I take responsibility,” Clinton told CNN in an interview while on a visit to Peru. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
But she said an investigation now under way will ultimately determine what happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on September 11.
“I take this very personally,” Clinton said. “So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again, and then we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”

Carefully worded, indeed:

  • She alone is in charge of “60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts.”
  • She “takes this very personally”
  • And once the investigation is done [when?],  ”we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”

Which brings to mind Tonto’s question to the Lone Ranger, “what do you mean ‘we’ kimo-sabe?”

Of course, the investigation’s not going to come up with anything until well after the election. By inauguration time, no matter who wins (unless the media can blame Romney), Benghazi will be yet another one of those disappearing story lines Jennifer Rubin writes about.

Hillary’s carefully-worded statement is hardly surprising, considering how Bill had the lawyers over the weekend. It is, as Jim Geraghty calls it, The Endless, Empty Refrain of ‘I Take Responsibility’

There’s a strange habit in politics of public figures declaring that they’re “taking responsibility” for something going wrong… but then not following up with any particular action, contrition, or consequence.

Absent from any of this is any kind of clearly outlined and verbalized American foreign policy, something that affects not only Libya, but our own hemisphere, Monroe Doctrine be damned.

The question, Who is responsible for what in Libya? remains unanswered.

But back to Hillary: Da Tech Guy is right on the money, pointing out that Hillary Makes The Smartest Political Move of this Cycle

This is the move of a political master. Consider what this accomplishes:

Seemingly:

It is a statesman like move, going forward and not ducking responsibility in a way nobody has been willing to do.

In Reality:

It covers her, by taking responsibility it heads off all kinds of stories that might come up with a theme of finding fault. Why should congress investigate to pin blame when it’s already been accepted?

Seemingly:

It supports the president, by taking the blame she shields the first Black president both showing herself a good soldier to the party and most importantly to the black community.

In Reality:

It undermines Obama by making her look strong, and him look weak. He is now forced to make some kind of statement second as a response. It’s the 3 AM phone call with her answering while he goes to Vegas.

Seemingly:

It ends press coverage on what the Obama Administration should do next, blame assigned move on.

In Reality:

It doesn’t end coverage it changes it.  What will the president do about this?  It puts Obama in a box.  Blame is assigned so what is the punishment?   If Hillary is responsible does he ask for her resignation, does he fire her? With his electoral prospects already sinking he dare not do either, and God help him if she resigns on her own. It would be another example of her acting while he is paralyzed.  It is the final act of Carterization of the president.

Seemingly:

It makes her vulnerable as every commentator on the right calls for her head in the hope of embarrassing Obama and taking her down a peg.

In Reality:

It gets her in good with the base of her party.  I can see the fundraising e-mails now.  “She’s taken responsibility and those nasty right wingers are piling on”  This will coin money for her.  That doesn’t even take into account how the press will react.

Seemingly:

It hurts  her 2016 election prospects after all she is responsible for an attack on the US on the Anniversary of 9/11 no less.

In Reality:

Not only does this make her look presidential (Expect comparisons to JFK’s Bay of Pigs speech from the MSM)  but it neutralizes her primary opponents on the subject, in fact for the second time in twelve years she will be able to paint herself as the victim of the irresponsibility of a man who should have known better.

Seemingly:

It hands President Romney a ready-made issue in 2016 to use.

In Reality:

It puts Romney in a box.  Every president has foreign policy failures and Mitt will have his share.  Imagine the debate  answer: “President Romney is right.  I was secretary of state during the Benghazi debacle and I took full responsibility for it.  What I would like to know is when the president will take responsibility for (insert relevant issue here)”.  It  will put and keep Mitt on the defensive.

The Bottom line is forgetting all the national security and moral issues involved. Hillary has done the thing that most helps her in the long run while all the time managing to undermine her foes on both the left and the right in one fell swoop.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do, it IS but as usual the right thing is generally the smart thing and this was the smartest thing anyone in this administration has done in a while.

This story may continue, but in terms of its negative impact there will be little if any on Hillary Clinton from this point on.

Indeed.

As for tonight’s debate, expect Obama to repeat Hillary’s words, maybe even verbatim. The media will declare him the winner no matter what.

UPDATE,
The Diplomad asks:

The real issue is not whether another inch of concrete, or a few armed guards would have made the difference in Benghazi. Given the size and violence of the attack, I doubt that would have done much. The real issues are what was that facility and what was it doing that was so important given the security environment? Why was the Ambassador there on 9/11?

Even more important, note later on her garbled comments about the key matters, to wit, the attack, the Obama misadministration’s characterization of the attack, and the nature of its response to an attack that went on for some six hours. Nowhere does she say that she contacted the White House, the Libyan government, or that she proposed any particular action. Nowhere does she explain the difference between the statements put out by Rice, Obama, and herself, blaming the attack on a virtually unseen video, and the statements by State and CIA career officers that State never concluded that the attack was the result of an anti-video demonstration gone rogue.

Benghazi: Hillary strikes back, UPDATED

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

The Last Refuge has the story,

So the White House trotted out Susan Rice to sell a false story, unbeknownst to her direct boss Hillary Clinton, who was then told to toe-the-line. To provide elbow room, and cover for the White House, a bogus AP report mentioning the CIA was seeded to, and picked up by, the press thereby providing enough space and time to coordinate with James Clapper, so that he could arrange a bogus intelligence mistake story to back them up.

All of this before the “discovery” of U.S. officials on the ground in Libya asking for more security help. Which, unfortunately for the White House, became a bigger story than the false “movie” explanation.

The failure to provide the requested security creates the White House back in a position of blaming the State Dept. The same State Dept who was providing cover for the false “movie” explanation.

Hence the ping-pong ball back and forth.

While Hillary might have been willing to cover for the White House movie story “coverup” under the guise of faulty intelligence, which she did diligently, she ain’t gonna take being thrown under the bus for the lack of security protection.

Bill’s on task, sharpening knives,

sources close to the Clintons tell him that Bill Clinton has assembled an informal legal team to discuss how the Secretary of State should deal with the issue of being blamed for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack last month.

But, what exactly are Hillary’s (and Bill’s) options? A defamation suit is unlikely,

Hillary’s leverage is at its peak now, when Bill is leading the Obama reelection charge and when a sudden resignation would represent a huge setback for Obama. The Clintons can try to use this leverage to halt White House efforts to scapegoat Hillary. Then, they can hope the issue blows over.

However, the Benghazi story isn’t likely to blow over. And after November 6, the Clintons can do nothing to avoid the scapegoating of Hillary by the Obama administration.

So much for “bonhomie.”

You must go to The Last Refuge and read their post in full.

At the UK’s Daily Mail, Hillary Clinton reveals what REALLY led to Benghazi massacre – and demolishes White House claim it was triggered by anti-Islam film
Announcement of State Department dissent from rest of Obama administration could help protect Clinton during 2016 presidential run
Obama administration originally said assault stemmed from protests against anti-Islam video but then backtracked saying terrorists responsible
Officials tell how ambassador Chris Stevens was trapped in safe-room as assailants burnt the compound down
AK-47s, grenade attacks, and a smoke-filled safe-room – chilling account of the death of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens revealed
Ambassador’s whereabouts after attack not known until officials rang his cell phone – and found doctors trying unsuccessfully to save his life in hospital
Most serious attack on U.S. diplomatic compound since al-Qaeda bombed the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 14 years ago

Video:

UPDATE,
John Hinderaker posts on What Happened in Bengazi

The State Department has released a transcript of a briefing that two high-ranking department officials gave to a number of reporters via conference call on October 9 (Tuesday). I am not certain about this, but I believe the transcript was only made public today. You should read it in its entirety; it is the most detailed description I have seen of the events in Benghazi on September 11.

So Hillary Clinton and the State Department unequivocally reject the account that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have given. It is hard to imagine what “intelligence” reports Obama could have received that blamed the YouTube video. He is lying, evidently.

Read the transcript in full.


The White House Benghazi narrative unravels

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

It wasn’t about a movie.

Bumps on the road?

State Dept. officials contradict claims on deadly Libya attack

There Was No Protest, Only a Terrorist Attack, in Libya

Ace has questions:

The Administration is trying to claim that the easy investigation is all wrapped up with and inextricably linked to the more difficult one, so they are claiming they can’t answer the easy questions (easily answered in a day or two) until they answer the hard ones (which will take, fortuitously enough, until after the election to resolve).

Now actually I don’t know if Tapper is being snowed by this or understands it perfectly. He seems like a savvy enough guy.

So I guess what I’m asking for is for Tapper to call Carney out on this deliberate conflation, and ever-so-gently remind him that the FBI is not required to find the memos in which US State Department personnel rejected requests for very necessary security.

State could release these at any time. The search, on their computers, would take no more than 1-2 days.

They are pretending mystifaction about something they already know the answers to.

Sure, they don’t know yet who the terrorists were. But they damn well already know who nixed all the security requests. And they damn well know which higher-ups told the underlings to nix the requests.

We don’t need to find out Which unknown twenty foreign terrorists carried out the attack? to answer the much-easier question Which US personnel denied the requests for security? or Who decided to trot out the “spontaneous protest”/”YouTube video” lie when all intelligence indicated this was a planned terrorist attack having nothing to do with a video or protest?

These are separate questions and separate investigations. The fact that one may take weeks doesn’t change the fact that the other takes hours — hours, plus a willingness of State to tell the truth.

House hearing on Benghazi already getting answers


Heritage has the timeline:
(more…)

Good luck with that: Chen Guangcheng wants to leave China in Hillary’s plane

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Activist Chen Guangcheng: Let Me Leave China on Hillary Clinton’s Plane
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast’s Melinda Liu, blind dissident Chen Guangcheng says he’s been abandoned by American officials at a Chinese hospital and begs to leave the country on Hillary Clinton’s plane.

When U.S. officials escorted him out of the U.S. embassy shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Chen thought he’d extracted a promise that at least one of them would stay with him at the hospital, he said. “Many Americans were with me while I checked into the hospital and doctors examined me. Lots of them,” he told me from his hospital bed, where he’s being treated for broken bones in one foot, an injury sustained when he fell after climbing a wall during his daring escape from house arrest late last month. “But when I was brought to the hospital room, they all left. I don’t know where they went.” The ordeal was all the more bewildering because Chen is blind and was hurt during his escape; he needs crutches or a wheelchair to move around.

The hours ticked by, and Chen became more and more agitated. Even though he’d originally told friends and embassy officials that he wished to remain in China, now he wanted to leave. “I hope to seek medical treatment in the U.S. with my family, and then I want to rest,” he said. “As for the future, we’ll deal with that in the future.” At the hospital, Chen’s fears mounted as his wife told him she’d been tied to a chair, beaten, and interrogated by Chinese guards after they learned he had entered the U.S. embassy in Beijing last Friday.

Nick Zahnpoints out,

Congressman Frank Wolf (R–VA) reminds us in his Foreign Policy piece:

During a visit to Asia early in her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton famously said that U.S .concern with human rights issues in China “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis.”

It is likely that this prioritization has not been forgotten by China’s leadership.

Doug Mataconis:

one wonders what impact this might have on the Obama Administration internationally and domestically. Frida Ghitis, in an opinion piece at CNN.com, puts it this way:

The Chen case, however, could become iconic. If the Obama administration cannot explain what went wrong, it will have opened itself to criticism from human rights advocates and from Republican rivals, that he badly fumbled.

The Chinese government has demanded an apology from Washington for helping Chen and for interfering in Chinese domestic affairs. But the Obama administration, which claimed it had stayed true to American values in the Chen case, needs to prove that it has the moral strength to stand up for one courageous individual who sought help.

This is not just about Chen. It is about universal principles of human rights, really, and about America’s willingness to defend them on the global stage. The whole world is watching.

We can’t save every political prisoner in China, but when they show up at the doorstep of our Embassy and we let them in things change significantly. If it turns out that we’ve turned Chen and his family back over to the wolves that’s going to be something the Obama Administration will have to answer for at some point.

Doug is an optimist. The media will turn a blind eye on Chen, and the Obama administration will have to answer to no one.

Prior post on Chen here.

UPDATE,
Didn’t take long for the Taiwanese Animation folks to come up with something,

Summit of the Americas: the overseas campaign stop

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

IBD has the post-mortem:

This trip wasn’t about diplomacy, or taking a stand for democracy or encouraging American values. The president mouthed cautious, standard U.S. stances on Cuba, drugs and free trade, but did so with little conviction.

Instead, he was really focused on winning votes back home as campaign season kicks in. Acts that can only be justified in a campaign rather than diplomatic context formed a pretty long list at this summit:

• Presummit briefings suggested the trip would be all about winning the Latino vote. “There is a unique quality to the relationship that we have with the Americas, specifically the fact that we have so many of our citizens here in the United States who trace their heritage back to the Americas,” White House aide Ben Rhodes said, explaining the reason for the trip.

• The president also became a new convert to free trade, despite consistently blocking it over the past three years. At a pre-summit stop in Latino-heavy Tampa, Fla., he told port workers: “When I’m in Colombia talking with other leaders, I’m going to be thinking about you.” Coming from the president who delayed the U.S.-Colombia free trade pact at a huge cost of U.S. jobs, it was all about the Latino vote again.

If I may add, the gullible Latino vote. Obama had a majority in both houses of Congress for the first two years of his term and neither item was a priority.

Even now, all he promised is that

he would “try” to bring up the issue in the first year of a second term.
“I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term,” he said. “I want to try this year.

Continuing,

• Politics doesn’t end at the water’s edge. On his official travels, Obama made time to attack GOP rival Mitt Romney in an interview with Univision, calling his immigration stance “very troubling.” [video and link above] Translation again? Not diplomacy, just the Latino vote.

Subscribe to the IBD Editorials Podcast
• Obama’s official Summit statement was also geared to domestic votes: “These last three years have been as difficult for the world economy as anything that we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” he oddly told the Latin leaders, whose economies are booming. “And it is a result of globalization and it is also a result of technology.” In another pander to voters, he effectively blamed foreigners and computers for his own fiscal failure and the mortgage crisis. That’s not diplomacy.

• Lastly there were photos of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dancing at a Cartagena club and knocking back a beer. Undignified in a diplomatic context, they are perfect images in a populist campaign context.

Obama’s gaffes are his own. One could start a war.

Too bad the press didn’t follow up.

Related:
Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?

Summit of the Americas update: Hillary ties one on

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

The group photo went OK,

Obama didn’t agree to legalize cocaine and dismissed calls for greater political engagement with Cuba.

Cristina Fernandez didn’t get any US statements on the Falklands, so she left early.

Lucia Newman, who shilled for Castro when she worked for the BBC and is now working for al-Jazeera, says “this may be the last Summit of the Americas” unless Cuba is allowed to participate.

Hugo Chavez is back in Cuba for more radiation, or something.

And the Secret Service Prostitution Scandal Widens.

So what’s a girl to do?

Party hearty!

Yes siree, our Secretary of State had a cold one,

and led the conga line!

You never saw stuffy Condi Rice doing that while on the job, did you?

Smart diplomacy in action!

UPDATE:
You can’t make this up: she was at the Cafe Havana.


Hillary’s jacket, part deux

Friday, February 24th, 2012

First the green Mao.

Now this:

What’s with the insignia on her shoulder?

A James Bond villain?

But unlike Rosa Klebb, the killer KGB agent famous played by Lottte Lenya in “From Russia With Love”, Hillary hasn’t equipped her stilettos with razor sharp blades dipped in venom.

At least Lotte’s sleeves were the right length,

29345

When the dress code says “white guayaberas”, Hillary wears lime green Mao

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Aiming to “reset” the button, Hillary stands out in the crowd; perhaps she thought she was in Rode Island with Joe Biden,

Didn’t get the memo? Hillary Clinton dons lime green shirt for G20 ‘family photo’ while everyone else wears white (h/t Babalu)

Fashion faux-pas, or smart diplomacy? You decide!

29317

Again, the US wants Argentina and Great Britain to enter into negotiations over Falklands???

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Update, Friday June 10,
Please also read Argentina and the Falklands: A background post

This is beyond insane,
Another slap in the face for Britain: the Obama administration sides with Argentina and Venezuela in OAS declaration on the Falklands, and is not the first time,

Washington backed a similar resolution in June last year, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear in a joint press conference with Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires in March 2010 that the Obama administration fully backs Argentina’s calls for negotiations over the Falkands, handing her Argentine counterpart a significant propaganda coup. The State Department has also insultingly referred to the Islands in the past as the Malvinas, the Argentine name for them.

There are a few things to consider:

  • The Falklanders are British, and wish to remain British.
  • Britain won the 1982 war.
  • Additionally, Cristina Fernandez needs both oil, and a distraction.

Nile Gardiner:

The declaration calls for Argentina and Great Britain to enter into negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, a position which London has long viewed as completely unacceptable. It also comes in the wake of increasing aggression by the Kirchner regime in the past 18 months, including threats to blockade British shipping in the South Atlantic.

Hat tip: Tree Hugging Sister.

UPDATE
Welcome, Hot Air readers!
Linked by Moe Lane, too; thanks!

UPDATE, Friday 10 June,
Linked by Instapundit and Stanislaus. Thanks!

And, do bear in mind, as Ed points out, that

the OAS declaration comes in response to a threat of military action from Argentina, which has publicly talked about a blockade of British shipping in the region over sovereignty claims by Buenos Aires.

Beyond insane.

Linked to by Open Market. Thanks!
Open Market:

Argentina is now run by the Peronist Party, whose founder, Juan Peron openly sympathized with America’s fascist enemies in World War II, and knowingly gave refuge to fleeing Nazi war criminals.  Argentina’s recent Presidents, Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, have nationalized private pensions and plundered the private sector to pay for big government and welfare schemes.  The OAS declaration “comes in the wake of increasing aggression by the Kirchner regime in the past 18 months, including threats to blockade British shipping in the South Atlantic.”

Residents of the Falkland Islands have eminently sound reasons for wanting to remain in Britain, the birthplace of parliamentary democracy, rather than Argentina, which has too often been ruled by authoritarian strongmen like Peron or by military governments.  The United Kingdom scores higher on international measures of property rights and the rule of law than Argentina does.

Linked by Murdoc. Thanks!

26477

Chavismo’s love sign

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Not quite what Hillary and Obama expected from “smart diplomacy,”

Venezuela News and Views has more

25924