Did Hillary Clinton consider fomenting unrest against Israel in 2011?

January 11, 2016
Above the rules.

You can trust me.

That is, did our then-Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner for the presidency contemplate inciting Palestinian unrest as a club against our closest ally in the region?

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the answer is yes:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.

In a Dec, 18, 2011, email, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.

Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.

“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.

“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”

Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.

“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”

Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.

Gee. Oh, gosh. I do so wonder why the might think the Israelis might object, just because we had a hand in inciting demonstrations against them with utterly unpredictable consequences and with a huge potential to blow up in everyone’s face?

This is one of those revelations that shows how dangerously incompetent Clinton and her team of clowns is, and why she should come nowhere near the presidency.

Just what in Heaven’s name were they thinking? This was near the start of the so-called “Arab Spring,” with demonstrations against secular dictatorships launched in the name (ostensibly) of liberal reform. Instead, what we got was a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, the most important Arab state and a key US ally, which had to be removed in a military coup. Other countries fell into turmoil and even civil war. It has, so far, been an almost-unmitigated disaster for the region, with consequences spreading globally.

And yet Clinton and her advisers thought they could safely harness this to “shame’ the Israelis into making peace? (Newsflash: It’s not Israel that’s been the big obstacle to peace, here.) Did they seriously think for one moment that such demonstrations wouldn’t be hijacked by radical organizations? Did it not occur to them that an “honor and shame” culture such as the Arabs’ could never let their women take the lead for long? That violence would be almost inevitable and that implementing this cockamamie plan risked a new intifada — or worse? Did they think they could control all the forces they would be stirring up?

Against an ally??

How well did the Clinton-Obama war in Libya go, again?

Who’d they get this plan from? The Underpants Gnomes?

PS: Homework question for the House and Senate foreign relations committees — Was any part of this plan ever implemented?


Move over, Nicolas Cage; Hillary Clinton is the real “Lord of War.”

May 27, 2015
"Obama loan officer at work."

Clinton Foundation staff at work

No, there’s no direct evidence that reveals bribery or other corruption, but the pattern of large donations to the Clinton Foundation occurring roughly at the same time as the Clinton-lead State Department awarded favorable decisions to the donors is pretty suspicious. Maybe not a “smoking gun,” but definitely a lot of shell casings lying around.

Which is fitting, since it seems Hillary was one of the most accommodating arms-dealers on the planet:

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

Now, I’m not one of those who’s squeamish about selling arms to unsavory governments; sometimes the interests of the United States will make this necessary in pursuit of a greater goal. This happened a lot during the Cold War. And let’s not forget the Great Progressive, FDR, sold untold amounts of arms to Stalin, one of the true monsters of history, in order to defeat Hitler in World War II. The needs of foreign affairs and war often make for strange bedfellows.

But, somehow —call me “crazy!”— I don’t think FDR’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, was taking note of Russian gold going to the “Hull Foundation” while shipping planes to Uncle Joe.

Let this sink in:

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

There’s much more at the IBT article. Be sure to read it all.

By any standard of public decency and good government, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be running for president. She should be hiring defense attorneys to represent her (and Bill!) in a federal bribery investigation.

But, I suppose it’s too much to expect the leading and sole serious candidate for a major party’s nomination to be held to the same rules as the rest of us. Especially under Obama, and especially when it’s a Clinton.

via The Washington Free Beacon

Related: Why am I not surprised? Read all about Bill Clinton’s “shell corporation.” I can almost hear the money-laundering machines whirring away. (h/t Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter)


Hillary has nothing to hide, and she wiped the email server to prove it

March 27, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

Keep this in mind: Hillary Clinton conducted all her State Department official correspondence on this private server. Her top, close aides at State all had accounts on this server. It is inconceivable that sensitive United States Government information  –information foreign intel services would love to have– was not stored on it. The server was astoundingly insecure; in fact, we know it was hacked.

Ergo, it is in the interests of the United State and its people to find out in a verifiable manner –not just taking Hillary’s word for it– what was on that server and if the official records of her work have all been turned over to State, as commanded by law. Also, a forensic analysis of the server is imperative to determine if anyone else had hacked it: who, when, what did they get? Beyond questions of Benghazi or the questionable dealings of the Clinton foundation, we need to know how much damage may have been done to the national security and foreign relations of our country. The potential security breach could make Edward Snowden look like an amateur.

Which is why she wiped the server:

The head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.

He said while it’s “not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”

Last week, Gowdy sent a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking that the email server be turned over to a third party in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.

Gowdy said “it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails.”

Emphasis added. This wasn’t just a wipe to reinstall Window Server or whatever outdated software she was using. When she received word that State wanted those emails, she ran downstairs to hit the SCRAM button. It’s no longer a question of “if,” but “what.” What was on that server she was so desperate to hide? Whatever it was, she arrogated to herself the right to decide what was and wasn’t relevant. In spite of the law. And now we’ll likely never know.

This is like an embezzler burning down a building to hide his crime.

The high-handed corruption of the Clintons never fails to astound.


Hypocrisy, thy name is “Hillary”

March 5, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

Perfect. While Lady Macbeth was running her own private email network on her own private servers hidden in her own private home, she fired our ambassador to Kenya for… running his own private network.

Only in America; only the Clintons:

Very soon after the Ambassador’s arrival in May 2011, he broadcast his lack of confidence in the information management staff. Because the information management office could not change the Department’s policy for handling Sensitive But Unclassified material, he assumed charge of the mission’s information management operations. He ordered a commercial Internet connection installed in his embassy office bathroom so he could work there on a laptop not connected to the Department email system. He drafted and distributed a mission policy authorizing himself and other mission personnel to use commercial email for daily communication of official government business. During the inspection, the Ambassador continued to use commercial email for official government business. The Department email system provides automatic security, record-keeping, and backup functions as required. The Ambassador’s requirements for use of commercial email in the office and his flouting of direct instructions to adhere to Department policy have placed the information management staff in a conundrum: balancing the desire to be responsive to their mission leader and the need to adhere to Department regulations and government information security standards.

And I bet the parallel never occurred to her.

The brass of this clan is just amazing.


Hillary Clinton used private email for her State Dept. business. *All* of it. Updated: More private accounts?

March 3, 2015

800px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

Remember, peasants, the rules are for you to follow. For Our Betters In Washington (all bow), they’re only suggestions:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

I want you to consider that bold portion carefully: the Secretary of State was conducting all her official correspondence, including classified material (remember: “exclusively”), on a private email account. That would include not only correspondence with her aides and other departmental and government figures, but exchanges with foreign governments — governments in Moscow, Beijing, Jerusalem, Cairo, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Ouagadougou… you name it. If this article is correct, it was all on a private email system, which is notoriously insecure.

And yet it was her aides, no doubt including consigliere Cheryl Mills, who decided what would be turned over to State. (Did they have a shredding party?)

I’d say the arrogance is astonishing, but this is the Clintons we’re talking about. “Entitlement” is emblazoned on their family crest.

And it’s not as if Lady Macbeth or anyone she worked with didn’t know about these regulations; they’d be part of every orientation and, if you’re too important to attend the ethics orientation, you’d have an aide who knew the rules. So, she had to have known and thus knowing violated the FRA.

On top of that, anyone she corresponded with knew. Her aides, State employees, officers of other departments, the White House… Surely they noticed “clintonemail.com” in the send line? At least some among them had more brains than a turnip and realized she was using an insecure service.

Did no one say anything to her?

Don’t be silly.

Did foreign intelligence services or rogue hackers break into this account?

I’d be shocked if they hadn’t. And I hope to God Clinton was at least using high-grade encryption.

Oh, and I bet you can guess what the elephant in the living room is, can’t you? One word: Benghazi

As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reminds us, it was odd that the investigating committees looking into the Benghazi massacre found so little in her departmental correspondence. Now we know why — it was all in a private account that was hidden from Congress. From the NYT article, again:

The existence of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account was discovered by a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi as it sought correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and her aides about the attack.

Two weeks ago, the State Department, after reviewing Mrs. Clinton’s emails, provided the committee with about 300 emails — amounting to roughly 900 pages — about the Benghazi attacks.

Mrs. Clinton and the committee declined to comment on the contents of the emails or whether they will be made public.

The State Department, Ms. Psaki said, “has been proactively and consistently engaged in responding to the committee’s many requests in a timely manner, providing more than 40,000 pages of documents, scheduling more than 20 transcribed interviews and participating in several briefings and each of the committee’s hearings.”

Again, note the portion in bold. State turned over those emails to the committee (presumably Rep. Gowdy’s Select Committee) two weeks ago, but Clinton’s huscarls decided what State would get two months ago.

Oh, yeah. Sure. They included everything and anything related to Benghazi and Libya. You betcha.

One point to keep in mind: At least for emails to other government employees, those who received La Clintona’s messages should still have them, assuming they also weren’t on private accounts that have since been scrubbed. That means the Select Committee has a lot of work ahead of it to identify those recipients and subpoena copies of those mails. Have fun, Chairman Gowdy!

A last consideration: This has been a bad sennight or so for the Clintons. Revelations about the bribes questionable donations to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, now this news about her secret email account and continuing speculations about any other pants shoes to drop about Bill’s relationship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — all these bear on her judgement, competence, and honesty, her qualifications to be President.

And all this has come out in such succession that one has to wonder if someone with a trove of embarrassing information who also dislikes the Clintons hasn’t decided to drop dime after dime on her to sympathetic press outlets, MSM organs that would like to see someone else, someone more pure in her progressivism, as the Democratic nominee.

Who needs House of Cards when you have the Clinton’s providing the drama and intrigue?

PS: And before someone can say “the Bush people did it, too!”, sure, though some of the “scandals,” such as the US Attorney firings, were ginned-up nothing-burgers. However, none of these figures did their government business wholly on private accounts and none sent classified information over those accounts, as Hillary certainly had to have, since she used this account “exclusively.”

UPDATE: Per Congressman Gowdy, it appears that Hillary Clinton had more than one personal account.


Two reasons Hillary Clinton will not be president

March 1, 2015

800px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

Well, three if you count her overall incompetence for any office higher than “Bill’s wife,” or four if one recalls that she is a terrible retail politician. Five, even, given that no one really likes her. Six —count’em, six!!— if Bill rode anything more than Jeffrey Epstein‘s plane.

But let’s just stick with two concrete reasons.

Qualifications

Influence

First, how do you think it looks that, while she was Secretary of State, her family foundation took money from foreign governments?

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.

Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations.

The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.

The new disclosures, provided in response to questions from The Washington Post, make clear that the 2008 agreement did not prohibit foreign countries with interests before the U.S. government from giving money to the charity closely linked to the secretary of state.

In one instance, foundation officials acknowledged they should have sought approval in 2010 from the State Department ethics office, as required by the agreement for new government donors, before accepting a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.

The money was given to assist with earthquake relief in Haiti, the foundation said. At the time, Algeria, which has sought a closer relationship with Washington, was spending heavily to lobby the State Department on human rights issues.

Nice. They were only giving “at the same levels” at which they gave before she was Secretary of State, so, really, it’s no biggie.

If, oh, I don’t know, the government of Freedonia was giving a million a year before and a million a year after, I’d call that pretty significant, regardless. Something along the lines of “We could really use help with this border dispute and, oh, did you know we just our sentcheck to the Clinton foundation? Just FYI, of course.” Algeria donated a half-million while it was trying to influence State’s position on Algeria’s (rotten) record on human rights.

Think about it: the Secretary of State is the nation’s top diplomat, executing the president’s foreign policy in pursuit of the nation’s interests. (1) It is at a minimum a clear and huge conflict of interest for her to be overseeing our relations with states that have also been slipping checks to her family foundation.

If it were anyone else, the MSM would be screaming “bribery.”

The Post article is a good one, well worth your time. They’re to be commended for running it, and it should be disqualifying on its own, but you can bet this is only the tip of the iceberg where the Clintons and money are concerned.

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

But that’s not even the biggest iceberg heading for the S.S. Hillary the Inevitable. The footsteps of accountability for the Benghazi massacre are drawing ever closer:

From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility.

(…)

At 4:07 p.m., just minutes after the terrorist attack began, Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief-of-staff, and Joseph McManus, Mrs. Clinton’s executive assistant, received an e-mail from the State Department’s operations center (forwarded to her by Maria Sand, a special assistant to Secretary Clinton). It contained a report from the State Department’s regional security officer (RSO), entitled “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack.” The e-mail explained that approximately 20 armed people had fired shots at the diplomatic mission, that explosions had been heard as well, and that Ambassador Stevens was believed to be in the compound with at least four other State Department officials.

(…)

At 6:06 p.m., another e-mail that went to top State Department officials explained that the local al-Qaeda affiliate had claimed responsibility for the attack:

Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU): “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for an attack on Embassy Tripoli”

Despite this evidence that her top staffers were informed from the start that a terrorist attack was underway and that an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group had claimed credit for it, Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

While this information was recovered in a document trove obtained by Judicial Watch via FOIA lawsuit, it isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Clinton’s upper echelon of aides knew what was really happening that night. In particular, Cheryl Mills is a very useful minion. She and Clinton are very close, and it is inconceivable that Hillary, her boss, never knew.

And yet from that very night, Hillary insisted that an obscure anti-Islam video was to blame, including lying to the victim’s families to their faces at the ceremony for the return of their remains.

Forget theories about arms shipments to Syrian rebels and whatnot. Clinton as Secretary of State was directly responsible for the creation of the facility in Benghazi and the security of US personnel in Libya. The Libya war was her baby. The assessment of the situation in Libya used to justify intervention was hers. Everything, from the war to the ignored warnings regarding the threat in Benghazi to the final attack that lead to the deaths of four Americans and the wounding of many others. All of this bears on her judgement and competence for high office.

But the question of what she knew and when she knew it and what she did after she knew it is crucial to the question of her integrity, honor, and honesty. (2)

Can you see why Lady Macbeth would want us to ask “What difference does it make?”

Neither of these scandals is going away anytime soon. Benghazi has hung around like an unwelcome guest at her coronation party, occasionally coughing to let everyone know it’s still there. The donor scandal is only just beginning. Her presidential aspirations might survive one, but not both. One of these will derail her campaign, perhaps sooner than we think.

RELATED: At Legal Insurrection, some word association on Hillary, donations, and Benghazi. Jonah Goldberg wants to know how it is that Judicial Watch can get these documents, but Congress can’t. At Power Line, John Hinderaker wonders if the Clintons’ greed will be their undoing. I’d say “yes.”

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, I know. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton protecting US interests. Bear with me.
(2) I know, I know. A Clinton. That should answer the question right there.


The State Department’s Refugee Program Shouldn’t be a Terrorist-Funding Welfare Scam

February 26, 2015

“Minnesota, the France of America.” Ouch!

International Liberty

While immigration is a very contentious issue for the politicians in Washington, there’s actually some level of agreement among people in the real world.

Almost everybody agrees that it would be foolish and short-sighted not to allow some immigration, particularly from young, educated people with valuable skills.

Similarly, there is widespread agreement that you can’t have completely open borders, particularly for those who are unlikely to be net contributors to the economy.

So the real debate (and this is where there is a lot of room for disagreement) is who gets to come to America and under what conditions.

I don’t raise this issue because I have any wise words – much less proposed solutions – on the overall issue of immigration.

Instead, let’s look at the profoundly perverse way that the federal government is using the refugee program to expand the problem of dependency.

Here are some excerpts from

View original post 1,064 more words


For once, @statedeptspox Jen Psaki and I agree

December 5, 2014

Jen Psaki hashtag

We’ve met Jen Psaki before, when she and her deputy, Marie Harf, became the public faces of “Hashtag Diplomacy,” bringing the conduct of American foreign affairs to an embarrassing new low.

Now, I have to admit, I have some sympathy for Ms. Psaki; it can’t be easy to day after day repeat the fatuous talking points she’s given in defense of the administration’s incompetent foreign policy. And, in fact, the strain may be getting to her; after giving another non-answer to a reporter’s question, she admitted the talking point was ridiculous.

Only she forgot the mic was open:

After Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed her to comment on Egypt’s decision to clear former President Hosni Mubarak of murder, Psaki gave one of her typical non-answers read straight from the page:

“Generally, we continue to believe that upholding impartial standards of accountability will advance the political consensus on which Egypt’s long-term stability and economic growth depends,” Psaki said.

Lee was astonished at the response, and took the opportunity to point out that the answer was meaningless.

“Wow, I don’t understand that at all,” Lee said. “What you said says nothing. It’s like saying, ‘We support the right of people to breathe.’”

Psaki declined to give any further comment to reporters during the briefing. However, as the lights dimmed, Psaki was exasperated and told Lee how she really felt, not realizing her microphone was still on.

“That Egypt line is ridiculous,” Psaki said.

Ooops…

Check the Free Beacon for video of this unintentional moment of public candor.

via American Thinker and sodagrrl


#headdesk Kerry: global warming as great a threat as ISIS and ebola

September 22, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

I have no words left, I think, to describe what a fatuous buffoon this man is, so I’ll let the Secretary of State of the United States speak for himself:

Secretary of State John Kerry said the threats posed by climate change should be addressed with as much “immediacy” as confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Ebola outbreak.

During a meeting with foreign ministers on Sunday, Kerry said global warming is creating “climate refugees.”

“We see people fighting over water in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and … the acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us,” Kerry said.

“And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other things, those are immediate,” he added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

“This also has an immediacy that people need to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and the security of the world,” Kerry continued.

Let’s see. Ebola is a hideous hemorrhagic disease that has already killed thousands in West Africa, may well spread further –and beyond Africa– and could become a nightmare if somehow it mutates into an airborne form.

And then we have ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State, a more virulent form of al Qaeda that has claimed the mantle of the defunct caliphate and a divine mission to force Islam and sharia law on the rest of the world. It has killed thousands of people –men, women, and children– by shooting, beheading, crucifixion, and God knows how else. It has declared that Yazidis must convert or die. It has oppressed, killed, and stolen the property of Christians and Muslims of the “wrong sort.” It has sold women into sex slavery. It has promised to wage war on the West. (All of this is in accordance with Islamic law, btw.) If it obtains nuclear or biological weapons, there is no doubt they will use them wherever they can be deployed, inside or outside the Middle East.

Oh, and don’t forget a newly aggressive Russia, slowly dismembering Ukraine and now rattling sabers at NATO members in Eastern Europe, raising the specter of a continental war that would inevitably involve us.

But Secretary of State Kerry thinks the imaginary monster under the bed, human-caused catastrophic warming that leads to devastating climate change, is as great a threat. A bogeyman warming that has not occurred for over 215 months. Anthropogenic climate change that exists only in computer models that have trouble accurately modeling the past. (1)

Is it any wonder our (former?) allies in the Middle East have written him off as useless? This guy makes Thurston Howell III look like Klemens von Metternich.

We have over two years left of this car-clown administration. I’d better stock up on the Tylenol.

Footnote:
(1) Of course, the Earth’s climate is a dynamic, changing system. A series of natural cycles. It’s the misuse of science to perpetrate a huge fraud, man-caused catastrophic climate change, that I’m objecting to.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi attackers used State Dept. phones the night of the attack

June 12, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And we overheard them doing it. If anyone still believes Hillary’s story about blaming a YouTube video based on the best information they had at the time, that person is either dumber than a rock, or hoping for a job in a possible Hillary administration.

Via Bret Baier and James Rosen:

The terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 used cell phones, seized from State Department personnel during the attacks, and U.S. spy agencies overheard them contacting more senior terrorist leaders to report on the success of the operation, multiple sources confirmed to Fox News.

The disclosure is important because it adds to the body of evidence establishing that senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration knew early on that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and not a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video that had gone awry, as the administration claimed for several weeks after the attacks.

Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.

In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers’ higher ups.”

Funny, but the Accountability Review Board Secretary Clinton set up after the Benghazi massacre never interviewed Mr Stahl, nor, as far as I know, anyone else who might have knowledge of this. Odd oversight for them to make, isn’t it?

Remember, late on the night of the attack, right after a phone call with the president, Clinton released a statement blaming a video for the attack. She then swore before the caskets of the honored dead returning from Benghazi –and to the faces of their family members– that she would see that video maker brought to justice. She and her boss, the President of the United States, later still made a commercial for Pakistani TV denouncing the video. To this day, in her recently release memoirs, Hillary Clinton defends that claim as being based on the best intelligence we had available at the time.

And yet, if this story is true, we now know we had overheard the enemy calling their leaders and reporting a successful operation. Not a demonstration that got out of control, but an attack.

And, again, they knew that night.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had evidence that State and the White House knew that evening what was really happening, but this is explosive and, if it holds up, should destroy any remnant of Lady MacBeth’s credibility.

As I’ve said before, the only intended target for this deception could have been us. Not the enemy. In addition to getting the truth for its own sake, we the voters need to ask ourselves a question: Do we really want as president someone who not only and so casually lies to us, but to bereaved families?

I can’t wait for these hearings to get started.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: State Dept. knew within hours that it was a terrorist attack

May 5, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And not a demonstration. I don’t know how I missed this over the weekend (1), but the administration’s favorite investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, posted this little bombshell to her site back on the 1st (via Hot Air):

Internal Emails: State Dept. Immediately Attributed Benghazi Attacks to Terrorist Group

A newly-released government email indicates that within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya; the State Department had already concluded with certainty that the Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia was to blame.

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks. They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.

The email is entitled “Libya update from Beth Jones. ” Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.

“When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,” Jones reports in the email.

There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.

“If the video was a cause, why did Beth Jones of the State Department tell the Libyan Ambassador that Ansar Al Sharia was responsible for the attack?” said Chaffetz.

Gosh, that’s a darned good question Rep. Chaffetz asks. Do you think the forthcoming House special investigative committee on the Benghazi massacre might want to ask that of Ms. Jones, too?

There’s much more in the article about the origin of the controversial “talking points” and the subsequent effort to push the false narrative about a video being the goad for the attack, but I want to draw your attention to the routing of Jones’ email. These are the people copied in:

Among those copied on the emails: Deputy Secretary William Burns; Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman; Jake Sullivan, then-Deputy Chief of Staff (now promoted to national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden); Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy; Cheryl Mills, then-Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff (now on the board of directors of the global investment firm BlackRock); and Victoria Nuland, then-State Dept. spokesperson (now promoted to Asst. Secretary of State). 

Note particularly the name of Cheryl Mills. We’ve met her before, a couple of times. A longtime Clintonista, she has the reputation of being “Hillary’s fixer.” She was also, as Attkisson reminds us, the Secretary’s chief of staff. If Mills had this information, not to mention the other bigwigs on that list, then it is inconceivable that Hillary herself did not know that it was her department’s firm opinion that the attack was caused by Ansar al Sharia. Add this to the fact that she spoke with the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya that night  and then think about her promising the bereaved relatives of the victims, just a few days later and as their bodies were being delivered home, that the US would get the video maker. (2)

This wasn’t a case of honestly believing something that turned out to be false. Hillary Clinton was lying to heartbroken people and knew she was lying.

I can’t wait for these hearings to get started. Hillary is going to find out that, at this point, the truth still makes a difference.

RELATED: More Attkisson – Did Tommy “Dude” Vietor contradict the sworn testimony of White House officials? Must-read: Andy McCarthy on the AWOL President. More McCarthy: “Why I should not be the select committee’s special counsel.” Jonah Goldberg: “Benghazi made simple.”

UPDATE: Changed the headline to be a bit more accurate.

Footnote:
(1) Sharyl really needs to get an RSS feed going for her site.
(2) In fact, the very evening of the attack, she put out a press release blaming the video, after she had talked with President Obama, a conversation the contents of which we still do not know.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Boehner to appoint special investigating committee? UPDATE: Here we go

May 2, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, U.S. Consulate, Benghazi

At last. Just posted on Fox News:

House Speaker John Boehner is “seriously considering” appointing a special committee to probe the Benghazi attacks and an announcement from GOP leaders could come as early as Friday, sources tell Fox News.

One senior GOP source told Fox News that Boehner, who has faced pressured from rank-and-file members for months to form such a panel, is expected to go forward with the committee.

It’s unclear whether the decision is yet final. Some sources told Fox News this is a “done deal,” while others said it is “close.”

The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.

For more about the emails in question and their significance, see….

This is one of those “about danged time” moments. What was probably the back-breaker for Boehner was the revelation that the White House had withheld this email when first demanded by the House, then released it only as part of a judicial decision in a FOIA lawsuit regarding Benghazi, and then claiming it really had nothing to do with Benghazi, even though it clearly did. (And why release it as part of the documents demanded in a Benghazi lawsuit, if it had “nothing to do with Benghazi, per se” and was previously classified? And why was it classified?) This just screams “something to hide.” which is like blood in the water to Opposition politicians.

Keep in mind there are really three parts, interrelated but distinct, to the “Benghazi question:”

  1. Prior to the attack: What was the role of then-Secretary Clinton, her top aides, and the State Department in determining the level of security in Benghazi, and why wasn’t the level or protection raised, or the compound evacuated, in the face of clear warning signs? Why were no emergency-reaction assets pre-positioned nearby to come to the aid of a station in a clearly dangerous area? Defense and the White House, too, have questions to answer here.
  2. During the attack: Where exactly were President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and when? Who was calling the shots? What actions, if any, did they take that night? Who made the decision not to even attempt a rescue with assets available in Sicily and Italy? (This last question was examined by the House Armed Services committee, which found no wrongdoing, but the testimony yesterday of General Robert Lovell (ret.), Deputy Director for Intelligence for Africom, the combat command responsible for Benghazi, makes it worth reopening.)
  3. After the attack: Who came up with the largely fraudulent story about a video? Why was it pushed on the American people for weeks after the massacre, including Secretary Clinton lying to the faces of the victims’ families? Why were the reports from State Department and CIA personnel on the ground in Libya that there was no anti-video demonstration ignored? My strong suspicion is that this was done to protect Obama’s reelection and Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but we need to know a lot more.

Clearly this committee would have a lot of work to do, much of it taking a lot of time. (Remember how long the Watergate hearings took?) Even if nothing criminal occurred, the American public has a right to a full public audit of the decisions and actions of its hired help before, during, and after the crisis.

Having raised the possibility, I can’t see Boehner not going through with this, which means we can expect some televised fireworks as witnesses are called under oath and House Democrats try desperately to protect the White House.

Stock up on the popcorn. smiley popcorn

 

RELATED: Earlier posts on the Benghazi massacre.

UPDATE: It’s on. Boehner will form the committee and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (1) is expected to lead it. Meanwhile, Issa’s House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary Kerry regarding the State Department withholding documents.

Footnote:
(1) Good choice.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Surprisingly not The Onion: John Kerry as the new Winston Churchill

May 1, 2014
With apologies to Sir Winston.

With apologies to Sir Winston.

(Image via Greg Nash / Getty Images)

I realize The Hill leans a bit left, and Budowsky himself is a hardcore liberal, but either he had the “special mushrooms” for dinner last night, or he was laughing uncontrollably while writing this:

Looking across the landscape of world affairs, from sectarian carnage to Middle East instability, from climate change that threatens the earth to a Russian dictator who threatens security in Europe, from the bellicosity of China to nuclear issues with North Korea and Iran, if there is a Winston Churchill of modern times who issues warnings and offers solutions, it is Secretary of State John Kerry.

Since the founding of Israel in 1948, Israel has had no better friend than John Kerry. His aspirations and efforts for Middle East peace might soon be dead, and if they are, historians will long condemn the intransigent and small-minded Israeli and Palestinian leaders who will force young Israelis and Palestinians to pay the price of their pettiness for generations to come.

While commentators grow impatient with Kerry’s Churchillian warnings about the consequences of failure in the Middle East peace process, the world might sadly witness how right Kerry is.
As Vladimir Putin escalates his war against Ukraine, employs lies as an instrument of invasion and subversion, and wages war against the sanctity of sovereignty and borders that has kept the peace in Europe since Hitler fell and the Berlin Wall tumbled, Kerry calls on a timid Europe to demonstrate resolve with the moral force with which Churchill addressed Neville Chamberlain.

Winston Churchill, for all the mistakes he made in World Wars I and II, got one thing, the Big Thing, right: there could be no alternative but absolute, unbending resistance to Hitler and the Nazis, even if it meant war. He knew that diplomacy not backed up by the credible threat to use force would only encourage civilization’s enemies. He was also an eloquent, masterful speaker and writer.

In my opinion, Winston Churchill saved Western Civilization.

John “Christmas in Cambodia” Kerry, on the other hand,  is a fatuous dunderhead who has been serially, perennially wrong about our enemies. Far from having “Churchillian foresight” about the Middle East, Kerry’s obsession with a two-state process is doomed because he refuses to recognize (1) the strength and depth of Islam’s rejection of Israel’s very existence; you can’t negotiate peace with someone who thinks it’s a commandment from God to kill you. As for Ukraine, it’s hard to take Kerry’s moral force seriously when his first reaction is to say “don’t be so 19th century, Vlad.” The fact is that no one in the broader world takes Secretary of State Kerry seriously, because he’s a stuffed shirt who knows nothing except how to spew empty platitudes. As for his speaking and writing… Well, I challenge you to try to get through one of his speeches without laughing or yawning.

This man is like Churchill??

Nah. I must’ve clicked on The Onion.

Like I said this morning on Twitter:

(Thanks to a friend for the idea.)

Footnote:
(1) Or he’s intellectually incapable of it, which is also possible.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I weep: our foreign policy has been reduced to hashtags

April 25, 2014
Your Obama foreign policy team

Your Obama foreign policy team

Well, I weep and I mock.

For those not familiar with Twitter, “hashtags” are labels preceded by a number sign, as in “#politics.” They were developed to make it easier for people to search for related messages on the system, though people also use them as asides to provide commentary, humor, or snark.

A few weeks ago, the United States Department of State, faced with the slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine by Russia, apparently decided that hashtags were also effective tools of superpower diplomacy. Thus we saw this from State’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki:

My reaction, you’ll be surprised to learn, was one of dismay and disgust. This is hardly the serious diplomacy one would expect from a department once headed by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Hay, Dean Acheson, and George Schultz. One would think that, having been roundly mocked here and overseas (You mean you didn’t hear the giggling from Moscow?), the State Department would have given up on managing our foreign affairs like it was a popularity contest, complete with cheerleading. But, no. No, some genius at State decided this was a winning strategy and deployed it again, only this time with an exhortation to Putin:

“Promise of hashtag??” You have got to be kidding me. “Yes, Vlad, be nice to Ukraine. You wouldn’t want to fail the spirit of the hashtag, would you?” Someone last night speculated that an intern forgot to substitute the real hashtag in place of the placeholder word “hashtag,” but that’s immaterial. The whole idea that anyone should think that using catchy social media slogans as a tool of diplomacy would be seen as anything other than self-inflicted humiliation is laughable. That the “strategy” originated at the highest levels of State is infuriating.

And so I couldn’t resist commenting:

And then I offered examples of the promise of hashtag and its power in US foreign affairs:

Others pointed out that the promise of hashtag was global. For example:

Indeed, Lincoln ended the Civil War with it:

But this one, I think, summed up the depth and gravity of State’s strategic thinking in this crisis:

While this baby speaks for me:

But I did offer Ms. Psaki and her co-workers a friendly and much-needed hint:

No, they do not, and it’s in part because people who think they do are in charge of our foreign policy that the world has become a much more dangerous place. It’s a common joke that both sides make to wish for the day “when the adults will be in charge, again,” but, in this case, it’s no longer a joke.  We’re facing foes around the globe who operate via the calculus of power, will, and national interest, while we are represented by community organizers who treat serious matters of state as occasions for virtual rallies.

Argh.

RELATED: More at Twitchy here and here. Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s foreign policy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Worst Department of State, ever

March 26, 2014

This is someone’s brilliant idea of an effective strategy to deal with Putin over Ukraine:

Word of advice to Secretary Kerry and President Obama: Communitarianism is not a foreign policy and shaming is not an winning tactic when you’re dealing with an ex-KGB officer. Know what I’m saying?

BTW, the person in the photo is Jen Psaki, the official spokeswoman for the United States Department of State. Way to work the gravitas, there, Jen.

PS: I’ve saved a screen cap in case they delete it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


John Kerry focuses the State Department like a laser… On climate change

March 10, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Because, as we all know, Man-caused climate change the Dread Demon Carbon Dioxide is the “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” a threat we have to deal with now and with all our efforts. Not nukes in the hands of Iranian mullahs yearning to bring about their version of the Apocalypse. Not jihadist terror groups also jonesing for a few kilotons of their own. Not H-bombs and rockets in the possession of Kim Jong Un, who, when not feeding relatives to the dogs and ordering the execution of Christians, might decide to restart the Korean War. Not Vladimir Putin, who, with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal, has decided to start dismembering neighboring states and daring the West to do something, anything about it. Not a rising, hyper-nationalist, aggressive, nuclear-armed China, which is rattling sabers at its island neighbors and looking to challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific.

Nope. Global warming is the greatest threat to America, and so Secretary Kerry has ordered our ambassadors around the world to make that their top priority:

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on American ambassadors around the world to make the fight against climate change a top priority ahead of new UN talks next year.

In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”

“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.

“It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.

He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”

Note that the environment has been one of the “central causes” of John Kerry’s life, his personal mission. Thus the Department of State, charged with conducting the nation’s diplomacy, is now at the service of John Kerry’s personal tilt at the windmill. Silly me for thinking State’s job is to pursue the nation’s interests, not one dull man’s obsessions.

Of course, Kerry probably thinks his cause is the nation’s. It’s solipsism as foreign policy.

I ask again: Have we ever had a more fatuous, dunderheaded  bore as secretary of state than John Kerry?

Via Doug Powers, who provides illustrative examples of the Kerrys’ “Green lifestyle.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Really? They couldn’t pay to have a good model made?

March 3, 2014

Apparently Hillary Clinton’s infamous reset button was swiped from a hotel swimming pool. Couldn’t they at least have ordered from Amazon?

And the woman who headed this team wants to be the next President of the United States.

The monkey speaks for me:

"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”


Have we ever had a more fatuous Secretary of State than John Kerry? Updated.

March 3, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Really, all that seems able to come out of that mouth of his is an endless stream of meaningless blather that would make Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.

Courtesy of Hot Air, this is what Kerry had to say about the Ukraine crisis yesterday:

Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to steps the U.S. can take to hold Russia accountable for its military movements in Ukraine, including economic sanctions and potentially military action.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today on “This Week,” Kerry said Russian troops moving into the Ukrainian region of Crimea was “a military act of aggression” and that the U.S. will move swiftly to impose penalties if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not withdraw his troops.

While military force is among the options President Barack Obama is considering, Kerry said the U.S. and its allies hope they can avoid such action.

“The hope of the U.S. and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation,” he said.

The indirect language of diplomacy uses phrases that convey very specific messages without putting the other side publicly on the spot, in a situation where he cannot back down without being humiliated. And when you say “all options are on the table,” John, that includes military action. You’re essentially telling the other side that, should we not get satisfaction, we’re willing to go to war. This is the kind of talk you do not engage in lightly, especially when dealing with another nuclear power. The very idea of a “military option” in Ukraine is insane for any number of reasons.

I wonder if Kerry even knows what the words he’s saying actually mean. If he doesn’t, he’s a bigger dunce than I thought, which would be impressive. If he does and somehow thinks that will intimidate Vladimir Putin, then he’s dangerously incompetent. Putin has taken the measure of the Obama administration after years of watching it in action, and he knows darn well their threats are meaningless. After abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defense, after the laughable reset button, after cutting and running in Iraq and Afghanistan, and after the disaster of Obama’s Syria policy, Putin knows any threats from this American administration are empty. He probably rolled his eyes and laughed when Kerry said all options were on the table.

Then there was this:

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.

“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” one of several appearances on network interview shows.

“It’s serious in terms of the modern manner in which countries resolve problems,” Kerry said.

“That’s not the act of somebody who’s strong,” Kerry added, saying Putin is acting out of “weakness” and “desperation.”

I can think of many ways to describe President Putin, but “weak” and “desperate” wouldn’t even occur to me.

On the contrary, Vladimir Putin is a revanchist thug who, seeing that Washington won’t do anything meaningful (1) to oppose him, is going to push as hard as he can until someone dares to make him stop. His goal is not just to rebuild the Russian/Soviet empire, but forge a Eurasian Union (2) as an alternative bloc against the US and the EU. The bleatings of a Boston Brahmin about Putin being out of step with the times are meaningless to him

Secretary of State John Kerry (3) embodies the ideals of liberal internationalism, and brutal realist Vladimir Putin is showing just how empty they and he are.

Footnotes:
(1) For a sketch of the meaningful things we could do to stand up to Putin’s thuggery, check out Tom Rogan’s recommendations, especially that to, borrowing a phrase, “drill, baby, drill.”
(2) This is some scary stuff.
(3) To think he almost became president in 2004. I may have nightmares.

UPDATE: Speaking of Putin’s “weakness and desperation”…

Crimea Russia Ukraine mobile artillery

Those, my friends, are Russian mobile artillery pieces. On Ukrainian territory. Don’t they look weak and desperate? (h/t Jim Geraghty)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Foreign Service officers revolt against lousy Obama appointees

February 14, 2014
Qualifications

Qualifications

In the Catholic Church, the sin was called “simony,” the buying and selling of sacred offices, such as bishoprics. The practice was one of the abuses that lead to the Reformation. Now Foreign Service officers are rising against a secular simony, the Obama administration’s appointment of unqualified ambassadors who also happen to be big campaign donors:

After a string of rocky confirmation hearings for President Obama’s diplomatic nominees, the group representing America’s Foreign Service professionals signaled Friday that it’s had enough.

The organization, in a major rebuke, is now urging that the White House set minimum qualification standards for its ambassadorial nominees.

“The topic of the qualifications of ambassadorial nominees is of great interest to AFSA’s membership,” The American Foreign Service Association said in a statement. “All Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that we have the most effective leaders and managers of U.S. embassies and missions advancing U.S. interests around the globe.”

The American Foreign Service Association has long argued that ambassadorial nominees should, for the most part, come from the ranks of career professionals — as opposed to the ranks of top-dollar political donors. But the organization is taking its concerns to a new level, announcing Friday that it will propose new guidelines for “the necessary qualifications and qualities” for diplomatic candidates.

The statement said the group has been “closely monitoring” recent confirmation hearings.

AFSA has good reason to be upset. Administrations have typically operated under a 70-30 rule, under which political appointees (as opposed to professionals) were kept to around thirty percent of the available posts. Some went a little higher, others a little lower. The Obama administration, on the other hand, has broken all records: per AFSA, fully 53% of all appointees have been political, the trend rocketing during the second term.

If they were qualified, the practice would contemptible and venal, but tolerable. But many of these appointees are spectacularly unqualified:

  • Senator Max Baucus, appointed to represent us in China, admitted he was “no real expert” on China. This is the same China that holds most of our debt and is a growing military rival in the Pacific. The only reason Team Smart Power yanked him out of the Senate (from which he was retiring) was to try to save the seat for the Democrats in the coming midterms.
  • Hotelier and mega-bundler George Tsunis was so ignorant of of Norway, to which he had been appointed, that he managed to offend the Norwegian government at his confirmation hearing.
  • Noah Mamet, another bundler, admitted under questioning that he’s never been to Argentina, one of the most important countries in South America and which appears to be heading into a crisis. Maybe they should have asked if he could find it on a map.
  • And Colleen Bell, an Obama bundler and soap opera producer appointed to be our ambassador to Hungary, a nation whose democratic institutions are under attack by rising fascism, couldn’t describe our strategic interests in this NATO ally. Senator McCain utterly humiliated her in her hearing.

AFSA, which is not a union per se and has traditionally kept a low profile, is making the unprecedented demand that ambassadorial appointments meet some minimum qualifications. One would think this would already be true, but not apparently in Chicago-on-the-Potomac.

What’s next? Appointing Obama’s favorite horse?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Lady Macbeth regrets

January 28, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

“Madame sends her regrets.”

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee-in-waiting (1) spoke before the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association in New Orleans last weekend and took full responsibility for the security lapses at Benghazi that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Ambassador, saying, “I was in charge, but I put politics ahead of good sense. I failed, and now four good men are dead because of my failure.”

Wait. No, she didn’t.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton remained vague Monday about whether she will run for president in 2016 and said the attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, were the biggest regret of her four years as the United States’ top diplomat.

Before a large crowd of politically active car dealers, Clinton, the overwhelming favorite among possible Democratic presidential contenders, discussed her signal accomplishments — notably a recommendation that U.S. commandos go into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden (2) — and her regrets.

“My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said during a question-and-answer session after her keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in a packed 4,000-seat room.

Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed when militants attacked the lightly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a better-fortified CIA base nearby on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.

“Regrets.” Pardon me while I spit. Regrets are what you send when you can’t attend a dinner party. Regret is what you feel for not asking that neat girl or guy in high school to the prom, or when you turn down a great job offer and later realize how stupid you were.

Those are things you regret.

What happened in Benghazi was an atrocity, a murderous attack on US government personnel made possible by multiple layers of serial incompetence at the State Department, including the Secretary of State, herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Regrets?” Try “criminal negligence.”

Instead of speaking to car dealers, Clinton should be facing a jury.

via Sister Toldjah in email

PS: Might as well get this out of the way — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” A lot, Hill. A lot.

Footnotes:
(1) In her own mind, at least.
(2) Please. I’ll give Obama credit for ordering a direct assault on bin Laden, but, let’s be real: any American president, including James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter, would have done the same. And, Hillary? You were just one adviser among many.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)