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[VIDEO] SUPERCUTS: A Look Back At Obama’s Scandal-Free Administration

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‘Look Me Up, I’m Internet Famous’: Today in Presidential History: August 17, 1998

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On this day in 1998, President Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting president to testify before the Office of Independent Council as the subject of a grand-jury investigation.

The testimony came after a four-year investigation into Clinton and his wife Hillary’s alleged involvement in several scandals, including accusations of sexual harassment, potentially illegal real-estate deals and suspected “cronyism” involved in the firing of White House travel-agency personnel. The independent prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, then uncovered an affair between Clinton and a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. When questioned about the affair, Clinton denied it, which led Starr to charge the president with perjury and obstruction of justice, which in turn prompted his testimony on August 17.

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After testifying, Clinton addressed the nation live via television and gave his side of the story. He admitted to an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky and said that he regretted misleading his wife and the American people when he denied the affair earlier. He insisted that he had given “legally accurate” answers in his testimony and that “at no time” had he asked anyone to “lie, hide or destroy evidence or to take any unlawful action.” In addressing the investigation into his past business dealings, Clinton insisted that the investigation did not prove that he or his wife Hillary had engaged in any illegal activity.

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The damage, however, was already done. Revelations from the investigation sparked a battle in Congress over whether or not to impeach Clinton. While Democrats favored censure, Republicans called loudly for impeachment, claiming Clinton was unfit to lead the country. In December 1998, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, but after a five-week trial in the Senate, Clinton was acquitted. Public opinion polls at the time revealed that while many people disapproved of Clinton’s extramarital affair–which he conducted in the White House Oval Office—most did not consider it an action worthy of impeachment or resignation. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: State Dept. IG Report On Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Server

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A new inspector general report details how Hillary Clinton broke the law by using a private email server for official correspondence during her tenure as secretary of State.pantsuit-report

[Read the full report here]

The agency’s top watchdog revealed that Clinton should have been archiving all of her correspondence, or at a minimum have turned it over before she stepped down as secretary in 2013. Her failure to do so violated not just State Department policy but also federal open records laws…(read more)

Source: thefederalist.com and scribd.com


Hillary Clinton’s Nightmare: Hollywood Feature Brings Benghazi Reality Back to Life

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Owen Boss writes: The release next week of “13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” — which tells the true story of the security contractors who responded to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya — may force Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to wade back into a debate she hoped would be behind her, political watchdogs said.

“This takes an issue that is not good for her out of her control and pushes it out into popular culture, which is much worse for her than having it discussed on cable news.”

— Cornell University law professor William Jacobson

“Anything that keeps the Benghazi issue alive is a negative for Hillary Clinton. Period,” said Cornell University law professor William Jacobson. “Whether it’s a movie, or an event, or a hearing — anything that keeps this alive is not good for her. That’s not what she wants to be talking about.”

The big-budget action-drama,
 directed by Michael Bay, is 
focused on the American contractors who valiantly battled the terrorists who overran the compound on Sept. 11, 2012, and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, U.S. State Department communications expert Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, a Winchester native.

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“Anything that keeps the Benghazi issue alive is a negative for Hillary Clinton. Period. Whether it’s a movie, or an event, or a hearing — anything that keeps this alive is not good for her. That’s not what she wants to be talking about.”

— Cornell University law professor William Jacobson

Clinton, who was U.S. secretary of state at the time of the 
attack, has been roundly criticized for not doing enough to secure the consulate, and was forced to defend herself against the allegations during a grueling, daylong appearance before the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi in October.

The movie, starring Newton native John Krasinski and Toby Stephens, will be released by Paramount Pictures on Jan. 15,
less than a month before the Iowa caucus, an inopportune time for Clinton’s campaign, 
Jacobson said. Read the rest of this entry »


Rep. Jim Jordan Exposes Hillary: ‘Where’d the False Narrative Start? It Started With You’ 

Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan took issue with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s comment that protests had erupted in both Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya, citing evidence from the House Select Committee’s investigation stating that no protest of any kind had occurred in Benghazi. He then went on to quote from various State Department spokespersons who, in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack, claimed that the incident in Benghazi was linked to the Cairo-based protest, which was a reaction to an offensive online video.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adjusts her make-up before speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids

“I wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, ‘Hard Choices’. I’d be glad to send it to you, congressman.”

— Hillary Clinton, in condescending answer to Jim Jordan’s question

“Where’d the false narrative start? It started with you, Madame Secretary,” said Jordan, adding that a statement released by Clinton the night of the attack suggests as much. “At 10:08, with no evidence. At 10:08, before the attack is over.

[Read the full text here, at Mediaite]

At 10:08, when Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are still on the roof of the annex fighting for their lives, the official statement of the State Department blames a video. Why?

Clinton proceeded to emphasize her official statement’s use of the phrase “some have sought,” which described the efforts of a small group to use the video as a means of inciting anti-American sentiments in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the region. “I used those words deliberately. Not to ascribe a motive to every attacker, but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »


John Bolton: Why Benghazi Still Makes a Difference

Hillary Clinton may not see the point, but her testimony may tell us much about her ability to lead.

boltonJohn Bolton writes: Only in Perry Mason stories does the real culprit break down in open court. After Hillary Clinton’s now-immortal Capitol Hill outburst about investigations into the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya—“What difference, at this point, does it make?”—the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president is unlikely to offer any such spontaneity when she testifies Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

“As the crisis unfolded that day in Benghazi, with violence also erupting in Tunis, Cairo and potentially elsewhere, Mrs. Clinton disappeared. Instead of staying at her desk, ‘on the bridge’ of the State Department’s seventh floor, Mrs. Clinton literally left the building. Why?”

Nonetheless, the committee’s work is utterly serious, its preparations extensive (and extensively stonewalled by Mrs. Clinton’s team) and its mission vital to our fight against still-metastasizing Islamist terrorism. Much is at stake. The hearing’s focus must be on the key policy and leadership implications of the mistakes made before, during and after the murders of Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11 three years ago.

“Imagine the effect on morale when, with colleagues in Libya in mortal peril, State Department personnel learned that their leader had gone home for the evening. There is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton or President Obama did anything other than passively monitor events.”

Before the attack, there was ample warning that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wasn’t secure, with terrorist threats in the area multiplying. Even the International Red Cross had pulled out of Benghazi. After a string of requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for more security, in mid-August came a joint Embassy-CIA recommendation to move the State Department’s people into the CIA’s Benghazi compound. The State Department in Washington was invariably unresponsive, even though, as Joint 51+ElROmDmL._SL250_Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey later testified, the rising terrorist threat in Libya was well known.

[Order John Bolton’s book “Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” from Amazon.com]

Given her self-proclaimed central role in deposing dictator Moammar Gadhafi, why was Mrs. Clinton so detached from the deteriorating situation in Libya? She has so far dodged the issue, pawning off such “technical” matters on her subordinates. Working in the State Department in 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, I saw firsthand how Secretary of State James Baker dived into every detail of safeguarding U.S. diplomats stranded in Kuwait City. If earlier secretaries of state have been perfectly prepared to get their fingernails dirty in operational details when those under their responsibility were threatened, why wasn’t Mrs. Clinton?

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Libya was no backwater for Mrs. Clinton. It was one of President Obama’s highest foreign-policy priorities, touted by the administration as evidence of successfully “leading from behind,” averting a Gadhafi bloodbath through “humanitarian intervention,” and with democracy and stability to follow. So acknowledging that precisely the opposite was happening, and appropriately increasing security in Libya, would demonstrate failure. That was politically unacceptable.

As the crisis unfolded that day in Benghazi, with violence also erupting in Tunis, Cairo and potentially elsewhere, Mrs. Clinton disappeared. Instead of staying at her desk, “on the bridge” of the State Department’s seventh floor, Mrs. Clinton literally left the building. Why? Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Benghazi Hearing Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy on Hillary Clinton’s ‘Unusual Email Arrangement’

Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said Hillary Clinton’s “unusual email arrangement” complicated the investigation into the attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

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[VIDEO] Mother of Benghazi Victim Erupts at Hillary Clinton: ‘She’s Lying!’

The mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, exploded in response to a clip of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s prior testimony on the matter.

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CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello was taken aback when Patricia Smith revealed in conversation that she actually didn’t know much about what happened to her son — despite the fact that the Benghazi attack occurred three years ago.

Smith responded in kind, claiming that although Clinton promised to “get back to” her following her son’s funeral ceremony in Washington, D.C., no one had since contacted her on the matter.


Comedy: Benghazi Committee ‘Whistleblower’ is a Professional Storyteller

 reports: The fired House staffer who is accusing the Benghazi select committee of running an anti-Clinton witch-hunt also moonlights as a professional storyteller around the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Maj. Bradley Podliska, who is suing the committee after getting axed in June, claims the panel is running a “partisan” probe against Clinton. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), called Podliska’s allegations “sensationalist and fabulist” on Sunday. The committee said that Podliska was fired after mishandling classified information and using resources for an unrelated PowerPoint project.

The former staffer has some experience with storytelling. Podliska performed last year with the live Virginia-based storytelling group “Better Said Than Done,” where he recounted a terrible blind date he went on as part of the Washington Post’s “DateLab” feature in 2011.

His story started out mild and self-deprecating, but he soon launched into a tirade of insults against the woman.

According to Podliska, his date was a drunken disaster who “liked to drink like a fish” and told him to “quit the chit-chat, I’m here to drink on the Washington Post’s dime” when he attempted polite conversation.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Free Beacon]

By the end of the night, Podliska said, the woman “was looking as if she had run 300 miles in a tornado, while jumping on a trampoline, all while upside down, underwater. In other words, she was two sheets to the wind.”

He also claimed the “blindly drunk female” bad-mouthed him in the Washington Post article after their date, calling him a “Neanderthal” for attempting to walk her to the train. Read the rest of this entry »


Nick Gillespie: U.S. Foreign Policy Shouldn’t Be Driven By Feelz

Why emotionalism is the problem, not the solution, when it comes to foreign policy.

Nick Gillespienick writes: Call me a heartless bastard, but images of dead Syrian children washing up on beaches should have absolutely nothing to do with American foreign policy, refugee quotas, or immigration schemes. Photo-based emotionalism is no way to conduct the affairs of nations. That way madness—and all too often, even more carnage—lies.

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Beast]

It’s one thing when highly charged images speak to pressing domestic concerns whose solutions are clear and within a single country’s ability to effect. In late 18th-century England, for instance, Thomas Clarkson’s illustration of slaveswedged into a ship’s hold like barrels of rum helped jump-start Britain’s abolitionist movement. Footage from Bull Connor’s Birmingham and Vietnam electrified the Civil Rights and anti-war movements. In such cases, the solutions were self-evident (if difficult to achieve): Stop your own countrymen from perpetuating evil. Nothing is so simple when it comes to wars and catastrophes in which you are not even a direct participant. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES SHE DID: Hillary Intentionally Originated, Distributed Classified Material

 reports: A review of recently released e-mails shows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly originated and distributed highly classified national security information. Clinton’s classified e-mail missives were not constrained to State PANTSUIT-REPORTDepartment staff, either. She also sent classified information to Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House operative banned by the Obama White House.

An analysis by The Federalist of e-mails released by the State Department late Monday shows that scores of e-mails sent by Clinton contained highly confidential national security information from the beginning, even if they weren’t marked by a classification authority until later.

The original date of classification of Hillary’s e-mails can be discerned by noting the declassification dates noted next to redactions in the e-mails. Under a 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, classified material in most circumstances is to be automatically declassified after 10 years. In some instances, that duration may be extended up to 25 years. In certain circumstances, classification authorities may adjust the classification duration based on the nature of the underlying information.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

In this July 2010 e-mail, for example, the entirety of Hillary Clinton’s message was redacted prior to its public release under the federal FOIA law. The redactions of the material were provided pursuant to a provision of law protecting national security information. The printed redaction code “1.4(D),” cited next to the redaction and at the top of the document next to the official classification date, pertains to information on “[f]oreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources[.]” At the top of the document, a declassification date of July 1, 2025 is clearly noted:

Hillary-Classified-1

That declassification date is highly significant because it is precisely 15 years after the date on which the e-mail was sent, rather than the date on which it was marked. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon: The ‘Least Ambitious’ Bureaucrat Could Process Clinton’s Personal Emails Faster

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“Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

David Francis writes: So far, the State Department, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, has released just a small sampling of 55,000 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home internet server. The PANTSUIT-REPORTtiming of the releases have been less than ideal: The first batch was released on the afternoon of May 22, the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. The second came late in the evening, on June 30, less than an ideal time for reporters to dig in to find a story.

According to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, the pace of the releases, just like their timing, is also less than ideal.

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“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said at a Wednesday hearing, while reviewing an Associated Press request for the release of just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

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New York Daily News

[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com, and more at the New York Daily News]

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[Noah Rothman on the Media’s Favorite Framing Device: ‘Republican Reaction’ Stories]

Read the rest of this entry »


Hillary Clinton’s Secret #Benghazi Phone Call

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If it’s almost 100% redacted, does it count as ‘unclassified’?

 writes: Another day, another tiny, minuscule, pin-width beam of light shining down on who knew what, when, and how during and in the wake of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Most recently, we saw Sid Blumenthal, having been dragged before a Congressional committee, providing investigators with a batch of then-PANTSUIT-REPORTSecretary Clinton’s private e-mails that the State Department failed to hand over. The very existence of those e-mails had members of the committee convinced that their much-maligned digging is not only justified, but necessary in the effort to figure out what was in the Administration’s collective hive mind in the wake of the attacks.

We already knew that Clinton and Obama spoke on the night of the Benghazi attacks; what we didn’t know is what they talked about. But finally! A federal court has released a new document, the contents of which have the potential to blow this whole thing wide open.

The problem? The “unclassified” document is almost completely redacted:

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READOUT OF PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SECRETARY CLINTON: *crickets*Does it count as “unclassified” if it’s covered in correction tape?

Of course, the Administration has a totally predictable excuse for all the white-out. They’re not arguing that the information contained in the call was classified, but that it “represents internal deliberations” about the 2012 attack.

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[Read the full story here, at Legal Insurrection]

This e-mail was released as part of a FOIA demand made by activist group Judicial Watch, and it’s a vital link in the timeline.

Via Fox News:

The emails also show that Rhodes, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and before the attack was over, endorsed a statement from Clinton that cited an anti-Islam Internet video.

That statement noted some tried to justify the assault “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” Rhodes told Clinton’s aides that “we should let State Department statement be our comment for the night.” Read the rest of this entry »


CLINTON EMAILS RELEASED: ‘As You Can See, the First Batch is Full of Bombshells’

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Via Ian Tuttle, The Corner 


BREAKING: FRESH BAKED HOT MESS! State Department Releases 1st Round of Hillary Clinton Emails in Benghazi Inquiry

AFP PHOTO / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / FILESBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department released Friday its first round of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, offering a new look at her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“The Committee’s interest is in building a complete record from which the final, definitive accounting regarding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi can be provided.”

The roughly 300 emails, about 850 pages, are part of the 30,000 that she turned over to State from her private email server, which she used almost exclusively to conduct both private and public business during her time at State.PANTSUIT-REPORT

“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” the State Department tweeted shortly after the announcement.

Facing considerable backlash and deep skepticism over her use of a private server as she makes her second bid for the White House, Clinton asked State to make her emails public this past March, and repeated her public push to have them released on the campaign trail this week.

“The best way to answer all questions related to the attacks in Benghazi continues to be having access to the full public record, not a ‘record’ controlled, possessed and screened exclusively by Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyers.”

The State Department initially planned to release them in January 2016, but a federal judge ruled this week that there should be a “rolling production” of the emails, and they must be disclosed publicly in batches before then. Clinton called for State to expedite their release this 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368week in Iowa, saying “nobody has a bigger interest in getting [the emails] released than I do.”

“We will not reach any investigative conclusions until our work is complete, but these emails continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi.”

— Trey Gowdy

A congressional panel investigating the Benghazi attacks, meanwhile, has had the emails related to Benghazi and Libya since February.

Details of Clinton’s email habits that have trickled out over the past few months suggest she used email sparingly, mostly for logistics and to forward information to aides. She’s said previously that she was careful to never use email to exchange classified information, and the initial batch isn’t expected to show otherwise — the highest classification of messages was “sensitive but unclassified.”

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On Thursday, the New York Times published a portion of the emails relating to Benghazi, which include a handful from controversial Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal tipping Clinton off to volatile conditions on the ground in Libya, including one blaming the Benghazi attacks on an anti-Muslim video, which he later walked back. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] WH Coverup Eroding: Documents Show Weapons Going From Benghazi To Syria

The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long.

Thanks to Judicial Watch obtaining new memos, Fox News is now reporting that the Obama administration knew that Benghazi was being used as a hub for the transfer of lethal weapons to Syria back in 2012. Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell suggested to Bret Baier that the CIA wasn’t doing the transferring, but was watching someone else do it.
…(read more)

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HotAir-clip

HotAir‘s Ed Morrissey has this:

…The date of the DIA conclusion (produced by a FOIA lawsuit from Judicial Watch) is remarkable for at least one reason. First, September 16 is an infamous date in the Benghazi timeline, as the date on which Susan Rice did a full Ginsburg to insist that the attack resulted from a spontaneous demonstration tied to an obscure YouTube video.

“The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long.”

Even though the DIA directly contradicted those talking points supplied by the White House to Rice, they continued to insist on using them for another two weeks, including Hillary Clinton. During that period, the Obama administration kept saying that they had no indication that this was a terrorist plot, even though the president of Libya insisted that it was a planned attack on one of the same shows on which Rice appeared.

“Why keep up the pretense? Obama was in the middle of an election, and didn’t want to acknowledge that he’d been caught with his pants down.”

As Catherine Herridge and Martha McCallum point out, the memo tells a lot more of the story than we knew before. The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Former CIA Deputy’s Benghazi Comments Spell Trouble for Hillary

Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, told Bret Baier on Monday’s Special Report that the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attacks was “the most politicized national security issue” he had ever seen. It’s a “telling” statement, says Charles Krauthammer….(read more)

National Review Online


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: TIME Magazine on Campaign 2016: Can Anyone Stop Hillary?

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Kimberly Strassel: Congress’s Entire Benghazi Investigation, We Now Know, Was Based On an Incomplete Record

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Hillary’s Email Escapade

Mrs. Clinton is the sole arbiter here of what is ‘preserved,’ made public, or available to freedom of information requests or to congressional overseers. Don’t think any of this was by accident

Kimberley A. Strasselrenocol_KimStrassel writes: Hillary Clinton has made some disingenuous statements over her political career, but none remotely compare to the tweet she issued Wednesday night: “I want the public to see my email,” she said. This requires—how to say it—a willing suspension of disbelief.

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Mrs. Clinton was referring to the gracious permission she had just bestowed upon the State Department to release her email correspondence as the nation’s former top diplomat. She’s only in a position to grant such favors because it turns out all of her correspondence as Secretary of State was conducted on private email, run out of a server she alone controlled. The Clinton camp has spent this week explaining that none of this was untoward, that no laws were broken, and that she’s being transparent.

 “The beauty of the Clinton home-brew system is that it puts her in total control. She runs the Clinton email cloud. She alone decides what documents to hand to State. This is why her agreement to allow State to release the 55,000 pages she has now sent it is hilariously hollow; she’s agreeing only to the release of emails she’s selectively provided.”

Were you just awakening from a 40-year coma and still a bit fuzzy, this might strike you as remotely plausible. For everyone else who has lived through the Bill and Hill years, this email caper is pure Clinton.

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First, historical context. There are few politicians alive today who have a better understanding than the Clintons of the perils of paper trails—and the benefits of not having them. It really wasn’t all that long ago that Mrs. Clinton was failing to answer questions about how her Rose Law firm billing records vanished. Or using executive privilege to sit on documents that showed her involvement in the Travel Office firings. Or grappling with testimony from a Secret Service agent who said Mrs. Clinton’s top aide had removed files from Vince Foster ’s office. Or explaining her connection to Sandy Berger, who was prosecuted for stealing Clinton-related National Archives records.

“The chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, claims to have evidence of a second Clinton email account. Her team says that’s not true. There’s no way to find out.”

If you don’t think all this wasn’t informing Mrs. Clinton’s decision—on the day of her first confirmation hearing—to register clintonemail.com, you aren’t thinking.

Mrs. Clinton’s decision to ignore records laws also has to be viewed in the context of what she knew. In recent years she served as a senator and secretary of state, where she’d have been through rounds of ethics training. She was working for an Obama administration that had issued guidance requiring employees to use official email accounts. Read the rest of this entry »


Cartoon of the Day

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[VIDEO] Senator Lindsay Graham Responds to the House Intelligence Committee Report

“I think the report is full of crap.”

Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday evening, which took two years to compile, that found there was no outright intelligence failure during the attack, there was no delay in the rescue of U.S. personnel and there was no political cover-up by Obama administration officials. Read the rest of this entry »


REWIND: DOJ Court Documents in Benghazi Suspect Case Put Video Narrative to Rest

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“We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted”

— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Father of SEAL killed in Benghazi

Court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department in the criminal case against Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah provide unprecedented details about the evolution of the assault and further shatter the Obama administration’s initial claim that it sprouted from protests over an anti-Islam film.

The narrative that the video played a role continues to live on, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying recently that some of the attackers may indeed have been influenced by the online video.

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But the Justice Department’s court filings make clear that at least those spearheading the attack were part of a “conspiracy,” one that involved several members of the Ansar al-Sharia “Islamic extremist militia.”

A government motion filed Tuesday seeking Khatallah’s detention provides some of the greatest detail to date on the suspect’s alleged role.

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The motion says that in the days preceding the attack, the defendant “voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi.” According to the motion, a group of 20 or more “armed men,” including militia members, assembled outside the U.S. compound at 9:45 p.m. the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and “aggressively breached” the gate.

They carried rifles, handguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

After breaching the gate, they stole a U.S. vehicle, “forcibly entered” buildings and stole U.S. property.

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“During this initial attack, buildings within the Mission were set on fire,” the court document says, noting that the fires “ultimately led to the deaths” of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Read the rest of this entry »


D.C. Federal Court Today: The Indictment Against Benghazi Suspect Abu Khattala


James Rosen to State Department: Why’d it Take Nearly Two Years to Arrest a Benghazi Suspect Who Wasn’t Hiding?

press-conferenceFor Hot AirAllahpundit writes: Via the Free Beacon, make sure to read Ed’s post earlier to understand just how openly Khattala, the jihadi nabbed by U.S. forces over the weekend, has been living in Libya since the Benghazi attack. He was a prime suspect from the very beginning; he gave multiple interviews to western media in the years since, all but taunting the White House to come pick him up. The criminal charges against him were filed more than nine months ago. Only this month, for some reason, did the military finally move in. How come?

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Shown here is an undated photo of Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala. Libya Herald

Two possibilities. One: The political situation on the ground in Libya changed enough to make a U.S intervention possible. My theory of why Obama laid off initially was because he didn’t want the weak Libyan government to have to cope with a backlash from the local militias if American troops swooped in and kidnapped a big-name jihadi or two.

“I’m old enough to remember when U.S. counterterror developments, especially ‘terror alerts,’ were greeted by our liberal betters online as obviously political gambits by the Bush administration, designed to distract the public from more important matters.”

“Questioning the timing was standard practice for the lefty blogosphere circa 2006. Today, of course, it’s the height of crankery…”

As long as we could monitor Khattala and make sure he didn’t run, we could wait until the government was in a stronger position to make our move. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Goldberg: Hillary Will Treat Benghazi Questions as Ipso Facto Proof of Politicization


Marc Thiessen: Where was Obama During Benghazi? Ask the White House Diarist

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What was President Obama doing during the eight hours that the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack? Amazingly, we still do not know 20 months later.

For The Washington Post, Marc Thiessen writes:

But there is an easy way to find out — just ask the White House diarist. When trying to keep track of the president’s time, most observers look at “WAVE records” (the White House visitors log listing everyone who enters the White House complex) and the “President’s Public Schedule” (which selectively lists the president’s public activities). But there is another document that meticulously records all the president’s activities, public and private, every second of every day. It is called the “President’s Daily Diary.”

[See also: The Day Obama’s Presidency Died]

Just outside the Oval Office is a room called the Outer Oval, where the president’s secretary and personal aide sit and through which all visitors coming to see the president pass. Staff members in the Outer Oval keep track of the president’s location at all times. They carefully record the names of all individuals who walk into the Oval Office — when they entered, how long they stayed, what the topic of discussion was. They keep a record of all calls made and received by the president, including the topic, participants and duration. They even record the president’s bathroom breaks (they write “evacuating” into the log).

[See Sharyl Attkisson’s book: Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington at Amazon.com]

The new congressional select committee on Benghazi should subpoena the “President’s Daily Diary” and call the White House diarist to testify before the committee. There is precedent for doing so. In 1998, the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair questioned White House diarist Ellen McCathran. Moreover, the “President’s Daily Diary” is not a classified document. It eventually becomes a publicly available record. There is no reason to withhold it from Congress. Read the rest of this entry »


Where was Obama? Question Resurfaces of President’s Whereabouts During Benghazi Attack

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Republican senators on Friday put pressure on President Obama to confirm his whereabouts during the night of the Benghazi attack, after an ex-White House spokesman revived the debate by telling Fox News he was not in the Situation Room.

The detail about the president’s location the night of the attack is just one of many revelations that have, in a matter of days, kicked up the controversy to a level not seen since last year. After new emails were released raising questions about the White House response to the attack, a key panel on Friday subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry and House Speaker John Boehner announced a special investigative committee.

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On Friday afternoon, three GOP senators wrote a letter to Obama asking about his whereabouts and spokesman Tommy Vietor’s comments to Fox News.

“Last night, the former Communications Director for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor, stated that on the afternoon and night of September 11, 2012 — while the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was under attack — that you never visited the White House Situation Room to monitor events,” they wrote.

Claiming that Americans still do not have an “accounting of your activities during the attack,” the senators asked him to confirm Vietor’s account. The letter was signed by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

In the earlier interview with Fox News, Vietor said he was in the Situation Room during the Benghazi attack — where four Americans including the U.S. ambassador died — but Obama was not.

He said Obama was in the White House.

“It is well known that when the attack was first briefed to him it was in the Oval Office and he was updated constantly,” Vietor said Thursday, adding he did not know where the president was at all points in the night because he does not have a “tracking device on him.” He said Obama does not have to be in the Situation Room to monitor an ongoing situation. Read the rest of this entry »


REWIND: SPSCI White Paper Talking Points for Use with the Media 14 September 2012

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[VIDEO] Lovell Benghazi Testimony: “The military should have made a response…”

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“There are accounts of time, space and capability discussions of the question, could we have gotten there in time to make a difference. Well, the discussion is not in the “could or could not” in relation to time, space and capability—the point is we should have tried. As another saying goes: ‘Always move to the sound of the guns'”

From HotAir‘s Ed Morrissey:

…The House Oversight Committee heard testimony today from a man near the top of both command structures, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, who served as Deputy Director for Intelligence and Knowledge Development Directorate for AFRICOM at the time of the attack. Lovell insisted that intelligence knew full well that the attack on Benghazi had nothing to do with a YouTube video from the very beginning of the attack:

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Lovell also sternly testified that the US should have provided some kind of response when the attack began. Katie Pavlich reports on his testimony:

“The military should have made a response of some sort”

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Hammer: Times Benghazi Story Written to Defend the Democrats

Charles Krauthammer said on the Special Report that the main purpose of the New York Times Benghazi report, that claimed al-Qaeda was not involved in the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, was to defend Democrats.

The Times editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, said that Republicans are attacking the story out of fear of Hillary Clinton and her potential 2016 presidential run. Krauthammer responded saying that Rosenthal’s defensiveness shows that the reason the Times invested so much time in to the story and put it on the front page was “to protect the Democrats, to deflect the issue, and to protect Hillary who is exposed on this issue.”

“It is obviously a political move,” Krauthammer said.

National Review Online


The Times’ Benghazi Report: Convenient for Clinton

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Take the Grey Lady’s much-ballyhooed story with a heavy dose of skepticism

Elliott Abrams  writes:  The division of the “Hillary for President” campaign known as the New York Timesissued a lengthy white paper on Sunday, entitled “A Deadly Mix In Benghazi.” This article, the paper explained, was based on “months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there . . . ”

In other words, the article is centered on interviews with extremists and terrorists, whose words are taken as gospel. That they may have changed their stories, or be putting forth stories for their own benefit rather than because the new stories are true, is a subtlety beyond the Times.

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The New York Times Whitewashes Benghazi

BenghaziThomas Joscelyn writes:  David D. Kirkpatrick of the New York Times has published a lengthy account of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. While much in Kirkpatrick’s report is not new, the piece is receiving a considerable amount of attention because of this sweeping conclusion: “Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.”

But how much effort did Kirkpatrick expend to uncover any possible al Qaeda ties? Judging by the Times’s glaring omissions, not much.

Kirkpatrick’s piece totals more than 7,000 words and yet he fingers only one suspect out of the dozens who took part in the attack. Another suspect, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, is briefly mentioned, but only then to dismiss the notion of his involvement.

Left out of the Times’s account are the many leads tying the attackers to al Qaeda’s international network.

For instance, there is no mention of Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, an Egyptian, in Kirkpatrick’s retelling. This is odd, for many reasons.

Read the rest of this entry »