Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I read that damn New York Times story, and while it gives me pause to learn that Sidney Blumenthal was sending Hillary Clinton emails on Libya, based on his experience as a neophyte in the country trying to get various businesses started up, it doesn't look as if his "intel" was taken very seriously:
Not infrequently, Mrs. Clinton’s subordinates replied to the memos with polite skepticism.

In April 2012, [Ambassador Chris] Stevens took issue with a Blumenthal memo raising the prospect that the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was poised to make gains in the coming parliamentary elections. The Brotherhood fared poorly in the voting.

Another American diplomat read the memo, noting that Mrs. Clinton’s source appeared to have confused Libyan politicians with the same surname.

Mrs. Clinton herself sometimes seemed skeptical. After reading a March 2012 memo from Mr. Blumenthal, describing a plan by French and British intelligence officials to encourage tribal leaders in eastern Libya to declare a “semiautonomous” zone there, Mrs. Clinton wrote to [deputy chief of staff Jake] Sullivan, “This one strains credulity.”

Mr. Sullivan agreed, telling Mrs. Clinton, “It seems like a thin conspiracy theory.”
And while as a rule it's helpful to have friends in high places if you're doing business, it doesn't seem to have done Blumenthal much good in Libya:
Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government. The venture ... was ultimately unsuccessful....

The projects -- creating floating hospitals to treat Libya’s war wounded and temporary housing for displaced people, and building schools -- would have required State Department permits, but foundered before the business partners could seek official approval.

... their plans sputtered....
I'm reminded of another recent Times story, about attempts by Hillary's brother Tony Rodham to take advantage of his relationship with Hillary and Bill. Having relatives in high places doesn't seem to have helped Rodham much:
On and off for two decades, the affable Mr. Rodham has tried to use his connections with his sister and his brother-in-law, former President Bill Clinton, to further a business career that has seen more failures than successes....

When Mr. Clinton worked as a co-chairman of Haiti’s earthquake recovery commission, Mr. Rodham and his partners sought a $22 million deal to rebuild homes in the country....

Mr. Rodham’s Haiti project never did happen....

Mr. Rodham described his dire financial situation during ... court proceedings in 2012. As a result of a series of failed business deals -- including some in oil and gas, water, housing, tutoring and pharmaceuticals -- he said he had not made a mortgage payment in 10 months and was fighting home foreclosure.
There's impropriety here -- but it doesn't amount to much. You may think the Clintons are sleazy corrupt-o-crats, but if so, they're not very good at it.


Joseph Nobles said...

She responded to a press question today about this: “He's been a friend of mine for a long time," Clinton told reporters Tuesday. "I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are."

There was more to the answer, but that's the nub of it.

Roger said...

Chris Hitch is rolling over in his grave. At the same rate as the earth is rotating on its axis.

Ken_L said...

The right's tactics for discrediting Hillary remind me of the Journolist 'scandal'. "Look what they're doing! And keeping it secret (meaning we only just found out about it)! It's a situation where someone could do something wrong!! This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt they did bad things!!!"

Once a Republican frontrunner emerges, assuming that ever happens, it will be interesting to see how the same tactics are applied to him.