Remember the scandalous old gang from the Nineties? Joe Conanson is down for a reunion tour!
Haas Washington learned nothing from Whitewater? The Clintons have spent their entire political lives in the capital dogged by one fake scandal after another. And, as we’ve been reminded this week, the fake villain in many of their fake scandals always seems to be the same: Sidney Blumenthal
By leaking emails between Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton to the New York Times, the House Select Committee on Benghazi majority staff evidently aimed to frame Blumenthal into a sinister narrative of Libyan intrigue, encouraging dark suspicions about his work for the Clinton Foundation and his relationship with the former Secretary of State. The fact that Blumenthal was paid some $10,000 a month for working at the Clinton Foundation doesn’t change anything: This remains a fake scandal that will fail to turn up any real wrongdoing.
Having known Sid for nearly 40 years, I feel confident predicting that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the committee chair, will find nothing to substantiate the fantasies marketed by his staff to the Times, which set the stage for Blumenthal’s subpoena and deposition in a political show trial that will unfold sometime in the coming weeks. Sid passed along information that he thought might be useful to his friend, the secretary of state—someone he has known for nearly 30 years and with whom he worked closely in the Clinton administration.
There is a bunch more if you want to read it. It looks like they have added a few more verses to the old refrain of “Nothing to See Here, Let’s Move On”. You might recall that Joe Conanson had that solo hit “The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton” after the old band broke up.
It’s so exciting to see everyone getting back together to help Hillary. Sid and Joe are in, and I’m sure George and James will be happy to come along for another rollicking fun-fest of sleaze and spin.
Seriously though, I remember the Nineties. I supported Bill Clinton twice. I defended him while he was in office and then after his two terms were up. I supported and defended Hillary too. I do not suffer from Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
Those “fake” scandals involved quite a bit of corruption and criminal activity, even if nothing directly incriminating the Clintons was found. Close friends and business associates of Bill and Hillary went to prison. But I don’t want to rehash the Nineties.
Hillary Clinton took over as Secretary of State in January 2009. For the first few years of the Obama administration she mostly stayed out of the media spotlight as the attention was focused on domestic policy failures like the Stimulus and Obamacare.
That changed with Arab Spring:
The 2011 Egyptian protests posed the biggest foreign policy crisis for the administration yet. Clinton’s public response quickly evolved from an early assessment that the government of Hosni Mubarak was “stable”, to a stance that there needed to be an “orderly transition [to] a democratic participatory government”, to a condemnation of violence against the protesters. Obama came to rely upon Clinton’s advice, organization, and personal connections in the behind-the-scenes response to developments. As Arab Spring protests spread throughout the region, Clinton was at the forefront of a U.S. response that she recognized was sometimes contradictory, backing some regimes while supporting protesters against others. As the Libyan Civil War took place, Clinton’s shift in favor of military intervention aligned her with Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and National Security Council figure Samantha Power and was a key turning point in overcoming internal administration opposition from Defense Secretary Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan in gaining the backing for, and Arab and U.N. approval of, the 2011 military intervention in Libya. She later used U.S. allies and what she called “convening power” to help keep the Libyan rebels unified as they eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime.
We all know how that turned out. Four Americans dead, a consulate burned and a region in chaos. It was a major failure of policy as well as incompetent administration. Even worse, they lied to the American people.
That is a real scandal.
Benghazi was the tipping point for me. That was before all these new revelations about the Clinton Global Slush Fund and secret email accounts.
Considering all the new information that continues to be unearthed by reporters and investigators it boggles the mind that a journalist would declare that “This remains a fake scandal that will fail to turn up any real wrongdoing.”
But then only an idiot would mistake Joe Conanason for a journalist.