Patterico's Pontifications

5/21/2015

Sidney Blumenthal’s Benghazi Emails

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:34 am



[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times provides a closer look at Hillary Clinton’s released emails. Unsurprisingly, just a few days after Clinton brushed off the possibility that Sidney Blumenthal was anything more than just an old friend to keep her from being caught in a bubble of public life, we find out he was far more than that. Without ever identifying the source, Clinton would forward his emails regarding Benghazi to her foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, who would then forward them to other senior State Officials for feedback.

Note: “Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said that Mr. Blumenthal had not been working for the government in any official capacity at the time and that his emails to Mrs. Clinton had not been solicited.”

On the Benghazi attacks:

The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.”

The second day after the attacks:

In a second memo the next day, Blumenthal noted “sensitive sources” in Libya said Ansar al-Sharia, an Al Qaeda-backed terror group, had planned the attacks for a month and used the protest as a cover. That information contradicted the official White House narrative at the time about the attacks’ genesis.

“We should get this around asap” Mrs. Clinton said in an email to Mr. Sullivan.”

Further:

Blumenthal also flagged a Salon article for Clinton on Oct. 1, 2012, addressing the “Jimmy Carter Strategy,” that warned of the Republicans’ potential intent to exploit the Benghazi attacks to damage President Barack Obama a month before the election. Clinton then forwarded the message to Sullivan.

“Be sure Ben knows they need to be ready for this line of attack,” Clinton wrote, referencing deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

In another email, this one sent to chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Clinton noted an NPR report that refuted the earlier narrative that there had been a demonstration.

“I just heard an npr report about the CIA station chief in Tripoli sending a cable on 9/12 saying there was no demo etc. Do you know about this?” she wrote in an Oct. 19, 2012, message.

Mills responded: “Have not seen – will see if we can get.

–Dana

38 Responses to “Sidney Blumenthal’s Benghazi Emails”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. This explains a lot …

    In Memo, Blumenthal Initially Blames Demonstrators for Attacks

    The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.” Mrs. Clinton forwarded the memo to Mr. Sullivan, saying “More info.” (Pages 193-195)

    …. looks like ‘Mrs. Clinton’ believed Blumenthal over the CIA.

    Apparently, her greatest accomplishment was to be parochial (i.e. limited in range or scope) minded.

    Neo (d1c681)

  3. I’m unclear whether Sid Vicious was employed by the Clinton Foundation at any time during Hillary’s tenure in the Senate or reign at State or whether he was just seeking to further the interests of undisclosed business partners.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  4. i love her boobies though

    they’re potentially historic

    like fossils!

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  5. She’s a blooming idiot. Even before these emails were released people were pointing out that anyone who would trust sid vidious doesn’t have the judgement to be dog catcher let alone President.

    I hope this comes out. I hope it comes out that the protest meme came over her home brew server and she decided to go with that over vetted intel and reports from people on the ground.

    Recall by this time she would have had the her own DoS Diplomatic Security Command Center’s timeline. The agent in the Benghazi Diplomatic Facility’s operation center’s first indication of trouble was a phone call saying “We’re under attack!”

    There was no demonstration.

    Yet she went with Blumenthal over her own DSS agent who was right there monitoring the security cameras.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  6. I just noticed a detail. This even reflects worse on Hillary! than I thought.

    …In another email, this one sent to chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Clinton noted an NPR report that refuted the earlier narrative that there had been a demonstration.

    “I just heard an npr report about the CIA station chief in Tripoli sending a cable on 9/12 saying there was no demo etc. Do you know about this?” she wrote in an Oct. 19, 2012, message.

    Mills responded: “Have not seen – will see if we can get…

    Steven’s own deputy in Tripoli knew there was no demonstration. Diplomatic Security knew there was no demonstration.

    She must have been so disengaged she didn’t even bother talking to her own people.

    Maybe she didn’t even know State has a Diplomatic Security Command Center.

    It’s October and the first she hears that there was no demonstration is on NPR?

    Maybe Obama really only finds out what’s going on in his own organization when he sees it on TV.

    Hillary! seems to have the same management style. If you can call it a manageement style.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  7. I think we need a Voxsplainer on this.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. at this point, what difference does any of this make?

    redc1c4 (34e91b)

  9. Greetings:

    And those lying lips, having again lied, lied on.

    11B40 (0f96be)

  10. What always floors me about these petty political machinations is how the high and mighty take our security and prosperity as a given. War and other catastrophes cannot touch us. Why, what could the fall of Libya possibly have to do with us? Why fret?

    It’s all about career, how can I spin this to further my career.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  11. Unfit for any office. She clearly demonstrates a lack of engagement (let alone honesty or a sense of common decency) even when the stakes are high.

    Colonel Haiku (9fca6c)

  12. It takes an incompetent village all the way down…

    Colonel Haiku (9fca6c)

  13. she’s like the worst grandmother ever

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  14. They can’t hide those lying, hyena lips.

    Colonel Haiku (9fca6c)

  15. “Unfit for any office. She clearly demonstrates a lack of engagement (let alone honesty or a sense of common decency) even when the stakes are high.”

    Colonel – But can she make brownies?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. How far we’ve fallen. I’m reading volume 3 of Martin Gilbert’s biography of Winston Churchill, The Challenge of War, 1914-1916 (Kindle version,) and it is discouraging to contrast the engagement of the British government in it’s bungling of WWI with that of the utter incompetence of the present administration when confronted with small and manageable problems. Gilbert wrote this volume in 1971, and he had access to numerous diaries and letters that describe the intense and vigorous discussions that went on in Asquith’s government. Gilbert’s description far surpasses any of Winston’s books on the subject because Winston did not have knowledge of these sources. What I’ve come away with so far is that even with intense effort, honest men of good will can screw things up. We are about to learn what slackers and liars can accomplish with indifference and a love of chaos.

    bobathome (77a327)

  17. The Republicans are going to have to have a different selling point than Hillary’s untrustworthy, or even inept. The general public has long known that the Clintons’ closets are full of skeletons, some of which remained undiscovered, I’m sure. They don’t care. Hillary Clinton represents something, to many, that the general public yearn to regain or redress.

    Some look longingly back to the Clinton years as a time of peace and prosperity, when although the parties squabbled, they managed to get things done. That was more a product of the times than it was of the presidency or the congressional personalities, in my opinion. I also think people became inured to Clintonian scandals because they’re expected to be scandalous and salacious but they were generally, to borrow from Douglas Adams, “mostly harmless.”

    The Republicans don’t have to persuade the general populace that Hillary Clinton can’t be trusted – they already know that and they don’t care. They have to persuade them the Republican candidate, whoever that may be, should be trusted AND preferred. That’s a tall order because a significant portion of our population wouldn’t vote for the Republican candidate, even if that candidate were their own mother. (And, yes, I know there are kneejerk Republican voters too but Republicans can’t count on nearly complete support from any immutable demographic).

    Lorem Ipsum (cee048)

  18. No honest American citizen (Republican, Independent or Democrat) can walk into the polls feeling good about the prospect of Hillary Clinton as our next President knowing she sold out Uncle Sam’s interests for contributions to the Clinton Foundation, that she concealed her malfeasance by hiding official email records, and that she has the Blood of Benghazi on her hands.

    Voters know she’s a liar and a crook, and when push comes to shove and they’re alone in the voting booth a great many of them won’t be able to sacrifice their own integrity on the alter of her corruption.

    ropelight (b7f77f)

  19. 7. I think we need a Voxsplainer on this.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/21/2015 @ 7:48 am

    Maybe I wasn’t clear. Look at the date on this exchange.

    In another email, this one sent to chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Clinton noted an NPR report that refuted the earlier narrative that there had been a demonstration.

    “I just heard an npr report about the CIA station chief in Tripoli sending a cable on 9/12 saying there was no demo etc. Do you know about this?” she wrote in an Oct. 19, 2012, message.

    Mills responded: “Have not seen – will see if we can get.

    Now, look at the date on this.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/10/198791.htm

    Background Briefing on Libya

    Office of the Spokesperson
    Background Conference Call With Senior State Department Officials
    Washington, DC
    October 9, 2012

    …About 7:30 in the evening, he has his last meeting. It is with a Turkish diplomat. And at – when the meeting is over, at 8:30 – he has all these meetings, by the way, in what I call Building C – when the meeting is over, he escorts the Turkish diplomat to the main gate. There is an agent there with them. They say goodbye. They’re out in a street in front of the compound. Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m. There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.

    …First question is from the line of Anne Gearan with the Washington Post. Please go ahead.

    QUESTION: Hi. You said a moment ago that there was nothing unusual outside, on the street, or outside the gates of the main compound. When did the agents inside – what – excuse me, what did the agents inside think was happening when the first group of men gathered there and they first heard those explosions? Did they think it was a protest, or did they think it was something else?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The agent in the TOC heard the noise, heard the firing. Firing is not unusual in Benghazi at 9:40 at night, but he immediately reacted and looked at his cameras and saw people coming in, hit the alarm. And the rest is as I described it. Does that help?

    …OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Brad Klapper with AP. Please, go ahead.

    QUESTION: Hi, yes. You described several incidents you had with groups of men, armed men. What in all of these events that you’ve described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That is a question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion. I’m not saying that we had a conclusion, but we outlined what happened. The Ambassador walked guests out around 8:30 or so, there was no one on the street at approximately 9:40, then there was the noise and then we saw on the cameras the – a large number of armed men assaulting the compound.

    Hillary! is taken off guard on 19 October when she hears an NPR report about the CIA station chief saying there was no demonstration. So she asks Cheryl Mills about it.

    But 10 days earlier her own senior officials brief the press that it was never there conclusion there were ever any protests. That everything had been quiet all day right up until Ansar al Sharia launched the assault.

    How could she possibly be taken off guard by that NPR report? Did she simply believe sid vicious? Does she have any idea what’s even going on in her own Department?

    There may be an explanation for this but the only one I can think of is that she’s wildly incompetent. That she thought the State Department would run itself and she had no interest in what her underlings were up to. She just wanted the job for so she brag about flying a bazillion miles and all the leaders she met in the book she’s going to write that will propel her to the WH, and get the photo ops to prove she’s so experienced.

    I put these two together and she looks entirely clueless and in way over her head. We all know she hasn’t achieved anything ever. But it could be that she is just so unaccomplished that she didn’t even know she ought to be paying attention at least to what was going on in her Department. Especially after something like Benghazi.

    Does anyone else have another take? An alternate explanation?

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  20. Steve, perhaps Hillary’s question to Cheryl Mills wasn’t about the sequence of events in Benghazi at all, but about NPR contradicting the Administration’s fairy tale. That’s how I read it.

    ropelight (b7f77f)

  21. That’s how I read it too, ropelight. The point is her own senior officials gave a briefing to the press ten days earlier that contradicted the administration’s fairy tale.

    October 9 senior officials in her own Department told the press there was no demonstration.

    October 19 she seems to be learning it for the first time from NPR.

    It seems that information never filtered up to the Hildebeest. She had to hear it on NPR.

    Blumenthal told her there was a demonstration and she just took his word and never bothered to check with her own people. Because she doesn’t know a damned thing about managing a pizza hut let alone a large complex organization it never occurred her she should.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  22. ropelight, why did you think I was saying anything about the sequence of events?

    If you look at the parts I bolded, the takeaway is it had been calm all day. Nothing unusual happened until the assault force started shooting.

    Meaning, no demonstration.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  23. I’s say Hillary knew the story was falling apart and decided to write a note to a fellow co-conspirator to cover her sorry ass when the other shoe fell.

    ropelight (b7f77f)

  24. The other shoe fell 10 days earlier when her own senior officials told the Washington post, the AP, Eli Lake, et al that everything had been calm and quiet all day. And when the press asked where did Hillary! and Prom Queen and the rest of the Klown Kar posse get the idea there had been a demonstration the senior officials said, “ask somebody else, we have no clue where they got the idea.

    But now we do. Sydney Blumenthal. It seems only the amateurs in the Freshman dorm administration were stupid enough to believe that story.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  25. I don’t think anybody believed the story, I think it was the most convenient excuse they could come up with on the spur of the moment to avoid an immediate investigation which would reveal the gun running operation (the creation of ISIS) till they could cover their tracks, make witnesses disappear, force the military leadership into silence, and let the Administration’s allies in Congress and in the media muddy the waters.

    ropelight (b7f77f)

  26. “But now we do. Sydney Blumenthal. It seems only the amateurs in the Freshman dorm administration were stupid enough to believe that story.”

    Steve57 – Hillary pitched the demonstration against the video meme the night of 9/11/12 mirroring what was said about the Cairo demonstrations. The Blumenthal email was dated 9/12.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. ropelight, do you not understand? She would have known the story was falling apart at the very least two weeks earlier if she had been minimally competent. Had she been have been in the loop to approve the background briefing her senior officials had prepared to provide to the press.

    Apparently she’s too stupid to know that she should have been in the loop. No doubt she expects one of the little people take care of those kinds of things.

    What I’m saying is that this is a chance for a perfect Perry Mason moment.

    Gowdy: When you heard that NPR report on the 19th of October, Secretary Clinton, was that the first indication you had that there might not have been any demonstration.

    Clinton: Yes, Congressman Gowdy. Up until that time the best intelligence we had was that this was simply a spontaneous attack that grew out of demonstration about a disgusting anti-muslim video.

    Gowdy: But on the 9th of October your own State Department told the press the very same thing you heard on NPR. There was no demonstration. Shouldn’t you as Secretary of State have known that was your Department’s position?

    Clinton: (goes all bug-eyed bobble head, then head explodes)

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  28. She seems to trust Blumenthal, daley. Which, again, means she does not have the judgement to be President.

    She may have taken that 9/12 email as the gold standard of corroboration.

    But I can’t see why that NPR story about the station chief saying there was no demonstration would have gotten her so interested unless she believed there had been.

    Except ror this; she knew there was no demonstration and thought this was the first leak to the press that threatened to expose them. Not knowing her own officials had already briefed the press that no one on site had seen anything unusual at all. Especially not a demonstration.

    Either way I think it makes her look incredibly incompetent.

    Unless you have a different take on it.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  29. #27, Steve asked: ropelight, do you not understand?

    I believe I do understand your point, but given the magnitude of the overall issue it’s in the noise – yesterday’s news – just one more indication of something we’ve all known for a long time now. Playing Gotcha! with someone who’s already got.

    ropelight (b7f77f)

  30. people who put Obama back in office, did believe it, along with ‘you can keep your plan’ they believe 5 impossible things before lunch,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  31. She won’t be got until she’s wearing a jumpsuit in club fed.

    We’re dealing with a very delusional crowd. So delusional that they may actually have believed their own lies. After all, Hillary! thought that BS reporting about Libya she was getting from Blumenthal was so good she made her top people dirty themselves and read it. It’s possible the 9/12 email from him convinced her the 9/11 lie really wasn’t a lie and there really had been a demonstration at the embassy.

    And Obama still insist that Yemen is a model of how to successfully combat a terrorist insurgency. Because it’s his model. So it must be perfect.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/delusional-white-house-calls-isis-strategy-a-success.php

    So on Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest was pressed on how the president’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” ISIS is going. Overall, Earnest said, the president’s strategy has been a success:

    We are not dealing with normal people here. There’s something very wrong with them. Obama and Hillary! have several things in common, but two of them are outsized egos based upon a hallucinatory faith in their non-existent super competence and thin skins and glass jaws.

    Hopefully we can watch Hillary! melt down under questioning when she testifies before the select committee.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  32. 31. people who put Obama back in office, did believe it, along with ‘you can keep your plan’ they believe 5 impossible things before lunch,

    narciso (ee1f88) — 5/21/2015 @ 1:44 pm

    And 2 of those 5 things are in direct contradiction to two of the remaining three.

    Steve57 (fb1453)

  33. Ben Rhodes also ate it up to protect Obola. Lots of blame to go around.

    But yes, it was a cover up. Period.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  34. oh the gallows
    on the potomac
    river red with justice

    mg (31009b)

  35. It was criminal activity to win an election. Sid B. should be serving time.

    Birdbath (3be0e2)

  36. Hillary! testified in January 2013:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/clinton-denies-delay-in-benghazi-response-despite-accounts/

    Clinton, while pushing back against Johnson, also said she was not involved in crafting the controversial statements that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice made on Sept. 16 — in which she asserted the attack was “spontaneous” and linked to a protest.

    “I wasn’t involved in the talking points process,” Clinton said, though she said she wasn’t aware of anything that would have “contradicted” the information Rice had at the time. She noted that “going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing,” a possible reference to claims that she declined to go on television Sept. 16.

    The 9/13 Blumenthal email impeaches her testimony. She was at least aware of that.

    But she might claim that she didn’t think Blumenthal was a reliable source. Which is true, but begs the question, why did she pass around his intel reports through her departments? She has said she also wants to have sources of information outside the government “bubble.” But why, if you don’t believe those sources?

    The DIA memo is dated 9/16. It would be legitimate for Hillary! to say that when Rice went on those Sunday shows on 9/16 she wasn’t yet aware of that memo.

    What she can’t get out from under is why she wasn’t aware of all the information within her own department that would have contradicted what Rice said on those 9/16 Sunday talk shows. Given that all the evacuees were debriefed by 9/14 and said there were no protests. Given that her DS Command Center had been in communications with the Benghazi Tactical Operations Center on the night of 9/11 and reported no protets.

    The bottom line is the Republicans on the Select Committee for Benghazi have all they need to eviscerate this woman. They need to expose her as not just a liar and corrupt but also as an incompetent. For the good of the country.

    There will still be her fan club who will vote for her because of her lady parts. Point out that Carly Fiorina has lady parts. And if they insist no Republican can have lady parts then defriend them. In real life, because they hate this country.

    Steve57 (fb1453)


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