Small window opens on Hillary’s emails, and the view isn’t good, particularly of Benghazi.
The New York Times has extensive reporting on the first partial batch of Hillary emails released to the public regarding Libya.
This is only the first batch, and of course, we don’t know what was deleted from her private server.
The bottom line is that the relationship with Sidney Blumenthal is as suspicious as suspected, Hillary knew the video story was a crock, and most of all, the entirety so far demonstrates why Hillary sought to hide her activities for so long.
The Times obtained about a third of the 850 pages of emails. They appear to back up Mrs. Clinton’s previous assertions that she did not receive classified information at her private email address.
But some of the emails contain what the government calls “sensitive” information or “SBU’’ — sensitive but unclassified. This includes details of the whereabouts of State Department officials in Libya when security there was deteriorating during the 2011 revolution. One email from a year and a half before the attacks that was marked sensitive but unclassified contained the whereabouts of Mr. Stevens as he considered leaving Benghazi during the uprising against the Qaddafi regime because of the deteriorating security.
That’s of great interest, because foreign hacking of the home server has been a huge concern, and not just from foreign governments. How did al Quada affiliates know where Ambassador Chris Stevens would be? At least on the date of the above email they could have obtained the information from Hillary’s emails.
Gizmodo, part of the Gawker Media group, has a caustic take on Hillary’s security lapses:
Below you’ll find 349 pages from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s old inbox, pages that were stored on a private server at her home in New York. (The State Department plans on releasing about 850 total pages of email from Clinton’s servers.) Clinton says she didn’t want to use her official State Department email address because she didn’t want to fumble with more than one device. That’s bullshit.
But anyways, about these emails. The only thing you really need to know is that Clinton did communicate “sensitive but unclassified” information over her homebrew email system. That’s not as bad as sending classified or top secret information over a system of questionable security, but it does support the argument that this email boondoggle is a political nightmare.
That same Times article reports perhaps a more startling revelation — Hillary knew from day one that blaming the attack on a video was bogus — but does anyone remember her saying so publicly as the Obama administration spun the video motive?
The emails also show that Mrs. Clinton was circulating information about the attacks in Benghazi that contradicted the Obama administration’s initial narrative of what occurred, and that she was concerned about how Republicans could use the incidents to undermine President Obama.
The Times has a separate article on the Sidney Blumenthal relationship and influence peddling, A Closer Look at Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi:
Blumenthal Memos Were Often Circulated Without Identifying Their Source
From 2011 to 2012, Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend and confidant who was a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign, sent her at least 25 memos about Libya, including several about the Benghazi attacks. Mrs. Clinton forwarded most of them to Jake Sullivan, her trusted foreign policy adviser. Mr. Sullivan would then send the memos along to other senior State Department officials, asking for their feedback. There is no evidence those officials were told that the memos were from Mr. Blumenthal. In April 2012, J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador who died in the Benghazi attacks, was asked by Mr. Sullivan to provide his thoughts on the latest information “from HRC friend.” (Pages 127-128) 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.
Blumenthal initially pushed the movie motive, but quickly revealed from his sources that it was an organized attack, contradicting the Obama administration and campaign public relations strategy:
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)
Second Memo Provides Detailed Account of Benghazi
The next day, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a more thorough account of what had occurred. Citing “sensitive sources” in Libya, the memo provided extensive detail about the episode, saying that the siege had been set off by members of Ansar al-Shariah, the Libyan terrorist group. Those militants had ties to Al Qaeda, had planned the attacks for a month and had used a nearby protest as cover for the siege, the memo said. “We should get this around asap” Mrs. Clinton said in an email to Mr. Sullivan. “Will do,” he responded. That information contradicted the Obama administration’s narrative at the time about what had spawned the attacks. Republicans have said the administration misled the country about the attacks because it did not want to undermine the notion that President Obama, who was up for re-election, was winning the war on terrorism. (Pages 200-203)
Ed Morrissey has a big picture take on the significance:
Knowing this, the decision by Hillary to send Susan Rice to do the full Ginsburg on September 16th with those phony talking points looks a lot more understandable. As Secretary of State, that task should have fallen to Hillary Clinton, not the then-UN Ambassador, who was out of the loop. Rice, however, wasn’t planning on running for President in 2016. With Blumenthal’s e-mail in on the 13th (and the DIA’s corroboration later), Hillary would have known better than to get stuck on video telling the whoppers that Rice ended up delivering on Obama’s behalf.
What else may be coming out of the e-mails? They’re looking a lot more interesting than we might have suspected.
Social media is just starting the vetting process, not just of the emails but of The Times reporting as well:
Gee, maybe that's because #Hillary & her staff DELETED any emails that'd prove otherwise??
— justturnright (@justturnright) May 21, 2015
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