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Hillary-Obama or Hillary v. Obama on Benghazi spin?

Hillary-Obama or Hillary v. Obama on Benghazi spin?

Did Hillary Clinton disagree with Obama on using the video lie to handle the Benghazi spin, despite the fact that she ultimately went along with it?

Did Hillary Clinton disagree with Obama on using the video lie to handle the Benghazi spin, despite the fact that she ultimately went along with it?

Edward Klein, whose book Blood Feud purports to give the inside scoop on the Obamas and the Clintons and the fact that there’s no love lost between the two couples, says that’s what happened.

Klein is a curious figure. A former New York Times Magazine and Newsweek editor, he would appear to have peerless liberal MSM credentials. But after leaving those publications he turned to writing expose-type biographies that have not been kind to their liberal subjects:

His former colleagues wonder how he emerged as a combative conservative targeting powerful liberals. Klein acknowledges hawkish sentiments as far back as the Vietnam War, but while working at Newsweek and the Times he realized that “it was not my business to push my personal ideology through the pages.”

He believes he has suffered not only for turning his back on the mainstream media world but also for succeeding as an outsider in the exclusive realm of conservative commentary. The left reviles him, and the right has yet to embrace him.

In other words, nobody quite trusts him, although he swears that each fact he publishes has been confirmed by two reliable and knowledgeable sources. Who knows? Reading a few excerpts from his book, I am suspicious. Although some may be true, it has the ring of gossip, and much of it falls into the category of What You Imagine Could Be True, as well as featuring some dialogue more in the style of Grade B novels.

Take his tale about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reaction the night of Benghazi. It is distinguished by being plausible, but that doesn’t mean it actually happened this way:

“Hillary was stunned when she heard the president talk about the Benghazi attack,” one of her top legal advisers said in an interview. “Obama wanted her to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video on the Internet that demeaned the Prophet Mohammed.”

This adviser continued: “Hillary told Obama, ‘Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.’ But the president was adamant. He said, ‘Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible.’”

It’s possible, of course, that it happened just that way, with Hillary reluctant to go along. It’s also possible it didn’t happen that way at all, and Hillary just wants you to think that, finally freed of Obama’s pernicious influence and elected president on her own, she would have handled it a lot differently and a lot better.

At any rate, the story continues with her calling Bill for advice. This is very believable, too:

Hillary’s legal adviser provided further detail: “During their phone call, Bill started playing with various doomsday scenarios, up to and including the idea that Hillary consider resigning as secretary of state over the issue. But both he and Hillary quickly agreed that resigning wasn’t a realistic option.

If her resignation hurt Obama’s chances of winning re-election, her fellow Democrats would never forgive her. Hillary was already thinking of running for president in 2016, and her political future, as well as Obama’s, hung in the balance.”

Whether that’s what actually happened or not in the case of Hillary, if she or any other politician in her position had been in deep disagreement with the way Obama wanted to handle the Benghazi fallout (or Benghazi itself), the only recourse that person would have had would have been to resign.

Talk about profiles in courage! It would have taken extraordinary guts to have resigned—because, as Klein indicates, it would have been the equivalent of stabbing herself and Obama and her party in the back simultaneously, for the sake of principle. I wonder how many politicians today would have acquitted themselves well had they been faced with that decision? Very few, if any. Politics is a dirty game, and it either attracts those with no principles at all in the first place, or encourages people to jettison their principles as time goes by if they want to get ahead.

I also wonder something else: if, faced with such a decision, a Secretary of State had resigned in protest, how would that person’s subsequent political fortunes have gone? My guess is that the answer is “not very well,” but I would like to think that such an act of patriotism and devotion to truth would cause a groundswell of popular support. People say they want public figures with integrity, but do they? And could they recognize them if they ever saw them?

Or do we get the politicians we deserve?

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Comments

So.

Which is worse…

1. Hill-larry lies about Benghazi over the coffins of the dead while looking their survivors in the eye, or…

2. Hill-larry lies about Benghazi over the coffins of the dead while looking their survivors in the eye?

Hmm…???

“I also wonder something else: if, faced with such a decision, a Secretary of State had resigned in protest, how would that person’s subsequent political fortunes have gone?”

At least we are spared the trauma of knowing the answer to that one.

So Hillary just admitted that when under pressure she will cave.

I heard Ed Klein on Lou Dobbs last night describe the above ‘situation’.

By any account the bottom line remains the same: Hillary made a political decision and not a humane decision.

There is no honor among the so-called elite any longer. Once Janet Reno was able to “take responsibility” for what happened in Waco without resigning, it became abundantly clear that words not actions were all that mattered.

Even though his positions may have appalled me on a variety of levels, I retain great admiration for a man I believe to have been the most honorable public servant of my lifetime (about 58 years) — Cyrus Vance, Sr., Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State. When he disagreed with the President’s policy, opposing the attempt to rescue those held as hostages in Iran beginning in 1979, he resigned. This is the true measure of a man (or woman) and today’s political classes come up woefully short on this score.

In the end, all that matters to these people is power and/or access to the powerful. If there was any doubt about this, just look at Chuck Schumer. When the President takes a position or submits a nomination that is really beyond the pale (see Chuck Hagel; see John Kerry), the Schumer response is yes, sir, may I have another? (BTW, because it is only about power and not about responsible governing for the party of the KKK, I have vowed never, ever, to vote for a Democrat for any office for the remainder of my natural born days).

When one considers that the world is falling down around him, the President’s insistence on interacting with the world as he wishes it were, not as it really is not merely indicative of a lack of any maturity, but has created a clear and present danger to the United States. This guy rivals James Buchanan on any list of the worst presidents in US history (heck, we’d be doing better with Jimmy Carter; at least he learned).

But, as they say, don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for him.

I will stop now.

His former colleagues wonder how he emerged as a combative conservative targeting powerful liberals.

A curious thesis. Noticing the crass missteps of liberals is not what qualifies one to be a conservative. Klein can be an opponent of The Collective and still be a leftist. He can’t be a good Party drone whilst acknowledging the Party’s crimes against humanity, but there are certainly non-Party leftists.

Klein acknowledges hawkish sentiments as far back as the Vietnam War

Another bizarre statement; that also has nothing at all to do with conservatism, either then or now. It’s like nobody remembers that the Vietnam War was a creation of the Democrats. Ask the typical “man in the street” about Vietnam, and he’ll probably say, “What’s a Vietnam?” If he’s sharper than average, he’ll say that it was Nixon’s war. But of course Nixon ended it. The feeble attempt to funnel in reinforcements disguised as “advisers” was pure Kennedy, and the seemingly endless prolongation of the festering wound was 100% Johnson. To pin Vietnam hawkishness on American conservatism, one has to be ignorant or rabid.

It would have taken extraordinary guts to have resigned—because, as Klein indicates, it would have been the equivalent of stabbing herself and Obama and her party in the back simultaneously, for the sake of principle.

When Nixon told AG Elliott Richardson to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, Richardson refused, and instead resigned. His number 2 at the Justice Dept, William Ruckelshaus, did the same. The next in line, Robert Bork, then fired Cox and was forever after branded as Nixon’s hatchet man. Richardson subsequently had posts in the Ford administration, and there was some talk of him being a Presidential candidate, but he apparently chose to not challenge Ford for the nomination in 1976.

Resignation is far from the worst thing one can do, even in politics.

I agree that Elliot Richardson was an honorable man (in fact, I wrote him in for President in 1976 since I could not stand either Ford or Carter). But the separation of powers doctrine mandated that the President had the power to fire Cox, since at the time there was no independent counsel law and thus, Cox was a member of the executive branch headed by the President. So, somebody had to fire Cox, and I think Bork has said he did not want to pass that buck to a subordinate.

I say this just to point out that the hatchet man characterization remains an unfair one.

This just confirms what most of us already thought.

Namely, that Hillary knew damn well that the video story was BS, and she refused to be a scapegoat for Obama.

Hence why it was Rice lying about it instead of Hillary.

Also, notice that everything was calculated for HER benefit. She didn’t care that people died and Obama was lying about it. All she cared about was whether it was going to affect HER.

    Observer in reply to Olinser. | June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

    It wasn’t just Susan Rice lying about the videotape. Hillary stood with Obama at the airport, over the returning coffins of her “good friend” Chris Stevens and the three other dead Americans from Benghazi, and told the bereaved family members that the administration would get the person responsible — they were going to arrest the YouTube filmmaker!

    It’s true that Rice did the Sunday talk shows the weekend after the Benghazi attacks, but Clinton told the same lie about the video in interviews and statements after that, and even in her congressional testimony.

    I don’t know if she’s going to refute Klein’s version of events or not, but it’s already clear that she knew the video story was a bald-faced lie from the start, and she chose to be complicit in the lie anyway.

      Trapped in Davis in reply to Observer. | June 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Exactly. She may have felt she had to go along with the lie, but she didn’t have to push it. She could have remained silent about the video and let everyone else around her repeat the false narrative. To the families she could have said, “My condolences. We will find the people responsible.” With the capture of the organizer of the “protest”, she could even have claimed promise fulfilled.

David Gerstman | June 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I agree with your assessment of Klein. There was something else he reported on a few years ago. It was sensational and all but there seemed to be no way to independently confirm it. (I wish I remember what it was.) I’m guessing that a lot of what he writes is informed (and not so informed) speculation.

[…] of the two Benghazi scandals involving Ms Clinton. The other being her claim that she had no involvement in the security arrangements, which is […]

[…] of the two Benghazi scandals involving Ms Clinton. The other being her claim that she had no involvement in the security arrangements, which is […]

Please Mrs. Clinton, retire to your lovely country home in upstate New York, where you and Mrs. Obama can tend to the vegetables and perennials while sharing a pitcher of farm-to-table organic margaritas. We are dog-tired weary of rehashing all of this, and all the other baggage and disconnects you carry with you. The truth of it all is obvious.

Time for someone enterprising to create “binders of women” (to borrow the phrase that created such uproar) who have the qualifications for the office. Let’s finally end this guilt-induced Hillary fetish and seek out reliable strong principled future leaders.

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