Really, there is nothing new about waking up to a headline that contains the word criminal and the name Clinton. It is just another sunny day. So, of course, despite yet another senseless shooting of innocent people going about their summer business last night, it was incumbent upon morning TV to devote time and opinion to the New York Times story with the disturbing header.
So let's be clear here. The criminal inquiry being sought is not an investigation of a person but rather of a process. It is the State Department and its classification methods and not Hillary Clinton that is the object. Further, the article states:
The Justice Department has not decided if it will open an investigation, senior officials said.The request may or may not be honored and the inquiry requested involves a set of procedures and not an individual. None of this is clear from the header which sets the bull's eye smack on Hillary Clinton's forehead. The procedures in question potentially involve many more individuals and a great many more emails than the 55,000 pages released voluntarily by Hillary Clinton including the 3,000 pages currently available at the State Department website. But never mind that. On to more essential things.
The subject of her candidacy arises in the article as does protectionism.
Republicans have said the department is trying to use those processes to protect Mrs. Clinton.From the opening statements on the very first day the House Oversight Committee commenced hearings on Benghazi a day short of a month after the Benghazi attacks, clearly. politics and protection were on Republican minds. Already, this election cycle and Hillary's potential candidacy were in the cross hairs.
It was stunning that career Foreign Service officials should be accused of playing partisan politics. Even at that early date, there was fear of a Hillary Clinton candidacy so obvious as to be read outright into the Congressional Record.
Today was the first public session of the House Committee Oversight and Government Reform hearings on diplomatic security in Libya. In closing today’s more than four-hour long session, chairman Darrell Issa noted that although this is an election year, his committee wants to find out what went wrong in Benghazi in order to prevent it from happening anywhere again. If you buy that, I have a bridge for sale.
His admonishing tone, suggesting members of the panel might have an election year agenda, was startlingly inappropriate. The panel consisted of Col. Andrew Wood, who had been stationed in Libya earlier this year, Eric Nordstrom, who was a regional security officer and had been in Libya earlier in 2012, Charlene Lamb, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, and Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy.
... as Issa pointed out at the end, it is a general election year. Directing that remark to the panel, however, appeared ignorant and was certainly arrogant. Three of the four, career Foreign Service officers, are, as the Department of State is, apolitical. They serve, and have served through multiple administrations of both parties and were not there to promote anybody’s candidacy.
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The objective from the outset was to lay obstacles in a path to the White House should Hillary Clinton embark. Those who insist on focusing the spotlight on her rather than investigating the larger picture of what went wrong in Benghazi and how a repeat can be avoided in the future have, in fact, abandoned their appointed task.
Hillary Clinton has said that she has done nothing wrong, has gone above and beyond in her compliance with House committee requests, that she will gladly go to the Hill to respond to what questions there may be, and that the emails are in the hands of the State Department whose processing of them is the true object of the requested inquiry. She will be exonerated of all wrong-doing in the end as she has been after every Republican and right-wing attack against her. I take her at her word. I always have and have never been disappointed. She has done nothing wrong and has done her best to cooperate and comply.
In astoundingly transparent fashion, the Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi have abandoned all
pretenseplans for investigating departments and agencies outside the State Department and individuals other than Hillary Clinton.
An article in The Hill today reveals a letter from Select Committee Democrats to their GOP counterparts accusing them of refitting the objectives of the committee from inquiry and prevention into a political weapon aimed at the former secretary of state.
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