Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hillary Clinton's professed ignorance

Add in another whistleblower-leaked scandal about cover-ups at the State Department. It seems that State has been covering up among officers in Diplomatic Security.
CBS News' John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General's memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut "engaged in sexual assaults" on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries" -- a problem the report says was "endemic."

The memo also reveals details about an "underground drug ring" was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department's internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, "We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases."

In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General's investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is "very" upsetting.
It also appears that the Department has hired agents with criminal records. And then add in the cover-up of the ambassador to Belgium soliciting prostitutes and minor children.
In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

The State Department Inspector General's memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who "routinely ditched ... his protective security detai" and inspectors suspect this was in order to "solicit sexual favors from prostitutes."

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.
And Clinton's enforcer, Cheryl Mills, was involved.
The case in which Clinton enforcer Mills allegedly intervened centered upon Brett McGurk, Obama’s nominee to be US ambassador to Iraq.

McGurk’s expected nomination fell apart after a computer hack exposed his racy e-mails and an extramarital affair with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon.

According to the memo, the SID “never interviewed McGurk, allegedly because Cheryl Mills from the Secretary’s office interceded.”

“Without that interview, SID has been unable to close the case,” the memo concludes.

The memo cites an e-mail from Mills showing her agreeing to a course of action, “but then reneging and advising McGurk to withdraw his name from consideration for the ambassadorship.”
Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff, was active in trying to block members of Congress from investigating what had gone on in Benghazi.
She has worked as a Clinton loyalist for more than two decades, first as a lawyer who helped facilitate Mr. Clinton’s transition into the White House after the 1992 election. She was named White House counsel in the Clinton administration and became a key litigator and public face of the defense team during his 1999 impeachment and trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges related to a sexual-harassment lawsuit.
More recently, working in Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle at the State Department, Mrs. Mills made headlines in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack for the pressure she reportedly put on Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission to Libya, to be careful in his dealings with Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee seeking answers about the attack.
During testimony before the committee in May, Mr. Hicks revealed that he got an aggressive phone call from Mrs. Mills after meeting with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, who had traveled to Libya on a fact-finding mission about a month after the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Mr. Hicks testified that other higher-ups at the department ordered him not to meet with Mr. Chaffetz during the visit, but he ignored them. At one point, he met with the congressman without a State Department attorney present because the lawyer did not have a high enough security clearance to attend the meeting. Afterward, the call came from Mrs. Mills, demanding “a report on the visit,” said Mr. Hicks, who added that Mrs. Mills “was upset” by the attorney’s absence.

Of course, Hillary Clinton was clueless about all this that was going on in her own Department.
On Tuesday, Nicholas Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said Clinton was completely unaware of any of the investigations mentioned in the Office of the Inspector General's reports and memos, including the case involving her personal security detail allegedly soliciting prostitutes.

"We learned of it from the media and don't know anything beyond what's been reported," Merrill told CNN in a written statement.
Another major scandal in the Obama administration in which the nation's leaders have to read about it in the media. But Jim Geraghty finds this quote from a report that Hillary Clinton trumpeted last year on human and sex trafficking.
“This report gives a clear and honest assessment of where all of us stand,” Clinton said Tuesday. “It takes a hard look at every government in our world including our own…It is important that we hold ourselves to the same standard as everyone else.” (Emphasis added)
But when the excretory matter hits the fan, Hillary reaches for her standard ignorance defense.

And it's no surprise that Clinton didn't know about what was being reported and covered up by those who worked for her. Her whole history has rewarded her for not knowing what was going on in her own marriage and now in her own department whether in Benghazi or involving multiple scandals being covered up by her underlings. Younger political observers might forget how Hillary was rather unpopular until news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke and she was portrayed as the loyal, but betrayed spouse. She rode that sympathy to a Senate seat and her political career was launched. If people had believed that she knew all along that her husband was cheating on her and just closed her eyes to the deception to further Bill's career, she wouldn't have gotten all those sympathy votes. And without that, what were her exact qualifications for political office?

And now we have two separate scandals about what was going on in the State Department that Hillary professes to know nothing about. Of course, the questions about security provided for our ambassador in Benghazi and how the administration responded when the attack began are the more important issue. But questions about whom was hired for the Diplomatic Service and how the Department reacted to reports of bad behavior are also indicative of her management and leadership skills. And she just happened to be kept out of the loop for all the information on misconduct.

How convenient for her.