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Posts Tagged ‘2012 Election’

If it were not obvious from the outset, guess what?  The political nature of the Benghazi Select Committee is gaining notice!  Wow!  It has taken only three years and a wasted $4.5 million not to find out what went wrong so that we can prevent similar attacks in the future.  Correct the Record shared this today, for those who need a picture.

benghazi-cmmittee-chart
But we have known it all along. We knew it less than a month after the attacks when the House Oversight Committee accused State Department officials of a political agenda.

Representatives Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee, on October 2, sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter listing attacks in Libya  over the six months prior to the deadly September 11 attack on our Benghazi consulate.

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Issa Flips The Coin And The Game Is On

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.

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Resoundingly missing from the cover of the Interim Progress Report  on the Benghazi, Libya consulate attack published yesterday by the House Republican Conference is the name Harold Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations committee that twice slashed the State Department’s diplomatic security budget.   That committee was apparently excused from reporting to the conference in the zealous crusade being waged by Tea Party Republicans,  led by Darryl Issa and Jason Chaffetz, to pin blame on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Issa’s name is listed as a co-author of the report while Media Matters reports that Chaffetz appeared with Megyn Kelly to discuss the report released to great hullabaloo in right-wing circles.

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In astoundingly transparent fashion, the Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi have abandoned all pretense plans 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.  Thank you, Karen Finney, for sharing this because regardless of what “we all knew all along,” here is the evidence. In the end evidence is all that really counts.  It is our only weapon.

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When something like this appears I just wonder what rock people have been sleeping under and how many opioids they took.

The Benghazi panel is a scandal of a committee

Seriously?  So not news!

*******************Edited 09/30/15 to add this**********************

mccarthy

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This will be the third time I have posted this.  Originally it was a longer response to an Op-Ed by Jennifer Rubin criticizing Hillary’s legacy at the State Department.  Because it remains a pretty impressive (I will not say complete)  collection of Hillary’s accomplishments as Secretary of State,  I am reposting – this time in response to Carly Fiorina’s remarks claiming Hillary accomplished nothing in her travels as top diplomat.  Shame on you, Ms. Fiorina!

(N.B.  This time I left out almost all of the argument against Rubin’s pathetic critique.  You can follow the link to the original to see that if you wish.)
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About Hillary Clinton’s Legacy

Russia: Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov worked exceedingly well together and achieved the very crucial New START treaty.  This was immense,  a great victory for both diplomats and both countries.  Their relationship remained solid throughout her tenure.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a

>For the first time in its history she completely overhauled the State Department , USAID, and interagency cooperation with her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

>For the first time in history she called all of the chiefs of mission together at the State Department for annual conferences.

>She instituted an Office of Global Women’s Issues.

>In June 2009 she  provided benefits to domestic partners of foreign service diplomats for the first time.

>She brought previously neglected countries back to the table with numerous memoranda of understanding and countless business initiatives.

>She kept the alliance between Afghanistan and Pakistan stable despite enormous challenges.

>She reopened the vital supply route from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

>She ensured U.S. access to the vital Manas airstip in Kyrgystan.

>She Salvaged the Turkey-Armenia accords which  she was supposed to simply witness when they suddenly nearly fell apart.

>She brought issues like human trafficking as well as violence against women and LGBT communities to the international table.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is greeted by human trafficking victims Van Sina and Somana at the Siem Reap AFESIP rehabilitation and vocational training center

These are simply a few things that come to mind, and I probably have left out some important events.  Hillary Clinton has left an indelible mark on the State Department and has brought its operations into the 21st century with her integration of social networking into our outreach to the world.  She has been a tremendously effective Secretary of State and a hero to many, our own troops at war among them.  We can be appreciative of her selfless service and proud of the job she has done.

PBS_Makers

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Nothing glamorous here – not even a picture of our always beautiful SOS.

Both the State Department and the United Nations make the calls on terrorists.  When their information indicates that a person or organization has a terrorist agenda,  DOS makes what is called a designation and the U.N, “lists” – i.e. that entity is added to their terrorist list.   State Department designations  are made public in press releases.   Designation sets forth a panoply of legal options against the entity,  none of which are military I should add, as exemplified by this one from October 4, 2012.

Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Sharia as an Alias for Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 4, 2012

The Department of State amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and E.O. 13224 designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula to include the new alias, Ansar al-Shari’a (AAS). The Department of State previously designated AQAP as an FTO and under E.O. 13224 on January 19, 2010.

AAS – which is based in Yemen and is a separate entity from Ansar al-Shari’a in Libya – was established to attract potential followers to shari’a rule in areas under the control of AQAP. However, AAS is simply AQAP’s effort to rebrand itself, with the aim of manipulating people to join AQAP’s terrorist cause. AAS has publicly stated that the particular brand of shari’a they hope to implement is the same as that espoused by the Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group and designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that includes al-Qa’ida in Iraq.

AAS has taken responsibility for multiple attacks against Yemeni forces. One such attack, which took place in May 2012, killed more than 100 Yemeni soldiers in a suicide bombing during a parade. In March 2012, a series of attacks and armed assaults by AAS in southern Yemen killed 100 people, many of whom were Yemeni soldiers.

The consequences of adding the new alias for AQAP include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, Ansar al-Shari’a, and the freezing of all property and interest in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.

In addition, today the United Nations 1267/1989 Al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee listed AAS. As a consequence the group now faces a worldwide assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo. The actions taken today against AAS support the U.S. effort to degrade the capabilities of its parent organization, AQAP. We are determined to eliminate AQAP’s ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks.

That is the way it works.  These are the folks listed by the U.N. as of now.   If you go to this website, you can see all the entities designated by the State Department.  Related press releases are here.

Late last month there was great pressure upon Hillary Clinton to delist an Iranian organization known as MEK which she ultimately did delist.

Delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 28, 2012

The Secretary of State has decided, consistent with the law, to revoke the designation of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its aliases as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under the Immigration and Nationality Act and to delist the MEK as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. These actions are effective today. Property and interests in property in the United States or within the possession or control of U.S. persons will no longer be blocked, and U.S. entities may engage in transactions with the MEK without obtaining a license. These actions will be published in the Federal Register.

With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.

The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.

The United States has consistently maintained a humanitarian interest in seeking the safe, secure, and humane resolution of the situation at Camp Ashraf, as well as in supporting the United Nations-led efforts to relocate eligible former Ashraf residents outside of Iraq.

There were good reasons for this as witnessed by the statement and by this article, however that is not the point of this post. The point is that if you wade through that list of press releases, you see some forty designations by Secretary of State Clinton.  Compared with the previous administration,  where I counted nine, that is huge!  Several of those designations, certainly not all, are Al Qaida related.

With the foreign policy debate coming up,  I wanted to point  out that killing Osama Bin Laden hardly amounts to Al Qaida or terrorists in general being “on the run.”  If anything they might be multiplying (see Lara Logan on this).   Either that or our Hillary is one helluva terrorist hunter.  Possibly both premises are true.  But I thought I would toot a heads-up.   If, on Monday night, anybody tries to tell you the bad guys are gone, don’t believe it.  They are not.  Someone in the administration happens to know that,  even if the White House, on the subject of terrorist threats,  claims to know nothing and appears to be telling the truth.  Someone is finding the terrorists and freezing their assets.  If they are on the run, it is from her.

So, OK, I give up.  I will not disappoint my friends, colleagues, comrades in the battle.  Here’s our Joan of Arc at Georgetown U. yesterday.

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I am sharing this article for two reasons.  First, it states accurately and articulately my personal position on the statements I have been seeing and hearing since the attack in Benghazi three weeks ago from people were not even on the continent of Africa at the time.  If so many people *know* so much, perhaps the government is better off hiring psychics to inform them than sending in the FBI, CIA, and ARB.

Second,  Ms. Kemper alludes to the uncommon tsunami of ill-will and incivility that appears to be sweeping  the electorate.   It stuns me to hear and read some recent remarks from people who claim to have supported Hillary Clinton in 2008.   I see comments that resemble nothing of the tone of Hillary’s campaign and everything negative in the way the Obama campaigners approached some of us:  the shouting, the anger, and the insults.

It is high time for everyone to step back – out of each other’s faces, take a deep breath, and think and reflect for a  moment.  It is inappropriate to use the tragedy in Benghazi in any political way.  There is no place for rudeness in discussions.

This country has been here for 236 years.   Neither of these candidates is the best we have but neither is Satan either.  Neither is going to take this country down.  Make your choice, but if it differs from mine  that does not mean that I am less informed,  less intelligent,  less American than you are.  I simply see things differently.  Your vote – and mine – are precious.  Let’s be a little more respectful of each other.  Take a deep breath – and turn off your caps lock.

October 3, 2012, 11:08 am

Dishonoring Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues

By Kathy Kemper

As a proud, patriotic American, I am embarrassed by the calls that are being made for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to resign. Not even a month after the murder of our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans, many are politicizing their deaths rather than honoring their service — hardly the behavior that one would or should expect from the citizens of the nation that leads the free world.

Read more…

 

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Having secured victories in the primaries for Hillary Clinton supporters Kathleen Kane,  for Attorney General,  and Mark Critz, for 12th District Rep,  in Pennsylvania late last month,  former president Bill Clinton has set his sights on the New Jersey June 5 primary endorsing Bill Pascrell, another HRC loyalist,  for the recently redrawn  9th District in New Jersey.  Pascrell, who has served the 8th District since 1997, is in a battle with current 9th District Rep Steve Rothman who supported Obama in the hotly contested 2008 presidential primary.

Bill Pascrell

After the dust settled in 2008, WJC promised to support those who had remained staunchly loyal to Hillary, and has been as good as his word.   Although never given the attention the divide in the Republican party receives,  the schism in the Democratic Party, engendered by what many felt was unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton delegate assignments by the Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31, 2008, as well as by the convention itself in late August of that year which ended with a roll call that was aborted when Hillary herself appeared on the convention floor requesting Obama’s nomination by acclamation, has not healed in the way that the party and the media portray.

The victories in PA are seen as clear endorsement of the Clinton wing of the party.  As the battle crosses the Delaware, Clinton Dems in north-eastern NJ are gearing up to fight the Rothman forces.  Pascrell, a past NJ Assemblyman and former mayor of Paterson has a strong following.  Unlike the 2008 contest,  the 2012 primary theater plays out downticket where the Clinton wing of the party is alive and fierce.

Bill Clinton endorses Bill Pascrell over Steve Rothman in Congressional race

Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:30 PM     Updated: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:35 PM

Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau

clinton.jpgAFP PHOTO/Robyn BeckFormer President Bill Clinton threw his support behind Rep. BIll Pascrell in his primary battle against Steve Rothman.

Former President Bill Clinton today endorsed U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th District), who’s locked in a tight primary against fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist).

Pascrell endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, while Rothman was President Obama’s highest profile New Jersey supporter.

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Lesson: Never count a Clinton out.  Obama may be at the top of the ticket, but some of these primary battles can turn out to be death-by-a-thousand-cuts to those who scorned  HRC in favor of the inspirational half-term senator from Illinois four years ago.   Some Dems will dutifully campaign and vote for the Clinton loyalists.  Many will also be writing in Hillary at the top of the ticket.

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I deliberated long and hard about posting these, and they are not the only examples bouncing around on the web.  In the end, they are Hillary news, so I suppose they merit some attention.

The first one, by Maureen Dowd, appeared days ago.  I first saw it in the New York Times.   This particular publication came from The Seattle Times.  Alluding to remarks HRC delivered last week at the Women in the World Summit,  Dowd postulates thus.

Originally published Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

A riled Hillary is a formidable foe

The attempt by Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts has not only breathed life into President Obama, writes Maureen Dowd, it has roused and riled Hillary Rodham Clinton — not a wise thing to do.

By Maureen Dowd

Syndicated columnist

Hillary Clinton has fought for women’s rights around the world. But who would have dreamed that she would have to fight for them at home?

“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me,” she told an adoring crowd at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center on Saturday. “But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.

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The war on women in this country is genuine. We need our women leaders, and I am sure most American women see Hillary Clinton as the most powerful and vocal of these, particularly on women’s issues, but Hillary cannot do it alone.  She needs her army behind her.  Women need to recognize the level of threat to their personal freedom, get mad, and get active.

Men, even those on our side of the aisle,  do not share the sense of urgency Dowd telegraphs.  They put forth her name but… not now.

From The Gothamist.

Hillary Clinton 2016: Pundit Put Likelihood At 99.4%

2012_02_clintonh.jpg
Secretary Clinton at the 2012 Global Chiefs of Mission Conference yesterday (AP)

Will the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits come back in four years? Game Change authors John Heilemann and Mark “Obama is a dick” Halperin were on Morning Joe this morning predicting that Secretary of State is interested in running for President again.

Heilemann, who covers politics for New York magazine said the chances were “99.4. I think very high,” while Halperin, an editor at Time, said, “A little lower. I think that if Joe Biden wins re-election and runs, she’s much less likely to run.”

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Then there is Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, who sometimes pals around with Republicans.  As Politico reports.

Ed Koch pushes Clinton on 2016 run

By BYRON TAU |

3/15/12 5:21 PM EDT

(AP Photo)

Former New York City mayor and Hillary Clinton booster Ed Koch wants to see a Clinton 2016 run, and he made his feelings clear to the Secretary of State at Wednesday’s state dinner, according to the New York Times:

Mr. Koch also said he spoke with the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and encouraged her to run for president in 2016.

“I said, ‘Everybody’s running you for president again — count me in!’” he said. “And there were other people there who applauded.”

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I have been addressing the issue of the war on women primarily at The Department of Homegirl Security , which is a defense blog,  and not in the context of Hillary making another presidential run.  But in this  particular post,  Falling Short,  I did state a position similar to what Dowd said.  Women leaders, acting as surrogates for Obama on this issue inspire far more confidence in me than he who prefers to lead from behind.  Dowd’s questions mirror my own thinking.  She ends her op-ed thus:

Women who assumed that electing Obama would lift all minority boats are beginning to think: Maybe he’s not enough.

If the desire of all these conservative male leaders to yoke women is this close to the surface, if they are perversely driven to debase women even though it could lead to their own political demise, then women may require more than Obama.

If women are so vulnerable, they may need one of their own.

Is she inevitable?

It is possible that she is, but generals do not win wars without troops.  She needs her army.  I know you are all still here.  We have been together for almost five years now and never left her side.  Join Americans Elect.  Be a delegate for Hillary because, no, Obama will not be or do enough and we cannot afford to lose this war.

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On this day in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton won primaries in Ohio and  Rhode Island.  I thank my friend Christian Kautz for this great picture.

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Hillary Clinton was the best candidate then, and she remains America’s best hope  – better than any declared candidate.today.  We know that our beloved Hillary does not like to look back.  So while we are celebrating her victory of four years ago, we should be doing so by looking ahead into the future that we can form.

We do not have to be limited by the candidates the major parties are putting forth.  Through Americans Elect we can choose our own candidates.  I joined about a month ago and am a delegate for Hillary.  Today, I celebrated “Hillary Day” by recruiting my friend.  Now, she, too is a delegate for Hillary.

It would be nice if every delegate could recruit one more delegate for Hillary today.  Let’s celebrate “Hillary Day” by looking ahead and not back.  Let’s bring along friends and family to the Americans Elect online convention in June!

Let’s choose her – again!

Hillary's page at Americans Elect

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