Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Hillary Clinton strategy: omit, misdirect and obfuscate | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Hillary Clinton strategy: omit, misdirect and obfuscate

Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County. His column appears in every Tuesday in the Summit Daily News.
btrollinger@summitdaily.com |

I did not have sex with that woman…Ms. Lewinski.”

Words to remember now that we are watching another example of the oddly unsavory behavior that is the hallmark of the Clintons: telling the truth slowly, in bite-sized jigsaw-puzzle pieces, but only when compelled to do so and never without a liberal seasoning of ambiguity or occasionally, outright lying. Like the above. You remember: multiple perjuries to protect a serial sexual predator who happened to be President.

Friday before Memorial Day weekend, what better day to dump a bunch of documents having to do with a problematic issue the former Secretary of State faced: the death of a US Ambassador and three other USG employees on her watch. So, after carefully preparing the ground by making certain her stenographers in the press conveyed the idea that she “wants all the documents on Benghazi released quickly” but she can’t do it – because the State Department has them, out they come – at least those documents she deigned to release because they were the most anodyne. As for any damaging communications on her private server, she has unilaterally declared them — without thanking George Orwell for the idea — “uncommunications.” Nothing to see here, folks.

Documents rescued from Louis Learner-land tell intriguing stories. First and foremost, they illustrate the degree to which obsession over U.S. presidential politics bled into the analysis of events in Benghazi. Many documents currently released are reports from Hillary Clinton’s former political operative Sidney Blumenthal, with whom she was expressly forbidden to work while Secretary of State. Hence the “back-channel” private server route and at least a small part of the reticence to reveal. As to the official obfuscation that “Mr. Blumenthal was not working in an official capacity, and his communications were unsolicited,” well… When communications include dinner invitations with the comment “Bill can come, too, if he’s in town,” the nature of the relationship is clear. Official or not, Blumenthal is a member of the Clinton inner circle and has been since before 2008.

For days after the Benghazi attack and murder of four State Department employees, these communications alternate between reports on goings-on within the provisional Libyan government and speculations on GOP candidate Romney’s readiness to exploit the issue. Blumenthal’s thoughts on the latter were mostly marked “push to White House” by the Secretary of State and forwarded there from her private server.

On the attacks themselves, several things are clear. First, a report from Blumenthal on September 12 indicated that the attack “may” have originated in “public rage over an anti-Muhammad film.” By September 13, however, he was reporting that all sources pointed to a well-planned and deliberately executed attack by elements of Ansar ash-Shari’a, an al-Qaida affiliated group. These messages, too, were “circulated,” meaning the highest levels of the U.S. government, including the State Department and White House, knew within two days what sources on the ground in Libya, including their provisional government, were saying about the attack. Why the Obama Administration persisted in the absurdity that the attack was triggered by an internet video seen by almost no one is a mystery — unless one remembers that it was an election season and embarrassment to the narrative of Obama’s defeat of Islamic radicalism was to be avoided at all costs. Whether such considerations are in the country’s true national security interests are another story altogether.

The issue of Benghazi and the aftermath clearly illustrates Hillary Clinton’s political strategy: omit, misdirect and obfuscate in service to personal interest and political expedience, disregarding our nation’s security and the spirit, at least, of its laws. We see this as well in the financial shenanigans surrounding the Clinton Foundation and the near-obsessive concentration on personal gain that seems to mark both Hillary and Bill. These are not people willing to put themselves second — not even to the national interest. Anyone paying attention knows this.

But fewer and fewer are paying attention. Many Americans care less for the existential threats to the country — Islamic terrorism included — than they do about the continuing their government benefits or the results of “The Voice.” In this atmosphere, Hillary’s stonewalling, money-grubbing and prevarication are less important than her potential to be “the first woman President.” Doubtless, many well-meaning, easily deluded voters will be swayed by that argument, without bothering to ask “and then?”

We had a preview of a possible “then” late last week, and it was stomach-churning. Don’t expect it to get better if we have Hillary in the White House again. Benghazi would have been only the first in a series of dangerous and debilitating events, presided over by a woman who will say, or do anything to get — and keep — power.

Fair warning.

Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.

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