The latest trove of Hillary Clinton emails includes, to no one’s surprise, additional commentary from Sid Blumenthal. Nearly all of it is vicious.
The Obama administration’s decision to exclude Blumenthal from a position at the Department of State certainly was a good call. It must also have been an easy one, inasmuch as the Obama campaign experienced Sid’s viciousness first hand.
(While on the subject of good Obama calls, we should also include Executive Order 13526, issued in December 2009, regarding “classified national security information.” As Andy McCarthy points out, this order makes clear that there is a category of information automatically deemed classified: information from foreign governments. Section 1.1(d) of the order states: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.” Clinton’s server contained information from foreign governments).
Far more important than Blumenthal’s views is the fact that Hillary consumed them. They must have been of interest or else Hillary would have politely told him that, having been excluded from the State Department by the Obama administration, it would be better if he stopped emailing her on issues of substance.
Hillary did not.
We also know that Hillary found merit in at least some of Blumenthal’s rantings. For example, she passed his thoughts on Libya along to top subordinates. And in 2012, she told Blumenthal to “keep this stuff coming.”
In the latest batch of emails, moreover, we find Clinton endorsing a Blumenthal screed against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Following Israel’s attack on a flotilla headed for Gaza, Blumenthal wrote (in part):
[Netanyahu’s] father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up. Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel. Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.
The raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe, except that there are no hostages, no guns, it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe.. . .
The international press will inquire whether the Obama administration gave a wink or nod as the Bush administration did for the Lebanon and Gaza incursions. Be prepared.
Further: Of course, the consequences for US foreign policy and national security are negative across the board: from the analogy of the North Korean ship sinking and the Chinese posture to support for Iranian sanctions, etc., etc. Did the Israelis not hear Petraeus’s testimony?
[W]hatever the outcome of such a raid, one of the inevitable ones would be the death of the peace process, such as it is, on the very eve of Bibi’s scheduled visit to Obama, which would have been, under any circumstance, in light of the raid, profoundly humiliating for the president. Or are the Israelis bone stupid? I don’t think so.
According to Bridget Johnson at PJ Media, 35 minutes after receiving Blumenthal’s email, Hillary forwarded it to Jake Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff director of policy planning. She wrote, “Fyi and itys.”
“Itys” stands for “I told you so.”
Which part of Blumenthal’s rant confirmed what Clinton had told Sullivan? Maybe all of it. Presumably, at least the last part in which he argues that Israel’s raid was an attempt to kill the “peace process” and, perhaps humiliate the president.
Blumenthal has made a living peddling conspiracy theories, the more vicious the better. By now, he has very few customers. That Hillary Clinton is one of them speaks volumes about the kind of presidency we should expect from her.
UPDATE: The fact that Hillary would say “I told you so” in forwarding a Blumenthal email to Sullivan suggests that she viewed him as an authority. It’s possible, of course, that Hillary had simply told Sullivan that Blumenthal would email her about the flotilla matter, or that he would present some sort of inane conspiracy regarding it. But the seriousness with which Clinton generally treated Blumenthal’s messages, as described above, suggests otherwise.