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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Rethinking Hillary

I have felt lukewarm -- and perhaps a bit hostile -- toward Hillary Clinton since 2009. Perhaps the time has come to say "All is forgiven."

The email "scandal" has made me like her rather better than I used to. Here's why. (The story first appeared nearly a week ago, but I was away then, so let's talk about it now.)

Turns out Hillary has set up her own intel network, which seems to be headed up by Sidney Blumenthal. Perhaps "network" is rather too grand a word for it. Let's just say that she sought out private sources of information, and that she took steps to keep this private data private. The media now wants us all to feel outraged -- but what I'm feeling is quite different.

When Hillary first became Secretary of State, she wanted Sidney Blumenthal (a longtime friend to the Clintons) to join her team. Rahm Emmanuel nixed the idea. If Blumenthal managed to piss off Rahm, we all have one more reason to say "Bravo, Blumenthal."
It's unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It's also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked "confidential" and relied in many cases on "sensitive" sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.

Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal's name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA's clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC.
Ooh. Sounds spooky. Sounds sneaky. You know how sneaky those Clintons are...!

That's the narrative we're all supposed to repeat robotically: Sneaky Hillary sneaks again. Except...

Except the people who are shoving that narrative down your throat don't bother to tell you who Drumheller is. Allow me to do so.

He's the guy who tried to expose "Curveball," the Iraqi defector who sold fake info to the Bush administration. Drumheller tells much of the story in a book review published in 2006. Also see here:
In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

A few days later, the lines were back in the speech.
Result: Powell destroyed his sterling reputation in the proverbial one fell swoop. Drumheller came out smelling like a Pyrenean lilac field.

From Wikipedia:
Tyler Drumheller is the former chief of the CIA covert operations in Europe, who has said that the CIA had credible sources discounting some weapons of mass destruction claims before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He received and discounted documents central to the Niger yellowcake forgery prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has also stated that senior White House officials dismissed intelligence information from his agency which reported Saddam Hussein had no WMD program.

According to Drumheller, the CIA, with the help of a friendly intelligence service, recruited Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri in Europe during the late summer of 2002. [1] Sabri told the CIA in September that Saddam had no major active weapons of mass destruction programs; they had no fissile material and biological weapons were almost non-existent, although he claimed that there were chemical weapons. This information was then transmitted to the White House, but it was ignored in favor of the information coming from a source known as Curveball.
I'm looking for a reason to dislike this guy. Do you see a reason to dislike this guy?

Given the fact that Hillary Clinton was trying to operate within an Obama administration suffering from a toxic oversupply of neocons, why shouldn't she have sought outside advice from a straight shooter like Drumheller?

And why on earth should I be bothered by her association with Sidney Blumenthal, father of Max Blumenthal, one of the bravest voices for peace on the entire planet? (The elder Blumenthal was also once a good writer on the JFK assassination, although it is considered impolitic to mention that fact nowadays.)

So please explain why I should consider it a bad thing for Hillary to consult with Blumenthal and Drumheller. 

Yes, it's true that she played the heavy during her tenure as Secretary of State. I didn't like what books like Confront and Conceal had to say about Harldiner Hillary.

Maybe she had to act that way to get a shot at the presidency.

Let's face it -- 2013 was the year when the Obama administration's foreign policy became completely vile. It was bad before, but 2013 was when Syria and Ukraine turned into into meat grinders. The worst hit after Hillary was gone.

So...yeah. Let's rethink Hillary Clinton.

A vote for the GOP is a vote for war. One thing's for sure: A Republican presidency in 2016 will probably be the greatest disaster in human history. You think the invasion of Iraq was bad? A war with Iran could end this country. Our economy, along with whatever is left of our reputation, would suffer enormously. Anyone with any sense in Europe will be forced to admit that the US has become a mad elephant. They will want nothing further to do with us: "Screw America. Those guys are crazy. Our future is with BRICS."

Nevertheless, the Republicans want war.
For the crowd that believes war is always the answer, Thursday’s announcement represented an utter catastrophe. While it remains to be seen if the framework will lead to a viable and enduring agreement ahead of a June 30 deadline, these conservatives have already concluded that the framework is a complete failure, perhaps even an invitation to Armageddon.
It's not just that the Republicans think the present deal is bad. In their eyes, any agreement is an abomination.

Their spiritual leader is John Bolton, the man who helped create the Iraq disaster, and who now insists on war with Iran. Of course, their real leader is Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli GRÖFAZ. Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Bibi

Don't try to tell me that there's no difference between the parties. Sure, I'm pissed off at much of the record compiled by Obama and Clinton. But who would you rather see in the Oval Office: Someone who considers John Bolton a sage, or someone who counts the Blumenthal family as friends?
She may get input from good advisers...but what evidence have you seen that Hillary actually follows their advice?

She is a pandering, calculating politician, with no real vision of her own. She will take the politically safe route that she thinks will get her to the White House. Once there, I suppose it's anybody's guess. But, having been burned by Obama, I'm not willing to trust her any further than I can throw her.

How come no one asks the Iranians to consider solar power instead of nuclear energy?
"Max Blumenthal, one of the bravest voices for peace on the entire planet?"

I like Max. But cut the crap. Max supported the overthrow of Assad. That's an anti-peace position in my books.
Anon, it's true. MB's position on Syria has indeed been very troubling. Apparently, that position has a basis in his personal dealings with people who claim to have suffered under Assad's rule. I'm sure that these claims are well-founded; I never said that Assad was a GOOD guy.

But MB hasn't spent much time talking about Syria. He devotes most of his energy talking about Israel. Before that, he focused on the fundamentalist takeover of the Republican party. His extraordinary work in those areas is what counts.
I won't condemn anybody for doing what they believe they need to do, and I believe I need to stop voting for the lesser of two psychopaths. And given Clinton's "We came, we saw, he died -- cackle, cackle, cackle", I'm not even sure she'll be the lesser.

Phil K
I'm not a fan of Hillary, but I appreciate your points about "the private network".
Unfortunately, I believe the elite have already chosen their next front man - Jeb Bush. Bush went to meet with Romney, Romney dropped out and Bush took some of Romney's campaign staff with him. Bush next went to New Jersey to a fundraiser at Henry Kravis' home (KKR) where Henry Kissinger was the guest speaker. Bush swiped part of Chris Christie's staff. It's possible Bill Clinton has lap-danced his way to Epstein land and ruined Hillary's chance.
But a Bush and a Clinton?
Anyone who thinks Hillary doesn't have a vision has not followed her work on women's rights. She spoke up in many places and the women around the world know her record on that very well.
In a narrow sense, its' a little sad to see posts like these. It rather cheapens the honest criticism this blog is pretty good at dishing out and why it has integrity.

"The Republicans want war," is not an argument for Hillary or most other Democrats, because they too want war. Hillary knew full well what would happen in Iraq and voted for it anyway. In fact, she's never met a war she didn't like. She's also a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIPAC with respect to foreign policy, so that guarantees more war, not less. As POTUS, she will have lots of help from other Israel Lobby shills, most notably Chuck Schumer. Well, 97% of the Senate and at least 90% of the House.

War is not a reason to vote for or against HIllary. That will be the case, no matter which dynasty wins the contest. Anyone who speaks like this in public is not capable of wanting peace:
""The Republicans want war," is not an argument for Hillary or most other Democrats, because they too want war."

Then why isn't Obama bombing Iran, even though the neocons clearly want him to? Why didn't he invade Syria in 2013, when the pretext was in place?

"She's also a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIPAC with respect to foreign policy..."

"Wholly-owned"? Even though her closest political intimate is the father of Israel's most effective critic? (And I do not think that you will ever see the father toss the son under the bus.)
Hillary's haters no one can change their mind even if she developed a magic wand and wiped all the planet's ills. Like many others I have some reservations but I will vote for her no matter who is running against. one last point Gadafy was a vile brute creature what happened to him, he and his sons did worse than that to innocents all over his country. I can't say I was sorry for him. She wasn't the only player in that game.
Another Hillary connection?'the_family'_openly_reveres_hitler
This comment has been removed by the author.

Oddly enough, Iran seems to be the exception to Obama's foreign policy regime. He may be concerned about being the person that starts WW3 by bombing Iran. Maybe he has other reasons. But in any case, a short list of other countries he's blessed with his attention shows he and his FP advisors are quite bloody-minded in their own right:

1) Afghanistan: his failed surge killed a lot of people to no avail. He said he was pulling us out, then turned around and reversed himself. That war will continue as before. Indefinitely.

2) Syria: He tried to get us into that country, after indirectly supporting various mercenary groups that turned around and signed up with either Al Qaeda or ISIL. Note that both of those groups, which we are supposed to be "at war with" have been largely armed, equipped and even funded by the US and it's "allies" Israel and Saudi. The policy there is still regime change, which promises to kill tens of thousands more civilians, before all is said and done.

3) Libya: Three years ago, Obama said it was the model of "how to intervene." NATO airstrikes killed 4,000 civilians. Children today are still getting blown to bits by unexploded cluster munitions. The country has gone from having the highest standard of living in Africa to pure chaos. Ruled by warlords. So the model intervention most closely resembles a Mad Max movie.

4) Yemen: The new "model intervention" as recently as a couple months ago. Now we're bombing refugee camps, because apparently, those are the only targets our "allies" can reliably find.

5) Ukraine: Someone please explain to me how starting a war with Russia and killing thousands of Ukrainian civilians does anything but threaten nuclear conflagration. And to give the Russkies the kind of propaganda fuel only the US would be dumb enough to provide, we're going to start training Neo-Nazi Azov Battallion units on Hitler's Birthday! Isn't that a classy move?

So Iran is the exception, not the rule. And Hillary is down with all of it.
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