Saturday, January 09, 2016

I really don't want to defend Hillary Clinton, BUT...

As readers know, I'm angry at Hillary Clinton. I consider her to be a key enabler of the disastrous neocon policy of regime change in Syria.

But that doesn't mean I will stand by while modern-day Ken Starrs and Linda Tripps lob false charges at the Clintons.

Unfortunately, most Americans are creatures of the Id who view politics as a game of shirts-vs-skins: If you ain't with Our Team, you must be playing for Their team. If you don't like Politician A, then you must never defend Politician A against any charge, even if the charge is false or silly.

Stalin was a monster -- therefore, it is acceptable to claim that Stalin raped his daughter. If you dare to point out the lack of evidence for that claim, you must be a Stalin apologist and a filthy commie.

Most Americans really do think that way. Most Americans are just fucking dumb.

Let us presume that you, dear reader, are not one of the dummies. If so, you'll have no trouble seeing through this article by one Brad Hoff: "New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold." Sub-heads: "New Emails Expose Hillary’s Dirty War in Libya" and "Hillary’s Death Squads."

Wow. An email reveals that Hillary Clinton was running death squads in Libya?

Sorry, but...no.

The big problem here is the simple fact that the email itself reveals no such thing. Hoff, smarmy propagandist that he is, hopes that no-one will click on the link -- or that the reader will be so blinded by inchoate Clinton-hate that the actual words in the pdf won't register on his or her brain.

Before going any further, let's remind ourselves of the basics: Longtime Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal (father of the courageous Max Blumenthal) and Tyler Drumheller (formerly of the CIA) were in Libya trying to seek business opportunities. There weren't any to be had. But Blumenthal and Drumheller got a lot of info as to what was happening in the country, and they passed the data on to the Secretary of State.

Drumheller, you will recall, was axed from the intelligence community after he exposed the Iraqi defector "Curveball" as a fake; he also helped to reveal the "yellowcake" fraud. He is, in short, one of the few heroes of the Iraq war period.

There's an easy way to identify whether any given piece on the Blumenthal/Clinton correspondence is the work of a legitimate reporter or a hack propagandist: Does the article mention Drumheller? Propagandists don't like to mention that man's name, because they know that they will have a difficult time trying to convince the audience to dislike him. How can anyone hate the guy who unmasked Curveball?

But you can't honestly leave Drumheller out of this. As we've seen in previous posts, most of the juicy items relayed by Sid Blumenthal to Hillary actually came from Tyler Drumheller. Thus, this Blumenthal email is, in large measure, a Drumheller email.

So what does the email actually state? Spoiler alert: There is nothing -- NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING -- about Hillary Clinton running death squads! Brad Hoff is simply lying his ass off.

At one point, Blumenthal does tell Hillary the following: "Source Comment: Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troops continue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting." This confirms what we already knew: The rebels were brutal and merciless. But how can any sane person construe these words as an admission that Hillary Clinton ran death squads?

This email -- when read objectively -- conveys reports about events in Libya during the revolution. Some of the reports came from people connected to the Khaddafy government, some came from rebel sources. Many of the reports were not first-hand; much of what Blumenthal had to say remained on the level of rumor. In a chaotic situation, even rumors may have intelligence value.

And that's it.

As a moment's thought will tell you, just because Hillary received reports about a situation does not necessarily mean that she engineered it.

Let's put it this way: I live in Baltimore, and in April of last year, I gave my personal, subjective report of what the city "felt" like during the anti-police uprising. A smarm-meister like Brad Hoff might read those old posts and then pretend that I was somehow the master fiend who set those events into motion: "Cannon CAUSED the Baltimore riots!" Or: "Cannon CAUSED the police to fire tear gas!"

Jeez, what's next? Is Hoff going to blame the Battle of Gettysburg on Matthew Brady? Would Hoff hold Seutonius responsible for the crimes of the Julio-Claudian dynasty? Will Hoff blame the Crucifixion on St. Luke, on the grounds that Luke's description of the event means he did it?

I look forward to Hoff's forthcoming disquisition on the way William Shirer created Nazi Germany.

We may say something similar about another Blumenthal/Drumheller memo to Hillary, referenced in this Reddit entry by someone calling himself "OfficerDarrenWilson." (Apparently, the author of these words thinks that that cop who shot Michael Brown is some sort of hero.)
Bombshell Clinton email: The thin veneer of humanitarian intervention falls off NATO, as the truth of the Libya intervention is revealed. It was all about regional supremacy, and particularly about preventing Gaddafi's efforts to establish a gold-backed pan-Afro currency. Please spread.
The actual email is here. Although it is quite interesting in its own right -- the jibe at Bernard Henri-Levy made me smile -- it does not tell us anything about Hillary Clinton, despite the barkings of the Clintonphobes who visit Reddit. The email discusses the motives of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, not the motives of Hillary Clinton or of any other American. (The claim about the Libyan Dinar appeared in the open press in April of 2011, around the time Blumenthal wrote his email: See here and here. Thus, the "bombshell" revelation in this email is really nothing new.)

Again: I'm mad at Hillary myself, and will soon return to my usual critiques of her damnable Syria policies. I was also mad at Bill Clinton throughout much of the 1990s. The right-wing smear machine turned me around: Any president with those kinds of enemies had to be doing something right. I became a reluctant Hillary supporter in 2008 for one reason: The Democratic blogs suddenly overflowed with recycled right-wing nonsense about Whitewater, Vince Foster, "Travelgate" and similar horseshittiness.

Moral: Smears tend to backfire.

(I've somewhat expanded this post since original publication.)
Comments:
I do not understand why you are using up so much band width shooting down untrue accusations against Hillary coming from such minor characters. Of course many non-entities will lie about Hillary. They should be ignored. We should spend our efforts publicizing those real things Hillary did as Sec of State -- namely pushing for war against the Khadaffi government in Libya and war against Assad in Syria. Those are very real actions that Hillary in her book last year has assumed credit. Those two policies have without any question led to major fiascos. These are Hillary's legacies as Sec of State. Just imagine what she might accomplish as Commander in Chief. Nuclear war with Russia perhaps? A major naval incident in the South China sea with China? The possibilities are numerous. Hillary is the one to bring them to fruition.

 
The fibs of one minor character characterize the fibs of many others.
 
I don't get why is Hillary is the one to bear alone the burden of libya. As I recall the US arm forces were the last in there after NATO and even Russian was before them. Some of the people who are crying about it now were crying what are we waiting for. Of course they were afraid we would miss the looting. Also she wasn't the commander in chief or the Secretary of defence. She didn't have the authority to deploy forces even if that what she wanted. Gazafy is no one to cry about. To finally taste what his security forces did to young men in that place is what i call small justice...very small I may add. He didn't pay for all the wars he started in Africa, there's no way I can list all his crimes..a mad man crimes. Some
 
" Most Americans are just fucking dumb."

And therein lies America's biggest problem Joe. And that isn't changing any day soon, slanted media or not.
 
So, this 'will' become an elect Hillary Clinton blog. That's already apparent. Your bullshit thinking is, well she didn't get a fair chance in the '08 election, so she deserves to be elected. Then you'll say, well that aside, I mean aside from the Obamabots or Obamamaniacs 'schlonging' her back then, Hillary is way better than all the other guys running. You'll say she's better than Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and who's that other guy? Oh right, oh yeah, Chris Christie. Unbelievable, total utter tripe. I'm saying it now and I'll continue to say it up to and including on election day this November, I pledge that I will not vote for Hillary. Get a fuckin' clue.

Oh and by the way, I find it interesting that you use Abby Martin's Empire Files webisodes but are also oblivious to the recent Empire Files video, where she interviews Ralph Nader, who explains that Hillary has never met a war that she didn't like. For reference, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e4Ii_qyNng

I'll vote for Donald Trump over Hillary any day. He's less of a fraud than she is and also, he's fun, she's not fun at all. One thing Donald has going for him, he's the only politician or wannabe politician (if you see it that way) who has ever made me laugh. He seems like a cool person to hang out with, drink vodka with, watch a movie with, he's just fun. He's not a racist, anyone claiming that he is either doesn't know what racism is or has a definition of racism that differs markedly from my own, or both.

The Clinton's have the DNC rigged as fuck, she will get the Democratic nomination no matter what, because it was decided long before the campaigning began. The Democratic Party decided "we'll have a Black American, a historical first, then a female right after that, and these two historical firsts, at the centre of identity politics, will ensure us presidential victories for the next sixteen years."

A Black American as president or a female as president or a gay male as president is all pointless if there is nothing substantive to it, and the Democratic Party has made all such historical firsts as victory's without any substance or any change.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Ben, meet Josh. I believe you have THE perfect example of what I'm talking about. I carefully worded those first five paragraphs to account for such a reaction, yet Josh proudly donned his "I'm an American dumb-dumb" t-shirt. I predicted that someone like him would say such words.

Guarantee: Next time I slam Hillary for some neocon-ish policy position, some pro-Hillary fanatic will accuse me of betrayal. And then when I poke holes in the next right-wing lie about Hillary, some anti-Clinton fanatic will accuse me of taking money from the Clinton Foundation. And after that, when I villify Hillary for some neocon-ish speech...

Et cetera et cetera.

Shirts vs skins. Everything gets reduced to that. Your tiny little minds can conceive of nothing else.
 
Added note: SOMEONE YOU CAN HAVE A VODKA WITH?

Seriously?

You have NO awareness of the commonly heard trope that rubes voted for Dubya because he was someone that the average hick could imagine having a beer with?

You are not aware that this phrase was mocked endlessly over the course of some ten years?

I think that's what it comes to with The Donald. Nobody cares about his policies: He fulfills an indefinable psychological function. Obama's appeal was much the same...
 
Wonderful. The idiots that brought us George W. Bush are going to bring us someone even worse, Trump (i.e. Joshua Black). You want your President to be "fun"???? I'd like mine to be competent, intelligent, have some tiny amount of experience with government, and to take the rest of the world VERY seriously. Joshua must have thought the movie Idiocracy was about how to make America great again. Because that is what we will have with Trump as President. Hillary has her (many) faults, but Trump will make George W. seem like a genius and a great President (two things he most certainly was not) in comparison.
 
Right, Gus. I don't think Dubya was really stupid. He was just one of those rich kids who decided that it was more efficient to hire smart people to do his thinking for him.

At least Dubya read Camus. Can you imagine Donald Trump trying to work his way through any book by any of the existentialists?
 
@ Mr. Cannon,

One of the reasons, just one, but a sufficient one nonetheless, that anyone could conclude that your blog will be or already is an 'Elect Hillary' blog is that there are articles and write-ups across the whole internet spread lies about Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and assorted variety of other campaigners. Yet, your blog only chooses to seize upon the lies and misinformation of articles targeting Hillary Clinton. You have not and would not do the same for Jeb Bush or Bernie Sanders, to give two examples. To you, they may as well be damned.

I also point out that you and this Gus character have only resorted to ad hominem, personal attacks and insults in responding to me. Whereas, I have never resorted to ad hominem, otherwise I would have called you an asshole or some such thing. Instead, what I said and I've been saying, is that your write-ups are bullshit. Calling something you wrote or one of your ideas bullshit is not the same as a personal insult, as in calling you an irredeemable and unlikable asshole.

How is it democratic for the DNC to make plans to nominate Hillary Clinton and not to create a competitive field where other candidates could even have so much as a minute possibility of getting the nomination? The deck is stacked heavily in Hillary's favour, the Clinton's ties to the DNC amount to nothing less than total corruption. Poor Sanders, a man who I genuinely love, never had a chance and I feel sorry for the younger generations who are very shortly now going to have their faith dashed against rock walls.

Your elitism is disgusting, the elitism of the Left is one major, fatal flaw to the campaign of Leftism movements. I support Donald Trump, but believe it or not, I'm totally sympathetic to Leftism, it doesn't mean I belong to it, but I understand it's appeal and I am nothing if not sympathetic to 'democratic socialists', progressives, syndicalists and the like. You show nothing but disdain and hatred for me, you are totally dismissive toward me, calling me a dummy, fucking dumb, an idiot, a rube and so on. How is that going to convince me or convert me to your linear line of thinking? If anything, it will strengthen my resolve to support Donald Trump, who I also love.

Gus completely lies about me, even if it is in jest. He suggest I've seen the film 'Idiocracy', but I haven't and I've never even heard about it until he mentioned it. I searched for it using Google and I see it's not a critically well received film, it seems like another run of the mill garbage film. Joshua (me) must not have seen Idiocracy, but would definitely find it an idiotic waste of time and money.

Elitism (such as pronouncing that most Americans are fucking dumb) will gain you no converts. It only reveals a disgusting superiority complex that lays at the heart of the contemporary Left, which has abandoned the touch and outreach to the common lay person, embraced identity politics that changes nothing and also embraced the elitism of ivory tower so called intelligentsia.
 
Josh, at the risk of sounding like someone given to ad hominem attacks...you're a fucking nut.

Get out of here and don't come back.
 
What Joshua fails to mention is at the time of the overthrow of the Egyptian government and Khadaffi's government, the over throws WERE WIDELY APPLAUDED. Now in hindsight it should be clear that anytime a secular leader is removed in the Middle East, mayhem breaks loose among the several religious factions within that country all wanting to take over to either do damage to their religious rivals, or to prevent their religious rivals from doing harm to them.
 
Sander's appeal to the millennials is resulting in people like Joshua lashing out against anyone who doesn't support Sanders. Occupy Wall Street actually claimed that Move on Dot Org was a tool of the Clintons. Gasp.
 
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