The following is a partial history of the unethical behavior of Hillary Clinton.
Watergate-era Judiciary chief of staff:
Hillary Clinton fired for lies, unethical behavior
Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday January 23rd, 2013
By DAN CALABRESE – Bet you didn’t know this.
I’ve decided to reprint a piece of work I did nearly five years ago, because it seems very relevant today given Hillary Clinton’s performance in the Benghazi hearings. Back in 2008 when she was running for president, I interviewed two erstwhile staff members of the House Judiciary Committee who were involved with the Watergate investigation when Hillary was a low-level staffer there. I interviewed one Democrat staffer and one Republican staffer, and wrote two pieces based on what they told me about Hillary’s conduct at the time.
I published these pieces back in 2008 for North Star Writers Group, the syndicate I ran at the time. This was the most widely read piece we ever had at NSWG, but because NSWG never gained the high-profile status of the major syndicates, this piece still didn’t reach as many people as I thought it deserved to. Today, given the much broader reach of CainTV and yet another incidence of Hillary’s arrogance in dealing with a congressional committee, I think it deserves another airing. For the purposes of simplicity, I’ve combined the two pieces into one very long one. If you’re interested in understanding the true character of Hillary Clinton, it’s worth your time to read it.
As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.
The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”
How could a 27-year-old House staff member do all that? She couldn’t do it by herself, but Zeifman said she was one of several individuals – including Marshall, special counsel John Doar and senior associate special counsel (and future Clinton White House Counsel) Bernard Nussbaum – who engaged in a seemingly implausible scheme to deny Richard Nixon the right to counsel during the investigation.
Why would they want to do that? Because, according to Zeifman, they feared putting Watergate break-in mastermind E. Howard Hunt on the stand to be cross-examined by counsel to the president. Hunt, Zeifman said, had the goods on nefarious activities in the Kennedy Administration that would have made Watergate look like a day at the beach – including Kennedy’s purported complicity in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro.
The actions of Hillary and her cohorts went directly against the judgment of top Democrats, up to and including then-House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, that Nixon clearly had the right to counsel. Zeifman says that Hillary, along with Marshall, Nussbaum and Doar, was determined to gain enough votes on the Judiciary Committee to change House rules and deny counsel to Nixon. And in order to pull this off, Zeifman says Hillary wrote a fraudulent legal brief, and confiscated public documents to hide her deception.
The brief involved precedent for representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding. When Hillary endeavored to write a legal brief arguing there is no right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding, Zeifman says, he told Hillary about the case of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who faced an impeachment attempt in 1970.
“As soon as the impeachment resolutions were introduced by (then-House Minority Leader Gerald) Ford, and they were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, the first thing Douglas did was hire himself a lawyer,” Zeifman said.
The Judiciary Committee allowed Douglas to keep counsel, thus establishing the precedent. Zeifman says he told Hillary that all the documents establishing this fact were in the Judiciary Committee’s public files. So what did Hillary do?
“Hillary then removed all the Douglas files to the offices where she was located, which at that time was secured and inaccessible to the public,” Zeifman said. Hillary then proceeded to write a legal brief arguing there was no precedent for the right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding – as if the Douglas case had never occurred.
The brief was so fraudulent and ridiculous, Zeifman believes Hillary would have been disbarred if she had submitted it to a judge.
Zeifman says that if Hillary, Marshall, Nussbaum and Doar had succeeded, members of the House Judiciary Committee would have also been denied the right to cross-examine witnesses, and denied the opportunity to even participate in the drafting of articles of impeachment against Nixon.
Of course, Nixon’s resignation rendered the entire issue moot, ending Hillary’s career on the Judiciary Committee staff in a most undistinguished manner. Zeifman says he was urged by top committee members to keep a diary of everything that was happening. He did so, and still has the diary if anyone wants to check the veracity of his story. Certainly, he could not have known in 1974 that diary entries about a young lawyer named Hillary Rodham would be of interest to anyone 34 years later.
But they show that the pattern of lies, deceit, fabrications and unethical behavior was established long ago – long before the Bosnia lie, and indeed, even before cattle futures, Travelgate and Whitewater – for the woman who is still asking us to make her president of the United States.
Franklin Polk, who served at the time as chief Republican counsel on the committee, confirmed many of these details in two interviews he granted me this past Friday, although his analysis of events is not always identical to Zeifman’s. Polk specifically confirmed that Hillary wrote the memo in question, and confirmed that Hillary ignored the Douglas case. (He said he couldn’t confirm or dispel the part about Hillary taking the Douglas files.)
To Polk, Hillary’s memo was dishonest in the sense that she tried to pretend the Douglas precedent didn’t exist. But unlike Zeifman, Polk considered the memo dishonest in a way that was more stupid than sinister.
“Hillary should have mentioned that (the Douglas case), and then tried to argue whether that was a change of policy or not instead of just ignoring it and taking the precedent out of the opinion,” Polk said.
Polk recalled that the attempt to deny counsel to Nixon upset a great many members of the committee, including just about all the Republicans, but many Democrats as well.
“The argument sort of broke like a firestorm on the committee, and I remember Congressman Don Edwards was very upset,” Polk said. “He was the chairman of the subcommittee on constitutional rights. But in truth, the impeachment precedents are not clear. Let’s put it this way. In the old days, from the beginning of the country through the 1800s and early 1900s, there were precedents that the target or accused did not have the right to counsel.”
That’s why Polk believes Hillary’s approach in writing the memorandum was foolish. He says she could have argued that the Douglas case was an isolated example, and that other historical precedents could apply.
But Zeifman says the memo and removal of the Douglas files was only part the effort by Hillary, Doar, Nussbaum and Marshall to pursue their own agenda during the investigation.
After my first column, some readers wrote in claiming Zeifman was motivated by jealousy because he was not appointed as the chief counsel in the investigation, with that title going to Doar instead.
Zeifman’s account is that he supported the appointment of Doar because he, Zeifman, a) did not want the public notoriety that would come with such a high-profile role; and b) didn’t have much prosecutorial experience. When he started to have a problem with Doar and his allies was when Zeifman and others, including House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill and Democratic committee member Jack Brooks of Texas, began to perceive Doar’s group as acting outside the directives and knowledge of the committee and its chairman, Peter Rodino.
(O’Neill died in 1994. Brooks is still living and I tried unsuccessfully to reach him. I’d still like to.)
This culminated in a project to research past presidential abuses of power, which committee members felt was crucial in aiding the decisions they would make in deciding how to handle Nixon’s alleged offenses.
According to Zeifman and other documents, Doar directed Hillary to work with a group of Yale law professors on this project. But the report they generated was never given to the committee. Zeifman believes the reason was that the report was little more than a whitewash of the Kennedy years – a part of the Burke Marshall-led agenda of avoiding revelations during the Watergate investigation that would have embarrassed the Kennedys.
The fact that the report was kept under wraps upset Republican committee member Charles Wiggins of California, who wrote a memo to his colleagues on the committee that read in part:
Within the past few days, some disturbing information has come to my attention. It is requested that the facts concerning the matter be investigated and a report be made to the full committee as it concerns us all.
Early last spring when it became obvious that the committee was considering presidential “abuse of power” as a possible ground of impeachment, I raised the question before the full committee that research should be undertaken so as to furnish a standard against which to test the alleged abusive conduct of Richard Nixon.
As I recall, several other members joined with me in this request. I recall as well repeating this request from time to time during the course of our investigation. The staff, as I recall, was noncommittal, but it is certain that no such staff study was made available to the members at any time for their use.
Wiggins believed the report was purposely hidden from committee members. Chairman Rodino denied this, and said the reason Hillary’s report was not given to committee members was that it contained no value. It’s worth noting, of course, that the staff member who made this judgment was John Doar.
In a four-page reply to Wiggins, Rodino wrote in part:
Hillary Rodham of the impeachment inquiry staff coordinated the work. . . . After the staff received the report it was reviewed by Ms. Rodham, briefly by Mr. Labovitz and Mr. Sack, and by Doar. The staff did not think the manuscript was useful in its present form. . . .
In your letter you suggest that members of the staff may have intentionally suppressed the report during the course of its investigation. That was not the case.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Doar was more concerned that any highlight of the project might prejudice the case against President Nixon. The fact is that the staff did not think the material was usable by the committee in its existing form and had not had time to modify it so it would have practical utility for the members of the committee. I was informed and agreed with the judgment.
Mr. Labovitz, by the way, was John Labovitz, another member of the Democratic staff. I spoke with Labovitz this past Friday as well, and he is no fan of Jerry Zeifman.
“If it’s according to Zeifman, it’s inaccurate from my perspective,” Labovitz said. He bases that statement on a recollection that Zeifman did not actually work on the impeachment inquiry staff, although that is contradicted not only by Zeifman but Polk as well.
Labovitz said he has no knowledge of Hillary having taken any files, and defended her no-right-to-counsel memo on the grounds that, if she was assigned to write a memo arguing a point of view, she was merely following orders.
But as both Zeifman and Polk point out, that doesn’t mean ignoring background of which you are aware, or worse, as Zeifman alleges, confiscating documents that disprove your argument.
All told, Polk recalls the actions of Hillary, Doar and Nussbaum as more amateurish than anything else.
“Of course the Republicans went nuts,” Polk said. “But so did some of the Democrats – some of the most liberal Democrats. It was more like these guys – Doar and company – were trying to manage the members of Congress, and it was like, ‘Who’s in charge here?’ If you want to convict a president, you want to give him all the rights possible. If you’re going to give him a trial, for him to say, ‘My rights were denied,’ – it was a stupid effort by people who were just politically tone deaf. So this was a big deal to people in the proceedings on the committee, no question about it. And Jerry Zeifman went nuts, and rightfully so. But my reaction wasn’t so much that it was underhanded as it was just stupid.”
Polk recalls Zeifman sharing with him at the time that he believed Hillary’s primary role was to report back to Burke Marshall any time the investigation was taking a turn that was not to the liking of the Kennedys.
“Jerry used to give the chapter and verse as to how Hillary was the mole into the committee works as to how things were going,” Polk said. “And she’d be feeding information back to Burke Marshall, who, at least according to Jerry, was talking to the Kennedys. And when something was off track in the view of the Kennedys, Burke Marshall would call John Doar or something, and there would be a reconsideration of what they were talking about. Jerry used to tell me that this was Hillary’s primary function.”
Zeifman says he had another staff member get him Hillary’s phone records, which showed that she was calling Burke Marshall at least once a day, and often several times a day.
A final note about all this: I wrote my first column on this subject because, in the aftermath of Hillary being caught in her Bosnia fib, I came in contact with Jerry Zeifman and found his story compelling. Zeifman has been trying to tell his story for many years, and the mainstream media have ignored him. I thought it deserved an airing as a demonstration of how early in her career Hillary began engaging in self-serving, disingenuous conduct.
Disingenuously arguing a position? Vanishing documents? Selling out members of her own party to advance a personal agenda? Classic Hillary. Neither my first column on the subject nor this one were designed to show that Hillary is dishonest. I don’t really think that’s in dispute. Rather, they were designed to show that she has been this way for a very long time – a fact worth considering for anyone contemplating voting for her for president of the United States.
By the way, there’s something else that started a long time ago.
“She would go around saying, ‘I’m dating a person who will some day be president,’” Polk said. “It was like a Babe Ruth call. And because of that comment she made, I watched Bill Clinton’s political efforts as governor of Arkansas, and I never counted him out because she had made that forecast.”
Bill knew what he wanted a long time ago. Clearly, so did Hillary, and her tactics for trying to achieve it were established even in those early days.
Hillary’s Crocodile Tears in Connecticut
Jerry Zeifman — February 5, 2008
I have just seen Hillary Clinton and her former Yale law professor both in tears at a campaign rally here in my home state of Connecticut. Her tearful professor said how proud he was that his former student was likely to become our next President. Hillary responded in tears.
My own reaction was of regret that, when I terminated her employment on the Nixon impeachment staff, I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations.
Hillary as I knew her in 1974
At the time of Watergate I had overall supervisory authority over the House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry staff that included Hillary Rodham-who was later to become First Lady in the Clinton White House.
During that period I kept a private diary of the behind the scenes congressional activities. My original tape recordings of the diary and other materials related to the Nixon impeachment provided the basis for my prior book Without Honor and are now available for inspection in the George Washington University Library.
Published in 1996 – Still available from Amazon.com
After President Nixon’s resignation a young lawyer, who shared an office with Hillary, confided in me that he was dismayed by her erroneous legal opinions and efforts to deny Nixon representation by counsel-as well as an unwillingness to investigate Nixon. In my diary of August 12, 1974 I noted the following:
John Labovitz apologized to me for the fact that months ago he and Hillary had lied to me [to conceal rules changes and dilatory tactics.] Labovitz said, “That came from Yale.” I said, “You mean Burke Marshall [Senator Ted Kennedy’s chief political strategist, with whom Hillary regularly consulted in violation of House rules.] Labovitz said, “Yes.” His apology was significant to me, not because it was a revelation but because of his contrition.
At that time Hillary Rodham was 27 years old. She had obtained a position on our committee staff through the political patronage of her former Yale law school professor Burke Marshall and Senator Ted Kennedy. Eventually, because of a number of her unethical practices I decided that I could not recommend her for any subsequent position of public or private trust.
Her patron, Burke Marshal, had previously been Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Robert Kennedy. During the Kennedy administration Washington insiders jokingly characterized him as the Chief counsel to the Irish Mafia. After becoming a Yale professor he also became Senator Ted Kennedy’s lawyer at the time of Chappaquidick-as well as Kennedy’s chief political
strategist. As a result, some of his colleagues often described him as the Attorney General in waiting of the Camelot government in exile.
In addition to getting Hillary a job on the Nixon impeachment inquiry staff, Kennedy and Marshall had also persuaded Rodino to place two other close friends of Marshall in top positions on our staff. One was John Doar; who had been Marshall’s deputy in the Justice Department-whom Rodino appointed to head the impeachment inquiry staff. The other was Bernard Nussbaum, who had served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York-who was placed in charge of conducting the actual investigation of Nixon’s malfeasance.
Marshall, Doar, Nussbaum, and Rodham had two hidden objectives regarding the conduct of the impeachment proceedings. First, in order to enhance the prospect of Senator Kennedy or another liberal Democrat being elected president in 1976 they hoped to keep Nixon in office “twisting in the wind” for as long as possible. This would prevent then-Vice President Jerry Ford from becoming President and restoring moral authority to the Republican Party.
As was later quoted in the biography of Tip O’Neill (by John Farrell), a liberal Democrat would have become a “shoe-in for the presidency in 1976 if Nixon had been kept in office until the end of his term. However, both Tip O’Neill and I-as well as most Democrats-regarded it to be in the national interest to replace Nixon with Ford as soon as possible. As a result, as described by O’Neill, we coordinated our efforts to “keep Rodino’s feet to the fire.”
A second objective of the strategy of delay was to avoid a Senate impeachment trial, in which as a defense Nixon might assert that Kennedy had authorized far worse abuses of power than Nixon’s effort to “cover up” the Watergate burglary (which Nixon had not authorized or known about in advance). In short, the crimes of Kennedy included the use of the Mafia to attempt to assassinate Castro, as well as the successful assassinations of Diem in Vietnam and Lumumba in the Congo.
After hiring Hillary, Doar assigned her to confer with me regarding rules of procedure for the impeachment inquiry. At my first meeting with her I told her that Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino, House Speaker Carl Albert, Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, Parliamentarian Lou Deschler and I had previously all agreed that we should rely only on the then existing House Rules, and not advocate any changes. I also quoted Tip O’Neill’s statement that: “To try to change the rules now would be politically divisive. It would be like trying to change the traditional rules of baseball before a World Series.”
Hillary assured me that she had not drafted, and would not advocate, any such rules changes. However, as documented in my personal diary, I soon learned that she had lied. She had already drafted changes, and continued to advocate them. In one written legal memorandum, she advocated denying President Nixon representation by counsel. In so doing she simply ignored the fact that in the committee’s then-most-recent prior impeachment proceeding, the committee had afforded the right to counsel to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
I had also informed Hillary that the Douglas impeachment files were available for public inspection in the committee offices. She later removed the Douglas files without my permission and carried them to the offices of the impeachment inquiry staff-where they were no longer accessible to the public.
Hillary had also made other ethically flawed procedural recommendations, arguing that the Judiciary Committee should: not hold any hearings with-or take depositions of-any live witnesses; not conduct any original investigation of Watergate, bribery, tax evasion, or any other possible impeachable offense of President Nixon; and should rely solely on documentary evidence compiled by other committees and by the Justice Department’s special Watergate prosecutor.
Only a few far-left Democrats supported Hillary’s recommendations. A majority of the committee agreed to allow President Nixon to be represented by counsel and to hold hearings with live witnesses. Hillary then advocated that the official rules of the House be amended to deny members of the committee the right to question witnesses. This recommendation was voted down by the full House. The committee also rejected her proposal that we leave the drafting of the articles of impeachment to her and her fellow impeachment-inquiry staffers.
It was not until two months after Nixon’s resignation that I first learned of still another questionable role of Hillary. On Sept. 26, 1974, Rep. Charles Wiggins, a Republican member of the committee, wrote to ask Chairman Rodino to look into “a troubling set of events.” That spring, Wiggins and other committee members had asked “that research should be undertaken so as to furnish a standard against which to test the alleged abusive conduct of Richard Nixon.” And, while “no such staff study was made available to the members at any time for their use,” Wiggins had just learned that such a study had been conducted-at committee expense-by a team of professors who completed and filed their reports with the impeachment-inquiry staff well in advance of our public hearings.
The report was kept secret from members of Congress. But after the impeachment-inquiry staff was disbanded, it was published commercially and sold in book stores. Wiggins wrote: “I am especially troubled by the possibility that information deemed essential by some of the members in their discharge of their responsibilities may have been intentionally suppressed by the staff during the course our investigation.” He was also concerned that staff members may have unlawfully received royalties from the book’s publisher.
On Oct. 3, Rodino wrote back: “Hillary Rodham of the impeachment-inquiry staff coordinated the work. The staff did not think the manuscript was useful in its present form.” No effort was ever made to ascertain whether or not Hillary or any other person on the committee staff received royalties.
Two decades later Bill Clinton became President. As was later to be described in the Wall Street Journal by Henry Ruth, the lead Watergate courtroom prosecutor, “The Clintons corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.”
1/23/13: There were fireworks on Capitol Hill this morning as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally took the stand to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Emotions ran far and wide, with Secretary Clinton choking back tears while reading her pre-prepared opening statements:
CLINTON: “ I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children.”
Her tone took a turn, however, during questioning by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wi). Sen. Johnson insisted that Americans were “misled” about what occurred leading up to the storming of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. After a heated back and forth, Clinton lost her cool, shouting:
CLINTON: “With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”
As of now, it is unclear to what degree Secretary Clinton’s remarks will impact the Benghazi investigation or shed any light on what happened that tragic day, though it’s promising that after a long and winding road she was finally able to make herself available to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Media ignore Hillary’s bombshell Benghazi claim
Insists she did not know about gun-running at U.S. mission
by Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein is WND’s senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio.
Read more at- http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/media-ignore-hillarys-bombshell-benghazi-claim/
JERUSALEM – During the Senate hearing on Benghazi yesterday, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. special mission attacked on Sept. 11 was involved in gun-running.
The remarks were perhaps the most important and telling of the entire hearing since they address a possible motive behind the jihadist attacks.
Yet Clinton’s answers were largely unreported by U.S. news media.
The exchange on the subject took place with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?
“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”
Continued Paul: “It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?”
Clinton replied, “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”
“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul.
“I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.”
That section of the exchange with Paul was almost entirely ignored by media, which instead focused on the Republican senator’s earlier statement that if he were president he would have relieved Clinton of her post.
WND has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security officials who describe the mission in Benghazi as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.
In September, WND also broke the story that the slain U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.
In November, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.
Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with countries, most notably Turkey, on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Assad’s regime, the security officials said.
According to the 39-page report released last month by independent investigators probing the attacks at the diplomatic facility, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government, as WND reported.
“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full-time office facility,” the report states. “This resulted in the Special Mission compound being excepted from office facility standards and accountability under the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (SECCA) and the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB).”
The report, based on a probe led by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, calls the facility a “Special U.S. Mission.”
During the Libyan revolution against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.
At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi acknowledged in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”
Media cover up?
From the beginning, U.S. media reports on the events in Benghazi have been misleading.
The vast majority of media coverage worldwide refers to the U.S. facility that was attacked as a “consulate,” even though the government itself has been careful to call it a “mission.”
A consulate typically refers to the building that houses a consul, who is the official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another. The U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, works out of the embassy in Tripoli.
Consulates at times function as junior embassies, providing services related to visas, passports and citizen information.
On Aug. 26, about two weeks before his was killed, Ambassador Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the Tripoli embassy.
The main role of a consulate is to foster trade with the host and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation.
Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.
However, according to the State Department investigation, the building was a “U.S. Special Mission” set up without the knowledge of the Libyan government.
Two days before the November presidential election, CBS posted additional portions of a Sept. 12 “60 Minutes” interview in which Obama made statements that contradicted his earlier claims about the attack.
In the released portions of the interview, Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden on the day of the attack, he had declared it an act of terror.
Reuters was also implicated by WND for possibly false reporting.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Reuters quoted a purported civilian protester by his first name who described a supposedly popular demonstration against an anti-Muhammad film outside the U.S. building.
Immediately following the attack, President Obama and other White House officials claimed anti-American sentiment fueled by the obscure anti-Muhammad video on YouTube sparked civilian protests outside the U.S. mission that devolved into a jihadist onslaught.
However, vivid accounts provided by the State Department and intelligence officials later made clear no such popular demonstration took place. Instead, video footage from Benghazi reportedly shows an organized group of armed men attacking the compound, officials said.
With research by Joshua Klein
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi
Published January 23, 2013
WASHINGTON – TRANSCRIPT: The following is testimony as prepared for delivery by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity.
The terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 that claimed the lives of four brave Americans — Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty — are part of a broader strategic challenge to the United States and our partners in North Africa. Today, I want to offer some context for this challenge and share what we’ve learned, how we are protecting our people, and where we can work together to honor our fallen colleagues and continue to champion America’s interests and values.
Any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact: Since 1988, there have been 19 Accountability Review Boards investigating attacks on American diplomats and their facilities. Benghazi joins a long list of tragedies, for our Department and for other agencies: hostages taken in Tehran in 1979, our embassy and Marine barracks bombed in Beirut in 1983, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, our embassies in East Africa in 1998, consulate staff murdered in Jeddah in 2004, the Khost attack in 2009, and too many others.
Of course, the list of attacks foiled, crises averted, and lives saved is even longer. We should never forget that our security professionals get it right 99 percent of the time, against difficult odds all over the world. That’s why, like my predecessors, I trust them with my life.
Let’s also remember that administrations of both parties, in partnership with Congress, have made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from the tragedies that have occurred, to implement recommendations from the Review Boards, to seek necessary resources, and to better protect our people from constantly evolving threats. That’s what the men and women who serve our country deserve. And it’s what we are doing again now, with your help. As Secretary, I have had no higher priority, and no greater responsibility.
As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility. Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure.
Taking responsibility meant moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis and further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world. It meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in Benghazi and to recommend steps for improvement. And it meant intensifying our efforts to combat terrorism and support emerging democracies in North Africa and beyond.
Let me share some of the lessons we have learned, the steps we have taken, and the work we continue to do.
First, let’s start on the night of September 11 itself and those difficult early days. I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government. So I saw first-hand what Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen called “timely” and “exceptional” coordination. No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from the military. And I want to echo the Review Board’s praise for the valor and courage of our people on the ground – especially the security professionals in Benghazi and Tripoli. The Board said our response saved American lives in real time – and it did.
The very next morning, I told the American people that “heavily armed militants assaulted our compound” and vowed to bring them to justice. And I stood with President Obama as he spoke of “an act of terror.”
You may recall that in that same period, we also saw violent attacks on our embassies in Cairo, Sanaa, Tunis, and Khartoum, as well as large protests outside many other posts where thousands of our diplomats serve.
So I immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world, with particular scrutiny for high-threat posts. We asked the Department of Defense to join Interagency Security Assessment Teams and to dispatch hundreds of additional Marine Security Guards. I named the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for High Threat Posts, so Missions in dangerous places get the attention they need. And we reached out to Congress to help address physical vulnerabilities, including risks from fire, and to hire additional Diplomatic Security personnel.
Second, even as we took these steps, I also appointed the Accountability Review Board led by Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen so that we could more fully understand what went wrong and how to fix it.
I have accepted every one of their recommendations — and I asked the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources to lead a task force to ensure that all 29 of them are implemented quickly and completely… as well as to pursue additional steps above and beyond those in the Board’s report.
Because of the effort we began in the days after the attacks, work is already well underway. And, as I pledged in my letter to you last month, implementation has now begun on all 29 recommendations. Our task force started by translating the recommendations into 64 specific action items. All of these action items were assigned to specific bureaus and offices, with clear timelines for completion. Fully 85 percent are on track to be completed by the end of March, with a number completed already.
We are taking a top-to-bottom look, and rethinking how we make decisions on where, when, and how our people operate in high threat areas, and how we respond to threats and crises.
As part of our effort to go above and beyond the Review Board’s recommendations, we are initiating an annual High Threat Post Review chaired by the Secretary of State, and ongoing reviews by the Deputy Secretaries, to ensure pivotal questions about security reach the highest levels. And we will regularize protocols for sharing information with Congress.
All of these actions are designed to increase the safety of our diplomats and development experts and reduce the chances of another Benghazi happening again.
Now, in addition to the immediate action we took and the Review Board process, we have been moving forward on a third front: addressing the broader strategic challenge in North Africa and the wider region.
Because Benghazi didn’t happen in a vacuum. The Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. And instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria.
And let me offer my deepest condolences to the families of the Americans and all the people from many nations who were killed and injured in the recent hostage crisis. We remain in close touch with the Government of Algeria and stand ready to provide assistance if needed. We are seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so that we can work together to prevent terrorist attacks like this in the future.
Concerns about terrorism and instability in North Africa are not new. Indeed they have been a top priority for our entire national security team. But after Benghazi, we accelerated a diplomatic campaign to increase pressure on al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups across the region.
In the first hours and days, I conferred with the President of Libya and the Foreign Ministers of Tunisia and Morocco. Two weeks later, I met with regional leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and held a special meeting focused on Mali and the Sahel. In October, I flew to Algeria to discuss the fight against AQIM. In November, I sent Deputy Secretary Bill Burns to follow up in Algiers. And then in December, he co-chaired the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Abu Dhabi and a meeting in Tunis of leaders working to build new democracies and reform security services.
In all these diplomatic engagements, and in near-constant contacts at every level, we have focused on targeting al Qaeda’s syndicate of terror – closing safe havens, cutting off finances, countering extremist ideology, and slowing the flow of new recruits. We continue to hunt the terrorists responsible for the attacks in Benghazi and are determined to bring them to justice. And we’re also using all our diplomatic and economic tools to support the emerging democracies of the region, including Libya, to strengthen security forces and provide a path away from extremism.
The United States must continue to lead… in the Middle East and all around the globe. We have come a long way in the past four years. We cannot afford to retreat now. When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences. Extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened.
That’s why Chris Stevens went to Benghazi in the first place. Nobody knew the dangers better than Chris, first during the revolution and then during the transition. A weak Libyan government, marauding militias, even terrorist groups… a bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel, but he didn’t waver. Because he understood that it was critical for America to be represented in that pivotal place at that pivotal time.
Our men and women who serve overseas understand that we accept a level of risk to protect this country we love. They represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. And they cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs.
It is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs and to do everything we can to reduce the risks they face.
For me, this is not just a matter of policy… it’s personal.
I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.
It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID. Nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and at more than 275 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day – often in difficult and dangerous circumstances thousands of miles from home – because they believe the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the earth has ever known.
And when we suffer tragedies overseas, the number of Americans applying to the Foreign Service actually increases. That tells us everything we need to know about what kind of patriots I’m talking about. They ask what they can do for their country. And America is stronger for it.
Today, after four years in this job, after traveling nearly 1 million miles and visiting 112 countries around the world, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. Every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words “United States of America” touches down in some far-off capital, I feel again the honor it is to represent the world’s indispensible nation. And I am confident that, with your help, we will continue to keep the United States safe, strong, and exceptional.
So I want to thank this committee for your partnership and your support of our diplomats and development experts around the world. You know the importance of the work they do day-in and day-out, and that America’s values and vital national security interests are at stake. It is absolutely critical that we work together to ensure they have the resources and support they need to face increasingly complex threats.
I know that you share our sense of responsibility and urgency. And while we all may not agree on everything, let’s stay focused on what really matters: protecting our people and the country we all love.
Now I am now happy to answer your questions.
Rand Paul Hillary Clinton Benghazi Transcript:
Failure of Leadership – Inexcusable – I Would Have Relieved You of Duty
January 23, 2013
By Maggie (www.maggiesnotebook.com )
As Senator Rand Paul’s questioning of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins, she indulgently smiles at him. Those smiles quickly disappear. Senator Rand Paul makes it clear he believes her claimed non-involvement was a failure of leadership, and he says it several times. In the conversation about the Accountability Review Board, note that later in the video Hillary Clinton says the board found the level of accountability was at the “level of Assistant Secretary and below.” In other words, she was found not culpable, even though she claims accountability for the Benghazi terrorist attack on an unprotected consulate. Paul says it is inexcusable that she did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens asking for increased security. Watch the video, read the transcript below. You’ll find a couple of comments of mine inside brackets [ ]. The most important part of the questioning from Paul, in my opinion, is in green text below.
Hillary Clinton Testifies Before Rand Paul
Begin loose transcript:
Rand Paul: One of the things about the original 9/11 is that no one was fired. We spent trillions of dollars, but there were a lot of human errors, judgement errors and the people who make judgement errors need to be replaced, fired and no longer in a position to make these judgement calls.
So we have a Review Board. The Review Board finds 64 different things we can change. A lot of them are common sense and can be done, but the question is, it’s a failure of leadership that they weren’t done in advance and 4 American lives were lost because of this. I’m glad that you are accepting responsibility. I think that ultimately with you leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11, and I really mean that. Had I been President at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it is inexcusable.
The thing is, that we can understand you are not reading every cable. I can understand that maybe you are not aware of the cable from the Ambassador in Vienna that asks for $100,000 for an electrical charging station. I can understand that maybe you are not aware that your Department spent $100,000 on 3 comedians who went to India on a promotional tour called Make Chi, Not War, but I think you might be able to understand that you should be aware of the $80 million spent on a consulate in Mahshahr al-Sharif [Readers, I’m not certain what this references and am researching – will update if I find the info] that will never be built.
I think it’s inexcusable that you did not know about this and that you did not read these cables. I think by anybody’s estimation, Libya has to be one of the hottest of hot spots around the world. Not to know of the requests for securities, really I think cost these people their lives. Their lives could have been saved had someone been more available, had someone been aware of these things, more on top of the job, and the thing is, I don’t suspect you of bad motives. The Review Board said, well these people weren’t willfully negligent . I don’t think you were willfully…I don’t suspect your motives for wanting to serve your country, but it was a failure of leadership not to be involved. It was a failure of leadership not to know these things, and so I think it is good that you are accepting responsibility, because no one else is. There is a certain amount of culpability to the worst tragedy since 9/11, and I’m glad you are accepting this.
Rand Paul: Now, my question is, is the United States involved with an procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?
[Clinton is flummoxed]
Hillary Clinton: To Turkey? I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody’s ever raised that with me.
Rand Paul: It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that they may have weapons, and what I would like to know is, the annex that was close by – were they involved with procuring, buying, selling weapons, and are these weapons being transfered to other countries? Any countries, Turkey included?
Hillary Clinton: Well Senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the Annex. I will see what information is available…
Rand Paul: You’re saying you don’t know?
Hillary Clinton: I do not know. I have no information on that.
With respect to personnel Senator, that’s why we have independent people who review the situation. We did with the Pickering and Mullin ARB [Accountability Review Board] and all four individuals identified in the ARB have been removed from their job. Secondly, they’ve been placed on administrative leave while we step through the personnel process which will determine the next steps. Third, both Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullin specifically highlighted the reason why this is complicated because under Federal Statute and Regulation, unsatisfactory leadership is not grounds for finding a breach of duty. The ARB did not find these four individuals breached their duty, so I have submitted legislation to this Committee, to the Congress to fix this problem so that future ARBs will not face this situation.
Rand Paul: Here’s the problem. The review board has all these recommendations, but there is one thing they’ve failed to address, and I think you’ve failed to address, and it sets us up for another tragedy like this. They should have never been sent in there without a Military guard. There should have been an Embassy, like in Baghdad, in a war zone, and it should have been under Military guard, significant Military guard under Defense Department Command. I don’t think this State Department is capable of being in the war zone and protecting these people. I still don’t think that…I think another tragedy could happen in another war zone around the world. Someone needs to make an executive decision. Someone needs to take leadership and with that leadership should be that you shouldn’t send them in with no Marines, you shouldn’t send them in with Marines to guard records, not people, you shouldn’t send them in with the same kind of Ambassador or Embassy staff that you have in Paris. I think that is inexcusable.
Hillary Clinton: Well Senator, the reason I am here today is to answer questions the best I can. I AM the Secretary of State, and the ARB made it very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined, sat at the level of Assistant Secretary and below. The Administration has sent officials to the Hill more than 30 times. We have given as much information…we’ve been as transparent as we can. Obviously we will continue to brief you and others to answer any questions you have about going forward. The reason we put into affect an Accountability Review Board, is to take it out of the heat of politics and partisanship and accusation and put it in the hands of people who have no stake in the outcome. The reason I said, make it open, tell the world, is because I believe in transparency. I believe in taking responsibility, and I have done so. I hope we will be able to see a good working relationship between the State Department and the Committee going forward.
End Loose Transcript
Transcript: Sen. Johnson Questions Clinton on Benghazi Attack
Jan 24, 2013
Wednesday morning at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin questioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the attacks that took place on September 11, 2012 at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Senator Johnson : Thank you Mr. Chairman and Madam Secretary, I’d like to join my colleagues in thanking you for your services sincerely, and also appreciate the fact that you’re here testifying and glad that you’re looking in good health.
Were you fully aware in real time – and again I realize how big your job is and everything is erupting in the Middle East at this time – were you full aware of these 20 incidents that were reported in the ARB in real time?
Secretary Clinton : I was aware of the ones that were brought to my attention. They were part of our ongoing discussion about the deteriorating threat environment in eastern Libya. We certainly were very conscious of them. I was assured by our security professionals that repairs were under way, additional security upgrades had taken place.
Johnson : Thank you. Did you see personally the cable on I believe it was August 12th, specifically asking for reinforcements for the security detail that was going to be evacuating or leaving in August? Did you see that personally?
Clinton : No sir.
Johnson : Okay, when you see the ARB, it strikes me how certain the people were that the attacks started at 9:40 Benghazi time. When was the first time you spoke to, or have you ever spoken to the returnees, the evacuees? Did you personally speak to those folks?
Clinton : I‘ve spoken to one of them, but I waited until after the ARB had done its investigation because I did not want there to be anybody raising any issue that I had spoken to anyone before the ARB conducted its investigation.
Johnson : How many people were evacuated from Libya?
Clinton : Then numbers are a little bit hard to pin down because of our other friends.
Johnson : Approximately?
Clinton : Approximately, 25-30.
Johnson : Did anybody in the State Department talk to those folks very shortly afterwards?
Clinton : There was discussion going on afterwards, but once the investigation started the FBI spoke to them before we spoke to them, and so other than our people in Tripoli, which I think you’re talking about Washington right?
Johnson : The point I’m making is a very simple phone call to these individuals would’ve ascertained immediately that there was no protest prior to this. This attack started at 9:40 p.m. Benghazi time and it was an assault. I appreciate the fact that you called it an assault, but I’m going back to Ambassador Rice five days later going to Sunday shows and what I would say is purposefully misleading the American public. Why wasn’t that known? And again I appreciate the fact that the transparency of this hearing, but why weren’t we transparent to that point in time?
Clinton : Well first of all Senator, I would say that the once the assault happened, and once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was number one taking care of their injuries. As I said, I still have a DS agent at Walter Reid seriously injured, getting them into Frankfurt, Ramstein to get taken care of, the FBI going over immediately to start talking to them. We did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews. And we did not, I think this is accurate sir, I certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the IC talking points at the time that Ambassador Rice went on the TV shows, and you know I just want to say that people have accused Ambassador Rice and the administration of you know misleading Americans. I can say trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on, nothing could be further from the truth. Was information developing? Was the situation fluid? Would we reach conclusions later that weren’t reached initially? And I appreciate the —
Johnson : But Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest? That was a piece of information that could’ve been easily, easily obtained?
Clinton : But Senator again—
Johnson : Within hours, if not days?
Clinton : Senator, you know, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one—
Johnson : I realize that a good excuse.
Clinton : Well no it’s the fact. Number two, I would recommend highly you read both what the ARB said about it and the classified ARB because even today, there are questions being raised. Now, we have no doubt they were terrorist, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people. But what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still unknown—
Johnson : No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that – an assault sprang out of that – and that was easily ascertained that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.
Clinton : With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again Senator. Now honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process I understand going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear it is from my perspective less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on the meantime.
Johnson : Okay, thank you Madame Secretary.
Source: Hillary Rodham Clinton History