A bad month for US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton
Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton began 2016 with a bang: she confirmed that her campaign had raised over $100 million. Only one other candidate has done that and that is the brother and son of former Presidents, Jeb Bush.
Unlike Bush, Hillary has consistently led in national and local polls, yet not one vote has been cast. That is about to change very soon when the primary and caucus season begins in February (February 1, 2016 for the Iowa Caucuses and February 9 for the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic Primaries).
Meanwhile, at the same time as the Clinton Campaign celebrated its fundraising milestone, Jerry Oppenheimer’s tell-all book State of a Union: Inside the Complex Marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton was resurrected in the press. That resurrection came as a result of Oppenheimer penning a bombshell article describing events as told to him by Bill Clinton’s other love, a beauty queen by the name of Marla Crider.
Oppenheimer writes in an exclusive Daily Mail Online article that Hillary stalked Crider, even frightened her, in order to make sure that Bill would leave Crider alone. According to Oppenheimer, Crider related the saga to him before her death in 2014 from breast cancer.
While scintillating, the details have nothing to do with the important issues that a Presidential campaign ought to be discussing. But Donald Trump opened the salvo by saying that both his and Bill’s extramarital affairs are OK for campaign fodder. This, in my opinion, is because real issues are prohibited from being discussed, and the current crop of candidates will not go off script. I can almost guarantee that without new, more independent entrants into the Presidential campaign, hence destabilizing to the status quo, the current cast of players will never get around to discussing the issues that weigh heavily on the minds of the people of the U.S.
Unfortunately, American voters are sure to even be treated to more of Bill Clinton’s “bimbo eruptions” as they have been called. The movie, Weiner, will soon debut at the Sundance Film Festival. It is about Hillary’s assistant, Huma Abedin’s husband, my former colleague, Anthony Weiner, who lost his job in the Congress on the heels of a sexting scandal.
Hitting a little closer to a bona fide issue is the movie release of 13 Hours, the story of the murder of a US Ambassador in Libya while Hillary was serving as Secretary of State. Donald Trump rented a theater and gave free tickets to moviegoers. The assessment is that Clinton is not necessarily hurt by the movie, but it does give voters some information about US policy that they ought to be questioning a lot more.
Still, even in the midst of a Presidential campaign, the real scandal is that truly important policy discussions are avoided; for example, what activity was being carried out at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and what do current events in Syria and Libya have to do with that policy. Not even an eight-hour long Congressional hearing pierces that veil, which I discussed in my article, “Clinton and Benghazi Committee: Dancing on a Tightrope.” Such questions are never even posed in this Presidential campaign season—not by the press and not by the candidates. That is why I have made no endorsement of any current candidates yet and still call for truly independent contenders - truth seeking and truth tellers - to enter the race.
I might just get my wish partially fulfilled because of what seems to be barreling down the pike. Fox News and Catherine Herridge broke a story that “the crown jewels” of US intelligence were housed on Clinton’s private e-mail server that was located in her home bathroom. The breach is startling. While I was in Congress, I studiously avoided such information when I could because I didn’t want in any way to be accused of compromising US “secrets,” many of which could be found in the US press, purposely leaked, anyway.
I remembered the prosecution of my former colleague, Representative Robert Torricelli, who told that it was a paid C.I.A. agent who killed a US citizen during the US-backed genocide in Guatemala. Torricelli had accused the intelligence agencies of protecting an individual who had killed a US citizen. I watched as Torricelli soon paid the price for that.
The Fox News revelation about Hillary’s private server is serious. The Intelligence Community Inspector General just confirmed that information with a more secret classification than top secret was stored on Hillary’s private and unsecured server.
Stunningly, in a letter dated January 14, 2016, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community wrote, “To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one IC element. These declarations cover several dozen e-mails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” One e-mail, purported to be a “smoking gun,” Hillary asked an employee to remove the classification and send the information to her “nonsecure.” And just a few days earlier, on January 11, reports surfaced that Clinton Foundation donations were being investigated by as many as 150 agents for their intersection with State Department contracts. The Foundation already had to file amended tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
I remember, during the politically turbulent headwinds created when I was asking important questions about what happened on September 11, 2001, that Sandy Berger, President Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser, went to the National Archives and Records Administration in 2002 and again in 2003 and stole important papers relating to questions he had been asked by the 9/11 Commission. Berger pleaded guilty to his crime in 2005. He was fined $50,000 and sentenced to community service. More recently, General David Petraeus avoided jail, but the Pentagon is now considering demoting him as a result of his scandal of sharing secret information with his mistress. Like Berger, Petraeus pleaded guilty, was put on probation, and was fined $100,000. C.I.A. whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling had one e-mail missing from his official account and was charged with and convicted of obstruction of justice (among other things)!
I have long said that Hillary could very well become the jilted bride left at the altar by the very special interests that she served so loyally against even the priorities of the people Hillary was sworn to protect, both in her role as Senator as well as during her tenure as Secretary of State. She served other interests fully and memorably gloated in glee at the crime against humanity that resulted in the total and complete destruction of Libya and the war crime that resulted in a targeted assassination.
Despite amassing a fortune in her campaign coffers, the Presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton are beginning to rest on shaky ground. These are only tremors so far, but any one of them could completely remove the earth underneath her once-a-sure-thing campaign. Any out-of-control spiral could leave Hillary standing at the altar all alone.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.