In Monday’s presidential debate Hillary Clinton touted her record as Secretary of State. Apparently, she accumulated large numbers of frequent flier miles.
If Donald Trump had prepared for the debate or even for the election campaign he would have known enough to attack the Clinton foreign policy record. To the evident dismay of his supporters, he did not. Clinton got a pass from tough guy Donald. In effect, he made her look competent and in charge. It was not his finest hour.
You cannot attack the Clinton record without having a command of the details. And you cannot have a command of the details by simply doing what the Donald recommended in The Art of the Deal: going with your gut.
Today, Betsy McCaughey lays out the case against Hillary in a newspaper column. For all her bravado and posturing on the international stage, Hillary has nothing to show but worldwide calamity. Is the world better off now than it was when Hillary assumed power in the state department. As for her ability to manage the department, all reports suggest that she was incompetent. And let's note that Hillary was not the only woman in charge. She tends to surround herself with women. Some will say that this does not matter. Others will note that it probably does.
McCaughey opens with some of the Obama-Clinton team’s more salient failures:
Her failures go beyond leaving four Americans to die in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the ridiculous Russian “reset” and the carnage in Syria that she and President Obama idly watched unfold — and that gets more horrific daily.
She might have added the invasion of Libya, the inability to do anything about China’s advances in the South China Sea, the handling of the Arab Spring, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And naturally, the refugee crisis that has engulfed Europe and that will eventually arrive on our shores.
For bringing more death, destruction, destitution and chaos to the world, Hillary Clinton ranks among the most incompetent American Secretaries of State.
Benghazi was obviously not an isolated case. Hillary was responsible for the security of her ambassadors. Either did not know what to do or did not care, but she outsourced security around the world. Those who were providing security were not qualified to do the job. And we did not know who they were anyway. In Benghazi, when the attack began, they simply ran away.
Clinton’s State Department repeatedly rebuffed requests for additional security for the vulnerable compound at Benghazi, Libya. The result? Heavily armed terrorists were able to storm the compound and kill Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
But Benghazi wasn’t an isolated case. Clinton failed to secure diplomatic posts in Pakistan, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and other global hot spots. Internal State Department reports show the posts lacked emergency plans in case of attack. Guards assigned to them had no training in chemical or biological threats and, amazingly, some hadn’t undergone background checks.
When it came to cybersecurity, Hillary ignored the problem. No one should be surprised, but her gross carelessness undoubtedly compromised American security and must have cost the lives of American intelligence resources.
In McCaughey’s words:
Investigators also point to Clinton’s total neglect of cybersecurity. The Bush administration — reeling from the attack on the World Trade Center — had made it a top priority to protect information flow among embassies, the CIA and the FBI.
But Clinton dropped the ball, creating what the department’s inspector general called “undue risk in the management of information.”
In November 2013, the IG issued an alert to the State Department’s top executives about the urgent “recurring weaknesses” in cybersecurity that had been red-flagged in six previous reports between 2011 and 2013, almost all on Clinton’s watch. The “recurring weaknesses” had still not been addressed, including vulnerabilities to hackers.
One of those previous reports — from July 2013 (shortly after Clinton’s departure) — described how much of the cybersecurity work was actually being done by contractors rather than department staff, contrary to government policy.
Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday Clinton’s use of a private e-mail service for official business was like taking “all our top-secret material and throwing it out on Fifth Avenue.”
Outrageous, but still a lesser offense than Clinton’s neglect of the entire department’s digital security — exposing communications between thousands of agents and diplomats across the globe. Even after WikiLeaks released 250,000 confidential State Department documents in 2010, Clinton didn’t plug the obvious holes in State’s cyber set-up.
When it came to managing department finances, Hillary and her team were anything but competent.
Hillary’s management of finances at State was also slipshod, according to inspector-general reports that point to a whopping $6 billion unaccounted for during her tenure. Clinton’s chaotic mismanagement created “conditions conducive to fraud,” the IG warned, and made it harder “to punish and deter criminal behavior.” She must have felt right at home.
And, of course, Hillary remained true to form in failing to investigate sexual misconduct:
True to Clinton’s instinct to cover up problems rather than fix them, she thwarted several investigations of sexual misconduct and prostitution at State. Investigators complained of “an appearance of undue influence and favoritism.”
Surely, McCaughey is right. Clinton’s manifest incompetence at State disqualifies her for the presidency. But, someone has to make the case against her, and Donald Trump does not seem to know enough to do so.