Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Case Against Hillary

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.

McCaughey writes:

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.

She continues:

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.

McCaughey writes:

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.


Ares Olympus said...

And this is why the Clintons, Bill and Hillary, are such an annoyance to the right. Over and over they try to list the transgressions, the failures, the deceptions, the greed, the incompetence, and yet nothing ever sticks. Slick Willy and Shillary are still with us.

At the Minnesota State Fair last month, doing the political rounds, I saw a number of proud people wearing "Hillary for Prison 2016" t-shirts, and yet Hillary is still not in prison, and will soon be the most powerful person in the United States.

Who'd imagine such things are possible?

Stuart: 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.

Agreed, trying to replace a claimed incompetent person with decades of knowledge and experience with an obvious-to-all more incompetent blowhard with no knowledge or experience is simply poor strategy.

p.s. PBS Frontline has a new program "The Choice" that explores the biographies of Donald and Hillary.

Leo G said...

It is called playing the long game.

Trump must first assure the undecided that he is not a raving lunatic. Thought he controlled himself not too bad. Give him a 6.5 outta 10.

Start some new meems. Last night in Florida, Trump used the being in a position to do something for 26 years and only talk. She is incompetent. Give him a 9 outta 10.

Do not hit her hard to early. With more then a month to go, and Trump having the momentum, see if he needs to actually attack her with the big points. If the race is still tight in another 2 weeks, I would think that he will ramp up the attacks. If, as last night showed (15 - 20 thousand people at his rally) that he still has the momentum, and in a couple of weeks he has solid polling numbers, he can then look even more presidential at the next debate and let Hilary look like a desperate lunatic.

Play on her physical condition. By starting the debate with his very precise attack about how he just wants to make sure she is "good" and her "happiness" is important to him, he stealthily has put the dagger deeper into her regarding her health. This comment was pure cyanide to Hilary and will, in my opinion have the greatest effect on this election as it works it magic deep within the sub conscious of the voters.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

He would have been far more persuasive if she had not seemed to be the one with greater stamina.

David Spence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Spence said...

Trump's forte is not in debating and never will be-that's not his skill-set. What he does at a superb level though is learn by experience and adapt. As a prosecutor, I have on occasion, had to retry cases. I invariably win these as the defendant has shown me not only all he has, but the best he has and I start with that knowledge. Cruz would have, if he could have navigated the Lester Holt BS, destroyed her point-by-point because that's his skill. Clinton's attempt at a knock-out blow failed and that failure with be fatal to her in the long run.

Deana said...

I will never get over not being able to witness a Cruz v. Clinton debate. I prayed for it. But it appears our fate is set for something else . . .

Trigger Warning said...

Oh puh-leeze. There must be a cold front headed to Hell, because I find myself agreeing with Ares... "Over and over they try to list the transgressions, the failures, the deceptions, the greed, the incompetence, and yet nothing ever sticks." So we have yet another list of Hillary's crimes and misdemeanors?? It's now entered the realm of clickbait: "5 Things You Must Know Now About Hillary Clinton".

Look, people, if anyone wants to gauge Hillary's competence, recall that she was the woman leading an organization, the US Department of State - an organization that must by its very mission possess a brigade of America's finest foreign-language experts - and presided over the mistranslation of a one-word label on a crudely rigged toy:

“You got it wrong," said Lavrov, as both diplomats laughed.
“It should be “perezagruzka” [the Russian word for reset]," said Lavrov."This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means ‘overcharged.’”

How is this even possible? The silly woman is obviously a knuckle-dragging idiot, incapable of managing a travel office without creating a national spectacle.

And as far as Deana's comment about Ted Cruz goes, where were these Cruz-launched verbal lightning bolts during the Republican debates? He may or may not have been a good litigator (arguing before the SCOTUS is more like a dissertation defense than a debate}, but it sure didn't get him very far with Republican voters despite far more campaign spending. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.... did'na. If people really want Change, waving a tattered old parchment that has been thoroughly reviled in the ivory towers and local school textbooks for at least 40 years isn't going to win the day. I've seen the Constitution, and it's just a piece of paper with fading ink. Until it lives again in the hearts of Americans, it's dead.

Now that we've imported an eventual demographic majority for whom Miss Constitution has no more meaning than the latest identity politics or regulatory case before Federal courts packed with Progressives that Senate Republicans happily waved through in a spirit of bipartisan civility, you can wave your hankie in farewell to the Olde Girl, because her train has left the station.

Nope, folks, you can do no better in this election than voting for the knuckle-dragging, bar exam failing, lying old crone with an overbite bordering on buck teeth. Her ascendancy guarantees America's descendancy at best possible speed and a chance in the fairly near future for some badly needed reorganization that goes beyond another round of musical chairs. Because the party is bound to run out of other peoples' money.

Dennis said...


I love your writing, but I think one might want to ask who Hillary will use government power agains't?
Doesn't it seem that the FBI is reverting to what it was under the Clinton administration in 1992? Ask yourself when Ruby Ridge and Waco happened? Who was the president? In one case one Texas Ranger could have saved a lot of lives. In another an FBI sniper killed Weaver's wife. Weaver's crime was finally acquiescing to the badgering of the ATF to shortening the barrel of a shotgun. Now that seems like a very good reason to kill his wife and some family members, "Posse Comitatus" be damned.
With the FBI acting more as a political organization one has to wonder if Hillary gets elected if the FBI will revert to its 1992 usage. More time will be spent attacking anyone who disagrees with her than on the real existential treat of radical ISLAM.
The FBI seems to not know who it is supposed to protect. Even Comey appears to be feeling a little guilt not wanting to be called "weasels."
Maybe throwing the American people under the bus is an interesting intellectual concept, but it has real world results which I for one do not ever want to see again.
If we ignore history/herstory we are bound to repeat it. Humorous that!

Anonymous said...

I'm with LeoG. Trump is keeping his powder dry in terms of his overall spend. Count on shock and awe in the last 2 weeks of the campaign to seal the deal.

Dennis said...

One correction due to memory because they both happened close to each other. Ruby Ridge was in August 1992 and Waco was in April 1993. GHWB was president when Ruby Ridge happened and Clinton was president when Waco happened. Same FBI involved. Same questions.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The case against Hillary Clinton in a nutshell: She has no accomplishments of her own, and she is a compulsive liar. That seems to be enough.