"Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
It may help you to remember this bit of
history regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton....
Watergate-era Judiciary chief of staff:
Hillary Clinton fired for lies, unethical
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 Hillarys 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 Kennedys
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
Zeifmans 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
How could a 27-year-old House staff member do all that? She
couldnt 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 Kennedys 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 ONeill, 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
Committees 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
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, Nixons resignation rendered the entire issue
moot, ending Hillarys 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 Zeifmans. Polk
specifically confirmed that Hillary wrote the memo in question,
and confirmed that Hillary ignored the Douglas case. (He said he
couldnt confirm or dispel the part about Hillary taking the
To Polk, Hillarys memo was dishonest in the sense that she
tried to pretend the Douglas precedent didnt 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. Lets 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.
Thats why Polk believes Hillarys 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
Zeifmans 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) didnt
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 ONeill and Democratic
committee member Jack Brooks of Texas, began to perceive
Doars group as acting outside the directives and knowledge
of the committee and its chairman, Peter Rodino.
(ONeill died in 1994. Brooks is still living and I tried
unsuccessfully to reach him. Id 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 Nixons
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
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
Wiggins believed the report was purposely hidden from committee
members. Chairman Rodino denied this, and said the reason
Hillarys report was not given to committee members was that
it contained no value. Its 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
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 its according to Zeifman, its 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 doesnt 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, Whos in charge here? If you want
to convict a president, you want to give him all the rights
possible. If youre 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 wasnt so much that it was underhanded
as it was just stupid.
Polk recalls Zeifman sharing with him at the time that he
believed Hillarys 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 shed 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
Hillarys primary function.
Zeifman says he had another staff member get him Hillarys
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
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 dont
really think thats 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, theres something else that started a long time
She would go around saying, Im 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 Clintons political efforts as governor of
Arkansas, and I never counted him out because she had made that
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.
Hillarys 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 Committees 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
Published in 1996 - Still available from Amazon.com
After President Nixons 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
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 Kennedys lawyer at the
time of Chappaquidick-as well as Kennedys chief political
strategist. As a result, some of his colleagues often described
him as the Attorney General in waiting of the Camelot government
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 Marshalls 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 Nixons
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
As was later quoted in the biography of Tip ONeill (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 ONeill 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 ONeill, we coordinated our efforts to
keep Rodinos 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
Nixons 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 ONeill, 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 ONeills 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
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 committees 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 Departments special
Only a few far-left Democrats supported Hillarys
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 Nixons 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 books 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
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
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 theyd 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 Clintons
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 Hillarys
bombshell Benghazi claim
Insists she did not know about gun-running at
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
Yet Clintons answers were largely unreported by U.S. news
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
Continued Paul: Its been in news reports that ships
have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what
Id 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, youll have to direct
that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what
information is available.
Youre saying you dont know? asked Paul.
I do not know, Clinton said. I dont have
any information on that.
That section of the exchange with Paul was almost entirely
ignored by media, which instead focused on the Republican
senators 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
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-Assads 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 Assads
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 Gadhafis
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
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
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
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 weve learned, how we are
protecting our people, and where we can work together to honor
our fallen colleagues and continue to champion Americas
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. Thats why, like my
predecessors, I trust them with my life.
Lets 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. Thats what the men and women
who serve our country deserve. And its 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, lets 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 Boards
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
as well as to pursue additional steps above and
beyond those in the Boards 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
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
Boards 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 didnt 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
In all these diplomatic engagements, and in near-constant
contacts at every level, we have focused on targeting al
Qaedas 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 were 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.
Thats 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
bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel, but he didnt
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
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
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
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 Im
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 worlds
indispensible nation. And I am confident that, with your help, we
will continue to keep the United States safe, strong, and
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 Americas 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, lets 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
Failure of Leadership Inexcusable
I Would Have Relieved You of Duty
January 23, 2013
By Maggie (www.maggiesnotebook.com )
As Senator Rand Pauls 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. Youll 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, its a failure of leadership that
they werent done in advance and 4 American lives were lost
because of this. Im 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 its inexcusable that you did not know about this
and that you did not read these cables. I think by anybodys
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 dont suspect you of bad motives. The Review Board said,
well these people werent willfully negligent . I dont
think you were willfully
I dont 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 Im 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. Nobodys ever raised that with me.
Rand Paul: Its 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,
Hillary Clinton: Well Senator, youll have to direct that
question to the agency that ran the Annex. I will see what
information is available
Rand Paul: Youre saying you dont know?
Hillary Clinton: I do not know. I have no information on that.
With respect to personnel Senator, thats 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, theyve 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
Rand Paul: Heres the problem. The
review board has all these recommendations, but there is one
thing theyve failed to address, and I think youve
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 dont think this State Department is capable of
being in the war zone and protecting these people. I still
dont 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 shouldnt send them in
with no Marines, you shouldnt send them in with Marines to
guard records, not people, you shouldnt 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
weve 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,
Id like to join my colleagues in thanking you for your
services sincerely, and also appreciate the fact that youre
here testifying and glad that youre 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
Clinton : Ive 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
youre talking about Washington right?
Johnson : The point Im making is a very simple phone call
to these individuals wouldve 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 Im going back to
Ambassador Rice five days later going to Sunday shows and what I
would say is purposefully misleading the American public. Why
wasnt that known? And again I appreciate the fact that the
transparency of this hearing, but why werent 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 werent 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
wouldnt have ascertained immediately that there was no
protest? That was a piece of information that couldve been
easily, easily obtained?
Clinton : But Senator again
Johnson : Within hours, if not days?
Clinton : Senator, you know, when youre 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 its 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
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 didnt 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 theyd 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 well figure out what was going on the
Johnson : Okay, thank you Madame Secretary.
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