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Belmont Club

Prisoner’s Dilemma

August 12th, 2014 - 6:49 pm

After a week spent sniping at each other, the Time says “Hillary Clinton will attend a birthday party Wednesday evening in Martha’s Vineyard, just as their relationship is hitting its lowest point since the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. But Clinton hopes to use the occasion to put a fresh controversy over their foreign policy disagreements behind them, with a spokesman saying ‘she looks forward to hugging it out’ with the commander-in-chief.

Clinton called Obama on Tuesday in an attempt to clear the air before their meeting, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said. The flareup highlighted the challenge facing Clinton as she seeks to differentiate herself from a president of her own party, and the limits to which she can break with him without alienating Democratic supporters of Obama.

The problem for Hillary is that at the rate President Obama is messing things up, her chances of being elected president in 2016 are going from slim to none. The problem for Obama is different: he needs to find someone he can blame for the catastrophe unfolding overseas. The most obvious candidate to take the rap is Hillary.  So Obama’s opening line is probably to promise he’s not going to set her up.

Back in 2012 author Ed Klein told Glenn Beck that Bill Clinton’s first reaction upon learning of the attack on the Benghazi consulate was how to get Hillary out from under.  Say what you like about Bill Clinton, but that man knew how to see a punch coming.

KLEIN: Two separate sources on this. And Hillary claims, and I tend to believe her, that she ordered beefed‑up security in Benghazi because it had been requested and that this order was never carried out and that furthermore when and if she is subpoenaed, along with her internal memoranda and the cable traffic from the State Department by the House committee, it will prove that she did just that.

Now, if it doesn’t prove that she did just that, then they’re lying to me, and the sources are ‑‑ you know, I’m not suggesting that that’s impossible, but I seriously doubt it since I’m talking to legal counsel to Hillary Clinton. Legal counsel. These people don’t generally lie.

PAT: Ed, if that happened, why did she then later accept full responsibility for what took place? Why would she do that?

KLEIN: This was a big debate within the Clinton camp itself, between Hillary and Bill. Bill did not want her to take full responsibility. He wanted her to, in fact, consider the possibility of even resigning if the White House continued to try to make her the scapegoat in this. Hillary and her legal team decided she should look presidential, above ‑‑ she should look moderate, she should come forward and say, “Look, I take responsibility. I’m the Secretary of State” and by comparison making the president look a hell of a lot smaller because he was ducking all responsibility and knowing full well that when the full story came out, she would be, in her words, or at least the words of her legal counsel, exonerated.

The problem is that by concealing the presidential input — if there was any — Hillary left herself open as being the highest known decision maker that night of the debacle. As Allen West wrote, absent the “I was only following orders” defense that Hillary the buck for Benghazi stopped with her:

And at a January 2013 Senate hearing, Mrs. Clinton said that security requests “did not come to me. I did not approve them. I did not deny them.” …

As Toensing says, by statute, Clinton was required to make specific security decisions for defenseless consulates like Benghazi, and was not permitted to delegate them to anyone else. The Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999, or Secca, was passed in response to the near-simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998.” [and made the SOS responsible for such matters]

If we take “Benghazi” to be a catch-all word to describe the failed foreign policy whose consequences are now plunging the region into the turmoil, then the ownership of that policy is of the utmost political and criminal consequence. “Benghazi” is the doorway to a whole nexus of events which may conceal not just one, but many possible criminal acts. That’s why  the door is so hard to open; not because of what happened that night in Libya, but what that night in Libya might be  part of. Especially if the consequences of the policy are now playing out in Syria and Iraq.

Top Rated Comments   
Yet again I am OT, mildly this time.
Night before last our oldest, a senior engineer with a major Silicon Valley tech firm called home. During the chat the Mom asked what was happening with illegals in his area.
The gist of the conversation...It is Bush's fault! It seems that the Bush administration caused the initial illegal surge followed by the Children's Assault. How did he do that, six or more years ago? She asked.
Simple, he said, Bush didn't let them in freely in the first place; the government has had them in holding camps all these years... some of the camps are south of the border and some are in country.
We were so flabbergasted that we couldn't speak... Mom changed the subject.

sheesh...

Now to Benghazi. "...then the ownership of that policy is of the utmost political and criminal consequence. " Criminal. W actually said criminal. If the concept of criminality were chased hard and deep, the dems would be crushed... for a few days anyway.

To get at the truth the house will have to offer more than immunity. It will require a witness protection program so sophisticated that not even the residual government will know who and where....

This is bad.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
They were both lying, they are lying still, and will lie in the future.

Nobody has yet revealed just what was going on at the Benghazi consulate, not just that night, but for many other nights.

At the time it happened, a very astute reader of the Belmont Club (and I forget who it was), said he thought it was an Op that Hillary was running for the State Dept., and it went south, and Obama wanted nothing to do with it.

There are probably a handful of people that actually know the full story of what happened and why Ambassador Stevens is dead, but in all likelihood, the rest of us will never know. They won't tell us, and we don't "deserve" to know.
When the latest provable lie is that Obama had no control over the withdrawal from Iraq, and there is the sound of silence from most of the Media, you know that, at this point, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I’m talking to legal counsel to Hillary Clinton. Legal counsel. These people don’t generally lie.

Lawyers don't lie? Since when? Klein is such a cheap wh*re he probably leaves twenty bucks on the dresser for himself in the morning.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (66)
All Comments   (66)
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OT:
Making David Into Goliath

Most surprising was how much liberals once loved and rooted for Israel. The book recounts that remarkable turnabout to pit the West against Israel and oppose Zionism. The Palestinian effort to demonize and delegitimize Israel was successful, so much so that denunciations against Israel issue from almost every major Western newspaper and news outlet on a regular basis and the most senior statesmen in the world from Jimmy Carter to Nelson Mandela have made careers out of attacking Israel.

Muravchik shows how this all happened with compelling prose and lucid thought. Recommend this to anyone interested in Israel and the Middle East conflict.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-David-into-Goliath-Against/dp/1594037353
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
OT ... but every effort must be made to get the truth before the non-European public.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100283063/hamas-manipulated-and-intimidated-the-media-in-gaza-why-was-that-kept-from-us/
Hamas manipulated and intimidated the media in Gaza. Why was that kept from us?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
A first rate lie contains a shining nugget of truth, such is the case with the flowing narrative created for the Prisoner's Dilemma. With Benghazi, there may be no living person to supply a connection between Obama and Clinton, both having made themselves conspicuous by their absence on the night of the unraveling.

Franklin wrote, "Three can keep a secret if two are dead." It might be true that three can keep a secret if the courier is dead.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Obama has escaped his follies because no one of consequence dared speak the obvious. Mrs. Clinton is a person of consequence, wise enough to know that a tiny seed of doubt would be more than enough to destroy Mr. Obama's meticulously manicured lawn, given time.

Rather than expend resources laying siege to the strongholds of possible primary opponents, she will run against a non-rival by being "Not Obama." The Clintons are peerless when it comes to garnering and deftly deploying knowledge of the seemingly small but ultimately deadly idiosyncractic character defects of opponents. Look what they did to Gingrich at a time which should have been his apogee.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
The whole thing is a Tea Party Plot.

Skillful Videography, but little else.

It Never Happened.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi probability:

None of this matters:
The Media is in the process of transitioning it's full support and defense of Democrat Stars from Obama to Hillary, in preparation for her oncoming coronation.

The same blitz that elected him will elect her, while Obama's many failures will be quietly Barried tm.
He will become an object of pity instead of ridicule, and who's gonna attack or prosecute a poor victim of circumstance like that"

People will soon enough remember him as the Great Man that became our First Black President, and little else.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suppose that means, Doug, that Hillary will continue the tradition of blaming world hunger and stuff on Bush, until Dubya becomes a figure of mythical evil, an American Guy Fawkes.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
"who"
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another (admittedly low probability) option: someone from inside the loop will talk. Than both might be cooked.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
OT (sort-of) - could someone point me to a post by Wretchard dealing with the general argument that aggression towards al-quaeda or ISIS backfires by creating more recruits for their cause? I don't subscribe to that view and would like to see his - and your - take on it.
many thx
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any defense of yourself or your country instead of the Global Community is wrong, thus we should expect it to have sequelae such as recruiting terrorists, Climate Change, and Sea Level Rise.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wrong. Not a single Hillary supporter will change their mind based on Obama's performance. In fact, the more he ruins things, the more of a savior she'll appear to them. If she can triangulate to the center, following Bill's old methods, the Progressive media will make sure to tell independents and fence-sitters to fear the Tea Party extremists and Republicans who want to give the country back to the corporations and rich white men, the same lies they told in 2012.

What Hillary needs to do is figure out a way to show that she's competent leader while simultaneously claiming that she was just a good soldier following bad orders against her will while Sec. of State. The more Obama screws up now, the better she looks to her supporters, soft-headed independents, and fence-sitters.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
SH said: But it goes to show a point of extremity that even Hillary is seen as far right. My my, haven't we come a long way in 20 years! Parsing what was written, what struck me was that too many commentors were angry because she still believes in America as a powerful force of good.

MP said: William A. Galston of the WSJ weighs in ...

"What Hillary Believes", wasn't that a song by The Doobie Bros? I only wish I could believe that she believes - well, anything - but certainly that America is a force for good in the world. Even less than that, that America is *her* country and maybe deserves to win one now and then. Because Obambus, we know, does NOT so believe.

Here's the thing, that WSJ article about an Atlantic article about what Ms. Clinton purportedly "believes" is far too coherent to be credibly attributed to the Hildabeast. It is obviously a written statement prepared by staff consultants and attributed, by somebody, to Hillary, with or without her permission. The optimistic view is, *with* her knowledge and permission. Maybe she even read it in advance. No, I'm serious. I don't expect a president to know everything, or even anything, but if they choose good staff then they have done their job and may as well go off golfing or wine tasting or pants-suit shopping or whatever Hildabeast does when the klieg lights go down. Well, but that's me. Could she get Democrats to vote for her if she said/read stuff like that in public, versus, say, Ted Cruz, who might just agree with 90% of that? Dunno. The MSM would be in a frenzy like a shark trying to bite off its own head.

I don't think Hildabeast wants to run or serve, but I hope whoever wrote that material is on the staff of whoever does.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Billy Jeff can wriggle himself out or even attempt to wriggle Hillary out of the Benghazi mess, but he can not come up with an explanation why those Americans were there is the first place. I won't believe the he knows nothing excuse.

Remember the time Obama/Holder/Geithner/Hillary Clinton fresh out of the border patrol agent Brian Terry killed by F&F Gun Running scandal.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting discussion on FNC right now.

Monica Crowley says that the Clintons have the traditional view of political exchanges, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” But Obama has a highly narcissistic view of such exchanges, “I’m so incredible that you should be happy to scratch my back and I have no reason or obligation to scratch yours.”

A Clinton insider said that Bill told him, “I hate Obama more than any person I can think of. I had two successors as President, Bush and Obama. Bush called me for advice far more times than Obama has.”

Personally, I think that Billary! are almost apolitical. They care almost nothing for ideology but will cut deals to their own personal advantage. They don’t want things to come unzipped on their watch but don’t really care what happens after that, and in any case have an exaggerated view of the Design Margin; they think it infinite.

Obama is the Real Deal. He is an ideologue, if a self-interested one. If Billary! are Fatah then Obama is Hamas. If Billary! is Goring then Obama is Gobbels.

I suspect it would take something far sharper than an X-Acto blade to separate Bill Clinton’s view of Obama’s faculty lounge revolutionaries from the view that Conservatives hold of those “Silver Pony Tails.”
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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