Hillary Clinton's Charlie Hebdo Problem
"In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the response from American politicians has ranged from pathetic to parodic," John McCormack writes at the Weekly Standard:
Through his press secretary, President Obama expressed regret on Monday that neither he nor any other high-ranking American official joined 44 world leaders who marched alongside millions in Paris last weekend. Then on Friday, in an effort to make amends, Secretary of State John Kerry brought James Taylor to Paris to sing "You've Got a Friend."
The response from Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, hasn't been any better. Clinton has remained silent about the Charle Hebdo massacre since it occurred on January 7.
Clinton's spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the former secretary of state has not publicly commented on the attack, but Merrill declined to give any particular reason for Clinton's silence. (She did manage to find the time Friday afternoon, however, to condemn Republicans in Congress for "[a]ttacking financial reform.")
What seems most likely is that Clinton has remained silent in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in order to avoid scrutiny of her own failure to defend free speech in the face of Islamist violence.
As McCormack notes, Hillary was one of numerous Obama operatives who blamed Benghazi on a hapless YouTube video maker, whom the administration promptly had jailed. Concurrently, Hillary pushed the "video did it" theme at Dover Air Force Base, as the remains of the Americans killed by al-Qeada were returned to US soil on September 14th of 2012:
But in addition to her role in the Benghazi cover-up, Hillary Clinton's highlight reel is filled with anti-free speech moments, not the least of which was her show-stopping "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" soundbite in 1998. About which, Ann Coulter wrote in May of 2001:
The conservatives -- primarily writers at The American Spectator -- had a devilish plan to investigate Bill Clinton's venality, corruption and crimes as governor of Arkansas. At the conclusion of their little scheme, the Spectator intended to publish the fruits of their conspiracy as widely as possible.
This is a highly unusual strategy for a criminal conspiracy. Typically, conspiracies are marked by hiding evidence, losing billing records and developing amnesia -- pretty much everything the Clintons did. Rarely do criminal conspiracies plot to write magazine articles about their dirty business.
Though you wouldn't know it from the behavior of the mainstream media, it is not, strictly speaking, against the law to publish articles critical of Democratic presidents. And it is not against the law to associate with individuals reputed to be conservatives engaged in journalism. (In fact, it's not even against the law to consort with known felons, like Bill Clinton, or convicted felons, like Webb Hubbell.)
And of course, in the years since, Hillary has built quite an anti-free speech empire to advance her career:
In what was described as “a major power play,” Clinton minion and loyal Free Beacon reader David Brock is taking over as head of the allegedly nonpartisan (but actually left-wing) watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Brock was elected chairman of the group last week “after laying out a multifaceted expansion intended to turn the group into a more muscular—and likely partisan—attack dog,” Vogel writes.
CREW, which plans to add a more explicitly political arm in order to target Republican politicians, donors, and other enemies of David Brock, is the latest addition to Brock’s stable of aggressive political attack outfits, such as Media Matters, American Bridge, and the recently announced American Independent Institute and American Democracy Legal Fund. “CREW gives us some potentially powerful tools in the tool box,” Brock told Politico. “We have been in the accountability for 10 years very successfully. It is kind of a one-stop-shop now.”
By “us,” Brock is presumably referring to himself and Hillary Clinton, whom he has defended as vigorously as Zoolander fashion mogul/villain Mugatu defended child labor in Malaysia.
In other words, if an American equivalent of Charlie Hebdo attempted to mock Hillary in the same savage fashion that they mocked Mohammed, Hillary's vast left wing conspiracy would quickly swing into action. No overt terrorism would be involved, but as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Dinesh D'Souza and now David Petraeus have each discovered the hard way, jail and/or lengthy and expensive court trials could result.
All of which are reasons why, just as Obama tried to downplay the massacre at Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris lest low-information voters become reminded that Islamic terrorism didn't end in January of 2009, Hillary is similarly hoping that the fallout from the attack quickly diminishes. Any of her pronouncements on the topic would risk a certain amount of collateral damage to her presidential bid.
Oh and by the way, just as John Kerry delivered up James Taylor to a gaggle of bewildered French politicians, it's worth noting that Hillary has her own collection of stars that occasionally follow her to exotic, war-torn locales.
Update: There is one way that Hillary and her spouse have inadvertently helped to advance free speech. But I doubt either of them looks very favorably upon this landmark moment in journalism:
On THIS day in 1998... http://t.co/XDathvYpJv pic.twitter.com/cjDyl9uUv7
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 17, 2015