Clin­ton wa­tered down Saudi-women speech at be­hest of Abe­din’s mother

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Dou­glas Ernst

For­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton and her team re­frained from men­tion­ing “free­dom” dur­ing a 2010 speech in Saudi Ara­bia at the be­hest of Saleha Abe­din, new emails re­veal.

The gov­ern­ment watch­dog Ju­di­cial Watch re­leased 1,617 doc­u­ments on Thurs­day linked to a May 2015 law­suit it filed against the State Depart­ment. New emails shed light on in­flu­ence the fam­ily of Mrs. Clin­ton’s long­time aide, Huma Abe­din, had in deal­ing with the Saudi King­dom.

Saleha Abe­din, a so­ci­ol­ogy lec­turer at a women’s col­lege in Jed­dah, helped craft a Feb. 16, 2010, speech that omit­ted any ref­er­ence to “free­dom” or “democ­racy.”

“Talk to my mom for sure,” Ms. Abe­din told speech­writer Case But­ton on Feb. 12, 2010. “She will have good points for you.”

Saleha Abe­din’s “IM­POR­TANT POINTS TO RE­MEM­BER” email sent on the same day in­cluded in­struc­tions like:

● “Do not use the po­lit­i­cal terms such as ‘democ­racy/ elec­tions/ free­dom.’”

● “Do not use the term ‘em­pow­er­ment of women’ in­stead say ‘en­abling women’ and use other terms such as ‘part­ner­ship/par­tic­i­pa­tion.’”

● “Don’t sound sym­pa­thetic to ‘women’s plight’ or be ‘pa­tron­iz­ing’ as other vis­i­tors have done and made the stu­dents ex­tremely an­noyed.”

A review of Mrs. Clin­ton’s speech shows that Saleha Abe­din’s ad­vice was fol­lowed, Fox News re­ported.

The doc­u­ments re­leased by Ju­di­cial Watch come as a re­sult of its ef­forts to ex­am­ine Mrs. Clin­ton’s han­dling of clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion — main­tained via a se­cret email server — dur­ing her ten­ure as the na­tion’s top diplo­mat.


Saleha Abe­din, mother of Huma Abe­din (left), ad­vised for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton’s speech­writer to avoid cer­tain terms for a speech.

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