The mis­tress of de­cep­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By An­drew P. Napoli­tano

The self-in­flicted wounds of Hil­lary Clin­ton just keep man­i­fest­ing them­selves. She has two se­ri­ous is­sues that have arisen in the past week; one is po­lit­i­cal and the other is le­gal. Both have de­cep­tion at their root. Her po­lit­i­cal prob­lem is one of cred­i­bil­ity. We know from her emails that she in­formed her daugh­ter Chelsea and the then-prime min­is­ter of Egypt within 12 hours of the mur­der of the U.S. am­bas­sador to Libya, J. Christo­pher Stevens, that he had been killed in Beng­hazi by al Qaeda. We know from the pub­lic record that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s nar­ra­tive blamed the killings of the am­bas­sador and his guards on an anony­mous crowd’s spon­ta­neous re­ac­tion to an anti-Muham­mad video.

Over this past week­end we learned that her own em­bassy staff in Tripoli told her se­nior staff in Wash­ing­ton the day af­ter the killings that the video was not an is­sue, and very few Libyans had seen it. We also know from her emails that the CIA in­formed her within 24 hours of the am­bas­sador’s mur­der that it had been planned by al Qaeda 12 days be­fore the ac­tual killings.

Nev­er­the­less, she per­sisted in blam­ing the video. When she re­ceived the bod­ies of Am­bas­sador Stevens and his three body­guards at An­drews Air Force base three days af­ter their mur­ders, she told the me­dia and the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased as­sem­bled there that the four Amer­i­cans had been killed by a spon­ta­neous mob re­act­ing to a cheap 15-minute anti-Muham­mad video.

Mrs. Clin­ton’s sor­did be­hav­ior through­out this un­happy af­fair re­veals a cava­lier at­ti­tude about the truth and a ready will­ing­ness to de­ceive the pub­lic for short-term po­lit­i­cal gain. This might not harm her po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions with her base in the Demo­cratic Party, but it will be a se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal prob­lem for her with in­de­pen­dent vot­ers, with­out whose sup­port she sim­ply can­not be elected. Yet, her name might not ap­pear on any bal­lot in 2016. That’s be­cause each time she ad­dresses th­ese is­sues — her in­volve­ment in Beng­hazi and her emails — her le­gal prob­lems get worse. We al­ready know that the FBI has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing her for es­pi­onage (the fail­ure to se­cure state se­crets), de­struc­tion of gov­ern­ment prop­erty and ob­struc­tion of jus­tice (wip­ing her com­puter server clean of gov­ern­men­tal emails that were and are the prop­erty of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment), and per­jury (ly­ing to a fed­eral judge about whether she re­turned all gov­ern­men­tal emails to the State Depart­ment).

Now, she has added new po­ten­tial per­jury and mis­lead­ing Congress is­sues be­cause of her de­cep­tive tes­ti­mony to the House Beng­hazi com­mit­tee. In 2011, when Pres­i­dent Obama per­suaded NATO to en­act and en­force a no-fly zone over Libya, he sent Amer­i­can in­tel­li­gence agents on the ground. Since they were not mil­i­tary and were not shoot­ing at Libyan gov­ern­ment forces, he could plau­si­bly ar­gue that he had not put “boots” on the ground. Mrs. Clin­ton, how­ever, de­cided that she could ac­cel­er­ate the de­par­ture of the Libyan strong­man, Col. Moam­mar Gad­hafi, by arm­ing some of the Libyan rebel groups that were at­tempt­ing to op­pose him, and thus help them to shoot at gov­ern­ment forces.

In vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral law and the U.N. arms em­bargo on Libya she au­tho­rized the ship­ment of Amer­i­can arms to Qatar, know­ing they’d be passed off to Libyan rebels, some of whom were al Qaeda, a few of whom killed Am­bas­sador Stevens us­ing Amer­i­can-made weapons. When asked about this, she said she knew noth­ing of it. The emails un­der­ly­ing this are in the pub­lic do­main. Mrs. Clin­ton not only knew of the arms-to-Libyan-rebels deal, she au­thored and au­tho­rized it. She lied about this un­der oath.

Af­ter sur­vey­ing the dam­age done to his regime and his fam­ily by NATO bomb­ings, Gad­hafi made known his wish to ne­go­ti­ate a peace­ful de­par­ture from Libya. When his wish was pre­sented to Mrs. Clin­ton, a source in the room with her has re­vealed that she silently made the “off with his head” hand mo­tion by mov­ing her hand quickly across her neck. She could do that be­cause she knew the rebels were well equipped with Amer­i­can arms with which to kill him. She didn’t care that many of the rebels were al Qaeda or that arm­ing them was a felony. She lied about this un­der oath.

My Fox News col­leagues Cather­ine Her­ridge and Pamela Browne have scru­ti­nized Mrs. Clin­ton’s tes­ti­mony with re­spect to her friend and ad­viser Sid­ney Blu­men­thal. Re­call that Mr. Obama ve­toed Mrs. Clin­ton’s wish to hire him as her State Depart­ment se­nior ad­viser. So she had the Clin­ton Foundation pay him a greater salary than the State Depart­ment would have, and he be­came her silent de facto ad­viser.

They emailed each other hun­dreds of times dur­ing her ten­ure. He pro­vided in­tel­li­gence to her, which he ob­tained from a se­cu­rity com­pany on the ground in Libya in which he had a financial in­ter­est. He ad­vised her on how to present her­self to the me­dia. He even ad­vo­cated the pa­ram­e­ters of the Libyan no-fly zone and she acted upon his rec­om­men­da­tions. Yet she told the com­mit­tee he was “just a friend.” She was highly de­cep­tive and crim­i­nally mis­lead­ing about this un­der oath.

It is dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that the fed­eral prose­cu­tors and FBI agents in­ves­ti­gat­ing Mrs. Clin­ton will not rec­om­mend that she be in­dicted. In­ex­pli­ca­bly, she seems to have for­got­ten that they were mon­i­tor­ing what she said un­der oath to the Beng­hazi com­mit­tee. By ly­ing un­der oath and by mis­lead­ing Congress, she gave that team ad­di­tional ar­eas to in­ves­ti­gate and on which to rec­om­mend in­dict­ments.

When those rec­om­men­da­tions are made known, no bal­lot will bear her name. An­drew P. Napoli­tano, a former judge of the Su­pe­rior Court of New Jer­sey, is a con­trib­u­tor to The Wash­ing­ton Times and Fox News. He is the author of seven books on the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion.

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