Pointed debate questions for Hillary
Benghazi will shadow the candidate until she answers truthfully
Don’t look now, but while you’re recovering from this week’s Republican presidential debate, the Democrats will assault us with another night of their debate kabuki theater this weekend.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz could only do so much. She tried her best to limit the number of Democratic debates and postpone them for as long as possible in order to protect the viability of the party’s shaky frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. This being a republic, however, both women had to eventually accede to some debates, a few rare perfunctory displays of Mrs. Clinton “engaging” her opponents and answering “tough questions.”
So she will be on stage again Saturday night, but will she get those “tough questions”? Doubtful. She has gotten precious few so far — in any forum.
In order to give this weekend’s (and all future) moderators a hand, I suggest the following questions for Mrs. Clinton. They are just a start, however, and focus solely on national security, given that she is largely running on her “experience” as secretary of state.
She has been asked some of these questions previously, but since she has consistently dodged them or lied outright, they need to be asked of her over and over again until she answers them truthfully. (Admittedly, that could involve a long wait.)
1. Did you ever secure permission to set up your private server and email scheme? If so, from whom? Did President Obama know about it and approve? Who, if anyone, warned you against it? Specifically, did anyone from the State Department information technology team warn you against it? If so, whom?
2. On the night of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, you spoke with the president at approximately 10 p.m. Eastern Time. What did you tell him about the nature of the attack, and what did he tell you?
3. At 4:05 p.m., approximately 20 minutes into the attack, your department’s own operations center sent the first of a series of messages reporting what was happening — and that Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility. Later that night and the next day, you sent emails indicating that you clearly knew it was a planned terror attack. Did you first propose the fiction that an obscure video critical of Islam was the proximate cause of the attack? If not, who did?
4. Several days later, the White House needed a top administration official to appear on the Sunday morning shows to discuss the attack, argue that it was spontaneous and fix blame on the video. You were asked to appear, but you declined. Why?
5. Was the strategy to blame the video a result of your co-sponsorship of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which lays the groundwork for the criminalization of speech critical of Islam?
6. You told the families of the dead that the administration would hunt down the person “responsible,” who you identified as an American filmmaker. He was promptly jailed on a probation violation. Was that done in service of your advocacy of HRC Resolution 16/18?
7. Mr. Obama pointedly denied your request to hire your longtime political hatchet man, Sidney Blumenthal, in an official capacity in the State Department. You hired him anyway via the Clinton Foundation. What made Mr. Blumenthal so valuable to you that you were willing to defy Mr. Obama’s specific wishes?
8. Many of your private emails show exchanges between you, your team and Mr. Blumenthal concerning highly sensitive national security issues, including Libya. Were you running your own rogue intelligence operation via Mr. Blumenthal? And did you at any point craft U.S. policy to reward Mr. Blumenthal and serve his business interests in Libya or elsewhere?
9. Why was the group hired to provide security for the CIA annex, the February 17th militia, axed shortly before the attack and replaced with a company, Blue Mountain Group, which had no employees? Did Mr. Blumenthal have any business interests associated with Blue Mountain Group?
10. Libya was your portfolio. What responsibility do you bear for its status now as a failed state, convulsed by the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, which are using it as a terrorist haven?
11. The Russian “reset” was also your portfolio. What is your responsibility for subsequent unchecked Russian aggression and expansionism in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, and Mr. Putin’s continuing attempts to undermine NATO by harassing Turkey and the Baltic states?
12. Given this parade of horribles, many Americans cannot name a single accomplishment of yours as secretary of state. When asked to name one yourself recently, you could not. Why, then, should the American people give you a promotion?
This ought to get the party started Saturday night. Mrs. Clinton ought not be allowed to be the Democratic nominee, never mind president of the United States, without answering them. Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.