Pointed de­bate ques­tions for Hil­lary

Beng­hazi will shadow the can­di­date un­til she an­swers truth­fully

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Monica Crowley

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.

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