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A Tin Heart

From Commentary Magazine, If He Only Had a Heart:

John Podhoretz comments in Michael Oren’s Book:

His dealings with the elite media were likewise unpleasant. He called the New York Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, after the paper published an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas effectively suggested the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947. The conversation went thus:

“When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write,” I began. “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

“That’s your opinion,” Rosenthal replied.

“I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

“In your view.”

“Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

Rosenthal…replied, “Some might say so.”

Still, Ally makes it nerve-jangingly clear just how difficult a job it has been for anyone to serve as a guardian of the special relationship between Israel and the United States with a president and a team who are either by default or by ideology effectively hostile toward the Jewish state itself—or the very idea of a Jewish state.

Oren recounts how he himself fell for the Obama Romance in 2008. But this was before he understood the deep and profound coldness within Barack Obama, “a chill” that “distanced him from traditional American allies—not only Israel—whose ambassadors complained to me of the administration’s unprecedented aloofness. ‘Obama’s problem is not a tin ear,’ one of my European colleagues lamented, ‘it’s a tin heart.’”

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Sensitive But Unclassified

from the New York Times,A Closer Look at Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi by Michale Schmidt:

From 2011 to 2012, Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend and confidant who was a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign, sent her at least 25 memos about Libya, including several about the Benghazi attacks. Mrs. Clinton forwarded most of them to Jake Sullivan, her trusted foreign policy adviser. Mr. Sullivan would then send the memos along to other senior State Department officials, asking for their feedback. There is no evidence those officials were told that the memos were from Mr. Blumenthal. In April 2012, J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador who died in the Benghazi attacks, was asked by Mr. Sullivan to provide his thoughts on the latest information “from HRC friend.” (Pages 127-128) Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said that Mr. Blumenthal had not been working for the government in any official capacity at the time and that his emails to Mrs. Clinton had not been solicited.

The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.” Mrs. Clinton forwarded the memo to Mr. Sullivan, saying “More info.” (Pages 193-195)

Mrs. Clinton’s emails show that she had a special type of government information known as “sensitive but unclassified,” or “SBU,” in her account. That information included the whereabouts and travel plans of American officials in Libya as security there deteriorated during the uprising against the leadership of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011. Nearly a year and a half before the attacks in Benghazi, Mr. Stevens, then an American envoy to the rebels, considered leaving Benghazi citing deteriorating security, according to an email to Mrs. Clinton marked “SBU.”

HKO

This is stunning.  Blumenthal, who was barred from the state department by Obama, nevertheless communicated with the Secretary of State on a private unsecured server, on sensitive and pertinent events. Could he have been the original source on the “movie” narrative?

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Bob Woodward on Iraq

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A Special Innocence

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Bret Stephens writes in The Wall Street Journal, Everything Is Awesome, Mideast Edition

Excerpt:

I recount these events not just to illustrate the distance between Ben Rhodes’s concept of reality and reality itself. It’s also a question of speed. The Middle East, along with our position in it, is unraveling at an astonishing pace. Reckless drivers often don’t notice how fast they’re going until they’re about to crash.

We are near the point where there will be no walking back the mistakes we have made. No walking away from them, either. It takes a special innocence to imagine that nothing in life is irreversible, that everything can be put right, that fanaticism yields to reason and facts yield to wishes, and that the arc of Mideast history bends toward justice.

Ben Rhodes, and the administration he represents and typifies, is special.

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Exploiting Government

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from the Wall Street Journal, Clinton Cronyism

excerpts:

For those who have followed the Clintons, this is the latest chapter in an old story. Only weeks ago we learned how foreign governments made donations to the family foundation while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. Even her son-in-law is taking to the family way of doing business, with his hedge fund now benefitting from big investments by the Wall Street friends of Bill and Hillary.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? This is the same woman who as first lady of Arkansas managed to turn a $1,000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000 over 10 months with an assist from some friends.

Liberals like Mrs. Clinton typically berate tea partiers and conservatives for denigrating government. But if American trust in government is at historic lows, this may have something to do with the sight of a Beltway where people become fabulously wealthy not by bringing some superior product or service to market but by cashing in on their political connections.

The Clintons didn’t invent crony capitalism. But when it comes to exploiting government for private gain, nobody does it better.