Category Archives: State Department

New book pins Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump on her bad decisions and refusal to listen to advice

Hillary Clinton has been busy blaming any and everyone but herself for losing the 2016 presidential election — Russia, Democrats’ and RINOs’ new bogeyman; FBI Director Comey, who should be fired for letting lawless Hillary off; WikiLeaks, without which we would never know about the depths of her lawlessness and corruption, the satanic “spirit cooking” and Pizzagate; and misogyny, Americans whom she calls “deplorable”. (See DCG’s post, “Hillary explains why she really lost to Trump“)

Now, based on insider information, a new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes titled, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, puts the blame for her loss firmly on Hillary Clinton herself.

Fix This Nation reports, April 18, 2017:

According to the authors of  Shattered, Clinton’s loss in November was less the story of a shocking, last-minute surge for Trump and more the story of a campaign that was a chaotic mess from the primaries right through to Election Day.

As the New York Times put it in their review:

The portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned “a winnable race” into “another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.”

It’s the story of a wildly dysfunctional and “spirit-crushing” campaign that embraced a flawed strategy (based on flawed data) and that failed, repeatedly, to correct course. A passive-aggressive campaign that neglected to act on warning flares sent up by Democratic operatives on the ground in crucial swing states, and that ignored the advice of the candidate’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, and other Democratic Party elders, who argued that the campaign needed to work harder to persuade undecided and ambivalent voters (like working-class whites and millennials), instead of focusing so insistently on turning out core supporters.

The authors don’t dismiss the outside forces that contributed to Clinton’s failure, including the late decision by the FBI to reopen and then close the case surrounding her email server and the populist revolution that led to Brexit across the pond. But they say that Hillary’s fate might have been sealed by mistakes the candidate made before the campaign ever got going.

Setting up the private server, blurring the lines between her government career and her charitable foundation, and giving secret speeches to Wall Street crowds were all errors that Hillary could have easily avoided, the authors contend. These mistakes, they write, “hamstrung her own chances so badly that she couldn’t recover.”

But if she did have any chance of recovery, she blew it with a mismanaged, arrogant campaign that ignored the lessons of the primaries.

“[Clinton campaign chief Robby] Mook had made the near-fatal mistakes of underestimating [Bernie] Sanders and investing almost nothing early in the back end of the primary calendar,” the authors write. They argue that if the campaign had realized the gravity of Hillary’s upset loss to Sanders in Michigan, they might not have lost the “blue wall” of the Rust Belt to Trump in November.

Because her ego can’t handle the idea that she bears the bulk of the blame, Hillary Clinton is still clinging to a thousand and one external scapegoats: Russia, sexism, Comey, Bernie, the media, and so on down the line. She has refused to take responsibility for her own mistakes since the early 1990s, and her presidency would have been more of the same.

Shattered may or may not explain why Hillary lost, but it does a great job explaining why we’re lucky that she did.

According to Page Six, the book Shattered also says Hillary apologized to Obama on election night after losing to Trump, and that in 2008 Hillary had blamed her staff after losing the nomination to Obama. Convinced that someone(s) on her staff had sabotaged her campaign, Hillary had an aide access her campaign’s server to check the emails from top staffers to find out who was talking to whom, who was leaking to whom.

True to her scapegoating form, Hillary Clinton is now on a witch hunt to find out who in her camp had leaked the damaging information to Shattered‘s authors.

Dennis Cheng, the finance director of Clinton’s presidential campaign, insisted that the book’s information “could only have come from someone in the inner circle.” Cheng has been sending out messages to determine where the leaks came from.

Note: Dennis Cheng is a longtime Hillary loyalist who was New York state finance director for the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign; deputy chief of protocol in the State Department when Hillary was secretary of state; and  chief development officer of the corrupt Clinton Foundation from 2011 to 2015, credited with raising $248 million. Cheng’s pic sets off my gaydar.

One source told Page Six, “The knives are out to find the people who spoke about the campaign to the authors of this book. Dennis has been texting prominent campaign staffers, asking who talked. He’s on a witch hunt to find out who talked to save their own skin . . . . There’s some speculation that Huma Abedin cooperated to save her own reputation. However, she and Hillary are still very close.”

Huma is writing her own book, and is said to be seeking $2 million for it.

~Eowyn

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Drain the Swamp: First Clinton-State Dept. staffer indicted for treason

20 days ago, on March 29, 2017, Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, became the first Clinton-era State Department employee to be indicted by a federal grand jury on treason charges — conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, concealing contact and pay-to-play schemes with foreign spies, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to the FBI.

According to YourNewsWire, prosecutors warn Claiborne is “the first of many” corrupt Clinton-era State Department employees who will be brought to justice by a reinvigorated Department of Justice in the Trump administration.

In a press release on March 29, 2017, the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs announced the March 28 arrest and indictment of U.S. Department of State employee Candace Marie Claiborne for:

  • Obstructing an official proceeding;
  • Making false statements to the FBI; and
  • Concealing numerous contacts that she had over a period of years with foreign intelligence agents.

The federal charges against Claiborne were announced by:

  1. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord for National Security
  2. U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia
  3. Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord said:

“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits. Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”

U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips said:

“Candace Claiborne is charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided. As a State Department employee with a Top Secret clearance, she received training and briefing about the need for caution and transparency. This case demonstrates that U.S. government employees will be held accountable for failing to honor the trust placed in them when they take on such sensitive assignments.”

Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale said:

“Candace Claiborne is accused of violating her oath of office as a State Department employee, who was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully mislead federal investigators about her significant and repeated interactions with foreign contacts. The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who, though required by law, fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint and arrest warrant, Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She has served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai in China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintains a Top Secret security clearance. Claiborne also is required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency.

Despite such a requirement, the affidavit alleges, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years, including cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne, tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.

Despite allegedly confiding to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were “spies,” Claiborne willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents. Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents.

The maximum penalty for a person convicted of obstructing an official proceeding is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for making false statements to the FBI is five years in prison. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of Claiborne will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

At her court appearance on March 29, Claiborne pleaded not guilty before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather. A preliminary hearing is set for April 18.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office is leading the investigation into this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John L. Hill and Thomas A. Gillice for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Julie Edelstein of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

When she was Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, too, betrayed the public trust of her Top Secret security clearance, as well as engaged in pay-for-play schemes with foreign governments and individuals via her Clinton Foundation. Let’s hope Candace Marie Claiborne is the first of many arrests to come of State Department officials, to eventually culminate in the arrest of Hillary herself.

See also:

~Eowyn

President Trump ends $75M funding of UN abortion agency

On his first full day of work in the White House on January 23, 2017, a day after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Trump signed his first executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy that bans U.S. funding of at least half a billion dollars to international organizations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion. (See “Trump fulfills 3 promises in first day of work as POTUS, including defund International Planned Parenthood”)

President Trump kept his word.

Reuters reports that on April 3, 2017, the State Department informed Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker in a letter that the U.S. is ending taxpayers’ funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because the agency “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

In so doing, President Trump is saving taxpayers as much as $75 million — the amount the Obama administration had given UNFPA in 2015 in core budget and earmarked contributions, which made the U.S. the fourth largest donor to UNFPA.

In a statement on its website, UNFPA said it regrets the U.S. decision to end funding, which it said is based on an “erroneous claim” that the agency supports coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China. UNFPA said its mission is “to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The support we received over the years from the government and people of the United States has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, and especially now in the rapidly developing global humanitarian crises.”

Blah, blah, blah.

The end in U.S. funding of UNFPA is President Trump’s first move to curtail funding for the United Nations, to which the United States is the top donor.

There is a bill in Congress, H. R. 193, to end membership of the United States in the United Nations. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 3, 2017. Tell your Congress critters to support HR 193!

And so the next time someone — as Red State and Vigilant Citizen did — says you shouldn’t bother to vote because Trump is no different than Hillary Clinton, show them this post.

Note: It is noteworthy that Vigilant Citizen (VC) has since taken down its post of September 23, 2016, “Why the Trump vs. Clinton Election is a Complete Sham,” instructing VC‘s readers not to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8 presidential election. But the post is reproduced on many websites, including The Seeker.

I had read the post when it was first published on Vigilant Citizen and was utterly disgusted by VC‘s grandiose know-it-all and plain irresponsibility. I wrote a comment questioning how he knows Trump is no different than Hillary, and proposed that the only way to verify his claim is precisely to  vote for Trump. If President Trump turns out indeed to be no different than Hillary, that proves VC to be right; if President Trump turns out to be different than Hillary, that proves VC to be wrong. My comment was never published. Instead of admitting he is wrong, Vigilant Citizen chose the coward’s way out by deleting his “Why the Trump vs. Clinton Election is a Complete Sham” post from his website. This is why I no longer read Vigilant Citizen.

~Eowyn

Hillary Clinton still has access to classified State Dept information

Hillary Clinton stopped being U. S. secretary of state more than four years ago.

Hillary Clinton stopped being a federal government employee more than four years ago.

Hillary Clinton stopped being a presidential candidate five months ago.

And yet, Hillary Clinton — a civilian like you and me — still has access to classified State Department information because her security clearance has not been revoked. Worse still, it’s not just Hillary, six of her staff also have access to classified information because their security clearance hasn’t been revoked either.

That’s what Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) discovered, and he’s asking why that is so, especially in view of FBI Director Comey’s conclusion that Hillary and her aides had been “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

ZeroHedge reports, March 31, 2017, that after sending numerous requests to John Kerry’s State Department which fell on deaf ears, Grassley has sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson asking why Hillary’s security clearance hasn’t yet been revoked given that “any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation.” Grassley writes:

I have repeatedly asked the State Department whether Secretary Clinton and her associates had their clearances suspended or revoked to which the Obama Administration refused to respond. Recently, the State Department informed the Committee that six additional Secretary Clinton staff at State were designated as her research assistants which allowed them to retain their clearances after leaving the Department.

Director Comey stated that Secretary Clinton and staff were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” and “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information…”

Any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation. The failure to do so has given the public the impression that Secretary Clinton and her associates received special treatment.

According to Fox News, the assumption on Capitol Hill is that Hillary is writing her memoirs and justifies her and her staff’s continuing access to classified State Department information because she needs the information for her memoirs.

~Eowyn

Mexico fumes over Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom

i-dont-care

Cállate.

From Yahoo: Senior envoys of President Donald Trump are likely to receive a chilly reception in Mexico on Wednesday, after the United States issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the southern neighbor the day before bilateral talks.

Trump’s administration on Tuesday unveiled plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of their nationality.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are due to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday afternoon for talks on security and immigration.

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new “unilateral” rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

He said the issue would dominate the talks, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. “I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” he told reporters at the foreign ministry.

“We will not accept it, because there’s no reason why we should, and because it is not in the interests of Mexico.” Another senior Mexican official, Roberto Campa, who heads the human rights department of the interior ministry, said Videgaray was referring to the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico, calling it “hostile” and “unacceptable.”

The Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Republican Trump signed on Jan. 25.

DCG

More ‘Drain the Swamp’ of the State Department

One of Donald John Trump’s campaign promises was “Drain the Swamp”.

drain-the-swamp

The State Department is notorious for being a bastion of liberal bureaucrats even in Republican administrations. It is also a corrupt bureaucracy.

Recall that in the 3+ years (2009-2013) when Hillary Clinton headed the department as U.S. Secretary of State, she used the State Department as a personal “pay-for-play” fiefdom, while she took foreign policy orders from George Soros. See:

Recall also how uncooperative the State Department was in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary’s illicit private email server. See:

Then there is the State Department’s “7th Floor Group” that an FBI document identified as America’s “shadow government”. (See “FBI confirms U.S. has a shadow government“)

So if any federal bureaucracy’s swamp needed draining, the State Department is top of the list.

Even before Rex Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State, the draining of the State Department swamp already had begun with the resignation of four senior staffers. One of them is none other than a member of the 7th Floor GroupPatrick F. Kennedy (no relation to the Kennedy clan), long-time Undersecretary for Management who had been with the State Department since 1973.

patrick-f-kennedy

Happily, the draining of the swamp is continuing under new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

CBS News reports that on February 16, 2017, while Rex Tillerson was on his first overseas trip as Secretary of State, much of the 7th Floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told their services were no longer needed. These staffers are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered.

Daniel Halper of the New York Post observed the obvious — that the firing of the 7th Floor Group is “a symbolically important sign to the rest of the diplomatic corps that their new boss has different priorities than the last one.”

amb-kristie-kenneyOne of those who were laid off is Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and a career foreign service officer who had served as an ambassador under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Kenney was one of the last remaining senior officials. Her staff was told that Secretary Tillerson does not intend to fill the counselor’s position anytime soon.

The Trump administration has sent clear signals that many key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House, rather than through the professional diplomats. As an example, not a single State Department official was included in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner – who has  no regional expertise or diplomatic experience –  had a greater role in the meeting than the Secretary of State Tillerson.

tom-countrymanTom Countryman, Former Assistant Secetary for Non-Proliferation who was let go earlier this month, griped: “It is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You can’t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket.” Countryman worries that the White House intends to not rely on the State Department for foreign policy and that no one will be left in the department to challenge the edicts drawn up in the Oval Office.

State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond, a new hire at the State Department who previously worked for Newt Gingrich, did not respond to the specific question of what motivated the layoffs but provided the following statement: “As part of the transition from one administration to the next we continue to build out our team. The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats. We are appreciative to any American who dedicates their talents to public service.‎”

~Eowyn

State Department officials sign dissent memo over Trump’s immigration Executive Order

youre-fired.jpg

From Yahoo: About 900 U.S. State Department officials signed an internal dissent memo protesting a travel ban by U.S. President Donald Trump on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, a source familiar with the document said on Tuesday, in a rebellion against the new president’s policies.

A senior State Department official confirmed the memorandum had been submitted to acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon through the department’s “dissent channel,” a process in which officials can express unhappiness over policy.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday he was aware of the memo but warned career diplomats that they should either “get with the program or they can go.”

A draft of the dissent memo seen by Reuters argued that the executive order would sour relations with affected countries, inflame anti-American sentiment and hurt those who sought to visit the United States for humanitarian reasons.

It said the policy “runs counter to core American values of non-discrimination, fair play and extending a warm welcome to foreign visitors and immigrants.”

Trump on Friday signed an executive order that temporarily bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority (way to keep the #MuslimBan narrative going, Yahoo) countries, sparking tumult at U.S. airports and protests in major American cities. The ban affects Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Even before the executive order on immigration was issued, concern among State Department officials had been growing over news reports that Trump was about to ease sanctions against Russia, said one State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The resignation of at least four top State Department officials, including Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who formally left the department on Tuesday, also caused some unease among diplomats who worried about a power vacuum.

DCG