By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
It appears that Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal has a network of military and intelligence connections that made him anathema to the Obama White House. Blumenthal must know something about Obama that kept him from getting a State Department job under Hillary.
Congress has the power to compel Blumenthal to testify in public about how he collected intelligence information on Obama and other matters for the use of Mrs. Clinton, before and during the time she was Secretary of State.
The New York Times reports that when Clinton was Secretary of State, she used Blumenthal as an unofficial adviser and sent his memos to “senior diplomatic officials” about such topics as Libya. Blumenthal’s contacts included Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former CIA spy, among others, the paper said. It appears some of them were trying to do business in Libya.
The CIA spy was identified as Tyler Drumheller, described by the paper as “a colorful former Central Intelligence Agency official.”
In the course of reporting this information, the Times said that Blumenthal “had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama…” But why? This question goes unanswered.
It might have something to do with how Blumenthal gained access to information and who else might have gotten access to the same information.
As the Times notes, it appears that the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” breached Blumenthal’s email account and discovered correspondence he sent to Mrs. Clinton. Some of this material had to do with business in Libya. A story about this correspondence ran in Gawker and Pro Publica under the headline, “Leaked Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network.” The story said that some of the memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources inside the Libyan opposition, in addition to Western intelligence and security services.
The publication Slate has a series of questions that need to be asked of Hillary about Blumenthal, his relationship with Hillary, and his controversial connections.
One of the proposed questions: “Did you ever consider hiring Sidney Blumenthal as an employee in your State Department? And, if so, did the Obama administration block such a move, as has been reported? Did the White House know that he provided you with unofficial advice nonetheless?”
Again, the question is why the Obama White House reportedly blocked Blumenthal from working in the State Department.
I think we know the answer, and it has nothing to do with business in Libya or anywhere else: Blumenthal had the goods on Obama’s mysterious past and controversial communist connections that made him susceptible to blackmail by foreign agents and interests.
When Hillary Clinton was running against Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Blumenthal was acting as a Hillary adviser and circulated a memorandum about Obama’s communist connections. The political left was shocked.
In a May 9, 2008 column in The Huffington Post, Peter Dreier, the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College in California, complained that Blumenthal had “circulated an article taken from the fervently hard-right AIM website” that was entitled, “Obama’s Communist Mentor.” I was the author.
This was, of course, the column about Obama’s relationship with Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis.
The column was completely accurate, but Dreier tried his best to play down the revelations. He wrote:
“The Kincaid article that Blumenthal circulated sought to discredit Obama by linking him to an African-American poet and writer whom Obama knew while he was in high school in Hawaii. That writer, Frank Marshall Davis, was, Kincaid wrote, a member of the Communist Party. Supported by no tangible evidence, Kincaid claimed that Obama considered his relationship to Davis to be ‘almost like a son.’ In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote about meeting, during his teenage years, a writer named ‘Frank’ who ‘had some modest notoriety once’ and with whom he occasionally discussed poetry and politics. From this snippet, Kincaid weaves an incredulous tale that turns Davis into Obama’s ‘mentor.’”
It appears that Dreier was only one among many on the left who received this information, but he was the only person who went public and attempted to discredit it.
Notice how Dreier attempts to play down the substantial evidence of the relationship by using terms like “no tangible evidence” and an “incredulous tale.” At the same time, Dreier was astonished that “a self-professed liberal operative like Blumenthal” had been circulating “anti-Obama attacks” from “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources.”
It must not have occurred to Dreier that the information being distributed by Blumenthal was accurate and had been verified by Hillary’s associates. It would appear that Blumenthal had the connections necessary to verify that kind of information—and perhaps to add some more important details to it.
Blumenthal’s contacts included that “colorful” former CIA spy, Tyler Drumheller, who “served as the CIA’s top spy—the division chief for the Directorate of Operations (DO)—in Europe until he retired in 2005.” It’s safe to say that Drumheller was well-positioned to have knowledge of intelligence operations throughout the world, then and now.
Considering that we now know that Blumenthal had military and intelligence connections, it is likely that Blumenthal had the information about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii and Chicago checked out and verified. He would have concluded that the Davis connection to Obama was enough to disqualify the then-senator from Illinois from the White House.
Dreier used the terms “fervently hard-right” and “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources,” in order to discredit the information. But the original revelation about Davis came from a left-wing source, Marxist historian Gerald Horne. He had spilled the beans about Obama’s mentor “Frank” being Frank Marshall Davis, a notorious communist with a 600-page FBI file.
The Davis material circulated by Blumenthal was just one tidbit of negative material that Dreier says had been circulating against Obama almost every day over a six-month period during the 2008 campaign, This material, he complained, “attacks Obama’s character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations.”
It looks like Blumenthal recognized that the Frank Marshall Davis relationship to Obama was real political dynamite and something that could sink the candidate. If Blumenthal had confirmed all of this—and he might have even had more damaging information—we have to wonder whether the information was obtained by others for possible use as blackmail material against Obama. After all, if a Romanian hacker got access to some of the more sensitive material, it seems at least possible that it was made available to others.
The additional question is why Hillary never used the damaging information against Obama. The answer to that, quite clearly, is that Obama made a deal with Hillary so she could become his Secretary of State. That part of the deal went forward, but when Hillary said she wanted to bring Blumenthal into the State Department as her trusted adviser, somebody in the Obama White House rejected that outright. Hillary may have been told that her job at State was for the taking if she would keep Blumenthal under control. She had to have known that Blumenthal was involved in circulating information about the Obama-Davis connection, since The Huffington Post had publicized it.
Hillary continued to use Blumenthal in an unofficial capacity, collecting information and intelligence on Libya and perhaps many other sensitive topics. Did she use this secret spy network to gather intelligence on Obama himself? That question is far more important than whether Blumenthal had friends who did business in Libya.
The New York Times reported that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, planned to subpoena Blumenthal, “for a private transcribed interview.” Reuters now reports that the subpoena has been served, demanding that Blumenthal appear before the House committee on June 3 to give a deposition.
Under no circumstances, however, should this be conducted in private and behind closed doors. The American people are entitled to hear the truth in an open and public setting.
What did Blumenthal know about Obama? And when did he know it?