Editorial Board, Washington Examiner:
The New York Times ran an alarming report this week on how Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton aide from the 1990s and an employee of the Clinton Foundation, may have helped shape U.S. policy in Libya.
Despite being barred by former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel from employment at the State Department when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to hire him in 2009, Blumenthal passed intelligence to Clinton at an email address she had previously maintained she did not use at the time. She evidently took very his advice seriously, routinely forwarding his unvetted memos to senior diplomats. Her aide would anonymize the memos, concealing the fact that Blumenthal — a polarizing figure known in the 1990s for ruthlessly attacking the Clintons’ critics, and accused of attacking Obama during the 2008 campaign — was their source.
Blumenthal’s information “appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government,” the Times revealed.
Much of the information Blumenthal handed over was wrong — in some cases ignorantly so, as when he confused two different politicians who had the same last name. But Blumenthal had Clinton’s ear, so that his intelligence was disseminated anyway throughout the upper echelons of the State Department. Clinton even recommended passing information from one of his unvetted memos — purporting to describe the attitude of Libya’s new president toward Israel — to the Israeli government.
The revelation of Blumenthal and his scurrilous, possibly self-serving rumors raises the question of exactly who was running things during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, and just how public-spirited their goals were.