Hillary Clinton

Today in Liberty: Clinton dismisses Benghazi as a “political slugfest,” Amash leads establishment challenger by 30 points

“Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.” — Thomas Jefferson

— Hillary Clinton won’t participate in Benghazi “political slugfest”: The former Secretary of State is basically daring the Select Committee on Benghazi to subpoena her as a witness. Clinton dedicated an entire chapter in her forthcoming book, Hard Choices, to the 2012 terrorist attack. “I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s unworthy of our great country,” Clinton writes in her new book, according to Politico. “Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me.” Because answers are so overrated. House Democrats are participating in the select committee at the urging of Clinton allies to insulate her from attacks that could hurt a 2016 presidential bid.

Today in Liberty: Obama to escalate U.S. intervention against Syria, Labor unions want employers to pick up Obamacare costs

“The role of government is to strengthen our freedom — not deny it.” — Margaret Thatcher

— NSA whistleblower says he was trained as a spy: NBC News is teasing its interview with Edward Snowden with a clip of the NSA whistleblower explaining that he wasn’t simply a low-level hacker and technical analyst. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden told Brian Williams. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” Snowden was employed by Booz Allen, a defense and intelligence contractor, when he obtained documents and information about the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, but he also worked directly for the CIA. The Snowden interview, his first with an American television network, will air tonight on NBC at 10 pm.

Today in Liberty: Democrats sticking by Obama on the VA scandal, fight over NSA spying moves to the Senate

“When I mentioned monetary policy, the kids started cheering. Then a small group chanted, ‘End the Fed! End the Fed!’ The whole crowd took up the call. Many held up burning dollar bills, as if to say to the central bank, you have done enough damage to the American people, our future, and to the world: your time is up. People know. Even people aged 18-21. But, they need someone to put it into words.”Ron Paul

— Senate Democrats quiet on VA secretary’s future: It’s not surprising that most Democrats have chosen to keep quiet about VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, ostensibly endorsing President Obama’s inaction. What is surprising, however, is that vulnerable Senate Democrats, with their political careers and control of the chamber on the line, are towing the party line. “As of Thursday afternoon, not a single Democratic senator had called for Shinseki’s resignation,” Alexander Bolton writes at The Hill. “And Senate Democrats have been slow to embrace House-passed legislation that would give Shinseki the authority to fire senior executives.” Now, Senate Democrats have said that there should be accountability and called for an investigation into the wait times that have led to the deaths of 40 veterans, but the problems at the VA aren’t new, they’ve been around for a while, and this was something President Obama pledged to address when he ran in 2008, and nothing has been done.

Clintonistas are so worried about Benghazi they pressured Democrats to cooperate with Gowdy’s investigation

Hillary Clinton’s allies are absolutely terrified of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, according to a shocking report from POLITICO. Democrats weren’t going to participate in the process, but Clintonistas changed their minds for them because it could hurt her 2016 presidential campaign:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly considered boycotting the panel, an idea that Clinton supporters feared would leave the potential 2016 candidate exposed to the enemy fire of House Republicans.

So Clinton emissaries launched a back channel campaign, contacting several House Democratic lawmakers and aides to say they’d prefer Democrats participate, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Pelosi’s staff said they have not heard from Clinton’s camp

On Wednesday, Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, giving Democrats another crucial mission in the months ahead of what was already a tough election year: act as Clinton’s first line of defense.

“Republicans are making it clear they plan to use the power of the Benghazi Select Committee to continue to politicize the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi, which is exactly why Democratic participation in the committee is vital,” a Democrat close to Clinton world said. “Inevitably, witnesses ranging from Secretary Clinton to Secretary [John] Kerry will be subpoenaed to testify, and the Democrats appointed to the committee will help restore a level of sanity to the hearings, which would otherwise exist solely as a political witch hunt.”

Today in Liberty: NSA reform at front and center of American politics, GOP Senate candidates won’t back McConnell

“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” —  Robert A. Heinlein

— House could take up the USA FREEDOM Act this week: The Washington Examiner reports this morning that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has “tentatively placed” the USA FREEDOM Act on the calendar for consideration this week. The weekly floor schedule notes that the bill is “subject to a rule,” which means that amendments could be limited and vetted by the House Rules Committee in advance. The USA FREEDOM Act is the best of the reform proposals introduced in recent weeks. Normally we’d use the “it’s happening” gif to express our glee, but we have a story about the latest developments on this issue later today that is causing us to hold back.

Today in Liberty: Glenn Greenwald blasts a “corrupted” Hillary Clinton, former CIA official endorses Benghazi committee

“For liberty to triumph in the United States (and eventually throughout the world) libertarianism must become a mainstream movement, converting if not a majority, at least a large, critical minority of Americans.” — Murray Rothbard

— Glenn Greenwald blasts Hillary Clinton: The journalist behind the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosures didn’t hold back in his criticism of Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential frontrunner. “Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle,” Greenwald said in an interview with GQ. “She’s a f**king hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere.” Gospel.

— Yes, it should be made easier to deal with a bad president: Impeachment, the mechanism in the Constitution for the removal of a president, has become too much of a political football to be an effective tool for Congress, says Gene Healy. It has also been misinterpreted by legal schools. Healy points to one law professor, Sanford Levinson, who is pushing for a new way to deal with a bad president. “Levinson favors a constitutional amendment allowing a congressional ‘no confidence’ vote and removal of the president. Adding that “safety valve” to the Constitution would be a long shot, to say the least,” Healy writes. “But years ago, we went through a yearlong constitutional conniption because the Constitution makes it so absurdly difficult to dethrone a misbehaving executive. Given the vast powers the modern president wields, it ought to be easier to ‘throw the bum out.’”

What difference does it make?: Clinton refused to designate al-Qaeda-connected group as a terrorist organization

The kidnapping of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, has sparked condemnation and action the United States. The Obama administration announced this week that it will send technical support to the African country to help search for the girls.

While most Americans have never heard of Boko Haram, the al-Qaeda-connected group has carried out a number of attacks over the last few years, including the 2011 assassination of an Islamic cleric who criticized violent groups and the bombing of a United Nations building in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, that same year.

The kidnappings have led to a round of “hashtag diplomacy” on Twitter. Many users are have tweeted their thoughts about the situation using #BringBackOurGirls, among them is Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State tweeted this late last week:

Hillary Clinton to gun owners: “I don’t believe” in the Second Amendment

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s contempt for the Second Amendment was on full display yesterday. In a speech to the National Council for Behavioral Health, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner expressed her dismay that “anyone” can own a gun (emphasis added):

“We have to rein in what has become [an] almost article of faith, that anybody can own a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that,” she said, as applause drowned her out.

Clinton, who argued it was possible to hold her position and still support the right to gun ownership, warned that unfettered access to guns could have dangerous consequences. She called the country’s approach to guns “way out of balance,” and referred to cases in which gun violence has erupted over minor issues.

She painted a dark picture, warning that, “At the rate we’re going, we’re going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated, in settings where [one] could be in a movie theater, and they don’t like someone chewing gum loudly or talking on their cell phone and decide they have the perfect right to defend themselves against the gum chewer or cell phone user by shooting.”
The proliferation of guns combined with few restrictions on where they can be carried can “give someone the means to respond in the moment in a way that he wouldn’t if a few minutes passed and there was no means to inflict harm … We really have got to get our arms around this,” she said.

Opting for oblivion: Establishment Republican donors want Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

It’s almost like the Republican Party wants to lose in 2016. The New York Times reports that the party’s establishment donors and fundraisers will line up behind Jeb Bush should the former Florida governor decide to run for president:

In private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some of them are signaling to Mr. Christie’s camp that, should Mr. Bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to Mr. Christie, according to interviews with more than two dozen of them.
“They feel good about Jeb,” said Barry Wynn, a fund-raiser for George W. Bush and a former chairman of the Republican Party in South Carolina. “They don’t have any questions about his integrity.”

The family name, he said, remains a powerful draw. “They love the Bush family,” Mr. Wynn said. “They love the whole package, and they feel Jeb is just a part of the package.”

In interviews, a number of the donors and fund-raisers acknowledged that the interest in Mr. Bush was a measure of the creeping doubts about Mr. Christie’s ability to either fully rebound from his troubles or to win over conservative skeptics to secure the Republican nomination.

Yeah, the Republican establishment has done such a great job picking the party’s nominee in the last two presidential cycles, why shouldn’t they get to decide it again. The picture presented of Bush is so disconnected from the reality, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Ex-White House spokesman botches Benghazi: “Dude, this was like two years ago”

Tommy Vietor

Former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor doesn’t want to be asked tough questions over the false narrative the White House and the Obama administration presented to the American people about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

Vietor appeared on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier on Thursday to discuss the edits made to the controversial talking points on the Benghazi attack. Those talking points shaped the initial narrative that the attack wasn’t an attack, but a spontaneous protect that spiraled out of control.

“According to the emails and the timelines, the CIA circulates new talking points after they’ve removed the mention of al-Qaeda. And then at 6:21, the White House, you, add a line about the administration warning of September 10 of social media reports calling for demonstrations. True?” Baier asked.

“Uh, I believe so,” Vietor replied.

Baier followed up, asking the former White House official if he personally changed the talking to points to get away hide the involvement from Islamic militants.

“Maybe,” Vietor said, “I don’t really remember.”

“You don’t remember?” Baier asked.

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