Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been caught in another lie regarding her private email accounts that she used during her tenure at the agency.
Though her lawyer David Kendall told the House Select Benghazi Committee that Clinton’s “email@example.com” email address “was not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State,” new emails obtained by the New York Times show that Clinton did indeed use that email address for official business.
Clinton emailed Jake Sullivan, her deputy chief of staff, to his “Sullivanjj@state.gov” government email account on at least three occasions while she was secretary of state from her “firstname.lastname@example.org” account.
Clinton sent Sullivan emails from her “email@example.com” account on April 8, 2011, January 5, 2012, and August 28, 2012, according to emails the Times published. Clinton served as secretary of state from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013.
As the Republican National Committee (RNC) pointed out, Hillary Clinton’s office also claimed that her “firstname.lastname@example.org” account was created in March of 2013.
“Secretary Clinton used one email account during her tenure at State (with the exception of her first weeks in office while transitioning from an email account she had previously used),” her office previously said in a statement. “In March 2013, a month after she left the Department, Gawker published the email address she used while Secretary, and so she had to change the address on her account.”
Clinton has already come under fire for using her private “email@example.com” account and a private email server to conduct all of her official business while she was secretary of state. She said she deleted more than 30,000 “personal” emails after she alone decided which emails on her private email server were “personal” or “work-related.” Clinton also reportedly wiped her private email server clean, according to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chairs the House Select Benghazi Committee.
Betrayal: The Obama regime still insists that releasing the top command of our enemy was all about saving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. But several reports from 2012 reveal that it was secretly negotiating the Taliban Five’s release without Bergdahl.
Now that the Army has filed desertion charges against Bergdahl, the administration is under increasing pressure to justify the bad deal. Astoundingly, it’s sticking to its story that President Obama only freed the high-risk Gitmo detainees to free a “POW.”
“This was about bringing home an individual that had served his country,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week about the 2014 swap.
But IBD has uncovered a series of credible reports from 2012 – as well as a transcript of a candid press conference by then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai – that show the White House originally wanted to give up the Taliban commanders under just one condition: that the Taliban open a political office in Qatar “to conduct peace negotiations.” It was Qatar that ended up taking the prisoners.
Bergdahl, who walked off his post and into the arms of the Taliban in June 2009, wasn’t even part of the negotiation back then. The original deal was a one-sided release, naked any trade for a “POW” or “hostage” or soldier who allegedly had served “with honor and distinction.”
Consider this timeline:
January 2009: Obama signs executive order calling for Gitmo to be shuttered within a year, while his national security team considers if the five Taliban leaders are safe for release.
2011: White House and State Department officials open secret talks with the Taliban in Germany and the Persian Gulf to discuss their release from Gitmo as part of “peace talks.”
Jan. 3, 2012: The Taliban announce they are prepared to open a political office in Qatar to conduct peace negotiations in exchange for the release of the Taliban commanders. (“The releases would be to reciprocate for Tuesday’s announcement,” according to “The Guardian.”)
April 2012: Working with the White House, Karzai sends delegation of Afghan government officials to Gitmo to interview the Taliban prisoners and secure their oath to cut ties with al-Qaida.
(“On the issue of the release of the Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo, we are fully in support of that,” Karzai says during a July 9, 2012, visit to Japan. “If they wish to go to Qatar, we want them rejoined with their families.”)
Karzai signed on to the deal because he thought it would buy peace and goodwill with the Taliban, which threatened to retake Afghanistan.
The original Taliban Five deal fell apart as Obama met stiff resistance from the U.S. intelligence community. And it proved too politically radioactive to sell to Congress. It was only after U.S. intelligence shot down his amnesty plan as too risky that Obama conjured up the Bergdahl swap.
Truth is, Obama used Bergdahl as a pretext for doing what he always sought to do – empty out Gitmo, national security be damned. The freed Taliban leaders were among the nearly 40 prisoners at Gitmo classified as “indefinite detainees” – too dangerous to release. To shutter the Cuban prison, Obama first had to whittle down that list, starting with the Taliban Five.
His scheme is working as planned, as one dangerous detainee after another is freed on the argument that the Taliban Five set a precedent for the release of others. The recent release of al-Qaida assassin Muhammad al-Zahrani, for one, was based on that precedent. “We have demonstrated that Mr. al-Zahrani represents a lower threat than the (Taliban) detainees that have been released,” his defense team argued.
Obama also had several chances to rescue Bergdahl on the ground, but he reportedly ignored them all. Why? He wanted a terrorist trade to help close down Gitmo. Don’t be fooled: This is what Bergdahl was all about.
Months after the Veterans Administration scandal exploded in the headlines, top officials are still lying and hiding information from Congress, and President Obama is actively trying to roll back the freedom of veterans to seek health care outside of the government system.
That’s the conclusion of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
Last May, the VA was rocked by reports that veterans were forced to wait months for routine medical appointments and that some officials were doctoring hospital and medical records to cover up the failure to provide care. In response, Veterans Affairs Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki resigned and Congress approved legislation giving future secretaries more freedom to remove ineffective personnel. Former Procter & Gamble Chairman Robert McDonald was eventually confirmed to succeed Shinseki and lead major reform efforts.
Are there signs of improvement?
On Monday evening, the House Veterans Affairs Committee grilled VA General Counsel Leigh Bradley over why more than 100 separate requests for information from the committee have gone unanswered for months and why the information that is given is often found to be false.
“The news only gets worse and worse,” Huelskamp said.
According to Associated Press reports on the hearing, committee chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., expressed deep frustration with the VA’s lack of cooperation on key facts, including wait times for veterans at the Phoenix hospital where the scandal began.
“Let there be no mistake or misunderstanding: When this committee requests documents, I expect production to be timely, complete and accurate,” Miller said.
Huelskamp is particularly incensed at the falsehoods coming out of the VA, including one stated by Secretary McDonald on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“They have falsified information, and it is not just lying to members of Congress; it’s lying to the American people,” he said. “We even had the secretary about a month ago lie on national television and claim that he had fired 60 employees that made up, falsified, cooked the books on wait times for our vulnerable veterans.”
The real number was nowhere near that high.
“He only fired four,” Huelskamp said. “There’s a big difference between four and 60, so there’s a lack of trust there. But this is, more importantly, a lack of trust between veterans who deserve their care and whether they’re getting in on time and whether they’re getting the proper care.”
And the congressman said the lies don’t stop there.
“The VA claimed that at the (Los Angeles) veterans facility, the wait was only four days,” he said. “We found out later, according to a CNN report, that it’s more than 30 days. Who do you believe? Who I believe is the veteran. If the veteran says they’ve been waiting, that’s what happens.”
Huelskamp said when Congress tries to separate fact from fiction, the massive VA bureaucracy grinds investigations to a halt.
“We’ve had, I think, three secretaries of the VA in my four years here,” he said. “For secretary after secretary and undersecretary after undersecretary, I didn’t know that had that many undersecretaries. They always send a new one over, and the answer is always, ‘We’ll get back to you. We’ll get that answer to you.’
“We have documented where they have lied to the committee, where they have falsified information,” he said.
If anything good came out of the VA scandal, Huelskamp believes it is the provision within last year’s reform bill that allows veterans to access care outside of the government system to shorten how long they wait for care. The congressman said expanded choice is working well for veterans and no longer forces many of them to travel hundreds of miles to approved doctors and facilities. He said that change is further proof the less government is involved in our health care, the better that care will be.
“That’s the best government health care you can get, and what we saw in Phoenix and around the country is that it’s been an abysmal failure,” Huelskamp said.
While the expanded health-care choices may be popular with veterans, Huelskamp said the Obama administration is actively trying to eliminate it.
“When the administration came in and asked to end the Veterans Choice Program, that sent shock waves through Congress because most Democrats and Republicans agree we need to improve the system and give veterans more choice in their health care,” he said.
“There’s a pushback from the administration, but the secretary has agreed – maybe not the president but the secretary has agreed – veterans deserve to keep their choice,” he said. “We’re trying to push the VA in a different direction than Obamacare is taking the rest of the health-care system. I think, at the end of the day, the better model is putting Americans in charge of their health care, not Washington, D.C.”
When will Congress get timely answers and the VA operate more efficiently? Huelskamp said a big part of the problem is a massive government bureaucracy that takes a long time to straighten out.
“There’s a culture of non-accountability, a culture of attacks on whistleblowers. That’s been going on for decades. It’s difficult to change that. That takes years,” said Huelskamp, who estimates some 330,000 bureaucrats are involved in VA operations.
“I think many of them do a terrific job, but it’s a system that’s set up based on the 1950s and ’60s, not 2015,” he said. “So it is a cultural shift at the VA, but the president has to provide leadership. I fear in the next two years, he will continue to drift away from any commitments to veterans in terms of reforming the system.”
What about Secretary McDonald? Is he the right man to lead this change?
“We’ll see if the secretary can answer those questions we asked a couple of nights ago,” Huelskamp said. “Some of these questions have been outstanding for months, which will give us insight (into) whether they’re really making the changes that were promised.”
Yesterday on Meet the Press, Obama told Chuck Todd that he was not specifically referring to ISIL in his infamous JV quote from the New Yorker in January:
TODD: “Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team. Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment?”
OBAMA: “Keep in mind I wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL. I’ve said that, regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally, weren’t focused on homeland, because I think a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11.”
But Politifact disagreed and gave the above statement by Obama a big fat LIE after contacting the author of the New Yorker piece in which the quote was originally published:
Critics have maligned Obama’s “JV” remark in recent weeks as the Islamic State continues to wreak havoc throughout Syria and Iraq. The origin of the comment is a New Yorker profile of Obama by editor David Remnick. The New Yorker published Remnick’s profile on Jan. 27, 2014. In it, he wrote, “In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated.’ I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.”
Obama responded: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” (For the nonsports fan, JV stands for junior varsity, and it usually means a high school or college’s secondary team.)
Remnick confirmed to PolitiFact that the interview took place on Jan. 7 and he was referencing a specific event that had happened just days before: the overtaking of the Iraq city of Fallujah on Jan. 3.
Al Jazeera America reported on Jan. 4: “On Friday, ISIL gunmen sought to win over the population in Fallujah, one of the cities they swept into on Wednesday. A commander appeared among worshippers holding Friday prayers in the main city street, proclaiming that his fighters were there to defend Sunnis from the government, one resident said.
Officials within the Iraqi government told the “Agence France-Presse that ISIL, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, remained in control of parts of the two cities on Thursday,” according to NBC.
So when Remnick referenced an al Qaeda group taking over Fallujah, it’s clear whom he was talking about.
Obama said his JV comment “wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL.” He was not specifically asked about Islamic State, but it’s pretty clear this is the group that was being referenced in the conversation. The transcript backs this up, as do news events from the time of the discussion.
We rate the statement False.
And there it is. A big fat lie.
So first he blames bad intelligence and when that doesn’t work, he claims he was talking about something else.
Along with Barack Obama’s promise of “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan,” was his declaration that “people with pre-existing conditions shouldn’t be penalized.”
Yeah, well, that was then and this is now. People with serious pre-existing diseases, precisely those Obama said the “Affordable Care Act” would help, could find themselves paying for expensive drug treatments with no help from the healthcare exchanges.
Those with expensive diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis face something called a “closed drug formulary.” Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute explains:
“If the medicine that you need isn’t on that list, it’s not covered at all. You have to pay completely out of pocket to get that medicine, and the money you spend doesn’t count against your deductible, and it doesn’t count against your out of pocket limits, so you’re basically on your own.”
But didn’t Obama pledge – multiple times – to help those with pre-existing conditions, a: get covered, and, b: control their cost of healthcare? Here’s the reality, according to Dr. Daniel Kantor, who treats MS patients and others with neurological conditions:
“So it could be that a MS patient could be expected to pay $62,000 just for one medication. That’s a possibility under the new ObamaCare going on right now.”
Moreover, Dr. Kantor worries that “this may drive more patients” to not buy their medicines, “which we know is dangerous,” he says. “We know MS can be a bad disease when you’re not treating it. When you’re treating it, for most people they handle it pretty well, but we know when you don’t treat (it), it’s the kind of disease where people end up in wheel chairs potentially.”
And so it continues. What began with the botched rollout of a website, continued with millions of health insurance cancellation notices, and will undoubtedly face a year when the other shoe continues to drop, we are in the midst of doing exactly what Nancy Pelosi infamously said before the bill became law: we are “finding out what’s in it” – and we don’t like it.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has apologized for telling Congress the National Security Agency doesn’t gather data on millions of Americans.
The apology comes after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden gave top-secret information to newspapers that last month published stories about the federal government collecting the data from phone calls and such Internet communications as emails.
Clapper apologized in a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein that was posted Tuesday on the website of Clapper’s office.
Clapper said in the June 21 letter that his answer was “clearly erroneous.”
Americans have long known the United States implemented surveillance programs under the Patriot Act, in the wake of 9/11, with the goal of preventing more terror attacks, and that the programs targeted foreign and overseas suspects. However, many Americans seem stunned at the apparent extent of the programs and that the broad data collection included basic details on Americans’ phone records.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper at a March 12 congressional hearing whether the NSA “collects any type of data at all on millions of hundreds of millions of Americas?”
Wyden asked because Clapper suggested publicly months earlier that stories about the NSA keeping “dossiers” on millions of Americans were “completely false.”
Clapper told Wyden: “No sir, it does not.”
When asked for clarification, he said “not wittingly.”
After the latest stories appeared to reveal otherwise, Clapper said he gave the “least untruthful answer possible.”
Clapper said in the letter to Feinstein that when answering he was confounded by the word dossier and challenged by trying to protect classified information. He also said that when answering Wyden, he was focused on whether the U.S. collected the content of phone and email conversations, and not so-called metadata, which essentially is phone numbers, email addresses, dates and times. He wrote that he “simply didn’t think of” the pertinent section of the Patriot Act under which that information can be collected.
“Thus my response was clearly erroneous – for which I apologize,” Clapper said to Feinstein, in the letter.
Snowden’s father Lon, meanwhile, chastised Clapper for his answers in an open letter Snowden sent Tuesday to his son.
“We leave it to the American people to decide whether you or Director Clapper is the superior patriot,” Snowden wrote in the letter to his son.