EDITORIAL: Hillary Clinton's email scandal raises competence questions (The Washington Times)
September 3, 2015
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sometimes a target is chosen, other times a target chooses herself by stepping into the line of fire. When Hillary Rodham Clinton became America’s top diplomat, she took an oath to discharge duties that include protecting the safety and well-being of the 70,000 men and women who worked for the department around the world. The House Select Committee on Benghazi has spent 16 months trying to find out what went so wrong that four of those men who worked for her died in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
Answers to several crucial questions may be answered soon. Depositions taken this week from Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, two key aides to Mrs. Clinton, could provide the way to examine the last missing piece to the puzzle, Hillary’s own answers to questions about what she knew about events surrounding the attack, and when she knew it – and what she did about it. Her appearance before the Benghazi committee Oct. 22 should get the answer to the larger question: Has her performance, both on the night of the attack in Benghazi, and later her reckless handling of classified emails, disqualified her from becoming president of the United States?
Making policy, like making sausage, is never pretty, but bad decisions that enabled terrorists to murder an American ambassador and three other Americans cannot be excused as politics as usual. Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi committee, says the committee is focused on the policies that contributed to the attack on the American facilities in Benghazi, and decisions made in response to the attacks. Cheryl Mills as the secretary’s chief of staff, and Mr. Sullivan as the deputy chief of staff, could be expected to have participated in relevant communications on that grim night. Ms. Mills declined to take questions from reporters and she removed documents from official records that could embarrass her boss.
Looking under every rock and in every cranny to uncover facts about the tragedy in Libya, the Benghazi committee discovered the larger and more damaging secret: Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server for official State Department business. Though Mr. Gowdy insists that only Benghazi-related messages are relevant to his committee’s work, it’s the contents of 55,000 other emails that are rocking Washington and threatening to wreck Hillary presidential aspirations.
As our John Solomon reported on Wednesday, Hillary used her unsecured personal server to relay classified messages about the movement of North Korean nuclear assets, information that had been obtained by spy satellites. Given its skill at cyberhacking, North Korea likely harvested top-secret intelligence, giving the Communist regime insight into U.S. methods of information-gathering, and how to defeat them. Classified information has been discovered in 188 of the 7,000 emails released so far. She insists that she never sent or received material on her private server that was classified at the time, but close scrutiny of the most recent batch shows that she both created and distributed classified information.
The government and the public deserve to know who failed to provide adequate security for Americans in Benghazi and who failed to rescue them. Who failed to protect the nation’s crucial security secrets? Did Hillary Rodham Clinton violate the law? Only with those facts in hand can voters decide whether she is fit to be the president.