Hillary Clinton, state secrets and the Middle East
After the Read More! Andy McCarthy wonders what security clearance Hillary had when she was co-President. Fallon's resignation: what went on?
The NYT found that Hillary Clinton did not hold a security clearance during the period during which she was supposedly co-President. But Andy McCarthy at the NRO thinks a President can clear anyone he wants, so Bill was not violating any law when he discussed matters of state with Hillary; but McCarthy does wonder why the principle didn't protect Scooter Libby.
A related issue came up two years ago when Democrats and the media were erroneously alleging that Scooter Libby had leaked classified information from a National Intelligence Estimate to the press. As I explained at the time, the information was not classified because President Bush himself had decided to declassify it so Libby could speak to the press about it. ...
I don't believe there would have been any bar against President Clinton's giving his wife a security clearance or declassifying information so he could speak to her about it. .... I am talking here, of course, only about a situation in which a president has sought to involve his wife in a formal or quasi-formal policy-making role, which is what Sen. Clinton often suggests she had.
When the media hype about the foreign policy experience and superior "judgment" of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is subtracted there is very little residue. Of course this is described as an advantage, not a liability. One of the things an "outsider" brings to a corrupt system. Yet Hillary and Obama are also the ultimate insiders. How else, besides being on the "inside", could Hillary have accessed the ultimate secrets without a formal security clearance. As as to Barack Obama, his ability to network socially is the ultimate source of his legitimacy. The politician's claim that "I can attract crowds and therefore I am trustworthy" is ultimate form of self-legitimizing leader. "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
AllahPundit at HotAir repeats the blogospheric speculation that Fallon was the only thing "standing between the US and war in Iran "and as such, if he leaves Centcom it’s a surefire sign that he’s lost the debate and the bombs will soon be dropping".
I'm not sure this is true for two reasons. The first is that a the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is an administration appointee. He's a reflection of the current political consensus, not the driver of consensus. Second, any imminent preparation for war against Iran would be accompanied by a plethora of signs, none of which are evident.
It's more likely that Fallon is an indirect casualty of the Surge. The Admiral was appointed at a time when it was widely believed the US had been balked in Iraq and reflected the cautious mood of those days. But now the US has much more confidence in its regional position at a time when dangers have also been increasing. Therefore Fallon's departure may simply reflect that more aggressive position. But a more aggressive stance doesn't automatically equal a war against Iran.
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