Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund

original article: The World Doesn’t Need the UN Population Fund
May 9, 2017 by SUSAN YOSHIHARA (The Stream)

When President Donald J. Trump cut U.S. funding to the U.N. Population Fund, abortion advocates howled. But Trump made the right call. The billion dollar-a-year agency has run out of reasons to exist, even by its own metrics.

The agency still relies on the same “overpopulation” gimmicks that justified its creation in 1969. In a 2011 media stunt in hot and crowded Manila, it “welcomed” the seven billionth human born. The world is indeed getting more crowded, but not with babies. Old people are expected to outnumber youth on the planet within sixty years.

From investment firms to national security analysists, experts agree: Many countries suffer not from overpopulation, but from a sharp decline in fertility. It took western countries a century to grow old. Developing nations are managing the feat in just one generation. Their ability to seize the promised “demographic dividend” is fading fast. The World Bank has identified a waning appetite for consumer goods in the geriatric West. They say today’s developing economies won’t be able to manufacture their way to economic growth like China did.

Demographers have been ringing the alarm bell for two decades. Yet the U.N. Population Fund has forged ahead with its mission to limit births.

A One Trick Pony

The Fund claims to help couples have the number of children they want. But the facts show the opposite. It does nothing to relieve infertility. It promotes education for women and girls, but does nothing to help women who want to have a large family. On the contrary. The UNFPA offers the same answer for every woman: Have fewer children.

Yes, the U.N. Population Fund has added to its portfolio to remain relevant. It opposes female genital mutilation, endorses maternal health, abhors the spread of HIV/AIDs, and promotes adolescent and women’s rights. But the U.N. already has agencies with these mandates, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDs, UNICEF and U.N. Women.

Planned Parenthood said President Trump would “kill” thousands of women this year because they won’t get U.N.-funded contraception. But the Fund did not save a single life last year. Rather, it helped “avert” two thousand theoretical deaths in childbirth by providing contraception.

Hypocrisy

Even the U.N. Population Fund’s claim to the mantle of women’s rights is spurious. China’s abusive family planning program has persisted under its watch. Even Beijing has admitted it went too far. The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission now allows for two children. But it still exacts punishment on couples who have one more. That includes the threat of forced abortions, loss of livelihoods and homes. And still the U.N. Population Fund defends its partnership with the Chinese agency.

When shell-shocked Nigerian families welcomed back their daughters abducted by Boko Haram, they found that the girls had suffered unspeakable abuse. What did UNFPA recommend? Abortion. For this, its executive director was rightly rebuffed. But the organization’s leadership can’t seem to help itself. They act as if ridding the world of unintended pregnancies and unwanted children will help solve every problem.

What the U.N. Population Fund won’t admit is that “unintended” and “unwanted” are social science constructs, not the sentiments of parents. Such terms often contradict what women really say. A woman may tell a researcher that her beloved child was never “unwanted.” The researcher, however, may code her child as “unwanted,” due to a survey question she answered years earlier about desired family size.

Women are quite capable of making up their own minds. The U.N. Population Fund, however, often doesn’t like what they decide. Hence much of its spending goes to “advocacy.” Translation: Trying to convince women they should stop at two children.

The fact is that ninety five percent of women in the developing world say they already know about family planning. They just don’t opt for the methods the U.N. recommends. This fact should have the U.N. Population Fund declaring victory, not wringing its hands about “lack of uptake.”

Defying still more facts, the UNFPA insists that lack of access to contraception is a global crisis. Just like the “crisis” of overpopulation, the agency stretches credulity to the breaking point. It claims 225 million women want, but cannot get, contraception. It even posted the myth on a massive Times Square billboard. Yet the Guttmacher Institute assures us that only four or five percent of those 225 million women say they don’t have access. The rest don’t want it. In other words, the global family planning market is already nearly saturated.

It’s time for the United States and its partners to shut down the U.N. Population Fund. Its billion-dollar budget should be used to solve real problems, not chase the ghosts of the 1960s.

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Some refugees prefer to stay home. Who knew?

In the present environment of American politics, some say bringing refugees to the U.S. is THE solution to the Syrian crisis. But there are other perspectives, such as the perspective of some refugees themselves.

 

This refugee from Syria expresses gratitude for America’s military action in response to the gas attack on Syrian civilians, which appear to be the work of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. He also mentions the fact he and his fellow refugees don’t want to be forced out of their homes and into some foreign country. Some in the American media, such as CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, fish for criticism of President Trump and his immigration policies when interviewing refugees. Debora Heine at PJ Media wrote on this story in CNN Narrative Fail: Syrian Refugee Slams Clinton, Obama; Praises Trump.

“With all due respect, with all due respect,” Kassem began. “I didn’t see each and every person who was demonstrating after the travel ban…. I didn’t see you three days ago when people were gassed to death….I didn’t see you in 2013 when 1,400 people were gassed to death. I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that left us refugees,” he said, completely deflating her expectations.

“If you really care about refugees, if you really care about helping us, please — help us stay here in our country,” he continued.

Others who have looked into immigration have reached a similar conclusion. Rather than play politics and act as if racism or xenophobia are the motivation, those who are willing to make an intellectually honest assessment of the crisis recognize immigration is not the solution the refugees need. Just like the Syrian refugee who wants help remaining in his home, Roy Beck shows good reasons to question the open immigration narrative by discussing the practical details that actually affect the people involved.

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African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says

original article: African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says
April 11, 2017 by BBC

Gambian migrants who returned voluntarily from Libya stand in line with plastic bag from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as they wait for registration at the airport in Banjul, Gambia April 4, 2017Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionReports of African migrants being bought and sold mark a new low in the crisis

Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold.

Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

Hundreds of young sub-Saharan African men have been caught up in the so-called slave markets, according to the IOM report.

Migrants ‘forced to starve’

A Senegalese migrant, who was not named to protect his identity, said that he had been sold at one such market in the southern Libyan city of Sabha, before being taken to a makeshift prison where more than 100 migrants were being held hostage.

He said that migrants held at the facility were told to call their families, who would be asked for money to pay for their release, and some were beaten while on the phone to allow relatives to hear them being tortured.

He described “dreadful” conditions where migrants were forced to survive on limited food supplies, with those unable to pay either killed or left to starve, the report adds.

African migrants gather at the Tripoli branch of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority, in the Libyan capital, 23 March 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMigrants have to survive on limited food supplies, according to the IOM report

Another witness, who was able to raise the funds needed for his release after nine months, was later taken to hospital with severe malnutrition, weighing just 5.5 stone (35 kg).

Women, too, were bought by private Libyan clients and brought to homes where they were forced to be sex slaves, the witness said.

The IOM’s chief of mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, told the BBC that those sold into slavery found themselves priced according to their abilities.

“Apparently they don’t have money and their families cannot pay the ransom, so they are being sold to get at least a minimum benefit from that,” he said.

“The price is definitely different depending on your qualifications, for example if you can do painting or tiles or some specialised work then the price gets higher.”

A migrant hangs from a boat as they wait to be rescued as they drift in the Mediterranean Sea, some 12 nautical miles north of Libya, on October 4, 2016.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMany thousands of migrants each year try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean

An IOM staff member in Niger said they confirmed the reports of auctions in Libya with several other migrants who had escaped.

“They all confirmed the risks of been sold as slaves in squares or garages in Sabha, either by their drivers or by locals who recruit the migrants for daily jobs in town, often in construction.

“Later, instead of paying them, [they] sell their victims to new buyers.”

Some migrants, mainly Nigerians, Ghanaians and Gambians are forced to work “as guards in the ransom houses or in the ‘market’ itself”, the IOM employee added.

The organisation has called the emergence of these markets “a disturbing new trend in the already dire situation for migrants in Libya”.

Map showing Central Mediterranean migrant routes

In February, the UN children’s agency Unicef released a report documenting – in sometimes horrific detail – stories of slavery, violence and sexual abuse experienced by large numbers of vulnerable children travelling from Libya to Italy.

The report, A Deadly Journey for Children, said that almost 26,000 children – most of them unaccompanied – crossed the Mediterranean in 2016, many of them suffering abuse at the hands of smugglers and traffickers.

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Stop Whining About Islamophobia And Focus On Jihadis

Stop worrying about Islamophobia and start asking why hundreds of millions of Muslims across the world say they support Islamist terrorism.

Source: Stop Whining About Islamophobia And Focus On Jihadis

bias, bigotry, culture, diversity, extremism, foreign affairs, ideology, indoctrination, islam, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, relativism, terrorism

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Officials Admit Released GITMO Detainees Have Killed Americans

original article: Obama Administration Makes a Shocking Admission About Released GITMO Terrorists
March 23, 2016 by JOE PERTICONE

An Obama administration official responsible for overseeing the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday that released detainees have killed Americans.

Paul Lewis, the Defense Department’s special envoy for the closure of the detainee program at GITMO, said to Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA):

“What I can tell you is unfortunately there have been Americans that have died because of [Guantánamo] detainees.”

“When anybody dies it is tragedy. We don’t want anybody to die because we transfer detainees,” Lewis added.

And while Lewis did not elaborate on the exact circumstances of specific deaths, nor did he say under which administration the deaths occurred, he did note that “most of the detainees transferred from Guantánamo were transferred by the Bush Administration[.]”

Despite acknowledging transfers have resulted in the loss of American lives, Lewis said in his opening statement that closing GITMO’s detention facility is a “national security imperative,” adding:

“The President and the leadership of his national security team believe that the continued operation of the detention facility at Guantánamo weakens our national security by damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, draining resources, and providing violent extremists with a propaganda tool.”

Currently, 91 detainees sit in the detention facility, many of whom are part of the too dangerous to transfer list. One of those individuals is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who the 9/11 Commission report identified as the principal architect of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

While the facility cannot be officially closed without Congress repealing several laws that prevent such action, the large number of transfers and released terrorists has displayed blowback.

Still, the administration persists that the facility must close. “We believe the issue is not whether to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility; the issue is how to do it,” Lewis said.

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Post Paris: Liberals Can’t Blame Terror Attack on Muslims

Never let a tragedy go to waste: minutes after the Paris terror attacks, Liberals rushed to blame the attacks on everything but Islam

Trifecta: Bill Whittle, Stephen Green, Scott Ott

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Sister of Benghazi Hero Glen Doherty Shares Hillary Clinton’s ‘Very Strange’ Message to Her Family

original article: After ‘Never’ Speaking About It for a Long Time, Sister of Benghazi Hero Glen Doherty Shares Hillary Clinton’s ‘Very Strange’ Message to Her Family
October 23, 2015 by Jason Howerton

The sister of slain Benghazi hero Glen Doherty, Kate Quigley, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she previously met with former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and, in retrospect, feels like the Democrat chose to “perpetuate what she knew was not true.”

Following the deadly Benghazi terror attacks, Quigley said Clinton told her family how “sad” they should feel for the Libyan people because they are “uneducated” and that “breeds fear, which breeds violence and leads to a protest.”

“I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wow, how selfish of me. I never really thought about the Libyan people, I’ve been consumed with my own grief, and loss, and concern,’” she recalled. “And when I think back now to that day and what she knew, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose in that moment to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”

Cooper said it seems “unusual” that Clinton would even make those comments while the victims’ families were grieving.

“It was very strange,” Quigley said. “I thought about it, and I never spoke about it for a long time.”

watch the video here

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Israel Haters Only Like The History That Suits Them

original article: Israel Haters Only Like The History That Suits Them
October 22, 2015 by David Harsanyi

The other day, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Adolf Hitler only had plans to expel Jews from Europe until his infamous meeting with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who instructed him to “burn them.”

You can imagine what happened next.

It was interesting watching some of the most stridently anti-Israel pundits—people who typically justify or ignore the stream of Holocaust-denying and Jew-hating that oozes from the Muslim world—pretending to be most insulted by this supposed cheapening of the memory of Holocaust. Others compared Netanyahu to a Holocaust denier. What really offended them, of course, was that someone had pointed out that intellectual and spiritual founder of Palestinian independence was an active Nazi. That is a fact that might be overlooked.

Now, it should be said that there’s zero historic evidence that Hitler’s conversation with al-Husseini instigated any change in Nazi plans for the Jews. Netanyahu should not have claimed otherwise. But it was a big speech, and Netanyahu’s larger point, as he later clarified, was just as important:

But this is what Haj Amin al-Husseini said. He said, ‘The Jews seek to destroy the Temple Mount.’ My grandfather in 1920 seeks to destroy…? Sorry, the al-Aqsa Mosque. So this lie is about a hundred years old. It fomented many, many attacks. The Temple Mount stands. The al-Aqsa Mosque stands. But the lie stands too, persists.

Netanyahu makes a case that much of the paranoia about Jews in the Middle East is not new. Long before any “occupation,” Husseini supported the Holocaust and had a desire to import Nazi tactics to the Middle East. In an effort to inflame violence and anti-Semitism, Arabs had, as they’re doing today, spread false rumors about the intention of Jews to occupy or expel Muslims from holy sites.  This is what Haj Amin al-Husseini did. This is what Yasser Arafat did. This is what Fatah is doing today, as Palestinians continue to stab Jewish civilians in another spasm of irrationally murderous and self-destructive behavior.

Before Israel ever existed, much less retook East Jerusalem, the mufti helped to personally engineer or incited massacres of Jews in 1920, 1929, and 1936. The Hebron massacre in 1929 saw 70 Jewish civilians killed, many of them students and teachers, after the mufti (like Fatah does today) spread rumors about Jews taking control of the Temple Mount.

It’s also worth noting that today the only people not allowed to openly pray at their holiest site in Jerusalem are the Jews. Israel protects holy sites of all faiths. Meanwhile, Joseph’s Tomb is being desecrated by a mob of Palestinians, which is apparently less newsworthy.

Husseini also directly participated in war on Jews during World War II. As a guest of Hitler, after a failed coup in Iraq, he helped recruit thousands of Muslims to join a division of the Waffen-SS—who then played an active role in the destruction of Yugoslavian Jewry. On Berlin radio, the mufti speeches would include lines like: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them—this pleases God, history and religion.” He personally, with the backing of Himmler, Eichmann, and others, intervened to stop the issuing of at least 400,000 visas to Jews trying to emigrate to British Palestine. Most of those people ended up in concentration camps.

In 1943, after hearing that some Germany allies were negotiating with the International Red Cross and others to transport thousands of Jewish children to Palestine to avoid death, he lobbied to prevent the rescue, pushing to have them sent to Poland to perish. Husseini was accused of war crimes by the Nuremberg tribunal. He escaped prosecution.

In Howard Sachar’s “A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to our Time,” the author contends that al-Husseini wasn’t only effective in helping hasten the blood-soaked modern thinking that has infected the Arab world (to be fair, if it wasn’t him, it would probably have been someone else), but that he added another ingredient that would later make the conflict even more combustible: religious xenophobia.

“Unlike earlier Arab spokesmen,” writes Sachar, “the Mufti had no illusions that the British would cooperate in the suppression of the Jewish National Home. He taught his followers to regard the mandatory as an infidel tyranny in alliance with other, Jewish, non- believers.”

Today, Palestinian groups utilize comparable tactics and language to perpetrate their own violence. Justifications for those acts are churned out by the far Left and Right here and in Europe, and Husseini is still revered by Palestinian leaders. In the book “Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam,” David Dalin and John Rothmann document in detail that Husseini is considered the “George Washington” of the Palestinian people. Should we be offended?

It is somewhat ironic that so many Palestinians deny the Holocaust when one of their founding fathers was intimately part of that ugly history. Netanyahu clarified his statement. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s 1982 dissertation, “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” is one part Holocaust denialism and one part conspiracy theory, claiming that Zionists collaborated with Nazis as a way to spur Jewish immigration to British Palestine. Shouldn’t we be offended?

But back to Netanyahu. It’s completely plausible that the mufti would have asked Hitler to “burn them,” though it’s doubtful the Fuhrer would have cared very much what the mufti had to say or that he needed much prodding. But the two certainly shared a similar attitude towards the Jews. Yet we’re supposed to believe Netanyahu views Hitler as a “moderate,” as Glenn Greenwald preposterously claims? And Israel’s sins are never to be forgotten. Surely pointing out that Arab leadership played an active role in the Holocaust, and that its leadership today still venerates the man who led the charge, is worthwhile. too.

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Benghazi and ‘Untrustable’ Hillary

original article: Bozell & Graham Column: Benghazi and ‘Untrustable’ Hillary
October 20, 2015 by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham

Kevin McCarthy was factually right – if grammatically and politically wrong – when he told Sean Hannity that the House’s Benghazi committee demonstrated Hillary Clinton was “untrustable.” The Hillary-pleasers in the media like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell almost glowed as they proclaimed McCarthy had offered a “political lifeline” to Mrs. Clinton by admitting to a political agenda to get at her using that tragedy.

The Democrats have pushed heavily on the narrative that the House probe is transparently political – as if everything they say about Hillary is transparently…nonpartisan? So much of the Hillary spin  from the media-Democrat complex simply repeats the scandal gamesmanship of the Clinton years, like a zombie doing the Macarena. Let’s recall all the old moves:

1. Lamenting the length of the investigation. ABC relayed “the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been active for 72 weeks — surpassing the Watergate Committee’s activity in the 1970’s.” In part, that’s because Richard Nixon shortened the timeline by resigning. It’s also because the Clintons love dragging out the length of probes by lying and withholding evidence (see Lewinsky), then shamelessly declaring it’s all “old news.”

2. Lamenting the cost of the investigation. “What a poor use of taxpayers’ money!” they say. The lying and delays also add to the cost of investigations, just as they did during the Thompson hearings into the 1996 Clinton campaign’s acceptance of illegal contributions from Chinese donors. Peter Jennings set the table then: “When we come back, two investigations of fundraising abuse, two of them on Capitol Hill. Is it a waste of time and money?”

Is there anything more ludicrous than the manufacturers of a double-digit, trillion-dollar debt complaining about $4 million on congressional oversight? Judicial Watch reported the Obamas spent $7.7 million in flight expenses alone on their 2013 Christmas vacation. Did anyone in the media care?

3. Crying vast right-wing conspiracy. James Carville, the most obvious example of the Nineties spin zombie, went on MSNBC to say “this committee was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers.” Apparently, Republican congressman Trey Gowdy is a tool of the “climate denial industry” that wants the Clintons ruined.  Carville offered all the gravitas and finesse of people wandering through the park telling people the CIA listens to them through their dental fillings. But MSNBC still puts him on TV.

4. Predicting Republican overreach. A corollary of the conspiracy talk is the constant suggestion that the GOP will only damage itself by asking these nagging questions and  is far too desperate to win elections by exploiting “phony” scandals at the expense of “substance” or the “real issues” of government policy. This creates a very strange impression that questioning government corruption or stonewalling is by definition not substantive or constructive. It’s always a “distraction”….at least when Democrats are in power.

This was at the root of Democrats cheering as Bernie Sanders came to Hillary’s defense on being sick of the subject of her “damn e-mails.” We should be focusing on income inequality and climate change…and not whether Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server is being hacked by the Russians and the Chinese. That concern would not be “substantive”?

The one consistent media line on Benghazi is that exploring it was “political” immediately after it happened on September 11, 2012, and it’s still “political” to explore it in 2015 and 2016. As long as the Clintons stay active in politics, their scandals will continue, as will the damage control.

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Hillary tapped Media Matters to cover for Benghazi while still Secretary

original article: Benghazi panel probes Sidney Blumenthal’s work for David Brock
June 17, 2015 by KENNETH P. VOGEL and RACHAEL BADE

While still secretary of state, Clinton emailed back and forth with Blumenthal about efforts by one of the groups, Media Matters, to neutralize criticism of her handling of the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, sources tell POLITICO.

Republican members of a special congressional committee spent hours on Tuesday grilling Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal about the inner workings of the Clinton’s philanthropic and political operations, going well beyond the 2012 Benghazi attacks that the committee is charged with investigating, according to sources familiar with the hearing.

A particular focus during Tuesday’s closed-door deposition was a network of groups founded by Clinton enforcer David Brock that — POLITICO has learned — paid Blumenthal more than $10,000 a month as they defended Hillary Clinton against conservative attacks, first while she was secretary of state and then as she prepared for and ultimately entered the presidential campaign.

While still secretary of state, Clinton emailed back and forth with Blumenthal about efforts by one of the groups, Media Matters, to neutralize criticism of her handling of the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, sources tell POLITICO.

“Got all this done. Complete refutation on Libya smear,” Blumenthal wrote to Clinton in an Oct. 10, 2012, email into which he had pasted links to four Media Matters posts criticizing Fox News and Republicans for politicizing the Benghazi attacks and challenging claims of lax security around the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, according to a source who has reviewed the email exchange. Blumenthal signed off the email to Clinton by suggesting that one of her top aides, Philippe Reines, “can circulate these links,” according to the source.

The emails were not included in documents originally turned over by the State Department. The Select Committee on Benghazi obtained the emails through subpoena. And the committee’s Republican members spent much of Tuesday’s nine-hour-session pressing Blumenthal about his role in producing the posts, and his tangled web of business and personal relationships in the Clintons’ orbit and beyond, according to sources.

In addition to Blumenthal’s role at Media Matters, he was involved with the Brock-founded groups American Bridge and Correct the Record, he worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and then afterward at the $2 billion Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (which paid Blumenthal about $10,000 a month even as he was on Brock’s payroll). During this time, he also advised a pair of businesses seeking potentially lucrative contracts in Libya, while sharing intelligence on the country with Clinton while she was secretary of state.

Republicans privy to the Benghazi committee’s strategy say it’s important to map out Blumenthal’s many affiliations in order to understand the motivations for the counsel he provided to Clinton, and the degree to which she relied on it. But Democrats argue that Tuesday’s questioning shows that Republicans are conducting a politicized fishing expedition intended to damage Clinton’s presidential campaign and its supporters.

Brock, informed Wednesday by POLITICO of the committee’s line of questioning, called it ironic.

“The Republicans asked more about what our groups do to debunk their false claims about Benghazi than about the attacks in Benghazi? That sounds like a bizarre waste of time,” Brock said. “All our work is made public. And I’d be happy to give Chairman Gowdy a tour of our offices at his convenience,” Brock said, referring to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the Benghazi committee.

A Republican congressional source defended the questioning. “Your background is always relevant: where you worked and who was paying you during that time period? So while he was sending information to Secretary Clinton … you have to ask: Who was paying your salary?” said the source. “He was at one point working for Media Matters, Correct the Record and American Bridge, and some of those entities have quite a bit to say about Benghazi.”

Under Republican questioning, Blumenthal suggested he was merely forwarding the Media Matters posts about Benghazi to Clinton but had no role in writing, editing or placing them.

And when Republicans asked him why he seemed to take credit for such posts in his email, he said he may have overstated his role, according to separate sources familiar with the questioning.

“So the next question is: What did you ‘get done’?” one source said, referring to Blumenthal’s own words from his email. “And he stumbled over that.”

Some of the Media Matters posts Blumenthal forwarded, which were published in the weeks after the attacks, criticize Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) for suggesting the Obama administration tried to cover up the events around the attack and for blaming the State Department for failing to implement sufficient security at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

One post in particular accused Chaffetz of “fundamental hypocrisy” after he admitted in a CNN interview that he had previously voted to cut embassy security funding.

Chaffetz chairs an oversight committee that previously examined the attacks but ceded jurisdiction late last year to the select committee, so he was not present for Tuesday’s hearing. But during the hearing, sources said Gowdy, who is close friends with Chaffetz, suggested Media Matters’s scrutiny bothered the Utah Republican.

Another GOP select committee member asked whether Blumenthal wrote or edited a statement released Monday by Correct the Record that chided the committee for subpoenaing Blumenthal. The statement said Blumenthal “has not one thing to do with what happened in Benghazi or the government’s reaction to it,” and it called the committee “disgraceful” and “a political sideshow,” suggesting a more accurate name for it would be the “Select Committee to Destroy Hillary Clinton.”

Brock said that Blumenthal had no role in Monday’s release scolding Gowdy’s committee, but otherwise declined to comment on Blumenthal’s role.

Sources who have worked with Brock’s groups, however, say that Blumenthal offered high-level strategy and messaging advice on numerous subjects and participated in weekly strategy calls with Brock and other top group officials. The Benghazi debate almost certainly would have been discussed in those calls, said the sources, since it became a major focus of Brock’s groups, which in 2013 helped Brock pen a book called “The Benghazi Hoax.”

Blumenthal’s ideas for Brock’s groups would often be passed along to staff members and were sometimes greeted by eye rolls, said an operative who interacted with Brock and Blumenthal. But, the operative said, “Brock respects and trusts him a lot. And he surely feels he owes him a lot, as well.”

A Clinton loyalist who first earned the family’s trust as an aggressive combatant in the political battles that buffeted Bill Clinton’s presidency, Blumenthal helped recruit Brock to the cause in the late 1990s. After spending much of the decade as a self-proclaimed right-wing hit man and Clinton antagonist, Brock publicly renounced the right and reinvented himself as a liberal crusader against conservative attacks. Brock is now close to the Clintons, and he and his groups are central players in a constellation of big-money outfits supporting Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“It was Sid who basically made David’s current life possible, in many ways,” the operative said.

Blumenthal remains a paid consultant for Media Matters and American Bridge. Since about 2010, the groups have combined to pay Blumenthal more than $10,000 a month, though the payments are impossible to track since they’re made almost entirely through arms of the groups that do not disclose detailed information.

That income was supplemented by the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which began paying him about $10,000 a month starting in 2009 — not long after he stopped working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. That arrangement, which ended in March of this year, came at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom Blumenthal had worked in the White House. It appears to have taken shape after Hillary Clinton’s effort to hire Blumenthal at the State Department was rebuffed by top aides to President Barack Obama.

The reason Blumenthal initially came into the select committee’s sights was the Libyan intelligence he emailed to Clinton while she was secretary of state. On Tuesday, he testified that he received the intelligence from a business contact and wasn’t being paid to pass it along to Clinton, according to sources.

But scrutinizing Blumenthal’s work for Brock’s groups and the foundation allows the Benghazi committee a lens into the Clinton political and philanthropic operations, which could provide fodder for campaign trail attacks. Democrats argue that’s the committee’s real motive.

After Tuesday’s hearing, Blumenthal chafed at the committee’s focus on his political work.

“It seems obvious that my appearance before this committee was for one reason and one reason only … politics,” he said. The panel spent “hours asking me questions about things that had nothing to do with Benghazi,” he said, adding, “I hope I have cleared up the series of misconceptions some members of the committee may have held. … My testimony has shed no light on the events of Benghazi — nor could it, because I have no firsthand knowledge.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a Clinton email as a response to the Blumenthal email.

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Filed under: bureaucracy, corruption, cover up, Democrats, foreign affairs, fraud, government, hypocrisy, left wing, national security, pandering, politics, propaganda, scandal, terrorism, war

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