I was once interviewing Bill O'Reilly and another reporter in the room asked him, "How do you know what to report?" O'Reilly seemed rather frustrated and said, "It's simple. If it's true you report it. If it's not true you don't report it. If you don't know if it's true, you wait until you do know. Next question."
Yesterday, I ran across an interview from last week with Julian Assange. He's the founder of WikiLeaks. He has posted all of the Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department in a searchable database on that site. Here's what Assange said about what's in some of those emails.
That's an extraordinary claim, that Hillary Clinton knew about arms being shipped from Libya to rebel groups in Syria, including the arming of ISIS. I went looking through the WikiLeaks archive of her emails and I could not find the smoking gun that Assange was referring to. In my investigation, I did find enough evidence that makes what Assange said plausible. But, as Bill O'Reilly pointed out, you shouldn't report on something because you think it might be true. You have to report what is true. So, let's start with what we know is accurate today, and work backwards.
ISIS has acquired and used weapons that were supplied by the United States. Some of those ISIS received when US vehicles and arms were abandoned by retreating Iraqi security forces. But other weapons came from other sources. We also know the Obama Administration significantly underestimated the threat posed by ISIS. As recently as January of 2014, the President described ISIS in the New Yorker Magazine as being the JV team. That's important because we know that in 2013, President Obama authorized the CIA to train and equip Syrian rebel fighters from a base inside Jordan. The New York Times reported that funding for that covert training was funneled through Saudi Arabia in a similar manner to how we moved arms during Iran Contra and in supporting the Mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. So, we know for a fact that in 2013 we were underestimating ISIS and we were secretly arming and training Syrian rebels in Jordan.
On September 11, 2012, terrorists linked to Al Qaeda attacked our consulate in Benghazi. We know for a fact that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Obama Administration lied about that attack and attempted to deceive the American public about what was going on for political purposes. There is no doubt about that. People died so Hillary lied. Those are facts. You don't have to take my word for it, just read the emails.
But, here's something we didn't know at the time. It wasn't just Ambassador Chris Stevens and a few CIA agents in Benghazi that night. According to CNN, there were 35 CIA operatives in Benghazi. 35. And, after that night, anyone with any information about what those agents were doing in Libya was put under intense pressure by the administration to remain silent. It's not unusual for CIA operatives to have to pass a polygraph test once a year. Those agents had to take polygraph tests every month or two following the attack on Benghazi.
Why? What were they doing there that the administration didn't want anyone talking about? Senator Rand Paul wanted to know that when he questioned Hillary Clinton under oath in January of 2013. Here is part of that exchange.
Rand Paul suspected we were moving guns from Libya to Turkey or Syria. Hillary said she didn't know anything about it. This is where we get to the interesting part. If Julian Assange is correct and those emails he has really do demonstrate that Clinton knew about the arms shipments from Libya to Syria, then Hillary committed perjury. We know she is a habitual liar, but we haven't been able to catch her lying under oath. It's possible she did. She lied about the reasons behind Benghazi. She didn't reveal the truth about what was actually going on in Benghazi before that attack happened and she knew in 2013 that Rand Paul didn't have access to her emails because they were on her private server at home. It would be two more years before anyone knew about them. So, she might have lied and expected to get away with it. Then again, maybe she really was clueless about what was going on in her State Department.
There are two other pieces of information which support Assange's statement that Hillary was shipping weapons to ISIS in Syria. The first is an email from Jake Sullivan to Hillary in March of 2011. In it, he warns that one of the rebel groups in Benghazi Hillary is trying to support was called the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. It had recently changed its name to the National Council in Benghazi. That organization was identified by a West Point report in 2007 as having ties to Al Qaeda. So, Hillary knew some of the rebels she was supporting in Libya had ties to Al Queda at a time when the Obama Administration still considered Al Qaeda to be the varsity team.
In addition, the Washington Times reported last fall that they found a series of documents that show the US operatives in Benghazi were tracking arms shipments from the US to Libya. It doesn't prove that the weapons ever arrived there, but that orders for the weapons did exist. One of those documents was authorization from Clinton's State Department for a California company, Dolarian Capital, to ship weapons which included rocket launchers, grenade launchers, machine guns, and ammunition through Kuwait into Libya. That authorization was officially rescinded.
So, the questions that remain are; 1) if that order for weapons for rebel groups in Benghzi in 2011 was canceled, why were CIA operatives still tracking those shipments? 2) why would Clinton's state department authorize arms shipments from the US to Kuwait to Libya in violation of UN sanctions? (Yes, that authorization as pulled, but the question is why was it issued in the first place?) and, 3) if we weren't shipping arms to rebels in Libya and then trying to gather those same weapons back up after the fall of Gadaffi to ship them to rebel groups in Syria, then why did we need 35 CIA operatives in Benghazi the night of September 11, 2012?
It seems what Julian Assange said last week is plausible, but I haven't yet found the full documentation he claims. If it's true, then Hillary has lied to congress and that's a crime. If it's not true, then Assange has committed slander, and that's a crime. The full truth of this needs to be discovered and reported. If it is true, then it is yet another powerful and important reason why Hillary should never be allowed to be President of the United States of America.