Nate Jackson / September 8, 2016

Clinton Asks to Be Judged by Her Record — So Be It

Hillary told a few whoppers in Wednesday night’s national security forum.

On Wednesday night, voters got a pre-debate look at the dueling foreign policy and national security visions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. As for Trump, his lack of experience in government might play to his advantage in this election — ironic given Clinton’s constant harping on her experience. After all, she blustered, “I’m asking to be judged on the totality of my record.” So, speaking of Hillary’s record, let’s focus on some of her whoppers, at least two of which she characterized last night as “mistakes.”

Email

Facing repeated questions about her email scandal from both host Matt Lauer and members of the audience, Clinton was visibly irritated. She repeated her lie that nothing she sent or received was marked “classified,” “top secret,” or “secret.” But she also conceded that “it was a mistake to have a personal account. … I make no excuses.” It was only a “mistake” in her mind because she got caught. And she’s done nothing but make excuses.

As if to highlight that point, a retired naval officer asked her, “Had I communicated this information not following prescribed protocols, I would have been prosecuted and imprisoned. Secretary Clinton, how can you expect those such as myself who were and are entrusted with America’s most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?”

The double standard is palpable. One Marine sent one email to save lives. Hillary deleted thousands of emails to conceal an event that cost lives. Which one is being reprimanded?

Iraq and ISIL

“I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a mistake,” Clinton argued. “And I have said that my voting to give President [George W.] Bush that authority was, from my perspective, my mistake.” Later, she asserted, “I will also be as careful as I can in making the most significant decisions any president and commander and chief can make about sending our men and women into harm’s way.”

Clinton and many other Democrats made an extensive case for the war in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, based on the available evidence and intelligence. Those same Democrats changed positions due primarily to perceived political advantage in the 2004 election. In 2007, Harry Reid even went so far as to declare the war “lost” while our troops were still fighting it and the successful surge was just beginning. Clinton and her cohorts were anything but “careful” when Patriots in uniform were actually in harm’s way. She can make theoretical promises now, but she betrayed our troops when it mattered.

As for fighting the Islamic State going forward, she promised, “We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again and we are not putting ground troops into Syria.”

There are already 5,000 troops in Iraq. She and Barack Obama just don’t want you to know that.

Libya

Finally, on her disastrous record in Libya — intervening to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi and sending Libya into a chaotic spiral that yielded Benghazi — Clinton had the gall to say, “We did not lose a single American in that action. And I think taking action was the right decision. Not taking it and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya would’ve been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria.”

Where to begin. We suppose by observing that Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were unavailable for comment. No, the four dead in Benghazi weren’t killed “in that action” against Gadhafi, but they were murdered because of that action, which sowed chaos in that nation and allowed a new base of operations for the Islamic State. Gadhafi was not a good guy, but he had begun to cooperate with the U.S. after seeing what happened to Saddam Hussein. Clinton rewarded him with a death sentence. It’s also not the first time Clinton has made the boneheaded assertion about not losing “a single American.” She said the same thing in March. Maybe she’s counting on her supporters not knowing that Benghazi is in Libya.

Bottom line: Is Hillary Clinton, based on her own record as she insists she be judged, really the person we want as commander in chief for the next four years?

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