ALDRICH: Hillary Clinton’s abominable national security record

By Gary Aldrich via The Washington Times

History of incompetence and dangerous decisions -

I have extensive experience in national security matters, including years  served in the House, the Senate and the White House, where I was detailed as  senior FBI special agent liaison and investigator with the Bush and Clinton  White House counsel’s office.

There was never a question that national security was a top priority for  George H.W. Bush’s executive branch. The security system was ironclad, serious  and professional.

The rest of the federal agencies followed the lead of the Bush  White House.

Our national security group consisted of the FBI, the CIA, the Department of  Defense and the Secret Service, all working united in a common mission. I cannot  recall a single complaint that the Bush administration ignored warnings or  suggestions of those ready to give their all — including their lives — to  protect the president and his White House, and our national security. We  performed our mission, and it was appreciated by the Bush team.

Contrast that with the mess that occurred when Bill Clinton and Hillary  Rodham Clinton took office. The administration, with few exceptions, did not  take national security seriously. National and White House security were not  priorities. We were shocked.

Because of an obvious disregard for security-related matters throughout the  executive branch, career professionals left the Clinton White House and their  respective agencies in droves. I knew many who did, and it was a sad day when  another one would greet us in the hallways of the Old Executive Office Building  with an announcement of retirement, transfer or outright resignation. I could  not blame them. I also approached my FBI managers with my own request for  reassignment.

Why did I want to leave one of the most unique assignments an FBI agent could  achieve? The bad attitude the Clintons had toward national security made it  impossible for us to perform our duties successfully. Their failure to properly  assess threat levels, along with their unwillingness to acknowledge that they  knew little about national security, was a recipe for disaster. We knew this  from experience.

Mrs. Clinton eventually was accused in congressional testimony of ordering  the hiring of Craig Livingstone — a former bar bouncer — to head the White House  security office. Mr. Livingtone also headed up liaison with the FBI. His was not  a serious appointment — he was a joke. Some of my security friends thought that  this was Mrs. Clinton’s way of showing us that she held no respect for us.

Lacking respect did not discourage Mrs. Clinton from using security agencies  as a hammer to attack and punish those who stood in her way. The FBI, the Secret  Service and the Internal Revenue Service hounded and then prosecuted seven  innocent men who worked for the White House travel office simply because they  were standing in the way of Mrs. Clinton’s political interests and ambitions.  She knew federal investigations would destroy those good men, but she wanted her  friends in those slots, and that was all that mattered.

No one could understand why Mrs. Clinton would want to insert herself into  security matters. She was neither elected nor appointed, and day-to-day security  issues were considered dry or boring. Security usually is not micromanaged by  the front office. Moreover, a good front office always staffs this important  function with the best candidates. One possible reason for Mrs. Clinton’s  unusual interest was that she and her husband had much to hide. There was no  statutory authority for her to be so involved, but that didn’t seem to matter,  either.

The Clintons left a wake of questionable activities behind them. Both had  come up from the same crowd — the anti-war left, where Saul Alinsky taught that  all truth was relative, a tool to be used to win. Having won the White House,  Mr. Clinton had little interest in staffing, as documented in articles and books  explaining the chaos, released after the fact.

Mrs. Clinton called on Arkansas Rose Law Firm associates to staff the Clinton  White House Counsel’s Office. Most memorable among these was Vince Foster, who  died in Fort Marcy Park of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Foster, a  seemingly decent man, was deputy counsel in charge of the overall security  program in the White House. He possessed no background or education for the job.  Foster’s deputy, William Kennedy, also a former co-worker of Mrs. Clinton,  supervised Craig Livingstone. FBI and Secret Service agents did their best to  work with this trio, but within days it was clear that there was not a dime’s  worth of experience between them regarding White House security or national  security. That didn’t seem to register in Washington, where perception trumps  logic and truth.

Soon the predictable happened, as the Clinton White House became a swamp of  scandal and chaos, eventually resulting in Mr. Clinton’s impeachment. We were  lucky that nothing worse than the Monica Lewinsky scandal occurred. The Clinton  White House — with a security system conceived and overseen by Mrs. Clinton — was an exceptionally soft target for espionage and also for a deadly terrorist  attack.

Five House members recently raised questions about Huma Abedin, an aide in  Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, whose family has ties with terrorist  sympathizers. This aide should not be a candidate for close access. Only those  completely above suspicion should ever be given close access to a Cabinet  secretary’s daily business or schedule. Such a person would require the highest  clearance possible. Agendas, comings, goings, identities, plans, what the  president says and thinks — that is a virtual treasure trove of key data if a  potential spy can access an inner circle participant. Of course, Mrs. Clinton’s  choice for a constant travel companion could be an innocent person, but if the  FBI director’s closest aide was the son of a Mafia boss, would that be deemed  acceptable?

On the heels of this national security background investigation mystery, now  there are four deaths — one of a U.S. ambassador — apparently because of other  lapses in national and embassy security procedures at Mrs. Clinton’s State  Department. She hired a former bar bouncer for White House security — who runs  the State Department’s security office?

Mrs. Clinton has a documented track record of interference and poor judgment  as she micromanaged the White House security program, sans credentials. In  recent days, she has said that what happened in Libya is her fault, and maybe  that’s the truth. The media ought to ask her some tough questions about State  Department security, and then seek to get some straight answers.

Read the rest here.

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