Latest tranche of Hillary e-mails reveal Sid Blumenthal's large role as covert State Department official and fixer

It turns out that Sidney Blumenthal, denied an official position at the State Department by the Obama administration, played a much larger role as a top aide to the secretary of state for much longer than has been realized.  The expression “secret government” comes to mind, and it is not wholly inappropriate.  There is also disturbing evidence of him operating as a political fixer, off the books and hidden from the public as well as the president.

Blumenthal’s role goes back to at least 2009, the first year of Hillary Clinton’s term as SecState.  Fox News reports:

… in an email dated November 5, 2009, Blumenthal sent Clinton an email titled “Agenda with Merkel,” encouraging Clinton to develop the Transatlantic Economic Council, which he said “now languishes.” Noting that it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s major initiative when Germany held the EU presidency in 2007, Blumenthal advised that “raising Merkel’s project and reinvigorating it would undoubtedly be well received.”

This is clearly a policy-making role for a man who is not a State Department official, whose machinations are hidden from public scrutiny.

The confidant’s role with Clinton became clearer in a June 2009 email. Blumenthal passed an email along to Clinton from then-U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and spoke of her helping him with “Adams” in a meeting with Martin McGuiness of Northern Island. Adams is apparently referring to Gerry Adams.

Blumenthal is acting as a go-between for a sitting U.K. prime minister and the U.S. secretary of state.  This smacks of court politics in Byzantium, cutting out all official channels and thereby hiding diplomacy from her boss, the president of the United States.  It is hard to plumb the nature of the influence-trading going on here, but it is certain that this is taking place outside the lines of responsibility laid down in the United States Constitution.

Blumenthal’s role extended to hand-holding on crafting speeches:

Blumenthal gave more of his input before Clinton's 2009 speech to the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. Blumenthal told Clinton her speech must have "a distinctive and authoritative voice."

"The speech must be crafted with a sense of real time and cannot be delivered out of sync with it," he wrote. "Slogans can become shopworm (sic), especially those that lack analytical, historical and descriptive power."

In dealing with Afghanistan, where Amerivcan lives are at stake, Blumenthal commended the work of far-left U.K. journalist Patrick Cockburn:

“Hillary: FYI,” the message read. “I found this one of the most sensible and informed brief articles on Afghanistan. Patrick Cockburn, of the London Independent, is one of the best informed on-the-ground journalists. He was almost always correct on Iraq.”

The revelations from the latest release demonstrate that an unaccountable secret government was holding sway at the State Department, cutting out the lines of responsibility and political accountability that the founders designed. 

In a statement late Tuesday night, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the latest email findings "troubling."

"Administration officials knew more than previously disclosed, Sidney Blumenthal was involved with more than just providing Libya off-the-books intelligence, and State Department officials were possibly fundraising on government accounts," the statement said. "These emails however are just the tip of the iceberg and we will never get full disclosure until Hillary Clinton releases her secret server for an independent investigation."

But perhaps the most disturbing, though as yet unexplored, e-mail relates to Blumenthal’s role as a fixer.  Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner noticed that Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame’s husband, used Blumenthal to get a message, lobbying on behalf of a client of his, to the secretary of state’s attention:

Sid,

Could you please pass the following to HRC. Thanks. Joe

Dear Madame Secretary,

When we last spoke at the Corporate Council on Africa you were kind enough to invite me to pay a call on you when in DC. As it turns out, I will be in Washington for most of next week, arriving the afternoon of the 16th and returning to Santa Fe the evening of the 20th ( the return is flexible if you were available to see me over the weekend.) I realize that you are traveling this week and possibly into next, but I wanted to reach out to you. As I wrote to you earlier, I am a director for Symbion Power and may soon assume more direct responsibility for all of Africa as Symbion expands there from its current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Symbion's competitive advantage is its reliance on local partnering and human capacity development in the execution of its projects. Its success in the most difficult and dangerous environments has been very impressive, as the four minute video that Sid gave to you on my behalf demonstrates. We now want to bring that business model and philosophy to Africa where the social entrepreneurship and the development of skilled labor is imperative for Africa's long term economic prospects, as you have so forcefully articulated in past comments.

I am very enthusiastic about Symbion. It is one or the very few American companies outside the petroleum sector willing to establish itself and to undertake projects in Africa. With our record of success elsewhere, we are certain that our approach to project development and execution will mesh nicely with African needs and U.S. policy priorities.

Valerie, Trevor and Samantha join me in extending our best wishes to you, Bill, and Chelsea as we enter the holiday season.

Joe

Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Director, Symbion Power

It turns out that Sidney Blumenthal, denied an official position at the State Department by the Obama administration, played a much larger role as a top aide to the secretary of state for much longer than has been realized.  The expression “secret government” comes to mind, and it is not wholly inappropriate.  There is also disturbing evidence of him operating as a political fixer, off the books and hidden from the public as well as the president.

Blumenthal’s role goes back to at least 2009, the first year of Hillary Clinton’s term as SecState.  Fox News reports:

… in an email dated November 5, 2009, Blumenthal sent Clinton an email titled “Agenda with Merkel,” encouraging Clinton to develop the Transatlantic Economic Council, which he said “now languishes.” Noting that it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s major initiative when Germany held the EU presidency in 2007, Blumenthal advised that “raising Merkel’s project and reinvigorating it would undoubtedly be well received.”

This is clearly a policy-making role for a man who is not a State Department official, whose machinations are hidden from public scrutiny.

The confidant’s role with Clinton became clearer in a June 2009 email. Blumenthal passed an email along to Clinton from then-U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and spoke of her helping him with “Adams” in a meeting with Martin McGuiness of Northern Island. Adams is apparently referring to Gerry Adams.

Blumenthal is acting as a go-between for a sitting U.K. prime minister and the U.S. secretary of state.  This smacks of court politics in Byzantium, cutting out all official channels and thereby hiding diplomacy from her boss, the president of the United States.  It is hard to plumb the nature of the influence-trading going on here, but it is certain that this is taking place outside the lines of responsibility laid down in the United States Constitution.

Blumenthal’s role extended to hand-holding on crafting speeches:

Blumenthal gave more of his input before Clinton's 2009 speech to the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. Blumenthal told Clinton her speech must have "a distinctive and authoritative voice."

"The speech must be crafted with a sense of real time and cannot be delivered out of sync with it," he wrote. "Slogans can become shopworm (sic), especially those that lack analytical, historical and descriptive power."

In dealing with Afghanistan, where Amerivcan lives are at stake, Blumenthal commended the work of far-left U.K. journalist Patrick Cockburn:

“Hillary: FYI,” the message read. “I found this one of the most sensible and informed brief articles on Afghanistan. Patrick Cockburn, of the London Independent, is one of the best informed on-the-ground journalists. He was almost always correct on Iraq.”

The revelations from the latest release demonstrate that an unaccountable secret government was holding sway at the State Department, cutting out the lines of responsibility and political accountability that the founders designed. 

In a statement late Tuesday night, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the latest email findings "troubling."

"Administration officials knew more than previously disclosed, Sidney Blumenthal was involved with more than just providing Libya off-the-books intelligence, and State Department officials were possibly fundraising on government accounts," the statement said. "These emails however are just the tip of the iceberg and we will never get full disclosure until Hillary Clinton releases her secret server for an independent investigation."

But perhaps the most disturbing, though as yet unexplored, e-mail relates to Blumenthal’s role as a fixer.  Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner noticed that Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame’s husband, used Blumenthal to get a message, lobbying on behalf of a client of his, to the secretary of state’s attention:

Sid,

Could you please pass the following to HRC. Thanks. Joe

Dear Madame Secretary,

When we last spoke at the Corporate Council on Africa you were kind enough to invite me to pay a call on you when in DC. As it turns out, I will be in Washington for most of next week, arriving the afternoon of the 16th and returning to Santa Fe the evening of the 20th ( the return is flexible if you were available to see me over the weekend.) I realize that you are traveling this week and possibly into next, but I wanted to reach out to you. As I wrote to you earlier, I am a director for Symbion Power and may soon assume more direct responsibility for all of Africa as Symbion expands there from its current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Symbion's competitive advantage is its reliance on local partnering and human capacity development in the execution of its projects. Its success in the most difficult and dangerous environments has been very impressive, as the four minute video that Sid gave to you on my behalf demonstrates. We now want to bring that business model and philosophy to Africa where the social entrepreneurship and the development of skilled labor is imperative for Africa's long term economic prospects, as you have so forcefully articulated in past comments.

I am very enthusiastic about Symbion. It is one or the very few American companies outside the petroleum sector willing to establish itself and to undertake projects in Africa. With our record of success elsewhere, we are certain that our approach to project development and execution will mesh nicely with African needs and U.S. policy priorities.

Valerie, Trevor and Samantha join me in extending our best wishes to you, Bill, and Chelsea as we enter the holiday season.

Joe

Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Director, Symbion Power