‘Birther Trap’ is closing on Hillary crony Sidney Blumenthal
I expect the mainstream media to drop the anti-Trump foray into stigmatizing Donald Trump as a racist for noting the anomalies in the then-public documentation of Barack Obama. Pinning leadership of “the birther movement” (how come I never got invited to any of their events?) on Trump sounded good at first. But as I explained four days ago, it was a trap, because hacked emails reveal consideration of exploiting Obama’s “otherness” and concluded that no fingerprints should be visible, and because close associates of Hillary peddled the story to the media back in the 2008 nomination fight.
And among Hillary’s male associates, nobody is closer than Sidney Blumenthal, who went on the Clinton Foundation payroll at ten grand a month as a consultant on Libya. And now the birther trap is closing on Blumenthal, as his evasions and lies are demolished. Mark Hemingway has done a lot of research in a masterful debunking in his Weekly Standard piece, “Someone Isn't Telling the Truth About Sidney Blumenthal and the Clinton Campaign.”
Over the last few days, the Clinton campaign's been on the defensive. The reason is James Asher, the former Washington bureau chief of McClatchy, has publicly claimed that Clinton aide and confidant was spreading the rumor that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible to be president. Blumenthal actually admits he was pressuring McClatchy to investigate rumors related to Obama's family in Kenya but claims he never went so far as to push the dreaded birther rumor. A second McClatchy reporter in Kenya, however, confirms he was asked to look into the birther issue, and everyone concedes Asher and Blumenthal were in contact. Ultimately there's no paper trail that establishes Blumenthal was pushing the birther rumor explicitly. It's Asher's word against Blumenthal's.
Except that Blumenthal's word is worthless, and there are absolutely no comparable reasons to doubt Asher. Blumenthal is an entirely discreditable political operative. In 2008, other Democrats reported that Blumenthal was spreading rumors of similar dubiousness as the birther accusations regularly. "They aren't being emailed out from some fringe right-wing group that somehow managed to get my email address," wrote Occidental professor Peter Dreier in 2008. "Instead, it is Sidney Blumenthal who, on a regular basis, methodically dispatches these email mudballs to an influential list of opinion shapers — including journalists, former Clinton administration officials, academics, policy entrepreneurs, and think tankers."
That is just for starters. He moves on to the evasion Blumenthal and cooperative media have generated, the claim that Blumenthal had no “official role” in the campaign. He demolishes it.
I expect that the Clinton campaign and mainstream media will now drop the entire birther offensive against Trump, though it would not surprise me if black-oriented media kept the meme in circulation with no attention to the trap.
Scott Johnson at Powerline recalls and documents a dramatic and, at the time, influential lie that Blumenthal told during the Lewinsky investigation in 1998. After receiving a subpoena to testify before a grand jury, he stepped out of the court and lied about his testimony and the behavior of the prosecutors. This was part of the successful campaign to demonize those who were investigating Clinton’s lies under oath about his sexual adventures in the Oval Office. If you don’t remember the details, or if you just want to be appalled at Sidney Blumenthal’s ethics, Scott will reward you richly. Read the whole thing.