Former secretary of state denied knowledge of secret arms deals to Libya
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before House Select Committee on Benghazi
NEW YORK – While many political pundits concluded Hillary Clinton’s testimony last week before the House Select Committee on Benghazi helped her bid for the White House, at least one commentator believes she put herself in serious legal jeopardy.
In an interview with WND, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former judge, pointed to her denial of any knowledge of secret arms shipments to Libya arranged by the State Department under her watch.
She specifically denied any knowledge of arms dealing by Marc Turi, who is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice for lying on an appli....
“I am in profound disagreement with most of our media, and some of our Fox colleagues, who have gushed at the ‘brilliance’ of Mrs. Clinton’s ‘flawless’ and ‘unflappable’ performance last Thursday,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano explained that Clinton “had three audiences, and she forgot the most important of them.”
“Her immediate audience was the committee, whose members generally do not know how to ask questions of witnesses who are trying to hide the truth,” he said.
“Her second audience was the American people, who will recall no more than 15 second sound bites and general impressions,” he stressed.
Find out what really happened, in Aaron Klein’s “The REAL Benghazi ...
“Her third audience – the one she must have forgotten about – consists of the 25 or so FBI agents and federal prosecutors who are investigating her.”
Napolitano focused on questions Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton as the hearing approached the end of the 11-hour marathon:
Pompeo: Were you aware, or are you aware of any efforts by the U.S. government in Libya to provide any arms, either directly or indirectly, or through a cutout to militias or opposition to Gadhafi’s forces?
Clinton: That was a very long question, and I think the answer is no.
Pompeo: Were you aware of any U.S. efforts by the U.S. government in Libya to provide any weapons, directly or indirectly, or through a cutout, to any Syrian rebels or militias or opposition to Syrian forces?
The lawmaker asked if she was aware of any U.S. deals to arm the Libyan opposition that involved private security experts. Clinton again denied having any knowledge.
Pompeo concluded his line of questioning:
Pompeo: I want to go back to your statement that you said you didn’t ever seriously consider providing security experts. Tell me why you ever considered it at all?
Clinton: We considered a whole range of issues. We knew that the insurgents fighting Gadhafi needed support and what they were provided was air support, facilitated by the United States. The United States did not provide any private contractors to assist them.
Then Pompeo asked Clinton if she knew anything about the Turi case.
Pompeo: Do you know who Marc Turi is?
Clinton: No, I don’t recall that I know who that is.
Pompeo: He was a private trafficker in weapons. He was working with Mr. [Chris] Stevens and attempting to develop an authorization with the State Department so that he could in fact deliver those weapons into Libya. Does any of that that ring a bell to you?
Clinton: No, it does not.
Pompeo asked Clinton if she ever saw an email Ambassador Stevens sent to Turi thanking him for information about Turi’s attempt to get State Department approval for an arms shipment to Libya.
After an exchange about identifying the document in question, Clinton said, “Whatever was considered [in the Stevens email to Turi], either out of politeness or out of interest, there was not any action taken so far as I know.”
‘Proclivity to deceive’
In her testimony Thursday, Napolitano said, the Department of Justice and FBI audience was looking for “perjury, for misleading statements and for what federal law calls ‘bad acts.’”
“Perjury is lying under oath. Mrs. Clinton committed perjury when she denied that she knew anything about supplying arms to rebels,” Napolitano said.
“Not only did she know about it, she authorized it,” he asserted.
Napolitano noted a New York Times columnist called her the “midwife of chaos” for her “introduction of U.S. military hardware into the hands of gangs in Libya, some of whom were run by known al-Qaida operatives, several of whom murdered Ambassador Stevens.”
“I wish Congressman Pompeo had persisted in this line of late-night, last-minute questioning,” the former judge said.
Napolitano offered why Clinton’s testimony would be particularly damaging to the FBI audience listening to her testimony.
“The crime of misleading Congress carries the same penalty as lying to Congress – five years per misleading statement,” Napolitano pointed out. “Her frequent use of double negatives and her professed lack of memory may save her from perjury but not from the charge of misleading – being deceptive.
“What she plainly revealed is a willingness and natural proclivity to deceive,” he concluded.
“We know she knew the true source of the Benghazi attacks the day they happened, even as she was lying and blaming a cheap video,” he noted. ”The FBI knows how to build a case on ‘bad acts’ – here, persistent deception – and how to use that to trap and indict the perpetrator.”
Maureen Dowd: ‘Midwife of chaos’
Last Friday, following Clinton’s testimony to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a column, titled “The Empire Strikes Back,” in which she dubbed Clinton the “midwife of chaos.”
“There were no call logs of talks between Stevens and Clinton, and she said she could not remember if she ever spoke to him again after she swore him in in May,” Dowd wrote.
“‘I was the boss of ambassadors in 270 countries,’ [Clinton] explained,” Dowd continued, quoting Hillary. “But Libya was the country where she was the midwife to chaos. And she should have watched that baby like the Lady Hawk she is.”
As WND reported in February 2014, the Department of Justice indicted Turi for allegedly making false statements in filing to obtain a license to supply weapons to Libya.
WND has further reported that Turi’s defense attorney, Jean-Jacques Cabou of the law firm Perkins Coie LLP in Arizona, intends to establish at trial that Turi was encouraged by the State Department to engage in the actions for which he is now charged.
Turi arranged to ship weapons to Libya via third-party countries to circumvent the U.N. arms embargo.
The Department of Justice agrees with Cabou that no shipment of weapons by Turi ever occurred.
The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has alleged the State Department under Hilary Clinton’s direction was seeking to engage U.S. arms dealers in a secret scheme to deliver arms to Libya via intermediary countries such as Kuwait to mask an apparent violation of U.N. Resolution 1973. Passed March 17, 2011, the resolution imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with the goal of establishing an embargo on arms shipments.
In July, WND reported a video showing the chief spokesman for the Gadhafi regime displaying to reporters a cache of weapons and ammunition seized from Qatar supported the Citizens Commission’s contention that the Obama administration “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias attempting to overthrow Gadhafi.
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