Tag Archives: state department

Hey, Hillary, It’s No Laughing Matter

During Hillary Clinton’s speech to reporters and analysts attending the Toner Prize journalism awards ceremony in Washington, DC, Mrs. Clinton employed variants of two classic Alinsky narrative manipulation tactics in targeting herself for ridicule over her use of a private email server and address during her time as Secretary of State. The use of her private server and email address allowed her to reverse the hierarchy of authority where the designation of government information is concerned. The use of the Alinsky tactics is meant to move the media on from this very damaging reality.

The UK’s Daily Mail quotes Mrs. Clinton as saying:

“I am well aware that some of you may be a little surprised to see me here tonight. You know my relationship with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated…But I am all about new beginnings. A new grandchild, another new hairstyle, a new email account – why not a new relationship with the press? So here goes. No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy – after all, what good does that do me…”

Self-deprecating humor is a potent tool in a politician’s public relations toolbox, especially if the politician is trying to save face in an embarrassing situation. But targeting a damaging scandal with disarming ridicule is a tactic of manipulation to divert seriousness away from a point of vulnerability. Mrs. Clinton’s inclusion of the email scandal – which directly threatens her chances of becoming President of the United States – is purposeful and deliberate.

In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, Rule Number 5 reads:

“‘Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.’ There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions…”

Rule Number 12 reads:

“‘Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.’ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

By including the subject of the email scandal in her “humorous” remarks, Mrs. Clinton effectively targeted those who identify the scandal as a serious matter; a matter that includes the ability for her to shield herself from damaging information on policy failures including the rise of the Islamic State, the assassination of a US Ambassador and his security team in Libya, and the failure of the “reset” with Russia, all of which took place on her watch. By diverting the spotlight away from herself, and shining it onto those who are rightly sounding the alarm on her conduct, Mrs. Clinton has – or at least she hopes she has – painted herself the victim, while branding her “accusers” as the bullies.

Now that she has deceptively intimated that the acts of “unfairness” exist with her detractors, she is free to implement Alinsky Rule Number 12, by targeting those who have called her on her misconduct (the vast Right-Wing conspirators), attempting to make their objections the story, and personalizing it by inferring that the “conservative media” is once again on a Clinton witch hunt, thus completing the political divide into pro- and anti-Clinton factions; factions which the Clinton’s manipulate with ease for both personal and professional gain.

It’s important to remember that Hillary Clinton’s thesis at Wellesley College, There Is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model, was, for her, a declaration of her intimate knowledge of Saul Alinsky. To say that her understanding of the Alinsky model has served her well would be an understatement. To say that she is an Alinsky disciple would be spot on. And the disciple preaches on to this day.

Obama, Benghazi, and the Blame Game

Scandals bring out the worst in politicians, and politicians engage in scandalous behavior on a regular basis. Of course the people only end up hearing about the latter when said politicians get caught. Normally, this would happen as the result of members of the traditional media uncovering their dastardly deeds, but the age of investigative journalism in the mainstream media is drawing to a close. Now, it is in the hands of new media, and sometimes, other politicians.

Voice of America (CC)

In the case of the Benghazi scandal, it is a little of each. Now, anyone that believes that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was the result of protest against an anti-Islam film is either delusional, or has been living under a rock for the past couple weeks. In the interest of being thorough, if anyone lost track, they can consult the timeline here. As for the Congressional Hearings, if nothing else, it can be called a “who’s who of the administration that will be thrown under the bus, if they haven’t been already.” Obviously, the lowest on the totem pole are likely to take the worst. But, as we saw in the Vice Presidential debate, someone obviously forgot to get Joe Biden on board with the administration’s official story on the matter. His statement that he didn’t know the Consulate needed more security came off as though the administration as a whole was unaware. The current message is (maybe?) that Biden and Obama didn’t know, implying some sort of disconnect between the Oval Office and the State Department.

Well, maybe that’s more than just implied, since it’s obvious that there is now a rift between Clinton(s) and Obama. That begs the question why Obama would now trust Bill to hit the campaign trail on his behalf – but, who wants to warn him that could blow up in his face? No one? Figured that.

Otherwise, in the endless effort to blame anyone but themselves, the Obama administration is at least attempting to stick with the “evil Republicans cut the State Department budget, so we couldn’t afford more forces there” argument. They shouldn’t expect that to work very well for two reasons. First, it doesn’t fly when one considers the “greening of Europe” initiative pointed out by Congressman Mike Kelly. As was pointed out in the hearings, obviously the State Department has their priorities a little out of order, since they’re spending huge sums of money on electric cars in Europe, while neglecting to provide needed security personnel in the Middle East and North Africa. But apparently the State Department can afford to send an attorney to babysit Congressman Jason Chaffetz on his trip to Libya to investigate the situation. Perhaps that was why Congress cut the budget in the first place? Second, there’s the problem with communication on National Security matters in the White House. We’ve been told for ages now that Obama rarely bothers with National Security briefings. Now, apparently he’s also not interested in hearing requests for increased security at Embassies. That is a rather odd decision under the circumstances, but who are we to question his choices.

And none of this could possibly be connected to the general state of denial within this administration when it comes to terrorism. We are no longer at war with terrorism. Osama bin Laden is dead. That fixed everything. There couldn’t be an increased threat from al Qaeda. The message is clear – the State Department is right to avoid calling those that attacked the Benghazi Consulate terrorists. And there wasn’t any real danger in Libya, so it was right to scale back security there. Stephanie Cutter is right – it is all Mitt Romney’s fault, and he’s politicizing the situation. Don’t believe her? Just ask Alec Baldwin.

Move along folks, nothing to see here!

US Special Security Team: Need More Not Less in Libya

The former head of a Special Forces “Site Security Team” in Libya is speaking out against security decisions by the State Department. Lt. Col. Andrew Wood is scheduled to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing this week regarding security decisions leading up to the September 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

In an interview with CBS News Wood states, “”We tried to illustrate… to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is… it’s just unbelievable.”

Additionally ABC News reports: that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens wanted a Security Support Team, made up of 16 special operations soldiers, to stay with him in Libya after their deployment was scheduled to end in August, the commander of that security team told ABC News.

But a senior State Department official told ABC News that the embassy’s Regional Security Officer never specifically requested that the SST’s tour be extended past August, and the official maintained there was no net loss of security personnel.

As more information comes to light there appears to be much finger pointing, CYA answers and changing of the story. Not a good day for our State Department and this administration.