Editor’s note: This post is a developing story first reported by The Smoking Gun andRT. The author will be reaching out to Clinton’s and Blumenthal’s offices for comment and will update the post as necessary.
Confidential emails purportedly from former political adviser Sidney Blumenthal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been hacked and widely distributed to politicians and news sources. Included in the hacker “Guccifer’s” distribution list are Russian news services such as Pravda, Moscow Times, andRT.
We have no information about the authenticity of the hacked e mails. They will be tested over the next few hours or days.
RT has released excerpts from the purported Blumenthal-Clinton memos. RT, which is a propaganda arm of the Putin regime, will have its own agenda in selecting and interpreting excerpts, which is not immediately clear. RT focuses on two of the four hacked emails, citing sensitive sources, on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The first excerpted Blumenthal e mail, dated September 12, 2012, reports that senior advisors told the President of Libya during the day of September 11 that the Benghazi and Tripoli attacks were sparked by the Cairo demonstrations and anger over an anti-Muslim video. The President himself attributed the anti-American activity at the Tripoli and Benghazi facilities to efforts to undermine his regime by tying him to the CIA. The President warned that his enemies were working to take advantage of his suspected links to the CIA at a time when Western intelligence services are under scrutiny in Libya.
The timeline reported in the Blumenthal memo is curious. He reports the President meeting with advisors during the day of September 11. The organized attacks in Benghazi did not begin until after nine PM that evening.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton might use thisinformation to suggest that she was being fed incorrect information as the events in Benghazi unfolded. The fact that the President met with advisors before the real attack even began might cast doubt on his interpretation of events, which seemed to suggest an attack mounted by his domestic enemies.
RT provides excerpts from a second memo from Blumenthal to Clinton dated February 16 marked as coming “from extremely sensitive sources and should be handled with care.” In this memo, Blumenthal reports a consensus among affected governments in the region that the Benghazi and Algerian gas field attacks were coordinated by Al-Qaeda related terrorist groups, financed by Sunni Muslim sources in Saudi Arabia.
RT does not provide information about two other Blumenthal-Clinton memos related to Benghazi.
The reader should be warned that these are first and partial accounts of hacked emails that may be fabricated by someone with a hidden agenda. Time will tell whether they have any credence. The RT selection of excerpts appears to fit into Putin’s agenda. Unhappy with the overthrow of Kaddafi, Putin would want to emphasize the sinister role played by the CIA in Libya. The second memo refutes Obama’s claim of an Al Qaeda on the run by showing an increasingly coordinated pattern of Al Qaeda sponsored attacks throughout the Middle East.