By Matthew Vadum
Republican lawmakers are probing why Hillary Clinton’s longtime Islamist aide Huma Abedin was allowed to work at the State Department under a special, part-time status while simultaneously working at a politically-connected consulting firm.
Demands for information are coming from Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) after the public learned both women used Clinton’s private Internet server and email accounts for Department of State correspondence.
But that’s only part of the endless sleaze and intrigue surrounding Clinton.
The media has also reported that Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton administration damage-control expert known for his relentless attacks on Clinton family enemies and for being the father of Israel-hating pseudo-journalist Max Blumenthal, was apparently doing freelance work for Mrs. Clinton. Clinton tried to hire the elder Blumenthal at State but the Obama White House nixed the appointment because of Blumenthal’s aggressively slimy attacks on Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
After Blumenthal’s email was hacked in 2013, it was revealed that “starting weeks before” the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, “Blumenthal supplied intelligence” to then-Secretary Clinton that was “gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer.”
Reports got some of the details wrong, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto.
“The reporters asked the most obvious question and got a partial answer: ‘A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica . . . that she has turned over’—meaning to the State Department—’all the emails Blumenthal sent to [Mrs.] Clinton,'” he writes.
That is incorrect, Taranto notes. “[I]n reality she turned over no emails, only printouts,” which are of limited value as evidence.
Meanwhile, as evidence continues to accumulate that Clinton’s cavalier approach to state secrets put U.S. national security in jeopardy, the shady background of Abedin, who has known ties to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, is barely acknowledged on Capitol Hill.
Instead of examining Abedin’s disturbing family ties that make her employment by the U.S. government a threat to national security, Grassley is honing in on the sweetheart arrangement that allowed the operative to get on the public payroll while raking in money from private consulting.
Well, it’s a start, at least.
Grassley complains that many previous requests to the Department of State for information have gone unanswered, so now he is sending requests to the agency’s inspector general and to Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry.
It was about two years ago that Grassley demanded information about Abedin after she moved from being a full-time deputy chief of staff for Clinton to part-time status and then began working at Teneo, a politically connected consulting firm that claims to bring “together the disciplines of government and public affairs.”
In a July 2013 letter the State Department indicated Abedin was employed full-time from January 2009 to June 2012. It also indicated she did not disclose outside employment when ending her full-time status. The department kept her on as an adviser-expert, apparently at the hourly rate of $74.51 with maximum pay of $155,500 per year.
“A number of conflict-of-interest concerns arise when a government employee is simultaneously being paid by a private company, especially when that company (is) Teneo,” Grassley wrote in a March 19 letter to Kerry.
Grassley asked in the letter “what steps the department took to ensure that … Abedin’s outside employment with a political-intelligence and corporate-advisory firm did not conflict with her simultaneous employment at the State Department.”
“She converted from a full-time employee … with seemingly little difference in her job description or responsibilities,” he wrote. In essence Abedin retained the same job and was later hired by Teneo and the Clinton Global Initiative.
“It is unclear what special knowledge or skills Ms. Abedin possessed that the government could not have easily obtained otherwise from regular government employees,” Grassley wrote.
Grassley’s questions also come after the House Benghazi Select Committee learned that the former secretary of state deleted all the emails investigators were interesting in looking at.
On Friday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement, “We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary [Hillary] Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”
Destroying the electronic correspondence could be a federal crime since the documents were under congressional subpoena. As Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner,
“There’s no doubt Clinton withheld information that Congress demanded she turn over, and some Republicans believe the documents she destroyed were covered under a subpoena as well. But a look at the story behind the subpoena and other document requests from congressional Benghazi investigators is a tale of obstruction, delay and frustration that underscores the limits of Congress’ power to investigate Benghazi. Clinton and her aides had the means to make life very difficult for Republicans trying to learn the full story of the attacks in Libya, and they did just that.”Disturbingly, Republicans have yet to focus on Abedin’s ties to the world of Islamic terrorism.
Born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Abedin’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood run deep. (She is also reportedly just as haughty and unpleasant to deal with as Clinton herself.)
Her mother is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, widow of the late Zyed Abedin, an academic who taught at Saudi Arabia’s prestigious King Abdulaziz University in the early 1970s. The year after Huma was born, Mrs. Abedin received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1978 the Abedins moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Abdullah Omar Naseef, then-vice president of Abdulaziz University, hired Mr. Abedin, a former colleague of his at the university, to work for the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank Naseef was then in the process of establishing. Mr. and Mrs. Abedin became members of the editorial board of IMMA’s publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. According to Andrew C. McCarthy, IMMA’s “Muslim Minority Affairs” agenda is “to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West.”
Naseef himself was a Muslim extremist with ties to al-Qaeda. In 1983 he became secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a militant organization with links to Osama bin Laden. Mrs. Abedin became an official representative of MWL in the 1990s. When her husband died in 1994, Mrs. Abedin became the IMMA’s director. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of its journal.
Mrs. Abedin is also a member of the board of the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), which has long been banned in Israel because it has ties to Hamas. (In Arabic, dawah, or dawa, means the proselytizing or preaching of Islam.) She also runs the Amman, Jordan-based International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC), a Muslim World League affiliate that self-identifies as part of the IICDR. The league, according to McCarthy, “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.” IICWC promotes strict Sharia Law and advocates the rescission of Egyptian laws that forbid female genital mutilation, child marriage, and marital rape.
Mrs. Abedin is a founding member of the Muslim Sisterhood, a pro-Sharia organization consisting of the wives of some of the highest-ranking leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Liwa Al-Arabi has reported that Muslim Sisterhood members: “smuggle secret documents”; “spread the Brotherhood’s ideology by infiltrating universities, schools and homes”; “fulfill the interests of the Brotherhood”; and “organiz[e] projects which will penetrate [the Brotherhood’s] prohibited ideology into the decision-making in the West … under the guise of ‘general needs of women.’” Nagla Ali Mahmoud, wife of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist who was elected president of Egypt in June 2012, is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood.
When Huma Abedin returned to the U.S. and was an intern in the Clinton White House between 1997 and some time in 1999, she was a member of the executive board of George Washington University’s radical Muslim Students Association (MSA). The MSA had extensive ties to al-Qaeda.
From 1996 to 2008, Abedin was employed by IMMA as assistant editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.
Her brother, Hassan Abedin, an associate editor at the journal, was at one time a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. During his fellowship, the Center’s board included such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated figures as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Abdullah Omar Naseef. Huma’s sister, Heba Abedin, is an assistant editor with the journal.
Someone with Abedin’s background shouldn’t be anywhere near the levers of power in Washington.
Yet Hillary Clinton trusted her with vital secrets of state and then erased their electronic correspondence.
What are these two women hiding?