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Hillary Clinton's Record of Failure as Secretary of State

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Although  many   commentators   have   mentioned  that Hillary Clinton leaves behind no major achievement as the U.S. Secretary of State, the reality is that she does, several -- and all of them are harms to the U.S.

There wasn't only her failure as the State Department's chief administrator, such that the State Department's own  Accountability Review Board Report on Benghazi Attack  said: "In the months leading up to September 11, 2012, security in Benghazi was not recognized and implemented as a "shared responsibility' in Washington, resulting in stove-piped discussions and decisions on policy and security. Key decisions ... or non-decisions in Washington, such as the failure to establish standards for Benghazi and to meet them, or the lack of a cohesive staffing plan, essentially set up Benghazi." That's failure at the very top. It's not in Libya. It's not even in Africa. It's in "Washington."

Who, at the State Department in "Washington," had "buck stops here" authority and power? Hillary Clinton.

Republicans are obsessed with the Benghazi failure, because it reflects negatively upon her but not on themselves. However, Hillary's real and important failures reflect negatively upon Republicans also, because these failures culminated actually Republican foreign-policy objectives, and dashed Democratic (and democratic) policy-objectives.

One such failure was the State Department's establishment of fascism in Honduras, crucially helping to end democracy there and replace it with a far-right hell -- an extreme version of the Republican Party's own conservatism. Without Hillary Clinton's support for fascism in that country, Honduras would still be a democratic republic in Central America; and this fact is widely known outside the U.S., even if America's major news-media haven't reported it. So: it's a major failure on the part of Hillary Clinton -- and also on the part of Barack Obama.

On 28 June 2009, the Honduran military grabbed their nation's popular democratically elected progressive President, Manuel Zelaya, and flew him into exile. 

The AP headlined from Tegucigalpa the next day, "World Leaders Pressure Honduras to Reverse Coup," and reported: "Leaders from Hugo Chavez to Barack Obama called for reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya, who was arrested in his pajamas Sunday morning by soldiers who stormed his residence and flew him into exile."

Here was the  cable  from the U.S. Embassy, reviewing the situation, for Washington, after almost a month's silence from the Administration:

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From: Ambassador Hugo Llorens, U.S. Embassy, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 24 July 2009.

To: Secretary of State, White House, and National Security Council.

"SUBJECT: TFHO1: OPEN AND SHUT: THE CASE OF THE HONDURAN COUP"

This lengthy message from the Ambassador closed:

"The actions of June 28 can only be considered a coup d'etat by the legislative branch, with the support of the judicial branch and the military, against the executive branch. It bears mentioning that, whereas the resolution adopted June 28 refers only to Zelaya, its effect was to remove the entire executive branch. Both of these actions clearly exceeded Congress's authority. ... No matter what the merits of the case against Zelaya, his forced removal by the military was clearly illegal, and [puppett-leader Roberto] Micheletti's ascendance as "interim president' was totally illegitimate."

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During the crucial next two weeks, Obama considered what to do. Then, on 6 August 2009, McClatchy newspapers bannered  "U.S. Drops Call to Restore Ousted Honduran Leader,"  and Tyler Bridges reported that Zelaya wouldn't receive U.S. backing in his bid to be restored to power. Though all international organizations called the Honduran coup illegitimate, and refused to recognize the leader chosen by its junta, the Obama Administration, after more than a month of indecision on this matter, finally came out for Honduras's fascists. According to James Rosen of McClatchy Newspapers three days later, the far-right Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint had "placed a hold on two nominees to senior State Department posts to protest Obama's pushing for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zalaya's return to power, which the administration backed away from last week." Obama, after a month of silence, caved silently. Instead of his using the bully pulpit to smear the fascist DeMint publicly with his fascism, Obama just joined him in it, silently. Why? Perhaps it was because the chief lobbyist hired in the U.S. by the Honduran aristocracy (whose thugs had installed this new Honduran government), was Hillary's old friend, Lanny Davis. As slate.com had said on 27 August 2008, headlining "A Day in the Life of Hillary's Biggest Fan": " When it comes to defending Hillary Clinton, Lanny Davis has no rival. " He was the fascists' fixer, inside the Administration.

So, the Honduran aristocracy (largely the Faraj clan) had purchased a line straight to the U.S. Secretary of State, via Mr. Davis. And Obama caved. On August 13th, Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research headlined a Sacramento Bee op-ed  "Obama Tacitly Backs Military's Takeover of Honduran Democracy"  and he reported that the Administration's recent "statements were widely publicized in the Honduran media and helped to bolster the dictatorship. Perhaps more ominously, the Obama administration has not said one word about the atrocities and human rights abuses perpetrated by the coup government. Political activists have been murdered, independent TV and radio stations have been shut down, journalists have been detained and intimidated, and hundreds of people arrested." There was now, again as under Bush, widespread revulsion against the U.S. throughout Latin America. Also on the 13th, Dick Emanuelson, at the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy, headlined "Military Forces Sow Terror and Fear in Honduras," and he described in Honduras a situation very much like that which had occurred in Argentina when the generals there took over in 1976 and rounded up and "disappeared" leaders who constituted a threat to the aristocracy's continued rule in that country. 

The U.S. was now the only power sustaining the Honduran junta's government. Brazil Magazine headlined on August 13th,  "Brazil Urges Obama to Tighten the Vise on Honduras to Get Zelaya Back,"  and reported that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had urged President Obama to come out publicly for the "immediate and unconditional" restoration of Zelaya to office. It didn't happen, however; and on Friday, August 21st, Mark Weisbrot thus bannered in Britain's Guardian "Obama's Deafening Silence on Honduras:  Seven weeks after the coup in Honduras, the US is hindering efforts to restore President Manuel Zelaya to power." Weisbrot documented lies from the Obama Administration regarding the coup, and he noted, "The one thing we can be pretty sure of is that no major US media outlet will look further into this matter." He was assuming that the U.S. had a controlled press, and it seems that he was correct, except for the McClatchy Newspaper chain, which courageously reported on the Honduran horrors.

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Hillary is at least as conservative as is Barack O... by Eric Zuesse on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 at 12:02:48 PM