December 4, 2008
By Quin Hillyer
The idea of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State ought to make conservatives tremble with foreboding. It is truly bizarre to see so many on the right unquestioningly accepting a notion that just a year ago would have been laughable, namely that she is a relative "moderate" on foreign policy. And it's even more astonishing that any reasonable news organization, or any serious senator, would consider her manifold ethical lapses as being anything other than immediately disqualifying for such a lofty appointive position.
The more comprehensive case against her appointment remains to be made, sometime between now and when she faces Senate hearings. But as a tip-of-the-iceberg, almost top-of-the-head review, consider all these reasons why she ought to be overwhelmingly rejected for the job.
* Hillary Clinton was nearly fired from the Watergate Committee staff for outrageously unethical behavior.
* Hillary Clinton was directly cited for false testimony by an independent counsel, who used prosecutorial discretion not to actually seek the indictment she deserved for prevaricating about her role in the White House Travel Office firings.
* Hillary Clinton was the recipient of the moral equivalent of bribery (every bit as bad as the $100,000 apparent payoff to U.S. Rep. "Dollar Bill" Jefferson of New Orleans) in making off with just shy of a cool 100K in her preposterous dealings in cattle futures. For more on this issue, see the excellent work of Deroy Murdock as published earlier this year in The American Spectator's print edition.
* Hillary Clinton probably deserved to be indicted in one of the facets of the Whitewater investigation, but the infamous Rose Law Firm billing records with her fingerprints on them mysteriously disappeared until produced, quite conveniently, just days after the statute of limitations had run out on the charges that could have stemmed from the clear evidence those records contained.
* Hillary Clinton was caught on tape engaging in legally dubious coordination of campaign fundraising activities that led to charges against several others involved in the big Hollywood event at issue. For more, see "Hillary: The Movie," by Citizens United.
* Hillary's roles in a plethora of scandals as she and her husband left the White House were so egregious that even liberal news organizations pronounced her positively "unfit" for office. For a voluminous record of her skullduggery since the beginning of 2000, read Spectator founder R. Emmett Tyrrell's 2007 book, The Clinton Crack-Up.
* Hillary's presidential campaign was caught red-handed accepting huge sums of money bundled and/or donated from convicted felon Norman Hsu. In many ways the sneaky dealings with Hsu were reminiscent of other odiferous dealings with a host of other Asian donors and influence peddlers through the years, from the Riadys to Johnny Chung to John Huang to Pauline Kanchanalak to Charlie Trie.
Again, that's only a sampling of the turgid record of Hillary Clinton's skunkery (to coin a word) on matters of ethics. And that's not even getting into the myriad conflicts of interest inherent in her husband's apparent acceptance of donations for his presidential library and his eponymous foundation from numerous foreign sources, including perhaps (we will find out soon enough) the Saudi royal family. And that's not to mention the foreign speeches, at tens of thousands of dollars a pop, paid by foreign sources, that are included in the $100 million or so the Clintons have racked up in recent years. How could such entanglements not distort Mrs. Clinton's behavior if she is made Secretary of State?
Meanwhile, Hillary is no moderate. The evidence for that strange proposition comes only from her careful positioning, while a senator, to maintain her "viability" as a presidential candidate. Yet for every bit of hemming there has been an equal amount of hawing -- except when she repeatedly refused, until utterly embarrassed, to withdraw the absurd contention that she (and Chelsea and Sinbad the comedian) had been subject to sniper fire while on one of her foreign excursions. She has a long record of advocating an expanded role for the United Nations or other international organizations in areas where conservatives see threats to American sovereignty. And in the 1980s she served on the board of, and for a time as chairman of, the leftist New World Foundation, during which time the foundation gave money to the far-left Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, which in turn openly supported the radical-left (for all intents and purposes, communist) FMLN armed guerrillas against the official, U.S.-supported government of that country. The New World Foundation also supported a host of other far-left causes during that time period, including the radical National Lawyers Guild and also a group that in turn donated money to affiliates of the Palestinian Liberation Organization when it was known almost exclusively as a terrorist organization.
This last is fitting in retrospect, seeing as how it was the Clinton administration that first effectively gave diplomatic recognition to the PLO's terrorist thug, Yasser Arafat.
Again, this horrendous record ought to be amply filled out in the next month or two. But the conclusion is inescapable: Hillary Clinton likely would be the most leftist American Secretary of State ever, and certainly the most ethically conflicted and unqualified. For her to be confirmed for the position would be a travesty. And it would be profoundly dangerous for American interests.
Quin Hillyer is an associate editor at the Washington Examiner and a senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.