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Book | Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism

Wahhabism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎‎, al-Wahhābiya(h)) or Wahhabi mission[1] (/wəˈhɑːbi, wɑː/;[2] Arabic: الدعوة الوهابية‎‎, ad-Da’wa al-Wahhābiya(h) ) is a sect,[3][4][5][6] religious movement or branch of Islam.[7][8][9][10] It has been variously described as “ultraconservative”,[11] “austere”,[7] “fundamentalist”,[12] or “puritan(ical)”[13][14] and as an Islamic “reform movement” to restore “pure monotheistic worship” (tawhid) by devotees,[15] and as a “deviant sectarian movement”,[15] “vile sect”[16] and a distortion of Islam by its opponents.[7][17] The term Wahhabi(ism) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid.[18][19][20] The movement emphasises the principle oftawhid[21] (the “uniqueness” and “unity” of God).[22] It claims its principal influences to be Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) and Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), both belonging to the Hanbalischool,[23] although the extent of their actual influence upon the tenets of the movement has been contested.[24][25]

Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792).[26] He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd,[27] advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the intercession of saints, and the visitation to their tombs, both of which were practiced all over the Islamic world, but which he considered idolatry (shirk), impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid’ah).[9][22] Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saudoffering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement mean “power and glory” and rule of “lands and men.”[28]

The alliance between followers of ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud’s successors (the House of Saud) proved to be a durable one. The House of Saud continued to maintain its politico-religious alliance with the Wahhabi sect through the waxing and waning of its own political fortunes over the next 150 years, through to its eventual proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, and then afterwards, on into modern times. Today Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab’s teachings are the official, state-sponsored form of Sunni Islam[7][29] in Saudi Arabia.[30] With the help of funding from Saudi petroleum exports[31] (and other factors[32]), the movement underwent “explosive growth” beginning in the 1970s and now has worldwide influence.[7] The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades Riyadh has invested more than $10bn (£6bn) into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism.[33]

The “boundaries” of Wahhabism have been called “difficult to pinpoint”,[34] but in contemporary usage, the terms Wahhabi and Salafi are often used interchangeably, and they are considered to be movements with different roots that have merged since the 1960s.[35][36][37] However, Wahhabism has also been called “a particular orientation within Salafism”,[38] or an ultra-conservative, Saudi brand of Salafism.[39][40] Estimates of the number of adherents to Wahhabism vary, with one source (Mehrdad Izady) giving a figure of fewer than 5 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region (compared to 28.5 million Sunnis and 89 million Shia).[30][41]

The majority of mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims worldwide strongly disagree with the interpretation of Wahhabism and consider it a “vile sect”.[16] Islamic scholars, including those from the Al-Azhar University, regularly denounce Wahhabism with terms such as “Satanic faith”.[16] Wahhabism has been accused of being “a source of global terrorism”,[42][43]inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),[44] and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labelling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates[45] (takfir) and justifying their killing.[46][47][48] It has also been criticized for the destruction of historic shrines of saints, mausoleums, and other Muslim and non-Muslim buildings and artifacts.[49][50][51]

Definitions and etymology

Definitions

Some definitions or uses of the term Wahhabi Islam include:

  • “a corpus of doctrines”, and “a set of attitudes and behavior, derived from the teachings of a particularly severe religious reformist who lived in central Arabia in the mid-eighteenth century” (Gilles Kepel)[52]
  • “pure Islam” (David Commins, paraphrasing supporters’ definition),[17] that does not deviate from Sharia law in any way and should be called Islam and not Wahhabism. (King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the King of the Saudi Arabia)[53]
  • “a misguided creed that fosters intolerance, promotes simplistic theology, and restricts Islam’s capacity for adaption to diverse and shifting circumstances” (David Commins, paraphrasing opponents’ definition)[17]
  • “a conservative reform movement … the creed upon which the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded, and [which] has influenced Islamic movements worldwide” (Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim world)[54]
  • “a sect dominant in Saudi Arabia and Qatar” with footholds in “India, Africa, and elsewhere”, with a “steadfastly fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in the tradition of Ibn Hanbal” (Cyril Glasse)[21]
  • an “eighteenth-century reformist/revivalist movement for sociomoral reconstruction of society”, “founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab” (Oxford Dictionary of Islam).[55]
  • originally a “literal revivification” of Islamic principles that ignored the spiritual side of Islam, that “rose on the wings of enthusiasm апd longing and then sank down into the lowlands of pharisaic self-righteousness” after gaining power and losing its “longing and humility” (Muhammad Asad)[56]
  • “a political trend” within Islam that “has been adopted for power-sharing purposes”, but cannot be called a sect because “It has no special practices, nor special rites, and no special interpretation of religion that differ from the main body of Sunni Islam” (Abdallah Al Obeid, the former dean of the Islamic University of Medina and member of the Saudi Consultative Council)[34]
  • “the true salafist movement”. Starting out as a theological reform movement, it had “the goal of calling (da’wa) people to restore the ‘real’ meaning of tawhid (oneness of God or monotheism) and to disregard and deconstruct ‘traditional’ disciplines and practices that evolved in Islamic history such as theology and jurisprudence and the traditions of visiting tombs and shrines of venerated individuals.” (Ahmad Moussalli)[57]
  • a term used by opponents of Salafism in hopes of besmirching that movement by suggesting foreign influence and “conjuring up images of Saudi Arabia”. The term is “most frequently used in countries where Salafis are a small minority” of the Muslim community but “have made recent inroads” in “converting” the local population to Salafism. (Quintan Wiktorowicz)[18]
  • a blanket term used inaccurately to refer to “any Islamic movement that has an apparent tendency toward misogyny, militantism, extremism, or strict and literal interpretation of the Quran and hadith” (Natana J. DeLong-Bas)[58]

Etymology

According to Saudi writer Abdul Aziz Qassim and others, it was the Ottomans who “first labelled Abdul Wahhab’s school of Islam in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism”. The British also adopted it and expanded its use in the Middle East.[59]

Naming controversy: Wahhabis, Muwahhidun, and Salafis

Wahhabis do not like – or at least did not like – the term. Ibn Abd-Al-Wahhab was averse to the elevation of scholars and other individuals, including using a person’s name to label an Islamic school.[18][46][60]

According to Robert Lacey “the Wahhabis have always disliked the name customarily given to them” and preferred to be called Muwahhidun (Unitarians).[61] Another preferred term was simply “Muslims” since their creed is “pure Islam”.[62] However, critics complain these terms imply non-Wahhabis are not monotheists or Muslims,[62][63] and the English translation of that term causes confusion with the Christian denomination (Unitarian Universalism).

Other terms Wahhabis have been said to use and/or prefer include ahl al-hadith (“people of hadith”), Salafi Da’wa or al-da’wa ila al-tawhid[64] (“Salafi preaching” or “preaching of monotheism”, for the school rather than the adherents) or Ahl ul-Sunna wal Jama’a (“people of the tradition of Muhammad and the consensus of the Ummah”),[38] Ahl al-Sunnah (“People of the Sunna”),[65] or “the reform or Salafi movement of the Sheikh” (the sheikh being ibn Abdul-Wahhab).[66] Early Salafis referred to themselves simply as “Muslims”, believing the neighboring Ottoman Caliphate was al-dawlah al-kufriyya (a heretical nation) and its self-professed Muslim inhabitants actually non-Muslim.[45][67][68][69] The prominent 20th-century Muslim scholar Nasiruddin Albani, who considered himself “of the Salaf,” referred to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab‘s activities as “Najdi da’wah.”[70]

Many, such as writer Quinton Wiktorowicz, urge use of the term Salafi, maintaining that “one would be hard pressed to find individuals who refer to themselves as Wahhabis or organizations that use ‘Wahhabi’ in their title, or refer to their ideology in this manner (unless they are speaking to a Western audience that is unfamiliar with Islamic terminology, and even then usage is limited and often appears as ‘Salafi/Wahhabi’).”[18] A New York Timesjournalist writes that Saudis “abhor” the term Wahhabism, “feeling it sets them apart and contradicts the notion that Islam is a monolithic faith.”[71] Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for example has attacked the term as “a doctrine that doesn’t exist here (Saudi Arabia)” and challenged users of the term to locate any “deviance of the form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia from the teachings of the Quran and Prophetic Hadiths“.[72][73] Ingrid Mattsonargues that, “‘Wahhbism’ is not a sect. It is a social movement that began 200 years ago to rid Islam of rigid cultural practices that had (been) acquired over the centuries.”[74]

On the other hand, according to authors at Global Security and Library of Congress the term is now commonplace and used even by Wahhabi scholars in the Najd,[9][75] a region often called the “heartland” of Wahhabism.[76]Journalist Karen House calls Salafi, “a more politically correct term” for Wahhabi.[77]

In any case, according to Lacey, none of the other terms have caught on, and so like the Christian Quakers, Wahhabis have “remained known by the name first assigned to them by their detractors.”[61]

Wahhabis and Salafis

Many scholars and critics distinguish between Wahhabi and Salafi. According to American scholar Christopher M. Blanchard,[78] Wahhabism refers to “a conservative Islamic creed centered in and emanating from Saudi Arabia,” while Salafiyya is “a more general puritanical Islamic movement that has developed independently at various times and in various places in the Islamic world.”[46]

However, many call Wahhabism a more strict, Saudi form of Salafi.[79][80] Wahhabism is the Saudi version of Salafism, according to Mark Durie, who states Saudi leaders “are active and diligent” using their considerable financial resources “in funding and promoting Salafism all around the world.”[81] Ahmad Moussalli tends to agree Wahhabism is a subset of Salafism, saying “As a rule, all Wahhabis are salafists, but not all salafists are Wahhabis”.[57]

Hamid Algar lists three “elements” Wahhabism and Salafism had in common.

  1. above all disdain for all developments subsequent to al-Salaf al-Salih (the first two or three generations of Islam),
  2. the rejection of Sufism, and
  3. the abandonment of consistent adherence to one of the four or five Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh).

And “two important and interrelated features” that distinguished Salafis from the Wahhabis:

  1. a reliance on attempts at persuasion rather than coercion in order to rally other Muslims to their cause; and
  2. an informed awareness of the political and socio-economic crises confronting the Muslim world.[82]

Hamid Algar and another critic, Khaled Abou El Fadl, argue Saudi oil-export funding “co-opted” the “symbolism and language of Salafism”, during the 1960s and 70s, making them practically indistinguishable by the 1970s,[83]and now the two ideologies have “melded”. Abou El Fadl believes Wahhabism rebranded itself as Salafism knowing it could not “spread in the modern Muslim world” as Wahhabism.[35]

History

The Wahhabi mission started as a revivalist movement in the remote, arid region of Najd. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the Al Saud dynasty, and with it Wahhabism, spread to the holy cities of Meccaand Medina. After the discovery of petroleum near the Persian Gulf in 1939, it had access to oil export revenues, revenue that grew to billions of dollars. This money – spent on books, media, schools, universities, mosques, scholarships, fellowships, lucrative jobs for journalists, academics and Islamic scholars – gave Wahhabism a “preeminent position of strength” in Islam around the world.[84]

In the country of Wahhabism’s founding – and by far the largest and most powerful country where it is the state religion – Wahhabi ulama gained control over education, law, public morality and religious institutions in the 20th century, while permitting as a “trade-off” doctrinally objectionable actions such as the import of modern technology and communications, and dealings with non-Muslims, for the sake of the consolidation of the power of its political guardian, the Al Saud dynasty.[85]

However, in the last couple of decades of the twentieth century several crises worked to erode Wahhabi “credibility” in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world – the November 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque by militants; the deployment of US troops in Saudi during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq; and the 9/11 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.[86]

In each case the Wahhabi establishment was called on to support the dynasty’s efforts to suppress religious dissent – and in each case it did[86] – exposing its dependence on the Saudi dynasty and its often unpopular policies.[87][88]

In the West, the end of the Cold War and the anti-communist alliance with conservative, religious Saudi Arabia, and the 9/11 attacks created enormous distrust towards the kingdom and especially its official religion.[89]

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab

The founder of Wahhabism, Mohammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, was born around 1702-03 in the small oasis town of ‘Uyayna in the Najd region, in what is now central Saudi Arabia.[90] He studied in Basra,[91] in what is now Iraq, and possibly Mecca and Medina while there to perform Hajj, before returning to his home town of ‘Uyayna in 1740. There he worked to spread the call (da’wa) for what he believed was a restoration of true monotheistic worship (Tawhid).[92]

The “pivotal idea” of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching was that people who called themselves Muslims but who participated in alleged innovations were not just misguided or committing a sin, but were “outside the pale of Islam altogether,” as were Muslims who disagreed with his definition. [93]

This included not just lax, unlettered, nomadic Bedu, but Shia, Sunnis such as the Ottomans.[94] Such infidels were not to be killed outright, but to be given a chance to repent first.[95] With the support of the ruler of the town – Uthman ibn Mu’ammar – he carried out some of his religious reforms in ‘Uyayna, including the demolition of the tomb of Zayd ibn al-Khattab, one of the Sahaba (companions) of the prophet Muhammad, and the stoning to death of an adulterous woman. However, a more powerful chief (Sulaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Ghurayr) pressured Uthman ibn Mu’ammar to expel him from ‘Uyayna.[citation needed]

Alliance with the House of Saud

Further information:

1744–1818

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after unification in 1932

The ruler of nearby town, Muhammad ibn Saud, invited ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab to join him, and in 1744 a pact was made between the two. [96] Ibn Saud would protect and propagate the doctrines of the Wahhabi mission, while ibn Abdul Wahhab “would support the ruler, supplying him with ‘glory and power.'” Whoever championed his message, ibn Abdul Wahhab promised, “will, by means of it, rule the lands and men.” [28] Ibn Saud would abandon un-Sharia taxation of local harvests, and in return God might compensate him with booty from conquest and sharia compliant taxes that would exceed what he gave up.[97] The alliance between the Wahhabi mission and Al Saud family has “endured for more than two and half centuries,” surviving defeat and collapse.[96][98] The two families have intermarried multiple times over the years and in today’s Saudi Arabia, the minister of religion is always a member of the Al ash-Sheikh family, i.e., a descendent of Ibn Abdul Wahhab.[99]

According to most sources, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab declared jihad against neighboring tribes, whose practices of praying to saints, making pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, he believed to be the work of idolaters/unbelievers.[47][63][95][100]

One academic disputes this. According to Natana DeLong-Bas, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was restrained in urging fighting with perceived unbelievers, preferring to preach and persuade rather than attack.[101] [102][103] It was only after the death of Muhammad bin Saud in 1765 that, according to DeLong-Bas, Muhammad bin Saud’s son and successor, Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad, used a “convert or die” approach to expand his domain,[104] and when Wahhabis adopted the takfir ideas of Ibn Taymiyya.[105]

However, various scholars, including Simon Ross Valentine, have strongly rejected such a view of Wahhab, arguing that “the image of Abd’al-Wahhab presented by DeLong-Bas is to be seen for what it is, namely a re-writing of history that flies in the face of historical fact”.[106] Conquest expanded through the Arabian Peninsula until it conquered Mecca and Medina the early 19th century.[107][108] It was at this time, according to DeLong-Bas, that Wahhabis embraced the ideas of Ibn Taymiyya, which allow self-professed Muslim who do not follow Islamic law to be declared non-Muslims – to justify their warring and conquering the Muslim Sharifs of Hijaz.[105]

One of their most noteworthy and controversial attacks was on Karbala in 1802. There, according to a Wahhabi chronicler `Uthman b. `Abdullah b. Bishr: “The Muslims” – as the Wahhabis referred to themselves, not feeling the need to distinguish themselves from other Muslims, since they did not believe them to be Muslims –

scaled the walls, entered the city … and killed the majority of its people in the markets and in their homes. [They] destroyed the dome placed over the grave of al-Husayn [and took] whatever they found inside the dome and its surroundings … the grille surrounding the tomb which was encrusted with emeralds, rubies, and other jewels … different types of property, weapons, clothing, carpets, gold, silver, precious copies of the Qur’an.”[109][110]

Wahhabis also massacred the male population and enslaved the women and children of the city of Ta’if in Hejaz in 1803.[111]

Saud bin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud managed to establish his rule over southeastern Syria between 1803 and 1812. However, Egyptian forces acting under the Ottoman Empire and led by Ibrahim Pasha, were eventually successful in counterattacking in a campaign starting from 1811.[112] In 1818 they defeated Al-Saud, leveling the capital Diriyah, executing the Al-Saud emir, exiling the emirate’s political and religious leadership,[98][113] and otherwise unsuccessfully attempted to stamp out not just the House of Saud but the Wahhabi mission as well.[114] A second, smaller Saudi state (Emirate of Nejd) lasted from 1819–1891. Its borders being within Najd, Wahhabism was protected from further Ottoman or Egyptian campaigns by the Najd’s isolation, lack of valuable resources, and that era’s limited communication and transportation.[115]

By the 1880s, at least among townsmen if not Bedouin, Wahhabi strict monotheistic doctrine had become the native religious culture of the Najd.[116]

Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia

Further information: History of Saudi Arabia

In 1901, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, a fifth generation descendent of Muhammad ibn Saud,[117] began a military campaign that led to the conquest of much of the Arabian peninsula and the founding of present-day Saudi Arabia, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.[118] The result that safeguarded the vision of Islam-based on the tenets of Islam as preached by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhabwas not bloodless, as 40,000 public executions and 350,000 amputations were carried out during its course, according to some estimates.[119][120][121][122]

Under the reign of Abdul-Aziz, “political considerations trumped religious idealism” favored by pious Wahhabis. His political and military success gave the Wahhabi ulama control over religious institutions with jurisdiction over considerable territory, and in later years Wahhabi ideas formed the basis of the rules and laws concerning social affairs, and shaped the kingdom’s judicial and educational policies.[123] But protests from Wahhabi ulama were overridden when it came to consolidating power in Hijaz and al-Hasa, avoiding clashes with the great power of the region (Britain), adopting modern technology, establishing a simple governmental administrative framework, or signing an oil concession with the U.S. [124] The Wahhabi ulama also issued a fatwa affirming that “only the ruler could declare a jihad”[125] (a violation of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching according to DeLong-Bas.[102])

As the realm of Wahhabism expanded under Ibn Saud into areas of Shiite (Al-Hasa, conquered in 1913) and pluralistic Muslim tradition (Hejaz, conquered in 1924–25), Wahhabis pressed for forced conversion of Shia and an eradication of (what they saw as) idolatry. Ibn Saud sought “a more relaxed approach”.[126]

In al-Hasa, efforts to stop the observance of Shia religious holidays and replace teaching and preaching duties of Shia clerics with Wahhabi, lasted only a year.[127]

In Mecca and Jeddah (in Hejaz) prohibition of tobacco, alcohol, playing cards and listening to music on the phonograph was looser than in Najd. Over the objections of Wahhabi ulama, Ibn Saud permitted both the driving of automobiles and the attendance of Shia at hajj.[128]

Enforcement of the commanding right and forbidding wrong, such as enforcing prayer observance and separation of the sexes, developed a prominent place during the second Saudi emirate, and in 1926 a formal committee for enforcement was founded in Mecca.[21][129] [130]

While Wahhabi warriors swore loyalty to monarchs of Al Saud, there was one major rebellion. King Abdul-Aziz put down rebelling Ikhwan – nomadic tribesmen turned Wahhabi warriors who opposed his “introducing such innovations as telephones, automobiles, and the telegraph” and his “sending his son to a country of unbelievers (Egypt)”. [131] Britain had aided Abdul-Aziz, and when the Ikhwan attacked the British protectorates of Transjordan,Iraq and Kuwait, as a continuation of jihad to expand the Wahhabist realm, Abdul-Aziz struck, killing hundreds before the rebels surrendered in 1929.[132]

Connection with the outside

Before Abdul-Aziz, during most of the second half of the 19th century, there was a strong aversion in Wahhabi lands to mixing with “idolaters” (which included most of the Muslim world). Voluntary contact was considered by Wahhabi clerics to be at least a sin, and if one enjoyed the company of idolaters, and “approved of their religion”, an act of unbelief.[133] Travel outside the pale of Najd to the Ottoman lands “was tightly controlled, if not prohibited altogether”.[134]

Over the course of its history, however, Wahhabism has become more accommodating towards the outside world.[135] In the late 1800s, Wahhabis found Muslims with at least similar beliefs – first with Ahl-i Hadith in India,[136]and later with Islamic revivalists in Arab states (one being Mahmud Sahiri al-Alusi in Baghdad).[137] The revivalists and Wahhabis shared a common interest in Ibn Taymiyya‘s thought, the permissibility of ijtihad, and the need to purify worship practices of innovation.[138] In the 1920s, Rashid Rida, a pioneer Salafist whose periodical al-Manar was widely read in the Muslim world, published an “anthology of Wahhabi treatises,” and a work praising the Ibn Saud as “the savior of the Haramayn [the two holy cities] and a practitioner of authentic Islamic rule”.[139][140]

In a bid “to join the Muslim mainstream and to erase the reputation of extreme sectarianism associated with the Ikhwan,” in 1926 Ibn Saud convened a Muslim congress of representatives of Muslim governments and popular associations.[141] By the early 1950s, the “pressures” on Ibn Saud of controlling the regions of Hejaz and al-Hasa – “outside the Wahhabi heartland” – and of “navigating the currents of regional politics” “punctured the seal” between the Wahhabi heartland and the “land of idolatry” outside.[142][143]

A major current in regional politics at that time was secular nationalism, which, with Gamal Abdul Nasser, was sweeping the Arab world. To combat it, Wahhabi missionary outreach worked closely with Saudi foreign policy initiatives. In May 1962, a conference in Mecca organized by Saudis discussed ways to combat secularism and socialism. In its wake, the World Muslim League was established.[144] To propagate Islam and “repel inimical trends and dogmas”, the League opened branch offices around the globe.[145] It developed closer association between Wahhabis and leading Salafis, and made common cause with the Islamic revivalist Muslim Brotherhood, Ahl-i Hadith and the Jamaat-i Islami, combating Sufism and “innovative” popular religious practices[144] and rejecting the West and Western “ways which were so deleterious of Muslim piety and values.”[146] Missionaries were sent to West Africa, where the League funded schools, distributed religious literature, and gave scholarships to attend Saudi religious universities. One result was the Izala Society which fought Sufism in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.[147]

An event that had a great effect on Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia[148] was the “infiltration of the transnationalist revival movement” in the form of thousands of pious, Islamist Arab Muslim Brotherhood refugees from Egypt following Nasser’s clampdown on the brotherhood[149] (and also from similar nationalist clampdowns in Iraq[150] and Syria[151]), to help staff the new school system of (the largely illiterate) Kingdom.[152]

The Brotherhood’s Islamist ideology differed from the more conservative Wahhabism which preached loyal obedience to the king. The Brotherhood dealt in what one author (Robert Lacey) called “change-promoting concepts” like social justice, and anticolonialism, and gave “a radical, but still apparently safe, religious twist” to the Wahhabi values Saudi students “had absorbed in childhood”. With the Brotherhood’s “hands-on, radical Islam”, jihad became a “practical possibility today”, not just part of history.[153]

The Brethren were ordered by the Saudi clergy and government not to attempt to proselytize or otherwise get involved in religious doctrinal matters within the Kingdom, but nonetheless “took control” of Saudi Arabia’s intellectual life” by publishing books and participating in discussion circles and salons held by princes.[154] In time they took leading roles in key governmental ministries,[155] and had influence on education curriculum.[156] An Islamic university in Medina created in 1961 to train – mostly non-Saudi – proselytizers to Wahhabism,[157] became “a haven” for Muslim Brother refugees from Egypt.[158] The Brothers’ ideas eventually spread throughout the kingdom and had great effect on Wahhabism – although observers differ as to whether this was by “undermining” it[148][159] or “blending” with it.[160][161]

Growth

In the 1950s and 60s within Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi ulama maintained their hold on religious law courts, and presided over the creation of Islamic universities and a public school system which gave students “a heavy dose of religious instruction”.[162] Outside of Saudi the Wahhabi ulama became “less combative” toward the rest of the Muslim world. In confronting the challenge of the West, Wahhabi doctrine “served well” for many Muslims as a “platform” and “gained converts beyond the peninsula.”[162][163]

A number of reasons have been given for this success. The growth in popularity and strength of both Arab nationalism (although Wahhabis opposed any form of nationalism as an ideology, Saudis were Arabs, and their enemy the Ottoman caliphate was ethnically Turkish),[32] and Islamic reform (specifically reform by following the example of those first three generations of Muslims known as the Salaf);[32] the destruction of the Ottoman Empire which sponsored their most effective critics;[164] the destruction of another rival, the Khilafa in Hejaz, in 1925.[32]

Not least in importance was the money Saudi Arabia earned from exporting oil.[84]

Petroleum export era

See also: Petro-Islam

The pumping and export of oil from Saudi Arabia started during World War II, and its earnings helped fund religious activities in the 1950s and 60s. But it was the 1973 oil crisis and quadrupling in the price of oil that both increased the kingdom’s wealth astronomically and enhanced its prestige by demonstrating its international power as a leader of OPEC. By 1980, Saudi Arabia was earning every three days the income from oil it had taken a year to earn before the embargo.[165] Tens of billions of US dollars of this money were spent on books, media, schools, scholarships for students (from primary to post-graduate), fellowships and subsidies to reward journalists, academics and Islamic scholars, the building of hundreds of Islamic centers and universities, and over one thousand schools and one thousand mosques.[166][167] [168] During this time, Wahhabism attained what Gilles Kepel called a “preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam.”[84]

Afghanistan jihad

The “apex of cooperation” between Wahhabis and Muslim revivalist groups was the Afghan jihad.[169]

In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a Muslim Brother cleric with ties to Saudi religious institutions,[170] issued a fatwa[171] declaring defensive jihad in Afghanistan against the atheist Soviet Union, “fard ayn”, a personal (or individual) obligation for all Muslims. The edict was supported by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti (highest religious scholar), Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, among others.[172][173]

Between 1982 and 1992 an estimated 35,000 individual Muslim volunteers went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and their Afghan regime. Thousands more attended frontier schools teeming with former and future fighters. Somewhere between 12,000 and 25,000 of these volunteers came from Saudi Arabia.[174] Saudi Arabia and the other conservative Gulf monarchies also provided considerable financial support to the jihad — $600 million a year by 1982.[175]

By 1989, Soviet troops had withdrawn and within a few years the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul had collapsed.[citation needed]

This Saudi/Wahhabi religious triumph further stood out in the Muslim world because many Muslim-majority states (and the PLO) were allied with the Soviet Union and did not support the Afghan jihad.[176] But many jihad volunteers (most famously Osama bin Laden) returning home to Saudi and elsewhere were often radicalized by Islamic militants who were “much more extreme than their Saudi sponsors.”[176]

“Erosion” of Wahhabism

Grand Mosque seizure

Main article: Grand Mosque Seizure

In 1979, 400–500 Islamist insurgents, using smuggled weapons and supplies, took over the Grand mosque in Mecca, called for an overthrow of the monarchy, denounced the Wahhabi ulama as royal puppets, and announced the arrival of the Mahdi of “end time“. The insurgents deviated from Wahhabi doctrine in significant details,[177] but were also associated with leading Wahhabi ulama (Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz knew the insurgent’s leader, Juhayman al-Otaybi).[178] Their seizure of Islam‘s holiest site, the taking hostage of hundreds of hajj pilgrims, and the deaths of hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in crossfire during the two-week-long retaking of the mosque, all shocked the Islamic world[179] and did not enhance the prestige of Al Saud as “custodians” of the mosque.

The incident also damaged all the prestige of the Wahhabi establishment. Saudi leadership sought and received Wahhabi fatawa to approve the military removal of the insurgents and after that to execute them.[180] But Wahhabi clerics also fell under suspicion for involvement with the insurgents.[181] In part as a consequence, Sahwa clerics influenced by Brethren’s ideas were given freer rein. Their ideology was also thought more likely to compete with the recent Islamic revolutionism/third-worldism of the Iranian Revolution.[181]

Although the insurgents were motivated by religious puritanism, the incident was not followed by a crackdown on other religious purists, but by giving greater power to the ulama and religious conservatives to more strictly enforce Islamic codes in myriad ways[182] – from the banning of women’s images in the media to adding even more hours of Islamic studies in school and giving more power and money to the religious police to enforce conservative rules of behaviour.[183][184][185]

1990 Gulf War

In August 1990 Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. Concerned that Saddam Hussein might push south and seize its own oil fields, Saudis requested military support from the US and allowed tens of thousands of US troops to be based in the Kingdom to fight Iraq.[186]

But what “amounted to seeking infidels’ assistance against a Muslim power” was difficult to justify in terms of Wahhabi doctrine.[187][188]

Again Saudi authorities sought and received a fatwa from leading Wahhabi ulama supporting their action. The fatwa failed to persuade many conservative Muslims and ulama who strongly opposed US presence, including the Muslim Brotherhood-supported the Sahwah “Awakening” movement that began pushing for political change in the Kingdom.[189] Outside the kingdom, Islamist/Islamic revival groups that had long received aid from Saudi and had ties with Wahhabis (Arab jihadists, Pakistani and Afghan Islamists) supported Iraq, not Saudi.[190]

During this time and later, many in the Wahhabi/Salafi movement (such as Osama bin Laden) not only no longer looked to the Saudi monarch as an emir of Islam, but supported his overthrow, focusing on jihad (Salafist jihadists) against the US and (what they believe are) other enemies of Islam.[191][192] (This movement is sometimes called neo-Wahhabi or neo-salafi.[57][193])

After 9/11

The 2001 9/11 attacks on Saudi’s putative ally, the US, that killed almost 3,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage[194] were assumed by many, at least outside the kingdom, to be “an expression of Wahhabism”, since the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.[195] A backlash in the formerly hospitable US against the kingdom focused on its official religion that came to be considered by “some … a doctrine of terrorism and hate.”[89]

Inside the kingdom, Crown Prince Abdullah addressed the country’s religious, tribal, business and media leadership following the attacks in a series of televised gatherings calling for a strategy to correct what has gone wrong. According to author Robert Lacey, the gatherings and later articles and replies by a top cleric, Abdullah Turki, and two top Al Saud princes, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, served as an occasion to sort out who had the ultimate power in the kingdom – the Al Saud dynasty and not the ulema. It was declared that it has always been the role of executive rulers in Islamic history to exercise power and the job of the religious scholars to advise, never to govern.[196]

In 2003–04, Saudi Arabia saw a wave of Al-Qaeda-related suicide bombings, attacks on Non-Muslim foreigners (about 80% of those employed in the Saudi private sector are foreign workers[197] and constitute about 30% of the country’s population[198]) and gun battles between Saudi security forces and militants. One reaction to the attacks was a trimming back of the Wahhabi establishment’s domination of religion and society. “National Dialogues” were held that “included Shiites, Sufis, liberal reformers, and professional women.”[199] In 2009, as part of what some called an effort to “take on the ulema and reform the clerical establishment”, King Abdullah issued a decree that only “officially approved” religious scholars would be allowed to issue fatwas in Saudi Arabia. The king also expanded the Council of Senior Scholars (containing officially approved religious scholars) to include scholars fromSunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence other than the Hanbali madhabShafi’i, Hanafi and Maliki schools.[200]

Relations with the Muslim Brotherhood have deteriorated steadily. After 9/11, the then interior minister Prince Nayef, blamed the Brotherhood for extremism in the kingdom,[201] and he declared it guilty of “betrayal of pledges and ingratitude” and “the source of all problems in the Islamic world”, after it was elected to power in Egypt.[202] In March 2014 the Saudi government declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization”.[186]

In April 2016, Saudi Arabia has stripped its religious police, who enforce Islamic law on the society and known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), from their power to follow, chase, stop, question, verify identification, or arrest any suspected persons when carrying out duties. They are asked to only report suspicious behaviour to regular police and anti-drug units, who will decide whether to take the matter further.[203][204]

Memoirs of Mr. Hempher

A widely circulated but discredited apocryphal description of the founding of Wahhabism[205][206] known as Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy to the Middle East (other titles have been used),[207] alleges that a British agent named Hempher was responsible for creation of Wahhabism. In the “memoir”, Hempher corrupts Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, manipulating him[208] to preach his new interpretation of Islam for the purpose of sowing dissension and disunity among Muslims so that “We, the English people, … may live in welfare and luxury.”[207]

Practices

As a religious revivalist movement that works to bring Muslims back from what it believes are foreign accretions that have corrupted Islam,[209] and believes that Islam is a complete way of life and so has prescriptions for all aspects of life, Wahhabism is quite strict in what it considers Islamic behavior. As a result, it has been described as the “strictest form of Sunni Islam”.[210]

This does not mean however, that all adherents agree on what is required or forbidden, or that rules have not varied by area or changed over time. In Saudi Arabia the strict religious atmosphere of Wahhabi doctrine is visible in the conformity in dress, public deportment, and public prayer,[211] and makes its presence felt by the wide freedom of action of the “religious police“, clerics in mosques, teachers in schools, and judges (who are religious legal scholars) in Saudi courts.[212]

Commanding right and forbidding wrong

Wahhabism is noted for its policy of “compelling its own followers and other Muslims strictly to observe the religious duties of Islam, such as the five prayers”, and for “enforcement of public morals to a degree not found elsewhere”.[213]

While other Muslims might urge abstention from alcohol, modest dress, and salat prayer, for Wahhabis prayer “that is punctual, ritually correct, and communally performed not only is urged but publicly required of men.” Not only is wine forbidden, but so are “all intoxicating drinks and other stimulants, including tobacco.” Not only is modest dress prescribed, but the type of clothing that should be worn, especially by women (a black abaya, covering all but the eyes and hands) is specified.[75]

Following the preaching and practice of Abdul Wahhab that coercion should be used to enforce following of sharia, an official committee has been empowered to “Command the Good and Forbid the Evil” (the so-called “religious police”)[213][214] in Saudi Arabia – the one country founded with the help of Wahhabi warriors and whose scholars and pious[citation needed] dominate many aspects of the Kingdom’s life. Committee “field officers” enforce strict closing of shops at prayer time, segregation of the sexes, prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcohol, driving of motor vehicles by women, and other social restrictions.[215]

A large number of practices have been reported forbidden by Saudi Wahhabi officials, preachers or religious police. Practices that have been forbidden as Bida’a (innovation) or shirk and sometimes “punished by flogging” during Wahhabi history include performing or listening to music, dancing, fortune telling, amulets, television programs (unless religious), smoking, playing backgammon, chess, or cards, drawing human or animal figures, acting in a play or writing fiction (both are considered forms of lying), dissecting cadavers (even in criminal investigations and for the purposes of medical research), recorded music played over telephones on hold or the sending of flowers to friends or relatives who are in the hospital.[121][216][217][218][219][220] Common Muslim practices Wahhabis believe are contrary to Islam include listening to music in praise of Muhammad, praying to God while visiting tombs (including the tomb of Muhammad), celebrating mawlid (birthday of the Prophet),[221] the use of ornamentation on or in mosques.[222] The driving of motor vehicles by women is allowed in every country but Wahhabi-dominated Saudi Arabia[223] and the famously strict Taliban practiced dream interpretation is discouraged by Wahhabis.[224]

Wahhabism emphasizes “Thaqafah Islamiyyah” or Islamic culture and the importance of avoiding non-Islamic cultural practices and non-Muslim friendship no matter how innocent these may appear,[225][226] on the grounds that the Sunna forbids imitating non-Muslims.[227] Foreign practices sometimes punished and sometimes simply condemned by Wahhabi preachers as unIslamic, include celebrating foreign days (such as Valentine’s Day[228] orMothers Day[225][227]) shaving, cutting or trimming of beards,[229] giving of flowers,[230] standing up in honor of someone, celebrating birthdays (including the Prophet’s), keeping or petting dogs.[219] Wahhabi scholars have warned against taking non-Muslims as friends, smiling at or wishing them well on their holidays.[71]

Wahhabis are not in unanimous agreement on what is forbidden as sin. Some Wahhabi preachers or activists go further than the official Saudi Arabian Council of Senior Scholars in forbidding (what they believe to be) sin. Several wahhabis have declared football forbidden for a variety of reasons including it is a non-Muslim, foreign practice, because of the revealing uniforms and because of the foreign non-Muslim language used in matches.[231][232] The Saudi Grand Mufti, on the other hand has declared football permissible (halal). [233]

Senior Wahhabi leaders in Saudi Arabia have determined that Islam forbids the traveling or working outside the home by a woman without their husband’s permission – permission which may be revoked at any time – on the grounds that the different physiological structures and biological functions of the different genders mean that each sex is assigned a different role to play in the family.[234] As mentioned before, Wahhabism also forbids the driving of motor vehicles by women. Sexual intercourse out of wedlock may be punished with beheading[235] although sex out of wedlock is permissible with a slave women (Prince Bandar bin Sultan was the product of “a brief encounter” between his father Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz – the Saudi defense minister for many years – and “his slave, a black servingwoman”),[236] or was before slavery was banned in Saudi Arabia in 1962.[237]

Despite this strictness, senior Wahhabi scholars of Islam in the Saudi kingdom have made exceptions in ruling on what is haram. Foreign non-Muslim troops are forbidden in Arabia, except when the king needed them to confront Saddam Hussein in 1990; gender mixing of men and women is forbidden, and fraternization with non-Muslims is discouraged, but not at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Movie theaters and driving by women are forbidden, except at the ARAMCO compound in eastern Saudi, populated by workers for the company that provides almost all the government’s revenue. The exceptions made at KAUST are also in effect at ARAMCO.[238]

More general rules of what is permissible have changed over time. Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud imposed Wahhabi doctrines and practices “in a progressively gentler form” as his early 20th-century conquests expanded his state into urban areas, especially the Hejab.[239] After vigorous debate Wahhabi religious authorities in Saudi Arabia allowed the use of paper money (in 1951), the abolition of slavery (in 1962), education of females (1964), and use of television (1965).[237] Music, the sound of which once might have led to summary execution, is now commonly heard on Saudi radios. [239] Minarets for mosques and use of funeral markers, which were once forbidden, are now allowed. Prayer attendance which was once enforced by flogging, is no longer.[240]

Appearance

The uniformity of dress among men and women in Saudi Arabia (compared to other Muslim countries in the Middle East) has been called a “striking example of Wahhabism’s outward influence on Saudi society”, and an example of the Wahhabi belief that “outward appearances and expressions are directly connected to one’s inward state.”[222] The “long, white flowing thobe” worn by men of Saudi Arabia has been called the “Wahhabi national dress”.[241]Red-and-white checkered or white head scarves known as Ghutrah are worn. In public women are required to wear a black abaya or other black clothing that covers every part of their body other than hands and eyes.

A “badge” of a particularly pious Salafi or Wahhabi man is a robe too short to cover the ankle, an untrimmed beard,[242] and no cord (Agal) to hold the head scarf in place.[243] The warriors of the Ikhwan Wahhabi religious militia wore a white turban in place of an agal.[244]

Wahhabiyya mission

Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim. [245] Tens of billions of dollars have been spent by the Saudi government and charities on mosques, schools, education materials, scholarships, throughout the world to promote Islam and the Wahhabi interpretation of it. Tens of thousands of volunteers[174] and several billion dollars also went in support of the jihad against the atheist communist regime governing Muslim Afghanistan.[175]

Regions

Wahhabism originated in the Najd region, and its conservative practices have stronger support there than in regions in the kingdom to the east or west of it.[246][247][248] Glasse credits the softening of some Wahhabi doctrines and practices on the conquest of the Hejaz region “with its more cosmopolitan traditions and the traffic of pilgrims which the new rulers could not afford to alienate”.[239]

The only other country “whose native population is Wahhabi and that adheres to the Wahhabi creed”, is the small gulf monarchy of Qatar,[249][250] whose version of Wahhabism is notably less strict. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar made significant changes in the 1990s. Women are now allowed to drive and travel independently; non-Muslims are permitted to consume alcohol and pork. The country sponsors a film festival, has “world-class art museums”, hosts Al Jazeera news service, will hold the 2022 football World Cup, and has no religious force that polices public morality. Qatari’s attribute its different interpretation of Islam to the absence of an indigenous clerical class and autonomous bureaucracy (religious affairs authority, endowments, Grand Mufti), the fact that Qatari rulers do not derive their legitimacy from such a class.[250][251]

Views

Adherents to the Wahhabi movement identify as Sunni Muslims.[252] The primary Wahhabi doctrine is affirmation of the uniqueness and unity of God (Tawhid),[22][253] and opposition toshirk (violation of tawhid – “the one unforgivable sin”, according to Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab).[254] They call for adherence to the beliefs and practices of the salaf (exemplary early Muslims). They strongly oppose what they consider to be heteredox doctrines, particularly those held by the vast majority of Sunnis and Shiites,[255] and practices such as the veneration of Prophets and saints in the Islamic tradition. They emphasize reliance on the literal meaning of the Quran and hadith, rejecting rationalistic theology (kalam). Wahhabism has been associated with the practice of takfir (labeling Muslims who disagree with their doctrines as apostates). Adherents of Wahhabism are favourable to derivation of new legal rulings (ijtihad) so long as it is true to the essence of the Quran, Sunnah and understanding of the salaf.[256]

Theology

In theology Wahhabism is closely aligned with the Athari (traditionalist) school, which represents the prevalent theological position of the Hanbali school of law.[257][258] Athari theology is characterized by reliance on the zahir (apparent or literal) meaning of the Quran and hadith, and opposition to the rational argumentation in matters of belief favored by Ash’ari andMaturidi theology.[259][260] However, Wahhabism diverges in some points of theology from other Athari movements.[261] These include a zealous tendency toward takfir, which bears a resemblance to the Kharijites.[261][262] Another distinctive feature is a strong opposition to mysticism.[261] Although it is typically attributed to the influence of Ibn Taymiyyah, Jeffry Halverson argues that Ibn Taymiyyah only opposed what he saw as Sufi excesses and never mysticism in itself, being himself a member of the Qadiriyyah Sufi order.[261] DeLong-Bas writes that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not denounce Sufism or Sufis as a group, but rather attacked specific practices which he saw as inconsistent with the Quran and hadith.[263]

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab considered some beliefs and practices of the Shia to violate the doctrine of monotheism.[264] According to DeLong-Bas, in his polemic against the “extremistRafidah sect of Shiis”, he criticized them for assigning greater authority to their current leaders than to Muhammad in interpreting the Quran and sharia, and for denying the validity of the consensus of the early Muslim community.[264] He also believed that the Shia doctrine of infallibility of the imams constituted associationism with God.[264]

David Commins describes the “pivotal idea” in Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching as being that “Muslims who disagreed with his definition of monotheism were not … misguided Muslims, but outside the pale of Islam altogether.” This put Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching at odds with that of most Muslims through history who believed that the “shahada” profession of faith (“There is no god but God, Muhammad is his messenger”) made one a Muslim, and that shortcomings in that person’s behavior and performance of other obligatory rituals rendered them “a sinner”, but “not an unbeliever.”

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not accept that view. He argued that the criterion for one’s standing as either a Muslim or an unbeliever was correct worship as an expression of belief in one God. … any act or statement that indicates devotion to a being other than God is to associate another creature with God’s power, and that is tantamount to idolatry (shirk). Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab included in the category of such acts popular religious practices that made holy men into intercessors with God. That was the core of the controversy between him and his adversaries, including his own brother.[265]

In Ibn Abd al-Wahhab‘s major work, a small book called Kitab al-Tawhid, he states that worship in Islam is limited to conventional acts of worship such as the five daily prayers (salat); fasting for Ramadan (Sawm); Dua(supplication); Istia’dha (seeking protection or refuge); Ist’ana (seeking help), and Istigatha to Allah (seeking benefits and calling upon Allah alone). Worship beyond this – making du’a or tawassul – are acts of shirk and in violation of the tenets of Tawhid (montheism).[266][page needed][267]

Ibn Abd al-Wahahb’s justification for considering majority of Muslims of Arabia to be unbelievers, and for waging war on them, can be summed up as his belief that the original pagans the prophet Muhammad fought “affirmed that God is the creator, the sustainer and the master of all affairs; they gave alms, they performed pilgrimage and they avoided forbidden things from fear of God”. What made them pagans whose blood could be shed and wealth plundered was that “they sacrificed animals to other beings; they sought the help of other beings; they swore vows by other beings.” Someone who does such things even if their lives are otherwise exemplary is not a Muslim but an unbeliever (as Ibn Abd al-Wahahb believed). Once such people have received the call to “true Islam”, understood it and then rejected it, their blood and treasure are forfeit.[268][269]

This disagreement between Wahhabis and non-Wahhabi Muslims over the definition of worship and monotheism has remained much the same since 1740, according to David Commins,[265] although, according to Saudi writer and religious television show host Abdul Aziz Qassim, as of 2014, “there are changes happening within the [Wahhabi] doctrine and among its followers.”[53]

According to another source, defining aspects of Wahhabism include a very literal interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah and a tendency to reinforce local practices of the Najd.[270]

Whether the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab included the need for social renewal and “plans for socio-religious reform of society” in the Arabian Peninsula, rather than simply a return to “ritual correctness and moral purity”, is disputed.[271][272]

Jurisprudence (fiqh)

Of the four major sources in Sunni fiqh – the Quran, the Sunna, consensus (ijma), and analogical reasoning (qiyas) – Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s writings emphasized the Quran and Sunna. He used ijma only “in conjunction with its corroboration of the Quran and hadith”[273] (and giving preference to the ijma of Muhammad’s companions rather than the ijma of legal specialists after his time), and qiyas only in cases of extreme necessity.[274] He rejected deference to past juridical opinion (taqlid) in favor of independent reasoning (ijtihad), and opposed using local customs.[275] He urged his followers to “return to the primary sources” of Islam in order “to determine how the Quran and Muhammad dealt with specific situations”,[276] when using ijtihad. According to Edward Mortimer, it was imitation of past juridical opinion in the face of clear contradictory evidence from hadith or Qur’anic text that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab condemned.[277] Natana DeLong-Bas writes that the Wahhabi tendency to consider failure to abide by Islamic law as equivalent to apostasy was based on the ideology of Ibn Taymiyya rather than Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s preaching and emerged after the latter’s death.[278]

According to an expert on law in Saudi Arabia (Frank Vogel), Ibn Abd al-Wahhab himself “produced no unprecedented opinions”. The “Wahhabis’ bitter differences with other Muslims were not over fiqh rules at all, but over aqida, or theological positions”.[279] Scholar David Cummings also states that early disputes with other Muslims did not center on fiqh, and that the belief that the distinctive character of Wahhabism stems from Hanbali legal thought is a “myth”.[280]

Some scholars are ambivalent as to whether Wahhabis belong to the Hanbali legal school. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World maintains Wahhabis “rejected all jurisprudence that in their opinion did not adhere strictly to the letter of the Qur’an and the hadith”.[281] Cyril Glasse’s New Encyclopedia of Islam states that “strictly speaking”, Wahhabis “do not see themselves as belonging to any school,”[282] and that in doing so they correspond to the ideal aimed at by Ibn Hanbal, and thus they can be said to be of his ‘school’.[283] [284] According to DeLong-Bas, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab never directly claimed to be a Hanbali jurist, warned his followers about the dangers of adhering unquestionably to fiqh, and did not consider “the opinion of any law school to be binding.”[285] He did, however, follow the Hanbali methodology of judging everything not explicitly forbidden to be permissible, avoiding the use of analogical reasoning, and taking public interest and justice into consideration.[285]

Loyalty and disassociation

According to various sources—scholars,[47][286][287] [288] [289][290] former Saudi students, [291] Arabic-speaking/reading teachers who have had access to Saudi text books, [292] and journalists[293] – Ibn `Abd al Wahhab and his successors preach that theirs is the one true form of Islam. According to a doctrine known as al-wala` wa al-bara` (literally, “loyalty and disassociation”), Abd al-Wahhab argued that it was “imperative for Muslims not to befriend, ally themselves with, or imitate non-Muslims or heretical Muslims”, and that this “enmity and hostility of Muslims toward non-Muslims and heretical had to be visible and unequivocal”.[294][295] Even as late as 2003, entire pages in Saudi textbooks were devoted to explaining to undergraduates that all forms of Islam except Wahhabism were deviation,[292] although, according to one source (Hamid Algar) Wahhabis have “discreetly concealed” this view from other Muslims outside Saudi Arabia “over the years”.[287][296]

In reply, the Saudi Arabian government “has strenuously denied the above allegations”, including that “their government exports religious or cultural extremism or supports extremist religious education.”[297]

Politics

According to ibn Abdal-Wahhab there are three objectives for Islamic government and society: “to believe in Allah, enjoin good behavior, and forbid wrongdoing.” This doctrine has been sustained in missionary literature, sermons, fatwa rulings, and explications of religious doctrine by Wahhabis since the death of ibn Abdal-Wahhab.[75] Ibn Abd al-Wahhab saw a role for the imam, “responsible for religious matters”, and the amir, “in charge of political and military issues”.[298] (In Saudi history the imam has not been a religious preacher or scholar, but Muhammad ibn Saud[299] and subsequent Saudi rulers.[64][300])

He also taught that the Muslim ruler is owed unquestioned allegiance as a religious obligation from his people so long as he leads the community according to the laws of God. A Muslim must present a bayah, or oath of allegiance, to a Muslim ruler during his lifetime to ensure his redemption after death.[75][301] Any counsel given to a ruler from community leaders or ulama should be private, not through public acts such as petitions, demonstrations, etc. [302] [303] (This strict obedience can become problematic if a dynastic dispute arises and someone rebelling against the ruler succeeds and becomes the ruler, as happened in the late 19th century at the end of the second al-Saud state.[304] Is the successful rebel a ruler to be obeyed, or a usurper?[305])

While this gives the king wide power, respecting shari’a does impose limits, such as giving qadi (Islamic judges) independence. This means not interfering in their deliberations, but also not codifying laws, following precedents or establishing a uniform system of law courts – both of which violate the qadi’s independence.[306]

Wahhabis have traditionally given their allegiance to the House of Saud, but a movement of “Salafi jihadis” has developed among those who believe Al Saud has abandoned the laws of God.[191][192] According to Zubair Qamar, while the “standard view” is that “Wahhabis are apolitical and do not oppose the State”, there is/was another “strain” of Wahhabism that “found prominence among a group of Wahhabis after the fall of the second Saudi State in the 1800s”, and post 9/11 is associated with Jordanian/Palestinian scholar Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and “Wahhabi scholars of the ‘Shu’aybi‘ school”.[307]

Wahhabis share the belief of Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Islamic dominion over politics and government and the importance of dawah (proselytizing or preaching of Islam) not just towards non-Muslims but towards erroring Muslims. However Wahhabi preachers are conservative and do not deal with concepts such as social justice, anticolonialism, or economic equality, expounded upon by Islamist Muslims.[308] Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s original pact promised whoever championed his message, ‘will, by means of it, rule and lands and men.'”[28]

Population

One of the more detailed estimates of religious population in the Arabic Gulf is by Mehrdad Izady who estimates, “using cultural and not confessional criteria”, only 4.56 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region, about 4 million from Saudi Arabia, (mostly the Najd), and the rest coming overwhelmingly from the Emirates and Qatar.[30] Most Sunni Qataris are Wahhabis (46.9% of all Qataris)[30] and 44.8% of Emiratis are Wahhabis,[30] 5.7% of Bahrainisare Wahhabis, and 2.2% of Kuwaitis are Wahhabis.[30] They account for roughly 0.5% of the world’s Muslim population.[309]

Notable leaders

There has traditionally been a recognized head of the Wahhabi “religious estate”, often a member of Al ash-Sheikh (a descendant of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) or related to another religious head. For example, Abd al-Latif was the son of Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan.

  • Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) was the founder of the Wahhabi movement.[310][311]
  • Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1752–1826) was the head of Wahhabism after his father retired from public life in 1773. After the fall of the first Saudi emirate, Abd Allah went into exile in Cairo where he died.[310]
  • Sulayman ibn Abd Allah (1780–1818) was a grandson of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and author of an influential treatise that restricted travel to and residing in land of idolaters (i.e. land outside of the Wahhabi area).[310]
  • Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan (1780–1869) was head of the religious estate in the second Saudi emirate.[310]
  • Abd al-Latif ibn Abd al-Rahman (1810–1876) Head of religious estate in 1860 and early 1870s.[310]
  • Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Latif Al ash-Sheikh (1848–1921) was the head of religious estate during period of Rashidi rule and the early years of King Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud.[310]
  • Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al ash-Sheikh (1893–1969) was the head of Wahhabism in mid twentieth century. He has been said to have “dominated the Wahhabi religious estate and enjoyed unrivaled religious authority.”[312]
  • Ghaliyya al-Wahhabiyya was a female military leader who defended Mecca against recapture by Ottoman forces.

In more recent times, a couple of Wahhabi clerics have risen to prominence that have no relation to ibn Abd al-Wahhab.

  • Abdul Aziz Bin Baz (1910–1999), has been called “the most prominent proponent” of Wahhabism during his time.[313]
  • Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen (1925–2001), another “giant”. According to David Dean Commins, no one “has emerged” with the same “degree of authority in the Saudi religious establishment” since their deaths.[313]

International influence and propagation

Explanation for influence

Khaled Abou El Fadl attributed the appeal of Wahhabism to some Muslims as stemming from

  • Arab nationalism, which followed the Wahhabi attack on the Ottoman Empire
  • Reformism, which followed a return to Salaf (as-Salaf aṣ-Ṣāliḥ);
  • Destruction of the Hejaz Khilafa in 1925;
  • Control of Mecca and Medina, which gave Wahhabis great influence on Muslim culture and thinking;
  • Oil, which after 1975 allowed Wahhabis to promote their interpretations of Islam using billions from oil export revenue.[314]

Scholar Gilles Kepel, agrees that the tripling in the price of oil in the mid-1970s and the progressive takeover of Saudi Aramco in the 1974–1980 period, provided the source of much influence of Wahhabism in the Islamic World.

… the financial clout of Saudi Arabia had been amply demonstrated during the oil embargo against the United States, following the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. This show of international power, along with the nation’s astronomical increase in wealth, allowed Saudi Arabia’s puritanical, conservative Wahhabite faction to attain a preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam. Saudi Arabia’s impact on Muslims throughout the world was less visible than that of Khomeini]s Iran, but the effect was deeper and more enduring. …. it reorganized the religious landscape by promoting those associations and ulemas who followed its lead, and then, by injecting substantial amounts of money into Islamic interests of all sorts, it won over many more converts. Above all, the Saudis raised a new standard – the virtuous Islamic civilization – as foil for the corrupting influence of the West.[84]

Funding factor

Estimates of Saudi spending on religious causes abroad include “upward of $100 billion”;[315] between $2 and 3 billion per year since 1975 (compared to the annual Soviet propaganda budget of $1 billion/year);[316] and “at least $87 billion” from 1987–2007.[317]

Its largesse funded an estimated “90% of the expenses of the entire faith”, throughout the Muslim World, according to journalist Dawood al-Shirian.[318] It extended to young and old, from children’s madrasas to high-level scholarship.[319] “Books, scholarships, fellowships, mosques” (for example, “more than 1,500 mosques were built from Saudi public funds over the last 50 years”) were paid for.[320] It rewarded journalists and academics, who followed it and built satellite campuses around Egypt for Al Azhar, the oldest and most influential Islamic university.[167] Yahya Birt counts spending on “1,500 mosques, 210 Islamic centres and dozens of Muslim academies and schools”.[316][321]

This financial aid has done much to overwhelm less strict local interpretations of Islam, according to observers like Dawood al-Shirian and Lee Kuan Yew,[318] and has caused the Saudi interpretation (sometimes called “petro-Islam”[322]) to be perceived as the correct interpretation—or the “gold standard” of Islam—in many Muslims’ minds.[323][324]

Militant and political Islam

According to counter-terrorism scholar Thomas F. Lynch III, Sunni extremists perpetrated about 700 terror attacks killing roughly 7,000 people from 1981–2006.[325] What connection, if any, there is between Wahhabism and theJihadi Salafis such as Al-Qaeda who carried out these attacks, is disputed.

Natana De Long-Bas, senior research assistant at the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, argues:

The militant Islam of Osama bin Laden did not have its origins in the teachings of Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab and was not representative of Wahhabi Islam as it is practiced in contemporary Saudi Arabia, yet for the media it came to define Wahhabi Islam during the later years of bin Laden’s lifetime. However “unrepresentative” bin Laden’s global jihad was of Islam in general and Wahhabi Islam in particular, its prominence in headline news took Wahhabi Islam across the spectrum from revival and reform to global jihad.[326]

Noah Feldman distinguishes between what he calls the “deeply conservative” Wahhabis and what he calls the “followers of political Islam in the 1980s and 1990s,” such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad and later Al-Qaeda leaderAyman al-Zawahiri. While Saudi Wahhabis were “the largest funders of local Muslim Brotherhood chapters and other hard-line Islamists” during this time, they opposed jihadi resistance to Muslim governments and assassination of Muslim leaders because of their belief that “the decision to wage jihad lay with the ruler, not the individual believer”.[327]

Karen Armstrong states that Osama bin Laden, like most extremists, followed the ideology of Sayyid Qutb, not “Wahhabism”.[328]

More recently the self-declared “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been described as both more violent than al-Qaeda and more closely aligned with Wahhabism.

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.[329]

According to scholar Bernard Haykel, “for Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself.” Wahhabism is the Islamic State’s “closest religious cognate.”[329]

The Sunni militant groups worldwide that are associated with the Wahhabi ideology include: Al-Shabaab, Ansar Dine, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS.[citation needed]

Criticism and controversy

Criticism by other Muslims

Among the criticism, or comments made by critics, of the Wahhabi movement are:

  • That it is not so much strict and uncompromising as aberrant,[330] going beyond the bounds of Islam in its restricted definition of tawhid (monotheism), and much too willing to commit takfir (declare non-Muslim and subject to execution) Muslims it found in violation of Islam[331] (in the second Wahhabi-Saudi jihad/conquest of the Arabian peninsula, an estimated 400,000 were killed or wounded according to some estimates[119][120][121][122]);
  • That bin Saud’s agreement to wage jihad to spread Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s teachings had more to do with traditional Najd practice of raiding – “instinctive fight for survival and appetite for lucre” – than with religion;[332]
  • That it has no connection to other Islamic revival movements;[333]
  • That unlike other revivalists, its founder Abd ul-Wahhab showed little scholarship – writing little and making even less commentary;[334]
  • That its rejection of the “orthodox” belief in saints, which had become a cardinal doctrine in Sunni Islam very early on,[335][336][337] represents a departure from something which has been an “integral part of Islam … for over a millennium.”[338][339] In this connection, mainstream Sunni scholars also critique the Wahhabi citing of Ibn Taymiyyah as an authority when Ibn Taymiyyah himself adhered to the belief in the existence of saints;[340]
  • That its contention towards visiting the tombs and shrines of prophets and saints and the seeking of their intercession, violate tauhid al-‘ibada (directing all worship to God alone) has no basis in tradition, in consensus or inhadith, and that even if it did, it would not be grounds for excluding practitioners of ziyara and tawassul from Islam;[331]
  • That its use of Ibn Hanbal, Ibn al-Qayyim, and even Ibn Taymiyyah‘s name to support its stance is inappropriate, as it is historically known that all three of these men revered many aspects of Sufism, save that the latter two critiqued certain practices among the Sufis of their time. Those who criticize this aspect of Wahhabism often refer to the group’s use of Ibn Hanbal’s name to be a particularly egregious error, arguing that the jurist’s love for the relics of Muhammad, for the intercession of the Prophet, and for the Sufis of his time is well established in Islamic tradition;[341]
  • That historically Wahhabis have had a suspicious willingness to ally itself with non-Muslim powers (specifically America and Britain), and in particular to ignore the encroachments into Muslim territory of a non-Muslim imperial power (the British) while waging jihad and weakening the Muslim Caliphate of the Ottomans;[342][343] and
  • That Wahhabi strictness in matters of hijab and separation of the sexes has led not to a more pious and virtuous Saudi Arabia, but to a society showing a very un-Islamic lack of respect towards women.

Initial opposition

The first people to oppose Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab were his father Abd al-Wahhab and his brother Salman Ibn Abd al-Wahhab who was an Islamic scholar and qadi. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s brother wrote a book in refutation of his brother’s new teachings, called: “The Final Word from the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Sayings of the Scholars Concerning the School of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab”, also known as: “Al-Sawa`iq al-Ilahiyya fi Madhhab al-Wahhabiyya” (“The Divine Thunderbolts Concerning the Wahhabi School”).[344]

In “The Refutation of Wahhabism in Arabic Sources, 1745–1932”,[344] Hamadi Redissi provides original references to the description of Wahhabis as a divisive sect (firqa) and outliers (Kharijites) in communications between Ottomans and Egyptian Khedive Muhammad Ali. Redissi details refutations of Wahhabis by scholars (muftis); among them Ahmed Barakat Tandatawin, who in 1743 describes Wahhabism as ignorance (Jahala).

Shi’a opposition

Al-Baqi’ mausoleum reportedly contained the bodies of Hasan ibn Ali (a grandson ofMuhammad) and Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad).

In 1801 and 1802, the Saudi Wahhabis under Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud attacked and captured the holy Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf in Iraq and destroyed the tombs ofHusayn ibn Ali who is the grandson of Muhammad, and Ali (Ali bin Abu Talib), the son-in-law of Muhammad (see: Saudi sponsorship mentioned previously). In 1803 and 1804 the Saudis captured Mecca and Madinah and demolished various tombs of Ahl al-Bayt and Sahabah, ancient monuments, ruins according to Wahhabis, they “removed a number of what were seen as sources or possible gateways to polytheism or shirk” – such as the tomb of Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad. In 1998 the Saudis bulldozed and poured gasoline over the grave of Aminah bint Wahb, the mother of Muhammad, causing resentment throughout the Muslim World.[345][346][347]

Shi’a Muslims complain that Wahhabis and their teachings are a driving force behind sectarian violence and anti-Shia targeted killings in many countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen. Worldwide Saudi run, sponsored mosques and Islamic schools teach Wahhabi version of the Sunni Islam that labels Shia Muslims, Sufis, Christians, Jews and others as either apostates or infidels, thus paving a way for armed jihad against them by any means necessary till their death or submission to the Wahhabi doctrine. Wahhabis consider Shi’ites to be the archenemies of Islam.[348][349]

Wahhabism is a major factor behind the rise of such groups as al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram, while also inspiring movements such as the Taliban.[350][351][352]

Sunni opposition

The historical Ajyad Fortress of the Ottoman Empire above was razed in 2002 to in order to permit the construction of the Abraj Al Bait hotel complex in Mecca below.

One early rebuttal of Wahhabism, (by Sunni jurist Ibn Jirjis) argued that “Whoever declares that there is no god but God and prays toward Mecca is a believer”, supplicating the dead is permitted because it is not a form of worship but merely calling out to them, and that worship at graves is not idolatry unless the supplicant believes that buried saints have the power to determine the course of events. These arguments were specifically rejected as heretical by the Wahhabi leader at the time. [353]

The Syrian professor and scholar Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti criticises the Salafi movement in a few of his works.[354]

Malaysia’s largest Islamic body, the National Fatwa Council, has described Wahhabism as being against Sunni teachings, Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, chairman of the National Fatwa Council, said Wahhabi followers were fond of declaring Muslims of other schools as apostates merely on the grounds that they did not conform to Wahhabi teachings.[355]

Among Sunni Muslims, the groups and organizations worldwide that oppose the Wahhabi ideology include: Al Ahbash, Al-Azhar, Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, Barelvi, Nahdlatul Ulama,Gülen movement, and Ansar dine.[citation needed]

The Sufi Islamic Supreme Council of America founded by the Naqshbandi Sufi Shaykh Hisham Kabbani classify Wahhabism as being extremist and heretical based on Wahhabism’s role as a terrorist ideology and labelling of other Muslims, especially Sufis as polytheists, a practice known as Takfir.[356][357][358][359]

Non-religious motivations

According to at least one critic, the 1744–1745 alliance between Ibn Abdul Wahhab and the tribal chief Muhammad bin Saud to wage jihad on neighboring allegedly false-Muslims, was a “consecration” by Ibn Abdul Wahhab of bin Saud tribe’s long standing raids on neighboring oases by “renaming those raids jihad.” Part of the Najd’s “Hobbesian state of perpetual war pitted Bedouin tribes against one another for control of the scarce resources that could stave off starvation.” And a case of substituting fath, “the ‘opening’ or conquest of a vast territory through religious zeal”, for the “instinctive fight for survival and appetite for lucre.” [332]

Wahhabism in the United States

A study conducted by the NGO Freedom House found Wahhabi publications in mosques in the United States. These publications included statements that Muslims should not only “always oppose” infidels “in every way”, but “hate them for their religion … for Allah’s sake”, that democracy “is responsible for all the horrible wars… the number of wars it started in the 20th century alone is more than 130 wars,” and that Shia and certain Sunni Muslims were infidels.[360][361] In a response to the report, the Saudi government stated, “[It has] worked diligently during the last five years to overhaul its education system” but “[o]verhauling an educational system is a massive undertaking.”[362]

A review of the study by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated[363] Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) complained the study cited documents from only a few mosques, arguing most mosques in the U.S. are not under Wahhabi influence.[364] ISPU comments on the study were not entirely negative however, and concluded:

American-Muslim leaders must thoroughly scrutinize this study. Despite its limitations, the study highlights an ugly undercurrent in modern Islamic discourse that American-Muslims must openly confront. However, in the vigor to expose strains of extremism, we must not forget that open discussion is the best tool to debunk the extremist literature rather than a suppression of First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.[364]

Concern has been expressed over the fact that U.S. university branches, like the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the Northwestern school of Journalism, housed in the wahabbi country of Qatar, are exposed to the extremist propaganda espoused by wahabist imams who preach at the Qatar Foundation mosque in Education City. Education City, a large campus where U.S. and European universities reside, hosted a series of religious prayers and lectures as part of a month-long annual Ramadan program in 2015. The prayers and lectures were held at the new lavish mosque in Doha’s Education City, which shares the same campus as prestigious schools in the U.S. like Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon. Among those who attended the lectures was a Saudi preacher who has described the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris as “the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11 “and another cleric who says, “Jews and their helpers must be destroyed.”[365] The mosque in education city has also been known to host extremist anti-semetic wahabbi preachers who speak against “Zionist aggressors” in their sermons and called upon Allah “to count them in number and kill them completely, do not spare a [single] one of them.”[365] There are further allegations which suggest that Qatar sent professors back to America for being Jewish[366] and that students attending American Universities in Qatar are required to dress in a manner that is respectful to Wahhabism.[367]

European expansion

There has been much concern, expressed in both American and European media and scholarship, over the fact that Wahhabi countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing mosques and buying up land all over Europe. Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy have all noted the growing influence that these Wahhabi countries have over territory and religion in Europe.[368]

The concern resonates at a local level in Europe as well. In 2016, the citizens of Brussels, Belgium overturned a 2015 decision to build a 600-person mosque next to the Qatari embassy. Fear largely emanates from the fact that Belgian citizens see the mosque as an opportunity for a Wahhabi country to exert control over Muslims in Europe, thus spreading the more extreme sect of Islam.[368]

Several articles have been written that list the Cork Islamic Cultural Center as an example of one of many properties throughout Europe, paid for by the Qatari government, in an effort to spread an extreme and intolerant form of Islam known as Wahhabism.[369][370]

The Assalam Mosque is located in Nantes, France was also a source on some controversy. Construction on the mosque began in 2009 and was completed in 2012. It is the largest mosque in its region in France. The mosque is frequently listed among examples of Qatar’s efforts to export Wahhabism, their extreme and often intolerant version of Islam, throughout Europe.[368][369]

Some of the initiatives of the Cultural Islamic Center Sesto San Giovanni in Italy, funded by Qatar Charity, have also raised concerns due to its ties to Wahhabbism. The Consortium Against Terrorist Finance (CATF) said that the mosque has a history of affiliation and cooperation with extremists and terrorists.[371] CATF notes that Qatar Charity “was named as a major financial conduit for al-Qaeda in judicial proceedings following the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania”, supported al-Qaeda operatives in Northern Mali, and was “heavily involved in Syria.”[371]

Munich Forum for Islam (MFI), also known as the Center for Islam in Europe-Munich (ZIEM), was another controversial initiative largely financed by the Wahhabi Gulf country of Qatar.[368] In 2013 German activists filed a lawsuit in opposition to the construction of the mosque. These activists expressed fear that the Qatari government aimed to build Mosques all over Europe to spread Wahhabism. But the government squashed the lawsuit. In addition to this 2014 ruling, another court ordered an anti-mosque protester to pay a fine for defaming Islam when the protester claimed that Wahhabi Islam is incompatible with democracy.[372]

The Islamic Cultural Center in Luxembourg was also funded by Qatar in what some note is an attempt by Qatar to spread Wahhabism in Europe.[373]

Destruction of Islam’s early historical sites

The Wahhabi teachings disapprove of “veneration of the historical sites associated with early Islam”, on the grounds that “only God should be worshiped” and “that veneration of sites associated with mortals leads to idolatry“.[374]However, critics point out that no Muslims venerate buildings or tombs as it is a shirk. Muslims visiting the resting places of Ahl al-Bayt or Sahabah still pray to Allah alone while remembering the Prophet’s companions and family members. Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mazaar, mausoleums and other artifacts have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from the early 19th century through the present day.[49][50] This practice has proved controversial and has received considerable criticism from Sufi and Shia Muslims and in the non-Muslim world.

Ironically, despite Wahhabi destruction of many Islamic, non-Islamic, and historical sites associated with the first Muslims, Prophet’s family, his companions and a strict prohibition of visiting such (including mosques), Saudis renovated the tomb of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, turning his birthplace into a major tourist attraction and an important place of visitation within the kingdom’s modern borders.[375]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

Dore Gold

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dore Gold
דורי גולד
Dgold-05-master.jpg
11th Israel Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
1997–1999
Preceded by Gad Yaacobi
Succeeded by Yehuda Lancry
Personal details
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.

Dore Gold (Hebrew: דורי גולד‎‎, born 1953) is an Israeli diplomat who has served in various positions under several Israeli governments. He is the current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was also an advisor to the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term in office. In May 2015, Netanyahu named him Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Early life

Dore Gold was born in 1953 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, and was raised in a Conservative Jewish home. His primary education was spent at the Orthodox Yeshiva of Hartford.[1] In the 1970s, Gold attended Northfield Mount Hermon School (Class of 1971) and then enrolled in Columbia University. There Gold earned BA and MA in Political Science, and then a PhD in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.[2]

He studied literary Arabic and specialized in International Law, and his doctoral dissertation was about Saudi Arabia. This research later formed the foundation for his 2003 New York Times bestseller, Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism. In the book, Gold argues that Saudi Arabia actively funds terrorism by supporting the enemies of the U.S. and attacking its allies.[3][4] Today, Gold lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Ofra, and his two children, Yael and Ariel.

Career

Dore Gold’s political career began in 1985 when Gold served as senior research associate at Tel Aviv University‘s Moshe Dayan Centre for Near East Studies. Later, he was appointed Director of the U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy Project at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University and held this position from 1985 to 1996.[5]

Peace Negotiations

In 1991 Gold was an advisor to the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference. From June 1996 to June 1997 he served as Foreign Policy Adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[6] During the period in which Benjamin Netanyahu served as the head of the Israeli opposition, Gold was instrumental in forging the relationship between the Likud Party leadership and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in response to the strategic ties that were growing between Israel’s Labor government and the PLO under Yasser Arafat. Gold accompanied Netanyahu to meetings with the Jordanian leadership in 1994 and 1995 in London, Amman and in Aqaba. As the Foreign Policy Adviser under Netanyahu after the 1996 elections, Gold worked with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and others in the Arab world. He was also involved in negotiations leading up to the Hebron Agreementand the Note for the Record.

East Jerusalem and the Oslo Accords

Gold himself has not written about the period in which he served as an envoy to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world; nonetheless, a number of revelations have been disclosed by other authors. According to Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin, Gold and Netanyahu advisor Yitzhak Molcho were the first envoys of the newly elected Likud government to meet with Yasser Arafat in the Gaza Strip on June 27, 1996.[7] Dennis Ross relates to the “Abu-Mazen-Dore Gold” talks that ensued afterwards as a result of which the Palestinians closed down offices in East Jerusalem that Israel had argued were a violation of the Oslo Accords.[8] This was the price that Arafat had to pay for his first meeting with Netanyahu. It was a hard concession for the Palestinians, according to Ross, for it was viewed by them as a “symbolic retreat on East Jerusalem.”

Syria and the Golan Heights

On the Syrian negotiating track, former Israeli ambassador to the US, Itamar Rabinovich, describes how he concluded with Gold an understanding over the Monitoring Group for Southern Lebanon, which was followed by a direct discussion between Gold and the Syrian ambassador to the US, Walid Muallam.[9] According to the French journalist, Charles Enderline, Gold secured a commitment from Secretary of State Warren Christopher that the Rabin“deposit” on the future of the Golan Heights did not bind the State of Israel. This effort also included obtaining a new US commitment from the Clinton administration to the September 1975 Ford letter, in which it was stated that the US would give great weight to Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.[10] According to the Israeli Hebrew daily, Maariv, Christopher wrote this renewed commitment in a formal letter of assurances to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 19, 1996.[11]

Ambassador to the United Nations

From 1997 to 1999 Gold was the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. In 1998 Gold served as a member of the Israeli delegation at the Wye River negotiations between Israel, the PLO, and then U.S. President Bill Clintonat the Wye River Plantation in Maryland.

President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

From 2000 to the present, Gold has been the president of the JCPA. Gold has much experience in US–Israel policy. His articles and books cover a wide variety of Israeli diplomacy such as: Jerusalem, the United Nations and its implications for Israel, nuclear Iran, and the United States’ relationship with Israel. One of the projects Gold has led at the JCPA is the concept of Defensible Borders for Israel.

Later life

Since 2000 Gold has served as president of the non-profit institute, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. From 2001 to 2003, Gold served as an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, most notably at the Aqaba Summit with President George W. Bush. During this period, Gold regularly appeared on US network television programs on behalf of the Sharon government, including Meet the Press, The Today Show, CNN’s Late Edition, as well as onFox and Friends. In July 2003, Gold testified as an expert before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on Saudi Arabia‘s alleged role in providing ideological and financial support for international terrorism.

Measures against Ahmadinejad

Since 2006 Gold led an international effort by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs to advocate that UN member states take legal measures against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on grounds that he violated the anti-incitement clauses of the 1948 Genocide Convention, with his repeated statements about “wiping Israel off the map.” Gold led a delegation to a conference held jointly with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the New York County Bar Association on December 14, 2006. Speakers included former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, and the US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. Senator Hillary Clinton sent a letter of support to the conference.

Gold led an Israeli delegation to a second conference at the British House of Commons on January 25, 2007 which was chaired by Lord David Trimble and supported by members of the British Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Israeli team. As a result of this effort, over 60 members of the House of Commons called for the indictment of Ahmadinejad. A third event organized by Gold and the International Association of Genocide Scholars was held on September 23, 2008 in Washington D.C. Speaking at the third conference was Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the UN, as well asSalih Mahmoud Osman, a member of the Sudanese Parliament and advocate for human rights in Darfur.[12]

The Doha Debates

In April 2009 Gold participated in the Doha Debates at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he debated against the motion “this house believes that it is time for the USA to get tough on Israel” with fellow speakerHarvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. Speakers for the motion were Avraham Burg, former Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and former Speaker of the Knesset and Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the CIA Bin Laden Issue Station. Gold and Dershowitz lost the debate, with 63% of the audience voting for the motion.[13]

Debate with Justice Richard Goldstone

Brandeis University invited Gold to debate Justice Richard Goldstone on November 5, 2009. The subject was the U.N. Gaza Report. Jeff Jacoby wrote in an opinion piece in the Boston Globe on November 7: “Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.N. brought facts and figures, maps and photographs, audio and video in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. Last night’s encounter marked the first time Goldstone publicly debated the report’s merits with a leading Israeli figure. It would not surprise me that he is in no hurry for a second.”[14]

Appearing at the International Criminal Court in the Hague

Ambassador Gold was invited to attend a roundtable meeting at the office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, held on October 20, 2010. A total of eight specialists appeared and submitted papers. They discussed the Palestinian Authority’s declaration on January 22, 2009 recognizing the jurisdiction of the ICC, in accordance with an article in the Rome Statute, normally reserved for states. The PA was seeking the implicit recognition of the ICC Prosecutor that it already was a state.

Re-joining Netanyahu

It was announced in December 2013 that Gold would once again advise Benjamin Netanyahu. His purview will not include negotiations with the Palestinians, but will cover Israel’s relations with the U.S. and United Nations, as well as Iran policy.[15]

Director-General of the Foreign Ministry

On May 25, 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Gold’s appointment as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subject to the cabinet’s approval. On October 13, 2016, Gold resigned from the Director-General’s position for personal reasons.[16]

Positions held

  • 1985–1996 – Senior research associate, Dayan Centre for Near East Studies. Director, US Foreign and Defense Policy Project at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.
  • 1991 – Advisor, Madrid Peace Conference.
  • 1996–1997 – Foreign policy advisor, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • 1997–1999 – Israeli ambassador, United Nations
  • 1998 – Israeli delegation, Wye River negotiations
  • 2000–Present – President, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • 2002–2004 – Advisor, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Publications

Books

  • The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West (Regnery, 2009). ISBN 1-59698-571-2
  • The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (ISBN 0786147849 / Publisher: Regnery, Blackstone Audiobooks / Date: Jan 2007)
  • Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos (Crown Forum, November, 2004). ISBN 1-4000-5475-3
  • Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Regnery, 2003). ISBN 0-89526-135-9
  • American Military Strategy in the Middle East: The Implications of the US Regional Command Structure (CENTCOM) For Israel (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense Publications), 1993.
  • Israel as an American Non-NATO Ally: Parameters of Defense and Industrial Cooperation (Boulder: Westview Press), 1992.

Selected articles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dore_Gold

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The Real Reason Hillary Clinton Lost — Adorable Deplorable Deviants (ADDs) Defeated Democrats — Narcissism Defeated Clinton — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2017. Filed under: Articles, Blogroll, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Cult, Culture, Entertainment, Fraud, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, Movies, Newspapers, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Sociology, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Published on May 6, 2016

Full text: http://gulagbound.com/51301/how-bad-a…

Trump regards himself as omniscient, an authority on anything and everything, from aesthetics to ethics. He, therefore, lacks intellectual curiosity and regards outside advice as both superfluous and injurious (because it implies that he is less than perfect). He is likely to surround himself with timid yesmen and sycophantic acolytes and generate an impregnable echo chamber rather than a council of wise men and women.

Trump’s grasp of nuanced reality, weak as it already is, is likely to deteriorate further to the point of paranoid psychosis. Faced with opposition, however tenuous, he is likely to react by scapegoating and by inciting street or state violence against targeted groups. Trump is the state, so his enemies (anyone who as much as voices doubt or disagrees with him) is, by definition, an enemy of the state.

Owing to his self-perceived innate superiority, Trump regards himself as above and transcending laws made by lesser mortals. Laws are meant to trap and ensnare giants like him, to drag him down to the pedestrian level of mediocrity. He plays by the rules only when and if they accord with his predilections and self-interest.

Like all narcissists, Trump believes that he is universally loved, adored, and admired. He attributes this ostensible (and utterly delusional) blanket approbation to his effusive charm and irresistibility. He is firmly convinced that he can motivate people to transgress against their own moral convictions and to break the law, if necessary, just by the sheer force of his monumental personality. Trump idealizes and then rapidly devalues people, collectives, and institutions. Trump is in sempiternal flux: he is inconstant in his judgements, opinions, views, and fleeting attachments.

Trump is intellectually lazy, so he is a firm adherent of shortcuts and of “fake it till you make it”. It is a dangerous approach that led him to botch numerous business deals and inflict untold damage and suffering on thousands of people.

Trump is authoritarian in the worst sense of the word. In his disordered, chaotic mind, he is infallible (incapable of erring), omnipotent (can achieve anything if he just sets his mind to it), and omniscient (needs to learn nothing as he is the fount of all true, intuitive knowledge). This precludes any proper team work, orderly governance, institutional capacity, flow of authority and responsibility, and just plain structure. Trump is an artist, led by inconsistent and intermittent inspiration, not by reliable, old-fashioned perspiration. He is not a self-made man, but a self-conjured caricature of a self-made man. Trump is guided by his alleged inner divine wisdom. He is a malevolent guru and cult leader, not a politician or a statesman.

Ironically, Trump’s much trumpeted grandiosity is fragile because it is based on delusional and fantastic assumptions of perfection and intellectual brilliance which are hard to defend. Hence Trump’s relentless and compulsive pursuit of affirmation and adulation. He needs to be constantly idolized just to feel half human. Criticism and disagreement, however minor and well-intentioned, are perceived as unmitigated threats to the precarious house of cards that is Trump’s personality. Consequently, Trump is sadistically vindictive, aiming not just to counter such countervailing opinions regarding his Godlike status, but to deter and intimidate future critics.

Finally, aiming to disavow his own fragility and the indisputable fact that his public persona is nothing but a fabrication, Trump ostentatiously and volubly abhors and berates the weak, the meek, “losers”, “haters” (of which is a prime example), the disabled, women, minorities, and anyone else who might remind him by their very existence of how far from perfect and brilliant he is. The public Trump is about hatred, resentment, rage, envy, and other negative emotions because he is mercilessly driven by these very demons internally. Trump’s quotidien existence is a Kafkaesque trial in which he stands accused of being a mere, average, not-too-bright, mortal and is constantly found wanting and guilty as charged. His entire life is a desperate, last ditch attempt to prove wrong the prosecution in this never-ending courtroom drama.

How & Why Donald Trump Stole America. The Pathological / Malignant Narcissist. Expert

Donald Trump – Full Documentary of a Narcissistic Sociopath (Enhanced)

What is Deviance?

Deviance and Social Control YouTube

Perspectives on deviance: Differential association, labeling theory, and strain theory

Crime and Deviance: A Sociological Perspective

Introduction to Sociology – Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

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Circling The Drain –The Blaze and Glenn Beck? — A Crash Course — The Inescapable Consequences of Personality Disorders — Get Help — If Beck Gets Help, He Will Comeback! — Progressive Liars Are Going Crazy — Videos

Posted on January 4, 2017. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Constitution, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Family, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, Government Land Ownership, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, IRS, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Radio, Religious, Speech, Strategy, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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GLENN BECK’S THEBLAZE MAY FINALLY BE BURNING OUT

Glenn Beck’s Mental Disorder

Posted on March 2, 2016 by Robert Ringer

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I’ve written about Glenn Beck’s painful demise many times over the years, even giving my readers an early heads-up that his days at Fox News were numbered. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” wrote 16th century playwright William Congreve. And he was right, because when it comes to Beck, I feel like a scorned woman. I really loved the guy in his early days at Fox, then suddenly he turned on me, along with the rest of his viewers.

In his first year at FNC, I was awed by Beck’s raw talent and no-holds-barred disrobement of the radical left. The fact that he was the most hated man in America was de facto proof that he was a fearless truth-teller, because the people of the lie — those millions of chronically dishonest folks in both the radical-left and conservative-establishment wings of the Demopublican Party — harbor venomous contempt for anyone who dares to expose their lies.

But after Beck’s first year at Fox, it was all downhill. The first time the thought crossed my mind that perhaps he wasn’t authentic was when he held a rally in Washington D.C. and a half million people showed up. I was there, and I can honestly say that I didn’t know what the point of the rally was, but the half million people in attendance were clearly mesmerized.

It wasn’t until much later I realized that the only purpose of the D.C. event was to provide a forum for Beck’s followers to assure him how much they loved him. Really, there was absolutely no agenda other than “We love Glenn Beck!”

Once that chink in Beck’s armor was exposed, the second chink came when he started restricting the guests on his show to clergymen and no-name religious scholars like David Barton, whom he stunningly, and often, referred to as “the most important man in America.” It was such a ludicrous statement that it made me wonder if Beck was once again getting cozy with Jack Daniels.

But it got even worse when, in his dwindling days at Fox, Beck sat on the edge of his desk for the entire hour of each show and gave what appeared to be an extemporaneous monologue. I was amazed at his ability to talk for an hour without notes, but, even so, it became very boring after a week or two. Increasingly, he appeared to be a beleaguered and lost soul.

Finally, as I had predicted to my readers, Beck parted ways with Fox News and started a new media company that he said would make his enemies wish he were back at Fox where he was on the air only an hour a day. Unfortunately for him, it hasn’t worked out quite that way.

As Beck began to realize he had become yesterday’s news, he started popping up on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Kelly File.” His slobbering all over Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly was difficult to watch. (Fortunately, I no longer watch Malevolent Megyn at all.)

Beck’s attempts at getting attention are nothing short of embarrassing. When he was still at Fox, he somberly announced that his doctor had told him he was on the verge of possibly losing his eyesight. It’s nice to know that that didn’t happen. Then, after he left Fox, he supposedly had a mysterious, life-ending illness, but that apparently disappeared as well.

Finally, there was what he described as “the most deadly decision of [my] career” — announcing that, in a show of compassion, he was going to send truckloads of food and supplies to the Central American refugee kids who flooded the southern border of the U.S. in 2014.

Beck’s personality reminds me of Jim Jones of Jonestown fame. Perhaps becoming a cult leader is his ultimate destiny, because he desperately needs people to follow him, listen to him, and adore him. He is a man in search of true believers who will follow him to the ends of the earth.

On to the next chapter: Just when Beck was almost out of ideas on how to get attention and regain his stardom, along came an unlikely new politician by the name of Donald Trump. It was almost too good to be true. Beck saw what he thought was a golden opportunity to make himself into a hero by focusing his attention on bashing the media’s newest version of the Antichrist.

It’s now become his fulltime job. He demonizes Trump all day, every day, and has literally pleaded with his audiences to vote for anyone but The Donald. He even joined an angry bunch of establishment losers (people for whom he had always expressed considerable contempt) by signing on to the National Review’sdesperation piece to stop Trump.

As one would expect, he has repeatedly warned his listeners and readers that Trump’s rise to power parallels that of Adolf Hitler’s. And speaking of Hitler, in a recent article on his blog, Beck even said that he would vote for Hitlary Clinton if it came down to her or Trump. He then took it over the edge by saying, “I’m warning you now, you will say after two years of Donald Trump, ‘I’d give my right arm for Barack Obama.’”

In truth, of course, Beck’s mental disorder has nothing to do with Donald Trump and everything to do with his psychopathic need for attention. The only other theory I can come up with is that he is — as childish as it may seem — insanely jealous of Trump for all the attention he’s been getting.

It probably brings back painful memories of his own glory days in the spotlight — before those nasty mental demons gained control of his mind. It appears Beck is trying to piggyback onto Trump’s fame in an effort to get noticed. Unfortunately, it’s not working, and he’s only succeeding in making himself look ever more pathetic.

I would hate to see anything bad happen to this once-great talent, but I truly believe that if those closest to Glenn Beck don’t get him some serious psychiatric help soon (Where is Keith Ablow when you need him?), he could end up as a face-in-the-gutter alcoholic once again — or, worse, he might even do harm to himself or others.

Having said all this, in fairness, Glenn Beck isn’t alone when it comes to Trump Derangement Syndrome. The fact is that his views are shared by millions of Trump haters throughout the world.

Putting Beck’s mental issues aside for a moment, the Trump phenomenon is not all that complicated. Thanks to the radical left — and the establishment right that carries the left’s water — people’s anger over their loss of freedom and the intentional destruction of their country has reached the pitchfork stage.

Even so, the D.C. Crime Syndicate remains in denial, and its members are hysterical at the thought that they are in the process of losing their stranglehold — not just over Washington, but over all of America as well. They see Trump as a threat to both their power and their monopoly on legalized theft.

But the truth be known, Trump haters like Beck give Trump far too much credit. There’s no question he’s a narcissist. There’s no question he’s an egomaniac. There’s no question he’s rude, crude, and nasty. No one disputes any of these unflattering Trump qualities.

What Trump haters don’t get, however, is that these are the very qualities that millions of people actually want in a new president, so he can take down the Washington establishment. The best way to think of Trump is as a wrecking ball that has a good chance of destroying the D.C. Crime Syndicate.

Simply put, the Trump phenomenon is nothing more than long-overdue blowbackfrom everyday Americans yet, amazingly, the delusional establishment still has no clue. What Trump actually does if he becomes president is almost secondary to those who support him. Right now, people just want the Washington power structure dismantled, and they figure that once that’s accomplished, they can sort things out later if Trump’s less than endearing qualities prove to be a problem.

In the meantime, in the event you’ve never read Glenn’s Beck’s The Blaze on the Internet, you should do so for a couple of days. His obsession over DT will take your breath away. I tell you, the man has a serious mental disorder, and I mean that literally. Sad … very, very sad.

https://robertringer.com/glenn-becks-mental-disorder/

Glenn Beck’s Blaze Circling The Drain

Published on Oct 5, 2016

Glenn Beck isn’t great at business or money management. Word on the street is The Blaze is about dead. They could really use a random billionaire bailout right about now. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://tytnetwork.com/join

“Sources inside Glenn Beck’s once-mighty multimedia production company say that Beck is falling apart as his media empire collapses around him.

An employee of Beck’s flagship website TheBlaze.com told Huffington Post in an article published Wednesday that the few remaining staff are “looking for an exit” because they expect the site to be shuttered soon for good.

Huffington Post’s Michelle Fields said that TheBlaze.com is “suffering from a lack of editorial direction, staff attrition and internal discord” and that the mood among employees is “somber” as they’ve watched a 25-member editorial team get whittled down to six people — with more cuts expected.

“The few people who are still left are looking for an exit because they know The Blaze is over,” the source told Fields. “They haven’t told us straight up that they’re done with us, but all the signs point to it, and they’re not replacing people who are laid off or get out.”
Other employees report that their healthcare benefits were reduced over the summer and that in September, all of their travel and phone stipends were cut off. In June, the company closed its vast New York City newsroom and the remaining employees are working from home.”*

Read more here: https://www.rawstory.com/2016/10/the-…

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQS_mYXof8s]

Glenn Beck Rips Into Ted Cruz For Endorsing Trump

Glenn Beck Goes Bananas After Ted Cruz Endorses Trump

Glenn Beck’s ‘The Blaze’ Is Burning Down

Published on Aug 1, 2016

The Blaze is in a lot of trouble. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Conservative television and radio host Glenn Beck has filed a lawsuit in Texas against the man who used to run his entertainment and news network, TheBlaze, according to sources close to Mr. Beck. The petition, obtained by LawNewz.com, was filed on behalf of Mercury Radio Arts, which serves as Beck’s production and operating company over TheBlaze. The complaint accuses Chris Balfe of breach of contract, general mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud. Balfe served as the COO of Mercury Radio Arts and was CEO of TheBlaze until he left in December 2014 to start his own company, Red Seat Ventures. Balfe had worked for Beck for more than 10 years, and was credited with helping to grow Beck’s business.

“I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this. It is an ongoing legal matter so you will not hear me speak of this often but as always, I want you to hear it from me,” Beck wrote on his website on Monday.

Beck’s lawsuit comes amid reports of internal financial turmoil at TheBlaze. The complaint alleges between 2009 and 2014, Balfe’s compensation totaled in excess of $13 million.”

Read more here: http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/exclu…

THE FALL OF GLENN BECK!

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Tomi Lahren | Final Thoughts 11/28/16

Aerosmith – Crazy

Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years

Lyrics

I met my old lover
On the street last night
She seemed so glad to see me
I just smiled
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh Still crazy after all these years

I’m not the kind of man
Who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on
Old familiar ways
And I ain’t no fool for love songs
That whisper in my ears
Still crazy after all these years
Oh still crazy after all these years

Four in the morning
Crapped out
Yawning
Longing my life away
I’ll never worry
Why should I?
It’s all gonna fade

Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars
I fear I’ll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years

Report: Glenn Beck’s The Blaze ‘Falling Apart’

The Huffington Post reportson the continuing problems engulfing The Blaze founder Glenn Beck’s troubled media empire.

From The Huffington Post:

Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze is coming apart, suffering from a lack of editorial direction, staff attrition and internal discord, according to sources inside the news outlet.

The site, which Beck launched in 2010 to serve as the conservative counterpart to The Huffington Post, has dropped from 25 employees on its editorial side to just six. A source inside The Blaze, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told HuffPost that the mood among the rapidly diminishing news team is somber.

“The few people who are still left are looking for an exit because they know The Blaze is over,” the source said. “They haven’t told us straight up that they’re done with us, but all the signs point to it, and they’re not replacing people who are laid off or get out.”

Read the rest here.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/10/13/report-glenn-becks-blaze-falling-apart/

VIA THE BLAZE

BAD BLOOD

Blazingly Mad Glenn Beck Sues His Fired CEO Christopher Balfe

The suit—in which Beck’s privately held company, Mercury Radio Arts, is the plaintiff and seeks a jury trial—alleges fraud, breach of contract, dereliction of duty, and various other misdeeds.

Lloyd Grove

LLOYD GROVE

08.01.16 5:45 PM ET

In what one former associate of Glenn Beck described as “the last gasp of a dying empire,” the volatile right-wing radio, streaming video, and cable television personality is suing his longtime former chief executive, Christopher Balfe, whom Beck fired in December 2014.

The suit—in which Beck’s privately held company, Mercury Radio Arts, is the plaintiff and seeks a jury trial—alleges fraud, breach of contract, dereliction of duty, and various other misdeeds.

“I feel terrible for Glenn and I hope he finds the help that he needs,” Balfe, who worked closely with Beck for nearly two decades before their split, said Monday in a statement to The Daily Beast.

“The lawsuit speaks for itself,” said a spokesman for Beck—the only comment provided.

Beck, meanwhile, told listeners and viewers Monday of his syndicated radio program, which is video-streamed on his paid-subscription site TheBlaze.com: “I am—[Beck’s wife] Tania and I—are both really saddened by this and saddened that it has come to this.”

The 16-page complaint was filed quietly Friday in Dallas County, Texas, District Court, and apparently leaked Sunday night as an “exclusive” to the Lawnewz.com website, with another account splashed on GlennBeck.com.

“There are articles that have come out today on apparently lawsuit websites. I’m not going to give them publicity,” Beck told his fans. “And you’ll see more articles, I would assume, over the next few days. It’s an ongoing legal matter. And you’re not going to hear me talking much about it.”

Then, despite his insistence on not giving publicity to stories about the lawsuit, Beck recited the web addresses of the articles in question.

He is, of course, well known for changing his mind—campaigning hard during the Republican primaries for former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, for instance, mere months after announcing with spectacular fanfare that he was leaving politics for good.

Beck’s lawsuit is sharply at odds with previous expressions of gratitude he made three months after Balfe, along with fellow ex-Beck executive Joel Cheatwood, left Mercury Radio Arts, where Balfe was chief operating officer, and its subsidiary The Blaze, where Balfe was CEO.

“Chris and Joel helped me build one of the industry’s first truly independent multi-media companies,” Beck declared in March 2015, after Balfe and Cheatwood, who had steered Beck’s cable television career at HLN and Fox News, announced their formation of a new digital media company, Red Seat Ventures, and took several more top Beck executives with them. “I am sad to see them go but they left our company with an incredible foundation.”

Balfe retained minority ownership in The Blaze after he left, according to the lawsuit, and two sources familiar with the arrangement told The Daily Beast that his deferred compensation agreement featured monthly payments to satisfy around a million dollars that Balfe is owed under the agreement for both his ownership stake and his pro-rated share of company revenues.

But in recent weeks, say these sources, The Blaze has experienced cash-flow problems and has been having trouble paying vendors, while the website’s online traffic has plunged from around 26 million monthly global unique visitors in January 2015, the month after Balfe was dismissed, to around 10 million currently, according to the measuring service Quantcast.

Several more key executives have departed in the past year, along with Beck’s longtime television agent, George Hiltzik, as well George’s son Matthew Hiltzik, who recently resigned as the outside publicist for Beck and his companies; New York PR maven Davidson Goldin now has that account.

In another blow to The Blaze’s financial stability, the cable television distributor Cablevision recently stopped carrying Beck’s programming—representing an annual loss to The Blaze estimated at more than $2 million in subscriber fees and advertising sales, according to the sources.

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These sources described Beck’s lawsuit as a pre-emptive strike.

They said that in June, after failing to receive his regular check, Balfe notified Beck’s company that if he wasn’t paid quickly, he would be exploring his options to obtain the money due him.

This none-too-veiled threat prompted Beck to file his own lawsuit claiming, instead, that Balfe actually owes him money—a portion of the $13 million Beck claims Balfe was paid as an executive between 2009 and 2014.

“This is a shockingly excessive amount that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance,” the lawsuit contends.

But back in March of last year, when Balfe and Cheatwood were launching Red Seat Ventures, the 52-year-old Beck gushed: “I am truly grateful that we remain friends and am very excited to see what they do next.”

Their friendship didn’t survive, however, after Beck hired a little-known tech entrepreneur named Jonathan Schreiber, a diehard “superfan” of Beck’s syndicated radio program, who arrived in September 2014 from Israel via Miami, networked his way into Beck’s inner circle, gained the boss’s confidence and began accumulating power in the operations of both Mercury Radio Arts and The Blaze.

According to company employees, as The Daily Beast reported last February, Beck seemed to have become infatuated with Schreiber, who first showed up at The Blaze’s now-defunct Manhattan studios, and later had been regularly spotted in Beck’s expansive, glass-walled office at the rambling company headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Las Colinas—sometimes hugging his idol after a heart-to-heart.

Schreiber’s Orthodox Judaism apparently was in sync with Beck’s ardent religiosity as a Mormon convert, although staffers said Schreiber—who became president of Beck’s parent company—had an off-putting, arrogant manner with underlings, who gave him the nickname “Voldemort.”

Back in February, as Beck increasingly complained about Balfe and others who had helped orchestrate his career, Schreiber defended his own leadership to The Daily Beast.

“Glenn Beck, brilliant media mogul, realized he was unhappy in the direction his company was going so he brought in new blood,” he said in an email. “The goal being to put the company in the right direction. Through that process we separated with many people. Some will be missed, some less so.”

He added: “I am very proud of my work here, I am very proud of the culture we have created AND PROUD OF [his capital letters] the people WE have been able to bring in to the fold… No one likes to admit that they are not here because of themselves, it must be Voldemort.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/01/blazingly-mad-glenn-beck-sues-his-fired-ceo-christopher-balfe.html

Glenn Beck’s Farewell Address to His 40 Laid-Off Troops… from His Pretend Oval Office

 

In a special video posted to his website today, Glenn Beck addressed news reports of the latest mass layoffs at his troubled media empire.

According to a report yesterday in the Daily Beast, Beck laid off 40 employees of his Blaze media organization “in order to satisfy the requirements of a multimillion-dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.”

As the Daily Beast noted, “This latest round of mass firings comes as no surprise to insiders at The Blaze and Mercury Radio Arts, which laid off dozens of employees last May on a day referred to internally as ‘Black Monday,’ around the same time that Beck was purchasing a private jetliner and a $200,000 Maybach sedan.”

In the video released today, Beck is seen seated at a replica of the Resolute desk in his mock Oval Office set delivering the opening monologue of his radio show.

Below is the transcript of his remarks.

***

I wanted to start there today because there’s a story that maybe you have read that came out yesterday that is talking about how yesterday my company, TheBlaze, laid off 40 people. And my media empire is crumbling. And part of it is because I’m traveling around with Ted Cruz.

Well, I want you to know, yes, I’ve lost a lot of money traveling around with Ted Cruz. I’ve lost about half a million dollars. That’s my choice. I believe in something.

Did that cause the 40 people to lose their job? No.

I want to talk to you today because we’re in a community together, and I trust you. And I tried to be trustworthy. And when I make a mistake, I own up to it. And I’m a trusting guy.

I think anybody on the show will tell you my biggest problem is I trust everybody, until they prove otherwise. And I try to live my life in a transparent way. And I try to surround myself with others that I believe are trustworthy.

And then I went on to build my own company with an authentic voice, a trustworthy company. And one of my main principles — and you heard me saying Isaiah it a million times: We take on no debt. Root ourselves in principles and people. Live within our own means.

And I trusted the people that ran my company, that they wanted the same things. And in the beginning, maybe they did want the same things. But a couple of years ago, I realized there were problems in my own company, and that even though the managers were all saying the right things to me, those things were never getting done. And you know this to be true. Because I would talk about things that we were going to do on TheBlaze and everything else, and then they never seemed to materialize. And I was losing credibility with you, but behind the scenes, I was a holy terror for about a year because I couldn’t find out what was going on.

Without saying anything bad about anybody because we just have different principles, the people I had moved down to Dallas and the rest was in New York and Los Angeles and Washington, DC — and we were working now towards being, I guess, a normal, status quo kind of media company, a big media company, and I didn’t ever want that.

But because our team was split from Dallas, Los Angeles — I think we had people at one time in Chicago, Washington, and New York — I didn’t know who really got the vision and who didn’t, who got it and who didn’t.

It was almost two years ago when we had a museum here at the studios in Dallas. And we invited you to come and just see the museum. And I bet there were 10,000 people here that came through — and I loved it. And everybody kept telling me, go home. Go home. Go home. And I wouldn’t go home. None of us did. Nobody on the show went home.

We were there and we spent that whole weekend with you because we love you. We love you.

But I noticed one thing about my company. Not one single person from the management team actually showed up that entire weekend. And I realized, they didn’t love the audience like I did. They weren’t connecting to the message like you did and I did. I’m not sure they were part of the culture of the principles. And I knew I had to get a hold of my company again, and that would mean making really hard choices.

First one was, are you going to stick to your principles? You going to be honest with yourself? Stand for what you believe in, or are you going to give into the status quo and go along to get along? Because these people were my friends, they were my partners, and I don’t know at the time, I thought maybe they were right. But I knew they weren’t in my gut.

And my gut and my spirit said, “Stick by what you know, even if it’s hard and even in the end if you lose.”

I had to start firing people, people that I counted as my friends, best friends, partners. And the process that I began was the hardest process of my life. Yeah, almost as hard as picking myself up off of that carpet when I was facing suicide, that carpet that smelled like soup. But this time I had something I didn’t have before: I had you. I knew you existed. I knew that you believed in the same principles I believe and that we — no, that I had made a promise to you. Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

And so I kept going. This has been a really hard five years for me, but the last 18 months have been unbelievable. One thing I had to do was get everyone in my house under one roof so I could look everyone in the eye. Culture matters at a company.

I stopped telling you about the things that were coming on TheBlaze. It’s called the Phoenix project. We’ve been working on it now for about nine months. I haven’t talked to you about it, nor will I until we launch it. I’m tired of telling you the things that I think we’re going to do. I bet you are too. We’re just going to do them. Because I failed you too many times.

The reason the articles like the one that came out yesterday are coming out, part of it is political. Part of it is because Frank Sinatra was right, some people get a kick out of stomping on your dreams. They really do.

Some is, I guess, it’s news when somebody loses their job. Unfortunately, my media company isn’t the only place in America laying people off. My media company is not the only one that’s looking at their balance sheet and saying, “We can’t go into debt, or we’re going to lose all of the jobs.”

They said in this article yesterday — this has been claimed before that my business is failing. I will tell you, two years ago, it was. It was absolutely on fire. Because when I started to go into the books — I was a bad steward. And when I started going into the books and see what had been done to my company that didn’t ever take on debt, I was first told that we were, I think, $4 million in debt. And then it became $7 million in debt. And then when I got the final accounting, 18 months ago, my company that doesn’t take on debt was $13 million in debt.

If I’m going to tell you you shouldn’t have debt, how could I have a company that was $13 million in the hole? I made really hard decisions. And in 18 months, my company that is dying and struggling paid our debt down from 13 million to two.

A couple of months ago, we had a great sponsor of ours, about a 7-million-dollar-a-year sponsor go broke. I feel for that company because everybody that worked for that company, much larger than mine, went out of business. And they left us with a lot of debt.

You see, economies, it’s — it’s like Jenga. One person pulls one big thing out, and the whole thing could fall. But it definitely weakens. And the more pieces of stress or the more pieces that come out of Jenga, the weaker your house becomes. Somebody — Delco goes out of business because GM is no longer making their cars in Ohio, and so that hurts Delco. And then that hurts the grocery store down the street and the restaurants in the town.

We’re in this together. I’m not going to tell you that I’m not running a fail company because the proof is in the pudding. I will just tell you the old managers got us into $13 million of debt. And in less than 18 months, we’ve shaved that off by over $10 million. That doesn’t seem like a failing business. That seems like a business that is thriving and is doing its best to set its principles right.

But I want you to know, when you read TheBlaze, because I’m not happy with it — and I’ve quietly said that recently, over the last year or so. Not happy with it. But it’s changing. We just hired one of the guys who put together American Idol, Oreo cookies. We just hired a guy who was one of the main guys at Good Morning America and CNN. We just hired an HR person from Viacom. I’m rebuilding. And it will be a lot better for me honestly — honestly, it would be a lot better if I would have just filed Chapter 11. But I actually like Harry Truman too much. I don’t believe — Chapter 11, sometimes you have to do. Chapter 7, sometimes you have to do.

But I wanted to pay every single person back because it’s not their fault. It was my fault for not watching what people were doing underneath me.

One last thought and then I’ll move off: When I first put TheBlaze on the air, it was GBTV. And I won a hammer. It’s the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award. It’s a disrupter’s award. It goes to some of the best disrupters in the world. I couldn’t believe I was in the room when I won this award. That year, I earned that award because we broke television and we’re the first one to make it an app and put it online.

I haven’t earned this hammer a day since. But I will tell you this: Sometimes it takes a hammer to break what is broken so you can rebuild it. And in today’s world and economy, if you ever get fat and sassy, if you ever start to put profits over people, if you ever decide, “I really don’t need — I really don’t — I don’t care what the people say. Yeah, yeah, they’re customers. They’ll just keep coming.” No, they won’t. You have to innovate every day. You have to actually love your customer every day. You have to actually care about them and wonder, “How can I make their life better or easier?” And when you do that and you understand that by doing that you’re disrupting the entire system and you’ll go places that will scare the living daylights out of you, but you proceed without fear, that’s when you will win.

I’m not going to tell you we’re going to win. I’m just going to tell you, watch us. Watch us over the next year.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/04/29/glenn-becks-farewell-address-40-laid-off-troops-pretend-oval-office/

PHOTO CHRIS KEANE/REUTERS

Head of Glenn Beck’s Media Empire Quits as The Blaze Burns Down

Kraig Kitchin will stay with the company, but resigned from the top job after friction with fellow Beck executive Jonathan Schreiber. A ‘mass exodus’ of staff may follow.

Lloyd Grove

LLOYD GROVE

01.29.16 5:56 PM ET

In what knowledgeable observers say is a sign of increasing turmoil in Glenn Beck’s troubled media empire, Beck’s longtime mentor and corporate executive, Kraig Kitchin, has quit as CEO of The Blaze.

Kitchin’s replacement, Stewart Padveen, a digital startup entrepreneur who joined Beck’s company last summer, will be the fourth leader of The Blaze since late 2014.

Kitchin, 54, who took over operations of Beck’s conservative-leaning subscription digital and cable television enterprise last June—after two previous CEOs abruptly left in the space of six months—is resigning along with two other senior executives: Jeremy Price, director of advertising sales, and Liz Julis, director of marketing.

Both are based in New York, 1,500 miles removed from corporate headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas.

Several other key employees, including at least two senior producers based in The Blaze’s shrinking New York operation, are expected to follow them out the door.

A source close to the situation predicted a “mass exodus” from the New York studios, which are housed in a largely unoccupied 35,000 square-foot space at Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park, previously rented by Yahoo, under a 10-year lease costing Beck’s privately held company an estimated $2 million a year.

Kitchin—who co-founded Premiere Radio Networks three decades ago and has worked with personalities as diverse as Rush Limbaugh, Ryan Seacrest, Whoopi Goldberg, and Beck—tried to put the best face on his resignation in a company-wide email sent out Thursday night.

He described his apparently self-imposed demotion as a result of outside business obligations.

“Our organization—The Blaze—deserves and needs an exclusively focused leader and that’s something I cannot provide, given existing commitments I choose to honor,” Kitchin wrote, adding that “I’m not leaving this company. I’ll stay with The Blaze, working every day as the Interim Head of Sales with a focus on finding the right person for that position, assisting in the transition, on advertiser growth, program development, and industry relations.”

But according to multiple sources, Kitchin’s announcement comes out of frustration after continual friction with top Beck executive Jonathan Schreiber, the recently named president of Beck’s 14-year-old production company, Mercury Radio Arts.

According to multiple sources, Kitchin—who commuted from his home in Los Angeles to Dallas and New York—took the CEO job on an interim basis with the condition that Schreiber would agree not to interfere in The Blaze, an agreement that Kitchin realized was continually being breached. According to people familiar with the situation, Schreiber’s alleged meddling in Kitchin’s operation ultimately became intolerable.

Schreiber didn’t respond to an email from The Daily Beast, and Kitchin declined to comment.

Named president in April 2015 of Mercury Radio Arts—of which The Blaze is a subsidiary, all of it majority-owned by Beck—Schreiber is said to have a penchant for interfering in areas beyond his expertise, namely the staffing and content of The Blaze’s news and opinion site and its television production operation.

The Blaze cable channel reaches an estimated 13 million households which subscribe to DISH, Verizon Fios, and other paid television carriers.

Schreiber’s alleged intrusion is said to have also figured in the departure in June of then-Blaze chief executive Betsy Morgan, an experienced digital media executive who previously ran CBS News’s digital operations, helped grow The Huffington Post, and built TheBlaze.com into a news and aggregation site that—in November 2014—attracted 29 million unique visitors per month.

But by November 2015—according to figures from the Web traffic measuring service Quantcast—monthly traffic for TheBlaze.com had dropped to 16.4 million unique visitors, and traffic for the associated website GlennBeck.com, had plunged from 4.4 million to 1.4 million uniques.

Morgan—ironically, according to sources—had recommended Schreiber to Beck and helped secure his initial position with the company, shouldering a vague responsibility for “strategy and special projects.”

A religious man who practices Orthodox Judaism, Schreiber quickly hit it off with Beck, a devout Mormon convert.

Morgan had replaced Beck’s longtime CEO Chris Balfe, who abruptly exited the company in December 2014, along with fellow exec Joel Cheatwood, as Schreiber was gaining more prominence and influence.

Balfe, who along with Cheatwood retains a minority ownership stake in The Blaze, left after more than a decade of helping Beck build his brand and become a media personality, and was instrumental in the soft launch of The Blaze six years ago while Beck was still hosting his short-lived but wildly popular 5 p.m. program on the Fox News Channel.

Stewart Padveen, Schreiber’s personal friend and “mentor” (as Schreiber describes him in a LinkedIn endorsement), will assume control of The Blaze effective Monday.

Padveen, who lives in Los Angeles, wrote in a staff email that he plans to visit Dallas “next week to kick off this process,” with a later trip planned to New York.

“2015 was a tough year for sure, but thanks to many of you, it was a profitable one,” Padveen wrote concerning this latest corporate shakeup.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to Kraig for guiding us through some rough times. We still have some history to redress, but if we continue down the path of making solid business decisions, we can get past the past and into the future.”

Besides a period of staff layoffs and turnover that continues to this day, and despite claims of profitability, that “history” apparently includes taking on more debt than the company’s principal owner was comfortable with.

At a staff meeting in New York last February, Beck exhorted his employees to pinch pennies and said the company’s debt was too high at $3 million—a figure sources said later grew to $5 million or more.

“I know much of what has happened since December of 2014, but also much of it has been structural and behind the curtain,” Beck wrote in his own email, in which he thanked Kitchin for his service. “We were a company that was swimming in debt. With the hard work of Kraig, Jonathan, and now Misty [Kawecki, the chief financial officer] we will be debt free by summer. This is miraculous and takes all of the downward pressure off of us.”

Schreiber, a digital startup entrepreneur in his early forties, is a controversial and mysterious figure within Mercury Radio Arts. According to colleagues, he has referred to himself as a “diehard Glenn Beck fan” who, after years of living in Israel, relocated to New York, talked his way into Beck’s confidence, and showed up as a “trusted advisor,” as Beck has called him, in the fall of 2014.

“I want to thank Kraig for everything he has done to help bring the Blaze to the place it is,” Schreiber wrote in his own email, “and welcome Stewart to help bring the Blaze to the places it can go.”

In what a couple of Beck veterans considered ominous corporate-speak, Schreiber added: “All of us, leadership in BOTH companies, have worked together to help ensure that every person will be put into the right role at the right company with clear responsibilities and direction. This will continue to be a process and not an event.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/29/head-of-glenn-beck-s-media-empire-quits-as-the-blaze-burns-down.html

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American PIE — Propaganda Indoctrination Entertainment — Luce and His Empire –Time Magazine Is Fake News — Circling The Drain (CTD) — Videos

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Henry R. Luce and the 20th Century

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A discussion with two biographers of Henry R. Luce, the Yale graduate who founded Time, Inc. Alan Brinkley, an historian at Columbia University, and Lance Morrow, a contributor at Time, spoke about Luce and his impact on the 20th Century. Professor Shelly Kagan moderated the discussion; Yale University President Richard Levin gave the introduction. The event was sponsored by the Yale Daily News.

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Published on Dec 5, 2015

Henry Robinson Luce (April 3, 1898 – February 28, 1967), was a Chinese-American magazine magnate, who was called “the most influential private citizen in the America of his day”. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080…

He launched and closely supervised a stable of magazines that transformed journalism and the reading habits of upscale Americans. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news; Life was a picture magazine of politics, culture, and society that dominated American visual perceptions in the era before television; Fortune explored in depth the economy and the world of business, introducing to executives avant-garde ideas such as Keynesianism; and Sports Illustrated explored the motivations and strategies of sports teams and key players. Counting his radio projects and newsreels, Luce created the first multimedia corporation. He was born in China to missionary parents. He envisaged that the United States would achieve world hegemony, and, in 1941, he declared the 20th century would be the “American Century”.

Nightly discussions of the concept of a news magazine led Luce and Hadden, both age 23, to quit their jobs in 1922. Later that same year, they formed Time Inc. Having raised $86,000 of a $100,000 goal, they published the first issue of Time on March 3, 1923. Luce served as business manager while Hadden was editor-in-chief. Luce and Hadden annually alternated year-to-year the titles of president and secretary-treasurer. In 1925, Luce decided to move headquarters to Cleveland, while Hadden was on a trip to Europe. Cleveland was cheaper, and Luce’s first wife, Lila, wanted out of New York. When Hadden returned, he was horrified and moved Time back to New York. Upon Hadden’s sudden death in 1929, Luce assumed Hadden’s position.

Luce launched the business magazine Fortune in February 1930 and acquired Life in order to relaunch it as a weekly magazine of photojournalism in November 1936; he went on to launch House & Home in 1952 and Sports Illustrated in 1954. He also produced The March of Time weekly newsreel. By the mid 1960s, Time Inc. was the largest and most prestigious magazine publisher in the world. (Dwight Macdonald, a Fortune staffer during the 1930s, referred to him as “Il Luce”, a play on the Italian Dictator Mussolini, who was called “Il Duce”).)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aware that most publishers were opposed to him, issued a decree in 1943 that blocked all publishers and media executives from visits to combat areas; he put General George Marshall in charge of enforcement. The main target was Luce, who had long opposed FDR. Historian Alan Brinkley argued the move was “badly mistaken”, for had Luce been allowed to travel, he would have been an enthusiastic cheerleader for American forces around the globe. But stranded in New York City, Luce’s frustration and anger expressed itself in hard-edged partisanship.[4] Luce, supported by Editor-in-Chief T. S. Matthews, appointed Whittaker Chambers as acting Foreign News editor in 1944, despite the feuds Chambers had with reporters in the field.[5]

Luce, who remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964, maintained a position as an influential member of the Republican Party.[6] An instrumental figure behind the so-called “China Lobby”, he played a large role in steering American foreign policy and popular sentiment in favor of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling in their war against the Japanese. (The Chiangs appeared in the cover of Time eleven times between 1927 and 1955.[7])

It has been reported that Luce, during the 1960s, tried LSD and reported that he had talked to God under its influence.[8]

Once ambitious to become Secretary of State in a Republican administration, Luce penned a famous article in Life magazine in 1941, called “The American Century”, which defined the role of American foreign policy for the remainder of the 20th century (and perhaps beyond).

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CreditIllustration by Javier Jaén

Our new president is a private-jet-setting billionaire Ivy League graduate, a real estate tycoon, a TV star and a son of inherited wealth. But he is no longer, by his own calculations, a member of the “elite.” Nor are the men (and the few women) now joining his inner circle — 1-percenters and corporate executives, Harvard and Yale alumni, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Goldman Sachs bankers. The true elite apparently sits elsewhere, among those who, in Sarah Palin’s notable 2008 formulation, think “that they’re — I guess — better than anyone else.”

As an adjective, the word “elite” still conveys something positive, even aspirational: elite athlete, elite model, elite travel services. But as a noun, embodied by actual living people, it has become one of the nastiest epithets in American politics. “Elites have taken all the upside for themselves and pushed the downside to the working- and middle-class Americans,” complains Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon (of Harvard, Goldman Sachs and Hollywood). In this formulation, elites are a destructive, condescending collective, plotting against the beleaguered masses outside their ranks.

And in these attacks, the president-elect and his team are deploying one of the most effective partisan political stereotypes of the modern age. For most of American history, anti-elite sentiment was a matter of up versus down, not left versus right. But about half a century ago, the conservative movement set out to claim anti-elite politics as its own. That meant redefining the term away from class and toward culture, where the “elite” could be identified by its liberal ideas, coastal real estate and highbrow consumer preferences. The right-wing Club for Growth captured this type in a famous 2004 attack ad, instructing the Democrat Howard Dean to “take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont where it belongs.”

By the 1990s, bashing the ‘liberal elite’ had become a favorite blood sport of the American right.

Trump adjusted the formula for the hot topics of the 2016 campaign. “I was on the right side of that issue, as you know, with the people,” he boasted after Brexit, adding that “Hillary, as always, stood with the elites.” His complaints against “political correctness” conjure a world of absurdist campus politics, where overprivileged students squabble over gender pronouns and the fine points of racial victimization. “Media elites” come in for special attack, cordoned off in pens to be mocked and jeered at during rallies, labeled both liars and incompetents.

But Trump has also ventured beyond mere name-calling, turning the 2016 election into a competition between knowledge systems: the tell-it-like-it-is “people” versus the know-it-all “elites.” His campaign insisted for months that pollsters and technocrats and media would be proven wrong by his electoral success. The fact that he did win dealt a blow to an entire worldview, one in which empirical inquiry and truth-telling were supposed to triumph in the end. The question, now, is whether it’s possible to run an executive branch based on hostility toward experts and professionals of all political stripes — and how many billionaires and Ivy Leaguers Trump can appoint before this rhetorical pose begins to break down altogether.

The notion that distant elites might be conspiring against the people comes straight from the Founding Fathers, whose Declaration of Independence lamented the “long train of abuses and usurpations” inflicted upon ordinary Americans by an arrogant British king. From there on, United States history might be seen as a repeating cycle of anti-elite revolt. The Jacksonians rebelled against the Founders’ aristocratic pretensions. Northern “free labor” went to war against the oligarchical slavocracy. And the Populist revolts of the late 19th century adapted this story to modern capitalism, with farmers and laborers rebelling against robber barons, bankers, time-management experts and college-educated professionals.

The first historians to study those Populists described them as heroic crusaders, champions of the “people” against the “powers.” But by the middle of the 20th century, alarmed by the rise of fascism and homegrown demagogues like Senator Joseph McCarthy, a new generation of scholars took a more anxious view of the anti-elite spirit. In his 1955 book “The Age of Reform,” Richard Hofstadter dismissed the Populists as backward-looking, provincial anti-Semites, the latent fascists of their day. Eight years later, his “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” documented a dangerous suspicion of “the critical mind” that seemed to course through the national culture. From his perspective, the 1952 election captured everything wrong with American political life, with Dwight Eisenhower’s “philistinism” winning over Adlai Stevenson’s “intellect.”

The question is whether it’s possible to run an executive branch based on hostility toward experts and professionals of all political stripes.

Hofstadter did not usually describe his ideal intellectually minded citizens as members of an “elite.” That word conveyed something different — a ruling class that held direct political and economic power. The most famous articulation of this view came from the sociologist C. Wright Mills, in his 1956 assessment of America’s “power elite.” “They rule the big corporations,” Mills wrote. “They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment.” In Mills’s view, these people were tied together not by culture or ideology but by their positions at the helms of large, ever-more-complex institutions. As individuals, they might be Republicans or Democrats, and might live in Ohio or California. The point was that they were in charge of things.

But that vision never gained much traction in mainstream politics, where a more partisan, targeted definition was starting to emerge. William F. Buckley Jr. carved out some essentials in his first book, “God and Man at Yale,” drawing a neat distinction between respectable Ivy-educated men like himself and the socialistic eggheads of the professoriate. Ronald Reagan chose the term “elite” to bring it all together in his famed 1964 speech, “A Time for Choosing,” delivered on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. “This is the issue of this election,” he said: “whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Lyndon Johnson won that election in a blowout, but Reagan’s vision of a smug and detached liberal elite helped spark the oncoming “culture wars,” pitting a supposedly indignant Middle America against the liberal snobs of the coasts. By the 1990s, with the rise of right-wing media stars like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, bashing the “liberal elite” had become a favorite blood sport of the American right.

Despite all the abuse hurled their way, some “liberal elites” have accepted at least part of their detractors’ critique, particularly on the progressive left. It was during Bill Clinton’s presidency that the social critic Christopher Lasch published “The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy,” which mourned that “upper-middle-class liberals” had turned into “petulant, self-righteous, intolerant” scolds, thoroughly out of touch with the concerns of Middle America. Since then, the torch has passed to a younger generation of writers, including MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, whose 2012 “Twilight of the Elites” called for rethinking the entire ethos of liberal “meritocracy” — a system, he argued, that tends to fuel self-congratulation and incompetence at the top while offering little but contempt and dim prospects for those at the bottom.

So as 2017 begins, we find ourselves in a strange and uncertain political moment. Antipathy toward a wealthy, preening managerial class seems to be gaining popularity across the political spectrum — and, oddly, to have helped elect a wealthy, preening incoming president. Meanwhile, both liberal and conservative “elites” are scrambling to figure out what happens if the president-elect continues to reject basic political norms and even routine intelligence briefings. Under a Trump presidency, such “elites” may have no choice but to attempt a radical redefinition of their role in American life. Otherwise, the man in the White House will do it for them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/magazine/how-elites-became-one-of-the-nastiest-epithets-in-american-politics.html?_r=0

Henry Luce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henry Luce
Clare Boothe Luce and Henry Luce NYWTS.jpg

Luce with wife Clare Boothe Luce, a famous playwright and politician (1954)
Born Henry Robinson Luce
April 3, 1898
Tengchow, China
Died February 28, 1967 (aged 68)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Publisher; Journalist
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lila Ross Hotz (1923–1935)
Clare Boothe Luce
(1935–1967, his death)
Children 3, including Ann Clare Brokaw (step-daughter)
Parent(s) Henry W. Luce and Elizabeth Middleton Root

Henry Robinson Luce (April 3, 1898 – February 28, 1967) was an American magazine magnate who was called “the most influential private citizen in the America of his day”.[1] He launched and closely supervised a stable of magazines that transformed journalism and the reading habits of upscale Americans. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news; Life was a picture magazine of politics, culture, and society that dominated American visual perceptions in the era before television; Fortune explored in depth the economy and the world of business, introducing to executives avant-garde ideas such as Keynesianism; and Sports Illustrated explored the motivations and strategies of sports teams and key players. Counting his radio projects and newsreels, Luce created the first multimedia corporation. He was born in China to missionary parents. He envisaged that the United States would achieve world hegemony, and, in 1941, he declared the 20th century would be the “American Century“.[2][3]

Life and career

Luce was born in Tengchow, Shandong, China, (now Penglai) on April 3, 1898, the son of Elizabeth Root Luce and Henry Winters Luce, who was a Presbyterian missionary.[3] He received his education in various Chinese and English boarding schools, including the China Inland Mission Chefoo School.

At 15, he was sent to the US to attend the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he edited the Hotchkiss Literary Monthly. It was there he first met Briton Hadden,[3] who would become a lifelong partner. At the time, Hadden served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and Luce worked as an assistant managing editor. Both went on to Yale College, where Hadden served as chairman and Luce as managing editor of The Yale Daily News. Luce was also a member of Alpha Delta Phi and Skull and Bones. After being voted “most brilliant” of his class and graduating in 1920, he parted ways with Hadden to embark for a year on historical studies at Oxford University, followed by a stint as a cub reporter for the Chicago Daily News.

In December 1921, Luce rejoined Hadden to work at The Baltimore News. Recalling his relationship with Hadden, Luce later said, “Somehow, despite the greatest differences in temperaments and even in interests, we had to work together. We were an organization. At the center of our lives — our job, our function — at that point everything we had belonged to each other.”[citation needed]

Magazines

Nightly discussions of the concept of a news magazine led Luce and Hadden, both age 23, to quit their jobs in 1922. Later that same year, they partnered with Robert Livingston Johnson and another Yale classmate to form Time Inc.[4] Having raised $86,000 of a $100,000 goal, they published the first issue of Time on March 3, 1923. Luce served as business manager while Hadden was editor-in-chief. Luce and Hadden annually alternated year-to-year the titles of president and secretary-treasurer while Johnson served as vice president and advertising director. In 1925, Luce decided to move headquarters to Cleveland, while Hadden was on a trip to Europe. Cleveland was cheaper, and Luce’s first wife, Lila, wanted out of New York. When Hadden returned, he was horrified and moved Time back to New York. Upon Hadden’s sudden death in 1929, Luce assumed Hadden’s position.

Luce launched the business magazine Fortune in February 1930 and acquired Life in order to relaunch it as a weekly magazine of photojournalism in November 1936; he went on to launch House & Home in 1952 and Sports Illustrated in 1954. He also produced The March of Time weekly newsreel. By the mid 1960s, Time Inc. was the largest and most prestigious magazine publisher in the world. (Dwight Macdonald, a Fortune staffer during the 1930s, referred to him as “Il Luce”, a play on the Italian Dictator Mussolini, who was called “Il Duce”).)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, aware that most publishers were opposed to him, issued a decree in 1943 that blocked all publishers and media executives from visits to combat areas; he put General George Marshall in charge of enforcement.[citation needed] The main target was Luce, who had long opposed Roosevelt. Historian Alan Brinkley argued the move was “badly mistaken” and said had Luce been allowed to travel, he would have been an enthusiastic cheerleader for American forces around the globe.[citation needed] However, stranded in New York City, Luce’s frustration and anger expressed itself in blatant partisanship.[5]

Luce, supported by Editor-in-Chief T. S. Matthews, appointed Whittaker Chambers as acting Foreign News editor in 1944, despite the feuds that Chambers had with reporters in the field.[6]

Luce, who remained editor-in-chief of all his publications until 1964, maintained a position as an influential member of the Republican Party.[7] An instrumental figure behind the so-called “China Lobby“, he played a large role in steering American foreign policy and popular sentiment in favor of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong Mei-ling, in their war against the Japanese. (The Chiangs appeared in the cover of Time eleven times between 1927 and 1955.[8])

It has been reported that Luce, during the 1960s, tried LSD and reported that he had talked to God under its influence.[9]

Once ambitious to become Secretary of State in a Republican administration, Luce penned a famous article in Life magazine in 1941, called “The American Century“, which defined the role of American foreign policy for the remainder of the 20th century (and perhaps beyond).[7]

An ardent anti-Soviet, he once demanded John Kennedy invade Cuba, later to remark to his editors that if he did not, his corporation would act like Hearst during the Spanish–American War. The publisher would advance his concepts of US dominance of the “American Century” through his periodicals with the ideals shared and guided by members of his social circle, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State and his brother, director of the CIA, Allen Dulles. To highlight the cozy extent of their alliance, rumors swirled that the publisher shared the wartime mistress of the spymaster with Clare Booth Luce.[10]

Family

Luce had two children, Peter Paul and Henry Luce III, with his first wife, Lila Hotz. He married his second wife, Clare Boothe Luce in 1935, who had an 11-year-old daughter, Ann Clare Brokaw, whom he raised as his own. He died in Phoenix, Arizona in 1967. According to the Henry Luce Foundation, he died suddenly at age 68 while visiting his home on Fishers Island, New York, of cardiac arrest. At his death, he was said to be worth $100 million in Time Inc. stock.[11] Most of his fortune went to the Henry Luce Foundation. During his life, Luce supported many philanthropies such as Save the Children Federation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and United Service to China, Inc. He is interred at Mepkin Plantation in South Carolina.

He was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 32¢ Great Americans series (1980–2000) postage stamp.[12] Mr. Luce was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1977.

Designed by I. M. Pei, the Luce Memorial Chapel, on the campus of Tunghai University, Taiwan, was constructed in memoriam of Henry Luce’s father.

References

  1. Jump up^ Robert Edwin Herzstein (2005). Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia. Cambridge U.P. p. 1.
  2. Jump up^ Editorial (1941-02-17) The American Century, Life Magazine
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Baughman, James L. (April 28, 2004). “Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media”. American Masters (PBS). Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Warburton, Albert (Winter 1962). “Robert L. Johnson Hall Dedicated at Temple University” (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 48 no. 4. p. 111.
  5. Jump up^ Alan Brinkley, The Publisher: Henry Luce and his American Century (2010) pp 302-3
  6. Jump up^ Brinkley, The Publisher: Henry Luce and his American Century (2010) pp 322-93
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b “Henry R. Luce: End of a Pilgrimage”. – TIME. – March 10, 1967
  8. Jump up^ “Time magazine historical search”. Time magazine. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Maisto, Stephen A., Galizio, Mark, & Connors, Gerald J. (2008). Drug Use and Abuse: Fifth Edition. Belmont: Thomson Higher Education. ISBN 0-495-09207-X
  10. Jump up^ Talbot, David. “The Devils’ Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government.” (2015) Harper-Collins, pub., New York, New York pp. 236-238, 444.
  11. Jump up^ Edwin Diamond (October 23, 1972). “Why the Power Vacuum at Time Inc. Continues”. New York Magazine.
  12. Jump up^ “Henry R. Luce”. US Stamp Gallery. April 3, 1998.

Further reading

  • Baughman, James L. “Henry R. Luce and the Business of Journalism.” Business & Economic History On-Line 9 (2011). online
  • Baughman, James L. Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Brinkley, Alan. The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, Alfred A. Knopf (2010) 531 pp.
  • Brinkley, Alan. What Would Henry Luce Make of the Digital Age?, TIME (April 19, 2010) excerpt and text search
  • Elson, Robert T. Time Inc: The Intimate History of a Publishing Enterprise, 1923-1941 (1968); vol. 2: The World of Time Inc.: The Intimate History, 1941-1960 (1973), official corporate history
  • Herzstein, Robert E. Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Herzstein, Robert E. Henry R. Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century (1994).
  • Morris, Sylvia Jukes. Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce (1997).
  • Wilner, Isaiah. The Man Time Forgot: A Tale of Genius, Betrayal, and the Creation of Time Magazine, HarperCollins, New York, 2006

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Luce

W. A. Swanberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Andrew Swanberg (November 23, 1907 in St. Paul, Minnesota – September 17, 1992 in Southbury, Connecticut)[1] was an American biographer. He may be known best for Citizen Hearst, a biography of William Randolph Hearst, which was recommended by the Pulitzer Prize board in 1962 but overturned by the trustees.[2] He won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his 1972 biography of Henry Luce,[3] and the National Book Award in 1977 for his 1976 biography of Norman Thomas.[4]

Life

Swanberg was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1907, and earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota in 1930.[5]

With grudging and only partial help from his father, who wanted his son to be a cabinet maker like himself, Swanberg earned his degree, only to find that employment as a journalist with such local daily newspapers as the St. Paul Daily News and the Minneapolis Star was unsatisfactory, as their staff were shrinking during the Great Depression. Swanberg instead held a succession of low-paying manual labor jobs. After five years he followed a college friend to New York City in September 1935. After months of anxious job-hunting he secured an interview at the Dell Publishing Company with president George T. Delacorte Jr. himself, and was hired as an assistant editor of three lowbrow magazines. Money saved in the next months enabled him to return briefly to the Midwest to marry his college sweetheart Dorothy Green, and bring her to New York. He soon began to climb up the editorial ladder at Dell, and by 1939 he was doing well enough to buy a house in Connecticut.

When the United States entered World War II, Swanberg was 34 years old, the father of two children and suffering from a hearing disability. Rejected by the army, he enlisted in the Office of War Information in 1943 and, after training was sent to England following D-Day. In London, amid the V-1 and V-2 attacks, he prepared and edited pamphlets to be air-dropped behind enemy lines in France and later in Norway.[6] With the end of the war he returned in October 1945 to Dell and the publishing world.

Swanberg did not return to magazine editing but instead did freelance work within and without Dell. By 1953 he began carving out time for researching his first book (Sickles), which Scribner’s purchased, beginning a long-term association. Swanberg’s early hopes of newspaper work never materialized, but by the mid-1950s he had established himself as scholarly biographer. His efforts proved to be labor-intensive and required up to four years apiece, even when assisted by the research and transcription efforts of his wife Dorothy. Upon turning 80 in 1987, Swanberg attempted one last biography, about William Eugene “Pussyfoot” Johnson (1862–1945).[7] He was at work on that project when he succumbed to heart failure at his typewriter in Southbury, Connecticut on September 17, 1992.

Swanberg was a Guggenheim fellow in 1960. His papers are archived at Columbia University.

The Hearst Affair

Swanberg’s 1961 book Citizen Hearst: A Biography of William Randolph Hearst was recommended for a Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography by the advisory board but rejected by the trustees of Columbia University, apparently because they thought that Hearst was not dignified enough to be the subject of the award. It was the first time in 46 years that the trustees rejected a recommendation from the advisory board, and the news caused sales to soar.[1]

Works

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about William Andrew Swanberg, OCLC/WorldCat [clarification needed] encompasses roughly 30+ works in 100+ publications in 5 languages and 16,000+ library holdings.[8]

Literary Awards

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b www.nytimes.com
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Hohenberg, John. The Pulitzer Diaries: Inside America’s Greatest Prize. 1997. p. 109.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Biography or Autobiography”. Past winners and finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “National Book Awards – 1977”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  5. Jump up^ Gale Contemporary Authors Online. Volume 13.[page needed]
  6. Jump up^ Gale, p. 264
  7. Jump up^ Gale, p. 277
  8. Jump up^ WorldCat Identities: Swanberg, W. A. 1907-

External links

  • W. A. Swanberg Papers Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._A._Swanberg

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Master of Disaster President Obama — Legacy of Failure: Domestically and Abroad — One Success: Destroyed Democratic Party! — Videos

Posted on December 30, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, British History, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Dirty Bomb, Documentary, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Newspapers, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Security, Strategy, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Trade Policiy, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: |

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Obama unleashes 3,853 regs, 18 for every law, record 97,110 pages of red tape

President Obama‘s lame duck administration poured on thousands more new regulations in 2016 at a rate of 18 for every new law passed, according to a Friday analysis of his team’s expansion of federal authority.

While Congress passed just 211 laws, Obama’s team issued an accompanying 3,852 new federal regulations, some costing billions of dollars.

The 2016 total was the highest annual number of regulations under Obama. Former President Bush issued more in the wake of 9/11.

The proof that it was an overwhelming year for rules and regulations is in the Federal Register, which ended the year Friday by printing a record-setting 97,110 pages, according to the analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The annual “Unconstitutional Index” from Clyde Wayne Crews, CEI’s vice president for policy, said that it was much higher under Obama than under former President George W. Bush.

“The multiple did tend to be higher during Obama administration. Bush’s eight years averaged 20, while Obama’s almost-eight have averaged 29,” said his report, first provided to Secrets.

His index is meant to show that it is the federal bureaucracy, not Congress, that levies the most rules. “There’s no pattern to any of this, since the numerators and denominators can vary widely; there had been 114 laws in 2015, and a multiple of 39. The multiple can be higher with fewer laws, or with more regulations, holding the other constant. The point is that agencies do the bulk of lawmaking, no matter the party in power,” he wrote.

President-elect Trump has promised to slash federal regulations, even pledging to cut two current rules for every one he imposes. Congressional leaders have also promised to slash rules and regulations that have escalated under Obama.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obama-unleashes-3853-regs-18-for-every-law-record-97110-pages-of-red-tape/article/2610592#!

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People vs. “Elites”: Nationalist Capitalism Winning — Global Socialism Losing — Videos

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: American History, Articles, Banking, Blogroll, British History, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religious, Speech, Tax Policy, Trade Policiy, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Dawn of the New World Order: 2017 will be the year EVERYTHING changes

A NEW World Order is set to emerge next year as huge political changes sweep across Europe including the rise of the mega-alliance under Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTY/DSNEW WORLD ORDER: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will trigger a revolution across Europe
Putin’s growing power and Trump’s extraordinary US Election victory are both herald’s of a growing movement against the established world governments.Anti-establishment parties raging against the political class could sweep to victory in a swathes of elections next year and change the face of the West.

From Germany, to France, to the Netherlands – fringe and extremist parties are gaining momentum hand over fist and looked primed to seize power.

Notable victories have already been won – with a shocking referendum win in Italy causing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign in a move said to pave the way for the collapse of the EU.

Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUDSEND OF THE EU: Anti-establishment parties are set to sweep to power in Europe

“The new axis between Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia, and European populists represents a toxic mix”

Fredrik Wesslau

Fredrik Wesslau, from the European Council of Foreign Relations, predicted the “unthinkable is now thinkable” after Trump was swept into the White House.

He said the political parties are trying to unseat the “liberal order” in a campaign backed by Putin and Trump.

Politicians look to overthrow the established order are hailing Trump’s election victory as the beginning of the “Patriotic Spring”.

There are six key elections coming up in 2017 which could very easily be won by right-wing parties with nationalist policies which would spell the end of the EU.

Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTYGOLDEN DAWN: The Neo-nazi movement in Greece is the most extreme example
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, could be poised to take power after the election in May in a move which could pull France out of the EU.
She has described the coming year as a “global revolution” after the election of Trump and the victory of Brexit.Mrs Le Pen has promised to pull france out of NATO and “push migrants who want to come to Europe back into international waters”.The alliance is feared to be a further casualty of the looming political shift – with NATO bosses “preparing for the worst” as they fear Putin will invade Eastern Europe and Trump will pull all US support.
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTYMARINE LE PEN: France’s National Front leader could seize power next year
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGEERT WILDERS: The Netherlands’ Party for Freedom leader has compared the Koran to Mein Kampf
Meanwhile, anti-Islam and anti-migrant leader of the Party of Freedom Geert Wilders ended 2016 leading the polls in the Netherlands – contesting the general election in March.He tweeted a picture of Angela Merkel with blood on her hands following the Berlin Christmas market attack – and shared the message “they hate and kill us. An nobody protects us”.He has also compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf – campaigning to have the Muslim holy book banned – and coined the phrase “patriotic spring”.
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUFRAUKE PETRY: Angela Merkel faces losing Chancellor’s seat next year after major unrest
Frauke Petry is also contesting the German federal election next year as the aftermath of the Berlin attack rocks the government of Angelea Merkel.While she does not have a seat in the Bundestag – the German parliament – approval of her Alternative for Germany party has been swelling in wake of backlash against refugees following terrorist attacks.In her first election manifesto she declared “Islam is not part of Germany” and has previously called on border guard to use “firearms if necessary” when dealing with refugees. 
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTYGERMANY: Unrest is sweeping across the European nation after terror attacks
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTYBEPE GRILLO: This comedian turned politician has already struck a blow to the EU
Leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement TV comedian Beppe Grillo has already caused a stir as the the Italian government lost a key referendum.Savagedly anti-EU, he has said “political amateurs are conquering the world”, called Trump’s victory an “extraordinary turning point” and his party won two key mayoral seats in Turin and Rome.He has been called the “Italian Donald Trump” and his party could be a key player with elections expected to be held in 2017.
Europe Right Wing Politics Brexit Donald Trump Vladimir Putin New World Order Polls EUGETTYJIMMIE AKESSON: Sweden Democrats’ outspoken leader led a campaign against migrants
The Czech Republic is also set to hold elections in 2017 while Sweden goes to the polls in 2018, both with own Trump-esque leaders who could make a shocking grab for power.Andrej Babis, the second richest man in the Czech Republic, is expected to win the general election for the ANO party and has been reported to have close ties to Putin’s Russia.While in Sweden, anti-immigration Jimmie Akesson of the Sweden Democrats is gaining in popularity – campaigning against his nation’s membership of the EU and advocating a campaign to tell people not to come to Sweden.
With Europe’s biggest economies set to go to the polls, struggling Greece could also follow suit.The extreme right fringes of their politics is dominated by the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn – who have launched attacks on refugee camps.While it is very unlikely they have any chance at power, their nationalist cause is of the most intense and hate-filed in Europe.Centre-right party New Democracy is the most likely to unseat the government should a snap election be called.
The former EU diplomat Wesslau said: “The new axis between Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia, and European populists represents a toxic mix for the liberal order in Europe.”He added: “Within Europe, populists on the left and right are trying to roll back the liberal order.”This insurgency is being actively backed by Putin’s Russia, and, now, it seems, Trump’s America.”The European Union itself risks being an early casualty.”

The Globalists Have Declared War on Nationalists

 

Trump’s populist views of self-determination are sweeping the planet and the elite are in a sheer panic. Only a few weeks ago, the sheep of the planet were being marched to their Armageddon. The dumbed down masses have managed to mount a ninth inning rally that have sent the elite into frenzy.

 

Hillary Clinton Was Supposed to Usher in the New World Order Through the Fall of America

The lies are exposed. Hillary and Bill cannot unring the bill, the truth has been exposed for millions of people to see.

The lies are exposed. Hillary and Bill cannot unring the bill, the truth has been exposed for millions of people to see.

Two months ago, I called upon the Independent Media to step up their attacks on Hillary Clinton’s criminal behavior in a last-ditch and desperate effort to derail her presidential aspirations. After issuing my plea, I can happily report that I got more than I had hoped for. Merely a year ago, I was one of the few voices that was pounding away at Hillary Clinton’s sociopathic behavior. Today, the attacks are so bombastic and vitriolic, that I am joyfully reporting that I feel that my voice is being drowned out by a relentless chorus of voices that has Hillary Clinton in a death grip and they won’t let go. This is a great time for humanity. Even if the criminal elite unleash genocidal hell on Earth, at least humanity will die on their feet. There is absolutely no way that the criminal elite can stem the tide of rebellion against their corrupt and satanically inspired rule over the people.

The criminal elite had pinned their hopes on Hillary Clinton ushering in the NWO by tearing down what was left of American sovereignty. From a Bilderberg, Trilateral and CFR perspective, this woman was sociopathic enough to do what would need to be done to complete this task. However, the criminal elite forgot to do one thing. They neglected to manage her public image. It is leaders like Clinton and Cameron which have awakened the masses, through their abject criminality, and the people are saying enough is enough.

Clinton’s role in the emails, her treason by selling uranium to the Russians to raise money for her foundation, the Benghazi affair, etc., etc, are exploding on the national scene. Former Clinton campaign leaders and Secret Service personnel are speaking out against this despot. The genie will not fit back into the bottle. The elite know this and they are on the verge of a mass nervous breakdown. The playground bully has just been punched in the nose by the 98 pound weakling.

Zbigniew Brzezinski saw this awakening coming in 2011 which prompted him to say the following:

brzezinski kill a million

This is what wounded animals do, they lash out in an uncontrollable manner.

The following op-ed piece written for the Council on Foreign Relations captures the criminal elite’s sense of desperation.

The Face of Global Elite Arrogance

face of pomposity

Meet the face of global pomposity and unbridled arrogance. His disdain for “your type” is noteworthy and speaks to the desperation of global criminal elite.

His name is James Traub and he and his kind are the absolute enemy of every American. He is the heir to the Bloomingdale industries and a prominent member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Traub’s elitist views leave nothing to the imagination. Writing for the mouthpiece of The Council on Foreign Relations, he leaves little doubt that the the evil empire is going to strike back.

It is clear that Traub and his fellow CFR elitist snobs are declaring war on any kind self-determination. He expects every Westerner to relish in their servitude to the globalists as he states the following in the article:

  • “the Brexit vote…utter repudiation of….bankers and economists”…
  • “…establishment political parties in major western countries must combine forces to keep out the nationalists”.
  • “…globalization means culture as well as economics: Older people whose familiar world is vanishing beneath a welter of foreign tongues and multicultural celebrations are waving their fists at cosmopolitan elites.”
  • “…(describes) the pro-Trump Republican base as “know nothing” voters…”

In one fell swoop, Traub validated several conspiracy theories, as being conspiracy facts as his statements admit to the following conspiratorial beliefs held by much of the Independent Media:

  • The bankers are involved in a conspiracy that work against the interests of the common man…all wars are bankers’ wars. 
  • The Democrats and the Republicans are “establishment” parties and for all intents and purposes these two parties are two flavors of the same party. 
  • There is an overt admission that illegal immigration is about decultralizing the west. 
  • The “Know-nothing voters” who support Trump should be viewed with extreme disdain (e.g. extremists and domestic terrorists). 

Conclusion

After reading Traub’s article, there is nothing left to the imagination, the elite are in absolute panic. This is what makes the criminal elite so very dangerous. It is my considered opinion that the panicked elite may resort to one of more of the following to reassert control over dumbed down masses, who are awake to the corruption that has ruled over them for so long:

  1. False flag induced martial law, followed by mass incarcerations and genocide.

  2. A complete economic collapse which will pit one useless eater vs. another useless eater. 

  3. Bankers start world wars of epic proportions. World War III could be right around the corner. 

If this is not the future that you want for your children, you best get off of your backside and get involved in the planet-changing conflict.

http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2016/06/29/the-globalists-have-declared-war-on-nationalists/

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Appeared in: Volume 12, Number 1
Published on: July 10, 2016
NATIONALISM RISING

When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism

And how moral psychology can help explain and reduce tensions between the two.

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist and professor in the Business and Society Program at New York University—Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.
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Count Down To Pardons: Will President Obama Pardon The Clinton Criminal Conspirators? Yes — Will The Clinton Criminal Conspirators Accept The Pardons? Yes — Why? Mutually Assured Destruction Of Obama and Clinton If They Do Not! — Videos

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Now, THEREFORE, I, BARACK H. OBAMA, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Hillary Clinton for all offenses against the United States which she, Hillary Clinton, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013.

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Image result for cartoon obama and clinton benghazi liesWould President Obama pardon Clinton?

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Will Obama pardon Clinton? And if he does, will she accept?

Executive orders barring offshore drilling in most U.S. Arctic waters; an abstention at the U.N. permitting the Security Council to declare all Israeli settlement activity to be illegal and an obstacle to peace; the possibility of further action at the U.N. to formalize the administration’s comprehensive vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — President Obama is sprinting, not jogging, to the finish line.

In dashing through his last few weeks in office, will one of Obama’s final acts be to pardon Hillary Clinton for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of State?

It’s an interesting and complex question.

We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible, in my opinion, for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on her “home brew” email server or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of State and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.

The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of State ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Donald Trump takes office.

What looks like one question — will the president pardon Clinton? — turns out, on analysis, to be two. The first question is: Would Clinton wish to receive a pardon?

That question seems to be a proverbial no-brainer. Surely, any person who had been in federal government would be eager to receive a presidential pardon, because it eliminates even the possibility of federal prosecution. That looks like all upside and no downside.

But there is a downside, and it isn’t trivial. A pardon must be accepted by the person who is pardoned if it is to effectively stymie any prosecution.

Furthermore, there is solid legal precedent that acceptance of a pardon is equivalent to confession of guilt. A U.S. Supreme Court case from 1915 called Burdick v. U.S. establishes that principle; it has never been overturned.

If acceptance of a pardon by Clinton would amount to confession of guilt, would she nevertheless accept it? A multitude of factors would go into her decision.

She, together with her attorneys, would have to decide how likely it is that the Trump administration would prosecute her, and, if it did decide to prosecute, how likely the administration would be able to prove she had committed crimes.

Since being elected, Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call “Crooked Hillary.” But how confident could Clinton be that the Justice Department, under a Trump administration, would not prosecute?

Prosecutorial decisions are supposed to be independent of political considerations, so Trump’s recent friendliness should not be controlling once the new attorney general is in office.

If Clinton believes prosecutors might be able to make a strong case against her, the value to her of a pardon increases. If she is confident that any case against her would be weak or even futile, the pardon has less value.

If Clinton decides that, everything considered, she would prefer to receive a pardon, she would no doubt be able to convey that message to Obama, and then the ball would be in his court. Thus, the second question is: Would Obama grant Clinton’s request for a pardon?

From Obama’s perspective, the decision to grant or withhold a pardon is a political and a personal one. Legal considerations do not directly arise.

Like all presidents at the end of their terms, he is concerned about the legacy he leaves for history. Does he want his legacy to include a pardon of the secretary of State who served under him during the entirety of his first term in office?

Because acceptance of a pardon amounts to a confession of guilt, the acceptance by Clinton would, to a degree, besmirch both Clinton and also Obama. After all, Clinton was Obama’s secretary of State. If she was committing illegal acts as secretary, it happened literally on his watch.

On the other hand, if the new administration were to prosecute and convict Clinton of crimes committed while she was secretary, that might be an even greater embarrassment for Obama post-presidency.

In addition to calculations regarding his legacy, Obama and Clinton surely have developed over many years, both as opponents and as teammates, a personal relationship. If Clinton were to ask Obama for a pardon, how would that personal relationship play into his response? I cannot say.

Days after Trump won the election, the White House press secretary was asked by Jordan Fabian of The Hill whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton. He carefully avoided a direct answer.

Instead, the press secretary said that, in cases where Obama had granted pardons, “[w]e didn’t talk in advance about those decisions.” He also expressed hope that the new administration would follow “a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to exact political revenge.”

Of course, there is also a long tradition in this country that no one is above the law, no matter how high a position in government he or she might have formerly occupied.

So, those are the main considerations that would go into deciding a very complex question. It’s time for all of us to show our hands.

I’m saying yes, he will pardon her. Can you beat that?

David E. Weisberg is a semi-retired attorney and a member of the New York state bar. He currently resides in Cary, North Carolina, and has published pieces on the Social Science Research Network and in The Times of Israel.

Would Obama consider pardoning Clinton?

Trump has promised to put her in jail, but Obama could forestall that possibility with the stroke of a pen.

11/09/16 12:29 PM EST

Updated 11/09/16 02:41 PM EST

President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was energized by calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server containing classified information, but one man now has a unique power to frustrate the Trump partisans’ cries of “Lock her up!”: President Barack Obama.

Experts agree that Obama has the authority to foreclose that possibility by pardoning Clinton for any federal offenses she may have committed or could ever be prosecuted for. And he could do it whether she asks or not.

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“The president here will, I’m sure, consider using what tools he has in his last couple of weeks, including a pardon, to do what he can before Trump takes over,” said Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. “There’s a window and presidents have used those windows to accomplish a variety of goals.”

“What he’s going to do with this power in the next two months is really a good question,” said a close observer of the pardon process who asked not be named. “There are so many things on the table….This whole event is going to cause us to think even more about: what is this power?”

But such an act of clemency for Clinton is fraught with danger to Obama’s reputation and to hers, as any move to protect the failed Democratic presidential nominee would surely trigger charges of unfairness and political favoritism, while seeming to some to be an admission of guilt.

While Trump’s campaign-rhetoric about subjecting Clinton to a special prosecutor who would put her “in jail” was stark and fired up his crowds, he seems likely to softpedal that kind of talk in the coming weeks as he looks to bridge the stark divide in the country and build legitimacy.

Indeed, Wednesday morning, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested the issue of prosecuting Clinton has moved to the back burner for now.

“We did not discuss that last night since his victory. And he certainly didn’t address it with Mrs. Clinton on the phone,” Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I think you heard his own words last night — to the extent that one man can as president, certainly Vice President Pence who’s phenomenal, they’re looking to unify the country. But we haven’t discussed that in recent days. And I think that it’s all in good time,” she added.

Still, a pardon would offer the only foolproof way to head off such a prosecution. And the window for Clinton’s best shot at clemency closes on Jan. 20.

Such a move by Obama could also be a boon of sorts for Trump. It would provide a convenient way for the incoming president not to follow through with a renewed investigation that could breed further resentment from Democrats.

When it comes to considering a pardon for Clinton, however, one of the biggest obstacles could be Obama’s own words.

At a press conference in August, Obama pledged to handle last-minute pardons by the book, distancing himself from the chaotic situation that played out in the final days of Bill Clinton’s presidency and tarnished his legacy.

“The process that I put in place is not going to vary depending on how close I get to the election. So it’s going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my White House counsel, and I’m going to, as best as I can, make these decisions based on the merits, as opposed to political considerations,” Obama said.

The White House on Wednesday refused to say whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton , but appeared to issue a warning to Trump, saying powerful people should not exploit the criminal justice system for “political revenge.”

“As you know the president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,”, Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing. “And we didn’t talk in advance about the president’s plans to offer clemency to any of those individuals and that is because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases that may apply to pardons or commutations.”

He added, “We have a long tradition in this country of people in power not using the criminal justice system to enact political revenge. In fact we go a long way to insulate the criminal justice system from partisan politics.”

Longtime Clinton lawyer David Kendall did not respond to a request for comment.

The legacy questions seem certain to be at the top of Obama’s mind. Ford’s pardon of Nixon was highly controversial and the time and helped cost Ford the 1976 election. Bill Clinton’s late-term pardons of financier Marc Rich and others unleashed a controversy that still mars Clinton’s image.

There are numerous precedents for a pre-trial pardon, including one in a high-profile case of mishandling classified information.

In one of his late term pardons in 2001, Clinton granted clemency to former CIA Director John Deutch, who had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for storing classified information on his home computer. Deutch had actually signed a plea agreement, but the paperwork had never been filed in court.

Ford’s pardon of Nixon also came before any charges had been filed against him. The broadly-worded decree absolved Nixon of guilt “for all offenses against the United States which he…has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Nixon never asked for or accepted the pardon, but that didn’t affect its validity. (A 1927 Supreme Court case says an unconditional pardon is valid whether or not it’s accepted by the recipient.)

Part of the fairness consideration in Clinton’s case would involve her own aides. How could Obama block a prosecution of Clinton but leave her aides and others caught up in the email fiasco without any protection?

It seems doubtful that a prosecutor would charge one or more Clinton aides or allies if she was off the hook, but it’s far from impossible. Oftentimes in such cases, aides wind up in prosecutors’ crosshairs even when higher-ranking officials escape charges.

A good example of that is Lewis (Scooter) Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney, who was charged with lying and obstruction of justice in an investigation into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

In 2007, Libby was convicted by a jury and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. President George W. Bush commuted the sentence, sparing Libby jail time. However, Bush turned down repeated pleas from Cheney to clear Libby with a full pardon.

Wording a Clinton pardon might not be easy, lawyers say.

If Obama is fully intent on closing the book on a Clinton prosecution, he could try to sweep in not only her conduct as secretary of state, but also her statements since and anything she might have done in connection with the Clinton Foundation. Moving in that direction would again raise questions of whether Obama would excuse others or just his former secretary of state.

While pre-trial, pre-charge pardons have been uncommon in recent years, there are many examples throughout American history.

In 1974, Ford issued an amnesty for Vietnam War draft dodgers and deserters, conditioned on two years of public service in U.S.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter issued a blanket, unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War era. Many had been charged, but most had not.

And in 1894, President Grover Cleveland pardoned an unnamed and uncounted number of Mormons in Utah, excusing them from prosecution for bigamy and related crimes.

The pardon power “is unlimited and unreviewable,” former House counsel Stan Brand said. “Constitutionally, certainly [Obama] could do that.”

Brand said he doubts Trump will follow through on his threats of a special prosecutor, but the former Congressional attorney acknowledged that’s a political judgment, so Clinton’s lawyers seem certain to consider the pardon option.

“If he wants to be president, he’s the president-elect now, he truly has to switch from campaign mode to governing mode,” Brand added. “I’d say good luck to them politically, if [Trump’s team] thinks that’s going to advance their agenda.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/would-obama-pardon-clinton-231120

BIG SURPRISE: Media Betting Obama Will Pardon Hillary Clinton Before He Leaves The White House

A lot of us figured this was coming, but now the mainstream media is predicting the obvious in print.

In a piece by contributor David Weisberg over at The Hill, he declares that Obama will make sure to pardon Hillary Clinton “for any violations of federal law she might have committed while she was secretary of state.”

Weisberg writes:

We should first note that the Obama administration’s decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would not bind the Trump administration. Until relevant statutes of limitations have expired, she could still be prosecuted by the new administration. It is possible in my opinion for Clinton to be prosecuted for either her improper handling of classified information on “home brew,” or allegations of “pay to play” arrangements between the secretary of state and donors to the Clinton Foundation, which could constitute bribery.

The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years from the commission of the offense; that would apply to the two categories relevant to Mrs. Clinton. Her tenure as secretary of state ended Feb. 1, 2013, so it is possible that the statute of limitations will not run until Feb. 1, 2018, more than a year after Mr. Trump takes office.

Apparently, however, there is legal precedent for the acceptance of a pardon being equal to an admission of guilt. It was established by a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court case, Burdick v. U.S. which has never been overturned. In other words, if Hillary takes the pardon, she’s admitting she committed at least one crime she committed and needs to be pardoned for.

Then again, is it even likely Trump is actually going to prosecute Hillary anyway? Pretty much as soon as he won, he announced that he no longer planned to. Even Weisberg points out, “Since being elected, Mr. Trump has been remarkably warm towards the person he used to call ‘crooked Hillary’.” It’s been speculated Trump’s promise not to prosecute was part of the phone call ensuring Hillary would concede. Then again, they’d been pretty good friends for the two decades leading up to the election.

Weisberg goes on to say he thinks Obama’s pardon for Hillary is forthcoming. Why not. The White House won’t deny the option is being considered, even though, again, Trump has come out to say he does not plan to prosecute Hillary anyway.

Obama’s pardon of Hillary will probably be worded a lot like (if not exactlylike) Ford’s Pardon of Richard Nixon:

Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.

Hillary’s pardon will be just as ambiguously worded, to make sure and cover anything and everything (and there’s a lot to cover).

As projected, it’ll likely be dated for her entire tenure as Secretary of State, too.

This story was written by Melissa Dykes and published at The Daily Sheeple

Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State

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Clinton takes the oath of office as Secretary of State, administered by Associate Judge Kathryn Oberly as Bill Clinton holds the Bible.

Hillary Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State, under President Barack Obama, from 2009 to 2013, overseeing the department that conducted the Foreign policy of Barack Obama.

She was preceded in office by Condoleezza Rice, and succeeded by John Kerry. She is also the only former First Lady of the United States to become a member of the United States Cabinet.

 

Nomination and confirmation

Within a week after the November 4, 2008, presidential election, President-elect Obama and Clinton discussed over telephone the possibility of her serving as U.S. Secretary of State in his administration.[1][2] Clinton later related, “He said I want you to be my secretary of state. And I said, ‘Oh, no, you don’t.’ I said, ‘Oh, please, there’s so many other people who could do this.'”[2] Clinton initially turned Obama down, but he persisted.[3][4] Some Democratic senators welcomed the idea of her leaving, having been allied with Obama during the campaign, and believing that Clinton had risked party disunity by keeping her candidacy going for so long.[5]

Obama and Clinton held a meeting on the subject on November 11.[6] When the possibility became public on November 14, it came as a surprising and dramatic move, especially given the long, sometimes bitter battle the two had waged during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[1][7] Obama had specifically criticized Clinton’s foreign policy credentials during the contests, and the initial idea of him appointing her had been so unexpected that she had told one of her own aides, “Not in a million years.”[4] However, it has been reported that Obama had been thinking of the idea as far back as the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[8] Despite the aggressiveness of the campaign and the still-lingering animosities between the two campaign staffs,[9] as with many primary battles, the political differences between the candidates were never that great,[10] the two rivals had reportedly developed a respect for one another,[8] and she had campaigned for him in the general election.[4]

Consideration of Clinton was seen as Obama wanting to assemble a “team of rivals” in his administration, à la Abraham Lincoln.[4][11][12] The notion of rivals successfully working together also found applicability in other fields, such as George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in relation to Operation Overlord during World War II and Indra Nooyi keeping on her top rival for CEO at Pepsico.[10] At the same time, the choice gave Obama an image of being self-assured.[13]

Clinton was conflicted whether she wanted to take the position or remain in the Senate, and agonized over her decision.[4][6][14] While the Senate leadership had discussed possible leadership positions or other promotions in rank with her even before the cabinet position became a possibility, nothing concrete had been offered.[15] The prospect of her ever becoming Senate Majority Leader seemed dim.[5] A different complication was Bill Clinton; she told Obama: “There’s one last thing that’s a problem, which is my husband. You’ve seen what this is like; it will be a circus if I take this job”, making reference to the volatile effect Bill Clinton had had during the primaries.[3] In addition, there was a specific concern whether the financial and other involvements of Bill Clinton’s post-presidential activities would violate any conflict-of-interest rules for serving cabinet members.[14] There was as well considerable media speculation about what effect taking the position would have on her political career and any possible future presidential aspirations.[14][16] Clinton wavered over the offer, but as she later related, “But, you know, we kept talking. I finally began thinking, look, if I had won and I had called him, I would have wanted him to say yes. And, you know, I’m pretty old-fashioned, and it’s just who I am. So at the end of the day, when your president asks you to serve, you say yes, if you can.”[2] Chief of Protocol of the United States Capricia Penavic Marshall, who had known Clinton since her First Lady days, later confirmed the same rationale: “When asked to serve, she does. And her president asked.”[4]

On November 21, reports indicated that Clinton had accepted the position.[17] On December 1, President-elect Obama formally announced that Clinton would be his nominee for Secretary of State.[18] Clinton said she was reluctant to leave the Senate, but that the new position represented a “difficult and exciting adventure”.[18] As part of the nomination, Bill Clinton agreed to accept a number of conditions and restrictions regarding his ongoing activities and fundraising efforts for the Clinton Presidential Center and Clinton Global Initiative.[19]

The appointment required a Saxbe fix,[20] which was passed and signed into law in December 2008 before confirmation hearings began.[21] Confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began on January 13, 2009, a week before the Obama inauguration. Clinton stated during her confirmation hearings that she believed that “the best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions” and “We must use what has been called ‘smart power‘, the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural — picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy.”[22]

On January 15, the Committee voted 16–1 to approve Clinton.[23] Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the lone dissenting vote in the committee.[23] By this time, Clinton’s public favorable/unfavorable rating had reached 65 percent, the highest point in her public career since the Lewinsky scandal during her time as First Lady,[24] and 71 percent of the public approved of the nomination to the cabinet.[20]

Even before taking office, Clinton was working together with Bush administration officials in assessing national security issues. The night before the inauguration of the new president, contingency plans against a purported plot by Somali extremists against Obama and the inauguration was being discussed. Clinton argued that typical security responses were not tenable: “Is the Secret Service going to whisk him off the podium so the American people see their incoming president disappear in the middle of the inaugural address? I don’t think so.”[25] (The threat turned out to not exist.)

On January 21, 2009, Clinton was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94–2.[26] Vitter and Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against the confirmation.[26]

Clinton took the oath of office of Secretary of State and resigned from the Senate that same day.[27] She became the first former First Lady to serve in the United States Cabinet.[28] She also became the first Secretary of State to have previously been an elected official since Edmund Muskie‘s less-than-a-year stint in 1980,[29] with Christian Herter during the Eisenhower administration being the last one before that. In being selected by her formal rival Obama, she became only the fourth person in the preceding hundred years to join the cabinet of someone they had run against for their party’s presidential nomination that election year (Jack Kemp ran against and was later chosen by George H. W. Bush to be Secretary of HUD in 1988, George W. Romney by Richard Nixon for Secretary of HUD in 1968, and Philander Knox by William Howard Taft for Secretary of State in 1908 preceded her; Obama’s pick of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture followed her a couple of weeks later to be the next such person).

(On January 29, 2009, the constitutionality of her Saxbe fix was challenged in court by Judicial Watch;[30] on October 30, 2009, the courts dismissed the case.[31])

Staff

During the Obama presidential transition, Clinton described her own transition as “difficult … in some respects, because [she] never even dreamed of it.”[12] Then, and in the early days of her tenure, there was considerable jockeying for jobs within the department among those in “Hillaryland“, her longtime circle of advisors and staff aides, as well as others who had worked with her in the past, with not as many jobs as those desiring of them.[32][33] Obama gave Clinton more freedom to choose her staff than he did to any other cabinet member.[5][10]

Clinton’s former campaign manager, Maggie Williams, handled the staff hiring process.[32] Longtime counsel to both Clintons Cheryl Mills served as the secretary’s Counselor and Chief of Staff.[33] James B. Steinberg was named Deputy Secretary of State.[33] Jacob “Jack” Lew, once Bill Clinton’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was named Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, a new position.[34] This was an unusual step intended by Hillary Clinton to push to the forefront the emphasis on getting higher budget allocations from Congress and overlooking internal workings.[33][34] Anne-Marie Slaughter was appointed Director of Policy Planning with a view towards long-term policy towards Asia.[33] Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime personal assistant, was Deputy Chief of Staff for the secretary and remained a key member of Clinton’s operation.[32][35]

Much like she did at the beginning of her Senate career, Clinton kept a low profile during her early months and worked hard to familiarize herself with the culture and institutional history of the department.[33] She met or spoke with all of the living former secretaries, and especially relied upon her close friendship with Madeleine Albright.[33]

At the start of her tenure, Obama and Clinton announced several high-profile special envoys to trouble spots in the world, including former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as Mideast envoy and Richard Holbrooke as envoy to South Asia and Afghanistan.[36] On January 27, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton appointed Todd Stern as the department’s Special Envoy for Climate Change.[37]

By May 2009, Clinton and the Obama administration intended to nominate Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),[38] but by August 2009 his nomination was reportedly scotched by the White House for reasons unknown.[39][40] This caused Clinton, while visiting USAID, to publicly criticize the long vetting process for administration appointments[39] calling it a “nightmare” and “frustrating beyond words.”[40] In November 2009, an unconventional choice was nominated instead, Rajiv Shah, a young Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics.[40] Clinton said, “He has a record of delivering results in both the private and public sectors, forging partnerships around the world, especially in Africa and Asia, and developing innovative solutions in global health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor.”[40]

Despite some early press predictions,[33] in general Clinton’s departmental staff has avoided the kind of leaks and infighting that troubled her 2008 presidential campaign.[35] One possibly lingering line of internal tension was resolved in early 2011 when State Department spokesperson P. J. Crowley resigned after making personal comments about in-captivity leaker Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and her treatment by the Department of Defense.[41] In other changes, Jacob Lew left in late 2010 to join the White House as Office of Management and Budget and was replaced as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources by Thomas R. Nides (Lew would eventually become White House Chief of Staff and then the pick for U.S. Treasury Secretary for Obama’s second term),[34] and Steinberg left in mid-2011 and was replaced as Deputy Secretary by career diplomat William J. Burns.

Early themes and structural initiatives

During the transition period, Clinton sought to build a more powerful State Department.[42] She began a push for a larger international affairs budget and an expanded role in global economic issues.[42] She cited the need for an increased U.S. diplomatic presence, especially in Iraq where the U.S. Defense Department had conducted diplomatic missions.[42] U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agreed with her, and also advocated larger State Department budgets.[29] Indeed, the two, and their respective departments, would have a productive relationship, unlike the often fraught relations between State and Defense and their secretaries seen in prior administrations.[43]

In the Obama administration’s proposed 2010 United States federal budget of February 2009, there was a proposed 9.5 percent budget increase for the State Department and other international programs, from $47.2 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $51.7 billion in fiscal year 2010.[44][45] By the time of Clinton’s May 2009 testimony before the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, numbers had been restated following rounds of general federal budget cuts,[46] and the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget request for the State Department and USAID was $48.6 billion, a 7 percent increase.[47] That became the amount of increase that was obtained.[48]

Clinton also brought a message of departmental reform to the position, especially in regarding foreign aid programs as something that deserves the same status and level of scrutiny as diplomatic initiatives.[29]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the State Department on her first day greeted by a standing room only crowd of Department employees.

Clinton spent her initial days as Secretary of State telephoning dozens of world leaders.[49] She said the world was eager to see a new American foreign policy and that, “There is a great exhalation of breath going on around the world. We’ve got a lot of damage to repair.”[49] She did indicate that not every past policy would be repudiated, and specifically said it was essential that the six-party talks over the North Korean nuclear weapons program continue.[50][51] Clinton re-emphasized her views during her first speech to State Department employees when she said, “There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.”[52] Clinton also soon visited the United States Agency for International Development, where she met employees and said they would be getting extra funds and attention during the new administration.[50]

She kept a low profile when diplomatic necessity or Obama’s involvement required it, but maintained an influential relationship with the president and in foreign policy decisions.[53][54] Her first 100 days found her travelling over 70,000 miles (110,000 km), having no trouble adapting to being a team player subordinate to Obama, and gaining skills as an executive.[54][55] Nevertheless, she remained an international celebrity with a much higher profile than most Secretaries of State.[29] Her background as an elected official gave her insight into the needs and fears of elected officials of other countries.[29]

By the summer of 2009, there was considerable analysis and speculation in the media of what kind of role and level of influence Clinton had within the Obama administration, with a variety of assessments being produced.[12][56][57][58] A prominent mid-July speech to the Council on Foreign Relations reasserted her role;[56] she said, “We cannot be afraid or unwilling to engage. Our focus on diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal.”[59]

In July 2009, Clinton announced a new State Department initiative, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, to establish specific objectives for the State Department’s diplomatic missions abroad.[60] The most ambitious of Clinton’s departmental reforms, it is modeled after the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, which Clinton was familiar with from her days on the Senate Armed Services Committee.[61] The first such Review came out in December 2010. Entitled Leading Through Civilian Power, its 220 pages centered on the notion of elevating “civilian power” as a cost-effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises.[62][63][64] It also sought the elevation of U.S. ambassadors in coordinating work of all abroad-tasked U.S. agencies.[62] Clinton said of the underlying message, “Leading with civilians saves lives and money.”[63] She also resolved to get Congress to approve the QDDR as a required part of the State Department planning process, saying, “I am determined that this report will not merely gather dust, like so many others.”[63] Another theme of the report was the goal of empowering the female population in developing countries around the world; the QDDR mentioned women and girls some 133 times.[64] In part this reflected incorporation into the QDDR of the Hillary Doctrine, which stipulates that women’s rights and violence against women around the world should be considered issues of national security to the United States.[65] In addition, by attempting to institutionalize her goals in this area, Clinton – along with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Melanne Verveer, who also worked heavily in these efforts – were hoping that her initiatives and concerns towards the empowerment of women would persist past Clinton’s time in office as well as break a past pattern of chauvinism in the department.[64]

In September, Clinton unveiled the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative at the annual meeting of her husband’s Clinton Global Initiative.[66][67] The goal of the new initiative is to battle hunger worldwide on a strategic basis as a key part of U.S. foreign policy, rather than just react to food shortage emergencies as they occur.[67] The secretary said that “Food security is not just about food. But it is all about security: economic security, environmental security, even national security. Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies and borders.”[66][67] The initiative seeks to develop agricultural economies, counter malnourishment, increase productivity, expand trade, and spur innovation in developing nations. Clinton said that women would be placed at the center of the effort, as they constitute a majority of the world’s farmers.[67] The next month, to mark World Food Day, Clinton said, “Fighting hunger and poverty through sustainable agricultural development, making sure that enough food is available and that people have the resources to purchase it, is a key foreign policy objective of the Obama administration.”[68]

During October 2009, Clinton said, “this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job”[69] and “this job is incredibly all-encompassing.”[2] She said she never thought about if she were making the same foreign policy decisions as president, and had no intention of ever running for that office again.[2][69] While some friends and former advisers thought she was primarily saying that to focus attention on her current role and that she might change her mind about running for president in the future, others felt that she was genuinely content with the direction her career and life had taken and no longer had presidential ambitions.[70]

By the close of 2009 there were 25 female ambassadors posted by other nations to Washington; this was the highest number ever.[71] This was dubbed the “Hillary effect” by some observers: “Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, the Mozambique Ambassador to the United States, “she makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”[71] An added fact, of course, was that two other recent U.S. Secretaries of State were women, but Clinton’s international fame from her days as First Lady of the United States made her impact in this respect the greatest of the group.[71]

Clinton also included in the State Department budget for the first time a breakdown of programs that specifically concerned themselves with the well-being of women and girls around the world.[64] By fiscal 2012, the department’s budget request for such work was $1.2 billion, of which $832 million was for global health programs.[64] Additionally, she initiated the Women in Public Service Project, a joint venture between the State Department and the Seven Sisters colleges. The goal was to entice more women into entering public service, such that within four decades an equal number of men and women would be working in the field.[72]

One specific cause Clinton advocated almost from the start of her tenure was the adoption of cookstoves in the developing world, to foster cleaner and more environmentally sound food preparation and reduce smoke dangers to women. In September 2010, she announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to provide some 100 million such stoves around the world within the next ten years, and in subsequent travels she urged foreign leaders to adopt policies encouraging their use.[4]

In February 2010 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Secretary Clinton complained about the slow pace of Senate confirmations of Obama’s nominations to diplomatic positions, a number of which were delayed for political reasons and had been subject to holds by individual Republican senators.[73] Clinton said the problem damaged America’s image abroad: “It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with.”[73]

In 2009, and again in 2010 and 2011, Clinton stated that she was committed to serving out her full term as secretary, but would not commit to serving a second term should Obama be re-elected.[74]

She later used U.S. allies and what she called “convening power” to help keep the Libyan rebels unified as they eventually overthrew the Gaddafi regime.[75]

Throughout her tenure, Clinton has looked towards “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, combining military strength with U.S. capacities in global economics, development aid, and technology.[75] In late 2011 she said, “All power has limits. In a much more networked and multipolar world we can’t wave a magic wand and say to China or Brazil or India, ‘Quit growing. Quit using your economies to assert power’ … It’s up to us to figure out how we position ourselves to be as effective as possible at different times in the face of different threats and opportunities.”[75]

Clinton has also greatly expanded the State Department’s use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, both to get its message out and to help empower people vis à via their rulers. Clinton said, “We are in the age of participation, and the challenge … is to figure out how to be responsive, to help catalyze, unleash, channel the kind of participatory eagerness that is there.” She has tried to institutionalize this change, by making social media a focus for foreign service officers and up to the ambassadorial level. (Other Clinton initiatives were run solely out of her office and were at risk of disappearing after she left office.) By late 2011, the department had 288 Facebook accounts and 192 Twitter feeds. The change was enough for daughter Chelsea Clinton to refer to the secretary as “TechnoMom”.[75]

Regional issues and travels: 2009

Obama and Clinton speaking with one another at the 21st NATO summit in April 2009

In February 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China on what she described as a “listening tour” that was “intended to really find a path forward.”[76] She continued to travel heavily in her first months in office, often getting very enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace.[53][77]

In early March 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Israel.[78] During this time, Clinton announced that the US government will dispatch two officials to the Syrian capital to explore Washington’s relationship with Damascus.[79] On March 5, Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.[80] At this meeting, Clinton proposed including Iran at a conference on Afghanistan. Clinton said the proposed conference could be held on March 31 in the Netherlands.[81] On March 6, a photo-op with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov intended to demonstrate the U.S. and Russia pressing the “reset button” on their relationship, in an effort to mend frayed ties, went a bit awry due to a mistranslation.[82] (The word the Americans chose, “peregruzka”, meant “overloaded” or “overcharged”, rather than “reset”.) The episode became known as the Russian reset.[83]

During March 2009, Clinton prevailed over Vice President Joe Biden on an internal debate to send an additional 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.[84]

In June 2009, Clinton had surgery to repair a right elbow fracture caused by a fall in the State Department basement.[85] The painful injury and recuperation caused her to miss two foreign trips.[56][86] Nevertheless, during President Obama’s trip without her to Russia, Clinton was named as co-coordinator, along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, of a newly created U.S.-Russian Presidential Commission to discuss nuclear, economic, and energy and environmental policies relating to the two countries.[87]

Clinton returned to the diplomatic scene and responded to the ongoing 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis, in which plans for the Honduran fourth ballot box referendum had led to the 2009 Honduran coup d’état, and which was becoming Latin America’s worst political crisis in some years.[88] In early July, she sat down with ousted President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, who agreed on a U.S.-backed proposal to begin talks with the de facto Roberto Micheletti government.[89] Later, in September, Zelaya returned to the country, and President of Costa Rica Óscar Arias, who had become a mediator in the matter, as well as Clinton expressed hope that Zelaya’s return could break the impasse with the Micheletti government. In particular, Clinton said, “Now that President Zelaya is back it would be opportune to restore him to his position under appropriate circumstances – get on with the election that is currently scheduled for November, have a peaceful transition of presidential authority and get Honduras back to constitutional and democratic order.”[90] At the end of October, Clinton took a leading role in convincing Micheletti to accept a deal – which she termed an “historic agreement” – in which Zelaya would return to power in advance of general elections in which neither figure was running.[88] Micheletti said that Clinton had been insistent on this point: “I kept trying to explain our position to her, but all she kept saying was, ‘Restitution, restitution, restitution.'”[88] That agreement broke down, despite efforts of the State Department to revive it,[91] and Clinton and the U.S. ended up supporting the winner of the 2009 Honduran general election, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, with Clinton characterizing the elections as “free and fair” and Lobo as holding a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of constitutional law.[92]

Clinton meets with President Hugo Chávez at the Summit of the Americas on April 19, 2009

Clinton co-chaired the high-level U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on July 27–28, 2009 and led the Strategic Track for the United States.

In August 2009, Clinton embarked on her longest trip yet, to a number of stops in Africa.[93] On August 10, 2009, at a public event in Kinshasa, a Congolese student asked her what her husband, “Mr Clinton”, thought of a Chinese trade deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Clinton looked irritated at the question and replied, “Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. So you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” The incident was played in newsrooms around the world. Clinton aides suggested there might have been a mistranslation, but that was not the case; however the student had later apologized to her, saying he had meant to ask what “Mr Obama” thought.[94]

In October 2009, Clinton’s intervention – including juggling conversations on two mobile phones while sitting in a limousine[95] – overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.[96][97]

Clinton with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani during an October 2009 visit to Islamabad.

In late October 2009, Clinton travelled to Pakistan, where she had staged a memorable visit in 1995 while First Lady.[29] Her arrival was followed within hours by the 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing; in response, Clinton said of those responsible, “They know they are on the losing side of history but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is.”[98] In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, she also staged numerous public appearances.[29][35] In those, she let students, talk show hosts, and tribal elders repeatedly complain about and criticize American foreign policy and American actions.[29][35] Occasionally, she pushed back in a more blunt fashion than usual for diplomats, explicitly wondering why Pakistan had not been more successful in combating al Qaeda “if they wanted to.”[35] Member of Parliament and government spokesperson Farahnaz Ispahani said, “In the past, when the Americans came, they would talk to the generals and go home. Clinton’s willingness to meet with everyone, hostile or not, has made a big impression – and because she’s Hillary Clinton, with a real history of affinity for this country, it means so much more.”[29]

On the same trip, Clinton visited the Middle East, in an effort to restart the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

In November 2009, Secretary Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.[99] There, she said: “Our history did not end the night the wall came down, it began anew. … To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of ideology.”[100]

In December 2009, Clinton attended the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference, where she pushed forward a last-minute proposal of significant new amounts of foreign aid to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming, in an attempt to unstick stuck negotiations and salvage some sort of agreement at the conference.[101][102] The secretary said, “We’re running out of time. Without the accord, the opportunity to mobilize significant resources to assist developing countries with mitigation and adaptation will be lost.”[101] The amount of aid she proposed, $100 billion, was in the modest terms of the Copenhagen Accord that was agreed to by the summit.[103]

Secretary Clinton finished the year with very high approval ratings.[104] She also narrowly edged out former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in being America’s most-admired woman, per a Gallup finding.[105]

Regional issues and travels: 2010

Secretary Clinton met with Celso Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil, in March 2010 at the Palácio do Itamaraty in Brasília

In January 2010, Secretary Clinton cut short a trip to the Asia-Pacific region in order to see firsthand the destructive effects of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and to meet with President of Haiti René Préval.[106] Clinton said she would also evaluate the relief effort and help evacuate some Americans. She stressed that her visit was designed not to interfere with ongoing efforts: “It’s a race against time. Everybody is pushing as hard as they can.”[106] The Clintons had a special interest in Haiti going back decades, to their delayed honeymoon there[107] up to Bill Clinton being the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

In a major speech on January 21, 2010, Clinton, speaking on behalf of the U.S., declared that “We stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas”, while highlighting how “even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.”[108] She also drew analogies between the Iron Curtain and the free and unfree Internet.[109] Her speech, which followed a controversy surrounding Google‘s changed policy toward China and censorship, appears to mark a split between authoritarian capitalism and the Western model of free capitalism and Internet access.[109][110] Chinese officials responded strongly, saying Clinton’s remarks were “harmful to Sino-American relations” and demanded that U.S. officials “respect the truth”, and some foreign policy observers thought that Clinton had been too provocative.[109] But the White House stood behind Clinton, and demanded that China provide better answers regarding the recent Chinese cyberattack against Google.[111] Clinton’s speech garnered marked attention among diplomats, as it was the first time a senior American official had clearly put forth a vision in which the Internet was a key element of American foreign policy.[111]

By early 2010, the Obama administration’s efforts towards forging a new relationship with Iran had failed to gain headway, and the U.S. adopted a policy of adopting international sanctions against it and isolating it diplomatically in order to curtail the that country’s nuclear program.[112] This was a policy more in line with Clinton’s thinking and went back to disagreements she and Obama had had during the 2008 presidential campaign.[112] Clinton was put in charge of rallying support in the United Nations for these sanctions[112] and spent considerable time over the following months and years doing so.[4][113] At times Clinton suggested the possibility of military action against Iran should economic and diplomatic actions fail to deter it from its nuclear ambitions.[113]

In February 2010, Clinton made her first visit to Latin America as secretary. The tour would take her to Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala and Argentina. She first visited Buenos Aires and talked to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. They discussed Falkland Islands sovereignty and the issue of oil in the Falklands.[114] Clinton said that “We would like to see Argentina and the United Kingdom sit down and resolve the issues between them across the table in a peaceful, productive way.”[114] Clinton offered to help facilitate such discussions, but did not agree to an Argentinian request that she mediate such talks.[114][115] Within 12 hours of Clinton’s remarks, Downing Street categorically rejected a U.S. role: “We welcome the support of the secretary of state in terms of ensuring that we continue to keep diplomatic channels open but there is no need for [direct involvement].”[115] Clinton then went on to Santiago, Chile to witness the aftereffects of the 2010 Chile earthquake and to bring some telecommunications equipment to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts.[116]

In April 2010, there was a flurry of speculation that Clinton would be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice John Paul Stevens‘ retirement, including a plug from ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch.[117][118] The notion was quickly quashed by the White House, which said, “The president thinks Secretary Clinton is doing an excellent job as secretary of state and wants her to remain in that position.”[117] A State Department spokesperson said that Clinton “loves her present job and is not looking for another one.”[118]

By mid-2010, Clinton and Obama had clearly forged a good working relationship without power struggles; she was a team player within the administration and a defender of it to the outside, and was careful to make sure that neither she nor her husband would upstage him.[72][119] He in turn was accommodating to her viewpoints and in some cases adopted some of her more hawkish approaches.[119] She met with him weekly, but did not have the close, daily relationship that some of her predecessors had had with their presidents, such as Condoleezza Rice with George W. Bush, James Baker with George H. W. Bush, or Henry Kissinger with Richard Nixon.[119] Nevertheless, he had trust in her actions.[4]

During an early June 2010 visit to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Clinton dealt with questions at every stop about the recently passed and widely controversial Arizona SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law, which had damaged the image of the U.S. in Latin America.[120] When answering a question from local television reporters in Quito about it, she said that President Obama was opposed to it and that “The Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”[120] This was the first public confirmation that the Justice Department would act against the law;[120] a month later, it became official as the lawsuit United States of America v. Arizona. While at a hotel bar in Lima, she completed an agreement with a representative of China over which companies could be specified in a UN resolution sanctioning the nuclear program of Iran.[95] Returning to SB 1070, in August 2010 she included the dispute over it in a report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an example to other countries of how fractious issues can be resolved under the rule of law.[121]

Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tour the DMZ on July 21, 2010.

In July 2010, Clinton visited Pakistan for the second time as secretary, announcing a large new U.S. economic assistance package to that country as well as a U.S.-led bilateral trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan.[122] She then traveled to Afghanistan for the Kabul Conference on the situation there, during which President Hamid Karzai vowed to implement much-promised legal, political, and economic reforms in exchange for a continued Western commitment there.[123] Clinton said that despite the scheduled U.S. drawdown there in 2011, the U.S. has “no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful Afghanistan. Too many nations – especially Afghanistan – have suffered too many losses to see this country slide backward.”[123] She then went on to Seoul and the Korean Demilitarized Zone where she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Minister of National Defense Kim Tae-young in a ‘2+2 meeting’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. There she said that the U.S. experience in staying in Korea for decades had led to a successful result, which might also be applicable to Afghanistan.[124] Finally, she went to Hanoi, Vietnam, for the ASEAN Regional Forum, wrapping up what The New York Times termed “a grueling trip that amounted to a tour of American wars, past and present”.[124] There she injected the U.S. into the long-running disputes over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, much to the displeasure of the Chinese who view the South China Sea as part of their core interests, by saying “The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”[124]

By this time, Secretary Clinton was quite busy with another role of a kind, “M.O.T.B.” as she wrote in State Department memos, making reference to her being the mother of the bride in daughter Chelsea Clinton‘s July 31, 2010, wedding to Marc Mezvinsky.[125] She confessed in an interview in Islamabad less than two weeks before the wedding that she and her husband were both nervous wrecks, and that “You should assume that if he makes it down the aisle in one piece it’s going to be a major accomplishment. He is going to be so emotional, as am I.”[126] The event itself gained a large amount of media attention.[125]

In a September 2010 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton emphasized the continuing primacy of American power and involvement in the world, declaring a “new American moment”.[127] Making reference to actions from reviving the Middle East talks to U.S. aid following the 2010 Pakistan floods, Clinton said that “The world is counting on us” and that “After years of war and uncertainty, people are wondering what the future holds, at home and abroad. So let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”[127]

With Democrats facing possible large losses in the 2010 midterm elections and President Obama struggling in opinion polls, idle speculation in Washington media circles concerning Obama’s chances in the 2012 presidential election led to the notion that Clinton would take over as Obama’s vice-presidential running mate in 2012 to add to his electoral appeal.[128] Some versions of this idea had Vice President Biden replacing her as Secretary of State if Obama won.[127][129] That it would ever happen was unlikely,[130] but did not stop the chatter; when the job swap idea was mentioned in public to Clinton, she smiled and shook her head.[127] A couple of months later, Obama shot down the idea, saying the notion was “completely unfounded” and that “they are both doing outstanding jobs where they are.”[131] (In late 2011, however, with Obama’s popularity on the decline, White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley did conduct some research into the idea of Clinton replacing Biden, but the notion was dropped when the results showed no appreciable improvement for Obama.[132])

Clinton at the Department of State building with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and U.S. Special Envoy George J. Mitchell, at the start of direct talks on September 2, 2010

Over the summer of 2010, the stalled peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict was potentially revived when the various parties involved agreed to direct talks for the first time in a while.[133] While President Obama was the orchestrator of the movement, Secretary Clinton had gone through months of cajoling just to get the parties to the table, and helped convince the reluctant Palestinians by getting support for direct talks from Egypt and Jordan.[95][133] She then assumed a prominent role in the talks; Speaking at a September 2 meeting at the State Department between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, she acknowledged that, “We’ve been here before, and we know how difficult the road ahead will be.”[134] Her role in the ongoing talks would be to take over from U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell when discussions threatened to break down.[95] The talks were generally given little chance to succeed, and Clinton faced the history of many such past failures, including the near miss of her husband at the 2000 Camp David Summit.[95] Nevertheless, her prominent role in them thrust her further into the international spotlight and had the potential to affect her legacy as secretary.[95][135]

In October, Clinton embarked on a seven-nation tour of Asia and Oceania. In New Zealand she signed the “Wellington Declaration”, which normalized the diplomatic and military relationship between it and the United States.[136] The signing marked twenty-five years after the United States suspended ANZUS treaty obligations with New Zealand in the wake of the USS Buchanan incident.

Clinton maintained her high approval ratings during 2010.[137] An aggregation of polls taken during the late portion or all of 2010 showed that Clinton (and her husband as well) had by far the best favorable-unfavorable ratings of any key contemporary American political figure.[138]

In late November, WikiLeaks released confidential State Department cables, selections of which were then published by several major newspapers around the world. The leak of the cables led to a crisis atmosphere in the State Department, as blunt statements and assessments by U.S. and foreign diplomats became public.[139] Clinton led the damage control effort for the U.S. abroad, and also sought to bolster the morale of shocked Foreign Service officers.[139] In the days leading up to the publication of the cables, Clinton called officials in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, France, Afghanistan, Canada, and China to alert them to the pending disclosures.[139] She did note that some foreign leaders were accepting of the frank language of the cables, with one telling her, “Don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you.”[139][140] She harshly criticized WikiLeaks, saying: “Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.”[139] The State Department went into immediate “war room” mode in order to deal with the effects of the disclosures, and began implementing measures to try to prevent another such leak from happening in the future.[140]

A few of the cables released by WikiLeaks concerned Clinton directly: they revealed that directions to members of the foreign service had gone out in 2009 under Clinton’s name to gather biometric details on foreign diplomats, including officials of the United Nations and U.S. allies.[141] These included Internet and intranet usernames, e-mail addresses, web site URLs useful for identification, credit card numbers, frequent flier account numbers, work schedules, and other targeted biographical information in a process known as the National Humint Collection Directive.[142][143] State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that Clinton had not drafted the directive and that the Secretary of State’s name is systematically attached to the bottom of cables originating from Washington;[144] it was unclear whether Clinton had actually seen them.[145] The guidance in the cables was actually written by the CIA before being sent out under Clinton’s name, as the CIA cannot directly instruct State Department personnel.[146][147] The disclosed cables on the more aggressive intelligence gathering went back to 2008 when they went out under Condoleezza Rice‘s name during her tenure as Secretary of State.[143] The practice of the U.S. and the State Department gathering intelligence on the U.N. or on friendly nations was not new,[145] but the surprise in this case was that it was done by other diplomats rather than intelligence agencies, and that the specific types of information being asked for went beyond past practice and was not the kind of information diplomats would normally be expected to gather.[143][146][147][148] In any case, the instructions given in these cables may have been largely ignored by American diplomats as ill-advised.[147] Responding to calls from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a few others that Clinton possibly step down from her post due to the revelation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think that is absurd and ridiculous. I think Secretary of State Clinton is doing a wonderful job.”[149]

At this early December 2010 summit in Kazakhstan, Clinton dealt with the fallout from the United States diplomatic cables leak.

On December 1, Clinton flew to a summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Astana, Kazakhstan.[140][150] There she would encounter some fifty leaders who were subjects of embarrassing comments in the leaks, including President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.[140] A Kazakh official said that during such encounters, Clinton “kept her face. She didn’t run away from difficult questions.”[140] During the encounters she emphasized that the leaked cables did not reflect official U.S. policy but rather were just instances of individual diplomats giving unfiltered feedback to Washington about what they saw happening in other countries.[140] The situation led to some leaders turning her strong remarks about Internet freedom earlier in the year back against her.[140] The OSCE summit also featured a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.[150] In an attempt to repair the strain caused by the Humint spying relevations, Clinton expressed regret to Ban for the disclosures, but did not make an apology per se.[148][150] A U.N. statement relayed that Ban thanked Clinton “for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created.”[148]

Upon the December 13 death of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke (who had initially fallen ill during a meeting with her), Clinton presided over a spontaneous gathering of some forty senior State Department personnel and Holbrooke aides at George Washington University Hospital, reminiscing about him.[151] At a memorial service for him days later, both Clinton and her husband praised Holbrooke’s work, and she said, “Everything that we have accomplished that is working in Afghanistan and Pakistan is largely because of Richard.”[152] As it happened, however, Holbrooke had developed poor relations with the White House during his time as Afghanistan envoy, and Clinton’s vision of him forging an agreement in that country that modeled the success of his prior Dayton Accords (that resolved the Bosnian War) were unrealized.[153]

On December 22, 2010, Secretary Clinton returned to the floor of the Senate during the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress to witness the ratification, by a 71–26 margin, of the New START treaty.[154] Clinton had spent the several days beforehand repeatedly calling wavering senators and seeking to gain their support.[155]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her ninth win in a row and fifteenth overall.[156]

Regional issues and travels: 2011

Clinton and President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff on Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff, January 1, 2011

Secretary Clinton began the year 2011 abroad, attending the Inauguration of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, having been sent by President Obama to represent the U.S.[157][158] Rousseff was the first woman to rule that country. While there, she ran into Venezuelan ruler and U.S. antagonist Hugo Chávez, but the two had a pleasant exchange; Chávez said “She had a very spontaneous smile and I greeted her with the same effusiveness.”[159]

Secretary Clinton conversing with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan prior to a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Doha in January 2011.

In mid-January, Clinton made a four-country trip to the Middle East, visiting Yemen, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.[160] Speaking at a conference in Doha, she criticized Arab governments’ failure to move more rapidly vis à vis reform in unusually blunt language, saying, “In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere.”[160] Her visit to Yemen, the first such visit by a Secretary of State in 20 years, found her focusing on the dangers of terrorism emanating from that country.[161] An impromptu tour around the walled old city of Sana’a found Clinton being cheered by onlooking schoolchildren.[161] A trip and fall while boarding the departing airplane left Clinton unhurt but news services making predictable witticisms.[162]

When the 2011 Egyptian protests began, Clinton was in the forefront of the administration’s response.[163] Her initial public assessment on January 25 that the government of President Hosni Mubarak was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”[164] soon came under criticism for being tepid and behind the curve of developing events, although others agreed that the U.S. could not be out front in undermining the government of a long-term ally.[163] By the next day, Clinton was criticizing the Egyptian government’s blocking of social media sites.[164] By January 29, Obama had put Clinton in charge of sorting out the administration’s so-far confused response to developments.[165] During the frenetic day of January 30, she combined appearances on all five Sunday morning talk shows – where she stated publicly for the first time the U.S.’s view that there needed to be an “orderly transition” to a “democratic participatory government”[164] and a “peaceful transition to real democracy”, not Mubarak’s “faux democracy”[166] – with a flight to Haiti and back to mark the anniversary of its terrible earthquake, all the while engaging in conference calls again regarding Egypt.[167]

The Egyptian protests became the most critical foreign policy crisis so far for the Obama administration, and Obama came to increasingly rely upon Clinton for advice and connections.[165] Clinton had known Mubarak for some twenty years, and had formed a close relationship with Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak by supporting the latter’s human rights work.[165] Clinton originated the idea of sending Frank G. Wisner as an emissary to Cairo, to tell Mubarak not to seek another term as the country’s leader.[165] As Mubarak’s response to the protests became violent in early February, Clinton strongly condemned the actions taking place, especially those against journalists covering the events, and urged new Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to conduct an official investigation to hold those responsible for the violence accountable.[168][169] When Wisner baldly stated that Mubarak’s departure should be delayed to accommodate an orderly transition to another government, Clinton rebuked him, but shared a bit of the same sentiment.[170] Mubarak did finally step down on February 11 as the protests became the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Clinton said that the U.S. realized that Egypt still had much work and some difficult times ahead of it.[171] In mid-March, Clinton visited Egypt and indicated support for an Egyptian move towards democracy, but she avoided specific issues of U.S. aid and when elections should take place.[172]

President Obama was reportedly unhappy with U.S. intelligence agencies following their failure to foresee the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising and the downfall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as well as the Egyptian protests.[173] Responding to criticism that the State Department had failed to see the developments in Egypt coming, Clinton defended the U.S. in an interview on Al-Arabiya, saying “I don’t think anybody could have predicted we’d be sitting here talking about the end of the Mubarak presidency at the time that this all started.”[171]

Reflecting on not just the situation in Tunisia and Egypt but also on the, the 2011 Yemeni protests, and the 2011 Jordanian protests, Clinton said at a February 5 meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East, “The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends. … This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of … cities throughout the region. The status quo is simply not sustainable.” She said that while transition to democracy could be chaotic – and free elections had to be accompanied by free speech, a free judiciary, and the rule of law in order to be effective – in the end “free people govern themselves best”.[174] The transformations highlighted that traditional U.S. foreign policy in the region had sided with rulers who suppressed internal dissent but provided stability and generally supported U.S. goals in the region.[175] When the monarchy’s response to the 2011 Bahraini protests turned violent, Clinton urged a return to the path of reform, saying that violence against the protesters “is absolutely unacceptable … We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves, and we want to see reform.”[175] At the same time, she said that the U.S. “cannot tell countries what they are going to do [and] cannot dictate the outcomes.”[175] As the situation in Bahrain lingered on and continued to have episodes of violence against protesters, Clinton said in mid-March, “Our goal is a credible political process that can address the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain … Violence is not and cannot be the answer. A political process is. We have raised our concerns about the current measures directly with Bahraini officials and will continue to do so.”[176]

When the 2011 Libyan civil war began in mid-February and intensified into armed conflict with rebel successes in early March 2011, Clinton stated the administration’s position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “must go now, without further violence or delay”.[177] As Gaddafi conducted counterattacks against the rebels, Clinton was initially reluctant, as was Obama, to back calls being made in various quarters for imposition of a Libyan no-fly zone.[178][179] However, as the prospects of a Gaddafi victory and possible subsequent bloodbath that would kill many thousands emerged, and as Clinton travelled Europe and North Africa and found support for military intervention increasing among European and Arab leaders, she had a change of view.[178][179] Together with Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and National Security Council figure Samantha Power, who were already supporting military intervention, Clinton overcame opposition from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and the administration backed U.N. action to impose the no-fly zone and authorize other military actions as necessary.[178][180] Clinton helped gained the financial and political support of several Arab countries,[178][181] in particular convincing Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan that a no-fly zone urged by the Arab League would not be sufficient and that air-to-ground attacks would be necessary.[75] Clinton then persuaded Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that his country should abstain on the UN resolution authorizing force against Gaddafi,[75] and Rice and Clinton played major roles in getting the rest of the United Nations Security Council to approve United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.[178][181] Regarding whether the U.S. or some other ally would send arms to the anti-Gaddafi forces, Clinton said that this would be permissible under the resolution, but that no decision had yet been made on doing so.[182]

Clinton testified to Congress in March that the administration did not need congressional authorization for its military intervention in Libya or for further decisions about it, despite congressional objections from members of both parties that the administration was violating the War Powers Resolution.[183][184] During that classified briefing to Congress, she allegedly indicated that the administration would sidestep the Resolution’s provision regarding a 60-day limit on unauthorized military actions.[185] Months later, she stated that, with respect to the military operation in Libya, the United States was still flying a quarter of the sorties, and the New York Times reported that, while many presidents had bypassed other sections of the War Powers Resolution, there was little precedent for exceeding the 60-day statutory limit on unauthorized military actions – a limit which the Justice Department had said in 1980 was constitutional.[186][187] The State Department publicly took the position in June 2011 that there was no “hostility” in Libya within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, contrary to legal interpretations by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.[188][189] The State Department requested (but never received) express Congressional authorization.[189][190] The US House of Representatives voted to rebuke the administration for maintaining an American presence with the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.[191][192]

Secretary Clinton appearing on Nessma TV in Tunis in March 2011

While Clinton recognized some of the contradictions of U.S. policy towards turmoil in the Mideast countries, which involving backing some regimes while supporting protesters against others,[178] she was nevertheless passionate on the subject, enough so that Obama joked at the annual Gridiron Dinner that “I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject. These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”[193] In any case, Obama’s reference to Clinton travelling a lot was true enough; by now she had logged 465,000 miles (748,000 km) in her Boeing 757, more than any other Secretary of State for a comparable period of time, and had visited 79 countries while in the office.[64] Time magazine wrote that “Clinton’s endurance is legendary” and that she would still be going at the end of long work days even as her staff members were glazing out.[75] The key was her ability to fall asleep on demand, at any time and place, for power naps.[72]

Clinton also saw the potential political changes in the Mideast as an opportunity for an even more fundamental change to take place, that being the empowerment of women (something Newsweek magazine saw as Clinton’s categorical imperative).[64] She made remarks to this effect in countries such as Egypt – “If a country doesn’t recognize minority rights and human rights, including women’s rights, you will not have the kind of stability and prosperity that is possible” – as well as in Yemen, where she spoke of the story of the present Nujood Ali and her campaign against forced marriage at a young age.[64] At home, Clinton was even more expansive, looking on a worldwide basis: “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century. We see women and girls across the world who are oppressed and violated and demeaned and degraded and denied so much of what they are entitled to as our fellow human beings.”[64] She also maintained that the well-being of women in other countries was a direct factor in American self-interest: “This is a big deal for American values and for American foreign policy and our interests, but it is also a big deal for our security. Because where women are disempowered and dehumanized, you are more likely to see not just antidemocratic forces, but extremism that leads to security challenges for us.”[64] She subsequently elaborated upon this theme, saying “A lot of the work I do here in the State Department on women’s or human-rights issues is not just because I care passionately – which I do – but because I see it as [a way] to increase security to fulfill American interests. These are foreign-policy and national-security priorities for me.”[72]

In the midst of this turmoil, which also included Clinton pledging government-level support to Japan in the wake of the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami,[194] Clinton reiterated in a mid-March CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer during her post-revolution visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square that she had no interest in becoming Secretary of Defense or vice president or of running for president again.[195] She also explicitly said for the first time that she did not want to serve a second term as Secretary of State if President Obama is re-elected in 2012.[180][196] She stressed how much she regarded her current position: “Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region.”[196] But reportedly she was weary at times from constant travelling, still not part of Obama’s inner circle, and looking forward to a time of less stress and the chances to write, teach, or work for international women’s rights.[180] She was not bound by her statements, and Blitzer for one suspected she would change her mind.[195] In any case, she remained popular with the American public; her Gallup Poll favorability rating rose to 66 percent (against 31 percent unfavorable), her highest mark ever save for a period during the Lewinsky scandal thirteen years earlier.[197] Her favorability was 10 to 20 percentage points higher than those for Obama, Biden, or Gates, and reflected in part the high ratings that secretaries of state sometimes get.[197]

Secretary Clinton was among those in the White House Situation Room getting real-time updates on the May 2011 mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

Throughout early 2011, the CIA thought there was a good chance it had discovered the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, and the White House held a final high-level discussion on April 28 about whether to go ahead with a raid to get him, and if so, what kind of mission to undertake. Clinton supported the option to send Navy SEALs in, believing that the U.S. could not afford to ignore this chance and that getting bin Laden was so important that it outweighed any risks.[198] Following the successful May 1–2, 2011, U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden at his hideout compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the resulting criticism from various Americans that Pakistan had not found, or had let, bin Laden hide in near plain sight, Clinton made a point of praising Pakistan’s past record of helping the U.S. hunt down terrorists: “Our counter-terrorism cooperation over a number of years now, with Pakistan, has contributed greatly to our efforts to dismantle al-Qaeda. And in fact, cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding. Going forward, we are absolutely committed to continuing that cooperation.”[199] Clinton then played a key role in the administration’s decision not to release photographs of the dead bin Laden, reporting that U.S. allies in the Middle East did not favor the release and agreeing with Secretary Gates that such a release might cause an anti-U.S. backlash overseas.[200]

A June 2011 trip to Africa found Clinton consoling longtime aide Huma Abedin after the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal broke.[201] She also emphatically denied published reports that she was interested in becoming the next president of the World Bank, which would need a successor to follow Robert Zoellick after the end of his term in mid-2012.[202][203] A different suggestion, from wanting-to-depart U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner that Clinton replace him at that position, gained some traction in parts of the White House before economic and budget issues intensified and President Obama convinced Geithner to stay on.[204]

By July, Clinton was assuring China and other foreign governments that the ongoing U.S. debt ceiling crisis would not end with the U.S. going into sovereign default[205] (a prediction that turned true when the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed and signed the day before default loomed). She spent much of that summer in an eventually unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Palestinian National Authority not to attempt to gain membership in the United Nations at its September 2011 General Assembly meeting.[206]

Clinton continued to poll high, with a September 2011 Bloomberg News poll finding her with a 64 percent favorable rating, the highest of any political figure in the nation.[207] A third of those polls said that Clinton would have been a better president than Obama, but when asked the likelihood she would stage a campaign against the president, she said, “It’s below zero. One of the great things about being secretary of state is I am out of politics. I am not interested in being drawn back into it by anybody.”[208]

Following the October 2011 announcement by Obama that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would complete by the close of that same year, Clinton forcefully defended the decision as emanating from an agreement originally signed with Iraq under the Bush administration and as evidence that Iraq’s sovereignty was real, and said that despite the absence of military forces, the U.S. was still committed to strengthening Iraq’s democracy with “robust” diplomatic measures.[209] She also praised the effectiveness of Obama’s foreign policy in general, implicitly pushing back on criticism from those running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.[209]

Clinton specifically pointed to the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the conclusion of the Libyan intervention.[209] She had been active during the final stages of the Libyan rebellion, and via Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, had urged the rebels forces to unify and avoid factional conflicts with each other.[75] She visited Tripoli in October 2011 and, in private, was somewhat guarded about Libya’s future following the rebel success.[75] (A video of her exclaiming “Wow” upon first reading on her BlackBerry of Gaddafi’s capture achieved wide circulation.[210]) Over the next few years, the aftermath of the Libyan Civil War became characterized by instability, two rival governments, and a slide into status as a failed state; it became a refuge for extremists and terrorist groups, such as ISIL, and spurred a massive refugee crisis as immigrants crossed the Mediterranean to southern Europe.[211] The wisdom of the intervention would continue to be debated, with President Obama maintaining that the intervention had been worthwhile but that the United States and Europe underestimated the ongoing effort needed to rebuild Libyan society afterward;[212] former U.S. Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder stating that the limited goals of the intervention had all been met but that the Libyan people had not seized their opportunity to form a better future and that post-intervention military involvement by the West would have been counterproductive;[213] and scholar Alan J. Kuperman (along with some other scholars and human rights groups) writing that the intervention had been based on the faulty notion that Libya had been headed towards humanitarian disaster when in fact it was not and was thus the intervention was “an abject failure, judged even by its own standards”.[214][215] Kuperman’s view that Gaddafi son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi held promise as a Western-style political reformer was in turn disputed by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, who stated that such faith was misplaced and that Libyans were resistant to any post-intervention security mechanism and to many rebuilding programs.[216] Clinton said in her 2014 memoir that she had been “worried that the challenges ahead would prove overwhelming for even the most well-meaning transitional leaders. If the new government could consolidate its authority, provide security, use oil revenues to rebuild, disarm the militias, and keep extremists out, then Libya would have a fighting chance at building a stable democracy. If not, then the country would face very difficult challenges translating the hopes of a revolution into a free, secure, and prosperous future.”[211]

Secretary Clinton cancelled a planned trip to the United Kingdom and Turkey to be with her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who died in Washington on November 1, 2011.[217]

In November 2011, Clinton declared, in both a speech at the East–West Center and in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine, that the 21st century would be “America’s Pacific century”.[218][219] The term played on the notion of the “Pacific Century“. Clinton said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the 21st century, the world’s strategic and economic center of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas.”[218] The declaration was part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” after the focus of the decade of the 2000s on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.[218][219]

When the 2011–2012 Russian protests had begun in late 2011, in response to the Russian legislative election, 2011, Clinton had been outspoken about the need for legitimate democratic processes there, saying in December 2011: “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”[220] She added that “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” In return, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounced Clinton, accusing her of backing Russian protesters financially and in fact precipitating their actions: “They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work.”[221] When Putin won the Russian presidential election, 2012 in March 2012, some in the State Department wanted to denounce Russian process again, but they were overruled by the White House, and Clinton stated simply that “The election had a clear winner, and we are ready to work with President-elect Putin.”[4]

Secretary Clinton met with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on December 2, 2011, as part of her historic visit to that country.

In early December 2011, Clinton made the first visit to Burma by a U.S. secretary of state since John Foster Dulles‘s in 1955, as she met with Burmese leaders as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and sought to support the 2011 Burmese democratic reforms.[222] Clinton said that due to the direct and indirect communications she had had with Suu Kyi over the years, “it was like seeing a friend you hadn’t seen for a very long time even though it was our first meeting.”[223] The outreach to Burma attracted both praise and criticism, with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen saying it “sends the wrong signal to the Burmese military thugs” but others saying the visit combined idealism with respect to reform and realpolitik with respect to keeping Burma out of the direct Chinese sphere of influence.[224] Clinton had had to overcome internal administration opposition from the White House and Pentagon, as well as from Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, to make the move, eventually making a personal appeal to Obama and gaining his approval.[153] Regarding whether the Burmese regime would follow up on reform pledges, Clinton said, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen, but I think it certainly is important for the United States to be on the side of democratic reform … This is a first date, not a marriage, and we’ll see where it leads.”[223] She continued to address rights concerns in a December 2011 speech a few days later before the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the U.S. would advocate for gay rights abroad and that “Gay rights are human rights” and that “It should never be a crime to be gay.”[225] This itself drew criticism from some American social conservatives.[224]

As the year closed, Clinton was again named by Americans in Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as the woman around the world they most admired; it was her tenth win in a row and sixteenth overall.[226]

Regional issues and travels: 2012

Secretary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu following their bilateral meeting at the Department of State, February 13, 2012.

In a State Department town hall meeting on January 26, 2012, Clinton indicated her desire to remove herself from “the high wire of American politics” after twenty tiring years of being on it and added, “I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur.”[227] She also indicated that she had not watched any of the 2012 Republican Party presidential debates.[227]

As the Syrian Civil War continued and intensified with the February 2012 bombardment of Homs, the U.S. sought a UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan that would urge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish powers to the vice presidential level and permit a unity government to form.[228] However, Russia and China vetoed the resolution, an action that Clinton characterized as a “travesty”.[228] After the failure of the effort, Clinton warned that Syria could degenerate into “a brutal civil war” and called for a “friends of democratic Syria” group of like-minded nations to promote a peaceful and democratic solution to the situation and pressure Syria accordingly.[228][229] At a meeting in Tunis of the consequent Friends of Syria Group, Clinton again criticized the actions of Russia and China as “distressing” and “despicable”, and predicted that the Assad regime would meet its end via a military coup.[230] Later, during the summer of 2012, she repeated her criticism of those two countries.[231] At that time, Clinton developed a plan with CIA Director David H. Petraeus to send arms to, and perform training of, vetted groups of Syrian rebels, using the assistance of a neighboring state.[153] The plan also had the support of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Joint Chiefs chair General Martin E. Dempsey.[232] Reluctant to become entangled in the Syrian situation and in an election campaign, Obama rejected the idea.[153]

Clinton has visited 112 countries during her tenure, the most of any Secretary of State in U.S. history.[233][234][235]

In February 2012, a spokesman for Clinton denied again that Clinton wanted the President of the World Bank job, saying, “She has said this is not happening. Her view has not changed.”[236]

At a keynote speech before the International Crisis Group, the secretary brought her view regarding the empowerment of women specifically into the area of peacemaking, saying that women’s multifaceted ties with a community make them more compelled to concern about social and quality of life issues that prosper under peacetime conditions. Furthermore, women identify more with minority groups, being discriminated against themselves. Thus, “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided.”[72] She also continued to believe that empowerment of women would continue to grow as people saw that it would lead to economic growth.[237]

In April 2012, an Internet meme “Texts from Hillary”, hosted on Tumblr and based around a photograph of Clinton sitting on a military plane wearing sunglasses and using a mobile phone, imagined the recipients and contents of her text messages. It became suddenly popular and earned the endorsement of Clinton herself, before being brought to an end by its creators.[238][239] Obama himself took note of the meme’s popularity, in a humorous exchange that revealed the ease the two now had around one another.[240] Around the same time, a photograph taken during the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, showed Clinton with a group of colleagues relaxing, drinking Águila beer from a bottle and dancing, at a local nightclub.[241] The episode gained front-page attention from the New York Post and illustrated how Clinton was enjoying the job. [4] Regarding her ongoing popularity, Clinton said, “There’s a certain consistency to who I am and what I do, and I think people have finally said, ‘Well, you know, I kinda get her now.'”[72] One long-time Washington figure summarized the situation by simply saying, “There’s no coin in criticizing her anymore.”[72] At the same time, her fashion choices gained renewed attention, with her hair grown long and sometimes pulled back with scrunchies.[72] Public commentary on Clinton’s hair was now a tradition across twenty years, but as one female State Department traveller said, “As a chick, it’s a big pain in the butt. The weather is different, and you’re in and out of the plane. [The staff] gets off that plane looking like garbage most days, but she has to look camera ready. She said the reason she grew her hair long was that it’s easier. She has options.”[72] Clinton professed she was past the point of concern on the matter: “I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in my life right now, […] because if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.”[242] In any case, Clinton showed a much more relaxed attitude vis a vis the press than in past eras.[72]

A late April/early May 2012 trip to China found Clinton in the middle of a drama involving blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. He had escaped house arrest and, after finding his way to the Embassy of the United States, Beijing, requested an arrangement whereby he could stay in China with guarantees for his safety. After a deal towards that end fell through, he requested a seat on Clinton’s plane when she flew back to the U.S. After further negotiations in parallel with the existing agenda of Clinton’s trip, Chen left for the U.S. after Clinton’s departure.[243] Clinton had negotiated personally with senior Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo in order to get the deal back in place.[153] Despite an environment that had, as one aide said, “exploded into an absolute circus”, Clinton managed to find a path for the U.S. that kept China from losing face and kept the overall agenda of the meetings intact.[4]

Following the June 2012 killing of high-ranking al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi in one of the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, Clinton defended the action, saying “We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack. In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.”[244] Indeed, beginning with her 2009 trip to Pakistan, Clinton had faced questions about U.S. drone strikes, which she refused to comment much upon at the time.[245] Behind the scenes, Clinton was in fact one of the leading administration proponents of continuing and expanding the strikes there and elsewhere.[246] She did, however, side with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter in 2011 when he requested more input into, and control over, the U.S. “kill list” selections for that country.[247]

In June 2012, Clinton set down in Riga, Latvia, which represented the 100th country she had visited during her tenure, setting a mark for secretaries of state; the record had been Madeleine Albright with 96.[248] In July 2012, Clinton became the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Laos since John Foster Dulles in 1955.[249] She held talks with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane.[250]

Also in July 2012, Clinton visited Egypt for the first time since Mohammed Morsi became the first democratically elected president of the country.[251] As she arrived in the country, her convoy was met with a protest and had shoes, tomatoes and bottled water thrown at it, although nothing hit either Clinton or her vehicle.[250] Protesters also chanted “Monica, Monica”, in reference to the Lewinsky scandal.[252][253] She also faced conspiracy theories (in a country that tended towards them) that the U.S. was secretly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.[254]

An advocate of ending Somalia’s transitional phase on time,[255] Clinton showed support in August for the new Federal Government of Somalia, which took over as the permanent government.[256][257]

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012.

On September 11, 2012, an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi took place, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The next day, Clinton also made a statement describing the perpetrators as “heavily armed militants” and “a small and savage group – not the people or government of Libya.”[258] Clinton also responded to the notion that the attack had been related to the reactions in Egypt and elsewhere to the anti-Islamic online video known as Innocence of Muslims, saying: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”[259] She and President Obama appearing together in the White House Rose Garden the same day and vowed to bring the attackers to justice.[260][261] On September 14 the remains of the slain Americans were returned to the U.S. Obama and Clinton attended the ceremony; in her remarks, Clinton said, “One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said ‘Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.'”[262]

The attack, and questions surrounding the U.S. Government’s preparedness for it, and explanations for what had happened afterward, became a political firestorm in the U.S., especially in the context of the ongoing presidential election.[263] The State Department had previously identified embassy and personnel security as a major challenge in its budget and priorities report.[264] On the September 20, Clinton gave a classified briefing to U.S. Senators,[265] which several Republican attendees criticized, angry at the Obama administration’s rebuff of their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to see that information published the next day in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.[266] She did announce the formation of an Accountability Review Board panel, chaired by longtime diplomat Thomas R. Pickering and vice-chaired by retired Admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, to investigate the attack from the State Department’s viewpoint.[267]

On October 15, regarding the question of preparedness, Clinton said she was accountable: “I take responsibility. I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. … I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again.”[263] Regarding the different explanations afterward for what had happened, she said, “In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.”[263]

On November 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected for a second term as president. Clinton said shortly before the election that she would stay on until her successor was confirmed, but that “this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.”[268] Despite her continuing to express a lack of interest, speculation continued about Clinton as a possible candidate in the 2016 presidential election.[237][268] A poll taken in Iowa, the first state in the nomination process, showed that in a hypothetical 2016 caucuses contest, Clinton would have 58 percent support, with Vice President Biden coming in next at 17 percent.[269]

Later in November, Clinton traveled to Jersusalem, the West Bank, and Cairo, meeting with leaders Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas and Mohamed Morsi respectively, in an effort to stop the 2012 Gaza conflict. On November 21, she participated in a joint appearance with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to announce that a cease-fire agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.[270] When the 2012 Egyptian protests against Morsi broke out shortly thereafter, Clinton said that it showed how a dialogue between both sides was immediately needed on how to reshape that nation’s constitution.[271]

In mid-December, Clinton fell victim to a stomach virus contracted on a trip to Europe. She subsequently became very dehydrated and then fainted, suffering a mild concussion. As a result, she cancelled another trip and scratched an appearance at scheduled Congressional hearings on the Benghazi matter.[234][272] A few conservative figures, including Congressman Allen West and Ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton, accused Clinton of fabricating her illness to avoid testifying, but a State Department spokesperson said that was “completely untrue” and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham denounced the allegations.[273][274]

On December 19, the Pickering–Mullen Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi matter was released.[275] It was sharply critical of State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests for more guards and safety upgrades, and for failing to adapt security procedures to a deteriorating security environment.[276] It explicitly criticized the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs:[277] “Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department … resulted in a special mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”[275] Four State Department officials were removed from their posts as a consequence, including Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell (who resigned completely), a deputy assistant secretary for embassy security, Charlene R. Lamb, and a deputy assistant secretary for North Africa, Raymond Maxwell.[277] The report did not criticize more senior officials in the department; Pickering said: “We fixed it at the assistant secretary level, which is, in our view, the appropriate place to look, where the decision-making in fact takes place, where, if you like, the rubber hits the road.”[277] Clinton said in a letter to Congress that she accepted the conclusions of the Pickering–Mullen report,[276] and a State Department task force was formed to implement some sixty action items recommended by the report.[278] On December 20, the Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, and the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Thomas R. Nides, testified in her place before two Congressional committees, and said that many of the report’s recommendations would be in place before year-end.[278] Clinton planned to testify herself in January.[274]

The Benghazi matter also had an effect on Clinton’s successor as Secretary of State. Obama’s first choice was Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice,[279] but she came under heavy criticism from Congressional Republicans for what they felt were incorrect or deceptive statements in the aftermath of the attack, and by mid-December she withdrew her name from consideration.[280] Obama then nominated Senator John Kerry for the position instead.[281] By one report, Clinton had preferred Kerry over Rice all along anyway.[282] Although still not well enough to attend the December 21 announcement of Kerry’s nomination, Clinton was described by Obama as being “in good spirits” and, in a statement, praised Kerry as being of the “highest caliber”.[281]

Clinton was scheduled to return to work the week of December 31,[283] but then on December 30 was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and observation after a blood clot related to the concussion was discovered.[284] On December 31 it was announced that the clot was behind her ear near her brain, specifically a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis, that she was being treated with anticoagulants, that she had not suffered any neurological damage, and that she was expected to make a full recovery.[285]

Final days of tenure

Secretary Clinton is welcomed back to work at the State Department on January 7, 2013

On January 2, 2013, Clinton was released from the hospital.[286] She returned to work at the State Department on January 7, when co-workers welcomed her back with a standing ovation and a joke gift of a football helmet featuring the department’s seal.[287] It was her first normal public appearance in a month.[287]

Secretary Clinton receives a football jersey with 112, the number of countries she visited during her tenure

The illness did, however, put an end to her days of travel in the job.[288][289] She finished with 112 countries visited, making her the most widely traveled secretary of state in history.[288] Her total of 956,733 air miles ended up falling short of Condoleezza Rice‘s record for total mileage.[288] That total, 1,059,207, was bolstered late in Rice’s tenure by repeated trips to the Middle East.[235][290] Clinton traveled during 401 days, with 306 of those spent in actual diplomatic meetings, and spent the equivalent of 87 full days on airplanes.[288][289] Compared to other recent secretaries, Clinton traveled more broadly, with fewer repeat visits to certain countries.[289]

Secretary Clinton gives her farewell remarks to State Department employees on her last day in office, February 1, 2013

On January 23, Clinton finally gave more than five hours of testimony on the Benghazi matter before hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[291] She said with a choking voice, “For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.”[292] She again accepted formal responsibility for the departmental security lapses that led to the attack and deaths, but in explanation did not accept personal blame for them.[293] She said, “I feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the State Department. But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.”[293] She did acknowledge that she had supported keeping the Benghazi consulate open after an earlier debate about its deteriorating security, but said she had assumed the security personnel involved would address any issues with it.[293]

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican associated with the Tea Party movement, questioned her repeatedly on a different aspect, whether Ambassador to the UN Rice had misled the public after the attacks. This line drew the fieriest response from Clinton, who with voice raised and fists shaking, responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”[291] Other Republicans also attacked Clinton, with Representative Jeff Duncan accusing her of “national security malpractice” and Senator Rand Paul saying that the president should have dismissed her from her job for having failed to read security-related cables coming into the State Department[291] (she had said there are over a million cables that come into the department and they are all formally addressed to her). Senator John McCain said that while “It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever”, he was unsatisfied with her answers.[293]

Clinton also took the opportunity to address the ongoing conflict in Mali and the rest of Northern Africa, saying “this Pandora’s Box if you will” of side effects from the Arab Spring had opened a new security challenge for the U.S.[291] Specifically, she said “we cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven.”[291]

The next day, January 24, Clinton introduced John Kerry before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as hearings were held on his nomination to succeed her. She called him “the right choice to carry forward the Obama Administration’s foreign policy”, and called out his testimony before the same committee in 1971 in opposition to the Vietnam War as “speaking hard truths about a war that had gone badly off track.”[294]

At both public appearances, as well as at the second inauguration of Barack Obama, Clinton wore glasses (instead of her usual contact lens), which upon closer examination were seen to have Fresnel prisms attached to them, likely to counteract lingering blurred or double vision from her concussion.[295] Use of special glasses was confirmed by the State Department, which said, “She’ll be wearing these glasses instead of her contacts for a period of time because of lingering issues stemming from her concussion.”[292]

On January 27, 60 Minutes aired a joint interview with Obama and Clinton. The interview was Obama’s idea and was the first he had done with a member of his administration.[296] In it, Obama consistently praised Clinton’s performance in the position, saying “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we’ve had.”[297] Both said the relationship between them had been very comfortable, and that getting past their 2008 primary campaign battles had not been difficult for them personally.[296] Regarding her health, Clinton said, “I still have some lingering effects from falling on my head and having the blood clot. But the doctors tell me that will all recede. And so, thankfully, I’m looking forward to being at full speed.”[297]

On January 29, Clinton held a global and final town hall meeting, the 59th of her tenure.[298] Also on January 29, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Kerry’s nomination unanimously and the full Senate confirmed the nomination by a 94–3 vote.[299] In her final public speech, on January 31 before the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton returned to the themes of “smart power”.[300] She suggested that a new architecture was needed for relations within the world, giving an analogy of Frank Gehry compared to ancient Greek architecture: “Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it’s highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.”[301] She added, echoing Madeleine Albright,[302] “… we are truly the indispensable nation, it’s not meant as a boast or an empty slogan. It’s a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That’s why all the declinists are dead wrong. It’s why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century even as we lead in new ways.”[300][303]

Clinton’s final day as secretary was February 1, 2013, when she met with Obama to hand in her letter of resignation and later gave farewell remarks in a meeting with employees at State Department headquarters.[304]

Overall themes and legacy

While Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was popular at the time among the public and praised by President Obama, observers have noted that there was no signature diplomatic breakthrough during it nor any transformative domination of major issues in the nature of Dean Acheson, George Marshall, or Henry Kissinger.[305][306] The intractable issues when she entered office, such as Iran, Pakistan, Arab-Israeli relations, and North Korea, were still that way when she left.[305] Many of Clinton’s initiatives in the “smart power” realm will take much more time to evaluate as to their effect.[305] Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said that “She’s coming away with a stellar reputation that seems to have put her almost above criticism. But you can’t say that she’s really led on any of the big issues for this administration or made a major mark on high strategy.”[305] Michael E. O’Hanlon, a Brookings Institution analyst, said that, “Even an admirer, such as myself, must acknowledge that few big problems were solved on her watch, few victories achieved. [She has been] more solid than spectacular.”[305] Others have been more highly critical of her tenure as Secretary; in a 2015 book entitled Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney argue that Clinton’s tenure, and the Obama administration‘s foreign policy generally, weakened U.S. standing in its international relations and deviated sharply from 70 years of well-established, bipartisan U.S. foreign and defense policy that the United States had generally adhered to since World War II.[307] Others, however, such as Eric Schmidt disagree, and have argued that Clinton was “perhaps the most significant secretary of state since” Acheson.[4] All agreed on her celebrity; as one unnamed official said, “She’s the first secretary who’s also been a global rock star. It’s allowed her to raise issues on the global agenda in a way that no one before her has been able to do.”[305]

Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama discuss matters in 2009, at a picnic table on the grounds of the White House

The divisions between Obama and Clinton that many observers had originally predicted, never happened.[4] Indeed, a writer for The New York Times Magazine declared that “Obama and Clinton have instead led the least discordant national-security team in decades, despite enormous challenges on almost every front.”[4] In part, this was because Obama and Clinton both approached foreign policy as a largely non-ideological, pragmatic exercise.[4] Nevertheless, there were limitations to her influence: Much of the handling of the Middle East, Iraq, and Iran was done by the White House or Pentagon during her tenure,[153] and on some other issues as well, policy-making was kept inside the White House among Obama’s inner circle of advisors.[306] There were also differences of opinion. Clinton failed to persuade Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels in 2012, but overcame initial opposition to gain approval of her visit to Burma in 2011.[153] Clinton’s initial idea of having special envoys under her handling key trouble spots fell apart due to various circumstances.[305] Clinton did find bureaucratic success in edging out the U.S. Commerce Department, by having the State Department take a lead role in sales pitches in favor of U.S. companies.[308] In doing so, she helped negotiate international deals for the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Westinghouse Electric Company.[308] Clinton believed, more than most prior secretaries, that the commercial aspects of diplomacy and the promotion of international trade were vital to American foreign policy goals.[308]

Obama later referred to the Libya intervention when questioned about his worst mistake.[309] Obama asserted that he had been reluctant to intervene but that intervention had been championed by Clinton and Susan Rice.[309] Obama cited the lack of preparation the Administration had made for a post-Gaddafi Libya, lack of followup by European countries and greater-than-expected intertribal divisions in Libya. [310] However, Clinton’s stance is that the intervention was beneficial because it avoided another Syria-like scenario.[310]

Clinton’s background as an elected politician showed in her touch for dealing with people, in remembering personal connections, in visiting State Department staff when overseas, and in sympathizing with the dilemmas of elected foreign leaders.[4] At least until the Benghazi matter, she retained personal support among a number of Republicans; in mid-2012, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “I think she’s represented our nation well. She is extremely well respected throughout the world, handles herself in a very classy way and has a work ethic second to none.”[4]

Especially in the Mideast turmoil but elsewhere as well, Clinton saw an opportunity to advance one of the central themes of her tenure, the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide.[64] Moreover, she viewed women’s rights and human rights as critical for U.S. security interests,[72] as part of what has become known as the “Hillary Doctrine“.[311] Former State Department director and coordinator Theresa Loar said in 2011 that, “I honestly think Hillary Clinton wakes up every day thinking about how to improve the lives of women and girls. And I don’t know another world leader who is doing that.”[312] In turn, there was a trend of women around the world finding more opportunities, and in some cases feeling safer, as the result of her actions and visibility.[313]

A mid-2012 Pew Research study of public opinions found that Clinton was viewed positively in Japan and most European countries in terms of people having confidence that she would do the right thing in world affairs.[314] She received mixed marks in China, Russia, and some Central and South American countries, and low marks in Muslim countries, on this question.[314] Overall, Clinton’s attempts to improve the image of America in Muslim countries did not find any immediate success due to many factors, including the unpopularity of drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.[314] Perceptions of the U.S. in those countries declined during her tenure according to a Pew Research, which found that only 15 percent of Muslims had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 25 percent in 2009.[314] Specifically in Pakistan, only 12 percent of Pakistanis had a favorable impression of the U.S. in 2012, compared to 16 percent in 2009,[315] and only 3 percent had confidence in Clinton compared to 37 percent not.[314]

The first secretary of state to visit countries such as Togo and East Timor, Clinton believed that in-person visits were more important than ever in the digital age. As she said in remarks shortly before leaving office, “I have found it highly ironic that, in today’s world, when we can be anywhere virtually, more than ever people want us to show up, actually. Somebody said to me the other day, ‘I look at your travel schedule. Why Togo? Why the Cook Islands?’ No secretary of state had ever been to Togo before. Togo happens to be on the U.N. Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a real strategic purpose.”[316]

Post-tenure issues

Financial accounting, document requests, Clinton Foundation

According to the Office of the Inspector General report made in 2014, the State Department’s records failed to properly account for some $6 billion in contracts over the prior six years, including around $2 billion for the department’s mission in Iraq. The report said, “The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” and added that investigators and auditors had found “repeated examples of poor contract file administration” which it had characterized as having been one of the department’s “major management challenges” for several years.[317]

During 2014, the State Department failed to turn over documents to the Associated Press that it had asked for through a Freedom of Information Act request based on the possibility of Clinton running for president in 2016. The department said it “does its best to meet its FOIA responsibilities” but that it was under a heavy administrative load for such requests.[318]

The ethics agreement between the State Department and Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that was put into force at the beginning of the secretary’s tenure came under scrutiny from the news media during early 2015. A Wall Street Journal report found that the Clinton Foundation had resumed accepting donations from foreign governments once Secretary Clinton’s tenure had ended.[319] A Washington Post inquiry into donations by foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation during the secretary’s tenure found a six cases where such governments continued making donations at the same level they had before Clinton became secretary, which was permissible under the agreement, and also one instance of a new donation, $500,000 from Algeria in January 2010 for earthquake relief in Haiti, that was outside the bounds of the continuation provision and should have received a special ethics review but did not. The Post noted that the donation “coincided with a spike” in lobbying efforts by Algeria of the State Department regarding their human rights record but that during 2010 and 2011 the Department still issued human rights reports critical of Algeria’s restrictions on freedom of assembly, women’s rights and labor rights that also pointed to instances of extrajudicial killings, corruption, and lack of transparency in the government.[320] A Politico analysis of State Department documents found that the department approved virtually all of Bill Clinton’s proposed speaking engagements, even when they lacked sufficient information about the valuation of those talks or links between them and possible subsequent donations to the Clinton Foundation.[321]

From 2009 to 2013, the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom acquired Uranium One, a Canadian company with global uranium mining stakes including 20 percent of the uranium production capacity in the United States. The strategically sensitive acquisition required the approval of the Canadian government as well as a number of U.S. governmental bodies including the State Department. In April 2015, the New York Times reported that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Also during this time, Bill Clinton received a $500,000 payment from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose analysts were praising Uranium One stock, for making speech in Moscow.[322] The Foundation donations were not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation or the State Department, despite a prior agreement to do so, in part due to taking advantage of the donations going through a Canadian affiliate of the Foundation.[323] A FactCheck.org analysis stated that while the reports raised “legitimate questions about the Clinton Foundation and its donations,” the reports “presented no evidence that the donations influenced Clinton’s official actions.”[324] Asked about the issue in June 2015, the former secretary said of the State Department’s role in the approval, “There were nine government agencies that that had to sign off on that deal. I was not personally involved because that’s not something [the] Secretary of State did.”[325]

Use of private email server

In early March 2015, a New York Times report revealed that throughout her time as Secretary of State, Clinton used her own private email server, rather than government-issued departmental ones[326] Further investigation revealed that the day of her first Senate hearing to become Secretary of State, Clinton, or an associate, purchased a private email server under the pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”.[327][328] The server was set up in her home in Chappaqua, New York.[329] The matter gained widespread public attention due to concerns about the security of the mails she sent and received and whether they were exposed to hacking and surveillance; the availability and preservation of the mails for Freedom of Information Act requests and the archival historical record; and whether her action had violated any federal laws, regulations, or guidelines.[330][331] Also in question was whether the use of the private email server violated State Department transparency protocols.[332]

In response to the attention, Clinton said she had in December 2014 turned over 55,000 pages of e-mails to the State Department following their request and that she now wanted them made public.[331] These 55,000 printed pages accounted for 30,490, or slightly less than half, of the 62,320 emails that Clinton had sent or received on her private email account during her time as secretary.[333] At a press conference Clinton said she had set up the separate server as a matter of convenience so that she could carry one device and not two, but that in retrospect “it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone”.[334] She said that she had sent mails to State Department employees on their government accounts, ensuring such mails would be preserved, but it then turned out that the department did not automatically or routinely save such mails.[335] After the revelations, questions were raised about whether Clinton, when she resigned in February 2013, had signed Form OF-109, a standard document declaring that she had turned over all work-related records. After searching, the State Department said it had “no record” that Clinton had signed the form, were “fairly certain” that she had not, and that it appeared neither of her two immediate predecessors as secretary had either.[336] According to the text of the form, it warns individuals signing it that falsification is subject to criminal penalties under Section 1001 of Title 18.[337]

A portion of the emails on Clinton’s private server were emails sent in 2011 and 2012 by Sidney Blumenthal, a political supporter and campaign staffer who worked for the Clinton Foundation. Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent to Clinton during 2011 and 2012 which she shared through her aide, Jake Sullivan, with senior State Department personnel. In the form of intelligence briefings, the memos sometimes touted his business associates and, at times contained inaccurate information.[338][339]

In August 2015, it was reported that Clinton had personally paid a State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who had previously served as IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, to maintain her private server while she was Secretary of State.[340][341] According to a Clinton campaign official, this ensured that taxpayer dollars would not be spent on a private server that was shared by Clinton, her husband and their daughter, as well as several aides to the former president.[340] On September 1, 2015, Pagliano’s attorney sent letters to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which had subpoenaed Pagliano, and to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was inquiring about Pagliano’s outside employment while a Federal employee, informing the committees that his client would invoke his constitutional Fifth Amendment rights not to answer any questions from the committees,[340][341] and on September 10, in a closed-door session before the Benghazi Committee, Pagliano personally appeared to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the committee.[342]

Potential mis-handling of classified information

On July 23, 2015, The New York Times reported the existence of a June 2015, memorandum to the Justice Department from the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community and the State Department regarding the presence of classified government information in emails from the personal email account Hillary Clinton used as Secretary of State.[343] A transmittal memorandum, written by State Dept. official Patrick F. Kennedy, said that, based on an assessment of a small sample of the contents of Mrs. Clinton’s private account by the two Inspectors General, it was likely that the entire body of emails contained hundreds of instances of classified information.[343][344] In their joint statement, the inspectors general said that classified information in the emails had originated from U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and the NSA, and that it is illegal anyone to receive a classified document, or briefing, and then summarize or otherwise transmit that information in an unclassified email.[343][345]

Clinton and her campaign have reiterated that the information transmitted was not classified “at the time”, but the inspectors general, as well as reporting by the New York Times and others, said that it, in f