This is old news to those who've tried to build a conspiratorial case that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a Muslim Brotherhood infiltrator who poses some sort of threat -- which has always smelled like a stretch and a smear. But these details are noteworthy nevertheless, especially as Donald Trump's circle of advisors and campaign leadership have been subjected to intense media scrutiny over alleged statements and connections. Via the New York Post and Fox News:
Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aide, and the woman who might be the future White House chief of staff to the first female US president, for a decade edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11...Headlined “Women’s Rights Are Islamic Rights,” a 1996 article argues that single moms, working moms and gay couples with children should not be recognized as families. It also states that more revealing dress ushered in by women’s liberation “directly translates into unwanted results of sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility and indirectly promote violence against women.” In other words, sexually liberated women are just asking to be raped...In a separate January 1996 article, Abedin’s mother — who was the Muslim World League’s delegate to the UN conference — wrote that Clinton and other speakers were advancing a “very aggressive and radically feminist” agenda that was un-Islamic and wrong because it focused on empowering women. “‘Empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit the cause of women or their relations with men,” Saleha Mahmood Abedin maintained, while forcefully arguing in favor of Islamic laws that have been roundly criticized for oppressing women.
Huma continued to work for her mother’s journal through 2008. She is listed as “assistant editor” on the masthead of the 2002 issue in which her mother suggested the US was doomed to be attacked on 9/11 because of “sanctions” it leveled against Iraq and other “injustices” allegedly heaped on the Muslim world. Here is an excerpt: “The spiral of violence having continued unabated worldwide, and widely seen to be allowed to continue, was building up intense anger and hostility within the pressure cooker that was kept on a vigorous flame while the lid was weighted down with various kinds of injustices and sanctions ... It was a time bomb that had to explode and explode it did on September 11, changing in its wake the life and times of the very community and the people it aimed to serve”...In 2010, Huma Abedin arranged for then-Secretary of State Clinton to speak alongside Abedin’s hijab-wearing mother at an all-girls college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to a transcript of the speech, Clinton said Americans have to do a better job of getting past “the stereotypes and the mischaracterizations” of the oppressed Saudi woman. She also assured the audience of burqa-clad girls that not all American girls go “around in a bikini bathing suit.” At no point in her long visit there, which included a question-and-answer session, did this so-called champion of women’s rights protest the human rights violations Saudi women suffer under the Shariah laws that Abedin’s mother actively promotes.
One would think that this journal's very traditionalist anti-gay and anti-female empowerment editorial line would at least stir concerns among Mrs. Clinton's base. In response to yesterday's story, Hillary's campaign is claiming that Ms. Abedin -- the wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner -- played "no formal role" at the controversial publication, despite her name appearing on the masthead for a dozen years: “My understanding is that her name was simply listed on the masthead in that period. She did not play a role in editing at the publication," campaign spokesman Nick Merrill told the Post. He wouldn't comment on whether Abedin was paid for her supposed non-work, and "declined to say whether Clinton, who has made championing women’s rights a centerpiece of her campaign, was aware of her longtime aide’s position at the publication or its extremist views." As I've argued in the past, Hillary Clinton is a sitting duck for criticism over her self-imagined 'champion of women's rights' heroine status. The detail above about her Saudi Arabia speech is just one example. While there are counter-productive ways to go about seeding this indictment, including any suggestion that Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct was Hillary's fault, there is much fertile ground to exploit. A wiser approach is to go after her clear record of enabling her husband's behavior by aiding in the effort to destroy his accusers. Her website's stealth deletion regarding the right of rape victims to be believed demonstrates how sensitive the campaign can be about her vulnerabilities.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's image continues to take a beating from breaking developments surrounding both her unseemly influence-for-cash web, as well as her string of email scandal lies. We've learned just today that the FBI unearthed nearly 15,000 emails Clinton withheld from the State Department, after swearing under penalty of perjury that she'd handed over all work-related messages. Relatedly, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has rebuked Clinton's attempt to lay her email scheme at his feet, correctly noting that her improper and national security-compromising arrangement was put into place a year prior to their discussion about emails. Plus, this is a pretty succinct rebuttal to Hillary's already-debunked "Powell did it too" excuse making:
Clinton vs. Powell's use of email pic.twitter.com/KtRklq3KUm— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 19, 2016
Now we've gotten wind of this access-peddling vignette painted in yet another email forced into the open by Judicial Watch:
That the Clinton Foundation was allowed to accept foreign cash while Hillary was Secretary of State is totally nuts. pic.twitter.com/SLeOmwKtLN— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) August 22, 2016
"The Kingdom of Bahrain has given up to $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation," the report states, based on public records (update: millions to the Clinton Global Initiative, too). Mrs. Clinton has vowed to radically alter operations at her family foundation if she's elected president, which raises two questions: (1) If the appearance of impropriety would be untenable during her presidency, why was the current arrangement deemed acceptable while she served as America's top diplomat -- even under a regime of disclosure rules that she repeatedly violated? (2) Why are the Clintons moving forward with their foundation's posh annual meeting right smack in the middle of the fall campaign? Even some Democrats are getting jittery about those optics. If Donald Trump were a disciplined and effective campaigner, he'd pound away at Hillary's conflicts of interest and press her to defend her endless trail of self-serving hypocrisies. He'd force her to play sustained defense as she continues to duck the press. Instead, he's back to engaging in the very sorts of personal insults and petty feuds that his new campaign manager claimed he has come to regret. Nope, this is the same old Trump:
Parting thought: For a guy who energetically indulges and feeds into conspiracy theories with some regularity, why would Trump dismiss a legitimate line of attack against Hillary over donations to the Clinton Foundation from misogynistic foreign entities? Even Trump supporter and informal adviser Sean Hannity seemed taken aback by Trump's stated inclination to afford the Clintons "the benefit of the doubt" on one of the seediest elements of their slush fund.