The Iowa primary caucuses will be held one week from Tuesday. But a defining moment happened about three months ago in Des Moines when Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley held their second debate.
That’s when Hillary was unprepared for an easily anticipated question about her connections to Wall Street. Her incoherence reminded of when Jeb Bush, once his party’s frontrunner, flubbed his most likely question: “Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq?”
When that Democratic debate at Iowa’s Drake University turned to a discussion of Hillary’s relationship with Big Money, Bernie Sanders was precise. Wall Street supports Hillary, he said, because, “They expect to get something. Everybody knows that.” And then it was Hillary’s turn.
“I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent,” Hillary responded. After this non sequitur, she continued: “I represented New York on 9⁄11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”
Martin O’Malley said it was “pretty shameful” for Hillary to invoke 9⁄11 to rationalize her Wall Street mega-bucks, and he reiterated this criticism again in last Sunday’s debate. But there’s more to the story of the Clintons and 9⁄11. Over two nights – September 10-11, 2006, just four months before Hillary announced the exploratory committee for her original presidential campaign, ABC aired The Path to 9⁄11, a riveting and factual docudrama. This acclaimed and balanced movie faulted two administrations – Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But fairness was not what Hillary wanted. Screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh told me he had expected the customary DVD distribution. But the Clintons, fearing the impact of DVD release during her campaign, successfully pressured Disney, which owns ABC, to bury the movie.
Fast forward to now. Hillary says she is too busy to watch 13 Hours, which doesn’t mention her name but chronicles the Benghazi disaster _under her watch._ She hopes the issue will go away. What about her two opponents? Politically correct Martin O’Malley is indifferent to national security. Besides, with Bernie Sanders rapidly gaining momentum, O’Malley may not even qualify for the remaining two debates. As for Sanders, the socialist does not believe America is worth defending and believes Hillary’s violation of security protocols is unimportant (“Who cares about your damn emails?”), so would he talk about Benghazi?
Too bad that former U.S. Senator Jim Webb dropped out of the race three months ago. He would have been ideal to confront Hillary on Benghazi. Webb was first in his class at Annapolis and a decorated Marine officer in Vietnam. Webb wrote the screenplay for the Samuel L. Jackson movie Rules of Engagement, directed by Billy Friedkin (_The French Connection, The Exorcist). _That prophetic movie, released fifteen years ago, was about a planned mob attack on a U.S. Embassy, and a White House/State Department cover-up of radical Islamists. But unlike Benghazi, Marines saved the day and the life of our ambassador. At a screening last week of Rules of Engagement, released 18 months before 9-11, I heard Friedkin lament Hillary’s lying on Benghazi.
Last week Donald Trump rented a movie theater in Iowa to show 13 Hours. Say what you will about Trump, but he is direct. Since Hillary remains eager to talk about 9⁄11, and Bernie Sanders won’t, perhaps it’s time for Donald Trump to make a deal. Buy the DVD distribution rights to The Path to 9⁄11, and let’s talk about the Clinton legacy.