Thomas Pickering, a prominent retired U.S. diplomat and former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Pickering had co-chaired the Benghazi Accountability Review Board, the State-Department-sponsored panel established by then Secretary of State Clinton to investigate the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Pickering’s board failed to even interview Clinton, while protecting her and other senior State Department officials, such as Under Secretary of State Patrick F. Kennedy, from any personal accountability for the tragic deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans.
Pickering signed a letter, along with other diplomats, endorsing Hillary for president. The letter sharply criticized her opponent Donald Trump in strident terms: “In his frequent statements about foreign countries and their citizens, from our closest friends to our most problematic competitors, Mr. Trump has expressed the most ignorant stereotypes of those countries; has inflamed their people; and has insulted our allies and comforted our enemies.”
Pickering needs to take a good look at the mirror when it comes to insulting our allies and comforting our enemies. As reported by the Daily Wire, for example, Pickering “advised then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in late 2011 to promote anti-Zionist agitation with Arab females in and around Israel in order to politically pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into further compliance with the State Department’s vision of statehood for the ‘Palestinians’”
The State Department’s vision of statehood for the Palestinians would require Israel to virtually withdraw to the pre-June 1967 lines while not requiring the Palestinians to forsake their demand for the so-called “right of return” of millions of Palestinian refugees to overrun pre-1967 Israel.
Pickering wanted an Arab Spring type uprising in Israel led by Arab women with the support of anti-Zionist left-wing groups such as Peace Now.
In an e-mail dated December 18, 2011 to Cheryl Mills, Pickering enclosed a note to Hillary in which he wrote:
“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership…The Palestinian women have to begin this. Some few already have. They should use peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins in their own territories calling for peace and seeking to get their own leadership — which is more than willing — also to support them if they look successful. They must develop growth and momentum, just like Tahrir Square, and attract more women to participate and thus gain world attention — not easy to do in their area and under their conditions.”
Pickering was calling for outside instigation of civil unrest to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu’s democratically elected government into caving to the Palestinians’ unreasonable demands. Knowing exactly what improper external interference he was suggesting, Pickering capped off his e-mail by warning, “Most of all the United States, in my view, cannot be seen to have stimulated, encouraged or be the power behind it for reasons you will understand better than anyone.”
Pickering has done more than insult Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. He reportedly did work which resulted in benefit to our enemies. In a carefully documented report entitled “Clinton’s Shadow Diplomat,” the Center for Security Policy exposed Pickering’s ties to a Putin-linked Russian company that sold oil and gas pipelines to Iran and Syria when Pickering was on its Board of Directors. The Russian-owned company is Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya (TMK), where Pickering was a paid director from June 30, 2009 to June 26, 2012. His tenure as director of TMK overlapped much of the tenure of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Pickering used the opportunity to argue in exchanges with Hillary and her staff for an end to economic sanctions on Iran, which presumably would have helped not only Iran but TMK.
Pickering has served on the honorary board of the American-Iranian Council, which can be regarded as “an unofficial lobby for Iran.” Pickering did not just sit on the American-Iranian Council honorary board. He helped advance its agenda. Pickering lobbied for the Iran nuclear deal, which also benefited his client Boeing with the prospect of a big sale of aircraft to Iran. Pickering was reported to have been taking money from Boeing while he was lobbying for the Iran nuclear deal – an arrangement that does not appear to have been disclosed to Congress when he testified in support of the deal.
Thomas Pickering represents what has gone wrong in Washington D.C. today – its deeply entrenched political establishment’s pay-for-play culture.