Hillary Clinton does not believe that US elections can be rigged, however it appears that when it comes to the rigging of foreign elections, she has a different opinion.
This emerged today courtesy of a leaked September 2006 recording between Hillary, who was then running fore reelection as a US Senator and Eli Chomsky was an editor and staff writer for the Jewish Press. As the Observer, which released the recording writes, the tape is 45 minutes and contains much that is no longer relevant, such as analysis of the re-election battle that Sen. Joe Lieberman was then facing in Connecticut.
But a seemingly throwaway remark about elections in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority has taken on new relevance amid persistent accusations in the presidential campaign by Clinton’s Republican opponent Donald Trump that the current election is “rigged.”
In the recording Clinton, who is speaking to the Jewish Press about the January 25, 2006, election for the second Palestinian Legislative Council (the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority), weighed in about the result, which was a resounding victory for Hamas (74 seats) over the U.S.-preferred Fatah (45 seats).
“I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”
The last statement is damning, and suggests that “making sure” that the desired party wins is something of a noram among top Washington circles, even if thrown around in jest.
The Observer notes that Chomsky recalls being taken aback that “anyone could support the idea—offered by a national political leader, no less—that the U.S. should be in the business of fixing foreign elections.”
A good follow up question would be if Clinton feels the same way about the US 2016 presidential election, in which it is clear who Hillary, and her campaign staff, would push for to win.
In another tangential part of the recording, Chomsky is heard on the tape asking Clinton what now seems like a prescient question about Syria, given the disaster unfolding there and its looming threat to drag the U.S., Iran and Russia into confrontation.
“Do you think it’s worth talking to Syria—both from the U.S. point [of view] and Israel’s point [of view]?”
Clinton replied, “You know, I’m pretty much of the mind that I don’t see what it hurts to talk to people. As long as you’re not stupid and giving things away. I mean, we talked to the Soviet Union for 40 years. They invaded Hungary, they invaded Czechoslovakia, they persecuted the Jews, they invaded Afghanistan, they destabilized governments, they put missiles 90 miles from our shores, we never stopped talking to them,” an answer that reflects her mastery of the facts but also reflects a willingness to talk to Russia that sounds more like Trump 2016 than Clinton 2016.
The conclusion comes a few moments later when Clinton said, “But if you say, ‘they’re evil, we’re good, [and] we’re never dealing with them,’ I think you give up a lot of the tools that you need to have in order to defeat them…So I would like to talk to you [the enemy] because I want to know more about you. Because if I want to defeat you, I’ve got to know something more about you. I need different tools to use in my campaign against you. That’s my take on it.”
Ironically taking the “moral” ground and slamming Putin as evil is precisely what the Obama administration has done; we can only imagine what Hillary – and her Secretary of State – will do in Syria and across the globe, if elected president through rigged elections or otherwise.
Full recording below: