Veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum wrote in his memoir that he witnessed Blumenthal working the phones in the Clinton White House, saying “that Monica Lewinsky was unreliable; she had a bad reputation around the White House; she’d been obsessed with the president; she was a stalker.”
But Blumenthal’s e-mails on Libya, written like intelligence cables and given the sort of attention most secretaries of state would reserve for the professional analyses produced by Foggy Bottom’s own Bureau of Intelligence and Research, suggest that he serves as a policy adviser, officially or not.
It didn’t matter that he was shut out of the current administration by an Obama team bitter about his tactics during the 2008 primary, which included circulating particularly vicious hit pieces about their boss. The Clintons put him on the payroll at the slush fund they laughably call a charity, and he functioned as an informal and highly dysfunctional adjunct to the intelligence community.
Hillary forwarded 18 of Blumenthal’s e-mails to her subordinates, often looping the US ambassador in Tripoli into the conversations. In many cases, Blumenthal’s intel was shoddy, with basic errors like mixing up Libyan politicians with similar names. In a particularly sleazy instance, Blumenthal asserted that a businessman named Najib Obeida was among “the most influential” of the Libyan prime minister’s new economic advisers — without mentioning that Blumenthal was advising a group of contractors courting Obeida as a potential business partner.
If the dubious insights Blumenthal gleaned from his associates trying to cash in on post-Khadafy Libya caught Hillary’s attention, it stands to reason that his influence in a new Clinton administration might extend to other areas of foreign policy.
That has to be worrisome for supporters of a strong alliance between the United States and Israel, because Sid Blumenthal is the father of the anti-Zionist polemicist Max Blumenthal, who believes that what he calls “non-indigenous” Jews should be expelled from their homeland.
Sid hosted a book party for Max’s anti-Israel jeremiad “Goliath,” a little-read volume that smears the Jewish state with chapter titles like “Night of Broken Glass” and “The Concentration Camp,” drawing the sorts of comparisons between Israeli Jews and Nazis that are popular among anti-Semites. (Such rhetoric is in fact cited as an example in the State Department’s working definition of anti-Semitism.)