My letter (see below) published in the AFR today draws attention to earlier reports that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made extensive use of “personal” emails and that this may relate to a cover up by her and Obama on the cause of the Benghazi incident. In fact, The Australian web now reports (see below) that the Congressional committee investigating that incident is not only attempting to access these “personal” emails but that Clinton has almost immediately asked the State department to release them ie over two years after the incident. Whether State has all of them, or will release all, remains to be seen.
But, bad as were the killings of 4 American diplomats by al-Qaeda at Benghazi and whether Clinton/Obama should be held responsible, the most important issue is the apparent attempt to cover up the involvement of extremist religious Islamists. If the emails confirm what has already been indicated by FOI documents but not mentioned in Australian media (see my commentary of 1 March), the uncertainties heighten about what exactly the US is doing or attempting to do in the Middle East.
These uncertainties are reflected in the Wall St Journal article published below in The Australian – Old Allies fear being dumped.
Like Netanyahu, leaders of some other Middle East countries are concerned that US negotiations with Iran will provide a basis from which that country could before long acquire nuclear weaponry. The importance of this possibility has been increased by the heightened role Iran is playing in Iraq, including its involvement in the current attack on Takrit, and the on-going conflict between Sunni and Shia forces (Takrit is apparently Sunni).
From the viewpoint of those in Western countries concerned at the role being played by extremist Islam (whether Sunni or Shia), the failure of the US to address that growing problem is further heightened.