DAILY UPDATES ON FORMER PRES. BUSH, BUT NONE ON CURRENT SECRETARY OF STATE?
by Sharon Rondeau
The elder Bush had been in intensive care on a liquid diet since last Sunday for bronchitis and a fever. He was hospitalized the day after Thanksgiving, November 23 and as of Thursday, he was in “guarded” condition. Despite “a series of setbacks,” Bush told the press to “Please put the harps away.” Bush is 88.
Updates on Bush’s condition have been reported daily through a family spokesman, although privacy was requested on Thursday.
As of December 12, Clinton had been expected to testify to a joint congressional committee on the terrorist attack at a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Following an announcement from State Department spokesman Philippe Reines on December 15 of Clinton’s alleged head injury, it was first stated that her testimony would be “postponed.” Clinton was originally asked to testify in early November but declined through a spokesperson, citing a scheduling conflict.
Since the onset of her illness, after which she canceled a trip to the Middle East, Clinton has not been seen in public, and no medical updates or press conferences on her condition have been provided. Unnamed doctors allegedly “diagnosed” the concussion on December 13 but not made public by Reines until December 15.
No hospital been identified as having treated Clinton as it has in Bush’s case.
A Freedom of Information Act request made to the Metropolitan D.C. Police Department for the presumed 911 call after Clinton suffered the concussion was denied within two days, and an appeal to the mayor’s office has not received a response as of this writing.
Following the reported concussion, Clinton was allegedly on vacation this week but is expected to “return to work next week.” A contradictory report states that Clinton has returned to her duties as of Friday.
A report released by an Accountability Review Board (ARB) to examine the State Department’s role in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack determined that “What happened on September 11th and 12th in Benghazi was a series of attacks in multiple locations by unknown assailants that ebbed and flowed over a period of almost eight hours. The U.S. security personnel in Benghazi were heroic in their efforts to protect their colleagues, including Ambassador Stevens. They did their best that they possibly could with what they had, but what they had was not enough, either for the general threat environment in Benghazi and most certainly against the overwhelming numbers of attackers and the weapons which they faced. Frankly, the State Department had not given Benghazi the security, both physical and personnel resources, it needed.”
Several Republican congressmen are still expecting Clinton to testify before she leaves office, most likely sometime in January. Another prediction is that Clinton would not return to her post prior to her official resignation.
Several pundits have expressed doubt that Clinton actually had a concussion because of its “timing.”
On December 20, the day on which Clinton had originally been scheduled to testify, CBS News reported that she would testify to Congress in January, but on December 26, it was reported that Republicans had refused to confirm John Kerry, Obama’s new pick for Secretary of State, until Clinton testified.
How soon after suffering an alleged concussion can a person be “on the phone and in email contact with staff”? Why do State Department personnel issue statements on her condition and not medical doctors? A statement attributed to two doctors allegedly treating Clinton does not include the claim that she had a concussion. One physician identified by The New York Times is Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group, and the other is Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi of the George Washington Medical Center.
How do they know that she is “going to be absolutely fine?” Which medical tests were performed to assure them? Does she have medical approval to testify next month? A concussion can have very serious side effects including memory loss, bruising, confusion, and even seizures.
Clinton had purportedly believed that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Islamic video and professed as much to the father of one of the slain on September 14, until she acknowledged to the United Nations that terrorism had been involved on September 26. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice had insisted on September 16 that the video had inspired spontaneous protests which had spiraled out of control, but her explanation was disproved by members of the intelligence community who claimed knowledge of a terrorist attack within the first 24 hours of the torching of two U.S. Benghazi locations. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called Rice’s statements “a cover-up.“
The Accountability Review Board referred to the violence as “a series of terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on September 11-12, 2012.” Two “seriously wounded U.S. personnel” were not identified. The Board found that “Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”
In mid-October, Hillary Clinton said she was ultimately responsible for the safety of those serving overseas for the State Department.
On Wednesday, Laura Ingraham, who was hosting The O’Reilly Factor for Bill O’Reilly, asked, “Where in the world is Hillary Clinton?” and said that it did not appear that Clinton was “receiving medical treatment.”
CBS News’ Mark Knoller has issued frequent tweets on Bush’s condition, but nothing that this writer has seen about Clinton.