In 2007, Vogue called her "Hillary's secret weapon." Let's hope they weren't being unwittingly prescient.
Five years later, Hillary Clinton is no longer a Senator but U.S. Secretary of State, and Huma Abedin is her deputy chief of staff.
Many will know Abedin as the unfortunate wife of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, but her name made headlines just three months ago when Representatives Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland sent letters to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State, requesting a "multi-departmental investigation into potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the United States Government" (as per Rep. Bachmann's letter to Keith Ellison).
Congresswoman Bachmann's House.gov website provides these links to all the letters:
I haven't yet read them all and the ones that I have read didn't mention Huma Abedin. In her letter to Ellison, however, Bachmann provides this quote of "what we wrote" with regard to Abedin:
"...the Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members - her late father, her mother and her brother - connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Her position provides her with routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making.
Bachmann explains to Ellison that
"The concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying condition for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position....
.... Given the reasonable assumption that Ms. Abedin has a high-level security clearance, as a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin's documented family connects with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance...."
As you probably know, a firestorm of media-driven controversy erupted wherein many lawmakers, even from Bachmann's own party (e.g. Sen. John McCain), engaged in vitriolic accusations of Bachmann and passionate defense of Abedin.
But as far as I know, no one has answered the question of how it is that Abedin was not disqualified from obtaining security clearance.
To my mind, given what just happened in Benghazi, the fact that al Qaeda may have been involved in the attack on our consulate there, and the apparent failure of the State Department to protect our diplomatic personnel, even at a designated "safe house," it would be more than worthwhile to revisit both the broader question of possible Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the Executive branch, especially the State Department, as well as the specific question raised by Bachmann concerning the validity - and even legality - of the process that allowed Huma Abedin to obtain the security clearance she enjoys to this day.
Granted, in the face of riots across the Middle East, both the President and Secretary of State have publicly elevated their regard for "religious tolerance" while at the same time de-emphasizing our Gd-given right to free speech (as enshrined in the Constitution which both have sworn to defend), but that doesn't mean we can no longer ask questions... does it?
So while I'm exercising my meager but still free thought process and speech, let me also say that this situation has brought back to mind Daniel Pipe's (Oct. 2008) assertion that Barack Obama himself "would fail security clearance" ... and this bit that appeared at the American Spectator, Nov. 7, 2008, under the heading, "Unprecedented and Secretive."
Lost amid all of the jubilation of the Obama victory was the announcement by the Obama transition team that it had set up a separate transition program beyond the one that is paid for by the American taxpayer. Called the "Obama/Biden Transition Project," it is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization, with no limits on the contributions it can receive and no requirements to divulge the names of individuals or organizations that give it money.
Traditionally, the victorious campaign has set up inaugural funds, as well as funds to deal with legal costs and other expenses to close down the campaign. Others have set up quasi-corporate offices to deal with transition issues, such as in 2000, when, with the election in doubt, the Bush-Cheney team set up a private transition office in McLean, Virginia, covering the costs from campaign contributions and other fundraising. Ultimately, the federal government, headed by the Government Services Administration, covers the cost of the transition staff, providing it with office space and all equipment.
No one is certain that any political organization has ever set up a tax-exempt entity that would be shrouded in such secrecy, particularly when Obama claimed he would be more transparent about the way things were done.
"To my knowledge, it's never been done, and people should be asking why the Obama people chose to do it this way," says a longtime Washington Republican, who has been involved in transitions for the Reagan and Bush campaign teams.
According to an Obama campaign staffer who is being retained for the transition and inauguration planning, the "project" is intended not only to identify personnel for the Obama Administration, but to then send those project employees who know all of the senior staff in the various Cabinet departments and federal agencies out into the corporate and lobbying community to leverage those contacts.
"It's taking the old 'K Street Project' that Republicans had and doing it twice as fast and on steroids," explains the aide. "So, if you have a Project aide working on Commerce Department transition, that Project aide will be more likely to get a senior lobbying job because of all those connections at Commerce. That former Project aide will also be able raise more money for Democrats in this town and help others with jobs and such."
As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government.
"There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide....
All these bits and pieces worry me for our country, and I have to admit that I'm a tad worried about ending up like this poor stupid fellow.
And last but not least, I am haunted by these words from Abraham Lincoln's Lyceum Address (1838):
".... At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."