As we head into the home stretch of the presidential campaign, ever-greater scrutiny will be directed at the candidates, their policy decisions and their political and personal connections. While both the war in Libya and Hillary Clinton’s handling of her private email server have been a focus of the media since the primaries, little has been made of how her emails shed light on the build-up and ultimate failure of the war in Libya.

At the center of those emails is Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton ally and aide.

Though it is not clear that any of the emails sent between them suggest illegal conduct, their correspondence raises serious ethical concerns — including the possibility that Blumenthal was pushing Clinton to support a war whose pursuit might end up benefiting him financially.

A Taste for Conspiracies

Blumenthal got his start in politics campaigning locally for John F. Kennedy in 1960. He left Chicago to attend Brandeis University, outside of Boston, and while there joined the anti-Vietnam war group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). After graduating, he became part of the circle of progressive journalists emerging in the Boston area in the 1970s.

He spent much of his career writing for The Washington Post and The New Yorker. He met the Clintons in 1987, but did not join the Clinton administration until Bill Clinton’s second term in 1996.

Over the years, Blumenthal was known for two things: his books about conspiracies behind the assassination of both President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. — and his loyalty to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In 2003, he wrote a book claiming that the Clinton White House had been the victim of serial right-wing conspiracies. Reviewing the book for The Nation, journalist Tom Wicker said it could sometimes be “detailed and fascinating” but failed to provide any dispassionate or objective account of the Clinton years...


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