Sidney Blumenthal arrives on Capitol Hill in June to face questions from the House panel investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)
Media critic

Another round of Hillary Clinton e-mails from the State Department, another batch of interesting correspondence from Sidney Blumenthal to the then-secretary of state. For those who haven’t been clicking on the thousands of documents dumped each month by the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officers, Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton loyalist, essentially acted as a key news aggregator for the secretary, grabbing news and opinion articles off the Web and passing along the links plus the text.

In some cases, Blumenthal claimed credit for the items he was threading to Clinton. In October 2012, for instance, Blumenthal sent an e-mail to Clinton under the subject line, “H: Romney’s last gambit. Got done and published. Sid,” according to a May e-mail release by the State Department. Attached to the e-mail was an article in Salon by Craig Unger. Just what Blumenthal meant by “Got done and published” is unclear. He apparently “stumbled” over that very question when he appeared at a closed-door Capitol Hill session this year.

Among the more compelling media-related Blumenthal commentary in last night’s release is the following:


So, the allegation from Blumenthal: This March 16, 2010, essay by Yossi Klein Halevi represents the “fully articulated” view of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The piece calls out President Obama for encouraging unrest:

Why, then, the outbreak of violence now? Why Hamas’s “day of rage” over Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority’s call to gather on the Temple Mount to “save” the Dome of the Rock from non-existent plans to build the Third Temple? Why the sudden outrage over rebuilding a synagogue, destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948, in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, when dozens of synagogues and yeshivas have been built in the quarter without incident?

The answer lies not in Jerusalem but in Washington. By placing the issue of building in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem at the center of the peace process, President Obama has inadvertently challenged the Palestinians to do no less.

Franklin Foer, who was editor of the New Republic at the time, declined to comment on Blumenthal’s allegations.