Cain, can I get some perspective on this shit? http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/emails-show-clinton-foundation-donor-reached-out-hillary-clinton-arms-export-boost
Emails just released by the State Department appear to show Clinton Foundation officials brokering a meeting between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a top military leader of Bahrain — a Middle Eastern country that is a major foundation donor. Soon after the correspondence about a meeting, Clinton’s State Department significantly increased arms export authorizations to the country’s autocratic government, even as that nation moved to crush pro-democracy protests.
I'm still not gonna stop supporting Hillary, because the alternative is unthinkable, but this seems really bad.
US has been selling significant levels of arms to Bahrain for years. The Fifth Fleet is also positioned there, poised to strike against Iran if there is ever anything approaching a reason. I don't like it much, but Bahrain, it's strategic naval position and its not inconsiderable financial sector are of key interest to the Americans. The House of Khalifa will not be allowed to fall.
Also, while the State Department set the policy parameters for sales, the actual details are hammered out by the Pentagon, with input from the White House and then passed onto the House and Senate (with prior imput from their select committees on foreign affairs, intelligence and arms) before they're agreed. As we can see from this, Congress did indeed kill the deal, in the end.
I think people are vastly overestimating the influence of the State Department in these proceedings. Clinton made State less of a lame duck...but it's been the case since the Cold War that if you want shit done, you speak to the CIA Station Chief, the NSC and the local US Army commander, not the State Department. State's for baby-kissing photo ops, lame cultural events and uninteresting trade deals.
And lets not forget that there was not insiginificant arm-twisting by the House of Saud in this whole scenario. The Saudis sent a full on invasion force into Bahrain...American arms may have been intended to reduce Bahraini reliance on Saudi arms...or may have been asked by Saudi Arabia fearful of overseas commitments when trouble was brewing on their own borders.