Hillary Clinton Sold Weapons to ISIS-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server prove that she pushed weapons to jihadists in Syria that ended up in the hands of ISIS.
Given that we couldn’t find emails to back up the idea that Hillary Clinton pushed weapons to ISIS, and a Republican senator directly contradicted that claim after visiting Syria in 2013, we’re calling these rumors fiction.
Reports that leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s email server prove that she sold weapons to ISIS started with an interview that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave to Democracy Now in July 2016. When asked why he had created a searchable database of leaked emails from Clinton’s private server, Assange responded:
So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. There’s more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone.
Assange’s claim that Clinton had sold or pushed weapons to ISIS was repeated by right-wing websites like The Duran and Political Insider, but those stories link to Assange’s quote from above — not to emails that actually prove Clinton supplied weapons to ISIS while she served as secretary of state.
We sifted through the database of Clinton emails and couldn’t find any that indicated Clinton had pushed weapons to Syrian rebels. News reports indicate that the U.S. did begin providing arms to Syrian rebels until September 2013 — nearly a full year after Clinton had resigned from her post as secretary of state.
The Washington Post reported on September 11, 2013, that the CIA had begun to ship light weapons and other munitions into Syria — and members of Congress actually criticized the administration for not doing so earlier:
The delays prompted several senior U.S. lawmakers to chide the Obama administration for not moving more quickly to aid the Syrian opposition after promising lethal assistance in June. The criticism has grown louder amid the debate over whether Washington should use military force against the Syrian regime, with some lawmakers withholding support until the administration committed to providing the rebels with more assistance.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has pressed the Obama administration to do more to help the rebels, said he felt embarrassed when he met with Syrians along the Turkish border three weeks ago.
“It was humiliating,” he said in an interview Wednesday night. “The president had announced that we would be providing lethal aid, and not a drop of it had begun. They were very short on ammunition, and the weapons had not begun to flow.”
…The CIA shipments are to flow through a network of clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year as the agency sought to help Middle Eastern allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, direct weapons to moderate Syrian rebel forces.
In June 2016, the New York Times reported that U.S. arms for Syrian rebels pushed through networks in Jordan and Saudi Arabia had ended up on the black market (and could have ended up in the hands of ISIS) — but, again, those programs started after Clinton’s time as secretary of state:
The training program, which in 2013 began directly arming the rebels under the code name Timber Sycamore, is run by the C.I.A. and several Arab intelligence services and aimed at building up forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The United States and Saudi Arabia are the biggest contributors, with the Saudis contributing both weapons and large sums of money, and with C.I.A. paramilitary operatives taking the lead in training the rebels to use Kalashnikovs, mortars, antitank guided missiles and other weapons.
The existence of the program is classified, as are all details about its budget. American officials say that the C.I.A. has trained thousands of rebels in the past three years, and that the fighters made substantial advances on the battlefield against Syrian government forces until Russian military forces — launched last year in support of Mr. Assad — compelled them to retreat.
So, given that we couldn’t find emails indicating that Clinton had pushed weapons into Syria or to ISIS, and Corker’s account of his meeting with Syrians at the Turkish border contradicts those reports, and Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state doesn’t line up with weapons shipments to Syria, we’re calling this one fiction.