[Video clip played of White House press conference, from WH.gov]:
John Gizzi: After four years, what's your reaction to former Congressman Hoekstra's book? And was it a good move to overthrow Gadhafi?
Josh Earnest: A careful consideration of his long record would probably not conclude that Colonel Gadhafi was a friend and ally of the United States. There's no denying that there were times where he may have been helpful, but I certainly don't think that outweighs the, his complicity in previous acts of terrorism, that including those that targeted Westerners. And it certainly doesn't outweigh the acts of atrocity that were carried under his rule, inside of Libya, against the Libyan people.
[End of White House press conference]
Malzberg: Oh boy, you know what? I am so proud of John Gizzi, Newsmax's White House correspondent, for asking that question of Josh Earnest. Josh Earnest did not provide an answer that would lead one to conclude that we did the right thing by overthrowing Gadhafi, or had any you know national security need to do so. And it's all based on a question and a claim made in the wonderful book, Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya, by of course former U.S. congressman, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, as alluded to by John Gizzi. And Congressman, a pleasure to speak to you again, sir.
Hoekstra: Hey, great to be with you. Thank you.
Malzberg: Well what's your reaction to what Josh Earnest gave as an answer there to John Gizzi?
Hoekstra: Well the more that I listen to it, the more bizarre it becomes. He says we're going to measure you know Gadhafi in his totality. Well, America made a decision in 2003, and so did Gadhafi, that he was going to leave his ways of terrorism, that he was going to ally with the U.S. in Europe, and that he was going to fight radical jihadists, pay reparations to the victims of terrorism, and give up his nuke program. And now we have a new president in town I guess, who says – well we have to go back and rethink that. What does this say to people in the future, leaders in the future who are opposed to our policies or who have been opposed to our policies, and they decide to flip sides? It's a terrible, terrible message for this administration to send to the world.
Malzberg: You know and your book is resonating, because last week it overtook Henry Kissinger's World Order as the top selling foreign policy book on Amazon, so congratulations for that, because I think it's such an important issue, because you mentioned a new president, well of course the new secretary of state, as we find out from emails that are slowly dripping out, played a very large role, maybe the role, in deciding the Libyan policy.
Hoekstra: Well that's exactly right. And you also have to take a look at you know they decided to overthrow Gadhafi, and Earnest, Josh, he needs to read my book, because they also need to take a look at who the president and the former secretary of state decided to ally themselves with – radical jihadists who have American blood on their hands, for having fought us in Afghanistan and Iraq. And then you know the great thing is he comes back and says – well you know we need, we're now focused on building a relationship with the new government of Libya. Excuse me; there is no government in Libya. It is a failed nation state, it's an exporter of radical jihadist fighters and weapons and ideology.
Malzberg: Absolutely. It's a total chaotic scene, as you just described. And going forward, do you think that from what you've heard in the limited questions that have been asked about this at the debates, you know do you plan to, let me put it this way, do you plan to reach out to the eventual Republican nominee and make sure they read your book and make sure that they you know are equipped to go after Hillary on this and make it as big an issue as it should be?
Hoekstra: Absolutely. The presidential candidates they have my book, Hillary has a copy of my book, and more importantly, the members of the Benghazi Committee at the House they have my book. I was really disappointed that you know as they went through the Benghazi hearings, no one brought up the question of – Secretary of State, why did we go into Libya in the first place? It was stable, it, you know we had someone who was allying against radical jihadists. Why did we think it was important to overthrow Gadhafi?
Malzberg: Well do you believe, not to interrupt you sir, do you believe that Sidney Blumenthal played a role in that decision?
Hoekstra: I hear it through back channels that economic considerations, or people who had economic considerations in Libya, were very influential perhaps in the decision making of this secretary of state and the White House.
Malzberg: Are you surprised that she was able to sit there and basically it was revealed she lied, after telling her daughter Egypt and Libya that it was a terrorist attack and not a video, same time she turns around and tells us it was a video? Are you surprised that the media spin was – hey, Hillary came away unscathed?
Hoekstra: I'm not surprised. A couple of things. Number one, that's the bias of the media today, is to give Hillary Clinton a pass. The second thing, it wasn't highlighted very well by the committee. You know this should have been the first thing that was brought out at the committee hearing, in the first 15 to 30 minutes of the hearing. It was buried somewhat later. But this was a real clear focal point, as some of the other things. But you know you have 11 hours of hearing.
Hoekstra: You're only going to get people to listen for a few minutes. They had to bring it at the front.
Malzberg: Right. Very, very important book, folks. The presidential candidates have it. Hillary has it, you should have it, Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya.