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Call Them The Concussion Truthers

Over the weekend, the State Department reported that Secretary of State Clinton had fallen earlier in the week and suffered a mild concussion that caused doctors to order to to stay at home. This resulted in the cancellation of Clinton’s testimony before a Congressional Committee investigating the Benghazi attack. In her place, the committee will hear from at least two Deputy Secretaries of State. Now, we’ve got some conservatives claiming that the reports about Clinton’s medical issues are a fraud:

The official story out of the State Department is that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently fainted and suffered a concussion and is working from home. As a result, she is not expected to testify before Congress this week on the subject of the attack in Benghazi.

Message received, right?

Not everyone is so convinced.

The New York Post called it “one of the most transparent dodges in the history of diplomacy.”

The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher won’t believe it until he sees some proof. “If she has a concussion, let’s see the medical report. Let’s see some proof that she’s not just stonewalling. If it’s true, then we can all wish her a speedy recovery. But it’s ridiculous to expect us to take her word for it.”

Ditto Republican strategist Alice Stewart, who said on Fox News, “I certainly hope Hillary Clinton has a good note from her doctor.”

Also on Fox News, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said: “You know, every foreign service officer in every foreign ministry in the world knows the phrase I am about to use. When you don’t want to go to a meeting or conference, or an event, you have a ‘diplomatic illness.’ And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band.”

Lucianne.com’s Lucianne Goldberg tweeted, “Hillary has given us a great new excuse. Don’t call in with a cold or a bad tooth. Just say you have a concussion. It can last for days.”

Over at NewsBusters, P.J. Gladnick was peeved that more reporters didn’t express skepticism about what happened to Clinton.

“No ambulance was called and she was not hospitalized? Riiiight! Because when you’re Secretary of State you somehow don’t rate standard medical treatment.”

Here we go again.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Meh. These guys and gals can’t be lumped in with the various Truther folks. That’s a little bit more than hyperbolic. The latter demographic quite literally are mentally ill, to the point where heavy doses of psychotropic drugs are necessary and appropriate, if not institutionalization. The former merely are riffing on the obvious “coincidental timing” issues relative to this coincidentally-timed announcement. Let’s not be completely naive.

    Now if Hillary eventually testifies and people out there in any event demand to see PET scans or MRIs concerning this particular episode, then, yeah, agreed, we’ll have to start questioning their mental states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  2. Robert in SF says:

    Doug,
    In layman’s terms, could you summarize what are the legal limits on Congress’s ability to call someone to testify? And wouldn’t that testimony be usable for possible perjury charges? Or self incrimination for criminal charges?

    I just don’t understand what power the Congress on has (or limits to that power) to compel testimony….I see it in popular culture…but just don’t know what’s really possible.

    Appreciate it if you can.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    I posted on this yesterday. I think it’s repellent. Essentially, they’re accusing Secretary Clinton of a crime without evidence other than motive and they don’t even have motive. They’re assuming motive.

    If they’ve got evidence, they should produce it. If they don’t, they should shut up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  4. Robert,

    They could always issue a subpoena. Typically this isn’t done in the case of cabinet members, though unless there’s a real conflict between the branches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    Who could have imagined Jim Treacher would behave likena jerk. That’s like, sooooo out of character for him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  6. Barfour says:

    Why are there so many conspiracy theories coming out of the US than any where else?

    For those alleging a conspiracy by Hilary Clinton to avoid appearing before the congressional committee, if there is any information that she is hiding, surely she is not the only one in possession it. Any thing that she knows comes to her from her aides and other staff. So she can’t hide anything by refusing to testify. Any thing she knows, there are at least a few other people that knows it, who can be subpoena to testify, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    @Barfour:

    Why are there so many conspiracy theories coming out of the US than any where else?

    Should I infer from that claim that you do not read the English language (or any other language) versions of Middle Eastern or Russian newspapers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Fog says:

    “Call Them the Concussion Truthers”
    Why?
    “Lying sacks of shit” is a far more appropriate phrase.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  9. Mikey says:

    The answer is obvious: She has Life Alert.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. JKB says:

    Yes, we should all just accept, Hillary Clinton isn’t right in the head.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  11. MM says:

    I have seen various permutations of the “but no ambulance was called” argument on Facebook. As though it is inconceivable that the SoS and a multimillionaire would be able to get a doctor to make a house call or to see the patient in secret.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “No ambulance was called and she was not hospitalized? Riiiight! Because when you’re Secretary of State you somehow don’t rate standard medical treatment.”

    I once had a concussion after getting kicked in the head in a football game and the first symptom did not appear until the next morning when I showed up on my jobsite to tell my foremen I could not work that day. My symptoms? It was a snowy December day and I showed up barefoot and shirtless. And no, I don’t remember any of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  13. Moosebreath says:

    @MM:

    “As though it is inconceivable that the SoS and a multimillionaire would be able to get a doctor to make a house call or to see the patient in secret.”

    Or to have a staff or family member take her to a hospital.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  14. Mikey says:

    @MM: It’s certainly not inconceivable that someone at the level of a Secretary of State would have an on-call physician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Gowian says:

    Well, Treacher’s a nut who thinks Obama tried to assassinate him (seriously). What’s Bolton’s excuse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  16. @MM:

    The State Dept. said that Clinton did go to the hospital but was subsequently released. The most obvious explanation is that a member or members of her security detail transported her there in one of their official vehicles since there didn’t appear to be an immediate medical emergency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. mattb says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Who could have imagined Jim Treacher would behave likena jerk. That’s like, sooooo out of character for him.

    Countdown to Jim appearing here to say “no… yer the jerk, jerky-mc-jerkface!”

    3.

    2.

    1….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  18. Gowian says:

    Countdown to Jim appearing here to say “no… yer the jerk, jerky-mc-jerkface!”

    3.

    2.

    1….

    No, no. It’ll be something like “you’re angry”, followed by some type of feminizing insult like “sweetie”. Not like he’s predictable or anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  19. Jim Treacher says:

    It must be the truth if Hillary says so. Never mind, everybody.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  20. Jim Treacher says:

    @Ben Wolf: There, there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  21. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gowian: Of course you’re not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  22. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gowian: When did I say Obama tried to assassinate me? I thought the car that hit me might’ve been Secret Service because one of the paramedics said it was a government vehicle, and the driver didn’t identify himself to me at the scene. As it turned out, it was a State Department security vehicle.

    But if you’ve got the quote where I said Obama tried to assassinate me, feel free to produce it. If not, have a great day. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  23. Gowian says:

    @Gowian: When did I say Obama tried to assassinate me? I thought the car that hit me might’ve been Secret Service because one of the paramedics said it was a government vehicle, and the driver didn’t identify himself to me at the scene. As it turned out, it was a State Department security vehicle.

    But if you’ve got the quote where I said Obama tried to assassinate me, feel free to produce it. If not, have a great day. :)

    http://www.imao.us/index.php/2010/02/the-president-tried-to-kill-jim-treacher/

    You didn’t try to correct the record in the comments section, so that constitutes acceptance. You have a great day, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  24. grumpy realist says:

    Reading things like Lucianne’s comment makes me remember what an absolute disgusting human being she is.

    Of course, she’s always had a “thing” about the Clintons…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. Gowian says:

    Whoops, bad link. Here we are:

    http://www.imao.us/index.php/2010/02/the-president-tried-to-kill-jim-treacher/

    And again, a good day to you, Jim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  26. Ben Wolf says:

    @mattb: He’s nothing if not predictable

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  27. MM says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That sounds entirely reasonable, given the situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. MM says:

    @Jim Treacher: You’re right. We should trust the guy who thinks that the way to win a debate is to scream “OBAMA ATE DOG” louder. He sounds pretty reasonable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  29. NickTamere says:

    As it turned out, it was a State Department security vehicle.

    That stuck around the scene of the accident despite your claims to the contrary, and none of your so-called witnesses spoke up/materialized (existed?). But aside from you getting all the details wrong and foisting blame on Obama it was a pretty accurate story. For the Daily Caller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gowian: Oh, you poor thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  31. Jim Treacher says:

    @Ben Wolf: Don’t pout, big guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  32. Jim Treacher says:

    @NickTamere: The guy who hit me did not identify himself to me at the scene. Nice try, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  33. Jim Treacher says:

    @MM: You’re the one who brought up the fact that Obama eats dogs. Which, incidentally, he does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  34. MM says:

    @Jim Treacher: Actually you pretty much spammed several threads here with that little nugget of wisdom, back when you thought you could make it meaningful, rather than just your usual point-n-sputter. I’m sure you forgot, given your ” prolific writing”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  35. Jim Treacher says:

    @MM: You brought it up, champ.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  36. MM says:

    @Jim Treacher: Do you try to miss the point, or are you just that clueless? I’m curious how much of this is shtick and how of much is that you’re actually this obtuse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  37. Jim Treacher says:

    @MM: The point is that you brought it up. Which is fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  38. NickTamere says:

    The guy who hit me did not identify himself to me at the scene.

    Which isn’t what I claimed nor what you stated- you were the one who said he left the scene. I realize you were probably in pain at the time but you could’ve easily verified this info with the officer (who you were talking to, yes?) then or later. I don’t care so much about you initially being wrong, it’s the obfuscating, blame-shifting, and general weaselry that follows. It would be nice if you simply said “I got the facts wrong and made some incorrect accusations”, but that’s not what the Daily Caller is all about- when proven wrong about something, just move on to the next thing until you’re called out on that as well.

    You’re at least smart enough to not use your real name when writing for the Caller, hopefully you’ll be able to escape the stink when it inevitably collapses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  39. MM says:

    @Jim Treacher: So passionately and aggressively obtuse then. Got it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  40. Jim Treacher says:

    @NickTamere: No, no officers at the scene talked to me. The man who hit me did not identify himself to me. On the ambulance ride to the hospital, one of the paramedics was trying to keep me talking so I wouldn’t pass out, and he mentioned that the SUV looked like a government vehicle, possibly Secret Service or CIA. Turned out he got the wrong agency, but he was in the ballpark.

    Now, please tell me more about the event I lived through and you didn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  41. Jim Treacher says:

    @MM: Well, you brought it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  42. NickTamere says:

    “One last thing: I’m told by multiple people that the SUV that hit me was Secret Service. If this is true, I want to know why that happened. I was crossing legally, and they just left me there. At the very least, I want an apology. What happened to me was wrong.”

    “Multiple people” is now 1 paramedic who was “in the ballpark”. They didn’t just “leave you there”, you were being treated by the people whose job it was to tend to you (and you admit they were there “within minutes”) and they gave their information to the officer on the scene, which you didn’t bother to check with before writing your piece. No one corroborated your version and the accounts published state that you were in the wrong and not crossing legally. On the surface this has little to do with “concussion truthing”, but I think it’s the same mentality and tactics- make a bunch of baseless accusations and deny the truth later. Read Neil Munro’s account of his White House Presser questions and then watch the actual tape of the incident, it’s like they’re two different incidents. This is not an aberration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  43. Jim Treacher says:

    @NickTamere: “If this is true.” Guess you missed that part. It turned out to be the State Department.

    I crossed the street legally, with the Walk light and inside the crosswalk. The State Department lied about it. I am suing them.

    Tell me more about how I don’t know what happened to me, son.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  44. NickTamere says:

    It’s ridiculous for me to take your word for it; quit stonewalling and release the police report.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  45. Jim Treacher says:

    @NickTamere: Because I used it to avoid testifying about Benghazi, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  46. bill says:

    wow, seems like the benghazi stuff really causes weird stuff to happen- good thing i completely trust what my gov’t leaders tell me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  47. Robert in SF says:

    @Jim Treacher: Not to derail an mature discussion of policy and philosophy, but……
    The pedestrian does not always have the right of way to walk into the cross walk when the walk signal is on….if one enters the cross walk and blocks the progress of a car to complete a turn and the car had entered the intersection legally, then one is guilty of obstructing traffic in the least, and basically abdicating their responsibility to conduct their behavior in a safe manner, and has placed themselves in danger and caused an accident….
    Just sayin’….not all pedestrians hit in an intersection are guilt free….
    It’s just my pet peeve with pedestrians in the city.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. Jim Treacher says:

    @Robert in SF: That’s not what happened, but…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  49. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gowian: You didn’t go away, did you? Hey, you know what I was doing on February 4, 2010, when that was written? I was in the hospital, being prepped for major surgery on my knee. The first of two surgeries I’ve needed so far. So that’s my lame(!) excuse for not hanging out in Frank J’s comments that day.

    But I guess you don’t want to talk about my knee anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  50. mattb says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    @mattb: He’s nothing if not predictable

    It’s pretty much like Beetlejuice. Just a lot less fun and a lot more paranoid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  51. Jim Treacher says:

    @mattb: Sounds like a problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2