Monday, December 31, 2012

State Department Denies Clinton Plane Crash Story

The State Department issued a terse statement in response to a press inquiry today denying a report by the European Union Times that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is recovering from injuries she sustained in a plane crash during a secret mission to Iran three weeks ago. The EU Times, citing a Foreign Military Intelligence Report circulating at the Kremlin, claims Clinton sustained injuries when a C-12 Huron military passenger plane crash landed at an airport in Ahwaz, Iran near the Iraqi border. The bizarre news report took on extra interest in the wake of Clinton's absence from the public for three weeks following a series of health problems disclosed by the State Department.

According to the report, the plane was scheduled to fly from Bahrain air base in Afghanistan to Baghdad, Iraq about three weeks ago but deviated from its planned flight schedule and instead landed at Ahwaz International Airport where it experienced severe turbulence during landing and skidded off the runway before crashing. "After emergency aid was given, GRU agents stationed in Iran state that another US military flight was dispatched from Bahrain to Ahwaz which evacuated all of those wounded and killed in the crash including Secretary Clinton," the EU Times reports. Clinton was pulled from the plane's wreckage unconscious and “bleeding profusely.” A highly-decorated Navy SEAL Commander, Job Price, was reportedly killed in the crash. News reports in the U.S. shortly before Christmas reported that the Navy SEAL 4 commander had been found dead in his quarters in Afghanistan from an apparent suicide. The report claims that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had earlier made an unscheduled landing at the same airport.

In response to a question from a reporter, the State Department stated, "Secretary of State Clinton was not injured or involved in a plane crash." Clinton has not been publicly seen since a trip to Europe in early December where she visited the Czech Republic, Belgium, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Her last public appearance was on December 7 according to the State Department's website. The State Department reported a few days later that Clinton had canceled a previously scheduled week-long trip during the week of December 10 to the Middle East because of a stomach virus, the same day the State Department declared a Syrian rebel group was in fact a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda. Clinton's trip to North Africa and the Middle East had been planned to build cooperation among those fighting for the ouster of President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, who has received military assistance from Iran.

The following week the State Department announced Clinton's testimony before Congress on the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate that claimed the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens and two other Americans was being postponed due to a head injury Clinton had suffered from a fall occasioned by a fainting spell. The State Department claimed Clinton had been recovering from her stomach virus at home under the care of her physician when she "became dehydrated and fainted, sustaining a concussion."  The latest report claims Clinton had to be hospitalized over the weekend in New York to treat a blood clot that had been discovered during a follow-up exam by her physician. Aides claimed that Clinton was being treated with blood thinners, but medical experts seem to question that account, indicating that blood thinners would not be used to treat a blood clot associated with a concussion. Others wondered if the blood clots didn't form in her legs from extended bed rest and had nothing to do with her reported concussion. Clinton did suffer a blood clot in her leg in 1998, which she has described as "the most significant health scare I've ever had."

The Weekly Standard observes that the varying news reports of Clinton's health condition explaining her public absence for the past three weeks have prompted conspiracy theories to abound. The National Enquirer claims she is dying from terminal brain cancer. Some speculated she had faked illness in order to avoid testifying before Congress on the administration's embarrassing handling of the Benghazi debacle. Sen. John Kerry has been named to replace Clinton as Secretary of State during the second Obama term. Some wonder whether she will ever make an appearance on Capitol Hill before stepping down. Former President Bill Clinton has been noticeably silent on his estranged wife's condition.

UPDATE: An AP story from December 30 oddly reports on the departure of "a small American commercial plane" from Iran that was "forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure." According to the report, the plane's three passengers left Iran for other Arab countries while the plane remained behind for repairs. The AP reports says the plane was a Falcon 900 rather than a C-12 Huron described in the EU Times report. "It was not clear why the announcement of the plane's landing was not made earlier," the AP adds. Well, duh, it coincided with the EU Times report claiming that Clinton's plane had skidded off the runway during a secret mission to the country. An image of the C-12 Huron is provided below. According to a description of the plan on Wikipedia, the C-12 Huron is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft made by Beechcraft that are "used for various duties, including embassy support, medical evacuation, as well as passenger and light cargo transport." The Falcon 900 is a French-built corporate jet aircraft made by Dassault Aviation.

TMZ captured this image of a distraught Chelsea Clinton leaving the hospital after visiting her mother in New York.

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

Bill has been conspicuously absent in all this. Not one press conference or even a sound bite that I can recall seeing. Now, I don't think they are that close as a couple but you'd think reporters would be clamoring to ask him for info.