In one of the Eisenhower administration's rare foreign-policy blunders, the United States rebuffed Fidel Castro's early pleas for American aid. What we denied him, Nikita Khrushchev was happy to supply. Thus Cuba entered the Soviets' orbit, inviting the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, and a vast array of breathtaking superspook stupidities. And we've only gotten dumber ever since, treating Castro's tiny, poverty-ridden island as a mammothly threatening outpost of antiAmerican hostility.
Now enter Hillary Clinton, and plenty of questions about her reign at the State Department, under which the U.S. Agency for International Development created a loopy, anti-Castro "Twitter" operation called Zunzuneo, which was designed to amplify domestic Cuban discontent and undermine the regime. "It is unclear whether the scheme was legal under U.S. law," reports the Associated Press, "which requires written authorization of covert action by the president and congressional notification. Officials at the USAID would not say who had approved the program or whether the White House was aware of it."
It's all very dark, very vague, and quite sketchy. "The estimated $1.6 million spent on ZunZuneo was publicly earmarked for an unspecified project in Pakistan." At the top of it all, though, was Hillary, who must now clarify her role in a possibly illegal operation that chairman of the Senate foreign operations subcommittee Pat Leahy finds "troubling":
There is [he told the AP] the risk to young, unsuspecting Cuban cellphone users who had no idea this was a U.S. government-funded activity. [And t]here is the clandestine nature of the program that was not disclosed to the appropriations subcommittee with oversight responsibility.
The AP ends with a beaut of an observation: "ZunZuneo vanished abruptly in 2012, and the Communist Party remains in power--with no Cuban Spring on the horizon."
What are we left with? A pre-Clinton II Administration scandal. Another question ... Why are we not surprised?