The Drudge Report and Fox Nation distorted the purpose of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's trip to Australia and Asia in order to accuse her of going to a wine tasting in Australia to avoid questions about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, Clinton is attending talks with the defense and foreign ministers of Australia, a key U.S. ally.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Clinton has traveled to Australia to attend “annual defense talks aimed at deepening military and political cooperation” between Australia and the United States. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.” The country also “plays a key role in promoting regional stability in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific and supports international efforts to promote stability in Afghanistan.”
After visiting Australia, she will visit Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. The trip will include a summit of Asian leaders in Phnom Penh.
Fox Nation and Drudge based their report on an article in the Rupert Murdoch owned Herald Sun. The article asserted that Clinton is visiting the Australian city of Adelaide on the trip and that while few details of Clinton's visit to Adelaide has been released, it is “believed that” Clinton “is likely to visit Penfolds' Magill Estate for either a wine tasting session or private function.”
But even the Herald Sun article noted that Clinton was in Australia to attend talks with “Australian officials, including Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Minister Bob Carr.”