Caesar’s Wife is Not Above Suspicion

7 Jul

One of the most important saying passed down to us from the Roman Republic is Julius Caesar’s observation that ‘Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.’ Caesar meant, I think, that the appearance of impropriety must be avoided as well as actual impropriety. The mere suggestion that something is wrong – that people are behaving badly – is often just as dangerous, perhaps more so, than actual corruption.

This is unfortunately true. Many of my readers will remember the tempest-in-a-teacup over The Great British Bake-Off, where it was suggested that Nadiya Hussain only won because she was a Muslim woman. This sort of suggestion is impossible to disprove – it isn’t as if the average viewer can sample her cooking – and its mere existence calls the whole system into question. Were the contestants judged on their merits or on the colour of their skin?

This leads us, via a somewhat torturous chain of logic, to the decision by the FBI not to push for criminal proceedings against Hilary Clinton.

It looks bad. It looks very bad. It looks like the fix was in from the start.

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The statement issued by the FBI can be summarised as follows. “Clinton is guilty – but we’re not going to charge her.”

We now know for sure – going by the statement – that the server held emails that included highly-classified pieces of information, information that was ‘born classified.’

We now know for sure that Hilary Clinton did not hand over all copies of work-related emails to the State Department.

We now know with reasonable certainty (I would say complete certainty) that the server was hacked, repeatedly, by foreign intelligence agencies.

And we now know, with complete certainty, that Hilary Clinton lied, repeatedly, about the whole affair – that her actions, in short, were those of a desperate cover-up, not someone who didn’t see any reason to hide.

The FBI argues that Hilary showed no ‘intent’ to commit an illegal act. But this makes no sense. I am no expert in American law, but I believe that gross negligence is not an excuse in such matters. Hilary did something she should have known was incredibly dangerous, if only through security briefings she would have received when she took office. No, she didn’t pack a briefcase full of secrets and take them to the Russian Embassy. But she did leave those secrets out for Russian spies to steal.

Look at it like this. You have a £20’000 car. You take the car to Crime Alley and park there, leaving the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. A carjacker comes along and pinches the car – he might have committed the thief, but you made it possible. And then you lie to the insurance company, insisting that you took every precaution to keep the car safe when you did nothing of the sort. That, in short, is what Hilary did.

We may never know just how much classified data flowed into that server – and then straight to Russia or China. Hilary’s attempts to cover up the whole affair may well have rendered some data beyond recovery. No one – not even Hilary herself – can say with any certainty just how much additional data, beyond that recovered by the FBI, was stolen. God alone knows how many lives might have been put at risk by one woman’s arrogance and carelessness.

There is, quite simply, no defence for any of this. It looks very bad.

At this point, I do not believe that any vetting service worthy of the title would clear Hilary Clinton to hold classified information. And yet, she’s running for President. Will she separate herself from any discussions of sensitive issues? Of course not! Can she be trusted with classified data? Of course not! No one in their right mind would look at her record and grant her a security clearance, yet what if she becomes President? This is a nightmarish can of worms for anyone to consider opening.

But even that is not the worst of it.

The decision by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to meet privately with Bill Clinton, just prior to the FBI’s statement, stinks like limburger. Of course it does – even if they really did stay away from anything sensitive, there’s no way they can prove it. It looks, very much, as though the whole affair was fixed. And realistically, what sort of idiot would allow such a staggering appearance of impropriety even if there was no real impropriety? The Attorney General must be above suspicion. Loretta Lynch has proven, time and time again, that she is nothing of the sort.

I am tempted to conclude that the FBI just handed the election to Donald Trump. As has been pointed out, time and time again, countless Americans have been fired and/or jailed for far lesser offences. General Petraeus is an American hero, yet he was charged with sharing classified information (and rightly so). Why is Hilary spared the consequences of her crimes? Why is a woman who has spent the last eight years playing fast and loose with American security – and lying about it – not in jail? Why is she running for President?

The long-term consequences of this will be disastrous. On one hand, defence lawyers are already scheming how best to use the ‘Clinton Defence’ when their clients are charged with mishandling classified material. On the other hand, people are asking why they should obey the law when Hilary Clinton breaks it with impunity. And really, why should they obey the law?

And, on the gripping hand, we have the sickening prospect of Hilary being elected into office, paving the way for political corruption on a staggering scale, the transformation of the United States into a laughing stock, the loss of American influence and the complete collapse of NATO and the US’s other alliances. What sort of global leader would trust a woman like Hilary? Her record for upholding American alliances is already poor – now, with her loose grip on matters geopolitical, no one will listen to a word she says.

It’s easy to say that charging Hilary would not have been easy. The Clintons are known to be vindictive. Any FBI Director who charged her would be putting his career on the line, if Hilary Clinton took office in 2017. But such considerations should have played no role in the decision. The basic principle of western law is that no one is above the law …

… Unless you happen to be Hilary Clinton.

Hilary may have escaped formal charges, but there is no way to avoid the appearance of impropriety, corruption and political string-pulling. And this will cost her dearly.

The question is just how badly it will cost the United States too.

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44 Responses to “Caesar’s Wife is Not Above Suspicion”

  1. shrekgrinch July 7, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    The FBI is as thoroughly politicized as the IRS is, now. And they just picked sides like the Praetorian Guard did when a new Emperor was selected. Brazenly so.

    My favorite part was Director Comey basically saying, “We won’t bust her…but we will bust others for doing the same thing in the future.”

    Of course having a last name of Kennedy still trumps Clinton. You can drive your car into a river and leave a woman in it to drown with no consequences of you are a Kennedy. But being a Clinton is a nice second place privilege.

    This may have helped Trump. I predict that up to 50% of the Never Trumpers will now hold their noses and vote for Trump over this.

    As for me, I have long since came to the realization that the Republic is dead. This just confirms it. The GOP in Congress will not stop her from being elected (Congress has that power in the Constitution but most people aren’t aware of it) should she carry the Electoral College (RC). They won’t even impeach Lynch or Comey just to take a stand. They are pathetic.

    Some state legislatures might take matters into their own hands, which could deny her the majority she needs in the EC. But I doubt it. We’ll see.

    • Charlie Thurman July 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      As long as the Democrats in the Senate are in lock-step, the GOP can do nothing to stop the left. In order to impeach anyone, from Lynch to Obama would fall short of a super majority.
      .

      • shrekgrinch August 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

        Impeachment happens in the House, not the Senate.

        The trial to remove happens in the Senate.

        So the GOP can impeach any constitutional officer they want to, really.

  2. R Godfrey July 7, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    The problem is, Trump is even worse, with his bullying narcissism and bigotry it is not a risk to the US reputation, it’s the risk of a major war, a war between states that can strike back against the US, hard, rather than knocking over a dictator or two to keep tbe GOP in war orphans and torture porn. Clinton is no mord corrupt than Reagan, but liable to be as big a disaster as he was, Trump is a risk to anyone who likes their cities non-radioactive.

    • shrekgrinch July 7, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      So breaking national security laws are not as important as your obvious Trump Derangement Syndrome fueled opinions otherwise.

      BTW, folks like you said the exact same things about Reagan as you just said about Trump.

    • MishaBurnett July 7, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      I’ve noticed that even Democrats are unable to say anything good about Clinton–their only response is “Reagan/Bush/Trump/Whoever is so much worse!”

      I’ve yet to see anyone make the claim that Clinton would be a good president, or even not a terrible president. I’ve yet to see anyone make the claim that Clinton is not a career criminal who uses her influence to avoid prosecution. The entirety of the Democratic platform is based on demonizing her opponent.

      • PhilippeO July 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

        There are many Dems who liked and support Clinton. most female-oriented publication support her. Mother Jones is pro-Clinton since beginning.

        it look like she has no enthusiastic support because 1) in the net Bernie supporter is much more numerous 2) in mass media, Clinton always regarded as enemy since Bill era.

      • MishaBurnett July 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

        On what basis, though? I have seen a fair amount of support for Clinton, but it all takes the form that she will save us from the evil other. The only positive attribute I have seen people apply to her is that she is a woman. I haven’t seen anyone claim that she will do anything good, just keep other people from doing bad things. Even her supporters don’t seem to expect her to anything, just not be the other guy.

      • PhilippeO July 7, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

        Dems party programme ? appointing judges ? there admittely nothing noteworthy or unique in her position, she professional democratic party politician, people who support her believe she would be most successful in implementing democratic party goal. many would claim she is good president.

    • Jerry Caudle July 7, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

      I intensely dislike the Clintons. The problem is that I dislike Trump even less. The idiot GOP voters took what was a winnable election over Hillary and nominated this abysmal clown. If we had Jeb Busy or John Kasich or Marco Rubio it could have been won. I will not be a part of Donald Trump becoming president, even if it means voting for Hillary. They are both horrible choices, but one is far worse than the other.

      • Marc D Bartolomeo July 9, 2016 at 11:54 pm #

        One learns with life that you have to choose the Lesser of Two Weevils, 🙂

    • ian_strange July 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

      Clinton and Trump both should probably be in jail. Trump University stinks of fraud. And even if Trump turns out to be innocent, he’s pretty racist, sexist, Islamophobic, nationalist, etc. They both disgust me. I think the most reasonable option now is Sanders, 3rd party or independent. It’s important to note that Sanders actually still has a chance. Clinton has 2311 of the 2383 delegates required to gain the democratic nomination. If this scandal can (and it should) derail her campaign before the Democratic Convention, Sanders would probably get the nomination. Even a rather far-left candidate like Sanders has a better chance than any of the 3rd party or independent candidates (whose existence is barely acknowledged in American media) of beating Trump.

      In conclusion, instead of arguing whether Clinton or Trump is the lesser of 2 evils, just support Sanders, and if that fails, 3rd party/Independent. They are far better choices.

  3. philippeo July 7, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    well, modern liberal would arguethat any accusation about Caesar wife is Sexist, particularly because Caesar himself often accused ofsexual liberality.

    Clinton is not gonna persecuted because Condi rice and Colin Powell is guilty of same thing with her. so does half of state department.

    someone should not be held to higher standard justbecause she is Democrat, female, jews, or other reason. Laws that only applied selectively is no law.

    as to what happen if Clinton is white male Republican ? we already know, Dick Cheneyrelease CIA secret of its ex-agent for poltical purpose. he is never prosecuted.

    as to Petraeus, most people agree that itsadultery that cause him to be prosecuted. normally, Dems would defend him against such moralistic prosecution. His opposition to Obama on Iraq and mentor protege relationship cause Dems to balk, and thenhe gotcashiered.

    • shrekgrinch July 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

      “because Condi rice and Colin Powell is guilty of same thing with”

      Completely untrue just like the garbage that intent needed to be proven in the Clinton csse.

  4. Don Yu July 7, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    Elites looking after themselves is not new. Disappointing as this will lead to more class warfare talks similar to what happen during the 30’s in Europe. Radicals rising. I hope not.

  5. Big Ben July 7, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    What amuses me is that the American people as a whole have determined that Clinton and Trump are the best possible choices from each major party … and now bitch incessantly about how bad their two possible choices are.
    Mob rule, baby. Does not one of you whiners recall the recent primaries? If Clinton is a scheming lifetime politician and Trump is exactly the kind of narcissistic big businessman who gleefully rigged the game to bring about the global financial crisis of the last decade while lining his pockets, then how did these two come out on top?
    Oh yeah, see previous statement – the game is rigged.
    Yes, Clinton is a liar. Name one – just one – politician who isn’t. Did her server get hacked? Probably. So has the Pentagon, the White House, the V.A., every single bank, credit card company, etc., etc. Heck, the entire Chinese economy is built on ideas and supposedly-protected intellectual property they’ve ripped off from everyone else. (Oops, sorry. That sounds like a Trumpism.)
    And The Donald. All his supporters cheer his business acumen, claiming it’s just what we need in a president. Forget those pesky little words like “previous bankruptcy.” Shoot, I’d be a multimillionaire too if I inherited millions of dollars. The biggest problem with a CEO as CIC is that (at least for now) the President of the United States can’t rule absolute by executive order. Ban all Muslim immigration? It’d never pass congress or the courts. Tell China the USA isn’t going to honor it’s debts? What, are we in worse financial shape than Greece or Venezuela? Nice sound bites, Donald, but delusionally divorced from reality.
    Or maybe just lies you’re telling to get elected … like every other politician.
    DUCK!! I think I hear the Mexican bombers flying overhead!

    • shrekgrinch July 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

      “What amuses me is that the American people as a whole have determined that Clinton and Trump are the best possible choices from each major party”

      No, they did not. Only a rather small subsection of the US adult population did.

    • merr49 July 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      Julian Crawford
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aotearoa_Legalise_Cannabis_Party
      head of the Cannabis party.
      no i didn’t vote for them.

  6. Bret Wallach July 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    “countless Americans have been fired and/or jailed ”

    Well, she is no longer secretary of state so that’s sort of like being fired. Many people who mishandle classified information are simply stripped of their clearance and/or fired and not jailed. The reason is simple: if every time someone mishandled classified information they were jailed, nobody would work for the government or military. Everybody makes mistakes.

    So now she’s looking for different employment (president) and the employers (the voters) simply have to decide how important this issue is. If they voters decide that she’s not fit to be president, then that’ll be good enough for me.

  7. Anarchymedes July 7, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    ‘The basic principle of western law is that no one is above the law’

    Really?! So the once-popular here in Australia The Underbelly TV series are all pure fiction – never mind that some of their characters are still around, and even helped the film-makers? I mean, it was a good slogan during the Cold War, to shout it into their smug communistic totalitarian faces. But how long are we going to keep lying to ourselves that our society is perfect? That democracy doesn’t have inherent weaknesses? That we are oh-so-different from the ancient Egyptians who believed their Pharaoh a symbol of civilisation, when we make a huge scandal out of the President’s failure to keep his fly zipped (I refer to Monica Lewinsky’s story?) Because while we’re busy convincing ourselves that The Law is Sacred, Russia and China grab land and laugh. So maybe it’s time to put the results first – and see what principles will emerge from that, instead of the other way around. The only true laws are those of the nature: we can’t break them, no matter how badly we want it, or how hard we try. Those may be spoken of as laid down by God (if you’re a believer). All other laws (the ones that can be broken) have been laid down by humans, and so can be improved by humans, to reflect the reality better.
    In terms of the presidential race, I believe it should mean supporting whoever might deliver the best results, regardless of his/her criminal history, race, religion, sexual preferences, past blunders, and what not. I’m not American, and not in America, so I can’t say who that may be, or might have been.

    • PhilippeO July 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

      This is way too cynical. The law might be bend or even broken numerous times, its apparatus corrupted and prejudiced, and its design influenced by special interest. But ‘ no one is above the Law’ is still honored principle that successfully applied in Western Democracy. even Greece or Italy or Glasgow or El Paso still apply that principle way way better than Ancient Regime, Pharaohnic Egypt or Westeros. even China believe that principle, CCP certainly try numerous anti corruption campaign to retain its people loyalty.

      and without ‘equality before the Law’ how can you know you getting result ? there no certain Putin or CCP would share whatever result of victory with you ?

      • Anarchymedes July 8, 2016 at 12:22 am #

        Common sense is above the law; when the law doesn’t make any sense, it will be treated like bad weather: worked around and ignored. The primitive hard decency that even the Stone Age tribesmen feel (for all their inability to express it, other than kill those who go against it) is above the law. In short, justice is above the law. Because when the law becomes a science and a system, it ceases to be justice, and the only purpose it serves then is feeding the army of unscrupulous lawyers. That, unfortunately, is the priciple applied way too successfully in many Western democracies – and that is the weakness our enemies have learned to use against us, creating disunity and making us turn on each other. The law – the human-made law – is there for the people, not the other way around.

  8. Stuart the Viking July 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    As you can see from some of the comments, partisanship has gotten to a point in the USA that both sides will go to enormous lengths to excuse practically anything for their candidate, all while claiming the other candidate is evil incarnate. This, of course, is really just human nature and pretty much happens every election. I think it seems much more noticeable this election season because of just unpopular the two major party candidates are (both have largely negative approval ratings). I fear that the next president will be decided by which side is better at holding their noses and voting… which unfortunately probably means the people with the most integrity will end up on the losing side.

    • Bret Wallach July 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      “…unfortunately probably means the people with the most integrity will end up on the losing side.”

      The whole world is on the losing side this election.

      • Stuart the Viking July 7, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

        While I would say that both major party candidates are a poor choice for President, I don’t really think either of them being elected would rise to the level of “the whole world losing”. Yes, the US President has some clout, but really, what is either one of them likely to do that would be THAT big of a disaster? (or perhaps I am just purposefully fooling myself so I can sleep at night)

  9. Ian July 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Twenty two million emails held on private servers disappeared while GW was president but that stopped being news in days. The whole thing stinks of double standards on all sides.

    • shrekgrinch July 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

      Unless you can provide proof that those documents were classified, it is just more Left wing BS going around in the media that doesn’t even compare to any of what Clinton did.

      Just like the Left saying that proving intent is the legal standard to apply in these cases. It isn’t. Criminal negligence is. Comey even said she was criminally negligent…but that he was just going to give her a free pass while reserving the right to prosecute others doing the same in the future. If Clinton loses the election, she better get herself a blanket pardon from Obama before he leaves office…because Trump can still prosecute her, if he wanted to.

      A House committee is now going to push for Clinton to be charged with perjury as they have proof that she lied to the FBI and to them while under oath for her testimony to them. Of course, this won’t go anywhere either since the entire US Judicial system is a completely politicized farce now.

  10. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard July 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    Well, the “good thing” about the FBI’s actions is that the Head Guy is being very open about Hillary’s wrong-doing.

    It’s very possible to read his actions as “I know that I and my agency would be in big trouble if Hillary wins the Presidency after we had recommended she be charged. Therefore I won’t recommend that she should be charged but I will make in clear that she should be charged.”

    Since she is running for the Presidency, he & his agency would be “damned” no matter what he did.

    Basically, IMO he has thrown the “hot potato” into the hands of the Democratic Party.

    If the Democratic Party allows Hillary to run as a Democrat, they know that Trump will use the FBI’s statement against them & her.

    The “Fat Lady” hasn’t sung yet.

  11. Big Ben July 7, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    There’s one point I can’t get away from, no matter how much I drink.
    Any trauma surgeon who’s practiced for thirty years will have made mistakes, even lethal ones. But if you’re told you need open heart surgery tomorrow, you’re not going to call your mechanic, no matter how good he/she keeps your Ferrari purring. They’re both good with their hands, but use totally different tools.
    If you have no experience, you have no record to run on, and no mistakes for your opponent to point to. Someone who has never climbed into the ring has a flawless record.
    Or to put it another way, the Yankees wouldn’t hire Michael Jordan as their starting pitcher, no matter how awesome he was with the Bulls. As he quickly found out, just because you’re good playing with one set of balls doesn’t mean you’ll … aw, shucks, straight into the gutter I go.
    So here’s my question: In the last 100 years has any nation (other than dictatorships) ever had someone step into the highest office of the land with zero prior political experience? And if anyone can find an example, how did it go?

    • Anarchymedes July 8, 2016 at 12:36 am #

      These days, leading a big corporation, being a TV showman, and being a politician overlap – way too much for my liking, but there you go. So while the mechanic’s skills can’t be very well applied to heart surgery, keeping people too entertained to think like a showman and manipulating behind the scene and lying through one’s teeth like a corporate executive will both do very well.

    • Stuart the Viking July 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      I donno… Michael Jordan did play baseball for a while. If I recall he was an outfielder.

    • Urusigh August 19, 2016 at 5:30 am #

      Scott Adams covered this objection nicely. Short version: Absolutely no job on earth is like suddenly being the president.

      The scope and magnitude of the responsibilities is utterly unlike being a governor, a senator, a CEO, anything else. Certain basic aptitudes will still be useful (being a quick study, reading people, the ability to make deals with people who have competing interests, etc) but it’s not a question of “who does heart surgery, the mechanic or the doctor?” It’s more like “a calamity is coming and we just invented a drug that will give a regular person super powers, but we only have one dose and it will take years to make another…who do we trust to use those powers to save us rather than harm us?”

      Because let’s face it, no candidate is actually qualified as an individual. Every major topic we publicly dispute has Masters degrees holders in the associated field who still argue which policy is best and can’t come to a unified consensus. Entire think tanks and federal agencies exist to study, master, and advise the presidency their field. The only duties the president really has is to uphold the Constitution (enforce the law), to sign treaties , appoint officials, and as necessary act as Commander in Chief. Or to put that in other terms: follow the rules and see that all others do so also, hire capable people, let them do their jobs, occasionally sign documents.

      Those are all things that Trump actually had a solid history of doing. Hillary on the other hand, doesn’t follow the rules (email server being only the latest example), hold others to them ( Wasserman violated DNC charter rules to top the primary for Clinton and in return she got a prime position in the Clinton campaign), doesn’t hire for capability (to many examples, Hillary herself acknowledges that she selects first for loyalty), doesn’t let them do their jobs (micromanages badly), occasionally signs documents (well, there had to be something she can manage, actually keeping those records on the other hand…)

      You don’t get too pick the doctor for your open heart surgery. The best you get is picking the hospital. Do you choose the one known for cooking the books, getting sued, and paying off the inspectors to dodge malpractice convictions? Or the one whose manager used to work in a different industry, but had a reputation there for hiring the best employees and firing the ones who commit malpractice? I don’t know about you, but I’d sooner trust my life to that second hospital and stay away from the first.

  12. Sithicus July 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    If everything else fails there is still Rule 308

  13. David Graf July 7, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    My wife and I just started watching the new season of the British Baking Show in the US. Your “spoiler” about the winner was not intentional but it still ruins it for me. Oh well, if this is the worst thing I have to be upset about – then I have an extremely fortunate life. By the way, I finished the Fear Naught book and it’s another winner! Thanks for writing it.

  14. G July 8, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    If the FBI went over every email and electronic message you sent over a 4 year period and subjected you and all of your closest friends and associates to hundreds of hours of testimony plus congressional testimony, I suspect I could find at least 100 comments that looked bad in hindsight for every single person on this website…especially for a 65 year old serving in a high pressure, high political job where a great deal of what she deals with on a daily basis is classified…email security only became a big issue in the last 3-4 years–mostly after Clinton served as Secretary of State…every single one of us has used poor judgement–that doesn’t mean it rises to the level of criminal intent–and that was the core issue.

    • Urusigh August 19, 2016 at 5:55 am #

      Actually, it wasn’t. The relevant federal statue doesn’t require criminal intent. It’s gross negligence. That’s the difference between “forgot your kid was sleeping in the backseat and he died of heatstroke while you were in the store” vs “deliberately abandoned your child in Death Valley in August because you wanted him to die a slow death of heatstroke”. One is gross negligence, the other is murder, likewise gross negligence in the handling of classified materiels vs deliberate espionage.

      Comey explained at length that Hillary’s actions were indeed grossly negligent, “lack of criminal intent” merely saves it from being espionage. His given reason for not recommending charges was that charges are almost never brought for gross negligence. Translation: yes she’s guilty, but we do rarely use that law that it would look very selective if we applied it to her (which is obvious BS because the FBI brought charges under it against a marine earlier in the year).

      So there’s the pattern. A law that mostly exists to punish the powerful for incompetence (in most cases you have to be pretty high up the government ranks to even have access to classified material) almost never gets used… Because it almost never gets used? I can only hope that is because most high ranking government employees actually do their jobs and abide by the minimum safety standards of the materials with which they work.

      Name one other federal law where we don’t punish the known guilty simply because most of their co-workers don’t break it.

  15. Tarun Elankath July 8, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    The FBI made the right decision – not to proceed with criminal charges. I listened to the full senate hearing yesterday. Some very pertinent facts – ONLY 3 emails were found to be classified out of > 30,000. Those 3 emails did NOT fit the formal classification policy – the head were NOT annotated as classified – only some paragraphs in the body. Lastly, and most importantly, the state department just yesterday announced that those 3 emails were mistakenly classified as confidential!!

    As the FBI director stated multiple times in the senate hearing, there is there no evidence of criminal intent and thus no applicability of 18 U.S. Code 798. Applying the classification statute for Clinton would be ‘celebrity hunting’ – in his very own words. Comey is a republican who was appointed deputy attorney general under George Bush and is well known to have the highest standards of fairness. Nearly all republican members of the senate have praised his ethics several times in the past – until his decision went against them today.

    Did Hillary Clinton lie to the senate ? Yes, she did. Prosecute her for that offence if you wish – but it is not under the ambit of the FBI as Comey himself stated several times – they do not look at what a politician says to the Senate – they look at what the subject says to the FBI.

    If the FBI can recommend prosecution for what members of the congress and senate say in hearings, most of the republican party would be in jail today for multiple strikes. (WMD’s anyone ?)

    Will Hillary Clinton make a good POTUS ? No, she is clearly incompetent and dishonest. She is also a war monger and ‘free trade’ puppet under complete control of the banking and military industrial complex. (See the campaign contributions)

    Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party is currently the best presidential candidate available today. However, regardless of her incompetence and dishonesty, from a strict application of the law, Clinton cannot be held liable for criminal prosecution.

  16. deguerre July 9, 2016 at 12:19 am #

    Very thoughtful post, Chris. Thanks for letting us know your opinion.

  17. BobPM July 12, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    I’m a fan of Chris’ writing, but spare me the hand-wringing about Clinton after the last administration shredded numerous conventions on war and torture, and ignored the Hatch Act and the entire concept of habeas corpus without consequence.

    The key finding of the Gowdy hearings was the testimony of the Dept. of State IT head who stated that NO Secretary of State before Kerry ever used a state.gov email. So yes, Powell and Rice observed a similar lack of formality. If you want to criticize Clinton, it should be about her not cleaning up the pervasive and ubiquitous email practices of the prior administration.

    Second, despite Comey’s unprofessional implications, there was NO evidence that he Clinton Server was hacked, but even if it was, the content of the “classified” emails is known. As reported by Fred Kaplan at Slate, the roughly 10 “conversations” out of the 30,000 emails reviewed contained information with no classified headers on after-the-fact CIA drone strikes and a conversation regarding the Malawi head of state. Slate reports that the drone strikes were common knowledge having numerous media outlets keeping tabs, but were officially classified since they were conducted in friendly states and not officially acknowledged. The Malawi emails were classified to the extent all head of state discussion are classified.

    I have a hard time getting all worked up over 10 email strings (110 emails between Clinton and her staff) out or 30,000, especially considering the recipients and content.

    Powell deleted his emails or abandoned his account, and the RNC deleted the 33 million Bush administration emails it had while the administration was being investigated for violations of the Hatch Act. Clinton’s problem was she did not destroy the evidence the way the prior administration did.

    • Urusigh August 19, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      “NO evidence that the Clinton Server was hacked”

      Besides the 2013 article on Russian TV?
      Besides Guccifer?
      Besides the fact that both the DNC and Clinton Foundation were hacked and both of those actually had professional security and 24hr staffing while Hilary’s private server had neither?
      Besides the emails saying “I shut the server down because it was under attack again” and the one that showed it was misconfigured and sending to the internet in clear text?

      Let’s see, that’s motive, means, and opportunity for adversaries that have proven every year that they can repeatedly beat commercial level security, standard government security, and even occasionally the lowest tier of military security.

      In what Topsy-turvy world do you live that a misconfigured server sitting in a bathroom and effectively maintained part-time proves an insurmountable challenge to the kind of teams that routinely compromise Fortune 500 companies using the latest tech with full time professional security on watch. That’s like insisting that Delta Force couldn’t get over the wooden fence around a house in the suburbs. “Not leave evidence after the fact” is normal (because it’s easy!) under those conditions.

      Incidentally… 1. Powell used a major commercial service (and therefore at least had commercial level security and constant monitoring by professionals), whereas Clinton used a private set up. That’s like the difference between putting your money in a community union vs putting it in the neighbor’s garden shed (they are both less secure than a major bank, but the degree differs by several magnitudes). 2. The relevant guidelines were less strict during Powell’s tenure. It’s a bit disinguous to claim as precedent a failure to follow rules that hadn’t yet been put into effect. 3. Those rules were expressly tightened because such practices created unacceptable levels of vulnerability, a fact Clinton was seemingly aware of given the emails where she rebuked another employee for using a personal address instead of his state account. So Powell’s actions were less dangerous than Clinton’s, done at a time when they weren’t actually prohibited by State policy, and our (including his) understanding of the cyber threat was less developed. Clinton did worse despite rules that actually did prohibit such actions while demonstrating at least some knowledge of those rules (and the many warnings by the state IT staff and security against such things).

  18. Sfg July 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    Trump is not the fist to refuse to pay debts in fact I think Hitler said something very similar.
    Yes I am serious America is a broke county that is in fact in a worse position than Greece and has a very Very large military and nuclear weapons in fact didn’t they just stat building a new launch sight in the middle east.
    When your only tool is a hammer all problems start looking like nails.

    • Drowe July 14, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      “Trump is not the fist to refuse to pay debts in fact I think Hitler said something very similar.”
      Godwin’s law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazism or Hitler approaches 1.
      Comparing anyone to Hitler is usually uncalled for and shows you don’t have a valid argument.

      This is evident in the rest of your post, what you are claiming is simply not true. Yes in absolute terms the US has a higher debt than just about any other nation, however the GDP is also higher than any other nation’s GDP. Relative to their GDP the US has little more than half the the debt Greece has (US 105% debt to GDP ratio vs. Greece 175% debt to GDP ratio). This is still high compared to the UK 89% or Germany 71% but nowhere near the catastrophic levels of Greece. Comparing the US economy to Greece is either dishonest or ignorant. And yes, the US has the highest military budget in the world, but relative to GDP the picture looks a bit different. Relative to GDP Saudi Arabia has the highest military budget (10.4% of GDP) followed by Israel (5.2%) and russia (4.5%), the US only ranks 4th with 3.5%.

      Really, the US has enough other problems, there is really no need to invent any new problems. Comparing Trump to Hitler, is not helping anyone, neither is fearmongering about the economy. Of course the high national debt is a problem, and not dealing with it could lead to a financial collapse of the US at some point in the future, but it’s not an immediate danger. The rise of the national debt to dangerous levels was largely a result of the 2008 financial crisis, in its wake the national debt increased from 65% to 100% within four years and has only been growing slowly since then.

      Drowe

  19. Dark Side Panda July 21, 2016 at 7:59 am #

    What Clinton did deserves an indictment, but that will not happen, because the 2 previous Secretary of states also had email problems similar to Clinton. Don’t get sucked in by the “Clump” these two candidates are the worse to ever lead either party in a run to be President.

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  1. The Hilary Quagmire | The Chrishanger - August 4, 2016

    […] Clinton, as I noted in two of my previous articles (here and here) is a simply appalling candidate. Indeed, her nomination is a joke in bad take. To all of the […]

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