Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Clinton in the News Again

I have been purposely avoiding blogging. I found the even with the whole trying to be humorous bit getting a bit tiring. But at this point I feel compelled to crawl out from under my rock, say what I have to say, then crawl back into it. I am tired, I am tired of fighting with people who seem hellbent and determined to vote for Clinton. I am tired of third way Democratism, neo-liberal politics. I am tired of constant war, and the daily grind of just trying to make ends meet, while we have more death, and the destruction of sanity.

Today, at around 11:00 AM, on a calm day following Independence Day, FBI Director James Comey passed along word that there would be no recommendation for indictment over classified emails then Secretary of State Clinton viewed over potentially unsecured devices, from potentially unsecured servers. To use his words, this was “extremely careless” on her and her staffs behalf. He further stated that someone in her position, actually any government employee should have known better. This indicates several things to me, and none of them are good. They are all qualities that are bad for someone seeking the highest office in the land.

At this stage in the game, the lines have been drawn. Her supporters are celebrating yet another “GOP conspiracy” having failed to stick. Many are wondering what just happened, and others are outraged that someone like Clinton got away with doing something so many others have had ruined careers over. It has been a bit of a witch hunt over people being foolish with national secrets until Clinton came along, then its everything but.

So, I said that this indicated several things to me, and putting my personal opinion aside, if I had to judge Clinton's fitness to be Commander-in-Chief based on what I watched this morning, its looking pretty bad. Comey said that she and her staff were “extremely careless.” Now some can look past it, we equate that with leaving our Facebook open on our personal computer at home for friends and family to play with, or maybe leaving it open at the public library. Or maybe leaving our cellphones unlocked, or maybe allowing someone to see a picture we don't really want seen. Now, leaving Facebook open, or our email is careless, but for the majority of is, this is something that really amounts to “no harm, no foul.” Classified material is not treated as no harm no foul, regardless of intent. It is treated along the lines of driving while under the influence of alcohol. I doubt anyone who ever has ever drove while intoxicated intended to harm another person or themselves, but we treat them as if they did. Sure, she might have been careless, completely secure in the belief that nobody could ever hack into her devices or servers. I might even be able to say that she was extremely naive about technology, if it hadn't been for the fact concerns had been raised, and those raising the concerns told to never bring it up again, I might find myself more understanding.  Now, I would say she is naive about technology, but we have been dealing with email now for how many years? Even my Mom, who is computer illiterate, knows that one needs to be extremely careful in regards to email. More so when there are rumors, or statements that your email has been hacked. Now, some people want to say, “Well she was careless with her email, that's all.” Fine, she was just careless, in an environment where so many people are looking for any little thing. I always said Michael Jackson might have really been innocent of the charges placed against him, but he was certainly guilty of putting himself in position for those charges to come around again, and again. Clinton, knowing or suspecting a GOP witch hunt, should have been extra careful. Just as you would be if you felt your boss or a co-worker was out to get you. This disregard is a problem, her carelessness even with something like email is a problem. How large of a problem, it depends on where you sit. Classified emails, on unsecured anything, regardless as to her being warned against it or not, without seeking guidance from people who would know the correct path speaks to poor judgment. Like it or not, its bad judgment. If unsure about something you ask, you don't just assume you can do as you please.

Comey furthered his careless statements by saying Clinton, her staff, and those receiving the emails should have known better. Well, that is a given in my book. As I recall from my Dad, when he first got his security clearance (yeah even being a supervisor at a paving company on government property you probably get low level clearance), he had tons of paperwork to fill out. In his case, it was pretty cut and dry, he wasn't supposed to discuss what he might have seen or heard while working on government property, there were strict guidelines he had to follow, and to try to ensure that his subordinates didn't spill the beans or otherwise breach agreements they all had to sign. At this point, I think it is safe to say that Clinton new better than to conduct herself as she did, I would also put good money on the fact that someone had a sit down with her when she got her security clearances, specifically told her the ins and outs of it. But she totally disregarded those conversations. Look, when someone tells you something on the job, when they are introducing you to the work you will be doing, the ins and outs of the place, they aren't talking for the fun of it. So, she either disregards information that doesn't suit her, think 09-11-2001, or she is basically incompetent. Yeah, Clinton supporters are saying, she isn't incompetent, she didn't disregard information presented to her, she wasn't told. Again, a competent person would seek guidance if they were unsure, or if they simply didn't know. You can run the risk of being a maverick, but you can get burned, and if you have people watching everything you do, odds are, you are going to get burned. Bad judgment strikes again, because I do not believe Clinton to be incompetent. Just remember, I have been wrong before.

Finally, we have the reason why no recommendation for indictment was given.
“In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

So, in order for the FBI to recommend indictment there had to be intent. Look, just about any cop, lawyer or judge will tell you that intent can be very hard to prove. They will also turn around, when asked, tell you that ignorance is not an affirmative defense. Did she know that she was potentially breaking the law, likely, but she can claim it, and it still doesn't matter. See, the thing is, the efforts to obstruct justice. Clinton for her part constantly stated no classified materials when there was, publicly stated that she used one device when it was numerous (but okay upgrades and the like), and that it was one server when it was multiple servers and multiple administrators. Now, in fairness that means little, most people upgrade computers after a few years, when they can. Maybe she honestly forgot, again a bad sign, Reagan forgot things as well.

Oh, but hey, celebrate the investigation is over, she wasn't indicted, enjoy it. Because its not over now, mostly because of what Comey said, a person who engaged in the same behavior as Clinton would go without facing some consequences, the fact is they would. The implication is that Clinton got off because she is Clinton, former First Lady, former New York Senator, former Secretary of State, current presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, but just about anyone without similar credentials as hers would be under the jail so quick their tighty whities would be hanging mid-air. Celebrate this finding, and commit that press release to heart, because you are going to hear it, repeatedly, until election day, and possibly for the next eight years. You think it will be the GOP using it, oh sure, Trump is going to run that horse into the ground, beat it constantly, and when it dies, keep right on beating it. If a third party candidate has the money or cojones to run it, guess what, they will. If someone is running down ticket, they are going to use it to run any and every Democrat into the ground for supporting Clinton. But hey, Clinton won the primary, she won the investigation, and with a ton of luck she will win the election, while holding off the countless incoming impeachment hearings. Congratulations on a job well done, nothing will improve because should she win it all, it will be all about Clinton, all the time, scandal of the week material. She might not even be able to swing reelection, something that has trended since the last Clinton was in the White House. So, a continuation of Obama's legacy, its not going to happen. Be prepared to say Mr. President when addressing Trump. But the good news is, we might actually have a viable third party come 2020, providing anyone is still alive and able to vote in 2020.