This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 27, 2015:
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, reacting to the release of reports by the inspectors general of both the State Department (where she used to work) and Office of National Intelligence that some of her personal e-mails contained national secrets, predictably responded by deflecting the real issues. Rather than directly confronting the charges, she criticized the New York Times for bringing them to light. That article, she said, “contained a lot of inaccuracies,” probably because of the heat:
Maybe the heat is getting to everybody. We all have a responsibility to get this right.
We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right and I will do my part, but I’m also going to stay focused on the issues … the big issues that really matter.
It was Wednesday’s article in the Times that ignited the brouhaha: The Justice Department initially said that the IGs’ requests were a “criminal referral,” but on Friday the Department “clarified” the matter claiming that the IGs’ request “related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a CRIMINAL referral.”
The DOJ didn’t explain what the difference would be: If she compromised national security by including classified information in her e-mails, she could potentially be charged with treason under Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, such clarifications notwithstanding:
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
In its “re-skinned” article published on Friday, the New York Times blamed their error on the Justice Department, participating further in the misdirection and deflection of the real issues. In its correction, the Times wrote that its initial report (on Wednesday), “using information from senior government officials, misstated the nature of the referral to the Justice Department.… The referral addresses the potential compromise of classified information in connection with [Clinton’s] personal email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton.”
If the referral didn’t point to Clinton and her e-mails, then just whom did they point to? In a joint statement, the two inspector generals, Charles McCullough of the Office of National Intelligence and Steve Linick of the State Department, said their staffs had combed through 40 of the e-mails Clinton released to the public while claiming they were clean, and found at least four that contained classified information. Said Linick, “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.” If 10 percent of the e-mails the two IGs investigated were found to be tainted, that could mean than more than 3,000 of her personal emails were also tainted with classified information relating to national security. And that’s only based on the 30,000 e-mails she “willingly” released. There were another 32,000 “private and personal” e-mails that she, and her lawyers of course, determined weren’t relevant, and were deleted from her server.
Clinton expanded on the obfuscation of the real issues by claiming that if anything in those e-mails was classified, they were classified only after she sent them. McCullough responded to that misdirection, saying that Clinton was wrong, that the information contained was classified then, and remains classified now.
When Kurt Eichenwald, a journalist writing for the nearly invisible Newsweek magazine, attacked the original Times article for various grievous errors and mistakes, it gave Clinton another reason to muddle further the real issues. Said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill:
It is now more than clear than ever that the New York Times report claiming there is a criminal inquiry sought in Hillary Clinton’s use of email is false.
It has now been discredited both by the Justice Department and the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee [hard-left committee member Elijah Cummings].
This incident shows the danger of relying on reckless, inaccurate leaks from partisan sources.
Just what those partisan sources might be were missing. One must assume that it was a collaboration or conspiracy of error involving the two inspector generals, the New York Times, and Newsweek!
Whatever it might be, it certainly provides cover for the real story behind the story. Clinton called it an “interagency squabble” that had nothing to do with her:
What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement, among various parts of the government over what should or should not be publically released.
[This] has nothing to do with me. They can fight over it or argue over it. That’s up to them.
To review: the real issues include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Clinton violated State Department rules concerning using her personal e-mail accounts for State Department business;
- She violated federal laws and regulations governing recordkeeping requirements, including the removal and destruction of government property;
- Experts are just short of certain that hackers located in China and Russia have had full and complete access to all of her e-mails, business and personal, from the very beginning; and
- She continues to be unwilling to be forthright in the matter, illustrating a distinct air of elite superiority, claiming that others in her position also violated those same rules with impunity.
Clinton has already been caught in at least one lie: Close Clinton advisor and staffer at the Clinton Foundation Sidney Blumenthal provided e-mails to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, none of which were included in the e-mails Clinton herself has provided.
On July 7, Clinton honed her denials in an interview with Clinton-friendly CNN’s Brianna Keilar:
Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.
Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing…. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.
That’s her story, and she’s sticking with it. Such denials, deflections, and obfuscation of the real issues, however, are wearing a little thin to the American public. Several recent polls have found a majority of voters find her “untrustworthy,” a potential liability as the 2016 elections draw closer.