This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 31, 2015:
The latest Quinnipiac survey shows Hillary Clinton failing across the board: on leadership, on empathy, on trustworthiness. Her net favorability is minus 11 percent.
It may be that the serial scandals committed in the past are coming back to haunt her. It may be that new scandals just being uncovered before the old ones can be neutralized are overwhelming her. Even erstwhile supporters are having second thoughts.
A week ago two inspectors general reported that 10 percent of the e-mails they studied from the batch Clinton released to the public contained critical national security secrets. At the time, this writer suggested that since they looked at only 40 e-mails out of the 30,000 she released, there were potentially many more still to be uncovered.
On Friday the Washington Times reported that was the case, with intelligence services scrambling first to contain and then to assess the damage caused by Clinton in her e-mails. So concerned was Director of National Intelligence Charles McCullough that he notified members of intelligence committees in both the House and the Senate of their seriousness, and their strategy to mitigate the damage as best they could:
We note that none of the emails we reviewed had classification … markings … but [they] should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked and transmitted via a secure server….
[Our strategy is] containment first, then a damage assessment is how this must be handled.
The Times noted further that these breaches were potentially far more serious than those by former CIA Director David Petraeus last year when he was charged with and found guilty of giving some classified information to his mistress and biographer, while storing other classified information in his home “in an insecure manner.”
One of those notified of the Clinton breach was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who became livid upon learning of the potential size, reach, and destructiveness of the information in Clinton’s unguarded e-mails. He wrote specifically of the 32,000 unreleased e-mails that are currently possessed by Clinton’s attorney:
It’s a serious breach of national security if the United States government fails to secure classified information in the hands of people not authorized to possess it, no matter who they are.
Then Grassley blasted the FBI and the State Department for failing to move ahead quickly to secure those e-mails:
There are fundamental questions as to what the FBI is doing in securing these classified emails, and why the State Department is not fully cooperating with the inspectors general … to ensure that all of the appropriate emails are identified.
This is one scandal that simply will not go away. A federal judge scolded the State Department for delays in releasing the documents requested, including those of Clinton’s aides while Hillary was secretary of state who were also using private unsecured e-mail accounts while working for her.
Another scandal involves an apparent pay-to-play scheme with the Swiss bank UBS. In 2008, gifts from UBS to the Clinton Foundation totaled an estimated $60,000. In 2014, they ballooned to $600,000 (a factor of 10!) following the “resolution” of issues between the IRS and the bank, thanks to intervention by Clinton. Her husband was also involved in the scheme, being paid another $1.5 million in exchange for some minor services performed for bank officials.
And still another scandal has surfaced, this time over revelations that her foundation set up a fundraising facility in Sweden at the time that country’s government was lobbying Clinton’s State Department to lift sanctions against Iran. The sanctions threatened Sweden’s thriving business with that country. Some $26 million was funneled to the Clinton’s foundation in appreciation for services rendered, using that facility. However, that facility was never disclosed and consequently was never cleared by the State Department.
Even Clinton’s friends and ideologues-in-arms are having second thoughts about Hillary as president, including “dissident feminist” and lesbian Camille Paglia. Part of Clinton’s problems in the polls, wrote Paglia, has to do with her endless “drip-drip of scandal.” When Clinton issued the usual denials, the New York Post exclaimed: “She can’t even deny convincingly!”
Paglia has all but written off Clinton as a viable candidate for the presidency:
She’s not competent or credible as a public figure. A politician, particularly a president, must have a distinct skill or expertise in communicating with the masses. It’s the absolutely basic requirement for any career in politics.
If you don’t have an effective public persona, if you’re not a good speaker, if you don’t like to press the flesh, if you’re not nimble enough to deal with anything that comes along, then you are not a natural politician.
And you’re sure not going to learn it in your late 60s.
The drip-drip-drip of scandal that continues to plague Clinton appears finally to be wearing through the Teflon that has protected her from criminal prosecutions for years. And there’s still 15 months until the election, plenty of time for new revelations to surface.