“Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” Robert Fulghum
It seems like some issues in American politics never go away, they just change their context. One such issue is the question of Immigration Policy.
This election year we hear the Republican candidate spewing racial stereotypes and absurd solutions to the problem of illegal immigration. While members of his own party have condemned his statements, the truth is that for the last eight years their own stand on illegal immigrants has not been that much different than his. Before the Great Recession of 2008, moreover, they positively welcomed “undocumented” immigrants because, they said, “we can’t get Americans to do hard work” and similar excuses for allowing cheap unskilled labor to undercut the American worker.
Conversely, the Democratic Party has embraced illegal immigrants–supposedly–even as President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than his predecessors combined. To be sure, some humane immigration policies have been temporarily put in place by the present POTUS, but this is like putting a topical anesthetic on the skin to cure an internal tumor.
The truth is, many American blue collar workers have seen their good paying jobs disappear over the years, only to be replaced by low wage, no benefit jobs. Americans are not lazy, nor they unwilling to do hard work; they simply want to be paid a decent wage, something the multinational corporations who run our government and who are writing the international “Free” Trade deals that continue to ship whole factories overseas don’t want. What most working class Americans don’t understand is that each wave of illegal immigrants flooding into our country are the byproducts of these phony trade deals, which are neither free, nor even much about trade. NAFTA spurred a flood of illegal Mexican workers, displaced by the deal, who came north seeking work; CAFTA did the same thing to Central Americans, also desperate for work at any price. Nothing spurs ethnic animosity like the perception that these new arrivals are here to take your already substandard paying job.
The moral philosopher and humorist, Robert Fulghum, once observed that “All I Really Need to Know, I learned in Kindergarten.” Consider, if you will, the game of Musical Chairs; every time the music stops, everyone scrambles for a chair and someone ALWAYS LOSES. Then another chair is taken away and the music starts again; again and again, the music stops and another chair is taken away, until only one person wins. Do you all remember how many fights and arguments broke out over that game? I do. Our “rigged” economy is very much like that game of Musical Chairs. So, yes, a lot of working class Americans are bigoted against immigrants, legal or illegal, because they blame them for the loss of their once prosperous and affluent lifestyle, without ever stopping to think who it is that is really manipulating the music and the chairs.
What has all this got to do with Ambrose Bierce? Actually, precious little; but in the late nineteenth century many “real Americans” were also concerned about immigration and worried that the furriners were going to ruin our country. Having delved into Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce’s life and works for over six years as I worked on my current book, whenever I see a current political issue heatedly debated, it naturally reminds me of something Bierce said or did. For you edification, therefore, I present Bierce’s take on immigration:
“America has issued a general invitation. Whether that may have been judicious or not is not for them to say who have accepted it. If we keep open house, we do not need, neither will we tolerate, an intimation from a guest that the company is not sufficiently select.” In other words, only Native Americans have a right to complain about more recent immigrants.” AGB
Things have changed greatly from the day Bierce uttered his observation, but I would aver that his words still contain much wisdom.
By now the dust has settled from FBI Director’s half-hearted whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server instead of following established protocols which have been in place for over a decade and which were required by law. As even many mainstream media pundits have observed, even though Comey ostensibly said “no reasonable prosecutor would indict her” based on the evidence, he followed that patently false claim by citing the numerous things she did which WOULD have gotten any other citizen of the United States sent away for a long time.
However, Comey did give Clinton enough of a “get out of jail” card that Hillary shills have subsequently descended on the media to spin the “non-indictment” as an exoneration. It was not, and as several jurists have gone on various media outlets to proclaim, there are numerous statutes, serious offenses under Federal law, which a “reasonable” prosecutor would indeed have indicted her on and, all things being equal, easily obtain a conviction on. However, when formerly respected Senator Clair McCaskill went on MSNBC, looked into the camera and lied straight faced to the nation that Hillary “did not break the law” and was absolved of any charges and that, in effect, we can all just move on. Any lifelong Democrat should understand that Claire McCaskill is a liar and that she is covering for a modern day “Untouchable”—Hillary Clinton.
Of course, this is an election year, so independents and Democrats, who are used to tuning out the usual Republican hyperbole and just plain fabrication may assume the comments about Clinton culpability regarding her abuse of her office with regard to the private email servers is just part and parcel of election year bullshit. Unfortunately, this is a classic case of “crying wolf.” The GOP shills have fabricated so many non-scandals for the last eight years to cover their own egregious bungling and criminality during the Oh-Oh Decade, that it is easy to assume that the calls for Hillary’s indictment by the Repugnicans is part and parcel with that.
Moreover, the GOP’s leading goon/buffoon Donald Trump’s modus operandi is to engage in name calling without backing up his insults with facts. Mere repetition of “Crooked Hillary” over and over, without explaining WHY she is crooked, is not only juvenile, it causes both independent non-Republicans and honest Democrats alike to tune it out as just so much Trumpiness.
This is most unfortunate, since there are quite concrete reasons why former Secretary of State Clinton SHOULD be indicted and, by extension, why she should never EVER be considered for the highest political office in the land; hell, she can’t be trusted with being elected dogcatcher without turning it into some kind of shady operation. Be that as it may, rather than just engage in one liners and epithets, American voters need to understand exactly what crimes Hillary Clinton committed while in office and the serious nature of her offenses. What follows, therefore, is a brief summary of the criminal offenses she committed as Secretary of State, especially with regard to her use of a private, unsecured, email server. It is by now means an exhaustive list and I have tried to restrict it to just her actions with regard to the abuse of emails and not the other, far more extensive, criminal actions she committed while in office. So here goes:
18 USC Code § 1924: Prohibits putting Classified information into a non-Classified setting. Her private servers (she used several, it turns out, not just one) were at no time approved for the use of Classified documents. Worse still, FBI Director Comey characterized her private email system as being less secure than a standard gmail account! Not only were Classified documents so transferred, Top Secret and SAP information was also put on this “leaky sieve” private system. This was not accidental, it was not unintentional and it certainly wasn’t convenient for anyone concerned, including HRC.
Another count on 18 USC 1924 makes the very act of transferring information to a private server (or rather servers) located in her home, or any other location not within an authorized Federal facility was, by its very act, a crime. This is, on a much smaller scale, is what General Petraeus did with just one document; he was convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, and while he got very lenient treatment, no one contests his guilt. Hillary Clinton did this on a massive scale. 18 USC 1924
An additional count under this same law also applies to her use of an unsecured Blackberry mobile phone, from which she texted and phoned ALL of her official business. She was offered a secure government Blackberry which had special encrypted software built into it but she refused. Because the floor of the State Department which her office was on has heavy anti-hacking and cyber security protection, Hillary Clinton had to actually go downstairs to an unsecured area to receive all her calls—if that doesn’t sound like willful flaunting of basic security protocols, I don’t what does. I suspect a first year law student could prove intent on this count alone.
18 USC Code § 793 “Gathering, transmitting or losing Defense Information.” Felony. Says you cannot expose National Secrets through gross negligence. Whether Hillary Clinton INTENDED to expose State Department and other Classified and Top Secret documents to being hacked is irrelevant; her “carelessness” in and of itself is an indictable offense. It calls for ten years jail time. Again, let me repeat, intent is not necessary to prove guilt. Comey lied. 18USC 793
18 USC Code § 2071: This law stipulates that you cannot destroy government information. Felony. Does anybody seriously believe that over HALF of the 60,000 emails Hillary Clinton had on her private server were about Yoga classes and how to cookie recipes? Yet she deleted over half her emails without any oversight on the part of any official government agency or previous inspection by either the FBI, the CIA or even the State Department. 18 USC 2071
18 USC Code § 1519 Obstruction of Justice/Tampering with Evidence. Felony. Once the Benghazi Committee subpoenaed her emails, they should all have been turned over to the government and it was up to the FBI to determine what was and was not relevant. To delete more than 30,000 emails, whatever their content, in the knowledge that they had been subpoenaed is, IN AND OF ITSELF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. Moreover, Clinton and her lackeys did not just erase the emails the servers were wiped clean in a manner so as to make any of their contents irretrievable; that takes a helluva lot of intent to do that. 18 USC Code 1519
As it turns out, copies of some of those emails did surface and many, if not most, that survived were not “private” had to do with government business—or at the least mixing government business with personal gain—which brings us to:
44 USC § 3101 The Federal Records Act of 1950, which makes the Secretary of State responsible for “making and preserving” State Department Records. When HRC took office in January of 2009 she was made aware of all the rules regarding preservation of official records; moreover, a few months later the rules were updated, which stipulated that if someone used a non-agency email, any documents received via that means must also be preserved: OFR 1236.22. 44USC 3101 and 36 CFR 1236.22
18 USC § 1001Making false statements before Congress. The whole private email scandal became public in the first place because, while testifying before the Benghazi Commission, knowledge of her using a private server first surfaced. In any case, nine days after the Benghazi attack Congress officially requested all—ALL—information related to the attack in possession of Hillary Clinton or the State Department. Nothing was handed over; multiple Freedom of Information lawsuits were filed by various parties and Hillary and the State Department deny there was anything to provide. Congress filed a subpoena, Clinton denied receiving it; moreover her denial of having any documents related to Libya were shown to be a lie by a photo taken of her using her personal Blackberry while on the way to Libya after the attack. When Sidney Blumenthal was force to turn over his documents about Benghazi, a number of the documents were from Hillary Clinton—proof that she LIED to Congress. The whole story of her stonewalling Congress and denying having any documents related to the whole affair is far more convoluted than I summarize her; but the main point is, that on multiple occasions she lied to Congress. 18 USC 1001
18 USC § 798 Making Classified information available to a person not entitled to receive it. This is a Class A Felony. Huma Abedin, was at one and the same time a paid employee of the State Department, an employee of a private Clinton-connected firm and a member of the Clinton Foundation. The legality of this triple dipping aside, and the motives behind it, it is clear that Huma Abedin routinely had access to the highest level intelligence, all at Clinton’s behest. Being an employee of a private company and a non governmental organization clearly disqualified her from having access to any kind of secure information; again, Hillary Clinton knowingly violated the law. This is a Class A Felony. 18 USC 798
There is one known occasion when one of Clinton’s minions was trying to fax a top secret document to SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED and it wouldn’t go through, because the government machine was programmed not to transmit anything marked Top Secret to an unsecure destination. Clinton personally ordered the document stripped of its Top Secret markings so it would go through. The document in question had the locations of spy satellites and drones crucial to the government’s war on terrorism. I would say that was pretty clear intent, it was also reckless and that one act alone could well have endangered national security.
Because of Hillary Clinton’s wanton disregard for the law and putting private gain over National Security, it is clear that she endangered public safety and National security on numerous occasions. Moreover, although Comey hedged and equivocated whether National Security was in fact breached, there is abundant evidence it was, and on multiple occasions. First, and most publicly, was the Romanian hacker Guccifer, (or Guccifer 1) whom the FBI went to great lengths to have extradited to the US.
Unofficially, it is widely known that the Russians hacked into Hillary’s private server as well, although they obviously aren’t admitting anything. Putin, it is reported, is looking at ways to leak her deleted documents in a way that doesn’t directly implicate Russian intelligence. So expect at least some of those “private” emails to begin bubbling up during Her Majesty’s election campaign and even more so if she gets elected.
Chinese intelligence, who have multiple teams devoted to nothing but hacking into US government computer systems, has undoubtedly also read Clinton’s State Department secrets; there is even a more than even chance that ISIS and other terrorist organizations also accessed her State Department communiqués via her unsecure private server.
Again, as Director Comey noted, she would have better cyber security had she just used a gmail account. I can’t begin to count the number of violations of the Espionage Act she violated as a result, but I would warrant even a half baked prosecutor could make a credible enough case.
As for FBI Director Comey’s assertion that there were no precedents for prosecuting Clinton for her wanton disregard of American security, this too is a bald faced lie. Without going into details, but besides General Petraeus, a number of individuals have been prosecuted and convicted for doing far less than what Hillary Clinton did: Major Jason Brezler; Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning; Naval Reservist Bryan H, Mishimura; CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou; the list goes on and on; but in all cases, their alleged offenses were far less and in most case motivated by patriotism. Hillary Clinton’s motives are entirely different issue, but suffice it to say, she was motivated more by self interest than public interest.
The above is just a brief summary, and only related to her Email criminality. In truth, Emailgate is but the tip of Clinton criminal enterprises, most of which spread, like a vast international spider-web, from the Clinton Foundation. I don’t know what blackmail Bill Clinton used against the Obama Administration and Attorney General Lynch, but apparently it was enough to make them shit themselves in their efforts to obstruct bringing a serial criminal to justice.
“A good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich” Sol Wachtler
Imagine you are James Comey and you are told by your superiors (in this case the Attorney General Loretta Lynch) in no uncertain terms that you are not to recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton. The fix is in, the case is rigged; the system is corrupt. We all know this by now, unless you are a driveling idiot or some dumb-ass pseudo-Progressive with head in the sand who supports Hillary Clinton. You have spent the last year or so carefully building and ironclad case. What do you do?
There were two options: one, to do the right thing; defy your superiors and hand them a recommendation to indict the most corrupt Secretary of State in American History. This would cause Hillary Clinton to bow out of the Presidential race and Bernie Sanders becomes nominated the Democratic Presidential candidate. The other is, you do as told, betray all professional integrity and allow the equivalent of a Mafia Don to run for the most powerful political position in the world. We now know that Comey took the second course, paving the way for Crooked Hillary to be the “presumptive” nominee. The 94 dollar question is: why?
Several answers come to mind. First, you want to retain your job and would prefer not to end it prematurely, even if you do it by blackening your own reputation in the law enforcement world. The last time someone stuck by their prosecutorial guns was during Watergate, the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” when the Special Prosecutor investigating Nixon’s wrong-doing got too close to the truth and Nixon ordered him fired: the Attorney General refused and he was fired as well. But for all his wrongdoing, President Nixon was not 1/100th as corrupt as Hillary Clinton, nor as rich, nor as powerful. It is also possible that Slick Willie at that airport meeting threatened Loretta Lynch with some juicy blackmail if his boss Hillary didn’t get off; the blackmail certainly extended throughout the Obama administration and perhaps to the FBI as well.
Secondly, Comey, if you do do the right thing and recommend prosecution, you, a Republican, will have just handed the Presidency to the Democrats. Hillary Clinton, who is so incompetent she couldn’t even type a simple email without violating the Espionage Act, has only managed to stay ahead of outsider Sanders in the primaries by outrageously overt cheating that a first grader could recognize. Unfortunately, these days we have reporters who do a worse job of reporting the news than a first grader could do.
Handing the nomination to an HONEST Democratic candidate like Sanders will mean Bozo the Billionaire Trump’s candidacy will go down in flames, and as much as the GOP hates him, they lust after power more. So give the fools in the DNC and the White House what they want: Hillary gets a pass, a get out of jail free card, and the Republicans will likely win the White House.
But notice what Comey did, that devious little devil: he prefaced his whitewash with a virtual catalog of all the indictable offenses Hillary committed with regard to the Private Email servers. Comey did not recommend prosecution, true, but he made it clear to anyone who is not a Hillary troll that she was GUILTY AS HELL. Now, if the Democratic Party had an ounce of integrity left–Hell, an ounce of common sense left–they would dump Hillary Clinton at the Convention on July 25 and go with the one man who represents all the things the Democratic Party stood for before the Clintons and the NeoLiberals corrupted it–the FDR New Deal programs that made postwar America the most powerful, most prosperous nation on earth. So Hillary gets her nomination and will struggle to stay even with Trump the Billionaire Buffoon; and if the polls go too far in her favor, Comey’s people have a mountain of incriminating documents ready to leak to the press at any time.
Moreover, if by some miracle Hillary, the Capo di Tutti Capi, does win the Presidency, everyone seems to have forgotten the reason Hillary put all her communications on the Private Server to start with: to hide the BILLIONS of dollars worth of graft that she funneled through the CLINTON FOUNDATION. The reason the FBI criminal investigation has taken so long is that they have been following all the threads of corruption outward from the emails to the pay for play graft that Hillary was at the center of.
The Emails are like the tip of an ice-burg visible above the waterline; the bulk of her illegal activities have been hidden in that pseudo nonprofit and they all revolve around the complex money laundering schemes of the Clinton Foundation. My guess is that not only the Clinton Crime Family will go down once the Foundation’s crooked dealings are exposed, but most of the Party Establishment as well. If Hillary gets into office, the hearings and investigations leading to her impeachment will make Watergate look tame by comparison.
There is a Chinese proverb: be careful of what you wish for; you just may get it. FBI Director Comey has given the corrupt Democratic Party Establishment exactly what they wanted: now watch them choke on it.