The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Dishonesty Scale

In the political arena, dishonesty comes in many forms. To help understand it, I'll define a 1 to 5 scale:
  1. Political spin. A politician spins an event to make herself look good under less than desirable circumstances. It not a lie, really, just a very favorable interpretation of the existing facts. 
  2. Misdirection. A politician want to media or the public to disregard news and/or facts that reflect badly on her positions or actions. To to this, she or her spokespeople metaphorically shout, "Look, a squirrel!" Everyone turns their heads to see the "squirrel" and the original event is forgotten.
  3. Obfuscation. When a negative event affecting a politician can't be ignored, she obfuscates, introducing bogus information, claiming a conspiracy that's out to get her, saying anything that will confuse the public and allow an often complicit and lazy media (if the politician is a Democrat) to think, There's no there, there.
  4. Lies. A politician knowingly and frequently lies about a policy or event with the sole intention of protecting herself or her allies. When called on the lie, she doubles down, adding lies to protect the original lie.
  5. Blatant lies. After a serious event indicating public wrong doing, corruption, or political malpractice, the politician lies malevolently to the aggrieved, to the media, and to the general public. When called on the lie, she doubles down, adding lies to protect the original lie.
A particularly venal politician can and will use level 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 lies when defending herself during just one event, or she may jump right to level 5.

In an recent post, I argued that Hillary Clinton brings a trifecta of bad traits to her run for the presidency—dishonesty, corruption and incompetence. I explored her corrupt practices here. Today, let's spent a moment considering her dishonesty.

For many months, Clinton has applied dishonesty levels 1 to 5 as she defended her use of a private email server. The intent of the server, most knowledgeable people believe, was to protect her from FOIA requests—i.e., keeping her government correspondence secret. I believe that's true, but specifically, the private server allowed her, she thought, to solicit Clinton Foundation "donations" for State Department actions that benefited the donor. There are literally dozens of examples of this, donations of millions of dollars followed months or years later by favorable treatment of the donor by DoS.

Yesterday, a report by the State Department Inspector General (an Obama appointee) called out Clinton on some of her lies. The Wall Street Journal comments:
Hillary Clinton has said for more than a year that her use of a private email server as Secretary of State violated no federal rules and posed no security risk. Only the gullible believed that, and now everyone has proof of her deceptions in a scathing report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

The report obtained by news outlets Wednesday is ostensibly an audit of the email practices of five secretaries of State. But the majority of the report, and the most withering criticism, focuses on Mrs. Clinton. The IG concludes that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record-keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server, ignored security concerns raised by other officials, and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did.

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” says the report. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

State still has never received emails from her private account for the first six weeks after she became Secretary, and the IG notes that it found (by other means) business-related emails that Mrs. Clinton did not include among the emails she has turned over.
The Clintons hope, as they always do, that the public will become confused by their Level 1, 2 and 3 dishonesty, exhausted by their Level 4 and 5 dishonesty, and ultimately, disinterested in the whole matter. That may, in fact, come to pass, but it in no way exonerates Clinton.

One can only wonder what lies Clinton will manufacture, what favors she will grant under the table, what facts she will obfuscate or bury if she were to becomes president.