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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton's "press conference" addressing her use of a private email server that only she controlled throughout her time as Secretary of State, The Wall Street Journal comments:
Hillary Clinton ’s admirers say she’ll run for President in part by invoking the glory days of the 1990s. For a taste of that era, we recommend her brief press conference Tuesday explaining why she had used a private email account as Secretary of State. It had everything nostalgia buffs could want—deleted evidence, blustery evasions, and preposterous explanations that only James Carville could pretend to believe.

In the preposterous category, Mrs. Clinton explained that she preferred a private email account simply as a “convenience” because it allowed her to “carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” We know plenty of people who have two accounts on the same device, and they don’t even have a retinue of aides to help carry their devices.

To allow for such splendid convenience, Mrs. Clinton had to go to the inconvenience of getting her own domain name for this secret email on the day of her confirmation hearing in 2009, and then setting up a system to manage it. Her “one device” excuse reminds us of her explanation from 1993 that she had made a 10,000% killing on cattle futures by reading the Wall Street Journal.
But this isn't about one or two "devices" or about the use of private email—a relatively common practice. It is about the use of a private, personally control e-mail server, allowing the owner (Hillary Clinton) absolute control over recordkeeping and record deletion. Of course, Hillary claims that she deleted nothing of importance, but the media hamsters who threw softball questions at her yesterday didn't ask:
  • Do you consider any email concerning the Clinton Foundation or donation to it to be "private?"
  • Do you consider personal communication between yourself and Barack Obama's political advisors "private"?
  • Why did you delete "private" emails, rather than archiving them for your future memoirs or simply for the historical record?
  • Did any "private" emails discuss government contracts, private contracts, or other political activities not related to the Department of State?
  • Did any "private" emails communicate with any Ambassador from the US or a foreign country?
  • How many of your emails discussed Libya or the Benghazi incident?
That's just a start, and I'm not a professional "journalist." But I'm also not a trained hamster.

As to Hillary's "complete disclosure" of all relevant emails ... If someone asked you for copies of a few hundred emails and you sent them as paper pages, that person might be justified in thinking that you lacked technical sophistication. If you send 55,000 pages of email as paper, it would be reasonable to think that something else was going on. And if paper was required by some idiotic government regulation, wouldn't it be helpful to send the digital files as well—particularly if your were so, so interested in full disclosure?

Richard Fernandez comments:
Hillary Clinton is responding to a request for her official emails in a calculatingly insulting way. She’s turning over the emails as printed pages, almost as if to show her displeasure at being questioned, the way a man might resentfully pay the balance of his home loan with barrels full of pennies.
Hillary Clinton doesn't lack technical sophistication, given that her crack team set up a private email server, with all of the attendant complexity involved. There is only one reason for establishing a private server for email, given the security challenges, the maintenance headaches, and the potential ethical (if not legal) hassle associated with a government employee doing this. Her intent was to tightly control access to embarrassing or incriminating emails, and when necessary, make those embarrassing or incriminating emails disappear without a trace.

As I noted in an earlier post, an investigation of the emails Hillary turned over (as paper, no less) will accomplish little. Her techies need to be subpoenaed and grilled under oath. It's just possible that the threat of perjury may help clarify the facts.

I think Hillary has learned much from the Obama administration, She observed how effectively this president and his Team of 2s have stonewalled serious scandals and to a large extent succeeded. I suspect she figured she could do the same. What she didn't factor in, however, is that stonewalling can only occur with the complicity of the main stream media, who protect Obama like his Praetorian guard. It appears that the media is not quite so anxious to provide the same level of protection for Clinton—at least not at the moment.