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

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Playbook

The FBI tells us that there is no reason to bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton; that creating a private server did not show intent to violate public record keeping and FOIA laws; that deleting tens of thousands of emails on said server did not indicate any intent whatsoever to hide information from government investigators; that unequivocal evidence of storage of classified material on said server did not violate clearly worded national security policies; that opening up classifed documents to hacking by hostile countries is not grounds for serious sanctions; that "carelessness" or "lack of intent" is a legitimate excuse for Hillary Clinton even though that excuse cannot be used as a defense in dozens of everyday violations by common citizens.

With this finding, although expected by most, the FBI and the federal government has passed a new threshold—if you are among the power elite AND if you belong to the Democrat party AND you have the media in your pocket AND you have established a strong network of government lackeys, you are Teflon. Ethics and honesty are irrelevant in the pursuit of power, and power is all that matters. You are above the law and that makes you very powerful indeed.

Hillary's Stepford wives loyalists will crow that this FBI finding exonerates her, and/or that Clinton is a victim in all of this. I can only wonder whether deep down, at least a few Democrats feel just a bit uneasy and sense a disturbance in the Force. That they see the rule of law being applied unevenly; that they sense a double standard in play—a standard where the power elites can lie, cheat and steal and get away with it while the rest of us are told to "move on, nothing to see here."

Over the past eight years, the Obama administration has adopted the Clinton scandal management playbook with enormous success—lie openly and often; obfuscate and misdirect; slow walk investigations; disregard court ordered information discovery; blame underlings for executive decisions; invoke the fifth amendment when necessary; cover-up and then cover-up some more. With the help and protection for a complicit media, the playbook has worked well—Fast and Furious, the VA scandal, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and others have faded into oblivion. And remember, Obama didn't write the playbook, he simply followed it.

Now, the playbook's author, a person who has spent almost three decades perfecting its every strategy, is poised to become president. Emboldened by still another victory under the guidance of the playbook, she and her administration will run rampant, using the government to reward friends and punish enemies; selling influence to the highest bidder, burying the many scandals that will surely surface and then disappear without a trace.

With this finding the FBI has added another tacit endorsement of the playbook. The corrosive effects of dishonesty, corruption and incompetence have been allowed to continue. It's a sad day.


James Taranto states things consisely when he writes:
This morning FBI director James Comey announced the investigation was over. He detailed its findings, which are damning and in many cases new, and which prove that most of Mrs. Clinton’s public statements about her private email server were lies. Lying to the public isn’t a crime, but handling classified information in a “grossly negligent way” is.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said. Would that be a synonym for “grossly negligent”? Apparently not. Comey’s bottom line is that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

That even though he also said—in reference to seven email chains concerning “matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level”: “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”

After announcing his no-charger recommendation, Comey added:
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
In other words, laws are for little people.
Welcome to big intrusive government and the elites who control it—circa 2016.

UPDATE (7/6/16):

And this from the Editors of The Wall Street Journal:
Most distressing is what this episode augurs for another Clinton Administration. Mrs. Clinton deliberately sought to evade the Federal Records Act, recklessly flouted laws on handling classified information, spent a year lying about it, and will now have escaped accountability. This will confirm the Clinton family habit, learned so painfully in the 1990s, that they can get away with anything if they deny it long enough and are protected by a friendly media and political class.