FBI recommends no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton

July 5, 2016

FBI Director James Comey announced today that the FBI has completed its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Even though the FBI found that she lied when she publicly denied emailing classified information, he said the FBI would be recommending that the Department of Justice not charge her with any crimes. Under the circumstances, the department will likely follow his investigation. Although the Bureau’s recommendation effectively ends the potential criminal case, it does not resolve the political controversy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Comey’s findings.

Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.

/snip/

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

/snip/

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.

Having found no evidence of intentional misconduct, the critical question was whether her conduct constituted “gross negligence.” Comey found that it did not. Instead, he found that she and the other people in the email chain were “extremely careless.” What is the difference?

Gross negligence is a legal term with a specific meaning. It’s an objective test. A person acts in a grossly negligent manner if her conduct constitutes a “substantial deviation” from the legal duty to exercise due care when handling classified information compared to the conduct of a reasonable person in the same situation.

“Extremely careless” is a subjective test because it’s not based on a comparison to the conduct of a reasonable person. What may appear to be extremely careless conduct to one person may not appear to be be extremely careless to another. Depending on the circumstances, extremely careless conduct may or may not constitute gross negligent conduct. The relevant circumstances probably include:

(1) the number of people in the email chain who received and transmitted the classified information and whether they were authorized to possess it (they were);

(2) the nature of the information transmitted (we don’t know because it’s classified);

(3) whether the information was intercepted by unauthorized third parties (it probably wasn’t); and

(4) how widespread the practice was (Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice also did it)

I believe James Comey decided against charging Hillary Clinton because in his opinion her extremely careless behavior did not rise to the level of intentional or grossly negligent behavior.

I generally agree with the caveat that I do not know who was in the chain and what information was transmitted. Due to the political aspects of this case, I believe it should ultimately be decided in the court of public opinion by the voters in November.

Whether voters will hold her accountable for lying when she denied transmitting classified information remains to be seen.


Hillary Clinton cynically uses Sandy Hook shootings for political gain over Bernie Sanders

April 7, 2016

Hillary Clinton is using the tragedy at Sandy Hook for political gain over Bernie Sanders. Yesterday, she tweeted,

@BernieSanders prioritized gun manufacturers’ rights over the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook.

This is disgusting and it shows how little she cares about the feelings of the people devastated by the shootings. It shows how desperate she is and how low she is willing to go to beat Sanders.

Bernie’s alleged offense is voting against a bill that would have held gun manufacturers liable for murders committed with guns they manufactured. Although I detest guns, I would have voted against the bill because it would hold gun manufacturers strictly liable for producing a product that is legal to sell, possess and use even though they did not sell it to the user or have any knowledge or control regarding the decision to sell it.

Love it or hate it, the Second Amendment is here to stay until such time as it is repealed. That is not going to happen in the foreseeable future, if ever. That means gun manufacturers are going to continue to make and sell guns to gun shops who will sell them to the public for as long as the public is willing and able to buy them.

While we do have laws that hold manufacturers strictly liable for injuries caused by the products they make, the product must be hidden and defective when made. Otherwise, there is no liability.

Hillary is a lawyer and she should know this because it’s taught in every torts class in every law school in the country and torts is a required subject, not an elective.

Voting against a bill that would have been deemed unconstitutional is the right thing to do. Bernie deserves credit, not criticism, for doing the right thing.

Hillary deserves a double helping of criticism, scorn and derision for this cynical and desperate ploy for votes. She is repugnant.

I have said that I will vote for her if she is the democratic nominee because the republican candidates are so repugnant, but I am so disgusted with her that I might have to vote for Dr. Jill Stein.


Golden Rule should be the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy

March 20, 2016

A belief in American exceptionalism and a right to exercise dominion and control over the natural and human resources of the planet has produced a catastrophic foreign policy that is destroying the planet. Hillary Clinton, like her mentor and friend Henry Kissinger, is a true believer. Just like him, she believes it’s OK to lie to get what she wants. For example, from an OpEd in Salon by Patrick L. Smith, here is a recent example of her lying to get her way regarding a free trade agreement with Colombia when she was Secretary of State.

“I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia agreement,” Clinton promised a gathering of communications workers at the time. In the releases of Clinton’s emails last year, we learned that she was simultaneously lobbying hard among members of Congress to get the pact passed—assuring them, among other things, that the rights of Colombian workers would equal or exceed those of U.S. workers.

[Dan] Kaufman [a labor writer in Wisconsin] concludes this pithy passage thus: “According to Escuela National Sindical, a Colombian labor rights group, 105 union activists have been assassinated since the agreement passed.” This is more than 20 a year on average, which computes to nearly a couple of murders a month.

This duplicity happened two years after she supported a 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya by officially recognizing the military as the legitimate government of Honduras. Since then, Honduras has been awash in blood. Berta Caceres y Flores, an environmental activist was murdered earlier this month by a military death squad. Anyone who is suspected of attempting to organize labor unions or, as Caceres did, resist the construction of an environmentally destructive hydroelectric dam, is marked for murder. Small wonder then that thousands of refugees from Honduras are seeking asylum at the Mexican border. Read more about Berta Caceres.

We need to stop the insanity.Destabilizing any foreign government (e.g., Libya: “We came, we saw, he’s dead,” said Hillary referring to Khadafi) to gain control of natural and human resources should be punishable as a war crime.

This is not complicated. The guiding principle of our foreign relations should be the Golden Rule. We should treat other nations the same way we want them to treat us and we should avoid doing things to other nations that we would not want them to do to us.

We also need to confront our past with public hearings conducted by a Truth & Reconciliation Council.

This simple truth has been staring us in the face since our beginnings in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago. We survived the ice ages not because of survival of the fittest, but because we relied on each other. Because of global climate change that we have caused, we are facing another Malthusian bottleneck. We are going to have to ourselves in the other and rely again on each other to survive it.

Predatory capitalism and wars have no role in the future we need to begin envisioning today on the Vernal Equinox — March 20, 2016.

So it shall be written; So it shall be done.


Hillary Clinton should release the transcripts of her speeches to the Wall Street banks

February 26, 2016

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton made $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 from 51 speeches she gave to banks, corporations and other interests. Goldman Sachs alone paid her $675,000. She has refused to release transcripts of those speeches.

As Secretary of State, she was the main architect of a U.S. foreign policy focused on making the world safe for investment and exploitation by U.S. banks and corporations. She was and remains a neocon war hawk committed to supporting the neocon goal to gain control of petroleum resources in the Middle East by destabilizing and replacing governments hostile to that goal. See The Project for the New American Century. “We came, we saw, he died,” she said of Muammar Gaddafi, after he was deposed and murdered in Libya. Libya, like Iraq, and soon to be in Syria, is a failed state overrun by Islamic jihadists.

No one knows better than Hillary Clinton that our foreign policy is to use the military to make the world ‘safe’ for U.S. capitalism. That would be the Wall Street investment banks and U.S. corporations.

We have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars pursuing an aggressive and failed policy in the Middle East. Instead of a robust discussion about slashing our military budget in light of our failed foreign policy, our failed wars and our war crimes, Hillary Clinton talks about how we cannot afford single-payer health care and free education, even though citizens in other countries in Europe enjoy those benefits. Of course, they don’t spend billions on their military forces.

Touting her ‘foreign policy experience,’ such as it is, she assures us that ‘incremental change’ is the only way to go.

Nonsense.

Hillary Clinton needs to release those Wall Street transcripts. I want to know what she said to investment bankers eager to know her priorities, her vision of future foreign policy, and the ‘lay of the land,’ so to speak. Goldman Sachs did not pay her $675,000 to hear war stories.

The New York Times said,

Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups. In July, her spokesman Nick Merrill said that though most speeches were private, the Clinton operation “always opened speeches when asked to.” Transcripts of speeches that have been leaked have been pretty innocuous. By refusing to release them all, especially the bank speeches, Mrs. Clinton fuels speculation about why she’s stonewalling.

I do not trust her and you should not either.


What did Hillary Clinton tell the Wall Street bankers to earn millions in speaking fees

February 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton has not answered this simple question and her vague promise to look into providing transcripts seemed disingenuous.

Let’s keep it simple.

Difficult to imagine that she has a truthful non-controversial answer, right? If she had a simple answer, she would have given it, right?

The Wall Street sharks didn’t pay her to criticize their predation.

And they invited her to speak more than once.

Absent transcripts that prove otherwise, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that she stroked their egos and encouraged their plans for global domination in partnership with US foreign and military policy.

What else would the former Secretary of State have been expected to say?

What else would be worth that kind of money?


Republicans disappear down rabbit hole searching for Ernst Stavro Blofeld

October 23, 2015

Republican members of a house congressional committee supposedly investigating Benghazi disappeared yesterday down a rabbit hole searching for the incredibly evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who disguised as a nondescript former journalist and friend of the Clintons named Sidney Blumenthal, was particularly fond of sending unsolicited advice and gossip to Hillary Clinton about Libya while she was Secretary of State.

Assuming without any evidence the existence of an evil plot between the villainous Blofeld and Clinton to sacrifice the lives of Ambassador Chris Summers and three others for her greater glory by abandoning them without security to a bloodthirsty mob in Benghazi, the Republicans hurled false accusations, insults, and stupid questions at her for 11 hours that she backhanded with ease possibly because the premise is so absurd. After emerging from the vewee scawee wabbit caves, the committee chair Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, summarized what the committee had accomplished:

In terms of her testimony, I don’t know that she testified that much differently than she has the previous times that she’s testified,” he told CBS News’ Cordes. “I would have to go back and look at the transcript.

Wow! Impressive accomplishment.

The Week said it best:

The point is that, from within the Republican bubble, Blumenthal’s connection to Benghazi, even if it consisted only of sending Hillary Clinton emails about Libya in general, proves that something fishy was going on. So naturally they’ll waste an hour or two of her testimony talking about the fact that he sent her lots of emails, which proves that…he sent her lots of emails.

This is what happens when you start an investigation that you’re sure will uncover evidence of nefarious goings-on. When you can’t find any malfeasance, you convince yourself that even mundane things are nefarious, like the fact that Hillary Clinton has a friend you don’t like.

The downside is this waste of time and money cost taxpayers at least $5 million. The upside is voters now have 5 million reasons to reject the Republican Party.


Mainstream media does not like to be criticized

October 18, 2015

The mainstream media has decided that Bernie Sanders is not electable, despite powerful evidence to the contrary, and it does not like to be criticized.

During the debate on Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders said,

Anderson…let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, talk to a whole lot of people. Middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the emails. The secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

Despite one of the most favorable audience responses of the debate to his comment, during subsequent discussion the media eliminated the italicized portion in which he criticized the Anderson Cooper for broaching the faux topic about the emails instead of asking about the far more important issues that he identified.

Then it declared Hillary Clinton the winner by a landslide despite many on-line polls from all over the political spectrum that reported the exact opposite.

Hillary Clinton is a better candidate than any of the Republican candidates, but she won’t even try to change anything.

Bernie Sanders is my choice because he has identified the real issues that matter. He speaks with passion and I believe he will try his best to change the nation’s course toward self-destruction.

The media needs stop insisting that he cannot be elected and let nature take its course.

For more information about this matter, go to FAIR.org

 


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