Portraying the currently developing scandal regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails while Secretary of State as just politics and the “kind of nonsense” that “comes with the territory,” Clinton flack Jennifer Palmieri sent out a detailed message to Clinton supporters and Democrats. It is designed to mislead them about the critical issues raised by this matter, which are certainly not nonsense, to coordinate with the news media, which is trying desperately and unsuccessfully to embargo this story because it is damaging to Democrats (more on this in Part Two), to make the public dumber about how leadership and government works, and to provide slick rationalizations to those Clinton supporters inclined to be part of the disinformation campaign.
This is sinister and disgusting stuff, the essence of ethics corruption. For an unethical leader, like Clinton, to gain power, she must make a large proportion of the public insensitive or outright ignorant of basic ethical principles, and, if possible, as unethical as possible. The effort to trivialize this serious example of what’s so wrong with Hillary Clinton as just another “vast right wing conspiracy” is part of this process.
Palmieri’s document is remarkable. It repeats the deceit and denials the Clinton camp has offered before.”Hillary didn’t send any classified materials over email,” Palmieri says. “Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them.” As Jonathan Turley points out, this is deceit. The only reason many of the e-mails weren’t marked classified is because Clinton was sending them and receiving them on her private server. ANY government business-related message coming to or from the Secretary of State is preemptively classified until a decision is made that it is not. Moreover, even this carefully parsed version, designed to deceive, is factually false. We learned today that State says at least one message marked “Top Secret”—satellite photographs—were received by Clinton, and someone on her staff inappropriately removed that designation.
Then Palmeiri tries this gibberish:
“What makes it complicated: It’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released. Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now. And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them.”
Yes, that’s why the policy at State and throughout the government is to take care that such potentially sensitive materials are secure and in government hands from the start. Stating that “the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them” is a lie. The information in the documents is the same before and after it is officially determined to be sensitive and requiring classification. The e-mails certainly contained classified information. She just delayed—by violating security protocols—the process whereby that designation could be made official. That’s not a defense. That is obfuscation.
This is worse than obfuscation:
“To be clear, there is absolutely no criminal inquiry into Hillary’s email or email server. Any and all reports to that effect have been widely debunked. Hillary directed her team to provide her email server and a thumb drive in order to cooperate with the review process and to ensure these materials were stored in a safe and secure manner.”
The FBI demanded Clinton’s server. Here is the mission of the FBI:
“The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.”
Here is what the FBI investigates: crimes. Nothing but. To say that an FBI investigation is not a criminal investigation is to assert an impossibility. If it is investigating a matter, it is because there is reason to believe crimes have been committed.
Now the Clinton Communications Director gets into deep deception:
“What about the Benghazi committee? While you may hear from the Republican-led Benghazi committee about Hillary’s emails, it is important to remember that the committee was formed to focus on learning lessons from Benghazi to help prevent future tragedies at our embassies and consulates around the globe. Instead, the committee, led by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, is spending nearly $6 million in taxpayer money to conduct a partisan witch-hunt designed to do political damage to Hillary in the run-up to the election.
Hillary has remained absolutely committed to cooperating. That’s why, just as she gave her email server to the government, she’s also testifying before the Benghazi committee in October and is actively working with the Justice Department to make sure they have what they need. She hopes that her emails will continue to be released in a timely fashion.”
The first paragraph echoes the infamous “What difference, at this point, does it make?” statement Clinton made during the first set of hearings. Well, Americans still don’t know why Clinton continued to say that the attack on the Libyan outpost was the fault of a YouTube video long after she knew otherwise. Was it a cover up? Was it part of a desire to manipulate the news to assist the president’s re-election? The public needs to know, and Gowdy’s committee appropriately has not allowed the Obama administrations stalling tactics to stop its inquiry. The second paragraph, however, takes a lot of gall. Clinton destroyed thousands of e-mails before they could be subpoenaed, but knowing they would be. That’s not “cooperation.” That called “spoliation”—destroying evidence. In a criminal investigation, doing this is a crime. It is always unethical, and inherently suspicious.
Finally, this highly paid liar resorts to rationalizations and false equivalencies:
“It’s worth noting: Many of the Republican candidates for president have done the same things for which they’re now criticizing Hillary. As governor, Jeb Bush owned his own private server and his staff decided which emails he turned over as work-related from his private account. Bobby Jindal went a step further, using private email to communicate with his immediate staff but refusing to release his work-related emails. Scott Walker and Rick Perry had email issues themselves.”
It’s “worth noting” if you are trying to get away with a false and unethical argument. They haven’t done the “same things,” now have they? They weren’t handling classified information, risking national security by exposing critical information to hacking, they didn’t destroy e-mails knowing they would be subpoenaed, they didn’t have a dubious mega-non profit that appears to have been seeking money from foreign governments (in violation of a signed pledge), and they weren’t Secretary of State. Even if they were, the best this can be called is a “they do it too!” argument, which excuses nothing. Fine, let’s stipulate that neither party nominate anyone who used a private server, since it is irresponsible and creates the appearance of impropriety. Deal?
Every American, Republican or Democrat who hasn’t been corrupted by Hillary Clinton and her minions already—you know, like the Walking Dead, or like that alien DNA that is making Halle Berry eyes all weird on “Extant,” or like those vampires on “The Strain” who shoot blood sucking tentacles out of their mouths and have a common consciousness, kind of like Clinton supporters—-needs to be capable of explaining to their imperiled neighbors, family members and colleagues why Palmeiri’s e-mail is so dishonest, and why this scandal isn’t “nonsense.”
After all, they don’t want tentacles shooting out of their mouths, do they?