Tales of The Corrupted: David Ignatius’s Hillary E-mail Scandal Whitewash

This is how the world ends. The ethical world, anyway...

This is how the world ends. The ethical world, anyway…

I am charting the Clinton Corruption of the Democratic Party and how it spreads to other populations, like progressives, feminists, journalists and voters. I fear that a map of the projected progress will look like one of those scary plague or zombie computer progressions in scenes from movies like “Outbreak,” showing the entire nation turning blood red over a series of progressions beginning with a single carrier in Montana or someplace. “We have 72 hours, gentlemen, until the whole nation is infected!”

Still, there is hope. Last week I was struck by the sad cast of Clinton surrogates that her campaign trotted out to argue that it is ridiculous for anyone to think that a Secretary of State should be expected to follow her own department’s best practices, take proper steps to protect sensitive communications or tell the truth. The most raving was Howard Dean, who essentially adopted the Big Lie approach employed by James Carville. “Look,” Dean told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd last week, “this is, in fact, manufactured partly by a press that’s bored and partly by the Republicans….She can’t be blamed for this. So I look at this as the usual press frenzy, the pack journalism, and I think it’ll go away, because there’s no sense to it.” Dean should have also mentioned the bored FBI, the bored judges, and the hundreds of bored lawyers I have discussed the issue with in ethics seminars. If there is one of the latter group who agrees with Dean (who isn’t being paid by the Clintons), he or she hasn’t had the guts to say so out loud. Then Hillary sent a sacrificial lamb to Fox News, a poor ex-Bill Clinton State official named Ellen Tauscher who looked terrified…

Tauscher

….spoke in a shaky voice,  stumbled and stuttered and made no sense at all, teeing up junk like this…

TAUSCHER: Look, Secretary Clinton has former foreign service officers, civil servants. I did as undersecretary too, that make sure all of this information is protected. It is physically impossible to move things from the classified system to the unclassified system. We are only talking about the classified system, unclassified system. Everything on the classified system is where it belongs and there is no question about that. The Federal Records Act makes very clear that the person that transmits the information is responsible for the classified — classification of the information. And is it possible that Secretary Clinton was passed something by somebody and somebody and somebody? Yes. That would have been true if it had been on the state dot-gov e-mail system. But I mean, I think that we all understand that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard. But let’s get it straight. Let’s be lawful and let’s be smart about this. We’re talking about unclassified e-mails. We’re not talking about classified e-mails, we’re talking about unclassified e-mails and they are clearly subject to what people interpret…. And there are differences between the State Department and the intelligence community right now.

As Olsen Johnson said in response to Gabby Johnson’s “authentic frontier gibberish” in “Blazing Saddles,” “Now who can argue with that?”

My impression was that no articulate, honest, credible Democrat was willing to defend Clinton, hence the campaign’s reliance desperate resume peddling hacks like Tauscher and principle-free madmen like Dean and Carville.

This week, it was more of the same. On “This Week With Martha Raddatz Pretending To Be George Stephanopoulos,” Hillary’s designated liar was a state senator I had never heard of who refused to answer Raddatz’s questions. My favorite exchange: Raddatz asked her about polls showing that a majority of the public believes that Hillary lies and isn’t trustworthy, and whether this wasn’t a serious concern for the campaign?

“Well, I certainly don’t feel that way!” the surrogate answered, with that frozen smile these people get when they have to stick to talking points and admit nothing.

Still, the Clinton Corruption Contagion (CCC) is spreading to the thoughtful and credible. The venerable Cokie Roberts, on the ABC roundtable today, has embraced the deceptive and misleading media spin that the only issue is whether the e-mail revelations ultimately costs Clinton significant support. No, that’s not the issue at all, at least not the one the news media should be concerned with. The issue is what Clinton did and what she said, and whether being incompetent, conflicted, reckless with sensitive communications and lying about it repeatedly, plus destroying evidence, disqualifies a former Secretary of State from being considered as a legitimate Presidential contender. Cokie Roberts’ analysis has now deteriorated into “Will Hillary’s lies and blame-shifting work?”

Hearing her talk like that is like watching Dana Wynter open her cold, inhuman eyes post-podding in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.”

Then there is David Ignatius, one of the Washington Post’s more trustworthy pundits, who authored an op-ed some CCC infected staffer headlined “The Hillary Clinton e-mail ‘scandal’ that isn’t.”

Do you know why this isn’t a scandal, according to Ignatius? It’s not a scandal because Clinton is unlikely to be indicted! Talk about a low bar for a Presidential front-runner: stay out of jail, and you’re in the clear! We knew Clinton wouldn’t be indicted, right? From The Orange County Register:

“What’s truly unsettling is that it has been widely taken as read among both the media and the general public that Mrs. Clinton will likely avoid serious legal consequences for her behavior because the Justice Department is ultimately answerable to President Obama – and Democrats will not use the instruments of government to destroy one of their own. Whether that eventually proves true, the sentiment itself reveals a troubling trend in American politics.

While it’s far from unheard of for public officials to apply less-exacting standards to their partisan allies, it’s unnerving that the segments of society charged with keeping those officials in check – namely, the media and the voters – now regard such lack of principle as so unremarkable that it barely merits mention. We have transformed into a country in which it’s difficult to imagine precisely what kind of official malfeasance would be met with more than a shrug of the shoulders.

While this trend has been at work for decades – you can thank both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton for hastening the decline – it has reached escape velocity during the Obama years. The Justice Department, for example, already took a pass on prosecuting Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal in which conservative groups were singled out for special scrutiny by the federal government on the basis of their political beliefs. If there’s anything that ought to be a matter of consensus in American politics, it’s that holding the reins of power doesn’t give you carte blanche to turn the power of the state against your partisan rivals. Yet Ms. Lerner, having done that very thing, doesn’t seem to be much worse for the wear.”

Ignatius wavers between an “everybody does it” argument…

“Informal back channels existed long before e-mail. One former State Department official recalled the days when most embassies overseas had only a few phones authorized for secret communications. Rather than go to the executive office to make such a call, officers would use their regular phones, bypassing any truly sensitive details. “Did we cross red lines? No doubt. Did it put information at risk? Maybe. But, if you weren’t in Moscow or Beijing, you didn’t worry much,” this former official said.”

…even more invalid than usual because the vulnerability of unsecured government e-mail is a much more serious problem than using the wrong phone line, and an “if she  can get away with it, what’s the problem?” defense…

“Is it a crime? Technically, perhaps yes. But it would never be prosecuted.”

This is truly a symptom of ethics rot, courtesy of Clintonian values. A scandal is not just a crime that causes shame and outrage, but also unethical conduct that is “shocking, upsetting, or unacceptable.” The Clinton plan is to redefine the very definition of scandal;

  1. It’s not whether it’s wrong, but whether there’s a law against it.
  2. It’s not whether there’s a law against it, , but whether it is charged as a crime.
  3. It’s not whether it’s a crime, but whether it’s a crime everyone understands.
  4. It’s not whether the conduct is immoral or unethical, but whether of not the public is shocked by it, or finds it “unacceptable.”

Thus, if Hillary can make the public accept being lied to, if Hillary and her surrogates eventually make the public think that it is trivial whether or not the Secretary of State follows the best practices of the agency she heads, understands or respects the need to take properly handle official communications, and doesn’t unilaterally destroy potential evidence that casts doubt on why she had a private server in the first place, then indeed, there is no scandal. By this kind of metric, almost nothing is a scandal unless the Clintons say it is, and they don’t think anything they do is scandalous by definition. (See: Rationalzation #14. Self-validating Virtue. Short version: If you are convinced  you do can be wrong, you are a good person, nothing you do can be wrong.I may rename this one after the Clintons, come to think of it.)

I have to admit, once the Clintons convince the public, as they have apparently convinced Democrats, feminists and progressives, that a leader repeatedly lying to the media and the public isn’t scandalous or anything to be ashamed of, they will have re-made the world to their own, scummy, specifications.

 

David Ignatius, in the early stages of CCC, is making the case for points 1 and 2 of the Clinton definition of scandal.

Get well quick, David.

____________________

Source: Washington Post

9 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

9 responses to “Tales of The Corrupted: David Ignatius’s Hillary E-mail Scandal Whitewash

  1. “The Federal Records Act makes very clear that the person that transmits the information is responsible for the classified — classification of the information. And is it possible that Secretary Clinton was passed something by somebody and somebody and somebody? Yes. That would have been true if it had been on the state dot-gov e-mail system.”

    I haven’t searched the controlling statutes here, but with all the law we drag around I have to assume that causing or facilitating or directing that something be transmitted in an unsecure way is treated in the same way as actually clicking on the send button? In this case, Clinton set up a rogue network on an unsecure server, and gave her direct reports accounts on that same network. It seems to me that the sending of every message among those people on that network should be imputed to the person who set it up and directed its use.

  2. “We have transformed into a country in which it’s difficult to imagine precisely what kind of official malfeasance would be met with more than a shrug of the shoulders.”
    Here are some kinds of official malfeasance that are unforgivable:
    The governor of Alaska doesn’t read the right newspapers.
    The governor of Massachusetts owned a company that somehow failed to cover some former employee’s health care.
    The president of the United States acknowledged the success Shock and Awe inappropriately.
    A member of congress believes that therapy might help gay people.
    Some governors and some congresspeople are professed Christians who believe in the truth of the Bible.

  3. Other Bill

    Thanks for identifying the woman with the red lipstick in the margin.

    I’m guessing the next thing that will happen is that Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills will throw themselves (be thrown) under a bus and take all the blame for any problems regarding classified documents and email procedures. Then they’ll be pardoned by Obama as he heads out the door and they’ll get cushy jobs in the second Clinton administration. It’ll be a real poke in the eye the Clintons will love administering.

    • Other Bill

      After all, HRC already had twenty percent of the delegates she needs locked up.

      [Convention delegates are already identified? They can’t change their minds? Twenty percent is a majority? Are they superdelegates? I think this was the weirdest PR/spin tack her campaign has taken to date.]

      And don’t forget, David Ignatius talked to a criminal defense lawyer at Arnold & Porter, so obviously he and the defense lawyer are right on the law and the facts. Hahahahahaha.

  4. “I am charting the Clinton Corruption of the Democratic Party and how it spreads to other populations, like progressives, feminists, journalists and voters.”

    Are you charting an actual spread or just the reveal of the rot that has been there for years?

  5. Oh I thought this was just an allegorical discussion of the new series, Fear the Walking Dead…

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