Democratic Candidate Debate Integrity Watch: Will Anderson Cooper Make Hillary Defend Her Unethical Private E-Mail? Will Her Opposition?

HillaryClinton phone

The Democratic Party is in the process of ridiculing democracy at work on the other side of the aisle, as it seems to be emulating the Communist Party, USSR style. Its pre-anointed nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, is being exposed—exposing herself, really—as a liar, as incompetent, as a terrible campaigner and as possessing no core values (but she’s a fighter!), and yet her alleged rivals refuse to call her to account on the issue that has revealed so many of her deficits, the private e-mail server. The party is limiting debates to protect her from the public realization that she’s a dud, and Democratic talking points keep surfacing to confuse and distract regarding the e-mail issue. The story was broken by the New York Times, the lies were authored by the Clinton campaign team, and the irregularity was sufficient to spark an ongoing FBI investigation, yet everyone from Clinton’s surrogates, loyal pundit supporters and the candidate herself—and her Deceit Sensei husband—continue to represent the matter as a GOP concoction.

The evidence is strong that CNN, which hosts tonight’s debate, is in on the fix. Here’s an exchange from last week between CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield and Democratic strategist, a.k.a Hillary Clinton strategist, Robert Zimmerman:

BANFIELD: But you’ve got to – you’ve got to admit, Robert, that the Republicans are delivering any script that – that Bernie Sanders may need to go after [Hillary] Clinton. What’s her ammo against Bernie Sanders?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, here’s the deal: any Democrat who resorts to reciting Republican talking points is going to hurt themselves amongst the grassroots-

BANFIELD: So you’re saying you don’t think he’s ever going to touch the e-mail scandal – or, it’s not even a scandal-It’s really a controversy. But ‘scandal’ is the Republicans’ word for it-


BANFIELD: So far, no one has determined there’s any scandal there.

ZIMMERMAN: Of course not! And I think Senator Sanders is too fine a person to engage in reciting Republican talking points like that. But there will be debates around issues; debates around policy; and it’s going to be pretty exciting. This is going to be an historic debate, because CNN’s present – really, bringing the Democrats to the nation for the first time.

Some notes on this disgraceful example of a journalist behaving as a partisan flack:

1.  The suggestion that the e-mail scandal is a “Republican talking point” is a lie. It’s a fact, it impugns Clinton’s character, competence, honesty, candor, and trustworthiness.2. The Democratic candidates opposing her have a duty to raise the issue, as does Banfield’s colleague, Anderson Cooper. If they don’t, is will be clear that the contest for the nomination is a sham, and that CNN is as accessory.

2. If Banfield feels that this revealing episode “isn’t really a scandal,” then she thinks lying to the American people is nothing to be ashamed of. Clinton’s lies are now undeniable. She lied about her reasons for using the private server, she lied about whether it was compliant with State Department and government policy, she lied about whether or not there was classified information handled on her private e-mail account, she lied about receiving a subpoena, she lied about cooperating with the Benghazi investigation (Destroying potential evidence is not “cooperating.”) I’m sure Hillary Clinton sees nothing shameful in lying; in fact, we’ve known that for a long time. Journalists, however, are pledged to find and deliver the truth. They are not supposed to give a pass to liars trying to gain power.

3. By adopting the Democratic spin that Clinton’s e-mail machinations is just a Republican obsession, Banfield is making herself and CNN a partisan messenger.

4.  Zimmerman is saying that the Democratic base doesn’t want to understand how unfit for the Presidency Hillary Clinton is. The ethically obligatory  answer to this from Bernie Sanders and the rest should be: “Too damn bad. It’s our duty to educate you, so you know what you’re voting for, or not.”

5.A “fine person” running for President would not allow the public to labor under the delusion that a cynical, manipulative liar like Hillary Clinton isn’t. If he does not explain what’s wrong with her conduct and character, he’s not a fine person. He’s a co-conspirator

6. How does Zimmerman know that “there will be debates around issues; debates around policy,” meaning nothing about the character of Democrats who want to become the most powerful leader in the free world?  Is that the secret deal with CNN, whose previous moderator peppered the Republican candidates with questions ranging from their temperament to their most admired American woman? I guess we’ll see.

There is more to grill Hillary about regarding her e-mails. A new AP report reveals that “the private email server running in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s home basement when she was Secretary of State was connected to the Internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers.” That means that she did place the security of the nation at risk. From the report:

Remote-access software allows users to control another computer from afar. The programs are usually operated through an encrypted connection — called a virtual private network, or VPN. But Clinton’s system appeared to accept commands directly from the Internet without such protections.”That’s total amateur hour,” said Marc Maiffret, who has founded two cyber security companies. He said permitting remote-access connections directly over the Internet would be the result of someone choosing convenience over security or failing to understand the risks. “Real enterprise-class security, with teams dedicated to these things, would not do this,” he said.

The government and security firms have published warnings about allowing this kind of remote access to Clinton’s server. The same software was targeted by an infectious Internet worm, known as Morta, which exploited weak passwords to break into servers. The software also was known to be vulnerable to brute-force attacks that tried password combinations until hackers broke in, and in some cases it could be tricked into revealing sensitive details about a server to help hackers formulate attacks.”An attacker with a low skill level would be able to exploit this vulnerability,” said the Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team in 2012, the same year Clinton’s server was scanned.

Also in 2012, the State Department had outlawed use of remote-access software for its technology officials to maintain unclassified servers without a waiver. It had banned all instances of remotely connecting to classified servers or servers located overseas. The findings suggest Clinton’s server “violates the most basic network-perimeter security tenets: Don’t expose insecure services to the Internet,” said Justin Harvey, the chief security officer for Fidelis Cybersecurity.

This means that for her own personal reasons—she didn’t want her e-mails to be available to nosy Republican congress members and citizens’ FOIA requests, Hillary Clinton, while serving in the top foreign policy position in the Obama Administration, placed the U.S. at risk of having sensitive information hacked. Did she realize this? It doesn’t matter. It was her responsibility, not that of her tech team. It was her decision to vary from policy, and she had a professional and ethical obligation to protect that information. There is no excuse.

The deception goes right to the top. In his 60 minutes interview, President Obama was spinning as well, perhaps lying, definitely wrong. [My comments in italics and BOLD]

Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–

President Barack Obama: No.

Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?

Obama: No. [ Clinton never sent the President an e-mail? He never wondered why it wasn’t a .gov address? I don’t believe him.]

 Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. [ By definition, if the sever wasn’t secure, then it posed a national security problem. The current Democratic spin—you can see it aped in the comments to the AP piece—is that since there was no hack, there was no security breach. Obama is saying the same thing. That’s idiotic. It is as if a Secret Service detail got drunk and didn’t show up at a Presidential speech, and the President responded to the question of whether that placed him at risk by saying, “No, because I wasn’t shot.”] I think that it was a mistake [ It was deliberate, not a “mistake.”] that she has acknowledged and– you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. [ Months after denying it...] I do think that the way it’s been ginned-up is in part because of– in part– because of politics. And I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. [ The President adopts Clinton’s “it wasn’t the best choice” rationalization and deceit. Shame on him.]] But–

Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?

Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that’s been spoken about is an indication that we’re in presidential political season. [No, it’s an indication that the Clinton Whitewater strategy of dragging out an issue by denials, lies and stonewalling wasn’t working.]

Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not– not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?

Obama: Well, I’m not going to comment on–[Ducking, because he knows its a big deal. But he won’t let on the American people, showing that he is a Democrat first, and a President second, at least in this matter.]

 Kroft: You think it’s not that big a deal–

Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered. [ Of course it was endangered—and Obama doesn’t know whether there were hacks or not.]

Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.

Obama: Well, I– there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. [Ducking…] We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts– on– in– to hide something or to squirrel away information. [ Sure we do.] But again, I’m gonna leave it to–

Kroft: If she had come to you.

Obama: I’m going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.

If the e-mail server question is not thoroughly explored by the Democratic candidates and CNN, we will have learned a great deal about the integrity  of those candidates, The Democratic Party, CNN, Anderson Cooper, and the Presidential selection process—all of it bad.


Sources: CBS, AP, Newsbusters

29 thoughts on “Democratic Candidate Debate Integrity Watch: Will Anderson Cooper Make Hillary Defend Her Unethical Private E-Mail? Will Her Opposition?

  1. Clinton never sent the President an e-mail? He never wondered why it wasn’t a .gov address? I don’t believe him

    It is actually trivially easy to spoof an email address, to make it appear to be from a “.gov” address. On the other hand, it is trivially easy to catch such spoofed email addresses. (At a minimum, the president should have noticed that most of Hillary’s email ended up in his spam folder…)

  2. I predict that there will be no hardball questions coming from any of the candidates or Anderson Cooper to Hillary. The elephant in the room will be conveniently ignored. This “debate” will probably resemble a meeting of the Supreme Soviet Party Congress where everybody stands up and applauds “Dear and Glorious Leader”.

    • Well, that will be a problem for CNN, since Jake Tapper of the same network dragged out as much dirt as he could. My guess is that Cooper will raise the issue, the partisan crowd will jeer, and one or more of the candidates will lecture Cooper, Newt style, about how character doesn’t matter.

      Watch out for Jim Webb, though. He often goes rogue, and this would be a great time and place to do it.

      • I told you so Jack. Cooper at least brought up the email “problem” and the other candidates immediately rushed in to defend her. So it goes.

        • ??? You said, I predict that there will be no hardball questions coming from any of the candidates or Anderson Cooper to Hillary. The elephant in the room will be conveniently ignored. This “debate” will probably resemble a meeting of the Supreme Soviet Party Congress where everybody stands up and applauds “Dear and Glorious Leader”.

          1. Cooper didn’t use some ammunition he should have, but his questions to Hillary on flip flopping and the e-mails were hard enough. The format didn’t allow direct questions between the candidates, or they agreed not to use them.

          2. There was almost no praise of Obama…he was largely ignored.

          3. Sanders and O’Malley toadied to Clinton on the e-mails, Chafee did not, and Copper didn’t give Webb a chance to weigh in.

  3. “Obama: No. [ Clinton never sent the President an e-mail? He never wondered why it wasn’t a .gov address? I don’t believe him.]”

    Does he read ALL his actual emails? I’m sure he has people to digest it for him to keep topics echo chamber clean. All it would take is a few settings and a hasty white list. It would be stupid to accept emails from a strange site as valid with national security at stake, but normally I don’t really notice when a friend changes email.

  4. “He never wondered why it wasn’t a .gov address” this is defensible in my opinion. It’s possible that whatever email client he used only showed “Hillary Clinton” and not the actual address. I don’t think clients should do that, but many of them do.

    On a related note, I hate hidden file extensions, folder display names that don’t match the actual folder name, and any number of other “conveniences” which make it easier to fool people. The dumbest IMO has to be multiple Unicode characters which look identical on the screen. Microsoft and Micr𐐬s𐐬ft are technically different strings with a variant “o” pulled from in the second one.

  5. “Journalists, however, are pledged to find and deliver the truth.”

    Oh that’s good. You crack me up. Have you ever thought of going into stand up instead of ethics seminars? You’d be better than Seinfeld!

    The journalist who actually researches a story and presents the facts went broke and starved to death ages ago for want of someone to publish it.

          • Correction:

            Anything will kill you eventually, if something else doesn’t get you first.

            You see, your first comment is not only semantically clunky, but it is logically incorrect. If the hypothetical *something* of the last half of your assertion fails to “get you”, then by the time the set of “things” that eventually gets you arrives, then that set is *at a minimum* [everything minus one] therefore NOT everything. So the assertion is logically flawed.

            Semantically it doesn’t make alot of sense either…it requires a huge suspension of disbelief to think that just because a hypothetically particular *something* fails to get you earlier, that the entirety of Creation coalesces into one grand killing scheme focused on you.

              • Don’t confuse the rush you get from snark with my urge towards truth. I follow a duty that is not served by mere objecting, as objecting can happen even if it is in enmity of the truth and in service of the lie.

                • I was urging toward truth as well. Imprecise language leads to confusion, and when an already confusing and tautological comment is further confused with such language, it’s good to present you with a correction.

            • I did give some consideration to “anything”, but I decided that “everything” made the point better – that everything is covered. “Anything” might be read as anything might (or, then again, might not) kill you. You do have a currently fatal heart condition, and a currently fatal liver condition, and so on.

  6. From the little reporting I’ve seen, it sounds as if the the “debate” was simply a talking points fest scripted by the Clinton campaign. As were the “revelations” over the weekend by the disgruntled staffer on the Benghazi committee. I’m sure Bernie was told what to say about the emails.

  7. Why doesn’t a news network ask HR Clinton if she becomes president will her staff be allowed to use personal email servers to conduct government business as she did.

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