The real test of when someone will lie to your face is when they will insist that their former, perhaps bias-supported but still sincerely-held position is still valid after all justifications for it have vanished. This is Jumbo territory, the point where Jimmy Durante, giant elephant in tow, shrugged to the accusing sheriff in front of him and said, “Elephant? What elephant?” That, however, was a joke. This is tragic.
Many of us knew we would reach this point long ago, of course. As many, including me, have documented since the New York Times first broke the story of how Hillary Clinton had defied policy, best practices, competent national security management, technology common sense and perhaps the law by receiving and sending her official State Department e-mail on a home-brewed server. First she said there was nothing improper about doing this, then she said she had received no classified information, then she said she had received no material marked classified. She trotted out rationalizations: “everybody did it,” “other Secretaries of State did it,” “don’t sweat the small stuff,” ultimately adding a rationalization to the list, “It wasn’t the best choice.”
Those of us who have followed the pattern of Clinton scandals over the years knew that her camp was running out of smoke when it defaulted to the old “vast right wing conspiracy” diversion that worked so well—for a while—during the Monica Mess. The facts have been pretty clear for a while now, to anyone with the honesty and fairness to acknowledge them. Hillary Clinton, for her own convenience (as she has said) and to keep her communications out of the view of Congress, the public, political adversaries and law enforcement as she mixed personal business, politics and influence peddling with her official duties, willfully endangered US security and even the lives of intelligence personnel by handling official communications in an insecure manner.
The FBI has been investigating all of this—not her, her campaign keeps reminding us, just the e-mails!—and the State Department, which has been acting as a partisan ally when it’s duty is to the American people, finally was forced by a judge to review and turn over the e-mails involved, other than the ones Clinton had destroyed by her lawyer (nothing suspicious or irregular about that). With each new batch revealed, more e-mails that contained classified information have been found. Former Defense Secretary and CIA director William Gates said this week that Russia, China and Iran, among other foreign nations, probably hacked Clinton’s e-mails, “given the fact that the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day.” Meanwhile, State has identified over 1,200 emails that it deems classified were sent over Hillary’s private server, making her first denials ridiculous, and her ultimate denials an admission of gross negligence and stupidity, even if they were true. The Secretary of State didn’t discern that any of 1200 e-mails contained information requiring care and confidentiality? This is the “I’m not corrupt, I’m stupid” defense, which is one no Presidential candidate ought to be allowed to get away with, especially one being extolled by the current President for her alleged competence and experience.
Now the walls, and the facts, are closing in. Yesterday, the Obama administration confirmed for the first time that Hillary Clinton’s home server contained closely guarded government secrets, and announced that 22 emails that containing material requiring one of the highest levels of classification were so sensitive that they could not be released. Is that clear? These are communications that were on an insecure server, vulnerable to hacking, that Clinton saw, and either didn’t recognize as such—she’s not that stupid—or didn’t care enough to start being responsible. With such e-mails, it doesn’t matter if they are marked: they are self-marking: big, loud, throbbing documents that any Secretary of State, even Secretary Gump, must know are classified because of their content.
The State Department revelation came three days before the Iowa presidential caucuses, and, incredibly, the Clinton campaign complained about the timing! Yes, it is certainly outrageous to let voters know about the duplicity and incompetence of a candidate for President before they vote for her. This is how Clinton thinks. If that doesn’t bother you, get help.
Federal law makes it a felony for any government employee to mishandle classified information, and here comes the integrity check. With this new information, Clinton has no defense. By definition, allowing top secret information to be received and perhaps forwarded on an insecure, private server is mishandling, and illegal. Clinton’s campaign, of course, is lying and spinning: the current tactic is to dismiss this as an inter-agency dispute over what is classified. (The Clinton-enabling Vox made bolstering this deflection the centerpiece of its “explainer”) However, when the current State Department is so sure of 22 e-mails’ top secret character that it feels it must withhold them from the public and the media, it is obvious that this was no close call, especially since State has been covering and spinning for Hillary to a disgraceful degree already.
So the facts speak: Yes, she lied. Yes, she endangered U.S. security. Yes, she willfully exposed classified documents to hacking by our enemies. Yes, she did this for her own personal and political benefit.
Yes, she broke the law, and this law ain’t jaywalking.
Now Hillary’s obfuscation and denial team is out in force, because her best chance of slipping these knots of her own making is convincing the public that because the information in the email wasn’t marked classified when she was sending it all over the place and letting it sit in a server metaphorically begging “hack me!”, she had no legal obligation to treat it as such. Hillary laid the groundwork for this lie when she changed her denial of wrongdoing from “I didn’t send or receive classified information” to “I didn’t send or receive information marked as classified.” Now, there is still a very good chance that she did the latter, but never mind. The Non-Disclosure Agreement Hillary signed the day after she took the Secretary of State position clearly states that classified material does NOT have to be identified or marked as such to still be considered classified:
The NDA says, plain as day,
“As used in this Agreement, classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications, that is classified under Executive Order 12958 … “
Hillary Clinton signed this agreement, and by so doing pledged that she “received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information, including the procedures to be followed …” She also agrees that she has “been advised that any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by me may constitute a violation of United States criminal law …”
It is time for commentators, blogger, reporters, politicians, Democrats and honest citizens to face facts. I know it hurts that Republicans and conservatives have been right about Clinton’s character all along. Yes, I’m quite certain that would have been making many of the same accusations if she were an uncorruptable as Elliot Ness, but that is unimportant now. She’s guilty…of lying, of endangering national security for personal gain, of enrolling and corrupting staff and allies to enable and support her lies (this is a Clinton family specialty, and one of the worst things about them), and of breaking the law, willingly, knowingly.
Those who you hear using the defense that the e-mails were unmarked are doing us the favor of marking themselves as partisan hacks, and unworthy of trust or attention evermore. One such hack is Clinton surrogate and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, who tweeted,
“Rs are frothing at nothing, as usual. The emails were NOT marked classified when she sent or received them. She did NOT create them.”
This is doubly unethical: lying about the law, and simultaneously denigrating Republicans for being right, for once. On the journalism side, we have Mediaite’s house leftist tool, Tommie Christopher, who not only spouts the Clinton campaign talking point but has the gall to be snotty about it:
Not so fast, there. I know that since the email “scandal” began, it has become a mainstream media pastime not to ever mention this, but these 22 emails, and every other email that journalists mainstream and conservative have gotten all sweaty over, were not marked classified when they were sent or received. If only some sort of talk-guy from the government thingy that Hillary worked for would just come out and say that, so people could prominently report that highly relevant fact that means Hillary won’t be going anywhere near a courtroom.
Wrong. Willfully ignorant. Deceptive. In direct contradiction of law and fact. So many lawyers and former State Department employees have weighed in on the absurdity of Clinton’s “unmarked” defense that it isn’t even a matter of contention: it exists solely to confuse the public.
That’s some journalism you are practicing there, Tommie.
He may be right about the Justice Department not indicting Clinton, and if he is, it will mean that the Obama Administration is publicly declaring that the rule of law is a sham, and laws are for the little people. I’m not going to bet against it; this would be just the next step in a seven year trend. We will see.
We will also see which journalists, politicians, family members and friends have the courage and integrity to do their duty as citizens and members of society. Denying the elephant is only funny in movies. In a democracy, it is proof of corruption and contempt.