Hillary Clinton: A Pre-Election Ethics Alarms Character and Trustworthiness Review: 2009-2016


The first Ethics Alarms post about Hillary Clinton ironically enough, in 2009, awarded her an Ethics Hero. (She has two.) “I know, I know. Truth and the Clintons have never been friends,” it began. And, looking back, it was a pretty generous award: all she did was describe how an ethical decision is made, and claimed that was how she decided to accept Obama’s invitation to be Secretary of State.  It didn’t prove she actually made the decision the way she said she did, and now, with the benefit of seven years’ hindsight, I think it’s likely that she was lying about it, as usual. Still, it proves that Hillary may know how to act ethically. This distinguishes her from Donald Trump.

Before heading to the voting booth, I decided to review all of the Ethics Alarms posts about Clinton. It is, I think it’s fair to say, horrifying. You can find them all here. 

There are unethical quotes of the week and month, Ethics Dunce designations, Jumbos, where Clinton denied what was in clear view to all, and KABOOMS, where the sheer audacity of her dishonesty (or that of her corrupted allies and supporters) made my skull explode skyward. If you have a recalcitrant Hillary enabler and rationalizer in your life, you should dare him or her to read this mass indictment—not that it will change a mind already warped, of course, but because the means of denying and spinning what they read will be instructive, confirming the symptoms of incurable Clinton Corruption.In July of 2015, I responded to complaints—including one from an ethics professor— that I was not objective regarding Mrs. Clinton, that I was picking on her. The response was a manifesto, stating my standards and objectives:

An ethics professor just wrote to announce that he was ceasing to follow the blog because

“you have become a one note Hillary basher and compromised your disinterest.”

1. I do not bash Hillary Clinton. I accurately point out her serial unethical conduct and statements. I am an expert in non-profit ethics, and her foundation is unethical. I an an expert in government ethics, and her conduct in relation to both her foundation and her State Department e-mails was unethical. I am an ethicist, and she could not get through her first substantial interview without multiple deceits, misrepresentations and lies. Pointing these out, especially when the news media is not doing its job, is my duty and mission. Apparently a lot of people don’t know this woman is unethical. I am obligated to enlighten them if I can.

2. My main area of scholarship and my personal passion, is leadership and the American Presidency. The Democratic Party, to its shame, is trying to make this unqualified and corrupt woman President of the United States. Naturally this is of deep concern to me, as it ought to be for every American.

3. Even considering this, the blog has hardly been all-Hillary. I just checked: there have been exactly  three Hillary-themed posts in the last 50. FIFTY. Five-O. Gee, sorry, Professor, that the ethical corruption of the presumptive President of the United States occupies my ethics blog’s attention 6% of the time.

4. The Clintons’ master strategy for escaping all of their schemes and deceptions is to deny, obfuscate and throw up smokescreens until the public gets sick of the controversy, and tunes out. It’s a good, if cynical strategy, but it won’t work with me.

5. I will cease writing timely blogs about Hillary’s Clinton’s unethical conduct when

  • She stops lying.
  • The new scandals, schemes, and cover-ups stop materializing.
  • The news media starts doing its job.
  • The public shows sufficient comprehension of how corrupt she is.
  • She is no longer running for President.

And not before.

This still holds, and will continue to hold into the Hillary Administration, and whatever horrors it brings. I have continued to be faithful to this mission even as I concluded, some months ago, that I would have to vote for Clinton because, incredibly, the Republican nominated someone even more unfit and untrustworthy than she is. This is how the news media was ethically obligated to cover the campaign despite its own bias for Clinton, but did not. (An update on my decision to vote for Clinton will be forthcoming shortly.)

Nothing can substitute for the experience of reviewing the full library of Hillary’s ethical deficits, but her are a few posts that will give a sense of the character of  the woman who might be the next President of the United States, and those who do her bidding…

June 25, 2011: Secretary of State Hillary tells Congress that the law doesn’t matter.

“Clinton’s statement reduced that arrogant supposition to its essence. Forget about process, she is saying,  do we want to get rid of a dangerous dictator, or not? The United States, however, is a constitutional democracy, and thus is built on process. Clinton’s sweeping extinction of process as an essential aspect of governing intentionally obscures the core American principle that not only must we do the right thing, but we must do it the right way.”

March 6, 2014: A Jumbo! Clinton denies what she’s doing while she’s doing it.

“In addition to the jaw-dropping dishonesty, lying-right-in-our-faces-and-expecting-us-to-like-it arrogance, there is also the problem that the statement is incompetent, cowardly and irresponsible. If Putin is acting like Hitler, then that suggests that certain actions are mandatory, and the comparison ought to be made. If he is not acting like Hitler, then the comparison will lead to the wrong conclusion and is unfair, and thus should not be made.”

October 26, 2014: Hillary says that businesses don’t create jobs, customers create jobs

“Clinton isn’t even an announced candidate, and she has already uttered enough nonsense to send a lesser icon into retirement, such as insisting that she and Bill were paupers when they left the White House, and boasting about the couple’s current millions being gained “by dint of hard work,” as in delivering canned one hour speeches for obscene fees to universities charging tuition that puts their graduates in debt for life. We don’t even have to get to her official rejection of the concept of accountability and transparency regarding the Benghazi tragedy, that, if there is any justice, will haunt her to her grave, symbolized by the quote, “What difference at this point does it make?” The statement this week is different in kind, though. It isn’t spin; it isn’t a controversial opinion; it can’t be explained away by anything other than “Mrs. Clinton took the wrong medication,” “She knows she can say anything and Democrats will accept it, and was performing a test,” or…

March 7, 2015: The Clinton e-mail lies and cover-up begin

“They don’t have to be corrupt. They could choose to honor their party, the nation and the intelligence of the voters. Seriously–a major party really reasons that it is better to nominate an untrustworthy, incompetent, arrogant, reckless and secretive liar than to hustle to find a candidate who is, like, worthy of the office? How can anyone trust any candidate nominated by any party that reasons like this? Isn’t the obvious, ethical thing to do in this situation to announce that…

“Mrs. Clinton’s disturbing conduct regarding her official communications, intentionally skirting her own agency’s policies, endangering security and undermining public confidence, combined with the recent revelations that her foundation has allowed and is allowing contribution from foreign governments, must disqualify her from consideration as a Presidential candidate”?

It does, you know. If they don’t know, then that is the mark corrupted leadership, and a corrupt party.”

April 25, 2015: A Clinton influence-peddling tale

“The men who had built and financed the Uranium One were some of Bill Clinton’s biggest donors. The company’s Chairman donated 2.35 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and despite a signed agreement from Hillary as a condition of her becoming Secretary of State that all donations to the Foundation during her tenure would be disclosed and transparent, somehow this very sensitive and potentially inappropriate, potentially suspicious, potentially illegal contribution just happened to fall through the cracks, and wasn’t reported.

October 9, 2015: Clinton integrity on display…or not.

“Or if lack of integrity isn’t a deal breaker, how about arrogance or stupidity? In her 2014 memoir, Hillary Clinton listed the negotiation of TPP as one of her key accomplishments as Secretary of State,  and she just sent it  to GOP presidential candidates, even though it is  smoking gun evidence not only to her lack of integrity, but to the complete contempt she has for everyone intelligence, or, in the alternative her carelessness and habit of metaphorically shooting herself in the foot. Why would any politician choose to increase the circulation of self-authored evidence of trustworthiness? There are only a few possibilities…”

June 14, 2016: Clinton’s totalitarian streak revealed…

“Here is Hillary, herself under a criminal investigation by the FBI for violating a federal law or five and still running for President because, after all,  it’s just an investigation, and in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave one does not lose rights and privileges until one is actually convicted in a court of law. And yet here she is saying that an FBI investigation should suspend a Constitutional right.”

29 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton: A Pre-Election Ethics Alarms Character and Trustworthiness Review: 2009-2016

  1. A nice summation, Jack. Great response.

    I am not proud for voting for Johnson, but I am proud for not voting for Clinton or Trump.

  2. Even though the closest person to a gf in my life gave me the imprimatur to vote for Trump, and I think my dad is voting for Trump, I think I am going to follow my original plan, and just vote down ticket. NJ is not in play and I’d just as soon not dirty my hands by voting for a dishonorable slug who has, I believe, no chance of winning (Newsweek has already printed the congrats-Hillary issue), and who I have no confidence would act in a way that would produce honorable results if he did win. Voting for the supremely corrupt Hillary was never on the table, although if the Dems had run Jim Webb or even Martin O’Malley or Lincoln Chaffee, I might have crossed the aisle.

    • I’m voting for Johnson. I’ve had friends tell me, variously, that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump, or a vote for Hillary. So, I guess by voting for Johnson, I’m voting for Johnson, Hillary, and Trump. Or better yet, voting for Johnson, but against both Trump and Hillary.

      On the other hand, I told my wife if the line is long tomorrow, I take that as a sign from God to just keep driving on to work. I’ve never missed an election, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken with this absence on my record.

            • Meh. Insert appropriate rationalization here. At least the libertarians didn’t have a criminal bought and paid for by foreign powers on its stage nor did it have an incompetent boor that might talk us into world war 3.

            • Yeah…. For someone who’s made hay this election pointing out that the responsible thing isn’t supporting someone, but voting for who you think is least bad… This constant derision of libertarians and their candidate smacks of political bigotry.

              Is he perfect? Hell no. Is he even particularly good? I don’t think so. Has he done things that would normally disqualify candidates? In any other election cycle, absolutely.

              But, and this is the sixty-four thousand dollar question this cycle, is he a better choice than Clinton or Trump? Would he do a better job? I think so. But that might be subjective. Has he done fewer disqualifying actions than Hillary and Trump? Absolutely.

              • Last sentence? True. But when it comes to disqualifications, one is enough. It’s like shooting people in the head twice. The second bullet isn’t murder.

                Johnson endorsed ignorance. Even Trump didn’t do that. And Johnson didn’t even try. I can’t forgive that. Hell, it is clear that even his own VP isn’t going to vote for him. Libertarians should be furious with him, and voting for him anyway does not express that. What an opportunity wasted! What an asshole!

                • “But when it comes to disqualifications, one is enough. It’s like shooting people in the head twice. The second bullet isn’t murder.”

                  But apparently it is NOT enough… because this entire election cycle and your rationalizations to vote for Hillary have been a running tally of who has fewer disqualifications…Hillary’s 18,459 or Trump’s 18,460 (or is it the other way around…I lost count)?

                • This reads like a giant non-sequitur…. What are you actually saying?

                  “Yes, Hillary and Trump have in fact done more disqualifying things than Johnson, but the number or even severity of disqualifying things doesn’t really matter, because Johnson didn’t know where Aleppo was and didn’t think it was that big a deal. I’m willing to *forgive* (your word, not mine) Hillary’s constant courtship of corruption and the existential threat she represents to the enumerated amendments because… Why? Because she has the D beside her name to give her legitimacy, and beating Trump is more important than anything else?

                  Because let’s be real. If given the choice between Johnson and Clinton, with Johnson having an R beside his name, I think that you’d vote there and feel better about it than you do now.

                  • You can’t spin his statement like that. It’s just false. He said specifically that leaders who are familiar with geopolitical facts use their knowledge to misapply American power.”The fact that somebody can dot the i’s and cross the t’s on a foreign leader or a geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way.” The only way to interpret that fatuous statement is that if they don’t know anything, they won’t “put our military in harm’s way.”


                    • Snopes has a longer transcript. The last paragraph is important, and was left out by your original source.

                      “Yeah, and you know what? The fact that somebody can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on a foreign leader or a geographic location then allows them to put our military in harm’s way. You were talking about PTSD earlier; we put our military in this horrible situation where we go in and support regime change. They get involved in civil wars where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are in a crossfire. We’re literally shooting at ourselves because we support both sides of conflicts — Syria as an example — and we wonder why our men and servicewomen suffer from PSD in the first place.

                      It’s because we elect people who can dot the I’s and cross the T’s on these names and geographic locations, as opposed to the underlying philosophy, which is, let’s stop getting involved in these regime changes.”

                      He turned it into a complaint about Clinton in a separate interview the next day. “Because Hillary Clinton can dot the i’s and cross the t’s on geographic leaders, of the names of foreign leaders, the underlying fact that hundreds of thousands of people have died in Syria goes by the wayside.” Only mentioned because I found it first when dredging up where I saw the alternate interpretation.

                    • How does that change the assessment? He’s arguing for ideological decision-making rather than fact-based decision-making, the same argument made by pacifists and isolationists, and libertarians who really argue that the U.S. should have let the world burn as Japan and Germany committed atrocities?

  3. Damn, going back and reading these makes my head spin. The Republican party at least has the excuse that the voters rejected good candidates to go with the unhinged one. The Democrats didn’t even really give the voters any choice, they wanted miserable excuse for a human being.

    National security is a big deal for me and her utter disdain for protecting it and the lengths she will go to get power makes it impossible for me to vote for her. There is no line she will not cross.

    She is rotten to the core and there is no way to stop her if she is allowed more power. The entanglements with all these other nations and donors, the cover ups, the lies and unprincipled behavior is just too dangerous to be allowed the Presidency.

    • I was thinking… if she wins, I think she will appoint people she can control and that buy into her ways.

      If DT wins, he will put better people than himself around him because he knows so little about government.

      I think the latter is more safe, we can yell and scream if he did something stupid. With her, we can yell and scream and we’ll be spoken to as stupid kids and those who are corrupt will protect her… oh yeah… just like now.

      Ok I think I’m with him.

      • Every predictor says he’s going to lose, so I would advocate just folding your tent and washing your hands of this mess. Honestly, if someone offered me a ticket anywhere else in the world to renounce my citizenship, I think I would pick the UK or Ireland and sell out.

        • Steve, you don’t really want to live in the UK the rest of your life, do you? Nor Ireland. Those places are way too calcified for someone of your intellectual vigor.

      • “If DT wins, he will put better people than himself around him because he knows so little about government.”

        There is no evidence of that, and a great deal of evidence to the contrary. His surrogates have been uniformly embarrassing: one just went on TV and talked about “mazel tov” cocktails. Promonently mentioned have been Christie, a disgrace; Gingrich, who is loathsome, and Priebus, who is a weasel. Horrible.

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