Unethical Quote Of The Day, Or “Now THIS Is Spinning!”: Hillary Clinton Spokesperson Brian Fallon

Clinton spin

“While political opponents of Hillary Clinton are sure to misrepresent this report for their own partisan purposes, in reality, the Inspector General documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other Secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email. The report shows that problems with the State Department’s electronic record keeping systems were longstanding and that there was no precedent of someone in her position having a State Department email account until after the arrival of her successor. Contrary to the false theories advanced for some time now, the report notes that her use of personal email was known to officials within the Department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the Secretary’s server. We agree that steps ought to be taken to ensure the government can better maintain official records, and if she were still at the State Department, Secretary Clinton would embrace and implement any recommendations, including those in this report, to help do that. But as this report makes clear, Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email was not unique, and she took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.”

—-Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, spinning the IG report with revelations which prompted that right-wing rag the Washington Post this morning to call his boss’s conduct, in an editorial, “inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules.”

Wow.

Whatever Hillary Clinton’s campaign is paying Brian Fallon to lie for her, it’s not nearly enough.

Imagine: the State Department IG issues a devastating condemnation of Clinton’s conduct, one that proves (as stated here since March, 2015, because it was obvious that early) Clinton has been lying about her conduct, her motives and the consequences of her actions regarding her personal e-mail server installed precisely to avoid the legal reach of the Freedom of Information Act at the risk of compromising national security, and the Clinton camp response is  to say, “See? She was telling the truth all along!”

This response is..

Cynical.

Audacious.

Insulting.

Also designed for use by the completely corrupt, like Nancy Pelosi,  typical of Clinton responses to all scandals, and ridiculously easy to expose.

And before I start exposing, let me address the comments of the liberal end of Woodward and Bernstein (that would be Carl), who while agreeing on CNN this morning that the IG’s report is “devastating” in its near complete demonstration of how much Clinton has misrepresented the facts and her conduct to the news media and the American people, summed it all up be saying that Hillary has had “an uncomfortable relationship with the truth.”

To evoke the late Fred Rogers: Can you say “habitual liar”? Sure you can! A woman who has had “an uncomfortable relationship with the truth,” Carl, is a liar. Don’t sugar-coat it and obfuscate. That’s what the Clintons do. You sound like a Clinton! She’s lying. She lied about the server. She lies all the time. You’re a journalist. Just say it, loud and clear. That’s your damn job.

But I digress.

Let’s just go over how poor Brian Fallon’s statement of desperate mega-spin is dishonest, misleading, and, to be blunt, a pack of lies: Continue reading

What A Surprise: The Inspector General Reports That What We Knew Clinton had Done With Her E-Mails A Year Ago In Fact Was What She Had Done, That She Has Been Lying And Spinning Ever Since, And That Her Supporters Have Either Been Dupes Or Accomplices! OK, I Guess That’s Not Much Of A Surprise…

Yawning2I’m not sure what to write about this, except that it has to be reported because the Clinton e-mail scandal has been so extensively discussed here since early in 2015. If it’s surprising to anyone, I pity them. If they try to keep denying it, I have contempt for them. If they don’t understand why this issue matters (Bernie…!), I pity them and have contempt for them.

Today the State Department’s inspector general’s report on the Clinton’s e-mail practices was released to the media.  The report makes it clear that Clinton intentionally set up the private server to avoid scrutiny of her personal e-mails, and the various Stygian activities revealed there. In order to do that, she willfully and knowingly violated State Department policies, and placed national security at potential risk.

The report concluded that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have allowed it had she requested approval, because of the “security risks in doing so.”  Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents, the inspector general concluded, and her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed. Clinton should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. She did not, choosing instead to provide those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.

So she was not following policy. What she did was not approved.  She did knowingly take risks with sensitive national security information. It wasn’t because she didn’t make “the best choice” that all of this occurred. Clinton was making the best choice for her…her career, her ambitions, her schemes.  The nation’s interests were secondary. If that. Continue reading

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Authentic Frontier Gibberish In Defense Of Hillary

Gabby Johnson for head of the DNC!

Gabby Johnson for head of the DNC!

I am going to add “authentic frontier gibberish” (or AFG ) to the Ethics Alarms glossary of special terms. It comes, of course, from a memorable moment in “Blazing Saddles,” but on Ethics Alarms it is usually used to describe either intentional or incompetent blather from politicians or others attempting to confuse the public, duck a question, or mislead everyone. It is deliberate communication malpractice, with the motive of not communicating but pretending to.

Seldom will you encounter a more ringing example of AFG than the foregoing. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a master at AFG,  was asked by Fox News’ Chris Wallace why she called the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s possible national security violations in her handling of official e-mails “ludicrous.”

Here was her response… Continue reading

Prof. Jonathan Turley On The Latest Clinton E-Mail Revelations

the_end_justifies_the_means_by_carlos0003

“Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence” – and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a U.S. government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News.”

The mainstream media is dutifully ignoring this while they can, so you may well say, “Oh, well that’s just Fox News.” However, this bit of leaked information should not be surprising, and assuming that it is accurate, it follows the pattern of each bit of new data further discrediting Clinton’s various defenses for her indefensible handling of communications.

I point you to the analysis of George Washington law professor and blogger Jonathan Turley, who is that rarity in academia, a non-partisan, fair and unbiased commentator. Here, in part, are his recent comments on this matter. Please send it to the unshakable Clinton enablers in your life: a mind is a terrible thing to waste. (The emphasis is mine.)

While I agree with the Clinton campaign that these leaks are themselves problematic (both in terms of their timing and their disclosures from an ongoing investigation), I have long maintained that this was a serious scandal and that Clinton’s evolving defense does not track with national security rules or procedures. I consider the decision to use exclusively an unsecure server for “convenience” to be a breathtakingly reckless act for one of the top officials in our government. I am also deeply concerned about the level of “spin” coming from the campaign that is misrepresenting the governing standards and practices in the field. Much of what has been said in defense of Clinton’s use of the email system is knowingly misleading in my view.

In addition, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the House intelligence committee, “suggested the military and intelligence communities have had to change operations” due to the presumption that Clinton’s emails were compromised.

… I have previously noted that the decision of Clinton to use a personal server showed incredibly bad judgment that put classified information at risk. The defense that the information was not marked, which the campaign has been using recently, does not address the fundamental issues in the scandal. Clinton has insisted that “I never sent classified material on my email, and I never received any that was marked classified.” The key of this spin is again the word “marked.” I have previously discussed why that explanation is less than compelling, particularly for anyone who has handled sensitive or classified material. Continue reading

Jumbo Alert, As An Integrity And Corruption Check For Pundits, Journalists, And All Your Hillary Clinton-Defending Friends Looms

Jumbo film

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. Continue reading

Update On Hillary’s Stupid E-Mails: She Lied, Of Course.

HillaryClinton phone

Once Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s fake competition for the Democratic nomination, declared twice during televised debates that since the public was “sick of hearing” about Clinton’s stupid e-mails, most of the news media decided that it had permission to stop covering the issue. That serves the public interest badly, of course, since the public has a right to know whether a woman presuming to become President of the United States either 1) lied in to  face of the public by stating outright that she never sent or received classified material on her illicit private e-mail server, 2) was unable to recognize what was obviously classified material, thus placing it at risk on an unsecured server, and/or 3) has the technological acumen of an Irish Setter. An old Irish Setter.

More than 1,200 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time at State have now been deemed classified, after the agency publicly released its eighth batch of the messages late Thursday.

On New Years Eve, the State Department released roughly 5,500 more containing more than  1,200 e-mails culled from the private account that Clinton exclusively used while Secretary of State. New Years Eve, when as few people would notice as possible. This kind of stunt has become expected from that most transparent of all administrations, as it routinely tries to bury bad news. There was bad news too: Continue reading

Ethics Bulletin! Hillary Apologizes! And It’s Pathetic!

I just can't bear to put up another Hillary photo, and the graphics for "fake apologies" are all memes, so here's an adorable bull dog puppy.

I just can’t bear to put up another Hillary photo, and the graphics for “fake apologies” are all memes, so here’s an adorable bull dog puppy.

I really, really wanted to be through with Hillary Clinton today…this week…as long as possible. You’ve got to believe me!

Then comes this breathless announcement from ABC News: Hillary finally apologized!

Of course, when you have said repeatedly that there was nothing to apologize for, and you aren’t going to apologize, see no reason to apologize, because you did nothing wrong, and it was allowed, and lots of others had done similarly without anyone making a fuss, and the whole thing is nonsense, and made up by Fox News and Republicans, and then you apologize because you can’t stop the criticism and your advisors are saying “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HILLARY, THE MEDIA IS  BEGGING YOU TO APOLOGIZE AND MAYBE IF YOU GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT WE CAN BURY THIS!!!!,” what kind of apology is it?

An insincere apology. A desperate apology. A cynical, dishonest, Machiavellian apology, containing no contrition, humility, acknowledgement of wrongdoing, remorse or acceptance of consequences. In other words, not an apology at all. Just another tactic,

Is anyone really fooled by this? If you are, what’s the matter with you?

Even by fake apology standards, this was awful. Clinton said (my comments in Hillary Soul Black):

“I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier.

You mean better as in not using one rationalization after another, lying , falsely claiming that the e-mails of the Secretary of State contained no classified information before you adopted the Clintonian “no e-mails marked as classified?” Or better as in doing a better job lying?

“I really didn’t perhaps appreciate the need to do that.

Because Clintons never appreciate the need to tell the truth unless they are about to be exposed. Because Hillary is only running for President—why would she appreciate the need to be transparent and honest to the public? Why, though, was the alternative to doing a better job answering questions sending out one smirking, talking-point programmed surrogate after another to say that the issue was a sham? Why didn’t she appreciate the need not to do that?

“What I had done was allowed, it was above board.

In other words, she still refuses to admit she did anything wrong! What’s she apologizing for?  And no, it was not above board, because it was a secret private server specifically designed to keep Clinton’s communications hidden when she wanted them to be. “Above board” means in open sight; without tricks, concealment, or disguise.” Her handling of the e-mails  was the opposite of “above board” by definition. Continue reading

UPDATE: Hillary’s Ongoing Corruption Of Democrats, Progressives, and The News Media, Featuring MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell And Washington Post Editorial Cartoonist Tom Toles

First, Toles. This cartoon ran on Sunday:

Toles

Isn’t that nice? The whole e-mail episode, investigated by the FBI, raising issues of mishandling of classified information (which is a crime), destruction of evidence (which can be a crime, but is always unethical and suspicious) and competence (Hillary says the security implications of making sensitive communications on a private server never occurred to her!), and which Clinton continues to stonewall and lie about, is just an invention of the news media!

Poor Hillary! Look how frustrated she is! How can sending out paid spinners and liars to muddy the water and confuse the issues be a cover-up? How can destroying e-mails before they can be reviewed be a cover-up? How can the State Department employee that she paid to moonlight as her private e-mail tech taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying to Congress be part of a cover-up? How can an obvious cover-up be a cover-up?

This isn’t an ‘editorial cartoon.’ This is Spinning for Hillary, and for the Post to give it center page dominance on its editorial page is endorsing deception and partisan propaganda. Toles has always been a simplistic progressive hack; his cartoons make his predecessor Herb Block look even-handed. This goes beyond hackery, though, to misleading the public.  Or do you believe this is his real opinion? If so, he is too naive and dim-witted to have an editorial voice.

Andrea Mitchell’s Hillary enabling is of a different sort: rank cowardice. Continue reading

Translation: “OK, Lying And Denying Responsibility Haven’t Worked; Let’s Try Lying And Accepting SOME Responsibility.”

Said Candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign stop in Iowa:

“I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why. I get it. (1) So here’s what I want the American people to know: My use of personal email was allowed by the State Department. (2) It clearly wasn’t the best choice. (3) I should’ve used two emails: one personal, one for work. I take responsibility for that decision, and I want to be as transparent as possible, which is why I turned over 55,000 pages (4), why I’ve turned over my server (5), why I’ve agreed to — in fact, been asking to — and have finally gotten a date to testify before a congressional committee in October. (6) I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified. (7).

Notes: Continue reading

Bad News For Hillary: Someone At CNN Told Carol Costello To Stop Helping Her, And Clinton’s Talking Points Are Wearing Thin…OK, THINNER

This was fascinating. I was trying to decide whether to post today about the latest spin tactics by Hillary’s minions and her dwindling but still formidable media allies  in light of Clinton’s awkward press conference where she insisted that she didn’t do anything “wrong” regarding the mishandled State e-mails. Earlier in the day the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, a usually decent journalist whom it is sad to see succumbing to the  Clinton Corruption Virus (you would think there would be a vaccine by now!), had used this same talking point—and it is a campaign talking point. In a column that could be used in a public service announcement, Cillizza seriously wondered why Hillary was in trouble. Gee, he mused, maybe Hillary just isn’t very good at campaigning! What else could possibly explain why she isn’t cruising to the nomination?

In other words, the fact that she has lied constantly, used her foundation to profit from influence-seeking foreign powers, was a flop as a Secretary of State, put U.S. security at risk and destroyed potential evidence so she could avoid getting caught in her complex political/financial machinations—Allegedly! Allegedly!—wouldn’t matter at all to Democrats, voters or Chris if she was just better at fooling the public. Darn!

“This is Chris, and this is the tragedy of Clinton Corruption Syndrome. Won’t you help?”

Then he wrote, “The appearance here — even if Clinton did nothing wrong (and there is no proof she did at this point) — is terrible.”

What? WHAT? Of course she did things that were wrong. Isn’t lying like crazy wrong, Chris? Isn’t paying people to throw the media off the track and confuse the public using deceit and misrepresentations wrong, Chris?  Isn’t the tactic of smearing the messengers wrong, and sending out statements like the infamous “nonsense” letter wrong? Is intentionally breaking your own Department’s policies wrong? Is sending and receiving sensitive information in a manner that makes it vulnerable to hacking by foriegn governments wrong, Chris? Do you even know what wrong means any more, Chris?

That’s when it hit me, and that’s why I decided I had to post, again, on the Hillary Clinton E-mail Ethics Train Wreck, which is really just part of the The Hillary Clinton Presidential Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck. The Clinton campaign’s current strategy is now to make the public understand right and wrong the way the Clintons do. If it isn’t illegal, it isn’t wrong. (This is on the Ethics Alarms Rationalization list, incidentally: #4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.” Marion Berry went to jail.)

Talk about waving a red flag in front of an ethicist! Continue reading