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Monday, March 09, 2015

Hillary, emailgate, and Mata Huma

Sorry for the sparse blogging. I had a project, and I had to see it through to the failure point, which I finally reached last night. All of life is a struggle to reach the failure point. Such is the nature of existence; to be is not to be.

Politically, the existential question is this: Has Hillary Clinton's candidacy reached the failure point?

First, I had better warn you: I'm suddenly starting to warm, or re-warm, to the idea of a Clinton presidency. Why? Because so many people have turned on her. As you know, I am ruled by the creature that Poe called "the imp of the perverse." In the words of another fine writer: When they give you lined paper, write the other way

As we assess this so-called email scandal, we must note, first and foremost, that Hillary did nothing that the Republicans did not do. I refer, of course, to the great (and largely forgotten) GWB43 scandal, discussed here and here. Right-wingers hate it when they mount one of their organized rage campaigns only to confront some smarty-pants liberal blogger who points out that Bush did it first and worse. But precedent matters, and so does hypocrisy.

The GWB43 tactic was used to twist elections into knots, while Hillary's servers were used for...for what? We just don't know. Maybe she was up to some deviltry, and maybe she was not. The faux-hip presumption of malefic intent is not the same thing as evidence.

We do know that Colin Powell did precisely as Hillary did. Here's what he said to George Stephanopoulos:
What I did when I entered the State Department, I found an antiquated system that had to be modernized and modernized quickly.

So we put in place new systems, bought 44,000 computers and put a new Internet capable computer on every single desk in every embassy, every office in the State Department. And then I connected it with software.

But in order to change the culture, to change the brainware, as I call it, I started using it in order to get everybody to use it, so we could be a 21st century institution and not a 19th century.

But I retained none of those e-mails and we are working with the State Department to see if there's anything else they want to discuss with me about those e-mails.
I don't have any to turn over. I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files.
For more, go here:
Moreover, Sen. Chuck Schumer has stated Clinton's email system was based on that put in place by Powell. Condoleeza Rice, who served as secretary of state between Powell and Clinton, reportedly did not use email -- so it is unlikely she would have prioritized updating the department's systems.

If computer systems at State were as dangerously primitive and old-fashioned as Powell testifies, and since it appears Rice had little incentive to complete the modernization process he started, then it makes sense Clinton and her aides would utilize a private email built specifically for keeping the work of the nation's top-ranking diplomat secure. Especially in light of reports that no government emails in any department were automatically archived during Clinton's tenure.
Anyone who screams at Hillary while excusing Powell is a Janus-faced partisan. This is starting to look like another ginned-up pseudoscandal, reminiscent of the Benghazi buncombe.

Oddly, many non-rightwingers are playing along with this silliness, just as they once played along with the Whitewater silliness. As John Amato writes in Crooks and Liars:
It's interesting how most of the media (and yes Howard Kurtz, even MSNBC) have been attacking Hillary over this story.

Are you ready for the return of the 1990's Clinton media hunting party?
Guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. But I'm also wondering: Why? Wasn't her tenure as Secretary of State bellicose enough to please the neocons? What more could they want from her? Why on earth are the war hawks and their paid press-titutes suddenly so fretful about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency?

Let me run two names past you: Huma Abedin and Sidney Blumenthal.

Although the media rarely mentions these Clinton associates, those two names have set off alarms in certain households.

Sidney Blumenthal is the father of Max Blumenthal, who may be considered America's most effective critic of Israel. (Norman Finkelstein's youthful mad dalliance with Maoism makes him much easier to marginalize.) The Likudniks and their supporters hate the younger Blumenthal. Imagine their reaction when the hacker called "Guccifer" uncovered some emails between Sidney Bumenthal and Hillary Clinton in which he discussed sensitive information from Middle Eastern sources.

Side note: Were those emails a chance discovery, or is there more to this hack-job than we have been told? Guccifer is actually a Romanian cab driver named Marcel Lazar Lehel. We are told that "Lazar was an amateurish hacker with no special skills beyond what he learned from various hacker websites." And yet he got into George W. Bush's emails...?

Now let's talk about Huma.

The NYT recently referred to Huma as Hillary's "substitute daughter." But in those dark and slithery regions of the internet where liberals rarely tred, the very mention of the name Huma Abedin sends the professional Islamophobes into explosions of hategasm. No longer is she considered the betrayed damsel of the Wiener saga. She is now Mata Huma.

The sublime Michele Bachmann (whose scholarship and judgment are, as everyone knows, the stuff of legend) once called Huma a Muslim infiltrator. And she wouldn't take it back, even after John McCain castigated her.

Walid Shoebat, esteemed author of The Case for Islamophobia (which I promise to read the moment I go completely mad), considers Huma an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. You should read the post at the other end of that link: It's freakin' hilarious. In Shoebatian logic, the fact that people have come to Huma's defense only proves the existence of a Massive Muslim Conspiracy To Bring America Under the Heel of the Caliphate.

David Horowitz -- one of the most impressively pustular assholes ever to poise itself over the great toilet bowl of American culture -- has proclaimed Huma Abedin to be "worse than Alger Hiss."

I could cite many further examples, but the point is made.

As Michael Parenti once noted, we often neglect to ask ourselves: Do they see it that way? By "they," he referred to to right-wing enemies of Democratic politicians whom some lefties consider As Bad As Anyone On the Right. (Specifically, Parenti was talking about JFK. But that's a topic for another time.)

The current situation illustrates the point. To oddballs and outsiders like you and me, Hillary-as-SOS bore a distressingly close resemblance to the Bush-era war hawks. But the view from the hawks' nest is quite different. When actual neocons meet in their private places, sharing Havana cigars and Royal Lochnagar with Michael Ledeen and Sheldon Adelson, they don't complain, as we complain, about the way Hillary Clinton morphed into a Condi Rice clone during the 2008-2012 period.

No, they see things differently.

They see Mata Huma, a.k.a. Alger Hiss, in a quasi-familial relationship with the person who leads all polls to become the Democratic nominee. They see the detested Max Blumenthal gaining access to policy makers on the highest level. They see these things, and they grow very troubled. Nothing Hillary has done in the past, and nothing she says now or in the future, will quell their concerns.

Thus: Emailgate. Thus: All future "gates" standing between Hillary and the White House.

If Hillary survives the current brouhaha (as she probably will), don't be surprised if the Blumenthal factor come up during the campaign. If compelled, she will not hesitate to toss the entire Blumenthal family under the bus. Then she will proclaim her love for Israel with the volume and gravity of a Bruckner fanfare.

At that point, another batch of hard-to-explain hacked communications may pop into public view. And I'll bet you a donut that the hack-job will be rather implausibly ascribed to yet another unskilled amateur in a foreign land.
Progressives and Neo-cons will make a concerted effort to get Hillary Clinton out of the race because Ms. Clinton appeals to both republican moderates and democrat moderates, which make up at least 60% of the voting public.
Members of the Benghazi committee have already read the Clinton emails and they contain nothing. They knew as of last summer that the Secretary used a private email account. Nothing changed except for the pressure on the Republican members of the committee this week became too great for them to resist from the Stop Hillary PAC people and the RNC people, so they issued a subpoena for records that they already had.
There was definitely a scandal associated with Benghazi, but it had less to do with the slaughter of four Americans than it did with what those Americans were actually doing in Benghazi. They were smuggling weapons stolen from Libya to Syrian rebels - a.k.a. ISIS - who are functioning as a proxy army in Israel's efforts to depose Assad...allegedly.

As such, even though there's plenty of smoke surrounding Benghazi the investigations will necessarily find nothing, because the deep state knows no party allegiance and it will not be slowed down by laws and the like.

Plus, since providing material support to terrorist organizations is a crime, acknowledging misdeeds associated with Benghazi would create a sticky situation.
This is more Clinton Derangement Syndrome added to poll numbers showing Clinton with an indisputable lead and a changing demographic in the country--all bad for the Republican party in a national contest.

What to do, what to do?

Burn the witch. Cheerlead an Elizabeth Warren campaign so that--in the predictable words of Rush Limbaugh--we can have a 'Bitch Battle.' And start up the old Scandal Machine, grinding scandal and doubt out of thin air. This is the same gleefully malicious machine that we've seen before. Benghazi, anyone??

The one good thing is the GOP always over reaches, always goes too far with the hate and smear tactics. The recent behavior with the Netanyahu disgrace has now been matched by Tom Cotton and 27 Republicans attempting to sabotage an Iran deal. Because . . . Obama.

Democrats need to stop wailing and wringing their hands. The Republicans have been committing political suicide. We should let them while defending our own.

When actual neocons meet in their private places ....They see Mata Huma, a.k.a. Alger Hiss, in a quasi-familial relationship .....

I think actual neocons are not morons. This Mata Huma nonsense looks like propaganda for consumption by the conservative-leaning Fox-viewing masses, it's not something a neo-con would necessarily "believe."

Neo-conservatives pursue an agenda by twisting truth to whatever will serve this agenda. True neocons are relatively few in number and intelligent.

It's important to distinguish between neocons and those who believe their bullshit. Also, below a certain pay-grade, many conveyers of neocon lies (on blogs etc.) probably believe the bullshit, though they do not grasp the neocon vision. The fact neocons have useful idiots working for them and consuming the propaganda does mean the neocon believes the content. They wouldn't be running the show if they did.

The genius of the neocon is his ability to get the masses worked up about issues that serve a larger agenda, without having a clue as to the goal. With Obama in the White House the neocon manipulates liberals. As you know, many libertarians are putty in the neocon's hands.

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