Saturday, May 07, 2016

A must-read article

A pro-Clinton article has appeared in the media. I feel as though I've just spotted a unicorn. This piece notes that the FBI probably will exonerate Hillary of all wrongdoing in "emailgate" -- unfortunately, even the exoneration will be used against her.
But when it comes to the presidential campaign, that isn’t going to matter. Republicans already know what they think: Hillary Clinton is a criminal whose every thought and action is vile and despicable, so of course she broke the law. If the investigation doesn’t show that, it could only be because the investigation was a sham. So they’ll just keep saying that this is a scandal, over and over and over.

As Bill and Hillary Clinton’s entire careers have proven, when you’re trying to take someone down, the next best thing to a real scandal is a phony one. Let’s not forget that when Bill was president, no alleged wrongdoing was too trivial to investigate, complete with dark insinuations about nefarious conspiracies and potential criminal behavior. You think the endless investigation of Benghazi is ridiculous? In the 1990s, congressional Republicans took 140 hours of sworn testimony on the urgent question of whether the Clintons had misused the White House Christmas card list. Seriously. That’s something that actually happened.

And the media, always operating on the rule that when it comes to the Clintons any smoke should be treated as fire — even if there’s a bunch of Republicans operating a smoke machine in full view — will offer endless breathless stories about the “scandal” and how it just shows that people don’t trust Clinton.
So here’s what’s going to happen from this point forward. Trump will continue to say that she committed terrible crimes. Other Republicans will chime in to agree. Those statements will be passed on to the public with little or no context or correction. Fox News and conservative talk radio will tell their audiences over and over that this is the most horrific scandal since Watergate, or maybe Teapot Dome.

Then, some time in the summer, the investigation will conclude, and Clinton will be exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing. Republicans will say that just proves the fix was in. Trump will promise, as he has before, to appoint officials who will pursue a criminal indictment against her. And significant portions of the public will continue to believe that she must have done something wrong, even if they couldn’t quite say what it is, because they’ve heard all this stuff about an email scandal, and everybody wouldn’t be talking about it so much if there wasn’t something to it.
Emailgate is just another bullshit pseudoscandal which the Powers-That-Be have ginned up against the Clintons. I'll say it again: The fact that no other politicians in our history -- not even Obama -- have been subjected to this nonsense proves that the Clintons are the true anti-Establishment candidates.

I'm surprised. I didn't think intent was required by the law. Do you remember the Drake case. I thought he was eventually prosecuted for having one copy of a classified document that he had legitimate access to at his home address. Since the doc wasnt kept in a secure environment they used it as an excuse to nail Whistleblower Drake.
I should go and check again.

That said, I think it is clear that the Clintons have been persecuted by the US media in the past. This time around I suspect it will be different, now that she is running against the Donald. I think the GOP wants their party back, Clinton is less of a threat to them than Donald.

I thought your piece suggesting the possibility of a third party attempt was intriguing. Do they hate him that much? Yeah they probably do. So normal service may be discontinued til they deal with their cuckoo.

It's so frustrating that I could SCREAM!
Joseph, I posted some bits here. It includes links between Ted Cruz, the UK anti-Muslim group Quilliam, Bush counter-terrorism official Chad Sweet, Michael Chertoff, Google and neocon Jared Cohen. I hope that holds some interest for you. Cheers.
"I'm surprised. I didn't think intent was required by the law."

It isn't. The WaPo reporter apparently didn't bother to read the entire statute (18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information). Paragraphs (a)-(e) require that an act be performed "willfully" or "knowingly". Paragraph (f), however, reads as follows:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information)

So the standard here is "gross negligence", not "intent". That's a much lower bar. I'm still unconvinced there's enough here for a prosecution (and if there is, they ought to go after Powell and Cheney, too), but it was an uncharacteristically dumb move on her part.
I don't see how anything in those emails consists of "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information." As I've argued in the past -- too many times -- info is not classified if you gather it independently. If Tyler Drumheller goes to Libya on his own and scoops up some intel, on ANYTHING, he can talk about it with anyone he likes, in any way he likes. He may do so even if he later delivers the exact same info to the CIA and the Agency puts a big fat "classified" stamp on it. Drumheller was a private citizen and so was Blumenthal.
Frankly, I don't see how the GOP can possibly run against Hillary without coming across as sexist filth. The only way they could have mounted a credible campaign against her is if a viable woman candidate had run. I don't see how she can be beaten in the fall, I really don't see it at all. Women make up the majority of voters, and regardless of where they fall on the ideological map, they will not stand for sexism.
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So I know this sounds utterly mad but I have read a fairly convincing argument that information which is gathered independently IS classified.

The idea is that context and the Sec. States' deliberations and thought processes themselves are classified. But you don't have to be very bright to realize I am not a lawyer and I don't have inside information on this case or how it is being prosecuted. It doesn't seem to be a very important issue (to ill informed me) and I doubt Obama wants to cause problems in the Dems over this. It will only matter if an a-hole like Trump gets into office and the investigation is ongoing.

But it would be nice if Obama laid off bullying the little people using this

I don't see how anything in those emails consists of "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information."

Well, the email was implicitly "transmitted", since that's how email works. And, while it may have been sent directly to an address on Hillary's server, there's no telling (at this point) what path the packets took to get there since it was sent over the public internet (because that's how TCP/IP works - the connection isn't necessarily point-to-point and may take numerous "hops" to get to its final destination). So, there's no telling what systems may have received copies of the packets for retransmission, and there's no telling how many of those systems may have retained copies of the individual packets (perhaps innocently, for diagnostic purposes). That might be more of a legal issue for Hillary's subordinates, since they actually did the transmitting.

Regardless, a private server probably isn't a "proper place of custody", although I suspect it would be up to a jury to determine that.

Note that there's no requirement in the law that the information be formally classified.

Decoyed messages place any transmitted information into the twilight zone The insistence that Hillary Clinton's email could damage anyone requires that the information be truthful and only Hillary Clinton would know that.
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I have been confused by this brouhaha since the beginning. Ms. Clinton's e-mails were not stolen by Wikileaks, or Edward Snowden; they were not hacked into by eastern Europeans (despite the claims of a certain wannabe after his arrest on unrelated hacking charges) and dispersed on the "dark web." They were not leaked by an investigative journalist (or has this job gone the way of blacksmiths?). Her server was not cracked by Israel, Russia, or China. No, her e-mails are being dispensed to the public courtesy of the Tea Party congressional members, leaning on the intelligence services whose budgets they control. These are the same guys who don't know how their cell phones work, and send unsecured e-mails to their mistresses and don't realize that the entire world can actually see their dumbass tweets. She's ten times smarter and more careful than all of them tied together, and that's the real reason their BVDs are in a twist.
If the email standard for government officials is that it be "hacker proof", then a hacker will find a way to get to it. However, if some emails that are sent out by officials simply contain erroneous information, then in it owns way misinformation mixed in with real emails becomes the securest of all emails, especially if the email addresses used are not even the official ones that are supposed to be used.
The quoted law seems to be specifying the handing over of actual physical documents to third parties.
Is there a law about leaking lies or mistruths?
Since when should the FBI be enforcing the concept that all government officials only send truthful, accurate messages by email? Can the FBI say someone broke the law for sending out false information via unsecured email. Who is to say that any of the unsecured email messages were truthful. It seems whomever verifies the Hillary Clinton emails as truthful is the one that is breaking the law, no?

The idea that emails are legitimate documents is ludicrous. Has a bomb ever been dropped based on an email alone? I sure hope not.
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