Thursday, September 01, 2016

Why does the media allow Trump to lie about Hillary's emails?

George W. Bush became president because the media spread bullshit about Al Gore.

George W. Bush was re-elected because the media spread bullshit about John Kerry.

And now the media is spreading bullshit about Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump keeps lying and lying and lying about the Clinton Foundation and the email server, and nobody in the media has the guts to call him on his concoctions.

You should look at the recent Trump speech excerpted here. The things he says are incredibly deceptive -- at times, downright bizarre.

Once again, he claims that Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000 emails. Before the end of this post, I will take a closer look at this bit. 

Trump then accuses Hillary of "bleaching" the emails with -- I kid you not -- a "chemical"!!! That's the word he uses, and he's not using it metaphorically. This idiot really seems to believe that a goddamned chemical was involved.

Moreover, he claims that this "bleaching" process is "very expensive." I think that when he uses the word "bleaching," he is referring to BleachBit, which is a software utility, not a "chemical."

Expensive? It's freeware.

BleachBit is a common utility on linux systems, comparable to CCLeaner and Glary on Windows systems. (Trump, being computer illiterate, would not know about such things.) Every computer system should have an app of this sort for general housekeeping purposes.

There is absolutely zero evidence that Hillary used BleachBit to remove any emails. None. Even Trey Gowdy could not make that claim, although he insinuated as much without citing any proof. (It's not as though Trey has indicated any deep knowledge of how computers work.) No-one who was actually involved with the forensic examination of Hillary's server has said that she used BleachBit to eradicate any emails.

Anyone seeking to delete a file in a way that cannot be traced by the FBI would use a pricey, pro-quality file shredder, not BleachBit. I've seen no evidence that Hillary used any kind of file eraser on any emails.

Trump then says that  investigators found thirty emails about Benghazi. Well, you knew that Trump would go to town on that one.

Let's deal with this allegation.

In the first place, he has contradicted himself: An email that was properly shredded or erased by an "expensive" application would be unrecoverable. More to the point, his statement is a completely hyperbolic reading of the situation we read about in the WP:
It is not yet known how many of those documents may be duplicates of 343 emails already made public by the State Department or contain stray references to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Libya that killed ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others, government attorneys said. The emails were recovered by the FBI in its year-long investigation of Clinton’s private email setup as secretary from 2009 to 2013.
"Stray references" is probably close to the mark. I'm quite sure that FBI Director Comey -- a Republican who has bent over backward to paint Clinton in the worst possible light -- would have made it crystal clear by now if the emails contained any startling new information about by Benghazi.

An email that contains something along the lines of "Are you attending the funeral for Sean Smith...?" is, arguably, "about" Benghazi. Nevertheless, such an email can also be considered private.

Donald Trump doesn't know what's really going on. He's making wild accusations without any proof.

In fact, those emails were almost certainly innocuous.

Wait a minute, Cannon! I hear you saying. How can you possibly be so sure about that?

Simple. If any of those thirty emails were important, they would have been classified. The FBI would have said "They have a classification stamp." As we've seen in previous posts, none -- NONE -- of the emails on that server bore classification marks in the header.

Despite this, Trump keeps stating that Hillary sent classified information.

He's lying. Just flat-out lying. Trump has not read those emails. The FBI has.

There were only three emails considered questionable, because they contained paragraphs that contained (c) markings, indicating confidential information -- the lowest form of classification. However, even those documents were not classified.
At a Congressional hearing Thursday morning, however, Comey admitted that the three emails to which he was referring were not, in fact, properly marked as classified, and that even a person with reasonable expertise in identifying classified material could make the “reasonable inference” that these emails were not classified:
Rep. Matt Cartwright: were these properly documented, were they properly marked according to the manual with the little “cs”?

FBI Director James Comey: no…There were three e-mails. The “c” was in the body, in the text but there was no header on the e-mail or the text.

Rep. Matt Cartwright: So if Secretary Clinton really were an expert at what’s classified and what’s not classified, and were following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

FBI Director James Comey: That would be a reasonable inference.
More to the point: Those (c) markings were deemed by the FBI to be erroneous. Those three emails contained only piffle. They contained nothing but information already in the public record.
The emails to which Comey was referring, the only ones, did not contain any markings beyond those “portion markings,” which the State Department says were added in error anyway. Therefore, in addition to the absence of the header, Secretary Clinton could also have made the reasonable inference that the documents were not classified because their content was of a sort not normally classified, either.
See? Trump is the biggest of the Big Liars.

Now let's take on Trump's lie about "15,000 emails." The mainstream media -- mostly through laziness, I think, not malice -- has given Trump a free ride on this one. Fortunately, FactCheck looked into the details.
Trump is right that the FBI recovered “several thousand work-related emails” that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department, as FBI Director James Comey disclosed in July. But the FBI did not “just recently” find “another 15,000 more.”

Instead, it was recently announced that the FBI recovered a total of about 14,900 emails during its year-long investigation of Clinton, including the “several thousand work-related emails” that Comey cited in July.

Also, Trump claimed that Clinton deleted her emails to “cover up her crimes,” but Comey said the FBI found “no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails [that the FBI found] were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”
It's the Big Lie technique, folks. Trump is wholly unscrupulous.
The 15,000 emails weren’t “just recently found,” and they are not all work-related.

Let’s recap what happened, beginning with Comey’s announcement on July 5 that the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton’s use of personal email for government business while secretary of state. The FBI investigation concerned whether there were any violations of federal law on the handling of classified information, and whether there had been any hacking of the email server by foreign or hostile powers.

Comey announced that day that the FBI would not recommend that criminal charges be filed against Clinton or any State Department staffers for mishandling classified information. During his announcement, Comey said that Clinton turned over about 30,000 emails to the State Department in December 2014, but that the FBI “also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.”
That was the origin of the "30,000 deleted emails" charge that Trump keeps repeating. In Trump-vision, 30,000 emails "turned over to the State Department" magically became "30,000 deleted emails."

Now, it is true that Hillary deleted a number of emails she considered personal. (As would I.) How do we know that these emails were, in fact, innocent?

Simple. The FBI found about 14,900 emails not in that 30,000 batch. Obviously, Hillary didn't use any kind of professional file shredding app to delete her emails, as she would have done, were she hiding a guilty secret.

It's possible that some emails might have been available on other computers. (The stories I've seen haven't gone into those technical details.)

Of the 14,900, some of them were work-related. Most of the "work-related" emails that we've seen were unimportant -- recommendations to read certain stories on the internet, things like that. Some are duplicates. (I imagine that we're talking about CCs and emails that were passed around.) Quite a large percentage, it seems, were purely personal.
In a statement to us, the State Department said the 14,900 emails included the “several thousand work-related emails” that Comey mentioned at his July 5 press briefing. A department official told us that the FBI turned over the documents in two batches on July 21 and Aug. 5, and not all of the emails are work-related. The State Department needs to determine how many of them are work-related, although the FBI has said that “several thousand” are work-related. It may also turn out that some of these documents were already released.
None of them contain any classified information. Again: Comey's team found only three that contained a (c) indicating "confidential" information -- three emails not marked as classified in the header, three emails that should never have had any interior markings at all, since the contents were public knowledge.
Comey said the FBI “found no evidence” that she deleted emails intentionally to conceal them, saying it was “not surprising” that the FBI found emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department:
Comey, July 5: I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account — or even a commercial account like Gmail — there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.
So, Trump is not only wrong that the FBI “just recently found another 15,000 more” emails, but he is making an unsupported claim that she deleted the emails to “cover up her crimes.”
Politifact has done the hard work of exposing Donald Trump's outrageous lying about those emails. Too much of the media has given Trump a free pass.


Seriously: Why?

Is the information I've collated above that hard to understand? I had no difficult comprehending it. I bet you didn't either. So why is that even the hosts on MSNBC seem incapable of sorting out the facts and presenting them to the public in an easily-digestible fashion?

Why do they let Donald Trump get away with one brazen lie after another?

This evil man is going to lie his way into the White House. Mark my words.

Added note: Trump and Julian Assange are strongly suggesting that they will, at the proper moment, release "deleted" emails that contain damning information. I think that we can demonstrate -- based on the facts already in hand -- that these emails will be Russian fabrications.

My argument is simple. The FBI has already recovered 14,900 emails, which is a large portion of all those that were deleted. As we have seen, those 14,900 messages proved to be innocent. No classification stamps. No damning information.

How likely is it that the "bad stuff" would exist only in those emails which the FBI did not recover?

Hypothetically, let's say there were -- oh, I dunno, forty emails in which Hillary said something awful, awful, awful. Logic tells us that a good portion of those "awful forty" emails would be in the pile that the FBI already has. The split would probably not be twenty-twenty -- still, there would be a distribution: A percentage would go here, the rest would go there. The FBI would have already have some portion of those awful forty emails.

If you don't yet understand my point, let's try a thought experiment.

Picture this: Let's say you use a knife to mark forty pennies. Then you toss those forty into a big vat of 30,000 pennies. Then you pour out that vat into two piles: One pile goes to James Comey, while the other goes to Vladimir Putin. After that, Comey and Putin ask underlings to go through their respective piles in order to see which pile contains more of those forty marked coins.

Do you really think that all forty would appear in Putin's pile? Does that make sense to you?

I mean, yeah, it's possible technically. I've read books about gambling, and I know that that it is possible for a tossed coin to come up heads ten times in a row.

But is it likely?
The media corporations allow the Orange Grifter to lie because they want a tight presidential race, for the same reason they want tight ball games. If the "game" becomes a blowout, people get bored and change the channel.

Also, maybe Clinton is taking it easy because she's been told she doesn't need to fear that Trump will actually win--the national security bigwigs do not want him, so they've already told their gremlins to fix the voting computers, if need be.
Devil's Advocate: If there were 40 incriminating e-mails, those would be the ones to be bleached.

Of course, she'd have to be an idiot to send anything incriminating by e-mail in the first place,and I don't think even Trump would call her stupid. She's lying Hillary, not stupid Hillary.
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