mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“The National Bitch Hunt”: Nothing Ever Changes In Hunt For A Clinton Scandal

Where Hillary Clinton is concerned, nothing ever changes.

The National Bitch Hunt has been going on for more than 20 years. As a personal matter, the inimitable Camille Paglia set the terms in a long ago essay in The New Republic portraying Clinton as a “man-woman…bitch goddess,” and “the drag queen of modern politics.”

Crackpot New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has taken up the theme with a vengeance, writing literally scores of columns depicting the former Secretary of State as a cunning schemer. One week Clinton’s a Stepford Wife, then she’s Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, next Mommie Dearest.

This is what happens when the Heathers at the Cute Girls lunch table suspect you’re smarter than they are. Paglia’s particularly troubled by “the brittle brilliance of Hillary’s calculating, analytical mind.”

I’m betting they’ve never met.

Meanwhile, here’s a Washington Post headline to ponder: “New scandals and reasons to wonder if Hillary is hiding something.”

Quick now: Whitewater, White House Travel Office, or the more contemporary “emailgate”?

It’s Eugene Robinson, March 10, 2015. As the immortal Yogi Berra used to say, déjà vu all over again. The Washington Press Clique’s standard story hasn’t changed for two decades. They can type it up in their sleep. “Washington may now have reached the state-of-the-art point of having a cover-up without a crime,” the Post editorialized back in 1994. By arranging to have Whitewater documents delivered to the Independent Counsel instead of the inept reporters who created the bogus scandal, the White House made “it appear as if the Clintons have something to hide.”

Back then, Time columnist Michael Kramer spoke for them all. Writing entirely in the subjunctive mood — “if,” “may have,” “even if,” “might not” — Kramer confessed he couldn’t make heads or tails of the swirling allegations. Even so, “how is it possible,” he demanded, “that two respected lawyers like Bill and Hillary Clinton don’t possess a paper trail capable of proving their innocence?” [my emphasis]

Many years, millions of dollars and scores of accusatory headlines later, of course, it turned out that they did. Even so, Hillary Clinton’s been living in a Kafka novel ever since. Her guilt is primal, like Original Sin. The “bitch” has to prove her innocence over and over again.

Never mind that no Secretary of State previous to Clinton ever used a government email address. Nor that inadequately protected State Department computers have been repeatedly hacked by Wikileaks and others. Nor even that, contrary to insinuations in the New York Times article that started the latest festival of speculation, the Obama administration law requiring a state.gov address wasn’t enacted until two years after Clinton left the State Department.

People expecting bombshell revelations must think that Clinton’s not only a cunning Machiavel scheming her way into the White House, but also as dumb as a box of rocks. Whatever you think of her politics, realistically, what do you think are the odds that somebody with her unique experiences connived to hide her torrid love affair with Vladimir Putin or her secret membership in the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Muslim Brotherhood, and wrote it all down in an email?

Again, love her or don’t, but here’s the thing about Hillary Clinton: Paglia’s right, she’s seriously smart, diligent, and she always does her homework. Certainly smart enough to understand Rule One of cyber communications: If you don’t want to see it in the newspaper or on Fox News, don’t text it, tweet it, put it on Facebook or send it in an email.

During her March 10 press conference, Clinton casually allowed as how she never sent or received classified information via email. That alone should dampen the enthusiasm of Republicans on the latest House Benghazi committee who leaked this overblown story to the media in the first place. Indeed that appears to be their motive. Evidence of the cover-up conspiracy theorists have imagined turns out to be entirely lacking.

“We knew as of last summer that the Secretary used a private email account,” said California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff. “This is not something new. We knew also that she was cooperating. She was giving us everything that we asked for. 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 we already have.

“Now, the Secretary has called for those records to be made public. Why isn’t the chairman doing that? Why aren’t we doing that? The reason is we’ve read them. There’s nothing in them. My colleague says well, how do we know we have them all?”

How, indeed? That too has been an unvarying feature of the National Bitch Hunt. The incriminating evidence remains forever over the event horizon, and tantalizingly just out of reach.

 

By: Gene Lyons, The National Memo, March 11, 2015

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Election 2016, Hillary Clinton, House Republicans | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Media’s Email Hysteria: Why Are Republicans Exempt?”: In All Their Malignant Effrontery, The Clinton Rules Are Back

It is almost eerie how closely Hillary Clinton’s current “email scandal” parallels the beginnings of the Whitewater fiasco that ensnared her and her husband almost 20 years ago. Both began with tendentious, somewhat misleading stories published by The New York Times; both stoked highly exaggerated suspicions of wrongdoing; both were exploited by Republican partisans, whose own records were altogether worse; and both resulted in shrill, sustained explosions of outrage from reporters and commentators who could never be bothered to learn actual facts.

Fortunately for Secretary Clinton and the nation, she won’t be subjected to another fruitless $70 million investigation by a less-than-independent counsel like Kenneth Starr. The chances that the innocuous email flap will damage her nascent presidential campaign seems very small, according to the latest polling data.

Yet the reaction of the Washington media to these allegations renews the same old questions about fairness. In this instance, the behavior of Republican officials whose use of private email accounts closely resembles what Secretary Clinton did at the State Department has been largely ignored – even though some of those officials might also seek the presidency.

Recently Jeb Bush released a large volume of emails from the personal – i.e., non-governmental – email account that he routinely used as Florida governor, and then praised his own transparency with self-serving extravagance. The only problem is that those released emails represent only 10 percent of the total. The rest he has simply withheld, without any public review.

When Scott Walker served as Milwaukee county executive, before he was elected Wisconsin governor, he and his staff used a secret email system for unlawful campaign work on public time; that system emerged as part of an investigation that ultimately sent one of his aides to prison (another was immunized by prosecutors). Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has used a personal email account for government business, as has former Texas governor Rick Perry. So have Florida senator Marco Rubio, and various congressmembers who have been heard to spout off about Clinton’s emails, such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Those examples epitomize hypocrisy, of course — yet none compares with the truly monumental email scandal of the Bush years, when millions of emails went missing from White House servers – and many more were never archived, as required since 1978 by the Presidential Records Act. Dozens of Bush White House staff used a series of private email accounts provided by the Republican National Committee (whose loud-talking chairman Reince Priebus now mocks Clinton as the “Secretary of Secrecy”). The RNC’s White House email clients most notably included scandal-ridden Bush advisor Karl Rove, who used the party accounts for an estimated 95 percent of his electronic messaging, and by Rove’s staff.

Among many other dubious activities, Rove aide Susan Ralston used her private RNC email to discuss Interior Department appointments with the office of crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who wanted to influence the department on behalf of gambling interests. According to Abramoff associate Kevin Ring, another White House official explained to him that “it is better not to put this stuff in their email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc…” While Rove was forced to surrender some emails involving his notorious exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame, he retained the capacity to delete thousands of emails.

Various investigations and lawsuits uncovered the astonishing breadth of the Bush White House email fiasco, such as the “recycling” of backup tapes for all of its emails between Inauguration Day 2001 and sometime in 2003. This evidently meant that vast troves of messages pertaining to the 9/11 terrorist attack went missing, of course – along with whatever Rove and his aides might have communicated on that topic, or weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or countless other topics of public concern.

And former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose office was also involved in both the Plame and WMD scandals, admitted recently that he used private emails in office – but that he turned over and retained none of them – zero. (Powell’s successor Condoleezza Rice claims she didn’t use email at all.) By contrast, Clinton has turned over tens of thousands of her emails to the State Department.

Thanks to a federal lawsuit filed by two nonprofit watchdog groups, the National Security Archive at George Washington University and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a small proportion of the missing Bush White House emails were eventually restored – but only when the Obama administration finally settled the case in 2009. Those strict Obama rules for preserving emails (which Clinton stands accused of ignoring) resulted directly from the new administration’s determination to avoid the mess engendered by the deceptive and unlawful preservation practices of the Bush White House.

Now if Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account is so shocking to the Beltway media, why did they barely notice (and care even less) when millions of emails disappeared during the Bush years?

The current hysteria may reflect the intense press prejudice against Clinton that several well-placed Washington journalists confessed during a brief moment of introspection following the disgraceful coverage of her 2008 campaign. And it should serve to warn voters that what Arkansas columnist and author Gene Lyons famously calls “the Clinton rules” – which encouraged inaccuracy, bias, and other forms of journalistic failure in the 1990s – are back in all their malignant effrontery.

 

By: Joe Conason, Editor in Chief, The National Memo, March 13, 2015

March 15, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton, Republicans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: