As we talk to people, particularly if they are not known Democrats, we may be challenged about Hillary. God knows the GOP has done everything they can to besmirch her reputation. One of the people I spoke to Saturday was right on the party line: “If I did 1/10th of what she’s done, they’d lock me up for life.” It’s good to remind people that this is not just about her, but the whole Democratic ticket, but here is something I wrote to defuse the “Lock Her Up” crowd:
Just remember 4 facts:
* Over $100M spent trying to find some way to indict Hillary.
• Hillary Clinton, 110 classified emails on her server from 2009-2013.
* Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, US Military Intelligence: 700,000 stolen emails in 2013.
* Edward Snowdon, NSA/CIA – over 1,000,000 stolen documents in 2013
By Tim Butterworth, Chesterfield
Letters were bad enough. Benedict Arnold fell from US hero to British spy because of a letter found in John Andrés boot, in 1780.
Now our personal, business and political lives are drowning a a sea of emails. We can’t live without them, but anything more important than spam has the power to trip up the most important person in the world. We can see why Bin Laden ended up off the grid, using only word of mouth from messengers. Emails and cell-phone photos or recordings last forever, and can be on a million people’s computers tomorrow morning.
Since 1863 when the US Army defeated the Lakota Sioux in Colorado with the help of the telegraph, electronic communication has been both essential and risky to the U.S.
Kelly Ayotte’s 2006 emails became a campaign issue, because they indicated her decision to seek the death penalty for Michael Addison might have been political:
AYOTTE: Oct. 27, 2006 SUBJECT – Get Ready to Run. . . : “Have you been following the last 2 weeks. A police officer was killed and I announced that I would seek the death penalty,”
VERSALONE: ”I know I read about it. Where does AG Ayotte stand on the Death Penalty? BY THE SWITCH,”
There is now a national discussion about Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness, mostly because she seems to have made an attempt to keep her messages private. Is she right to think that her opposition wants access to her communications?
INVESTIGATIONS OF HILLARY CLINTON
CBS NEWS: Six years and more than $50 million in taxpayer money later, an independent counsel has concluded there is “insufficient evidence” to charge President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton with any criminal wrongdoing in the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas.
CNN April 1, 1999 Independent probes of Clinton Administration cost nearly $80 million.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi has been investigating for 800 Days,
which is longer than the investigations of Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, Iran-Contra and Hurricane Katrina.
May 17, 2016 The Benghazi Research Center: the investigation involved 10 congressional committees and at least 100,000 documents. The House Select Committee on Benghazi alone devoured over $6.8 million of taxpayers’ money, or nearly $8,000 per day.
The State Department spent $14 million and Department of Defense spent $2 million responding to demands of the House Select Committee.
The former chief Republican investigator of the House Select Committee on Benghazi wrote that “nothing could have affected what occurred in Benghazi.”
Which brings us back to the emails (OVER)
JULY 5, 2016: FBI Director James Comey: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Comey said. The FBI found 110 emails to have contained classified information when sent or received, and they MIGHT have ben hacked by enemies.
PUTTING THAT IN CONTEXT: Clinton was Secretary of State from 2009 – 2013
• 5/20/2013 Edward Snowden flies from Hawaii to Hong Kong. NSA director Keith Alexander: “We don’t have an accurate way of counting. . . . he may have downloaded . . . more than a million documents.” He has distributed them to our most powerful opposition. Was the CIA/ NSA “Extremely careless?”
• 8/30/2013 The Guardian: Bradley Manning, a 25-year-old US private, downloaded more than 700,000 classified documents from US military servers and passed them to WikiLeaks. He Used a second computer and a writeable CD. Was the US military “Extremely careless?”
Investigating Hillary Clinton’s Emails Costs Us $39,000 A Day – Americans are paying almost $200,000 a week to sift through her correspondence. Last May, the conservative online magazine American Thinker estimated that the FBI tab alone would be north of $20 million – and it did not include what was spent by the State and Justice Departments.
The FBI is good at protecting information. Before 9/11, field agents reported potential terrorist training at US Flight Schools, but the reports were kept secret from anyone who could have done anything about it. “Unfortunately this is an age-old and repeated problem in the FBI, where there is information somewhere in the agency, but it is not adequately shared with other parts of the agency, much less with agencies outside of the FBI,” said Michael Bromwich, former Justice Department inspector general.
Everyone will have to draw their own conclusions. No system is perfect, and Secretary Clinton’s seems no worse than the others. Technology changes so quickly that it is hard for a slow bureaucracy to keep up with new policies.
Reasonable people could conclude that at least some of the Clinton investigations have been motivated by politics, at a great cost to the American taxpayer, not just in money but in distraction. Imagine if our political representatives spent their time trying to fix health care, children living in poverty, poor schools in poor districts, and overseas involvements that didn’t work, instead of investigating candidates’ birth certificates or emails?
(Authored by Tim Butterworth)