Monday, September 5, 2016

There’s Nothing To It

I probably should have posted this yesterday in Sunday Reading, but who reads that?  I’m posting it now hoping that it might get some attention from the five or six people who read this blog and pass it along, especially to their Fox-viewing friends who are sure that Hillary Clinton should be locked up.

This is Kevin Drum’s analysis of the FBI report on Hillary Clinton’s damned e-mails.  He’s read the whole thing and come to the stunning conclusion that there’s no news here, and what news there is doesn’t amount, to coin a phrase, to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

If you read the entire report, you’ll find bits and pieces that might show poor judgment on Hillary’s part. The initial decision to use one email device is the obvious one, something that Hillary has acknowledged repeatedly. Another—maybe—is her staff’s view of what was safe to send over unclassified email. But this is very fuzzy. It could be that her staff knew exactly what it was doing, and it’s the subsequent classification authorities who are wrong. This is something that it’s impossible to judge since none of us will ever see the emails in question.

That said, this report is pretty much an almost complete exoneration of Hillary Clinton. She wasn’t prohibited from using a personal device or a personal email account, and others at state did it routinely. She’s told the truth all along about why she did it. Colin Powell did indeed advise her about using personal email shortly after she took office, but she chose to follow the rules rather than skirt them, as Powell did. She didn’t take her BlackBerry into her office. She communicated with only a very select group of 13 people. She took no part in deciding which emails were personal before handing them over to State. She had nothing to do with erasing information on the PRN server. That was a screw-up on PRN’s end. She and her staff all believed at the time that they were careful not to conduct sensitive conversations over unclassified email systems. And there’s no evidence that her server was ever hacked.

There’s remarkably little here. If you nonetheless believe that it’s enough to disqualify Hillary from the presidency, that’s fine. I have no quarrel with you. But if the FBI is to be believed, it’s all pretty small beer. [Emphasis in the original]

I know this will not get the attention of the horse-race gamblers at the cable channels or the conspiracy-mongers in the right-wing orcosphere, but facts are stubborn things.  If you think that this is worse than the race-baiting nativism of the small-fingered crackercrockery of Donald Trump or the fact that he obviously bribed the Attorney General of Florida, then what the hell are you doing reading this blog?

6 barks and woofs on “There’s Nothing To It

  1. Add to this, please, by posting a few of the best lines from Paul Krugman’s column today. He worries that Clinton is being “Gored” by which he means treated in the same way the media treated Al Gore in his race against G.W. Bush. Bush, whose policy proposals made no sense, was portrayed as a bluff, straightforward guy while Gore whose proposals added up and whose critiques of the Bush plan were completely accurate, was designated slippery and a liar. He never claimed he’d invented the internet, for example, but the image stuck. And meanwhile, we have the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt. Lazy reporting, echo chamber repetitions, refusal to look at the facts and the history of how each candidate has behaved in the past are polluting the news. We deserve better. Krugman might be pointing the finger at his employer, too.

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