Saturday, September 03, 2016

I still want better judgment with the next president

Several months ago, I happened upon a very interesting article on the email scandal instigated by Hillary Clinton. "Do I Really Need to Worry About Hillary’s Emails? Yes. She Will Be Indicted. (Full Form)" is probably the most complete 3rd party analysis of the travails of Hillary Clinton with respect to her stint as Secretary of State. After reading it, I became fairly convinced that she was going to be indicted.

We know now that she was not indicted. The FBI punted and said that no reasonable attorney would pursue charges against Clinton, despite mountains of evidence against her. They made a purely political decision, despite protests to the contrary on the part of Obama and the major media. In social media, I saw it over and over again, "The Clintons have been investigated for 30 years and no one has ever been able to touch them". That's the argument for "leaving them alone" that is always trotted out by Clinton supporters.

Now we see that Congress, having been frustrated by a Justice Department subject to political pressure from above, is seeking other remedies. Although they cannot pursue a criminal indictment as the judicial branch could have done, they can seek impeachment in an effort to disqualify Hillary Clinton from office. They can do this even though Clinton is out of office now, and they can seek impeachment for the abuse of the public trust she exhibited so well during her tenure as Secretary of State. The National Review of all places, has some compelling arguments for the same.

Some of you may wonder why I bring this up. I'm a Sanders supporter, but I'm using Republican talking points? I'm an independent and I really don't care which side of the spectrum I get my news and sources. If they can be corroborated by a respected source, then so be it. I know something of the National Review. I know that it was founded by William F. Buckley in 1955. I watched Buckley on PBS with my dad when I was a kid. I'm not a conservative, but I respected the way he expressed his opinions. I respect The National Review, even if I disagree with them on many if not all of their policy positions, but on the matter of impeachment, I agree. The article that I read and cite above is very well written and it is, in my estimation, right about this issue.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that Hillary's judgement is even worse than I thought. Check out this headline from The Guardian in the UK: Hillary Clinton email investigation: FBI notes reveal laptop and thumb drive missing.  Here's are a couple of gems from the article:
The unnamed person “told the FBI that, after the transfer was complete, he deleted the emails from the archive laptop but did not wipe the laptop. The laptop was then put in the mail, only to go missing. [Redacted] told the FBI that she never received the laptop from [redacted]; however, she advised that Clinton’s staff was moving offices at the time, and it would have been easy for the package to get lost during the transition period.
         ...
Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, and Hanley “indicated the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device”, the documents state. “Cooper did recall two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”
So they created an email archive of the deleted emails, this creates a file on disk. The file was copied to at least one USB drive and then the USB device was lost, never to be seen again. The laptop was sent in the mail and lost. If you think that deleting the file was the end of it on the laptop, think again.

If you work in IT as I do, you know that deleting a file doesn't actually remove the file. It marks the blocks used by the file as empty space to write over again. The odds that another application will write over exactly the same space on the drive are slim if not remote. A competent data recovery technician could recover the file with software ready made for the task available for free on the internet.

Then the laptop was lost in the mail. They actually sent the laptop to someone in the mail and the laptop was not recovered at the destination address. Seriously? They didn't even use registered mail with return receipt required? How about UPS or FedEx? The USB drive contained the archive in full, unencrypted view for all to see. I would not be surprised to find out that someone who knew what to do with it at the expense of Clinton or national security, found it.

The second paragraph cited above is just unbelievable, stating that once Clinton made a transition to a new device, the old device was conveniently forgotten and no one could remember where it went. This is not a very organized group here. In most large corporations, *everything* is tracked. You use a Blackberry provided by your company for work? It goes in a database and you're held accountable if you lose the thing. Your IT department installed software to brick the phone if it is lost or stolen. Clinton did none of this.

The entire story, as it continues to unfold, is a comedy of errors featuring a woman in a mad quest for privacy while living in the glare of public life. It is hard to believe that the person most likely to be president next January managed to lose an unencrypted archive of her emails on a laptop and a USB drive. Yes, you could say that these are the mistakes of the her staff. So what? "Respondeat superior", is Latin for, "let the master answer". No matter what her staff does, it's all on Hillary Clinton.

"But, but...you're saying things that could get Donald Trump elected!", is what I sometimes read in response to my posts. Seems like every week, there is a new gaffe by Trump. Seriously, he's very creative, but I think he's an entertainer. Every time that guy opens his mouth, puts his foot in it and pulls the trigger, I remind myself that he's an entertainer. He was the host of his Apprentice shows for years and during that time, he was an entertainer.

I think Trump is still an entertainer and I take nothing of what he says seriously. Donald Trump doesn't need to be president. He could lose and he'd still be set for life with his numerous enterprises, fame and fortune. When he's done "running for president", he'll hide out in a tropical paradise for a month and go back to work like nothing happened. He might even write a book about all of it. But as far as I can tell, Donald Trump doesn't even want to be president.

Hillary Clinton simply doesn't have the judgement to be president and I want no part of her quest for the highest office in our still great country. I won't vote for her, will never vote for her and see a perfectly suitable alternative: Jill Stein from the Green Party.

Side note: Yes, I do know that when Bernie Sanders called Hillary Clinton the winner of the nomination process at the Democratic National Convention in July, he suspended the rules and still has his delegates. There have been murmurs on the internet to the effect that if Hillary Clinton is somehow disqualified, that Sanders could just resume his campaign. I know, pure fantasy, but I would love, love, love to see something like that happen. If Hillary is impeached, she will be disqualified from office. But alas, that is still a very faint hope that I hold in the back of my heart.

I've seen the criticism of Jill, over and over. So here me out. Jill doesn't reek of corruption like Clinton does. Yes, you could say it just looks bad for Clinton, but Clinton is very, very smart, and she knows how Washington works. She has something we call, "confidence". I don't want someone with "confidence" as president. Hillary knows how to hide stuff and has the determination to hide stuff. she has developed alliances that compromise her ability to function as a president working for the people.

Jill has none of that. The Green Party has a clearly set platform, that is all about making the world a better place. She doesn't have "confidence" like Clinton does. As someone who has never held a high public office, Jill Stein would approach the levers of power with caution. She would be leery of engaging the US in another war, or launching a drone, or signing a trade agreement that would compromise the sovereignty of the United States. I would much rather see someone in office who takes a cautious view of her power and what she can do with it than to say, "we came, we saw, he died", with a laugh the way Hillary Clinton has done.

This is why I'm still voting for Jill Stein for president. She doesn't have to be better than Clinton at working the levers of power, she only has to be competent, cautious and free of the corrupting influence of money in politics. That's good enough for me.
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