by Tom Pappalardo
March 29, 2016
The Hillary Clinton email probe is getting very close to becoming another full blown Clinton scandal. David Shuster of Al Jazeera reported on March 30th that the FBI is arranging interviews with former State Department aides Philippe Reines, Former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Clinton herself. Shuster also scooped that Justice Department prosecutors are joining the FBI team of investigators.
Here are some things that need to be understood regarding this email probe based on what has been reported. The LA Times recently reported that interviews are being arranged for the FBI to speak to HRC associates. This infers that all the preliminary investigation into this matter has been done. The fact that subpoenas for interviews have been submitted and that one of HRC’s aides has been granted immunity means a grand jury exists to approve of the immunity and interviews. Weeks ago it was revealed that Bryan Pagliano the person granted immunity failed to inform his employers at the State Deptartment that while in their employ he was also employed by HRC to manage her private email server. Persons who have been US prosecutors with knowledge of the laws regarding the Clinton server have stated that it was unlawful of Pagliano to not inform his government employers he was also privately working for Secretary Clinton. That he knew he was in violation because of this would be a strong motivation to cooperate with the FBI investigation. The crux of the case against HRC according to knowledgeable people of these laws have stated that the very existence of her private email server was a violation of law regarding national security. We know Clinton never used the .gov email account that was created for her. It is very important to understand that HRC as Secretary of State was one of ten members of the government that had the authority to make a document classified. Like all government employees at this level, HRC signed a document that clearly states she is responsible and accountable for information that is classified regardless of when it is given the status of classified. This cuts through the smokescreen of the defense that documents that went through HRC’s private server were later identified as classified and that is all she had done. She was expected by way of law to know which material by its inherent nature was deemed worthy of this classification. We know that at least 22 of her emails were not only classified but identified as SAP. Special Access Programs (SAP) are considered “highly classified” documents. It appears quite likely she broke national security laws during her time as Secretary of State.
The big question is why did HRC not use a .gov email address and why did she only use her private server for ALL of her email correspondence. Her stated reason of “convenience” seems incomplete at best in terms of an answer when it is handling matters of national security. Yes, it was inconvenient for her to read all of her classified email from a secure laptop in a special room which disabled her blackberry but how does that justify anything when it comes to national security. HRC was rebuffed when she requested of the NSA a secure blackberry similar to the one they made for President Obama that could not be hacked. A big reason why HRC could not bring her blackberry into the secure room is that hackers can take over a blackberry and turn it into a listening device. Her Secretary of State offices were located in such a room so yes this was inconvenient. It was deemed by the NSA too costly and time consuming to create a second blackberry. It has been noted by the NSA that this was typical of the Clintons to believe they warranted special treatment above and beyond everyone else.
An obvious reason for HRC to want to control all of her email by private server became readily apparent when after her time as Secretary of State individuals and organizations put in FOIA requests regarding her emails. The State Department ultimately came back with the response to these requests that there were no documents to be found. The State Department mislead the requesters by not informing them that they could not be found because they were not on a government server but a private server. This would indicate the possibility that some of her old employees were trying to protect her. These would probably be the same employees who did not think to question why their Secretary of State did not use a .gov email. Apparently HRC is such an intimidating figure that no one in government thought to question this matter of national security.
In regards to access of her emails if she would have used a .gov email then not only FOIA requests were a concern for HRC but also the fact that thousands of individuals could have access to her emails. Given the Clintons penchant for scandals and their subsequent secrets it does not take any imagination to conclude why HRC only used a private server. She expected to have something to hide. The only reasonable conclusion to be made by all of this is that HRC prioritized her ability to keep secrets over the needs of national security. There is one particular area of interest that is being speculated she wanted to hide and might have been included in the 30K emails she destroyed. This is the matter of money donated to the Clinton Foundation by the same countries who got approved by Hillary’s State Department to buy US arms. The book “Clinton Cash” covers this in detail and is being studied by the same FBI investigators that are investigating her emails.
It is not shocking that HRC made this astoundingly bad extremely selfish decision to only use a private email server as Secretary of State when juxtaposed to past Clinton behavior. The biggest question this begs is whether she can be trusted as our next president to prioritize matters that put the interests of the country ahead of personal interests. President Obama and Loretta Lynch are very likely going to have a big decision to make regarding this matter. They of course do not want to deal with this but given how secrets have a way to getting to the media in DC this is certainly not something they will be able to shove under a rug even if they were tempted to. Most likely this hot potato will be passed on by them to a Special Counsel. Hopefully, once its obvious this is not going to go away easily that Hillary will withdraw from the nomination process for president. However, even though this would be the right thing to do, is it what Hillary will do? That is quite up in the air when there are three factors in their behavior that are quite consistent. They are very selfish, they fervently believe rules and laws do not apply to them, and they are totally committed to the pay to play practices that dominate US politics.
Something to keep in mind if you really want to both understand this upside down election process and the Clintons is that understanding psychology is much more helpful than understanding standard politics. This election process is dominated by anger which usually leads to self-destructive behavior. The Clintons appear to have a somewhat unique strain of self-destructive behavior. They appear to have the same compulsive behavior as gamblers when it comes to the number and scope of secrets that get created connected to their lives. It is plausible both the Clintons and gamblers are caught in a similar vice of compulsive self-destructive behavior. The Clintons with their apparent need to be surrounded by the high stakes intrigue of secrets and gamblers craving high stakes action are quite possibly both feeling the same adrenaline rush. A gamblers addiction is based on the adrenaline high, gambling manufactures. As a voter one should ask themselves, do you really want to vote for someone to be the most powerful person on the planet who has exhibited consistently strong signs of self-destructive behavior?