Sunday, July 10, 2016

FBI Report: Worst of All Possible Worlds for Hillary Clinton - William A. Levinson

by William A. Levinson

--the FBI's scathing report, of course, disqualifies Hillary Clinton from any position that requires any kind of security clearance.

"All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds" was a common refrain in Voltaire's Candide, and the context is ridicule of Leibnizian optimism. James Comey's assessment of Hillary Clinton and her private E-mail service is, in contrast, the worst of all possible worlds for her campaign.

Comey's decision to not recommend criminal prosecution would have been good news for Hillary Clinton in the absence of Bill Clinton's meeting with Loretta Lynch, along with Hillary's own implied promise to reappoint Lynch as Attorney General (but only, of course, if she wins the election). As matters stand, these actions come across, rightly or wrongly, as obstruction of justice through de facto bribery of the Attorney General. What else should we call it when the subject of a criminal investigation, or a person acting on her behalf, offers a high-profile job to the prosecutor who is in charge of the investigation? It is, at the very least, a conflict of interest for Lynch.

Bill Clinton said that he and Lynch talked about golf and grandchildren but, when the prominent and powerful husband of the subject of a criminal investigation meets privately with the chief prosecutor, this perception of impropriety is unavoidable--and both parties to the conversation knew it.

The lack of charges also reinforces the perception, as depicted in a popular meme that features Hillary Clinton, "Silly Americans; laws are for poor people."


Recall also that Barack Obama got off with a warning for illegal gambling to fund his 2008 campaign while a local sports bar owner got a felony record for similar conduct, and had to pay $100,000 to avoid losing his bar. Evidence that there is one set of laws for the high and mighty, and another set for the commoners and the peasants, should be repugnant to political liberals and conservatives alike. The rest of the FBI's scathing report, of course, disqualifies Hillary Clinton from any position that requires any kind of security clearance.

FBI: Hillary Clinton is Not Qualified to Hold a Security Clearance

Our country has only recently faced situations in which a presidential candidate might not meet the security-related requirements of the job. Consider, for example, the Nuclear Weapon Personnel Reliability Program. (Emphasis is mine.)
Except for the category of individuals identified in subparagraph B.2.a.(2)(a), above, or otherwise provided in this Directive, any pre-Service use, admitted or otherwise discovered, of illicit drugs such as heroin, heroin derivatives, cocaine, "crack," phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ecstasy," or other "designer" drugs, amphetamines, barbiturates, or other narcotic drugs not prescribed by proper medical authorities, and anabolic steroids shall render an individual ineligible for admission to or retention in PRP duties.  The individual shall not be certified into the program or shall be permanently decertified, and those actions shall be made a matter of permanent record.
Had Barack Obama's admitted past use of hard drugs (cocaine) taken place after the issuance of this directive (1995), he would be ineligible to control nuclear weapons under any circumstances. This would in turn render him ineligible to be President. James Comey's report creates, similarly, an almost unprecedented situation in which a Presidential candidate is not qualified for even a basic security clearance, which also is a prerequisite for the office in question (emphasis is mine).
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.
For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).
None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.
…While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.
…To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
The obvious "security or administrative sanctions" in question would of course consist in loss of security clearances. Comey's report is therefore, despite lack of a recommendation for criminal prosecution, the worst of all possible worlds for Hillary Clinton. The key takeaways and talking points are as follows:

(1) Bill Clinton's private meeting with Attorney General Lynch, and Hillary Clinton's implied promise to reappoint Lynch as Attorney General, leave an unavoidable perception of obstruction of justice or a conflict of interest for Lynch at the very least.

(2) The fact that a Navy petty officer, Kristian Saucier, is facing prison and a dishonorable discharge for merely taking pictures in a nuclear submarine, while Hillary Clinton avoids prosecution for mishandling classified information, underscores the perception that there is one set of laws for ordinary people and another for the Clintons and Barack Obama.

(3) The FBI's scathing report makes it unequivocally clear that Hillary Clinton is grossly unqualified to hold a security clearance, and is therefore not qualified for any office or position that requires one.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.


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