Joseph Cotto, 9/7/2016 [Archive]

Clinton Wants Voters to Ignore the Facts

By Joseph Cotto

"Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record," Michael S. Schmidt wrote in his now-famous March 2, 2015 New York Times article.

Two days later, Clinton spoke out on Twitter.

"I want the public to see my email," she claimed. "I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."

Something happened on the way to public knowledge.

"In a follow-up interview on May 3, 2016," a Clinton aide told federal investigators that "he believed he had an 'oh s--t' moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015 deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton's emails."

The aforementioned quote comes from recently-released FBI documents concerning Clinton's State Department scandal.

What do you think about the wholesale deletion's timing? Accidents do occur, after all. Some are simply more coincidental -- and beneficial -- than others.

If this sort of thing happened to you, surely your friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, and area law enforcement personnel would offer the benefit of the doubt.

Right?

Should everyone give you a pass on that, you would likely find yourself on thin ice. In the event of another major 'screw-up', folks may grow skeptical. They might think that you are intentionally doing bad things and playing everyone for fools when accountability knocks.

Indeed, if a second shoe drops, it would be crazy not to expect trouble -- unless, of course, you are someone special; an individual equal with all others, only more so. George Orwell saw you coming -- chances are -- long before you were born.

"When asked about the e-mail chain containing '(C)' portion markings that State determined to currently contain CONFIDENTIAL information, Clinton stated she did not know what the '(C)' meant at the beginning of the paragraphs and speculated it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order," the FBI notes also told.

"Clinton identified a 'CONFIDENTIAL' header and footer (inserted in the document by the FBI prior to the interview) and asked if the '(C)' related to the 'CONFIDENTIAL' header and footer," the account continued. "Clinton did not believe the content of the e-mail was classified and questioned the classification determination.

"When asked of her knowledge regarding TOP SECRET, SECRET, and CONFIDENTIAL classification levels of USG information, Clinton responded that she did not pay attention to the 'level' of classification and took all classified information seriously."

Say you have served in federal politics for nearly one quarter of a century, including eight years in the White House. You were also our nation's top diplomat as secretary of state, not to mention a senator whose colleagues routinely investigated public agencies.

In the event you claimed not to understand confidentiality markings or pay mind to the levels of secrecy associated with government data, would anybody -- even your best friend since elementary school -- take you seriously? Especially after your last 'accident,' an 'error' on this scale appears primed to insult the intelligence of those around you, not engender sympathy.

Having this in your background, would you then hit the campaign trail, present yourself as an exemplar of all-Americanism, and ask millions upon millions of people for their vote?

We are fortunate to live in a country where substantial burdens of proof are required to initiate, let alone succeed with, prosecution. However, 'not guilty' or 'not indicted' are not the same as 'innocent'. Quite often, the public trust is clearly violated, yet in so crafty a manner that charges cannot be brought.

Clinton asks that you ignore the facts, forsake their context, and -- as an unspoken article of faith -- accept her narrative as true.

Through numerous actions, Clinton has told the average voter precisely what she thinks of him or her. Do you have this same level of respect for yourself?

Supporting a politician who engages voters through backhanded insults makes for good late night comedy, but anything other than a great nation.

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Copyright 2016 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

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