Monday, April 11, 2016

Run for the Hills

Hillary Clinton has been asked twice recently whether she would quit the race for president if she is indicted. Both times, she laughed and dismissed the possibility out of hand. Now, the FBI, refuting a report that 147 agents were investigating her activities, admitted that somewhere between twenty and forty agents are, in fact, investigating her. Think about that, please: The Democrat front runner is, and has for months been, under intense FBI investigation, yet when asked about the implications of that fact, she laughs. I am quite sure that if two FBI agents were investigating me, I would be near hysterics, unable to eat or sleep, let alone carry on work as usual. We now know that the Hills had over 2000 classified documents on her private email server, over twenty of which were classified at the highest level of secrecy. Yet if, in the course of my writing, I had even one such email on my computer, I would be prosecuted and probably jailed. But the Hills remains unfazed, and continues to run. So what is the difference?

Well, of course, she is the former First Lady, former senator from New York, former Secretary of State, and is now expected to be nominated for president. That alone ought to answer the question, though, to my mind, it does not. We live in a country of laws, and no one, we are solemnly told from childhood, is above the law. Breaking the law is not a question of who you are but of what you did, and what the Hills did clearly broke several laws. And these are only the violations we know about: the FBI has been very successful in concealing their investigative process, so we still do not know how many of the 32,000 deleted emails they were able to recover, nor whether they contained information which she intended to cover up, regarding either the Clinton Foundation or the suggestion that she, in effect, traded favors for donations. So her resume and her connections should make no difference; if she did sell favors for millions of dollars then she broke the law. If she did store secrets on her home computer, then she broke the law. And if she broke the law, she ought to be held accountable.

But there is, I suspect, another dimension to the strange equanimity and dismissive attitude on her part, and that may involve her relationship with Barack Obama. That it has been a contentious one is an open secret; she has been haughty, disrespectful and disloyal to the president, though she feigns a closeness to him in public. But that, of course, is eyewash; from everything I have read, the Hills despises Obama and his wife, and sees her prospective presidency as the finest form of revenge. And so, it seems likely (to me, at least) that she "has something" on Obama, something which she is using to contain leaks of the investigation (which earlier had been rife), and preclude the president from allowing his Attorney General to impanel a grand jury. This suggestion should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Clintons' careers; blackmail, bullying, smearing and intimidation are well-honed weapons in their political arsenal.

What do I think she has on the president? It is impossible to tell at this juncture, and we may not know for decades, but I think it may be one of three things (or two or perhaps all three). First, Benghazi. I believe she knows that Obama was derelict in his duty during that crisis, which led to the murders of four Americans. We recall that Michael Moore skewered George Bush for delaying his reaction to 911 for ten or fifteen minutes. Obama was absent for eight hours during Benghazi, and then went to a fundraiser in Vegas. And yet, to this day, we do not know where he was or what he was doing. But the Hills knows, and Obama knows that she knows, and that might be her firewall against indictment.

Second, there is the matter of the private server itself. Obama claims that he did not know about it until he read of it in the newspaper -- his standard deflection when he wants to avoid an outright lie. But subsequent reports have made it clear that he did know about it; in fact, could not have failed to know about it since he was sending and receiving emails to and from it. If it turns out that the FBI decides (as it should) that the Hills' server was illegal, then Obama was complicit in the crime.

Third there is the question of the Hills' personal relationship with Obama, and here there is very little if any public evidence, but I offer a speculation based on my knowledge of how the Clintons operate. There have been whiffs, no more than that, of infidelity on the president's part, and it is entirely consistent with Clintonian behavior that the Hills not only knows about such matters, but may even have evidence of them (just as J. Edgar Hoover had and used it against several presidents). Given Obama's pristine image as a husband and father, such evidence would be a powerful inducement for him to say, as he did last week, for example, that the Hills' private server did not jeopardize national security. This extraordinary assertion, based on no compelling evidence and made in the midst of an FBI investigation, can only be explained, I think, as a blackmail payment.

Other explanations have occurred to me, but I offer only these as food for thought. My principal argument lies, not in any public documentation at this point, but in the Clintons' long history of dirty, bare-knuckles politics. This is a power couple who would do, say, or threaten anything to gain and keep power, and whose success not only in securing power but in getting away with their tactics would make Richard Nixon spit in envy.

For my own poor part, I cannot imagine wanting anything so badly that I would stoop to such depths of deviousness, deceit and depravity as the Clintons have done, and, as I suspect, they are doing even as I write this. Perhaps I am wrong -- entirely wrong -- but I doubt that I am just as confidently as I believe that no office is worth trading one's integrity to achieve.