My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:
On the cusp of a long weekend in which the news was dominated by a hurricane landing in Florida and the opening of the college football season, the FBI finally released the notes from its interview of Hillary Clinton regarding her criminal handling of classified material during her time as Secretary of State. Of course, President Barack Obama’s FBI declined to call the Democratic nominee’s actions criminal, but the material they released tells us that either Clinton is a pathological liar who intentionally endangered our national security for personal reasons, or that she is a doddering simpleton. Her history suggests the former, but either conclusion disqualifies her from being president.
The 58 pages released by the FBI are notes from its interview with Clinton. The FBI, in apparent deference to the presidential contender, declined to transcribe the interview or record it as is routine for less powerful suspects, but even the heavily-redacted notes contain dozens of stunning revelations.
One of the most revealing admissions was Clinton directed her henchmen to delete records and wipe the servers after her use of a private email system became public and after there was already an active investigation looking for her records. The New York Times first broke the story of Clinton’s private email server on March 3, 2015. Between March 25 and March 31, Clinton ordered her server wiped clean using an advanced program called BleachBit.
That mass deletion of public and classified records occurred long after several government agencies were conducting official investigations regarding the Benghazi butchery for which Clinton holds some responsibility. Also, at the same time as Clinton was having her emails purged, she was publically telling the public that she wanted her emails released. Simply put, Clinton was actively shredding government documents at the same time she was lying to public about wanting them disclosed.
In another revelation, Clinton claimed to not understand what the letter “C” meant in emails. In government communications, the “C” designation marks the information as “Confidential.” It is a simple practice that is easily understood by thousands of government officials who handle classified material every day. Clinton feigned ignorance and indicated that she “could only speculate it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.” One wonders if the FBI agent laughed out loud at this explanation, but the notes do not say if she was asked to point out the paragraphs labeled “A,” “B,” or “D.”
One must remember that Clinton was not just some intern at the State Department. She was the Secretary of State and was one of few Original Classification Authorities, giving her the power to determine what is classified and at what level. Her responsibility was not to just handle classified material appropriately, but to actually determine what was or wasn’t classified.
Also, remember that Clinton was a U.S. Senator for eight years and served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She routinely read and worked with classified documents including some of our most profound national defense secrets. Clinton is a Yale educated lawyer who has spent a lifetime parsing government documents. The notion that she did not understand what the “C” designation meant is preposterous. It is clear that she lied about her ignorance to avoid admitting that she deliberately mishandled and deleted national secrets in violation of the law.
The jaw-dropping admissions continue, including the fact Clinton’s lawyers sifted her emails without any official oversight, she “lost” at least 13 mobile devices with classified information on them, Clinton claimed to be ignorant of the government’s document retention and disclosure rules and partially blamed her concussion, she did not consider discussions of drone strikes to be confidential, and much, much more.
Read the FBI documents for yourself at https://vault.fbi.gov/hillary-r.-clinton. Then ask yourself if she should be president.