Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mother Jones reporter slams liberals for failing to defend Hillary Clinton during the witch hunt over her private e-mail server.

Much of what is in this article I have pointed out on this blog repeatedly.

Seeing it laid out in a time line is however rather revealing. (There are also a number of editorial comments so take note.)

Here we go: 

So here's a timeline of the email server affair. FAIR WARNING: It's not a complete timeline. Google has plenty of those for you. It's a timeline that highlights a few very specific things that I think even a lot of liberals never quite understood. Let's start: 

March 2009: Two months after being confirmed as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton makes the fateful decision to host her unclassified email on a private server. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Everybody at the State Department has an unclassified email account. In the aughts, most used alone, but lots of people also used Gmail or another commercial email service. These accounts are used routinely for day-to-day business, but only for unclassified material. There is an entirely different system for classified communications. The only way that Clinton's email account differed from a account is that it was hosted on a private server. 

September 12, 2012: The American consulate in Benghazi is attacked. Even though Clinton is literally faultless in this,1 conservatives begin a four-year campaign of investigations, subpoenas, and conspiracy theories that are plainly little more than partisan attacks designed to smear Clinton. 

February 2013: Clinton steps down as secretary of state. 

September 2013: The National Archives updates its regulations on the handling of email and other public records. October 2014: After yet another records request in the Benghazi affair, the State Department asks all former secretaries of state for any official records in their possession. 

December 2014: After removing her personal emails, Clinton delivers all her official emails to the State Department. Her staff asks Clinton what they should do with the personal emails, and she tells them she no longer needs them. The hosting company in Colorado, Platte River Networks, is instructed to delete Clinton's existing email archives and to thenceforth preserve new emails for 60 days before deleting them. 

March 2015: The New York Times reveals that Clinton's emails were hosted on a private server. The Benghazi zealots immediately subpoena her email server. 

March 2015: A Platte River tech discovers that he never deleted the email archives. At this point, even though Clinton's staff has notified him not to make any changes (due to the subpoena), he deletes the old archive. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT. It is now six years since Clinton began her tenure at the State Department and two years since she left. In that entire time, there was never any concern over the possibility that Clinton sent or received classified material over unclassified channels. In fact, I don't think there has ever been any official concern about any secretary of state sending classified information over unclassified channels. 

March 2015: Republicans in Congress ask the inspectors general of both the State Department and the intelligence community to review Clinton's email practices. Their letter states, "We are concerned that diplomatically sensitive, and possibly classified, information may have been transmitted and stored in an insecure manner." 

July 2015: The IC inspector general tells Congress that it found classified information in a small sample of Clinton's email that it reviewed. Both inspectors general ask the Justice Department to review all of Clinton's email for a "potential compromise of classified information." This is the start of the FBI investigation. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Although the referral came from both IGs, the underlying issue is an ancient feud between the State Department and the CIA. The CIA basically wants to classify everything. The State Department, which has to work in the real world, takes the pragmatic view that classified information sometimes has to be discussed over unclassified channels. It just has to done carefully and circuitously. 

July 2016: After a full year, the FBI finally concludes its investigation. Normally, FBI officials merely turn over their recommendations to prosecutors at the Justice Department, but this time FBI Director James Comey decides to host a detailed press conference about the investigation. He says Clinton did nothing illegal, a conclusion that he later describes as "not even a close call." However, he also declares that Clinton was "extremely careless" with her email. 

August 2016: The FBI releases its interview notes, which make it clear that Comey exaggerated wildly in his press conference. Clinton's archives contained only three trivial emails that were marked classified. A couple of thousand more emails were retroactively classified. Should they have been? The CIA says yes. Clinton says no: They were carefully worded discussions between professionals who knew perfectly well how to conduct conversations like this. Comments from other State Department officials back up Clinton's view. There was, it turns out, little evidence that anyone was careless, let alone "extremely careless," but since the emails are now classified, no one will ever know for sure.2 

October 2016: Two weeks before Election Day, Comey writes a letter announcing that the FBI has discovered records of emails between Clinton and her aide, Huma Abedin, on the computer of Abedin's estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. There is nothing unexpected about this. All of Clinton's aides probably have copies of emails from her, and as we now know, the FBI had no reason to think Abedin's emails were anything they hadn't already seen. But Comey declines to say any of this in his letter and the press goes nuts. 

November 6, 2016: Comey announces that the investigation is over and none of the Abedin emails were relevant. 

November 8, 2016: Donald Trump is elected president of the United States.

This is how the article ends:

The bottom line is simple: There was never any real reason for either the IG investigations or the FBI investigation. And in the end, the FBI found nothing out of the ordinary—just the usual State-CIA squabbling. Nevertheless, under pressure from Republicans, Comey spent a full year on the investigation; reported its conclusions in the most damaging possible way; and then did it again two weeks before the election. Because of this, Clinton lost about 2 percent of the vote, and the presidency. 

Liberals should have defended her with gusto from the start. There was never anything here and no evidence that Clinton did anything seriously wrong. And yet we didn't. Many liberals just steered clear of the whole thing. Others—including me sometimes—felt like every defense had to contain a series of caveats acknowledging that, yes, the private server was a bad idea, harumph harumph. And some others didn't even go that far. The result was that in the public eye, both liberals and conservatives were more or less agreeing that there was a lot of smoke here. So smoke there was. And now Donald Trump is a month away from being president.

I find myself in almost total agreement with everything that is said here.

What the e-mail probe, the Wikileaks dumps, and the Comey letter did was to create the shadow of a doubt that they talk about during criminal trials.

However typically the shadow of a doubt is what keeps somebody from being convicted, in this case it kept Hillary from being completely exonerated.

No matter how many investigations failed to prove criminality, or how many accusations failed to amount to anything significant, it all still hung around her like a fog which continued to create just enough mistrust, for Putin and his puppet to do their thing.

So you may ask why is this important to get on the record now?

Simple, history is written by the winners, and those winners despise Hillary Clinton. So you can bet they are going to trash her reputation at every opportunity and impugn her character constantly until those who read about her in the years to come will wonder how such a completely flawed individual ever even came close to winning the presidency.

However in reality Hillary Clinton was a fierce warrior who fought off her attackers and dictators at every turn. A woman arguably more prepared to be President of the United States than every man who came before her. And a person who it took the combined efforts of Wikileaks, the Russian government, the Republican witch hunters, and the FBI to finally defeat.

That is what history needs to remember about the woman who should be our leader for the next four years, NOT the garbage that the Right Wing will be slinging in her direction to destroy her legacy until her name fades into the darkness.

As liberals we should have completely ignored the right wing mudslingers and defended her more effectively. The least we can do now is to defend the truth about her campaign.

We fucking owe her that.


  1. Anonymous4:41 PM

    It brings tears to my eyes knowing how Hillary Clinton was abused by the Republicans. They truly are fucking assholes, liars, cheats, frauds, racists, anti women and just plain ugly human beings.

    Trump will go down - he'll never make it four years - think he'll be assassinated or impeached because he doesn't follow laws or rules and is an ugly human being! He is despised around the world and within the majority of our country!

    He will never represent me as potus and the majority of Americans feel the same. I can hardly wait to see him go down!

  2. SallyinMI4:47 PM

    Hillary got screwed. No out about it. And now, we will all be screwed, or we'll just die from nuclear fallout. Trump is a buffoon, and now he thinks he rules the world. He's not got even ONE Dem on his Cabinet, not one dissenting voice will be heard. He only wants yes men and women, and that's who he is hiring. It's pathetic and dangerous, and still makes me cry.
    Hillary Clinton is my President.

    1. Anonymous9:58 PM

      You sound just like a Palin supporter.

      Different sides of the same nutty coin baby.

    2. Anonymous5:56 AM

      I agree with you, SallyinMI. This country has fallen into the worst possible abyss. Some people say that the GOP can't do what they have been planning to do for years now, but I think they will. We will no longer have Social Security, Medicare, national healthcare will become a lofty dream of the past, scientific discovery will go by the wayside, the problems brought by climate change will worsen, the economy will fail, the global situation will only get worse. Nothing good is going to come from having Donald Trump as president.

  3. Anonymous4:54 PM

    God FUCKing Damn right!

  4. Anonymous5:01 PM

    I admire HRC greatly. It's sickening that all of Trump's failings, dishonesty, lack of scruples, failure to provide tax returns or complete medical records, Trump U, ripping off contractors, groping women, being a racist and on and on were ignored by the voters. Go figure.

    HRC lost the election but I'm very much afraid that the world has lost a lot of its safety with Trump in power.

    1. She did not lose shit.

      That election was stolen from the American people, and she was a victim of that theft right along with the rest of us.

    2. Anonymous6:37 PM

      There is something very very wrong with the US electoral system. And there is something very very wrong with the Republican party (look at what's happening in North Carolina because they will now have a Democrat as a governor). What they have done should be illegal. Your democracy is flawed with the electoral college, gerrymandering, voter suppression, unwarranted accusations and investigations and the refusal to work with any Democrat ever. What the Republicans did to Obama was disgusting. But disgusting seems to be acceptable to nearly 50% of the population. As the Twit in Chief would say - SAD.

    3. Anonymous7:37 PM

      Americans voted as they always do. The candidate that won over 270 state electors, based on the states voters, won the election, as has always been.

      Nothing was stolen, Gryph is just turning into the biggest crybaby on the planet because he didn't get what he wanted, but that is his embarrassing problem.

    4. If lamenting that a foreign power was allowed to undermine our democracy and help elect the most unqualified candidate in American history makes me a crybaby, then that will be a label which I will wear with honor.

      You remember honor right?

      It was what we used to expect from our presidents.

    5. Anonymous1:01 AM

      I disagree with a fair amount of what Gryphen says at times but he is spot on here. If being disturbed by the Russian hacking, Trump's "unpresidented" incompetence and so many other thibgs related to the election makes me a crybaby, then that's what I am. These Trump supporters are either too crooked or too foolish to see what a disaster he'll be for the country. All because they were hellbent on ridding the White House of the black guy and making sure that a woman would not replace him.

    6. Anonymous6:30 AM

      You dumbasses are STILL trying to play your stupid race card 1:01?!

      Guess what, plenty of the Trump supporters you say were trying to rid the White House of the black guy, actually voted for that black guy. Twice!

      It is exactly that kind of liberal bullshit that is driving people away from the Democratic Party. Tired of the lies, bullshit, and the cultural divisiveness. Oh and the stupid people who buy it. And you are getting called out on it race baiting douchebag!

    7. Anonymous11:41 AM

      6:30 am

      I'm a pasty white Caucasian and the Republican racism is clear as day to me. 1:01 was not playing a race card for chrissakes. You're protesting yourself a bit too much. Calm down.

  5. Anonymous5:45 PM

  6. Anonymous5:50 PM

    My conscience is clear on that score. Sadly, I'm the minority- and I don't understand it and have no answers. :(

  7. Anonymous6:03 PM

    Really burns me that the media talks about Hillary being a "flawed" candidate. Trump is a freakin' disaster even though he won the electoral vote!

  8. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Well we can't change the past. We are stuck with an idiot president-elect who is like a spoiled child playing war.

  9. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Hillary lost for one major reason along with all the rest in this article. She's a WOMAN. The deliverance minded male population couldn't allow her to be the boss of them.

    They are going to get screwed over by their broke, 'billionaire' bloviating idiot. Too bad all of us intelligent women and men are going to get screwed as well

  10. If I hear that bullshit again about how Hilary was a flawed or problematic candidate my head will explode. She was flawed to them because she had the nerve to be a
    a democrat and basically was a virgin nun compared to the hideous, moronic, sociopathic sexual predator that we now have in office.
    A few of my own young female relatives parroted that republican bullshit talking points against her. They consider themselves progressives. Thanksgiving sucked because I wanted to shake them and half of them couldn't even look at me. I actually heard men who had been democrats their whole lives lose their damned minds and say they didn't think they could live with a female president. My response was then they could die with the male choice.

    Now they feel like damed fools---which they should.

  11. Cracklin Charlie8:49 PM


    I wish to publicly commend you on your steadfast support for Secretary Clinton. You strongly supported her from the beginning of the campaign, and your defense of this strong candidate since the purloined "election" has been very admirable.

    I, for one Democrat, appreciate your efforts on her behalf.

    1. Anonymous9:54 PM

      Hear, hear!

    2. Anonymous10:02 PM


    3. Anonymous5:51 AM

      Add me to the list. Thank you, Gryphen.

    4. Anonymous1:44 PM

      What efforts would that be? Stirring up a handful of vile and hateful crazies on a blog really doesn't doesn't take a lot of effort.

  12. Anonymous8:53 PM

    She is fantastically qualified, however, her chance was in 2008 and she was bested in the primary by Barack Obama; she tried once and she lost and she should have stepped aside and begun the process of grooming a young and energetic Democrat to run in 2016, to continue the Obama legacy instead of Clinton, The Sequel.

    The emails were a tragic distraction from a campaign that was already weakened by the Bernie factor and the DNC fiasco. We needed fresh blood, without the taint of decades old scandals and especially without the baggage of the Benghazi debacle, whether it was her doing or not, and we know she was innocent, however, it took energy away from the positive points of the campaign and put her forever on defense and never able to formulate a proper offense.

    It was a multitude of factors that led us here but I think the first mis-step was running Hillary in the first place. The thought of a dynastic, legacy candidate running after 8 years of basically a Washington "newbie" invigorating the scene and exciting the base was too much to bear for many and even though we did get out the vote and won the popular Hillary was too busy defending herself to properly mount a campaign towards not us, the faithful, but to those who really mattered in this election.

    Lots of things went wrong.

    1. Anonymous9:55 PM

      Old FAKE scandals. Get it right.

    2. Anonymous10:00 PM

      8:53 had it right the first time.

  13. And what the fuck were we supposed to do?

    Maybe they should be talking to Loretta Lynch since she as much as anyone is responsible for not squishing Comey like a bug when she had the chance. That was her second fuck up after meeting Bill Clinton on the plane. Or was it her third? Seems she's done nothing but fuck up.

  14. How about they start doing their part.

    "An influential group of House Republicans aims to dismantle the National School Lunch Program and the improved nutritional standards that first lady Michelle Obama advocated.

    Conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus last week listed hundreds of regulations and rules they want President-elect Donald Trump’s administration to examine or revoke within its first 100 days. The school lunch program is first on the list.

    The Freedom Caucus document claims the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s 2012 standards to increase the healthiness of food served to 30 million students “have proven to be burdensome and unworkable for schools to implement.” Students, the lawmakers say, aren’t eating the healthy food and schools are throwing it away.

    Nutrition advocates said they were startled by the proposal to roll back the first lady’s signature program, which studies show is having a positive impact on children’s health."

    And *that's* why they want to do it. Because Michelle Obama created it.

    1. Anonymous5:50 AM

      Well, let's make the children as unhealthy as possible as well as making them as poorly educated as possible. What country needs a healthy, thoughtful, educated, insightful population? All that is needed is that the people shut up, tighten their belts, swallow what little dignity they have and serve their GOP masters. That's our country's future; that's Trumpland.

  15. Trump isn't just going after Climate Change scientists. He's after gender equality too.

    "President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has asked the State Department to provide information on staffing and funding for all its gender-related programs, raising alarm that the equality initiatives may be vulnerable to cuts under the new administration.

    A memo emailed to State Department employees on Wednesday, obtained by The New York Times, asks for full reports on all existing programs and activities to promote gender equality, “such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”

    The Trump team didn’t ask for the names of government employees working on those issues, but did request a list of jobs whose primary functions are to promote gender equality, and the funds for those programs.

    The memo’s language immediately triggered concerns.

    “It’s not clear to us what the intent is behind this request,” an anonymous official told The Washington Post. “The Trump team could be looking to advance gender issues and make it a priority ― or you could look at it as a witch hunt.” "

    Now let's see a show of hands from everyone that thinks Trump is going to advance gender issues and rights.

    Yeah. Thought so.

  16. Looks like Kellyanne may have slapped Newt upside the head.

    "Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he made a “big boo-boo” when he claimed President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t intend to uphold his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C."

    "In what resembled a hostage video, the former House speaker said he had “mischaracterized” Trump’s attitude when he said the president-elect thought the popular refrain was “cute” but no longer desirable.

    “I want to report that I made a big boo-boo,” Gingrich says in the video. “I talked this morning with President-elect Donald Trump and he reminded me, he likes draining the swamp. I mischaracterized it the other day. He intends to drain the swamp.”

    “I goofed,” he added. “Draining the swamp is in, the alligators should be worried, and you’ll hear me write more about alligators and the swamp.”

    It appears he coordinated with Trump’s team before releasing the video. Just before Gingrich posted it to Twitter, Trump tweeted that he “will always be trying” to get rid of lobbyists and influencers in the nation’s capital."

  17. How sad is it that GROWN MEN AND WOMEN so easily fell for the propaganda against Hillary Clinton.

    Some people would vomit out parroted malarkey as if they had an inside track to knowledge no one else had.

    Mouth agape, I'd read dumbass comments by people who obviously think they are telepathically able to expound on Hillary's innermost beliefs. ("She's in bed with Wall Street," for example)

    I wish it would become better acknowledged that 99% of what we have chosen to believe as true, is nothing more than the crap others have pushed on us...and their motivation is NOT that of a "love for mankind."

    1. Anonymous1:42 AM

      Disclosing the fact that the DNC is incompetent and Hillary's many scandals that even democrats recognize is not propaganda.

    2. Anonymous4:31 AM

      Agree with 1:42AM. The DNC should be added as a factor against Mrs. Clinton. DWS and Brazile are/were bad news for her campaign.

    3. Anonymous6:35 AM

      Clinton was certainly not a helpless victim of the DNC or Brazille and DWS, they were all in bed together by design.

    4. "She's in bed with Wall Street"

      Duh, yah. Why the Hell do you think she refused to give transcripts of the speeches she was paid to give to Wall Streeters?

      Why would anyone want to hire the lapdog of the wolves to protect the hen house?

  18. I supported HRC 100%, voted for her, and continue to admire her unconditionally and unreservedly. I pity the gullible fools who fell for the con job pulled off by Comey, Wikileaks, GOP tricksters, corporate media, the misogynists, & Putin. So deplorable.

  19. Anonymous4:54 AM

    Several months ago, I began recording CBS Mornings which allowed me to watch everything worth watching in about half an hour. It didn't take long to become aware of a subtle anti-Clinton tone that was consistant day to day. Once I was aware of it, it no longer seemed subtle to me, and some days seemed downright blatant. One glaring example was the day Norah O'Donnell gleefully "reported" how Hillary was the 2nd most unpopular candidate ever to run for president. The fact that Trump was the most unpopular was treated as less important by manipulative phrasing, and the fact that Hillary's approval numbers were the 3rd highest behind only Obama and the Democratic party was never mentioned. Behind the Miss America smile and cutesy sexual innuendo, Norah is a nasty piece of work. She and Charlie Rose, who understandably made the move to CBS to enhance his retirement fund, would also sit and talk about the stolen Clinton emails while displaying them on a video wall, and treat them as a legitimate story while totally glossing over the Russian interference in our election so people wouldn't notice their very willing participation in aiding that interference. Our fake news problem isn't on Facebook, it's on our tv screens. People have been writing malicious gossip on walls for a long time, and the transition from bathroom walls to Facebook walls hasn't changed a thing about that.

    What has changed is the very nature of corporate journalism, and we overlook that at our own peril - as this latest election demonstrated very clearly.

    1. If you don't mind I'm going to send your comment to Charlie Rose and Norah O'D. I hope you did too. I'm sure if you had recorded the other stations you would have found the same thing. They FUCKED this country.

  20. Anonymous5:46 AM

    I'm a liberal and I supported Hillary Clinton throughout. She was a good senator, an excellent secretary of state and would have been a superb president. For some reason the media worked tirelessly to promote Donald Trump and to defeat Hillary Clinton. And now the country and the world is left with an incompetent, nasty minded, spoiled con artist taking over as president. We should all be afraid, very afraid.

  21. Sharon6:24 AM

    I totally agree this election was stolen and it took every player mentioned here to do it. The one thing they can never lie about is the popular vote...3 million votes is a statement, they can spin it all they want but its a fact. Aside from being scared to death, horrified, ashamed and being in deepest sadness comes from how ungrateful this nation has been. This goes to the Obama family and to Hillary...UNGRATEFUL doesn't come close. For my money every Republican in office since Obama was elected are traitors, outright treason was committed for 8 years. Our country would be thriving starting with the election stolen by Bush....if Gore had prevailed. This lazy, racist country has no memory, none.

  22. Meanwhile in Liberal Land.......... The comments are worth reading too. You have to wade through a bit of BS but it brings the point home.

  23. agreed 100% - i know there are some democrats who got their brains rewired watching fox news assassinate her character starting in the 90's - why did we ever put up with assassinating the character of a first lady? so she was hobbled early on, and it continued as she worked in the senate, ran against obama - i admit, i got irked by her when she ran against obama, and it was warranted. but obama made her sec of state, and she was one helluva sec of state, so much so, she pissed off putin because he couldn't pull any shit with her, and she pissed off wiki-dicki, julian assange, so he let his highfalutin principles be sunk by a personal vendetta after she tried to get him extradited. and now wikileaks has helped putin influence the outcome of an election. and they helped get blackmail material on the RNC and possibly on donald.
    but back to my point. she did a great job, in fact. and the GOP used its age old tactic of taking a strength and making it a great weakness so they can win. why don't democrats learn that tactic - politics is messy, and you always have to have people on your team willing to crawl through the weeds and the mud, and then sling .
    so some democrats HATE her. but the biggest clinton haters i have ever come across are the bernie or bust crew. did i say i supported bernie over hillary? i did, but i would have been happy with hillary, and was. and she did beat him fair and square. he was satisfied that she would take on much of his progressive platform, and he gracefully and graciously moved on, even fully supporting her. i had to restrict a friend of mine on Facebook because any even slightly political link i put up would bring out a shockingly ugly i hate hillary and here's why rant. she was a bernie fanatic who contributed $498 of her hard-earned money to his campaign and hillary should pay her back, blah blah blah. so some of the most liberal among us were the worst hillary haters. my theory is that these dems already hated her for years, and this was a chance to focus their hatred and either not vote, vote for an impossible winner, or even vote trump. i think my "friend" did. i was so excited for all of this to end with a clinton win, but i was so very crushed in the wee hours here on the east coast as the results looked bad and the impossible became reality. or something vaguely resembling it - not convinced i didn't enter an alternate universe sometime before election day. so yes, we democrats, and especially the ones who are paid to be politically savvy, should have started supporting hillary in lock step, as the GOP does because we have to either start playing the game the way they do, or change the game entirely - mind-blowing. and i finally get to my point: i don't think such widespread support would have happened because of fox character assassination of her before she could even have a public persona of her own. they did a thorough job of creating a negative persona for her that caused even many democrats to hate her (i know some who swear she and bill are serial killers, lol, smh). i think we saw some of the real her in all three painful debates during which she was composed, fearless, super-intelligent, even wily about setting a bait that donald always took. i wrote too much: i know so many words, i know the greatest words... lol, smh. thanks for your very inciteful and dedicated work - i very much appreciate it.


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