Like snowflakes on a frozen sidewalk, the latest damaging revelations about Hillary Clinton are starting to stick. More than that, Servergate raises the question: Why, precisely, should she become president anyway?
This week brought news that then–secretary of state Clinton never had a State Department e-mail address. Instead, she exclusively used a private account to e-mail others in the Obama administration, including some of her staffers who communicated via their own private accounts. Clinton did not simply keep using an old account. She launched firstname.lastname@example.org as her Senate confirmation hearings opened. Rather than have her e-mails automatically available on government computers for permanent scrutiny, Team Clinton gave State 55,000 pages of handpicked e-mails. What they may have withheld is anyone’s guess.
Clinton already has angered the Washington Post. As it editorialized Wednesday: “If people aspire to public service, they should behave as stewards of a public trust, and that includes the records — all of them.”
Even worse, Clinton’s e-mails were not stored on a computer at State or in a secure facility deep inside a Utah salt dome. Instead, The Associated Press reports, they resided on a private server at her Chappaqua, N.Y., mansion.
This story swiftly has mushroomed from yet another example of Clinton’s obsession with secrecy into fears of a possible breach of national security.
“Unless Hillary Clinton had an information-security professional sitting in Chappaqua 24/7, or she had contracted with a network-security firm to provide both proactive and reactive monitoring, it is highly unlikely that the contents of her e-mail server could be guaranteed secure,” says Pierson Clair, a cybersecurity expert and lecturer at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. “High-profile targets require increased vigilance and protection. That server could have been compromised without Clinton’s knowledge by a foreign nation seeking Washington’s political and diplomatic perspectives. E-mails to or from Clinton’s home server could have been viewed by a third party. This adds another vector by which sensitive communications may have been compromised.”
Information technologist Bruce F. Webster has testified as an expert witness in court cases in America and Japan. He carefully has “followed the wires” in this case and paints a portrait far more troubling than that of a mere clandestine computer in Clinton’s closet. As Webster explains on a website called AndStillIPersist.com:
According to DomainTools.com, the domain clintonemail.com has been hosted by Confluence Networks since 12/22/2011, more than three years. Confluence Networks, based out of the British Virgin Islands, has only existed as a domain (confluence-networks.com) since April 2011, appears to be closely related to a Dubai-based media advertising firm, and has always had its domain managed by PrivacyProtect.org, a registration privacy firm that lists addresses out of Luxembourg and Australia, but gives a phone number apparently out of Denmark, and that shows up repeatedly in connection with fraud, scam, and spam-related domains.
This episode also screams hypocrisy.
“Our Constitution is being shredded,” Clinton insisted in 2007, while denouncing “secret White House e-mail accounts” during the Bush 43 era. She added: “It’s a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok.”
Virtually the only headlines that Clinton has generated lately involve corruption. The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted millions in government donations from such garden spots as Algeria, Oman, Qatar, and — oddly enough — a Dutch lottery company. Some of these funds arrived while Clinton was secretary of state, apparently breaking the foundation’s ethics agreement with the Obama administration. The conflicts of interest here resemble a high-speed, head-on collision.
Clinton has stayed mainly below radar amid these ethical lapses and Servergate’s possible violation of the Federal Records Act. She has proposed few, if any, domestic or international reforms. Appearing in Winnipeg, Canada, in January, she even refused to answer a question about the Keystone XL pipeline.
“You won’t get me to talk about Keystone because I have steadily made clear that I’m not going to express an opinion,” she bristled, as if asked about her love life.
All of this begs this question about Hillary Clinton: Is there any there there?
What does Clinton offer beyond graft and a sense of entitlement strong enough to bend steel? What has she accomplished to merit becoming president of the United States and commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces?
Clinton rides a magic carpet of perceived inevitability. She will be the 2016 Democrat nominee. Period. It’s a lock. So, hop aboard.
Just like 2008.
Beyond the notion that resistance is futile, who actually loves Clinton? What cause does she champion that would send her acolytes storming into the barricades?
“It’s Her Turn!”
Clinton’s support seems a continent wide, a cracker deep, and just as prone to crumble.
Clinton cannot mention her tenure at Foggy Bottom without reminding everyone of Servergate. Congressional investigators, meanwhile, will not let Americans forget. Wednesday’s House subpoena of her e-mails is just the opening bell in Congress’s probe of this affair.
As it was, Clinton could not claim better living through diplomacy. Earth is on fire. What did she do to reverse, stop, or even slow today’s global inferno? Little to nothing.
And one word would blunt whatever could be said on Clinton’s behalf: Benghazi.
Before failing at Foggy Bottom, Clinton served in the U.S. Senate for eight years. There, she did . . . what?
Quick: Name any major bill that she got signed into law. Name any legislation with which she distinguished herself. As her former constituent, I can think only of Clinton’s efforts to secure emergency relief after the September 11 attacks. This was much appreciated but required little arm-twisting under such horrific circumstances.
Before reaching Capitol Hill, Clinton and her husband notoriously swiped White House property for their personal use and even tried to grab the bust of Lincoln that graces the Oval Office. Shamed, they returned antiques and other valuables to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
As first lady, Clinton authored Hillarycare. Crafted behind closed doors, in apparent violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this plan was so deeply detested that a Democratic Congress never put it to a vote. Hillarycare never got airborne. It never taxied. In fact, it never even boarded passengers. What an empty vessel.
In a premonition of Servergate, Clinton permitted the removal of files from the West Wing office of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster after he was found dead, with a bullet in his head, on July 20, 1993. Maggie Williams, Clinton’s then–chief of staff, stashed these documents in the White House residence. A week later, the Clintons’ personal lawyer, Robert Bennett, whisked these papers to his office at Williams & Connolly LLP and swaddled them in attorney/client privilege.
Similarly, Clinton’s key billing records from the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock went missing, only to reappear magically in the White House — just after the statutes of limitations to which they were relevant lapsed.
Clinton also sacked the longtime, professional, non-partisan staff of the White House travel office. Why? As she said: “We need the slots.”
En route to the White House, Arkansas’s former first lady was a partner in the Rose Law Firm, where she hatched the Whitewater and Castle Grande real-estate shakedowns, shockingly profitable cattle-futures trades, and other get-rich-quick schemes.
So, once again, why should Hillary Clinton become president?