Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #107 The Starr Chamber

Lis­ten: One Seg­ment

This pro­gram details some of the ques­tion­able (and prob­a­bly ille­gal) activ­i­ties of Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Ken­neth Starr. In addi­tion to touch­ing on Star­r’s rel­a­tive­ly well-pub­li­cized con­nec­tions to right-wing financier Richard Mel­lon Scaife, the pro­gram presents infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing a shady real estate deal that Starr may have arranged in con­junc­tion with Sau­di weapons deal­er and Iran-Con­tra par­tic­i­pant Adnan Khashog­gi. The broad­cast also dis­cuss­es Star­r’s appar­ent con­flict of inter­est in an aspect of the S & L scan­dal., intim­i­da­tion of poten­tial wit­ness­es (includ­ing a veiled death threat alleged­ly made to one fig­ure in the inves­ti­ga­tion), Star­r’s legal work on behalf of the Tobac­co Lob­by (anoth­er con­flict of inter­est) and the white-suprema­cist her­itage of fig­ures involved in the smear­ing of Clin­ton.

Discussion

6 comments for “FTR #107 The Starr Chamber”

  1. Scaife died:

    Bil­lion­aire Richard Mel­lon Scaife Dies At 82

    OE MANDAK – July 4, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Richard Mel­lon Scaife, the bil­lion­aire heir to the Mel­lon bank­ing and oil for­tune and a news­pa­per pub­lish­er who fund­ed lib­er­tar­i­an and con­ser­v­a­tive caus­es and var­i­ous projects to dis­cred­it Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, has died. He was 82.

    Scaife died ear­ly Fri­day at his home, his news­pa­per, the Pitts­burgh Tri­bune-Review, report­ed. Scaife’s death comes less than two months after he announced in a first-per­son, front-page sto­ry in his Pitts­burgh Tri­bune-Review that he had an untreat­able form of can­cer.

    “Some who dis­like me may rejoice at the news,” wrote Scaife, who acknowl­edged mak­ing polit­i­cal and oth­er ene­mies. “Nat­u­ral­ly, I can’t share their enthu­si­asm.”

    He was the grand-nephew of Andrew Mel­lon, a banker and sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury who was involved with some of the biggest indus­tri­al com­pa­nies of the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. Forbes mag­a­zine esti­mat­ed Scaife’s net worth in 2013 at $1.4 bil­lion.

    The intense­ly pri­vate Scaife became wide­ly known in the 1990s when first lady Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton said her hus­band was being attacked by a “vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy.” White House staffers and oth­er sup­port­ers sug­gest­ed Scaife was play­ing a cen­tral role in the attack.

    Sev­er­al foun­da­tions con­trolled by Scaife gave mil­lions of dol­lars to orga­ni­za­tions run by crit­ics of Clin­ton, includ­ing $1.7 mil­lion for a project at the con­ser­v­a­tive Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor mag­a­zine to dig up infor­ma­tion about his role in the White­wa­ter real estate scan­dal.

    Scaife rarely gave inter­views, but in a sit-down with George mag­a­zine edi­tor John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1998, he called Pres­i­dent Clin­ton “an embar­rass­ment.”

    In the inter­view, Scaife denied that his mon­ey helped sup­port an effort to hurt the pres­i­dent, but he sug­gest­ed Clin­ton might be linked to the deaths of dozens of admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials and asso­ciates, includ­ing White House Deputy Coun­sel Vince Fos­ter and one­time Com­merce Sec­re­tary Ron Brown. Fos­ter’s death was deter­mined to be a sui­cide; Brown died in a plane crash.

    Scaife also accused Ken­neth Starr, the inde­pen­dent coun­sel whose inves­ti­ga­tion led to Clin­ton’s impeach­ment in the Mon­i­ca Lewin­sky sex scan­dal, to be a “mole work­ing for the Democ­rats.”

    Scaife’s stance toward the Clin­tons soft­ened years lat­er. In an inter­view pub­lished in ear­ly 2008, he told Van­i­ty Fair mag­a­zine he and the for­mer pres­i­dent had a “very pleas­ant” lunch the pre­vi­ous sum­mer, and “I nev­er met such a charis­mat­ic man in my whole life.”

    Clin­ton gave Scaife an auto­graphed copy of his book, and Scaife said he lat­er sent $100,000 to the Clin­ton Glob­al Ini­tia­tive. (Scaife also said phi­lan­der­ing “is some­thing that Bill Clin­ton and I have in com­mon.”)

    Scaife’s news­pa­per also endorsed Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s bid for pres­i­dent in 2008.

    Despite fund­ing many caus­es dear to con­ser­v­a­tives, Scaife was lib­er­tar­i­an on many social issues. He sup­port­ed Planned Par­ent­hood and abor­tion rights, sup­port­ed legal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage and mar­i­jua­na, and opposed the inva­sion of Iraq in 2003.

    Scaife bought the Tri­bune-Review in sub­ur­ban Pitts­burgh in 1969, using its edi­to­r­i­al pages to trum­pet his views.

    “I fell in love with news­pa­pers as a boy, when my father bought me edi­tions from around the coun­try and abroad,” Scaife told read­ers in the col­umn announc­ing his can­cer diag­no­sis. “The day I became a news­pa­per pub­lish­er, buy­ing the Tri­bune-Review, remains one of the proud­est, hap­pi­est moments of my life.”

    Penn­syl­va­nia Gov. Tom Cor­bett said in a state­ment Fri­day that Scaife’s pass­ing “marks the depar­ture of a man whose vision and gen­eros­i­ty shaped the city’s progress and our nation’s course.” He said his con­tri­bu­tions helped to pre­serve Pitts­burgh’s land­marks.

    Cor­bett also cit­ed Scaife’s invest­ment in think tanks that he said “reshaped our nation’s polit­i­cal dia­logue and deliv­ered the open­ing salvos in the Rea­gan rev­o­lu­tion, replac­ing tired nos­trums with vig­or­ous new ideas for progress.”

    Scaife was a long­time sup­port­er of Repub­li­cans, back­ing pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter in 1964 and heav­i­ly fund­ing the 1968 cam­paign of Richard Nixon.

    In 1972, Scaife donat­ed $1 mil­lion to Nixon in 334 sep­a­rate checks to avoid pay­ing gift tax­es. After The Asso­ci­at­ed Press wrote a sto­ry about the mon­ey, Scaife insist­ed the Tri­bune-Review get rid of its AP ser­vice.

    “He ordered us to come in and take out the wire machines that night,” Pat Minar­cin, then AP’s Pitts­burgh bureau chief, told The Wall Street Jour­nal for a 1995 sto­ry.

    ...

    Yes, Richard Mel­lon Scaife is dead, but his spir­it lives on...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 4, 2014, 6:33 pm
  2. Check it out: Fox News, the New York Times, and the Wash­ing­ton Post have all signed a con­tract for exclu­sive agree­ments with the author of an upcom­ing book about Hillary Clin­ton and the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion. It was­n’t sur­pris­ing that Fox signed up for the deal since the author, Peter Schweiz­er, runs a right-wing knock off of the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office (called the “Gov­ern­ment Account­abiltiy Insti­tute”) and pre­vi­ous­ly served as an advis­er to Sarah Palin. For the New York Times and Wash­ing­ton Post, the deci­sion raised a few eye­brows

    Politi­co
    New York Times, Wash­ing­ton Post, Fox News strike deals for anti-Clin­ton research

    By DYLAN BYERS | 4/20/15 12:22 PM EDT

    The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post and Fox News have made exclu­sive agree­ments with a con­ser­v­a­tive author for ear­ly access to his oppo­si­tion research on Hillary Clin­ton, a move that has con­found­ed mem­bers of the Clin­ton cam­paign and some reporters, the On Media blog has con­firmed.

    “Clin­ton Cash: The Untold Sto­ry of How and Why For­eign Gov­ern­ments and Busi­ness­es Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” will debut on May 5. But the Times, the Post and Fox have already made arrange­ments with author Peter Schweiz­er to pur­sue some of the mate­r­i­al includ­ed in his book, which seeks to draw con­nec­tions between Clin­ton Foun­da­tion dona­tions and speak­ing fees and Hillary Clin­ton’s actions as sec­re­tary of state. Schweiz­er is the pres­i­dent of the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Insti­tute, a con­ser­v­a­tive research group, and pre­vi­ous­ly served as an advis­er to Repub­li­can vice pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Sarah Palin.

    Fox News’ use of Schweiz­er’s book has sur­prised no one. The bulk of the net­work’s pro­gram­ming is con­ser­v­a­tive, and the book’s pub­lish­er, Harper­Collins, is owned by News Cor­po­ra­tion. But the Times and Post’s deci­sion to part­ner with a par­ti­san researcher has raised a few eye­brows. Some Times reporters view the agree­ment as unusu­al, sources there said. Still oth­ers defend­ed the agree­ment, not­ing that it was no dif­fer­ent from using a cam­paign’s oppo­si­tion research to inform one’s report­ing — so long as that research is fact-checked and vet­ted. A spokesper­son for the Times did not pro­vide com­ment by press time.

    In an arti­cle about the book on Mon­day, the Times said “Clin­ton Cash” was “poten­tial­ly more unset­tling” than oth­er con­ser­v­a­tive books about Clin­ton “both because of its focused report­ing and because major news orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing The Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post and Fox News have exclu­sive agree­ments with the author to pur­sue the sto­ry lines found in the book.”

    Both the Times and the Post ini­tial­ly did not respond to requests for com­ment on Mon­day. How­ev­er, at 2 p.m., hours after the ini­tial pub­li­ca­tion of this item, spokes­peo­ple from both news­pa­pers sent state­ments in which edi­tors defend­ed the deci­sions to work with Schweiz­er.

    “We had access to some mate­r­i­al in the book, but we want­ed to do our own report­ing,” Times Wash­ing­ton bureau chief and polit­i­cal direc­tor Car­olyn Ryan said.

    “We made an arrange­ment with Peter Schweizer’s pub­lish­er so we could read his book before pub­li­ca­tion because we are always will­ing to look at new infor­ma­tion that could inform our cov­er­age,” said Post Nation­al Edi­tor Cameron Barr. “Mr. Schweizer’s back­ground and his point of view are rel­e­vant fac­tors, but not dis­qual­i­fy­ing ones. What inter­ests us more are his facts and whether they can be the basis for fur­ther report­ing by our own staff that would be com­pelling to our read­ers. There is no finan­cial aspect to this arrange­ment.”

    On Mon­day, a source with knowl­edge of the arrange­ments told the On Media blog that CBS’ “60 Min­utes” and ABC News turned down offers for sim­i­lar exclu­sive access to por­tions of the book’s con­tents. A “60 Min­utes” spokesper­son said only, “We do not dis­cuss the sto­ries we are work­ing on.” An ABC News spokesper­son did not respond to a request for com­ment.

    Harper­Collins is mar­ket­ing “Clin­ton Cash” as a “metic­u­lous­ly researched” book that “rais­es seri­ous ques­tions of judg­ment, of pos­si­ble indebt­ed­ness to an array of for­eign inter­ests, and ulti­mate­ly, of fit­ness for high pub­lic office.” In it, Schweiz­er seeks to show how dona­tions to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion and speak­ing fees paid to for­mer pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton may have influ­enced Hillary Clin­ton’s deci­sions at the State Depart­ment.

    Clin­ton’s defend­ers are already slam­ming the book. Media Mat­ters For Amer­i­ca, the lib­er­al watch­dog group found­ed by Clin­ton ally David Brock, pub­lished a report on Mon­day detail­ing “ten inci­dents of sig­nif­i­cant errors, retrac­tions, or ques­tion­able sourc­ing by Schweiz­er.”

    “Schweiz­er is a par­ti­san right-wing activist whose writ­ings have been marked with false­hoods and retrac­tions, with numer­ous reporters exco­ri­at­ing him for facts that ‘do not check out,’ sources that ‘do not exist,’ and a basic fail­ure to prac­tice ‘Jour­nal­ism 101,’ ” Brock said in a state­ment. “Buy­ers should beware and con­sid­er the source.”

    ...

    “Still oth­ers defend­ed the agree­ment, not­ing that it was no dif­fer­ent from using a cam­paign’s oppo­si­tion research to inform one’s report­ing — so long as that research is fact-checked and vet­ted. A spokesper­son for the Times did not pro­vide com­ment by press time.” LOL.

    So with the New York Times and Wash­ing­ton Post also jump­ing on board with this book, the ques­tion is raised of whether or not we’re about to see a full blown zom­bie ideas apoc­a­lypse of Clin­ton-era con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries already or if this is just a teas­er for the 2016 zom­bie inva­sion?

    After all, one of the biggest threats to Hillary Clin­ton’s can­di­da­cy is prob­a­bly some sort of dor­mant 1990’s PTSD man­i­fest­ing itself as a vague ‘Clin­ton Fatigue’. But ‘Clin­ton Fatigue’ is just not very like­ly to be a major fac­tor unless the GOP scan­dal machine can cre­ate a new scan­dal that has some legs (which is what this new book seems to be attempt­ing). But if they can’t dig up a new scan­dal with teeth, the obvi­ous back up plan is to just throw­ing every­thing at the fan and hope the splat­ter ends up mak­ing Hillary une­lec­table and that’s obvi­ous­ly going to include a big rehash­ing of the scan­dals, real and oth­er­wise, from the 90’s. Will The New York Times and Wash­ing­ton Post be on board for a full fledged 90’s rehash? Based on sign­ing up for exclu­sive deals with a for­mer Palin advis­er it seems like the answer is a ‘maybe’.

    But just throw­ing old s@#t at the Hillary-fan does­n’t come with­out enor­mous risks that don’t exist for most oth­er politi­cians. Why? Because the oth­er side of a sto­ry from the 90’s, the Clin­tons’ side, is that a vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy spent eight years doing every­thing they could to destroy the Clin­tons and it did­n’t work. And it’s not some casu­al risk for the GOP that the ‘right-wing con­spir­a­cy’ his­tor­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tion wins the day because we’ve just spent the eight years watch­ing the GOP go even cra­zier than they were were in the 90’s while oper­at­ing in ‘Tal­iban’ mode.

    That’s all why, in a strange way, Hillary Clin­ton is a kind of night­mare can­di­date for the con­tem­po­rary GOP specif­i­cal­ly because get­ting attacked by a vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy is sort of her ‘brand’ at this point and the GOP has spent the last 6 1/2 years bla­tant­ly behav­ing like a vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy against Barack Oba­ma. Grant­ed, it was pret­ty bla­tant in the 90’s too, but this is now fresh in peo­ple’s minds. And don’t for­get: the GOP’s crazy far right “firebrand“s from from the 90’s are now the mod­er­ates of a par­ty that pub­licly acts like a vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy. The par­ty has just got­ten so much cra­zier over the past two decades and any­one like Hillary that prompts a ‘then and now’ com­par­i­son of the 90’s GOP with today’s GOP just invites a very unfa­vor­able com­par­i­son because the GOP of the 90’s was total­ly insane by objec­tive stan­dards and yet so much more sane then than it is today.

    So, the way the polit­i­cal chess board is set at this point, just as the Clin­ton-era 90’s scan­dals are bound to be tar­gets of media focus, the ‘vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy’ itself, which was always in part a media-based phe­nom­e­na, is also guar­an­teed to be part of the dis­cus­sion. It’s real­ly just a ques­tion of whether or not Fox News and the tra­di­tion­al right-wing medi­a­s­phere com­pro­mise the bulk of the vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy this time around or whether or not the main­stream media insti­tu­tions like The New York Times and Wash­ing­ton Post decide to jump on board too. This recent deci­sion by the New York Times and Wash­ing­ton Post may not bode well but there’s a lot of time between now and the 2016 elec­tions with many, many more zom­bie ideas that they’ll get to choose to pro­mote or ignore. A Clin­ton-con­spir­a­cy zom­bie apoc­a­lypse takes a while to play out. Whether it involves or few mis­steps or one long sham­ble remains to be seen.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 20, 2015, 1:42 pm
  3. Guess where Peter Schweiz­er, author of “Clin­ton Cash”, gave one of the fea­tured speech­es last sum­mer. Hint: the folks putting on the event are just a pair of cit­i­zens that plan to spend almost a bil­lion dol­lars from their per­son­al cash piles on unit­ing the coun­try in 2016. It’s a pret­ty big hint:

    Hul­la­baloo
    Look who was fea­tured speak­er at the Koch Sum­mit

    by dig­by
    5/01/2015 03:30:00 PM

    Peter Schweiz­er author of “Clin­ton Cash”, who they humor­ous­ly call a “researcher.” And there’s audio of it:

    [A]ccording to audio obtained by The Under­cur­rent and Lady Lib­er­tine from a source who was present, Schweiz­er spoke at a polit­i­cal strat­e­gy sum­mit for the Koch broth­ers last sum­mer, urg­ing donors to relent­less­ly pur­sue the left and ral­ly­ing them ahead of a big fundrais­ing pitch. His own orga­ni­za­tion, the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Insti­tute receives fund­ing from Koch-fund­ed groups.

    Schweiz­er told the crowd:

    That debate is going to come down to the ques­tion of inde­pen­dence ver­sus depen­dence… The left and the aca­d­e­m­ic sphere is not going to let up. The ques­tion is, are we going to let up? And I would con­tend to you that we can­not let up.

    Asked if “Clin­ton Cash” was moti­vat­ed by this strat­e­gy of relent­less pur­suit, Kurt Bardel­la, whose firm, Endeav­or Strate­gies, rep­re­sents Schweiz­er, said:

    As he has in sev­er­al speech­es as a life­long con­ser­v­a­tive, Schweiz­er was espous­ing his view that con­ser­v­a­tives should be informed, engaged, and active.

    Kevin Gen­try, the emcee and a vice pres­i­dent of the Charles Koch Foun­da­tion, lat­er named “com­pet­i­tive intel­li­gence,” the busi­ness ter­mi­nol­o­gy equiv­a­lent of oppo­si­tion research, as one of the enu­mer­at­ed Koch polit­i­cal invest­ment areas.

    ...

    You can find a tran­script at the link

    He’s a Koch hit­man:

    Schweizer’s speech, enti­tled “The Stakes: Who Will Define the Amer­i­can Dream,” teed up the Kochs’ appeal to raise $290 mil­lion in dona­tions for their fundrais­ing hub, Free­dom Part­ners, its affil­i­at­ed net­work of non-prof­its, and a new­ly cre­at­ed super-PAC called Free­dom Part­ners Action Fund. Bardel­la declined to answer whether Schweiz­er was speak­ing in a fundrais­ing capac­i­ty for GAI, or whether Schweiz­er or GAI received any funds from Koch-affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tions.

    Stephen Ban­non, the direc­tor of con­ser­v­a­tive pro­pa­gan­da films like the Sarah Palin biopic “The Unde­feat­ed” and a fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor with Cit­i­zens Unit­ed Pro­duc­tions, chairs GAI’s board. Anoth­er GAI board mem­ber is Ron Robin­son, who also sits on the boards of Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and Cit­i­zens Unit­ed Foun­da­tion.

    Cit­i­zens Unit­ed Pro­duc­tions was the plain­tiff in the Supreme Court case Cit­i­zens Unit­ed v. Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion – the deci­sion that rolled back sig­nif­i­cant cam­paign finance law per­tain­ing to inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures. At the cen­ter of that land­mark case was a polit­i­cal doc­u­men­tary-cum-attack ad on Hillary Clin­ton called “Hillary: The Movie,” released ahead of the 2008 pri­ma­ry. Now near­ly eight years lat­er ahead of the 2016 pri­ma­ry, Schweitzer has pub­lished what could be con­sid­ered the fol­low-up, Hillary: The Book.

    And Cit­i­zens Unit­ed goes all the way back to White­wa­ter..

    As the say­ing goes, his­to­ry does­n’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

    Brace your­selves. An abun­dance of hor­ri­ble his­tor­i­cal rhyming is on the way...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 1, 2015, 5:54 pm
  4. Is it already time to start spec­u­lat­ing about who Bil­lary will bump off next? Yes. It is time:

    Media Mat­ters
    Clin­ton Cash Author Peter Schweiz­er And Dana Loesch Won­der If He’ll Be Mur­dered By The Clin­tons
    Schweiz­er On If He’ll “Be Vince Fos­tered”: “We’ve Touched On A Major Nerve With­in The Clin­ton Camp. They Are Very, Very Upset”
    Blog ››› May 4, 2015 3:29 PM EDT ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Peter Schweiz­er and con­ser­v­a­tive radio host Dana Loesch spec­u­lat­ed that Schweiz­er could be mur­dered by “the Clin­ton machine” over his new book Clin­ton Cash.

    Dur­ing a May 4 appear­ance on The Dana Show, Loesch told Schweiz­er “there is always that con­cern for any­one who goes up against the Clin­ton machine that they could be Vince Fos­tered” and asked if he con­sid­ered that pos­si­bil­i­ty when “get­ting him­self secu­ri­ty.” Schweiz­er replied: “Yeah, I mean look — there are secu­ri­ty con­cerns that arise in these kinds of sit­u­a­tions.”

    Schweiz­er added that the secu­ri­ty deci­sion was made by his group, the Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Insti­tute, and the “real­i­ty is we’ve touched on a major nerve with­in the Clin­ton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off.”

    Anti-Clin­ton pun­dits have for years pushed the deranged con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that the Clin­tons had then-deputy White House coun­sel Vince Fos­ter killed in 1993 and cov­ered it up. Mul­ti­ple inves­ti­ga­tions con­clud­ed that Fos­ter actu­al­ly died of a self-inflict­ed gun­shot wound in North­ern Vir­gini­a’s Fort Mar­cy Park.

    There are over 20 errors, fab­ri­ca­tions, and dis­tor­tions in Clin­ton Cash, which is being released on May 5. Schweiz­er is a Repub­li­can activist and con­sul­tant who has worked for Repub­li­can politi­cians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Bob­by Jin­dal.

    From the May 4 edi­tion of KFTK’s The Dana Show:
    ...

    LOESCH: We’re going to have more on the ter­ror attack in Gar­land, Texas, last night. I’m glad that they had secu­ri­ty, well-thought-out secu­ri­ty for that event. And I was read­ing an arti­cle just the oth­er day where author Peter Schweiz­er, whose new book Clin­ton Cash — and this book is just, is real­ly mak­ing a lot of peo­ple uncom­fort­able — Clin­ton Cash: The Untold Sto­ry of How and Why For­eign Gov­ern­ments and Busi­ness­es Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. I was read­ing the oth­er day that Peter Schweiz­er who, the author who joins us by phone right now, was very smart and end­ed up get­ting him­self secu­ri­ty. And I know that Peter, first off, thanks so much for join­ing me. I know you don’t want to talk too much about it, but there is that, there is always that con­cern for any­one who goes up against the Clin­ton machine that they could be Vince Fos­tered, and I’m sure that that was some­thing that you took into con­sid­er­a­tion.

    SCHWEIZER: Well, Dana, first of all thanks for hav­ing me on the show. I always love doing it. Yeah, I mean look — there are secu­ri­ty con­cerns that arise in these kinds of sit­u­a­tions. You know, you don’t like to go into too much detail, there were some things that were going on that we felt need­ed to be addressed. The deci­sion on secu­ri­ty was­n’t actu­al­ly made by me, it was made by board mem­bers of Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Insti­tute, and you know, it’s I think show­ing an abun­dance of cau­tion. The real­i­ty is we’ve touched on a major nerve with­in the Clin­ton camp. They are very, very upset, and they are pulling out all the stops to attack me in an effort to kill this book off.

    LOL! Yeah, the vast right-wing con­spir­a­cy has spent the last two and an half decades super con­cerned about get­ting ‘Vince Fos­tered’. Under that premise, one won­ders what kind of acro­bat­ics the right-wing ‘jour­nal­ists’ must be going through to avoid an inevitable Oba­ma ‘hit’. Pre­sum­ably they just lived every day like it’s their last which might help explain why the US right-wing has gone even more insane and more nihilis­tic than they were dur­ing the post-Clin­ton era: they all assumed some­one’s hit­men were just around the cor­ner because and it drove them all mad! That’s Clin­ton Derange­ment Syn­drome for you. You try so hard to get the pub­lic to believe it all that you and up believ­ing it too and now you’re all para­noid. There are some types of self-delud­ing fire you real­ly don’t want to play with.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 5, 2015, 3:09 pm
  5. Giv­en the alarm­ing lev­els of Hillary Derange­ment Syn­drome already afflict­ing much of the US media estab­lish­ment, you have to won­der if Steve Burke, the Com­cast exec­u­tive who over­sees the NBCU­ni­ver­sal TV and enter­tain­ment unit (and who also hap­pens to have been a major George W. Bush fundrais­er), is in any way try­ing to ensure stuff like this hap­pens, or if he even has to both­er at this point:

    Media Mat­ters
    MSNBC’s Morn­ing Joe Edits Out David Ignatius’ Debunk­ing Of Clin­ton Email “Scan­dal”
    Ignatius: “I Could­n’t Find A Case Where This Kind Of Activ­i­ty Had Been Pros­e­cut­ed... Legal­ly There Is No Dif­fer­ence Between [Clin­ton] Using Her Pri­vate Serv­er And If She’d Used State.gov”

    Blog ››› Sep­tem­ber 4, 2015 12:17 PM EDT ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON & TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Dur­ing an appear­ance on MSNBC’s Morn­ing Joe, Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist David Ignatius thor­ough­ly debunked argu­ments that Hillary Clin­ton should be charged with a crime as a result of her use of a pri­vate email sys­tem while serv­ing as sec­re­tary of state. When MSNBC re-aired the first hour of its pro­gram lat­er in the morn­ing, the bulk of Ignatius’ debunk­ing had been edit­ed out.

    On the Sep­tem­ber 4 edi­tion of Morn­ing Joe, co-hosts Joe Scar­bor­ough and Mika Brzezin­s­ki con­tin­ued their efforts to stoke con­tro­ver­sy around Hillary Clin­ton’s email prac­tices while serv­ing as sec­re­tary of state. Both Scar­bor­ough and Brzezin­s­ki sug­gest­ed that guest David Ignatius was sim­ply “get­ting tired” of the wall-to-wall media cov­er­age direct­ed at Clin­ton after the colum­nist authored an August 28 op-ed in The Wash­ing­ton Post argu­ing that “this ‘scan­dal’ is over­stat­ed.” Ignatius respond­ed by explain­ing that experts he spoke with dis­missed as far-fetched claims Clin­ton com­mit­ted a crim­i­nal offense.

    But dur­ing the rebroad­cast of the seg­ment, Morn­ing Joe cut away from Ignatius’ expla­na­tion mid-sen­tence. Dur­ing the ini­tial broad­cast, Ignatius said (empha­sis added), “As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they could­n’t remem­ber a case like this, where peo­ple infor­mal­ly and inad­ver­tent­ly draw clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion into their phone con­ver­sa­tions or their unclas­si­fied serv­er con­ver­sa­tions, where there had been a pros­e­cu­tion.”

    When the seg­ment re-aired, Ignatius is heard say­ing, “As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they could­n’t remem­ber a case like this,” before the show skipped for­ward to a remark by co-host Mika Brzezin­s­ki about Clin­ton aide Cheryl Mills.

    Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the rebroad­cast failed to include the con­clu­sion of Ignatius’ thought, which is that Clin­ton’s email prac­tices do not amount to a pros­e­cutable offense, accord­ing to sev­er­al expert attor­neys he talked to. Here are Ignatius’ unedit­ed remarks (empha­sis added):
    [see video of full]

    JOE SCARBOROUGH: David, so you have over the past week or two turned a bit in some of your edi­to­r­i­al, in some of your op-eds, you’ve said you would rather hear Hillary’s pol­i­cy posi­tions than more talk about the servers, you said you don’t think she faces any crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion. You haven’t exact­ly said noth­ing is here, move along, move along, but you’ve cer­tain­ly –

    MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Get­ting tired of it, which is what they’re hop­ing.

    SCARBOROUGH: — Yeah, I mean aren’t you play­ing into what the Clin­ton sort of scan­dal response team wants, which is so much stuff comes at you that at some point you just say, “Come on, let’s just move on.”

    DAVID IGNATIUS: Joe, I’ve tried to respond as a jour­nal­ist but in par­tic­u­lar I’ve tried to look at what is a real pros­e­cutable offense here. There are vio­la­tions clear­ly both of admin­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dure and prob­a­bly tech­ni­cal­ly of law and how clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion was han­dled. As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they could­n’t remem­ber a case like this, where peo­ple infor­mal­ly and inad­ver­tent­ly draw clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion into their phone con­ver­sa­tions or their unclas­si­fied serv­er con­ver­sa­tions, where there had been a pros­e­cu­tion.

    [CROSS TALK]

    SCARBOROUGH: But this isn’t hap­pen­stance. This is a very cal­cu­lat­ed move to say if you want to com­mu­ni­cate with the Sec­re­tary of State, as Edwards Snow­den said, whether you are a for­eign diplo­mat or a spy chief from anoth­er coun­try or a leader of anoth­er coun­try, which they all did, you’ve got to come to this unse­cured serv­er, whether it is in Col­orado or wher­ev­er it is, and there is a stan­dard in the U.S. Code under pros­e­cu­tions for this sort of thing which is gross neg­li­gence. It’s not a know or should have known -

    [...]

    IGNATIUS: This issue comes up sur­pris­ing­ly often because there is an admin­is­tra­tive prob­lem where peo­ple do these things and their secu­ri­ty offi­cers sum­mon them and warn them and issue rep­ri­mands and it goes in their file and it’s a seri­ous per­son­nel admin­is­tra­tive prob­lem. My only point is I could­n’t find a case where this kind of activ­i­ty had been pros­e­cut­ed and that’s just worth not­ing as we assem­ble our Clin­ton e‑mail — and more thing, Joe, legal­ly there is no dif­fer­ence between her using her pri­vate serv­er and if she’d used State.gov, which is also not a clas­si­fied sys­tem. The idea that, oh this would have been fine if she used State.gov, not legal­ly, no dif­fer­ence.

    Here is how Morn­ing Joe re-aired the seg­ment:

    [see replayed video of above seg­ment where where every­thing after “As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they could­n’t remem­ber a case like this” is edit­ed out]

    Scar­bor­ough, a for­mer Repub­li­can mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has a long his­to­ry of hyp­ing the sup­posed Clin­ton email “scan­dal” despite all evi­dence to the con­trary. He recent­ly claimed that Clin­ton inten­tion­al­ly timed a press con­fer­ence to coin­cide with a mass-shoot­ing in Vir­ginia and false­ly claimed that Clin­ton white­washed a for­eign coun­try’s ties to inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism in exchange for a char­i­ta­ble dona­tion to her fam­i­ly foun­da­tion.

    As we can see, the truth the truthi­ness can be deaf­en­ing:

    As I talked to a half dozen of lawyers who do noth­ing but this kind of work, they said they could­n’t remem­ber a case like this, where peo­ple infor­mal­ly and inad­ver­tent­ly draw clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion into their phone con­ver­sa­tions or their unclas­si­fied serv­er con­ver­sa­tions, where there had been a pros­e­cu­tion.

    ...

    “This issue comes up sur­pris­ing­ly often because there is an admin­is­tra­tive prob­lem where peo­ple do these things and their secu­ri­ty offi­cers sum­mon them and warn them and issue rep­ri­mands and it goes in their file and it’s a seri­ous per­son­nel admin­is­tra­tive prob­lem. My only point is I could­n’t find a case where this kind of activ­i­ty had been pros­e­cut­ed and that’s just worth not­ing as we assem­ble our Clin­ton e‑mail — and more thing, Joe, legal­ly there is no dif­fer­ence between her using her pri­vate serv­er and if she’d used State.gov, which is also not a clas­si­fied sys­tem. The idea that, oh this would have been fine if she used State.gov, not legal­ly, no dif­fer­ence

    That’s one more for the truthi­ness pile.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 8, 2015, 3:13 pm
  6. What do you get when you com­bined the GOP’s pre­sumed “Tal­iban-like insur­gency from day one” plan to under­mine a future Hillary Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion, should she become the next pres­i­dent, with a hefty dose of Clin­ton Derange­ment Syn­drome? Well, if Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mo Brooks is any indi­ca­tion of what to expect, it’s prob­a­bly some­thing like this:

    Talk­ing Points Memo Livewire
    GOP Con­gress­man Wants To Impeach Clin­ton On Day 1 Of Her Pres­i­den­cy

    By Cather­ine Thomp­son
    Pub­lished Octo­ber 19, 2015, 1:36 PM EDT

    If Hillary Clin­ton wins the pres­i­den­cy, Rep. Mo Brooks (R‑AL) wants to impeach her on day one.

    Brooks made the com­ment in a recent inter­view with con­ser­v­a­tive talk radio host Matt Mur­phy on WAPI, which was flagged Mon­day by The Huff­in­g­ton Post.

    Brooks told Mur­phy that he thought Clin­ton’s exclu­sive use of a pri­vate email account as sec­re­tary of state vio­lat­ed “all rules of law that are designed to pro­tect Amer­i­ca’s top-secret and clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion from falling into the hands of our geopo­lit­i­cal foes who then might use that infor­ma­tion to result in the deaths of Amer­i­cans.”

    “In my judge­ment, with respect to Hillary Clin­ton, she will be a unique pres­i­dent if she is elect­ed by the pub­lic next Novem­ber,” he added. “Because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s sub­ject to impeach­ment because she has com­mit­ted high crimes and mis­de­meanors.”

    While the FBI was report­ed­ly con­duct­ing an inquiry into the secu­ri­ty of the pri­vate email serv­er that housed Clin­ton’s email account, the agency was not said to be tar­get­ing Clin­ton specif­i­cal­ly. A refer­ral to the Jus­tice Depart­ment relat­ed to the poten­tial com­pro­mise of clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion on the pri­vate email account sim­i­lar­ly was said not to sug­gest wrong­do­ing on Clin­ton’s part.

    Keep in mind that this may not be sole­ly due to a case of Clin­ton Derange­ment Syn­drome impact­ing Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Brook­s’s judge­ment on such mat­ters. It’s more of a gen­er­al derange­ment syn­drome.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 19, 2015, 8:23 pm

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