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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment .
Introduction: CIA headquarters is named for George Herbert Walker Bush, who was defeated for re-election by Bill Clinton in 1992, something for which we feel major elements of the Agency have never forgiven the Clinton family. Much of the negative “buzz” surrounding the e‑mail server investigation has come from Fox News, headed by Roger Ailes, who was George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager.
These are details worth bearing in mind as we examine the continued progress of “Clinton Derangement Syndrome.”
QUICK: How many of you knew that Hillary Clinton had the 11th most liberal voting record as a U.S. Senator (out of 100 Senators.)? 
The punditry has been even more irresponsible than is usually the case, succumbing to CDS to a greater extent than in the past. This program examines to the extent to which media coverage is deliberately slanted.
In connection with Hillary Clinton’s e‑mail server, we highlight the following details, generally either unknown and/or underreported in the mainstream media:
In discussion of the “e‑mail scandal,” CNBC’s “Morning Joe Scarborough” deliberately distorted  statements by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. Ignatius opined: ” . . . . 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. . . . Ignatius responded by explaining that experts he spoke with dismissed as far-fetched claims Clinton committed a criminal offense. . . . 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. . . .”
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.”
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 edited Ignatius’s statement as follows: “ . . . . 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, . . . ”
It is of more than passing interest that echoes from the “Fox News” chamber are rippling outward, featuring slanted coverage  by The New York Times and Washington Post. The latter outlets have contracted  with Peter Schweizer, a Koch brothers political spear carrier  and former aide to Sarah Palin for accessing his book Clinton Cash. Obviously, this raises serious questions about their objectivity.
As Bernie Sanders continues his attacks on Clinton, it is worth noting the extent to which Citizens United has propelled much of the anti-Clinton propaganda. The centerpiece of the Citizens United case was an anti-Hillary documentary!  (Citizens United is a frequent target of Sanders’ rhetorical flourishes.) Of the links between Fox News, New York Times and Washington Post collaborator Peter Schweitzer and the Koch brothers, their anti-Clinton campaign and the Citizens United milieu:
” . . . . Bardella declined to answer whether Schweizer was speaking in a fundraising capacity for [Schweizer’s organization] 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. . . .”
Program Highlights Include:
- Review of FBI Director James Comey’s association with Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential campaign.
- Comey’s pivotal role  in the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton “E‑Mail scandal.”
- An overview of “Clinton Derangement Syndrome”  over the years, which debunks the notion that Hillary is “GOP Lite.” ” . . . . Indeed, when Clinton served in the Senate, she was considered the 11th most liberal senator . That’s basically in the top 20 percentile in terms of liberal votes. That’s lightyears away from being a DINO. . . .”
- CNBC’s Chris Burke and his major support for George W. Bush’s campaign . (CNBC airs the “Morning Joe” program.)
- Review of the CIA’s links to The New York Times and Washington Post .
1. Beginning with discussion of Hillary Clinton’s e‑mail server, we highlight the following details, generally either unknown and/or underreported in the mainstream media:
Media are exploiting news that two emails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department from her time as secretary of state may be retroactively classified as “top secret” to push myths about Clinton’s handling of government information and scandalize her email use. Here are the facts.
Intelligence Community IG Says Two Emails From Clinton’s Server Should Be Marked “Top Secret”
Intelligence Community Inspector General Says Two Emails From Clinton’s Server Contain “Top Secret” Information. The inspector general for the Intelligence Community (ICIG), I. Charles McCullough, reportedly informed leaders of key congressional oversight committees that two classified emails previously discovered on Clinton’s server contain top secret information. As McClatchy reported:
The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications — more sensitive than previously known.
The notice came as the State Department inspector general’s office acknowledged that it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides after requests from Congress. [McClatchy DC, 8/11/15 ]
State Department: It Remains Unclear Whether Material In Two Emails Should Be Retroactively Classified. NBC noted that the State Department is still working with the intelligence community to determine whether the information in the two emails should in fact be labeled as classified:
Clinton aides have maintained that nothing on her server was classified at the time she saw it, suggesting that classified messages were given the label after the fact.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, said that was the case with two emails, adding that it remained unclear “whether, in fact, this material is actually classified.”
“Department employees circulated these emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011, and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton,” Kirby said Tuesday. “They were not marked as classified.” [NBC News, 8/12/15 ]
MYTH: Clinton Received Emails Marked As “Top Secret”
Fox Anchor Bret Baier: “ ‘Top Secret’ Was Marked On The Emails” Sent To Clinton. During the August 11 edition of Special Report, host Bret Baier claimed that “ ‘top secret’ was marked on the emails” that Clinton received during her time as secretary of state:
MIKE EMANUEL: The breaking news of the hour is that the intelligence inspector general has told top lawmakers on Capitol Hill that two of those four classified emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal server were top secret in nature. And they’re still studying the other two to figure out what the relevant classification should be. Bret?
BRET BAIER: ‘Top secret’ marked on the emails. FBI inquiry obviously already ongoing to classified information improperly stored, they said, on her private server. And also, Mike, a thumb drive held by her attorney?
EMANUEL: Well that’s absolutely correct. All of her emails have been stored by her personal attorney. And a lot of folks on Capitol Hill have been asking, why is that still out there? Why is that not controlled by the intelligence community or by the State department, this existing in the possession of a personal attorney. And so lots more questions on Capitol Hill and throughout the intelligence community this evening. [Fox News, Special Report, 8/11/15 ]
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: ICIG “Contradicted Clinton’s Repeated Claim That Nothing On Those Private Emails Was Classified.” On the August 12 edition of NBC’s Today, Andrea Mitchell argued that the ICIG’s statement “contradicted” Clinton’s “repeated past denials”:
ANDREA MITCHELL: More controversy for Hillary Clinton today indeed. Despite her repeated past denials, the intelligence community’s Inspector General now says two of her emails should have been classified ‘top secret,’ the highest level of U.S. intelligence, even as the FBI is finally getting control of that private server.
VOICEOVER OF MITCHELL: Hillary Clinton, in New Hampshire Tuesday, has aides confirm she has turned over her private server to the FBI. In addition, her attorney David Kendall gave the FBI two thumb drives containing her emails. All of this, as the intelligence community’s watchdog contradicted Clinton’s repeated claim that nothing on those private emails was classified.
[CLIP OF HILLARY CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials.]
MITCHELL: Clinton has said there was no classified markings on any of her emails.
[CLIP OF CLINTON: I am confident that I have never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.]
MITCHELL: But the Inspector General has now told Congress two of Clinton’s emails should have been classified ‘top secret,’ with code words indicating electronic eavesdropping from satellites, so sensitive it could not be shared with foreign allies. [NBC, Today, 8/12/15 ]
FACT: None Of The Emails Sent To Clinton Were Labeled As “Classified” Or “Top Secret”
Government Officials: None Of The Emails Were Marked As “Classified” When They Were Sent.The Washington Post reported that when the ICIG first “found information that should have been designated as classified” in four emails from Clinton’s server — two of which he now says contain “top secret” information — government officials acknowledged that the emails were not marked as classified when they were sent (emphasis added):
The Justice Department said Friday that it has been notified of a potential compromise of classified information in connection with the private e‑mail account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used while serving as secretary of state.
A Justice official said the department had received a “referral” on the matter, which the inspector general of the intelligence agencies later acknowledged came from him.
The inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, said in a separate statement that he had found information that should have been designated as classified in four e‑mails out of a “limited sample” of 40 that his agency reviewed. As a result, he said, he made the “security referral,” acting under a federal law that requires alerting the FBI to any potential compromises of national security information.
Officials acknowledged that none of the e‑mails reviewed so far contain information that was marked classified when they were sent. But a new inquiry would prolong the political controversy Clinton is facing over her unorthodox e‑mail system. [The Washington Post, 7/24/15 ]
IG Memo On Classified Information In Emails: “None Of The Emails ... Had Classification Or Dissemination Markings.” A memo from the ICIG clearly stated that “none of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings”:
Since the referenced 25 June 2015 notification, we were informed by State FOIA officials that there are potentially hundreds of classified emails within the approximately 30,000 provided by former Secretary Clinton. We note that none of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings, but some included IC-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network. Further, my office’s limited sampling of 40 of the emails revealed four contained classified IC information which should have been marked and handled at a SECRET level. [Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, 7/23/15 ]
MYTH: Emails Weren’t Marked As “Classified” Because Clinton Used A Private Server Instead Of State Dept. Email
Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy: Emails “Were Never Classified” Because Clinton Used A Private Server Rather Than The State Department’s Email System. Throughout the August 12 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy repeatedly blamed the lack of classification on Clinton’s use of a private server instead of “the State Department email system,” arguing the emails “were never classified because she never submitted it” (emphasis added):
STEVE DOOCY: The problem here is the fact that she didn’t want her bosses at the White House to know what she was writing about, it is perceived.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO: She also didn’t want her colleagues in the State Department to know.
DOOCY: Right. So she had her own server, which is, you know, against protocol. Her spokespeople, and she herself has said, you know, it wasn’t classified at the time. But that ignores how the process works. The reason you use the State Department email system is so that it is classif — it is vetted before you hit ‘send.’
NAPOLITANO: She is probably going to argue that because the phrase, boom, ‘top secret’ was not stamped on each document, it wasn’t top secret. That’s not what the law says. Before every person in the federal government, from the president to a file clerk, gets a national security clearance, they have a 30 minute in-person interview with an FBI agent who explains, if there’s doubt about whether it’s classified or not, it’s classified.
DOOCY: Let me just add this one thing. It was never classified because she never submitted it. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/12/15 ]
FACT: Emails Originated In State Dept. System And Questions About Retroactive Classification Would Have Occurred Regardless Of Clinton’s Server Use
Emails Originated With State Department Employees And Were Forwarded To Clinton. The State Department’s statement on the retroactive “top secret” designation made clear that the emails at issue originated with State Department employees, not Clinton herself:
The following is attributable to Spokesperson John Kirby:
“The State Department takes seriously its obligations to protect sensitive information, holding its employees to a high standard of compliance with regulations and procedures.
“The Intelligence Community has recommended that portions of two of the four emails identified by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General should be upgraded to the Top Secret level. Department employees circulated these emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011 and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton. They were not marked as classified.
“These emails have not been released to the public. While we work with the Director of National Intelligence to resolve whether, in fact, this material is actually classified, we are taking steps to ensure the information is protected and stored appropriately.” [Twitter.com, 8/11/15 ]
Clinton Campaign: Emails Originated From “Unclassified .Gov Email System.” A fact sheet released by the presidential campaign for the former secretary of state explains that the emails at issue originated on “the unclassified .gov email system”:
Would this issue not have arisen if she used a state.gov  email address?
Even if Clinton’s emails had been on a government email address and government device, these questions would be raised prior to public release.
While State Department’s review of her 55,000 emails brought the issue to the Inspectors Generals’ attentions, the four emails were on the unclassified .gov email system. They were not on the separate, closed system used by State Department for handling classified communications. [hillaryclinton.com , “Updated: The Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails,” accessed 8/12/15 ]
Vox: Whether Or Not Emails Should Have Been Marked Classified Is Part Of “Bureaucratic Turf War.” Vox pointed out how the intra-agency disagreement over whether the emails were appropriately categorized “is a bureaucratic fight about how the State Department has handled the emails, not about Hillary Clinton” (emphasis added):
The State Department has been ordered by a federal judge to make public the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to the agency. So the State Department has Freedom of Information Act experts sifting through the documents to make sure that no information will be released that is either classified or sensitive (meaning not technically classified but also not covering material that the government doesn’t want in the public domain).
This has caused a bureaucratic turf war between the department and the intelligence community, which believes at least one email that’s already been released contains classified information and that hundreds of others in the full set may also have material that’s not ready for public consumption. For a couple of months, the inspectors general of the State Department and the combined intelligence community agencies have been battling Patrick Kennedy, the lead State Department official, over who has access to the documents and the authority to release or withhold them.
Now, according to the Times and other publications, the IG team is asking the Justice Department to get involved in reviewing whether State has mishandled the emails. If Clinton was sending information that was, or should have been, classified — and knew that it was, or should have been, classified — that’s a problem. But no one has accused her of that so far. Given the anodyne nature of what she sent in the emails we’ve already seen, it’s entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that any sensitive information was sent to Clinton, not by her (though it’s not clear whether forwarding such emails would constitute a legal issue for her). [Vox, 7/28/15 ]
MYTH: Hillary Clinton’s Email Use Is Comparable To David Petraeus’ Crimes
Doocy: Clinton’s Email Use Is “The Same Thing That David Petraeus Pleaded Guilty To.” On the August 12 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Doocy hyped the debunked claim that Clinton’s email use was similar to Gen. David Petraeus’ illegal mishandling of confidential information:
DOOCY: Big question is — Will this Department of Justice go ahead and fully prosecute? Because, keep in mind, she had unauthorized, for a home server, top secret documents, which was a direct violation of the U.S. laws. It’s the same that David Petraeus pleaded guilty to. He had the same stuff at his house. She had at it at her house. He got, you know, they ran him up the flag pole, will they do the same for her? [Fox News, Fox & Friends,8/12/15 ]
Fox Judicial Analyst Implies Clinton’s Email Use Is Worse Than Petraeus’ Crimes. Appearing on the August 12 edition of Fox & Friends, senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed “it’s a grave situation” for Hillary Clinton, arguing that Gen. Petraeus only had “the lowest level materials in a desk drawer” while Clinton “had top secret materials in the server in her barn”:
NAPOLITANO: Here’s why it’s a grave situation. A federal judge ordered the State Department to reveal — to make public — emails she had given back to the State Department. The recipients of those e‑mails was the inspectors general of State Department and of the intelligence community. They randomly sampled 40 of them. Among the 40, they found four that were classified.
They then revealed that they then sent that to FBI to commence either a criminal or a national security investigation, and they sent it to the Senate and House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Last night they revealed that two of the four were top secret. What does top secret mean? The government has three classifications — the highest is top secret. Meaning if it’s revealed, it could cause grave harm to national security. The middle is secret, meaning if it’s revealed, it could cause serious harm to national security. The bottom is confidential, meaning if it’s revealed, it could cause some hard to national security. General Patreaus was indicted, prosecuted, and convicted for having confidential, the lowest level materials in a desk drawer in his house. Mrs. Clinton, it has now been revealed, had top secret materials in the server in her barn at Chappaqua. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/12/15 ]
FACT: Experts Have Debunked The Comparison — Petraeus Knowingly Mishandled Classified Documents, Whereas Clinton Had Authorization To Use Private Email, And There’s No Evidence She Knowingly Emailed Classified Information
Petraeus Pled Guilty To Violating 18 U.S.C. § 1924, “Unlawfully And Knowingly” Moving Classified Materials “With Intent To Retain Such Documents ... At Unauthorized Locations.” Petraeus pled guilty to one count of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924:
Between in or about August 2011 and on or about April 5, 2013, defendant DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS, being an employee of the United States, and by virtue of his employment, became possessed of documents and materials containing classified information of the United States, and did unlawfully and knowingly remove such documents and materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents and materials at unauthorized locations, aware that these locations were unauthorized for the storage and retention of such classified documents and materials;
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924. [U.S. v. Petraeus, Bill of Information, 3/3/15 ]
NY Times: “There Has Never Been Any Legal Prohibition Against” Using Personal Email Accounts. Despite having previously scandalized Clinton’s use of private emails as “alarming,” the Times later clarified that “there has never been any legal prohibition” against the practice and that “[m]embers of President Obama’s cabinet” use a “wide variety of strategies” to handle their emails:
Members of President Obama’s cabinet have a wide variety of strategies, shortcuts and tricks for handling their email, and until three months ago there was no law setting out precisely what they had to do with it, and when. And while the majority of Obama administration officials use government email to conduct their business, there has never been any legal prohibition against using a personal account. [The New York Times, 3/13/15 ]
State Dept: Clinton Preserved And Provided Emails In Line With 2009 Regulation And How We Handled Records At The Time. At the March 3 daily press briefing, State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf explained that Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of documents as part of the State Department’s “process of updating our records management” and emphasized that Clinton is the only former secretary of state to have done so. From Harf’s briefing:
HARF: When in the process of updating our records management — this is something that’s sort of ongoing given technology and the changes — we reached out to all of the former secretaries of state to ask them to provide any records they had. Secretary Clinton sent back 55,000 pages of documents to the State Department very shortly after we sent the letter to her. She was the only former Secretary of State who sent documents back in to this request. These 55,000 pages covered her time, the breadth of her time at the State Department. [State Department Daily Press Briefing,3/3/15 ]
Clinton: “I Am Confident That I Never Sent Or Received Any Information That Was Classified At The Time.” Clinton told reporters on July 26 that she never sent or received information that she knew was classified at the time:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said she never knowingly sent or received classified information using her private email server and did not know what messages were being cited by intelligence investigators as examples of emails containing classified information.
“I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received. What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement among various parts of the government, over what should or should not be publicly released,” she said. [Associated Press, 7/26/15 ]
Director Of Project On Government Secrecy: “There’s No Comparison Between The Clinton Email Issue And The Petraeus Case.” Steven Aftergood told The Washington Times that “[e]veryone agrees that there was no information in the Clinton emails that was marked as classified,” and therefore Clinton’s actions bear no resemblance to Petraeus’s:
While officials combing tens of thousands of emails that moved through Mrs. Clinton’s server have pointed to the presence of “hundreds” of pieces of classified information — apparently none of the messages had any official classification markings on them.
It’s a situation that has triggered heated debate over the extent to which such information wasn’t necessarily classified at the time Mrs. Clinton was emailing it.
“To the best of my understanding, there is no comparison between the Clinton email issue and the Petraeus case,” says Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “Everyone agrees that there was no information in the Clinton emails that was marked as classified. So it would be difficult or impossible to show that those who sent or received the emails knowingly or negligently mishandled classified information.” [The Washington Times, 8/2/15 ]
Government Secrecy Expert: “There’s No Case” Against Clinton If She Didn’t Knowingly Misuse Classified Information. William Jeffress, an attorney who has handled government secrecy cases, told Time:
Legally, the question is pretty clear-cut. If Clinton knowingly used her private server to handle classified information she could have a problem. But if she didn’t know the material was classified when she sent or received it she’s safe.
Clinton has explicitly and repeatedly said she didn’t knowingly send or receive any classified information. “The facts are pretty clear,” she said last weekend in Iowa, “I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time.” Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III, disagrees, saying some of the material was in fact classified at the time it was sent. But in his letter last week to Congressional intelligence committee leaders, McCullough reported that, “None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings.” And there has been no indication Clinton knew she was sending and receiving anything classified.
The public doesn’t yet know the content of the classified emails, and the State Department and the inspectors general have tens of thousands still to review. If evidence emerges that Clinton knew she was handling secrets on her private server, “She could have a problem,” says William Jeffress, a leading criminal trial lawyer at Baker Botts who has represented government officials in secrecy cases. Barring that, says Jeffress, “there’s no way in the world [prosecutors] could ever make a case” against her. [Time, 7/29/15 ]
MYTH: Clinton Is The Subject Of A Federal Criminal Investigation
Fox’s Chris Stirewalt: Clinton Might Be “The Subject Of A Federal Criminal Investigation.” On the August 12 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, digital editor Chris Stirewalt claimed that Clinton might become “the first major party nominee that is the subject of a federal criminal investigation.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/12/15 ]
FACT: IG Referral To Justice Department Was Not Criminal, And FBI Isn’t Targeting Clinton Herself
Reuters: Inspector General Referral Is Not Criminal. Reuters reported on July 24 that there was “no criminal referral over [the] Clinton emails”:
The Justice Department said Friday it has received a request to examine the handling of classified information related to the private emails from Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, but it is not a criminal referral. [Reuters, 7/24/15 ]
AP: U.S. Official Said That Request Of DOJ “Doesn’t Suggest Wrongdoing By Clinton Herself.” The Associated Press quoted an anonymous U.S. official who noted that the referral did not implicate Clinton in any wrongdoing:
The New York Times first reported the referral. The Clinton campaign said Friday that she “followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials.” Spokesman Nick Merrill said emails deemed classified by the administration were done so after the fact, not when they were sent.
One U.S. official said it was unclear whether classified information was mishandled and the referral doesn’t suggest wrongdoing by Clinton herself. [Associated Press, 7/24/15 ]
Wash. Post: Officials Say Clinton “Is Not A Target” Of FBI Probe. The Washington Post reported that government officials said Clinton is “not a target” of the FBI’s investigation:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s attorney has agreed to provide the FBI with the private server that housed her e‑mail during her four years as secretary of state, Clinton’s presidential campaign said Tuesday.
The inquiry by the FBI is considered preliminary and appears to be focused on ensuring the proper handling of classified material. Officials have said that Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, is not a target.
The FBI’s efforts have included contacting the Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the Clintons’ unusual private e‑mail system. [The Washington Post, 8/11/15 ]
2. A piece by longtime political critic Norman Ornstein highlights The New York Times’ coverage of Hillary Clinton.
I have read The New York Times since I was a teenager as the newspaper to be trusted, the paper of record, the definitive account. But the huge embarrassment over the story claiming a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton for her emails—leading the webpage, prominent on the front page, before being corrected in the usual, cringeworthy fashion of journalists who stonewall any alleged errors and then downplay the real ones—is a direct challenge to its fundamental credibility. And the paper’s response since the initial huge error was uncovered has not been adequate or acceptable.
This is not some minor mistake. Stories, once published, take on a life of their own. If they reinforce existing views or stereotypes, they fit perfectly into Mark Twain’s observation, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” (Or perhaps Twain never said it , in which case the ubiquity of that attribution serves to validate the point.) And a distorted and inaccurate story about a prominent political figure running for president is especially damaging and unconscionable.
I give kudos to the paper for having a public editor. Margaret Sullivan’s long analysis of the multiple miscues was itself honest and straightforward. But it raised its own questions, for me at least, especially surrounding the sourcing. Here is what top editor Matt Purdy said about the story’s sources: They were “multiple, reliable, highly placed” and included some “in law enforcement.” What does that mean? First, it means that some of the sources were not in law enforcement. If they were from Congress, and, perhaps from Trey Gowdy’s special committee on Benghazi, it would not be the first time that committee has been a likely source for a front-page Times story on Clinton.
“We got it wrong because our very good sources got it wrong,” Purdy said. Excuse me—how are these “very good sources” if they mislead reporters about the fundamental facts? Were the congressional sources—no doubt “very good” because they are eagerly accessible to the reporters—careless in reading the referral documents, or deliberately misleading the reporters? We know that a very good reporter formerly with The Times, Kurt Eichenwald, read the memos  from the inspectors general about the Clinton emails and quite readily came to the conclusion that this had nothing to do with a criminal referral, but instead reflected a fairly common concern regarding the recent release of particular documents under Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, long after Clinton left the State Department.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, does not fault his reporters. “You had the government confirming that it was a criminal referral,” he said. That raised another question. What is “the government?” Is any employee of the Justice Department considered the government? Was it an official spokesperson? A career employee? A policy-level person, such as an assistant attorney general or deputy assistant attorney general? One definitively without an ax to grind? Did the DOJ official tell the reporters it was a criminal referral involving Clinton, or a more general criminal referral? And if this was a mistake made by an official spokesperson, why not identify the official who screwed up bigtime?
When very good sources get a big story wrong, and reporters, without seeing the documents, accept their characterization of the facts and put it on the front page, they have an obligation to tell readers more about who those sources were and about why they got it wrong. And as Eichenwald notes, the subject of whether the documents were a criminal referral, and whether they involved Hillary Clinton directly, were not the only major errors in the story—for example, the Times story inaccurately says that the private Clinton email account was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. A combination of errors on a huge, front-page story—and there is no fault on the part of the reporters? Hmmm.
This story, of course, also has a larger context. Michael Schmidt’s March story, the first on the private Clinton email server, was itself “not without fault ,” The Times’ public editor concluded.*  And The Times, going back to the multiple, front page stories on Whitewater in the 1990s—claiming massive malfeasance that was seriously exaggerated—has raised many eyebrows over its decades-long treatment of the Clintons, in news pages and columns.
One might argue that this should make the paper and its editors especially sensitive to avoiding overreach and inaccuracies in stories about the Clintons. I won’t make that claim. Rather, the paper of record needs to be deeply sensitive at all times to inaccurate reporting and needs to respond with more than the usual buried corrections. The Times’ editorial page rightly holds public figures accountable for malfeasance and misfeasance. The same standards should apply to The Times. This story demands more than a promise to do better the next time, and more than a shrug, as Matt Purdy and Dean Baquet gave, with Purdy blaming the sources and Baquet saying of his reporters, “I am not sure what they could have done differently on that.”
I am. Holding a story until you are sure you have the facts—as other reporters did, with, it seems, “government officials” shopping the story around—or waiting until you can actually read the documents instead of relying on your good sources, so to speak, providing misleading and slanted details, is what they could have done differently. If reporters are hot to publish their scoops, it is up to editors, in Washington and New York, to put the brakes on. And that is especially true if reporters have previously made mistakes and overreached on stories. Someone should be held accountable here, with suspension or other action that fits the gravity of the offense. I want, and need, the old New York Times, the leader of responsible journalism, the paper of record back.
3. 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: 
“. . . . 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.
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.”
4. 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 :
Citizens United goes all the way back to Whitewater . As the saying goes, history  doesn’t repeat itself, but  it  does  rhyme .
“Look Who Was Featured Speaker at the Koch Summit” by digby; Hullabaloo ; 5/01/2015. 
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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 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. . . .
6. Republican James Comey–a Mitt Romney supporter in 2012–is taking actions that are causing serious problems for the Obama administration and for the Hillary Clinton candidacy. In particular, the e‑mail scandal appears to have been Comey’s baby.
He has also ruffled feathers with the altogether complicated Apple “ISISphone” controversy. That consummately important case, Byzantine in its complexity and multi-dimensionality (to coin a term) will be dealt with in a future program.
Comey was previously the general counsel for Bridgewater Associates , a hedge fund that helped capitalize Palantir, which (their disclaimers to the contrary notwithstanding) makes the Prism software that is at the epicenter of “L’Affaire Snowden.” (CORRECTION: In past programs and posts, we incorrectly identified Comey as general counsel for Palantir, not Bridgewater.)
The Bridgewater/Palantir/Comey nexus is interesting, nonetheless. Palantir’s top stockholder  is Peter Thiel, a backer of Ted Cruz  and the man who provided most of the capital for Ron Paul’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Ron Paul’s Super PAC was in–of all places–Provo Utah, Romney country. Paul is from Texas. The alleged maverick Paul was, in fact, close to Romney .
Recall that “Eddie the Friendly Spook”  is a big Ron Paul fan and Bruce Fein, Snowden’s first attorney and the counsel for the Snowden family, was the chief legal counsel for Ron Paul’s campaign.
The possible implications of these relationships are worth contemplating and will be discussed at greater length in future programs.
The aggressive posture of the FBI under Director James Comey is becoming a political problem for the White House.
The FBI’s demand that Apple help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers has outraged Silicon Valley, a significant source of political support for President Obama and Democrats.
Comey, meanwhile, has stirred tensions by linking rising violent crime rates to the Black Lives Matter movement’s focus on police violence and by warning about “gaps” in the screening process for Syrian refugees.
Then there’s the biggest issue of all: the FBI’s investigation into the private email server used by Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of State and the leading contender to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
A decision by the FBI to charge Clinton or her top aides for mishandling classified information would be a shock to the political system.
In these cases and more, Comey — a Republican who donated in 2012 to Mitt Romney — has proved he is “not attached to the strings of the White House,” said Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division and a critic of Obama’s law enforcement strategies.
Publicly, administration officials have not betrayed any worry about the Clinton probe. They have also downplayed any differences of opinion on Apple.
But former officials say the FBI’s moves are clearly ruffling feathers within the administration.
With regards to the Apple standoff, “It’s just not clear [Comey] is speaking for the administration,” said Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism and cybersecurity chief. “We know there have been administration meetings on this for months. The proposal that Comey had made on encryption was rejected by the administration.”
Comey has a reputation for speaking truth to power, dating back to a dramatic confrontation in 2004 when he rushed to a hospital to stop the Bush White House from renewing a warrantless wiretapping program while Attorney General John Ashcroft was gravely ill. Comey was Ashcroft’s deputy at the time.
That showdown won Comey plaudits from both sides of the aisle and made him an attractive pick to lead the FBI. But now that he’s in charge of the agency, the president might be getting more than he bargained for.
“Part of his role is to not necessarily be in lock step with the White House,” said Mitch Silber, a former intelligence official with the New York City Police Department and current senior managing director at FTI Consulting.
“He takes very seriously the fact that he works for the executive branch,” added Leo Taddeo, a former agent in the FBI’s cyber division. “But he also understands the importance of maintaining his independence as a law enforcement agency that needs to give not just the appearance of independence but the reality of it.”
The split over Clinton’s email server is the most politically charged issue facing the FBI, with nothing less than the race for the White House potentially at stake.
Obama has publicly defended Clinton, saying that while she “made a mistake” with her email setup, it was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”
But the FBI director has bristled at that statement, saying the president would not have any knowledge of the investigation. Comey, meanwhile, told lawmakers last week that he is “very close, personally,” to the probe.
Obama’s comments reflected a pattern, several former agents said, of the president making improper comments about FBI investigations. In 2012, he made similarly dismissive comments about a pending inquiry into then-CIA Director David Petraeus, who later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for giving classified information to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell.
“It serves no one in the United States for the president to comment on ongoing investigations,” Taddeo said. “I just don’t see a purpose.”
Hosko suggested that a showdown over potential criminal charges for Clinton could lead to a reprise of the famous 2004 hospital scene, when Comey threatened to resign.
“He has that mantle,” Hosko said. “I think now there’s this expectation — I hope it’s a fair one — that he’ll do it again if he has to.”
Comey’s independent streak has also been on display in the Apple fight, when his bureau decided to seek a court order demanding that the tech giant create new software to bypass security tools on an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two terrorist attackers in San Bernardino, Calif.
Many observers questioned whether the FBI was making an end-run around the White House, which had previously dismissed a series of proposals that would force companies to decrypt data upon government request.
“I think there’s actually some people that don’t think with one mindset on this issue within the administration,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D‑Del.), the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s top Democrat, at a Tuesday hearing. “It’s a tough issue.”
While the White House has repeatedly backed the FBI’s decision, it has not fully endorsed the potential policy ramifications, leaving some to think a gap might develop as similar cases pop up. The White House is poised to soon issue its own policy paper on the subject of data encryption.
“The position taken by the FBI is at odds with the concerns expressed by individuals [in the White House] who were looking into the encryption issue,” said Neema Singh Guliani, a legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
This week, White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco tried to downplay the differences between the two sides. The White House and FBI are both grappling with the same problems, she said in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“There is a recognition across the administration that the virtues of strong encryption are without a doubt,” Monaco said on Monday. “There is also uniformity about the recognition that strong encryption poses real challenges.”
7. The so-called progressive sector continues to parrot the disinformation about Clinton being “GOP-lite.” How many of you knew this?: ” . . . . Indeed, when Clinton served in the Senate, she was considered the 11th most liberal senator . That’s basically in the top 20 percentile in terms of liberal votes. That’s lightyears away from being a DINO. . . .”
. . . . One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the pervasiveness of Hillary Derangement Syndrome, from both the left and the right (though as you’ll see, the right’s derangement is far worse). Sunday’s Political Twitter turned in it’s most insufferable day since the tan suit debacle last Labor Day — everyone weighing in with both recycled old boilerplate criticisms of Clinton, as well as some truly despicable new ones. Let’s begin with the left.
Hillary is Republican-lite.
No, no she’s not, actually. Admittedly, she’s not Sen. Bernie Sanders (I‑VT) either. Then again, Bernie Sanders would be unelectable nationally. Nevertheless, this caricature of Clinton mainly has to do with her foreign policy positions — at least the ones we know of. And other than her 2002 vote in support of the Iraq Authorization for Use of Force (AUMF), she’s largely in line with President Obama on predator drones, intervention, NSA operations and so forth.
That aside, watch carefully to see if any Republicans release a video favorably showing two men holding hands. Elsewhere, Clinton will likely appoint center-left justices to the Supreme Court; she’ll veto any legislation to repeal Obamacare; and she’ll continue the Obama administration’s approach to the climate crisis. All of that aside, the whole “GOP-lite” meme is just another version of the “both parties are the same” meme — it’s good for some RTs on Twitter, but makes little sense in terms of a break-down of Clinton’s positions on the issues. Indeed, when Clinton served in the Senate, she was considered the 11th most liberal senator . That’s basically in the top 20 percentile in terms of liberal votes. That’s lightyears away from being a DINO. . . .