In my last post, I went over some facts about one scandal that occurred within proximity of Hillary Rodham Clinton that I pulled out of the final OIC report on the selected dealings of the Clintons both prior to and during the tenure of Bill Clinton as POTUS, from which the most consequential of findings, perjury on the part of Bill Clinton regarding conduct with Ms. Lewinsky, were addressed by the political system and the Arkansas Bar Association.
Reasonable people can disagree regarding whether justice was served in the matter of the only provable accusation contained in the OIC report. My opinion is that perjury on the part of the POTUS is a serious matter, at least somewhere in the ballpark of the seriousness of the circumstances under which Nixon resigned the presidency, the investigation into which Hillary was a major player, and perhaps justice was served somewhat poetically.
I believe that both Republicans and to some extent the press each had their axes to grind with respect to the Clintons; Republicans in general because of Hillary’s role in the Watergate investigation, and later the press for the Travel Office cleanup. But in my view, this, in no way clearly demonstrates that Hillary Clinton is completely innocent regarding other accusations, or is public service-minded rather than absorbed by self-interest. In the absence of provable crimes contained in the public record, my guess is that none of the more popular accusations against her are true.
My thoughts on some of the more recent scandals and investigations are that HRC probably was not qualified to effectively execute the position of Secretary of State, and that lack of qualification manifested itself in many undesirable ways.
Regarding the email server scandal, being in the technology field and after reading both the Congressional report on its investigation and the report of the FBI, points I can pick out about the circumstances surrounding the email server are these:
The State Department employed outdated communications technology that was not exposed to the internet, and thus not available for access by mobile devices. Previous Secretaries of State used external email providers for this very reason, though they were aware of the security-related reasons State Department communication had not been exposed to the outside, and that use of public email systems was not encouraged (but not banned).
In her position as Secretary, HRC did a lot of traveling, while still needing to be in contact with staff and others state-side. For this she used an off-the-shelf email application that was accessible from her mobile device. She had no other means of effective communication with “her people”, outside of utilizing publicly available email infrastructure, which would mean private sector control over her email account. The technology constraints of State Department infrastructure meant that it could not meet the Secretary’s communication requirements and there probably was not any corrupt or sinister intent in the use of the private server for email communications.
Were there better possible solutions available? Yes. An agreement could, and should have been made with a private sector provider to obtain state of the art secure communications for the Secretary in lieu of that functionality being provided by the Department’s infrastructure. However, Clinton and bureaucrats are not technology experts and were apparently left to their own devices in order to satisfy their technology requirements. in her “general user” frame of mind (I deal with this kind of stupidity every day and doesn’t shock me at all), the private server was probably the best compromise solution that came with the benefit of controlling the disposition of her own email. By the way, Secretary Kerry has ordered an upgrade of the Department’s email system so that externally available secure communications can be provided in-house.
Of course, what happened to the missing emails is where my understanding of this controversy ends. I have not found any information regarding why she deleted tens of thousands of emails. It may have been for the same reason I delete email – spam, or it is no longer important and there isn’t a reason to keep it. It may have been for the same reason she used the private server that lacked proper archival equipment – ignorance. There’s a big question mark there. But I think that without some other indication of wrongdoing, any accusation of a cover-up is pure speculation.
The question lingering in my mind about the email scandal is that she did violate protocol regarding the handling of classified information. I obviously do not agree that because there is no evidence she exposed classified information intentionally, she shouldn’t be charged. Others have been charged and ruined for unintentionally exposing classified information, and she not should not be held above the law. It’s a really bad way to be starting out, potentially, as POTUS.
Perhaps she is as qualified for the position she seeks as ample foreign policy disasters during her tenure speak to her qualifications as Secretary of State. When asked about policy missteps, her answers have been anything but forthright. She has a tendency toward defensive claims of lack of recollection when cornered with unpleasant outcomes, or outright denial of responsibility even though the buck should have stopped with her. One of the golden rules taught in management school is that if your employees are not doing what you want them to it is your fault. Yet, the history of her life has been littered with pawns taking the wrap for her indirect involvement in impropriety or selected purposeful ignorance of such that benefited her.
About her character, I wonder about what she claims as a lifetime in public service and the fact that she is now a multi-millionaire in her own right. How does that happen? I am not aware of book deals and speeches generating a nine-figure net worth. It may be possible and perfectly legitimate over a 20-year time span that included the financial crisis and Great Recession, but I am quite unsure about whether that is a reasonable assumption to make.
Overall, after looking into some of her more highly publicized political problems, my impression of her has certainly improved, from viewing her as a sort of self-interested, malign character in politics, to viewing her as really someone who is mostly incompetent and has a lot of enemies – certainly not that great of a pick for POTUS, and I am still not voting for her.