The Power of Words
On Tuesday, July 5th, FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI officially found that "no charges were appropriate" in the Hillary Clinton email server case. His statement was detailed, well-thought out, and professionally delivered.
It was also horrific, for anyone taking a broader view.
What Directory Comey said was, "Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information."
He then explicitly specified precise quantities of negligently transmitted and stored classified materials: "From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification." These were not the e-mails later “up-classified” to make them Confidential.
In short, he said she did exactly what she was accused of. And then said they weren't going to do anything about it.
This was unsurprising for most. Any good, jaded cynic would gladly tell you there were two sets of rules - one for politicians; one for the "little people." But, until now, they would to go through the motions of trying to hide it. They felt enough shame and concern about discovery to engage in at least a little theater. They would say there was "insufficient evidence of wrongdoing" or "no indication of a violation of law."
Now, they no longer feel the need to bother. Our nation's "top cop" stood before cameras, faced the American public, and all but literally said, "She violated the law but we're going to let her get away with it."
What is more concerning is that Comey's statement also included this: "To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions."
He's not kidding. Just ask former Naval reservist Bryan Nishimura. While serving in theater in 2012, he downloaded classified briefing materials to an unsecured personal device and carried them off-base, eventually returning stateside with them. Last year, on July 29, he pled guilty to "unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials." He was sentenced to "two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance."
A bit of a far cry from "you didn't intend to break the law, so we'll let you get away with it."
Many pundits are declaring that we are no longer a nation of laws, but we at DOLPress disagree. America is a nation of laws, which will be enforced - for commoners.
[Editor's note: We wrote about Director Comey last year, when he pushed the House Appropriations Committee to ban any encryption lacking a back door for government agencies. Because we can't have the little people plotting against us without our knowledge.]