Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I mean to speak plainly. There’ll be no polemical high-wire acts this time around, no rhetorical flamboyance and none of the gallows humor that rolls so trippingly off the tongue when one pauses to contemplate our disastrous current state of affairs. And as consequential as ideology is in this election, I will eschew discussion on those terms as well.
Instead, I write simply as a veteran with over 20 years of military service who has seen both honor and dishonor in action, who has seen the effects of integrity as well as corruption. I’ve worked with leaders for whom I would storm the gates of hell, and I’ve worked for scoundrels who unleashed hell on everyone around them. I’ve experienced both the exuberance of working within a strong and ethical command structure, and the misery of being trapped in a crooked and shady chain of command that poisons everything it touches. But in 54 years on this earth I’ve never seen anything approaching the sheer magnitude of the criminal enterprise that threatens this nation with a level of debauchery whose width and breadth will defile everything and everyone in its insatiable orbit.
In short order we will have a new president-elect. That this person will either be the Democratic or Republican nominee is assured, as is the fact that a great many of us fervently wish our choices were otherwise. We might as well wish that we could control gravity or redirect the storm clouds for all the good our dreams will do at this point. We could vote for a third party candidate who has as much chance of winning as I have of wearing a tutu and dancing with the Russian Ballet, but that accomplishes about as much as Arlen Specter voting nolo contendere’ or whatever damn thing he voted during the Clinton impeachment trial in the Senate. Specter’s vote afforded him a certain amount of self-satisfaction but ultimately helped Bill Clinton get away with his crimes.
Similarly, I respectfully submit the there is a choice to be made in this election which, in this observer’s opinion, transcends the traditional left/right political spectrum. Which is not to trivialize nor marginalize the stark alternatives on a spectrum ranging from individual liberty on one end to collective servitude on the other. Those differences are real and the consequences momentous. This year, however, the choice is as much between right and wrong as it is between right and left.
For perhaps the first time in history, we have a candidate who has been the subject of multiple criminal investigations by the FBI. If you suspect this is the result of political chicanery, please consider that the candidate and her staff responded to the FBI’s investigation by:
- Providing two BlackBerry devices with their SIM or SD data cards removed.
- Destroying or losing 13 of Hillary’s personal mobile devices being sought by the FBI as evidence while claiming publicly that she only used one device.
- Deleting server backups to avoid FBI examination.
- Wiping laptops with BleachBit when notified that they contained records sought by the FBI and the House Benghazi Committee.
- Permanently deleting emails from her “PRN” [Platte River Networks] server after those emails were subpoenaed.
- Manually deleting backups of the PRN server after her records were subpoenaed.
Despite these extraordinary efforts by the candidate and her staff to circumvent lawful subpoenas by hiding and destroying evidence, further FBI investigation discovered:
- 2,093 emails that the State Department classifies as Confidential or Secret despite Hillary’s claims that there were no classified emails..
- 193 emails (totaling 81 individual email chains) that ranged in classification, at the time they were sent, from Confidential to Top Secret/Special Access Program.
- 8 Top Secret email chains.
- 37 Secret email chains.
- 36 Confidential email chains.
- 7 Special Access Program email chains.
- 3 Sensitive Compartmentalized Information email chains.
- 37 Not Releasable to Foreign Government email chains.
- 2 Releasable Only to Five Allied Partners email chains.
- 12 of the above email chains which were withheld by Clinton attorneys, but which the FBI recovered using other methods.
- The above email chains also contained classified information from CIA, DOD, FBI, NGA, and NSA.
Why, you ask, would a Secretary of State take such stunning measures to conceal official correspondence, to the point of compromising some of America’s most sensitive and highly classified secrets? The answer was revealed when we learned that the FBI has also been investigating the subordination of the US State Department specifically, and US foreign policy generally, to the financial goals and personal aggrandizement of the Clinton Foundation and Bill and Hillary Clinton. “It is,” as Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review, “suggestive of a pattern of pay-to-play bribery, the monetizing of political influence, fraud, and obstruction of justice that the Justice Department should be investigating as a possible RICO conspiracy under the federal anti-racketeering laws.”
Compared to the Clintons, Richard Nixon was guilty of selling Girl Scout cookies without a permit. But the problem goes deeper than even the Clinton Foundation putting US foreign policy on the auction block. Please stay with me here: As McCarthy explains, and as the Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett confirms, when FBI agents investigating the Clinton Foundation corruption case requested access to emails on the nongovernment laptop computers that were part of the FBI’s Clinton classified email case, the Justice Department refused the agents’ request. As McCarthy explains it:
…[I]t was already clear that Lynch’s Justice Department was stunningly derelict in hamstringing the bureau’s e-mails investigation. But now that we know the FBI was simultaneously investigating the Clinton Foundation yet being denied access to the Clinton e-mails, the dereliction appears unconscionable.
“It had to be screamingly obvious,” McCarthy continues, “that the Clinton State Department e-mails, run through a server that also supported Clinton Foundation activities, would be critically important to any probe of the Foundation.” And yet Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee who owed her original position as a US attorney to Bill Clinton, whose wife is the subject of said investigation and who met with Lynch privately on the tarmac in Arizona just days before an announcement was made that Hillary would not be indicted — yes, that same Loretta Lynch stonewalled the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation. This is political inbreeding at its worst and demonstrates the awful consequences of a Department of Justice which has been compromised and corrupted by the machinations of a comprehensively criminal political enterprise.
Elsewhere, recall please the evidence confirming that the Democratic National Committee broke its own rules of impartiality to actively help Ms. Clinton defeat Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries. When DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz denied access to voter database files to the Sanders campaign, DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach responded to the backlash by writing to a colleague, “Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”
When this and similar emails became public, correspondence between MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and a DNC staffer surfaced in which the reporter and the DNC staffer discuss how to discredit calls for Wasserman Schutz to resign. Above all, the progressive industrial complex protects its own. Indeed, the DNC soon found itself in hot water when Politico revealed that the organization’s joint fundraising committee was funneling money to the Clinton campaign itself, rather than fundraising for down-ticket Democrats. Thus has the Democratic National Committee itself been contaminated by Clinton misconduct.
Meanwhile, CNN has had to sever ties with its contributor Donna Brazile when it became known that she severed ties with any semblance of professional ethics by providing Hillary Clinton with debate questions in advance. Brazile remains interim Chair of the DNC however, underscoring the ethical rot infecting both organizations. Then came news that an interview with popular entertainer Steve Harvey was completely scripted down to the questions from audience members and Hillary’s answers, which were prepared in advance, planners having evidently concluded that Hillary was incapable of an extemporaneous exchange, and that little niceties like journalistic ethics shouldn’t stand in the way. From moderators who tip the scales, to ostensible newscasts which distort events and reporters who collude with political operators to advance one candidate over another, the media showcases the ubiquitous reach of the Clinton machine’s corrupt tentacles.
It is my hope and ardent wish that the reader will consider the magnitude of the damage such a thoroughly corrupt organization will inflict should it obtain the power inherent in the presidency. We already have an IRS which persecutes with impunity citizens whose political opinions deviate from progressive orthodoxy. We already have an EPA that wages war on energy producers and the property rights of private citizens. We already have a Justice Department that is actively engaged in a federal takeover of local police departments. We already have a federal assault on the integrity of the voting ballot, on the right of people of faith to exercise their religious beliefs, on the right of little girls and ladies to the most basic privacy in the ladies room, on the right of school sports teams to say a simple prayer before a game, and on the right of unborn children to their first breath.
Yes, there is a liberal agenda and a conservative one. But such considerations and ideological struggles could be superseded and even rendered obsolete under a nationalized, ham-handed yet iron-fisted rule of a candidate and organization that is currently under criminal investigation. History shows that inept utopians at the levers of power can be bad enough. But granting presidential powers to a person who has demonstrated in every conceivable way utter disdain for the law or even a modicum of ethical behavior would be catastrophic.
The failure of the progressive industrial complex and their enablers in both parties is, in a pivotal way, an intellectual failure because as Bill Buckley observed, “…all intellection is moral, because disembodied from moral precepts, thought is misleading, empty, vulgar.” For all the talk of Donald Trump’s vulgarity, his “moral precepts” do not revolve around bribery, subterfuge, lawlessness, the destruction of evidence, the compromising of national security, and a network of accomplices both in and out of government who actively undermine the democratic process.
Over 40 years ago, a President was forced to resign over a mere fraction of what the Clinton political machine has wrought. Under the circumstances, we must not entrust instrumentalities of the state to a presidential candidate whose moral compass consistently points the wrong way, whose administration would make the Nixon administration look like the Little Sisters of the Poor.