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Sunday, August 21, 2016
Colin Powell Goes under the Clinton Bus
Jonathan F. Keiler
To the list of victims, common folks, and politicians left in the wake of that runaway bus of crime and corruption known as Clinton, add one more -- former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Leaks emergingfrom the Congressional acquisition of the heavily redacted FBI interview with Hillary Clinton that took place in July, indicate that part of the discussion with Democrat nominee centered on Clinton's claim that she set up her private email server on the recommendation of Powell.
This account of the origins of the server is in line with the "coincidental" assertions contained in a soon to be released book by longtime Clinton sycophant and nominal journalist Joe Conason, whose previous book The Hunting of Hillaryaccepts as a fact that indeed a "vast right wing conspiracy" has been pursuing this paragon of political virtue and her husband for decades. According to Conason, Powell advised Hillary to use private email in an off-the-cuff remark during a dinner party for former State Secretaries at the home of Madeline Albright in 2009.
Powell reportedly has no recollection of the comment, but did acknowledge using private email for efficiency's sake in the darker ages before the use of email was ubiquitous and computers and servers more powerful. (Powell served from 2001-2005.) By the time Hillary took over the State Department had formalized rules regarding private email use for official business, which is to say it was prohibited. Regardless, according to Conason, Hillary had already decided to use private email before Powell's alleged comment, the dinner party chat only confirming her decision, or more likely tucked away as a useful excuse for wrongdoing should she need it later, as indeed she did.
Of course, even assuming Powell made such a comment, he certainly did not have in mind that Hillary would establish a private server in her home, and Powell in his documented comments on the use of private email was clear to specify it was only for unclassified material. Hillary, of course, used it for both. And Powell didn't operate a phony private charitable foundation to line the pockets of his family and a host of cronies during his tenure, manipulating American foreign policy to that end. If he had, he might have needed such a private server to keep his corruption secret and avoid jail, like Hillary.
That Hillary evidently mentioned Powell in her FBI interview to explain away her use of the server, as a precedent of sorts, despite the fact it was clearly against the rules of the agency she headed at the time, demonstrates that the interview was just a sham. Powell's statements and actions, even assuming he made the dinner party comment, in no way shape or form would absolve Hillary of her violations of State Department policy, or those concerning the security of classified information. It's like trying to get out of being charged because your bus ran a red light and killed a pedestrian on the basis that the car just in front of you did it too and didn't hit anyone.
But it would have bolstered the justifications that FBI Director James Comey planned to use a couple days later to announce that that he would not recommend charges against Clinton. Comey's comments centered entirely on whether Hillary deliberately intended to compromise national security when she set up the server and then used it for almost all of her State Department business. He ignored the fact that the relevant statute also made it a crime to handle such documents in a grossly negligent manner, which Hillary, by his own admission, did. Plus an investigator or prosecutor determined to enforce the law and put an obvious wrongdoer in jail could have found plenty of evidence for intent as well, from the planning, cost, and premeditation that went into the establishment of the server, to Hillary's deletion of thousands of emails on the lame and demonstrably false excuse that they concerned wedding plans and yoga, to her public lies and explanations about the entire enterprise.
But Comey had no intention of doing this. The interview as noted here was a pretense, no doubt chock full of canned questions that allowed Hillary to excuse her actions without perjuring herself. Her claims that she was only innocently following the advice of Powell -- regardless of how preposterous they really were -- helped provide the rationalization Comey needed for himself, and his agents, to let Hillary skate. When Comey claimed that he, the investigating agents and his staff all agreed that no charges should be brought, how much easier it was to say that well "Colin Powell did it too" and "She was only taking his advice, right?" With that rationalization, a couple shots of whiskey, some Xanax, and a glance at paychecks, it no doubt helped them all get to sleep that night.
If Powell did indeed make that dinner table comment, he must rue it today, having served honorably (if unspectacularly) in the same role, only to be tarred with the stink of Clintonian corruption for his trouble. Even if he did not make the comment, he ought to equally regret that he merely sat down to dinner with Hillary. Unfortunately, that can happen when you eat with or lie down with the Clintons. You may come out of it rich and connected, or more likely raped, broke, dead or soiled (too many examples here, but add one named Powell.)