Links 7/6/16

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Dear patient readers, I’m still not 100% after being sick this weekend, and I am also overwhelmed by the news flow (as in I need to digest in order to write anything worth saying). I am one one level not surprised at the failure to refer Clinton for indictment. Obama endorsing her meant the wrath of the entire Administration would come down on Comey if he pretended he hadn’t gotten the memo; had he wanted to take a stand, his best course of action might have been to resign and refuse to make any comments about the investigation. The real message would be obvious. But on another level, it is nevertheless deeply disturbing to see it happen right on the heels of the outrageous Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting. And if you have not read it, be sure to see Lambert’s informative parsing of the Comey press release in yesterday’s Water Cooler. There is a ton the FBI chose not to look at and will apparently never be examined despite the stench of corruption.

Legacy of drug lord Escobar’s pet hippos Agence France-Presse (furzy)

NASA’s Juno spacecraft loops into orbit around Jupiter Reuters (EM)

This floating garbage collector is longer than a football field — and it could get 1,000 times bigger Business Insider (David L)

Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable New York Times (furzy)

MRI software bugs could upend years of research The Register (Chuck L)

Researchers think that they finally know why we get migraines Business Insider (David L)

Chilcot Report

Chilcot report live: Blair exaggerated Iraq threat and ignored invasion warnings Guardian. Live blog.

Chilcot report: 2003 Iraq war was ‘unnecessary’, invasion was not ‘last resort’ and Saddam Hussein was ‘no imminent threat’ Telegraph. Live blog. I was in Sydney in the runup to the war. It was obvious the US was going in because it had mobilized. The fact that Hans Blix (UN inspector) was in Iraq, and had already inspected 75% of the sites for WMD in order of priority (meaning if Saddam had anything, he was moving it around on trucks and the only people who were at risk were Iraqi citizens) was airbrushed out of the US media and I assume the UK MSM as well.

Long-Awaited Report Criticizes U.K. Decision Over Iraq War Wall Street Journal



Sterling falls to new low in wake of Brexit Financial Times

Carney’s Crisis Management Gives U.K. Its Only Plan to Work With Bloomberg

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson are unpatriotic quitters, says Juncker Guardian

UPDATE 3-Three UK property funds halt trade in first sign of post-Brexit seize-up Reuters (EM)

After Brexit, funds are freezing withdrawals, reviving scary memories of the global financial crisis Quartz (resilc). These are property funds. Anyone who expected them to be as liquid as hedge funds (which also have limits on liquidity) was a dope.

Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood Mere Orthodoxy

I’m done talking about Brexit for today Lisa Pollack, Financial Times

From Brexit to the Future Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate (David L)

Disaster capitalism: the shocking doctrine Tories can’t wait to unleash Guardian (John L)

BREXIT – Part 5: Jim Yardley Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives. Black continues his series debunking New York Times articles attacking Brexit.

After Brexit, people in Europe are suddenly feeling a lot more European Quartz (resilc). Well, only if you ignore the separatists.

Julian King to be nominated as UK’s European commissioner Politico

The Labour coup knows it’s finished Defend Democracy

May Wins First Vote As Fox And Crabb Drop Out Sky. Lambert: “Note last paragraph.”

Technology, trade, and job polarisation in France VoxEU

Globalisation and polarisation in the wake of Brexit VoxEU. Notice the new post-Brexit buzz phrase: “job polarization”. That translates roughly as “globalization thins out middle/lower middle income jobs in a big way.” The problem is the remedy is typically blather: “We need to redistribute the gains from trade and train the losers.” Sorry, if you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. If anyone in authority wants to be convincing, a better start would be way more progressive taxes and much stronger social safety nets, as opposed to vague “redistribute the gains” handwaving. In Europe, BTW that would mean de-emphazing the regressive VAT as a starter.

Top MEPs seek to starve fringe parties of funding Politico. Note the intent is also explicitly to stymie “eurosceptic” parties.

Spain’s Social Security Program Will Go Bust in 2018 Michael Shedlock (EM)

Matteo Renzi is right — Europe has a banking sector problem Financial Times


The Iraqi man who took a sledgehammer to Saddam’s statue wants him back Washington Post

Reuters – Istanbul attack could be result of Turkey, EU ignoring Moscow’s ‘signals’ euronews (furzy)

Islamic State tightens grip on women held as sex slaves Yahoo

Why ISIS Persists Project Syndicate (David L)

Death toll in Baghdad car bombing rises to 250 euronews (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The NSA Has An Advice Columnist. Seriously Intercept (Dr. Kevin)

UK Police Accessed Civilian Data for Fun and Profit, New Report Says Motherboard (David K)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby. The events of the last week will have handed Trump the presidency if he actually wants it and can manage to stay on message. That means no more petty peevish tweets, steering clear of low value targets and low priority issues, and working to correct his image as a bigot (he can’t undo it but he can make is seem like he’s more a lout than someone who actively stymies “out” groups). Even if Trump does not win voters, he can drive more away from Clinton to third parties.

F.B.I. Director James Comey Recommends No Charges for Hillary Clinton on Email New York Times. Putting this in Links so you can natter about it further.

FBI’s Clinton decision proves rules don’t apply to rich and powerful The Hill

Washington Has Been Obsessed With Punishing Secrecy Violations — Until Hillary Clinton Intercept

FBI completes Clinton email probe, recommends no criminal charges Washington Post

The Hillary Clinton Email Case Will Never Be Over Mother Jones

Did The FBI End Clinton’s Email Problems Or Make Them Worse? FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

What Trump said after the FBI ruled on Clinton’s emails Washington Post. Lambert: “I hate it when Trump is right.”

FBI Director James Comey Just Crushed Hillary Clinton’s Email Excuses Daily Beast (resilc)

Hillary Clinton’s Emails and the Dangers of Conducting Diplomacy in Private Real News Network. Am including this as an example of Dems going into victory lap mode prematurely.


What if Hillary Clinton Were a Whistleblower? Reader Supported News (RR)

Forget It Jake, It’s Clintontown American Conservative


Clinton expands lead over Trump to 13 points Reuters (furzy). Note this poll was conducted over the July 4 weekend. That means it is going to be skewed, since it presumably was a traditional landline poll and you’d get non-vacationers. Just not clear how that skew affect the results.

Here’s President Obama’s “blunt” explanation for Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity Vox. Resilc: “I will crawl to the polls to vote against them.”

Americans’ Reactions to Trump, Clinton Explain Poor Images Wonk Wire (furzy)

Donald Trump Still Finds Few Backers in Congress Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump offers praise for Saddam Hussein at North Carolina rally Guardian. Furzy: “Headline is a bit misleading.”

Republicans Talk a Better Game on the Economy Than Democrats Mother Jones (resilc)

This Is How Many People Police Have Killed So Far In 2016 ThinkProgress (furzy)

Why trade deficits are worse for the economy than they used to be Slate

U.S. Has World’s Largest Oil Reserves OilPrice

‘Sweetest’ town clings to Hershey, adding to takeover hurdles Reuters (EM)

The consensus crumbles Economist (David L)

These 2 Forces Will Crush the San Francisco Housing Bubble Wolf Richter

New Study Claims Corporate Executives Intentionally Mislead Investors for Personal Gain Bloomberg (furzy). This is news?

Class Warfare

How Ancient Monopolies Keep You from Getting Decent Internet Service Lauren Weinstein (Chuck L)

Debt collector faces trial for scheme targeting 6,000 consumers Reuters (EM)

Report: 99% of Post-Recession Jobs Went to Those Who Went to College Wonk Wire (furzy). As resilc might say, even if they wound up flipping burgers.

Antidote du jour. Bubba Gump: “July 4 in the back yard, a lone fawn taking shelter from the rain.

July 4 Bambi Small links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. juneau

    A couple of friends who did dangerous military service were outraged and demoralized by Benghazi, but this FBI ruling appears to have put a knife in their heart to finish the job. :(.

    1. neo-realist

      I take it your friends didn’t read Vietnam War history? Not even the Military’s Stop/Loss program did the trick?

  2. Kokuanani

    If I had the computer skills to do GIFs, I’d insert Amy Pohler & Seth Meyers’ bit from SNL, “REALLY?????” next to Comey’s conclusion.

    1. fresno dan

      July 6, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Thanks for that.
      I am of two minds on the report. On the one hand, is anyone amenable to reason and facts not already in that place for O!, about a decade at least now???
      On the other hand, if the “establishment” is OFFICIALLY owning up to it, maybe that helps …a little.
      But on the third hand, it seems to me we have learned nothing (Libya)…..
      We have a far right war mongering party that is obstinately interventionist….. and our “alternative” is ….. repubs!??!!!?
      I have concluded that the only logical explanation is that I have had a stoke and am in a coma, because this just can’t be reality.

      1. Patrick Donnelly

        Saddaam had died. His high ranking son in law “escaped” to the west with the news. The lookalikes got a big pay rise, keeping the illusion of his reign alive. No audio at the trial, remember?

        As USA agent he was invaluable. Q8 war was just to keep him in power by killing conscripts and Marsh Arabs. Iran Iraq war? Millions opposed to each regime died in battle. Who needed death squads? Chaos was deliberate. Just to keep oil pumping.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump is the only candidate I am aware of who has said, in the primary phase of the election, that it was a mistake to go to Iraq.

      “George W. Bush made a mistake,” Trump said. “We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”


  3. Bugs Bunny

    Re “job polarisation” Yves — agree that in Europe VAT should be lowered to increase salaries…that said, in France there was recently a VAT reduction for restaurants and stupid implementation of the law meant it resulted in basically nothing for customers — the restaurants increased their margins and passed along a few pitiful reductions on menu items like mineral water and coffee.

  4. MsExPat

    Congressman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, weighs in with a very solid and thorough set of questions for James Comey, and a demand they be answered by July 11th.

    Is it possible to be not surprised and yet stunned by the events of the past week? Not the least of which is finding myself cheering for a Republican congressman. I do love the use of the antiquated locution “Little solace is found…”

    1. Roger Smith


      Nice find. Those are great (and the obvious) questions. He should have held a press conference in addition to this letter. It is crazy to hear Carly Fiorna and others saying things that make sense regarding this.

      1. MsExPat

        My first thought was: Why aren’t any journalists pressing these questions? (Particularly #1, #2 and #8).

        1. Tvc15

          Thanks for this. I won’t hold my breath, but hope Bob gets his answers. As you and others have mentioned, I find myself occasionally unnaturally aligned with Republicans this primary season. I was going to Fox “news” and other similar sources for information on Bernie. As much as their normal readers would never vote for a socialist or communist or what ever pejorative term they used to dismiss him; their hate for Hillary was stronger and he received better primary coverage than the usual corporate media sites. I wonder if we are beginning to see the convergence of the disenfranchised from both sides?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Republican Id is dedicated to hating Democrats, the great “other” (yes, they will never give Obama credit for his right wing views), but Sanders isn’t a Democrat and not the “other.” Views are less important than simple tribal recognition. This is a Jewish and Samaritan situation or for a more modern reference the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front at least from the GOP perspective.

            Sanders does that offend their identity, neither do numerous other reformers in the past who weren’t considered modern Democrats. The hatred is likely limited to elites for most. If the GOP back benchers could get away with it, they would put most of the elected Dems into camps.

            If Bernie won the nomination, they might change their minds about him. The WSJ before Murdoch had terrible opinions but great reporting and analysis on numerous subjects, but when Team Blue entered into the discussion, they always lost their minds.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There are no two sides.

            Millions of sides is more like it, on millions of Moebius strips (on a Moebuis strip, there is only one side).

            We have more in common than we have been brainwashed to believe, to hate one another..that’s what I l believe.

            1. different clue

              Many years ago I remember reading in Scientific American an article noting that a Moebius strip actually has two sides. The “wide flat” side is the only side we think of as being a side. But the “narrow edge” is also a side, just a very thin one. One can demonstrate this by drawing the classical line along the center of the wide flat “only one” side. The leading edge of the line will eventually meet the point at which the line began. But the line will never touch “either narrow edge”. And if you have the right kind of magic marker that can bleed its ink onto the “edge” when its point touches the “edge”, then you can move the marker along the “edge” till the marker ink stain joins the point at which you started marker staining the “edge”. And the marker stain line along the “edge” will never stray onto any part of the “flat” side.

              And thus can be proven the existence of the two sides of a Moebius strip, the “wide flat” side, and the “thin edge” side.

              A minor quibble, I know.

              1. Steve H.

                Quibble? Not at all. Both a triangle (by Euler’s Equation) and a circle (by deriving from the diameter) are show to have two sides, an explanation Janus would understand but our children have been misled about.

                We must not let the children grow up in ignorance.

        2. Vatch

          Yes, thank you. Those are very important questions. I also like question #7, part of which reads:

          If any other American with a security clearance had placed such sensitive information at risk, is there nothing the FBI would have done to recommend sanctions against such person’s extreme carelessness.

          Question 8 asks what the effect of all of this is for the investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Some people are not tired of those damn emails and sensitive information.

            Is it being nasty, or does one have an obligation to ask?

            How can anyone be tired? Except maybe Hillary, who should be tired of the matter.

        3. Emma

          That is an interesting question in of itself! It would appear Hillary Clinton is like a modern day King Lear, a ‘Queen Leer’ if you will. She has carelessly failed to live up to her responsibilities as Secretary of State even before seizing a leg up upon the POTUS stage. This latest ‘emailgate’ misconduct, clearly implicating Clinton, and following that of the Bush White House one ( only highlights the injustice of growing transgressions and inequalities being presided over by recent US governments who seem increasingly willing to undermine any accountability for anything, and to discredit US law itself. And despite perceiving themselves above US law, most of these recent leaders have however been quick to ‘lower their own standards’ when sending a strong message to anyone else, haven’t they? Across the entire nation, on a daily basis, Americans experience an overly-excessive sentencing by courts for minor offenses and transgressions. It’s resulted in too many people having criminal records for minor offenses, and struggling thereafter, to ever work again, in or outside of the Oval Office…….
          However, it isn’t only Hillary Clinton though who is “negligent and lacking in judgement” on this latest ’emailgate’, but the FBI, along with perhaps Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama and even still at this point, Mr Bush and Mr Rove. That not one can genuinely emphasize an honest independence from proceedings and exercise impartiality is disquieting to say the very least. To constantly avenge any unfairness with negative reciprocity is misguided when it involves consecutive governments continually establishing immorality, to irrationally justify the existence of what is, in reality, fast becoming a ‘World Series’ of poor, weak and corrupt US governments. There are enough children in the world with Oppositional Defiant Disorder! The citizens of America don’t need a succession of careless ‘adults’ in the Oval Office who are unable to regulate and control their emotions and impulses. ‘A crown’s no cure for a headache’ is obviously so when it comes to recent leadership of the US, but ‘tit-for-tat’ won’t solve anything either, and certainly won’t address the real problems in American society today.
          Sadly, nobody with any serious clout and impact seems sufficiently able to give a damn about not only righting the ship, but executing serious reform. What the US sorely needs, is strong, competent, and stable management, starting at the top. Not just a letter full of questions, commendable though they may all be.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Point taken about the “adults” in the Oval and other Offices. But precisely because of their antics, when found in the rest of us the syndrome mentioned should be called “Oppositional Defiance Rationality” or “Oppositional Defiance Virtue“.

            1. Emma

              Agree with your additional and valid point…….so “Vive la révolution!”…..”of the people, by the people and for the people” perhaps?!

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Before yesterday, I suspect very few people had ever heard of Bryan Nishimura.

      Now, one of the “little people” that the clintons consider themselves so superior to, has not only a story, but a name.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As Loretta Lynch likes to joke,

        “How many charitable foundations does Bryan Nishimura have? Ha, ha ha!”

    3. crittermom

      Excellent link. Thanks! Those are all questions the entire nation would like answered.
      I wish someone would also ask why they allowed her two years to turn over her server while she was deleting tens of thousands of emails during that time, & why was that not considered a punishable offense, by her act of destroying evidence that by law should have been kept under the FOIA?

      Of course, with all the rings of this circus known as our ‘election’ process fully engaged entertaining themselves while blatantly ignoring those they were elected to ‘serve’, we also know better than to hold our breath waiting for satisfactory answers. I don’t really expect any forthcoming by July 11th, no matter who is asking.

      I think I want my money back for my ticket to this ‘show’. It’s been very disappointing, a rip-off & a farce.

      1. Pirmann

        Oh, just wait critter mom. Up next in the Clinton Theater Production, Bernie Sanders offers his unqualified endorsement of Hillary.

        Coming soon to a theater near you… the Democrat Convention, if not before.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think Sanders has bad political instincts, at least on those damn emails.

            1. pretzelattack

              well he’s not a streetfighter, but i think he’s doing all he can. i don’t think he intended to run at all, in 2014. could we have a more effective candidate, yeah, but he is the only one that stepped up.

            1. pretzelattack

              he hasn’t endorsed clinton. his endorsement would be somewhat helpful to her, maybe very helpful. if he endorses her in the next couple of weeks, i may revise my opinion, but it looks like he is playing the game to advance his movement, not advance clinton. unlike warren.

              1. Pirmann

                He’ll be right there with Liddy Warren here in a bit. He’s already said he’s voting for her, and they’re just saving the big endorsement announcement for the convention, where it can be introduced to max effect.

                Please do not be surprised when you see it.

                1. pretzelattack

                  when that happens, i will reconsider. that’s not his record. unlike warren or clinton he has never been a right winger.

                  1. hunkerdown

                    Meh. That’s not a lot of people’s record until they see fit to “buy in”. The suits care whether he endorses Clinton. I care where single payer went.

            2. Waldenpond

              He voted for the first Clinton without endorsing. He’s gotten the young to register D. He is keeping his voters from moving on with his strategy. He’s in position to do the same, vote for but not endorse. Bernie is one thing, consistent.

              1. pretzelattack

                how is he keeping his voters from moving on? he has said his supporters wont necessarily follow him; a lot of them won’t. he’s doing what he said he would do at the start, as i understand it, endorse her if she “won”. he has been very consistent in not selling out on inequality issues.

                i don’t care what bernie does or says, i’m never voting for clinton. i think if anybody has earned the benefit of the doubt, he has.

              2. oh

                It’s unfortunate that Bernie did not act more daringly but is already kow towing to the evil one. Because of this, most people will be facing more misery.

                There is a tide in the affairs of men.
                Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
                Omitted, all the voyage of their life
                Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
                On such a full sea are we now afloat,
                And we must take the current when it serves,
                Or lose our ventures.
                Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

    4. Stormcrow

      LAT Editorial:
      FBI Director outlines a persuasive case against indicting Clinton, but the decision isn’t his to make

      Contrary to the LAT, the case for indictment was clearly set forth, but then came the opposite conclusion. Something like a statement from a prisoner of war who was not free to say what he really believed but wanted to convery as much truth as possible. Might suggest that the conclusion was motivated more by fear than by greed.

      Orwellian. Being extremely careless ≠ gross negligence.

      1. Stormcrow

        I am inclined to think that Kantis Everdreen is on the right track. I suspect that Comey knew exactly what he was doing. Seeing that no indictment would be forthcoming, he laid out as much of the truth as possible while at the same time covering his tracks.

        The result was at once self-protective (for him) and subversive (for Clinton) within the limits of what he believed it was possible to disclose. If so there is method in the madness of his non sequiturs.

        1. Tom

          At first I was surprised Comey didn’t blink his eyes in Morse Code patterns during his statement to tell us what he really thought. But then I realized that he didn’t need to.

          1. Stormcrow

            Yes. But if Comey intended to subvert Clinton, he may have been too clever by half.

            In any case I’m guessing that he didn’t really believe his blatantly absurd conclusions, and also that he didn’t need to lay things out for the public in such great (and for Clinton damaging) detail.

            He did what he could while protecting himself. Br’er Rabbitt, he lay low.

            Of course he failed shamefully in his primary vocation of upholding the law, and this too will be of great consequence.

            (P.S. My apologies to Katniss Everdeen for mangling his name above.)

    5. wbgonne

      An excellent letter by Rep. Goodlatte. Frankly, I never thought Clinton would be indicted for the private server. She should be, but I never expected it to happen. I always thought the real danger for Clinton was the Clinton Global Grift Foundation, which the Congressman notes at the end of his letter:

      8. What does your recommendation to DO] that Secretary Clinton not be charged, despite
      extreme carelessness in the handling of classified information, mean for the FBI’s
      investigation into the Clinton Foundation?

      Yes, what does this mean for that investigation? Is it even occurring? I had read articles stating that the FBI recovered many if not all of the 30,000 emails Team Clinton deleted. I assume that some of these deleted emails pertain to the Clinton Global Grift Foundation and Clinton’s abuse of office while Secretary of State. Is the FBI even investigating that? If not, why not? And if DOJ and the FBI won’t do it, then perhaps a special counsel is needed here. Maybe Rep. Goodlatte should suggest this.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is the FBI even investigating that?

        Why didn’t Sanders focus on those damn emails? Cover up? I doubt it. More like bad political instinct.

        Fortunately, Goodlatte is asking good questions.

        1. Antifa

          AND is in a superb position to call anybody he pleases in front of the Judiciary Committee to discuss just all kinds of Clintonesque treacheries at great length.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Luckily for Hillary, many members of her team are experienced in matters like this.

            “Time to activate the Monica Plan. The evil right wing conspirators are menacing the Middle Earth again.”

    6. Ping

      I was utterly struck by the same questions after Comey’s announcement which amounted to sanctifying a new dangerous level of elite corruption for ALL to see in broad daylight.

      In my mind, the private email server enabled her to co-mingle the most senstive government business with the Clinton Foundation which is set up as a treasury for a shadow global pay-to-play elite government.

      The mere fact that operating a private server was much more complicated and cumbersome than the .gov is clear intent.

      I am also struck that the FBI only scanned email headings and not the content. A team could have evaluated the content of the bulk emails. It indicated the FBI DID NOT WANT to find anything they couldn’t overlook….

      1. Optimader

        Like all the financial sector unidicted felonies, no indictment/convictions = tacid endorsement of behaviour in the future beyond The POS Clinton’s very dangerous precedent.

        The FBIer director should be ostracized from honest company and asked to resign by any honest person.

        1. Antifa

          I had believed that James Comey was a real FBI agent, a straight talker and straight shooter, but now realize I was wrong.

          He just plays one on TV.

      2. Pwelder

        “I am also struck that the FBI only scanned email headings and not the content.”

        Is this disinformation from the Clinton campaign?

        Based on news coverage this morning, the FBI claims to have plowed through all the text of all the emails they could get their hands on.

        It was the Clinton lawyers who made the State Dept. vs personal distinction based on the email headings, without reading the text. After which they wiped the server, making it impossible – or at least extremely difficult – for anyone else to check their work.

        1. Tom

          Yes. Comey was careful to make this distinction. The FBI read each email to determine its contents; the Clinton lawyers sorted by looking at header info and using some keyword search terms.

          1. Ping

            I stand corrected that it was HRC lawyers that used header and some keyword criteria for deletions and not Comey’s criteria.

            Well then….that is a flimsy and convenient criteria to eliminate possibly incriminating content.

            Didn’t the FBI have oversight in how deletions were determined leaving it to the discretion of HRC lawyers??

  5. voteforno6

    Re: Democrats’ Victory Lap

    Eugene Robinson had an even more ridiculous take in the Post, saying that Clinton had a great day. So, it’s a great thing to be called “extremely careless” by the director of the FBI, and essentially called a liar by that same person. Not to mention that this whole event feeds the narrative of out-of-touch elites who put themselves above the rules, while punishing the little people for violations of those same rules. This also happens to be some of the animating energy behind Trump’s campaign.

  6. Anonymous

    Re: Chilcot Report
    Paul Jay discussing the Iraq invasion with John Kiriakou:

    So it really–it hit me that when the inspectors are saying, leading up to the war, that there’s no weapons, there are no weapons, that’s what they wanted to know, because they needed to know there were no weapons so that they could invade. Who’s going to invade an Iraq with, according to Colin Powell, SCUD missiles surrounding Baghdad, aimed at Israel, with biological weapons?

    1. allan

      Off-topic, but just want to point out that John Kiriakou was sent to the slammer for 30 months
      (where he was brutalized by the Bureau of Prisons, including denial of medical care) for mishandling classified materials. After he plead guilty to avoid a longer sentence, (from the wiki)

      General David Petraeus, former CIA director stated: “This case yielded the first IIPA successful prosecution in 27 years, and it marks an important victory for our Agency, for our Intelligence Community, and for our country. Oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws.”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Libya disarmed it’s chemical weapons.

      Syria didn’t, but they haven’t directly intervened.

      The Pentagon rallied to one and balked at another. The clear lesson is never deal with the U.S.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is the nature of thugs. They do it because they believe they can and won’t face repercussions.

      1. no one

        I agree and would add the following nuance. Commenter James Levy has written about the US military’s focus on “force protection,” which puts troop “safety” above traditional military goals like winning the war. The idea seems to be that what we Americans really didn’t like about the US prosecution of the Vietnam War was the 55,000 dead. Therefore, in order to continue the military-industrial gravy train, planners came up with the notion of “force protection,” which minimizes casualties.

        A further consequence of this doctrine is that it maximizes consumption of military hardware and contractor services because the US NEVER wins these battles. Combine this with distant battlefields in countries most Americans know nothing about and you have a recipe for ENDLESS WAR. These wars go on and on. They never stop. This is exactly what a neoliberal government wants: an unlimited, steady stream of soldiers and tax dollars to fill up the coffers of the crony capitalists who run the country. Self-licking ice cream cone?

        1. Romancing the Loan

          It works right up until we face a real military – the buggy results of 30 years of graft where no one really cared if it worked or how long it took to get done will not fare well against Russia, China, or Iran.

          I don’t think anyone in power has any kind of realistic picture of how vulnerable we really are, so I’d expect this to happen within the next ten to fifteen years, max. Right when my nieces are hitting military age. :(

          1. vidimi

            i think you mean Russia, China, and Iran

            those countries would have to be pretty stupid to let the US pick them off one-by-one and they all know that the US is waging war against them in one way or the other already.

            1. Antifa

              Let’s include Syria in that list. The Russians definitely intend to keep their Syrian port on the Mediterranean, Tartus, and intend to keep Syria intact as a buffer state between the Middle East fustercluck of violence and its escalating religious wars.

              If Hillary or any other fool attempts to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, the US military will be in immediate conflict with Russian naval, air and anti-aircraft missile facilities. Taking the gamble that Russia will back down and give up Syria is a thermonuclear gamble — the kind no one wins.

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      It should be pointed out that the Reader Reported News link above is by John Kiriakou. He is the only CIA affiliated person to have done time related to the torture that agency engaged in during the Bush 43 regime. He was not prosecuted because he tortured anyone, but because he tried to stop it.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Back in 1997, when Clinton was president and James Comey was chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s office Richmond, Virginia, he helped develop the notorious Project Exile.

    Like the Drug War, Project Exile was a Nixon-Agnew style program to target minorities without explicitly saying so. Aware that many African-Americans in Richmond carried guns for protection, but that many also were ex-felons prohibited from owning guns, Comey saw an opportunity: round up the N-words, give them a 15-minute drumhead trial in a federal court with a public defender, and slam the gavel down: 5-year automatic sentence.

    Then the truly brilliant part: since the federal prison system is nationwide, his freshly-minted convicts could be shipped off to distant areas of the country. Many were sent to prisons in California dominated by Latin gangs, or in Idaho run by white supremacists. In these places, black prisoners from the east ranked lowest on the totem pole, so they’d regularly get the sh*t beat out of them, while having no visits from their distant families.

    Like most high-ranking fedgov sociopaths, Comey can act restrained, sensible and thoughtful in front of a camera. But there’s a world of difference between his bending over backward to invent a thin-air intent standard for not prosecuting Hillary’s per se crime of mishandling classified materials, versus his f*cking over the N-words of Richmond and crowing about it to Police Chief magazine.

    Comey has set himself up for retirement next year, when a new (probably Republican) administration commences. It’s no great loss for the USA.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So, I’ll play devil’s advocate for Comey.

      He’s watching clinton lie on the campaign trail, watching obama preemptively and repeatedly claim she “did nothing wrong,” and watching the clintons meet with lynch and offer a blatant bribe in the nyt. If it’s business as usual, he quietly turns over his findings to “justice” where he knows they will be buried, and clinton will be completely “exonerated.”

      So he takes the unprecedented step of laying out his findings in public. The findings are so damning that, until he actually says he’s recommending no charges, everyone thinks they are witnessing history. He also opens the door for anyone else who cares to comment–FBI and prosecutors–and there are plenty.

      And he takes all the heat himself.

      He virtually guarantees that clinton will have to defend herself on the campaign trail, and that this issue cannot be whitewashed. He pretty much confirms that the “fix” was supposed to be in.

      There was never going to be an outright indictment, and he knew it. I’d imagine clinton’s laughing off the suggestion that anything would come of this “security review” got completely under his skin. So, given the circumstances, he does the next best thing and calls her an abject liar in public.

      An he takes all the heat himself.

      He could’ve just played the game and gone along to get along, but he didn’t. And for that, I think he deserves some credit.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Good points, Katniss. But if Comey was reasoning along your lines, he should have deleted his paragraph about “No reasonable prosecutor would indict …”

        As Rep. Bob Goodlatte observed in his letter linked by MsExPat above, indictment is a call for the prosecutor’s office to make. There was no need for Comey to intrude on their turf and put words in their mouth.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Fair enough.

          Unless he’s sarcastically slamming the use of the concept of a “reasonable prosecutor” to justify letting politically powerful white-collar or war criminals escape prosecution.

          Ala eric holder and lanny breuer.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Either sarcasm or, non-realist’s take (below) that it is a code word (to mean, reasonable under the current paradigm…under the status quo ethics…hey, that’s how we do business in DC, how big, unlimited budget, government works, or as Haywood said above, fedgov sociopaths).

          2. JerseyJeffersonian

            Well, according to Marc Antony, Cassius and Brutus were “honorable” men. Sorta like “reasonable prosecutors “, I guess.

            You can get a lot of mileage out of irony, at least for those with ears to hear.

          3. different clue

            Perhaps Comey was silently screaming for help in a frequency that only bats can hear.
            Did he think Batman would come to save the day? Does anyone here think Batman will come to save the day? Perhaps he wants us to think about that very question.

            No, Virginia, there is no Batman. Perhaps the only way to save the day is with an anti-Hillary vote so massive that it can’t be digi-fraudulated out of existence. If that requires all bitter Sandervoters to vote for Trump to “double the effect” of their anti-Hillary votes, are they prepared to make that sacrifice? To wade into the pus pond and the sewage lagoon to do what has to be done?

        2. neo-realist

          A “reasonable prosecutor” probably means one that aspires to elite lucre rewards for their government service upon hitting the private sector, which would certainly include the likes of Holder and Breuer.

          1. Antifa

            That’s the carrot half of DC corruption — the promise of good things to come your way for the rest of your life if you climb in the wagon with us.

            There is always the stick — nothing good will come your way if you cross us. We will habitually go out of our way to crush the hopes and dreams of you and yours, unto the seventh generation.

            A lot of people are saying Loretta Lynch talked with Bill Clinton and named her price for collusion — that she gets to stay on as Hillary’s AG for four or eight years. Feh.

            Her price was a lot higher than that. She’s set for life now.

            1. HotFlash

              I wonder if/when Ms Lynch will find herself under a bus? Are the Clintons trustworthy?

      2. fresno dan

        The way the FBI and prosecutors see it, though, the Petraeus case and others involving classified information had aggravating circumstances that separated them from Clinton’s. In other cases, investigators believed that those whom they were targeting lied, or that their handling of classified information was meant to achieve some personal end.

        In Clinton’s case, they found no evidence of that, the FBI director said.
        The reporter of this article can’t possibly be that stupid.
        But it does offer a great example of the incredibly superficial and unsophisticated sophistry of the yammering classes when they want to justify themselves.

        People, in all likelihood Clintoon will be the president. There will be worse – sometimes you have to hit rock bottom. Look at it this way – if she destroys the present incarnation of the dems, she will have done a great public service…

        1. ambrit

          Yes, but what if she destroys the present incarnation of Homo sapiens? [–Roll video of D.C. going up in mushroom cloud–]

          1. fresno dan

            Exactly right.
            And I wish Trump would take head on, against the elites the question of who REALLY, in a calm, dispassionate, fact based analysis, is LESS FIT to have their finger on the nuclear trigger….
            But most “news” is mere opinion and conjecture – and facts that are contrary to the official “narrative” are not profitable.

            I wish Trump had the intellect and the imagination to say this:

            The Goldwater girl, Hillary – have you noticed the almost complete silence with regards to foreign policy in the 2016 election cycle—especially on the Democratic side? Considering that “front runner” Hillary Clinton’s last job was Secretary of State and before that she sat on the senate Committee on Armed Services, this seems really odd.

            Well, maybe it is not so amazing when we think about the fact that Clinton, the preferred candidate of Wall Street, the Pentagon and their servants in the media, is entirely exposed on foreign policy: she is largely responsible for the undoing of Libya as a state. She has played a very public role in nearly 30 years of imperialist jingoism and violence in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and beyond that has destabilized whole regions, reduced the lives of millions of people to ashes and given rise to ISIS and the refugee crisis. She has also—as a consequence of her actions—made significant contributions to the global economic stagnation and the rise of fascism in Europe and the United States.

            On top of all that, she is stumping for greater use of U.S. military power—which would require a lot more money—to solve the international crises that she and many Washington insiders helped create in the first place. It would not take very long to utterly destroy her on foreign policy in a fair and equal debate. Just like Jeb Bush, she might be out of the race now.

            If elected president, she will escalate the wars in Iraq and Syria. She will push to spend whatever it takes to reassert and expand U.S. power in the world and dangerously provoke China, Iran and Russia.

            She will not only be another president of endless war and lies—if she is allowed to carry out her program of greater aggression it would pose a grave and unnecessary threat to the human race.

            My thesis regarding Clinton’s likely foreign policy of U.S. expansion is not conjecture. In fact, it is already being carried out, in a preparatory and lesser fashion, by people within the Obama administration and the military. The growing number of troops and equipment being sent to Iraq, Syria and to the border of Russia—the warships moving closer to China and Russia—these signal a shift in deployment of force that is already underway.

            U.S. imperialism is expanding its power in an attempt to reassert the unilateralism it is losing, ironically, as a result of its aggressive unilateralism. The expansion is not about defense or protection. There is no substantive plot to attack or destroy the United States—the use of U.S. military in every corner of the planet is not about a “democratic” or “liberal” world order or about saving the world from evil authoritarians—it is about projecting U.S. business interests across the globe. It is an inherently aggressive foreign policy.

            There is already a kind of government in waiting—centered around the Clinton-related Center for a New American Security—ready to carry out this planned expansion of the U.S. military. The rationale for the escalation is that the U.S.-led world order is threatened by Chinese, Russian and Iranian “aggression.” Absurd and very dangerous propaganda. Again, as any objective observer would admit, U.S. imperialism has slipped, not through any external threat, but through its own violence and idiocy.

            Despite its sheer madness, we can be nearly certain that Hillary would pursue a neocon strategy for three very concrete reasons:

            1. Her record;

            2. She is endorsed by the unrepentant and still influential Robert Kagan, the founder of the disgraced and failed Project for the New American Century, which was ideologically responsible for the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan and the destabilization of the Middle East;

            3. The Clinton-related “bipartisan” think tank mentioned above, Center for a New American Security, just released a major strategy paper on May 16 entitled “Extending American Power.” The paper is authored by Kagan, Michele Flournoy, the probable Secretary of Defense under a Clinton presidency, and many other neo-neocons from both parties. The CNAS strategy paper calls for escalating the war in Iraq and Syria and adopting a much more aggressive posture toward China, Iran and Russia.

            CNAS is the most influential foreign policy think tank in Washington and is advised, led and staffed by almost all of the key players in Washington’s foreign policy and military establishment—from both parties. CNAS is also funded and staffed by the big banks, weapons manufacturers and many others from the heights of the capitalist establishment. The think tank functions as a straight-up shadow government where Wall Street, weapons manufacturers and imperialist policy makers hash out policy, strategy and tactics. Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at the founding conference of CNAS in 2007.

            OK, the above was taken pretty much verbatim from here:

            It is wishful thinking on my part to turn Trump into a peace candidate. Trump is the nominee of the inchoate war party (as opposed to the semi coherent war party – the dems) so how much of a peace candidate he can be is limited – but he could go full isolationist.

            But it is equally wishful thinking for Hillary supporters to believe that her finger on the nuclear trigger is more “prudent” Trump is a terrible, awful, incompetent, very bad man…upon which the very survival of human kind rests….

            1. Jim Haygood

              “the inchoate war party (as opposed to the semi coherent war party)”

              Nothing that bipartisanship can’t solve, Dan. :(

            2. different clue

              I have been reminded that Trump must have been pretty smart to have been able to get into Wharton. But I still wonder if he is deeply and broadly intelligent enough to understand what you have written? If he is, he will make his own version of these very points in the coming campaign.

              My fear is that he sees the whole world as a Field of Deals, and thinks everyone in public or political life is a deal maker or a deal seeker of some sort. I wonder if he understands the motivations or even the existence of True Fanatical Missionaries?

        2. polecat

          Yeah….but she might destroy us all in the process…..!

          …………….with her grubby hands on the nuc button…………..

      3. Tom

        This sounds about right.

        Comey himself said that his very appearance at the press conference to announce the outcome of the investigation was highly unusual.

        So why did he do it?

        If he was going to recommend charges, then it makes sense to publicly annnounce it to innoculate himself and the FBI against the possible outcry later, should the Justice Department declines to pursue the case.

        But why make a big deal about announcing no charges should be brought, particularly when that statement comes at the end of what was 10 minutes or so of Comey listing one devastating finding after another about the shoddy, shady and criminal behavior of Clinton and crew?

        It’s Comey’s way of saying, “yeah, you got a pass on this one Clinton, but have fun wearing this stinking load of crap around your neck on the campaign trail.”

          1. Otis B Driftwood

            What makes this far worse than Watergate is not the crimes at issue, but rather that there is no one left in establishment politics or the mainstream media who genuinely cares about the integrity of our government. Instead it’s all about phony partisanship, careerism and money grubbing. And it’s sickening.

            1. Jim Haygood

              Quite right. During Watergate, members of both parties were prepared to sanction Nixon for crimes directed from the White House.

              Now it’s nothing but partisan football, with the attorney general serving as wide receiver.

              As bathroom graffiti used to say in the summer of ’74 … “Flush twice; it’s a long way to Washington!”

              1. different clue

                You know what would be funny? If graffiti artists began painting the following slogan thousands of times in thousands of toilet stalls all over Washington DC . . . .

                “Flush once; you’re already here.”

            2. RabidGandhi

              What makes this similar to Watergate is that it is a scandal with criminal charges (skirting the FOIA to hide presumed influence peddling) which are serious but far less heinous than her other crimes (eg, illegal war vs Libya, arms trafficking to Syria, Honduras…).

              It was the same with Nixon. Washington was all abuzz when Nixon was behind the Watergate burglarly and cover-up, but those lesser crimes were nothing compared to his far more heinous bombing of Cambodia.

              Washington loves itself a scandal to divert attention from war crimes.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I guess we can ask a similar hypothetical question (was it the original act or the cover up) – is it the original skirting the FOIA act, or the subsequent pressuring (if you have any evidence) the Justice Dept not to indict?

            3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The integrity of our government.

              One doesn’t have to be Reagan to raise the trusting government issue, and to worry about a limitless budgeted government.

        1. NYPaul

          Yup, as he was giving his address, I couldn’t help but visualize him standing on a ladder next to Hillary and tipping a large barrel of hot, steaming, stinking tar onto her head as he spoke. And, one by one, as each of the “indictments” are checked off he gives the barrel an extra little jolt, as if to say, “liar”…Glop, “liar”…Glop!”

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think he is telegraphing, that you can’t stop Hillary this way (by hoping for an indictment), but that there is still one way left now, and that is to stop her on the campaign trail,

          Those damn emails will linger on…

          1. Arizona Slim

            And, on this year’s campaign trail, we have a guy named Trump. You know what he’ll do with this turn of events.

            Also out there: Jill Stein. She won’t leave this one alone. Neither will Gary Johnson.

            Bernie? As mentioned on other threads, I was a Sanders campaign volunteer. Got very close to the stage during his October 2015 Tucson speech and, man, was he on fire.

            Then came his second Tucson appearance this past March. Bernie looked and sounded like he was worn out. I got the same impression from his recent video address to supporters.

            Which is why I say this, and do so with the greatest reluctance: I think Bernie is about to leave the campaign trail. Reason: He has run out of gas.

            If we want this political revolution he keeps talking about, it’s up to us to keep it going.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Most people, here and I assume elsewhere, see the emails as relating to her qualification to lead the nation.

              What was there to not focus (doesn’t have to be sole focus) on the issue, at the beginning, when he was not tired (maybe not now, as you say)?

            2. Oregoncharles

              Good point, on a very human level. Being nearly that old myself, I wondered how long a 74-yr-old would be able to keep that up.

              Losing might save his life.

            3. different clue

              Well . . . he got you-all together. This is your chance to keep you-all together on your own. And that’s how a movement starts.

        3. optimader

          It’s Comey’s way of saying, “yeah, you got a pass on this one Clinton, but have fun wearing this stinking load of crap around your neck on the campaign trail.”
          Getting the pass is all that matters to the Clintons, hell, look at their history. Pass = proceed as usual, laws don’t apply, “so what’s the problem here people, mistakes were made, but I focus on the future not the past. “

          1. Tom

            You’re probably right — I can only hope that the cumulative effect of multiple stinking loads of crap is finally catching up with Clinton. Her favorability numbers are sure in the dumper.

      4. Carolinian

        Post’s Cillizza this morning

        For a candidate already badly struggling on questions of whether she is honest and trustworthy enough to hold the office to which she aspires, Comey’s comments are devastating. Watching them, I could close my eyes and imagine them spliced into a bevy of 30-second ads — all of which end with the FBI director rebuking Clinton as “extremely careless.”

        Both NYT and WaPo are, to their credit for a change, coming down hard on Clinton. Since she was never going to be indicted anyway Comey’s calling out of her lies about the emails could be the best outcome.

        1. allan

          But if she loses, it will be completely the fault of the BernieBros™ who didn’t clap loudly enough. /s

          1. different clue

            In politics, if you could make something happen, you have credibility. Perhaps if you get wrongly blamed for something happening and yet it is the thing that you wanted to see happen . . . you should take the unearned and undeserved blame. And turn it into unearned and undeserved credit.

            ” Yeah. We diddit. Us BernieBros™. All by ourselves. We burned her campaign down. Behold our power, and tremble. And know that from this day forward, we will not be denied.”

        2. optimader

          struggling on questions of whether she is honest and trustworthy enough to hold the office to which she aspires

          I don’t see too many questions or struggling so far.

          The only struggle for HRC is how dishonest and untrustworthy can she be before it become relevant to Clinton zombie voters?

          Apparently she has plenty of freeboard left before the USS Clinton founders

          1. different clue

            It will never become relevant to them. Never, ever.

            What matters is if it will become relevant to enough OTHer people in time.

      5. ScottW

        I think you raise a very credible theory. The timing–Bill meets Lynch Monday on her plane, Hillary is interviewed Sat. and Hillary appears with Obama Tues. after Comey’s press conference–strongly suggests an orchestration of events. All coincidence–no chance. And what was the point of talking to Hillary on Sat., when the decision not to recommend an indictment had already been made? What did they think she was going to say–“I did this to aid the Chinese.”

        I agree Comey knew the prosecutors would bury this since he outlined sufficient evidence to refer this matter for prosecution. It was the A.G.’s responsibility to conclude she could not win the case because there were not extenuating circumstances, not the FBI’s. Lynch is also off the hook for failing to conflict herself out at the start and for her ill-advised meeting with Bill. Her office still needs to make the final decision, but we will unlikely ever see a formal decision not to prosecute until after the election.

        The only problem with your theory is it does make Comey look foolish. Concocting the “extremely careless” standard of conduct and refusing to acknowledge others were convicted for doing less makes it look like a white wash. But that was what he had to say if he wanted to make a public statement.

        The damage–although it happens all the time (e.g., in finance), it is a very public example how the powerful operate under a different justice system than the minions. Not news, but a graphic example by someone who is running for President. Her supporters will remain loyal, as they probably would have even with an indictment, but those on the fence have yet another reason to stay home, or vote 3rd party. In retrospect, the Hillary email scandal touches on just about every issue you need to know about politics, the powerful and “Justice.”

      6. JCC

        I agree. To Mr. Comey’s credit, he assisted in making her life a little more miserable.

        Unfortunately he also assisted in making our lives a little more miserable including talk about obvious and clear Govt Corruption, as well as we will get to face 8 years of unending talk about this and more excuses for Congress to run impeachment hearings galore.

        Not to mention that by allowing her to continue her pursuit and probable win of the Presidency, he has set up the U.S. Govt for all kinds of bribery and extortion, both foreign and domestic, since there is little doubt that her servers were consistently cracked open.

        However I still think that, bottom line, it was a weasel decision. He could have easily handed this over the Justice Dept and let them announce that they were not prosecuting. It would not have lessened Govt/Clinton Corruption talk, but it would have improved our chances of not seeing 8 more years of Clintons.

        1. NYPaul

          I agree with your assessment, JCC

          But, I would tweak this comment slightly…..

          “…making our lives a little more miserable…?”

          After the shock of GWB’s election years ago, I recall hearing attempted uplifting comments such as, “well, really, how bad can he be?” And, he just wanted to get rid of Saddam.

          Hillary wants to get rid of Putin. Libya was just target practice.

        2. a different chris

          4 years. Even if she is everything her fans at Kos say she will be, we just don’t give a 4th term to the same party.

          Which unfortunately means the “re-alignment game-changer” that we will get will be basically Nigel Farage. Sigh.

      7. Anne

        Like so many people, I’ve been mulling over the events of the last week or so, trying to make sense of them in some way that, well, makes sense.

        I think Comey, by making such a detailed public statement, eliminated the possibility that even Clinton supporters could credibly argue that she did nothing wrong; the long list of e-mails and e-mail chains that he emphasized were top secret/classified at the time they were sent or received, thus making a liar out of her for many months of insisting that she was dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the information flowing through and to her. The revelation that there wasn’t just one server, but many, and that none had the kinds of security and archiving capabilities that a system through which government records flowed should have had. He repeatedly referred to the lawyers reviewing and deleting her e-mails; it doesn’t matter what the intent was, the underlying message is that she was hiding something.

        I thought his statement showed just how bad her judgment is, how she disregards laws, rules and protocols for seemingly no other reason than that’s what she wants to do. While she may not have intended any harm in her actions, it cannot be said that she didn’t intend to circumvent, ignore and bypass measures and standards and rules that are designed to safeguard sensitive and secret information.

        His statement that they couldn’t find one case that supported the bringing of criminal charges against Clinton is already bringing comments and disagreement from people like John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison. It’s just ludicrous on its face, really, considering, as Greenwald says in one of today’s linked pieces, “people have their lives destroyed for the most trivial – or, worse, the most well-intentioned – violations of secrecy laws, even in the absence of any evidence of harm or malignant intent.”

        The more I think about it, Comey’s statement was the equivalent of pulling the pin on a hand-grenade and lobbing it; I think it’s having the desired effect.

        1. NYPaul

          Am I crazy in wondering if Comey was “forced” to publicly state there would be no referrals coming from the FBI (regardless of the “incentives” offered him,) and, being allowed the courtesy of putting his own spin on the declaration?

          He displayed some real repressed anger when giving his address, at least in my amateur analysis. I mean, if he had come to the conclusion he stated completely on his own wouldn’t he have sounded somewhat more conciliatory, and, persuasive, in explaining the decision? It was like he was saying, “O.K. you got away with it, but man-oh-man, you and everyone else are going to know exactly how I feel about it!”

          I would love to know if any of Director Comey’s superiors got to read his address prior to his going public with it?

          1. optimader

            All he had to do was tell the truth, give recommendation consistent with the truth, release the canopy and punch out if necessary with his reputation intact.

            He chose not to, full-stop.

            Ultimately no one can tell an FBI Director (that is willing to resign) what to do. This will forever taint him and he will be explaining it for the rest of his life.

            1. Antifa


              Yet there remains a lingering thought that he is picking his battle with the Clinton Machine. The investigation into the wholesale selling of her office is still a major, ongoing FBI investigation. Charles Ortel is doing great work in this arena.

              If you set out to shoot a bear, you don’t begin by shooting it in the buttocks. That will only get you mauled into shreds before you can reload. Better to shoot just to make noise if you aren’t ready to kill it dead. Make noise for now, and get ready for the kill shot.

              When you shoot a bear, you put lead right between its eyes. Which is to say, the entire Hillary email hairball is just the tactical operation of a huge, a global, a strategic conspiracy to sell US politics, including the White House, to the highest bidder. Maybe Comey is doing what is possible for now within a totally corrupt system, while planning the head shot to be well documented charges of felony public corruption by all three Clintons, and numerous friends.

              Between now and November, the FBI may bring public corruption charges, may win prosecution or may lose prosecution on those charges. May only be able to hang another cannonball of corruption around Hillary’s neck. But Comey isn’t done with the bear. He’s just made a lot of noise while he gets ready to kill it.

              Hope springs eternal, eh?

              I must add, though, that the very first “Chelsea 2020” bumper sticker I see relieves me on the spot of any responsibility for my reaction. The judge will surely understand.

              1. different clue

                Those numerous friends may well have the power to arrange the physical assassination of anyone who threatens them that badly. And arrange the physical assassination of their friends and family too.

                If Comey is thinking about that while he decides whether to do anything about the Clinton Foundations or not, could anyone here really blame him for that? Is anyone here really ready to get the Kennedy Treatment for bringing the sort of charges against the Clintons which would involve and expose hundreds of Bohemian Grovers, Davos Men and Davos Women, the members of the Bilderberg Society, and all the toxic and radioactive donors to the Clinton Foundations?

      8. Jason

        The more I think about it though, I wonder if really this was the best option he could think of. If he recommended indictment, the DOJ could say ‘well we think the FBI was wrong and won’t prosecute’ which makes the FBI look bad. Even if he were to later try to defend the decision, it would look like sour grapes. If the DOJ went ahead and prosecuted (after being boxed in to some degree), I bet he (and many others) thought they’d likely sandbag the case, and again try to pass the buck back to the FBI for ‘recommending such a weak case’ (or worse allegations).

        With his approach, he gets to all but say she’s guilty, she’s a liar, reckless, and it’ll be hard to rebut that.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I don’t love the Kennedys, but Comey wouldn’t be considered for “Profiles in Courage” if it was expanded to more than Senators. If he was that concerned, he can resign. He would land on his feet, he’s not a random agent.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Speaking of resignations, remember Gerald TerHorst? He was President Ford’s first press secretary. After Ford pardoned Nixon, TerHorst quit. He strongly disagreed with the pardon, so he was gone.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is that (der Horst) a common Dutch name?

              Liv Ullmann played Kate ter Horst in “A Bridge Too Far.”

      9. LarryB

        He just left out a little bit: “no reasonable prosecutor who works for Barack Obama would indict”.

  8. Clive

    Re: May wins first round…

    The result — both in the Conservative party MP voting round and then in the later all-members run-off will be a good indication of how deep running Brexit sentiment is within both the parliamentary and mass membership wings. Recall that May was a Remainer, albeit a lukewarm one. May will doubtless win the MPs vote but if the mass Conservative party membership goes onto vote for, say, Leadsom or Gove, both Leavers, this will show that grass roots Torys are demanding a vehemently no-comprises Brexit.

    1. vlade

      Indeed. Which means that 150k of the self-selected UK population (tory membership) will be setting the course for the whole country, on some of the most important decisions in generations. Call that democracy in progress…

      1. anyonymous

        Don’t be funny. Parliament voted 6:1 to hold the referendum. If it now ignores the result it will itself be illegitimate. And what about the Scottish referendum? No-one suggested that should be anything other than rubber-stamped by Parliament in the event of a leave vote; as it would have been. The people of the UK voted to leave the EU, Parliament’s job now is to carry this out. Period. Everything else is the most pathetic and despicable whingeing.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Actually it is not Parliament’s job. The Government took the position when it asked Parliament to approve the referendum that it had the authority to invoke Article 50 upon a Leave vote. And no member of the Conservative party has said a peep about seeking Parliamentary consent, nor have any of the many pro-Remain Labour MPs (and remember, Labour party members voted by roughly 2/3 for Remain) demanded that Parliament needed to approve an Article 50 filing (although some Constitutional experts think otherwise). But otherwise your point is well taken. The Government will create a legitimacy crisis if it tries to walk this back (which some of my contacts insist is the High Tory plan). Theresa May, who campaigned for Remain, is now presenting herself as ready to implement Leave, and the other two remaining PM contenders are more definitively pro-Leave.

      2. anyonymous

        Obama beat Romney 51%-47% of the vote in 2012. That’s pretty much the same as 52%-48%, the referendum result. Is Obama’s presidency then illegitimate? Should there have been a re-run? Is Obama’s election to be construed as some small “self-selected” group “setting the course” for the USA? Grow up, don’t make me laugh.

    2. vlade

      Thinking about it some more, it could develop into some really *FUN*. Say Gove wins over May, and Gove puts together a government. He invokes A50, and puts together a plan, and tries to negotiate – only to be told by EU “this is what you get”. I could imagine a parliamentary revolt (I believe most Tory MPs loathe Gove), and his govt being pretty short..

  9. pdehaan

    Re “Chilcot report”… In an six-page memo marked secret and personal, the British prime minister told Bush: “I will be with you whatever” and set out a plan to persuade Britain Saddam must be toppled.
    “If we recapitulate all the WMD evidence; add his attempt to secure nuclear capability; and, as seems possible, add on al-Qaida link, it will be hugely persuasive over here,”

    To me that shows the “bad faith” beyond any shred of doubt. The belief in WMD and nuclear capability is one thing (though many specialists debunked this so-called evidence in the lead-up to war, specially the nuclear capability), but crucially the Al-Qaida link really any person with a few braincells knew that to be a load of crap, including Tony Blair. So what we’ve got here in one single phrase is not his “believe”, but rather the plan to persuade (scare) the public into supporting the quest for war, and so it came to pass.

  10. Steve C

    Like so much else he does, obama’s Hillary endorsement is substance free. Nothing like she’s going to continue my jobs and affordable healthcare record because he doesn’t have one. It’s all the substance-free stuff he does best. She’s “in the arena blah blah blah…”

          1. ambrit

            Do you mean the one the Aztecs and others ate for din dins? No, of course not, that’s the Chihuahua! You mean the New World hairless dog with questionable antecedents, which was also eaten on ceremonial occasions, of course, naughty you. So subtle, you cut like a knife.

    1. Arizona Slim

      As far as I know, the public corruption investigation is still underway. IMHO, that is where the fireworks will be.

      1. pretzelattack

        or else it will be concluded and swept under the rug. the system is soooo rigged.

      1. Antifa

        Well, yes it is. The TPP and TTIP treaties are actually a selling of US sovereignty to international corporations. They are the legal enshrinement of corporate rights over any number of living citizens, who will be left with a poisoned environment, slave wages, no safety net, endless war for corporate profits alone, and a cataclysmic collision with Russia, China, and Iran.

        The Clinton Foundation is only one of the most prominent promoters and beneficiaries of getting these treaties completed in secrecy, and passed by whatever means necessary. To expose the true loyalties and dealings of the Clinton Foundation will paint every think tank in Washington with the same brush, and flush their corruption out into the open as well.

        The Clintons are neo-cons who follow the Cheney Doctrine — any nation that can possibly pose even a 1% chance of competing with the USA at any point in the future must be attacked and taken out. Now.

  11. fresno dan

    Legacy of drug lord Escobar’s pet hippos Agence France-Presse (furzy)

    “It is an invasive species and very resistant to everything. They carry diseases that can kill livestock,” Mr Echeverri says, standing by the lake at Hacienda Napoles, where hippos’ giant snouts and ears…
    “It is an invasive species and very resistant to everything. They carry diseases that can kill livestock,” Mr Echeverri says, standing by the lake at Hacienda Napoles, where hippos’ giant snouts and ears…

    Costly and tricky attempts to castrate the hippos to curb their spread have not made much progress, Mr Leon says. Only four have had the snip. It is hard to tell whether a hippo is a male because its…

    And I imagine they are quite slippery….which brings to mind our presidential candidates, but I am not going to go there….or any jokes about one having testicles to spare….

  12. EmilianoZ

    RE: MRI software bug

    The title should be corrected from MRI to fMRI. The article says nothing about MRI studies. On the other hand some people always had doubts about fMRI.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The brain doesn’t know how the brain works.

      In the same way, we don’t know how we work.

      That makes us insanely dangerous, especially when we are fooling around with the powerful Scientific Method.

  13. Butch In Waukegan

    On my wish list (after the leaking of Hillary’s emails) is someone substituting Comey’s words in his press conference with his true message, a la the Breuer parody.

    “What would be left of my career? Nothing, na da.”

  14. marym

    Clinton to announce plan to make college tuition a divide-and-conquer welfare program and a grease the runways plan for existing debt.

    (or is that too cynical a paraphrase?)

    The plan would start by making in-state colleges and university free for students from families making $85,000 a year or less. That income threshold would then climb by $10,000 a year until 2021, when in-state schools would then be free to all families who make $125,000 or less.

    Clinton will also announce a proposal to create a three-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal borrowers. The idea would be to allow students to use this period to get a better handle on their debt by offering them assistance, re-financing options, and more.

    1. Roger Smith

      What a great big nothing-burger. Without inclusiveness this would be an immediate congressional failure. Is that not one of the staples of Social Security and Medicare, inclusiveness?? And that would only be one of the hurdles.

      She is pandering, more, again… And Bernie’s Statement eats it up.


      1. polecat


        It’s looking more and more like a vote for Sanders is a vote for capitulation…like a folded-up protein, you know….a prion!

        …That’s why I’m voting the vengeance ticket………

        I’m tired of this shit!

      2. jawbone

        Just wait until Hillary is POTUS and will finally be able to “incrementalize” SocSec and Medicare.

        Will she simply brush off Obama’s Grand Bargain or do something incrementally different?

        I wonder where we’d be if FDR had used her approach to SocSec? Or, LBJ with Medicare?

    2. Pat

      The saddest part of all that is that she has no chance of getting anything through Congress, so why not shoot for the moon. I know, I know it shows her as a moderate and a realist. But once again the realistic view is without a vast change in Congress, she isn’t getting diddly through, including this. Mind you this was a woman who talked about incremental changes to the ACA with a straight face while attacking Sanders on single payer, like that was remotely possible either.

      And since there was all that hoopla from Clinton’s camp about how unrealistic this was it is only fair to ask a few questions: Where is the funding on this? How much of an unfunded mandate on the states is this? And if so how likely is it to lead to state college closures? What happens with income levels after that final increase, do they remain static? How and why did you pick the income levels you did? How fair is that when comparing families in high cost/high income states versus states with a lower median income and a lower cost of living?

      As I don’t consider this a real plan except for the moratorium so students can ‘refinance’ in the spirit of HAMP, and possibly the year round Pell Grants as the minor give away, I don’t expect there is much of an answer for these question from the so-called wonk.

      1. hunkerdown

        Nonsense. Neoliberal Republicans and neoliberal Democrats don’t disagree much at all on policy. She can push through anything she would want, with plenty of feels to jettison in the sparkle pony latitudes “because Republicans”.

      2. different clue

        Because she hopes to poison the well against any shooting for the moon later by some other better-intended president.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hillary – $85,000 a year or less now, and $125,000 a year in 2012, 4 years later.

      Bernie – $125,000 a year or less now.

      That’s not so different. Is Sanders moving her leftward? Or has he failed to do that?

      Nothing about re-directing the current college budget allocation of paying too much to to many administrators, though, or reducing lavish spending on college football programs or luxury student dorms (when exist).

      1. marym

        Both his campaign website and the bill posted on his Senate website (PDF) call for eliminating tuition at public colleges, no reference to means testing. The bill also has provisions for reducing costs and redirecting spending. Have you seen other proposals from him?

        In any case, before cheering some fake move to the left by Clinton, it would be helpful if he would make the distinction between a movement for a public program for the common good and a means tested program designed to halt that movement and reverse direction.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sorry, I read Roger Smith’s link to mean the $125,000 was his bill, when he was referring to Hillary’s proposal.

          As for redirecting spending, I didn’t see it in that statement – presumably because it’s not there in Hillary’s proposal.

          Sanders seems to cheer the move:

          “I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education. This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns.

          “Let me be very clear. This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt.

          1. marym

            From the Senate website:

            To qualify for federal funding, states must meet a number of requirements designed to protect students, ensure quality, and reduce ballooning costs. States will need to maintain spending on their higher education systems, on academic instruction, and on need-based financial aid. In addition, colleges and universities must reduce their reliance on low-paid adjunct faculty.

            States would be able to use funding to increase academic opportunities for students, hire new faculty, and provide professional development opportunities for professors.

            No funding under this program may be used to fund administrator salaries, merit-based financial aid, or the construction of non-academic buildings like stadiums and student centers.

            However, he’s wrong to say Clinton’s proposal will revolutionize anything, because it’s not a proposal for universal publicly funded education as a common good, any more than the ACA is a program for universal publicly funded healthcare as a common good.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Thanks. I didn’t know, though not surprised to read about the part about administrator salaries in his, Sanders’, bill. I was more thinking about Hillary’s proposal with nothing about administrators.

    4. Anne

      Color me…unimpressed. And skeptical. And suspicious.

      Couple of things: how long will it be before someone decides that if we’re going to means test college education, why not means test K-12 education? I mean, just look at all those rich folks’ kids getting a free education from kindergarten through high school!

      Second, Clinton’s plans for student debt sound a lot like an opportunity to benefit everyone but the borrower – it has a little flavor of the foreclosure crisis, with borrowers being told not to make payments in order to qualify for modifications, and then – whoops – having their homes taken from them for failure to pay. And what about students who didn’t borrow from the government? No relief for them?

      I guess I just find it odd that the candidate who declared that free tuition at public colleges would never work because states led by Republican governors would never agree, has now decided it will work just fine, as long as some people still have to pony up. Republicans can’t stand people too poor to pay their bills, so what makes her think her plan would be more palatable than what Sanders was originally proposing?

      I guess i’m at the point where I have to look past those she says her plans – for anything – are supposed to benefit, to see who is really going to be fattening their wallets.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Means test K-12.

        We sort of do right now – your parents have to be rich enough to buy a home in a good school district.

        I think this is a clever move by Hillary. Perhaps some will vote for her now…not perfect, but not let that be the enemy…

        Going after banks is harder…so this will have to do for now, to distract from more FBI talk.

  15. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding the Comey/Clinton/Lynch email fiasco, is anyone else “bemused” that this coincided with the 4th of July? Ironic that this shallow ritual celebrating the birth of “our great nation” is so perfectly reflected by the callowness and corruption of our political establishment.

    1. fresno dan

      Just another way of scamming us out of another holiday, so that instead of celebrating “END of EQUAL JUSTICE BEFORE THE LAW DAY” it is just rolled into
      Independence day/END of EQUAL JUSTICE BEFORE THE LAW DAY
      You know, just like we used to get both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday off, but now its a combo. So getting Martin Luther King day nets us nothin’

      1. jrs

        and of course almost noone gets MLK day off, you must work for the government, that or a bank.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Interesting about banks being off that day.


          One less day to scam customers of banks – a compassionate act?

          Like government borrowing to allow the 1% to park their money, is government open for business to provide liquidity for banks? So, when the government is not open, neither do banks? And when we shut down the government, we shut down banks?

  16. Jim Haygood

    Hillary’s bottom, Barack H’obama, confirms fifteen (15) years of abject bipartisan failure:

    (CNN) President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will leave behind more troops in Afghanistan than originally planned.

    Speaking from the White House, Obama said he would draw down troops to 8,400 by the end of his administration, from the initial target of 5,500. The current level of troops in Afghanistan is 9,800.

    “The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said. “I strongly believe it is in our national security interest … that we give our Afghan partners the best opportunities to succeed.”

    He was joined by Secretary of Defense Asshat Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.

    [skipping the CNN link because it force feeds a video without being asked]

    0bama — blissfully unaware of military history — is as qualified to serve as Commander in Chief as Michael Brown was to head FEMA.

    Heck of a job, Barky!

    1. ambrit

      This, being a post 4th recovery day, I feel impelled to imagine the following scenario:
      Obama standing on sidewalk. Lassie trots up and barks.
      Obama: “What’s that Lassie? You say Democracy is trapped down a well? Get lost dog, I’ve got a Presidential Library to build.”

      1. fresno dan

        July 6, 2016 at 11:12 am

        WAY too optimistic – WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

        Obama: “What’s that Lassie? You say Democracy is trapped down a well? That high government officials are circumventing the constitution and gutting the rule of law??? The very foundations of representative government are threatened???
        This is extremely serious, Lassie, – Come with me! A secret service agent opens the presidential SUV, and Lassie hops in the back compartment and the agent shuts the tailgate. Obama gives the agent a slight nod. The agent signals the driver, and a partition in the SUV isolates Lassie in the back compartment. Carbon monoxide gas fills the air tight section….
        An hour later, in a secure area, the SUV drives up to a well, and two agents take the limp body of the canine, and toss it down a well, while saying, “here, join your friend democracy…”

        1. polecat

          Way too complex…….I’da just kicked Lassie down the well…with the rest of ’em……more like Obama’…’style’….

          Done Deal !

          1. fresno dan

            possible shoe prints as well as all the cell phone cameras out there.
            As well as – he’s the president – he can’t be getting his feet dirty…

    2. RabidGandhi

      And where are the 2012 dems who mocked Romney for wanting to keep troops in Afghanistan indefinitely?

      Further proof that all of Obama’s ideas proceed from the Mind of Mitt.

  17. Katharine

    Thanks for “Brexit and the Moral Vision of Nationhood”! Its length is both a demand and a merit. Modern journalism seldom provides that much thoughtfulness.

    1. Kulantan

      While I disagree with the author on some points, its a thoughtful and illuminating piece. With nationalism once again rising as a political force (the Aussie senate is once again host to One Nation) merely dismissing patriots as racists is just going to make these divisions worse.

        1. Antifa

          They were illiterate natives who didn’t understand that white people built Africa.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Comey gets his:

    The chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday invited FBI Director James Comey to testify before Congress Thursday to explain his recommendation not to press criminal charges against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has faced heavy scrutiny over a recent conversation with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, was invited to testify at a separate hearing.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) said Wednesday that Comey would appear before the committee Thursday morning as an invited witness. It was not immediately clear if Comey had agreed to testify.

    Chaffetz (a former Democrat) is not a lawyer. But some of the members of the committee are.

    Comey is likely to be grilled hard on inventing an intent standard, when none is found in some of the pertinent statutes.

    Not to mention that Hillary implemented her private server with the clear intent of avoiding public scrutiny.

      1. Jim Haygood

        One wishes Goodlatte could put an electric pad on her chair seat, so that he could deliver a painful shock to her posterior every time she lies.

        “grandchildren” … BZZZZZ
        “yoga routines” … BZZZZZ
        “objective review” …. BZZZZZ

    1. wbgonne

      Comey is likely to be grilled hard on inventing an intent standard, when none is found in some of the pertinent statutes.

      That’s not quite correct. Comey correctly stated that the statute requires “gross negligence,” which is an intent standard. Comey also said that Clinton was “extremely careless.” Despite the Clinton spin, these two phrases are equivalent. Comey’s decision not to recommend prosecution was based upon an assertion of prosecutorial discretion (“no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute”). But prosecutorial discretion is not the province of FBI investigators; it is reserved for DOJ prosecutors.

      For many people, including Comey and Lynch, this is not going to end well. The Clintons are poison and everyone who gets entangled with them suffers, while the Clintons blithely grift on and look for new victims.

      1. voteforno6

        At least with Comey, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of this is theatrics. He’s probably playing both sides on this one.

      2. Jim Haygood

        It’s the espionage statute that requires no showing of intent.

        Some of the others do.

        1. wbgonne

          Are you sure about that? Almost every federal crime contains an intent element. And espionage is a major offense which, I believe, has an even more demanding intent element than gross negligence. But maybe I’m wrong. Do you have a citation for the statute you have in mind?

          1. Antifa

            The Eight Laws That Hillary Broke

            1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
            18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

            A federal prosecutor would naturally focus first on the most serious allegations: willfully transmitting or willfully retaining Top Secret and Compartmented (TS/SCI) material using a private server system. The individual who transmits and the individual who receives and retains TS/SCI information on a private server jointly share the culpability for risking the compromise and exploitation of the information by hostile intelligence services. The prosecutor’s charging document would likely include felony counts under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and under 18 U.S. Code § 798 against each transmitting individual as well as separate counts against each receiving and retaining individual. Violation of either provision of the U.S. Code cited above is a felony with a maximum prison term of ten years.

            The prohibited conduct is the insecure transmission of highly classified information, as well as the receipt and retention of highly classified information in an unapproved manner. The requisite mens rea is the willful commission of the prohibited conduct and the knowledge that compromised information could result in prejudice or injury to the United States or advantage to any foreign nation. Proof of intent to disclose the classified information is not required.

            2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

            If the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and an accused person has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 793 and 18 U.S. Code § 798 may be “pled-down” to a single or to multiple misdemeanor counts under 18 U.S. Code § 1924. A misdemeanor conviction would probably result in a period of probation and a less significant fine. The prohibited conduct is the unauthorized removal of classified information from government control or its retention in an unauthorized location. The mens rea required is the intent to remove from government control or the intent to store the classified information in an unauthorized location.

            3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

            To sustain a charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b), a federal prosecutor need only prove that the accused transferred and held the only copies of official government records (whether classified or not), the very existence of which was concealed from government records custodians. The mens rea required is that an accused knows that official government records were transferred or removed from the control of government records custodians. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) is a felony with a maximum prison term of three years.

            4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

            Again, if the federal prosecutors are of a charitable disposition and accused has been cooperative, the felony charges under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) can be “pled down” to a misdemeanor under 18 U.S. Code § 641. The prohibited conduct is the conversion of official records (whether classified or not) to the accused’s exclusive use and the mens rea is simply the intent to do so. Conviction on the lesser misdemeanor charge would likely result in a period of probation and the imposition of a fine.

            5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

            If it can be proven that an accused destroyed, withheld, or concealed the existence of official records being sought under subpoena by a committee of Congress, the accused can be convicted of obstruction under 18 U.S. Code § 1505. The prohibited conduct includes destruction, concealment and withholding of documents, thereby impeding or obstructing the committee’s rightful pursuit of information. The mens rea is knowledge of the committee’s interest in obtaining the official records in the accused’s custody or control. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1505 is a felony with a maximum prison term of five years.

            6.) 18 U.S. Code § 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations

            If it can be proven that an accused knowingly concealed the existence of official records being sought by the Department of State Inspector General (DOS/IG) or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), such accused can be convicted of obstruction. The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.

            7.) 18 U.S. Code § 1031 — Fraud against the United States
            18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio or television
            18 U.S. Code § 1346 — Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
            18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to defraud the United States

            If it can be proven that an accused arranged for the Department of State to hire an Information Technology (IT) specialist to primarily administer and maintain a private server system owned by the accused, then the accused can be convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and probably wire fraud. The prohibited conduct is having the United States pay an employee salary and/or official travel funds for performing private services on behalf of accused. The mens rea is simply the knowledge of the employee’s status as a public servant and that the government was not fully reimbursed for the costs to the government of such services. The wire fraud conviction can be sought if it can be proven that accused used electronic means of communication in undertaking such scheme or artifice to defraud.

            8.) 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit a federal offense

            If any accused and any third party can be proven to have colluded in any violation of federal, criminal law, then all involved can be charged with criminal conspiracy as well as being charged with the underlying offense.

            1. HotFlash

              Holy moly, Antifa, total chapter and verse! Lovely! Thank you for all this, although my Hillary-fan friends, relatives and correspondents may feel otherwise. I am *soooo* tired today, all I want to do is sit at the computer and sling facts, and since I am retired, I can do that. Heh.

              Arigatou gozaimasu.

      3. different clue

        Be interesting if some Lawmakers asked Comey things like . . . ” So, you feel she was extremely careless, eh? Would you say she was . . . .GROSSLY careless? Would you say she was . . . exTREMEly negligent?”

  19. WanderingMind

    Question 5 of the letter to Comey, along with the citations to other cases of people removing classified information are important.

    Clinton delivered the hard drive containing classified information to an outside firm, which had no clearance, for duplication/deletion of the materials on the drive.

    The law cited in Question 5 and the cases make it hard to avoid the conclusion of special treatment.

    Beyond that, even if Comey was accurately describing the actual criteria prosecutors use (as opposed to what is possible under the language of the law), what does that say about the way these laws are used?

    Injecting criteria not in the law into the checklist of factors which determine whether to prosecute opens up the door to abuse of discretion and selective prosecution.

    What a review of the cases of prosecution vs. no prosecution makes clear is that the law is not applied in a neutral manner, something that was less obvious before this decision and which will become more obvious the longer this decision is publicly examined.

    “The system is rigged,” says Donald Trump. Like Lambert says, I hate it when Trump is right.

    1. Alex morfesis

      Opens up the door to selective prosecution ?? Down here in tampa bay area, us atty allowed federal agents to flash badges and intimidate attorneys being asked to join in the defense of a case where the former long time civil head of local us atty was brought in to help cover up a “creditor” calling in an “air strike” against someone who had the audacity to ask for the 3 million plus in assets they had purchased and the loans and investments made…so a receiver is placed on the assets by the state a “week” after a bankruptcy court ruled against the company that hired the former long time head of civil in tampa us atty office…

      and who is the side kick atty of the florida state appointed “receiver”…

      The son of the man at the BNL headquarters in NYC who helped saddam launder a few billion dollars in the 1980’s…

      I think someone said it best yesterday…not exactly remembering how it was said, but what stuck was…

      Welcome to breakfast in Lagos….

  20. allan

    Sanders booed by House Democrats [Politico]

    Sen. Bernie Sanders is still talking like a guy who’s running for president. But frustrated House Democrats — who booed him at one point during a morning meeting — say it’s time to stop.

    With the Democratic convention just weeks away, Sanders still hasn’t endorsed one-time rival Hillary Clinton and dodged questions about when he would during a tense meeting Wednesday morning with House Democrats.

    “It was frustrating because he’s squandering the movement he built with a self-obsession that was totally on display,” said one senior Democrat.

    After delivering his opening remarks — which touched on Sanders’ favorite issues including campaign finance, Wall Street reform and trade — lawmakers inside the meeting pressed Sanders during a tense question-and-answer session on whether he would ultimately endorse Clinton and help foster party unity. …

    So: talking about issues is a sign of self-obsession?

      1. polecat

        Yeah….’lawmakers’……..that’s a good one!

        …….I’ll ‘buy them’ …for a dollar…!!

        ..don’t even get me started on ‘party unity’……….

    1. pretzelattack

      “squandering” means not caving in as quickly as they want.
      the only names given–House Democrats including John Garamendi of California and Joyce Beatty of Ohio.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Sanders isn’t letting them pretend Sanders voters and non primary voters are going to blindly follow and Sanders by merely running is forcing the elected Dems to hear a voice other than yes men. What they really hate is learning, their local electorate think very little of them and their record.

      The Democrats have squandered the last 10 years since they took Congress, and they are all responsible. Does anyone remember when Waxman’s committee grilled Sammy Sosa and forced him to reveal his desperation to use steroids and tried to paint him as a villain? We’ve had bad government before, but collectively, I don’t know if they ever has ever been such an embarrassing lot as the modern Democrats. The Republicans at least tackle what their base considers major Issues.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        He should just quit the party, or be more blunt – I want to rid the party of you congressional clowns.

        For decades, he was right to be an Independent.

      2. John k

        Trump winning the nom is prima facie evidence that mainstream reps have been ignoring what their base really thinks are major issues… Trade and immigration have been corporate favorites in pushing down wages for decades, which of course means they are official rep positions. In the past they distract their base with abortion, racism and feminism, but quite obviously the base has been waiting for somebody just like trump, aided by the fascinated media… He said what?!?
        And so has the dem base… Itself similarly distracted (from the other side) by abortion, racism and feminism… Waiting for their own savior, who oddly turned out to be Bernie, who sadly did not fascinate the media and which did everything in its power not to praise but to bury through hated neglect… He wants to destroy our beloved banks?!? Jail our even more beloved bankers?!? Doesn’t he know single payer would destroy our beloved insurance companies?

        And neither base wants more Middle East adventures, knowing full well it’s not the elite kids that come back in bags or get to try out the latest prosthetics. Hopefully the disaffected on both sides will reject the candidate that combines the very worst features of both parties.

        1. Vatch

          In addition to the media blackout of Sanders,Trump had an advantage that Bernie Sanders lacked. There were numerous Republican candidates, and they divided the vote of the people who didn’t like Trump. Divide and conquer! Sanders, unfortunately, only had one significant opponent, Hillary Clinton. The establishment Democrats were able to solidly back a single candidate, unlike the establishment Republicans, whose strength was diluted.

    3. different clue

      Those Democrats who booed Sanders need to be identified by name by viewing the tape over and over and over again until every House Democrat who booed can be positively identified by name. Then they need to be primaried and driven out of politics in their next elections. Sic semper Clintonite Filth!

  21. Lambert Strether

    If you’ve been following the shipping and logistics news, you know that investment in warehouse automation is a “bright spot.” So the warehouse jobs are going away, if you got one of those, instead of a job flipping burgers.

    1. ambrit

      If you’ve ever been inside one of the “new and improved” warehouses before, one would be excused for imagining that one was observing cyborgs at play, not human beings doing their jobs. The earbuds of personal music players could easily be replaced with ‘command and control’ communications units.
      Anecdotally, a woman we know lives off of rent income from several houses she owns here in our fair city. She mentioned last week when we saw her last, that she is meeting resistance to rent increases. (Her city taxes are going up again, as well as insurance costs.) She has restricted tenancy to the number of bedrooms available, essentially, one tenant per bedroom. Now, she mentioned, some tenants are broaching the subject of two people per bedroom, as, the prospective tenants aver, the only way they can afford to rent in the first place. By the way, she, a solid Libertarian type, also mentioned the Michelle Obama is a transvestite meme. Her take on it was that, even were it to be conclusively debunked, just the sheer audacity and absurdity of the idea would carry it on in a ‘life of its’ own.’
      One thing becoming clear about the public mood is that there are now many public moods in play. Divide and rule, even all the way down to what cartoons one watches.
      I would say that this past week has necessitated that my Cynicism Meter be recalibrated. However, the idea of meter supposes a regularity and consistency in that being measured. Else, all scale and proportion are abandoned. So, I’m looking around for a meter that measures using a logarithmically deduced scale. We’re off into the deep end now.

      1. fresno dan

        “… also mentioned the Michelle Obama is a transvestite meme.”

        I don’t know what right wing wacko sites you read, but that meme ended 20 minutes after the first inauguration. The plurality now is that she is a tentacled space lizard hermaphrodite mineral plant radiation spewing robot run by microsoft software in control of her lizard clone Zuckerberg….
        I could go on, but that’s the synopsis….

        1. ambrit

          Ah, my dear Non Euclidian Heirophant, you do make a point. However, the recurved space that is the politisphere supports the observation that: “All that was old is new again.”
          I have heard this “information” from in-laws and “on the street” in the recent past. The meme is reinventing itself. I would observe that todays’ Democratic Party nomenklatura are so divorced from reality in their dealings that the resurgence of the Reptilian Overlords’ jest is a counterweight from the Republican side of the cosmos.
          As above, so below.

  22. fresno dan

    By now, everyone’s aware that Donald Trump wandered off message Tuesday night and told an audience in Raleigh, N.C., that Saddam Hussein, for all his sins, “killed terrorists.”

    “He did that so good,” the presumed GOP presidential nominee said. “They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. It was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s like Harvard, okay? So sad.”

    There were spasms of outrage, from Hillary Clinton’s campaign (“Donald Trump’s praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds”) to the perpetually disappointed-to-hear-this House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Hussein “was one of the 20th century’s most evil people”). And in outrage mode, it was easy to ignore something Clinton spokesman Jake Sullivan said in his reaction. Trump didn’t just praise Hussein. He “yet AGAIN lauded” him. Trump had used this language many, many times, with plenty of cameras pointed at him.

    It all seemed curious to David Martosko, the Daily Mail reporter who has covered Trump more closely than almost anyone in this campaign year.
    “Remarkable part about the Saddam thing isn’t what Trump said. He’s said it before. It’s how media jumped on this when Hillary needed it.”
    Trump began saying this at his campaign rallies last summer. (As Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski has reported, there is no record of him saying it before the 2003 invasion.) Reporters followed up; Trump repeated himself. In an October 2015 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, long before votes were cast, Trump reiterated his view that the world was better off with Hussein in power — and using brutal peacekeeping tactics.
    So what was different last night? CLINTON’s CAMPAIGN SAID IT was different. In Politico, we learn that Trump’s Hussein praise “finally caught up with him” because “Hillary Clinton’s campaign tore into his latest comments.” NBC News notes that Trump said this at a rally with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), which could lead to a clash and some awkward questions; otherwise, the only new thing is that “Hillary Clinton’s campaign seized the opportunity to once more paint Trump as unfit for office.”
    And so on. The STORY IS NOT that Trump argued that the United States would be better off if a dictator had been allowed to stay in power in Iraq; the story is that things are different now, BECAUSE the presumptive Democratic nominee is whacking him for saying it.
    The point is that Trump has been saying, for quite some time, that the United States should NOT have GONE to WAR in Iraq, and that it should side with dictators as long as they “kill terrorists.” The Republican primary electorate endorsed that view. Clinton, as a senator and then as secretary of state, took another view, and backed the use of American power to remove both Hussein AND (***) Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi. There’s video of Clinton gleefully saying “We came, we saw, he died” upon learning that Gaddafi had been torn apart by his own people. This has never been treated like a gaffe; but Trump’s “Saddam killed terrorists” riff suddenly is.

    By consistently covering Trump’s argument over time, and by following up on it, media outlets did their job to inform voters. That was why Tuesday night’s collective Captain Renault moment was so strange, and so demonstrative of why many media consumers are skeptical of what they’re hearing. Instead of a debate on the facts — should Hussein have been removed? Did he “kill terrorists,” in a contradiction of what Americans were told before the war? — there was manufactured outrage, straight from a rival campaign.

    I have made a similar point time and again. Any pious proclamations from the media about their skill, knowledge, or experience is just a huge pile of super stinking bullsh*t.
    And the fact that our self serving duopoly, that will not and cannot even state so many arguments or challenge conventional wisdom** ** (BUSH KEPT US SAFE) because it is just a big chimera that they disagree about most things – their existential disagreement is about who gets the biggest cut of the grift.

    ** **”perpetually disappointed-to-hear-this House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Hussein “was one of the 20th century’s most evil people”)
    And so is North Korea’s Kim Jong-un – so what!!!! Do you think invading Iraq was good for America Ryan!!! Do you think we should take out Kim??? Do you think the mideast is better now????? Has all this reduced terrorism???? Has it had ANYTHING to do with ISIS coming into being????? Do you think the Saudi’s are our friends???

    The simplest questions not asked, not addressed. There is a don’t ask/don’t tell policy firmly in place between our duopoly, and our media. Spineless politicians questioned by spineless media. Do you want to invade North Korea Ryan? How many more years should we be in Afghanistan? A little, TINY country like Afghanistan – how come Bush wasn’t able to pacify it in 5 years? Is the repub congress too stupid, treasonous, or both to successfully prosecute a war???
    Compare how America has handled the Iraq aftermath to the Chilcot report – America, paradise for the irresponsible, as we Americans never look back…never cast blame, time to move on….

    (***) Hillary just don’t learn – but that isn’t even pointed out!!! Libya….it happened after Iraq. SHE HAS NO EXCUSE

  23. Vatch

    Remember when the government kept the draft text of the TPP agreement secret? Secrecy was very important in those days, even for something that was completely unrelated to national security, such as the TPP. Now that Hillary Clinton won’t be indicted for playing fast and loose with top secret email messages, I guess secrecy is no longer important, right?

  24. Tom

    In honor of Hillary Clinton’s public announcement as a member of the too big to jail club, I thought I’d tootle over to her website to see what she has to say about things. Well, I stumbled across a little something called “Updated: The Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails.” I copied and pasted it below from the website as of 10:45 AM today, 7/6/16. It’s written in the form of a Q&A, with the questions in italics. Clinton’s answers are in regular body copy. The bold face type are bits of text that I inserted for each answer, giving my rating: “False,” “True” or “Unknown,” with a little commentary here and there. These are just off the top of my head, from what I’ve learned over the past months (much of it from reading posts on this fine site).
    Just for fun, how many of Hillary’s ‘facts’ have been revealed by various investigations to be at odds with reality? Let’s find out, shall we?


    We’ve put all of the information about Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails here. Just the facts, all in one place.

    Why did Clinton use her own email account?

    When Clinton got to the Department, she opted to use her personal email account as a matter of convenience. It enabled her to reach people quickly and keep in regular touch with her family and friends more easily given her travel schedule.

    That is the only reason she used her own account. False. She used to avoid the personal from becoming public.

    Her usage was widely known to the over 100 State Department and U.S. government colleagues she emailed, consistent with the practice of prior Secretaries of State and permitted at the time.

    As Clinton has said, in hindsight, it would have been better to just have two accounts. While she thought using one account would be easier, obviously, that has not been the case.

    Was it allowed?

    Yes. The laws, regulations, and State Department policy in place during her tenure permitted her to use a non-government email for work. False. She maintained her own private email server, effectively removing her correspondence from FOIA requests and Department archival requirements.

    The 2009 National Archives regulation in place during her tenure required that “[a]gencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.” The regulation recognizes the use of non-government email accounts.

    As she has stated, Clinton’s practice was to email government officials on their “.gov” accounts, so her work emails were immediately captured and preserved. In fact, more than 90% of those emails should have already been captured in the State Department’s email system before she provided them with paper copies.

    A Politifact analysis also confirmed that Clinton’s practices complied with laws and regulations, including support from the former director of a prominent government accountability organization: “In Clinton’s defense, we should note that it was only after Clinton left the State Department, that the National Archives issued a recommendation that government employees should avoid conducting official business on personal emails (though they noted there might be extenuating circumstances such as an emergency that require it). Additionally, in 2014, President Barack Obama signed changes to the Federal Records Act that explicitly said federal officials can only use personal email addresses if they also copy or send the emails to their official account. Because these rules weren’t in effect when Clinton was in office, ‘she was in compliance with the laws and regulations at the time,’ said Gary Bass, founder and former director of OMB Watch, a government accountability organization.”

    Clinton said she did not use her email to send or receive classified information, but the State Department and two Inspectors General said some of these emails do contain classified information. Was her statement inaccurate?

    Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. No information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them. So False.

    When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified if the State Department or another agency believes its public release could cause potential harm to national security, law enforcement or diplomatic relations.

    After reviewing a sampling of the 55,000 pages of emails, the Inspectors General have proffered that a small number of emails, which did not contain any classified markings and/or dissemination controls, should have been classified at the time they were sent. The State Department has said it disagrees with this assessment.

    Clinton hopes the State Department and the agencies involved in the review process will sort out as quickly as possible which of the 55,000 pages of emails are appropriate to share with the public.

    How did Clinton receive and consume classified information?

    The Secretary’s office was located in a secure area. Classified information was viewed in hard copy by Clinton while in the office. While on travel, the State Department had rigorous protocols for her and traveling staff to receive and transmit information of all types.

    A separate, closed email system was used by the State Department for the purpose of handling classified communications, which was designed to prevent such information from being transmitted anywhere other than within that system. False. She used her personal Blackberry to send and receive emails while traveling in other countries, including in or near those with aggressive hacking capabilities.

    Is Department of Justice conducting a criminal inquiry into Clinton’s email use?

    No. As the Department of Justice and Inspectors General made clear, the IGs made a security referral. This was not criminal in nature as misreported by some in the press. The Department of Justice is now seeking assurances about the storage of materials related to Clinton’s email account. False. I can’t even.

    Is it true that her email server and a thumb drive were recently turned over to the government? Why?

    Again, when information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified if the State Department or another agency believes its public release could cause potential harm to national security, law enforcement or diplomatic relations.

    Clinton hopes that State and the other agencies involved in the review process will sort out as quickly as possible which emails are appropriate to share with the public, and that the release will be as timely and as transparent as possible.

    When the Department upgraded some of the previously unclassified email to classified, her team worked with the State Department to ensure copies of her emails were stored in a safe and secure manner. She also directed her team to give her server that hosted her email account while she was Secretary to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails that already had been provided to the State Department. Clinton has pledged to cooperate with the government’s security inquiry. It’s True that her server was turned over to the government, if you define ‘turned over’ as being seized as potential evidence in an FBI criminal investigation. As to the Why? part of the question, I can’t tell if it’s True or False, only that it’s a word salad worthy of Sarah Palin.

    Would this issue not have arisen if she used a 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 the State Department’s review of her 55,000 emails brought the issue to the Inspectors Generals’ attentions, the emails that recently were upgraded to classified prior to public release were on the unclassified .gov email system. They were not on the separate, closed system used by State Department for handling classified communications. False and annoyingly unresponsive to the question.

    Have Clinton’s State Department aides also been asked to provide the Department and Congress with emails from their personal accounts?

    We understand that members of her State Department staff were recently asked to assist the Department in its record-keeping by providing any work-related emails they may have on personal accounts. They have received requests from Rep. Gowdy as well. True!

    Clinton is proud of the work of all the dedicated public servants that were part of her team at the State Department. She was proud of her aides then and is proud of them now, as they have committed – as she has – to being as helpful as possible in responding to requests.

    Press reports say she used multiple devices – a Blackberry and an iPad – is that true?

    Clinton relied on her Blackberry for emailing. This was easiest for her. When the iPad came out in 2010, she was as curious as others and found it great for shopping, browsing, and reading articles when she traveled. She also had access to her email account on her iPad and sometimes used it for that too. False – she used up to four personal devices to access email.

    Was she ever provided guidance about her use of a non-“.gov” email account?

    The State Department has and did provide guidance regarding the need to preserve federal records. To address these requirements, it was her practice to email government employees on their “.gov” email address. That way, work emails would be immediately captured and preserved in government record-keeping systems. False. Clinton fails to mention the warning(s) she received about the vulnerability of using her personal Blackberry to conduct State Department business.

    What did Clinton provide to the State Department?

    On December 5, 2014, 30,490 copies of work or potentially work-related emails sent and received by Clinton from March 18, 2009, to February 1, 2013, were provided to the State Department. This totaled roughly 55,000 pages. More than 90% of her work or potentially work-related emails provided to the Department were already in the State Department’s record-keeping system because those e-mails were sent to or received by “” accounts. True in the very narrow sense of what she provided. Avoids the question, did Clinton turn over all her work-related emails.

    Early in her term, Clinton continued using an account that she had used during her Senate service. Given her practice from the beginning of emailing State Department officials on their accounts, her work-related emails during these initial weeks would have been captured and preserved in the State Department’s record-keeping system. She, however, no longer had access to these emails once she transitioned from this account.

    Why did the Select Committee announce that she used multiple email addresses during her tenure?

    In fairness to the Committee, this was an honest misunderstanding. Clinton used one email account during her tenure at State (with the exception of her initial weeks in office while transitioning from an email account she had previously used). In March 2013, a month after she left the Department, Gawker published the email address she used while Secretary, and so she had to change the address on her account. Not sure about this one, but it’s the first time she uses “honest” in an answer, so points for knowing the word.

    At the time the printed copies were provided to the Department in 2014, because it was the same account, the new email address established after she left office appeared on the printed copies as the sender, and not the address she used as Secretary. In fact, this address on the account did not exist until March 2013. This led to understandable confusion that was cleared up directly with the Committee after its press conference.

    Why didn’t Clinton provide her emails to the State Department until December 2014?

    In 2014, after recognizing potential gaps in its overall recordkeeping system, the State Department asked for the help of the four previous former Secretaries in meeting the State Department’s obligations under the Federal Records Act.

    Clinton responded to this request by providing the State Department with over 55,000 pages of emails. As it was Clinton’s practice to email U.S. government officials on their .gov accounts, the overwhelming majority of these emails should have already been preserved in the State Department’s email system.

    In providing these emails to the Department, Clinton included all she had that were even potentially work-related—including emails about using a fax machine or asking for iced tea during a meeting—erring on the side of over-inclusion, as confirmed by the Department and National Archives’ determination that over 1250 emails were “personal” records (which they have indicated will be returned to her).

    After providing her work and potentially work-related emails, she chose not to keep her personal, non-work related emails, which by definition, are not federal records and were not requested by the Department or anyone else. Says who? Your lawyers? She was supposed to turn over all emails at the end of her tenure. False.

    Why did the State Department ask for assistance in collecting records? Why did the State Department need assistance in further meeting its requirements under the Federal Records Act?

    The State Department formally requested the assistance of the four previous former Secretaries in a letter to their representatives dated October 28, 2014, to help in further meeting the Department’s requirements under the Federal Records Act.

    The letter stated that in September 2013, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued new guidance clarifying records management responsibilities regarding the use of personal email accounts for government business.

    While this guidance was issued after all four former Secretaries had departed office, the Department decided to ensure its records were as complete as possible and sought copies of work emails sent or received by the Secretaries on their own accounts. True? False? Strawman? The BS is overwhelming me — help!

    Why did Clinton decide not to keep her personal emails?

    As Clinton has said before, these were private, personal messages, including emails about her daughter’s wedding plans, her mother’s funeral services and condolence notes, as well as emails on family vacations, yoga routines, and other items one would typically find in their own email account, such as offers from retailers, spam, etc. Right … offers from retailers, spam, requests from foreign countries seeking arms sales in return for million-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundation, etc. — you know, typical stuff. False.

    Did Clinton delete any emails while facing a subpoena?

    No. As noted, the emails that Clinton chose not to keep were personal emails—they were not federal records or even work-related—and therefore were not subject to any preservation obligation under the Federal Records Act or any request. Nor would they have been subject to the subpoena—which did not exist at the time—that was issued by the Benghazi Select Committee some three months later.

    Rep. Gowdy’s subpoena issued in March 2015 did not seek, and had nothing to do with, her personal, non-work emails nor her server nor the request by State Department last year for her help in their own record-keeping. Indeed in his March 19th letter, Rep. Gowdy expressly stated he was not seeking any emails that were “purely personal in nature.”

    In March 2015, when Rep. Gowdy issued a subpoena to Clinton, the State Department had received all of Clinton’s work-related emails in response to their 2014 request, and indeed, had already provided Clinton’s relevant emails to Rep. Gowdy’s committee.

    Rep. Gowdy, other Republicans, and some members of the media have seized on a CNN interview with Clinton to question her on this point. Rep. Gowdy has even gone so far as to say Clinton is lying. But he and the others are clearly mistaken.

    As Vox reported, “[S]he didn’t lie about the subpoena. … Clinton clearly wasn’t responding to the question of whether she’d ever been subpoenaed by the Benghazi Committee but whether she’d been subpoenaed before she wiped the emails from her server.” Additionally, said in its analysis, “Clinton’s denial came in response to a question about deleting emails ‘while facing a subpoena,’ and Clinton objected to Keilar’s ‘assumption.’ Clinton’s campaign said that the emails were deleted before she received the subpoena and that was the point Clinton was making.” Politifact added, “Suggesting that Clinton deleted emails while facing a subpoena contradicts what we know about the controversy so far.”

    Vox went on to further decry Rep. Gowdy’s reaction, saying, “[T]his one’s a particularly absurd gimmick, even for a committee that is selectively leaking from depositions and documents to justify its existence. If there was a more extreme category of dissembling than ‘pants on fire,’ now would be the time for Politifact to roll it out on the House Republicans.” I don’t have enough background on this one, but that sure is an answer with a big word count ain’t it? Makes you wonder …

    Why was the State Department given printed copies?

    That is the requirement. The instructions regarding electronic mail in the Foreign Affairs Manual (the Department’s policy manual) require that “until technology allowing archival capabilities for long-term electronic storage and retrieval of email messages is available and installed, those messages warranting preservation as records (for periods longer than current E-mail systems routinely maintain them) must be printed out and filed with related records.” [5 FAM 443.3]. Who cares, but what year is the State Department IT department operating in, 1991?

    Were any work items deleted in the course of producing the printed copies?

    No. Strange question, which makes me wonder who even thought to ask it?

    How many emails were in her account? And how many of those were provided to the State Department?

    Her email account contained a total of 62,320 sent and received emails from March 2009 to February 2013. Based on the review process described below, 30,490 of these emails were provided to the Department, and the remaining 31,830 were private, personal records. False. I believe Comey said they recovered quite a few so-called ‘personal’ emails that were work-related.

    How and who decided what should be provided to the State Department?

    The Federal Records Act puts the obligation on the government official to determine what is and is not a federal record. The State Department Foreign Affairs Manual outlines guidance “designed to help employees determine which of their e-mail messages must be preserved as federal records and which may be deleted without further authorization because they are not Federal record materials.” [5 FAM 443.1(c)].

    Following conversations with State Department officials and in response to the State Department’s 2014 letter to former Secretaries, Clinton directed her attorneys to assist by identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records. This entailed a multi-step process to review each email and provide printed copies of Clinton’s emails to the State Department, erring on the side of including anything that might be even potentially work-related.

    A search was conducted on Clinton’s email account for all emails sent and received from 2009 to her last day in office, February 1, 2013.

    After this universe was determined, a search was conducted for a “.gov” (not just in any address field in an email. This produced over 27,500 emails, representing more than 90% of the 30,490 printed copies that were provided to the State Department.

    To help identify any potential non-“.gov” correspondence that should be included, a search of first and last names of more than 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials was performed. This included all Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Ambassadors-at-Large, Special Representatives and Envoys, members of the Secretary’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board, and other senior officials to the Secretary, including close aides and staff.

    Next, to account for non-obvious or non-recognizable email addresses or misspellings or other idiosyncrasies, the emails were sorted and reviewed both by sender and recipient.

    Lastly, a number of terms were specifically searched for, including: “Benghazi” and “Libya.”

    These additional three steps yielded just over another 2,900 emails, including emails from former Administration officials and long-time friends that may not be deemed by the State Department to be federal records. And hundreds of these emails actually had already been forwarded onto the system and captured in real-time.

    With respect to materials that the Select Committee has requested, the State Department has stated that just under 300 emails related to Libya were provided by the State Department to the Select Committee in response to a November 2014 letter, which contained a broader request for materials than prior requests from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    Given Clinton’s practice of emailing State Department officials on their addresses, the State Department already had, and had already provided, the Select Committee with emails from Clinton in August 2014 – prior to requesting and receiving printed copies of her emails.

    The review process described above confirmed Clinton’s practice of emailing State Department officials on their .gov address, with the vast majority of the printed copies of work-related emails Clinton provided to the State Department simply duplicating what was already captured in the State Department’s record-keeping system in real time. False. Comey described the process by which Clinton’s lawyers determined which emails were personal and which were work-related, and their process definitely wasn’t the one the FBI used — which was to read every single one of the emails (a job for the new guys, no doubt). Searching header info and a few search terms maybe good enough for Clinton’s white shoe lawyers, but come on – at least make an effort! And anyway, isn’t the State Department employee supposed to make that call?

    Did Clinton use this account to communicate with foreign officials?

    During her time at State, she communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence, and by telephone. The review of all of her emails revealed only one email with a foreign (UK) official. This one is hard to believe. Only 1 email to a foreign official in four years is almost more suspicious than none. It reminds me of the lone email Bryan Pagliano sent to Clinton or her staff during three or four years of employment — a birthday greeting!

    Did she withhold any work emails? What about the 15 emails that Sid Blumenthal provided to the Select Committee that she did not provide to the State Department?

    She provided the State Department with all work and potentially work-related emails that she had, including all of her correspondence with Sid Blumenthal. We understand that Mr. Blumenthal had some emails that Clinton did not have, and Clinton had some emails that Mr. Blumenthal did not have, but it is important to note that none of those emails provide any new insights on the attack on our facilities in Benghazi. Ooh boy! False.

    Do you think a third party should have been allowed to review what was turned over to the State Department, as well as the remainder that was not?

    The Federal Records Act puts the obligation on the government official, not the agency or a third party, to determine what is and is not a federal record. The State Department Foreign Affairs Manual outlines guidance “designed to help employees determine which of their e-mail messages must be preserved as federal records and which may be deleted without further authorization because they are not Federal record materials.” [5 FAM 443.1(c)].

    Clinton responded to the State Department’s request by providing approximately 55,000 pages of her work and potentially work-related emails. She has also taken the unprecedented step of asking that those emails be made public. In doing so, she has sought to support the State Department’s efforts, fulfill her responsibility of record-keeping, and provide the chance for the public to assess the work she and officials at the State Department did during her tenure.

    After her work-related emails were identified and preserved, Clinton chose not to keep her private, personal emails that were not federal records, including emails about her daughter’s wedding plans, her mother’s funeral service, family vacations, etc.

    Government officials are granted the privacy of their personal, non-work related emails, including personal emails on .gov accounts. Clinton exercised her privilege to ensure the continued privacy of her personal, non-work related emails. While this explanation may be true for someone following State Department protocols, I think we are in uncharted waters here, since Clinton sent, received and stored her emails on her own private server. Anyone care to weigh in on this one?

    Can’t she release the emails she provided to the State Department herself?

    Because the printed copies of work-related emails she provided to the State Department include federal records of the Department, the Department needs to review these emails before they can be made public. She called for them to be made available as soon as possible, and is glad to see the Department has begun releasing them. The first sentence of the answer is True, I think. The second sentence is nauseating.

    Some of the emails released show Clinton emailed aides at times on their personal, rather than .gov accounts. Was she trying to hide these communications?

    As Clinton has said before, it was her practice to email U.S. government officials on their .gov accounts if it was work-related. This is evidenced in the emails released so far. In reviewing her emails in 2014, there was a fraction of emails with work-related information sent to U.S. government officials’ personal accounts, and those were provided to the State Department. The overwhelming majority of her work-related emails were to .gov accounts. False. Clinton wanted to prevent the personal from becoming public.

    Where was the server for her email located?

    The server for her email was physically located on her property, which is protected by U.S. Secret Service. True! The agents set up some folding chairs to sit in while watching the server, right between the water heater and the pool table.

    What level of encryption was employed? Who was the service provider?

    The security and integrity of her family’s electronic communications was taken seriously from the onset when it was first set up for President Clinton’s team. While the curiosity about the specifics of this set up is understandable, given what people with ill intentions can do with such information in this day and age, there are concerns about broadcasting specific technical details about past and current practices. Suffice it to say, robust protections were put in place and additional upgrades and techniques employed over time as they became available, including consulting and employing third party experts. Unknown – it’s not clear that any IT specialist other than Bryan Pagliano the Fifth ever had a chance to review Clinton’s security set-up while the server was in use.

    Was the server ever hacked?

    No, there is no evidence there was ever a breach. Technically True, but even Comey went out of his way to say that often, you can’t find evidence of intrusion.

    Was there ever an unauthorized intrusion into her email or did anyone else have access to it?

    No. Unkown – same as above.

    What was done after her email was exposed in February 2013 after the hacker known as “Guccifer” hacked Sid Blumenthal’s account?

    While this was not a breach of Clinton’s account, because her email address was exposed, steps were taken at that time to ensure the security and integrity of her electronic communications, including changing her email address. Unknown. We only have Clinton’s word (cough, cough) on this one.

    Was the State Department able to respond to requests related to FOIA or Congressional requests before they received printed copies of her work-related emails?

    Yes. As the Select Committee has said, the State Department provided the Committee with relevant emails it already had on the system before the State Department requested any printed copies from former Secretaries, and four months before the State Department received the printed copies.

    For example, in the well-publicized hack of Sid Blumenthal’s email account, a note he sent Clinton on September 12, 2012, was posted online. At first blush, one might not think this exchange would be captured on the system. But in fact, Clinton forwarded the email, that very same day, onto the system. And the email was produced by the State Department to the Select Committee, and acknowledged by the Select Committee, in August 2014.

    This example illustrates: 1) when an email from a non-“.gov” sender had some connection to work or might add to the understanding of State Department officials, it was Clinton’s practice to forward it to officials at their “” address; and 2) the State Department was able to search and produce Clinton’s emails when needed long before, and unrelated to, receiving the printed copies as they were already captured on accounts.
    Unkown. This is another messy one, starting with the question. In the phrase, “Was the State Department able to respond …” how do you define respond? Within 75 years? 50 years? And by respond, do you mean the Department was able to search a reliable universe of work-related emails of Secretary Clinton, or to search of whatever record of Clinton emails that could be cobbled together by searching the accounts of anybody in the building or world that Clinton may have exchanged emails with? Agggh – I can’t even get to her answer. I’m exhausted.

    Anyway, overall, it looks like Clinton’s Email “Facts” have only a passing acquaintance to reality or the truth, with only about 10% of her facts demonstrably true. About 50% are not true, and the veracity of the remaining third are unknown or the answers so convoluted that I can’t tell. Have I missed anything or given her a pass that would knock her average down even more? At any rate, looks like Clinton better do another update to her Fact Sheet, or run the risk that people’s trust in her may begin to waver.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “A Politifact analysis also confirmed that Clinton’s practices complied with laws and regulations.”

      But the Inspector General didn’t agree. And his opinion trumps Politifact’s (whoever they are).

      Comey himself shot down Hillary’s “security investigation” euphemism.

      Hillary is so mendacious, she would assure you this isn’t Wednesday.

    2. fresno dan

      Thank you for that – you have more stamina than me, and a remarkable bullsh*t tolerance. It is a sacrifice no nation (or blog) should ask of a citizen….
      We commend you.

      I note – – it is impossible to read that without some “awe” for Hillary’s effort, craftsmanship, attention to detail, rigor, experience, and grifting skill in manipulation, distraction, and dissembling….

      It would actually be amusing – the parsing parlor games we will have with Hillary – I remember being in a cigar bar when the TV with CNN had Bill Clintoon on saying he did not have sex with that woman….

      But Hillary isn’t a good ole boy – she wants to be a war president.

  25. DolleyMadison

    The Banksters win again. Like Justice Roberts before him, Comey took one for the team.

    1. Propertius

      Comey took one for the team

      I’m not entirely sure he did. Let’s face it, he laid out in detail every single element necessary to convict Clinton of mishandling classified information, and then said she wouldn’t be prosecuted.

      That’s a very strange way to spike a story. It’s almost as though his heart wasn’t in it and he wanted everyone on the planet to know it.

    1. Plenue

      “He cited Sunday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad, which killed 250 people and was the worst terrorist attack since the US/UK invasion in 2003”

      Phrasing! Intentional or not, indeed, what was the ILLEGAL invasion other than a colossal act of terrorism? Disappointing however to see Corbyn claiming 100,000 dead; the lowest estimate I’ve seen is 150,000, and there’s pretty much no way even that is remotely accurate. I’m guessing a million plus is far more likely.

      The whole report is a lukewarm whitewash. Evidence wasn’t ‘faulty’, it was fabricated.

  26. Plenue

    “Escobar was one of the richest and most powerful criminals ever. His racket grew into a multi-million dollar business that dominated the cocaine trade and was blamed for numerous killings.”

    Wow! Multi-million dollars and ‘numerous killings’! Isn’t it funny how even the biggest of criminals are complete small-fry compared to ‘legitimate’ state actors? I believe some sociologist once noted that even the worst of organized crime is nothing compared to the violence and destruction governments can unleash.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Which is worst:

      1. Shorten one person’s life, against his will, by 30 years.

      2. Shorten 10,000 people’s lives, often without their knowing what is being done to them, by 1 month each.

      Is math, or arithmetic, even relevant here?

      All I know is, neoliberal deeds are more like the second type.

    2. fresno dan

      July 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Oh yeah! There is that great scene in the Godfather where Diane Keaton tells Al Pacino (Michael Corelone) how the government doesn’t kill anyone….

      MICHAEL: My father’s no different than any powerful man, any man who’s responsible for other people, like a senator or president.
      KAY: Do you know how naive you sound?
      MICHAEL: Why?
      KAY: Senators and presidents don’t have men killed!
      MICHAEL: Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Michael must have been aware of MLK’s quote about the biggest purveyor of violence.

  27. Mark

    Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien

    “It was March 17, 2003, less than nine months before he would resign as one of Canada’s most successful prime ministers, when Chrétien stood up in the House of Commons and stated: “If military action proceeds without a new resolution of the [United Nations] Security Council, Canada will not participate.”

    His announcement was met with sustained applause from a majority of MPs. A 2003 poll for The Toronto Star indicated that seven-in-10 Canadians approved of his decision.”

  28. Synapsid

    On the link about Rystad announcing that the US has more oil reserves than anyone:

    Comments at NC: zero, that I saw. Thanks for trying, though, Yves.

    Now, back to Hillary.

    Oh, if someone wonders if the announcement is correct (that would be extraordinarily important, you see), then go to the site (not and read the comments on Rystad’s announcement from professionals in the oil and gas industry.

    1. Skippy

      Half being in shale doh… then upon your suggestion looked over at oilpro find everyone head boarding their keyboard… hahahah… but hay it must be good for a few upticks on the commodity thingy or political PR leverage…

      Disheveled Marsupial… just cuz people are being – consumed – by the political theater does not mean their not looking at other stuff… eh…

  29. low integer

    Watching John Howard getting grilled by the media over the Chilcot report. Howard did so much damage to Australia’s social fabric and economy and never had any shit stick to him. Looks like that could be changing :-)

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