The Real Scandal of Clinton’s Emails: Conducting Foreign Policy In Secret

Yves here. Readers will notice that the Real News Network interviewee Bill Curry’s “Nothing illegal was done” and “The Clintons were careful not to break the law” claims are remarkably strained in light of the fact that the FBI let Hillary off the hook as far as her State Department e-mails were concerned. That’s not proof that she was innocent. That’s proof we have a two-tier justice system. Readers who had security clearances have said in comments and via e-mail they would have been fired and almost certainly faced additional sanctions for lesser misconduct. It is also instructive to see Curry try to defend Clinton as a candidate while acknowledging that she is deeply corrupt The argument seems to be “The system is corrupt” without acknowledging that differences in degree can amount to differences in kind.

Please forgive the typographical errors. The Real News Network transcripts sometimes do not have apostrophes, and this one is like that. I put them in for some words but a lot are still missing.

KIM BROWN, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Kim Brown.

Well, Bernie Sanders may have spoken too soon when he said to Hillary Clinton during one of the Democratic debates, we’re tired of hearing about your damn emails. According to the FBI there are about 15,000 additional emails and documents from during the time she was Secretary of State that were not turned over by her lawyers to investigators. And this discovery has led to more questions about whether or not Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State was pedaling influence and giving favorable deals to donors to the Clinton foundation.

Joining us today is Bill Curry. Bill is a columnist for Salon.com and he was also White House councilor to President Bill Clinton. Bill thank you so much for joining us.

BILL CURRY: My pleasure as always.

BROWN: Well there’’s so much to unpack here so let’s get right to it. The Associated Press is reporting that 154 people from private interest groups either met or had scheduled phone conversations with then Secretary Clinton. Out of those 154 persons, as many as 85 of those individuals ended up either donating to the Clinton Foundation or pledging a commitment of some kind to the foundation’s international program. Now the tally for those donors came to about 156 million dollars. Bill is this unusual dealings for a sitting Secretary of State?

CURRY: I think it’’s probably a little more of that particular kind of influence seeking for Secretary of State. But my guess is not way more. I can tell you that for any president, vice president, senator, cabinet secretary, governor, all you’re seeing here is the curtain pulled back on a conveyor belt of the wealthy, powerful, and privileged who show up at the doors of every government agency every day of our lives seeking special favor. And one of the things that I think — as I listened to Donald Trump and Reince Priebus call for a special prosecutor, I haven’t seen any evidence that a law has been broken.

But that’’s the problem. The problem is that our laws our entire, especially our campaign finance system but all of our no big contracts and revolving doors and the list goes on, whistle blower protections that we don’t have, freedom of information which has been in so many ways defamed. We lack civic self-respect as a nation. So we’ve allowed things that are wrong that are nonetheless legal. It’’s all wrong. But one it’’s not just the Clinton system, it’’s the entire system. And two from everything we’ve seen so far it’’s pretty much perfectly legal.

BROWN: And the AP noted that exact point in their reporting. They said that agreements signed by both Bill and Hillary Clinton when she accepted the position of Secretary of State, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that either Clinton violated these agreements. So as you said, it doesn’t appear as though anything illegal transpired. However, it does seem that Bill Clinton on Monday was trying to get in front of this when he announced that the Clinton Foundation would no longer accept donations from foreign governments or from American corporations or corporate charities should Mrs. Clinton be elected. Do you think Bill Clinton saw this coming?

CURRY: Let me just first of all say that it’’s way too late to get in front of it. It’’s more like trying to get out from under it at this point because it’s already hit. I wrote in Salon over a year ago that the Clintons should divest themselves completely of any interest in the Clinton Foundation. Put it in some sort of managerial equipment of a blind trust and have no further communications with it of any kind. At the time that was considered, no one took me up on it. I’’ll just leave it at that.

But it was the smart thing to do as well as the right thing to do. It’’s amazing how often those two things actually converge. But they don’t. They’’re always a day late and a dollar short on this. It always causes them more trouble than they needed to have and you know they should shut it down. I think now what I thought then which is there’’s no reason to wait till she’s president to do any of this. This is an intrinsically ethically problematic situation. It’’s just bound to create these kinds of problems.

Again that doesn’t mean that it’’s legally problematic. My guess is that they’ve been quite careful to abide by the laws. Not to nuzzle up against that fence at any point. Or to the best of their ability. But that’’s not the point. It’’s still wrong. It’’s still a problem for us. And we still want to have a different kind of foreign policy just as we want to have a different kind of government out of democracy.

BROWN: And there’’s a lot of reporting about this. Not just from the Associated Press but from a variety of media outlets. One of those being the International Business Times, the IBT. It’’s reporting that while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton gave either some sort of preference or she pushed along or pushed through an arms deal with the country of Bahrain. Bahrain being a donor to the Clinton Foundation. Bahrain also being a notorious human rights violator. It’’s so hard to say there’’s something not correct here because when you look at that sort of chain that the IBT set out in their reporting, it looks a little nefarious at minimum. Is there a problem with Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State using her influence in that position? Because as they point out in their piece that the State Department is solely responsible or has a large responsibility in the arms deals with other countries and foreign entities. And Mrs. Clinton as her role as Secretary of State also accepted donations from Bahrain and also had her hands in this arms deal. What do you think about that?

CURRY: Again I think with all this there’’s a larger point being missed. And I get that this is the kind of thing that the media could facet on but here’s the thing. You don’t have to out anybody’s emails to know that certainly at least a third of the countries we give arms to have terrible human rights records. But this is in the budget. This has been a matter of public knowledge since I was born. And so you want the country to step but just a little bit and say by the way, if this bothers you then really there’’s an entire American foreign policy bipartisan and continuous that ought to bother you.

Everybody knows we give arms to Saudi Arabia and everybody knows they have a terrible human rights record. You don’t need Hillary Clinton’s emails. And I could list more but we don’t have all the time in the world. The second thing about this is the question about her lying and what is the nature in terms of the — remember the James Comey press conference and think of all the allegations that had been made. Reince Priebus and Trump saying there ought to be a special prosecutor when there are no apparent violations. Priebus saying Clinton’s a terrible liar.

Then Trump has a narcissistic character disorder. He’s a serial liar. The likes of which we’ve never seen. It’’s a tough case to make frankly. The problem here though, if we just want to stop for a second and look at it is that so much of American foreign policy has been conducted in secret. And that every time the national security or foreign policy issues are settled in secret, the odds of our doing something that shames us as a country go way up. And when our foreign policy and national security issues are conducted out in the open, they tend to often be more high minded.

They tend to be more like the kind of foreign policy that we think America is identified with. And we like to think we would be identified with. And so there’’s a piece here that the problem with this from the beginning is — and it never ends up being the beginning of the conversation. The problem is that Clinton wasn’t doing this for convenience. She wasn’t doing this to keep her daughter’s wedding or her mom’s funeral out of public scrutiny. She was doing this in order to foil freedom of information. She was doing this to take her business affairs and even her policy affairs further from the possibility of public scrutiny.

What there really ought to be here is a recognition. Again when it’’s down and dirty and in private you get the Vietnam War. You get the Iraq War. You get serial lies drawing us into conflicts that have led our country in the world. And when it’’s done out in public you get the Martial Plan and Alliance for progress. You get better stuff. And so this really is — if Clinton wanted to have a moment in which she took some responsibility for this, the thing she could do is turn to the camera and it would be great if she really meant this and said, look I get that people are upset about this and I understand why. I understand that people have had enough secrecy. I understand they don’t want American foreign policy taken private and I promise you that when I get into office I’m going to take this lesson to heart. I’m going to make the most publicly accountable foreign policy, national security policy that we have. So far that hasn’t seemed to occur to anyone to say that. But I’d feel better if all the progressive anger were directed at that machinery of foreign policy and that machinery of national security which has served us so poorly.

BROWN: Bill I think it was Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. He wrote today, I’m paraphrasing here that basically this most recent revelation about these 15 thousand not turned over emails, it’s only being scandalized because of who it’’s about. It’’s about Hillary Clinton and about Bill Clinton. And I think if most people are honest regardless of how you feel about the Clintons, they’ve certainly been the targets of political media operatives, going back 20 or 30 years depending on who’s counting. Is this just a matter of people being mad that Bill and Hillary Clinton play the game seemingly a lot better than everybody else?

CURRY: Among elites, especially among Republican elites it probably is a question of people just being angry that Bill and Hillary play the game better than they do because they are playing the exact same game just not quite as well. But among the broader public I think it’s anger at the game itself. And again this is the point of the Bernie Sanders campaign was that we had two huge problems. One that the democracy was corrupt and two that the middle class is dying. And his third point was that the first problem is the principle cause of the second.

And whether and I would add to those two that the third grade issues and perhaps the greatest issue of our time is climate change. And in order to deal with these issues, in order to deal with the slow death of the middle class and the slow death of our environment we have to clean up our politics. We have to bring all of our decision making open. We need a democratic revolution against money interests who have never in the Gilded Age, not [boss tweed], there’’s no precedent for the amount of control that they exercise every day in this country.

And so that’’s really our job and what I see here the Clinton on the democratic side there is no question that they were architects both of global finance capitalism and the pay to play politics that sustains and they didn’t do illegal things. It’’s not a question of who has better character. And if it’’s a question of character again Donald Trump finishes last in any race by a lot. But the point here, the problem for Clinton, the problem that I had hoped Bernie Sanders would’ve made when he said we’re tired of hearing about your damn emails was that really the problem is that the entire system is corrupt and no one including Mrs. Clinton seems to have admitted that to themselves.

The fact that she remains in denial about the corruption of the system is the greatest target against her candidacy. Again you can’t help it. I feel morally bound to point out that Donald Trump has spent his entire life corrupting the system. Everything I just said, his entire business. He lives at the intersection of business and politics. By his own account he has spent his life buying influence around politicians. And he says the politicians are bad because they sell it but he’s good because he buys it? There is no logic to it. So to see us all having this discussion about whether Hillary Clinton is more corrupt than some other political candidate, certainly Trump, when we need to be having a discussion.

We need to have a whole new foreign policy. We need a whole new climate change policy to develop a sustainable economics based on the conservation and renewable energy. We need to clean up our democracy. There are a set of political choices we could make right now. If we made the right choices, we could get on the right road. What’’s most amazing about all of this is that we’re talking about this other stuff instead.

BROWN: And Bill lastly you say we need other choices right now in terms of president we have two of the most unpopular candidates historically that according to polling the American people not only dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they don’t seem to trust either of them. With this email scandal seemingly the story that does not want to die. We’ve been dealing with this well over a year now. Do you think this latest revelation is going to have any impact on Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness amongst voters?

CURRY: I’m hoping that something has happened in the last few weeks and that is that Trump’s craziness has made its point. The media did such a horrible job here. Trump is self-evidently a fascist. I’ve never thrown that word around. I hope not in the future but he fulfills every sociologist and political scientist’s textbook definition at some level.

His entire life is a fraud. Almost everything he’s ever said about himself including his wealth is completely fraudulent. And he’s emotionally unhinged. It’’s important for us to realize however as a country that if it weren’t for the mental instability this race would probably be tied. If Trump had any impulse control apparently the fact that he’s a fraud and a fascist wouldn’t have been enough to take him out. That’’s a very disturbing possibility to ponder.

I look at this and I very much want him to lose. I really do believe the progressives are better off by a lot. By not electing Donald Trump and that means electing Hillary Clinton. End of story. And the question to me is what do we do at 8:01 that night? I hope Trump loses in a landslide. I don’t even care what state you’’re in. This is the closest that someone so fascistic has come to the White House in the history of our country.

I hope it’’s a double digit defeat in the end. I think probably one of the many reasons I supported Bernie Sanders and strongly is that I felt that all the other democrats said that his radicalism would be a problem for them. They didn’t see that the Clintons’ ethical problems would mean more to people than the fact that Bernie wanted single payer healthcare, free college. In fact, those were in fact attractive things. I feel like we’re in a terrible situation here.

Even now while I believe Hillary will win. I do not think this is a done deal. This is according to real clear politics a 5-point race. So it’’s still out there. So to me I see a two-step process. I pray Trump is defeated and then at 8:01pm on election night that we begin the construction of an independent progressive movement starting with public ethics and world peace and peace issues.

Starting with the very two things that are under discussion in these emails. Ethics and foreign policy and defense. That we need the strength in the progressive movement and we need to take steps to make sure there’’s a progressive movement that simply hasn’t been colonized by the democratic party. But which like the old [women’s] and peace and environmental movements of the 60’s and 70’s stands up independently and brings pressure for change.

BROWN: We’ve been speaking with Bill Curry. Bill is a columnist for Salon.com. He was also a White House counselor to President Bill Clinton. Bill Curry thanks a lot for joining us.

CURRY: My pleasure as always.

BROWN: And thank you for watching the Real News Network.

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78 comments

  1. EndOfTheWorld

    So their strategy is to get all ad hominem with Trump. He’s a fascist serial liar with narcissistic character disorder. But they don’t actually have much documentation to back up all these claims. Hill is somehow taking the “moral high ground” by using paid surrogates to sling the mud. But what’s she gonna do at the debates, when he looks right at her and gives her hell?

    1. Vatch

      I think Trump really is a narcissistic bully. That doesn’t change the fact that Clinton is a greedy mendacious criminal.

      1. 1 Kings

        A-freaking-men Vatch.
        One of the plagues upon us today is the ‘either-or’ mandate pushed by the media. Both things can, and many times are true. Clinton and Trump are both manipulative, bullying, d-bags.(Actually add Bush and Obama for a millennial 4-bagger.)

        Per usual, we have a wonderful choice for Pres.

        1. clarky90

          I like Donald Trump. I like him far more than Hillary Clinton (who I don’t like at all) Bernie Sanders (who never interested me), Jill Stein and the Libertarian guy.

          Twenty years ago I took my oldest boy to check out the Steiner Kindergarten. I was a huge fan of Steiner Schooling. My son grabbed and hung on to my leg the entire visit. The sole teacher was “creepy”, even though, ideologically, we had the same views about “education”. We found a State School with a kind, new entrants teacher. I liked her and my son liked her.

          I unequivocally like Donald Trump. No mealy mouthed, yes, buts from me.

          No, I do not agree with everything he says! People who demand that everything in life is exactly to their expectations, are “immature” (a nice way of putting it).

          Donald Trump is risking his reputation and his actual life, to take on the establishment (the 1%). IMO he is a champion for the 99%. Look at what he has accomplished in a few short months. As Lambert keeps saying “This is a wonderfully clarifying election”. Clarifying means “bringing light (clarity, enlightenment)”. Donald Trump is the bearer of this light. Just saying.

          Jeeesh everybody, vote for Hillary Clinton if that is the side that your bread is buttered on. No hedging of bets!

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Trump is not perfect, IMHO but no candidate ever is. He’s a wild card—-anything is possible with him–but I’m willing to give him a chance. Pretty sure I’ll vote for him barring unforeseen circumstances.

          2. Mike G

            Trump has a lot of appealing-sounding rhetoric, but we have no track-record on how this would translate into governance because he’s never held public office.
            He seems to be picking his advisors from the same treadworn circle of Republican corporatist/bible-thumping hacks, and looking at the dictatorial and shady way he’s run his companies doesn’t fill me with confidence.

            1. Vatch

              He seems to be picking his advisors from the same treadworn circle of Republican corporatist/bible-thumping hacks

              You are absolutely correct. Several months ago, Trump praised Antonin Scalia. More recently, he’s given a prominent place in his campaign to fracking billionaire Harold Hamm. And just a few days ago, he said that Chicago could solve their crime problem in a week if the police would only get tougher. This is the city where a cop shot someone in the back 16 times — how would they get tougher?

          3. Russell

            We who are afraid of people who”like” Trump. Get it? You are it. Crazy as if nothing really matters because you are so used to being entertained no thought required.

    2. different clue

      The Clintonite media and the Clintonite Perma-Gov will do everything in its power to make sure that no such debates are ever allowed to take place.

      And if they did, could the shrew-and-cunning but not-deeply-intelligent Trump stay on message enough and on good enough behavior to back Clinton into a visible corner anyway? Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?

      I hope the experiment is performed, even though the Clintonites will do their best to see that it is not performed.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Yeah, she’s actually a skillful debater. Skillful in the sense of deflecting truthful accusations by slinging mud, and other oratorical techniques. Obfuscation will be her main tool. She knows she’s guilty as hell, but if she throws a mountain of bovine excrement out there the bulk of the electorate will just be confused.

        1. Mike G

          When was the last time a Presidential debate featured anything but oratorical techniques?
          They are so overscripted and content-free, I can’t understand why so much importance is placed on them. It’s just alternating reciting of speeches, another vacuous event in the bloated, interminable infotainment shit-circus campaign.

          If candidate A comes up with a sassy zinger to Candidate B’s statement, that tells me nothing about how they would administer the Executive Branch. But everyone hoots like monkeys as if it is so meaningful. “Ooh, Reagan said, ‘There you go again’! So clever! I want him running the country!”

  2. pretzelattack

    oh jesus. “quite careful not to break any laws”. and if they weren’t quite so careful, well hell the fbi and the justice department gives them a pass so it’s all good.

    1. Kulantan

      Yeah, that was a little galling to read. I don’t think “quite careful” is a term that is appropriate when someone handles classified information via an unsecured server against explicit advice.

    2. different clue

      Well . . . I have myself said (before I heard or read anything from this Curry person) that the Clintons are much better and smarter Master Shyster lawyers than Nixon ever was. And Hillary in particular probably forensically-autopsied the Nixon cover up project very carefully to see where and how it failed, so she could do it right if she ever needed to cover something up.

    3. Nelson Lowhim

      Well most of us already knew that certain laws (especially the national security ones) are for the plebs who dare to blow whistles and not for the powerful. I thought this much was obvious?

  3. pretzelattack

    shorter curry:

    we have to elect the warmonger by double digits so we can undermine her.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      So what happens after the coronation, do we get to be against all of the Bush terms 3 and 4 stuff again?

  4. TomDority

    What pecuniary benefit(s) accrue to the Clinton’s through the foundation? Any estimates of actual dollars and dollar equivalents?

    I assume from the interview and Hillary’s comments that; Hillary is dedicated to the same operational methods that President Obama has demonstrated…… say one thing to the public and do the opposite in policy….like transparency ….most transparent statements with the least transparency in practice.

    It still is al about the money and influence pedaling, special interests and legal bribery, justice for a fist full of dollars and injustice and misery if you don’t dish the bucks out. Investment through scam, as it is just to tough to do real investments in real things because that would require thinking and employing people to make a difference. IBGYBG.

    Politics like Barnum’s Circus….a suckered born every minute.

    Well…there is my cynicism for the day.

    On the other side……there can absolutely be a better and more harmonious future if a bunch of special interests would realize it is in their best interest to shoot for better days than insist on standing frozen in fear.

  5. Roger Smith

    Ugh… Here is Merriam Websters stub definition of a fascism:

    a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.

    Everything I have seen for months and months constantly shows me that the Clinton’s and this massive all in push for them is the real fascist presence in this country. Looking at MW above shows that Trump is the opposite of fascist, he is and wants the government to be criticized. One cannot sit here an claim he is a fascist (at this time, with the evidence we have). Clinton is the one saying that we shouldn’t have such a “negative” view of things, that criticism is bad. Everyone and their brother tells you that Trump has to be beaten…because… It smells rancid in here.

    For Curry to sit here and dance around calling Clinton a massive tumor, the highest symbol of the system’s problems brings into question why he is even talking about it at all. He makes some valid points then “oh god but Trump”s.

    1. Roger Smith

      The push for Clinton and validation of our current status quo is a campaign massive indoctrination.

    2. EoinW

      A fascist state exists when corporations run the government. The western world has been run by fascists for some time now.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Notice how the dictionaries don’t say anything about corporations any more when they define fascism? Ever wonder why?

      Welcome to Newspeak.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Because the corporations own the dictionary companies. They changed the definition. No, I mean really, that’s what happened.

      2. Roger Smith

        Exactly! For some reason fascism (as is anything that is not good old capitalism/free enterprise “democracy”) is lumped together with dictatorship.

        It takes a village…

      3. sj

        Notice how the dictionaries don’t say anything about corporations any more when they define fascism? Ever wonder why?”

        Holy cr@p. That’s really true. I just checked.That explains so much of the commenting I’ve seen lately.

  6. Bob

    So he is encouraging Hillary to stand up and tell the American people that she will have the most transparent administration in history, after serving in what was previously the most transparent administration in history.

    1. Patricia

      …and after having been an integral part of the administration that brought the whole shtick to full flower.

      Also, when people won’t stop repeating with increasing pitch, how rotten Trump is, the effect on me is opposite (and I’m not unusual.) Esp since both candidates are so obviously awful.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘were only allowed to see the schedule of records of the first part of her tenure’

      Then Hillary blitzed AP for not covering her entire tenure in their review — as if the incompleteness was AP’s fault.

  7. hreik

    Bob Herbert said it best 15 years ago

    The clintons are a terminally vulgar and unethical couple

    Out of order quotes:

    Mr. Clinton always had an easy, breezy relationship with wrongdoing. But the Democratic Party overlooked the ethical red flags and made a pact with Mr. Clinton that was the equivalent of a pact with the devil. And he delivered. With Mr. Clinton at the controls, the party won the White House twice. But in the process it lost its bearings and maybe even its soul.

    Link http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/26/opinion/in-america-cut-him-loose.html

    1. Jim Haygood

      The clintons are a terminally vulgar and unethical couple

      Wish this forum allowed signatures, so Bob Herbert’s deep truth could appear with every post.

  8. Harold

    Something is wrong when foreign policy is being outsourced to secret, unaccountable private interests (i.e., tax-evading oligarchs and brutal foreign dictatorships), but this is the neoliberal model for all government functions, foreign and domestic (vide — charter schools).

  9. Anne

    Months ago, Curry was railing against the Democratic Party that had anointed Clinton as inevitable, and rigged the whole process to ensure Clinton would be the nominee. Now? It’s all about the technicalities of the law and Donald Trump’s insanity. How…principled.

    What I find tragically amusing is Curry’s inability to recognize that the things he finds so abhorrent about Trump are qualities the Clintons have honed to a razor’s edge after years and years of working the system to benefit themselves. The former president who parsed the word “is” to within an inch of its life is married to the presidential nominee who proves to us on a daily basis that she, too, operates on the basis that as long as there’s no law that makes what she’s doing illegal, she will do as she pleases.

    This is not a good quality for the person upon whom the office of president will confer such tremendous power.

    People think she is “better than” Trump, because she lacks his crude and rude qualities, but in my opinion, Trump and Clinton are cut from very similar cloth. Hillary Clinton is just as hollow, just as devoid of principle, and just as greedy.

    Here’s what really bothers me: Clinton winning validates everything she represents. Winning encourages her to see every policy and every issue through a lens of “what’s in it for ME?” Winning makes her think that not only is she right about what we’ve been able to see, but that she’s right about all the things we haven’t yet seen.

    I’d pretty much like both Trump and Clinton to lose, because we’re losing not matter who wins. And I’d like every person who voted, again and again, for the lesser of two evils (and I did that more than once, myself) to acknowledge that this is where that metric takes us: choosing between two damaged, corrupt, conniving candidates who don’t give a flying fk about anything but themselves.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Trump and Clinton are cut from very similar cloth.’

      You’re right. The technical distinction is that Trump suffers from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), whereas Hillary is a straight-up sociopath (no conscience; inability to feel shame).

      In simpler terms: The Flake vs The Crook.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Like many successful individuals, Trump displays narcissistic tendencies. It’s not NPD because people with NPD can’t adapt to real life, they are miserable failures. Paraphrasing from wikipedia.

    2. EoinW

      Actually I’d say it’s a no lose election. In present time the establishment will change nothing to benefit average people. Decades of apathy have ensured there is nothing on the table to win. Therefore, the first step to forcing change is discrediting the entire system. You couldn’t find two more ideal candidates than Clinton and Trump for doing that.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Or as the one-term state senator who ran against her in 2008 said: “Hilary will say anything, and she will change nothing”.

  10. Jim Haygood

    ‘When it’’s done out in public you get the Martial Plan and Alliance for Progress. You get better stuff.”

    Seventy years ago, we had the Marshall Plan.

    Now we have the Martial Plan. And the armed forces get better stuff.

  11. YY

    Imagine, if you will, that you are a career foreign service officer and take your job, especially as to holding to base foreign policy edicts/policies as well as to the norms of how decisions are made. It’s bad enough that the likes of DEA, CIA, and military intelligence continually make loose cannon incursions on your turf, but your job is also compromised by the direct interaction/intervention, on behalf of the very same foreign parties you are supposed to deal with, by a totally unaccountable “charity” organization with your senior/top management. For this reason alone HRC’s tenure at the State Dept should be viewed with some question as to whether she knows how to properly manage an organization (not just a small team of ass kissers).

  12. Uahsenaa

    [E]very time the national security or foreign policy issues are settled in secret, the odds of our doing something that shames us as a country go way up. And when our foreign policy and national security issues are conducted out in the open, they tend to often be more high minded.

    This simply doesn’t bear the weight of evidence. Every single military boondoggle of the W and Obama administrations was conducted in full view of the public, including the “debates” that led up to them. When the extent of the administration’s drone program was revealed, there were gasps from liberal talking heads at the time, but it’s now two years later and the administration is still cruising along while indulging in this profoundly shameful example of our “foreign policy.”

    tl;dr for this interview: shill will shill, no matter how mendacious he has to be.

  13. Jim Haygood

    And the backpedaling begins:

    The Clinton Foundation is considering exceptions to its plan to stop accepting corporate and foreign donations and reduce family involvement.

    As recently as this summer, the foundation was discussing plans for Chelsea Clinton to leave the board, along with former President Bill Clinton, if Mrs. Clinton should win.

    But on Wednesday, foundation spokesman Craig Minassian said Chelsea Clinton plans to stay on the board.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/chelsea-clinton-plans-to-stay-on-board-of-family-foundation-1472081719

    As someone observed back in 2001, if you kick the Clintons out the front door of the White House, within the hour they’ll be back, trying to crawl in the basement window.

    Trying to hold the Clintons to an agreement is as useless as negotiating with squirrels not to raid the bird feeder. They simply don’t see it as wrong.

    1. Anne

      It’s like trying to get rid of cockroaches…flip on the lights and thousands of them (about 600 of which are some version of Huma Abedin) go scurrying into the cracks and crevices, where they continue to breed.

  14. EoinW

    Easy to understand Curry’s position. After all, if he was going to ask tough questions he’d never get air time with Clinton. Nigel Farage might not vote for Clinton no matter how much she paid him but how many Americans will vote for Clinton because she is paying them or they anticipate future kickbacks?

  15. Noonan

    I wish Trump would ask Hillary this question: “How much compensation did you and your husband receive for pardoning Marc Rich, and if you had been president, would you have issued the pardon?

  16. Pat

    And I have to hope that Trump wins with voters saying flat out that Clinton and her corruption was the reason so that at 8:01 on election eve the purge of the Clintons, their sycophants and enablers begins in the Democratic Party. That investigations start on Feinstein, Booker, et al by January. And we rebuild a party more interested in the voters than lining lobbyists pockets and their own.

    Neither Curry or I have a shot at getting what we say we want, but at least mine has a realistic trajectory. He has not or pretends not to get that electing Clinton solidifies this culture of corruption to the point of needing an earthquake or nuclear bomb to displace it.

  17. DJG

    Curry’s moral compass:
    “Everybody knows we give arms to Saudi Arabia and everybody knows they have a terrible human rights record. You don’t need Hillary Clinton’s emails. And I could list more but we don’t have all the time in the world. The second thing about this is the question about her lying and what is the nature in terms of the — remember the James Comey press conference and think of all the allegations that had been made. Reince Priebus and Trump saying there ought to be a special prosecutor when there are no apparent violations. Priebus saying Clinton’s a terrible liar.”

    Wowsers. First, he isn’t willing to acknowledge that the US doesn’t “give” weapons. We sell weapons. We are the arms dealer to the world. And then the U.S. looks for contracts for U.S. war profiteers to maintain the weapons. See Alex Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine September issue.

    Here’s an idea, Curry: Start firing people who lie to the Congress and to the public. What a concept. Just the lack of an inspector general at State during her term has the stench of corruption. Start right there.

    1. Steeeve

      Stench of Corruption, exactly. There’s never any Actual corruption, just every indication that it’s there. If the Clintons would at least have the common courtesy of opening a window after they fart, they could avoid much of the annoying scrutiny into where all that stench is coming from.

      *Stench of Corruption – good name for a band. Bill could be the sax player.

    2. Anne

      Curry’s moral compass has busted its spring; it’s convenient, in that no matter which direction he goes, the compass always points North.

      Corruption and greed have become the new normal, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon – and it’s certainly not going to change with a Clinton or a Trump in the WH – it’s just going to get bigger and deeper and exponentially worse.

      The prevailing response/attitude up and down the line seems to be, “yeah, so what? who’s gonna stop me?”

  18. John Wright

    Re: the missing apostrophes in the RNN transcripts

    The apostrophes are there, they are coded as a two byte character 0xC292 (hexidecimal format),

    Here is how the initial transcript text “I’m Kim Brown” looks in hex “49 c2 92 6d 20 4b 69 6d 20 42 72 6f 77 6e”

    Everything in this line is standard 8 bit ASCII, (0x49= “I”, 0x6d = “m”, 0x20 =” “) EXCEPT for the apostrophe, which is coded as 0xC2 0x92

    Maybe RNN can substitute the standard ASCII character for apostrophe (0x27) for the two byte coding in the future?

    A text editor, if it supports searching and replacing of non ASCII characters, could be used to do a global search and replace,

    Alternatively, as Unix was favorably mentioned in NC recently, perhaps a script using the ancient (1974) Unix “sed” tool could do the trick, replacing the two character 0xC2, 0x92 with standard ASCII apostrophe 0x27.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sed

    A bash script containing a single line may suffice: sed ‘s/\xC2\x92/\x27/g’ inputfile.txt > fixedfile.txt

    This might save Yves some time.

  19. m

    This lesser of two evils is tiring. Both Clinton’s past actions speak for themselves. I doubt they have changed, but know how to cover their tracks better. The fact that everyone R or D hates Trump, corporate media hates him, warmongers and the Kochs. No matter what tax dollars will be wasted on cronies. If his friends make out rebuilding our roads & bridges, better than wars, TPP & Obamacare.
    Hillary may have the cash, but in these swing states the people that she needs to vote are the ones that have been disenfranchised over the years. Trump still draws numbers of people to his speeches. And this is vacation-getting ready to go back to school time.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Yeah, there are many Americans who “refuse to vote for any politician.” THAT’S their political statement. But in the primaries both Bernie and The Donald drew out some of those malcontents, got them interested enough to vote.

      Trump is drawing well at his rallies. Hill couldn’t draw flies if she was giving a porta potty demonstration. She will only win this election by massive vote fraud.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Borg surrounds and assimilates any foreign bodies (Tea Party, Bernie, BLM, Trump populism) like a helper T-cell surrounds and absorbs cancer. Resistance is Futile.

  20. Mark Anderlik

    I’m going to take a somewhat contrary view here. I think that Curry has an excellent point that the corruption is way more systematic than any two individuals. Curry nailed it when he said that the Clintons game the system better than anyone else, and that is partly why they get such vitriol from other elites. But why are we playing the same game in our comments here? To focus our vitriol on just the Clintons raises the danger that we blind ourselves to the systemic nature of the political/economic corruption. And if we are blind to that, we lose our ability to strategize and organize for change. Yes it is about who wins the Presidency. But it is ONLY the Presidency. There is a whole lot more to politics and the economy than that.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Agree with you Mark Anderlik. Triangulation strategy works only as long as the voters fail to recognize they have alternatives and that the two legacy parties’ duopoly control is largely a matter of flawed perception.

      Among other accomplishments, Curry was a successful politician at the state level. IMO (and it is only that) It’s good to see his view aligns with the Green Party platform:

      …”We need to have a whole new foreign policy. We need a whole new climate change policy to develop a sustainable economics based on the conservation and renewable energy. We need to clean up our democracy. There are a set of political choices we could make right now. If we made the right choices, we could get on the right road. What is most amazing about all of this is that we are talking about this other stuff instead.” —Bill Curry, RNN Interview

      1. TheCatSaid

        We need to clean up the system–and to do that, we need to hold powerful people to account. Curry seems to suggest that powerful people should get a free past cuz the system. Change would happen really quick if there were personal risk.

  21. armchair

    Why should any of the little voters buy into this corruption? So the Clinton’s have danced up to the edge of criminality, but they are so wicked smart that they have never gone over the line. Fine. Good for them, but what kind of a future is in store for the little people? The little people are offered the option to take to the streets on a November night? Keep in mind that during WTO in Seattle in 1999, it was made a crime to where a gas mask. The Clinton team has a strong record of crushing protest. By election night there will be zero leverage.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Why should anyone believe the assertion the Clinton’s have danced up to the edge of criminality? The investigations into the matter were quashed under a cloud. That speaks of criminality in itself Pretzelattack indicated below.

      1. armchair

        Dodging full blown criminality is the Clinton art. The interviewee annoys me too, but I can go along with the interviewees point that yelling criminals is not yet productive. After all, it is the state that brings the charges. I am not yet aware of a fact pattern that fits in a criminal violation beyond a reasonable doubt.

  22. Fred

    “everybody knows we give arms to Saudi Arabia and everybody knows they have a terrible human rights record. ”

    No they don’t. Which is a big problem. Who cares about gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia and the execution of homosexuals and the absolute refusal of the King of Saudi Arabia, defender of the holy places of Islam, to accept a single refugee from Syria or Turkey. Certainly not the democratic politicians running for office.

  23. TheCatSaid

    At a recent conference Peter Paget (ex MI6 see also basesproject2016) said Hillary Clinton has 3 serious diseases and is in very poor health; she will be elected but will be dead within 6 months of taking office.

    Both Dem & Rep VP picks appear highly strategic–they are the ones who will eventually hold office. They are both right wing. They can be relied upon to execute orders given from TPTB whoever that might be.

  24. TarheelDem

    I’m beginning to think that the critics of Sec. Clinton are beginning to lose the thread of their criticism in the fixation on having some scandal, any scandal, disrupt her candidacy and prevent her election.

    What started out as disclosure of classified document required the reclassification of some documents to a higher classification than marked to make that even considerable as evidence.

    Now there are the “missing emails–15,000 of them”. Considering that the server she was using was ostensible set up for private communications, there would be lots of legitimate private communications that were not originally handed over to authorities — a request, incidentally, made of no previous Secretary of State about their private correspondence. And certainly of no President about the papers they squirrel away to deep six as part of the editing in their Presidential libraries.

    What is interesting about this is that likely, when the full story comes to light, a Congressional “oversight” committee has succeeded in legally forcing the disclosure of substantial private correspondence as part of a fishing expedition for a scandal, any scandal, to use to attack a known candidate for President. And they have succeeded in prevailing over constitutional checks and balances because the issue has become highly politicized to the point where the executive and the Clintons eventually decide that compliance is more tolerable than the cost of asserting Constitutional rights that might lose because they are at this point more than ordinary citizens. Are you aware of how unprecedented this is, including the tactical leaks to the media from the committee and from the FBI.

    Of course not. It is the same process that spent $50 million or more and came up with a dirty dress, Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and Jonah Godberg’s mother. And at the points there and here, where other public officials would have and did stonewall and succeed with the media and the courts, the Clinton’s failed because the media were primed by well-funded opposition researchers whose sole purpose was to bring down the desegregating Clintons, the ambitious politicians who would not wait their turn in a small Southern good-ole-boy state. Hillary still to a lot of folks carries the taint of Bill because she “stood by her man” in the middle class way of doing things. Some feminist she! Lots of vitriol across the political spectrum there — earned and unearned. I get the passion of opposition against her.

    So now the rap is that she is conducting foreign policy in secret and approving miitary aid for nations that host US bases in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation, which obviously pays her some sort of director compensation that enriches the Clinton’s bank account. Oh, I will every foundation in the country and every director of those foundations were held to that standard. And I do wish that the one of Wilson’s 14 points, “Open covenants openly arrived at.” were the way that international relations was conducted. It would have been delightful if the media held John Foster Dulles and Jimmy Byrnes to the Hillary Clinton test. This is not snark; I’ve long advocated this principle. I’ve been called naive because it runs afoul of the political dynamics that one saw in the open general assemblies of the Occupy Wall Street movement. And then there’s media spin of any open negotiation.

    Good luck. If you can shame Sec. Clinton into operating the government, especially foreign policy, in a way that has never occurred before, more power to you. But this has become a distraction from actual oversight and from campaign policy. And Trump is in the very fortunate position of never having held public office and having legal requirements to self-disclose absolutely nothing, not even his tax returns. And the third party candidates are not in the media glare, no matter how much they might aspire to be for the purpose of name recognition.

    Will it go away? I doubt that it will. Drowning witches is just too much community fun.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I am a critic of Sec. Clinton — but I have plenty of thread and any I’ve lost is just because there is so much thread to keep track of. I’ll have to buy a new sewing basket.

      Pulling on the most obvious thread. Just the fact of setting up a separate email server and co-mingling official emails with private emails seems more than adequate as a scandal in and of itself. For most ordinary people the prima facia appearance of this act is more than sufficient to garner severe censure from the Federal Security people. The question of classifications you raise is not material. After co-mingling emails Hillary’s right to claim privacy withers.

      Now pull the threads of content — the “reclassification” you refer to might better be described as a process of properly classifying the materials. I suspect none of the emails had been reviewed for their security classification before their exchange. If any of the emails contained classified information — information that should be classified according to the Security Regulations — which by-the-way tend to overclassify everything — and those emails went over a private email server on the Internet that is a very serious — probably criminal Security Violation. [I’m violating Occam’s razor here — the point of the second paragraph is a sufficient number of devils and angels to make the argument — but for argument’s sake I’ll multiply them a little further.]

      Your reference to Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky helps remind me of the high contrast between the treatment the MSM gave Bill Clinton and the the present apologies the MSM repeats ad naseum for Hillary. Just listening to NPR news for an hour or two is enough to make me want to vomit. Returning to some of the email contents revealed — there appears to be more than a suggestion of quid-pro-quo in the exchanges of money and favors. Just the amounts of money contributed and the mysterious good works of the Clinton Foundation stink of foul corruption. I don’t know much about Dulles or Byrnes and they’re not heroes of mine. Has there always been corruption in politics and diplomacy? — probably. But we did have laws and a Department of Justice — once upon a time — which made an effort to correct for that. That corruption stinks and revolts and has been with us since the beginning of time doesn’t make good argument to convince me we should not make every effort to excise corruption and burn the repellant mess — not vote it into the Presidency.

      As for shaming Sec. Clinton — that must be a joke. Hillary has proven she has no shame. Comparing the corruption of Hillary and Trump — I won’t go there. A pustule is a pustule. And I disagree with your assessment whether the review of Hillary’s email server scandal and emails will go away — it already has — at least in the MSM and the minds of Hillary partisans. Now it is just means for promoting suggestions of “poor persecuted Hillary” and the “move along these aren’t the emails you’re looking for”.

    2. pretzelattack

      they already found a scandal. the doj didn’t indict, and comey gave a remarkable performance, listing some of the things that would be indictable, but then did a 180. this is not vince foster act 2. she is not being persecuted because she is a woman. she is avoiding indictment because she is a rich, powerful politician.

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    And I forgot to add that Bill Clinton was accused of a sexual peccadillo and sexually exploiting a young aid — and I remember Lewinsky as a reasonably willing participant. Contrast that with what appears to me to be a gross malfeasance.

  26. Jeremy Grimm

    I listened to the Real News interview with Bill Curry. Wow! That interview was on Real News? As Kim Brown tossed out helpful softballs — Curry started making apologies and tossing out red herrings for Hillary and ended his performance with the old Hillary is bad but better Hillary than Trump. This guy was a counselor to Bill Clinton? Is he the guy who came up with “depends on what your definition of is is”? First Robert Reich who served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor comes out as a former Sanders supporter who argues “Hillary is bad but better Hillary than Trump” and now Bill Curry who served as Bill Clinton’s counselor comes out as a former Sanders supporter who argues “Hillary is bad but better Hillary than Trump”. What’s going on here?

    What about this guy’s statements and arguments — we need a different kind of democracy a different kind of foreign policy — U.S. arms sales to nations with a bad human rights record has a long history [did it include pay-to-play access and more than a little suggestion of quid pro quo? – the real issues in contention] — foreign policy made in secret is how it’s always been done and foreign policy in the light is usually so much nicer [so how about a lot more light? and again he shifts away from the real issues in contention] — private server was only there to avoid FOIA [so that makes it OK? again shifts from the issues in contention] . Those are just a few of the red herrings I caught. What about the idea that Hillary needs to make a mia culpa and promise to be nice in the future? Or the suggestion Hillary is just better at the game — implicitly suggesting envy motivates the criticism. The capping insult of this interview was Curry’s suggestion we all climb on-board the “Democratic Revolution” to construct an independent progressive movement under the wing of but not colonized by the Democratic Party. What comes next? Are there plans underway to construct a new Bullmoose party just in case? I already saw that movie.

  27. DarkMatters

    I could understand someone calling Trump a demagogue or populist, but fascist just doesn’t fit. That sort of regimentation and state security is H’s schtick.

  28. Russell

    I read this while I was waiting for a prescription to be filled. I had started it and then finished it then drove around trying to get something done. I was worn down. Now, I’ve had a few hours.
    It is like there is so much mud thrown at our faces you have to nearly gouge your eyes out to see through it.
    Herein the man says something very very important. Foreign Policy last I was fastened on the Generals making it.
    Foreign Service Professionals. They know it is all bad. Then they are in the corruption centers. Chances for redemption go by and they just throw it off thinking we are too stupid for it to matter.
    This is the thing about Snowden & Assange, they believe in what we think we believe, but really believe, a lot.
    Secrecy has meant more of wasted courage and failed morality and distorted any ethical superiority that the US aimed for since 1899, and the dreadnoughts. Every since the Philippines its just been a repeat of the same things.
    Fronts, the fronts. Fortunes made & where did it come from and where does it go? Let it loose and your buddy, the one on the take.
    Harlots Ghost. We had writers, novels.
    Dan Sherman get it with his Prince of Berlin & Chinese Mandarin, & then there the Borne Identity really useful for reading between the lines.
    But this guy Bill hit the nail on the head. We stupid lumpen proletariat will make a better decision than any of them if we just get the truth.

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