PZ Myers says that we should just put aside any controversy over Hillary Clinton’s private email server, since the FBI probe announced there was “no intentional misconduct” on the part of the former Secretary of State. It was “sloppy,” he says, “not criminal.”
What he glosses over there is the fact that “sloppy” is criminal, as a number of others have found. There’s also evidence that her testimony contained a number of false statements regarding her use of an unsecured email server for transmitting classified information, and that at least some of the evidence has been not only deleted from the hard drive, but scrubbed clean with special forensics-defying tools designed to prevent even the FBI from recovering the information.
PZ warns us against “focusing once again on a ‘controversy’ ginned up by right-wing liars,” but there’s more here than just a “ginned up” controversy. If anything, we ought to be even more concerned by left-wing liars than by those on the right. (Especially if they’re also unwilling to reveal the extent of their ties to the reckless and unscrupulous business interests that dragged our economy to the brink of collapse near the end of GWB’s second term.)
I’ve worked in government, and I know the kind of security policies they have in place, and the attention they pay to making sure that people with security clearances know what they need to do to keep information secure. It is beyond reasonable imagining that Hillary spent 8 years as First Lady, and 4 as Secretary of State, without sitting through at least one security briefing.
What bothers me the most about this is not just that she disregarded standard security procedures, but that she (and those around her) seem to regard herself as being too important to be held accountable for obeying the laws that apply to other people’s lives and conduct. This kind of elitism isn’t just tone deaf, it invites comparisons to the Nixon presidency.
Now is not the time for liberals to try to pull some kind of PR cover-up*, because doing so will only reinforce the mistrust and hostility that feeds into Donald Trump’s popularity. I’m glad Trump is tanking in the polls, but I worry that (a) people might vote differently than they respond on polls and (b) Trump might not need a traditional campaign if his opponents do his campaigning for him. And putting Hillary Clinton above the law stands a good chance of accomplishing exactly that.
*Note: and just to clarify, I’m speaking of liberals in general—I’m sure PZ has no intention of trying to promote any Nixonesque cover-ups here. Nevertheless, if we say we should try and brush off this issue, and ignore the serious questions and evidence regarding Hillary’s conduct, we run the risk of achieving the same effect as a deliberate cover-up, and that’s a possibility we should take pains to avoid.