*******Released Hillary e-mails show how Clinton Foundation donors bought themselves State Dept. access
"Those who have been intoxicated with power... can
never willingly abandon it."
"Those who have been intoxicated with power... can
never willingly abandon it."
-- Edmund Burke*******
No wonder Hillary is getting so aggressive in her attacks on the Benghazi committee
Robert Laurie -- Bio and Archives
October 6, 2015
It’s really not hard to put this together. On the one hand, you’ve got a highly ambitious, money-grubbing politician who is obsessed with becoming president - but who has to settle for Secretary of State because actually getting elected proves difficult when you’re an unappealing and totally inept candidate. On the other hand, you’ve got this person’s ex-husband - oh, sorry, ex-president husband - who along with her has set up a “global charity” that rakes in big dollars from the most influential people in the world. The very same people who are likely to come before the State Department with all kinds of issues.So who do you think is going to get the quickest attention from the Secretary of State? Perhaps the very same people who are lining her pockets via this shameless Foundation? You’d presume that if you have a lick of sense, but you would also welcome evidence that proves it. And now we have it, via the latest release of the Hillary e-mails she so desperately tried to keep out of the public eye.
The Washington Post reports on the pattern these e-mails reveal. People who gave generously received generous attention from the Secretary of State:
The e-mails that mention donors — numbering a few dozen out of the thousands of pages of messages released so far — do not show that financial supporters were able to alter policy decisions. But the dynamic points to one of the unusual aspects of Clinton’s record at the State Department. Because she and her family have raised so much money over the years from wealthy individuals and major corporations — for political campaigns as well as the sprawling global charity founded by her husband, former president Bill Clinton — her public business as secretary inevitably brought her in contact with private interests that helped boost her family’s philanthropy and income.Republicans have accused Hillary Clinton of potential conflicts of interest in mixing her public and private work.
Clinton aides declined to comment for this article but have waved away such suggestions in the past. They have said that interactions with prominent players in the world of finance and politics are to be expected of a secretary of state and that there is no indication of any impropriety.
The e-mails show that, in some cases, donors were granted face-to-face contact with top officials.
For the most part the Post played in pretty straight in writing this story, but you have to love (as in, not love) the comment about “Republicans” accusing Hillary of conflicts of interest, as if no one but her partisan opponents sees a problem with any of this.
The story details a myriad of examples where Clinton Foundation donors, including George Soros and Bill Gates, got access and prompt attention for any number of matters.
Now let’s consider the ClintonWorld defense that the Secretary of State would naturally come in contact with folks like this as a result of what the job entails. That is actually true, which is the very reason it’s inappropriate to be running a global foundation seeking dollars from such people while simultaneously doing the job of Secretary of State. If Soros, Gates and others want to bring matters before the State Department, let them do it in the normal way. Given their status, you wouldn’t think they’d have a hard time getting a phone call returned by a State Department that played it straight. Instead, because of the Clinton Foundation, it was easy for these guys to skip to the front of the line simply by writing a check.
And people at this level know full well that this is how Hillary plays. You want access? You pay. The Clintons are first and foremost all about money for themselves, and the people who have it figure it’s easier to just pay up than to object on the basis of some ethical principle, assuming they would even be inclined toward any such objection.
No wonder Hillary is getting so aggressive in her attacks on the Benghazi committee. Without the committee’s work, we would never have known she used a private homebrew server exclusively for all her work-related e-mails, and we would not be reading any of the information that now reveals just how big a self-serving schlock operation she was running at the State Department. She’s hoping that she can discredit the committee to such an extent that the media will stop covering any information that came to light as a result of its work.
I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I suppose I should not underestimate the media’s willingness to do the bidding of Democrats. Covering up what’s coming to light is really Hillary’s only hope at this point, and she’s going to need the help of the press to do it.
Asked about email, Hillary claims she’s the ‘most transparent’ person in U.S. history
October 6, 2015
At this point, it’s safe to say that no one believes anything Hillary Clinton is saying. Conservatives have long seen through her steady stream of half-truths, obfuscation, and outright lies, and now her own party overwhelmingly views her as untrustworthy as well. About the only person who still seems to believe the manure Clinton shovels is ...Clinton herself.
Yesterday, during her NBC town hall, Clinton was asked the following:
“Do you get how bad it looks? It looks like you set up your personal server, you set up your email, so that you would have control of those emails and you and you alone would decide when you would release them, whether you would release them.”
Of course, it “looks” that way, because that’s precisely what she did. Hillary, however, disagrees:
“I have gone further than anybody that I’m aware of in American history. Now it’s not a long history since we haven’t had emails that long. As long as we’ve had them, I’ve gone longer and farther to be as transparent as possible. Nobody else has done that.”
“Do you get how bad it looks? It looks like you set up your personal server, you set up your email, so that you would have control of those emails and you and you alone would decide when you would release them, whether you would release them.”Of course, it “looks” that way, because that’s precisely what she did. Hillary, however, disagrees:“I have gone further than anybody that I’m aware of in American history. Now it’s not a long history since we haven’t had emails that long. As long as we’ve had them, I’ve gone longer and farther to be as transparent as possible. Nobody else has done that.” Keep in mind that recently released Clinton emails - including those showing she sold State Department access via the Clinton Foundation - weren’t released by choice. They’re just the most recent revelation stemming from a year-long process by which they were dragged, kicking and screaming, into the light. If Hillary had her way, no one would ever have seen them.
Clinton’s claim that she was completely forthcoming is so utterly ridiculous, so completely M.C. Escher-esque in its tortured logic, that it makes one question the woman’s sanity. Sure, we all know she’s crooked, but we’re starting to wonder if a lifetime of lying and deceit has led her to a point where she actually believes what she’s saying. Is it possible she’s become so deluded that she no longer has any idea what the truth actually is?
How else can you explain a human being who has the ability to say this with a straight face?
As for her concern that people might find her emails “boring,” she probably shouldn’t worry. We’ve all been reading them with great interest.
Hillary on whether she wiped her server clean: ‘Like with a cloth or something?Toilet paper would have made more sense
August 19, 2015
Just remember: This is merely the primary campaign season, and an early phase of it at that. Any of you thinking of actually voting for this woman, we’re in for four years of this crap if she somehow gets herself elected. I don’t know if I can take it. I don’t know if anyone can.
The slavish devotion to the talking-point denial is really quite something. No matter how much we’ve learned to the contrary, Hillary just sticks to her story. Whatever do you mean? What I did was completely allowed. It was totally up to me what I had to turn over. Would have been the same if I’d used the government server, don’t you know. Why do you keep asking me? No one cares about this!
It would have really been funny if, instead of the lame line about the cloth, she had said toilet paper - not only because of where the server was apparently located, but also because you know perfectly well where she’s pulling her answers from:
Here’s one thing I’m still trying to work out: Does Hillary live in this little world where she really thinks no one but the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and their dutiful media mouthpieces cares about this? Or is pretending to believe that all part of her act? It’s hard to tell because she’s such a bad liar, but at the same time she really has no core convictions. So whether she’s outright lying or expressing things as she kinda sorta really sees it, she sounds insincere either way.
My guess is this: She thinks the whole thing about the private server and the rules she broke is esoteric enough that the voters are mostly yawning even as the media pay more attention to it, so she can keep treating the story with boredom and disdain in the hope that people watching are having the same reaction. More of this? Really? Get back to the issues!
Remember, that play worked pretty well for Bill with the Monica thing. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s where MoveOn.org got its name. Clinton’s supporters said enough already, time to move on, and the public largely agreed. But of course we’ve noted more than once that Hillary isn’t Bill, and boinking an intern - while horrendous - is not the same thing as dealing with top secret information on a slipshod homebrew e-mail server that you insisted on using because you didn’t want your correspondences to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
And that’s where I think, despite her capacity for delusion, Hillary knows she’s in trouble. There’s a reason she went to so much trouble to avoid using the government’s server. If it’s true, as the FBI apparently thinks, they can recover the data from the server Hillary thought was wiped clean, then Trey Gowdy will be able to subpoena all the content and we’ll know everything - about Hillary’s discussions with Sid Blumenthal about Benghazi, about her use of e-mail to solicit money for the Clinton Foundation in exchange for policy favors . . . everything. All her money grubbing. All her attempts to cover up her own incompetence. All her use of people like Blumenthal who weren’t supposed to have anything to do with State Department business.
This is why the questions irritate Hillary so much. It’s not the process violations she’s afraid will trip her up. It’s what will happen when we can actually read the e-mails. Hillary is bad enough when we see her public persona. Once we can see what she’s really like when she thinks no one is looking or reading . . . you’ll wish you could wipe the server of your brain of what you’ll see, with a cloth, with toilet paper, with anything you can get your hands on.
It will be that nasty. The truth about her always has been.
Hillary’s secret email was maintained by a tiny company that kept the servers in the bathroom
If Hillary couldn't handle an email address without exposing classified material to hackers, why should she be trusted to run the entire country?
August 19, 2015
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly claimed that her super-secret private server was absolutely secure. It was a regular email Fort Knox. So, how secure was it? So secure that the servers were housed in the bathroom closet of an 1,800-square-foot Denver loft.
You read that right. The company tasked with handling the classified emails that Mrs. Clinton wasn’t supposed to be sending was a mom and pop firm called “Platte River Networks.” ...And the titular river, was, apparently, the toilet.
The Hillary faithful will, no doubt, argue that the location of the server has little to do with how tough the encryption is. They’ll say “So they were in a bathroom closet. The information was still locked down and that’s all that matters.”
Unfortunately, some of the companies own former employees disagree. They express shock that such sensitive material was handled in such a shoddy way, and they can’t figure out why Clinton was using their firm in the first place. If that’s not enough, it seems they were told to keep it all a secret as well.
From the Daily Mail, who tracked down the ex-Platte River Networks workers:
One, Tera Dadiotis, called it ‘a mom and pop shop’ which was an excellent place to work, but hardly seemed likely to be used to secure state secrets. And Tom Welch, who helped found the company, confirmed the servers were in a bathroom closet.It can also be disclosed that the small number of employees who were aware of the Clinton contract were told to keep it secret.
How did Clinton come to use what appears to be, at least at the time, a pretty dinky operation? No one’s entirely sure. However, they do have a close relationship with another political entity: The Democratic Party.
The way in which Clinton came to contract a company described as a ‘mom and pop’ operation remains unclear. However Daily Mail Online has established a series of connections between the firm and the Democratic Party.Speaking to Daily Mail Online at her home in Castle Rock, Colorado, Tera said: ‘I think it’s really bizarre, I don’t know how that relationship evolved.‘At the time I worked for them they wouldn’t have been equipped to work for Hilary Clinton because I don’t think they had the resources, they were based out of a loft, so [it was] not very high security, we didn’t even have an alarm.‘I don’t know how they run their operation now, but we literally had our server racks in the bathroom. I mean knowing how small Platte River Networks… I don’t see how that would be secure [enough for Clinton].’Founded in 2002 by entrepreneurs Treve Suazo, Brent Allshouse and Tom Welch, Platte River Networks worked out of a 1,858 square feet loft apartment in downtown Denver up until this earlier year when they moved to a much bigger 12,000 sq.ft space.Clinton’s ‘homebrew’ computer system housed her emails while she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013. Platte River Networks provided its services in mid-2013 according to Barbara Wells, the company’s lawyer.”
Hillary said she turned over everything. She didn’t.
Hillary said she never sent classified material. She did.
Hillary said all of her correspondence was saved because people at the other end of the conversations were using government addresses. They weren’t. In fact some of them had private addresses on her server.
Hillary said her server was secure. We’re willing to bed the NSA, DHS, and Pentagon don’t consider a bathroom closet in Denver “secure.”
Hillary still maintains that the 30,000 deleted emails were all recipes, wedding plans, and personal musings. Given that she’s lied about everything else, why would any sane person believe that?
Given her gross disregard for laws and rules, much less the sensitive nature of the information she was passing around, how can the DNC still pretend that Hillary is capable of leading the most powerful nation on Earth? If the woman couldn’t handle an email address without exposing classified material to hackers, why should she be trusted to run the entire country?
The man who knew too much? The truth about the death of Hillary Clinton's close friend Vince Foster
By Sally Bedell Smith15 January 2008
On a Monday night in July 1993, a 48-year-old lawyer called Vince Foster was found dead in a park near Washington DC.He had died from a gunshot wound to the mouth and his father's .38-calibre revolver, dating from 1913, was at his side.
It was the same method of suicide used by a Marine officer in the film A Few Good Men - which Foster was known recently to have watched.
In the movie, the officer had killed himself because he was distraught about testifying against his commanding officer.
In real life, Vince Foster was distraught at the prospect of being grilled about the shady affairs of Hillary Clinton.
A clear case of suicide, then. Or was it? As the months passed, wild rumours began to grow that a hitman had murdered him because he knew too much.
Tall and handsome, Vince Foster was one of Hillary's closest colleagues and best friends.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, they were partners in a law firm while Bill Clinton was governor of the state. And, naturally, when the Clintons moved to the White House, Vince Foster came, too.
It was unusual for Hillary to have such a close friendship with a man. Since her school days, she had operated most easily among women; and when it came to appointing her own staff at the White House, she chose 29 women and one man.
Her subordinates - who called her "The Big Girl" or later "Big Mama" and wore badges saying "Hillaryland" - had a starry-eyed devotion that was almost cult-like.
One of Hillary's friends said: "They were all afraid to say no to her."
She was a hard taskmaster and would call her staff at home after hours to make trifling requests.
According to White House chronicler Bob Woodward, she "frequently reduced her personal travelling aide to tears" when the assistant failed to produce something Hillary needed.
She had a temper, but instead of "making nice" afterwards, as Bill did, Hillary withdrew in cool silence.
"One time, Hillary said: 'Mel, your problem is you just aren't mean enough,'" recalled her friend Mary Mel French.
"I couldn't work for her and keep our friendship. She is too dogmatic. She gets so into it that she ends up being mean. That is why she has to have such a young staff. They take it, and they bow and scrape."
According to one commentator, the reason Hillary surrounded herself with women was because she found men too complicated. Indeed, she once told former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who owed her appointment to Hillary's support: "We both know what a**holes men can be."
The one man who was definitely not an a**hole was Vince Foster. Hillary used to say he reminded her of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird - reserved, upright and dependable.
"People gravitated to Vince because he was a world-class listener," recalled a former Little Rock lawyer. "Women were drawn to him not just because he was smart and handsome, but because he seemed to keep secrets."
At the funeral for Hillary's father, who died during the Clintons' first term at the White House, it was on Foster's shoulder that the First Lady rested her slightly over-large head.
Inevitably, this intimate gesture added fuel to rumours that they were - or at least had been - romantically involved. After all, Bill Clinton had been seeking his pleasures elsewhere - so why not Hillary?
Aware of all the talk even before his arrival in Washington, Foster himself raised the subject in his first meeting with the man who would be his immediate boss, White House counsel Bernie Nussbaum.
There was no truth in the rumour, said Foster. And when his wife, Lisa, was asked about it later, she insisted: "I don't think Hillary would do it. I think, in a lot of ways, he felt sort of protective of her."
Hillary had long relied on Foster as a confidant, telling him before Bill's inauguration that, despite being an unelected spouse, she was going to "take command" and be "involved in this presidency" - a conversation he recorded in a journal. In turn, he idolised her.
Did that admiration make him cross a line that would normally have stopped him short? In the weeks before the inauguration, he had worked intensively with another Arkansas lawyer to expunge Bill and Hillary's financial records of a shady land deal - a scandal later known as the Whitewater affair.
Later, there were several official investigations into the Clintons' complex web of financial and real estate dealings, which culminated in criminal convictions for some of their associates, though Hillary and Bill were never prosecuted themselves.
Whitewater was later seen as symptomatic of the culture that existed in Arkansas during Bill's governorship, when the Clintons' connections helped them to enrich themselves.
For example, to augment her $110,000 salary, Hillary had earned large sums from seats on local corporate boards, including Wal-Mart.
One company chairman explained Hillary's presence on his board as "making sure he was in good grace with the people in power."
In that atmosphere, Bill and Hillary developed a sense of entitlement, borrowing from banks operated by political friends and accepting favours from individuals and corporations, such as the free use of private planes.
Was some of this weighing on Vince Foster's mind when he became both White House deputy counsel and attorney for both Bill and Hillary? What is certain is that he was unsettled by the First Lady's increasingly uncompromising demands.
In March 1993, he told a colleague that she had "snapped at him" - a rebuke that "hurt him deeply."
It was clear that Foster was having difficulty being ordered around by the woman who had recently been his equal.
One of his first jobs in the White House was to try to make sense of the Clintons' false tax returns concerning the Whitewater land investment. A note in his hand-writing, found much later, warned that Whitewater was "a can of worms you shouldn't open."
Another "can of worms" that landed on his desk concerned the collapse of a bank called Madison Guaranty. To his consternation, allegations were being made that funds from the bank had been illegally diverted to Bill Clinton's campaign for governor in the mid-Eighties - and that Bill and Hillary had intervened with state regulators to help keep the bank solvent.
Foster was also fretting over the "excessive" sums Hillary was lavishing on redecoration of the White House.
In the end, though, it was the firing of seven staff - following pressure from the imperious First Lady - that "drove Vince batty," according to White House counsel Bernie Nussbaum.
Hillary had become convinced that the staff in the travel office that served the White House press corps were guilty of "financial mismanagement and waste." Foster was asked to help get rid of them.
In a meeting with him on May 13, 1993, Hillary asked him if he was "on top of" the travel office situation. He assured her that his team was working on it.
Afterwards, Foster noted that Hillary's mood was "general impatience ... general frustration."
Other White House aides later confirmed that she wanted her own "people" in the office, and that everyone felt "there would be hell to pay" if her wishes were defied.
On May 19, the travel office's seven employees were fired - and there was immediate uproar. Allegations of cronyism hit the headlines when it emerged that a distant cousin of Bill was to be put in charge of the office, while a friend of a friend was being promoted to take over some of the White House's air-charter business.
Worse still, none of the charges against the original travel office employees stood up, and their precipitous dismissals became a damaging test of Hillary's honesty.
She now insisted that the firings were not her fault. Others had misconstrued an "off-hand comment": she had meant only to suggest that the staff should "look into" questions about mismanagement.
Hillary also insisted she didn't know the "origin of the decision" to remove the employees, and that she "did not direct that any action be taken."
An official report issued seven years later concluded that her statements had been "factually false."
At the time, Vince Foster felt deeply responsible for the imbroglio and was worried that Congress might investigate. White House aide David Watkins remembers Foster saying to him "My God, what have we done?" and expressing concern that Hillary's role in the firings would come to light.
He urged Watkins to protect "the client" at all costs.
Foster knew that in shielding Hillary, he might have to mislead congressional investigators under oath - a grim prospect for a man who took pride in being a straight arrow.
By mid-July, he had lost more than a stone in weight and seemed unusually subdued. He twice told his wife that he felt under pressure and was thinking of returning to Arkansas.
Talking to a colleague about his dealings with Hillary, he said: "It's not the same." On one matter after another, he confided, she would bark "Fix it, Vince!" or "Handle it, Vince!" and leave him to pick up the pieces.
On July 16, Foster and his wife drove to an inn in Maryland for the weekend. At dinner that night, Foster cried when Lisa asked him "if he felt trapped." Three days later, he called his doctor, who gave him a prescription for the antidepressant Desyrel.
The following night, July 20, he was found dead.
Hillary burst into tears when she was told. But her behaviour, as well as that of staff and associates, in the days following Foster's death was to haunt the administration for years, raising questions about what the Clintons had to hide - about Whitewater, "Travelgate," the failed Arkansas bank and more besides.
The night after the tragedy, White House staff - including Hillary's Chief of Staff - searched Foster's office for a suicide note. Under the noses of the police and FBI, they took away a number of sensitive files.
Later, it was alleged but never proved that the Clintons had combed through these files during the five days before they were handed over.
Other key papers - records for Hillary's legal work on the failed Arkansas bank - appear to have gone missing, too. Although later the subject of a subpoena, the records were not retrieved for more than two years.
Whatever the truth behind all the activity that followed Foster's death, the appearance of concealment was enough to trigger five separate federal inquiries.
There were also three official investigations into Foster's death, all of which concluded that he had committed suicide.
After Foster's funeral in Arkansas, Hillary had difficulty getting out of bed for several days. Her friend's death had "ripped a hole" through her, according to Ann McCoy, a friend from Arkansas.
On the day she returned to her office, a torn-up note on yellow paper was found at the bottom of Foster's briefcase. It was a list of grievances and concerns about life in the White House that he had jotted down in the days before his death.
Nussbaum went to Hillary's office to tell her he'd "found something Vince wrote that may help explain why he did what he did."
Hillary "looked startled," Nussbaum recalled. She glanced at the note, said "I can't deal with this," and abruptly left the room.
The contents of Foster's note were tantalising. At one point, the man who knew so many of the First Couple's secrets had written: "The public will never believe the innocence of the Clintons and their loyal staff."
It was a comment that can be interpreted to mean that he believed the Clintons were blameless - or that he was worried about some unspecified information that could destroy Bill and Hillary's reputation.
At the very least, the note revealed just how hard working for Hillary had become.
"I was not meant for the job in the spotlight of public life in Washington," Foster had written. "Here, ruining people is considered sport."
• Extracted from For Love Of Politics: The Clintons In The White House by Sally Bedell Smith, to be published by Aurum Press on February 4 at £25.
To order a copy for £22.50 (p&p free), call 0845 606 4206.
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