On the gross negligence of Hillary Clinton: Daily Bullshit, July 7, 2016 (corrected and updated)

Corrected to add a citation and an article listing regarding the Bryan Nishimura case the Wall Street Journal cites to suggest that Hillary Clinton is getting special treatment from the FBI.[1] Updated to add a column from John Kass.[2]


As most of you know, I hold our system of government in very low esteem. As such, I don’t often advocate signing petitions. The worthy ones are invariably useless. And undoubtedly this one to charge Hillary Clinton under applicable law for mishandling classified information will similarly prove futile. I signed it anyway.


Hillary Clinton

Matt Wuerker, July 7, 2016, GoComics, fair use.

[James] Comey noted that while a law exists, passed in 1917, that allows for indictments to be handed down in cases of “gross negligence,” it’s only been used once since then, in an espionage case.

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence,” Comey said.

“That’s just the way it is. I know the Department of Justice,” said Comey, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general. “I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case.”[3]

But, says capitalist libertarian lawyer Sean Rosenthal, “People with fewer political connections have been punished for far less substantially mishandling classified information than she did.” He does not cite any such people as examples[4] but one such case, according to the Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman, might be that of Bryan Nishimura,[5] who

caused [classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers] to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. He carried such classified materials on his unauthorized media when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan and, ultimately, carried those materials back to the United States at the end of his deployment. In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system.[6]

But where Hillary Clinton transmitted or received classified information via email, “[t]he [Nishimura] investigation did not reveal evidence that [he] intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel;”[7] and while Clinton is running for president, Nishimura was “sentenced to two years of probation and a $7,500 fine” and barred from ever holding a security clearance ever again.[8]

James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-comeys-fbi-treats-non-clintons-1467890791

Julian Hattem, “FBI director, House GOP face off in dramatic hearing,” Hill, July 7, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286821-fbi-head-clinton-had-no-intent-to-break-law-leading-to-no-charges

John Kass, “Hillary Clinton disqualifies herself,” Chicago Tribune, July 7, 2016, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-hillary-clinton-emails-comey-kass-0708-20160707-column.html

Sean J. Rosenthal, “The Shoddy Legal Reasoning Used to Clear Clinton,” Foundation for Economic Education, July 7, 2016, https://fee.org/articles/the-shoddy-legal-reasoning-used-to-clear-clinton/

Wall Street Journal, “The FBI on Classified Material,” July 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-the-fbi-on-classified-material-1467847339


Chilcot report

George Monbiot, “The Judgement of History,” July 7, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/07/07/the-judgement-of-history/


Brexit

David Matthews, “Why Academics Were Ignored,” Inside Higher Ed, July 7, 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/07/07/british-academics-consider-why-they-were-ignored-brexit-debate


Horse race

Richard V. Reeves, “As Brexit fallout topples U.K. politicians, some lessons for the U.S.,” Brookings Institute, July 6, 2016, http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2016/07/06-brexit-fallout-topples-uk-politicians-some-lessons-for-us-reeves


  1. [1]James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-comeys-fbi-treats-non-clintons-1467890791
  2. [2]John Kass, “Hillary Clinton disqualifies herself,” Chicago Tribune, July 7, 2016, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-hillary-clinton-emails-comey-kass-0708-20160707-column.html
  3. [3]Julian Hattem, “FBI director, House GOP face off in dramatic hearing,” Hill, July 7, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/286821-fbi-head-clinton-had-no-intent-to-break-law-leading-to-no-charges
  4. [4]Sean J. Rosenthal, “The Shoddy Legal Reasoning Used to Clear Clinton,” Foundation for Economic Education, July 7, 2016, https://fee.org/articles/the-shoddy-legal-reasoning-used-to-clear-clinton/
  5. [5]James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-comeys-fbi-treats-non-clintons-1467890791
  6. [6]Wall Street Journal, “The FBI on Classified Material,” July 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-the-fbi-on-classified-material-1467847339
  7. [7]Wall Street Journal, “The FBI on Classified Material,” July 6, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-the-fbi-on-classified-material-1467847339
  8. [8]James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-comeys-fbi-treats-non-clintons-1467890791

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