|Peaches and Hill: Reunited And It Feels So Good|
Hillary Clinton probably knew the vast right wing conspiracy would be gunning for her official State Department e-correspondence sooner or later. She probably knew that mixing the business of diplomacy with the pleasure of her family's slush fund would inevitably turn up a couple of smoking guns or toxic nuggets once she started running for president. She knew that despite her vaunted position in life, the Freedom of Information law might eventually apply, even to her. Therefore, she never bothered to avail herself of an official government email account, choosing instead to conduct all business, public and private, from her personal email address. The New York Times has the scoop:
Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.
It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.
And then there's Hillary's former colleague, David Petraeus, late of the Pentagon and the CIA. The general didn't have the Hillary-sense to privatize or encrypt his email correspondence before dumping state secrets on his paramour. He did, however, have the Hillary-sense to cash in royally upon leaving government. Therefore, as a Too Big To Fail, he is making a misdemeanor plea deal with the Department of Justice without ever being publicly indicted on espionage or other charges. The Breaches of "Peaches" (his high school nickname) will resemble those of a money-laundering bank. Any fines or legal fees will be ripe for claiming as deductions on his taxable income. And his powerful government friends will have the chutzpah to brag that this is proof positive that the law applies to rich people too. The Times also scored this scoop:Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.
David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department that will allow him to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he provided classified information to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A.
Mr. Petraeus will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Mr. Petraeus has signed the agreement, said Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman.
The plea deal completes a spectacular fall for Mr. Petraeus, a retired four-star general who was once discussed as a possible candidate for vice president or even president. He led the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the architect of a counterinsurgency strategy that at one time seemed a model for future warfare.It should be noted that when powerful people like Petraeus fall, they fall all the way to the top. Peaches is currently raking in the mega-bucks as an international mover and shaker for a hedge fund, despite having no financial experience. He also commands Hillary-level fees for his public speaking gigs. He is still esteemed enough to forcibly silence critics having the effrontery to call him out for war crimes and worse. One critic, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, was roughed up and arrested and charged with criminal trespass for buying a ticket to hear Petraeus speak in New York City last fall. McGovern compared his punishment to what Petraeus and CIA torturers have been forced to endure. He recently wrote an open letter to Petraeus:
You may not be surprised to know that, try as I might to feel some empathy for you, Schadenfreude at your misfortune is winning out, since I am convinced that you had a lot to do with other far-more-serious offenses, including aiding and abetting illegal “aggressive war.” And, I suspect you also many have aided and abetted the circumstances that gave rise to the bizarre charges against me.
I refer, of course, to my violent arrest, causing pain of my fractured shoulder, and my jailing in The Tombs, simply because I wanted to hear you speak last fall at New York’s 92nd Street Y and possibly pose a question from the audience.You can rest assured that Petraeus is being "punished" (two years' probation) only for embarrassing his elite friends, not for the deaths of innocents in misbegotten wars. He is helping President Obama to avoid looking like a hypocrite for his unprecedented assault on low-level whistle-blowers and journalists. As a protected member of The Club, Petraeus is taking one for the team, helping both his former boss and departing AG Eric Holder to burnish their legacies as statesmen.
Petraeus is not only too big to fail and jail, he is too big to embarrass. The Times:
A plea deal would spare Mr. Petraeus a high-profile trial where embarrassing details about the affair would have been presented to the jury and made public. Mr. Petraeus is still married to Holly Petraeus.
Petraeus will not be charged with war crimes, nor does he stand accused by either the two-tiered justice system or the corporate media-war complex of destabilizing the entire Middle East and helping fuel the rise of ISIS. As a matter of fact, he is still slavishly revered by both political parties. Like fellow hawk Hillary, he was even once considered Presidential material. Maybe he will once again be considered presidential material.Mr. Petraeus received most of his accolades for his service in Iraq. He was credited with directing the so-called surge of American forces in 2006 that pushed militants of Al Qaeda, who had taken control of several major cities and provinces, out of the country, stabilizing Iraq and allowing the withdrawal of all American forces about five years later.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen an inch and will rise again, and again, and again.