The ingrained depravity of the American ruling establishment can be found right in the media framing of perhaps the most depraved government policy of all. From the Wall Street Journal:
At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan.So the scandal is not so much that a brutal White House/CIA murder squad exists. It's not so much that as a politically appointed bureaucrat and glass ceiling-breaking mob boss godmother, Hillary Clinton herself was grotesquely granted final say on the high-tech hits.
The 2011 and 2012 emails were sent via the “low side’’—government slang for a computer system for unclassified matters—as part of a secret arrangement that gave the State Department more of a voice in whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went ahead, according to congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.
Some of the emails were then forwarded by Mrs. Clinton’s aides to her personal email account, which routed them to a server she kept at her home in suburban New York when she was secretary of state, the officials said. Investigators have raised concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s personal server was less secure than State Department systems.
The really horrendous scandal making elite eyeballs bleed is that she used an unsecure homebrew server to rubber-stamp extrajudicial assassinations. She let Deep State secrecy go by the wayside simply for her own selfish convenience. She inartfully co-mingled her public and private affairs. Which people to turn into bug-splat in Pakistan and which people to invite to Chelsea's pricey society wedding got all mixed up in a basement in Chappaqua, New York.
It's not so much the breach of ethics and the breach of common law and the gross violations of basic human rights. It's the breach of etiquette. It's the breach of "national security" that has the spooks and the suits wringing their hands.
The Wall Street Journal's big scoop continues:
Law-enforcement and intelligence officials said State Department deliberations about the covert CIA drone program should have been conducted over a more secure government computer system designed to handle classified information.If Hillary Clinton is indicted, it won't be for anything so mundane as murder. It will be for failing to take care to properly cover up state-sponsored murders. It will be for potentially allowing potential murder victims to get prior warning of their imminent demises by Predator missile.
State Department officials told FBI investigators they communicated via the less-secure system on a few instances, according to congressional and law-enforcement officials. It happened when decisions about imminent strikes had to be relayed fast and the U.S. diplomats in Pakistan or Washington didn’t have ready access to a more-secure system, either because it was night or they were traveling.
To the extent that Hillary's heretofore unknown role as Lady High Executioner is being covered at all, it's being framed around how her arrogance got in the way of her discretion. She put the reputations of her peers in the Establishment at high risk. "Hillary Approved CIA Drone Assassinations With Her Cell Phone" screamed the banner headline in Salon.
Now, to be fair, the Salon article does immediately launch into the fact that Clinton only nixed two of the requested strikes, while putting her personal stamp of approval on dozens more, killing an untold number of innocent civilians, including women and children. Information on 22 of the drone strikes were in emails stored on her private home server in Chappaqua.
Oh, and just incidentally, Hillary Clinton is indeed under criminal investigation by the FBI. This factoid was passive-aggressively confirmed in a White House press briefing on the very same day that President Obama heartily endorsed her as his successor and loyal partner in drone warfare. It's kind of his insurance policy; she can't very well indict the Kill List president after he so kindly palmed off ultimate responsibility for Terror Tuesdays on her, can she? Like Obama before her, she will look forward, not back. Whether this is from the Oval Office or from a luxury suite in Club Fed is still an open question. Though highly unlikely, maybe she'll get the chance to savor both. The wheels of justice do grind slow, especially when they're attached to the presidential armed vehicle appropriately known as "The Beast."
Meanwhile, the Terror Channel (a/k/a CNN) actually blamed Christmas for Hillary's failure to be judicious about the extra-judicial drone executions. Under the "politics" section, CNN Justice Correspondent Evan Perez helpfully blogged:
As Mike Lofgren outlined in his book Deep State, CNN and other networks are largely funded and controlled by what Dwight Eisenhower called the Military Industrial Complex -- currently comprised of a conglomerate of defense contractors, corporate-funded think tanks, Wall Street bankers, private equity and media moguls, Silicon Valley billionaires, and their political puppets, consultants and lobbyists.The (drone e-mail) exchange in question took place over the December holidays when multiple officials were away from the office and without access to their classified email, and some of the emails were ultimately sent to Secretary Clinton's private email server, according to the official.The FBI has not yet interviewed Clinton as part of its investigation. As CNN first reported, investigators have not found evidence to support criminal charges against Clinton and none are expected, but no final determination will be made until that interview has taken place.
"They advertise their wares on the Sunday shows," wrote Lofgren."They use taxpayer dollars for propaganda campaigns to push their wares...Whether they intended it or not, the contractors have succeeded in normalizing the abnormal by transforming the sale of a killer drone into the ethical equivalent of a Mad Men pitch for a new mouthwash brand."
Since the Justice Department secretly opined that presidential executions of thousands of innocents ("militants") are perfectly legal, Hillary Clinton will not and cannot be charged with homicide nor even depraved indifference to human life. At the most, according to the rules set by and for the powerful, she merely committed a clerical faux pas, potentially resulting in a few red faces in some very high places. Barring any expansion of the FBI inquiry into her sketchy family financial empire, the most she can probably expect from DronemailGate is a slap on the wrist on grounds of sheer ineptitude.
Another President Clinton, meanwhile, would be the ideal personification of COG (Continuity of Government.) Her election is necessary for the continued smooth running of the Apparatus. She's a cog in the machine, whereas Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump would be spanners in the works. (The Donald wouldn't be able to stop bragging about each and every successful Kill List hit. And then he'd send a bill for crashed Reaper Drones to the Muslims in tribal areas to really teach them a lesson and Make America Great Again.)
The Obama administration itself is just a continuation of both Clintonoid economic policies and Bush military and surveillance policies, both of which were birthed by right-wing Nixonian paranoia and neoliberal Reaganism. So of course Hillary Clinton is the most "qualified" candidate the country has ever known. She will continue the continuance of the continuation.
|Hillary Laughs It Up With Lucky Libyan Survivor (NY Times)|
She'll continue the Unaccountability Project as well, glibly spreading the manure of the dirty wars and political dirty tricks around to ensure that no one person's hands get completely filth-encrusted. If everyone is responsible, then no one can be responsible. Hillary is the Super Glue to keep all the Deep State club members bound safely together in their corrupt web of money, mutual goals and careerism.
So rather than waste precious time comparing Trump to Hitler and Mussolini, perhaps we should spend more time asking why Obama and Clinton are so much like Bush and Cheney. Perhaps we should admit that a form of fascism is already here, and has been for a very long time. Trump is merely one of its more obviously putrescent symptoms.
"Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing." -- FDR, message to Congress, 4/29/38.
*Update: The above post was largely researched and written before this morning's massacre in Orlando, Florida. The subject matter does tie in, in a way. It's still too soon to tell whether the shooting was the act of a deranged homophobe, or ISIS-inspired, or both. Blowback in response to the American drone assassination program and other acts of aggression is not out of the question.
Readers, please feel free to use comments to talk about the shooting, or whatever else concerns you today.
Stay tuned and stay braced for all the politicians waging all the wars to jockey for camera position to cry their copious crocodile tears and politicize this to the max. Stay tuned for the NRA urging us all to arm ourselves.