I am very much aware that Millennials (the 18 to 29 year old cohort so I'm told) adore Bernie Sanders just as I do and for all the right reasons.  He’s honest, passionate, and understands what America needs to correct the abuses of the past three decades.  I’m also aware that you Millennials don’t trust Hillary Clinton.  You think she is dishonest, lies and can’t be trusted.  

Me?  I have a very different take on Hillary Clinton.  I’ve actually met her – at the edge of Sidwell Friends School's playing field a couple of times while our respective daughters were engaged in field hockey matches.  How did I find her?  A bit reserved, but friendly, gracious and chatty for all that.  But no question, there are all sorts of “questions” swirling around Hillary these days – Benghazi, E-Mails, Clinton Foundation – that are doing damage to her reputation.  I suspect this is why you Millennials may not support her if she receives the Democratic nomination for President.

But to those of us of an age (OLD!) there is nothing so familiar to us as the Clintons being foisted on the petards of rumor and innuendo as to make the current “Hillary crimes” an amusing trip down memory lane.  Can you say: Deja Vu All Over Again?

Flashback to the 1990’s when you Millennials were either just dust motes in your parents eyes or proudly showing your parents that you had mastered the art of potty training.  It was the Bill Clinton Administration and dozens – literally – of scandals were swirling around the Clintons and in the media.  And, they would have had the following hashtags if such things had been invented back then: #WhiteWaterGate; #Arkansas StateTrooperGate; #WhiteHouseTravelGate; #FileGate; #JimMcDougalGate; #JeniferFlowersGate; #PaulaJonesGate; #VinceFosterMurderGate; to name just a few.  Each and every one of these scandals were allegedly chock full of criminal malfeasance perpetrated by the Clintons.  And they were splashed across the front pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, PBS, NBC (Fox “fair and balanced” News didn’t exist back then) on a nightly basis for years as well as featured on any number of internet web sites just like Benghazi Gate and E-Mail Gate are today. [See: WHITE WATER CONTROVERSY }

Back in 1998, Hillary declared in response that there was a “vast right wing conspiracy” out to get her and her husband. 

And we all laughed.  How paranoid was the First Lady to utter such nonsense.  But by the time her husband, Bill Clinton, was impeached (only the second President in U.S. history to receive this distinguished “honor”) in December of 1998 for getting a blow job from Monica Lewinsky in the White House, we had all come to the conclusion that Hillary had been correct eleven months earlier.  

By this time all the “#Gates” that proved the Clintons were criminals extraordinaire, had been investigated and investigated and investigated time and time and time again with nothing to show for all the pointed scrutiny.   Not a single civil or criminal complaint resulted – ever – from any of the dozens of Clinton scandals.  We began to understand that Kenneth Starr, Special Prosecutor appointed in 1994 to investigate the White Water scandal (that never was) had expanded his investigations to cover virtually every one of the so-called crimes of the Clintons but in four years had produced headline after headline but had produced no results.  None.  Until, after Clinton testified before a Grand Jury that he had not had “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr prevailed.  Finally.  But prevailed over an act by the President that while not exactly the height of Presidential decorum (not that he was the only President to have extra-marital sex in the White House) was perfectly legal.  Not a crime, let’s say, either civil or criminal.

But this development also proved that Hillary Clinton had been right.  (Bill Clinton’s poll numbers actually rose during his impeachment proceedings.)  We began to realize that after years of investigations, millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars spent, the unprofessionalism of the Special Prosecutor, Monica Lewinsky’s tawdry campaign replete with paid cheerleaders, absolutely nothing had resulted from all this time, money and media frenzy but Bill Clinton’s blow job courtesy of Monica Lewinsky.  (Clinton was impeached by the House, but the Senate declined to prosecute him.)

If this sounds like a replay of Benghazi, for example, years of investigations, tons of money spent, and hearings, and testimony and publicity with nothing to show for it, you’ve stumbled onto the key to Hillary Clinton’s untrustworthiness which lies not within herself, but with the new characters who today populate the same old “vast right wing conspiracy” who are, indeed, out to get her and to derail her career.  In fact, just a few months ago I saw a piece from Brietbart (who basically serves the same role as did the Drudge Report ginning up fake scandals, accusations and falsehoods back in the 1990’s) that it wasn’t that Hillary Clinton who shot and killed Vince Foster herself.  No.  It’s that she arranged for someone else to murder him.  (I am not making this up.)

But here’s the truth about Vince Foster who was Deputy White House Counsel during the Clinton Administration: he committed suicide in 1993, three years into the Clinton Administration.  Here’s a Wikipedia piece: VINCE FOSTER MURDER

"What became interpreted as a suicide note of sorts, in actuality a draft resignation letter, was found torn into 27 pieces in his briefcase. [Next to his body in the car] The letter contained a list of complaints, specifically including, "The WSJ editors lie without consequence"[19] and lamenting, "I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport."

And yet, 23 years later, Hillary is still accused of murdering Vince Foster.  Why, since there was never a shred of evidence that Foster’s death was anything other than self-inflicted suicide?  I’ll give you a clue:  Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

You laugh.  So did we back in 1998.  But we were wrong.  And you are too if you believe all the crap that’s floating around about how criminal, how dishonest, how lying and deceitful is Hillary Clinton.  The E-Mail Scandal is only the latest of a long string of ginned up “controversies” replete with breathless, over the top, media headlines and outrages that you can trace back in a straight line to the election of William Jefferson Clinton as President of the United States in 1990.  White Water Gate, Jenifer Flowers Gate, Travel Gate, State Trooper Gate, all of them – every single one of the dozens of 1990’s scandals have never resulted in a single legal charge against either Bill or Hillary Clinton. 

Why?  Because they weren’t real.  They were made up fictions courtesy of the same authors who are bringing you #BenghaziGate and #E-MailGate  today in 2016.  They are fictitious imaginings of a conservative circus that knows no bounds when it comes to defeating their enemies.  And Hillary Clinton is indeed their enemy if only by dint of her 1998 “vast right wing conspiracy” pronouncement that exposed them for what they are and what they do. 

And as for the e-mail scandal that has now crossed over into the Republican arena and ensnared former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice’s staff members?  I’m guessing that there will not be the kind of intense publicity about their not following State Department procedures and protocols because of the fact that they come from the Republican side of the aisle and the conservative folks are not about to let them become embroiled in any such controversy like Hillary’s.  I think Colin Powell had the perfect response to the charges of having received classified information through private e-mail accounts the FBI and the State Department’s Inspector General made against him and Rice:

In all the cases, however -- as well as Clinton's -- the information was not marked "classified" at the time the emails were sent, according to State Department investigators.
Powell noted that point in a statement on Thursday.
"The State Department cannot now say they were classified then because they weren't," Powell said. "If the Department wishes to say a dozen years later they should have been 
classified that is an opinion of the Department that I do not share."  COLIN POWELL USED PRIVATE E-MAIL ACCOUNT

Remember folks (Millennials in particular): Clinton is not the only Secretary of State who had an-off system e-mail account and we have no idea how prevalent this situation might be in, let’s say, the Department of Defense or the CIA or the NSA.*   Also remember that Hillary Clinton has voluntarily released 30,000 of the alleged classified e-mails.  Of these 30,000 exactly 22 have been retroactively determined to contain classified information.  Understand:  they were not marked as classified when they were received or sent but were retroactively classified.   And, let’s not forget the million or so Bush White House e-mails that were “inadvertently deleted” and after a day in the New York Times nothing more was ever heard about this “mistake.”  Why?  Because there isn’t a left wing conspiracy cabal out to destroy the careers of Republicans.  (In truth, Republicans are quite adept at this with no help from Democrats.)

So you may think that based on the current controversies that surround Hillary Clinton that “there’s just so much stuff here, some of it has to be true.”  Don’t be fooled.  We were taken for a ride based on precisely the same logic.  None of the scandals back then resulted in anything more than diminishing Hillary Clinton’s reputation, impugning her integrity and undermining her success.  What’s happening today is EXACTLY the same thing. 

 I sincerely hope that my "defense" of Hillary helps you to understand what's really going on.  She is not the evil being that the right wingers hope you believe she is.  There is a history to all of this and it's not a pretty one.  It is a political one, as corrupt and dastardly as that might be.  Give her the benefit of the doubt.  After more than 20 years of non-stop, undeserved vilification, she deserves it. 
* All the controversy surrounding the whole e-mail scandal is amusing to me.  For about 20 years I worked with the State Department and created, distributed, managed, stored and destroyed classified information.  Most of the documents were classified either “Secret” or “Top Secret.”  When you are designing U. S. Embassies, Chanceries and other State Department facilities overseas, it’s pretty important that the plans, designs, blast calculations, electronic shielding devices, safe haven locations, ready-react rooms, stand-off distances, etc. etc. do not fall into the wrong hands and that the information is managed properly. 

But in my experience, there was not a single State Department employee that I worked with who didn’t hate the Department’s computer systems with a passion.  Biggest criticisms were slowness and breakdowns.  In fact, I can’t recall anyone that I dealt with who did not work around the system and used private e-mail systems and devices in direct contravention of State Department policies.  (I’m not kidding here.)  And this would include the folks I worked with in both Baghdad and Kabul, two sites were one would assume security should be first rate.  Right.  Dream on. 

Have A Secure E-Mail Good Day!


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