Lies and Consequences

60

by

Joseph O’Shaughnessy

According to Benjamin Disraeli, there three kinds of lies, “lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

That thought must be constantly in the minds of most politicians. It could be in the daily thoughts of Hillary Clinton. And why would that be? Because she is a liar, a congenital liar, whom we all know to lie constantly?

No, but that is what Republicans have spent literally tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to make you believe. In fact, in fact the truth is quite the opposite. But you would never know that from the daily barrage of propaganda from the Right Wing media, carried on over literally the last 20 years.

Of course, these days especially, lies should be on all our minds. If it were not for lies and deceit, Donald Trump would not be President. We would not be facing an “imperial” Supreme Court, the likes of which we may not have been seen since 1930s Germany, when all legal justice and all hope for the average man was subservient to the will of the Dictator.

Five million German citizens died in war and six million minorities were put to death in the cruelest and most savage ways because they believed the lies. Lies—propaganda about other citizens that was not true–caused it all. The Germans believed the propaganda, the lies, about the “great leader” until one day it no longer mattered. Propaganda elected a political party and its leader. The leader declared himself “Fuhrer.” It was a crime to disobey or disagree.

Lies must be on Hillary Clinton’s mind, as the most popular Democratic politician on the political scene prior to the arrival of Barack Obama and as the most popular Democratic politician after Barack Obama left office. So she must wonder what she has to do in order to dispel the literally thousands of lies about her to the remaining tens of millions who still do not know the truth.

Many of those lies simply reinforce the propaganda from the Koch brothers and Mitch McConnell’s other hand-picked billionaires who used lies about her and Democrats to elect Republicans to achieve their goal. It worked. They achieved their goal. They have now driven the taxes for the American aristocracy down to below 15%. Meanwhile, 48 million American working families live in poverty and a full 15.5% of Americans, 49.6 million, have no health care insurance. The lies against the Democrats have worked. The Republicans now control all the political power in the country.

Why was it so important to destroy the valid image of a progressive Hillary Clinton? That’s our story. 

The constant daily barrage of lies against Hillary Clinton did not work for the majority of Americans. To most Americans, Hillary Clinton is an honest, decent, compassionate and extremely efficient public servant. But it did considerable damage to the Country. Even more astonishing is the Hillary Clinton page on Politifact, about which, more later.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sixty-five million people voted for her, 3 million more than for her opponent, Donald Trump. It is almost unquestionable that, if the American people knew the truth about her, without all the exaggerations of her statements and all the outright lies that there would have been 70 million. So, we should feel less sorry for Hillary Clinton than we do for ourselves. After all, it was not her fault that she lost. It was instead the fault of Trump, the Russians and Republican billionaires who pay for the astringent television commercials, the lies against Hillary Clinton and the rigging of election populations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

In those states, Hillary Clinton was so far ahead in the polls just a few days before the election that it simply belies all knowledge of statistics to believe that she lost on routine electoral processes. That is why a third party candidate tried to find out what actually happened. It was too well hidden within state Republican legislatures beholden to governors Scott Walker, Rick Scott and Rick Snyder.

Lies in the form of propagandist television commercials funded by the super-rich let Fascists control your government, because the majority ignore their obligation to learn the truth about candidates and then stupidly vote for those who poison your water or cancel your unions, cut your children’s education and your university funding or give huge tax reductions to billionaires while they pollute your rivers or allow them to simply steal public park land and use it for their own luxury golf course developments,

But let’s go back to the initial question, because the American people are, by and large both ignorant of facts and just plain stupid. Let’s start with the question…is Hillary Clinton a liar? Well, since you ask, the answer is, in almost every single case…no. But the lies about her are the same kinds of lies told now about every Democratic candidate. For decades now, the very rich…billionaires…of the Right Wing have funded propaganda efforts in hundreds of commentators on hundreds of radio stations and daily Right Wing commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on Fox News. The effects on elections in our state houses and the halls of Congress have been devastating. When, over the next 20 years at least, when these people are indicted and tried for crimes against the country—and that will happen in my opinion—I hope the punishments are equally as devastating.

Start with Hillary Clinton and the problem of her email server. What is the “lie,” the one about which Trump and his millions of moronic followers, constantly shout the absurd words, “Lock her up!”? This totally meaningless, pep-rally, phrase would be hilarious except that this group of sub-humans now has it in their heads that what they shout has to do with facts. It does not. Consequently, this means that they will probably continue to vote against their best interests and for more tax cuts to billionaires. That, in turn, means cuts to Social Security and Medicare. It means higher health care costs because Republicans have removed the 3% surcharge on billionaires. In other words, voting for Trump and against Hillary Clinton because she lied (although she didn’t) means that billionaires will have their already reduced taxes reduced more by subtracting the 3% surcharge on their taxes that basically paid for Obamacare. And that raised the price on health insurance for every American.

So, anyway, the lie was that Hillary Clinton supposedly used an illegal Blackberry device at her private residence and it had poor security and people got into it and got secrets. All of that—all of it—is wrong. Here are the facts.

Every Secretary of State has had an email server at home. For some reason, the NSA did not want to provide a secure Blackberry device, similar to the one on which both Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice both received classified documents at home. They said they didn’t but the FBI and the State Department says that they did. So Clinton used the same Secret Service department encryption specialist that was used for President Clinton’s White House private residence server. She then received tens of thousands of Emails, which were all turned over to the FBI to insure that none were considered security leaks. This was confirmed by the FBI. No leaks.

Fifty-two thousand emails were turned over…and the FBI found no leaks. Nor did anyone break into her server. Again, the authorities who say this are the NSA and the FBI. In fact, the only person who says they did is Donald Trump. And, of course, his millions of racist, White Supremacist, pig, followers who hate Hillary Clinton because she supports opportunity for Blacks Hispanics, Muslims, Mormons, Gays…plus poor working families and women. We’re just amplifying, as the Republicans do, to point out the kinds of people who are clamoring for “the truth.”

What about the 30,000 emails that Clinton deleted after being subpoenaed by the hatchet-job attack on her for the terrorist attack on the Benghazi embassy? She told her staff, when preparing for that inquisition, before she was subpoenaed, to keep all emails (again, these are on her personal server) that have anything to do with State Department affairs and remove all her personal emails. They did and 30,000 emails with 52,000 pages were sent to the House Committee (which should have been called the committee to subvert the candidacy of Hillary Clinton—which is what some Republicans, not Democrats, apologetically later called it.)

The personal Clinton emails, that were separated from the State Department business, however, which were supposed to have been deleted, were somehow mistakenly not deleted. But some eager employee, after the subpoena, who knew they were supposed to have been deleted—deleted them. But the House Committee and the Trump campaign kept up a constant barrage about “missing emails.” (Trump and his morons are still doing it.)

So the FBI, with the assistance of the Clinton staff and the State Department, went back, found the old emails, of which only several had any mention of things that could be called “State Department work.” After looking at all 30,000 of them the FBI subsequently said that there was no breach of security but that these were personal emails and should not be released to the general public. These are the “missing emails” that Trump, for political purposes, and because he is a degenerate sociopath, wants to have made public. The FBI disagrees as would any rational individual. There was no wrongdoing of any kind, let alone any criminal offense, and the FBI said that clearly and repeatedly.

Now some individuals, like all the Right Wing propagandists who work tirelessly for the rich, have tried to find any little excuse to call some of the emails released to the House committee classified because they were marked with the letter “C.” Some of these people, totally ignorant of classification procedure, said that this was sufficient to consider them classified “Confidential” which is a moderate form of classification, often not even considered a real classification for intelligence purposes. Regardless, anyone in the business of classifying documents will attest that the document must have the word “Confidential” in large letters in the middle of the page at both the top and the bottom of the document. To anyone involved in the distribution or storage of classified documents, this is pretty basic stuff.

Moreover, these were emails between the Secretary of State—Hillary Clinton (not some two-bit-crook House member from South Carolina) and her staff—her staff. She ran the State Department. She is the one who could designate whether a document is classified on not. It is only because of a lunatic like Trump or a Fascist politician like many Republican House members and 900 Right Wing radio commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity that this is even a matter of discussion. I can assure you it is not in the halls of American intelligence. This is, in fact, why they hate politicians.

So, let’s summarize. The head of the State Department, the Secretary of State, who ultimately decides what is classified and at what degree of classification, Hillary Clinton, had no classified documents on her email…as confirmed by a thorough investigation by the FBI. We still don’t know how many classified documents either Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice were guilty of losing. They weren’t even investigated until it was forced by those who alleged that Hillary Clinton had allowed classified information to get out.

But there’s more. Why would Hillary Clinton be concerned at all about this? Maybe because the Right Wing of the Republican Party, as they had done in 1993 and again in 1998 and 1999, had hired legal “hit teams” to find any single scrap of paper that would do anything to discredit Hillary Clinton. And constantly, daily, people like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and Sean Hannity were simply proclaiming without any evidence (in other words, as things turned out, were lying) that she had leaked classified information.

Despite the fact that all the above information was public, on Oct 5, 2016—as just an example of what he does every single day–Rush Limbaugh told a listener that should Hillary be elected, she should and could be impeached, based on the emails which he said were damning evidence. He then went on to accuse the FBI of falsely clearing her because “the FBI is part of the executive branch and the head of the executive branch is the President,” which was then still Obama. This is the kind of exaggeration of small bits of truth, common knowledge to all of us, that he conflates into ridiculous attacks every single day. He makes things up and then spends a whole program talking about them and reinforcing the lie to people who obviously want to hear it. Why do you think that a failed-disk jockey and dozens-of-times fired Rush Limbaugh makes $800,000 a week from corporations and organizations like the Heritage Foundation? His only job is to invent daily lies about Hillary Clinton and other Democrats because they might try to raise taxes on the rich. When people say “It’s about money,” trust me—it’s about money. The greed of American billionaires is endless.

Here’s one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton is paranoid about people out to get her. Judicial Watch filed 38—38—lawsuits to obtain the information on her State Department servers, that is, her personal emails, to see if they could find anything to use against her or Bill Clinton. By the way, who is Judicial Watch? Here is how the independent information source Wikipedia describes the organization:
“Judicial Watch (JW) is an American conservative activist group[1] and self-styled watchdog group[2][3] that files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits to investigate claimed misconduct by government officials.
“Founded in 1994, JW has primarily targeted Democrats, in particular the Clinton administration, the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton, although it has sued Republicans as well including the administration of George W. Bush. It has also filed lawsuits against government climate scientists; Judicial Watch has described climate science as “fraud science”.
The group has made numerous false and unsubstantiated claims, which have been picked up by right-wing news outlets. The vast majority of its lawsuits have been dismissed.[1]

But let’s go to a more independent, objective source, one I use all the time for some objective view of what is actually happening. Here is just a small piece, just a smattering of what they list Hillary Clinton as having said that is “False” and…more importantly…why they call each one “False.” See if you think what she says is “False.”
So, here we go. Remember, this is the best break she is going to get—Politifact.
She said: “There have been more than 270 mass shootings in the United States in the last year alone. That’s where four or more are killed.”
Politifact ruling: False. Why? Because she left out the word, “or injured.” That is she should have said, “….four or more killed or wounded.” Otherwise, the statement is true.
Next. She said: “The crowd (in Las Vegas) fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer …”
Politifact’s ruling on Hillary: False. Hillary Clinton, in a tweet, stated the obvious. That when people heard the shots and saw the actions of some, many fled immediately. The National Rifle Association, at that very time trying to get Congress to reduce restrictions and make it cheaper to put silencers on handguns and other weapons, challenged the factualness of the statement. Namely, that a silencer does not completely silence weapons (a fact that many of us know from first-hand experience) and therefore they challenged this statement. But, because Politifact called it “False” the NRA used the “False” pronouncement against her to say she “lied” and used that to promote their agenda of selling more silencers to, primarily, crook and murderers.
Next. She said: “FBI Director James Comey’s letter about new developments in the investigation into her emails “only” went to Republican members of the House.”

Politifact: False. The truth is that she said the Comey’s letter originally “only went to Republicans.” That is not false. That is true. It went only to the heads of all the House Committees who are all Republicans because the House is controlled by Republicans. The message by the way, which Clinton said should be released to everyone, (Comey didn’t disagree) completely cleared her of any wrongdoing but, of course, Republicans had not released it. Still, Trump used it against her, saying she lied about it. And Politifact, trying to be “perfectly “ objective, helped her enemies perpetuate their lie..
Next. She said: “I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified” on her private email server while secretary of state.
Politifact ruling “Half True.” The reason? In the FBI records, 30,000 documents (52,000 pages) only two (2) were marked the lowest classification, “Confidential.” On checking with the State Department, the people preparing the documents said that they were eventually not classified. When preparing documents, however, to be safe, all potentially classified documents are given at least a minimal designation.

These documents were seen by the FBI in final form in the State Department files and were all ruled to be unclassified documents. But because the documents were known by the Secretary of State, a college valedictorian and a top graduates of Yale law school to be unclassified, she, Hillary Clinton, said that she did not have any classified documents on her personal server, even though these one or two that were found with “Confidential” turned out to be unclassified. Still Politifact rated her statements…which were true…as “Half True.” That is, because someone made a mistake, the mistake of someone else made the comment only half-true even though Hillary Clinton turned out to be right.

Of the statements that Hillary Clinton has made that have been checked out for people like the NRA and Judicial Watch and Trump and the Republican party to be used against her politically, Hillary Clinton has a record of about 72% telling the absolute truth, (Politifact pure, 100% truth) which as you can see from the way Politifact rates truth is very hard to earn. Especially when you have the NRA and the Heritage Foundation and Rush Limbuagh’s radio network and Fox News challenging every syllable she says. But the “Mostly True” is another 20% and So, if “Half True”, like the one above, means statements most of us would characterize as “True. Period. The end,” that means that she tells the truth conservatively about 95% of the time. Since you have already seen what “False” means when it comes even to Politifact in reporting every syllable that Hillary Clinton utters, apparently “True” means that every single punctuation point has to be correct.

But the recent attacks and the admitted political attacks about Benghazi aren’t even remotely close to the total number of lies about Hillary Clinton. For example, there are millions of impressions every day that say things like “Hillary Lies Again” on the Internet Right Wing blogs, knowing that most of the lazy, ignorant Americans will never read beyond the headline to find the truth.

These absurd lies about Hillary Clinton were compounded in the movie “Hillary, the Movie.” I watched every minute of this movie, more than once and made copious notes and followed up on any questions on which I did not have the answers or on which I, too, suddenly had questions: “Did she actually do something like that?” They make their appeals very compelling until you read the facts.
Here is a brief summary. Let’s start with Arkansas. The fact is that she did nothing illegal in Arkansas. She did nothing illegal in working with Arkansas government…to which she donated her time but made vast improvements in the backward Arkansas educational system. Nor was one single illegal or even irresponsible act discovered in her dealings with Arkansas government, or in Whitewater. The Clintons, like many other investors were caught in the Savings and Loan crisis, brought about by Ronald Reagan and his cronies, many, many of whom went to jail, invested in a potential real estate development and lost $100,000. Many others lost money and people that were friends of the Clintons went to jail, mostly because of other activities discovered while Right Wing billionaires were trying to stop Bill Clinton’s progress towards the Presidency.

Despite the $2 million invested by American Spectator founder Richard Mellon Scaife, or the $200 million of taxpayer money wasted by Senator Alphonse D’Amato, the Clintons were found innocent of all charges by anyone in the Whitewater investment scandal. And it was a scandal, but no different from many, many others in which thousands of Savings and Loan executives and Republican-connected investors thought they would steal millions. Some got away with it. Others went to prison.

During this same period, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton received a tip on some kind of futures trading…beef or pork or something…and she invested $10,000 and over time made $100,000. Unless Republicans are against people speculating in futures (we could then close down the Republican Party) they shouldn’t complain about this. But they did, accusing her of insider trading, I assume, because no woman even the valedictorian of her high school and of Wellesley College and a top graduate of Yale Law School could be smart enough to make money investing. a

It is true that Bill Clinton’s impulsive sexual mistakes were real and a true embarrassment but they had nothing to do with his wife, who suffered from them more than anyone else. But the Clintons did nothing illegal. More specifically, Hillary Clinton did nothing at all illegal in a state, we all know now, rife with Republican political corruption from top to bottom, including, as it turned out, even murder.

The movie, “Hillary the Movie” was created and distributed, eventually, in only a limited way. They tried to distribute this piece of Right Wing propaganda on national television in October 2008, thinking that Hillary Clinton would be the candidate. But by the time the case actually came before the Supreme Court, in 2010, as Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, Barack Obama was the Democratic candidate. The Supreme Court, however, in a 5-4 decision called the movie nothing more than simple “electioneering communication” meaning that it was just one, long campaign diatribe against then Senator Clinton.

The film was produced for Citizens United, a group funded by the Koch brothers, one of their 50 or so Right Wing attack groups, headed by Arkansas racist and Right Wing/Fascist Republican operative Floyd Brown, who hired former House of Representatives Dan Burton’s aide, David Bossie. David Bossie has been hired and fired many times by various Right Wing groups. As pitchman for the Koch brothers, Citizens United under Bossie, with the help of Supreme Court Justices Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas, won. They determined that it is for the good of the United States and Democracy that billionaires and major stockholders of corporations and others can give unlimited amounts of money to choose and see that individuals are elected through the use of unlimited political contributions. They must give the money to Pacs that create hate-mongering ads attacking a candidate for his position on health care or war or climate change or some issue. Lies are permitted. Personal attacks, true or not, are permitted. And they can continue as long as the billionaire’s money holds out and the media companies have television time left to sell to people who want to run a government for their own purposes.

One of David Bossie’s earliest “achievements” was the tapping of the phone of Webb Hubbell, a law firm associate of Hillary Clinton, who had over billed clients and done other things that Ken Starr tracked down during his investigation of the Clintons and had him indicted in order to get him to turn up some dirt on the Clintons. Remember, the Starr investigation was in coordination with people like Richard Mellon Scaife, still trying to get rid of Clinton because he was for raising taxes on inheritance billionaires like Scaife and dealing with polluters, like Scaife, who was trying to do promote hugely damaging oil shale fracking in the Rocky Mountain National Park among other public lands.

When that didn’t work, knowing that inmates have no rights to privacy, Starr (probably) and Bossie, then still working for Dan Burton, tapped Hubbell’s phone conversations and released them, even though there was nothing about the Clintons on them. Even the disgusting Republicans in Congress were outraged (because they would be tied to such nasties, although they were) and had Bossie fired. But he wasn’t through, obviously.

It was after this that he was hired by Floyd Brown (still the owner of part of many Right Wing Internet propaganda organizations, like NewsMax, and others with millions of hits every week) to run Citizens United and file the law suit trying to allow them to run “Hillary the Movie” as a hit piece on cable just before the 2008 election.

As an aside, just to show how far the Right Wing will go to attacks and try to hurt Hillary Clinton, the Right Wing, including Robert Morrow and the Drudge Report claimed that Chelsea Clinton was the daughter of Webb Hubbell and Hillary Clinton despite no evidence whatsoever, and despite the fact that Hubbell has said that he would have been honored and humbled to think that he was the father of Chelsea Clinton but that it was not only not true but totally absurd. Of course Drudge has also said that Chelsea has a black brother, although once again he never produced one tiny bit of evidence—one more piece for which he earned advertising support for his blog, no doubt from the generous anti-Clinton (and therefore, remember, anti-Middle Class) billionaires.

Let’s go back to 1997. In 1994, the Republicans had not only defeated but did their best to humiliate one of the brightest lights in American politics because she tried to do the unthinkable—create a rational, reasonable, affordable health care insurance system. That system was later resurrected…more than a decade later…after it had been ground into the dirt by the health insurance industry, hospitals and, at that time, almost the entire monopoly on health care and surgery called, the American Medical Association. Who would have benefitted from the Clinton health care plan? Middle class families. The working poor. Families struggling to put their kids through college. Even what we now call the 9.9%, the moderately well-off, educated elite. Today they , work hard to separate themselves from the rest of society and find cover under the umbrella of giant corporate largesse.

After she lost and the Democrats lost the battle for affordable health care for all, she didn’t give up. A little known plan, a backup plan in case they lost, had been prepared by Hillary Clinton and other legislators like Senator Ted Kennedy. Although in 1998, the bill, called the SCHIP program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, pushed by Kennedy and reluctantly agreed to by the hideously corrupt Orrin Hatch of Utah (shamed into it by Kennedy) was passed before she was a Senator, Hillary Clinton deserves much of the credit. Nick Littlefield, who worked for Senator Kennedy, said that she was invaluable, that it couldn’t have been passed without her support and that the final first amount $24 billion dollars was only allocated because she persuaded her husband not to accept the $16 billion, an inadequate amount that the Republicans tried to force.

As to her credit for passing the SCHIP program, one of her staunchest enemies, reviling the program, calling it one of the worst programs imaginable, actually blamed her for it. The Washington Times reported: “The plan signed into law yesterday by Mr. Clinton and pushed by the first lady is a duplicate of the 4-year-old (Hillary Clinton) health care task force idea, except that it is paid for by a 15-cent tax on cigarettes. One of the co-authors of the plan, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, credited Mrs. Clinton for her “invaluable help, both in the fashioning and the shaping of the program.”

So the campaigns to humiliate her children and call her a murderer, an adulteress and all the rest have been done relentlessly since her days helping children finally get a good education in the backwaters of Arkansas, despite the best efforts of the ignorant and the racist and the chauvinist and the dedicated Fascists to stop her and the American Middle Class.

Of all the charges by Bossie’s movie not one has had any remote association with the truth. The Clintons did not murder their good friend, Vince Foster (who also was not the father of Chelsea Clinton.) Hillary Clinton did not fire the head of the White House travel office with no justification. He was later investigated by GAO and fined and only allowed to stay in government service because of his long service in a demanding position in White House service.

Hillary Clinton did undoubtedly treat some of Bill Clinton’s mistresses badly. But they are still alive and all prosperous from their adulterous activities, so far as I can determine. It is good business being the whore of a famous man I guess. (Sorry, but isn’t that an appropriate term? Why should we attack the wife of the man instead? If someone is at fault, shouldn’t it be the mistress and the man, those who were involved?)

Is Hillary Clinton totally faultless? You don’t want to ask me that. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter. I have no reason to think that she was not involved, or when she found out, did nothing, to rectify campaign imbalances by the Democratic National Committee, who no doubt, and I don’t blame them, thought they were doing the right thing and that Hillary had a much better chance of election than Bernie. Even though, I’m sure many of the more Progressive Democrats felt closer to Bernie than to Hillary. But politics is about winning.

Lies have consequences. The continuing lies about Hillary Clinton, and they are such a habit now among the spiteful continue the same old stories. Anything she does—even though she will likely never run for office again—or accept a major political position again—is the occasion for a new lie.

And what are the consequences? Trump is one consequence. She received 3 million more votes yet we have, as a result of totally Republican legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania, a pretty strong indication of what happened. We know about corruption in Florida before Rick Scott. We know that Rick Scott is totally corrupt…he cheated Medicare, for God’s sake and still was elected by the hicks in Florida. Wisconsin and Michigan, totally Republican including corporate judges on the Supreme Courts of the two states, dropped hundreds of thousands of voters from the voter rolls, claiming “voter fraud” a plain and simple lie. Pennsylvania had a Democratic governor but a totally Republican House and Senate. The evidence of cheating, no matter what anyone says, given that the day before election, the final polls, almost every single one, except the partisan, Trafalgar semi-poll, (actually just a Republican robo call promotion) put Clinton ahead in every state by at least 3 points.

The Republican Party as early as the 1990s, saw that Hillary Clinton was a smart, honest, aggressive, tough, and very popular individual who could earn the respect and the admiration of the American people. The Right Wing Republicans, the Koch brothers, Mitch McConnell, David Bossie, Floyd Brown, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and the thousands of radio commentators paid by the billionaires did their best to destroy that trust and admiration.

Lies have consequences. Hillary Clinton will be just fine. I wish I could say the same thing about our Democracy.