Today I made my first intentional effort to understand what the Hillary Clinton email controversy was all about. This initial reading session, which must have lasted about an hour, came about when I decided to read this morning’s digital Washington Post article entitled “How Clinton’s Email Scandal Took Root.”
As many years as this political controversy has been gathering steam, I have never paid more than cursory attention to it. It just seemed to me like a bunch of political malarky, although I did have a vague understanding that somehow the the security of our nation was involved.
If my sketchy Everyman Citizen memory serves me well at all, this hot issue came to the forefront of media exposure when Congressional Republicans raised the issues about Benghazi in 2012. Now let me say here that I am a Republican.
And about all I may know, or not know, about that tragic turn of Benghazi events is: my understanding of it is very small, based precariously on my limited retention of any details or vague narratives about the events that happened on that fateful day in 2012. But let me say this: I did see the movie!
So, as you can see I am, like most Americans, rather clueless about what is really going on in the inner recesses of our .gov because I really don’t have a clue about it all until I, you know, see a movie about it.
So the movie, Thirteen Hours, gave me some notions about what happened the tragic assault on our consulate in Libya on a certain day in 2012. But who knows why such a terribly fatal assault on our supposedly secure embassy might have happened? These issues in foreign lands are much more complicated that we simple-minded Americans make them out to be.
This morning, March 28, 2016, along comes this routine (daily) email from the Washington Post, a journalistic institution with which I have a minimally subscriptive connection. And when I open the email, this reported headline grabs my attention: “How Clinton’s Email Scandal Took Root.”
“Aha!” I thought, here’s my chance at last to glean some understanding about what this big brouhaha is all about.
Now our conservative and Republican friends may question my seemingly naive submission to that journalistic institution’s supposedly left-leaning reporting on such a hot issue. But hey, I saw Redford and Hoffman portraying Woodward and Bernstein back in the day, when I was myself a manipulated clueless college kid with a leftward bent. And I certainly understand and respect their Ben Bradlee legacy of Beltway investigative journalism; so yes, I am going to read this article and see what this reporter has to say about that whole dam Clinton email thing.
I mean, this is bound to be more reliable than the New York Times, n’est-que-c’est? and more journalistically thorough than, say, Fox News.
Robert O’Harrow Jr., is the reporter (with journalistic contribution also from Alice Crites) and I must say: What an exhaustively long reporting job has been therein provided– quite informative about a vast chain of complicated, intertwining events that began mostly in January of 2009, yet still rolls on through 2015 and even spills out into this year–quite informative and yet, somehow, impressively concise.
Took me over an hour to read it.
My usual confusion in reading long journalistic reports aside–that confusion being frothed up in my uninformed brain about a multiplicity of persons whose first names are laid to rest after that first article-mention– and if that were not enough, all these names nested within the reporter’s dutiful covering of myriads of events and scenarios that happened in the dark recesses of securitized (or not securitized) .gov offices long ago or even quite recently, and what you have here is a confused citizen who is trying to become well-informed.
Now I am no Congressional committee, but I do have an opinion because I am an American. Furthermore, as both Jefferson and Adams advised, citizens of a free democratic republic should inform themselves about the issues of our times.
What’s really sad about all this is the disappearance of privacy; it seems so KGB and 1984ish to me.
If you care to join me in an assessment of same article by reading it yourself, then I commend you for doing so. And rather than render my half-baked opinion about the controverted content of Hillary Clinton’s thousands of emails, I will simply say this:
It seems to me that poor Hillary, finding herself at the crossroads of an electronic digital technological revolution that had not–and probably still has not–caught up with itself, made some attempts to find a middle path between two frustratingly extreme strategies of secure communication protocols; one extreme being absolute, classified security, which is systemically impossible; and the other extreme being her personal freedom and expediency in communicating persuasively with very important people all over the whole dam world.
And yes, she made a few bad choices, maybe even dangerous mistakes.
But hey, who wouldn’t make some screw-ups? with all that’s going on in this rapidly declassifying cyberspace world. I myself would probably be overwhelmed with it all, trying to negotiate with Wen Jiabao while making sure not to confuse the email accounts with recipes from Aunt Martha or whomever.
Nevertheless, although I may be willing to pardon the former Secretary of State for her (perhaps, perhaps not) innocent security breaches, I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton for President; I will be voting for Ted Cruz.
Because: I think Ted would do better with the choices that a new President must face, better than Hillary, and most certainly better than Donald.