The Politics Of Accusations, Conspiracy Theories And Propaganda.

When FBI Director James Comey announced last week that the FBI was reviewing emails that could be pertinent to the Hillary Clinton case, it was quickly publicized by GOP congressmen as the FBI “re-opening the investigation of the Clinton private email server.” That, in fact, was untrue. The new announcement was referring to the discovery of emails on former congressman Anthony Wiener’s laptop which was shared with his wife, assistant to Clinton, that MAY have a bearing on the Clinton case – emphasis on MAY. The FBI had not yet read the emails in question – indeed it had no warrant to do so – so it could not conclude that the emails provided any new insights into the original case.

There was nothing to indicate a change in the FBI’s original conclusion that there was no evidence that Clinton had committed a crime, and no reason to prosecute the former Secretary of State. Yet the media and Republicans quickly turned Comey’s vague announcement into yet another unsubstantiated accusation against the Democratic presidential candidate.

That’s what the GOP and Donald Trump do best – make accusations against Hillary based on supposition, innuendo and wild conspiracy theories. And the media did what they do best – seeing a story that could increase ratings and readership, they pounced on it. Reading the headlines alone, one would have concluded that the FBI had found a smoking gun showing that Hillary was guilty of a crime. There were even headlines suggesting that she would be impeached should she win the White House! Following the sensational reports, the media then tried to backtrack in order to give the impression that they were functioning as real journalists. But the damage had already been done.

Before we all jump to conclusions, we should all do what the media should have done…take a deep breath and look at the facts.

For context, you should know that most levels of the federal government are technically challenged. Case in point: When President Obama took office, he wanted to continue to use a Blackberry so that he could manage all of his communications on a single device. The NSA originally told the president that his request could not be met. But, after much discussion, the NSA found a way to make it possible while keeping the president’s communications secure.

Upon her appointment to Secretary of State, Clinton asked for the same kind of system. But the NSA refused. So Clinton did something similar to what her predecessors had done. She chose to use her own email server in order to keep all of her unclassified communications on a single device – a server that she shared with her husband, a former president of the United States. (It should be noted that the server had been approved by the Secret Service and though the official State Department email system was hacked during Hillary’s tenure, there is no evidence to indicate that Clinton server was hacked.)

It is also important to note that all official State Department business is conducted by secured phones, diplomatic pouches or by wire. Emails are simply used for correspondence between State Department employees. And Hillary’s email was only used by her closest associates.

Given that it was well-known that Hillary intended to run for president again in 2016, it’s easy to see why her emails were of such curiosity to the GOP. It is equally easy to understand why she would delete any personal emails that would reveal details of her impending political campaign.

Though she has stated that she regrets using a private server and has publicly apologized for it, there is absolutely no indication that she compromised national security or broke the law. But her actions and the subsequent refusal of the FBI to recommend charges, have made for a good conspiracy theory invented by the GOP and reported by the sensation-seeking press.

In fact, it’s like all of the other GOP-created accusations against Clinton: Whitewater, Travelgate, Fostergate and Benghazigate. They all consist of wild accusations with little substance. That’s why, though the accusations have been thoroughly investigated at the cost of hundreds of millions of taxpayer money, no charges have ever been filed.

Yet, based on the belief that where there’s smoke there’s fire, suspicion and innuendo fueled by Republicans and the media have hung over the Clintons like a cloud.

For some reason, the same kinds of suspicion are seldom applied to Republicans. For example, the four Republican congressmen who led the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his dalliance with a White House intern were, themselves, guilty of the very same kind of transgressions or worse. One, former Speaker Dennis Hastert, was found guilty of child molestation.

And during this presidential campaign, the very same people who yell “lock her up” at Trump rallies are more than willing to ignore even worse accusations about their own candidate. Donald Trump is facing multiple accusations of sexual assault, having even bragged about them in an off-camera recording. He is also accused of having highly questionable financial ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. Worse, he is facing multiple legal cases against the Trump Foundation and Trump University. And, while Hillary is endorsed by virtually every major newspaper and media outlet in the US, Trump is endorsed by the KKK and the Alt-Right.

Further, Trump refuses to follow decades of precedence and release his tax returns. He has all but admitted that he used some highly questionable loopholes to avoid paying nearly a billion dollars in taxes. He has reported ties to the mob. Worst of all, he is being sued for raping a 13-year-old girl!

These aren’t mere accusations. These are charges of substance. And they make the accusations against Hillary pale in comparison. But, for some unexplained reason, instead of cringing in horror at the actions of the tangerine one, supposed Christians have circled the wagons around a candidate that violates every single value they claim to espouse.

Go figure.

Pillorying Hillary.

The media is trying to turn the fact that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account as Secretary of State into another scandal. Of course, the right wing wants us to believe that it is part of the Benghazi conspiracy – a conspiracy that has been debunked by 6 separate commissions. Indeed, the so-called “Select Committee” on Benghazi has long known that Clinton eschewed a government email account like Colin Powell and several other of her predecessors. As long as she is willing to provide access to the account, who really cares? And, given the fact that, at the very beginning of her term in the office, the State Department’s website was hacked revealing thousands of embarrassing emails that strained relationships between the US and other nations, it may have been better for our country that she used a private account. It was likely more secure!

None of the scandal-mongering should come as any real surprise to those of us who were conscious during the early nineties. Remember Whitewater, the “conspiracy” that consisted of the Clintons losing their investment in a failed development? Remember the “Billary” health care proposal, the health care system we should have? Remember “Travelgate?” Remember the outlandish right wing accusations that Hillary had ordered the murder of Vince Foster?

Like the Obama administration, the Clinton administration was hounded by right wingers who claimed to see a conspiracy under every rug and around every corner. Yet, after years of accusations, dozens of taxpayer-funded investigations, a special prosecutor, and a right wing-led witch hunt costing more than $60 million, the closest thing to illicit activity found was a sexual indiscretion in which the former president received a consensual blowjob – something less than the sexual trysts of previous presidents that, according to historians, make Bill Clinton seem like a faithful husband.

That the corporate propagandists, otherwise known as the mainstream media, would begin assaulting Hillary’s reputation more than a year before her presumed campaign for president is predictable. The right wing hopes that, in doing so, they can derail her candidacy even before the campaign begins, leaving the Democratic Party with no clear front-runner. At the same time, she is being attacked by the left as the progressive members of the Democratic Party hope to push her to the left.

They should be careful what they wish for.

Though I am disgusted at the notion of political dynasties (if Hillary wins, 2 members of the Bush family and 2 Clintons will have held the office of president for at least 24 years), Hillary is by far the better choice over a third, more corrupt, Bush or any of the nut jobs now aspiring for the Teapublican nomination.