By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
While some liberal commentators may continue to dismiss the coverage of Emailgate as “nonsense,” and a “fake scandal,” the fact remains that Hillary Clinton’s ongoing lies regarding her exclusive use of private email while serving as Secretary of State constitute just more of a long trail of deceptions reaching back to her youth. In 2008 Accuracy in Media published a column by the now-deceased Jerome Zeifman, the Democratic Party’s general counsel for the Watergate investigation. I had several conversations with him in his final years.
Zeifman was openly critical of Mrs. Clinton. Having worked with her during the formative years of her career, he had tremendous insight into her early character, which continues today. “Eventually, because of a number of her unethical practices I decided that I could not recommend her for any subsequent position of public or private trust,” he commented for AIM in 2008.
Some have said that Zeifman “fired” Mrs. Clinton; but she was let go as one of a number of staff no longer needed. But as Zeifman said back in 1998, “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her.”
Mrs. Clinton’s unethical practices during the Watergate investigation included “erroneous legal opinions,” “efforts to deny Nixon representation by counsel,” and a general “unwillingness to investigate Nixon,” according to Zeifman.
The Democratic strategy of the time was to “keep Nixon in office ‘twisting in the wind’ for as long as possible” so that Republicans could not reclaim legitimacy, and so that a Democrat could gain the presidency, he wrote. Such cold political calculations ignored the damage that President Nixon was doing to the country in favor of acquiring political power.
“According to her boss, Democrat Jerry Zeifman, Hillary met with Teddy Kennedy’s chief political strategist—a violation of House rules,” Ben Shapiro recently wrote for Front Page Magazine. “She then manipulated the system to avoid investigating Nixon, hoping he’d stick around long enough to sink Republican election chances in 1976, letting her boy Teddy into the White House.”
Yet Mrs. Clinton is involved with The Clinton Foundation, and likes to present herself as an idealist. For example, her most recent press conference to address concerns about Emailgate was held in the United Nations building right after she finished a speech on women’s rights.
Back in 2008 Ron Rosenbaum of Slate Magazine called this ongoing dichotomy “Hillary I vs. Hillary II.” The first Hillary is an “idealistic believer in helping and healing children,” he writes. The second is a Machiavellian, which Rosenbaum cast as an “idealistic Machiavellianism, the use of complex tactical manipulation to achieve noble idealistic goals.”
Which is why up to $16 million in taxpayer funds will have been sent to the Clintons by Election Day of 2016, with some of it allocated to the “salaries and benefits of staff at his family’s foundation,” according to Politico on March 12. “But scrutiny of the act—and of the vast financial empire built by the Clintons—is poised to intensify as questions mount about the family’s commingling of personal, political, government and foundation business,” it reports.
Like so many in the media, in 2008 Rosenbaum refused to accept the rotten core—that Mrs. Clinton might have actually been cynical and politically calculating at such an early age. “I must admit, I found myself taken aback at Zeifman’s charges because I didn’t think Hillary had lost her innocence that early—or even now had become as cynical as some now say she is,” he wrote.
Zeifman clearly outlined how cynical Mrs. Clinton was at 27—and this informs her actions in the present scandal.
The second Hillary, the other side, is “not the dewy-eyed idealist, but the shrewd Machiavellian many see her as now,” wrote Rosenbaum in 2008. Yet, he concluded that he “find[s] Hillary Clinton more of a mystery, perhaps a more complex character in a novelistic sense, than Richard Nixon… I’d almost want to see her become president just to solve the mystery.”
The most recent of many Clinton scandals, Emailgate, itself demonstrates ongoing political corruption at the expense of national security, transparency, and accountability by both Mrs. Clinton and the White House.
Ben Shapiro finds no mystery in Mrs. Clinton and her husband’s repeated missteps: Mrs. Clinton just plain lies, and has kept on lying throughout her political career. “Hillary is still the only First Lady in American history to be fingerprinted by the FBI,” he notes. Cheryl Mills, “helped prevent the Clintons from turning over 1.8 million emails to Judicial Watch, Congress, and federal investigators,” yet this close Clinton ally “ended up being in charge of document production for Hillary’s State Department in the Benghazi investigation.” Shapiro is referring to Project X, in which those 1.8 million emails were kept hidden from Congress and the media. The story was broken by the investigative journalist Paul Rodriguez in late 1998, and Accuracy in Media reported on this cover-up at the time.
And now we have Emailgate, part 2, where Mrs. Clinton supposedly transparently turned over all her work-related emails to the State Department,
- After using a private email account,
- Years later,
- After they were vetted by her advisors,
- After deleting approximately half of the 60,000 emails, and
- After allegedly using key word searches to determine whether the emails were work-related instead of reading each one of them,
- Oh, never mind, it turns out they did read all 32,000 “personal emails” before they were deleted.
During her March 10 press conference, Mrs. Clinton deceived once again when she said, “The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.” But the State Department threw her under the bus on that one, when Jen Psaki, State Department spokesman, said three days later that “the department only started automatically archiving emails for other senior officials in February,” long after Mrs. Clinton was gone from the State Department.
Another problem she faces is the OF-109 form, which every State Department employee is required to sign upon departure from their job, certifying that they have turned over all work-related documents and communications, including email. So did she sign it, and hold on to the work material for nearly two more years, or did she get a pass on signing it? Either way, this would apparently be a violation of a law, or at least a State Department policy. So far, Hillary is refusing to answer that one, as is the State Department.
There are gaps within her email spanning months, according to Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
USA Today’s Catalina Camia put it most simply: “We can only go by what Clinton says.”
It’s the media’s mandate to verify—not take Mrs. Clinton, nor any of our political leaders, at their word.