Do Hillary Clinton’s Emails Matter?

 

The Daily Journalist community.

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s new e-mail investigation unexpectedly reopened last week eleven days prior to Election Day. She and her campaign staff have openly uttered discontent in how the FBI managed the whole email investigation from day one. She also accuses republican congressmen for their intimidating role to push the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation of her case.

Having access to Wikileaks and read many of the emails I can confirm the following:

–          The Clinton Foundation exploits foreign donors in exchange of favors

–          She violated protocol as State Secretary for using a private email server to send classified information

–          The DNC accepted large sums from big corporations and violated FARA; it created loopholes around the law to receive donations for her campaign that she also used in The Clinton Foundation

–          Many bundlers with a significant fraudulent past had a significant direct affiliation with John Podesta, not without Clinton’s consent

–          Hillary and Nancy Pelosi received money from Goldman Sachs and other large corporations and in exchange injected TARP –tax payer bailout funds and assets– into the banking system

–          The DNC totally outplayed Bernie Sander’s campaign –especially his northern European socialist reforms — and planned his demise from the start of the DNC preliminary election

–          John Podesta in multiple occasions invited journalist from the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Slate and other networks for approval campaign dinners. I have to admit as a journalist that media whoredom inside the DNC was a disappointing surprise, as I once looked with reverence papers like the Washington Post!

–          Democracy Partner’s Robert Creamer visited the White House well over one hundred times. He recently was accused of starting campaign violence inside Trump rallies. Thanks to the independent investigative underground report of Project Veritas and not mainstream media, the video exposed a sinister campaign hoopla inside the Clinton campaign hard to ignore

–          She turned seven thousand emails, and white washed with bleach another thirty thousand plus messages (the number is precisely unknown); other laptop hard drives and blackberry phones were destroyed using hammers

–          Russia, China and other foreign nations have hacked the pentagon in numerous occasions and continue to do so on a regular basis. The DNI states that Russia might be involved with Clinton’s email server hack, but are open to other adversaries. They are also other reports that conclude that Anonymous – the hacking organization responsible of working alongside Julian Assange – is responsible for the hack. In fact, it is likely that Anonymous was responsible for the breach, given that Clinton’s private server was easier to hack compared to the government server – which would take a billion dollar infrastructure to penetrate inside

I am no lawyer on the subject and I won’t pretend to be one today. I don’t know the legalities well enough to propose whether or not Clinton broke the law. These emails at the lowest point present an ‘ethics issue’ that would make anyone seriously question her integrity as a credible politician — not that politicians are ever credible. As the investigation continues to unfold, I am curious to see what other new emails – now under the possession of the FBI– might offer with public disclosure.

Donald Trump has started to rise up on the polls and he is now ahead in many different swing states, including Ohio and Florida. The FBI’s newest investigation might be responsible for the latest Clinton poll flop. I had already forewarned in mid-2015, that the email scandal would eventually creep and inflict a serious blow on Clinton’s campaign.  Speculators in the stock market have started to panic and stocks indexes show trade concerns as Trump’s financial reforms are unknown to many investors and lenders nationally and internationally. I am not confident how Trump will tame the financial sector, especially if he wins!

Questions: 

1)      Do these emails really matter? Or is this all media hype blown out of proportion?

2)      Critics point that if Hillary Clinton was not such a powerful politician, but an ordinary civil servant, any other ordinary citizen would be serving time in jail or prison for much less than what she got away on her first FBI investigation? Is this true or untrue?    

3)      What emails concern you the most? Or are most emails irrelevant?  

4)      Has the FBI violated federal law for reopening the investigation near election week?  Or did the FBI tarnish its reputation after the controversy that surrounded the initial investigation? 

5)      Is Russia really behind these hacks? Why not China, Iran, Israel or Anonymous to name a few? 

6)      Given the latest poll results, will the reopening of the FBI investigation grant Trump a presidential victory?     

 

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Peter D. Rosenstein.

(He is a non-profit executive, journalist and Democratic and community activist. His background includes teaching; serving as Coordinator of Local Government for the City of New York; working in the Carter Administration; and Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia)

“I have just read this sentence you write: Having access to Wikileaks and read many of the emails I can confirm the following:

The fact is you can’t confirm most of what you think you can and you make assumptions in your  premise leading up to the questions that is so far off the truth as to be nonsensical.”

 

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Sebastian Sarbu.

(He is a military analyst and vice-president of National Academy of Security and Defense Planning. Member of American Diplomatic Mission for International Relations)

Yes Hillary Clinton is an ordinary civil servant and she must respond transparently to Justice and the American people.

The FBI investigation is a temporary victory of the free press that related some aspects of this story about emails and her scandals.

It is not first case of lack of email transparency, another case regarded former president George W. Bush who related international intelligence with more emails than in Clinton’s case.

But this race regards the ways of such person with her imprudent conduit to lead a country like United States.  That is real problem and not how corrupt is that person.

The FBI must continue the investigation independently regarding Hillary’s America. It’s a duty that must prove the independence of justice and the integrity of system. The investigation must check also other possible irregularities of Hillary Clinton.

Russia speculated this political fight. The cyber-security threats is not news, is not something new and in conclusion should not exaggerate or be used in the race for White House by democrats or republicans.”

 

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Paul Pillar.

(He is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community)

“Of course the entire email matter is blown way out of proportion, and never would have become such a huge issue if Republican opponents of Mrs. Clinton had not seized on it as a political stick with which to beat her.

The private server was a stupid move, but the original issue comes down only to the practice of how senior officials who deal with classified information and face enormous demands on their time and their staff’s time–and these are true of any U.S.secretary of state–communicate in ways that enable them to do their jobs efficiently while protecting classified information.

This is a mundane matter of administrative best practices.  There is no relationship whatever with ordinary citizens and civil servants who have served time in prison for willfully disclosing classified information to those not authorized to receive it. There is no indication that Mrs. Clinton has ever made such disclosure, that the emails in question have conveyed such information to people without security clearances, or that any classified information in them was ever compromised.

The FBI may not have violated any federal law, but Mr. Comey’s vaguely worded October surprise was a clear violation of Department of Justice policy and deservedly tarnishes his and the FBI’s reputation.  This mistake probably will not, however, be enough to swing the election to Trump.”

 

Claude Forthomme.

(Senior Editor of Impakter Magazine. Passionate traveller (80 countries+) 25 years experience in United Nations: project evaluation specialist; FAO Director for Europe/Central Asia)

“1) These emails do not really matter, they are run-of-the-mill businessfor any politician or businessman (Trump included; why isn’t anyone investigating his business contacts with Russia? Has everyone forgotten that his first campaign manager was directly involved in rehabilitating the Russian-backed party in Ukraine and giving strength to anti-government forces?) Such emails do NOT threaten state security and that’s the point that most people seem to have lost sight of;

2) Ordinary citizens would NOT be spending any time in jail for this sort of thing (and neither should Clinton) – this is populist news-spinning and spreading of unfounded fears; in short, to imply that Clinton ought to spend time in jail for something like this is misleading, almost bizarre: if that were the case, then the USA would suddenly have turned into a totalitarian state, throwing ordinary citizens in jail for their emails!
3) No email concerns me at all. I’m fed up with the whole thing!
4) The FBI has not violated any law for re-opening the investigations, but there was NO NEED to inform Congress since the FBI had in fact NO NEW information to communicate: sending a letter to Congress was equivalent to jumping to conclusions and implying Clinton might be guilty of further “wrongdoings”, though unnamed and unidentified. This, on the part of the FBI, is almost equivalent to slandering a citizen’s reputation (Clinton in this case) and it confirms everybody’s long held suspicion over here in Europe that the FBI is in fact a “state within the state” and that democracy is truly at risk in America.
5) Russia and every other totalitarian state that you mention is behind these and other hacks. Cyber warfare is a staple of 21st century war.

6) The latest polls still show Clinton ahead of Trump but undeniably the FBI’s letter to Congress re-opening the emails investigation has damaged Clinton and most definitely given an advantage to Trump and not only Trump but to all Republicans. Why don’t we list here all the incredible stuff Trump is guilty of as a major con artist and tax evader?”

 

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Dale Yeager.

(He is the CEO of SERAPH and F.L.E.T.C trained Forensic Profiler and U.S. DOJ DOD Federal Law Enforcement SME / Instructor)

“1)      Do these emails really matter? Or is this all media hype blown out of proportion?

This is a serious crime affecting the security of the U.S. Yes, these emails matter.

2)      Critics point that if Hillary Clinton was not such a powerful politician, but an ordinary civil servant, any other ordinary citizen would be serving time in jail or prison for much less than what she got away on her first FBI investigation? Is this true or untrue?    

I have two federals security clearances if I had done this I would have been indicted and in prison.

3)      What emails concern you the most? Or are most emails irrelevant?  

The mixing of her duties as Secretary of State with donations from foreign governments to her foundation.

4)      Has the FBI violated federal law for reopening the investigation near election week?  Or did the FBI tarnish its reputation after the controversy that surrounded the initial investigation?

The FBI fixed their first bad action with the current investigation. Either we live by the Rule of Law or we do not.

5)      Is Russia really behind these hacks? Why not China, Iran, Israel or Anonymous to name a few?

Who knows. The issue is the manipulation of a U.S. election. But frankly this could have been found by an operative here in the U.S. and leaked to media.

6)      Given the latest poll results, will the reopening of the FBI investigation grant Trump a presidential victory?  

It’s a toss-up maybe. ”

 

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Nake M. Kamrany.

(He  is an eminent Afghan-American development economist with superior experience in economic development who is held in high esteem by the international development community, Afghan leaders, scholars, the private sector and intellectuals. He has more than 20 publications on the political economy of Afghanistan)

“1)  Do these emails really matter? Or is this all media hype blown out of proportion?

Yes, these e-mails discovered by FBI  do matter as everything in politics matter. YES \the SOURCE MATTERS.  I goes to verbosity of the candidates.

2)  Critics point that if Hillary Clinton was not such a powerful politician, but an ordinary civil servant, any other ordinary citizen would be serving time in jail or prison for much less than what she got away on her first FBI investigation? Is this true or untrue?

She could lose her security clearance and barred from federal employment and may be fined, I doubt she will serve time in  jail.

3)  What emails concern you the most? Or are most emails irrelevant?

I do not know, I would have to see the e-mails.

4)  Has the FBI violated federal law for reopening the investigation near election week?  Or did the FBI tarnish its reputation after the controversy that surrounded the initial investigation?

The FBI was in a bind, no matter what it did it would be criticized by one or the other party.

5) Is Russia really behind these hacks? Why not China, Iran, Israel or Anonymous to name a few?

It should not be significant to Russia or any other country,  the ware wasting their resources.

6) Given the latest poll results, will the reopening of the FBI investigation grant Trump a presidential victory?

It may, 2 – 3 points, at this time that might be enough.

Clinton sustained three significant drawback that goes to her verbosity: – fund raising for  her trust fund selling influence ,  violation of e-mail security, and Mr. Clinton granting pardon to a tax evader.”

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Ron Aledo. 

(He is a retired U.S Army officer, former senior analyst for the CIA (ctr), former senior analyst for the DIA (ctr), operations and intelligence officer for the Joint Staff- The Pentagon, advisor to the Chief of Analysis of the Afghan National Police in Kabul and former International Business Developer for L3 Communications)

“1) Do these emails really matter? Or is this all media hype blown out of proportion?

Absolutely. The FBI needs to see if they are duplicates or new ones. More important they need to see if they contain Classified information or any other ilegal activity. That is the job and duty of the FBI.

2) Critics point that if Hillary Clinton was not such a powerful politician, but an ordinary civil servant, any other ordinary citizen would be serving time in jail or prison for much less than what she got away on her first FBI investigation? Is this true or untrue?

Many people in the US Government has been charged and many others went to jail for a fraction of what Hillary has done. Hillary has the special and illegal protection of Loretta Lynch, high Rank FBI officers and Obama. The US Congress must open an investigation on how Obama and his appointees illegaly used their power to tamper, influence or even block Federal investigations on Hillary, a capital and high crime and a de facto Coup.

3) What emails concern you the most? Or are most emails irrelevant?

Those with classified material.

4) Has the FBI violated federal law for reopening the investigation near election week?  Or did the FBI tarnish its reputation after the controversy that surrounded the initial investigation?

The FBI did the right thing as they are Law Enforcement sworn officers. They must be 100% blind to the political calendar. That means, they cannot push forward one day because of politics and they cannot delay one day because of politics. They must move forward as soon as they have new investigative Leads. When they receive leads, they move forward regardless of the election calendar. Politics must not and cannot delay nor speed up Federal Criminal investigations.

5) Is Russia really behind these hacks? Why not China, Iran, Israel or Anonymous to name a few?

The new emails are not the product of Hacks but were discovered in a computer when the FBI was investigating another case (A.W sexual misconduct). As far as WikiLeaks, Assange said recently in an interview that Russia was not the source.

6) Given the latest poll results, will the reopening of the FBI investigation grant Trump a presidential victory?

Nothing is granted. Trump still has a dangerous road to the Presidency. Obama  is trying to ilegally  block, influence and tamper with the new FBI investigation. Left wing political apointees within DOJ will try to block it. About 90% of the main stream media will keep attacking Trump in desperation and with full rage until the last minute. The Hillary team will bring up more fake ¨sexual assault victims¨until the last minute. So nothing is granted. Many Christians highly concerned with Scalia and soon to retire Thomas seats in the US Supreme Court are praying with devotion just to make reality that Trump victory.”

 

John Mariotti.

(He as spoken to thousands of people in the business, professional and university audiences in the US and Europe; he hosted a one-hour talk-radio show on the North American Broadcasting Network, (The Life of Business & the Business of Life); founded & moderated, The Reunion Conference, an annual round table/think-tank for 16 years)

“1)      Do these emails really matter? Or is this all media hype blown out of proportion?

YES…they matter a lot because they expose illicit and probably illegal activities. They also expose breaches of national security, and a whole series of actions that are explicitly prohibited. Hiding behind “I do not recall” answers does not relieve Hillary Clinton from the other many rules and statutes she violated with her unauthorized and  insecure email server. She lied, over and over, during government investigations.

2)      Critics point that if Hillary Clinton was not such a powerful politician, but an ordinary civil servant, any other ordinary citizen would be serving time in jail or prison for much less than what she got away on her first FBI investigation? Is this true or untrue?    

Absolutely true. There are many examples, including two distinguished generals who were severely penalized. Countless “ordinary Americans” would suffer the full brunt of the law and be convicted, serve time, etc.

3)      What emails concern you the most? Or are most emails irrelevant?  

Emails between Hillary and president Obama, which makes him complicit in the legal violations; and emails that contain/expose classified information, available to hacking by foreign entities; and emails that illustrate a pattern of behavior that is criminal in nature, subverting the government of the USA; (and hiding emails from the FOIA access—de facto illegal). 

4)      Has the FBI violated federal law for reopening the investigation near election week?  Or did the FBI tarnish its reputation after the controversy that surrounded the initial investigation?

There is NO evidence that the FBI violated any law by reopening an earlier investigation in which it clearly failed to reach the right conclusion. The ability to reopen investigations when new evidence emerges is a central part of the American legal system.

5)      Is Russia really behind these hacks? Why not China, Iran, Israel or Anonymous to name a few?

Maybe, but also likely other countries and hackers too. The nature of hacking and the internet makes it difficult to track down and assign blame with much certainty. Government supported/sponsored hacking that started about 20 years ago (from China) continues today. Russian hackers may or may not be government employees, but many of them are supported by,  directed by or involved with the Russian government. The Syrian Army hacking organization is also active, likely spreading to ISIS as well.

6)      Given the latest poll results, will the reopening of the FBI investigation grant Trump a presidential victory?  

Unclear. Trump’s path to the presidency would be a tough one, given the Democrat candidate’s stranglehold on states that add up to 250+/- electoral votes. Trump’s ill-advised behaviors have alienated large voting blocs—notably women, Hispanics, Muslims, etc. He might, as Romney did, lose to a coalition of voting blocs that favor the Democratic candidate. Many of them want to sustain their welfare payments, and continue to borrow, spend, and tax legitimate wage earners to support them (millions who choose to not work—and rely on government largesse for their income).

A Trump win would be a long shot, albeit a “revolution” is needed—A Clinton win will become an American disaster—as she would certainly come into office under FBI and Congressional investigations”

 

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John D. Vernon Sr.

(He has proudly served the United States of America for over 37 years as a Military Officer, retiring at the rank of Colonel,later serving as a Department of Defense civilian, and finally as a Township Supervisor.In 2012, John ran as a Conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is the CEO, American Warrior Press)

“On November 8, 2016, the American citizens will go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States. The question that will be answered on November 8th is will it be Donald Trump or will it be Hillary Clinton? For many of us, this election cycle is what brings out the worst in people and shows that even a nation such as America can be politically corrupted. The drip drip drip of emails from WikiLeaks, the State Department and the Weiner computer have over shadowed this entire political campaign, regardless of the Donald J. Trumps quips and debate performances. So do Hillary Clinton’s emails matter? In my opinion, only a fool or criminal would say that they do not.

For a large number of Americans, the fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set up a private “home brew” server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York, to conduct official government business just reeks of dishonesty and corruption.

What we have found out through a series of events, investigations and freedom of information releases from Judicial Watch, is that Hillary Clinton is a very secretive person who did not want the American public to know what she was doing around the world, both as the Secretary of State and as the co-founder of the Clinton foundation, a foundation that took donations from foreign governments like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Brunei, and Algeria to the tune of approximately $60M, paid for her daughter’s wedding, and also provided her daughter with a salary for a decade. Wait a minute, isn’t the foundation a charity?  

The American people were shocked when they heard that Hillary Clinton (HRC) had set-up a server in her home to keep her actions private and away from the very people she had taken an oath to work for. In fact, some described this realization of betrayal in term of a personal relationship, where one side or the other had been duped by a series of lies. But it didn’t end there, with just the initial lie at the United Nations building, it has continued for the past year and a half, with lie after lie, building on itself to the point where even the most ardent Clinton supporter was holding their nose.

Not only were people holding their noses after learning of HRC’s secret server, they were putting on their rubber boots in case they stepped in the manure left lying around after they learned that HRC had passed classified material on an unclassified server which was not protected. We now know that slime ball disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner had access to the same classified material as his wife even though he did not have a need to know, and likely did not have a security clearance. Worse yet, we learned this weekend, that HRC’s maid printed classified messages for HRC and faxed them to unknown locations even though she [the maid] did not have a security clearance; so much for protecting State secrets.

But the American people were yet to get the shock of their lives. In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey announced that HRC had passed over 110 emails containing classified material ranging from confidential to top secret violating a long list of statutes, but he would not recommend indictment because he did not see intent. Director Comey laid out his case methodically even calling HRC reckless, but stopped short of indictment because of, in my opinion, direct involvement from the White House and Department of Justice. At these point, we knew the fix was in, especially after Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President and HRC husband Bill Clinton on a remote Arizona airport tarmac days before Comey’s announcement. Did I mention that the Clinton campaign used a computer erasing program called “bleach bit” to permanently delete emails so they could never be recovered even after Congress had given them a preservation order? So much for transparency and honestly with the American people.

It goes without saying that HRC is being treated differently than members of the Armed Forces who have committed lesser security violations. These men and women are currently in prison while HRC was allowed to walk free and run for President of the United States. Without question, HRC status as an elitist has been the catalyst that tipped the scales. I feel so terribly sad for my country.

In my opinion, regardless of who wins the Presidential election tomorrow night, the email issue involving HRC isn’t over. However, according to the Clinton Camp, they blame the Russians for the hack of the Clinton campaign emails even though she was the one who courted the Russians and hit the reset button. Further, I don’t believe that anyone one can trust HRC; she is the female Putin who has exposed State secrets to foreign agents.

So having said all that, since less than 1% of Americans actually have served in the military and only a slightly higher percent have security clearances, most Americans don’t understand the gravity of the HRC missteps and the email issue will not have the effect it should have on the election. However, I believe HRC is nothing short of a criminal and she will not make it through her Presidency should she be elected because she will not be able to curtail her criminal behavior. And if she behaves in this manner, Congress will be waiting to impeach her.

In summary, this Sunday will be a special day for me as I stand with my friends in our place of worship praying for our country. I pray that we can overcome this corruption and that we can make America great again, that we can be inclusive, and that we can end the violence in the world.”

 

Halyna Mokrushyna.

(Holds a doctorate in linguistics and MA degree in communication. She publishes in Counterpunch, Truthout, and  New Cold War on Ukrainian politics, history, and culture. She is also a contributing editor to the New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond and a founder of the Civic group for democracy in Ukraine)

“Tens of thousands of e-mails by Hillary Clinton and by the Chairman of her presidential campaign, John Podesta, are not just media hype. These leaked e-mails are very important because they provide an insight into the inner workings of the American political elite, exposing their hypocrisy and corruption which are eating away the American political system. The US accuses many non-Western governments of precisely the same sin the American politicians indulge in – exchanging money for political influence. Lobbyism is a legalized corruption, and Hillary Clinton is stuck in it up to ears with her Clinton Foundation. The most important e-mails are the ones that disclose Clintons’ intimate relations with the Wall Street making Hillary a mouthpiece of America’s bankers and financiers. Hillary Clinton is a wolf in a sheep skin. Her progressive, liberal rhetoric is no more than that – rhetoric, behind which she hides her service to the profit-greedy American military-industrial and banking complex.

FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s violations of the national security will not have a significant effect on the outcome of the presidential election because the most important information was already released by Wiki-leaks.

I am confident it is not Russians who hacked Hillary Clinton’s correspondence. The American obsession with Russians has reached a paranoia level. The virulent Russophobia of Clinton’s campaign is unprecedented in the post-Cold War American political life. The American exceptionalism, in which Hillary Clinton believes blindly and firmly, demands an enemy, and Putin’s Russia fills in that void conveniently. You do not do politics with pure hands. Intelligence services of all countries engage in hacking business, including the US. Ultimately, the most important is not the question who hacked Clinton’s documents. The most important is the content of these documents exposing the money and profit-based political mechanisms behind democratic, progressive rhetoric and an open, confident smile of Hillary Clinton. Her reaction is very revealing: instead of focusing on the content, she skillfully ignores it and diverts the discussion into a not-so-relevant question of who is behind the hacking, hoping to discredit the truth, contained in the hacked correspondence, by the fact that I was scheming, insidious Russians who hacked it.

Russians are not powerful enough to influence the outcome of American presidential election, as Hillary Clinton and her supporters pretend. Russians have a lot to learn from Americans when it comes to building and using soft power abroad to manipulate politics in foreign countries. Julian Assange in his interview to John Pilger clearly stated that Wiki leaks did not obtain all these installments of Clinton’s e-mails from Russians. I have no grounds to doubt his words.

The FBI now closed its investigation into Clinton’s breach of secrecy stating that they will not change their previous decision to not indict her in the absence of proven intent in her actions. It means that for her supports, Clinton is cleared of any accusations. It will not have any impact on Trump supporters because they obtained the proof of Clinton’s corruption in publications by Wiki leaks. I would agree with Assange that Trump will not be allowed to win. The mainstream media on the payroll of the American establishment have been diligently discrediting Trump since the beginning of the electoral campaign. As John Cassidy from the New Yorker writes, Trump, Mr. Make America Great Again, represents nationalist, nativist Americans, hostile toward a self-serving élite that looks down on them. This elite will do whatever it takes to prevent Trump from winning the election. This presidential campaign revealed a deep division inside the American nation, and it is hard to predict which America will win this election – the conservative one or the liberal one.

Trump’s victory would cause a truly tectonic change in corruption-laden American political establishment. The world is tired of American exceptionalism. There is so much to correct and improve within the US political, economic, and social system. American elite should focus on their own backyard instead of teaching others how to live. Donald Trump promised he would do just that.

The call is very close between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Both candidates are very close in public opinion polls, and in any case, the margin of victory will be narrow. I think Trump has slightly better chances of winning than Hillary Clinton. After all, he did surprisingly well in winning the Republican establishment support and becoming a Republican nominee, while many were predicting that this ‘buffoon’ does not have any chance of winning.

We will know soon enough who will be the next president of the greatest superpower in the world.”

 

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Jon Kofas.

(Retired Indiana University university professor academic writing. International political economy — fiction)

“The Political Significance of the ‘Clinton emails’
The email controversy that haunted Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation ‘pay for play scandals’ for a number of years all the way to the end of her bid for president will help to keep the executive branch and central government relatively weak once she is president, assuming she makes it as polls indicate. If Clinton top aides lied to the FBI or if they were involved in what the FBI may deem prosecutable offenses, and if congressional Republicans press this issue, then the new administration will be distracted by such scandals.
 
On the other hand, if the FBI and/or any Republicans were involved in any type of collusion or conspiracy to secure confidential information from the Clinton campaign, that too may be subject to congressional investigation to determine if there are within the FBI and/or Justice Department rogue elements operating outside legal channels. The FBI investigation into Clinton-related email has exposed the bureau as a highly political agency rather than the image it likes to project.
 
As published, Wikileak emails simply confirm what had been known about the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee, namely, the level of preponderate influence in the Obama government to make sure that Hillary wins the nomination and the election at any cost, including bending the law to the extent they could do it. The hacked emails reveal the well known connection of the Clintons to Wall Street and the awareness of the various players from John Podesta on down that they were at the very least on the edge of legality but certainly operating a heavy-handed campaign with the considerable muscle of billionaires and millionaires behind them.
 
The Clinton Foundation charity network does some very good work globally. However, to make money for the key players in the Foundation is typical of how the Clintons operate by merging charity and private political and economic interests. It is clear that the Foundation is somewhat of a front for the family to amass personal wealth. People who had looked into the considerable wealth that the Clintons amassed in the last fifteen years did not need Wikileaks to tell them that the family had cleverly merged charity with private interests as a means of becoming multimillionaires.
 
The Clintons have a well known record as pro-Wall Street politicians while at the same time trying to appeal to the Democratic Party’s working class and middle class base that has been hurt by neoliberal policies they have been supporting since the 1990s. Once in office, she will continue the same neoliberal policies with a firm commitment to strengthening defense and continuing militaristic solutions to political crises around the world. This does not mean that there would be no proposals for development of the infrastructure, reforming the college debt mess currently at $1.3 trillion, refining health care reform including come controls on drug prices, as well as other social programs. As president, Clinton would support a more humane position on immigration, law and order regime that currently target minorities, gender equality, and socio-cultural tolerance. To the extent that congressional Republicans go along, some of these measures will pass.
 
In a pluralistic society, these are all important but they will have only a marginal impact on living standards that will continue to decline for the working class and the middle class in the next four years. Minimum wage will most definitely go up largely because corporations are raising it. For example, WALMART adopted the wage model of COSTCO and discovered that its sales and productivity rose as a result of raising wages. Along with state-mandated minimum wage laws, corporations will likely continue raising wages even if the federal minimum wage is raised at a slow pace in the next five years as expected. Although a higher minimum wage is imperative as living standards have risen and the US rests so inordinately on consumer spending, the occupant of the White House will take credit for supporting the policy.
 
Politicians above the Law 
Political corruption in the US is not anywhere near many other countries where heads of state enter politics poor and in the process become millionaires or even billionaires. There are strict laws about political corruption, but at the same time the laws provide many windows of opportunity to politicians to profit once they exit from public life while they become peddlers for corporate America as influence peddlers on policy. Public corruption is invariably linked to private sector corruption, although rarely does the media point any fingers at the private sector, focusing instead on the public officials at the receiving end.   
 
Just as big banks and big corporations are too big to fail, so are ‘big politicians’ like Hillary Clinton. Presidents have been impeached, and others removed from office; senators and congressmen stripped of their seats, and governors have served in minimum security facilities. All of them for crimes carried out with the goal of illegally amassing personal wealth, obstruction of justice or some other activity to the detriment of their office. As long as the politician follows the legal path which is very wide and open, it is assumed if not expected that she/he will be rewarded by the system and at some point while protected legally in the process.
 
Senator Bernie Sanders was right that the Clinton State Department emails controversy as relating to Libya was simply red meat for Republicans; the real crime was her close ties to billionaires and Wall Street. Because of Wikileaks, the world now knows that John Podesta’s multi-million dollar consulting-lobbying firm in Washington works closely with billionaires who define the issues and control the Democratic Party. One could argue that even if Wikileaks had not revealed this hacked email the world already knew enough to reach the exact same conclusion. Besides, aren’t billionaires also behind the Republican Party and out in the open about it? Most people are resigned to this reality and are unlikely to react with much surprise or hostility that Hillary Clinton and powerful politicians are above the law or at least the privileged class treated by a different set of criteria than the average person.
 
Russia, Wikileaks and Political Distraction
I have no way of knowing if Russia is behind the stolen email controversy and I honestly do not believe it matters. The accusers have never provided evidence to prove their claims and if they ever do, the evidence would have to be carefully scrutinized for authenticity. There are several issues here. First, if Russia is indeed behind Wikileaks, is it because it desperately wanted Trump to win. One would have to assume that the Kremlin knew such interference exposed would in reality help Clinton not Trump. Although Putin has said that he will work with anyone in the White House, he probably preferred authoritarian Trump who would not have continued the military solution option in Syria and would not have pressed as much as Clinton on the issue of sanctions and containment that Obama has been pursuing.
 
Putin is correct that it is absurd to assume Russia can influence the US election even if it tried. On the contrary, American voters make up their minds on the basis of what goes on inside the country, relying on their historic ties to a political party and how they perceive the candidates would best serve their ideological, socioeconomic and cultural interests. More often than not, the perceived interests and aspirations of voters are based on illusions rather than anything real. An unemployed coal miner in West Virginia parading the confederate flag on the backside of his pickup truck displaying Trump bumper stickers has placed his fate on a 70-year old billionaire playboy who has benefited from corporate welfare and hardly paid any federal income taxes in his life. In their most sinister schemes the people in the Kremlin could not possibly come up with anything to persuade people like this unemployed coal miner to vote one way or another.
 
Let us assume that Russia is indeed behind the stolen emails, although they and Julian Assange have denied it. If Moscow is indeed behind all of it, does this absolve the corruption within the Clinton campaign that was wide and deep?  Considering that public opinion polls indicate that Hillary Clinton is less trustworthy than Trump, does the public need Moscow to reveal more about the Clintons than people already know for the last three decades? If more people consider Clinton less trustworthy than a man who by any criteria is a neo-Fascist, what does this tell us about the candidate who orchestrated her way to the presidential nomination by manipulating the democratic process, with the media’s voluntary support to crush her opponent Bernie Sanders?
 
Concealing her candidacy behind so many veils of deception to secure the vote has indeed worked no matter what Wikileaks reveals, largely because the corporate media representing Wall Street wanted to advance her candidacy just as it advanced that of Trump in the primary season. The typical Cold War prism of looking to the evil Russian empire to blame for homegrown problems has its limits. Propaganda is the essence of politics but it also backfires when one cries wolf one too many times and there is no wolf to be found.” 

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