Patterico's Pontifications


AG Lynch: Guess What? I Have Decided To Take The FBI Recommendation After All

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State. I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.

I anticipate that at any moment we will see massive waves of Social Justice Warriors from the party of Social Justice, angrily marching on the streets of America in protest that a privileged, white one-percenter and beneficiary of Wall Street, has been allowed to walk even though her “claims” were effectively dismantled and shown to be untrue by the FBI.


Dog Trainer Sends Out the Intern to Defend Hillary

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:59 pm

[guest post by JVW]

This is just too sad and depressing for words. The Los Angeles Times opinion section, knowing that they needed to deliver a defense of former Secretary of State and IT whiz, Hillary! Rodham Clinton, apparently couldn’t rouse any of the feeble minds on their editorial board — which coughed up a tepid editorial managing to both vindicate and rebuke Her Clintonic Majesty — nor any of the laughably otiose columnists on the payroll (looking at you Patttt Morrison and Jon Healey) to undertake the thankless task. And David Horse’s Ass Horsey is apparently incapable of thinking up a way to link Secretary Clinton’s email crimes directly to the GOP, so he too is taking a pass. Thus, in casting about the op/ed department to find the one person who will rise up to mount a defense of the woman whom everyone on staff with the exception of Jonah Goldberg wants to see win in November, they finally found their patsy champion:

The freaking intern.

Seriously, folks, today’s paper carries an opinion piece written by one Melissa Batchelor Warnke bearing the headline “Hillary Clinton didn’t go where David Petraeus and Scooter Libby did.” As usual, it’s a disjointed collection of DNC claptrap and I don’t particularly recommend anyone bothering to read it. The only possible way to explain Ms. Warnke’s argument is as follows: both Libby and Petraeus lied to FBI investigators, but Hillary! Clinton only lied to the American public. And, for the record, Ms. Warnke does agree with James Comey that Secretary Clinton’s actions in this affair were “extremely reckless.” But her contention is that because it did not involve “deliberate leaks,” that the decision to forgo prosecution is the right one.

But that’s not what is notable about this very uninteresting pro forma defense of the presumptive Democrat candidate. What is eye-opening is the identifying paragraph appended to the bottom of Ms. Warnke’s piece: “Batchelor Warnke [oh, she’s one of those that uses two last names; my bad] is an intern in The Times’ Opinion section. Follow her on Twitter @velvetmelvis.” Cogitate on that for a moment: the Dog Trainer is now sending the intern to the party’s rescue. If you check out Ms. Batchelor Warnke’s Twitter page you will see that she has all of the requisite lefty opinions (Abortion? Loves it. Guns? Hates them. Police? Doesn’t trust them.) that one in her position is expected to have, so no doubt she’ll be promoted to full-time intern columnist once the Dog Trainer goes through their next round of staff layoffs and buyouts. Apparently this is not Ms. Batchelor Warnke’s first stint as an intern. She has a tweet from yesterday mentioning that she was an unpaid lackey on Capitol Hill ten years ago. It’s a sad fact of modern life that full-time jobs are harder and harder to come by, but if it is coming down to having to take an internship in your late 20s in a dying industry then maybe you should just see if Starbucks is hiring or if Pago Pago needs more English teachers.

But, anyway, I’m sure Hillary! appreciates that someone on Spring Street has her back.


When the FBI Cared About Classified Information on Home Computers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

Remember John Deutch? He had secrets on a home computer:

Former CIA director John M. Deutch publicly apologized yesterday for mishandling top-secret information on unsecure home computers, saying he never intended to violate security rules and believes none of the information was compromised.

“The director of central intelligence is not above the rules,” a contrite Deutch told reporters after testifying behind closed doors for 2 1/2 hours before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “I very much regret my errors.”

Deutch was about to be prosecuted by DoJ when Bubba Clinton pardoned him.

This guy was prosecuted and was not pardoned (i.e. he is a little, unimportant guy) for keeping classified information on a home computer:

Bryan H. Nishimura, 50, of Folsom, pleaded guilty today to unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman immediately sentenced Nishimura to two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance.

According to court documents, Nishimura was a Naval reservist deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. In his role as a Regional Engineer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Nishimura had access to classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers. Nishimura, however, caused the materials to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. He carried such classified materials on his unauthorized media when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan and, ultimately, carried those materials back to the United States at the end of his deployment. In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system.

The press release says: “The investigation did not reveal evidence that Nishimura intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel.”

One rule for the little guy, another for the Important People.

I’m still confused about how deliberately setting up a private system for communication, including routinely sending and receiving classified information up to and including top secret information, is not “intent” to move that information from its proper place of custody. I’m also baffled as to when gross negligence was written out of the statute, or how “extremely careless” is different from being grossly negligent.

Ultimately, Comey’s inaction is the criminal referral analogue to John Roberts’s decision upholding ObamaCare. Someone with a reputation as a good guy had a failure of nerve when it mattered most, and elevated their judgment about the practical consequences to their institution over the rule of law. Weak people act differently when their actions are the subject of intense public scrutiny. They cave, and find ways to rationalize actions that minimize criticism rather than vindicate principles.

I think a central question in any job interview should be: when have you ever taken a large risk or sacrificed something for a principle?

But then, people like that don’t tend to rise to the top.

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