Last Friday, FBI Director James Comey notified Congress in a letter than new emails had surfaced that are possibly relevant to its investigation into whether Hillary Clinton broke the law by using a private email server to conduct government business. Reporting on this development, here’s how the New York Times summarizes that investigation:
For months, the F.B.I. had investigated whether Mrs. Clinton had broken any laws by using a private email server while she was secretary of state. This past summer, Mr. Comey said that Mrs. Clinton had been “extremely careless” by allowing sensitive information to be discussed outside secure government servers, but that the agency had concluded that Mrs. Clinton had not committed a crime. The investigation was closed.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Compare that with what the New York Times previously told us was confirmed in the investigation:
Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton handed over to the State Department, 110 contained information that was classified at the time she sent or received them. Of those, Mr. Comey said, “a very small number” bore markings that identified them as classified. This finding is at odds with Mrs. Clinton’s repeated assertions that none of the emails were classified at the time she sent or received them.
So notice how when the Times says that the candidate its editorial board has endorsed discussed “sensitive information”, this is a euphemism for classified information.
And, of course, the Times does now what it did then, which is to report that the FBI concluded Clinton committed no crime. Case closed.
Far be it from the New York Times to question the FBI’s closure of the case or to challenge its reader to think for themselves.
So we know that Clinton used her own personal email server to conduct government business and that some of these emails contained classified information, including classified materials marked as such.
Now, if the Times was serious, it would inform readers of what the law has to say about it:
“Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person … any classified information … Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” — US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, Section 798
And if the Times was serious, it would then point that Mrs. Clinton knowingly and willfully communicated, furnished, transmitted, or otherwise made available classified information using her own private email account on a private server.
If it was serious, the Times would then start by asking questions like:
With whom did she communicate about or otherwise make available to this classified information?
Were these individuals authorized to receive this classified information?
Did any of these individuals in turn communicate about or transmit this classified information to others?
But we know that the Times isn’t serious. Hence, none of these questions are asked. Indeed, they belong to the realm of the unthinkable.
Naturally, the Times doesn’t use the opportunity that arises from Comey’s recent letter to the Congress to raise such questions. Instead, it shifts the focus away from Clinton’s deeds to Comey himself. How scandalous that he should sent such a letter during a presidential race!
Naturally, it wasn’t deemed scandalous for him to declare that Clinton had committed no crime while leaving unanswered such questions as the above.
Of course, even the question of whether Clinton violated federal law by using her private email account is a distraction from far more important issues — like how she’s guilty of war crimes for her role in destroying Iraq, Libya, and Syria, among other criminal offenses.