Only in Wonderland: America's Journey Down the Rabbit Hole
Just as Lewis Carroll’s Alice fell down a rabbit hole and spent many bizarre adventures wandering through Wonderland, America has also found herself a bit lost in her own upside down, completely absurd and dreadfully confusing Wonderland. This week’s events surrounding Hillary Clinton’s investigation by the FBI are simply added chapters to America’s “very curious” rabbit hole journey.
While the critics of Hillary Clinton’s investigation protest that authorities are diving into her personal life, or simply trying to persecute her for being a woman, the chief concerns are facts, justice and the rule of law.
For those who are not tech savvy, it is useful to answer the basic question, what is a server? A server is a computer generally housed in a data center and run by a hosting company. These data centers have redundant power, high security and lots of air conditioning to keep the machines cool. They store and “serve” information to the computers that are on their network. In a company or organization, the server is basically a remote hard drive where one person, for example, can store a file “to the server” and another can obtain it on his computer. Servers allow for protection and sharing of information (such as files) within a work community.
In the case of Hillary Clinton, rather than use the State Department’s server — which protects and shares information within the department community — she broke protocol and compromised security by deliberately setting up a private, separate server run by Platte River Networks and housed in the bathroom of a downtown Denver loft (an apartment). Only in Wonderland would this qualify as a “data center.”
It is not plausible to argue that former Secretary Clinton was simply “careless” in her handling of classified information. Who in their right mind hires a separate firm for anything and has “no idea” about it?
It would be like an attorney at a large firm setting up a separate firm through which he can route “moonlighting” clients. He sets up a separate email address and a separate server where he can store information so that the large firm doesn’t see “his business.” For such a person to claim that he didn’t know that this was wrong or that he was not aware that he wasn’t supposed to have a separate network, firm, or a different email would be absurd. Only in Wonderland would such a person get away with this.
Indeed, Mrs. Clinton boasts of her great experience as evidenced in a December 20, 2007, TV ad airing in Iowa and New Hampshire where she stated, “I have 35 years’ experience making change.” So now we’re up to 44. That’s 44 years of knowing how things work. This wasn’t a 16-year-old Senate page, or even a 20-year-old intern. This is a former First Lady of Arkansas, a former First Lady of the United States, a former Senator. It is absurd that she “didn’t know” how to handle classified material. In her campaign, Clinton makes great use of her experience in politics. Yet this experience didn’t prepare her to know how to protect our country’s secrets? Welcome to Wonderland.
Mistreatment of classified information is not an arbitrary bureaucratic rule. Mistreatment of classified information can be potentially harmful to our national security, to our military, and to our own country’s welfare. When enemies obtain our secrets, they are able to ambush our troops and kill our men and women at home and abroad. Whether “carelessness,” ineptitude or malicious intent, Mrs. Clinton should be held responsible for both breaking protocol and putting our nation at risk.
It is also concerning that Mrs. Clinton claims that her use of a separate email was due to her 1) lack of familiarity with using a desktop for email, 2) the inconvenience of carrying two devices to check her email and 3) the inconvenience of two separate email accounts.
First of all, her “lack of familiarity with checking email on a desktop” should be a deal-breaker to hire her for almost any job in the working world, much less the highest office in the country. Additionally, this claim seems absurd because, back when email started, the only way a person could check email was on a desktop computer. Has Mrs. Clinton only been using email since the advent of the smartphone? Who checked her email for her (since she might have not known how) during her time as a senator? Secondly, almost every working adult has two separate emails (a personal email and a work email) and we have all figured out how to deal with it. Thirdly, shouldn’t 44 years of “experience” have taught her how to use a computer and to check her email? Fourthly, wouldn’t someone who knew how to set up a bathroom “data center” maybe know how to check her email?
We are left with two conclusions from this evidence. She is either 1) completely inept to use computers in a professional way or 2) lying through her teeth. Inept or a liar: both conclusions should disqualify her from being President of the United States.
In regards to precedent of former prosecuted cases, FBI Director, James Comey stated Tuesday: “All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information. Or vast quantities of information exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct. Or indications of disloyalty to the United States. Or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”
Interesting that any of these are the qualifications for prosecution: intentional mishandling or vast quantities or disloyalty or obstruction of justice. Also interesting that he sees none of these qualities in the evidence presented. Definitely a Wonderland moment.
Further, Mr. Comey concludes that the former secretary of state simply acted “careless[ly].” He claims that under mens rea, she did not exhibit malicious intent, and her nonchalant response intends to makes the rest of us think that she only received a parking ticket.
Mens rea comes from the Latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which translates as “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty.” It appears that because Mrs. Clinton has not pleaded guilty or made mention of “knowingly” committing a crime, she does not have a guilty mind. She may have a strategic mind — a Yale law mind that knows how mens rea works, but in this case, not a guilty one. Her guiltless feelings, therefore, “show” that she did not have malicious intent, rendering her in the eyes of the FBI Director as “careless,” not criminal, despite the strong evidence of repeated lies.
It seems that America’s Wonderland grows “curiouser and curiouser” as we move closer to the election; where political expediency outweighs justice and basic reasoning takes a backseat to blatant lies. For only in Wonderland do these things happen. Welcome to the Rabbit Hole, America.