Corruption, democracy, latest, USA
Comments 6

“If the FBI doesn’t recommend charges, then she didn’t break any law.”

by Eric Zuesse

That seems to be the opinion of the majority of reader-comments at Reddit.

In response to an article that presented six U.S. criminal laws which clearly describe the  basic aspect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email operation, and some of which U.S. laws specify up to 20 years imprisonment for it [reposted here], the overwhelming opinion of commenters at Reddit has been that if the FBI doesn’t recommend that the case regarding Clinton be pursued in court, then she should be (for all intents and purposes) considered and treated by voters to be innocent in the matter.

The Reddit-commenters were commenting upon an article which opened by noting that these six laws were only the laws that describe the most basic aspects of what she unquestionably did — not necessarily all of the laws that she might be charged with breaking by her email operation.  It was an article I wrote.  Its opening said: “This is not an exclusive list, nor does it relate to charges that might possibly be made against Ms. Clinton on grounds other than the unquestionable and basic ground that she moved all of her State Department email operation to a private and non-secured computer outside the State Department, and then attempted to destroy the record of those emails. Here are the six criminal laws of that type, which, I here allege, she clearly broke.” (For example: the speculation in the press, that she might be charged with RICO violations for abuse of her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself and her husband via their Clinton Foundation, was not relevant to the matter addressed in the article, which was far more basic than anything speculative.)

The viewpoint of the majority of Reddit commenters seems to be that if the FBI doesn’t recommend legal action, then there should be no legal action, regardless of whether the reason why the FBI recommended no legal action might possibly have been that the U.S. president, and his appointee who heads the Justice Department, have, in effect, ordered the FBI not to recommend legal action against the former Secretary of State — something that the public will probably have no way of knowing until the history books are written.

The view of Reddit readers on this matter seems therefore overwhelmingly to favor a ‘democracy’ in which the Executive branch may, if it so chooses, simply ignore the written laws of the country (specifically, in this case, the six laws that were listed).

Consequently, reader-comments are requested here below, responding to that opinion of the majority of commenting readers at reddit, by addressing the following question: Do you consider yourself to be living in a ‘democracy’ if the elected President of your country has taken an oath of office saying: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and if every one of his or her appointees (including the Secretaries of State, such as Hillary Clinton) has taken a similar oath of office, and if these officials have (or might have) demanded their subordinates not to pursue a certain legal case (one which, to pursue, could be the major factor determining whom the next U.S. President will be)?

Another question would be: Would this government be a ‘democracy’ if the lower-level official in the matter (whomever at the FBI possessed the authority in this matter) decided entirely on his or her own volition to ignore those six laws?

If such a decision were instead to have been made by the U.S. President and/or another person at a level above the FBI official, would that constitute obstruction of justice — a serious crime in any country?

Associated questions to these, regarding whether or not the majority of readers commenting at reddit upon this matter, are supporting their government even if their government violates the country’s clearly written laws, include this: How would a government of this description be, in principle, different from a “dictatorship”?

Another would be: Is this government legitimate? Is it even Constitutional?

And, some of the readers here might be interested to read this article about what the term “democracy” means. None of the reader-comments at Reddit even mentioned that, though the article that Reddit-commenters were responding to had linked to it at its end.

In the context of all this, therefore, if one happens to decide that our government is neither Constitutional nor democratic, then another issue to be discussed here could be: Does this mean that a revolution is necessary; and, if it is, then how should it be done?

If a revolution is not necessary, then must the public accept that they are slaves to the existing government; or, if we are not slaves to it, then how are we not?

All of these are issues that are implicit in the original article, and thus in the comments that were posted to it at Reddit. Since the latter seem to reflect the majority-view of the matter, responding to that, and keeping all of the issues that have been noted here in mind in doing so, would be especially appropriate. It would be public comment at a deeper level.

So: please post here your view of the reader-comments at reddit. Maybe there is a deeper level of public thinking about these matters, than what has been expressed by the readers at Reddit. Maybe it’ll even be posted right here.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

6 Comments

  1. rtj1211 says

    The implication of the current situation is that people have to decide whether someone is fit to be President of the USA if they have been shown clearly to have broken laws of direct relevance to holding high office.

    The FBI has decided to pass the buck.

    Clearly, the time to mount a legal challenge to the Clinton Presidential candidacy is rather limited.

    Theoretically, the Democratic Party itself could sanction her and refuse to endorse her as the candidate at the National Convention. I am not aware of any precedent for doing this, nor do I know the rule book of the Democratic Party sufficiently to know whether that is theoretically possible.

    There is one final option: refusing to vote for her. However, given that the Presidential election is usually only between two big candidates, that is in effect handing the Presidency to the Republicans. Whether there is any precedent for someone standing as an alternative Independent Democrat, I have no clue, but you would have to say that the effect would probably be the same. Handing it to the Republicans.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:

    Hillary Clinton broke Constitutional Law and used her Office as a means to enrich herself at the expense of the US citizens. Despite these facts, it is likely that Obama will, in turn, use his Office to circumnavigate the law contrary to the interests of the people and command the FBI to defer charges being brought against Clinton for her breaches(plural) of the Law. This makes the highest office in the US a dictatorship rather than a democracy. Much as we have here in the UK.

    Like

  3. proximity1 says

    1) Do you consider yourself to be living in a ‘democracy’ … etc.?

    Of course not. But the actual key questions are better-formulated as, “Is this a government of laws?,” or, put another way, in this case, “Is the law enforcement apparatus (sufficiently) independent of the executive branch to investigate and prosecute in a case such as this?” With the obvious answer being, “No, it isn’t.” That’s by design, not by accident. In earlier instances like this, a special prosecutor would have been appointed to investigate the allegations, in addition to the F.B.I.

    2) “Would this government be a ‘democracy’ if the lower-level official in the matter (whomever at the FBI possessed the authority in this matter) decided entirely on his or her own volition to ignore those six laws?”

    See the previous answer.

    3) “If such a decision were instead to have been made by the U.S. President and/or another person at a level above the FBI official, would that constitute obstruction of justice — a serious crime in any country?”

    It’s already a breach of this president’s oath of office in this country–so we needn’t investigate whether in other countries doing the same would be a breach of law.

    4) How would a government of this description be, in principle, different from a “dictatorship”?

    In degree, rather than in absolute principle–since both here and in a typical dictatorship, you have the routine use and abuse of arbitrary power there could still be vast differences. There are many places in which the kinds and the extent of official corruption are beyond all comparison with what is seen in the U.S. That’s not an excuse for this episode, for there is no excuse for it.

    5) Is this government legitimate? Not according to my view of “legitimate,” no.

    6) Is it even Constitutional? That is much harder to reject categorically. A government is not necessarily entirely lacking in Constitutionality merely because there are some serious institutional failures in the adherance to the Constitution’s terms. It is, yes, of course, very serious when it happens that every president of the United States in the 20th century up to the present has failed in some significant way to meet the requirements of his oath of office. Worse is that, here, perhaps the majority of Americans are quite serious in their intentions of actually voting to elect this woman to the presidency when there is another far better candidate they could nominate and elect. What is more than ironic is that, if elected, Mrs, Clinton should find herself in the position of being able to ask, in all seriousness, upon being sworn into office as president, “You mean, now?, from here, forward?” [ “Do you?…solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?” ]

    And, some of the readers here might be interested to read this article about what the term “democracy” means. None of the reader-comments at Reddit even mentioned that, though the article that Reddit-commenters were responding to had linked to it at its end.

    6) Does this mean that a revolution is necessary; and, if it is, then how should it be done?

    7) If a revolution is not necessary, then must the public accept that they are slaves to the existing government; or, if we are not slaves to it, then how are we not?

    We might be regarded as accessories to, co-conspirators in, a general failure to discharge our civic responsibilities in a so-far still very pseudo-democratic order–but one which could be made to operate much more democratically as soon as many people decide that these things really ought to matter to them very much. If and How we can get there is the very important question.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bevin says

    “The viewpoint of the majority of Reddit commenters seems to be that if the FBI doesn’t recommend legal action, then there should be no legal action, …”
    The Clinton Machine has a huge budget to ensure that its memes dominate social media. It could be as simple as that: people post talking points because they are rewarded for doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

.....................

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s