10/18/16

More Trumpian Bloviation

Trump is now seizing on the contents of newly released FBI records that include claims senior State Department official Patrick Kennedy offered a "quid pro quo" with federal authorities during the Clinton email probe. According to the file, Kennedy offered additional slots for the bureau overseas if they would de-classify a particular email from Clinton’s server marked “SECRET.” This effort was unsuccessful.

That's from the latest FauxNews 'fair and balanced' hysteria:

'Cover-up' claims fuel Trump attacks on Clinton, as candidates enter last debate

But if we go to more reliable news sources - with the caveat, of course, that 'reliable' is 'relative' we find this:

Agencies Clashed on Classification of Clinton Email, Inquiry Shows

Excerpts:

What remained unclear from the documents was whether it was Mr. Kennedy or an F.B.I. official who purportedly offered the “quid pro quo”: marking the email unclassified in exchange for the State Department’s approving the posting of more F.B.I. agents to Iraq.

and

In one of the newly disclosed documents, an unidentified F.B.I. employee told investigators that Mr. Kennedy, through another F.B.I. official, had sought in one case “assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’”

but then we have

A second F.B.I. interview included in the documents provides a somewhat different version of the dispute over the classification of the Benghazi email, with the suggestion that the F.B.I. — and not Mr. Kennedy — had offered to make a deal.

And in any case, there is no indication that HRC knew of, or had anything to do with, any of this. But of course, that would be part of the Trumpian conspiracy theory, that State and the FBI are in cahoots. Faux seems to be part of fueling the tinfoil hat crowd's fantasies, as Faux makes no mention of the second interview.

MovingOn to WaPo ...

Documents show State Dept. official pressed FBI to change classification of one of Clinton’s emails

An excerpt:

Both the FBI and the State Department disputed that their employees had engaged in a quid pro quo. The agencies, though, acknowledged that Kennedy had inquired about the classification of an email, and the FBI said that in the same conversation, a bureau official “asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad.”

Neither agency disputes that Kennedy asked for a re-classification. However, the FBI's own documents indicate that the 'quid pro quo' idea may well have come from ... the FBI.

Re-classification is nothing new, nor is it a big deal. Documents are reviewed all the time, and de-classified or re-classified. Sometimes, documents are improperly classified, for some interesting reasons.

Back during 'The Secret War in Laos' (and Cambodia, for that matter) there was a lot of 'secret' bombing going on in those countries. All you have to do is Google 'Operation Menu' or 'secret bombing laos' to find all kinds of interesting items.

But the main reason for the secrecy had to do with keeping it from Congress. Yep. Oh, there was some need for classification at the operational level, but this was political. TOP SECRET/NOFORN/SCI? Seriously? 'Declassify after 30 Years'? Yep. I can't tell you how many mission packages I slapped those stamps upon. Johnson, and later Nixon and Kissinger, wet their pants at the very thought of being found out. Take a read of Shawcross' "Sideshow: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Destruction of Cambodia." This Clinton stuff is kiddie level intrigue in comparison.

You really want to see some sleaze involving misuse of classification? Google "Lima Site 85", where Lyndon Johnson kept the destruction of the COMBAT SKYPOT site at Phou Pha Thi a deep secret - screwing over the families of those lost there. It makes Benghazi look like child's play.

So the fact that Kennedy simply asked for a declass, or a reclass, is not in and of itself all that remarkable. And I'm not about to join the Trumpian Tinfoil Hat Brigade over a few articles in the media.

MoveOn, sports fans. Study your history. Get a bit of a grip on reality.