From time to time, we offer guest editorials, especially when they are well written and on current events. Both Leo and Cole have done a fantastic job of gathering their thoughts and putting pen to paper. Here is Cole’s rebuttal to Leo’s article published last Wed. We’ve linked Leo’s article in the first paragraph.
Guest editorial by Cole R.
The author asks “Isn’t justice supposed to be blind?” Actually, most of the time justice is blind. But only when dealing with facts and evidence.
In his essay, the author claims that an unnamed political figure violated an unspecified law, thereby committing an unspecified crime for which he cites no evidence. Justice, blind or otherwise, cannot be based on such a paper-thin premise.
He further claims that his suspect has avoided punishment for the unspecified crime due to the failure of a judicial system swayed by improper political influence. The fact that no charges against his suspect have been filed or prosecuted does not seem to be relevant to his calculus.
He cites the case of an unnamed military man who committed the supposed identical crime and was duly punished because he had no political influence, offering this up as his evidence of a misguided and biased judicial system.
What happens when all of these claims are fleshed out with fact?
For reasons known only to himself, the author has refrained from naming either the political figure or the military man he is referring to. Let us be specific: he is referring to Hillary Clinton and General David Petraeus (Ret.), respectively.
His accusations refer to supposedly classified emails which were reputed to be illegally maintained on a private email server, illegally disseminated, and illegally erased by Mrs. Clinton. Let us adorn these allegations with a few facts.
In March of 2015, in an attempt to upgrade its records management, the State Department reached out to all living ex-Secretaries of State for copies of “any records they had”. Mrs. Clinton was the only one to respond, providing 55,000 pages of documents (30,000 of which were emails) within days of the request. These documents spanned the entirety of her tenure at the State Department. Interestingly, Colin Powell, who also had a private email account during his term with George Bush, provided none. When pressed, Powell stated that he had deleted them all.
The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) and his staff scrutinized a sampling of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and informed certain congressional committees that two emails contained top secret intelligence, however none of the emails “were marked classified when they were sent.” Nor were any emails stripped of their classification markings. [Washington Post 7/24/15]
In his referral to the Justice Department, the Inspector General stated that the referral was not criminal and Mrs. Clinton was not being targeted. [Reuters 7/24/15] [Washington Post 8/11/15]
Mrs. Clinton had legal authority to delete any emails which she deemed were not government records without supervision. Indeed, the National Archive Administration and State Department officers and employees are permitted and expected to exercise their judgment in determining what constitutes a government record.
As to any equivalence between the cases of Clinton and Petraeus, there is none. The author claims that Petraeus was “found guilty” of breaking federal laws and was heavily fined. In fact, Petraeus pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of mishandling classified materials, thereby avoiding a trial and probable prison sentence. Mrs. Clinton has not been charged with any crime nor any conspiracy to commit a crime. However, in at least six places in his essay, the author claims she has violated laws and committed “wrongdoings”. Yet he later states that “maybe it will be determined that a law has been broken”, and thereby not only contradicts himself, but offers up his first actual fact: no crime has yet been committed.
Justice can be blind when judgment is not clouded by false accusation, misinformation, and innuendo.