What hath Comey wrought: Comey the God is a jealous God. His acolytes understand that he must be approached with great caution.
Presumably, that helps explain Jim Rutenberg statement in today's New York Times. In his weekly Mediator column, a pundit deferred to a god:
RUTENBERG (7/18/16): The robust fact-checking industry that has sprung up over the past several years will have to work overtime during both conventions. But while Mrs. Clinton’s dossier of falsehoods has increased with the F.B.I. report contradicting so many of her statements about her private email server, Mr. Trump and his campaign have generated so many untruths that Factcheck.org declared that in the 12 years since its founding, “we’ve never seen his match.” And that was before this year began.How "robust" is that "fact-checking industry?" That industry seems to need the help of a bottle of little blue pills!
Last night, Leslie Stahl rolled over and died when Trump told her, two separate times, that he'd opposed Iraq from the start. The industry has never quite come to terms with that important invented fact. One day later, Rutenberg was driving the latest Standard Group Story about a certain god and Candidate Clinton's lies:
Comey the God had contradicted "so many of her statements about her private email server!" Cautiously, Rutenberg didn't name the specific contradictions, or say how many they were.
He did say that this number, which seemed to be large, came from Clinton's "dossier of falsehoods." Comey the God, a jealous god, roared somewhere with pleasure.
Here's our question:
Just how many contradictions emerged from Clinton's "dossier of falsehoods?" What were those "contradictions?"
As we noted last week, Comey featured two alleged contradictions in his godly presentation on Tuesday, July 5. The first involved three emails, out of more than 30,000, which were said to bear the explicit markings of classification.
As we noted last week, this claim by Comey the God turned out to be a hoax.
Comey's second allegation involved 110 emails, sent or received, which were said to be classified at the time they were sent or received, even though they weren't marked as such. Concerning those emails, let's return to Fred Kaplan's analysis of this case. As we noted last Friday, this was Kaplan's nugget passage at Slate:
KAPLAN (7/6/16): As anyone who’s ever had a security clearance will tell you, the labels secret and confidential mean next to nothing. When I worked on Capitol Hill in the late 1970s, the government gave me a secret clearance on my first day of work, pending the investigation into my worthiness to hold a top secret badge. As far as anyone knew, I might have been a Soviet spy, carting out confidential and secret documents every night and making copies for my handler. But they also knew the risk was low because there was nothing in those documents that the Soviets would have paid a dime for. The same is true of our various adversaries and stuff marked secret today.You won't see Kaplan's analysis discussed, contradicted or challenged—not by players like Rutenberg, not by corporate players like Hayes and Maddow. Comey has been declared a god; all insider corporate players know to defer to his claims.
Top secret information is another matter, but the stuff that showed up in Clinton’s private email wasn’t so special. Seven of the eight email chains dealt with CIA drone strikes, which are classified top secret/special access program—unlike Defense Department drone strikes, which are unclassified. The difference is that CIA drones hit targets in countries, like Pakistan and Yemen, where we are not officially at war; they are part of covert operations. (Defense Department drone strikes are in places where we are officially at war.) But these operations are covert mainly to provide cover for the Pakistani and Yemeni governments, so they don’t have to admit they’re cooperating with America. Everyone in the world knows about these strikes; nongovernment organizations, such as New America, tabulate them; newspapers around the world—including the New York Times, where some of the same reporters are now writing so breathlessly about Clinton’s careless handling of classified information—cover these strikes routinely.
The other top secret email chain described a conversation with the president of Malawi. Conversations with foreign leaders are inherently classified.
In other words, even if Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or Syrian spies had hacked into Clinton’s email servers, and if they’d pored through 60,000 emails and come across these eight chains that held top secret material, they would not have learned anything the slightest bit new or worthy of their efforts. The FBI’s discoveries should be viewed in that context.
That said, if Kaplan's analysis is right, a basic conclusion lurks in Comey's discussion of those 110 emails, which Comey said were "born classified" by nature of their content. The basic conclusion is this:
The material in those emails was "classified" in form alone! Nothing of consequence was being discussed. This suggests a further conclusion which we ourselves found surprising:
Apparently, Clinton and her colleagues actually were showing discretion in what was discussed on-line! Comey the God was flatly deceptive about the emails he said were marked. Concerning the other 110, nothing was being discussed that everyone in the world didn't already know!
Is Kaplan's analysis correct? You'll never see it discussed! Maddow doesn't play that game. Last week, she was too busy talking down to her viewers again, wasting their time with videotape of Dan Quayle in 1988, along with ads directed at Spiro Agnew in 1968.
(Also, videotape of Jan Brewer! Look how dumb she is!)
We've never seen anyone talk down to viewers quite the way Maddow does. But please understand this basic point:
She will never, ever—never!—challenge a figure like Comey the God. Maddow, a consummate corporate con man, doesn't play it that way.
To what "dossier of falsehoods" does Rutenberg refer today? You'll never see that matter explained in the New York Times. It simply isn't done.
Beyond that, you'll never see your corporate cable gods challenge the conventional wisdom which now prevails. That wisdom emerged from the plupotent Comey the God. Rising con men like Maddow and Hayes defer to such gods' storylines.