Hillary Clinton: Purveyor of muddy-water transparency
Whenever my brother or I would fail at something, our parents were the first to tell us to get back up on the horse and try again, that although we may fall and get hurt, over time, our welts would vanish, our bruises will fade, our cuts would scab over. We would heal. Even though some scabs left scars, we looked at these as reminders of our past. As injuries which healed, stories which ended with triumph and success. At least, that’s what we were told to look at them as.
However, what if these injuries never fully healed? A scar may be present and the physical wound healed, but emotionally the pain still lingers. After a serious car accident years ago, my mother is still afraid to turn left at intersections.
What’s worse? The pain of a new wound, or an old wound which should have healed, but never did? We tell ourselves to move on, to learn from our mistakes, to keep the past where it belongs. But we don’t always listen to ourselves. Sometimes the scar and memory of pain isn’t enough. Some of us have to learn the lesson more than once. We have to keep checking the stove to see if it’s still hot, even though we already know that it is.
For Hillary Clinton, this fresh wound is her most recent email scandal. But will stonewalling and refusing to answer questions allow her wound to heal? She seems to think so.
After uncovering the fact that Clinton waited two years to hand over her work emails to the State Department, but also that she kept these emails on her family’s private server rather than a secure government server, Hillary has some explaining to do.
This past week, on March 10, while ASU was enjoying spring break, Clinton took to the air to give her side of the scandal. From inside the U.N., she said she used her private email “for convenience,” rather than having to carry around more than one phone and that she’s fully complied with every rule at the State Department, as well as mentioning her private email server will remain private.
However, there are some discrepancies in what the former Secretary of State gave as an excuse to the American people.
To begin with, Clinton claims carrying more than one cell phone would have been an inconvenience. I get that; I certainly wouldn’t want to carry around more than one cell phone if I didn't have to. Here’s the difference, though, as a member of public office, she has to, and if she doesn’t want to, every smartphone has the capabilities to house more than one email account. I know this because I have both my personal email and my work email sent to my phone.
To make the claim of inconvenience is outrageous. What’s more of an inconvenience than carrying around two cellphones? Destroying a forest in order to print 55,000 pages consisting of 30,000 emails, and then deleting the other 31,000 emails — said to be personal. I try to delete all the spam I get in one day and get frustrated.
To also make the claim that she has fully complied with every rule and law governing the State Department is a bold-faced lie to the American people. She made the remark, "After I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work-related emails. ... I responded right away.” She claims to have responded right away, yet the delivery of these hardcopy emails — which are owned by the State Department, and thusly the American people — weren’t returned until two years after her stepping down from office.
Not to mention, Clinton should have signed two documents, one before entering office and one after leaving office. The document she and her top staff should have signed when leaving office was regarding the return of any and all government documents — including emails. If she signed this document when leaving office, then she committed perjury. If she did not sign this document, then she stole classified government documents and information. All federal offenses.
But will all this hurt her chances at running for President? Probably not. Clinton is masterfully stonewalling this situation. If there’s anything the former Secretary of State knows how to do, it’s dodging questions she doesn’t want to answer.
Clinton knows that by avoiding and ignoring this scandal, eventually it’ll go away. The news runs in cycles, and in two weeks from now, there’ll be a bigger story and more fish to fry. She knows in a year, no one will remember this slip-up. As it is, she’s already hired staffers in New Hampshire gearing up for the primaries.
She has no intention on quitting this race until she’s forced out. Expect her official campaign announcement in early April — just in time for the beginning of baseball season. All she can hope for is that this wound will heal and not scar; or that at the very least, she learns from her injuries, licks her wounds, and moves on, rather than continue to touch the hot coils, not having learned to turn the stove off first.
The bigger question, what’s wrong with President Barack Obama’s administration that he has to find out about scandals in the news like the rest of us? Did he never notice Clinton's email not ending in ".gov?"
Reach the columnist at Derrik.Rochwalik@asu.edu or follow @drochwalik on Twitter
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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