Americans everywhere should do themselves a favor and buy George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” today because FBI Director James Comey made clear this afternoon that we are living in it: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
There really is no way to describe the Twilight Zone-like press conference Mr. Comey gave today regarding Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The man personally and professionally destroyed the former secretary of state for nearly 15 minutes and then concluded with, “no reasonable prosecutor” would seek charges in this instance.
Consider just the following snippets from Mr. Comey’s address to the nation:
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent. …
Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).
None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.
Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it. …
Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. …
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
Objective Americans know that if they were guilty of a fraction of the negligence shown by Mrs. Clinton during her time as secretary of state that they would be rotting in a jail cell this very moment. The fact that nothing — nothing — will be done to the woman is proof that our country has gone over a cliff. It’s over. The future of the United States is going to be a very dark place, even if there are countless citizens who do not realize they are living in a very real version of Animal Farm.
There are millions of Americans right now who are a.) so blindly partisan that they do not care how dangerous this moment in history is, or b.) so stupid and lazy that high-speed internet streams of NFL football, cat videos, and naked women keep them placated. It would take a miracle of epic proportions to save the country at this point, but at the same time it is right and just for America to reap what it has sown.
This afternoon I tried to discuss the FBI’s decision with a friend and instead of getting visibly angry my eyes just teared up and I thanked God I was behind a computer screen. My wife and I live comfortable lives and we know that we are fortunate to be the right kind of “animal” on this Orwellian estate. My tears are not for myself or the woman I love, but for the generations of Americans to come who will live in country where there are special rules for the elite and well-connected, and then there are rules for everyone else.
If you have a moment, then watch Mr. Comey’s press conference from earlier today. If it turns your stomach, then feel free to throw up your feelings in the comment section below.