Thursday, July 07, 2016

Secretary Clinton Did Not Lie

I posted this on Facebook, but then realized there were too many people who would scream bloody murder, so deleted it 2 minutes later.  Damn Facebook.  I don't want all my friends in one place, tyvm.  But this issue has me rather pissed off, so to get it out of my system, I'll post it here...not that anyone reads this old blog anymore...with the strong smell of rust and mold,  I don't blame you.

My issue is that sometimes I watch MSNBC...ya gotta love Rachel.  So, last night, Steve Kornacki, filling in for Rachel, rather rudely shut down a guest who was trying to explain that there is a valid argument for at least entertaining the idea that Secretary Clinton did not "lie" when she stated that she never sent any classified emails through her personal email account.  I had heard bits and pieces of that argument, and was rather frustrated that Kornacki shut down the idea so quickly, without apparently even listening to it.  I guess the news was "Hillary lied," according to him.

Then, this morning I caught a few minutes of Morning Joe.  Of course, Scarborough could not go 2 minutes without stating "She lied."  Eventually, he had brow beaten everyone on his show into agreeing with him.  Oh well, Joe can be an ass sometimes.  I shrugged it off, and went to work.

Then tonight, Kornacki did it again...dismissing a guest who tried to make the argument that there is a perspective from which we can hold the view that in fact Secretary Clinton honestly felt she was telling the truth when she stated that she sent no classified emails.

Enough already.  Let's get real, folks. Here is the best article I've found so far that makes the points, and provides the links, to the discussions I had heard, which had informed me just enough to make me wince when Kornacki and Scarborough just plain got it wrong. A few points from the article:
According to Comey, the year-long investigation of 55,000 Hillary emails did not reveal a single email clearly marked classified. Only three — just three — of Hillary’s emails “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.” “Bore markings” is not the same thing as “marked classified.” In his July 7 testimony before Congress, Comey said that those markings were simply a (c) somewhere in the body of the email and nothing in the header or subject line. He further stated that they were improperly marked and that it was reasonable for Hillary to assume they were not classified...
...Hillary’s opponents are left with this, from Comey’s statement: “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.” Let’s break that down. 110 out of 55,000 emails are said to have contained classified information. That’s just 0.2 percent of her emails. Crucially, these emails were not marked classified. And there is absolutely no indication or accusation that classified markings were concealed or removed.
Kornacki kept saying tonight that Hillary sent 110 classified emails. No no, no! They were not marked classified. The FBI and the "owning agency" (apparently the State Department), many years after the fact, decided they were classified. There were only three that had the rather obscure (c) on them, and the State Department has already suggested two of those three were marked (c) in error. So, there is ONE possible email unaccounted for.

So what about the other 107 emails the FBI is saying were classified? If they were not marked as such, how was the Secretary to know?
Put differently, why would classification markings even exist if the Secretary of State was required to divine the contents of all her emails? If everyone who has access to classified information “should know that the subject matter is classified,” then why do we even have a system that marks classified information? The U.S. Secretary of State is one of the busiest people on the planet. It is unreasonable to expect that part of her job is to magically divine what is and is not classified — when it is unmarked. Especially considering she is working within an infrastructure where there exists a standard for marking classified information, and thus she is entitled to a reasonable expectation of not receiving classified information unmarked.
And finally, I think we can agree that Hillary Clinton is an intelligent woman, regardless of what you think about her otherwise. Why in the world would she hand over the emails, and then insist over and over again that she sent nothing classified unless she honestly felt that was a truthful statement? She knew there would be an investigation.
Even if you set all these points aside, the fact that Hillary has been honest about her emails is really just common sense. If she knew she had sent or received classified information and also knew that there was an ongoing investigation that could result in a public finding, she wouldn’t make a knowingly false assertion. If she really is a scheming liar who tries to cover up misdeeds, why on earth would she say something that could be publicly proven false?
Do go read the whole article, and follow the links. And please, MSNBC, stop trying to push the "Hillary is a liar" story. We've got Faux News for that kind of garbage. This stupid issue is over. Let it go and move on.

And Rachel...enjoy your vacation...but COME BACK SOON! We need you.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

More Anglican Shenanigans?

I've been reading the many reactions to the latest Primates Meeting.  Since I've "retired" from being a blogger, and am enjoying the life of a simple parish priest, I was hesitant to say anything about this matter.  But, perhaps the perspective of a simple parish priest might be helpful?

First of all, it seems important to me that we remember our history.  To begin, we might recall where GAFCON came from:
As one example of how this "secret funding" works, remember GAFCON? You might recall that most Ugandan bishops chose to attend GAFCON over Lambeth. All kinds of reasons were given for this choice; refusal to sit with the Western apostates, solidarity with their brother bishops not invited to Lambeth, etc. Well, as it turns out, their expenses to travel to GAFCON were paid by "unnamed friends" of Abp. Orombi. Imagine that.
That was back in 2009, when Abp. Orombi was the Primate of Uganda. The new Abp. of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, seems to be following in Orombi's footsteps, as he dramatically abandoned the Primates' Meeting after two days.  In Uganda, the Kill the Gays Bill is still alive and well, yet we are still waiting to hear one word from the Ugandan Anglicans about this bill.  Oh wait...we did hear from an Ugandan Anglican Bishop about this matter, didn't we?
...Ugandan Parliament, the watch dog of our laws, please go ahead and put the anti- Gay laws in place. It is then that we become truly accountable to our young and to this country, not to Canada or England. We are in charge!
Yet, Abp. Ntagali, in whose Province such hateful laws are being considered, and supported by Anglican bishops, imagines he has the high moral road, and abandons the Primates' Meeting because he cannot sit with Americans who audaciously suggest God allows one to choose their own life partner.  Amazing stuff.

If you want to understand the GAFCON Primates response, in the infamous words of Jim Naughton, all you have to do is follow the money.

There is another part of our history we might want to remember.  We have been here before.    My response to these most recent "punishments" is not so different from my view back in 2010:
 There will be those who will have some anxiety about TEC being removed from membership in all the Instruments. That would have the appearance of TEC no longer being able to consider herself to be Anglican. And that would leave a void, which ACNA would love to step into. I no longer see that as a serious possibility. ACNA has been sufficiently revealed as part of the problem, not part of the solution. TEC is seen by some to be part of the problem as well, but the nature of our problems are quite different. By recognizing ACNA, the leaders of the Anglican Communion would be sanctioning Primates pillaging parishes in their own backyards. That notion will give them great pause. If they must choose between two problems, I think it is safe to surmise that TEC will be their choice for some time in the forseeable future.
There is an important difference this time, however.  In 2010, some of the Provinces involved in the border crossings to plunder wealthy parishes were also asked to step down from leadership positions.  This time, it was only TEC asked to take the lower seat.  What do we do with that?

We seek to understand, even if we disagree.  Abp. Welby had a decision to make.  If he backed TEC, GAFCON (and their wealthy Western donors) would walk.  If he let TEC be the scapegoat, we could take the hit.  Which we will.  And schism was avoided.  Not much of a gamble, really.

So, we take the lower seat, for a season.  We still show up at every meeting of the Communion, maybe silenced, maybe without vote, but still present.  We practice the ministry of presence.  We act as witnesses for all those suffering from unjust oppression.