Letter to the Editor

By Andrew Zentgraf

To the Editor:

A recently published column asserted many inaccurate claims about Hillary Clinton and the status of her email scandal.

First and foremost, let’s put to rest the erroneous notion that, “none of [the emails were] labeled classified at the time she sent [them],” as this is categorically incorrect. According to Director of the FBI James Comey’s press conference and report, no less than 104 emails were marked classified at the time. At the present time, more than 1,200 emails have been retroactively given this status, along with seven email chains corresponding with U.S. Department of State employees that were marked as “top secret” and “special access.”

Other points not mentioned include Comey labeling the use of such private servers as simply being “extremely careless.” He would go on to extrapolate that any reasonable person in Clinton’s situation should have known better, while acknowledging the real possibility that sensitive information could have very well fallen into the wrong hands.

Furthermore, this column had suggested latching on to the scandal is an opportunity to give Donald Trump and the GOP at large “a fighting chance,” a political stunt, a cry for attention, if you will. However, polls released July 12 show the American people’s response to Clinton’s controversial and contentious week — Trump is leading in Florida and Pennsylvania, tied in Ohio and has closed the national contest to within the margin of error.

If wanting the best of our elected officials is grounds for an accusation of a partisan witch hunt — or the vast right-wing conspiracy as the Clintons have so deemed it — then count me in. Though I prefer the power of the pen to the pitchfork.

In comparison, David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, had classified information contained in notebooks, and he faced criminal charges and a potential demotion in the military. Notebooks are not able to be hacked. Enemies 5,000 miles away are not able to access written material with nothing but a computer. In the only comparable situation in recent history — one that was much smaller and far less dangerous — a much harsher penalty was dealt.

I for one will not be closing the gate on “Emailgate.” Because quite simply, judgment matters. Clinton may have narrowly escaped indictment, but “extreme carelessness” with regard to our nation’s most sensitive and important information should not be tolerated. If any reasonable person should have known better, shouldn’t we know better than to elect an unreasonable person as our commander-in-chief?

Not even Bernie Sanders has spared criticism on this front, when in a February 11 Democratic debate he remarked, “Experience matters, but so does judgment.”

I wish that I could say this scandal represents a one-off for Clinton and her family. But I fear this trend is yet another entry in the continuing saga and public apathy of the Clinton family’s scandals, corruption, deceit and general ability to exist above the law. Whether it be perjury and gross negligence in the face of a potential terror attack, receiving donations from oppressive governments while serving as Secretary of State, fictitious claims of being under sniper in Bosnia and Herzegovina or giving paid speeches to the very financial institutions they rail against — no matter what road the Clintons seem to travel, we can typically find the signature trail of wreckage and scandal they left behind.

Shouldn’t we, as citizens of the greatest country in the history of the world, be holding our potential leaders to a much higher standard?

Andrew Zentgraf

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