2016 Is a Good Year to Have Invested in Tinfoil

This year conspiracy theorists went mainstream

Throughout the 2016 election there have been wild theories about corruption, about secret emails, about murder, and about stolen elections. The things Hillary Clinton stands accused of, in particular, are so outrageous that it would seem you would have to be insane to believe them. Is it insane, though, when so many of these theories have publicly documented evidence supporting them? When the people who attempt to distract from, downplay, or outright lie about these scandals are proven wrong time and time again?

At this stage in the election I think it’s fairly safe to say that it isn’t believing Hillary is corrupt, a liar or a criminal that makes one a conspiracy theorist. It is not conspiratorial thinking to question whatever new narrative downplays, distracts from, or dismisses something critical of Hillary Clinton. What makes one a conspiracy theorist is the belief that somehow Russia, WikiLeaks, Trump, right wing evangelists, right wing anonymous trolls, left wing Bernie voters, independents, libertarians, greens, Jill Stein herself, and even the FBI have somehow formed an unholy alliance in a plot against a single politician. What is insane to believe is that despite the consistent lying at every step of this process, whatever it is they’re saying today must be true.

I’ll start in April of this year when Hillary, Hillary’s campaign, and the media told you that she was not under investigation by the FBI. That she was undergoing a routine “security review” and the only reason it was getting any attention is because she’s the target of slanderous “Right Wing conspiracies.” Here are her own words on the matter:

“It is a security review and there are lots of those that are conducted in our government all the time and you don’t hear about most of them. You hear about this one because, you know, it does involve me, so that’s why it gets so much attention.”

This was proven false when the FBI director said this in response:

“‘I don’t even know what that means, a security inquiry. We do investigations here at the FBI.”

This is one of many, many lies you’ve been told at every step of the way in this process, and yet for some reason you seem to be fine with the goalpost moving each time. Next she claimed that having a private server was permitted. It wasn’t. By anyone. It was expressly against the rules.

Then she claimed there was no classified material, only yoga and wedding planning emails. Where are those personal emails about yoga? I’m unable to find them, but what we did find was classified emails. Lots of them at various degree of classification. In fact, 22 of them were deemed “top secret.”

Then the story evolved again… they were “retroactively classified.” This is a meaningless phrase. If you are truly a Clinton apologist reading this, you probably still don’t know the truth of this point. In fact, the information contained on the server would have always been classified by the very nature of the information. It was only not marked classified because of the highly improper and possibly illegal manner in which it was handled. Having received the proper training and having handled thousands of such documents in her other roles in government, it was Hillary’s responsibility if anyone’s to know this and behave accordingly. Furthermore, the State Department attempted to bribe the FBI during the investigation with political favors in exchange for un-classifying emails in order to protect her according to the FBI’s own documents which they themselves released.

She’s said the server was only for convenience, but her own staffers have said things like: It was to evade FOIA requests, it was to hide information, she wanted “to get away with it.”

Toward the end of the primary, the first batch of WikiLeaks emails dropped and we learned that the DNC had been working with the Hillary campaign throughout the primary process and even before. This story has evolved as more leaks have come… we’ve seen how they colluded with media, subverted campaign finance law with complex schemes that would surely make Trump and all of his billionaire buddies quite jealous. We’ve seen how members of the DNC mocked Sanders and his supporters. How they provided debate questions in advance of the debates to only the Hillary camp. How the DNC leaked Sanders campaign plans to the Hillary camp. How they intentionally limited the debate and scheduled them at times when viewership was low to offset how weak Hillary is in contrast to Sanders. How Sanders friendly “journalist” Brent Budowsky schemed all along to earn good will with supporters only to lead them inevitably to a Hillary vote. We’ve seen exactly how that sort of thing manifests. It’s in shame campaigns by media outlets echoing sentiments of the wasted third party vote including a recent piece by John Oliver who has been proven to be in collusion with Hillary’s camp. It manifests in headlines about how refusing to vote for Hillary is an act of white male privilege.

This became a turning point in the race at large. This was the point that the narrative changed to “well, maybe she’s done some shady things but she has the most progressive platform ever thanks to Bernie and you don’t want to undo all of his work and also Trump is the worst so let’s just focus on incremental progress or else you’re racist.” Does she, though, have a progressive agenda? Let’s review.

Hillary has a public and a private position, which she defends as necessary. This manifests in exactly the way we have been saying that it does. She is paid outrageous speaking fees by wall street as essentially political bribes so that she can speak to the people she truly represents. She has backroom deals and takes positions that are in direct opposition to those she claims to have publicly. She does this because she represents those with capital, not the 99% of citizens actually inhabiting the country.

Hillary is a war hawk. I don’t think much needs to be said about this. It isn’t controversial to say, it’s an undeniable fact. Her own campaign admits that her no-fly-zone will get a lot of Syrians killed. It will, also, be an act of aggression against Russia who is currently threatening nuclear war and claiming we’re in a second cold war.

Hillary supports the TPP. She says she does not, but this has been proven to be an outright lie. She only came out in opposition to it when it was politically non-viable to support it, and yet her own backers reassure their wealthy friends that this is just one of those “public positions.” If you’re not worried about the TPP, you should perhaps do some research. It is probably the single most important policy issue of this election cycle.

Hillary is a centrist. She says as much in private. She is not a liberal and she does not intend to represent liberals.

She does not intend to ever denounce the Defense of Marriage Act which prevented marriage equality.

On the policies she’s adopted from Bernie such as healthcare and college tuition, she’s said privately that she cannot and will not promise them. That they are unrealistic. These are policies she is now running on promising.

On the environment she’s said that environmentalists need to “get a life.” She’s said that she has and will continue to support fracking.

On marijuana she is reluctant to say that she’ll look into it and we’ll see about legalization, but in private it’s clear there is nothing to look into. She intends to keep it illegal at the behest of her donors in the pharmaceutical industry. This might not seem like a big deal until you consider the tragic and somewhat racist outcome of the war on drugs. Disproportionate imprisonment of PoC in an industry that profits based on how many bodies it keeps in cells. Destroying communities whose fathers have been torn out of them and imprisoned for something that should not be illegal. Ravaging South America by empowering criminal organizations that, much like our American mob, came to power in the wake of prohibition.

I’d like to conclude by circling back to the email scandal. The investigation closed and the FBI concluded that there should be no charges. They did this despite admitting that what was done was in fact illegal, but they dismissed it as something that no reasonable prosecutor would pursue. Thus the narrative became that no crime was committed, that it had been a witch hunt all along, and that it is right wing lunacy to question such an upstanding institution as the FBI who merely did their jobs and delivered a message of what was objective and true. This despite the lost or destroyed devices. The attempted bribery. The possible actual bribery in which the FBI’s number two guy received large sums of money for his wife’s political campaign in a deal brokered just days after news of the investigation broke. Despite 33,000 emails not only deleted but professionally scrubbed by the software BleachBit so as to prevent their recovery by authorities — behavior you would expect from a hacker in a TV drama in a panic as authorities move in on his hideout.

Now, with new evidence in hand, the FBI has reopened their investigation. What are the pundits and the media saying about this?

  1. It’s not a real investigation, everyone can relax.

Somehow they’ve ignored the unfolding news on this topic showing that Huma Abedin has asked for an immunity deal, that the FBI obtained a warrant for Huma’s emails, and numerous other signs that this is a very real and serious matter.

2. James Comey is acting politically

This has been one of the most blatant, gratuitous, and if I may say triggering displays of hypocrisy I’ve endured perhaps ever. If your mind could humor both of these takes, hinging only on how things are going for your preferred candidate, I must wonder if you’ve any principles at all. If you are a principled liberal person and you see no problem with the thinking of the above, I must wonder if you’re a conspiracy theorist.