“If the FBI doesn’t recommend charges, then she [Clinton] didn’t break any law.”

Eric Zuesse

That seems to be the opinion of the majority of reader-comments at reddit.

In response to an article that presented six U.S. criminal laws which clearly describe the most basic aspect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email operation, and some of which U.S. laws specify up to 20 years imprisonment for it, the overwhelming opinion of commenters at reddit has been that if the FBI doesn’t recommend that the case regarding Clinton be pursued in court, then she should be (for all intents and purposes) considered and treated by voters to be innocent in the matter.

The reddit-commenters were commenting upon an article which opened by noting that these six laws were only the laws that describe the most basic aspects of what she unquestionably did — not necessarily all of the laws that she might be charged with breaking by her email operation. It was an article I wrote. Its opening said: “This is not an exclusive list, nor does it relate to charges that might possibly be made against Ms. Clinton on grounds other than the unquestionable and basic ground that she moved all of her State Department email operation to a private and non-secured computer outside the State Department, and then attempted to destroy the record of those emails. Here are the six criminal laws of that type, which, I here allege, she clearly broke.” (For example: the speculation in the press, that she might be charged with RICO violations for abuse of her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself and her husband via their Clinton Foundation, was not relevant to the matter addressed in the article, which was far more basic than anything speculative.)

The viewpoint of the majority of reddit commenters seems to be that if the FBI doesn’t recommend legal action, then there should be no legal action, regardless of whether the reason why the FBI recommended no legal action might possibly have been that the U.S. President, and his appointee who heads the ‘Justice’ Department, have, in effect, ordered the FBI not to recommend legal action against the former Secretary of State — something that the public will probably have no way of knowing until the history books are written (if ever). (And, by that time, President Clinton’s Presidency might already be past history.)

The view of reddit readers on this matter seems therefore overwhelmingly to favor a ‘democracy’ in which the Executive branch may, if it so chooses, simply ignore the written laws of the country (specifically, in this case, the six laws that were listed).

Consequently, reader-comments are requested here below, responding to that opinion of the majority of commenting readers at reddit, by addressing the following question: Do you consider yourself to be living in a ‘democracy’ if the elected President of your country has taken an oath of office saying: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and if every one of his or her appointees (including the Secretaries of State, such as Hillary Clinton) has taken a similar oath of office, and if these officials have (or might have) demanded their subordinates not to pursue a certain legal case (one which, to pursue, could be the major factor determining whom the next U.S. President will be)?

Another question would be: Would this government be a ‘democracy’ if the lower-level official in the matter (whomever at the FBI possessed the authority in this matter) decided entirely on his or her own volition to ignore those six laws?

If such a decision were instead to have been made by the U.S. President and/or another person at a level above the FBI official, would that constitute obstruction of justice — a serious crime in any country?

Associated questions to these, regarding whether or not the majority of readers commenting at reddit upon this matter, are supporting their government even if their government violates the country’s clearly written laws, include this: How would a government of this description be, in principle, different from a “dictatorship”?

Another would be: Is this government legitimate? Is it even Constitutional?

And, some of the readers here might be interested to read this article about what the term “democracy” means. None of the reader-comments at reddit even mentioned that, though the article that reddit-commenters were responding to had linked to it at its end.

In the context of all this, therefore, if one happens to decide that our government is neither Constitutional nor democratic, then another issue to be discussed here could be: Does this mean that a revolution is necessary; and, if it is, then how should it be done?

If a revolution is not necessary, then must the public accept that they are slaves to the existing government; or, if we are not slaves to it, then how are we not?

All of these are issues that are implicit in the original article, and thus in the comments that were posted to it at reddit. Since the latter seem to reflect the majority-view of the matter, responding to that, and keeping all of the issues that have been noted here in mind in doing so, would be especially appropriate. It would be public comment at a deeper level.

So: please post here your view of the reader-comments at reddit. Maybe there is a deeper level of public thinking about these matters, than what has been expressed by the readers at reddit. Maybe it’ll even be posted right here.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.