Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The power above the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the U.S. Attorney General, and, above that person, the U.S. President.
That’s whom the FBI actually serves — not the U.S. public.
This is the reason why the FBI is having such internal tensions and dissensions over the investigation of Hillary Clinton: Not only is she the current President’s ardently preferred and designated successor — and overwhelmingly supported also by America’s artistocracy and endorsed by the aristocracy’s press — but the top leadership of the FBI have terms-in-office that (unlike, for example, the term of the U.S. Attorney General) do not end with the installation of the next President; and these people will therefore be serving, quite possibly, the very same person whom they are now ‘investigating’. This is the reason why James Comey, the FBI’s Director, let Clinton totally off the hook on July 5th, when he declined to present the case to a grand jury: he and the rest of the FBI’s top management violated three basic principles of trying white-collar-crime cases when a prosecutor is serious about wanting to prosecute and obtain a conviction against a person — he (and they) wanted to keep their jobs, not be fighting their boss and their likely future boss.
If America were an authentic democracy, there would be a way for the FBI to serve the public even when the U.S. President doesn’t want it to. According to the only scientific study that has ever been done of the matter, the U.S. federal government is a dictatorship not a democracy. This was reluctantly reported by the researchers, whose own careers are dependent upon the aristocracy which they were finding actually controls that government. They found that the U.S., at the federal level, is not a democracy but an “oligarchy,” by which the researchers were referring to an “economic elite,” America’s billionaires and centi-millionaires who control America’s international corporations and the ‘charities’ (such as think tanks) that are dependent upon them — including many that directly affect U.S. politics, such as the think tanks or other way-stations for former U.S. government employees to become hired by private firms.
The authors of the only empirical scientific research-study that has been done of whether the United States is a democracy, or instead a dictatorship, excluded the very term “aristocracy” (or “collective dictatorship” such as an “economic elite” is if that “elite” actually is in control of the given nation’s government) from their article. They did this so as for the meaning not to be clear to the U.S. public. In any country in the modern world where an aristocracy exists, aristocrats nowadays try to hide their power, not (like in former eras) display their power by crowns and other public symbols of ‘the nobility’. The closest the study’s authors came to using that term, “aristocracy,” was their only sentence that employed the pejoritave term for an aristocracy, “oligarchy.” That obscure lone sentence was: “Jeffrey Winters has posited a comparative theory of ‘Oligarchy,’ in which the wealthiest citizens — even in a ‘civil oligarchy’ like the United States — dominate policy concerning crucial issues of wealth and income protection.11″
Their 11th footnote made clear that they were referring here to the book Oligarchy, by Jeffrey A. Winters, which stated the ‘theory’ that this article had actually just confirmed in the American case. Their article mentioned the book — and the “oligarchy” — only in this one footnote, so that the authors of the article (whose own careers are dependent upon America’s ‘oligarchs’) won’t be able to be accused by oligarchs (or in any way thought by their own financial benefactors — America’s aristocrats) to have called the U.S. an “oligarchy” (a collective dictatorship by the few super-rich and their agents). To apply either term — “aristocracy” or “oligarchy” — to one’s own country, is now viewed as negative, an insult to the country’s controlling elite. Neither scholars nor scholarly publishers wish to insult the people who ultimately are their top funders.
This article was written in the standard unnecessarily obscurantist style of social ‘scientists’ who want to be comprehensible only to their peers and not to the general public. Doing it this way is safer for them, because it makes extremely unlikely that their own benefactors would retaliate, against them or else against the institutions that hire them, by withdrawing their continued financial and promotional support (such as by no longer having them invited onto CNN as an “expert”). (This type of fear prevents theory in the social ‘sciences’ from being strictly based upon the given field’s empirical findings: it’s not authentically scientific. The physical sciences are far less corrupt, far more scientific. The biological sciences are in-between.)
One particular reason why the authors never called the people who control the U.S. government an “aristocracy,” is that everyone knows that the Founders of the U.S. were opposed to, and were engaged in overthrowing, the existing aristocracy, which happened to be British, and that they even banned forever in the U.S. the use of aristocratic titles, such as “Lord” or “Sir.” Consequently, within the U.S., the only term that the aristocrats consider acceptable to refer to aristocrats, is “oligarchs,” which always refers only to aristocrats in foreign countries, and so is considered safe by the aristocrats’ writers (including scholars and political pundits) to use.
Everyone knows: in accord with the clear intention of America’s Founders, the U.S. should eliminate from its citizenry any aristocrat (any self-enclosed and legally immune group that holds power over the government), but Americans naturally accept the existence of “oligarchs” in other countries (and “good-riddance to them there”), typically the ones in countries U.S. foreign policy opposes and often overthrows by means of coup or outright military invasion (any form of conquest, such as in 2003 Iraq, or 2011 Libya). It’s fine to refer to other countries’ aristocracies as ‘oligarchies’, because any such foreign aristocracy can therefore be declared to be bad and ‘deserving’ of overthrow. Thus, any aristocracy that is opposed to America’s aristocracy (especially one that’s opposed to being controlled by the U.S. aristocracy), and which wants to be controlling instead their own independent nation, can acceptably be overthrown by coup (such as Ukraine 2014 was) or invasion (such as Libya 2011 was). Thus, calling a foreign aristocracy an “oligarchy” is supportive of, not oppposed to, the U.S. aristocracy — and, so, “oligarchy” is the term the authors used (on that one occasion, and they never used the prohibited term “aristocracy”).
Nonetheless, despite the cultural ban on describing the U.S. as an “aristocracy,” the authors were — as obscurely as they were able — proving that the U.S. is an aristocracy, no authentic democracy at all. Or, again, as they said it in their least-obscurantist phrasing of it:
“Economic Elite Domination theories do rather well in our analysis, even though our findings probably understate the political influence of elites. Our measure of the preferences of wealthy or elite Americans — though useful, and the best we could generate for a large set of policy cases — is probably less consistent with the relevant preferences than are our measures of the views of ordinary citizens or the alignments of engaged interest groups. Yet we found substantial estimated effects even when using this imperfect measure. The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater.”
‘Greater’ than what? They didn’t say. That’s because what they were saying (as obscurely as possible) is that it’s probably ‘greater’ than is shown in the data that was publicly available to them, and upon which data their clear finding is that the U.S. is an aristocracy, no democracy at all. Or, as they also put it: “Economic Elite Domination theories do rather well in our analysis.” But, actually, “Economic Elite Domination theories” (virtually all of which come down to positing an aristocracy that consists of the billionaires — and centi-millionaires — and their corporations, and their think tanks, and their lobbyists, etc.) did phenomenally well, in their findings, not just ‘rather well’ — they simply can’t safely say this. Saying it is samizdat, in the U.S. dictatorship.
They were allowed to prove it, but not to say it. So, that’s what they did. They didn’t want to “upset the applecart” from which they themselves are feeding.
The simplest (but no less accurate) way of stating their finding is: the U.S., at least during the period the researchers probed, which was 1981-2002, was an aristocracy, no democracy at all. The U.S., in other words, was (even prior to the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which is making the aristocracy even more concentrated among even fewer people) a country of men (and women — that’s to say, of individuals) not of laws; it’s a dictatorship, in short; it is not a country “of laws, not of men”. America’s Founders have finally lost. The country has been taken over by an aristocracy.
And one of those “men” now, is actually Hillary Clinton, even though she is no longer officially holding governmental power. They know she soon might be. That’s why, the FBI cannot really, and seriously, investigate her.
It’s not for legal reasons at all. It’s because of whom she is. In fact, purely on the basis of U.S. laws, she clearly ought to be in prison. Any honest lawyer, inside or outside the FBI, has long known this, because the actual case against her is ‘slam-dunk’, even though the FBI has refused to investigate it and has limited its ‘investigation’ only to peripheral ‘national security’ issues. (The #2 person at FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, right below Director James Comey, specified this limitation to his ‘investigators’. They simply weren’t allowed to investigate her, except on the hardest-to-prove crimes that she probably but not definitely did also do. The slam-dunks were just off-limits to them. McCabe’s wife’s political campaign had received $675,000 from the PAC of Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Clintons, who chaired Hillary’s 2008 Presidential campaign. And, even on the harder-to-prove matters, which FBI Director Comey declined on July 5th to pursue, they stood a strong chance of winning, if only Comey hadn’t prevented their moving forward to try — but those issues are tangential to the basic case against her, anyway.)
There are at least six federal criminal laws which accurately and unquestionably describe even what Ms. Clinton has now publicly admitted having done by her privatized email system, and intent isn’t even mentioned in most of them nor necessary in order for her to be convicted — the actions themselves convict her, and the only relevance that intent might have, regarding any of these laws, would be in determining how long her prison sentence would be.
I have already presented the texts of these six laws (and you can see the sentences for each one, right there), and any reader can easily recognize that each one of them describes, unambiguously without any doubt, what she now admits having done. Most of these crimes don’t require any intent in order to convict (and the ones that do require intent are only “knowingly … conceals,” or else “with the intent to impair the object’s … use in an official proceeding,” both of which “intents” would be easy to prove on the basis of what has already been made public — but others of these laws don’t require even that); and none of them requires any classified information to have been involved, at all. It’s just not an issue in these laws. Thus, conviction under them is far easier. If a prosecutor is really seeking to convict someone, he’ll be aiming to get indictments on the easiest-to-prove charges, first. That also presents for the prosecutor the strongest position in the event of an eventual plea-bargain. As Alan Dershowitz said, commenting on one famous prosecution: “They also wanted a slam-dunk case. They wanted the strongest possible case.” Comey simply didn’t; he wanted the hardest-to-convict case. His presentation was a brazen hoax. That’s all.
That’s the real scandal, and nobody (other than I) has been writing about it as what it is — a hoax. But what it shows is that maybe the only way that Clinton will be able to avoid going to prison is by her going to the White House. Either she gets a term in the White House, or else she gets a (much longer) term in prison — or else our government is so thoroughly corrupt that she remains free as a private citizen and still above the law, even though not serving as a federal official.
Even if she is convicted only on these six slam-dunk statutes (and on none other, including not on the ones that Comey was referring to when he said on July 5th that, “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”), she could be sentenced to a maximum of 73 years in prison (73 = 5 + 5 + 20 + 20 + 3 + 10 + 10). Adding on others she might also have committed (such as the ones that Comey was referring to, all of which pertain only to the handling of classified information), would mean that her term in prison might be lengthier still, but what’s important in the email case isn’t that; it’s to convict her on, essentially, theft and/or destruction of U.S. government documents by means of transferring them into her private email and/or smashing hard drives. No one, not even a U.S. federal official, can legally do that, and those six laws are specifically against it.
Motive is important in Ms. Clinton’s email case, because motive tells us why she was trying to hide from historians and from the public her operations as the U.S. Secretary of State: was it because she didn’t want them to know that she was selling to the Sauds and her other friends the U.S. State Department’s policies in return for their million-dollar-plus donations to the Clinton Foundation, and maybe even selling to them (and/or their cronies) U.S. government contracts, or why? However, those are questions regarding other crimes that she might have been perpetrating while in public office, not the crimes of her privatized email operation itself; and those other crimes (whatever they might have been) would have been explored only after an indictment on the slam-dunks, and for further possible prosecutions, if President Obama’s people were serious about investigating her. They weren’t. Clearly, this is selective ‘justice’. That’s the type of ‘justice’ an aristocracy imposes.
Why, then, did Comey finally switch to re-open the Clinton case? It wasn’t merely the discovery of some of her previously unknown emails on the computer of Anthony Wiener, husband to Hillary’s closest aide Huma Abedin. As Politico on October 28th reported, “Another former Justice official said Comey’s letter [announcing the re-opening of Hillary’s case] could be part of an effort on his part to quiet internal FBI critics who viewed him as burying the Clinton probe for political reasons. ‘He’s come under a lot of criticism from his own people for how he’s handled this. He’s trying to gain back some of their respect,’ former Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said. ‘His ability to do what he does largely depends on the respect within his own ranks.’”
Joachim Hagopian at Global Research headlined on October 30th, “The Real Reasons Why FBI Director James Comey Reopened the Hillary Email Investigation”, and reported:
“Former federal attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova spelled it all out in a WMAL radio interview last Friday just hours after the news was released that Comey had sent a letter informing Congress that the case is being reopened. DiGenova said that with an open revolt brewing inside the FBI, Comey was forced to go public on Friday with reopening the investigation. … Finally, diGenova dropped one more bombshell in Friday’s interview. An inside source has revealed to him that the laptops belonging to key Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, both wrongly granted immunity, were not destroyed after all as previously reported, but have been secretly kept intact by investigating FBI agents refusing to destroy incriminating evidence as part of the in-house whitewash.”
In other words: Comey was between a rock (the resignation-letters piling up on his desk from subordinates who felt that no person should be above the law) and a hard place (his ability to stay on at the FBI and not have a scandal against himself bleed out to the public from down below). The U.S. wasn’t yet that kind of dictatorship — one which could withstand such a public disclosure. In order for it to become one, the aristocracy’s control would have needed to be even stronger than it yet is.
Also on the 30th, Ed Klein in Britain’s Dail Mail bannered:
EXCLUSIVE: Resignation letters piling up from disaffected FBI agents, his wife urging him to admit he was wrong: Why Director Comey jumped at the chance to reopen Hillary investigation
James Comey revived the investigation of Clinton’s email server as he could no longer resist mounting pressure by mutinous agents, sources say
The atmosphere at the FBI has been toxic ever since Jim [Comey] announced last July that he wouldn’t recommend an indictment against Hillary
He told his wife that he was depressed by the stack of resignation letters piling up on his desk from disaffected agents
So, does this now mean that, finally, the FBI will bring before a grand jury the evidence that Hillary Clinton blatantly violated those six federal criminal laws against stealing and/or trying to destroy federal documents?
There has never — at least since 1981 — been so severe a test of the extent to which this nation is (as those researchers found it to have unquestionably been between 1981 and 2002) an “oligarchy.” However, a serious criminal prosecution of Ms. Clinton would potentially start an unwinding of this dictatorship.
The present writer will make no prediction. However, obviously, the results of the election on November 8th will certainly have an enormous impact upon the outcome. Since I think that anyone but a complete fool can recognize this much, I’m confident enough to assert it — a conditional about the future.
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.