Friday 4 August 2017

Hillary Clinton: Too networked to nail (Pakistan Observer)

M D Nalapat | Geopolitical Notes From India

PRESIDENT Donald John Trump is correct in his  view that there seems no appetite within the  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the US Department of Justice to pursue an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, including the actual sources of the copious streams of cash that flowed into its coffers during the period when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. The grease of politics is money, lots of it, and neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party is immune to the effects and the influence of those who invest large sums of cash to individual politicians. They do this the way they make any other investment, which is to ensure that a handsome profit ensues in the future from the moneys spent in the present. The more influential a politician, the more likely it is that money will flow in a continuous stream to his or her direct and indirect bank accounts.  Was it entirely a coincidence, for example, that Foxconn announced the building of a $ 10 billion facility in the very location that is the bailiwick of House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan? there would have been some moves between the two sides before the decision was tken. The Speaker has made no secret of his dislike of Donald Trump, and is clearly among those in the Republican Party that are working in private to ensure that Trump resigns in favour of Vice-President Mike Pence.  The Veep has been steadfast in his loyalty to his boss thus far, knowing full well that if he gets the top job in the world (that of the US President), it will not be because of any moves made by him, but by factors outside his control having to do with the McCain-Clinton-led campaign to get Trump to quit. It has therefore been a wise move on the part of Vice President Pence to behave with complete propriety towards President Trump, even while all around him, his party leaders are synchronising their activities with the Democratic Party, which still remains in the control of the Clinton family.  Indeed, in Chelsea Clinton, the family has an attractive future candidate for Senator and perhaps even the Presidency. This columnist way back wrote of the possibility of Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump becoming political rivals, and this is a scenario that no longer seems as improbable as it was then. Barack Obama is clearly unwilling or unable to establish his leadership over the Democratic Party, something that would have been a matter of course, had Bernie Sanders prevailed over Hillary Clinton in getting nominated as the Democratic Party candidate for the US Presidency.  The hubbub over Russia is a diversion meant to obscure the real story, that of how the nomination was stolen from Senator Sanders by the Clinton machine. Of course, Sanders went into Stockholm syndrome mode after he was cheated of the prize through the machinations of the Clinton backers, and stumped across the country as a fervent admirer of Hillary Clinton, despite knowing her Wall Street and external connections. From that time onwards, the Sanders faction has been steadily marginalised within the Democratic Party leadership. The party itself morphed from being friendly to the working and middle classes to being a vehicle for the rich under Bill Clinton, who removed the constraints on Wall Street placed during the 1930s. Because of that wilful error of judgment, the 2008 financial disaster became an inevitability, as will another shock, once the Republican administration now in power dilutes the brakes on Wall Street greed placed by President Obama. How has Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to enjoy immunity from prosecution despite the fact that  Donald Trump – who publicly proposes to send her to jail – was elected on November 8,2016? Why is there near-zero appetite within the investigative agencies of the US government to hold her to account the way it has done in the case of so many other politicians,and which it is seeking to do even where President Trump is concerned? The answer vests in the fact that over the eight years that they were in power, Bill and Hillary Clinton coopted a large number of officials into being their agents. Those responsive to requests from the Clintons saw their careers enhanced, while those who were recalcitrant suffered professionally. During the George W Bush years, Bill Clinton in particular ensured a close personal relationship with the new president, thereby ensuring that his favourites could be inducted and promoted because of the goodwill of the 43rd President.  Of course, when Barack Obama was elected, the Clintons were back in full play, as the 44th President made his peace with the Clinton machine by allowing his administration to be dominated by Bill and Hillary loyalists. Hundreds of officials have therefore become part of the Clinton machine, including several who are nominally independent or Republican. Any investigation into the Clintons would expose them as well. Hence the closing of ranks against any genuine investigation of the doings of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady is too well networked to seriously probe, as any such enquiry would place at risk the immense support network of the Clinton machine within the bureaucracy. Hillary in 2017,quite simply, is too big to jail, just as certain banks were too big to fail in 2008.

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