Saturday, April 23, 2016

Secrecy: As Hillary Refuses to Release Speech Transcripts, New Details Emerge

By Guy Benson

With so much attention (rightfully) being paid to Hillary's email scandal, Benghazi lies, foreign policy debacles, and domestic policy failures, other important stories and controversies often get short shrift.

For instance, her opacity and dishonesty regarding the Clinton Foundation and her lucrative speeches have simmered on the back burner for months, sporadically flaring up when she's confronted with questions about them.

On Good Morning America this week, Hillary rebuffed a young Democrat who challenged her to release the transcripts of her paid speeches that reaped millions in fees in between her departure from the State Department and the start of her presidential bid.

Facing entrenched opposition and populist-tinged rhetoric from Socialist Bernie Sanders (who offered a good rejoinder to Hillary's go-to transcripts demand), Mrs. Clinton has attempted to justify her high-dollar remarks to Wall Street firms by claiming she didn't know she'd be running for president when she delivered them, and that she merely accepted "what they offered" in terms of compensation.  No, it's what she charged, among other demands.  CNN Money reports:
The speech in 2013 was one of three Clinton made on behalf of Goldman Sachs. According to public records, Clinton gave 92 speeches between 2013 and 2015. Her standard fee is $225,000, and she collected $21.6 million dollars in just under two years. Clinton made 8 speeches to big banks, netting $1.8 million, according to a CNN analysis...The standard fee and her demands are outlined in a memo from the Harry Walker Agency in New York. According to the memo, Clinton requires travel by private jet, and even specifies that she prefers a Gulfstream 450 or larger. Her staff requires first class and business class tickets. And two members of her staff require up to three days on site to prepare, with all local transportation and meals included. The memo states Clinton should be booked into a presidential suite with up to three separate rooms attached. Clinton also requires a flat fee of $1,000 to pay for an onsite stenographer to record everything she says. However, Clinton is not required to provide the host with a copy, according to the memo. Costs associated with her demands are on top of her speaking fee.

She insisted that her host pay $1,000 for a transcription service, then hoarded the resulting transcripts.  She's refusing to make them public, even as she risibly touts the virtues of transparency. In fact it's obsessive secrecy that's the coin of her realm -- except as it pertains to sensitive national security information sitting on her unsecure email server and Blackberry, of course. Fear and paranoia:
The speeches have been shrouded in privacy. Her staff has limited photographs and at times even confiscated cell phones. Attendees of some Clinton speeches complained vocally on social media that they were told to turn their phones off -- no photos, no live tweeting. In the summer of 2013, Clinton spoke before a major convention of human resources executives. The group had previously hosted speeches of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, both former Secretaries of State. John Hollon, an editor for an online trade journal attended both, and tried to attend Clinton's speech. He says he was kicked out due to Clinton's request for no media. "This is the only time in 10 or 11 years of going to to the annual event, which is the biggest human resource event of the year, the only time they have banned press from any speaker," said Hollon. There was no reason given, he says.

Amongst her sundry justifications and explanations, Hillary has defended her cozy relationship with Wall Street as an outgrowth of 9/11, and claimed at a Democratic debate that she used her addresses to financial sector audiences to speak truth to power and warn them to clean up their act prior to the 2008 meltdown.  
In light of her dogged refusal to provide supporting evidence of this prescient courage, alongside multiple reports that her appearances before elite bankers were quite chummy in tone, this assertion requires a "willing suspension of disbelief" -- to quote Senator Hillary Clinton when she effectively tarred Gen. David Petraeus a liar during his 2007 testimony touting the verifiable gains achieved by President Bush's Iraq surge.  
The Associated Press follows up with a report that most of the groups that shelled out big bucks for the privilege of listening to Mrs. Clinton's vapid sloganeering coincidentally had business before the federal government, including at her State Department.  Why, it's almost as if these people were lining her pockets in order to ingratiate themselves with a powerful official and future presidential candidate:
It's not just Wall Street banks. Most companies and groups that paid Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors, an Associated Press review has found. Their interests are sprawling and would follow Clinton to the White House should she win election this fall. The AP's review of federal records, regulatory filings and correspondence showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton's speeches have actively sought to sway the government — lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state...Clinton's 94 paid appearances over two years on the speech circuit leave her open to scrutiny over decisions she would make in the White House or influence that may affect the interests of her speech sponsors.

Hillary Clinton is the human embodiment of the Ruling Class' disdainful arrogance.  For years, she and her husband have operated and enriched themselves at the nexus of influence and money -- which voters across the spectrum claim to abhor.  And yet... I'll leave you with this, which is beyond parody:
Posted On Twitter:
No SERIOUSLY, you guys. Hillary Clinton doesn't understand why a Scandal fundraiser is ironic. …

Life Imitates Art: Cast of ABC Show ‘Scandal’ to Fundraise for Hillary Clinton