Hillary is Back

By James M. Wall

Hillary is back; the Hillary who ought to be in the White House instead of the man our archaic electoral system gave us November 8, 2016.

The Hillary Clinton who is back, relaxed and at ease, was interviewed for more than an hour on a California stage Wednesday, telling the world in clear understandable language, what she perceives to have happened in her 2016 election loss.

I report on this interview because I want citizens like my grand daughters and my great grand daughters, to look with justified pride at this woman who broke the glass ceiling as the first female nominee for president from a major political party, and who won the popular election by almost 2.9 million votes. 

She is back after taking a few months to reflect on the national train wreck which put Donald Trump in the White House.

The outcome of that train wreck, and the players who toyed with the mechanism of our constitutionally-mandated electoral system, will soon be examined through the courts and in the congress.

This process will hit max speed when former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify June 8, before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Over the weeks and months ahead, we will discover how Russian operatives recruited and manipulated American accomplices in a nefarious scheme to betray their country.

“In the best of all possible worlds”, the election would be nullified. The nation would start over.

But as the elder George Bush might say, “not gonna happen”. There is nothing currently available in our system to make it happen, certainly not with this current Republican crowd in control of all three branches of the government.

What should result next is that Russia’s American accomplices will be exposed for what they did. And Hillary, whom I have known since we first met in the living room of the Arkansas governor’s mansion decades ago, has explained just how she believes the dastardly deed was done.

Listen up, Pilgrims, to the story as she lived it.

Hillary Clinton was a special guest this week at Code 2017, an event sponsored by Recode at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, May 30-June 1.

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, co-founders of Recode, host an annual invitation-only Code Conference “to bring together a global community of the biggest names in the business, executive leaders and startups with bright futures for networking and in-depth conversations about the current and future impact of digital technology”.

After some opening banter that began a one hour-17 minute interview, with the former candidate, former Secretary of State, former Senator, and former First Lady, Clinton signaled it was time to get down to business.

Clinton utilized her decades of high-level political experience to speak the  language of her audience.

She began by describing the findings in a declassified report by seventeen agencies of the U.S. Intelligence community that was made public in early January.

They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election.

How did they conduct this “information war campaign”? Her response:

They did it through paid advertising we think, they did it through false news sites, they did it through these thousand agents, they did it through machine learning, which you know, kept spewing out this stuff over and over again. The algorithms that they developed. So that was the conclusion. . . .I think it’s fair to ask, how did that actually influence the campaign? And how did they know what messages to deliver?

Who told them? Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with?

Because the Russians historically in the last couple of decades and then increasingly, you know, are launching cyber attacks, and they are stealing vast amounts of information, and a lot of the information they’ve stolen they’ve used for internal purposes, to affect markets, to affect the intelligence services, etc.

So this is different because they went public, and they were conveying this weaponized information and the content of it. .  .  

The Russians — in my opinion and based on the intel and the counterintel people I’ve talked to — could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. . . . by Americans and guided by people who had polling and data information.

Clinton offered an example of how coordination between the Russians and their American accomplices, worked. She pointed to the leak of the Hollywood Access tapes, which in earlier presidential elections. would have immediately ended the Trump campaign.

Within one hour of the tapes being leaked, the Russians — let’s say WikiLeaks, something — dumped the John Podesta emails. Now, if you’ve ever read the John Podesta emails, they are anodyne to boredom [laughter].”

John Podesta was campaign chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign. He is a long-term associate and close friend of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001.

Clinton describe the Podesta emails as “run-of-the-mill emails, especially run of the mill for a campaign”.

They were personal emails, which made them attractive to the media. Clinton speculates that the Podesta emails had been hacked and were being held for a propitious moment to release.

Since the Hollywood Access tapes, in which Trump bragged that he liked to “grab” female genitals (his word was harsher) as his form of greeting, had leaked, it was the right time for the Podesta tapes to surface.

Clinton explained how she saw what happened next:

Within one hour they dumped them, and then they began to weaponize them. And they began to have some of their allies within the internet world, like Infowars, take out pieces and begin to say the most outrageous, outlandish, absurd lies you could imagine.

Clinton described how an enemy could prepare for future developments: “They had to .  .  .  have a plan and they had to be given the go-ahead, saying, Okay, this could be the end of the Trump campaign, dump [the Podesta emails] now. And then let’s do everything we can to weaponize it.”

And we know it hurt us. Because as I explain in my book, you know, the Comey letter, which was, now we know, partly based on a false memo from the Russians. It was a classic piece of Russian disinformation, which Russians call kompromat [compromising material used to discredit rivals in politics or business], So, for whatever reason, and I speculate, but I can’t look inside the guy’s mind [Comey’s], you know, he dumps that on me on October 28th, and I immediately start falling.

But what was really interesting, since the mainstream media covered that, as I say like Pearl Harbor, front pages everywhere, huge type, etc. And all of the Trump people go around screaming, “Lock her up, lock her up,” and all of that.

At the same time, the biggest Google searches were not for Comey, because that information was just lying out there, it was for WikiLeaks. And so voters who are being targeted with all of this false information are genuinely trying to make up their minds.

The “lightly-edited” transcript of Clinton’s appearance at the Recode conference on May 31 is available here.

And there you have it, your homework to prepare for the summer-long–or longer–examination of how weaponized information in our digital age is targeted to gain media attention, create public distress, and above all, affect election results.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
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9 Responses to Hillary is Back

  1. Helen Marshall says:

    The report released in January was NOT the work of the seventeen intelligence agencies. It was a report from THREE of them, based on the beliefs of “selected agents.” The authors expected, correctly, that the US public and many commentators would not know the difference between a “Government Assessment” and a National Intelligence Estimate. But Clinton should know…she was, after all, Secretary of State. Her willingness to convey false information is one reason why she would have been a very dangerous president.

  2. Richard Greve says:

    No country meddles more in other nations than the US, both covertly and overtly. Hillary ran a poor campaign. She know the electoral system we have. Yes, I’d much rather have her than terrible Trump, but it’s time for the Democrats to get some new people, and not to be advocates for war and Apartheid Israel, like Hillary and most of our politician are.

  3. Helen Marshall says:

    Correcting my comment – it was three agencies under the supervision of a fourth, the Director of National Intelligence. See Robert Parry’s article on this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/23/new-cracks-in-russia-gate-assessment/

  4. J. Martin Bailey says:

    I am grateful to Jim Wall for sharing this information, not only with his grandchildren and great grand children, but with us. He did so in a timely fashion, so that we will be better prepared to sift the media reports of the hearings to come in the next few weeks. I quite agree with Richard Greve’s assessment that the United States has meddled in the elections of other nations and that we should be held accountable for that in the long run. And, like him, I hope that my party (the Democrats) will have the will and the wit to discover the new leaders we need in the future. But our present President (I guess we must call him that) must also be held accountable. The truth must come out. And on the basis of that truth, in addition to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are happening on his watch, Mr. Trump must be judged honestly and fairly.
    Clearly these are very troubled times for our nation, times that require statesmanship and courage and Hope. We who are “merely voting citizens” must also be women and men of courage and hope and be determined to seek and get the information that will fuel a renewed and more just system of government.

  5. Patricia says:

    I am not a Hillary fan anymore than Trump.

  6. Dorsey Gardner says:

    Hillary’s five largest contributors were Jewish billionaires who admit that Israel is their main interest. She had every Jewish-owned newspaper and network promoting her at the same time they were slandering Trump.
    Trump isn’t perfect, far from it, but Hillary had her chance after admitting she made a mistake voting for the destruction of Iraq and she is went on to be directly responsible for the destruction of Libya and now Syria.
    Why would anyone support Hillary?

  7. Judith Lutfy says:

    As someone who did not vote for either of them, I consider Trump as the lesser of the two evils.
    I feel sorry that Wall holds Hillary as a role model for his granddaughters and great-granddaughters.
    Hillary is a murderess who is responsible for the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and also for the transfer of chemicals from Libya to the terrorists in Syria. There should be a tribunal charging Hillary with mass murder in Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with the Obama and Bush regimes.

  8. AWAD SIFRI says:

    I voted first for Bernie, then for Hillary, but it was more a case of “against” Trump than “for” Hillary; and I wanted to finally see a first female US President.
    My conclusion: We need new, young blood, a President who is not owned by Big Money, and one who does not belong to a dynasty, or clan, or tribe of any sort, but one who would bring genuine unity and opportunities to minorities and mainstream; one who would stop our endless wars of aggression and wars of choice; one who would rebuild our country’s infrastructure, bring back genuine democracy, as well as, promote peace & justice, and build bridges around the world.
    There are many American women and men in public life who fit these descriptions. It is we the American people who should pick and choose the right individual.
    But, first, let us make sure that Big Money does not snuff them out.

  9. Robert Assaly says:

    One more reason to be grateful to the Russians. In addition to saving the world from Hillary, they want peace in Syria and the region. This can only come about by draining the swamp, and having “the shots” called and stopped by the White House instead of by the Pentagon and CIA.

    The “declassified report” was the mother of all fake news. READ IT — it takes about 20 minutes. Remove the innuendo and apply some objectivity, and it will be clear that the Russians did nothing wrong. For instance, consider the accusation that RT aired debates between candidates — 3rd party and others — who didn’t make the cut. Is this a threat to democracy or does it simply out the American system and MSM as fake democracy and free speech?

    Your article merely demonstrates that Hillary has come clean about her support of fake news and alignment with the swamp dwellers.

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