My thoughts on the film “Clinton Cash.”

My immediate gut-reaction opinion on “Clinton Cash w/a few quick fact checks, perhaps with some consideration as I write.


The film as a whole speaks to a perceived pattern of ethics that has been significantly reinforced within the last 24 hours. The appointment of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as an “Honorary” anything for her political movement, merely hours after she was evicted from the DNC for illicitly steering Clinton the nomination, is perhaps the most prescient example I can think of. It no longer feels like wild-eyed conspiracy-porn to suggest, “Well, DWS was put their after she helped Clinton in 2008 specifically to make sure she won the nomination in 2016, then got a parachute out of there into Clinton’s camp, directly.”
 
That lens, my friends, can transform happy coincidence into deliberate-appearing allegiances. That sustained suggestibility is what the film relies on to convey its message. Does it do so effectively? Extraordinarily so. There is very little question in my mind whether or not anything illegal happened – of course it didn’t, the reigns of legality were firmly in the hands of the ones trusted to reign illegality in! If I were a juror I would honestly be unaware as to where to even begin to untangle this mess. Odds are, the cries of “Lock Her Up!” from the RNC will go unanswered for some time as investigators consider the arguments against the Clinton Foundation and how best to approach them.
 
However…Recent behavior displays a drastic continuation of the dubious policies of the Clinton Foundation, especially with regard to those considered “The Clinton Orbit” by this film.
 
The movie was most definitely biased against Clinton from the get-go, however it is biased not on the facts of its case, but largely in its (oftentimes violent) imagery and use of shorter, easier-to-substantiate claims. Sometimes context is difficult to find or follow, and at least once I found myself saying, “Well, you haven’t quite proven these two were even in the this particular place at the same time; few clearly-in-context photos lending me to find few perfect agreements on the ground-floor facts.”  So, it was flimsy at times, and relied significantly on the vulnerabilities of the ones it criticized to create suspicion as to whether or not their particular claim is true.  It feels strangely deliberate, though; like being fed just a taste of chocolate ice cream on any given day of this global-warming decimated summer (Seriously, it’s fucking hot out!) and being instead handed one of those tiny, marsh-mallow foam ice cream snacks.  (You know the ones I’m talking about!)


Since Clinton Cash tries to establish a tit-for-tat pattern of donations to the Foundation in exchange for State Department approvals and arrangements, allow me to say that according to the evidence it presents:  It makes a fair-nearing-good, but far from unbreakable case that Bill Clinton collected speech money “just as a side job” in exchange for preferential treatment by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The only way to prove such a thing might be an audio recording of a conversation or a copy of a physical or electronic document.  Yes, conspiracy theorists, we’ve gotten so deep as to come back around to the E-Mail scandal again, but let’s not get carried away here.  Just because you can’t find something doesn’t mean it ever existed in the first place, and we must presume people are innocent until found guilty, even if we have suspicions.  Unless there is further documentation, I – in my officially-not-a-lawyer opinion – suggest that this is not a prosecutor offense and not a violation of any laws I’m familiar with, in spite of its grossly unethical appearance and operation.  That does not mean that a daring prosecutor might not put this up for an FBI investigation, much as the E-mail scandal was.  It is conceivable that the FBI may investigate and possibly be convinced to indict one or both of them, if they feel particularly prompted.


But if they aren’t breaking the law, we all know this is being released today in exchange for generating some further havoc you will no doubt see at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, starting tomorrow.  My opinion on this is simple:  Democratic Delegates – bound, un-bound, and Super – must absolutely not squander this opportunity to change course.  I have already made my position on how they should vote clear over at DailyKos.com, essentially making a plea for them to nominate Bernie Sanders, instead.  I am aware of how unlikely this is to happen, but please take Hillary Clinton’s words seriously when she tweeted, “Vote your conscience.”


If you believe even one of these tales to be plausibly true, you need to reconsider whether or not nominating Clinton president would be a reasonable thing to do.  Clinton herself told you that you should vote your conscience.  You may be overwhelmed with ‘regulations’ and people from all sides giving you advice, and I am aware that I am one of them, citing evidence from in large part another of them to convince you to change your mind or, at least, to resist the vote you may be forced to cast that you might already have regrets over.


Do the right thing and, even if it’s for the first time, vote your conscience tomorrow.  If you think Bernie would have been great but he didn’t get the votes…The people elected you to represent them at this meeting, so represent them the best way you can.  The facts-on-the-ground have changed drastically since the DNC Leaks (compliments of Wikileaks) and the Clinton Cash release.  If your state voted early, many of the people you represent might also have changed their mind on this subject, and would rather see him take the charge.


My warmest regards,
–Jesse Pohlman

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