The Hillary Clinton mope tour, which should have reached a high water mark, has gone global. It entails drumming up her credentials (immaculate, we are told, but unnoticed), and pouring upon the man who beat her to the White house (a danger to the world). The latter is the fundamental point: Donald Trump would not have won, not because of Clinton’s flaws but because of what others did.
One of those big others remains WikiLeaks. The other, supposedly, is its Russian ally – no, employer, sponsor, even, there one say it peering into that dark mind of hers, director-in-chief. Forget Assange, claims Clinton – the Kremlin is running the operation.
On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners programme, Clinton reiterated a range of views that have become dangerously presumed, mirrors, in fact, of the very man she detests, the world view she supposedly eschews. In a post-truth world, anything goes, including Clintonian mendacity and delusion. Blended with US patriotism and sour grapes, she becomes the ultimate embittered narcissist who cannot admit to deficiency.
According to Clinton, Assange had “become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator”. Even more to the point, and here, the facts start to become puffs and fluffs, “WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”
No evidence is offered. For Clinton, nothing needs to be tested, her defeat obviously the result, not of an appalling election team (remember that slave to the algorithm, Robby Mook?) and her own woes as a candidate, but to the role played by information marshalled against her.
“There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to, as I say, weaponize information, to make up stories, outlandish, often terrible stories that had no basis in fact, no basis even in the emails themselves, but which were used to denigrate me, my campaign people who supported me, and to help (Donald) Trump.”
Furthermore, Clinton, with a sense of supreme self-worth, insisted that she had been a direct target of the Kremlin. “I think their intention, coming from the very top with Putin, was to hurt me and to help Trump.”
These observations beggar belief. Bricks cannot be made without straw, and there was ample straw in the Podesta emails, not to mention the general trove of DNC material that revealed the tactics, methods and philosophies of the entitled.
Clinton’s method is one of permanent deflection and, when necessary, denial. What the emails revealed on her approach to security, or her sympathy for Wall Street, was not to be taken seriously. It all had to do with that nasty business of “weaponized” information. To assist her, she had the intelligence community, the vast complex of the establishment to boost her points.
Lapsing into electoral mode, and reflecting on her record, she claimed that, “Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and [Mr] Putin have said he held a grudge against me because, as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions.” Noble warrior, indeed.
If there is one golden thread that runs through conspiracy, linking up with false causality, the grand design must be one of them. The grand design assumes a puppet master and watch maker. It also presumes standard impact and worth.
“I lost the electoral college by about 77,000, and what we’re finding out is that there had to be some very sophisticated help provided to WikiLeaks… to know how to target both their messages of suppression and their negative messages to affect voters.” When a political figure is found out, blame the idiot voter.
This tactic ignores the ways and follies of the idiot politician, who can, in effect, lose against a figure such as Trump. This is the most bruising of all, the most damning. The Clinton campaign’s own efforts at information warfare were paltry, presuming that the self-evident grotesquery of Trump would sway voters.
When the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood record of Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” remark, the effect of that revelation, argues Clinton, was shrouded by the release of over 2,000 emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
For the Clintons, the Podestas and the Mooks, the White House was in the bag of ambition and worth, and neither Bernie Sanders nor Trump was going to get their paws on it. This was meant to be an establishment show – till the establishment was shown up.
As for Assange, the return volleys soon came. Clinton was, in his view, a heartless defective. “It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.”
It was the sort of creepiness that had been spotted before. Britain’s current foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, took unusually faultless aim at it in 2007 in the Daily Telegraph. “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.” By all means, he insisted, vote for Clinton, if only to return her husband to the White House. “If Bill can deal with Hillary, he can surely deal with any global crisis.”
While it is entirely true that Trump readily traffics in hypocrisy and seems to be a comic monstrosity on various levels, a Clinton White House would have also made the world safe for hypocrisy. There would have been usual American brashness, military interventions, toughness poorly dressed in silk and padded by soft power. There would have also been graft, self-aggrandizement and the lying industrial complex.
To scold and condemn WikiLeaks in this affair is no better than dismissing the person who spots the fire as the arsonist gets away. Citing the efforts of the Kremlin, information bots, and fake news, can only go so far. The building still burns.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]