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May 04, 2015

Bill Clinton: No One Would Give Me Money Just to Influence US Policy

Really?

Let me say something obvious: if you're paying $500,000 or $750,000 for Bill Clinton, you're not paying for a canned speech from an old man most of whose vague pronouncements have already been well-documented and are trite to the point of agony.

You're paying for something else.

So: What are people paying for?


When Bill Clinton deliberately committed perjury in the Monica Lewinsky matter, his defense was that while he spoke falsely, he did not knowingly lie.

Well, now he's claiming, with respect to his foundation hiding money, refusing to disclose, and arranging sweet uranium deals for close buddies who just happen to give him $131 million, neither he or his wife did anything knowingly wrong.

Let's talk about this "knowingly" defense. To be found guilty of committing most crimes (all but a precious few which are called "strict liability" crimes, where performing the act itself imposes liability), you must have both committed a blameworthy act (actus reus) while having a blameworthy state of mind (mens rea).

To commit a blameworthy act is not sufficient to impose criminal liability.

If someone sneaks some pot into you luggage without your knowledge of that, you will wind up committing the guilty act of transporting contraband from one country to another, but because (in this hypothethical) you legitimately did not have any guilty culpable state (being completely oblivious to the drugs), you are not guilty of a crime.

That's why they ask you at the airport if you've left your luggage unattended. If you make a false statement here, they can at least try to get you for knowingly making a false statement.

At any rate, it's well-nigh impossible to prove guilty states of mind by direct evidence. We have no brain scans which can tell us if a suspect acted knowingly. The best we can have -- and we only have it in a tiny minority of cases -- is the defendant confessing to someone else, or in a document -- like an email, for example -- what his state of mind at the time of the forbidden action was.

We very rarely have such evidence for state of mind. Usually, all we have is circumtsances that permit an inference as to the actor's state of mind.

In all of the Clintons' lawbreaking, they rely exclusively upon this. State of mind is hard to prove, so they simply deny they had a culpable state of mind, and, crucially, they destroy and hide all documents in which they may have inadvertently given the game away by explaining their level of knowledge or intent.

And, importantly: Because anyone can always say "But you can't prooooove your obvious inference!", they give their partisan dummies a ready argument to be used for all Clinton scandals.

And at this point, after 20 years of this endless lawbreaking, the Clinton partisans pretty much all know the drill.

Sure Clinton spoke falsely when he said he hadn't had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, but you can't prove he was not, as he claims, confused about what constituted sexual relations (giving oral sex to Monica, which he didn't do, or getting oral sex from Monica, which he did).

Sure Hillary spoke falsely when she claimed she hadn't worked on the Whitewater account, and the long-hidden records prove that she did, but you can't prove she knew she was working on Whitewater when she was working on Whitewater -- she says she never heard Whitewater called Whitewater. You can't prove she's lying.

Bill Clinton spoke falsely when he said he was never alone with Monica Lewinsky, but you can't prove that he knew he was along. After all, Clinton later tried to explain: Maybe we were alone, but I never "felt" like we were.

Not even when she was giving him analingus, or he was sticking a cigar inside of her.

So yes, the Clinton partisans know at this point that the Clintons have done every single action they're accused of doing, and that the Eternal Defense of the Scoundrels will be that you can't prove they understood the crimes they were committing when they were committing them.

And it will probably work, yet again.



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posted by Ace at 08:56 PM

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