Apparently I am not finished with Hillsdale College. It’s been so long since I started following this topic that I now forget what first caught my attention. Anyhow, they offered for free a very short on-line course, and the topic was the United States Constitution. As mentioned previously, I took the course, and I came away with the impression that what is advertised as a small institution of higher learning is, in fact, a propaganda mill for conservative causes. That impression has been reinforced.
I get regular emails from Larry P. Arnn, twelfth and current president of Hillsdale College. The Wikipedia entry contains a defining point:
In 2013, Arnn was criticized for his remarks about ethnic minorities when he testified before the Michigan State Legislature. In testimony against the Common Core curriculum standards, in which Arnn expressed concern about government interference with educational institutions, he recalled that shortly after he assumed the presidency at Hillsdale he received a letter from the state Department of Education that said his college “violated the standards for diversity,” adding, “because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.” After being criticized for calling minorities “dark ones”, he explained that he was referring to “dark faces”, saying: “The State of Michigan sent a group of people down to my campus, with clipboards … to look at the colors of people’s faces and write down what they saw. We don’t keep records of that information. What were they looking for besides dark ones?” Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel condemned Arnn for his comments, which he called “offensive” and “inflammatory and bigoted”, and asked for an apology. The College issued a statement apologizing for Arnn’s remark, while reiterating Arnn’s concern about “state sponsored racism” in the form of affirmative action policies.
I also receive by postal mail regular copies of Imprimis, which seems to be a monthly Hillsdale newsletter, the title translating to “in the first place.” Most recent was the February 2018 issue, Volume 47, Number 2. There is an indication this operation has been around for nearly half a century.
The headline on the very front, that caught my attention, reads:
The Politicization of the FBI
Jesus help me, but I immediately recognized what this was all about. The issue is on-line, but to save you the bother of following the link, I am posting the text of the article by Joseph E. diGenova:
And that is a load. I hope by now you have read through the foregoing, because some Skeptical Analysis is in order. There is a bunch, and life is short. I will hit some high points, but the conclusion is that this is a shining example of political propaganda. Here are a few items.
The headline writer’s sense of irony seems to have gone AWOL. Recent events demonstrate attempts by the Trump administration to work against the FBI for political gain. Since that time the FBI (and other government intelligence services) started looking into Russian government interference with the 2016 elections and Donald Trump’s connections with the Russian government, Mr. Trump and his allies have, with little success at concealing, been putting pressure on the FBI to cease and desist all such inquiries. First FBI Director James Comey was fired on 8 May, and, more recently, Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe was also fired, this time by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, transparently at the direction of President Trump. Please let not Hillsdale College speak of politicization.
The Clinton Emails
DiGenova wants to use the matter of Hillary Clinton’s emails to make a case that James Comey was corrupt in the execution of his duties. He asserts that Comey should have convened a grand jury, as he (diGenova) would have done as a prosecutor. Really? An examination of all the evidence—and there is a boat load—that has been publicized indicates that, while Clinton was derelict in her use of a private server, there was no intent to break the law, and there is in fact no evidence laws were broken. Yes, any responsible prosecutor would have kicked this case and freed up FBI resources for serious matters. From the viewpoint of any thinking person, if Clinton had been a low-level clerk and not somebody with the last name Clinton running for public office, this matter would have been cause for a letter of reprimand and possible dismissal from employment. At most. Mr. Trump has been President and in control of the Department of Justice, and to date no charges against Mrs. Clinton have been forthcoming from the DOJ.
The most interesting quote from this section is, “Thanks to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, we now know that high-level FBI officials were involved in promoting these rumors. Among Horowitz’s discoveries were text messages between FBI Deputy Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page that suggest an illegal plan to utilize law enforcement to frame Trump.” Then diGenova proceeds to quote a passage from an email between two intimate friends making a joke. He wants to take this seriously, and he hopes his readers do, ignoring the context. Hint: the context makes it clear the remarks were in jest.
DiGenova also notes the two held Mr. Trump in low regard, going so far as disparaging him. DiGenova fails to note this is not from an official government correspondence, but it is simply two friends expressing rightly-held and possibly private views, said views being held by a majority of American citizens. I need to emphasize the term rightly-held, because there is no measure by which Donald Trump comes off as a worthy person. And I do not make that remark in jest.
The second interesting quote from this section is, “At the heart of the Russia collusion scheme is the FBI’s utilization of a document paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.” Most interesting is that diGenova points out the Clinton campaign paid for Steele’s research. He overlooks the reason the Clinton campaign paid for it. That’s because I failed to step forward and pay for it, myself. Dude, any right-thinking person would have paid to find out what The Donald was up to in that Moscow hotel and elsewhere:
However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person obsessions and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.
More important, diGenova ignores that the Steele dossier was not, in fact, critical to launching the investigation. The investigation was already in the works when the FBI received this information. DiGenova’s warping of the truth at this level amounts to fabrication of facts, otherwise known as lying.
The Pall Over the Special Counsel and the FBI
Finally, this quote is worthy: “Mueller also staged a pre-dawn raid with weapons drawn on the home of Paul Manafort, rousing Manafort and his wife from their bed—a tactic customarily reserved for terrorists and drug dealers. Manafort has subsequently been indicted for financial crimes that antedate his campaign work for Trump and that have nothing to do with Russia collusion.” I can’t vouch for the “weapons drawn” part but there is nothing remarkable about the pre-dawn raid part. Paul Manafort, by all indications, is an international criminal. He is being charged with money laundering, failing to pay taxes owed to the government, and conspiracy against the United States. He stands to spend the remainder of his life in prison if found guilty of these charges. This is not a case of unpaid traffic tickets, and diGenova is being disingenuous, even highly deceptive. He is a liar.
This article, appearing in the February issue of Imprimis, derives from a talk diGenova presented for the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies, as it says up front. This was apparently in conjunction with the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. The apparent theme of diGenova’s talk bears scant semblance to the Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation’s stated goals:
Giving primarily in four major areas: 1) environmental concerns, with emphasis on programs that strive to preserve the land and educate our children on the importance of protecting and caring for our natural heritage; 2) animal welfare, with emphasis on the protection and humane treatment of both wild and domestic animals; 3) social concerns, with emphasis on helping Native Americans help themselves; and 4) the fine arts, with emphasis on renovation or the visual and performing arts. The foundation may also fund other charitable organizations or programs as deemed appropriate by the board of directors.
This has all the marks of a political smear laid on those currently making trouble for President Donald Trump. Would that it be more effective, because, as matters unravel daily, the President is going to be needing some backup, fabricated or otherwise.