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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

 

Partying like it's 1995

by digby




The Trumpies are working hand in glove with Judicial Watch and David Bossie to build up the case against Hillary Clinton. Victoria Toensing's involved. They're even making the "mistake" over and over again of referring to "the Clinton administration" or "President Clinton" when they speak about all this.


It's pretty obvious that they are so sad that Clinton lost the election that they've decided to just carry on as if she did. I don't think I've ever seen anything so bizarre and I watched them go after Bill Clinton for killing Vince Foster by shooting a watermelon in a congressman's back yard. At least Bill was actually president at the time.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assignment of as many as several hundred State Department officials to quickly clear a huge backlog of public records requests is being met with deep skepticism by rank-and-file employees.

Tillerson says his goal is transparency. But many State workers fear the real reason is political: expediting the public release of thousands of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s official emails.

The staffers also suspect the move — which will reassign many of them from far more substantive duties and has already sparked a union complaint — is meant to force many of them to resign out of frustration with what are essentially clerical positions.

The issue spotlights the deepening distrust toward Tillerson at Foggy Bottom, where his attempts to restructure the department, cut its budget and centralize policymaking have already hurt morale. But it is drawing applause from conservative groups, which have been pressuring Tillerson to act on a backlog of 13,000 Freedom of Information Act requests — many of them relating to emails and other records from Clinton’s tenure.

“We haven't understood why there's been a slow-walking of releasing records, and we've been quite public in counseling the administration to take an approach of extreme transparency,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group that has sued the Trump administration for more Clinton documents.

“It looks like someone's listening,” Fitton added.

Current and former career diplomats scoff at such talk. They say the real story is Tillerson’s contempt for a State Department workforce he sees as bloated, and one that President Donald Trump views as a Democratic stronghold loyal to Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009-13.

While many of the people assigned to open-records duty are lower-level staffers and interns, some have previously held prestigious posts, helping shape U.S. foreign policy and engaging in high-level diplomacy.

"Nothing better illustrates the view of the Trump administration that U.S. diplomats are nothing more than overpaid clerks," said Thomas Countryman, a retired career foreign service officer who served as assistant secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Tillerson announced his decision to ramp up FOIA processing in an Oct. 17 email to State employees. Tillerson has set an ambitious — some say implausible — goal of clearing the backlog by the end of this year.

Suspicions around his motivation are being fueled in part by an Oct. 27 CNN report that, citing unnamed sources, said Trump is pushing the State Department to release any remaining Clinton emails it may still have and that the president had asked Tillerson to clear the department's backlog of unfulfilled records requests.

According to Judicial Watch, the State Department has yet to process about 40,000 pages of at least 72,000 records that contain Clinton emails. However, State Department officials have indicated they believe that many of those still-unreleased documents are duplicates of information already shared with the public. Recent waves of releases of Clinton-related records have yielded little fresh material.

These right wing character assassins don't need specifics. All they have to do is find some little thing to peg to their conspiracy theory and that will be that. This is clearly going to be their mission for the next three years, maybe longer.

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