ZAHRAN: Hillary in Wonderland

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at an annual Great Issues Lecture sponsored by the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Joseph Ressler/The Valley News via AP)

Dear Hillary:

Thank you for your illuminating observations on the Mueller report.  I first thought I was reading an article from The Onion, but I soon realized that this was a genuine editorial written by a real—if somewhat deluded—person.

First, let me point out that you are not a “messenger” in this matter—you are a major player.  It was your campaign committee that helped to fund the Steele dossier, which became the basis for a two-year, twenty-five-million dollar investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

Even if you did not have direct knowledge that your campaign committee paid for this dossier, it was purchased on your behalf for the explicit purpose of undermining the Trump presidency.

At best, you were a clueless candidate who didn’t know what your staff was doing.  At worst, you were an active participant who gave either overt or tacit permission for unverifiable information on your opponent to be published and disseminated.  Neither explanation sounds good.

In either case, you are hardly the person to express outrage that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race caused our election to be “corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated.”

Speaking of security violations, let’s revisit your love affair with a private e-mail server.  For someone who now seems deeply concerned about possible foreign interference in the 2020 elections, you didn’t seem too worried about national security as Secretary of State.

During that time, you maintained a private server in your home, and you used a private e-mail account, a decision that was a clear violation of a State Department policy which was in place for several years before you became Secretary of State.

When asked about your use of a private system, your spokesman, Brian Fallon, asserted that you never thought “that having …a personal server…would be unapproved” by the State Department; therefore, you did not ask for permission to use it.

You say you would like to see a Congressional hearing on the Mueller report similar to the Watergate hearings.  You were a young staff attorney then, serving on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry, and you seem to have fond memories of this experience, describing the people conducting those hearings as non-partisan, highly principled, and dignified.

I remember watching the Watergate hearings in my American History class, and I would agree with your description of those events.  Every day was a civics lesson taught in real time, although I, as a seventeen-year-old, did not have the political and historical perspective that you, as a young attorney, did.

But this is 2019, not the early 1970s, and the political world has changed.  In fact, I can describe that change in two words: Brett Kavanaugh.

If you think the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing was a three-ring circus, just wait until the Mueller hearing begins.

In the case of Kavanaugh, his opponents feared that a conservative-majority Supreme Court would lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade, making abortion illegal again.  The left went into full panic mode, complete with Theater of the Absurd performances inside the hearing room, legions of women in Handmaid’s Tale costumes, and enough hysterical shrieking to wake the dead.

What theatricality awaits us in a Mueller hearing?  Will a shirtless Putin impersonator ride a horse into the hearing room?  Will actors recreate scenes from The Manchurian Candidate?  Surely there will be lots of hysterical shrieking.  And some guy will be wearing an orange wig.

So much for a dignified, substantive hearing.

In closing, you assert that “each of us has a vital role to play as citizens.”  After reading your editorial, I’ve concluded that your role is to be the First Lady of Wonderland, a place where nothing is ever what it seems to be and words mean just what you want them to mean.

Enjoy your reign in Wonderland, and please give the Mad Hatter my regards.

Skeptically yours,


Mary Zahran