Few people thought, back in 1941, that the Japanese military could defeat or pose a serious threat to the US military. Yet, by April 8, 1942, only five months into the war, United States’ forces stationed on Luzon, our Philippine colony, had surrendered to a upstart Asian colonial power, the empire of Japan. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the US commander in the Far East, had fled in ignominous defeat from the colony to Australia a month before. The remaining Filipino and American prisoners of war were left behind and forced in a death march of 65 miles to move to POW camps, where they remained under brutal conditions for the rest of the war. The name “Bataan” has since come to symbolize the depths of depravity following defeat.
Bataan was invoked again by journalists to describe the conditions at the Brooklyn campaign headquarters of then-Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the wake of an improbable and unexpectedly harsh finding by the inspector general (IG) of the State Department. The State Department’s own watchdog found its former boss, Secretary Clinton, to have clearly violated the rules and procedures of her own agency and the legal requirements of the National Freedom of Information Act. Clinton, the IG’s report said, posed “significant security risks” through her decision to use a private email server for professional business while she was secretary of state.
The IG’s report promises to be the centerpiece of the Republican attack on the Democrats in the fall election if Secretary Clinton grabs the party’s presidential nomination.
Like Gen. MacArthur fleeing capture by advancing Japanese forces in the Philippines, Hillary's campaign, after the IG's report, is waiting for the FBI probe shoe to drop
While her damage-control operation -- a fixture in the Clinton political machine through decades of scandals -- has gone into full gear, and a largely supportive corporate media has predictably tried to play down the import of the IG’s report, there is still a major FBI investigation underway of the same misconduct by former Secretary Clinton, which has included granting immunity from at least one key member of her staff who handled her home communications system -- a staffer who already took the Fifth over the issue at a House hearing. If the FBI were to indict Clinton, her situation would start to resemble General MacArthur’s in the spring of 1942 -- surrounded with no way out but to flee the scene.
Some of Clinton’s mass media friends have attempted, predictably, to link these developments to the continuing assault by what she once called, “ … a vast right wing conspiracy.” The problem with this defense lies in the very nature of the IG process.
Most agencies of the Unites States government have inspector general offices. The IGs operate independently within each agency to investigate waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse of federal resources. IGs have wide investigative latitude. The State Department IG is a direct appointment of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, hardly part of a vast right wing conspiracy. (FBI Director James Comey, while a former Republican-appointed federal prosecutor, was also appointed to his current post in 2013 by Obama.)