Logic is hard. Critical thinking is no longer taught in our schools. Most colleges do not require a course in logic to graduate, and because the media can legally lie, even if people were skilled at drawing reasonable conclusions, they would often be basing those conclusions on false information anyway.
That said, let’s try applying a little logic to the Hillary implosion — aided and abetted by one Associated Press. Fact: The number of delegates required to “clinch the nomination” is 2383. Fact: Hillary does not have that many today. She did not have that many on June 6, 2016, the night someone blackmailed/bribed someone else at AP to discard all journalistic integrity and declare that she had enough superdelegates to “clinch the nomination.” AP claims that they polled all the superdelegates and that there were just enough to give her the win. This would be like polling all the members of the Electoral College and declaring that Trump had enough electoral votes to win the presidency! (Does it sound like I’m speculating when I use big words like “blackmail” and “bribery”? Well, that’s because I am. Simultaneously, I’m extending AP the benefit of the doubt — the doubt that they could ever do something so unethical, immoral and unjust unless they were under the incredible pressure of being blackmailed or bribed.)
FACT: There’s a date on the calendar when the superdelegates vote. That date — JULY 25, 2016 — has not come and gone according to the passage of months, days and hours that we measure using time-keeping devices and subsequently label “history.”
TRUTH: Hillary has not received the nomination. She is not the presumptive nominee. She is exactly where she was a year ago: Not the Democratic nominee for president in the 2016 election cycle.
Further, we can analyze FBI Director Comey’s word choices, body language, and tone of voice and see (and hear) that he does indeed plan to recommend to the Department of Justice that Hillary be indicted under the Espionage Act. Why? Because that is the law she has broken by allowing Special Access Program emails to go unencrypted on her private server for three months (from NBC: “the special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails“). Author and columnist H. A. Goodman explains the basic legal facts in the excellent video below (it will start at exactly the point in the video where he gets to that, 12:32). In summary, yes, some of the emails were retroactively classified, but that’s not relevant. Convicted whistleblowers sit in prison right now for transferring retroactively classified emails, so it’s a crime and one that gets indictments and guilty verdicts. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The SAP emails were born classified. There is no “retroactive” for those emails. They were above Top Secret from the get go.
But don’t take Goodman’s word for it: the recent release (5/26/16) of the State Department Inspector General report concluded that 1) Hillary violated the federal records act by not turning over all official emails before she left the State Dept and 2) that there was no evidence that she ever received approval to use her own email account for conducting official State Department business (or ever even requested such approval). So there’s ample evidence that she should be indicted. Will she? She’s betting she won’t. Her alienating presumptuous arrogance is embarrassing enough (for example when she says that the report won’t affect either her campaign or “my presidency”) but the disrespect and disregard for the law she doesn’t even attempt to hide is really over the top.
Frankly, I thought that there was a good chance that corruption would thwart the release of the State Dept IG report and, that even if it were released, it would likely be false. (And it’s damning — very damning.) The FBI, on the other hand, I have far more faith in (or rather, less doubt). There is no way to get inside Director Comey’s head and know what he intends to do, however, there is a fascinating theory that people are always confessing (literally, that people are always subtly revealing the truth with their words, tone and body language) and that if you listen well enough, you can hear what they’re really saying. In other words, there are three elements of communication. First, the words that are coming out of a person’s mouth; second, what they’re really saying; and third, what they’re not saying.
Cenk Uygur explains below that Director Comey, at a May 11 “Pen & Pad” Briefing with Reporters, was very direct in clarifying that there is no “security inquiry,” that in fact, Hillary is being investigated as part of a criminal investigation. Comey says, “I’m not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry.’ We’re conducting an investigation. That’s what we do. It’s in our name. There are no special set of rules for anybody that the FBI investigates.”
But there is no audio in this segment from TYT. Those phrases are really an amalgamation of several things Director Comey said in two separate exchanges with a reporter. Here’s the first one, copy/pasted from the FBI’s website (except, it wasn’t a complete transcription so I edited it). Turns out, it’s not so direct after all. In fact, the way he square dances with the truth is far more revealing. Pen & Pad briefings are audio only, so we can’t see Director Comey, but in a way, that’s easier, at least for me. Undistracted by facial expressions, I can hone in on “weak” spots in his speech (this means, places where the societal mask we all wear disappears for a second or two).
Starting at 21:04:
Catherine: On the e-mails, Director Comey, are you doing a security inquiry?
Director Comey: (long pause – awkward!) I’m sorry?
Catherine: On the e-mails are you doing a security inquiry?
Director Comey: I don’t know what that means.
Catherine: So it’s a criminal investigation?
Director Comey: We’re conducting an investigation. That-that’s the bureau’s business. That’s what we do. And (pause) that’s probably all I can say about it.
Catherine: The reason I ask is that Mrs. Clinton consistently refers to it as a security inquiry, but the FBI does criminal investigations. I just want to —
Director Comey: Right —
Catherine: — see if you can clear that up.
Director Comey: — it’s in our name.
Director Comey: Yeah.
Catherine: Okay. So it’s not —
Director Comey: I’m not familiar with the term security inquiry.
BEST PART EVER: “I’m sorry?” he says, as if he has no idea what a security inquiry is and in fact, has never even heard such an bizarre off-the-wall term! A what??? A dinglehopper inquiry? A security yackamadoodle? How odd! I’ve never HEARD of such a thing!! Silly Catherine. Surely you jest! From what alternate realm do you descend where FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Inquiry? Inquisition maybe, inquiry — NEVER!
Ok, so he’s just a little too ready to respond with confusion to that question and a little too ready to feign innocence. It’s so funny, so actually hilarious that if it were say, Chris Parnell playing Comey in the SNL version of this exchange, Chris would not even have to exaggerate his intonation on “I’m sorry?” I think James Comey means, Sorry, not sorry. #sorrynotsorry
Let’s keep breaking it down: Cat goes, “on the email, are you doing a security inquiry?” and Directory Comey is all, “I don’t know what that means.” He’s actually being quite kind to Catherine in particular (she is one of the few people he addresses by name), so what does his faux-surprise pretend-ignorance MEAN???? Well, if we were using something I call “red neon sign translate,” he would be holding up a red neon sign that says, “the concept of a security inquiry is so absurd, so silly, and so illogical because the concept of actually and truly being investigated by the FBI is so measurably tangibly serious that downplaying it that much can only mean one thing: that Hillary is actually dumb which is measurably untrue OR she’s very very afraid; either way, I am not even going to acknowledge the insult to the entire Bureau that her euphemism conveys; if there’s anything I can do about it, she will never be our boss.”
Ok, that would be a big red neon sign. Fine. God, split hairs.
But WAIT — there’s more! Cat tries to make him admit on the record that it’s a criminal investigation when she says, “So it’s a criminal investigation?”
Now we get to hear his dad tone. All of a sudden he gets — just a little — pissed. “We’re conducting an investigation,” he
barks says in a clipped tone. He’s not angry with/at Catherine, but again, he’s sick and tired of saying that they’re conducting an investigation because conducting investigations is all a bureau of investigation does. What else would it do? Really?
Then Catherine, taken aback by Comey’s departure from his generally jovial low key tone slips into hedge language: “the reason I ask” — she doesn’t have to give a reason; she’s a reporter, she asks questions for a living, we know why: it’s her job. But she feels compelled to gently rephrase her question because he barked at her and she felt bad for a second. She concludes with “I just want to see if you can clear that up.” This kind of hedge language is what we use on parents, bosses and other authority figures when they’re “in a bad mood” because we don’t want to get snapped at. Phrases that couch our request, such as “I was just wondering …” or “how would you feel if I possibly …” or “Do you happen to know by chance if/when/what ….?” instead of a direct question. She could have said, “You know why I’m asking — it doesn’t make any sense. Will you please state for the record that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton?” But, he answers affirmatively anyway! TWICE!
He says, “Right. It’s in our name.” Listen to the way he says it: “Right.” As in, yes, obviously. Hillary is being criminally investigated. And then when Catherine starts to use a placating tone to communicate to him primally that she is not a threat (“Okay, okay”), he communicates back to her with his calmer tone, “yes, I know you’re not a threat; you’re good, and yes, you’re 100% correct — yeah.” He uses affirmative language twice here, with the word Right and the word Yeah. This is not a coincidence. This is a man who chooses his words extremely carefully, and has no problem with hesitating if he hasn’t found the right words yet (wise man — as my mom used to say, “Once words come out of our mouths, they can never go back in, just like bullets from a gun. And words can be even more dangerous.”).
There’s more. At 14:21:
Eric: I know you don’t want to talk about the Hillary e-mails but I’m asking anyway.
Director Comey: [Are you ashamed?]
Eric: Yeah, I try not to. You’ve indicated publicly, in Niagara Falls and a few other places that you were going to finish this up on your own schedule. You were in no rush. The convention wasn’t a factor, nothing else was a factor. Is there a concern in the director’s office that this investigation is now the subject of so much scrutiny and speculation that you’re affecting a presidential election, in a negative way?
Director Comey: All I would do Eric is repeat what I said before. In any investigation, especially one of intense public interest, and I felt this about San Bernardino. We want to do it well and we want to do it promptly. And so I feel –I feel pressure to do both of those things? (passive aggressive up-talk) What I said at some places, I don’t — I don’t see — I don’t tether to any parTICular external deadline? (passive aggressive up-talk) Look, I understand the interest in this particular investigation. I do feel the pressure to do it well and promptly. As between the two, we will always choose well. That’s the same general answer I hope I’ve [been giving] before.
Director Comey’s uptalk is pronounced in this exchange. When noticeable in a teen-aged girl, this voice mask is used to hide her intelligence because she feels compelled to hide any trait that could be a threat to others. In the head of the FBI, it’s super condescending. And he totally insulted “Eric” when he asked rhetorically, “are you ashamed?” Here’s what we know now about Director Comey (but could really have already guessed knowing that he was a US Attorney because they are lawyers who use words as tools and weapons to persuade juries): he can be mean. So, he has that streak of meanness. Now, we haven’t seen him in twenty different situations — we aren’t omniscient either — so we can only make an assessment based on the available data. Plus, he wasn’t mean to Catherine — he was only a little tetchy. The only time he was actually unkind was with Eric. And after all, we might be mean too if we had to keep dealing with idiots who asked stupid questions, especially if they were attempts to put
concerns words in our office mouth disguised as questions.
So in order to truly gauge his character and make a well-rounded analysis, we need to look at at least two more interactions, with varying power dynamics. In the Pen & Pad briefing, the reporters were subject to him. He was most likely standing at an elevated podium, and they had to get permission to speak to him, to even be in the room. In this next video, he is on an equal level with the person interviewing him — they are both sitting (this is a position of non-dominance, and if the other person is standing, it is a position of subservience) and he was invited to be the interviewer’s guest. And in the third video we’ll look at, he is subject to a Congressional Committee, sitting below the members of a Senate Select Committee, looking up at them (looking up TO them, as a public servant, where the Senate represents the public — or the 37% of the public that bothers to vote in Senate elections).
I’ve capitalized or bold/italicized some words that Director Comey speaks, for a specific reason, below the video:
“Somebody asked me -uh- in the States about whether I’ve -uh- I think the question was, is the Democratic National Convention a, I forget what the question was, a hard stop for you or is that a key date for you or are you doing this investigation aimed at — and I said, NO. I — we aspire to do all our investigations in two ways: well and promptly. I’m personally close to this investigation because I want to enSURE [pause] that we have the resources, the people, the technology, and the SPACE [pause] to DO those things. And to do it in the way I hope we do ALL our work which is competently, honestly and INDEPENDENTLY. Um, and, I’m CONFIDENT it’s being done that way.”
So in communication element 1, the words that are coming out of his mouth, we can hear him say that he’s committed to concluding the investigation well, professionally, above board, the right way, quality over speed, etc, etc. It’s the same party line he’s been repeating for months.
But what is he really saying (communication element 2)? He says: I’m personally close to the investigation. Now, as we know, from a logic standpoint, the director of the bureau technically oversees all investigations but he says he’s “close” to it. The word close here is important. He could have said, “I am watching over my agents” or “I am doing everything I personally can to ensure the integrity of the investigation” but he doesn’t. He says he’s close. What he’s really saying is that he’s close to finishing it. Now why does he mention space? That’s weird. Really weird. You don’t bring up space until you feel like you don’t have enough space, until you feel that your space is being encroached upon. For example, people who say they “need some space.” Space is also a word where his voice mask slips for a split second. Why? Because someone is likely hovering over him or attempting to infringe upon his space, probably someone who would rather the investigation stop.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ALL SPECULATION — DON’T FREAK OUT, EVERYBODY. IT’S PSEUDOSCIENCE — IT MEANS NOTHING. FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.
Now, to deduce what he’s not saying, the most revealing of all the three elements of communication, we’re going to “do the math” and take all the pressure points or weak spots in his speech, every word or syllable where his mask slips (this is not a face mask, this is a voice mask) and add them together.
NO + SURE + SPACE + DO + ALL + INDEPENDENTLY + CONFIDENT
We then treat this like putting a ripped up handwritten note back together that is missing some of the pieces. No, we’re not reading it in context, but it could still be a very valuable source of information. The fun part here is that we get to fill in the blanks and move the pieces around into different orders (this also means that we are doing art, not science, and therefore the accuracy rate of our conclusion goes down).
So imagine that we heard him say, “No sure space do all independently confident” and we were like, what did he say?
There’s no sure space to do it all independently or confidently (?)
There’s no confident space to be sure or all independent (?)
OR, what I think it is,
There is no sure space (secure space); [I’m] doing all (everything) independently and confident [ially].
Yes, it is a stretch. And we’ll never know if this was the right analysis or not. The only thing we can verify (and I’m happy to be wrong — this is fun for me because I’m often right, but not always!) is that he’s close to being finished with the investigation, from communication element two. I predict it will be August of 2016 when the DOJ finally indicts Hillary.
I predict it will be August of 2016 when the DOJ finally indicts Hillary.
Additionally, watch his hands when he says he’s close to the investigation — his hands hold — nay, grip! — an invisible object. It’s very close to him indeed. There are other very pleasant aspects of his body language; I’m not going to specify all the indicators in his voice and hand movements and posture, etc, but they mean that he is probably a protective person, a thoughtful person, a person who can be violent sometimes but defensively, not aggressively, that he would not hurt women, that he has some regret (people who don’t feel regret don’t have an intact moral compass — we WANT indicators of regret), that he is very gentle toward children and domestic animals and vulnerable people, also that he’s methodical, logical, reflective, and talkative. Negatives? He likes the sound of his own voice, he likes giving advice and keeping people rooted to the spot while they listen to it because they feel obligated to, is moderately arrogant (the regret off-sets this and neutralizes the effect in his everyday life), is self-righteous, assumes that he is smarter than most people (although there are indicators of high intelligence and an excellent memory so he probably IS smarter than most people). Finally, there is also an interesting indicator of humility: it tells us that there was an event in the recent past where he realized just how powerful his influence on changing the outcome of a situation for the better really is (within the past 5 years, probably 3 years ago).
Now let’s go to that Hearing on Worldwide Threats, the Senate Select Committee hearing I mentioned earlier, where Director Comey is acting as a public servant and is thus the subordinate one in the power dynamic. Click here and then forward the feed to 1:04:46 to see the opening question from a Senator and then his response.
There’s no text for me to copy/paste and this hearing is long and sad and boring so suffice it to say, there are more indicators that Comey is logical, methodical, respectful of authority (both kinds, that which is endowed by rank and that which is endowed by We the People), humble, kind, protective of vulnerable peoples, along with new interesting indicators: that he is curious, deferential (he shows the most deference to Jim Clapper in this video; his body language indicates respect and admiration for the DNI), patient (listen to the way he explains concepts to Congress — he goes out of his way to not sound condescending toward them) and also happily married.
Finally, there was a second exchange Director Comey had with Catherine at the Pen & Pad briefing that really encapsulates my whole conclusion.
Catherine: I’m hopeful that you can answer this one.
Director Comey: Is it Hillary Clinton related?
Catherine: Yeah, but this is a really important issue though.
Director Comey: I don’t doubt that all of your questions are important. I’m just telling you I’m predicting the answer. As short as you can.
Catherine: I actually keep my questions very short (Cute — she knows she’s special and the favorite). [crosstalk 00:56:06] I consistently hear from security clearance holders that if they had done a fraction of what had been done by Mrs. Clinton’s team that they would already be in jail. Can you assure people that Mrs. Clinton and her team are being held to the same standard? That there isn’t a special set of rules because they are powerful and politically connected?
Director Comey: I’m not going to comment (pause) other than to say there are no special set of rules for anybody that the FBI investigates.
So, first he says that he’s not going to comment … then he comments — lol. So WHY does he comment? Because his moral compass compels him to. If he really doesn’t say anything (or regurgitates the same old non-answer he gave to Eric), then he’s not denying what everyone already thinks, that people like the Clintons get special treatment and everyone else gets a SWAT team at 4:00 a.m. breaking down the door and terrifying the entire building/block. It annoys him that he even has to say this (because in his ideal Just World it’s a given) but he grudgingly (after a pause) agrees exactly with Catherine’s word choice and echoes her phrasing exactly, “no special set of rules,” and goes beyond that — for anybody the FBI investigates. So now we know he’s idealistic and has an aversion to hypocrisy and bullies. Good! And what else do we know? That he is a person who is compelled by his moral compass. In the end, he will not be able to keep from doing the right thing and seeking justice.
So Bernie, you better stay in the race, Senator!
**Did you enjoy this body language/word choice analysis? Great! Please let me know on twitter and comment below!
***If you are the FBI, I would like a mug, please. An oversized one with the seal on it. You can send it to me at
Sarah Reynolds | 1299 Grand Ave #304 | St Paul, MN 55105
****But I would like Hillary indicted more than the mug, so if I have to choose, then the indictment.