“I believe that the success or failure of a state hinges on this point more than anything else: Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own, the collapse of the state, in my view, is not far off; but if law is the master of the government and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the gods shower on a state.”
— Plato, The Laws, Book IV
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is marching on in his quest to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her misuse of classified material while serving as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
On his website, Paul has launched a petition to “Hold Hillary Accountable.”
“If you still believe that no American — even a Clinton — should be exempt from our justice system, sign the petition demanding that Hillary Clinton be held accountable for all her violations,” Paul writes, explaining the purpose of the petition.
“There should not be a different set of rules for Hillary and people like us,” he adds.
Paul’s mission to make the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee answer for her violation of laws regulating the handling of classified documents is not new.
In a video embedded on the web page, Paul says that “if the FBI’s decision to not prosecute Hillary Clinton is accepted, we will have become a nation of two sets of laws: one for the Clintons, and one for everyone else.”
As quoted above, the classical Greek philisopher Plato agreed. In fact, earlier in the dialogue written in Book IV of The Laws, Plato explains that if a government is to be stable and a people are to be happy and free, “the highest office … must be allocated to the man that is best at obeying the established laws.”
There is no question that Hillary Clinton violated the "established laws" governing the transmission of material classified as critical to the national security of the United States.
Even FBI Director James Comey, the man who recommended that no charges be filed against Clinton, admitted under direct questioning from Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that Clinton ignored legal limits on her ability to transmit classified material.
On the day Comey announced that, despite having threatened national security over 100 times in her reckless handling of classified material, Hillary Clinton would not be held responsible, Paul posted the following message on his Facebook page:
Today the FBI announced Hillary Clinton violated classified procedures, carelessly and recklessly endangered national security — and had done so repeatedly, over 100 times.
The FBI then announced she would face no charges. This is an outrage and the rule of law has been turned upside down.
This weekend, we learned former President Clinton met with the Obama Administration Attorney General — the FBI director's boss — in private.
Three days later the FBI director announces no charges are being brought against Hillary Clinton.
The appearance is terrible. The decision is astounding. People have gone to jail for less severe breaches of classified information and national security.
Today Director Comey and the Obama Administration Department of Justice made it clear to the American people, and all those being unfairly prosecuted by the DOJ, that there is no accountability, no justice, and the Clintons are allowed to live by a different set of rules.
This is a loss for the rule of law and further degrades Americans' faith in the justice system.
Paul’s railing against Comey’s decision is not without merit. Here for your consideration are the exact words said by Comey in justifying his recommendation that Clinton face no charges: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”
Other people would face charges for the same actions — just not this person. It is on this point, then, that we see the emergence of a tyrant, and Rand Paul is having none of it.
Curiously, it is illuminating to remember that back in July of 2013, Senator Paul was the only member of that body to vote against the confirmation of James Comey as FBI director.
It is not, however, James Comey that is the target of Paul’s efforts to force a federal officer’s feet into the fire.
Nor should he be.
Comey is dutifully playing his role as courtier to the monarchical Mrs. Clinton, just as Plato said he (or someone like him) would during the reign of tyrants.
In an eerily timely description of a tyrant’s ability to retain power by relying on the cooperation of courtiers, Plato wrote, “These are the new citizens whom he has called into existence, who admire him and are his companions, while the good hate and avoid him.… But they will … attract mobs, and hire voices fair and loud and persuasive, and draw the cities over to tyrannies.”
Plato’s prescience aside, Senator Paul is not a new thorn in the side of the former secretary of state.
In 2013 during a hearing into the death of U.S. ambassador Stevens at Benghazi, Libya, Senator Paul told Hillary Clinton, “Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.”
The stakes are higher now. Rather than simply being able to refuse to send American military personnel into harm’s way to defend American representatives from attack, should she be elected president, Hillary Clinton will be able to send American military personnel into harm’s way whenever she wants and the casualties will be much higher — on both sides of the conflicts — than those at Benghazi.
Returning briefly to Plato, he warned that it is precisely this tactic that all tyrants use in order to maintain their power over the people and their exemption from the laws.
“The tyrant must be always getting up a war.… He is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader,” Plato wrote.
Senator Paul’s effort to hold Hillary Clinton accountable to the rule of law may be one of the country’s last chances to avoid the bloodshed that already seems to occur when Hillary Clinton — or any tyrant — is in charge and unaccountable.
Photo: AP Images