It is no surprise that one might betray another, but rather that others lack the courage to stand in opposition to the betrayal.  In this one thing evil takes its prisoners and a mighty nation can be lost.

R.E.S.

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There is an anatomy to betrayal and a configuration to evil.

The March 28, 2016 Washington Post story on Hillary Clinton’s email escapade gives us a glimpse of this.

Central to both the anatomy and the configuration is this: truth was not told to others, vital information was withheld from others, to wit: those who Ms. Clinton and her aids engaged in discussions about her use of an unsecured BlackBerry for all her communication (personal and highly sensitive government messaging) were never told that she had begun (in November 2008) using a private, unsecured server previously installed in her home that her husband used for Clinton Foundation correspondence and personal use.

So point one: betrayal, like evil, involves lying and deception, i.e., withholding truth from others.

In The Post account we see that from the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State “her aids and senior (government) officials focused intently on accommodating (her) desire to use her private (unsecured) email account” and in doing so “paid insufficient attention to the laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information.”  (Emphasis added.)

Point two: power structures produce sycophants – those who seek to flatter the powerful so to win the favor of them.  Translation – many people are easily compromised in these structures and end up serving those with ill or badly mistaken objectives – often selfish interests.

Point three: it takes independent people to speak truth to power.

Point four: if you wish to perform well in difficult jobs make sure that you have strong and virtuous people around you with whom you regularly seek wise counsel.

Point five: weak, ill-formed and malevolent people prefer sycophants to independent, virtuous counsel.

Interestingly, those who are engaged in the antics of selfish and malevolent individuals are easily blinded it seems.  Case in point: senior State Department officials did not recognize Ms. Clinton’s use of her private server despite receiving emails from “her private account” and even (in one case) mentioning it in an email that they authored.

Point six: to hedge against being blind to truth, keep the company of virtue and retain the strength of independence, especially, in hierarchical structures.

Finally, it is interesting that Ms. Clinton in her prior presidential campaign touted (as The Post recounted) that if elected she pledged to maintain a climate of transparency, of openness; yet, as The Post reports, in her first days as Secretary of State her “senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent” this climate of openness.

Point seven: if someone has had a past that seems to shade toward untruth, or engaged in acts that previously discredit them, it is best to keep both distance and caution.

Shalom.

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