Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Yezhov Calendar

If you're a student of history, you may know the story of Nikolai Yezhov, who fell out of favor with the Soviets and was executed, then was subsequently airbrushed out of a picture with Stalin as they walked along a canal in Moscow. The original photo shows him, but somehow he disappeared:

That's odd -- he was just here
You can buy a lot of calendars -- desk calendars, wall calendars, 3-month-at-a-time calendars. But you can only get a Yezhov calendar if you reach a certain state. Or if you run the show at State:

An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met.

The fuller details of those meetings were included in files the State Department turned over to the AP after it sued the government in federal court.

The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure — in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror the other, more detailed records of her daily meetings.

At a time when Clinton's private email system is under scrutiny by an FBI criminal investigation, the calendar omissions reinforce concerns that she sought to eliminate the "risk of the personal being accessible" — as she wrote in an email exchange that she failed to turn over to the government but was subsequently uncovered in a top aide's inbox.
So who was she meeting with? One example:
In one key omission, Clinton's State Department calendar dropped the identities of a dozen major Wall Street and business leaders who met with her during a private breakfast discussion at the New York Stock Exchange in September 2009, The meeting occurred minutes before Clinton appeared in public at the exchange to ring the market's ceremonial opening bell.

Despite the omission, Clinton's State Department planning schedules from the same day listed the names of all Clinton's breakfast guests — most of whose firms had lobbied the government and donated to her family's global charity. The event was closed to the press and merited only a brief mention in her calendar, which omitted all her guests' names — among them Blackstone Group Chairman Steven Schwarzman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and then-New York Bank of Mellon CEO Robert Kelly.
The AP report that I'm quoting here bends over backwards to say these discrepancies aren't, in and of themselves, prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. But the AP isn't done looking:
The AP first sought Clinton's calendar and schedules from the State Department in August 2013, but the agency would not acknowledge even that it had the material. After nearly two years of delay, the AP sued the State Department in March 2015. The department agreed in a court filing last August to turn over Clinton's calendar, and provided the documents in November. After noticing discrepancies between Clinton's calendar and some schedules, the AP pressed in court for all of Clinton's planning material. The U.S. has released about one-third of those planners to the AP, so far.
We might get the rest of the information in, say, the middle of November. There's more, a whole lot more, at the link. You really should read it.

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