Have some government officials risen so high in political power that they’ve indeed risen above the law? Do Americans still value the rule of law over the ruler?

Consider retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, arguably one of the finest minds in military history and certainly a man who played a major role in the U.S. success in the Iraq War.

Originally appointed by George W. Bush to head multinational forces in the 2007 surge in Iraq, Petraeus later served as commander-in-chief of Central Command, head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

But even Petraeus wasn’t above the law.

In April 2015, he pleaded guilty to providing classified information to his former mistress and biographer and was sentenced, in a plea deal, to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine by a North Carolina court, as reported by Reuters.

So if a decorated general, who no doubt helped save American lives, isn’t above the impropriety of compromising classified information, should an ex-secretary of state?


Fast-forward to last Friday, where an Associated Press Newsbreak, written by Bradley Klapper, reported the Obama administration had finally confirmed that Hillary Clinton’s home server contained closely guarded government secrets and at least 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification, despite telling the American people that she had “never sent or received any material marked classified.”


The article went on to say the AP had learned of seven email chains containing “top secret” information so highly restricted that it would not be released even with redactions.

“The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP, calling the withholding of documents in full “not unusual.” That means they won’t be published online with others being released, even with blacked-out boxes.

In what I believe was a calculated attempt to “feign” her innocence, Clinton campaign spokesman Brain Fallon issued a classic Clinton bluff.

“We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails,” Fallon said. “Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today.”

Right! The Clinton camp knows these top secret emails can never be released, further compromising national security, hence the assuming dare to release them.

As a younger man, I viewed hours of the Watergate hearings with great wonder. Soon thereafter, I witnessed President Nixon tender his resignation, fearing impeachment from an espionage operation inside the offices of the Democratic National Committee. While tragic, the system worked and forever changed politics as we know it.


Now, over 40 years later, could we be witnessing Hillary’s escape from indictment for far greater crimes against these United States of America?

If so, Americans will never again be able to trust that the rule of law will apply indiscriminately in Washington.


Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page