It was obvious from the very beginning that Hillary Clinton wouldn't face any repercussions for her email scandal.
In case anyone doubted that, go back and have a look at President Barack Obama's slickly-produced video in which he wholeheartedly endorsed the former Secretary of State for president. Obama, a president obsessed with burnishing his own legacy during the lame duck months of his presidency, would never hitch his fortunes to those of a potential felon if he really thought there was a snowball's chance in hell Clinton would be indicted.
And yet Obama was out campaigning for Clinton on the very same day FBI Director James Comey announced Hillary wouldn't face criminal charges. If Obama really thought there was any possibility Clinton would be indicted, he wouldn't be caught dead stumping for her.
Then there was the meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. When the meeting became public, Lynch apologized, and said she and the former president discussed golf and their grandchildren. In the seclusion of her private jet. For 30 minutes.
Really, Lynch regretted being caught. If not for a random local reporter who caught wind of the meeting, the public wouldn't know it happened and Lynch wouldn't be apologizing.
But most of all, Hillary was investigated by an agency run by a friend and political ally, which answers to a boss -- Obama -- who is also a political ally.
When a young black kid gets pumped full of bullets by a police officer in some random city in America, do we trust the same police department to investigate its own officer?
When the management of a chain store suspects employees of stealing merchandise, does it entrust an investigation to the friends of those employees?
When a Wall Street firm is accused of breaking investment laws, do we trust the firm's own executives to clear their employees of wrongdoing and assure everyone that things are on the up and up?
If we demand independent investigations on criminal matters, why do we trust friends and political allies -- people with a vested interest in declaring Clinton did nothing wrong -- to conduct an investigation into whether top secret documents were compromised? Shouldn't accusations of wrongdoing at the highest levels of government warrant a professional, honest and independent investigation?
Apparently not, for anyone named Clinton.
Then there's Hillary and her excuses. When the question is whether foreign hackers got access to the former Secretary of State's unsecured email server, out comes Hillary the Network Administrator, assuring us that no one could've been snooping around in her files. As if Hillary earned a degree with Cisco in her spare time and spent hundreds of hours personally poring over network traffic logs, verifying that nothing was accessed, that no log entry was falsified by incredibly skilled hackers in the employ of foreign governments.
But when reporters ask why the presumptive Democratic nominee's aides wiped the server before turning it over to the FBI, out comes Hillary the Luddite: Wipe the server? "What, like with a cloth or something? I don't know how it works." She's no longer Hillary the Network Administrator or Hillary the White Hat Security Expert -- now she's Hillary "I don't know how to program a VCR" Clinton. She's your grandmother or aunt who calls you to remove malware from her laptop every time she clicks on a free iPad pop-up.
Best of all are the childish excuses: that Hillary didn't know she was doing anything wrong, that other secretaries of state had used personal emails too. That's a tactic usually associated with 6-year-olds who are caught with their hands in the cookie jar: "But, but Jimmy took the cookies too! I thought it was okay!"
Is that what we look for in a president these days? "I didn't know what the little red button does!" "I didn't know that destabilizing the Middle East would lead to more war! But George W. Bush did it too!" "I didn't know there was fine print on that trade agreement that will cripple our economy for 20 years. Jimmy Carter once signed a similar agreement, so I thought it was okay!"
Really, all of this is only the tip of the iceberg. A Politico investigation found gaps in the emails Clinton's team released, "conspicuous lapses in email activity" that hint at entire swaths of emails that weren't disclosed. On July 5, Comey himself said there were "several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014."
But if we really want to place this miscarriage of justice in context, we need look no further than Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier, a sailor who pleaded guilty in May to a felony for mishandling classified documents, according to Politico.
What was Saucier's big crime? Did he sell state secrets to foreign spies? Did he provide hackers with server credentials?
Nope. He used a cell phone camera to take some photos of the engine room of the the USS Alexandria, where he worked as a mechanic. There's no evidence that he ever shared, or intended to share, the photos with anyone. But he's expected to serve five to six-and-a-half years in prison, giving him plenty of time to ponder the double standards for the powerful and powerless.
This is what we've become: an America where those with the most power and responsibility suffer the least consequences, while those at the bottom of the food chain get thrown under the bus. The buck stops where?