The purpose of editorializing is primarily, to influence thought. It is also supposed to inform but even in the act of informing there is legitimate room for influencing. We in America are today at a point in which decisions will soon be made that will affect us all, negatively or positively. In light of that it is vitally important that we each exercise our right to ‘editorialize, inform and influence’, in appropriate ways. The purpose of this particular editorial on my part is to inform the uninitiated and in truth, to influence thought, particularly on the process and the potential outcome of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s suspected misuse of classified information. The ‘informing’ I will attempt here is based upon thirty years in law enforcement, practicing and teaching at the college level, and 15 plus, years in US army special forces intelligence and counterintelligence with operational tours in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Admittedly, I am opposed to the election of Hillary Clinton but more so I firmly believe she should be held legally responsible for her mishandling of classified data. I know from years of experience the damage that can be done to individuals in operational situations, while fighting for all of us here in America, when someone is careless with classified data. People die and they die more often than not when military secrets are carelessly handled. Also, from a practical point, if Hillary Clinton is allowed to escape responsibility for her actions, it will launch an era of unqualified chaos in holding anyone responsible for intentionally or unintentionally divulging operational data. Lawyers for years to come will defend their clients who have been charged with leaking intelligence information with a simple claim, “that’s how Hillary Clinton’s case was handled.” The damage that will be done to the credibility of our most important investigative agency, the FBI, and to the honor and impartiality of the Justice Department will be insurmountable. The idea that our nation’s system of justice will be damaged in such a way simply to protect someone of political stature is unforgivable. In an attempt to inform, I ask the reader to consider the following, which is fact and can easily be verified; criminal intent is not required in order to convict for mishandling classified information. I repeat, criminal intent is NOT required in order to convict for mishandling classified information. Specific markings, such as Top Secret or Secret or Confidential are also, NOT required on a document, in order to convict for mishandling classified documents and information. In short, there are no legal excuses to exempt Clinton’s behavior from criminal prosecution. The head of our nations Justice Department, the lead law enforcement officer in the entire country, Loretta Lynch, pledged that Hillary Clinton would be treated in exactly the same way, you or I would be treated in similar situations. Department of Justice Attorney General Loretta Lynch publically assured us of that. If she cannot define a legal reason for refusing to indict Hillary Clinton, assuming the FBI makes such a recommendation, she will have in effect lied to the American people and her lie will serve to destroy the credibility of the United States Justice Department for generations to come. Whether Clinton intended to cause harm, or whether the data was marked to her satisfaction, are not legally acceptable considerations. I for one, will watch closely to see that fairness and equality and justice are applied in this case. Admittedly, I hold this issue dear because I have seen the damage to brothers at arms and to those who risk their lives to ally with us, when classified information is handled like Hillary Clinton is suspected of doing, but beyond that, there is a simple issue of fairness and equality and justice that we should all hold dear. Makes no difference whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. If you are an American, you should want to see the integrity and honesty and independence and credibility and fairness of our most powerful arms of justice, remain intact. If you and I don’t demand that these things be elevated to a position of importance that supersedes the desires and political ambitions of Hillary Clinton, rest assured, they won’t be and even if you’re a Clinton supporter, you will eventually suffer for it.