Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Author Archives: Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

Hillary’s Hamartia

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

Hillary Clinton could have spared the country hours of wasted investigations, debates, and near civil war had she just made three easy ethical and logical choices.

One: Had she, as Secretary of State, used a standard Department of State email server for her official correspondence, there would have been no Inspector General’s 500-page plus report. Indeed, there would have been no three-year-long email scandal that has all but destroyed the reputation of the Washington hierarchy of the FBI.

In other words, there would have been no need for all the distortions by Clinton, the FBI, and the Department of Justice. Just think of it: no bit-bleaching of Clinton hard drives, no smashing of mobile devices, and no secret meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac.

Read the full article here.

Scandals Sanitized with Linguistic Trickery

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Obama becomes an unnamed ‘government official,’ ‘investigation’ becomes a ‘matter,’ and ‘illegal’ becomes ‘improper.’

There are lots of strange things throughout Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s massive report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation. One of the weirdest is the extent to which the FBI went to make up words and phrases to disguise reality.

An early draft of the 2016 FBI report on the email scandal was reportedly subjected to linguistic surgery to exonerate the former secretary of state, who at the time was the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton was originally found to be “grossly negligent” in using an illegal email server. That legalistic phrase is used by prosecutors to indict for violation of laws governing the wrongful transmission of confidential government documents.

Read the full article here.

Border Politics and the Use and Abuse of History

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Much has been written — some of it either inaccurate or designed to obfuscate the issue ahead of the midterms for political purposes — about the border fiasco and the unfortunate separation of children from parents. Rich Lowry’s brief analysis is the most insightful.

The media outrage usually does not include examination of why the Trump administration is enforcing existing laws that it inherited from the Bush and Obama administrations that at any time could have been changed by both Democratic and Republican majorities in Congress; of the use of often dubious asylum claims as a way of obtaining entry otherwise denied to those without legal authorization — a gambit that injures or at least hampers thousands with legitimate claims of political persecution; of the seeming unconcern for the safety of children by some would-be asylum seekers who illegally cross the border, rather than first applying legally at a U.S. consulate abroad; of the fact that many children are deliberately sent ahead, unescorted on such dangerous treks to help facilitate their own parents’ later entrance; of the cynicism of the cartels that urge and facilitate such mass rushes to the border to overwhelm general enforcement; and of the selective outrage of the media in 2018 in a fashion not known under similar policies and detentions of the past.

Read the full article here.

The Dream and the Nightmare of Globalization

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

After World War II, only the United States possessed the capital, the military, freedom, and the international good will to arrest the spread of global Stalinism. To save the fragile postwar West, America was soon willing to rebuild and rearm war-torn former democracies. Over seven decades, it intervened in proxy wars against Soviet and Chinese clients, and radical rogue regimes. It accepted asymmetrical and unfavorable trade as the price of leading and saving the West. America became the sole patron for dozens of needy clients—with no time limit on such asymmetry.

Yet what would become the globalized project was predicated on lots of flawed, but unquestioned assumptions:

Read the full article here.

‘Future Pres’ Hillary — the Font of all the Scandals

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The investigators assumed their new boss would reward them for going to extremes to help her.

Review the Clinton email scandal, the Steele dossier, the insertion of at least one FBI informant into the Trump campaign, the misleading of the FISA court by FBI and DOJ officials intent on monitoring U.S. citizens, and, now, the inspector general’s report. There emerges a common denominator: the surety by all involved that Hillary Clinton would be president, and the need to prepare for that fact.

Examine the IG’s transcript of a random, pre-election series of electronic chitchat between high-ranking FBI employees:

Read the full article here.

The IG Hall of Mirrors

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The professionally written and admirably researched IG report is in some sense a hall of mirrors, with all sorts of reflections that are contorted and warped, and into which all parties claim to see reality.

Often the euphemistic conclusions are not supported by the data produced. The only constant to Obama-era FBI and DOJ behavior is the universal assumption that Hillary Clinton would be president, and what might be assumed as improper or illegal conduct in the present, would likely in the future be excused or rewarded.

On the question of “bias,” the report exhaustively catalogues communications in which government investigators and attorneys systematically deprecate Trump, and the Trump voter, and in explicit terms boast about stopping him.

Read the full article here.

The Silencing of the Inspectors General

Impartial watchdogs are useless if the government stonewalls them and ignores their findings of wrongdoing.Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz, an Obama administration appointee, is scheduled to deliver a report this week on DOJ and FBI abuses during the 2016 campaign cycle. Remember: His last investigation of FBI misconduct advised a criminal referral for fired former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who allegedly lied to federal investigators.

McCabe and at least a half-dozen other FBI employees quit, retired, were fired, or were reassigned as a result of fallout from the politicization of the FBI. Yet, as Barack Obama left office, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, strangely boasted that the Obama administration “has been historically free of scandal.” Obama himself recently concluded of his eight-year tenure, “I didn’t have scandals.”

Read the full article here.

The Bad Iranian Deal Was Always Going to Get Worse

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The more we learn about it — as Iranian and Obama-administration deceptions are uncovered — the more we know it was a disaster from the start.

When Donald Trump withdrew from the so-called Iran deal in early May, almost all conventional wisdom in Washington was aghast.

The Left thought nullification would fast-track Iranian proliferation, incite more Iranian terrorism and adventurism, estrange our allies, and alienate a possible new friend.

Many on the conservative side (aside from Never Trumpers who are against anything Trump is for, including their own prior policies) thought it would have been wiser to back out slowly, or at least to have waited first for the duplicitous Iranians to get caught in clear violations, or to coordinate a joint withdrawal with the Europeans.

Read the full article here.

06-11-2018 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

Subject: 1972 REDUX….The carnivores of civil liberties.

“You talk like a man with a paper ass”. Someone needs to enlighten you about the need to cite examples.

How did you ever get your job at Stanford?

Gary Seager


Dear Angry Reader Gary Seager,

In such a brief note, you still warrant an Angry Reader score of 2—given vulgarity and ad hominem attack in lieu of an idea or argument.

How odd you demand “examples” in a 750 word syndicated column nevertheless full of examples of officials such as Brennan, Clapper, and Comey who have all three, as I wrote, lied to Congress; Clapper and Brennan have admitted to such and apologized. I noted the FISA court and the flawed email investigations. What examples in fact are you citing for your crude assertions?

As to your last inquiry about how one gets a job at Stanford:

One gets a job at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, by both outside audit and internal review of one’s publications, teaching, public commentary, and prior conduct as a professor and academic, all a matter of record. Anyone is welcome to apply, you included.

So simply send an application to the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305. Be sure to include a vita with your education and terminal degree, teaching record, list of scholarly books and articles, public op-eds, and list of scholars in your field willing to offer candid and confidential assessments.

Then your application with be examined by:

1) the director,

2) a select committee of Hoover senior fellows,

3) a vote by all the senior fellows,

4) the relevant academic department in which you would teach if a full professor at Stanford,

5) an outside assessment conducted by that department, based on evaluations of your work by those in your field at other universities,

6) and a final decision by the provost at Stanford whether you meet Stanford University tenure and promotion standards for full professor.

The entire process can take only a year or so, is professionally conducted, and I certainly urge you to apply if interested.

Sincerely, Victor Hanson

A Reply to Ronald Radosh’s Smear

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

In a strange attack on my criticism of former CIA director John Brennan’s lack of veracity, Ron Radosh alleges that I have engaged in a sort of conspiracy theory about the deep state. He quotes me in an article largely devoted to Jerome Corsi’s new book, which I have not read and whom I have never met, under the Daily Beast scare title, “Pro-Trump Author Says CIA Has Plan to Kill the President.”

Radosh apparently puts me in conspiratorial company for believing the following:

The distinguished historian Victor Davis Hanson, writes that “If there is such a thing as a dangerous ‘deep state’ of elite but unelected federal officials who feel that they are untouchable and unaccountable, then John Brennan is the poster boy.” He adds that “Brennan is typical of the careerist deep state.” They operate [sic] “the psychological tactic known as ‘projection.’ To square their own circles of lying, our so-called best and brightest loudly accuse others of precisely the sins that they themselves commit as a matter of habit.”

Read the full article here.

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