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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Diminished Faculties and Faulty Memory


 

I’m no proponent of the United States (U.S.) Department of Justice (DOJ). Increasingly, the organization appears to be socio-politically interested more so than concerned with investigating and prosecuting legitimate crime.

 

Likewise, I don’t cheer on politicians. While their direct function is associated with sociopolitical ideologies, I don’t limit my worldview with the sort of in-group tribalism they promote.

 

Moreover, in a blogpost entitled Arguing Attributes of Ability, I stated, “I suspect term limits, recurring cognitive assessments, and similar measures could benefit the nation. Undoubtedly, this would mean that some people would be excluded from leadership roles.”

 

These three declarations establish foundation for the current blog entry. In specific, I find it difficult to understand how President Joe Biden—a man who has been broadcast to the world apparently poised to shake hands with a person who isn’t even present—retains support for another presidential term.

 

Although his first couple years in office arguably received glowing praise from Mockingbird media outlets, Biden is now under a more rigorous standard of scrutiny to where even the DOJ perceivably cannot provide enough cover for his many blunders.

 

In particular, Biden has been accused of mishandling classified materials—something for which former President Donald Trump has also been accused. Unlike the latter, the former has ostensibly received mercy due to the DOJ’s following conclusion:

 

Mr. Biden’s apparent lapses and failures in February and April 2017 will likely appear consistent with the diminished faculties and faulty memory he showed in Zwonitzer’s interview recordings and in our interview of him.

 

When serving as a Marine Security Guard while enlisted in the U.S. Department of Defense, in support of a mission with the U.S. Department of State (DOS), I retained a top secret security clearance. Later subcontracted with the U.S. Department of Energy, I maintained a similar clearance though with higher access.

 

In fact, when working with the latter, I operated as a derivative classifier that was trained and authorized to classify and upgrade documents. While I last worked in the national security field in 2008, I find it difficult to comprehend how one could be essentially deemed incompetent though also continue to access classified information.

 

From my perspective, a label of “diminished faculties and faulty memory” would have cost me the security clearance and access I once retained. How then is it that an individual accused of such ineptitude doesn’t immediately lose access to our nation’s most sensitive data?

 

This is the point at which my Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) training is necessary in order to keep from self-disturbing. Principally, unconditional life-acceptance (ULA) is warranted in order to address irrational beliefs regarding the matter.

 

For instance, I can rationally admit that with the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the DOJ stated in July 2016:

 

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

 

Noteworthy, a DOS investigation of Clinton reportedly found “no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.” However, in 2018, the DOJ’s Inspector General concluded:

 

Director Comey concealed from the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General his intention to make a unilateral announcement in July about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former Secretary Clinton. His July 5 statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, announced his views on what a “reasonable prosecutor” would do, and served to confuse rather than clarify public understanding of his recommendation. In late October, he again acted without adequately consulting Department leadership – and contrary to important Department norms – when he sent a letter to Congress announcing renewed investigative activity days before the election.

 

Conclusively, Biden and Clinton—both Democrats—were ostensibly cleared of wrongdoing for alleged mishandling of classified information. However, Trump—a Republican—continues to face potential punitive action for similar allegations.

 

Although I abhor a two-tiered justice system—a structure in which one group enjoys the privilege of exoneration from wrongdoing while a similarly situated group receives judgement for comparable behavior—I understand that my beliefs about such occurrences, and not the occurrences themselves, are what cause self-disturbance.

 

Therefore, changing my beliefs can impact my emotions, bodily sensations, and behavior. This is where ULA is a necessary component to reduce the irrational act of disturbing myself.

 

I acknowledge that I have no control and little influence over who does or doesn’t receive legal charges for the mishandling of classified information. In all honesty, as someone who isn’t fond of the DOJ, I don’t rejoice in allegations, indictments, or guilty verdicts in this regard.

 

Additionally, and despite the fact that I’m not a Democrat or Republican, I understand that the nature of politics tends towards authoritarianism. I may not like or love that this appears to be the case, though I’m not obliged to upset myself about what is when met by irrational beliefs of what ought to be.

 

In this case, ULA incorporates truth by admitting that matters with which I’m concerned though over which I have no actual command can be tolerated and accepted as is. Altering my beliefs about the situation is essential to achieving reduced self-disturbance.

 

Rather than being angry, disgusted, fearful, or sorrowful about my beliefs concerning a world leader who apparently experiences “diminished faculties and faulty memory,” I can instead be disappointed or annoyed about the matter. For me, this is a preferable outcome.

 

How about you, dear reader? Do you think that the REBT techniques described herein may serve your interests and goals? Would you like to know more about how to disturb yourself less?

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

  

References:

 

Faulders, K., Mallin, A., Bruggeman, L., Steakin, W., and Barr, L. (2024, February 2). Timeline: Special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents. ABC News. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/US/timeline-special-counsels-investigation-trumps-handling-classified-documents/story?id=101768329

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016, July 5). Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail system. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/news/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

GBNews. (2022, April 15). Joe Biden shakes hands with thin air and claims to have been ‘full professor’ in bizarre speech gaffe. Retrieved from https://www.gbnews.com/news/joe-biden-shakes-hands-with-thin-air-and-claims-to-have-been-full-professor-in-bizarre-speech-gaffe/272783

Herb, J., Rabinowitz, H., Cole, D., Cohen, Z., and Lybrand, H. (2024, February 8). Biden responds to special counsel report on handling of classified documents. CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/biden-classified-documents-report-02-08-24/index.html

Hollings, D. (2023, October 6). Arguing attributes of ability. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/arguing-attributes-of-ability

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/interests-and-goals

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 9). Like it, love it, accept it. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/like-it-love-it-accept-it

Hollings, D. (2023, October 19). Mockingbird media. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/mockingbird-media

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 14). The is-ought problem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-is-ought-problem

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Horowitz, M. E. (2018, June 19). Statement of Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice before the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and the Judiciary concerning “Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election.” Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://oig.justice.gov/node/640

Office of Classification. (2012, June). Understanding classification. U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/hss/Classification/docs/Understanding_Classification-Brochure_for_DOE_HQ.pdf

Reuters. (2019, October 19). Clinton email probe finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-clinton/clinton-email-probe-finds-no-deliberate-mishandling-of-classified-information-idUSKBN1WY00F/

Special Counsel’s Office. (2024, February 5). Report on the investigation into unauthorized removal, retention, and disclosure of classified documents discovered at locations including the Penn Biden Center and the Delaware private residence of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. U.S Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/storage/report-from-special-counsel-robert-k-hur-february-2024.pdf

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Hillary Clinton. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

Wikipedia. (n.d.). In-group and out-group. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-group_and_out-group

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Joe Biden. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden

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